Dennerle 60 (15 Gallon) - First attempt at reefing..

flyingscampi

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Hello all, I’d like to introduce my first effort at keeping a reef aquarium. I’ve only had previous experience with freshwater.

Back in the early 90’s, I wanted to setup a marine aquarium, so I bought a book called ‘The Book of the Marine Aquarium’ by Nick Dakin. I bought some rock and started building an aquascape, and after 30 years I finally have something I’m happy with… Only joking (sort of), what actually happened was that life just got in the way until a day last year when I was bored and pulled the Marine Aquarium book off the shelf, blew the dust off and started to read. After admiring the fashions and décor of the period, I thought I’d better poke around on the web for more up to date information and found Reef2Reef.

I’ve decided to start with a nano-reef for two reasons; I’m planning a big refurbishment of my living room in the next year or two and I’ll need to move the tank, and I also want to see if I enjoy the hobby before investing too much money. Anyway, I ended up buying this:

Dennerle NanoCube 60
38 x 38 x 43cm (15” x 15” x 17”)
51 Litres (15 U.S. Gallons) – (adjusted for displacement by rock etc.)

CaribSea Special Grade (Dry) 7 kg (15 lb)
CaribSea LifeRock (Dry) 7 kg (15 lb)
Tropic Marin Pro Reef Salt
RO/DI Water (TDS <= 1)

Kessil A80 Tuna Blue + Spectral X controller
Tunze nanostream 6040 + controller
EHEIM thermocontrol 75W
Eheim Ecco Pro 130 canister filter with foam, GAC & bio media
Tunze 3155 ATO with 25 litre reservoir

I know canister filters are frowned upon, but I got it off a friend for nothing and figured there is little difference to a HOB if you clean it once a week. If I struggle with nutrients, I’ll add a HOB skimmer or just perform larger water changes which won’t be an issue with a 60-litre aquarium.

I’ve cycled the aquarium for a month using Dr Tim’s ammonia and a bottle of ATM Colony. According to the Tropic Marin test kits, the Ammonia and Nitrite levels closely followed the classic curves and I’ve regularly dosed ammonia to feed the colonies. On day 23 diatoms started to appear, but that is all that has happened until today (day 32.)

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www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com

dhnguyen

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Is there enough room in the back for a HOB skimmer? If so I would recommend getting one. A skimmer will be a lot more beneficial than a canister filter in a reef. You CAN still use the canister but I would just use it for carbon and ditch the bio media.
 
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If you did attempt to breed fish in your aquariums, where would you start?

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