17g (70L) "Filterless" nano cube build.

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Uzair Aiman

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11/9/2022 ; Hi everyone. Starting off a new adventure with a new technique. Im building a cubic 16 inch tank starting from dry rock and sand. I will try my best to not use any MECHANICAL filtration (ie filter sponges etc) as much as possible (inspired by Dannys Aquarium from YouTube). The most I might do will be adding a carbon bag and/or a skimmer temporarily if things get out of hand.

I will be using:
-Microbacter7 for the cycling process
-Dry Rock
-Dry Sand
-Jebao/Jecod SW4 wavemaker
-RO/DI water
-Instant Ocean Salt (which will be at 1.025 salinity)
-Aqua Spectra Lights
-Bubble Magus QQ protein skimmer if needed

Stocking plans:
-Pair of clowns (designer or normals)
-Inverts (snails, crabs and maybe a sand star/urchin
-at most if I cannot control myself, I would really want to add a goby pistol shrimp pair

The cube tank will be filled with mixed corals SPS and LPS. Wish me luck in this journey!
I am also updating my progress in short YouTube videos soon.

Update pictures below!
1662883170415.png

The tank will be mounted on an Ikea Kallax by the window (I know it might be unwise to put a tank by a window but we'll see how it progresses near natural sunlight)

1662883209426.png

1662883241763.png

1662883292258.png

I did the rockscape with small dry rocks and superglued+epoxy-ied it together.

1662883304211.png

Another angle of the rockscape
1662883414063.png

In goes the sand!
1662883453738.png

Filled with water now.
1662883483374.png

Lights on! (for aesthetic purposes only. Will turn it off for the cycling process).
1662883517144.png

Now just need to wait for the water to clear up.

Then I'll does Microbacter7 and maybe throw in a dead shrimp to kickstart the cycling process!

Im thinking of naming this build something, any ideas would be nice!!

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you'll follow me through this journey.
 
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11/9/2022 ; Hi everyone. Starting off a new adventure with a new technique. Im building a cubic 16 inch tank starting from dry rock and sand. I will try my best to not use any MECHANICAL filtration (ie filter sponges etc) as much as possible (inspired by Dannys Aquarium from YouTube). The most I might do will be adding a carbon bag and/or a skimmer temporarily if things get out of hand.

I will be using:
-Microbacter7 for the cycling process
-Dry Rock
-Dry Sand
-Jebao/Jecod SW4 wavemaker
-RO/DI water
-Instant Ocean Salt (which will be at 1.025 salinity)
-Aqua Spectra Lights
-Bubble Magus QQ protein skimmer if needed

Stocking plans:
-Pair of clowns (designer or normals)
-Inverts (snails, crabs and maybe a sand star/urchin
-at most if I cannot control myself, I would really want to add a goby pistol shrimp pair

The cube tank will be filled with mixed corals SPS and LPS. Wish me luck in this journey!
I am also updating my progress in short YouTube videos soon.

Update pictures below!
1662883170415.png

The tank will be mounted on an Ikea Kallax by the window (I know it might be unwise to put a tank by a window but we'll see how it progresses near natural sunlight)

1662883209426.png

1662883241763.png

1662883292258.png

I did the rockscape with small dry rocks and superglued+epoxy-ied it together.

1662883304211.png

Another angle of the rockscape
1662883414063.png

In goes the sand!
1662883453738.png

Filled with water now.
1662883483374.png

Lights on! (for aesthetic purposes only. Will turn it off for the cycling process).
1662883517144.png

Now just need to wait for the water to clear up.

Then I'll does Microbacter7 and maybe throw in a dead shrimp to kickstart the cycling process!

Im thinking of naming this build something, any ideas would be nice!!

Thanks for reading. Hopefully you'll follow me through this journey.
The tank is looking nice so far!
Love the rock scape :)
Any plans on stocking?
 
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Uzair Aiman

Uzair Aiman

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The tank is looking nice so far!
Love the rock scape :)
Any plans on stocking?
Thanks alot! Took some time and wasted alot of rock hahah.
Ive already listed the stocking plans above though but if you missed it:-
-Pair of clowns (designer or normals)
-Inverts (snails, crabs and maybe a sand star/urchin
-at most if I cannot control myself, I would really want to add a goby pistol shrimp pair

No specific corals yet though.
 

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Following along, I’ve got something similar although I used a under gravel system to maximise sand filtration and reduce rock in the scape. Looking forward to see it develop
 

Nano sapiens

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Always fun to get something new started!

Since you are using dry rock/dry sand, what are your plans for introducing a diverse group of reef associated microbes into the system? Microbacter7 is fine for the startup cycling process, but a reef tank needs a wide diversity of reef associated microbes to function properly.

