My 20 Gallon Long Nano

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Aquarium Advice Regular
Apr 14, 2013
Calgary AB Canada
Started this tank January 2019. I’ve always loved following aquarium builds so I thought I’d post mine for people to enjoy.

I used to have a 72 gallon mixed reef and it took over my life and my wallet. I took a break after I sold it and decided to go the nano route with minimal equipment and keep it as budget friendly as possible. It has worked out surprisingly well.

Here is the tank today:


And here is how it started...


20 gallon long aquarium
My old Current USA light
Dry rock

I bought my cleanup crew off Kijiji from a guy who was shutting down his tank and he cave me his last two corals. I didn’t expect them to survive the end of my cycle but a year later and the chalice is thriving... the forest fire digi is still struggling


Once the cycle finished I added a black and white ocellaris clown and added another Current USA LED light. Added a few of the easiest corals I could find (gsp, Kenya trees, blue palys and some macro algae)


Added a sub-zero frostbite clownfish

Added a cleaner shrimp, some mushrooms, zoas, a blue candycane and a massive finger leather coral. The leather coral took so long to open up I thought for sure I had killed it. It would shed every few days until I found a spot it liked and now it rarely does




More coral, more rock

Added a royal gramma... turns out he had ich. He gave it to both my clowns then died. I set up a 10 gallon hospital tank for the clowns and put them through 2 months of hyposalinity and left the display fishless for 3 months.


My shrimp also decided he would start killing my mushrooms. It’s unbelievably irritating. I want to get rid of him but my husband likes him. He also killed the peppermint shrimp I added within a couple hours.


New Duncan

Fishless display tank but gave the corals time to really take off and grow


Clowns went back in the display. Can we talk about the finger leather?! I finally found a spot it likes


Tank as of last week. Still want to add another fish at some point especially now that I have a quarantine tank. Not sure what to get


New(ish) bubble tip anemone. Was worried my lights wouldn’t be sting enough but so far so good. I feed it regularly. Clowns show zero interest in it of course
Things are looking like they are going really well. What kind of shrimp is causing issues for your mushrooms?

It’s just a basic cleaner shrimp. He’s got a thing for mushrooms. He’ll stomp on them until they expel their guts and then pick at them until they shrivel up


Most likely he is trying to get bits and pieces of gunk that are resting in the shroom. These guys can be very aggressive with hunting for scraps, pulling food out of the mouths of coral and anemone. If it continues and the stress ends up being harmful to the corals you will have to rehome the shrimp.
Going to dig through this tonight looks cool though, I have 2 maroon clowns I need to get out and rehome, was thinking the same combo you had honestly. Do the clowns get along just the same, I know they are the same type just different morphs, but clowns seem picky.
Just got my clean up crew finished up, 5 nassarius, 2 astrea 2 turbos, and a couple hitchhiker limpet snail, as well as a single blue leg Cortez.
My goal was to do exactly what you’ve got going, cool that you have basically the exact same setup lol
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