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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I've been an aquarist for more than a decade (on and off) and it's been a long while since I've been contemplating on setting up a salty tank... The multi-thousand $$$ dollar cost including electric bills kept me away from dipping my feet into salt waters. However after seeing those lovely nano tanks and the development of different light technology I was tempted to start my first ever salt water aquarium.

I have learnt that it is a very long process and takes a lot of patience, (I thought I was patient enough to keep a successful planted/discus tank) so I thought I would start small and accumulate as much as hardware as I could.... (Now my 57G rimless tank is in the brink of conversion into this project) .

I have started cycling my 20G tank with an old Coralife CF fixture, all I have is about 15lbs of dead rock, a heater and a couple of power heads. Initially I was thinking of starting a BB tank, but since I'm not putting any filtration I will shab and maybe start with a shallow sand bed or maybe a DSB when able. I'm planning to house a couple of Clowns and some softies as special request by my kids to awaken their interest in this hobby... I need to find allies just in case my wife veto my plans .

I would like to thank fellow BCA members that convinced me to take into the plunged. If you have comments and suggestions please feel free to do so, I'm a complete Green in this.

Hardware:

Tank: 20G Breeder Tank
Lighting: Coral Life Aqualight 65W x 2 Power Compact Florescent
Skimmer: None
Filter: AquaClear HOB filter, 15lb Rocks, Sand

Dosing: None
Salt: Reef Crystals (Instant Ocean)
WC: 10% Every Week
Photo Period: 12 hrs.

Livestock:

Fish: Ocellaris Clown, Bi-color Blenny
Inverts: Fire Red Shrimp, Hermit Cra
Corals: 1 Pulsing Xenia, 1 Hammer, 1 Frog Spawn, Hairy Mushrooms (1 Colony), Green Star Polyps, Zoas
Cleanup Crews: 4 Nerite snails, 4 Asterea snails, 1 Turbo Snail, 1 Red-legged Hermit Crab

Cost:
20G tank (old tank): $0 (I can get one for $20 brand new)
Light Fixture: $30 (used)
10lb Dead Rock (Marco): $60 (I could have done a DIY rock to reduce the cost)
Live Rock (to seed): $20 (From SeaHorse Fanatic)
HOB filter (old stuff): $0 (utiizing my old stuffs)
Powerhead (old stuff): $0 (get used ones maybe $5 from fellow members here)
Reef Crystal: $15
Fragspawn/hammer/
Pulsing Xenia/zoa: $20 (from fellow BCAer)
Fuzzy mushroom $25
GSP/zoa $20 (from Scott)
Cleanup crew $20 from J&L
Clown fish $20
Bi-color Blenny $17
Red Fire Shrimp $20

Day 1:



 

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I will be following this thread closely as i may do the same thing. looks good so far.
 
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Welcome to the Bright Side! You might want to get a few LR to help speed up the cycling process. I started my 2 SW tanks with half live and half dead rock.

AgoAdobeOtoCat:
I believe the OP meant dead rock cos he mentioned it in the 3rd paragraph... But you are right, he also listed 15lb of live rock under "Hardware"!?? Lol
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
It going to be a carpet full of corals. I can see it now. vibrant colours just like your fw. Glad to have you on board!
Tank looks good. Are those really live rock? Looks pearly white lol. And are those base rocks?

Sent from my SGH-I727R using Tapatalk 4 Beta
Thanks AdobeOtoCat & JTang.. Those are dead (Marco) rocks, soon the be live. I'm dropping by Anthony's place this weekend to seed it with some live rocks. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I will be following this thread closely as i may do the same thing. looks good so far.
You need to setup one Jamie, its totally fine with Elaine. She saw my post in FB :bigsmile: your boys will love it especially when they see a pair of Nemo in your tank. My boys are really excited, they were bugging me all the time as to when Nemo will swim in this tank :lol:

I'm sure that Red Sea Max tank in J&L will look nice in your living room ^_^ :wink:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I can't believe how fast this Live Rocks grow :lol:





Got some LR from Anthony, did a re-scape. I was surprised my scape looks like a rabbit lol maybe because of those 2 lovely rabbits at Anthony's backyard :bigsmile:
 

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Looking good so far! This is the toughest period of setting up a SW tank. Just be patient n don't rush it. I'm really bad with that but I'm sure you will do better than me. Oh n make sure u don't dump 20 hermits n 20 snails in there. IMO, you only need half, if not less. I never follow the 1/1gal rule. I think it does more bads than goods. But again that's just me... Have fun reefing! :)
 

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Ah yes, the bright side, I totally agree with John, don't over do the hermits and snails Not sure where 1 for every gallon came from, a sales person probably. Way over kill in my opinion as well. Happy reefing :cool:
 

