Nart's Budget Nano Saltwater Guide For Beginners - Page 2

salt&cich4l

thank you! What are your thoughts on distilled water? I am setting up a nano in a college faculty lounge. Luckily, there is a distilled water system in the lab. I have a limitless supply of distilled water a few feet away from the tank.
 

DaddyDeet

thank you! What are your thoughts on distilled water? I am setting up a nano in a college faculty lounge. Luckily, there is a distilled water system in the lab. I have a limitless supply of distilled water a few feet away from the tank.
I believe distilled is a good substitute for ro/dI water. If there's a lab nearby with equipment, can you score a TDS meter to test it?
If not, I do believe (I'm far from an expert) that distilled water is ok.
 

salt&cich4l

Yes, someone is bringing a TDS meter to test it tomorrow. Does it need to score a 0.
 

DaddyDeet

I will have soft hardy corals, CUC, and a damsel or clownfish
As far as I'm concerned it needs to be 0...but that's only because I don't know any better.. lol
 

stella1979

If the water scores a zero on the TDS meter, and distilled should, then you're good to go.

salt&cich4l - please do make a build thread for your tank and any questions you have for it. Feel free to tag the salty members you see here in your thread by typing the @ symbol in front of any username. We'd love to follow along. Also, this thread is more of an instructable, and your own thread would be much better suited to keeping track of all the info shared on your setup. Trust me, our salty team is small here, but we all get excited about a new build, and love to help. Hope to see more of you soon.
 

salt&cich4l

I am not exactly sure how to do that but I will try.
 

Culprit

It doesn't have to be exactly 0, I'd say as long as its under 20 you'll be good for softies and easy fish.

Just, say, if I want to tag you, type the @ symbol, then type their screen name. E.g. stella1979 salt&cich4l
 

Waterloo

Yes, I need more Saltwater threads to follow!
 

ryanr

Nart - just wanted to say great write-up mate.
I've been away for awhile, this is a great guide for the nano keeper. I'm not a fan nano myself, actually, let me correct that, pico setups (too much work).
I shut my reef down a few years ago, but maybe I'll start a 20 mixed reef soon (though I still have my tank and equipment from the ~70.... :emoji_thinking
 

Nart

ryanr Thank you for going through my guide! I need to go through it again to see if I need to update anything, but truly, I am humbled. Thank you again.
It's funny you say that... because I was actually wondering just the other week if you still had your reef tank up!
You need to hop on Instagram with the rest of us, it's a quick platform to do quick updates for me. I'm actually in the process of working on a 20 gallon long build... it's going to be loads of fun.
I think you should definitely join the 20 gallon long family too don't you think so too stella1979 Culprit ?
 

Culprit

20 long fan club right here! I love mine. Good footprint for fish stocking, and easy to light!
 

tfreema

That’s what I will use when I get ready to take the plunge. I have a double stack that I plan to free up sometime in the future. I will make the bottom one a sump and just put a cover over it to get it out of view.
I gotta get the freshwater tanks under control and minimized first. Maybe next year I can go salty. I am really looking forward to the vibrant color fish and corals.
This will be my go to thread when I get started for sure. And my salty FL friends of course!
 

platy21

Pretty sure I’ve read this write up about six times and learn something new each time, thanks Nart! So excited to pick up my tank this weekend.
 

salt&cich4l

I will have soft hardy corals, CUC, and a damsel or clownfish
update-the TDs is missing in action, but the distilled water seems to be working great, my polyp corals and fish look good....I have not seen any growth of nuisance algae yet. The parameters are solid.
 

Nart

platy21 ah!! I’m glad it helped you and so excited for you!
 

platy21

Thanks Nart ! Can't wait to get the tank setup. I'll be on the forum with a ton of questions once I actually get my hands wet lol.
 

Lunnietic

Thank goodness you decided to write this down. (Type it out?) I have been debating over a year now about setting up a salt water tank--but every time I did research my head would spin.

I didn't want to go to my reef store knowing nothing (I haven't ever been there, and wanted to know what was up before going. Because if its anything like the fresh water one-- they make problems worse not better. Because they are out for a quick buck.)

I will be getting a house soon and be using your guide to help set myself up! I was planning on a 20 long, but have always been told the bigger the better for salt water? But all I want is a pair of clownfish and their anemone. (I am thinking of a entacmaea quadricolor for the record).

I will be doing my own thread for it once we settle on a place. I am excited.
 

Nart

Lunnietic I'm glad you found my guide useful! It's a long read, but covers most of what you need to know.
A 20 Long is perfect................ like literally. Are you on Instagram? You should find me on there "@MightyNanoTank" I have my new 20 gallon Long build on there and it's the perfect tank.
Entacmaea quad is basically a bubble tip anemone, they come in various colors and are perfect for a tank that size.
Can I make a recommendation? If you're planning on a ocellaris or percula clown and wanting the anemone to host the clowns, my recommendation is buy the pair of clowns that's already hosting the anemone. It's a hit or miss trying to see that symbiotic relationship with those particular type of clowns. A more likely hosting, would be a maroon, clarkii, or skunk clown. Those type of clowns will take to bubble tip anemones more than ocellaris or percula clowns.
Good luck!
 

