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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been inspired by the nano buildoff to do a nano tank! I already have a 55 gallon reef, but I also have a 37 gallon fowlr that I want to tear down and use the sand and rock for a nano.

The plan is to use a blue 5 gallon minibow aquarium that my sister is giving me. I have had small tanks before but I have never done it up with corals and whatnot. This thread is to chart progress and get advice from you veterans.

What I want to do is have a simple setup with as little 'technology' visible as possible. I am going to need to probably retrofit the light, since I want to have one 10K daylight bulb, one actinic bulb and possibly a moonlight (this is going to be next to my bed on my nightstand).

I will need a heater (20 watts?), if anyone knows a good tiny brand for that small a tank, do tell!

I plan to use a maxijet 500 for in-tank circulation.

Will probably use a little hang-on filter to run carbon intermittently...hopefully I can find one that will fit and also allow me to keep the canopy enclosed, since I want to avoid 'carpet surfing.'

The fish I currently have to work with and am considering for the tank are:
maroon clown (probably too big for this nano)
bicolor blenny (not sure if hell starve to death in such a small tank?)
neon dottyback (like the fish but not sure I am thrilled to have him in the nano)
four stripe damsel (not sure if I want him in there either)

of course I would only put one of these fish in there.

Then again, I might not do ANY of them, and instead do a yellow clown goby and a blood shrimp or cleaner shrimp. although ive never had luck with yellow clown gobies; theyve either died of freak accidents or starved (of the three ive had, one got sucked into skimmer, one a clam closed on, and the third starved despite trying many live and frozen foods)

any and all suggestions and courses of action are welcome, begged and pleaded for. Thanks! here is a pic of the tank (I dont have the actual one yet)
 

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Cool Project I may follow you on this one we won an eclipse 5g corner tank at IMAC and I NEED to set it up :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
correction!

I am a little bummed....the tank is actually a 2.5 gallon! So, here it is with some established sand and live rock from my other system. I think the larger piece on the top might either have to be broken in half or I might get a couple smaller fist sized pieces cuz it takes up too much room. The coral banded shrimp is in there temporarily to give me something to look at while the tank balances out. Should be ok though since its from an established system.

Right now the only piece of equipment is the whisper 10gallon rated hang on filter. Is that enough water movement?? If not, the tank is so small, I might have to use a micro-jet. And as for a heater, there isnt one. I am going to monitor the temp throughout the day and if it fluctuates too much, I will get one of those drop-in heaters rated for tanks for 5 gallons or less, you know the ones you can get at walmart :rolleyes:

Unless I lose the hood that comes with it, there's no way (that I know of) to retrofit it. It has a mogul socket and fixture rated for 15 watts max, and the current bulb is one of those flourescent self ballasted 10 watt ones you can also get in the walmart fish section. There is no other info on the bulb as far as color temp etc. I dont know if they make bulbs like this which are for corals. Do you think there is any way I can keep mushrooms and zoas alive with this? that's 4-6 watts per gallon.... please advise! The whole point of doing a nano was to be able to have corals in it..........anyways, here's a pic. Let the suggestions be forthcoming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
yeah but it doesnt leave much room for frags ;)

(do you think it would be rude to post a link to this in the general reef discussion section to get more exposure?)
 

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Cute tank Erin, too bad its a 2.5 , gonna be hard to squeeze a PC lite in there, but I bet it can be done :)

No fish larger than clown goby size, maybe a Rainfords goby :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
update. I did a lot of reading last night, namely in the Coral magazine vol 1 number 2, on nano reefs. I decided to definitely go with a lighter, knobbier more porous rock type. also, the fish i listed earlier are out. MAYBE i'll do the bicolor blenny, but not sure. if I could get away with a seahorse or pipefish I would do that, but I need to know what captive raised seahorses are out there that are small enough for a 2.5 gallon. I would do dwarfs but I am not into hatching brine.

also, the list of inhabs is growing. These (most of them) will be collected from my 55g reef:

asterina
stomatella
nassarius
cerith copepods
mysis
mini brittlestars
bristleworms
limpets

so today I go shopping for live rock! Its so exciting when you know you are only going to spend $20 or less on it!!!

also, I am going to add a sprig of caulerpa to help with oxygen (the article suggested it). It seemed to suggest that the return from the filter was enough water movement. however, in case the need arises, if anyone can suggest a tiny low output pump, I am listening.
 

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drop the temp to 75F, this will allow you to get a Catalina Goby, and keep soft coral growth to a minimum. This will give you much better control over the nutrient flow in the tank while discouraging most nuisance algae growth. Personally, I would consider drilling a pair of holes in the tank and running a larger sump, but that might be considered a form of cheating...

:nuts:



Good idea with the nano, though a bit out of my area of expertise...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
oooo, catalina goby, good idea!!! with no heater and room temp at 76 with lights on, the tank temp is 78. is that too warm? short of floating a baggie of ice, it aint getting any cooler in there. (my electric bill was 300 last month by keeping the air too low, so we are sticking with keeping the thermostate at 76!)

Off I go to search for live rock.....
 

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there was a recent introduction of a product on the market that consists of a thermoelectric coupling that acts as a chiller for small systems, dont remember the name of the product, but it would be ideal for such a setup.

75F is supposedly the top temp for this fish, I unfortunately experimented with temp and killed two of them before giving up on trying to slowly acclimitizde the (over a perid of weeks) to higher temps. For my two attempts, this just did not work, but I've often considered a nano just for keeping this little beauty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
aw man. yeah they really are gorgeous though.

Well I found some live rock, it was brought in from someones established tank. I got it from the only place in town that doesnt hold their rock in stagnant non skimmed tanks. they have nice long vats with a lot of flow and huge skimmers on them. These pieces had nice shapes and coralline and little knobbies which I like the look of and easy to wedge frags into. Also had a yellow clown goby which I really hope will be a successful attempt (number FOUR) this time! tried feeding a few piece of mysis after a few hours in the tank but he wasnt having any :( oh well maybe tomorrow. This is the boring period which I am going to see what life comes out of the rock. test the water every other day to watch for any apparent cycle. if there is none or after its over, then will start to add the critters from the 55 gallon. will provide updates as they happen. On the light thing, wont probably add any upgrades for a couple months or so, after things kind of balance out.
 

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I really liked the first rock you had. Nice color on it. Not real sure on the light you might need to upgrade to something better. Looks good. Have fun with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
wow sprayin, i cant believe i found another person witha 2.5 with retrofit light hood! can you tell me where you got your fixture/bulbs, what exactly you got and how you did it? Not that girls cant do this stuff, but I really dont have the aptitude for it and I am hoping I can give my husband enough info to get him to do it for me!!! Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Okay the fish has been in since saturday. I have been doing tiny feedings twice a day. so far I have not noticed him eat at all. This is typical of my luck with yellow clown gobies. anyhow, I am still reading zero ammonia. is it safe to assume no cycle? I ask because I want to know when its safe to start adding some frags....?
 

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I have a 10G and it has live rock scarlet hermits, halloween hermits, blue hermits, a cuttlefish and (had) a sand star. i personally love nanos! yea they are hard work but theyre awesome. i work in a pet store and am in charge of all the reefs and fish. i work on big tanks all day so coming home to my nano is perfect
 
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