20 Gallon Saltwater Nano Reef Tank

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Thedudeiam94

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Because I probably won’t get a better quality picture this is my rock that is now on its way! Along with my Chaeto and an additional light I was blessed with for the Chaeto. Also the sand should be here around the same time!
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Here she is... current stock: 2 Mexican snails, 2 green legged hermits.
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Cleared up
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Top view
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coralbandit

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IMO your are going to want to find a way to stop the hob from making bubbles returning water ..
Unlike in fresh water bubbles in marine are bad ..They mean CREAP,besides added evap ..
I have used the back plastic part of lids that people cut out for filters to divert water from my AquaClears ..
Most LFS should have them or be able to order them ..They have a wide range of prices on the net so be careful here is cheap listing ;
Perfecto Hood Backstrip - Clear
The worst listing was on EBAY $48 for a piece of plastic worth about $4-5..
 
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Thedudeiam94

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coralbandit said:
IMO your are going to want to find a way to stop the hob from making bubbles returning water ..
Unlike in fresh water bubbles in marine are bad ..They mean CREAP,besides added evap ..
I have used the back plastic part of lids that people cut out for filters to divert water from my AquaClears ..
Most LFS should have them or be able to order them ..They have a wide range of prices on the net so be careful here is cheap listing ;
Perfecto Hood Backstrip - Clear
The worst listing was on EBAY $48 for a piece of plastic worth about $4-5..
I actually solved that problem the day of. I just needed to add more water. Haven’t had the foamy bubbles since then. Tank is clear and looks good. Added a yellow tail damsel a few days ago. Stays hidden in the rock scape but comes out to eat. Been feeding tiny pieces of brine shrimp cubes cut off from when I feed my Discus. All in all things are going well so far.
 

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Nice!!:D Very nice view.:D:D

Hrmm... A damsel for your first eh? Sorry to be the stocking police but they can be meanies. Might not want to wait too long before adding the next.;) That is, don't let one fish own the 20L for long. It will become their tank and they may not take kindly to newcomers. I bring it up because it happened to me with my beloved, timid firefish Scorch.:emoji_fire: He was an awesome presence in the tank for so long while we took forever getting a qt set up and moving fish through it. For nearly a year he was out and about all day everyday, even when my crazy kiddos were eyeing him.:happy:

He did not handle the addition of new fish even though they were not aggressive. He lasted a few months and just as we thought, "well, he hides a lot now but comes out to eat so this may work out"... one day he didn't come out and was never seen again.:(

Anyway, whether timid or aggressive, in nano tanks I think it best that the hierarchy get worked out before any one fish establishes territory over the entire tank.;)
 
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Yes I planned to add my designer clowns shortly. But I also have a plan if the damsel decides to get finicky I can re-home him to a lfs that has a wonderful sw section to keep it in. I had only intended on keeping it for the first month to ensure proper establishment of bb and keep the cycle maintained. I will probably be getting my clowns next Friday if I don’t get my light then. Probably going to use the ai prime hd until I can afford a nicer set up or an additional ai. As of not the damsel stays in the rock caves or in the overhanging “open” cave in the front of the rock work. Doesn’t use 1/3 of the tank unless it’s time to eat. During feeding it stays under the output of my filter and uses the open area on one side of the tank to chase the floating bits of food. Also was considering an anemone when I purchase my clowns only because I can get a discount when purchasing my clowns. Would it be okay this early in the tank life? I have read that it’s best to wait at least 6 months before adding an anemone. However I wanted it to be the first coral addition to the tank due to the fact they will choose to move around and decide where they want to be in the tank. I wouldn’t add anything else for another month or so after adding the clowns and anemone die the the bio load adjusting. Thoughts? Tips? Lol

stella1979 said:
Nice!!:D Very nice view.:D:D

Hrmm... A damsel for your first eh? Sorry to be the stocking police but they can be meanies. Might not want to wait too long before adding the next.;) That is, don't let one fish own the 20L for long. It will become their tank and they may not take kindly to newcomers. I bring it up because it happened to me with my beloved, timid firefish Scorch.:emoji_fire: He was an awesome presence in the tank for so long while we took forever getting a qt set up and moving fish through it. For nearly a year he was out and about all day everyday, even when my crazy kiddos were eyeing him.:happy:

