New 16g Nano Fowlr Tank

HughJussMarcus

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Hey there, I have had 3-4 Freshwater tanks ranging from 10G - 55G (Which is still running perfectly) but I'm thinking of turning my 16G bowfront into a nano salt tank. I work at a LFS so I'm familiar with some terminology and cycling and all the basics. I just need help with figuring out how the best way of setting this up would be.

I currently have the Aqueon 16G bowfront with an aqueon heater and Cascade 700 canister filter on it. From what I read using a canister filter on a nano tank (or possibly a SW tank in general) is a nightmare. The tank has a fluorescent bulb on it now but I'd probably switch to LEDs. The only thing I'm having trouble with is what should I use for filtration, lighting, and if I would need a protein skimmer if I would do water changes once a week or every other week seeing as that's my schedule for my freshwater tank.

Any info for a newbie would be appreciated!
 

Lorekeeper

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Well, a 16 gallon is actually going to be a good starting size. Good choice!

Definitely leave out the canister filter. For any SW tank, they're more trouble than they're worth.

For filtration, your live rock will be your filter. I'd run an Aquaclear 70 HOB with some activated carbon (No filter pad), and maybe a small powerhead or two.

Lighting in a FOWLR tank is easy - literally whatever looks good to you works. I'd personally just got with a cheap LED fixture from amazon.

Protein skimmers definitely aren't needed for nanos, or for any tank - as long as you do frequent water changes. I do around 50% weekly, and I'd recommend you to do as much as it takes to keep nitrate below 20 PPM in a FOWLR.
 

Lorekeeper

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It depends on how heavily you stock. More than likely, you'll want to do weekly WC's to replenish minerals in the water and to keep nitrates down. As a general guideline:

When Nitrates hit 20 PPM in a FOWLR tank, do a WC.
When Nitrates hit 10 PPM in a reef tank, do a WC.

That's not a cut-and-dry answer, but it'll get you started. A FOWLR tank would be much, much more forgiving with water parameters. I'd recommend you start with one of these.

If you decided you wanted to do some basic coral, you could use anything from a few PAR 38's to maybe a custom LED fixture, depending on budget. I don't have time to look up specifics right now, but if you link some fixtures here, either I or someone else will get back to you on it.
 

Floundering_Around

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Just make sure to put the firefish in first; They're pretty shy and ocellaris are bullies. Gobies are pretty cool, especially the sand sifting varieties IMO. Plus you won't have to worry about them spitting sand all over your corals.
 
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HughJussMarcus

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Thanks for the info! As far as lighting goes I think I'm gonna get a NICREW SkyLED light off Amazon but I don't know exactly how well it would keep easy corals. For anemones are there any that would fit a 16g or should I just stick with stuff like candy cane or green polyps?
 

Jesterrace

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The cheap LEDs off of amazon (ie Nicrew and Finnex) are very poor lights for coral. Great for FOWLR applications but not much else. The Chinese Black Boxes are usually the cheapest lights recommended, but quality and customer service can be hit and miss with them.
 

Floundering_Around

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If you're getting corals, as easy as candy canes and trumpets are, you'll have to take into consideration your water parameters more so than doing FOWLR. Plus, you would have to use reef salt instead of marine salt in order to get the needed elements. You seem pretty adamant on those corals, IMO be ready to keep more corals cause they'eraddicting. Also, keepign corals limits which fish you can get. Not only is tank size an issue, but you can't get fish that will take a liking to eating corals or picking at them.
 
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HughJussMarcus

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Gotcha, the issue now is I have an empty 30g with 2 fluval hob filters and regular nicrew LEDs already sitting empty in my kitchen that I'm debating on just making that my nano FOWLR instead of my 16g bowfront. Don't know which would be better to go with at this point but I'll plan some more stuff out and see what I decide.
 

Floundering_Around

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you can run the two HOB on there for filtration; just packed it full of media and bio balls. Only other thing you would need would be a powerhead to give some more flow. I know a lot of people might say no sand but I personally love the look. Plus you can get sand babies (gobies, jaw fish, etc)
 

Jesterrace

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Floundering_Around said:
you can run the two HOB on there for filtration; just packed it full of media and bio balls. Only other thing you would need would be a powerhead to give some more flow. I know a lot of people might say no sand but I personally love the look. Plus you can get sand babies (gobies, jaw fish, etc)
To me a bare bottom tank just looks unnatural and it does limit your stock of fish. My Diamond Watchman Goby and Melanurus Wrasse wouldn't be able to be in my tank without one.
 

Jesterrace

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HughJussMarcus said:
So for my marine mix for water can I use instant ocean marine mix with RO Water and Seachem stability to get my cycle going or is there an easier way/better product I can use. Whenever I started a FW tank cycle I used stability and prime and never had an issue. I just don't know if it's the same thing for SW.
Just me but I wouldn't treat the water with anything other than a source of ammonia and some form of bacteria if you are doing all dry rock, the live rock should have the bacteria you need already. Water treatment chemicals IMHO are an unnecessary addition to marine cycling and give one a false sense of security and hope that it is going to speed things up. I have used seed bacteria and various other things and I haven't seen anything that speeds it up other than adding established live rock from a healthy tank.
 
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