Aquarium & Tropical Fish Site
July '06

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607_Nano_Reef_Tank_1.jpg (45kb)

July '06 - Jorge Sanchez's 45 L Nano Reef Aquarium. (Mexico)

Everybody in the world wants a "Nemo" tank. Very few know what it really takes to have one, so unfortunately little Nemos are massacred by the thousands worldwide, by unprepared aquarists with totally inadequate setups. But for those who already have a good grasp on freshwater aquarium basics, it can be done at a surprisingly lower cost and lower maintenance level than you might expect. Here's a good example!

Owner:Jorge Sánchez Rodríguez, 25, from Cuernavaca Morelos, Mexico, 19 years of fishkeeping.
Setup:July 2005.
Dimensions:40x35x40 cm.
Volume: 45 L (nominal).
Filtration:8 kg of Fiji premium live rock that is the most important part of the filtration in this mini setup + built-in filtration system that has sponge for mechanical filtration, carbon, bioballs and ceramic rings. Runs with a 400 L/h powerhead.
Lighting:2x24 W JBJ compact fluorescent lamps (50/50).
Others:Timer which turns on the lights from 9 am to 9 pm.
Water:Temp 24°C or more, pH 8.0-8.2, Ca around 400 ppm.
Maintenance:Twice a month 5 liters water change, mechanical filter cleaning, addition of calcium, strontium, iodine and trace elements.
Fish:1 true percula, 1 sixline wrasse.
Invertebrates:1 sebae anemone (Heteractis crispa), 9 turbo snails and 6 hermit crabs.

I think this nano setup is great. Even though it has no live corals in it except mushrooms (because of the high summer temperatures of the region) it is awesome. The setup has been running for more than a year. The tank is a Nano-Cube Deluxe 12 G.
Sometimes people think running these kinds of setups is very hard, and I’m not going to say it’s a walk in the park, but the most important thing to achieve success is good quality live rock, this is because in these nano setups the live rock is your main source for biological filtration. This nano-tank is placed in the waiting area just outside my sister's Doctor's office, and it has become the main attraction in the building, especially for kids. We have to hear the words “Look mom, it's Nemo!” about 20 times a day but that's another story.
What I like about this setup is that is relatively low cost and, most of all, low maintenance. Every 2 weeks I change 5 liters of water with new salt water, I clean the mechanical filter, add calcium, stronium, iodine, trace elements and that’s it. About 25 minutes every two weeks, isn't that great? I recommend this setup for intermediate experienced to expert aquarists who don't have much space and want something real nice. I haven't had any problems with fishes, but again the trick is knowing which ones are good for such little space. My percula and wrasse are doing great and have been like this for 10 months. The H. crispa is not a problem at all either; I feed her with one dry krill shrimp every week.

If you'd like to submit an aquarium for Tank of the Month, just contact me.

607_Nano_Reef_Tank_2.jpg (45kb)
How about one of these in your office's waiting room?

Photos taken by Jorge Sanchez and displayed here with his permission.

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