nano reef lighting

…and everything smaller!

Postby Jez » 2006-08-09 16:58

ok, i've been thinking about it for ages, i read Kev's step by step guide which was extrememly useful and i've got a copy of the nano reef handbook, i think i understand the priciples of nano reefs, so have decided to stop thinking and start doing,
but i'm unsure of what lighting to use, the tank i'm going to use is 45l x 30h x 30w (cms), i'm going to keep SPS corals, zoanthids, coralmorpharians like ricordia, xenia, some sedentary annelid worms and maybe a scallop, also a couple of shrimp, a goby of some sort and either a bangaii cardianl or after a few months a mandarin fish.

I'm confused as to what lighting i'll need for this, don't want Mh so do i need one actinic and one daylight bulb, i want to use the hood already on the tank so is a interpret triplus flourescent tube feasible, does anyone have any experience of these? or would T5 PCs be better.

Sorry for the length of this post but any advice will be gratefully recieved
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Postby Perfectblue » 2006-08-10 17:31

First of all welcome to the forum.

Would this be your first saltwater tank? From my calculations your tanks volume is 10 gallons correct? if so then it isn't the best size tank is start with. A larger tank such as a 30g would be much better since it would be alot easier to maintain good water quality and a larger tank is more forgiving if you make any mistakes. I would also recommend reading a couple good books such as The New Marine Aquarium by Michael S. Paletta and The Conscientious Marine Aquarist by Robert M. Fenner.

With a 10g tank you are very limited as to what you can comfortably house in terms of fish and corals. For fish I would only add a single small fish such as a Goby, Clownfish, Firefish, etc. Two fish would be pushing it for a 10g tank in my opinion. I would advise against houseing a Mandarin in a 10g tank. Mandarins are very difficult to care for because of their special dietary needs. There main diet consists of live Copepods which occur naturally as our tanks mature but will also feed on live brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and may even take flake but it is a rare occurrence. Here is a short list of a few requirements to keep a Mandarin nice and healthy:

-Large tank preferrably 55 gallons or larger

-Plenty of live rock

-High Copepod population

-Mature tank(1yr is best)

-Attached refugium to help with Copepod production

- Would help if there are no other pod eating fish housed in the same tank

I would recommend keeping the tank invert only for a few months until you get used to maintaning a saltwater aquarium. A good cleanup crew consisting of a variety of snails, and a few hermit crabs would work well. For someone new to keeping saltwater tanks a mixed reef is not such a good idea so I would stick with mainly Softies and maybe a LPS or two. I would stay away from SPS until to get used to keeping the easier corals.

Lighting a tank of your size is quite easy as you get away with using a simple PC fixture yet still keep a wide variety of coral. Now the watts per gallon rule isn't the only thing you should go by when choosing lighting but it is a good starting point for a beginner. That being said I would try and aim for around 6-8 watts per gallon. I'm not sure of any fixtures that would be able to fit a 17" tank here in the US that would be enough watts for what you need. Your best option would to look into a PC retrofit kit that you can install in a canopy.

Are you in the US or UK?
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Postby Jez » 2006-08-11 18:29

hi, thanks Perfectblue for your reply and advice,

yes this is my first salt water tank, the size is down to space and money constraints however i just got hold of a 50l tank, it's 24" so like you said it's easier to get an overtank light unit fixture for it (2x T5 white and 1 actinic T5 all 14 watts) so that solves that query.

I realise in bigger tanks I have a greater margin for error so i'm just going to have to be more careful. I was going by the stocking levels recommended in the nano reef handbook, i know maybe i'm getting ahead of myself but i chose a goby (probably Hector's or Rainfords) as they perform a specific purpose, the Bengaii and mandarin because i like the look of them, i planned not to have any species which would out compete the mandarin for food and try to wean it onto other food as well as culturing pods in a bottle (reefworks sell cultures). By the way is it true Mandarins are caught using cyanide to knock them out?

i'll get the tank up and running and stable before making livestock choices now i think.
Just one more question, if i use an external canister filter for mechanical filtration will this also act as biological in place of a refugium? It has to be dark right? and does it need seeding?
I'm in the UK.
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Re: nano reef lighting

Postby valemont » 2018-09-07 14:35

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