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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here we go! :)

This is a massive multiple build thread dedicated to nano tanks!

Current participants include (will edit when applicable):

DNF= Did not finish... (or start on time). Many still had some wonderful plans and ideas.

FutureDoc
Brutality
emkbass (DNF)
Frefal13
joschend0325
wharyat (DNF)
08TRDOFFROAD (DNF)
Nate_Bro
fsureefer (DNF)
Jonp0914
BGJ223
patfromnc (Move Interrupted)
jfitskier98

Ok, the ground rules are:
-No more than 20g total volume! (no 20L preferred... since they offer advantages over other nanos such as surface area lighting options... I know because I have run 20L for years)
-No sumps
-Open budget/style/equipment (do and spend what you want)
-The tank can be cycled no earlier than Friday Oct 7th so they will all be "young" tanks and then have to be started (wet) before Nov 18th.
-This is not a competition... we might open it to a TRT's poll at the end to see which is the favorite (maybe a couple of categories), but that is not the goal. The goal is to "jam" and share ideas, approaches, philosophies, and have really awesome nano-tanks.


OK, if you are starting your build here, start off by giving us:
- a basic plan (build staged you expect to complete)
- physical parameters (tank size/volume, flow, filtration, lighting etc)
-stocking ideas and
- your budget (although it is unlimited, we will still like to know as a record for future generations :beer:)
- the goal of the system (how you view success)

OK, I will start...

FutureDoc's 7.5 fishless low-maintenance tank!
Ok, the plan for me is to make a small, easy to keep, low maintenance tank that I can look at while writing my dissertation. I am using a 7.5 MrAqua rimless cube tank (12"x12"x12"). It will be lit by a 13" Compact Florescent 24w fixture and I will use a Current SubCurrent internal filter for surface skimming and now it looks like I will "borrow" a Vortech MP10 from my other system to provide addition, controllable flow. I plan this to be a fishless "wavy" tank. It will be stock with wavy-like corals such as some leathers, euphillia, and maybe a anemone (we will see). I will stock it with a crab and maybe some shrimp as being the eye-catching fish-replacements. My initial start-up budget is $200 but I am drawing from a closet full of equipment so the total start up costs are less than starting from scratch. The goal of the system is to be as simple and low-maintenance as possible. I have the high-attention and drama SPS tank in the back, I just need something nice to look at in the "office". Luckily, my tank will arrive tomorrow with the internal filter . From there I will be spray painting it black and setting it up early next week using rock that has been "pre-curing".

So far, this is my itemized expendatures

Tank: $50
Internal Filter $30
Shipping Costs $10
Sand $25
Replacement light bulb: $20
Coral: $60 (in a separate established tank for the time being)

Other items I already had
24w CF light fixture
Vortech MP 10
Heater
Live rock
A few coral frags (frogspawn)
RODI and salt

My tank is arriving today :dance:
 

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C'est la vie
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4,118 Posts
Im in!

The tank is a 6g (15.75'' x 10'' x 16'') freebie I got from work. It has an 11w PC light that will be supplemented or replaced with LED's, but initially will be just the PC and actinic LED's. Flow will be produced by either a hydor pico mag 180 or a koralia nano.

I will be making a DIY rock structure for the tank, but Im undecided whether I will make a free standing structure or a 3-D rock wall/rockscape (Idea from Kannin on RC).

Either way, I will get the tank today and get it all cleaned up and start planning my aquascape. Im actually going to get it set up and a friend of mine wants it when its stable (and since I dont have room for 3 tanks Im ok with that) :bawling:

Stocking is probably going to be softies/zoas maybe a few LPS, shrimp of some sort and maybe a rock anemone and sexies. I have a preggo cleaner shrimp that I might toss in to see if the fry can live in there without being preyed upon.

Budget is next to nothing, I already have the tank and light, the DIY rock stuff is all in my garage, I have extra sand, the powerheads are just laying around so the only cost will be the LED's and maybe a few frags. I plan on putting some of my frags in though so my cost should be really low.

Cant wait to see all these tanks come together!
 

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10 Gallon Nano on the cheap!!!

OK Im in!!! Budget about $200

Standard 10 gallon I am thinking bare bottom or epoxy sand bottom. (Whats your opinion?)

Going to go with a DIY LED fixture. (Gonna need some help here Suggestions?)

Going to use base rock and seed with a piece from my 30 gallon

I have a HOB filter that will be used with rubble (no media). I have a heater and all the little things laying around.

Going to have to buy a power head (Thinking korilia nano 420gph) I have one in my 30 gallon and it works great. Will just one of these be enough??

This is going to be a softy tank with zoas this way some nitrates wont be an issue. Going to use frags to keep cost low. Hoping to be able to keep a clown of some sort.

Will add more if I missed anything.
Pics to come

Now I just need to find a place the wife will let me put it.

Jonathan
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
FSU, glad to have you on-board. I didn't think you could sit out.

Welcome to the jam Johnp0914. Getting the spouses permission seems to be a common requirement. :lol: That tank sounds like what I was initally was planning to do until the 10g did not fit will on my desk. For a decent DIY LED, rapidled.com seemed to have some decent stuff. Other TRT folks recommended it.
 

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Is there anyway to take my standard tank and go rimless with it? What would I have to do to make this possible?

Also how would you guys go about hiding the heater and HOB besides just spray painting the back of the tank black?
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Rimless tanks often have thicker glass (because glass will bow a little bit... before it shatters) and the thicker glass takes away stress from the seams (and offer more surface area for holding together). While some folks have removed the 10g rims, I never like the idea and would not do it personally... tank failures are not someting I want (and it often does not please the wife/spouse).

