My responsible Red Sea Reefer Nano

Discussion in 'Nano Reefs' started by petestewardson, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. petestewardson

    petestewardson Member

    Nov 17, 2017
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    My first tank thread on this site but thought it was worth having a go.

    So we have had a whole load of building work doen to our house and it's pretty much a full house renovation now. One room is a very small room, but going to be our home office. Both myself and my wife have to work from home on a semi regular basis.

    I got hold of a RSR Nano tank about 9 months ago and never had anywhere to put it. As I was building the office though I realised I may have enough room for the nano, and sure enough after measuring I realised it would fit. So the project was born.

    Here the tank is in it's new location.


    However that wasn't enough... I have added to the difficulty of the challenge. :rolleyes:

    Right... So now baring in mind the recent issues with bans for livestock capture and export, I've decided the tank is going to be as environmentally responsible as I think is possible.

    I will not be using LR in this tank. I will be using Real Reef rock. I've put together a scape using this now. I struggle with these, always have, trying to slot bits of rock together to make something cool.

    Anyway I bought a pile of Real Reef Rock that I couldn't make anything I liked out of and a tub of Microbe-Lift reef scape glue. So I did what any frustrated bloke does when his house has been a building site for a year, I got the hammer out :idea: I've never tried this before but as its a small tank I figured I'd give it a go.

    Sadly I'd managed to create a nice shape with a hammer and screwdriver when it then broke...

    So I tried glueing a couple of bits together, so 3 bits stuck together and came up with this.


    That spured me on as it started to look good. And in the end I came up with this.


    I've now also taken delivery of ATI Absolute Ocean as my 'salt' mix. This sounds like a great product that gets you up and running really quickly so will be interesting to see how it goes.

    I am going to be using Siporax in the sump to help with params. I've made a basket to fit in the sump between filter sock and skimmer


    The tank was always going to be started with small frags, and the intention is now that I 100% make sure they are frags from corals that are themselves not imported. I can start this from frags of my own main display for a few frags, as I only ever start with frags anyway and I know where they have come from. My LFS also gets in frags from a frag farm all the time so that's no problem.

    That's where the 'easy' part of this ends.

    Only accepting tank bred fish reduces the choice, a lot... So far after speaking to the LFS owner the choice doesn't extend much past Clownfish for a tank this size, although TMC ( a UK supplier ) seem to list a couple of gobies. He also said it's possible to get Orchid dottybacks, banngai cardinals, neon dottybacks, and flame angels. But none of these really jump out much either. I already have clowns in my main tank, but possibly a pair of Skunk Clowns is a maybe. I'm hoping to come up with sources of UK tank bred fish before I get to needing to buy those. The US seem a long way ahead of us on this so it would be good to see more in the UK.

    The move to tank bred I thought ruled out my favorite fish, the scooter blennies, however I am hearing there may be a way to order from ORA, via TMC in the UK. So I'll be looking into this firstly.

    Then the really difficult bit CUC...

    Other than possibly grabbing a few nassarius snails from my tank, and I have quite a few small ones that must have been born and raised in my tank, I'm struggling here. I can get tank bred peppermint shrimps! But peppermint shrimps are hardly the most exciting of things to have in the tank. So this point I'm really struggling to find sources for this. I have heard people say they have had other snails breed in thier tanks so I may try sourcing some form other reefers for at least some diversity.

    The other one is sand. I may have to relent on this one as not something I can source from anything other than the sea. Since sand comes from the ocean and deserts and not much else. Red Sea however promote the reef base as being environmentally responsible so this seems like the best choice.

    Anyway that's my update so far. :)
    grassy_noel likes this.

  2. 4FordFamily

    4FordFamily Tang, Angel, & Wrasse Addict Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Expert Contributor

    Feb 26, 2015
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    Carmel, Indiana
    I also have a Reefer nano, well @HotRockTarBaby has it now, but that’s a nice build! Thanks for sharing, keep us posted with your progress!

    I love Red Sea products, my 170 in the loft is a great setup as well!

    Right now it’s a coral and invert qt!

    DDBDBE5B-62F2-4012-9B67-3422C6B56456.jpeg 25EE954A-A25E-4D69-8242-AE5543847B4E.jpeg
    HotRocks likes this.
  3. grassy_noel

    grassy_noel Active Member

    Oct 26, 2017
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    Evanston, Illinois
    Hey Pete, I'm working on a very similar project. Mine is an IM Nuvo Fusion 20 and I'm going for an all captive-bred (or at least not first generation ocean-harvested livestock) system. You've hit the nail on the head with the tough spots.

    I used dry rock (CaribSea Life Rock) like you, and currently have just two captive-bred ocellaris clownfish from Sea and Reef in Maine. Fortunately, there are a number of gobies, blennies, basslets, cardinals, and other small fish being captive-bred now, so sourcing fish should not bee too much of an issue.

    I ended up with some CaribSea sand that I'm pretty sure came from the ocean, but I chose a type from Florida, assuming the US would have fairly strict regulations on harvesting sand from the sea, relative to SE Asian countries...not sure if this is actually true. Another option might be to look at Atlantic Reef Conservation (ARC) who mariculture both liverock and live sand. Basically, they're growing it in the ocean, but harvesting only from their designated, sustainable "plot" of seafloor. Not sure how you'd feel about this, but if I were to start my system over I would use both their liverock and sand.

    For cleanup crew, I've sourced captive-bred Cerith and Trochus snails from AlgaeBarn (mail order out of Colorado, known for their 'pods and macroalgae). I believe the snails are bred by ORA. As for crabs, I have totally struck out. I ended up purchasing 4 tiny hermit crabs from my LFS, which I know were wild-caught. I just came up short here. If you find any answer to this question, I'd love to hear it.

    Best of luck, I'm excited to see how this progresses, and it makes me want to go start a build thread that I've been too lazy to get around to...
  4. Tiger-Paws

    Tiger-Paws Active Member

    Jun 23, 2017
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    Dallas Area
    5 weeks ago I restarted my Red Sea Reefer after a serious problem forced me to drain and restart the reef tank (

    For this build I made several changes, I used 30 lbs of CaribSea Life Rock, Bahamas Oolite Arag-Alive Live Reef Sand, a Reef Octopus Classic 110SSS 5" Internal Space Saving Protein Skimmer and a Maxspect Ethereal 130w LED & ICV6 Controller, I have also added a 2 quart box of Marinepure Ceramic Biomedia 1 1⁄2” Spheres and an external 5 gallon ATO.

    Right now I an waiting for the cycle to get over with, as you can see from the images below, the tank is cloudy, this is obviously a bacterial bloom so all I can do now is wait.

    Cloudy day 35.jpg Cloudy day 35 image 2.jpg

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