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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey All,
I've been reading the forums for the past few days and have been amazed at the quality of information contained within. Thanks to everyone for providing the great information.

I've been looking to build a nano tank for about a year now but just didn't have the means before since I was in college. I've finally settled down and have started a 12g nano. The tank is by AP and I have the stock lighting. I bought a MJ 600 which is giving really good flow for the small tank. I have about 10lbs of Fiji Totoka and about 15 lbs of live sand.

It's only been four days and I'm letting the tank cycle with the rock and sand before I add a cleanup crew. The rock was already cured by the LFS so I'm really not sure what to expect. Any ideas?? As mentioned in another post, I have already seen some brittle stars and baby snails. What can I expect as to water level measurements? Any ideas for the perfect clean up crew? First corals? First fish? :confused: Basically, any help you could provide would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!:help:


Stats to Date
<table x:str="" style="border-collapse: collapse; width: 491pt;" border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0" width="654"><col style="width: 41pt;" width="55"> <col style="width: 26pt;" width="34"> <col style="width: 73pt;" width="97"> <col style="width: 57pt;" width="76"> <col style="width: 67pt;" width="89"> <col style="width: 2pt;" width="3"> <col style="width: 225pt;" width="300"> <tbody><tr style="height: 12pt;" height="16"> <td class="xl24" style="height: 12pt; width: 41pt;" height="16" width="55">Date</td> <td class="xl25" style="border-left: medium none; width: 26pt;" width="34">pH</td> <td class="xl25" style="border-left: medium none; width: 73pt;" width="97">Ammonia [ppm]</td> <td class="xl25" style="border-left: medium none; width: 57pt;" width="76">Nitrite [ppm]</td> <td class="xl25" style="border-left: medium none; width: 67pt;" width="89">Nitrate [ppm]</td> <td class="xl26" style="border-left: medium none; width: 2pt;" width="3"></td> <td class="xl27" style="border-left: medium none; width: 225pt;" width="300">Notes</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 11.25pt;" height="15"> <td class="xl29" style="height: 11.25pt;" height="15">Ideal</td> <td class="xl30" style="border-left: medium none;" x:num="">8.2</td> <td class="xl30" style="border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0</td> <td class="xl30" style="border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0</td> <td class="xl30" style="border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0</td> <td class="xl31" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl32" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 11.25pt;" height="15"> <td class="xl33" style="height: 11.25pt;" x:num="38929" height="15">31-Jul-06</td> <td class="xl34" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl34" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl34" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl34" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl35" style="border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl36" style="border-left: medium none;">Set-up: Added water and substrate</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 11.25pt;" height="15"> <td class="xl37" style="border-top: medium none; height: 11.25pt;" x:num="38930" height="15">1-Aug-06</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">8.100</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl39" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl28" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;">Added LR from LFS: Measurements taken before LR added</td> </tr> <tr style="height: 11.25pt;" height="15"> <td class="xl40" style="border-top: medium none; height: 11.25pt;" x:num="38931" height="15">2-Aug-06</td> <td class="xl41" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">7.800</td> <td class="xl41" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl41" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl41" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl39" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;"></td> </tr> <tr style="height: 11.25pt;" height="15"> <td class="xl37" style="border-top: medium none; height: 11.25pt;" x:num="38932" height="15">3-Aug-06</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">8.000</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.250</td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;" x:num="">0.000</td> <td class="xl39" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;"></td> <td class="xl38" style="border-top: medium none; border-left: medium none;"></td> </tr> </tbody></table>
 

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Since you started with fully cured rock you may not see much of a cycle I would wait a few more weeks to be sure then add a clean up crew . Possibly a few Astrea snails and some 2-3 red or blue leg hermits to start
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
dobejazz said:
Since you started with fully cured rock you may not see much of a cycle I would wait a few more weeks to be sure then add a clean up crew . Possibly a few Astrea snails and some 2-3 red or blue leg hermits to start
Hey dobejazz,
Thanks again for the help.
-Raz
 

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Saltwater Mom
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yep when you get cured lr it really lessens the cycle time. I had a couple of turbo's in my 12 gallon they kept everything clean. Or some shrimp, the blood shrimp is awesome. Keep an eye on the temp. These closed canopy setups can get hot. They make small chillers but I just probed the hood open a little and placed a fan next to the tank. Worked great.
 

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Congratulations on the tank! I would take it easy and slow. Probably wait at least a few weeks (2-3) before adding a cleaning crew. A few small astrea snails and a couple of hermits would be a nice start.
 

