May '01 - Weeks 3&4 - TRīs 30 Liter Nano-Reef (Brazil)
Although the sizes are practically the same, this second featured tank in our Nano Reef series makes an interesting contrast with the first one. Set up by Brazilian hobbyist Thiago Rodrigo inside the Pet Shop where he works (Mondo Sommerso), this 6-month-old Nano relies on good filtration and careful monitoring & maintenance to produce the beautiful results seen in these pictures. It is important to realize here that such an approach is not for everyone...this tank has some very special priviledges, such as being overlooked 16 hours a day by knowledgeable staff, and instant access to virtually unlimited resources whenever necessary, such as fish changes, water tests, supplements, replacement parts, etc. This special priviledge has even allowed a clear overstocking to work (at least so far): it has 2 small Damsels, 2 small Apogons and a Clown. Listed below are the basic tank specifications and owner's comments, further details can be found at his website (in portuguese).
Setup Date: December 22, 2000.
Volume: 30 liters (8 gallons).
Lighting: Coralife 20.000 K, 25 W.
Equipment: Trio 2000 internal filter (with Siporax, Foam and Chemi-Pure carbon), Elite 800 air pump with airstone, Tronic 100 W heater.
Live Rock: About 4 kg.
Substrate: About 5 kg Halimede (decorative only).
Water Parameters (Typical values): Temp (28°C), pH (8.1), KH (8), NH4 (0), NO2 (0), NO3 (10 mg/L), PO4 (0.25 mg/L), Ca (420 mg/L), Mg (1320 mg/L).
Supplements: As needed.
Maintenance Routine: 10% water change once a week with natural sea water, syphoning once a month, carbon & foam change every 2 months, thorough water testing once a month.
Owner's Comments: To set up an aquarium like this, I recommend that the person have good experience in fishkeeping, or good assistence by someone who has such experience. Despite having made this experiment, I do not agree that it's recommendable to set up marine tanks with less than 200 L, not only for the size, but also for the dificulties. Do not think that there isn't a positive side though, or else I obviously wouldn't have tried it. Some of the positive points are: low cost, easy set up and installation, quick results (in 3 months you can already have the entire tank filled up with corals and fish), lower financial losses (if any). The negative points are: instability, cruelty (no marine animal should really be kept for long in such a small tank), lack of space (to put in any new findings after the tank is completed), necessary knowledge, and dependence. Due to the small volume, it's necessary to be always alert to changes, since they can be fast, especially with respect to the water evaporation factor, which deserves special attention because it can jeopardize the entire tank's stablility.
If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.
How many corals can you fit into a...
...30 Liter Nano Reef? Lots of them!
Photos taken by Thiago Rodrigo and displayed here with his permission.