Red sea max nano mixed reef


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This tank has been up and running since June 20th. Figured I would start a build thread.

Been keeping fish for 40 years. Mostly Freshwater. I've been out of the saltwater/reef side of the hobby for about 16 years. Been thinking about starting up a reef tank for a few years and decided to finally bite the bullet while visiting an LFS.

Found a good deal on a used Red sea max nano. The previous owner scratched the hell out of the glass. I decided to buy it regardless and figured if this goes well, I'll start a larger tank.

The tank came with a few extras. Hanna salinity meter, brand new hanna calcium, alkalinity and ULR phosphate checkers, refractometer, Tunze ATO, Trigger 5 gallon ATO tank, API saltwater and reef test kits, 25lbs of dry live rock,, and a few extra items. Calculating the cost of the extras, I paid about $250 for the tank, stand and

While traveling home after picking up the tank, I was notified that I won a coral giveaway that I had entered on Facebook. Why did I enter the giveaway if I didn't have a tank setup? I never win anything! Lol. I had planned on taking my time getting the tank going. So now I have to step things up a notch because I had to take delivery of the corals that week.

Stopped at petco and got a bag of caribsea pink fiji sand and a bottle of biospira on the way home. Got home, unloaded tank and started getting it set up. Ran out to a local reef shop and got 4lbs of cured live rock.

That Wednesday, the day before the corals arrived, I tested nitrate and phosphate. I forget what the nitrate reading was, but it was somewhere around 10-15ppm. Phosphate was around .25. Did a large water change.

Corals arrived Thursday afternoon. Corals won included: Red Acan colony of about 9 full heads and 3-4 small heads, hammer coral that was starting to split into 2 heads, rainbow incinerator and rainbow infusion zoas, purple goniopora, hairy mushroom, leopard mushroom and an ecletus mushroom.

While examining the tank I noticed a few polyps emerging on one of the pieces of live rock that I bought. Next day I saw more. Turns out that 1 of the pieces of live rock was encrusted with GSP that had died back and was now recovering. I separated that rock from the rest as I didn't want the GSP to take over the entire tank. I had planned on getting some GSP to put on the back glass, so I'll let it grow for a bit. Eventually I'll frag off a piece and attach it to the back glass.

Since then I have added quite a few other frags. Two young fancy Snowflake Clownfish were added around the 2 week mark.

I've been doing regular water changes every week. I was doing 10% wc's, but I had a diatom outbreak and the tank was starting to smell fishy. I started doing 5 gallon water changes and the algae went away. Nitrates have been kept at around 2.5ppm and with the help of phosban, phosphates have been under .05ppm. I use carbon and purigen in the filter as well.

I've been adding All for reef to manage alkalinity. I also add some red sea AB+ a couple times a week. Started dosing live phytoplankton daily and feed reef roids once or twice a week.

Water parameters have been pretty stable.
Alkalinity 8.7
Calcium 470
Magnesium 1400
Nitrate 2.5 has been lower
Phosphate .05 has been as low as .01
PH 8.2

Using instant ocean salt because it's cheap and seems to work well.

Most of the corals are doing great. Have a couple of zoas that aren't doing so well. Trying to bring them around.

Coraline algae is starting to show up on the dry rock and a few spots on the glass.

Current inhabitants:
Red Acan colony
2 head rainbow acan
14 types of zoas and a couple more on their way.
4 types of mushrooms
Purple goniopora and a red one on its way.
Teal pocilliopora (doing great) had for 2 weeks now.
A branching stylophora (doing great) 2 weeks
Rainbow montipora ( lost color and found a couple of montipora eating nudis on it) haven't seen any more nudis for over a week.
Have a couple of favia, monipora digitata and an Acan Echinata on the way.

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A couple of pics from today.


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Do you house a "Reef Safe" Angelfish in your reef tank?

  • YES and it's going good

    Votes: 194 40.7%
  • YES but it's not working out

    Votes: 13 2.7%
  • NO I have tried it in the past and it didn't work out

    Votes: 44 9.2%
  • NO I haven't tried yet

    Votes: 211 44.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 15 3.1%