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24G Nano Cube Or 20G Fluval Fw Tank


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#1 stevewood

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:44 PM

After 3 years of FW i've decided that the hours spent in LFS gazing at SW fish, Corals and Inverts is getting too much and I need to join the salty side. I've been reading articles on here for about 2 years on and off but can't decide which tank to go with.

I'll be starting of FOWLR and then moving on to adding lower light requiring corals.

So i'm stuck between using either my current FW tank - a Fluval Roma 90 (20g UK) with 2 x 15w tubes 600mm long, 350mm wide 450mm high

or the D-D 24g Nano Cube

I like the idea of an all in one set up (with some mods), but just wondered if my current tank set-up is an option, if not i'll ebay it as it's in mint condition. If I do decide to keep it do I need a sump/refugium?

Once i've decided what to do I'll be getting all the hardware over the next few weeks and then it'll be 'go time' with the cycling process.

#2 seffieuk

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:51 PM

:hi: Steve to the salty side

I wouldn't use either tank to be honest - try to get something that is 125 litres or above for your first salty tank :good: 20 gallons is very limiting stock wise and the more water you have the easier to keep stable. If you like 'all in ones', maybe go for the larger 28 gallon D&D or the orca 550 which is 26 gallons.

There are some great bargains around if you are happy to be patient and boy do youhave to be patient on the salty side

Seffie x

#3 steelhealr

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 08:57 PM

Honestly...the most flexible set up for a nano tank is a 20G long. Length gives room for aquascaping and the shallower depth allows better light penetration.

If you are looking for a challenge and have space issues, a nano reef is the way to go. If you are truly looking for a nice healthy marine tank that you can stock to the gills, the larger the tank the better. 75 or more for marine... a 200 gallon if you can do it.

As for the nano cube, hey....all the directions right here. LOLOL. :good:
http://www.fishforum...ano-reef-setup/

SH

#4 seffieuk

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:00 PM

Honestly...the most flexible set up for a nano tank is a 20G long. Length gives room for aquascaping and the shallower depth allows better light penetration.

SH


True, but stocking is very limited - bigger is better :good:

Seffie x

#5 steelhealr

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 09:02 PM

Well...we nano'ers will argue on that one seffie. Bigger may be better but it's how you do the tank. LOL. SH

#6 stevewood

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Posted 07 March 2010 - 10:03 PM

OK thanks for the advice.

Steelhealr, i've read your 24g Journal twice in the past month, it's pretty much been my bible.

In an ideal world i'd go for a larger tank, but nano is my only real option at the moment, so 24g or 28g max. We've got space for larger but it'd make things tight in the living room and the other half classes the 90 as big!!

#7 steelhealr

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 04:04 AM

The 24G has lasted me 5 years so far. It's a nice shaped tank. Needs some modding but none of which are really hard to do. The advantage of the 24G is that you can create sumps in the back chamber.

I just looked up the Fluval on the net. The lighting will be whoa-fully inadequate but that is not bad for starting out. Also. the depth is about ?18 inches which is the same as the NC.

Look at the dimensions of a 20G long:
30"L x 12"W x 12"H

See the difference? The Fluval 90 is:
23.6"L x 13.8"W x 17.7"H

SH

#8 Morri

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:23 AM

The one thing I would bear in mind albeit you may want to start out as a FOWLR in a 24G you will be limited to how much stock you can keep about 4 fish dependant on species, you soon will be looking at all the nice Corals and inverts to add to the tank so I would make sure which ever solution you have has a nice light solution like the 24G or Orca TL550 or you may end up shelling out more for new lights in the future :)

#9 steelhealr

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 01:56 PM

If you don't want SPS, you can keep almost any LPS in that tank and THAT gives great color. SH

#10 stevewood

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Posted 08 March 2010 - 08:07 PM

SH, with reference to your last comment do you mean the 24g Nano?

#11 jennybugs

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 08:35 AM

I think he does, yes.
steelhealr's nano tank diary was my bible too and I used many of his ideas on my first marine tank and all to great success. I have to echo the sentiments about the D-D 24 gal as I happily kept LPS and softies under the stock lighting and also successfully kept Montipora digitata in it too just by keeping an eye on my magnesium levels. Having said all that I wanted my tank to focus on the corals anyway rather than the fish and had small coral and rock based fish mainly with just a pair of clowns for the main water column :D
I loved the tank and only shut it down through lack of space when I upgraded to a larger tank.

Another thing to remember - once you buy your first coral you'll soon be hooked and yearning for more, so it makes sense to have a tank that has good lighting from the offset. The D-D power compact bulbs are superb imo :lol:

Edited by jennybugs, 11 March 2010 - 08:37 AM.


