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Discussion Starter #1
Hey guys, Currently have a 20 gallon FW set-up, but currently having some water issues. Before going further into it, was thinking about setting up a nano reef tank.

I kinda wanted to have a few local species, maybe some 2" silversides, maybe a few small blennies, and maybe 1 clown, and a few cardinals, like a benghai, or spotted. Also wanted the live sand, live rock, maybe 1 anemone, a few polyps, etc. You guys think this is possible in such a small tank?

It is a 20 Tall. I already have a HOB skimmer, from what I read, THE BEST HOB skimmer, have a 48" coralife, 4-tube lighting, 2 actinic and 2 10000K tubes, with 4 LED moon-lights. I know I can't use this for my aquarium, as its 48 inches, but could sell this to pay for a real high quality 24" light(cost $450 new, and has never been used).

Am I trying to cram too much into this size tank? Also have a 55, but my grumpy old landlord thinks it will break and flood the apartment so I have to deal with whatever I can do with my 20.
 

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I have a 22 that I am currently running, and to be honest I am enjoying this tank more than any other tank I have ever had, other 3 tanks were 55g, 120g, and 80g, I really like the simplicity of a nano, I just set up a 5g nano for my son over the weekend we will see how that goes. The 5g was setup for much less than $100 with all new equipment.
 

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I reread your post again, yes you are putting two much into that tank, think 1" per 5 gallons max. For your first nano I would ere on the side of 1" per 10g.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok, i didn't know it was such a small tolerance of fish for the tank. I could do this, and either get an anemone and a clown, or a small reef fish. HMMMMM.
 

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Yeah, that would be a bit overstocked. You could do blennies, the cardinals and a clown and plenty of CUC. Keep in mind with an anemone that they need REALLY stable water quality parameters, something that's a bit more difficult in non systems. If you get a nem, don't add it for at least three months; give your tank a chance to mature a little bit before you put something fragile like that into it. You'll have much better success that way. I'd highly recommend getting a shrimp/goby pair; they're really fun to watch and make a great species combination. Cardinals look great in small schools of 3-5 IMO and are great species for a tank like this, but with that number of them you couldn't add too much else. Most imoportant thing with nanos: don't skimp on water changes
 

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Discussion Starter #6
How big of water-changes can be expected? Right now I am using solely steam-distilled bottled water on my FW tank. The tap-water here is absolutely horrendous. It is extremely soft, tons of dissolved minerals. Do I go as far as to get a RO water-maker? Or is something like 10% every 2 weeks alright? I would entirely have a nice cycle period, and definitely wait before I were to introduce the anemone.

The skimmer is the AquaC Pro HOT.

You think that if I were doing polyps, an anemone, corals, that I should use a compact flourescent, or halyde?
 

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As far as WCs go, I have a 15g reef and do 20% water changes once a week. It probably doesn't "need" it that much, but it keeps the tank water perfect. If you do water changes often enough, it gets annoying to keep buying water for your tanks. I'd highly recommend buying a RO unit; it was by far the single best thing I ever bought to improve my tanks. $130 well spent IMO. Especially for a tank with a nem in it.

Most people who keep anemones have metal halide lighting; it's not always necessary, but definitely popular. And expensive. What types of corals are you thinking of keeping?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
See, that's just it, I have nothing in my head yet. I think there are TONS of awewsome looking anemones and corals. I would probably find something cool in my LFS then do tons of reading on it, to see if it were going to work well in my set-up. I really am a beginner when it comes to anemones, corals, etc. Don't know names, or anything.
 

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That's probably the best thing to do. Go to a good LFS, figure out what you like, and then learn as much about it as possible before you buy it. There are so many great corals out there; LPS (large polyp stony) corals are my favorite. I have a big green open brain coral that I just love and it looks amazing. My clowns like to play around in it, 'cause I don't have a nem.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
yeah, thanks for the advice about the LFS. I only have 1 good one anywhere near me, and it doesn't have a huge variety. But that changes every week. Every week they have an entirely different stock, so it may be hard to like something, then go back and get it. Some things stick around, but not many.

One store I went to has a lot of variety, and a LOT of nems, corals,etc. However, to see how dirty with corraline(I know it's a good algae, but still) just gives me the skivvies about buying from there. Also, all their stuff is tiny. NOTHING is much bigger than about the size of a chromus.
 
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