Philip's Nano Re-Build


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For better (it's done) or worse (there are a few scratches on the tank and a hole drilled in the wrong spot), my tank is back to saltwater after a brief hiatus as a planted tank. I'm going to do my best to keep this build limited to captive bred coral/fish/inverts and the tank was started using Marco Rocks instead of using real reef rock.

Initial Full Tank Shot:

I'm hoping I can edit this at a later date and update with a new image, but here's where it was a few weeks ago when cycling. There are now two small rock islands on the left hand side for zoas and lower light corals. I haven't taken a new picture because the skimmer is temporarily mounted in the display tank while I wait for Modular Marine to build the sump and ATO.


  • Tank: Aquamaxx 32 gallon rimless
  • Overflow: Modular Marine Nano Overflow
  • Sump: Modular Marine Custom Sump and ATO Reservoir
  • Skimmer: Tunze Comline DOC DC Protein Skimmer 9004
  • Light: AI Hydra 26 and Controller, Kessil A80 for refugium
  • ATO: Smart ATO Nano
  • Flow: Aquaillumination Nero 5
  • Zetlite WiFi Dosing Pump
  • Salt: Accurasea 1 for refills
  • ORA Yellowline Goby
  • Sea and Reef Davinci Clownfish
  • Sea and Reef Orchid Dottyback
  • Biota Blue Mandarin

SPS Corals:

  • Bubble Gum Digitata
  • Oregon Tort
  • Tyree Setosa
  • Rainbow Stylophora
  • Montipora Orenji
  • Tyree Aquetuburculata Capricornis
  • Cornbred's OMG Acro
  • Cornbred's Holy Grail Acro
  • Cornbred's Gold Digger Acro
  • Sunset Montipora

LPS Corals:
  • TBD

Soft Corals:
  • Eagle Eye Zoas
  • Sonic Flare Zoas
  • Gatorade Zoas
  • BBEB's Zoas
  • Bam Bam Zoas
  • Blow Pops Zoas
  • Red Hornet Zoas
  • Vivid's Rainbow Zoas
  • JPS Mystique Blue Zoas
  • Cornbred's Black Widow Hornets (in quarantine)

Clean Up Crew:
  • ORA Cerith Snails
  • ORA Trochus Snails
  • Blue Legged Hermits
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Supporting Member
I like the captive bred idea. Can't wait to see the tank full.
Yeah. It's a PIA to find captive bred snails though. There was a moment that I figured it just wasn't going to be possible, but finally found out that Algaebarn had some available. Thanks for the corals, BTW!

Its back alive! Welcome back.
Thanks! Good to see most everyone is still here...


Supporting Member
Ditched the scratched 18 gallon ADA for a sparkling new 32 gallon Aquamaxx tank from MarineDepot. It's generally the same dimensions except it's much deeper. I managed to drill all the holes in their proper spots this time (and for the record, they are the most perfect holes I've ever drilled!)

Sump and ATO reservoir are three weeks late, but I just got the shipping information, so they should be installed sometime next week.

New FTS:


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Great to see your progress. I’m the guy that took a good number of CRS shrimp off your hands for my kids’ planted tank. Shrimp and plants are still doing well.


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You could ask around the club for snails. I know I had thousands of Cerith snails I could have spared for anyone in need and there was another member that I got trochus snails from that had them reproducing in his tank. That would meet the captive bred requirements and be cool since they came from other club members. :)


Supporting Member
You could ask around the club for snails. I know I had thousands of Cerith snails I could have spared for anyone in need and there was another member that I got trochus snails from that had them reproducing in his tank. That would meet the captive bred requirements and be cool since they came from other club members. :)
This is a fantastic idea and I'll keep it in mind for future adds to the CUC!


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Little update: Moved the anemone from quaratine to the display tank. He seems to like where I set him and stayed in place overnight. Now let's see how long it takes for the clowns to find him...



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Always curious about those baby snails and how long they take to grow up to "regular sized" ones. You see the small ones, but unless you had no big ones in the tank as well you can't exactly peg when they get large unless you put like a fluorescent pink mark on them to keep track of a particular one :D


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Little tank update:

I had what seemed to be a blip of ammonia last weekend. Either caused by overfeeding or the zeolites becoming depleted in their ammonia storage capacity. I did a water change, added some bacteria, and removed all the zeolites and replaced with a smaller amount of new zeolites. That seems to have addressed the problem, but I think my Oregon Tort probably isn't going to pull through. All the other corals seem fine and holding color. Phosphates were up to .03, but are back down to zero using Hanna Ultra Low Phosphorous. Nitrates are in the 0-5 range. I'm using the "one part" alk/calcium from Tropic Marin. According to Randy Holmes-Farley, it can act as a carbon source, so I've discontinued dosing zeofood and zeostart to make sure I'm not overdosing on carbon sources. Hopefully phosphates will be detectable again soon.

IMG_5280.jpg IMG_5281.jpg IMG_5282.jpg

All the fish seem to be getting along except for the Yellowline Goby and the Orchid Dottyback. They are generally good together, but for whatever reason, the dottyback will occasionally catch a glimpse of the yellowline and chase him down. The yellowline is faster than the dottyback (or the dottyback is not really trying), so it's not usually a problem. I know I can't get either of them out, so it's just going to have to be the way things are. The mandarin is doing really well. I was a little worried she was going to get bullied by the dottyback too, but they seem to enjoy hanging out and the mandarin has moved into the cave that the dottyback seemed to be protecting as home base. The mandarin chows down on baby brine shrimp and decapsulated brine shrimp eggs. She's plumped up since being in the main tank and pods are holding steady with supplements from pod cultures on a weekly basis.

I seem to have some sort of white sponge growing in the dark areas of the tank and sump and underside of live rock. I noticed in the quaratine tank a few weeks ago and removed it. Anyone happen to know what it is?

I also noticed some white flatworms in the frag quarantine tank. I did a freshwater dip on everything (except coral and snails) and got most of them, but they came back. I don't see any bite marks on coral, so I'm guessing they are harmless. I haven't been able to identify them, but I'm going to dose flatworm exit in that tank to get rid of them. They are unsightly and I'd rather they didn't make it to my main tank.



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What pods are you culturing?
I'm culturing Tisbe pods. The adults live on surfaces like the live rocks where the mandarin can easily pick them off. The Tiger and Apocyclops pods tend to swim in the water column, so less useful for making sure the mandarin has something to snack on.


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I've been debating adding a controller for a while and decided to take the plunge and add one to my system. I experimented with something a little less robust (teffo controller) and it seemed to be more trouble than it was worth. This seems like overkill for a nano to me, but it will be nice to have a way to turn off all my pumps to feed without having to go into the cabinet. Also looking forward to heater controller and notifications. This is going to be a bit of a slow add. I also want to put my sump on sliders to make it easier to access and clean, so I'll probably be doing both about the same time so that I can reorganize cords and get everything back behind the sump.

Decided to go with GHL for a few reasons. The first being that everyone that uses one seems to rave about it. Second being that the controls and app seem simpler and need less programming and fussing. The final reason is that I'm looking ahead to replacing my light and considering the GHL Mitrax primarily because the light source is towards the outer edges of that fixture and I think it will help reduce some of the shadowing I get in my tank.