A reef aquarium receiving some direct sunlight has been done (usually larger systems utilizing a chiller), but it is tricky due to overheating and the promotion of algae (especially worrisome in a new unstable system). You might want to consider something like a black background covering the rear wall and a reflective coating behind that (something like aluminum foil) to reflect the light and heat away from the aquarium.
 
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Uzair Aiman

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Always fun to get something new started!

Since you are using dry rock/dry sand, what are your plans for introducing a diverse group of reef associated microbes into the system? Microbacter7 is fine for the startup cycling process, but a reef tank needs a wide diversity of reef associated microbes to function properly.

A reef aquarium receiving some direct sunlight has been done (usually larger systems utilizing a chiller), but it is tricky due to overheating and the promotion of algae (especially worrisome in a new unstable system). You might want to consider something like a black background covering the rear wall and a reflective coating behind that (something like aluminum foil) to reflect the light and heat away from the aquarium.
I think I will be adding pods in the future and some phytoplankton (if phyto helps), as I THINK those two are the only accessible "microbes" that I can find. I will add corals slowly one or two at a time and let them acclimate and hope some microbes hop on from my LFS and colonize (god forbid pests though).

Yes I know direct sunlight can grow unwanted algae. Ill try my best to cover the blinds behind them as much as possible for now. I like the aesthetic of the tank being clear all round it makes a sense of space. But if things get out hand, Ill add the backdrop to cover the back of the tank. I've an AC in my room which is kind of always on and Ive had tanks in this room hovering at a safe temperature (I already forgot the avg temperature but I'll check soon), where it doesnt fluctuate that much. But if things also get out of hand, I might think of relocating it since its small enough that I can move it easily. Because adding a chiller might be too much cost for me in terms of financial and also space in my tank and room.
 
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Uzair Aiman

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Tank update after several hours:
Dosed a capful of MB7, but tank still seems cloudy since I dont have any mech filtration. If it wont clear up for a few days I'll add a hang on back filter for a temporary mech filter jsut to remove floating dust. I've already rinsed the sand before adding it to the tank but it seems to still have dust in it since its fine sand.


I also turned of the flow to let the dust settle down on the bottom.
 
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Uzair Aiman

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I don't like that you have the tank by the window. This will interfere with you lighting schedule and may result in a constant algae battle.
Yea I get that. Thats my concern also as Nano sapiens did mention. But I'll try my best and see what I can do if things get out of hand
 

Nano sapiens

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I think I will be adding pods in the future and some phytoplankton (if phyto helps), as I THINK those two are the only accessible "microbes" that I can find. I will add corals slowly one or two at a time and let them acclimate and hope some microbes hop on from my LFS and colonize (god forbid pests though).

Microbes refers to those organisms (ex.: bacteria, archaea, etc.) that can only be seen via a microscope.

Your idea of populating the aquarium with microbes via frag plugs is okay, but it's a slow process to reach a point of tank stability. Do you have access to either a natural source like rock and/or sand from the ocean? Or do you know someone with a mature established and healthy reef aquarium that you can obtain some material (rock, sand even the water itself has many of the microbes). Getting a full compliment of microbes introduced as early as possible will considerably shorten the time it takes to stabilize the system's microbiome and will also create an environment more hospitable for those first corals that you will be adding. IME, getting the microbial community established as soon as possible is most important, especially so in a system that doesn't use filtration aids (microbes are needed to do the 'heavy lifting', so to speak for the many cycles such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphate).

An excellent study/experiment on the subject of dry rock vs. live rock:

https://www.reef2reef.com/ams/estab...obiome-in-a-new-aquarium-using-live-rock.742/
 
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Uzair Aiman

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Microbes refers to those organisms (ex.: bacteria, archaea, etc.) that can only be seen via a microscope.

Your idea of populating the aquarium with microbes via frag plugs is okay, but it's a slow process to reach a point of tank stability. Do you have access to either a natural source like rock and/or sand from the ocean? Or do you know someone with a mature established and healthy reef aquarium that you can obtain some material (rock, sand even the water itself has many of the microbes). Getting a full compliment of microbes introduced as early as possible will considerably shorten the time it takes to stabilize the system's microbiome and will also create an environment more hospitable for those first corals that you will be adding. IME, getting the microbial community established as soon as possible is most important, especially so in a system that doesn't use filtration aids (microbes are needed to do the 'heavy lifting', so to speak for the many cycles such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphate).
I've heard of the biome thing from BRS and I heard that they don't really recommend adding rocks from an external tank that is established. This is due to it also bringing pests into the tank. From what I understand, rushing things by adding the already mature rock from another tank can lead to disastrous effects. Are there are dosing products such as the MB7 that I can use which ensures pests do not get introduced?
 
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I've heard of the biome thing from BRS and I heard that they don't really recommend adding rocks from an external tank that is established. This is due to it also bringing pests into the tank. From what I understand, rushing things by adding the already mature rock from another tank can lead to disastrous effects. Are there are dosing products such as the MB7 that I can use which ensures pests do not get introduced?

