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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, I am a new member to this board, although I have been reading it for a few days now. My fiancee and I have a new nano cube (that she received as a b-day present from me) and I believe it is a "deluxe" nano cube. It has two lights (one blue and one off white) and two fans as well.

I just started cycling it yesterday (9-6-04). In the tank I have 10lb of live argonite sand, and about 12lb of live Fijian rock.

I have many questions, so whoever can answer them, please chime in!

1) Is it ok to leave the ceramic media and bio wheels in the back with this much live rock and sand? I've been told it shouldn't matter, as one can never have too much biological filtration/bacteria.

I plan to monitor the levels once a week at my LFS to check the cycling progression, and then will add the clean up crew, followed hopefully by soft corals, mushrooms, polyps, etc, and then lastly with a percula clown fish and maybe a damsel or goby.

2) I am told the bioload is minimal for the 12gallon nano cube, 4" total fish size max or so (I figure a clown and a damsel or goby), but I wanted to confirm what else I can safely add to the tank in terms of the the clean up crew, corals, etc. Right now I am thinking a fire shrimp or cleaner shrimp, a few scarlet reef hermit crabs, and an arrow crab, maybe a starfish. Will there be enough algae to support this crew in this deluxe nano cube with the stock setup?

As for other non-clean up invertebrates, I was thinking a bubble rose anemone (for the percula), a hawaiian feather duster, a kenya tree coral, a yellow leather coral or candy cane coral, a flame scallop, a ricordia mushroom, a button polyp, and a lot of various zoos (green, orange, purple, etc).

Bring me back down to Earth and tell me if this 12 gallon deluxe nano can support all this. If it can't, please specify what would be good combinations of the above-listed things. I have been told by the LFS that nano cubes can support quite a lot, so long as there aren't many fish, since the corals, mushrooms, etc don't tax the bioload. It has been hard to guage what types of creatures I can put in this deluxe nano cube, since most people complain about the lack of lighting in the original cubes. This one seems to have more, 48 watts total, so I figure about 4 watts per gallon. At 4 watts per gallon, which of the above-stated corals, mushrooms, zoos, etc will probably best surivive in the cube?

3) I am experienced with freshwater tanks/ponds, but none what-so-ever with saltwater. What kind of maintenance, feeding, monitoring, etc is involved in keeping my nano reef healthy? I plan to do 2 gallon water changes every 2 weeks, and scrub any algae growth from the glass.

I am more concerned with feeding than anything, I really have no idea how to feed the above corals, mushrooms, zoos, clownfish, polyps. Can someone reccomend products/food that should be provided to keep these guys healthy, and how often these products should be "fed" to the critters? I have read calcium and other trace elements should be provided for the development of corals, etc, but what product is good for this, and how often should it be given?



I am very committed to seeing this reef tank succeed, so please offer any and all suggestions you want! All comments welcome, push me in the right direction, tell me what I can and cannot have in this tank, and suggestions for how they should be cared for! Thank you so so much, I look forward to your comments!

~Claudio (Deuce24)
 

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Hey Deuce,
Welcome to the forum! I don't consider myself a pro by any means, but I'll answer your questions best I can from my experience and what I do know. There shouldn't be any problem running the bio balls in the built in filter, like you said- you really can never have too much filtration. As for your clean-up crew, all these guys will do fine. You'll love the shrimp, they get to be quite up close and personal during feeding time, so to also answer your q on how to feed everything, your shrimp will learn to meet you towards the top of the tank and grab a chunk of whatever you are feeding everything. I've found a good store bought frozen food is brine shrimp plus. thawing about 1/4 of one cube of this stuff should be all the clownfish and the shrimp need. The clown should take care of feeding the anemone, but if you want to be sure the rose is getting enough, you can always drop a small chunk of shrimp soaked in cyclopeeze (nutrient liquid) directly into it's tenticles. You might want to hold off on the starfish, these guys often cause more trouble than their presence entertains (eating expensive snacks etc..) Start off with less crabs than you'd think you need.. you can always get more rather than starve too many. The list you have for non-clean up inverts is ambitious, but not impossible. Mushrooms will never let you down, they are very hardy and low maintenance (I highly recommend decorating with mushrooms) I personally haven't had much luck with candy cane corals, they don't seem to really thrive, so consider the investment. I don't know if you've ever seen a flame scallop 'snap' thru the water aimlessly before, but the idea of one in a 12 gallon with so much other occupants is pretty intimidating to me. Maybe if you found a really small speciman, but even then-?- You'll learn to see the cycle of all your polyps and inverts, and be able to recognize when they are 'open' and ready for a meal (like baby birds in a nest) A sure-fire way to make sure everything is getting a good meal regularly is to take a eyedropper and gently squirt mysis shrimp, or baby brine shrimp, or any other small meaty treat directly at each 'mouth' when open. Just be SO SO careful not to introduce any toxic trace into your tank while playing mama bird- no lotion, cologne, deodorant, dirty nails/hands. I hope everything does great, you sound like you have a lot of patience and I'm sure you will really enjoy your little habitat.
Chelsea
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you so much Chelsea! After starting this thread, I did A LOT of reading and pretty much decided to give up the starfish and anenome. The anenome just seems like an unsuccessful project for everyone, and the odds of keeping one alive seem slim to none, even for experienced reef keepers. I'm thinking of repacing this with a soft coral of some sort that the Clown can still "snuggle" in. Any ideas?

Thank you very much for the feeding strategies as well. Despite reading a lot of posts, I still didn't have a very good idea of how and what food should be administered to each critter. One more question though, any ideas on liquid supplements for corals (Iodine, Strontium, etc) and how often they should be administered?

