20 gallon long AIO nano reef

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by monkeybiz, May 3, 2013.

  1. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    Its been about three years since my last nano tank crashed when my rbta jumped into a power head and I've finally decided to setup another tank. I wanted to keep things somewhat simple hence the all in one. i bought a 20 long from petco on the $1/gallon sale but found a 20 long with badfishreefsystems aio kit installed for sale locally.


    -20 gallon long
    -120 watt full spectrum Chinese LED
    -badfishreefsystems AIO kit + overflow media rack
    -mj900 return
    -hydor flo deflector
    -tunze 6025 (to much flow)
    -koralia nano 240
    -30lbs of reef cleaners dry rock (used abut 20)
    -1 bag fiji pink sand
    -hob filter converted to refugium
    -eshopps psk-100h hob skimmer


    -blue yellow tail damsel (unless i can catch him)
    -tank raised ocellaris clown fish

    -DBTC hammer (neuro)
    -DBTC orange mushroom (bondolo)
    -DBTC green ployp toadstool (bondolo)
    -DBTC orange ricordea (bondolo)
    -DBTC pink and gold palys (denil)

    -green ployp toadstool (rescue from a crashed tank)
    -blurple zoas
    -sunny d zoas
    -bam bam zoas
    -white speckled green bubble tip anemone
    -green tipped purple hairy mushrooms

    i haven't decided on whether im going to use substrate or not. i like the idea of a bare bottom, but hate the idea of coraline all over the glass. if i do go with substrate i would definitely want something bigger in order to avoid sandstorms.

    here's some pics of the tank when i bought it...


    i had planned on stripping all the silicone off and re-doing everything, but just getting it off the main wall was much harder than i thought. so i left the silocone on the mini chambers there and only redid the silicone on the main wall.



    here it is on the diy stand that came with the tank


    here's some unboxing pics of the full spectrum dimmable made in china LED fixture




    since we might be moving soon, i decided to throw together a quick diy pvc light hangar. not pretty but it works.


    i am really impressed with the led lights so far. has two plugs with two channels that have their own dimmer switches. overall quality is great and the leds are extremely bright even at 25%. here's some stock photos that show the led color placements.

    Dimmer 1
    8 warm white
    8 neutral white
    6 cool white
    4 violet
    2 green
    2 red


    Dimmer 2
    17 royal blue
    8 blue 460nm


    and a couple pics of the all the lights on



    just waiting on the dry rocks to come in so that i can start cycling the tank.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2013
  2. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Looks great so far! I'm interested to see how you like that LED. I'm definitely a big fan of LED fixtures and went the DIY route myself.

    Just a warning with leaving the tank bottom bare...you are going to have to clean constantly to keep from having detritus on the bottom. My frag tank is bare bottom and I'll vacuum the bottom and by the next day there is detritus everywhere. It drives me nuts. I'm going to be adding live sand to my frag tank this weekend.
  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Just make sure there's lots of flow along the bottom and either detritus won't settle, or will form a little pile that is super easy to siphon out wherever the dead spot is.
  4. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    I think I'm just going to go with a bigger size substrate... I figure it'll be easier to remove substrate from a tank than it will be to add it.

    Any suggestions on which substrate to go with that won't get blown around by the tunze?
  5. mediumrare

    mediumrare Guest

    super coarse araonite or calcium reactor media :)
  6. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Just remember if you want to keep many of the wrasse family you will need a finer sand bed. A mix of finer and larger grain sands might be a good idea. If your not interested in that, then it isn't as important.

    Very cool setup. I look forward to seeing it turn into a little reef. Fun!
  7. tankguy

    tankguy BOD

    I like it
  8. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    so i decided to go with fiji pink sand. hopefully it works out.

    dry rocks from reefcleaners came in today. spent a good 3 hours playing around with different scapes. i wanted something open but also a layout that gave me room to place corals later. here's some pics


    scape 1


    scape 2


    scape 3




    i was leaning toward scape 3 since the outside rocks have flat surfaces for corals but looking back i like scape 2 as well. scape two also has more rock in the tank too...

    btw, can anyone spare some seed rock? ill hopefully be getting the tank wet sunday and starting the cycle.


    Alex Uribe likes this.
  9. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Always fun to play around with aquascaping.
    Perhaps try like scape 2, but with the right rock flat like scape 3.

    Tip : Tear up and crumple up a few balls of newspaper, and tape it to the rock.
    Helps visualize coral mounting.
  10. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    Thanks for tip.

    Hoping to get water in on Sunday, but I'm still looking to find some seed rock to help jump start it.
  11. Scapes #2 and #3 look a bit too "pre-meditated" to my eyes, probably because the rocks are spaced too evenly. Scape #1 seems more natural to me. Ultimately it comes down to what you want to see, so please don't let me deter you. :)

    Tropic Eden Reefflakes are sought after by many people because it doesn't get blown about, but I have no personal experience with it.

    If you need seeder rock, I am certain that you can find some locally within the club or through one of the sponsors. Where are you located?
  12. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    Hey, thanks for the opinion... A friend of mine said something similar. Said it was to symmetrical / planned. I did switch up slightly and will post some pics after it has water in it, leak testing it now.

    As for substrate i went with fiji pink.

    I'm located in Fremont and work in san jose.
  13. Symmetry! That was the word I was looking for. :bigsmile:

    Anyone close to Fremont/SJ that can help out with some seeder rock?
  14. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    I'll promise to give back after the cycle haha...
  15. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Brandie and I are in SJ and would offer but the rock we have is riddled with Aiptasia. =/

    When I get the frag tank set up, I'm planning on just jump-starting the cycle with the bacteria in a bottle (FritzZyme Turbo Start 900) to make sure I'm not introducing any pests.
  16. monkeybiz

    monkeybiz Guest

    I was wondering if that stuff work well. Anyone else have experience with it?

    My main goal in getting dry rock was going pest free but I guess that would have been for not if the seed rock I put in had pest
  17. tr1gger

    tr1gger Keyboard Cowboy

    I REALLY like that light! I am in the process of doing my 5G pico. I am doing a DIY light from rapidLED. Your light looks great :)
  18. CookieJar

    CookieJar Guest

    I like scape #2. you can also start a tank w/o live rock by using bacteria in a bottle, ensures no pests. It's somewhat common using no live rock, check out the display tank @ neptunes, not a piece of live rock. just throwing out this as an idea, it's worked well enough for me.
  19. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    With just dry rock and bottled bacteria, don't you just have to wait a bit longer before you start adding things to make sure there's a good population of bacteria established in the rocks? I think this method works great for keeping out pests, but I'd just take it extra slow at the beginning since you're building up the bacteria population from nothing.
  20. GDawson

    GDawson Guest

    Yes it is slow.... I'm doing that right now with my nano. It was filled on 4/13 and the nitrites are still off the scale.


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