Black/dark paper or contact paper. The plastic backing they sell at petstores work too. I normally hid my heater in the HOB if the HOB is big enough.
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I will be posting pics tonight (hopefully)
 

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Ok so I am setting up a 14 gallon biocube. It will be mostly mostly softies and some LPS. So far I just plan to keep everything stock and work with that but the engineer in me really wants to add some supplemental LEDs so that may happen in the future =). I am also adding a koralia nano 240gph. The tank should be here in a few hours. I already have some water and some sand, but I still need to buy live rock. I am thinking of taking a small piece of rock from my somewhat established(8 months) reef at home just to get things started.

Stocking Plans
I would really like a Randall Goby and Randall pistol shrimp pair so I am really planning the tank around them. I would also like a firefish, and possibly a clown goby. I dunno if that will be too much bioload so I will decide down the road
Corals
Zoa's Some GSP maybe PomPom Xenia(all things in my other reef to practice fragging:funny:) I would really like a Candy cane coral and maybe an open brain down the road too.

Cost
Biocube $170 new
Heater $10 new
Sand $25
Koralia Nano 240gph $30
20lb LR $60
Without any livestock it is a total of about $295, which Isnt too bad considering I had to buy everything lol.

As soon as the tank gets here I will start setting it up and when I get enough posts I will post some pictures =)
 

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Brutal Reefer
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1,015 Posts
Ok so for my build it is going to be pretty close to Docs build. my initial budget for the tank and equipment is going to be close to $200. I am going to be doing a DIY stand build first, then a DIY LED build as well. I am going to be placing my order for all of my equpiment on Saturday.
-tank will be the 7.5g mr aqua frameless cube 12x12x12 $50
-filter is current usa subcurrent filter/skimmer $30
-50w heater 14$
-unsure on substrate all my other tanks have had fine oolite, but i might go CC or something more exotic like black sand or pink fiji. 15$
-I will be making my own custom aquascape with rock that i already have 0$
-Aqua styles DIY 12 3w LED constant on 6 royal blue and 6 10k white $87
so total for the tank and equipment will be $202.53 including shipping.

For the stand it will be a pretty nice stand as my wife told me it has to be "a piece of furniture"
I have plenty of 2x4's in the garage for the guts of the stand.
I will be using pine just to save a bit of $$$
- 1/4" 4x4 pine plywood $11.79
-1x4x8 stain grade pine $7.75
-3' of pine chair rail $5
-3' of 3 1/4 pine colonial base $3
-3 8' sticks of pine fluted molding to make decorative corners $7.99 a piece.
-1 QT of cabot wood stain dark walnut $7.97
-(trying a new product we go in at work here) Spray on Gloss poly $5.78\

total stand investment will be $59. (i get a 10% discount as I work for Lowes :lol:

the tank will be all inverts and soft corals and macro algae.
Inverts I am thinking is.
-emerald crab (maybe 2)
-coral banded shrimp
-astrea snails (3-5)-taken out of another tank
-hermit crabs(3-5) taken out of another tank
-sexy shrimp(possibly)

Livestock
-Xenia
-GSP
-a bunch of zoa and pallys
-pipe organ
-some time of leather(maybe devil finger)
-mini-maxi nem
-if the lights are good enough i might throw some acans, or other easy LPS.
-I have not decided on the macro algae, but i am for sure going to get some dragons breath come march when it is back in season! yes you heard it here first!

I will begin the stand build this weekend and be posting all kinds of pics of the process.

look forward to all your comments and suggestions!
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Frefal... dang, I completely forgot about a pistol shrimp... I got to do that now. :lol:
 

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Brutal Reefer
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1,015 Posts

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Premium Member
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7,654 Posts
OK, Still up in the air on specifics but I should end up with close to the following specs:

Tank: 17" custom cube, ~19 gallons total internal volume. I might order some starphire glass, comes down to time/ambition. ;)

Lighting: custom LED array, 20 leds, arduino controlled

Flow: eventually 1-MP10 maybe 2 turned way down, initially I'll throw in a couple MJs I have on hand, I'll wait 'til the black Friday deals to get the MP10(s).

Substrate: (first time I will have substrate in a long time :D) single layer Reborn calcium reactor media. Not quite a BB, but still not sand.

Fish: Neon Psuedochromis, something else
Inverts: Primarily SPS, clam(s), some LPS -- at least a hammer a few acans.

No external filtration, no skimmer.

Custom stand, exotic & domestic hardwoods, non-conventional style. Full canopy, same styling as the stand. For the woodworkers out there -- planning mainly paduck; raised wenge door panels, some walnut/wenge/bloodwood inlay where necessary. I might not be done with this by November 18 (Montana weather ;)), the tank will be running & cycled by then and moved to the new stand when done.

Controlled by an RK2 (have an old one stuffed away in the closet), probably slowly come up with a full arduino controlled system. Auto top-off w/ kalk, peristaltic pump, custom optical or resistance based sensor.

Budget -- conservatively around $500, only one MP10 included, no livestock.
 

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Brutal Reefer
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Frefal... dang, I completely forgot about a pistol shrimp... I got to do that now. :lol:
i was thinking pistol, but i wanted a coral band so im gonna just stick with him, since pistol aren't friendly with other shrimp :angry:
 

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Aquatic Philosopher
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15,434 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
joschend0325: Looks good. I think there are a lot of "mini" heaters that are like flat packs. I think maybe 2 of those would be better than a larger heater. otherwise, I have had a lot of luck and great reliability from the small tetra heaters.

Brutality: Sounds like a plan to me :thumbup: I wish I had room to build a stand but "the city" makes that tough now. I will likely copy your stand in the future.
 
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