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When I started my nano, did it the same with live rock and live sand and my fishstore guy said no cycling! It was cycled and he even laughed when I attached an amonia sensor, which of course never turned blue! I think I added my clean up crew right away. As long as you started with good quality salt water, low in phosphates etc, you should be fine pretty quick. In my experience though, after the clean up crew start with coral because fish can be so sensitive, especially if you have temperature fluctuation from day to night, and it is so sad to see them go!! Make sure you look at what your temp is at the end of the day, the hottest period, and set your heater to that. then it will be like your default temp. That is the one you cannot control for! My big mistake ....don't want to see anyone else make it, caused an ich breakout in my yellow tang which spread to everyone else! That is my biggest fear now. ICH!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for all the replies. After the cycling period, I'm definately going to be adding some snails and hermit crabs. How long should I wait after the cleaning crew is added to add any corals?
-Raz
 

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I try to wait at least 2 weeks between additions :) Corals don't add much bio-load but I like to get a couple things every 2 weeks or so and make sure they are all settled in before I add more
 

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Saltwater Mom
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I honestly would give the tank a couple of months before adding corals. Let the tank stabilize before introducing them. Fish you can add 1-2 weeks after the cleanup crew. Have you thought of what fish you may want?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Well its been 8 days since I started the tank. The water chemistry looks great. pH 8.3, 0ppm ammonia, 0ppm nitrates, 0ppm nitrites. They were up for a few days but tonight it looks like they've dropped quite a bit. We'll see how the rest of the week holds up. The only problem I've run into is the temperature today which jenajet has mentioned previously. The temperature has been at 80-82 the whole week but I turned down the AC today and it was extremely hot so the water temp was 84-84.5F Should I really purchase a chiller or do you think propping up the hood would be fine?

As per first fish, I'm still thinking. I know clowns are a great starter fish. Maybe two? Maybe a clown and a firefish? I'm not really sure at this point. I would like to have two small fish in the tank. Any suggestions?

By the way, what is the verdict? Fish first? or corals first?

What corals would you all suggest? I know it's only been a short period of time. But I really think there is a zoanthid in my tank. Once the moon LED's go on, the polyp opens up and it has a ring with tiny tiny tentacles. Every now and then I see it closed. I've been looking at it for the past two nights. My girlfriend is actually the one who saw it. It's pretty exciting looking at the tank every night and seeing something new.

Take care.

Thanks for all the help!
 

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Saltwater Mom
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A clown and firefish sounds good. Avoid damsels unless it's all you want tho mine get's along great with my maroon. Fish ARE hardier than corals so it's best to start with the fish. If your #'s are stable for at least a month after adding fish you can do corals. Good easy corals are zenia, mushrooms, most any softy and will do good in less than perfect water conditions. Once you get the tank stable you can do some lps such as hammer, frogspawn, torches. Best advice is to do some research on the corals you wish to add. Before buying a chiller try putting a small fan next to the tank with the hood propped open some. The air should blow over the water surface. You will notice more evaporation but its normal. Salt doesn't evaporate out so just top off with fresh ro/di water or purified water.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I propped the canopy open the past two days with a fan blowing across the water. Worked like a charm. Thanks jenajet.
 

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Congrats!
I've learned that patience is a big key to this hobby. Also, I've learned that research before you add anything to a tank. Ask questions here and look everything up on the net before you buy. If you have a trusty LFS, you can ask them. This is a great place... you're gonna love it here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Petunia said:
Congrats!
I've learned that patience is a big key to this hobby. Also, I've learned that research before you add anything to a tank. Ask questions here and look everything up on the net before you buy. If you have a trusty LFS, you can ask them. This is a great place... you're gonna love it here.
Thanks Petunia! I have these black bug like creatures running around on the rock. I saw two of them. Any ideas? They're really fast. Thanks!
 

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IF you notice some of the live sand says "No cycling! Just add fish!". Well, I dont TOTALLY buy into that. I used the live sand, and some LFS cured live rock, and waited about a week and a half. After that I bought about 3-4 snails, and about 10 of a combination of blue/red and the more expensive scarlet legged crabs. I believe youre supposed to have 1 crab per gallon, so Ive heard somewhere? Either way, I went with that, and it worked well.

Id wait a good month after that, let the clean up crew get everything nice and settle. Then throw whatever small fish you want in there.

Before buying corals... what kind of lighting do you have with your tank? That also makes a difference as well, dont wanna get something that needs TONS of light, when you just have, say 40watts of PC lighting.
 

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Jflip2002 said:
IF you notice some of the live sand says "No cycling! Just add fish!". Well, I dont TOTALLY buy into that. I used the live sand, and some LFS cured live rock, and waited about a week and a half. After that I bought about 3-4 snails, and about 10 of a combination of blue/red and the more expensive scarlet legged crabs. I believe youre supposed to have 1 crab per gallon, so Ive heard somewhere? Either way, I went with that, and it worked well.

Id wait a good month after that, let the clean up crew get everything nice and settle. Then throw whatever small fish you want in there.

Before buying corals... what kind of lighting do you have with your tank? That also makes a difference as well, dont wanna get something that needs TONS of light, when you just have, say 40watts of PC lighting.
 
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