He did not handle the addition of new fish even though they were not aggressive. He lasted a few months and just as we thought, "well, he hides a lot now but comes out to eat so this may work out"... one day he didn't come out and was never seen again.:(

Anyway, whether timid or aggressive, in nano tanks I think it best that the hierarchy get worked out before any one fish establishes territory over the entire tank.;)
I also receive these trace elements I will be using when adding the anemone. Won these products off of Facebook! Have you or anyone else had experience with them? Or could you help with dosing and when to dose? I have read the bottle but would like an experienced opinion. Lol
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Calcium, carbonate, magnesium. And the fx pro is a filter media. But I am currently using Chaeto so I will most likely save that for later unless it would be okay to add it in with the Chaeto. I’m not sure.

And by “re-home” the lfs has a permenant section for things not for sale and will be placed into their permanent display tank.
 

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It's very cool to win stuff in the hobby!:D Congrats!! However... you absolutely. do NOT want to start dosing all willy-nilly, lol. Let me explain a few things as best I can then try to tell a little personal story as quickly/shortly as I can.:rolleyes:

First, anemones are related to but are not exactly corals. They do not use trace minerals in growth so your winnings will have no bearing on the success of an anemone in your tank. However, nems are photosynthetic so they need the same light corals do.;) A single Prime would do in the short term, however, I believe its max light spread is around 24 inches... and you (and I) have 30 inch long tanks. Getting the max light spread from a light is also dependant on hanging it high enough to provide all its light to the tank. This is why I decided to not go with the puck style lights myself because if I wanted to have enough light for any coral I may want, then I would need two of them for full coverage. Anyway, for the time being, a single Prime can provide enough light to at least most of your tank, giving the nem the light he'll need.;)

I'm kinda with ya on adding a nem early so it doesn't take walks all over established corals, stinging them in the process. However, the danger in adding a nem, or anything particularly sensitive in the early days is that new tanks tend to have swings in parameters, even those none of us test for. The term 'a mature tank' could also be referred to as a 'very stable tank' in my own experience. So, while the nem doesn't use trace minerals like calcium to live or grow, it may become upset from unnoticed swings in say... pH, calcium, alkalinity (KH or carbonate), and magnesium... and here's where we get back to dosing with products such as your winnings.;)

Stony corals (keyword, stony) use calcium and alkalinity for growing their stony skeletons, and mag, (well, it's been a while since my own days of mineral research) works with calc and alk to be made available to corals... I think! Anyway, this use of the Big 3, (calc, alk, and mag) is known as the tank's uptake and each aquarist has to determine the level of uptake for themselves before they begin dosing. This means, lots and lots of testing to gather data on a tank's uptake, then figuring daily loss so we may then dose regularly in small amounts, thus, not causing swings, just keeping those parameters stable. However, a young tank with little to no growing corals will not have this mineral uptake, but an established tank with a decent amount of growing LPS and SPS corals will. Frags... are small, so even though I got about 30 corals in the first 9 - 12 months of the reef tank, a drop in calc, alk, and mag levels was not seen until the tank was about 1.5 years old, at which time, we tested daily for about a month and in the meantime did LOTS of research about the proper way to dose a tank for mineral loss. So, your winnings will not likely go to waste, but you definitely don't need them for the nem and you probably won't need them at all for some time.

Lastly... there is a range in the levels of pH, calc, alk, and mag which will keep corals happy. Let's take alk for example. For the first year, my alk tests told me the tank's level was steady near 8, at about 7.6 - 7.8. All the corals were happy, though admittedly, we wished for faster growth. After a few big coral hauls and some time in the hobby, during which, I noticed tanks younger than my own had corals which grew faster than my own, we started looking a little closer at parameters. Alk was now even closer to the low end of its range, running closer to 7.0 and calcium didn't trend very low, but it could've been higher. So, this is when we decided to dose and we'd bring up the calc level, as well as maintain a higher alk level than ever before. We were shooting for alk to be steady at 9 dKH. All went well and the corals responded to these higher levels well too. Then, my son was doing chores and looking for a place to plug in the vacuum. Poor kid... we didn't have the cord situation labeled and the tank's doser (which supplies the small daily doses of calc and alk) was mistakenly unplugged... and left that way for 3 days, unnoticed until the corals suddenly looked very mad. The first thing to do in that situation is test, and we found alk down at 7.5.

