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Tom's 11.4 Reef Build

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With the move into a smaller apartment I will be downgrading my 40g cube SPS reef into a nano. After much deliberation I chose the Mr. Aqua 11.4 gallon, largely to fit to my lighting choice and keep the water volume at a reasonable size for a Tunze nano skimmer. My preliminary equipment list is as follows:

 

- 11.4 gallon Mr. Aqua tank, rear painted black with glassholes nano overflow and return drilled and installed.

- Stand: This piece of equipment has been a dilemma as Mr. Aqua does not produce a stand for this particular tank size. I'm exploring multiple options for a custom stand.

- Sump: Planning on ordering a custom sump from Lifereef with room for the skimmer and media bags.

- Lighting: AquaIllumination Sol Super Blue 12" unit.

- Skimmer: Tunze Nano Skimmer. I believe this will be sufficient to maintain water quality for SPS/clams.

- Flow: Vortech MP10. I'll be installing the wireless Ecosmart driver upgrade to my existing pump, has anyone done this? Is my money better spent waiting for the Profilux Vortech unit?

- ATO: Tunze Osmolator.

 

In the future I will be adding:

 

- GHL Profilux III EX controller. A Reefkeeper2 will be doing the job in the meantime.

- GHL Profilux dosing unit 3 for calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.

 

 

My hope is that with an LED unit vice metal halides I will eliminate the need for a chiller, but this remains to be seen. One choice I have not yet decided upon is the return pump. I'd like a decent amount of turnover, although not much is required as the Vortech will supplement. Additionally, I would like something energy efficient to minimize heat transfer. Recommendations anyone?

My stocking plans are largely for my existing corals which are still frag-size - Montipora and Acropora, with some LPS (Acans) on the sand bed, and probably 2 clams. I'd like a pair of black clowns in addition to my six-line. I'd like this tank to get as full as possible with SPS growth.

 

Suggestions and recommendations are welcome!

 

Cheers,

 

Tom

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I think the wireless option for the vortech is only if you are running more than one. You may want to check that out. Other than that it sounds good. Not sure about a sixline in such a small tank. I think a clown pair and maybe a small goby, or even just the clowns...

 

It would be cool to cover the back wall with encrusting montipora. What type of rock?

 

LASTLY, don't get the full ai unit. Get the nano version. It will be plenty for that size tank, and is less money.

Edited by BowieReefer84

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With the move into a smaller apartment I will be downgrading my 40g cube SPS reef into a nano. After much deliberation I chose the Mr. Aqua 11.4 gallon, largely to fit to my lighting choice and keep the water volume at a reasonable size for a Tunze nano skimmer. My preliminary equipment list is as follows:

 

- 11.4 gallon Mr. Aqua tank, rear painted black with glassholes nano overflow and return drilled and installed.

- Stand: This piece of equipment has been a dilemma as Mr. Aqua does not produce a stand for this particular tank size. I'm exploring multiple options for a custom stand.

- Sump: Planning on ordering a custom sump from Lifereef with room for the skimmer and media bags.

- Lighting: AquaIllumination Sol Super Blue 12" unit.

- Skimmer: Tunze Nano Skimmer. I believe this will be sufficient to maintain water quality for SPS/clams.

- Flow: Vortech MP10. I'll be installing the wireless Ecosmart driver upgrade to my existing pump, has anyone done this? Is my money better spent waiting for the Profilux Vortech unit?

- ATO: Tunze Osmolator.

 

In the future I will be adding:

 

- GHL Profilux III EX controller. A Reefkeeper2 will be doing the job in the meantime.

- GHL Profilux dosing unit 3 for calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium.

 

 

My hope is that with an LED unit vice metal halides I will eliminate the need for a chiller, but this remains to be seen. One choice I have not yet decided upon is the return pump. I'd like a decent amount of turnover, although not much is required as the Vortech will supplement. Additionally, I would like something energy efficient to minimize heat transfer. Recommendations anyone?

My stocking plans are largely for my existing corals which are still frag-size - Montipora and Acropora, with some LPS (Acans) on the sand bed, and probably 2 clams. I'd like a pair of black clowns in addition to my six-line. I'd like this tank to get as full as possible with SPS growth.

 

Suggestions and recommendations are welcome!

 

Cheers,

 

Tom

 

Sounds like a great setup! I think the nano sol would be fine for your purposes. Also, there's a member selling a 120 gallon setup with pretty much every profilux gadget...you should try to get him to part it out to you :)

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Good points on the Nano Sol. I considered this for some time and finally settled on the 12" unit. The reasons are that it gives me the potential to upgrade to a larger tank if I ever have the desire, and it enables me to cover the full 19" length of the tank hanging the unit lower, thus reducing the light spill (which I like to keep at a minimum). If I were setting up a Nano cube it would be no question for the Nano Sol, but the rectangle setup has me thinking otherwise.

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Good points on the Nano Sol. I considered this for some time and finally settled on the 12" unit. The reasons are that it gives me the potential to upgrade to a larger tank if I ever have the desire, and it enables me to cover the full 19" length of the tank hanging the unit lower, thus reducing the light spill (which I like to keep at a minimum). If I were setting up a Nano cube it would be no question for the Nano Sol, but the rectangle setup has me thinking otherwise.

 

I thought it was a cube.... nevermind me. Get a par meter, and acclimate. Hanging that low will bleach things in no time without turning it down.

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Good point as well....the good thing about the AI unit with the controller is that I can tune it down to 25-50% without having to adjust the height. My corals are now under a 250W 15k from 12-20" so I'll acclimatize accoringly.

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Time for a quick, photoless (apologies) update...