One thing to remember is that BRS is a business, and as a business they want/need to sell you things (like bottled bacteria). Bottled bac is fine for a specific application, but in no way can supply or substitute for the hundreds of different genera and thousands of different species of microbes that inhabit a reef.

From what I see lately, this 'fear of pests' is getting overblown to the point where people are scared of adding anything that isn't produced by a company somewhere and has a short list of ingredients . That's not what a reef community is about...

A true reef aquarium is one that has a diverse assemblage of all kinds of animals. Yes, some animals can become pests and are undesirable from a reef keepers perspective and should be excluded if possible, and removed if already added, but most are harmless or even beneficial.

'Bottled bacteria' are a teeny tiny subset of the microbes that live in the reef environment (the vast majority of reef associated microbes can't even be produced in a lab). The ones you are adding with a bottle do a specific job (such as nitrogen cycling), but that's just a small part of the complex system that is a reef aquarium (or the much more complex natural reef).

Obtaining 'live' rock and sand from clean and known healthy sources has been done for decades. Those frag plugs you will be adding have just as much potential to add 'pests' (often more so because what we call pests are often specifically associated with their food source, coral in this case) than a few pieces of live rock or live sand.

So don't fear the biology, embrace it! :)
 
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Uzair Aiman

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One thing to remember is that BRS is a business, and as a business they want/need to sell you things (like bottled bacteria). Bottled bac is fine for a specific application, but in no way can supply or substitute for the hundreds of different genera and thousands of different species of microbes that inhabit a reef.

From what I see lately, this 'fear of pests' is getting overblown to the point where people are scared of adding anything that isn't produced by a company somewhere and has a short list of ingredients . That's not what a reef community is about...

A true reef aquarium is one that has a diverse assemblage of all kinds of animals. Yes, some animals can become pests and are undesirable from a reef keepers perspective and should be excluded if possible, and removed if already added, but most are harmless or even beneficial.

'Bottled bacteria' are a teeny tiny subset of the microbes that live in the reef environment (the vast majority of reef associated microbes can't even be produce in a lab). The ones you are adding with a bottle do a specific job (such as nitrogen cycling), but that's just a small part of the complex system that is a reef aquarium (or the much more complex natural reef).

Obtaining 'live' rock and sand from clean and known healthy sources has been done for decades. Those frag plugs you will be adding have just as much potential to add 'pests' (often more so because what we call pests are often specifically associated with their food source, coral in this case) than a few pieces of live rock or live sand.

So don't fear the biology, embrace it! :)
Since I'm working with a filterless reef tank and its also a nano, things could go down south really quick. But its worth a shot! I'll snoop around my LFS if they have any small live rock that they wish to throw away and throw it in my tank as a temporary seed to colonize my tank as soon as possible. Thanks for the new perspective and input!
 
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Uzair Aiman

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A blackout curtain on the window will solve the problem.
Yea but as you can see I have a few indoor plants beside the tank. Might rethink my placement for the plants or the tank if sunlight interferes too much with the balance of the tank
 
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Uzair Aiman

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12/9/22 ; 24 hour update!
1662997629950.png


The tank has cleared up 90% IMO, but theres film on top of the tank which I might have to think about in the future. its either I ignore it or find a solution to it. I added the ATO mechanism onto the tank for now to see if its enough to accomodate the evaporation. Since its a nano I wanted to try it out.

If the water doesnt clear up soon I will add a temporary hang on filter to clear it up more.
 

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Yea but as you can see I have a few indoor plants beside the tank. Might rethink my placement for the plants or the tank if sunlight interferes too much with the balance of the tank
Seeing how the tank is already filled, plant relocation seems to be the way to go.
 
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Yea but as you can see I have a few indoor plants beside the tank. Might rethink my placement for the plants or the tank if sunlight interferes too much with the balance of the tank
I used a Monstera deliciosa and a Peace lily to deal with sunlight hitting my old nano (I don’t have as much of an issue in my new nano). They really help a lot.

If you have any bulky plants with large leaves like what I used then you’ll most likely find a lot of good comes with them.
 
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Uzair Aiman

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I used a Monstera deliciosa and a Peace lily to deal with sunlight hitting my old nano (I don’t have as much of an issue in my new nano). They really help a lot.

If you have any bulky plants with large leaves like what I used then you’ll most likely find a lot of good comes with them.
Thats cool! Im planning to add a lucky bamboo to the bunch since people believe it brings good luck! If the plants do start to deteriorate due to lack of sunlight I'd opt for a less demanding plant and relocate these outdoors then. I've heard some plants can tolerate really low light. Like REALLY low hahah
 
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How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 38 38.8%
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  • Sump Divider

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  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 15 15.3%
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