Thinking of starting a < 10g nano to tide me over -- what do I need?

tgunn

New member
Hey guys,
I'm in the process of selling off my 140g setup; I'm doing a MAsters degree now and I've been SUPER busy with that. So I've been thinking of starting a little 10g or less nano/pico to keep my interest going in the hobby.

Some things I've got laying around:
2 maxijet 400s
1 maxijet 1200
Tunze DOC 9002 skimmer

Of course my lighting is WAY over powered for something this small since it's 4' T5s and 250w halides.

I'm thinking to keep a couple frags of some of my SPS, including a purple monti cap, and a tricolor acro, and another bali aquaculture acro. Not thinking of including any fish in the tank. Just sand, a few rocks, and some corals.

So the questions are:
- What kind of lighting would work best for this?
- What kind of tank would work best for this?
- Do I need to run a skimmer?

I have plenty of ingredients to make RAndy's 2 part for my CA/Alk makeup.

Topoff I can accomplish through the myriad of float valves I have, my aqualifter, or even my calcium reactor dosing pump.

Just trying to keep it REAL simple and light weight so I have SOMETHING that will last me until I'm done my degree and have the time to do "the next big thing".

Thanks!
Tyler
 

gas4544

New member
A twenty gallon tank would still be small, yet give you more volume. A ten gallon fills up fast!

A twenty gallon would also give you more space to use the skimmer if you decide to do so. If you are not planning on having fish, you could go without the skimmer. But the skimmer would certainly help to keep the water very clean and add disolved oxygen and water movement.

Gary
 

tgunn

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14176700#post14176700 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by gas4544
A twenty gallon tank would still be small, yet give you more volume. A ten gallon fills up fast!

A twenty gallon would also give you more space to use the skimmer if you decide to do so. If you are not planning on having fish, you could go without the skimmer. But the skimmer would certainly help to keep the water very clean and add disolved oxygen and water movement.

Gary

My aim is to provide a small little setup that will let me keep a couple of my favorite SPS corals living for a couple years until I can set up a big tank once again. I think the big appeal for a 10g or similar size tank is that this is something I could do fairly inexpensively with what I've got.

I'm hoping to run without a sump; if anything just a back compartment sump. Though I suppose I could just run the skimmer in tank since it's not exactly big. Not super optimal but it would work.


Thanks,
Tyler
 

tgunn

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14177403#post14177403 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Mojo Jojo
Keep the big tank SPS, school, and small tanks dont mix too well.

Just curious what your reasoning is to say that? I know (from experience) that SPS need stability and pristine water conditions; I can't see any reason why I wouldn't be able to achieve this on a small scale.

Tyler
 

bsagecko

New member
in nano's small changes that would normally not effect large tanks can end in diaster

I think the individual is getting at the fact that the 10g will need to be monitored on a regular basis and be through checked at least twice a day for just basic top offs and stuff

Alot more room for error
 

tgunn

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14177642#post14177642 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by bsagecko
in nano's small changes that would normally not effect large tanks can end in diaster

I think the individual is getting at the fact that the 10g will need to be monitored on a regular basis and be through checked at least twice a day for just basic top offs and stuff

Alot more room for error

Yes, that is very true, and I can understand that... At minimum I'd have an auto evap topoff set up. I have all the requisite test kits to keep an eye on the parameters, etc. My thought was with a nano that even with parameter checking a couple times a week I should be able to get away with only a few hours a week of work on it..

But perhaps it's not a good idea. My big tank is almost shut down and I figured it'd be nice to have something to keep my interest in the hobby.


The big problem with my large 140g setup was that I made some bad design decisions at the onset that I'd need to correct if I wanted to start it up again; I don't have the time or cash to spend on these and they're not insignificant:
1. Need cover for overflow to prevent growth and drain plugging
2. Skimmer is WAY too big; need a much smaller one -- reefing isn't big in my area so I can't really sell the big skimmer to make up the cost of a new one
3. Not enough access into the tank to clean; need to remove the entire canopy which means shutting down return pump, unhooking plumbing, etc. I need the access to get into the corners and pick out bubble algae; nuke aptasia, etc. I'd need to rebuild the canopy to achieve this goal
4. All rocks need to be cooked -- bubble algae and aptasia have taken over
5. Return pump is WAY too big and my drains aren't sized for the amount of flow I run if I want to take into account redundancy (the tank oveflowed because bubble algae blocked the drains over the holidays
In short weeks of full evening work to get things in order.

Tyler
 

bsagecko

New member
Ok now I can understand a lil bit better

Have you sold the 140g tank?

If it is no longer part of the picture than so be it

If it is i think it would be better to revamb it then to start a nano

The key is how much money you have to spend....if you are anything like me ( i'm 17 single parent family.....low budget)

Than i think i can help you through either transition as I have personal built a 150g tank from the ground up and I have recently built from the ground up a 10g nano.......

