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Evolutionz

Starting a 2x1.5x1.5ft nano tank.

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Hey guys, i have been reading lots of stuff recently regarding a nano tank and finally decided to start a thread today. i have been a lover of marine fish long time ago and has all the while been keeping freshwater fishes (planted tank) but previous attempt to set up one was always scrapped in the end due to being financially strapped cause im still a student. So recently i thought its time i let go my freshwater set up to dive into marine setup but still i intend to go on a budget. really need all the help i can get now to clear all my doubts. it will be at least 1 - 2 months more till i do a set up as exams are coming up and will only do so after it. meanwhile im starting to plan early to make sure i do not make any big mistake.. most of the equipments i'll be getting should be 2nd hand as well. the set up will have corals as well since they are the ones that attracted me so much. probably Zoas(my fav) mushrooms, GSP and some LSP corals?

here are my bunch of questions :

Tank size :

2x1.5x1.5ft (was thinking if a 2ft cube will be a better size..) 30 gallon tank.

Filtration :

i currently have a fluval Fx5 (2300l/hr) canister filter filled with biohome(red) and eheim Mech, running on my 4x2x2ft planted tank. can this be reused for my 2ft tank?

i know sump tank would be a better choice since i can put my skimmer there and also have more volume but is that really alot better than a canister filter?

Lighting :

LEDs seems to be the trend now for lighting.. but due to being on a budget i doubt i will go for LEDs. those high end ones that works well for marine are really expensive. i'll probably go for T5 or T5HO lighting. is 2x24watt or should i go for 4x24watt for the above mentioned corals?

Cooling :

I will be using fan to chill the tank down. i can achieve 27C easily on my 422 even on such hot days now. so i can probably expect 27 - 28C on a marine since it has more equipments running. is that cold enough for zoas, gsp and lsp corals? i know that chiller would be a much better choice but my parents rejected the idea due to the electricity bill and the heat expelled by the chiller.

Skimmer :

i read that bubble magus seems to be one of the better bang for the buck skimmer out there. and i also read that if i want to have a well stocked with both fishes and corals tank its better to go for a overated skimmer. so will BM NAC3+, NAC3.5 or NAC5A be a better choice? But that 3 skimmer will only be used if im going for sump tank, if not it will probably be BM NAC QQ for hang on inside tank. and what are the difference?

Wavemaker :

i have a sunsun 2000l/hr wavemaker. is this sufficient?

Substrate :

i noticed caribsea live sand seem to be a popular choice. will a thin layer be sufficient?

Salt mix :

Redsea salt seems to be popular. what is the most bang for the buck marine salt out there that is good enough for corals too? and is SG1.025 be the specific gravity i should aim for?

Nutrients addition:

is this needed if the salt is gonna provide those stuff like calcium, magnesium etc etc?

Live rock :

Where to buy good and cured live rock?

How many fishes and corals can i keep if i do 10 - 15% WC weekly?

That should be all for now.. i apologies for the long questions cause i cant find the exact answer to mine through searches and googling..

Thanks in advance!

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Hi bro,

Just to share my own experience on the following items:

Lighting, I used to use 2 x T5 for my zoas but that is not enough - they didnt do well. At least go for 4 tubes.

Cooling, I am also using cooling fan and the temperature is always around 28.3 to 28.6 and my zoas and GSP are doing well so far. Not sure about LPS.

Salt mix: I am using Redsea coral salt, looks good so far.

Live rocks: I recommend from ML. Henry has really nice shaped rocks. Almost every rock has its unique shape and curve to make your scaping look interesting :D His rocks are nicely covered with coraline and beneficial organisms.

Stocking: In general, if you have more corals, stock lesser fishes unless you have very efficient skimmers and ways to cut down on the nutrients. Because corals require occasional feeding to supplement their health.

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Hi bro,

Just to share my own experience on the following items:

Lighting, I used to use 2 x T5 for my zoas but that is not enough - they didnt do well. At least go for 4 tubes.

Cooling, I am also using cooling fan and the temperature is always around 28.3 to 28.6 and my zoas and GSP are doing well so far. Not sure about LPS.

Salt mix: I am using Redsea coral salt, looks good so far.

Live rocks: I recommend from ML. Henry has really nice shaped rocks. Almost every rock has its unique shape and curve to make your scaping look interesting :D His rocks are nicely covered with coraline and beneficial organisms.

Stocking: In general, if you have more corals, stock lesser fishes unless you have very efficient skimmers and ways to cut down on the nutrients. Because corals require occasional feeding to supplement their health.

you are using 24watts T5HO or normal T5? i wonder if theres other cheaper yet better alternative for salt mix? and i cant seem to find the answer if it is ok to use tap water +seachem prime(to remove chlorine/cholromine) for both initial set up and top up of water. or issit a must to use RO/DI water? because i doubt i am able to do so with RO/DI water.