Please remember that for more than a year, our tank's alk was around 7.6 - 7.8 but for a couple of months now, the corals had become used to an alkalinity level of 9. Despite fixing the levels as quickly as is safe, the sudden drop nearly caused a catastrophe in my tank. Several corals dulled in color and didn't extend their polyps for weeks on end. For about 3 months, I and they hung on, but they looked so bad that I was sure I'd lose some of them, including several treasured pieces. In the end, by month 4, I knew they'd ultimately survive and 6 months out, they were really flourishing again. In the end, of about a dozen corals I was scared for, only 2 heads off of a 4-head hammer coral were lost. This story is to show all the stress and worry that can come from making dosing mistakes and I tell it to you so you will be very careful with your winnings.;) Please do learn from my mistake and avoid making your own in this area because I got pretty lucky, but dosing mistakes can and often do lead to disaster.

I am proudly Stella the Slow reefer:hilarious: because changes in a reef tank are scary! Perhaps you won't have a year of reefing under your belt before you learn what's necessary to dose safely... but the point here is, I did feel like an experienced reefer when I undertook that research and made that change for my tank, and still, getting that area knowledge straight in my head was probably the hardest part of reefing for me thus far. PLUS, the honest mistake made by a kid and his aloof parents brought home the lesson about not messin' with these parameters pretty hard. So, please forgive the rant my friend.;)
 
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Thedudeiam94

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stella1979 said:
It's very cool to win stuff in the hobby!:D Congrats!! However... you absolutely. do NOT want to start dosing all willy-nilly, lol. Let me explain a few things as best I can then try to tell a little personal story as quickly/shortly as I can.:rolleyes:

First, anemones are related to but are not exactly corals. They do not use trace minerals in growth so your winnings will have no bearing on the success of an anemone in your tank. However, nems are photosynthetic so they need the same light corals do.;) A single Prime would do in the short term, however, I believe its max light spread is around 24 inches... and you (and I) have 30 inch long tanks. Getting the max light spread from a light is also dependant on hanging it high enough to provide all its light to the tank. This is why I decided to not go with the puck style lights myself because if I wanted to have enough light for any coral I may want, then I would need two of them for full coverage. Anyway, for the time being, a single Prime can provide enough light to at least most of your tank, giving the nem the light he'll need.;)

I'm kinda with ya on adding a nem early so it doesn't take walks all over established corals, stinging them in the process. However, the danger in adding a nem, or anything particularly sensitive in the early days is that new tanks tend to have swings in parameters, even those none of us test for. The term 'a mature tank' could also be referred to as a 'very stable tank' in my own experience. So, while the nem doesn't use trace minerals like calcium to live or grow, it may become upset from unnoticed swings in say... pH, calcium, alkalinity (KH or carbonate), and magnesium... and here's where we get back to dosing with products such as your winnings.;)

Stony corals (keyword, stony) use calcium and alkalinity for growing their stony skeletons, and mag, (well, it's been a while since my own days of mineral research) works with calc and alk to be made available to corals... I think! Anyway, this use of the Big 3, (calc, alk, and mag) is known as the tank's uptake and each aquarist has to determine the level of uptake for themselves before they begin dosing. This means, lots and lots of testing to gather data on a tank's uptake, then figuring daily loss so we may then dose regularly in small amounts, thus, not causing swings, just keeping those parameters stable. However, a young tank with little to no growing corals will not have this mineral uptake, but an established tank with a decent amount of growing LPS and SPS corals will. Frags... are small, so even though I got about 30 corals in the first 9 - 12 months of the reef tank, a drop in calc, alk, and mag levels was not seen until the tank was about 1.5 years old, at which time, we tested daily for about a month and in the meantime did LOTS of research about the proper way to dose a tank for mineral loss. So, your winnings will not likely go to waste, but you definitely don't need them for the nem and you probably won't need them at all for some time.

