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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My page for my Nano Reef

Hello ALL:)
I and a newbie to reefkeeping and trying my best to keep a nice nanoreef on a budget. I have a 12G Nanocube from JBJ Systems that I purchased at the suggestion of my LFS guru after attempting a 20G long with poor filtration,lighting and flow, it had 40LBS LS and about 26 LBS of LR. After a month with this setup and having problems I bought the nanocube and moved everything into it that would fit and did a Complete water change. Dumping the excess into a 10G hex i had lying around and keeping it filtered and lit with a flourescent fixture. At the suggestion of the LFS guy i only put about half an inch of LS subsrate in the nanocube and added about 15 lbs of the LR I started with.I had two Blueleg hermits a horshoecrab and a couple of turbosnails. This cycled well for about 3 weeks and then I started having problems again. Lost one turbo and had a severe Brown algae bloom. I did some research and decided i needed more LS and a piece or two of fresh LR. and to lower the frquency of my nutrient suppliments (Reef Complete twice weekly and Marc Weiss Black Powder evry other day. I increased my LS to about an inch and a half and added 2 Astria snails. this seemed to do ok for about another two weeks then i noticed a foul odor comming from the tank. My nitrites started rising and also my nitrates. I looked around some more and decided to add more LS and clean out the built in filtration system thoroughly. I also transfered some of the LR to the 10G hex and added a large piece of Fresh LR. I got the additional LS from the 10G hex which had about 6 inches of LS in the bottom and was teeming with critters. I now have about 3 and a half inches of LS in both and the pictured LR in the nano. So far everything seems ok. I recently added a purple feather gorgonian and a scarlet hermit crab after i noticed what appears to be either featherdusters or cluster dusters growing on my LR and some macro algae. I feed the gorgonians and other stuff with Dt's live phytoplankton and continue my suppliments.I supplement the hermits with frozen food about once a week. I will be adding a protien skimmer and a flora and fauna pack to insure good biodiversity in my sandbed and LR soon. Once that has all cycled well and i'm comfortable with my readings i will then add some corals:D I would appreciate any hints or suggestions you have.
 

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Welcome Proud2B

Skip the DT's, skip the feeding, skip the suppliments ---

actually stop putting anything in the tank other than RO/DI water to makeup for evaporation and a two part calcium suppliment. That along with 10% water change every week will more than do as far as chemicals are concerned.

All that food is causing you to have some problems --- slow way down and let everything stable out before adding anything else.

The Gorgonians is probably one of the harder corals for a beginner to keep.

I have many corals in my Nano and have never added any food ---- period --- only a Calcium suppliment ---- period

And all my feather dusters (filter feeders) are growing and multiplying like crazy. Corals are also doing great.

Get a really good grip on your tank before you start adding all the addatives/food ect.....
 

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Crazed Fish Whisperer
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A big hearty welcome to TRT Proud2be! *on my way now to check your tank out* Hope you find a nice cozy home here with all of us. We really arn't as nutty as we sound...:rolleyes: ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks Jeremy for the welcome:) Darn I was hoping you all WERE just as nutty so i'd fit in LOL:D:D
Thanks ckreef for the advice. I have slowed way down on the supplements and feedings as you suggested already I just tested my nitrites and they came in at less than .10 ppm and my nitrates were at zero. I think i may know what is causing the spikes in nitrites and nitrates. Not being an expert and going soley on what i've read at various sites on the net. I believe the culprit may be the bacterial load in the artificial sponge prefilter within the wet/dry system built into the nanocube. I have noticed that i need to rinse it out almost weekly or it gets completely covered and filled with a black and brown sludge type substance wich has a "dead" smell to it. I have thought about removing this material and using some other type of mechanical prefilter. i know the sludge is probably uneaten "food" and bacteria feeding upon it. i am hoping with the severe cutback in feeding and supplimenting it will lessen or go away. Any thoughts on this? I know i want almost all of my biological filtration to occur within the LS and LR within the tank and not rely on a filter to accomplish this. Alsomy purple coraline algae seems to have a whitish film on it and this can be removed with "scratching" the surface of that algae. ( my scralet hermit showed me this :) ) is this normal and if not what is it a symptom of? what can i do to ensure the brilliant coralines i see in so many tanks? Oh my calcium supplement is seachems reef carbonate and reef complete calcium liquid i also add their vitamin and amino acid supplement that comes with their Reef Complete package this is dosed twice weekly at 2.5 mLfor each of the three. Again thank you for any help or suggestions you may have:)
 

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Alot of people just due without the prefilter. If you are going to use it I would rinse it out every few (3-4) days. If it gets were there is a brown sludge and it smells dead then you waited to long to rinse it.