ML stands for? marine life? where is this shop located?

Thanks alot for your reply clownfish forever!

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Why don't you consider a 2ft cube with IOS? I have that set up and I'm using a BM NAC 3.5 in one of my compartments :)

As for water, you can use Life Distilled water. You can get it at a good price from NTUC, 2x1.5 liters at $0.95, so one carton will be $5.50 :) and yup! LRs can get from marine life @ hong leong :) I got mine from henry too!

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Sounds good too if it's a 2ft cube with ios. Do you still have space for media like bio home? Ur ios at the side or back? As for distilled water. I do not drive so it's actually kinds hard for me to buy distilled water every week too. Able to pm me price of the LRs At ML? Do they sell corals and equipments too? Thanks!

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Thanks for the address. So tap water with seachem prime will be alright too?

yes, it is possible, am using it for my tank, but ro/di will be better :cheers:

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Sounds good too if it's a 2ft cube with ios. Do you still have space for media like bio home? Ur ios at the side or back? As for distilled water. I do not drive so it's actually kinds hard for me to buy distilled water every week too. Able to pm me price of the LRs At ML? Do they sell corals and equipments too? Thanks!

My IOS is at the back :) haha.. Well, you got two months, everyday slowly buy water home lor.. Haha.. I've pmed you! And yup! ML sells corals and equipments too!

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Hi Evo,

I'm no expert, but my current setup is quite similar to what you've planned.

So I thought of giving my 2 cents' input.

here are my bunch of questions :

Tank size :

"2x1.5x1.5ft (was thinking if a 2ft cube will be a better size..) 30 gallon tank."

My current setup is a 2x1.5x1.5, with an ios at the back.

I'm finding it quite squeezed now. Very limited with livestock selection and coral placements.

You may want to consider running a sump tank, or a 2 ft cube if using ios.

Filtration :

"i currently have a fluval Fx5 (2300l/hr) canister filter filled .....can this be reused for my 2ft tank?"

Yes.

"i know sump tank would be a better..... but is that really alot better than a canister filter?"

Resounding yes.

Lighting :

"LEDs seems to be the trend........ 2x24watt or should i go for 4x24watt for the above mentioned corals?"

2x24W HO T5 is good enough for soft corals for 2x1.5x1.5 (with ios - you won't have much space anyways). But use 4x24W if it's 2' cube.

I got a China brand Eshine LED set via a bulk order, and it only cost me and some bros here $75 per set of 10x3W LED. Running 2 of this, my zoas are loving it. Blooming big big.

Cooling :

"I will be using fan to chill the tank down. i can achieve 27C easily on my 422 even on such hot days now. so i can probably expect 27 - 28C..... but my parents rejected the idea due to the electricity bill and the heat expelled by the chiller."

If you can achieve 27-28 consistently, it'll be good enough.

Since you still live with your parents, their say counts double in the house...

Skimmer :

"i read that bubble magus seems to be one of..... so will BM NAC3+, NAC3.5 or NAC5A be a better choice? But that 3 skimmer will only be used if im going for sump tank, if not it will probably be BM NAC QQ for hang on inside tank. and what are the difference?"

You can use the 3+, 3.5 in a 6" ios.

Wavemaker :

"i have a sunsun 2000l/hr wavemaker. is this sufficient?"

Yes

Substrate :

"i noticed caribsea live sand seem to be a popular choice. will a thin layer be sufficient?"

At least 1" depth.

Salt mix :

"Redsea salt seems to be popular. what is the most bang for the buck marine salt out there that is good enough for corals too? and is SG1.025 be the specific gravity i should aim for?"

Redsea Coral Plus Salt. 1.025.

Nutrients addition:

"is this needed if the salt is gonna provide those stuff like calcium, magnesium etc etc?"

Yes. Your corals will consume these elements. So you'll need to replenish them.

Live rock :

"Where to buy good and cured live rock?"

Depends where's convenient to you. Since you don't drive, you wouldn't want to spend an additional $20-$25 on taxi commuting from the other side of the island.

"How many fishes and corals can i keep if i do 10 - 15% WC weekly?"

Stock up slowly. My 2-month tank currently has 4 little fish, 2 of them 1" long, the other 2 are 2" long, but slim types.

Lot's of patience and strong willpower required to resist the buying, bro.

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yes, it is possible, am using it for my tank, but ro/di will be better :cheers:

Thanks for clarifying bro, indeed it will be better but i dont have the luxury to enjoy that.

My IOS is at the back :) haha.. Well, you got two months, everyday slowly buy water home lor.. Haha.. I've pmed you! And yup! ML sells corals and equipments too!

Not much space at home to house cartons of water as well, my parents will kill me! hahah.. thanks bro shall visit ML some day.