Lunnietic

Lunnietic I'm glad you found my guide useful! It's a long read, but covers most of what you need to know.
A 20 Long is perfect................ like literally. Are you on Instagram? You should find me on there "@MightyNanoTank" I have my new 20 gallon Long build on there and it's the perfect tank.
Entacmaea quad is basically a bubble tip anemone, they come in various colors and are perfect for a tank that size.
Can I make a recommendation? If you're planning on a ocellaris or percula clown and wanting the anemone to host the clowns, my recommendation is buy the pair of clowns that's already hosting the anemone. It's a hit or miss trying to see that symbiotic relationship with those particular type of clowns. A more likely hosting, would be a maroon, clarkii, or skunk clown. Those type of clowns will take to bubble tip anemones more than ocellaris or percula clowns.
Good luck!

Wait. Does this mean I do not have to have an anemone to keep clownfish? I was under the impression that it was a must. I do not nesscessarily want baby clownfish, just want them to live the best life possible.
 

Nart

Lunnietic Exactly. No clowns need anemones. Most clowns nowadays that are sold in stores are captive bred in bare-bottom tanks with no anemones in it. So most haven't even seen anemones. However, just because they haven't seen anemones doesn't mean they will not take to an anemone. Some clown species have it in their instinct, to naturally know how to go into an anemone. I will say though, seeing that clown and anemone symbiotic relationship is beyond neat, especially if you're ready to take on an anemone.
Clowns really don't ask for much though, and with time they bond and get used to you. So much so that when I have my hands working in the tank it doesn't even phase them and will readily eat from your fingers.
 

Marco Rodriguez

For the RO/DI system. Do you just put your tap into it? And the system clears out TDS for you? I’m confused as to how they work
 

Nart

For the RO/DI system. Do you just put your tap into it? And the system clears out TDS for you? I’m confused as to how they work
Exactly. Your waterline feeds into this RODI unit. The end result, after going through all the filters should give you pure H2O free of any total dissolved solids.
 

aquanerd13

I am not so sure about the whole reef think. I am definitely on a budget. About how much would everything cost?
 

DaddyDeet

I am not so sure about the whole reef think. I am definitely on a budget. About how much would everything cost?
Depending on size, it can certainly be affordable. Will it be free? Nope. But depending what kind of tank you want (FOWLR or Reef) cost can vary greatly.
Patience and labor are also worth quite a bit in this hobby. A lot of expensive equipment really only exists to lower maintenance efforts.
 

aquanerd13

What is the best beginner size for a reef talk? On average, how much would that size cost for a reef tank?
 

Culprit

What is the best beginner size for a reef talk? On average, how much would that size cost for a reef tank?

If your interested I would start a thread, you'll get more responses and even if you decide not to we can get a lot more in depth about what would need to happen. Its not easy to pin down an exact price, as a lot of times you can get less equipment by doing more maintnence.
 

aquanerd13

Ok thank you. I will start a thread.
 

tfreema

I will be reading back through this thread again soon with hopes to have my plans lined out by Christmas time. My hopes are to start buying the big stuff as Christmas presents from my husband to me, lol. Lots of research left to do, but I will start a thread soon to begin that journey.

This thread will be the best starting point!!
 

MargaretBetta

Such a great article! Starting a Saltwater aquarium is just on the fringes of my brain right now. I've been devouring you tube videos, most of which were unhelpful. I should have known to come here first. Thanks! I believe in myself a little more now.
 

KribensisLover1

Lunnietic I'm glad you found my guide useful! It's a long read, but covers most of what you need to know.
A 20 Long is perfect................ like literally. Are you on Instagram? You should find me on there "@MightyNanoTank" I have my new 20 gallon Long build on there and it's the perfect tank.
Entacmaea quad is basically a bubble tip anemone, they come in various colors and are perfect for a tank that size.
Can I make a recommendation? If you're planning on a ocellaris or percula clown and wanting the anemone to host the clowns, my recommendation is buy the pair of clowns that's already hosting the anemone. It's a hit or miss trying to see that symbiotic relationship with those particular type of clowns. A more likely hosting, would be a maroon, clarkii, or skunk clown. Those type of clowns will take to bubble tip anemones more than ocellaris or percula clowns.
Good luck!
Hello! What an awesome write up! If you went middle of the road on all you mentioned (so like the middle cost sand the lower costs lighting middle costs rocks) could you give a ballpark estimate of what this might cost? Just so I have some sort of idea?ty!
 

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