2.5 US gal tank

…and everything smaller!

Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 12:56

Ok, heres the first few of 1000+ questions on starting a nano.

1. Do I have to have a sump?

2. What is the difference in a pico and nano?

3. Uncured Live rock, cured live rock?

LOL, and Im only on page 4 of my reread of Kev's journal.
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 13:23

Ask as many questions as you want, as long as it makes it easier for you in the end :tup:

1. A sump is not necessary unless there are going to be unusually large amounts of waste for a small body of water. A sump is basically another filter but it also increases the volume of water you wave to play with... you will see on my Pico that I was originally going for a refugium but I scrapped that for the time being.

2. A Pico Reef (in my eyes) is a tank less than 4 gallons, a Nano Reef is anything from the 4 gallons right up to about 30g (anything less than conventional size systems) Over on nano-reef.com there is also a new category that some members have made and these are known as Femto Reefs, most of these being less than 0.5 gallons.

3. Cured Live Rock is basically Live rock that has no die off and it also reduces the amount of time for the cycle, the only downside is it is slightly more expensive. Uncured Live rock is cheaper but with the downside of a longer cycling time. I personally use Cured Live rock, but I still cycle the same as I would with Uncured Live rock.

Hope that helps :tup:
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 13:38

Thanks Kev!

So technical this will be a pico, as its 2.5gal, the tank dimensions are Length 15 1/2 in. width 5 1/4 in. height at water line 8 1/2 in.

Right now we have water in the tank and gravel on the bottom, but have decided to empty the water out and gravel to be replaced with sand and gravel on the bottom and refill tank using instant ocean. We have a hydrometer, and test kits for saltwater (where did those come from :lol: ).


As far a bio load, the only thing planned for the tank is coral and maybe a snail or shrimp, but that is a ways down the road.
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 13:42

Yup, it is a Pico, but small tanks as a collective are known as Nano reefs (don't ask why because I dont know :P)

Snails and shrimps sounds like a good idea, but in my opinion I don't think there is a shrimp small enough... well, there is one actually, the Sexy Shrimp. They are ideal for a pico and am thinking about adding some to my pico.

As for snails, I would recommend Cerith snails or Nassarius snails, they are small and are more suited to a pico. Also, you are likely to get some Stomatella snails on your Live Rock, they are benficial (not pests) and they do a good job of cleaning up algae.

Corals will have to be chosen depending on the lighting, but that shouldn't be a problem if you put the Coralife 50/50 PC in :tup:
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 13:50

I am planning on using a Coralife 50/50 PC, that will just fit right into the regular light socket on the top of the tank, right? :bmp:

As far as snails I was hoping for free hitch hikers, like you mentioned. ^_^

As far as corals, Rachel and I both like the purple ones you have, Im on page 7 of my reread and taking notes.
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 13:57

Yup, the Coralife 50/50 just screws in like a regular bulb (damn I wish we had them over here) This light will then be fine for corals, mainly Zoos, Mushrooms, Softies (most softies can get too big though) and of course LPS corals (SPS are way to tricky to keep in a small tank, chemical warfare)

In terms of corals, the USA is easily the best place when it comes to small enough frags because Nano Reefing is pretty big over there, whereas this side of the water Nano Reefing is only just starting to catch on and most LFS are yet to realise how popular it is.

http://www.coralfanatics.com is a very good place to order from, they have small frags (small enough for picos) and the colours are just awesome
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 13:58

Ok, ive lost myself :wacko: . Your photos on pg 7 of your journal, do you have rocks as the base and then add the coral to the rocks and also the purple stuff is corraline algae, growing on the rocks, right? :bmp:
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 14:03

Haha, my tank looks so empty on that page :P

I basically have Live Rock for the main structure, then all the coral frags are attached to smaller pieces of Live Rock (they come like that) However, LPS corals do not come like that. LPS corals have calcium skeletons that are pretty long and are ideal for poking into the rock work.

And yes, the purple stuff is coralline algae, it grows very fast when there is plenty of calcium in the water.
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 14:15

Hey Im not as confused as I first thought I was. Ok, well going to go shopping for the light bulb, and sand. Oh no a trip to the fish store!!!!! :woot:

Will the tank need to cycle some first before I can add the live rock in for our base? Ok guess I got lost a little, wasnt sure if the live rock was part of the cycle or not.
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 14:18

Yup, the Live Rock is basically the filtration for the tank so that can go in right away. As for how much you will need, you want to create a nice structure but you don't want to overcrowd to much as you won't have any room for corals then :P

What will you be using for water circulation?
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 14:40

Was hoping for now to use the filter it came with, I do have lots of bits and pieces of bubblers that I could put together and make up something if you think more is needed. I was kind of wondering if I should upgrade to a whisper filter for a 10g tank, I like to over shoot the tank size when it come to filters, on my 40g tanks there are filters made for 100g tanks.
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 14:43

Lots of circulation is good for a Reef tank, and if you use a filter it will be best to remove the media because the media is a "Nitrate Magnet" which is the last thing you need. Just a powerhead that does about 100-200lph will be fine.
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 14:54

Ok, I will take out the media, looks like its just a carbon filter in there anyhow. So you saying just leave it empty that filtration isnt as important as circulation is?

I think were at 8 ?'s now ^_^
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Postby Kev » 2006-04-12 14:59

The Live Rock will do all the filtration (biological) which is all thats needed in a small system
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Postby Surface » 2006-04-12 15:10

Ok, media out, water out, gravel out, mix up salt water, let it sit for 24hrs if I remember right, add sand and gravel mix, new light and new heater, salt water and live rock. So far so good? I feel like Im hoarding you today Kev.
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