#12 stevewood

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Posted 11 March 2010 - 08:51 PM

Right, that's it, time to get this adventure underway. 24g D-D it is!

#13 steelhealr

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Posted 12 March 2010 - 12:03 AM

We'll be here to help you along. Good luck. :hyper: SH

#14 stevewood

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 07:48 PM

Slight change of plan, now getting a Juwel Rio 125 with T5 lighting. The wife has finally given approval for a bigger tank, wooo!

Hopefully picking it up tomorrow. The plan is to set it up as fowlr, running one koralia 1 powerhead, keeping the juwel powerhead and filter box for the heater and rowaphos/lr rubble area. I was thinking of putting the lr rubble in netting for easy removal.

Does the above sound ok? Would one coarse sponge help for detritus removal? Or should i remove the internal filter box, forget rowaphos and lr rubble and just rely on lr filtration and water changes?

What heater should i get? Not so sure about the jewel one's.

Shall i paint the rear of the tank or apply a plain background with vaseline?

Sorry for all the q's, there will be a few more i'm sure!

Forgot to add, i will be adding corals at a later date so i want to get the tank set up now, run it for 6 months and then add some softies.

Edited by stevewood, 19 March 2010 - 07:52 PM.


#15 stevewood

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Posted 19 March 2010 - 09:38 PM

pls delete, double post

Edited by stevewood, 19 March 2010 - 09:54 PM.


#16 seffieuk

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 11:34 AM

Slight change of plan, now getting a Juwel Rio 125 with T5 lighting. The wife has finally given approval for a bigger tank, wooo!

Hopefully picking it up tomorrow. The plan is to set it up as fowlr, running one koralia 1 powerhead, keeping the juwel powerhead and filter box for the heater and rowaphos/lr rubble area. I was thinking of putting the lr rubble in netting for easy removal.

Good plan - but you will want two powerheads - one either end

Does the above sound ok? Would one coarse sponge help for detritus removal? Or should i remove the internal filter box, forget rowaphos and lr rubble and just rely on lr filtration and water changes?

Don't use any sponges - it really is up to you, i would keep it

What heater should i get? Not so sure about the jewel one's.

Rena smart heater is my heater of choice

Shall i paint the rear of the tank or apply a plain background with vaseline?

Paint
Sorry for all the q's, there will be a few more i'm sure!

Never be sorry for asking questions

Forgot to add, i will be adding corals at a later date so i want to get the tank set up now, run it for 6 months and then add some softies.

:good: but you will not have to wait six months


Seffie x

#17 stevewood

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 02:29 PM

Thanks Seffie.

Would two Koralia nano's be ok? They're 900lph each. Giving me 15x turnover.

Regarding the internal filter box, i'm going to keep it in. As i won't be skimming or adding a sump it'll be a good space to have for lr/macro algae.

I've had to order the tank as they didn't have one in stock in the colour I liked, will be here thursday!

Made my first SW purchases today, a D-D refractometer and a 25 litre plastic tub with lid (ikea) which will sit under the tank for SW mixing.

As for RO, i'll be buying it for now. Once we build the garage/kitchen extension i'll set up a proper RO and SW 'factory'.

Not even thought about stocking yet, we both would like the obligatory pair of clowns, but the rest is yet to be decided. Realistically, with good maintenance and good lr filtration, how many fish will i be able to keep? Wifey gets carried away in the LFS pointing at everything, although i roughly know what we can't keep and the LFS is far too reputable to let me take fish away that they know I can't keep.

There's no going back now!

#18 Morri

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 03:47 PM

I would go for more like 20 -> 30 lph for circulation so maybe a K1 and a nano or 2 K1s

A few ideas on stocking TMC seem to have a few pairs of skunk clowns nice and small and really attractive in my eyes also seeing a lot of misbars

Percs stay small and are a good choice

Blennys are an excellent addtion bi-colours are nice flymo`s have great personalitys

Dartfish purple,Red and Helfrechi (if feeling flush)

pygmy angels some stunning options some can nip corals its a 50/50 chance if you get a nipper or not some times worth the risk for these fish

Goby`s are a good addtion and manyto choose from

Mandarins and Scooters are good fish but need extra care as they require plenty of copepods in the tank these can be brought and added these are needed even if the fish is eating frozen food

Damsels and dotty backs can be added but they are both known to be aggresive fish and will most probably upset your clowns

Tangs are a non starter tank needs to be 4 times bigger ;)

Some of the smaller wrasse will be fine but needs to be reaserched first

A few things to bear in mind add stock slowly to allow your LR to adapt to the load also try and avoid impulse buying fish as some LFS may not give you good advise I have seen to many nanos with unsuitable fish in them :(

#19 stevewood

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:37 PM

Thanks Morri, that gives me a great starting point and don't worry, no tangs will be entering my tank!