If you want help, advice, or have questions let me know

I would be more than happy to take this journey of your new tank with you

Nano's aren't extremely diffucult and they are alot cheaper.....i just didnt want you to have the idea that it is a slice of cake easy....

let me know what you want to do and everything you have available to you already, how much money ideal you want to spend, and what you want to achieve......

Thanks
Zack
 

tgunn

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14178137#post14178137 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by bsagecko
Ok now I can understand a lil bit better

Have you sold the 140g tank?

If it is no longer part of the picture than so be it

If it is i think it would be better to revamb it then to start a nano

The key is how much money you have to spend....if you are anything like me ( i'm 17 single parent family.....low budget)

Than i think i can help you through either transition as I have personal built a 150g tank from the ground up and I have recently built from the ground up a 10g nano.......

If you want help, advice, or have questions let me know

I would be more than happy to take this journey of your new tank with you

Nano's aren't extremely diffucult and they are alot cheaper.....i just didnt want you to have the idea that it is a slice of cake easy....

let me know what you want to do and everything you have available to you already, how much money ideal you want to spend, and what you want to achieve......

Thanks
Zack

Hey Zack,
Your sig line mentions something that I can relate to:
Hobby Experience: 2 years research 10 months practice

My 140g tank was up and running for 3 years and 2 months. It took me almost 9 months prior to that to build my system and get it up and running. I spent a good 2 years reading Reefcentral and other books on the hobby to get input for my system. :)

Anyways, there is another factor at play with my 140g that I didn't mention; once I complete my graduate degree in 1 - 1.5 years there's a good chance we'll be moving so there's also thought to tear down now since I would have to do so in the near future anyhow.

My nano aspirations are a product of me thinking, "What? No tank for 1 - 1.5 years? That's crazy!!!". Just wanting to have something small (ie easy to move) to keep my interest up and tide me over until I do my "next big thing", which will likely be in the 300g range.

They money side of things is a factor to the extent that the market around me for used equipment is horrible. I had a HARD time selling most of my corals in my 140 because nobody around here has tanks this large and nobody wanted to pay a reasonable price for the large specimens. I will be keeping most of my equipment for my next tank but a few things like the skimmer I plan on selling.

I don't expect a nano is going to be dead easy but my hope is that with my 3 years experience from running my 140g I can get something reasonable together that I can be proud of.

Ideally I'd like to spend at most a couple hundred bucks to get things together. So that'd really be the tank and lights that I need. I have a nano skimmer, powerheads, heaters, stuff to hack together an ato, sand, liverock, salt, RO/DI system, etc currently.

I want to stick to something that's all in one and self contained; so a built in sump like the Biocube and Red Sea MAx nanos have. A local reefer divided a 10g to make an all in one tank like that and the result was pretty reasonable.

Tyler
 

bsagecko

New member
My sig is a lil off

the years in research are correct but its been over a year and half now..........(before sw tanks i bred leopard geckos for 2 years)

My 90g system is broken down right now and the 150g is fully operational reef tank.........


Anyways...I started my nano for the same reason in the idea that i am starting my undergraduate degree in less than 6 months and the 10g will be coming with me......hopefully....

I would start with the t5 if they are good quality... just suspend them to the roof down over the tank about 6" off the surface or use a single 250W MH 12~18" off the water

My preference would be the one of the 250W and your sign says radium with icap so that sound good


I would use a good quality heater which you seem to already have

I would say a maxijet-600~1200 would be enough flow but i would recommend a tunze of korlia brand if you can afford it

korlia nanos are like $20 in american so I dont know what you want to do with that....i personally use a maxijet 600 right now


the skimmer is completely useless for this application so, i would sell it unless you have plans in the future for like a 20g or bigger tank (it would be worth like $100 or more on these forums if you shipped it)

ATO will be really useful and i think once you set it up if you just test for cal-alk-mag-nitrates-ph like once a week it should be fine

a daily 2 part should be used

I did my entire 10g for like $120

and that was paying for a $100 light (20" sunpod 150W w/ 14k phoenix bulb)

so like $20 in stuff actually in the tank

if you have livesand and liverock that will save you some money....if you dont you need to get some.........

I would recommend a black or blue background with the maxijet in the back corner

1" layer of sand
10~20lbs of liverock depending on how you like to aquascape
50~100W heater
and the lighting you choose

with this setup i have been pretty successful and with the increase in lighting on yours the coral should do well.......

the key to this is a small bioload
i have only a single true perc and the rest is corals

all filteration is down within the tank via livesand and liverock


I have no HOB filter, HOB fuge, or internal system of any kind

However if you want to do a self made AIO 10g i can prbly find a link to a good one if you want ideas

i do not think it is worth the decrease in real-estate

You said you didnt want any fish, so I think this system work for you

I can prbly get some old pics of my posted if you want to see how i did it
 

tgunn

New member
Sure, post a pic of the 10g you have if you can. I'd be interested to see how you set it up.

