Nano Reef Beginner

BGK1

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Hello all!

I have recently decided to phase out of my predatory freshwater fish hobby in hopes of starting a nano reef!
Unfortunately all of my aquarium knowledge is limited to freshwater, I was hoping that I could get answers from the best!
I just need a few tips and pointers on how to start one up, essentially I would like to know the following:

The best substrate
Lighting
filtration
hardware
corals
chemicals (if any)
cycling process (if any)
and I guess anything you feel inclined to share with me!

Thank you so much,
Justin
 

crazyforcordoras

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How many gallons/liters is this? Nano reefs are very hard to maintain.
 
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BGK1

BGK1

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I was hoping for 10-20 gallons,
I just read a lot of the FAQ's posted on nano reefs and it defintely seems challenging.
Which leads me to realizing I may need a lot more studying.
 

crazyforcordoras

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Yah, i had two ten gallons, took them down for a 36, they were too much maintenence.
 
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BGK1

BGK1

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Would you say that a 36 or even 40g are easier?
I have no problem with going bigger I just don't want to get back into the 75 and 100g tanks.
 

Aquascaper

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Think opposite to freshwater.....the bigger the tank the easier it is to maintain :)

Unlike freshwater, virtually everything in the tank is live so a small mistake in conditions can kill everything and you'd have to start again....the bigger the tank to more room for error as the larger water volume can help dilute problems.

I would suggest a good read online and make a list of what you want to keep and work from there. That way you can tailor your tank to the inhabitants rather than setting up a tank and realising you can't keep something you wanted. A lot of the equipment choices will be determined by what type of setup you go for and it's inhabitants so there is no real 'setup list' other than tank + saltwater + filtration + lights.

HTH
 

Xraymark

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Gallons confuse me. American, empirical LOL. I prefer litres. Your on the nano section so you don't want to go too big. Your original post is concerns a lot of detail. I would suggest pick a tank size and the read through some of the journals of that size. It will give you an idea of the management involved.
 

DrRob

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Think of 20gallon as an old 30 inch clearseal, and you have a fairly good benchmark for imagining nano sizes. So he's looking between a 30" on the top end and a fluval ebi/flora on the bottom end. Certainly doable, and potentially very beautiful, and a different challenge to the larger tanks. I've steered clear so far until I can get to a reliable maintenance programme more than once a week that I can't manage with work the way it is at the moment.
 
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BGK1

BGK1

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Thank you guys for the help!
I found the FAQ on nano reefs and that helped a lot also, I'm thinking of steering clear of the harder to manage corals and sticking to live rock and maybe some "less vibrant" corals.
Thank you!
 

Aquascaper

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Live rock, leather corals and mushroom corals are a great way to start as the are pretty easy to cater for and not too demanding on supplements and tolerate 'basic' lighting.

Be careful when stocking with fish, don't go to the max and the tank will be more forgiving. Also a good little tip I got when starting up was to always leave room for more Live Rock, you'll be surprised what freebies you'll find in the way of coral polyps on it and it's an excellent way to see what likes your tank before actually buying one :)
 

LeopardPerch

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Gallons confuse me. American, empirical LOL.
Really? Even In Canada we use US gallons 99% of the time. Cool

Buying a used medium sized aquarium off Craigslist is really easy, cheap and speeds up the process. But it does get one less than desirable equipment. I did it though to get in the reefing hobby.
 

xXLeafeonXx

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BGK1 said:
I was hoping for 10-20 gallons,
I just read a lot of the FAQ's posted on nano reefs and it defintely seems challenging.
Which leads me to realizing I may need a lot more studying.
Nano tanks aren't that hard,But I agree you need to do lots of studying.
 

plectastic

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Nah. They're not hard to maintain. Had my 50L running for a year now. Just always get good advice from LFS, the best salt pre mix, and put a bigger external on than you need loaded with live rock, Purigen, phosguard. Never had any problems.
 

DrRob

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This post was from a year ago. I suspect that whatever was being questioned has long been decided.
 
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