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Old 08-20-2011, 01:22 PM   #1
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Researching New Nano Tank!

Hello Everyone!

I'm experienced with freshwater tanks, and have decided to take the plunge for a small nano reef in my office! I can't wait!

I found a great deal on a 12 gallon JBJ Nano "Deluxe" tank and have been researching for the last couple of weeks on the best way to set up the environment. There is so much information out there it can certainly become overwhelming. A little help reviewing my plan would be greatly appreciated!

I would like to use Live sand as the base of the aquarium, and then add live rock for the structure within the tank. As I understand it, I can add the "Live" sand when I start the tank, and then should wait for the tank to cycle and stabilize prior to adding the rock.

After adding the live rock, I'd like to start with a few (As budget Permits) pieces of coral. Again, it is my understanding that I should allow for more time to allow for the tank to "Stabilize." The Nano tank supposedly comes with lights specific to saltwater tanks and equates to 4.5 watts per gallon along with the LED lights for nighttime. Are there any recommendations based on your experience on coral that might work in this situation?

Finally, I would like to add 2 to 3 fish, shrimp, snail, crabs etc. Recommendations on any good combinations? With the two to three fish, I was thinking 5 - 7 "Cleaners," and my son really wants a starfish! My daughter wants a "Nemo" fish (Sorry if that violates some unspoken etiquette... I'm new). Should I pair up the clown fish, or will they be O.K. if they have other tank mates. I was interested in a gobi and perhaps a third variety.

I am fortunate to have a very well rated fish store around the block from my home, so I plan on purchasing the balanced salt water and keep a stock on hand for water changes and topping off the tank.

My question, I suppose, is am I on the right track? What time frame should I expect between each step. I have read schools of thought that it could be a couple of days to a 60 day process to get the tank up and running.

I am patient and will enjoy the process, so I really want to do this the right way the first time. Finally, placement. I was planning on putting the tank by a window, which never receives direct sunlight, but receives indirect light. We live by the beach in So. California so heat should never be an issue because of the placement. Should I reconsider this placement? I do have a wall in the room where I can place the tank away from the window.

Again, a lot of questions from a newbie, so I certainly will appreciate your time and suggestions. Thanks so much and I'm really looking forward to becoming part of the community.

Best Regards,

Mike
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:35 PM   #2
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Cycling comes after you put in the rocks, I think. How to Cycle a Saltwater Fish Tank | eHow.com her is some information about that.

'Nemo' are called Ocellaris Clownfish.

I would move the tank to the wall.
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Old 08-20-2011, 01:52 PM   #3
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Welcome to the forum!!

yep, live rock is added when you first start your cycling process as die off from the live rock can produce ammonia to start your cycle. You can also get some base or dead rock as well as the live rock to save some money as base costs about 2.50 a lb versus up to $8 a lb for live. The live rock will seed the base rock after a few weeks and within a month or two you won't be able to tell the difference.

Clowns can be singular or in pairs, I prefer pairs myself Ihave regualr orange oscellaris (nemo) and and a pair of B&w's in another tank.

The tank you are looking at has enough light for most corals. FYI the watts per gallon rule doesnt necessarily apply, it;s more of a old wives tale if you ask me LOL

For basic corals and fish and their requirements you should check out this link:

Aquarium Fish: Tropical Freshwater Fish and Saltwater Fish for Home Aquariums. Thye list tank sizes, tempermenant, diet and other nifty pieces of information.

As far as starfish, I would for sure wait til your tank is established a few months. Some starfish are also not reef safe so do your homework before getting one.

Hope I covered someof your concerns, if not post away and the people here will be more than happy to help.

This is a great site with lots of people with decades of experience who are so helpful.

Good luck!
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:30 PM   #4
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Wow, two responses so soon! Thanks so much.

Carey, you mentioned using a combination of dead and live rock at the beginning of the tank cycle. I understand that the process of introducing the live rock and how it will create ammonia and begin the cycling of the tank. Will the initial spike in ammonia kill all the "Live Rock" that was initially introduced? Or will I need to introduce more live rock to seed, after the initial cycling?

If I use "Live Sand" as the base of the tank, should I expect it to be "Dead" sand after the cycling? Same thing, will I need to add more "Live" sand after that point or will the live rock also "Seed" the sand?

Thanks again for your patience and information.

Mike
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Old 08-20-2011, 02:46 PM   #5
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Live bagged sand is pretty much a dubious product and i personally wouldnt get it unless you like a specific color. Think about it, how live can the sand be in a bag? lol

The live rock will survive the ammonia spikes and the bacteria will grow stronger on it as well as the base rock.

On my first cycling attempt in sw I added ammonia to about 20ppm!! By mistake of course, but all it did was bleach out the coralline that was on the live rock. I also didn't use base rock my first go around, I didnt know how much cheaper it was lol

After you are cycled though theonly rock you can directly to the tank is dead rock. If you wanted to add more live rock after cycling you most likely would have a ammonia spike due to the live rock die off so it's best to get it all in there at once. You can after cycling add live rock if you keep it in a separate container heated and circulated for a few days to a few weeks to avoid any die off and then add it to the cycled tank.

Hope that all made sense, lol, sometimes my mind goes faster than my fingers can.
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:16 PM   #6
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Hey thanks again for the input. As I was thinking about the tank, I made a decision to see if I could exchange the 12gal for a 24gal nanocube. I guess it will all depend on whether it has already shipped.

Either way, I'm looking forward to the experience.

One last question (Maybe two or three) Carey, if you don't mind. I understand I put the sand and live rock in the tank all at once, add water and begin the cycle. So once the tank stabilizes, I'll be able to add coral, mushrooms, etc. I have read that some do not think a anemone should be added to smaller tanks, like a 12g. If I upgrade to the 24, do you think that adding one would be a problem?

Thanks again for your patience from the new guy.

Mike
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Old 08-22-2011, 06:46 PM   #7
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Though I'm sure you don't wanna hear this answer, I would say no. Typically you need an established tank for like a year and extra bright lights. Not sure which lighting you would be getting, so you might be shy in the light requirement. Why do you want a nem can I ask? If you want clowns to host, it not always happens. Mine didn't instead they hosted a coral and almost to death. depending on the nem it might easily outgrow your 24g even. I had one in a 29g straight tank and he eventually took over 1/3 of the tank which is part of the reason I gave him back.

I've been researching mini maxi nems for a few days, they don't grow as large by a any means but clowns aren't known to host them. But then again, clowns have hosted powerheads so you never know. lol

Glad I can be of some help, any questions feel free to ask away....lots of helpful and knowledgeable people here on this forum and no one ever makes you feel stupid for asking a question.
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