I've got a good selection of Maxijets and I'm not averse to getting a koralia nano if need be. Gee, think my Tunze 6101s are a bit overkill? :lol: Kidding.

I am going to keep the Tunze nano skimmer for my future setup; good for a QT tank.

The LFS here has some nice little 20g cube glass tanks with a stand and canopy. Even has a built in overflow and mini sump section on the back. The only thing I'm not sure about it lighting since it has a very low canopy; I think I might be able to mount 24" T5s in there.

Hmm, I think perhaps I'll have to give this consideration. I really want to have SOMETHING to tide me over, and perhaps this would be sufficient.

Def post pics of your 10g if you can.

Thanks,
Tyler
 

Agu

Premium Member
Here's the 10 gallon I set up to tide me over 6 years ago and it'still up and running.

2DSCN3225.jpg


I did this in a 5.5 and wish I had done it on the ten gallon tanks, it's an overflow to hide equipment. That's also where the ATO would go.You could use both Maxi 400 on separate returns.

2DSCN1582.jpg


On a ten with SPS a single Maxi 1200 set up like this would provide enough flow.


2DSCN1579.jpg


If you could retrofit a 250MH into a hanging canopy that would work. With an enclosed canopy heat would be an issue though. Otherwise I'd suggest you look into the 150w DE HQI clamp on lights that have come out.

I don't use skimmers and don't think they're necessary if you are consistent doing water changes. I do 10% /week. With water changes and dripping kalk for topoff I have no need for other additives.

jmo,
 

Agu

Premium Member
Another option is to use a HOB filter to add flow, hide the heater, have a place to drip kalk. A big plus of the HOB is that they don't add much heat to a small tank.

Or you could modify it into a Fuge
 

gas4544

New member
I had a couple 10-gallon nanos that started out as nursery tanks for baby Banggai Cardinals. For awhile, I had both of them connected with a U-tube and a small pump to move water between teh two tanks. I then just converted one of them to a nano with some montipora and some other coral. I used an Aquaclear HO filter to hold a small air-stone driven skimmer. It worked okay, and my bioload was pretty low. At the time, my lighting was a 65W PC Lights of America outdoor fixture.

You have reefing experience, so pulling off a 10-gallon SPS nano would not be a big challenge. Either use one of your halide fixtures or get a T5 fixture as suggested above. Personally, I have experienced T5's and really like hy results from MH (and VHO for actinic).

I have four Koralia Nano powerheads in my current 30-gallon montipora tank. They are small and relatively inexpensive. Agu's corner overflow section used to hide a pump looks great. If you made it large enough, you could hide the heater in there, too.

Gary
 

tgunn

New member
Great ideas and tanks everyone!

Agu, that's a nice overflow mod; did you make that yourself?

I just so happen to have a large aquaclear HOB kicking around that I was using with my quarantine setup. That's another great possibility.

I think I'm going to have to put some more thought into this; looks like I should be bale to pull SOMETHING off. :)

For lighting as much as a hanging halide would look nice I'm pretty limited to having a canopy; with a 16 month year old that has recently learned to push chairs around to gain "extra height", and a new found love of putting things inside containers I have a feeling I'd be in trouble. Lol.

I think a T5 retro would be a good idea. I can always use one in the future as I'd like to QT corals going forward.

Thanks,
Tyler
 

Agu

Premium Member
Tyler,

I PMd a few of the DIY guys I know with specs and a friend built it for about $35. If you go that way I highly recommend you build a mock up out of cardboard and make sure anything you want in there fits and there's room for you yo do the installation. When I did that it became apparent my first design was about 1/2" too narrow from front to back.

Check this thread out for a couple of lighting options http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1478041

I realize you're looking at a retrofit but this thread also discusses light quality and aesthetics.
 

tgunn

New member
Agu,
That's a really slick build! I will have to give that a shot in the future when I have some spare time and make a nano for the office. The results are really clean and slick!

Nice lighting options too. I think I prefer the look of the T5s based on what I've seen in those pics. Those fixtures are quite nice though; would be a decent choice for a work tank.

Hey, any idea what kind of auto top off system would work in a nano? I was just thinking my usual kent float valve type of setup would be a bit large. :)

Gas4544,
Nice looking 10g setup! I'm encouraged seeing what people are doing.

Thanks all!
Tyler
 

Agu

Premium Member
ATO

I would highly recommend a second switch that shuts down the ATO if water level gets too high. That way if the first switch sticks at on the second swith over rides it and shuts down the ATO.
 
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