I also think I've narrowed my ambitious list of critters down. Mushrooms sound like the way to go, and about 3 hermits, a cleaner shrimp, a Percula Clown, a yellow watchman goby [that is is for fish, the clown and goby], and this website seems to provide a good sample of coral suitable for my Nano Cube, what do you think?:

http://www.liveaquaria.com/product/prod_Display.cfm?pCatId=2033&TopCatId=751

Thank you again for the information! I look forward to all comments, every feel free to reply with your opinions and thoughts!
 

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I don't know about giving up on the anemone. I've heard that you either have great luck with anemones or you don't. Personally, I can't kill them. I have two gorgeous rose bubble tip anemones in my 20gal that are thriving. I can't see having a reef tank without an anemone and a pair of clowns, but we all have our favorites. I picked up my 2nd rose anemone about a month ago at a lfs, it looked like it was on its way out so I got an incredible deal ($20).. I was sure it would perk up once it got into my tank, and it really has. It gripped onto a rock as I was dropping it in the tank and the clowns have welcomed it. Just to let you know, they might be worth a try.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thats great to hear Chelsea, what do you feed your Rose bubble? That is kind of the one I've been eyeballing myself if I was to get one. What exactly do you do to take care of yours? Just curious about your success, and your strategies for keeping them alive. :)
 

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I let the clowns take care of it mainly. I feed my clowns a pinch of frozen brine shrimp plus every day, sometimes twice a day. They eat some and drag some of it down to the anemone. Occasionally I'll throw in a chunk of krill(shrimp) that I know is too big for my clowns to eat, and so they give it to the anemone. Its fun to watch an anemone close in on food, and the different shapes they turn as they digest. I've heard several people say to soak the chunk of shrimp in cyclopeze, which I understand is a nutrient liquid/coating. Read my other post- carnage in my nano.. quite a funny story about my anemone eating my fire shrimp. Glad I can make light of it now.. the moral of that story is to start off with a non-aggressive, community type clown. Perculas are great, steer clear of clarkis. Hope this helps;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Wow Chelsea, that is quite the story! Are you SURE you suggest me getting a Rose Bubble anemone?! :p I plan on a single Percula clown, and probably a Firefish or yellow clown goby. A cleaner shrimp as well, although I pray my Percula doens't drag his butt into the anemone! :) hah Thanks for the advice, I can't wait to start adding to my tank! This cycling crap is killing me! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Also, how much light does your 20 gallon tank have? The nano cube only has 24 watts, and from what I've read the Rose bubbles prefer around 3-5 watts/gallon.
 

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Yea, you'll enjoy it. Nothing beats the bond and the antics that go on with clowns and their anemones. No one has ever heard of that drama ever happening, but everyone knows clowns are very territorial and protective of their anemones. I traded my clarki pair for a pair of perculas, and I'm sure they wouldn't dream of doing anything but minding their own business. I'll check on my lights, I know it sounds bad, but I really don't know what I've got going. My tank is low-key and very healthy. I have some liverock, a crushed coral bottom, a heater, and an undergravel filter. I do water changes once a month. I know I should do h2o changes twice as often, but everyone does fine. The tank has been up running like this for 2 years, and 1.5 of those 2 it has been occupied by happy anemones. I have a pc... I'm pretty sure, I'll get back with you on that later;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Terrific Chelsea, I'd love to see a pic of your tank. I have a pic of mine posted under that main thread in this forum "Show us a full tank nano pic." My pic is on page 3. Pretty plain, nothing in it, but had a blast aquascaping the live rock. May change it around a bit after I start putting stuff in though. :p heh Thanks for the replies and the advice!
 

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Deuce24 - hello!

Let me be the antagonist in this situation. But don't get angry! Get furious and aim to even learn (not from me --- maybe from the net!)

First;

1. Nano - kinda volatile. In small spaces things happen quickly. Tread lightly and carefully! But bonsai tanks can be very pretty.
2. Fish load - a single small percula. Or a single diadema. Or a single chromis. Or a single firefish. Keyword - single!
3. Filtration - actually LR at a ratio of 1.75 lbs to 1 gallon should suffice. Take out the ceramic-plastic-etc. If you can find a HOB Skimmer do install one. An inch of aragonite for the base.
4. Lighting - should do well for low light animals. That means no medium to high light needing animals.
5. Corals - actually most non-calcifying cnidarian will do. Polyps, mushrooms, colt, leathers, zoos. These crits are good looking too!
6. Inverts - flame scallop? nope. they will die. Snails? well turbo snails will do. make it around 2 small ones for each gallon. shrimps - a small cleaner shrimp. No CBS, no harlequin shrimps, no pistol shrimps. maybe a hammer/peppermint.
7. feeding - do so carefully. better yet stock on replacement water incase tank pollutes.
8. water changes. the more frequent the better. small changes not big changes. 12 gallons make it half a gallon a week. Better yet 2x a week.
9. Supplements - none really. slowdown on these. Maybe iodine once a month. These easily become toxins when overloaded. Except for --- calcium! so ....
10. Top-off water. Use distilled/RO water. Mix with calcium oxide to make calcium hydroxide (kalwasser) to supplement calcium. Drip into tank. A tsp calcium oxide to a gallon of RO/DI water. Cover-shake and let settle for 4 hours. Then drip to tank (but not the settled dirt at around 1/5 the bottle).
11. Cycle. 45 days is safe. 30 be cautious! 20 if you want to feel the danger!
12. Quarantine fish. You can do this in a spare tank as you cycle. Watch the water params in the QT tank.

all in all - have fun!
 
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