As LFS's go i've fell lucky with where I live as they're a multiple PFK retailer of the year winner. I'll still take their advice with the proverbial pinch of salt, but I do trust them somewhat. Their advice seems to tally with what I read on the net.

As for the water flow, i'll wait till the tank's here and then decide as to which combination, I forgot about the powerhead that comes with the tank, it's 600lph. So 2 Nano's plus that is 2400lph = 20x turnover.

Targets completed this week: Convince the wife to let me go Marine and upsize tank :D , bought Refractometer, sourced RO and bought mixing tub

Targets for this week: Pick up tank :D , do some more fish research, rehome my lovely cories at the LFS :-( , sell existing tank, test tank for leaks and then paint the rear.

On the painting, what type of paint works well for durability and ease of removal (if such a combo exists?)

#20 seffieuk

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:45 PM

Think you missed a Target for this week:

Keep wife very happy as this is an expensive hobby :P

Seffie x

#21 stevewood

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 04:55 PM

Lol!

She's not too bad with the expense, more the space that my hobbies take up!

I've invaded her understairs cupboard with a couple of mountain bikes and a telescope, and now i'm slowly taking over the living room with an ever-growing fishtank. 3 Years ago it was 25L, then 65L, then 90L and now 125L, spot the pattern?! Lol!

#22 seffieuk

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 05:05 PM

Indeed I do - i'm now at a 400 litre five footer :blink:

Seffie x

#23 stevewood

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Posted 20 March 2010 - 07:21 PM

Not sure i could fit that in my living room, 125 is about the max i want to push it, until we move!

Edited by stevewood, 20 March 2010 - 07:26 PM.


#24 stevewood

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Posted 24 March 2010 - 11:49 PM

Wooo, new tank arrives tomorrow. Old tank sold today on ebay, Cories rehomed.

Went to my other LFS tonight and was told i may regret not having a skimmer.

Can someone convince me that my plans sound ok, and if not, what could i do to improve system stability?

#25 Morri

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:58 AM

A skimmer is in my opionion always a good option as it should remove more waste than water changes but I have seen some very succesful tanks run without if you can squeeze one in go for it if you cannot then 20-25% water changes will work as well (Even with a skimmer 10% should be done weekly).

#26 stevewood

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 02:56 PM

I'm used to doing 20-25% weekly changes so that's no major problem. I'm hoping my internal filter box proves to be a good refugium.

Time will tell, i'm going to stock slowly and monitor the water closely so I should be ok.

Thanks

Steve

#27 simonas

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 01:20 PM

Hi Steve

good luck with the set up, has the tank arrived yet?

I used Ronseal Royal Blue tile paint 16 from b&q

I;m made up with result

Not sure how easy to remove though, I once used nitramorz to remove a painted back to a tank and it was a pretty crappy job but doable

#28 steelhealr

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 02:35 PM

Keep wife very happy as this is an expensive hobby



No comment.....
SH

#29 stevewood

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 07:05 PM

Right, been a busy lad so no updates, until now..

The tank arrived

Posted Image

Posted Image

Got myself a V2 Nano Skimmer so decided to play with housing options

Against the filter

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Against the filter side on

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And finally, in the filter box! Stealth style

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Perfect fit!

Next to paint the rear of the tank :crazy: dreaded this bit

The paint - B&Q Tile Paint to be applied with gloss roller

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Prep the tank

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And paint.....

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The finished product

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More to come

#30 stevewood

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Posted 01 April 2010 - 07:13 PM

Next step, the egg crate.....

I was advised to raise it up so my critters can get in amongst it - Any thoughts?

Cutting the egg crate

Posted Image

How to raise it......?

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'Feet' slide in to the egg crate, no adhesive required...

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The end result

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And finally, after carting 100L of RO from my LFS and getting 6.6kg of D-D H2Ocean Salt

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How much salt goes in to saltwater!!!!!!! Next time I go snorkelling i'm keeping my mouth firmly shut!!

That's it for now, got the tank mixing with my 600LPH jewel pump, 1450LPH Newave Powerhead and a Koralia Nano - the new version which puts out 1600LPH.

Just as a side note, out of the two the Newave is much quieter so far, although i've read that the Koralia's quieten down.

Going away for 5 days now, the tank will be left on tickover - no lights, just one pump running. When I return it'll be Liverock time! Possibly the bit i'm looking forward to the most!!



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