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Thread: Nano Reef on the Cheap

  1. #21
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    Also I decided on sand rather than crushed coral for a few reasons, mostly about how sensitive smaller tanks are to swings in bio filter, so I'm keeping the crushed coral for a larger project down the road. So far because of things that came with other tanks I bought in the past, I think my total budget has been under $50 out of pocket.

  2. #22
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    Not a super clear picture, but this is the base of the Corona bottle lamp that I am using for the skimmer. It has an adjustable output plus a lamp socket. The lamp socket may come in handy if I make some sort of algae scrubber in the future, and the adjustable output will help dial in that skimmer to exactly where I need it to be. It also has a check valve,
    so that's a bonus. Click here to enlarge

  3. #23
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    I know it's still early but I couldn't resist checking, zero ammonia. I'll wait a few more days and keep with the shrimp and ghost feeding to watch for the spike. I have a Marine Lab master kit but it was out of the ammonia test, so I dropped by 1 Fish 2 Fish and picked up a Red Sea ammonia kit.

  4. #24
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    Got some mature live rock in the tank today, I have at least one hitchhiker, a 3 inch purple bristleworm. I can't take a good shot with my camera, looks like a few snails too and they said I'm likely to get some starfish. I don't expect much to survive the inevitable ammonia spike but until then it's neat yet creepy to look at.

  5. #25
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    Finally getting some ammonia, it spiked to .8 today. I also have mini brittle starfish and now today some blue copepods are swimming around. I'm thinking of trying to keep the ammonia down with partial water changes to give thislife a fighting chance.

  6. #26
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    Here's a peculiarity with the layout of my home. The washer and dryer had at some point been in what is now a family room, before I purchased it. Rather than properly finish and hide the plumbing in the wall it wasall left hanging out. What does this mean? Easy water changes! I can stir up and sediment to get it suspended in the water, since the canister has no media in it the waste can go straight down the drain. It takes seconds to halt the water flow, disconnect the difuser and place the hose in the drain. I wish my orher tank was so easy!
    Click here to enlarge
    Also, I finally got my wood air stone so my skimmer is siliconed and complete.
    Click here to enlarge

    My water parameters have stabilised so I added a small group of hermits but I'll be returning them tomorrow. 1 Fish advertised them as blue legged hermits but what they have are thinstriped hermits, which get to an unsuitable size for a 20g tank. They were all hidden and I was looking at other fish when they were getting collected for me so I didn't notice until I got home.

  7. #27
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    Click here to enlarge
    And finally the skimmer installed and adjusted. I returned those thinstripes and replaced them with scarlets, they are less active but will stay a more appropriate size for my tank. It looks like most of the bristled nopeworms have died if not all of them in tbe initial ammonia spike but plenty of brittle starfish have toughed it out. I'm not sure of the copepod situation though.

  8. #28
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    With an almost certain move next year I decided to break down this tank, I'd like to consider the experiment a success. I don't remember the total price of the build, but it was dirt cheap through DIY, kijiji scrounging and bartering. I think for sure it was under $100 running.

    I think the only thing I would do differently would be a strong magnet rather than the suction cup for the skimmer. The problem with the suction cup was that it would get dirty and start to slide, causing it to over bubble. Other than that I had a blast with it. I don't know if I'll be anywhere close enough to get sea water like I have been, but I'll keep all the gear packed away just in case. I have a second 20 long on a shelf so I promised the kids that when we move they would each get a 20 long in their rooms.

  9. #29
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    Any pics of the finished product before the tear down? Would love to see it!
    ..` A woman needs a man like a fish needs a net. ..`

  10. #30
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    Click here to enlarge
    Here is the final layout prior to shutting it down, but no livestock left. My phone self destructed with lots of pictures that hadn't been backed up with all my clownfish and hermit pics. Not much different from the other pics but there are a couple of live rock pieces added to the ends. All that's left to do now is clean. I'm goung to put a 33 long on this stand for now, no big plans for that tank yet, like the 20 long I just like the shape. I may wait until I move to make a shallow Corydora tank, or a higher current river tank.

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