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Old 09-20-2013, 05:17 PM   #1
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Help getting Nano started

Hi people,

I've made my decision to bring back a nano saltwater in my life.. I had a 10 gal over 5 years ago and I really miss it.

The tank I've decided to go with is Eheim 6 or 9 gal (I like it because it has a top to prevent my cats from getting in the tank!, and its modern looking my price range)

Addition to LR, I am planning on colorful soft corals (I can do more research while the tank cycles) with mostly inverts (Shrimp, crabs..)

Depending if I get the 9 gal or 6 gal, I may add a small fish. Don't know yet.

My questions, since it's been so long:

1. What do I need to put in the filter, exactly? The biomedia would be taken care of by the LR, but do I need carbon or anything?

2. What kind of lighting would be best for soft corals? T5? MH?

3. is Koralia 240 good for water flow in a small nano? What do you recommend?

4. I can do without skimmer if I do frequent water changes, right? Skimmer can be added later as finances allow?

5. Is it 1lb of live sand per gallon, or at least an inch from the bottom? (I know its 1-2lbs or LR, but sand?)

That's it for now.. I am sure I will be popping in with further questions.. I plan on setting up a tank setup log when I get things ready.

thanks in advance!
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:42 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Draco View Post
Hi people,

I've made my decision to bring back a nano saltwater in my life.. I had a 10 gal over 5 years ago and I really miss it.

The tank I've decided to go with is Eheim 6 or 9 gal (I like it because it has a top to prevent my cats from getting in the tank!, and its modern looking my price range)

Addition to LR, I am planning on colorful soft corals (I can do more research while the tank cycles) with mostly inverts (Shrimp, crabs..)

Depending if I get the 9 gal or 6 gal, I may add a small fish. Don't know yet.

My questions, since it's been so long:

1. What do I need to put in the filter, exactly? The biomedia would be taken care of by the LR, but do I need carbon or anything?

2. What kind of lighting would be best for soft corals? T5? MH?

3. is Koralia 240 good for water flow in a small nano? What do you recommend?

4. I can do without skimmer if I do frequent water changes, right? Skimmer can be added later as finances allow?

5. Is it 1lb of live sand per gallon, or at least an inch from the bottom? (I know its 1-2lbs or LR, but sand?)

That's it for now.. I am sure I will be popping in with further questions.. I plan on setting up a tank setup log when I get things ready.

thanks in advance!
Welcome back to the SW community then.

1. as the bio activity will convert food to nitrates, you only need to worry about removing nitrates and maybe phosphates with the filter. Depending on the filter, there are many resins or pads that effectively remove nitrates. If you go with the smaller tank and go fishless, you will have very little bioload and nitrate issues at all.

2. softies don't need MH, but LED units may be your best option instead of a T5 light.

3. A 240gph PH should suffice. A second can be added later, but probably won't be needed.

4. As the bioload will be so low, a skimmer should not be needed at all. Even with 1 fish, a good filter should work.

5. Sand is a personal preference. You can go bare bottom or up to a 2-3" sand bed. Some snails like the sand and the crabs will cruise the sand as well. Personally I'd go 1.5-2" or so, enough to keep the critters (and maybe a goby) happy, but not so much to make it look like an ant farm (such a small tank).
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Old 09-20-2013, 05:46 PM   #3
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Welcome back to the SW community then.

1. as the bio activity will convert food to nitrates, you only need to worry about removing nitrates and maybe phosphates with the filter. Depending on the filter, there are many resins or pads that effectively remove nitrates. If you go with the smaller tank and go fishless, you will have very little bioload and nitrate issues at all.

Thank you for the reply! Can you elaborate more on this? What sort of pads? I am in a FW mind frame, and I need to make sure I get the right filter equipment
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Old 09-20-2013, 06:05 PM   #4
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De-nitrate or nitrazorb can be added to the filter in a fine mesh bag (avail at aquariums shops) and put right after the bio filter media (if you are going to have it) or mechanical filtration.
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