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especially hermit crab. they will go after the snails every possible way for that next "million-dollar-house"
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Looking good so far! This is the toughest period of setting up a SW tank. Just be patient n don't rush it. I'm really bad with that but I'm sure you will do better than me. Oh n make sure u don't dump 20 hermits n 20 snails in there. IMO, you only need half, if not less. I never follow the 1/1gal rule. I think it does more bads than goods. But again that's just me... Have fun reefing! :)
Thanks for the tips John. I'll keep that in mind. I think I'm patient enough, it is cycling for more than 3 weeks now and I haven't added anything yet in spite of my kids bugging me almost everyday about the Clown Fish. :D

Ah yes, the bright side, I totally agree with John, don't over do the hermits and snails Not sure where 1 for every gallon came from, a sales person probably. Way over kill in my opinion as well. Happy reefing :cool:
Thanks The Guy. I think it's from a bookie salesman who never kept fish/snails before :bigsmile:

I remember when I first came here in VanCity and the sales guy in Petcetera won't sell me a gold fish because he said I can't have more than 2 fishes (Neon Tetras) in my 20G tank. :lol: I told him I raised 5 Red Bullheads in a 20G tank before and kept it forever without any issue until I got bored and moved to Aruana keeping. :bigsmile:

especially hermit crab. they will go after the snails every possible way for that next "million-dollar-house"
Thanks Frank for the heads up. Do you put extra shells for the hermits for them to move when they need bigger condos? :bigsmile:

I like the aquascaping. Very open and NO ROCKWALL!!! Yeah!!!
Thanks Anthony for the props and for providing me some live rock to seed my dead rocks. I made sure that the rocks don't not touch any glass so I can scrape all the four sides during cleanup. I had followed most of the aqua scaping design tips and tricks from different forums that I lurk into and came up with this "Rabbit Aquascape" :lol:

Thanks everyone for all your input, I'll continue to fire up some questions when I need a hand.

Happy Canada Day everyone, enjoy the rest of the long weekend.
 

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most reefers in cluding my self dont scrape the back wall mine full of coral line and barniculs even glued some zoos to it lol

i got 20 hermits 2 cleaner shrimp 2-3 turbos 1 comon reef snails 10-15 astra and an urchin all in my 29 gal bio cube
 

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My wife has been talking about us finally diving Into salt, been thinking abut it for years...anything that gets her to let me get more into fish, I'm all for lol... So like others, I will be watching this thread closely.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Durogity,

All I can say is go for it. All my family are excited having some Clown Fish and corals in our Living room. There are hobbyist who's able to raised corals and fish without spending a fortune. It's all up to you if you want to go on the expensive route. The key is patience, start small until you gather the necessary equipment for your dream setup. I have seen people who spent thousands of dollars and got over whelmed and struggled to keep up because of too much complication. But that's how I approach this, I still hope that I will be able to keep a successful Nano reef.

I think fragbox on one of his thread mentioned his golden rule on keeping nice corals... K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), and that's what I'm doing. So let's wait and see.
 

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Durogity, Crimper & other newbies or wannabe newbies,

As I've discussed with literally hundreds of other salties and newbies in the past, it is possible to do it less expensive if you are willing to put in more time and effort. If you go skimmerless &/or sumpless, for instance, its less money for equipment but you have to spend more time doing regular water changes. In a lot of cases, going KISS is successful as long as you are diligent about doing those regular water changes because it not only removes excess nutrient build-up but also adds in the trace minerals your corals need. You may still need to supplement with a good additive like Liquid Reactor but unless you go big &/or get heavily into high Calcium-requiring SPS (Small Polyp Stoney) corals, you won't need to invest in heavy-duty equipment like a Calcium Reactor or 2 part doser.

Good luck,

Anthony
 

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Durogity,

All I can say is go for it. All my family are excited having some Clown Fish and corals in our Living room. There are hobbyist who's able to raised corals and fish without spending a fortune. It's all up to you if you want to go on the expensive route. The key is patience, start small until you gather the necessary equipment for your dream setup. I have seen people who spent thousands of dollars and got over whelmed and struggled to keep up because of too much complication. But that's how I approach this, I still hope that I will be able to keep a successful Nano reef.

I think fragbox on one of his thread mentioned his golden rule on keeping nice corals... K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid), and that's what I'm doing. So let's wait and see.
"Simple" is my approach as well. Other than a sump and skimmers, my 120G reef setup is plain simple... and cheap! Lol. No fancy powerhead/wavemaker, controller (but bunch of timers), calcium reactor, LED lighting, or GFO? (or GTO?). :). So yeah, it can be done! Without a skimmer, especially on a nano tank, you really have to keep up with WC's. Assuming everything is happy and staying alive, you will be fine. Remove anything that is sick or dying from the system asap. Never attempt to "save" any dying corals in this type of setup or you will regret! I have learned my lesson the hard way....
 
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