Lastly... there is a range in the levels of pH, calc, alk, and mag which will keep corals happy. Let's take alk for example. For the first year, my alk tests told me the tank's level was steady near 8, at about 7.6 - 7.8. All the corals were happy, though admittedly, we wished for faster growth. After a few big coral hauls and some time in the hobby, during which, I noticed tanks younger than my own had corals which grew faster than my own, we started looking a little closer at parameters. Alk was now even closer to the low end of its range, running closer to 7.0 and calcium didn't trend very low, but it could've been higher. So, this is when we decided to dose and we'd bring up the calc level, as well as maintain a higher alk level than ever before. We were shooting for alk to be steady at 9 dKH. All went well and the corals responded to these higher levels well too. Then, my son was doing chores and looking for a place to plug in the vacuum. Poor kid... we didn't have the cord situation labeled and the tank's doser (which supplies the small daily doses of calc and alk) was mistakenly unplugged... and left that way for 3 days, unnoticed until the corals suddenly looked very mad. The first thing to do in that situation is test, and we found alk down at 7.5.

Please remember that for more than a year, our tank's alk was around 7.6 - 7.8 but for a couple of months now, the corals had become used to an alkalinity level of 9. Despite fixing the levels as quickly as is safe, the sudden drop nearly caused a catastrophe in my tank. Several corals dulled in color and didn't extend their polyps for weeks on end. For about 3 months, I and they hung on, but they looked so bad that I was sure I'd lose some of them, including several treasured pieces. In the end, by month 4, I knew they'd ultimately survive and 6 months out, they were really flourishing again. In the end, of about a dozen corals I was scared for, only 2 heads off of a 4-head hammer coral were lost. This story is to show all the stress and worry that can come from making dosing mistakes and I tell it to you so you will be very careful with your winnings.;) Please do learn from my mistake and avoid making your own in this area because I got pretty lucky, but dosing mistakes can and often do lead to disaster.

I am proudly Stella the Slow reefer:hilarious: because changes in a reef tank are scary! Perhaps you won't have a year of reefing under your belt before you learn what's necessary to dose safely... but the point here is, I did feel like an experienced reefer when I undertook that research and made that change for my tank, and still, getting that area knowledge straight in my head was probably the hardest part of reefing for me thus far. PLUS, the honest mistake made by a kid and his aloof parents brought home the lesson about not messin' with these parameters pretty hard. So, please forgive the rant my friend.;)
Thank you VERY much for that response!! It was super helpful and I will make sure to look over everything again over time. These small tips are the most helpful being that I am new to reefing and need all the help and info I can acquire. I didn’t intend on dosing anything until I have tested my levels for at least two months consistently. My main concern was the fact of weather the nem would be safe so early in the life of the tank. Like you said I will be sure to make sure my parameters are stable before adding anything. I was planning to add a second ai prime hd by next month to cover the tank completely. I really appreciate all your info and experience you have shared and I will be SURE to reach out if I can think of any other questions I may have! Love being a part of this forum and have learned so much here!! Everyone is so helpful and supportive and that really makes this hobby enjoyable! I will keep you all updated as time goes by and the tank “matures”! Thanks again!!!
 

Magicpenny75

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Here's my experience with dosing, damsels, and coral in a nano tank. I had a 30 long, but was always too terrified to put a nem in there, because my lights were un-proven at the time, and I didn't want it strolling over to a powerhead and turning my tank into a nem smoothie. I had fancy clowns, and they hosted the corner of the tank. A later pair I had hosted some pink pulsating xenia. An anemone is cool, but tank bred clowns don't care and will host just about anything snuggly. Green hairy mushrooms are another popular home.
I had two yellow tail damsels (at different times...I was on a break!) who were model citizens, but they were also the final addition to my tank. I personally love them, and I don't like that people treat them like "cycle fish" but what's done is done and I'm glad you have a plan for him. I hope you also have a plan to get him out of the tank without tearing your rockwork apart. They are fast and do not like to be caught.
At one time, in my 30 gallon tank, I decided to try SPS. I was recommended to start with some easy ones - a red montipora capricornus (I think that's right, it's been a while), and a green birds nest coral. Well it turns out my lights grew coral really well... and I didn't realize that bigger coral use more resources. So in a 36x12" tank I had a 10"x10" monti and a 10"x10" birdsnest, and I couldn't keep up. My alk dropped, Mg got out of whack, and basically I pulled them out and sold them for a song to keep my tank from completely crashing under its own success. So that's my cautionary tale on stability in a nano reef. What works this month will need to be adjusted next month as things grow and change in the tank. It's one of the challenges that took reefkeeping off of my list. I don't want to scare you off, just be careful not to get ahead of yourself. It's a steep learning curve :)
Now that I've said all that awful stuff, here's a pic from about six months before it really went South, when things were still awesome:
 

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Thedudeiam94

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This little fish has warmed up so well. Has established feeding times and comes out when I sit next to the tanks to relax. Everything looks and is going well so far.



 

coralbandit

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Glad you hear you have a plan for the devil fish , I mean damsel ! Meaner then sin is how most end up . " And then there was one " .
Going to share the type of designer clowns are on their way ??
I still have one of the original Picaso from maybe 7 years ago !
I like the lightning snowflakes but they are as mean as black rams !
 
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Thedudeiam94

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coralbandit said:
Glad you hear you have a plan for the devil fish , I mean damsel ! Meaner then sin is how most end up . " And then there was one " .
Going to share the type of designer clowns are on their way ??
I still have one of the original Picaso from maybe 7 years ago !
I like the lightning snowflakes but they are as mean as black rams !
Yeah the lfs has a nice 220 display that they will be able to keep it in if things take a turn for the worse. It has honestly went from a shy little fish to swimming out and eating aggressively at feeding time. Literally attacks the food ones it hits the water. For the most part it stays hidden the cave in the center of the rock work near the top.
I chose two Wyoming white clownfish which won’t be here until Tuesday next week. So there will be an update sometime next week again once they settle in. The AI prime hd lighting should be here around the same time also. So everything will look pretty close to the way it should.
 
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I have added the two Wyoming white clowns over the past week and they are doing well and I will be sure to post pictures soon! Funny little fish have been digging in the sand in the front corner of the tank. Weird because they’re was some slight aggression from the damsel once I added the clowns however she only felt the need to get “ugly” when they swam too close to the rock in the middle. Now she swims with them and next to them and they take turns eating together. I’m actually surprised at how well they have adjusted to one another in their new home.
 

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Thedudeiam94 said:
I have added the two Wyoming white clowns over the past week and they are doing well and I will be sure to post pictures soon! Funny little fish have been digging in the sand in the front corner of the tank. Weird because they’re was some slight aggression from the damsel once I added the clowns however she only felt the need to get “ugly” when they swam too close to the rock in the middle. Now she swims with them and next to them and they take turns eating together. I’m actually surprised at how well they have adjusted to one another in their new home.
See? Yellowtail damsels aren't always the devil. Are you still planning to give her up or let her stay as long as she plays nice. Did you know clowns are in the damselfish family? Most clowns of any size have no trouble holding their own.
 

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Magicpenny75 said:
See? Yellowtail damsels aren't always the devil. Are you still planning to give her up or let her stay as long as she plays nice. Did you know clowns are in the damselfish family? Most clowns of any size have no trouble holding their own.
Most clowns of any size can be as bad as any damsels ..You just have to find who they don' like ..Conspecific like damsels..
Kept single they usually are no trouble but in pairs all bets are off [even for the other clown ]..
Glad they are playing nice for now ..Can't wait to see them .
One of my LFS had Wyoming whites ..They had every color just t about ..
They had lightning also and said they were so mean they could not get pairs that would not kill each other ..$100 each ….
Makes you wonder how some breeders do it ?
 

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The only thing my clowns really hated were the turbo snails. Disrespecting them all the time coming on their turf and all...

My clowns loved eachother... so many eggs... that video is on my channel too if you'd like to see. I miss my reef so much.
Sorry don't mean to hijack.
 
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