 

With the help of Jason (fry_school101) I was able to successfully drill the two holes for the Glass Holes overflow and return. I trial fitted the equipment and it looks very clean. Next steps are to 1) take and post pictures and 2) paint the rear black. What do you think, gloss black?

 

I've been debating back and forth on what substrate to use. I'm torn between CaribSea Bahama oolite and Fiji pink. I love the clean, sharp look of the white and the upwelling light, but I'll want a decent amount of flow in a small space for my Acros. I'm worried that with the MP10 running I'll be blowing sand all over the place if I go with the oolite. Does anyone have any experience with it?

 

Cheers

 

Tom

Edited by tpallas

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2) paint the rear black. What do you think, gloss black?

 

It really doesn't matter what paint sheen you go with, it'll look the same through the glass...flat, semi, gloss...whatever you have available.

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You can look at my thread, but I went with (I think) fiji pink sand which is very fine, and I have an mp10 on the tank that doesn't blow the sand around too bad. I played around with the settings on the mp10 for a while and started with it reaching a max of about 3/4 power, however now it never goes over a little under 1/2 power on the cycle that it's on. I find that speed to be perfect for the tank. Can't wait for pics!

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Hey Sam, your tank is looking great! I did get a bag a Fiji pink....but I do really like the sharpness of the white. I'll order a bag and set up the tank and see how it works. I'm sure it will take a week or two to clear out....

 

In the meantime, my camera is packed up from the move - trying to borrow a friend's this weekend.

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Finally got a camera - I had to borrow a friend's which is not high quality, so I apologize for that. However you can see the progress I have made so far.

 

Tank new in box:

 

Picture002-1.jpg

 

Picture005.jpg

 

Glass Holes Super Nano con Dientes:

 

Picture021.jpg

 

Holes drilled successfully:

 

Picture009.jpg

 

Overflow and return installed:

 

Picture024.jpg

 

Front view:

 

Picture031.jpg

 

Next step is to paint the background black.

 

Cheers

 

Tom

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Question on the protein skimmer....I am starting to re-think the Tunze Nano as I'll have more sump room for a bigger skimmer. Do you think an SWC 120 or a Vertex IN 80 would be a better choice?

 

Thanks!

 

Tom

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looking really nice. How heavy is your bioload going to be? I assume at most you'll have 1-2 small fish so I think the tunze nano would be fine. In a tank that small, I actually think regular 1-2 gallon water changes are going to be more effective then anything else.

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I'm thinking a pair of black clowns and maybe my 6-line. The rest will be a very small CUC, a clam or two and a bunch of SPS. I'm thinking this is a moderate to high load on the system and I may be better off going with the SWC 120 (which would also give me room to upgrade to a bigger tank). The water changes would help but I'd like to do them on a bi-weekly or even monthly basis as opposed to weekly due to work schedules....a bigger skimmer should give me some latitude here.

 

Cheers

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I'm thinking a pair of black clowns and maybe my 6-line. The rest will be a very small CUC, a clam or two and a bunch of SPS. I'm thinking this is a moderate to high load on the system and I may be better off going with the SWC 120 (which would also give me room to upgrade to a bigger tank). The water changes would help but I'd like to do them on a bi-weekly or even monthly basis as opposed to weekly due to work schedules....a bigger skimmer should give me some latitude here.

 

Cheers

 

True. what about a SRO 1000 SSS? That's a nice small footprint skimmer that would be fine even if you go up in tank size.

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That's a good recommendation - I'll definitely look into it!

 

On other fronts, got the tank painted. Next step is to permanently install the overflow and return and do a water test. I think I've settled on a Sicce Syncra return pump.

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Painting the background black...

 

Masking the edges:

 

DSCF0332.jpg

 

Off to an awkward start:

 

DSCF0333.jpg

 

Looking better:

 

DSCF0336.jpg

 

Completed with overflow and return trial installed:

 

DSCF0349.jpg

 

DSCF0351.jpg

 

Top-down look at the plumbing:

 

DSCF0346.jpg

 

And things are progressing....next steps are to permanently install the overflow and return, take some dimensions for the stand builder, and continue planning the equipment.

 

I put in an order today with MD for some Bahamas oolite - I think the white sugar sand will look great against the black background. I'm also moving solidly closer to ordering an SWC 120.

 

More to come...

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Well, I went ahead and ordered the SWC 120 today. I deliberated back and forth for a while between this and the Tunze Nano, but I'd rather go with something larger and overskim rather than tinker around the the Tunze and upgrade later.

 

I'm still vacillating back and forth between the AI Sol Blue or the AI Nano....I'd like to ensure that the full length of the tank (19") receives good light coverage for SPS. I'm afraid with the Nano I'll get more of a spotlight effect. I'm looking forward to it coming out and seeing the reviews....what are your thoughts???

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Looks great, I'd rather a skimmer that can do more than I need as well! I think you made the right choice.

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I bit the bullet today and ordered the AI Sol Blue and controller. In the end I think I'd rather have the extra capacity and option to upgrade with the Sol rather than the Nano.

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SWC 120 skimmer came in the mail today:

 

DSCF0355.jpg

 

DSCF0357.jpg

 

Here it is for size reference in the display tank. Sump design is definitely going to need to maximize space:

 

DSCF0359.jpg

 

Some other stuff that came as well:

 

DSCF0358.jpg

 

Cheers

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I used that sand, MAKE SURE YOU RINSE IT!!!!!! I didn't because the label said you didn't have to and sooooo regretted it.

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tank is looking really nice. whenever I see something like this it makes me tempted to set up a nano :)

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Sam - did you use the wet version or dry? I figured the wet would take a week or two to clear just through sponges in the sump. What was your experience like?

 

Thanks Roni! The real trick will come in to trimming the Acros just right....

Edited by tpallas

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