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Thanks alot kaykay for your reply i appreciated it alot. most probably i will source for a 2ft cube with IOS, 2x1.5x1.5 ft with sump or 2x1.5x1.5ft and use my fluval fx5. looking for 2nd hand one though. as for the substrate, where is a good place to get the caribsea? ML? irwana? and do u mean redsea coral pro salt? can the lower range redsea salt do good for corals too? i have been reading up alot and it seems like one of the major factor people failed in nano is being unable to resist temptation to slowly stock the tank. i guess i will cycle the tank for 1 month and slowly month by month fishes and corals will go in...

Thanks once again to all that helped! :D

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Take a pail and grab some carbon and di resin, run a small pump. After a few days, tds will go quite low

i've read this part somewhere in this forum.. and im thinking of doing this if i run a IOS or my canister filter which means i have space inside my cabinet to house a 10g tank mainly used for water change and top up water. is the method result the same as RO/DI water or close enough?

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hey bro

my 2 cents worth:

1) go for 2 ft cube. The larger the better

2) ditch the cannister - go for sump.

3) get a good skimmer - drop Digibee a pm. he is selling his Skimz SM161. something you might want to consider.

4) 4 tubes of lighting

5) I use D&D salt. happy so far and no intention of changing

6) Get a chiller.

7) Get a DI unit. Those resin refillable ones.

The things above cost more for a start up but you will save more in the long run.

Good luck bro !

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Thanks alot kaykay for your reply i appreciated it alot. most probably i will source for a 2ft cube with IOS, 2x1.5x1.5 ft with sump or 2x1.5x1.5ft and use my fluval fx5. looking for 2nd hand one though. as for the substrate, where is a good place to get the caribsea? ML? irwana? and do u mean redsea coral pro salt? can the lower range redsea salt do good for corals too? i have been reading up alot and it seems like one of the major factor people failed in nano is being unable to resist temptation to slowly stock the tank. i guess i will cycle the tank for 1 month and slowly month by month fishes and corals will go in...

Thanks once again to all that helped! :D

can custom one at GO there... got my tank there, reasonable price too, but not very good siliconework

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hey bro

my 2 cents worth:

1) go for 2 ft cube. The larger the better

2) ditch the cannister - go for sump.

3) get a good skimmer - drop Digibee a pm. he is selling his Skimz SM161. something you might want to consider.

4) 4 tubes of lighting

5) I use D&D salt. happy so far and no intention of changing

6) Get a chiller.

7) Get a DI unit. Those resin refillable ones.

The things above cost more for a start up but you will save more in the long run.

Good luck bro !

Thanks bro for ur help, i'll probably go for a 2ft cube IOS set up. skimmer wise i think im going for a BM NAC 3.5. skimz over budget.. i would love for a chiller but parents opposed it. my home already got a Hexagon Alkaline water unit but i don't think that is a RO/DI unit.. so i'll probably run a carbon + resin method...

Another thing i read is that RO/DI unit removes stuff like nitrates and phosphate found in our tap water to reduce algae growth.. will carbon + resin remove them as well?

can custom one at GO there... got my tank there, reasonable price too, but not very good siliconework

custom tank usually more expensive.. i intend to camp at this forum's buy/sell place for a set up.

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Yes and no. Low grade carbon adds phosphates to water. Higer grades add much less. You can use di without ro. Ro and di both performs the same function, just differently. Di systems without ro needs to have their resins changed more frequently.

If 0 phosphate is a must, you can add in phosphate removing resins as well, usually not a necessity as di resins can do the job

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I can't access the link. Usually, this type of system is a di, ro/di or carbon/ceramic system (depending on cost).

Since you mentioned alkaline water, they usually have a stage where they add their special blend of concoction to make it taste weirder than usual. Most just add calcium ions

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Yes and no again, if you remove the alkali and mineral filter, you get a di system. For that price, I think I can get 5 ro/di 5 stages system.

If you really want to use, it is possible. Ask them for a complete lab analysis of their water. Look out for the heavy metal levels. Since they say alkaline water, you have to look out for the pH and alkalinity. In conclusion, for the price, risks and trouble involved, go get distilled water or ro/di filter

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Yes and no again, if you remove the alkali and mineral filter, you get a di system. For that price, I think I can get 5 ro/di 5 stages system.

If you really want to use, it is possible. Ask them for a complete lab analysis of their water. Look out for the heavy metal levels. Since they say alkaline water, you have to look out for the pH and alkalinity. In conclusion, for the price, risks and trouble involved, go get distilled water or ro/di filter

Actually this system is already installed in my home meant for consumption i just thought i can use this for my marine set up too. it seem too troublesome to make sure its usable.

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Disconnect the 2 cartridges and flush for a while and you get a standard di water. I am sure the di cartridge they are selling you will be more expensive than usual. It's not worth the extra cost?

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too much of a hassle to be honest. i'll probably go with the carbon + resin method..

Anyway, i guess 2ft cube + ios at the back seems to be the ideal choice. have decided redsea coral pro salt to be the salt i will be using.

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