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Old 04-20-2008, 07:53 PM   #1
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equipment check

I am setting up a 15 gallon nano. Right now I am retro-fitting lighting because it is an odd shape. It will be a high light tank (4+ watts/gallon) and I plan on having a variety of corals, inverts, and one or two fish. About 20# of live rock. 2-3 inches of live sand. What would be a good solution for a filter and protein skimmer?

The LFS wants to outfit it with a canister filter rated for a 75 gallon tank ($130). I can't remember what the skimmer was rated for ($160). Definitely over 55 gallons.

Thanks so much for your help. This is the first marine tank I am taking on by myself so I am trying to play catchup in all the equipment information, etc...
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:36 PM   #2
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On a small tank a skimmer is overkill, Just do regular water changes. On my 9 gallon I tried a nano skimmer, but never could stop the mirco bubbles. As for a filter a HOB (hang on back) or a in tank will work. The canister may be too much water flow. I recommend shopping on line to see what is available.
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Old 04-20-2008, 09:47 PM   #3
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I have a 12 gallon and probably around 16-17 lbs of live rock and once its established it will be enough of a natural filter for the tank. Most likely gonna have to do weekly water changes regardless of what equipment you put in there just because its such a small volume of water and parameters can change fast.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:09 PM   #4
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hmm, that is interesting. I have been thinking the same thing as both of you, but then I've never done corals, and haven't done a saltwater nano so I wasn't too sure. Any recommendations on a specific filter?

As for flow, it is a 20 inch high tank so I need to make sure there is enough circulation toward the bottom. Or am I worrying too much?
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:33 PM   #5
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Not to sure about the filter since i don't use one in my tank. I did add an additional small pump in my tank towards the bottom because i was having a bit of a cyano problem and it grows in places with low flow. It all depends on your tank set up though. i would start with just the one pump and see how it does for flow and then if you think you need another one later or get corals that need a lot of flow you can always add one in.
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Old 04-20-2008, 10:52 PM   #6
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I have a nano sized protein skimmer in my tank and it seems to do a good job. I do have a problem with the micro bubbles that I'm still trying to work out but playing with the type of material I use as the "bubble pad". I am hoping that my wonderful older son will build me a refugium this summer and I can add macroalgae for a more natural approach. Right Pat8You??
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Old 04-20-2008, 11:24 PM   #7
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Funny how i become such a wonderful son when there are sumps to be built and your ready to trade me in for another grey hound when i'm home driving you crazy. haha.
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Old 04-21-2008, 03:02 PM   #8
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A nano is more difficult to maintain because of the small water volume. Water parameters can easily get out of whack in a small tank. Doing weekly PWCs is the best way to keep things balanced. Most people who have nanos also have larger tanks. I had a 5g nano for a while with 1 fish in it and lots of low light corals. I used my 72 to filter the water in the 5g. The biggest problem people run into with the smaller tanks is the evaporation. You will have to top off daily to keep the SG at the right level.

Having a HOB filter and enough LR will be sufficient for filtration just keep an eye on your water parameters.
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Old 04-22-2008, 08:52 AM   #9
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Old 04-23-2008, 10:01 PM   #10
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Thanks everyone! I will have my tank back at the beginning of next week. I didn't think I'd be good enough to retrofit lights (plus, based on the original hood that I am keeping, it needed a dremel and other tools I didn't have) so it is off being worked on at the LFS. I am really excited to get it started.

Ziggy, no worries. I am well aware of challenges I face. I already plan to have water premade on hand for topping off each night. The only thing I haven't figured out is what to do when I leave town. But, that won't be too often.
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