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zatch's 20g apartment nano build

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by zatch, Jan 3, 2018.

  1. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    This is a thread I'm starting to chronicle my new 20gal Nano tank build!

    I have built several reef and planted nano tanks in the past, and now that I'm poised to reenter the hobby after a few years off, I want to build a nano tank that is:

    • Attractive/High Quality Appearance (going to be the focus of my living room)
    • Small >25gal (maximum allowed by my building -_-)
    • High Tech (to necessitate as low maintenance as possible - what drove me out of the hobby in the past!)

    I decided to go with the following setup:

    Innovative Marine NUVO Black 20 gallon aquarium
    Innovative Marine AQUA Gadget Hydrofill Ti reservoir
    Innovative Marine APS Cabinet Fusion 20 (black)

    Tunze Reefpack 250 (Comline DOC 9004 Skimmer / Comline Filter 3162)
    Chemipure Elite

    Kessil A160W-E Tuna Blue

    Digital Aquatics Reefkeeper Lite Kit
    Tunze Turbelle Nanostream 6015
    Eheim Jäger Heater 50w

    ThatFishPlace Tukani/Totoka Live Rock (20lb)
    Caribsea Fiji Pink (30lb)
  2. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    Ordered the Innovative Marine components from Marine Depot. Arrived extremely well packaged (inner box wrapped in a huge outer box filled with packing peanuts). Opted to go with the new APS aluminum cabinet because I could not find a suitable closed cabinet anywhere that fit the dimensions of the tank! It was expensive, but I pulled the trigger when Marine Depot had a flash sale...

    The stand is easy to put together (think IKEA/Lego instructions) and took about 20min.

    Applying the leveling mat to the tank

    Cabinet and Stand in Place

    The IM topoff reservoir. Kinda irritating that it is about 1/2" too big to fit correctly in the cabinet. It has to be inserted sideways to fit (which takes up most of the room and makes the drawer impractical)
  3. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    I use the Tunze Reef Pack 250 for filtration. Im not a huge fan of the AIO designs, and didn't want to loose so much tank space with the Nuvo 20 AIO - the Tunze option is a much smaller footprint and is 'rated' up to 60g. Also includes the Comline 9004 skimmer. I also liked the idea of the heater reservoir to keep the display tank clean. I found it for a crazy deal on clearance so I picked one up!

    The thing that irked me about this setup is the filter. Tunze and Marine Depot market it as accepting 'up to a 75w' Jager heater, however only a 50w will fit in the holder. 50w is a little small for a 20g tank, I am hoping that it will be fine otherwise I will have to look at another solution...

    Also, Tunze very poorly designed the heater reservoir in the first place - the water inlet for the heater compartment inside the filter is ABOVE the water line??? Which means that water doesn't have a way of exchanging the heater water with the rest of the water in the aquarium! It is a thin plastic sleeve that slides into the back, so I just drilled some holes through it to allow water to flow and actually come into contact with the heater -_-

    Also have the turbelle for water flow. All the Tunze magnets for the skimmer/filter/powerhead are VERY strong and top notch quality!

    For a controller, I went with a Reefkeeper Lite kit. I drilled it into the aluminum frame in the door and the pillar on the top of the inside of the cabinet.
  4. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    Purchased the live rock from ThatFishPlace because it was the cheapest decent real live rock I could find. The dry rock or manufactured rock seems to be the way most people go now - but I wasn't comfortable with the dry rock potential phosphate leeching problems or the fake look of the manufactured rock. I didn't want a ton of rock - I want a lot of open space in this tank.

    I was blown away with the quality of this rock from ThatFishPlace. I think I paid 80$ shipped for 16# 2day shipped - they sent me 22# of exactly what I asked for. Packaging was great (like live fish) and rock arrived in excellent condition. It has been cycling for about 3 weeks prior to this setup to clean out anything that may have still been on it (although it arrived well cured)!

    Sand is 30# Caribsea Fiji Pink. Rock and sand are in tank (I'm sure ill change around the rock work later) and it is currently cycling!
  5. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Looks awesome! I’m glad you got the real rock too. Good things will happen faster than with the dry stuff.

    What are you doing for lighting and RODI?
  6. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Great start! I really like the cobalt Aquatics neo therm heaters for their slim profile - great for nano tanks.
    What kind of stuff have you noticed with the live rock? Anything cool or unexpected?
  7. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    I have a small Aquatic Life 60gpd rodi I got on sale on amazon for like 40$!
    Have a Kessil 160 for lighting - but waiting for a missing mount part from
    Kessil before I can install it :(
  8. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    Yeah if this one is too underpowered, there are some spacers I can install on the filter box/skimmer and hide it behind them still...

    The rock is fantastic! Its obv been cycling in TFP tanks for some time before arriving. Some coloration but no die off or hitchhikers - very clean!
  9. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    Got the replacement arm adapter from Kessil and mounted the light. Great color/intensity/shimmer!
  10. BrianH

    BrianH Prawn M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    Looking good! What are your livestock plans?
  11. Haddonisreef

    Haddonisreef Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Oh the fun of new builds! Like @BrianH said plans for livestock?
  12. zatch

    zatch Copepod

    Tank is currently stocked with:

    2 ORA Blood Orange Clowns
    1 African Midas Blenny
    1 Ultra LTA (courtesy of Irishman)
    1 Fighting Conch
    Snails and such

    Tank is doing great and maintaining 0's despite the sizable bioload, however after purchasing a bunch of frags from some friends, I've come to realize it is undersized for what I want to do...

    Currently in process of setting up a 29+10 system that will replace it once setup and cycled. Will create a thread on that soon!

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