I do not use Seachems Reef Complete calcium so I can not directly comment on the amount of dosage.

I have found (especially in new Nano's) that the white your talking about is actually calcium comming out of solution and sticking to the LR's. You will probably also notice that there is a hard layer on top of the LS --- that is also the calcium.

You can cut back just slightly on the calcium dosage and the problem should go away. Eventually your water will come into balance and you won't have as big of a problem with this --- also over time you will have more fauna that uses calcium which will also help the problem.

In my calcium dosage that I use if I add just a little bit more than my normal dosage I get the same problem. It took me a while to figure out exactly the correct amount to dose for my particular tank. Also good Calcium and good Alkalinity test kits are a must have.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks ck :) I removed the prefilter material yesterday and tonight when i tested nitrites n nitrates they both were at zero. I think that the prefilter was in the very least contributing to them i keep monitoring them and see if they remain at zero. i would like to purchase one "master test kit instead of a lot of individual ones for testing the levels. Can you or anyone else reccomend a accurate and reliable one that includes all the critical and important tests?
 

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Welcome Proud2B! Glad you have joined us! :beer:

Ok... I gotta chime in with my usual water and salt questions. :D

Are you using RO/DI water?

Which salt mix are you using?

Having algae problems is somewhat normal in the early stages of a reef tank. Nano's seemingly take a bit longer to stabilize with the smaller volumes. It usually takes a good 6 weeks for things to stabilize. I added my cleanup crew about 2-3 weeks after setup, then my first corals at about 5 and finally a small fish at 2 months!

Using good water (RO/DI) and good salt mix will cut down on other problems. Regular water changes after the cycle will keep your calcium and trace elements up to par.

Seachem and Salifert make good test kits. I have some of both. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
sammy i am usung DI for now till i get a RO unit and using reef crystals enriched blend by aquarium systems. and do a 25% water change every 2 weeks. the algae problem seems to have significantly lessened since i reduced my feedings and supplements. My LFS guy says i need to do the calcium and carbonate supplements or my levels will not be right but i'm beginning to believe that he is just trying to keep me buying LOL. I think I'll stop the calcium and carbonate supplements altogether n just go with weekly water changes. i am right around the 6 week mark with the setup and i think most of my water problems are over(fingers n toes crossed :D) i still have a little brown algae on the glass sides n back but the pods seem to have moved up out of the sandbed to feast:) and the astria snails are enjoying it as well:) i want to wait till my LR "grows out" before i add any corals so i can see what is there and what i may want to keep withiout coverring it with corals. i've been told this takes 3 to 4 months so i'll see:)
 

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Summer and Alyssa's Daddy
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Howdy Proud2B. Welcome

Some of this sounds like "New Tank" syndrome. But I will have to echo Charles earlier comments. I only add supplements with the exception of I use Kent's Reef Iodide, Kent's Strontium Molybdinum, Seachem Magnisium Salts, Seachem Reef Carbonate, Seachem's Reef Calcium. No food of any kind. I do however add a few DROPS of liquid from my fish mush/coral mush when I feed my main tanks once a week. That is it. I use Reef Plus, Reef Complete in the mush that I make for my fish and corals. I pour a bottle in once a year (I make enough to last at least 9 months since I made this batch on January 1st this year). That is all my suplements. The iodide and strontium/moly and magnesium salts I use at half dosage. with half the recommend frequency. (Ie every two weeks instead of weekly). The reef carbonate and reef calcium I mix in with the water changes. I use RO/DI water along with Kent's Reef Crystals.

Ray
 
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