Nano Tank by Walter Floresguerra, Marine Depot Staff

Reef Aquarium
Nano Reef TankI started my nano tank about a month ago. I bought a 12-gallon glass bowfront tank which now sits on my desk with all kinds of corals, three fish (a pair of Percula clowns and a yellow clown goby) and a cleaner shrimp. With the help of my fellow colleagues this is what I put together. For lighting I have a 10-inch Dual Satellite 2 x 18 Watt SunPaq with Lunar Light (no Fan). I am using an AquaC Remora hang-on protein skimmer with Maxi-Jet 1200 Pump. I also included a pre-skimmer box to skim the surface of the water. I wanted to make sure I was getting everything out. I also placed the Hydor EKIP 350 Thermofilter in there but I am using it without the removeable outer casing. I really didn’t need that type of filtration because the live rock I was placing in there was going to be my biological filtration, but I wanted a combination unit providing heat and flow and this did the job. As for circulation, at first I used a Maxi-Jet 1200 with the Hydor FLO Rotating Water Deflector, but that seemed to be too powerful for that little tank so with the suggestion of my fellow co-workers I downgraded to a Maxi-Jet 600 Powerhead. This worked out a lot better for the tank since it didn't blow around the 20 lbs of CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand.

Prior to filling the empty little tank, I attached the skimmer box to my tank using aquarium silicone glue and let it dry for a few hours. After the glue was dry, I started off placing the bag of live sand in the tank then I added my live rock from an established system. I think I may have used at least 20 lbs of live rock from Marine Depot Live. It was just a mixture of different types of rock, nothing special just some good ‘ol Live rock. I added the Hydor EKIP 350 Thermofilter (without the outer casing) to the left side and then proceeded to add the Maxi-Jet 600 Powerhead/MP 600 with the Hydor Flo to the right side for some serious wave action. I then started to add the water, slowly at first so not to disrupt the sand bed so much. Once the tank was filled I turned on the AquaC Remora with MaxiJet 1200 Pump, the Hydor EKIP 350 Thermofilter and the Maxi-Jet 600 Powerhead with the Hydor FLO Rotating Water Deflector, and then waited for the water to clear up. I set my heater at 72 degrees. Also at this time, I plugged in my lights because I was very anxious to see how my project looked. Then, I added Hydrocarbon 2 Granulated Activated Carbon to the right side chamber of the pre skimmer box. I did have a lot of micro bubbles in my little tank because everything was still so new.

After a week, I wanted to add fish so I tested for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates and was glad to see my levels were all at zero, but I still had concerns. I thought, "I have learned this hobby by trial and error, so what do I have to lose?" So after much discussion with my fellow co-workers we decided to add fish. Well I saw the little fish seemed to be very happy, so that led me to speak with Marine Depot Live to see what corals I could add to my Nano tank. All the tanks I had previously put together have been over 150 gallons, so this was new to me. I got a variety of suggestions, then decided which path I would take.

At this time the skimmer was doing a pretty good job in removing the dissolved organics in my Nano and my tank temperature was pretty stable. I decided to use the Hydor HYDROSET Electronic Thermostat with digital display. I know it’s a controller but I wanted accurate readings and I didn’t want to place one of those glass thermometers in the tank. I added in a small cleaner crew from Marine Depot Live and, slowly, life on the reef began in the little bow front on my desk. Currently, I only have small selections of corals and fish and I use additives weekly. Here is a list of what I am currently using and everything else:

  • Percula Clown
  • Clown Goby
  • Cleaner Shrimp
  • Combo Tank & Reef Cleaner
  • Red Mushroom
  • Green Fluorescent Mushroom
  • Yellow Polyp
  • Cultured Pulsing Xenia
  • Yellow Fiji Leather Coral
  • Frogspawn
  • Torch Coral
  • Candy Coral
  • Tongan Fighting Conch
Equipment: Filter Media/Substrate: