What is the best approach to keep nutrient low in a nano tank?

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What is the best approach to keep low nutrient level for nano tank?


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sotoreef

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Hi r2r, need some advice here.

Please suggest one best, efficient, suitable approach to keep nutrient level low for a nano tank (IM Nuvo 20)
The tank will be SPS dominated and skimmer less.

Refugium in the back chamber?
GFO in the back chamber?
Carbon dosing?

What is your suggestion? What are the pros and cons?
 

davidcalgary29

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Make it an invert tank and skip the fish!

If you cultivate halymenia, and wait six months for algae to grow, you might be able to keep a mandarin goby fed with the 'pod population; you'll then be able to eliminate most feedings (even if it accepts mysis). A goby/pistol shrimp pair wouldn't add much to your bioload, either.
 

MaxTremors

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I’m not a fan of running refugiums in back chambers (I also wouldn’t call that a refugium, it’s a macro algae scrubber), I’ve tried it a couple times, and it’s just less than ideal. If you want to run a refugium, I’d recommend getting a HoB refugium, I just got one, and I really like it. I’ve also used carbon dosing (currently do) and water changes (currently do) as the primary source of nutrient export. I’ve found that all three methods combined is best, but if you can only do one, I’d choose a refugium.
 
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sotoreef

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Make it an invert tank and skip the fish!

If you cultivate halymenia, and wait six months for algae to grow, you might be able to keep a mandarin goby fed with the 'pod population; you'll then be able to eliminate most feedings (even if it accepts mysis). A goby/pistol shrimp pair wouldn't add much to your bioload, either.
Interesting. By cultivate you mean in the same display tank or different tank?

Define "low"
I would say low is around 5 and 0.05 ppm for nitrate and phosphate respectively.
 
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sotoreef

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I’m not a fan of running refugiums in back chambers (I also wouldn’t call that a refugium, it’s a macro algae scrubber), I’ve tried it a couple times, and it’s just less than ideal. If you want to run a refugium, I’d recommend getting a HoB refugium, I just got one, and I really like it. I’ve also used carbon dosing (currently do) and water changes (currently do) as the primary source of nutrient export. I’ve found that all three methods combined is best, but if you can only do one, I’d choose a refugium.
Thanks for the idea. I am contemplating to make the back chambers as refugium because I feel the chambers is too small. Will think about the hob option. Its better to start with refugium first and start carbon dosing down the road, correct?
 

Starganderfish

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As others mention, a macro refugium in the AIO chamber won't be super-efficient and I'm skeptical it will be enough on its own. It will definitely help but not as much as a dedicated algae scrubber or a large fuge.
Personally, I'm going for a mixed approach in my Waterbox 20.
1) I have chaeto in the central back chamber lit with a Tunze eco chic fuge light, (I'm also adding phyto and pods etc to feed the fish and corals and the fuge in back helps as a safe space for the pods to grow. In theory this should help with organic wastes and nutrients),
2) I have a very small (Eshopps Nano) protein skimmer which can be dropped in if I need to clean things up quickly, and 3) I'm doing regular water changes. The water changes help both with nutrient export and with restoring minerals and additives to the tank and can help to reduce the need for dosing.

The biggest thing for me is the water changes, and the key is making that as easy as possible. I use an AutoAqua AWC unit, It handles auto top-off with RO/DI water and is also programmed to perform daily small water changes. I have a nearby drain so the waste hose is plumbed directly to that and I have a 30 litre container for fresh saltwater. I'm set to do a litre a day, which amounts to 10% a week and means my SW container will last for a month. My tanks lightly stocked currently but if I need to, I can easily adjust the AWC to do a larger water change every day. 2 litres a day will replace just shy of 4 gallons a week. Some go as high as 50% water changes with a very small tank but a 20 gallon should be able to sustain 10-20% as long as stocking isn't ridiculous.
 

Screwgunner

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I have a 125 and you are worried about water changes in a nano. 20% for me is 30 gallons your tank is only 4 gallons . I would start with 5 gallons every other week . Test your water before water change to see if you need more or less of a water change. Just my 2 cents.
 

davidcalgary29

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Interesting. By cultivate you mean in the same display tank or different tank?


I would say low is around 5 and 0.05 ppm for nitrate and phosphate respectively.
Halymenia is as attractive as many coral species and grows quite well under many conditions. It's certainly useful to assist with nutrient export, and can be kept in the display, unlike chaeto.
 

reefer_evo5

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I have this same IM fusion 20g tank. I run a small refugium in one of the back chambers with a intank media basket thats specifically for this tank as a small refugium. it seems to help with my nitrates that currenty sit at 5ppm. I also use the media basket that the tank came with using filter floss on the top part and a bag of chemipure blue rated for 35gallons. I run the IM UV sterlizer on this tank as well. And do a weekly water change of 3gallons a week and it seems to be keeping my parameters stable i test about once a week or once every 8 days.
 

90's reefer

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In my sps nano 20g cube I am doing 2g's once a month WC.
No skimmer or overflow sock/floss.
I do run 3 baskets with matrix in one and eheim substrate flow in the other 2.
WC is all I ise.
3 fish 2 bangai cardinals and 1 sixline. I feed them 3 times a day.
When nutrient levels rise I will increase WC to keep levels in check.
20220306_093308.jpg
 

damsels are not mean

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Best way to control nutrients is to grow stuff. Corals, algae, mangroves, etc. This is less wasteful (we put all this fish food in only to scrub out all the nutrients they provide?) and lets the system respond dynamically to nutrient supply. WC if you need to pick up slack.
 
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