My first SW Nano Tank - (The Middle) - Updated 2/3/10 Page 3 - Piranha-Fury Forums

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My first SW Nano Tank - (The Middle) - Updated 2/3/10 Page 3

Posted 20 August 2009 - 10:40 AM (#1) User is offline   roccov12345 

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Well I decided to dive into my first sw nano tank. The tank is a 5.5 AGA that is currently in the process of being designed. My idea is no brain surgery. Basically a make shift refugium/sump/hideaway for wires/pumps.

Here's the plan: Basically fit a piece of acrylic from side to side / painted black with the cut outs below. One will be the in, which water will flow through maybe chaeto and LR rubble which will in turn be pumped back into the main tank via a power head. I like the idea of the back partition because I can hide all unsightly wires/pumps/heaters/etc.

What are your thoughts on the sketch. It's very rough so don't tare apart the minute details. Just to get an idea. I think the only problem I'd be facing is very limited space in the 5.5 viewing chamber after adding the partition wall. Maybe it would be better to partition a side rather than the whole length of the back. Or maybe just forget the wall entirely and just run a DIY HOB fuge.....

Attached Image: 5.5_Gallon_1.JPG

Attached Image: 5.5_Gallon_2.JPG

This post has been edited by roccov12345: 03 February 2010 - 01:21 PM

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 11:47 AM (#2) User is offline   notaverage 

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You say its in the process of being designed...so are you having it built?
If so why not go larger or deeper to make up for the space you loose with the refuge in the back?
It would also fix your "viewing chamber" and the more water the better the water quality I would think.
The side doesn't sound like it would look too good.
The DIY HOB refuge would be even better if you hang it on the back. They are damn expensive to buy...around $125 plus.

I like the design but what are the actual dimensions of a 5.5?
I've never seen one.
If you dont like it go on the internet and complain!

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 12:21 PM (#3) User is offline   roccov12345 

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View Postnotaverage, on Aug 20 2009, 12:47 PM, said:

You say its in the process of being designed...so are you having it built?
If so why not go larger or deeper to make up for the space you loose with the refuge in the back?
It would also fix your "viewing chamber" and the more water the better the water quality I would think.
The side doesn't sound like it would look too good.
The DIY HOB refuge would be even better if you hang it on the back. They are damn expensive to buy...around $125 plus.

I like the design but what are the actual dimensions of a 5.5?
I've never seen one.


I probably should of been a bit more specific. I'm going to build the wall and match up the filtration components, it's actually quite simple. The 5.5 is 17 x 9 x 11 which is quite small, but again, it's a nano. I would definitely go larger but 1) I'm trying to keep the cost down and 2) I just don't have the room. The tank will sit on my desk right next to the computer screen so it should be pretty neat.

If I did a HOB fuge, I would just gut a HOB filter and add necessary components. Maybe do away completely with all filtration and just let the LR take care of business.

This is where my idea came from. He used the side of the tank where I'd rather use the back to keep the length in check.

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5.5 is the tank on the left....
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Posted 20 August 2009 - 04:03 PM (#4) User is offline   sapir 

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they make tanks designed like your idea, it would probably be cheaper for you to find a used one like that and less hassle.
is 5.5 the biggest youre willing to go? because the 12 gallon nano cube is pretty sick imo and i seen them go for pretty cheap on craigslist and brand new ones on ebay

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Posted 20 August 2009 - 05:23 PM (#5) User is offline   Wide_Eyed_Wanderer 

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The design looks good roccov but I would shoot for a 10 or maybe a 15 gallon so you can have fish. Also what are you going to get for lighting?

Posted 20 August 2009 - 05:25 PM (#6) User is offline   Trigga 

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I would love that 5.5 gallon for a desktop tank... Gl with it man and keep us updated! Do a step by step thread if possible cause I would love to do something similar if I knew how.

Posted 21 August 2009 - 09:02 AM (#7) User is offline   roccov12345 

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View Postsapir, on Aug 20 2009, 05:03 PM, said:

they make tanks designed like your idea, it would probably be cheaper for you to find a used one like that and less hassle.
is 5.5 the biggest youre willing to go? because the 12 gallon nano cube is pretty sick imo and i seen them go for pretty cheap on craigslist and brand new ones on ebay


That was my original plan...Just to go with an all in one type of deal like the cubes, only problem is it doesn't fit on the desk which is the only spot I can put it. I'm going to fool around this weekend with the idea and see how tight the tank is with the partition. Plexi or acrylic is very easy to work with if you've never done so....
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Posted 21 August 2009 - 10:00 AM (#8) User is offline   roccov12345 

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View PostE-THUG, on Aug 20 2009, 06:23 PM, said:

The design looks good roccov but I would shoot for a 10 or maybe a 15 gallon so you can have fish. Also what are you going to get for lighting?


10 Gallon was my other alternative....But the light is where that sort of becomes a possible issue. I'm trying to keep cost down on this one (full time college student). The light that will be used for this is a 40 watt current satellite 50/50 10K/act with lunar light. It was fairly cheap. 50 bucks with the bulb, fixture, legs and shipping.

I think that should be ok for the 5.5 with softies and maybe even some corals but I'm not sure if it would work out on a 10. I don't know too much about it so your advice is welcome...

View PostTrigga, on Aug 20 2009, 06:25 PM, said:

I would love that 5.5 gallon for a desktop tank... Gl with it man and keep us updated! Do a step by step thread if possible cause I would love to do something similar if I knew how.


If I decide to go this route, I'll do a step by step DIY in case anyone else wants to tackle the project....

As of now, I have the 5.5 and a 10 gallon, one rio pump (can't remember the gph), a HOB filter, heater, dig. therm and a nano skimmer. If I get some time this weekend, I'm going to give it a shot....
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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:27 PM (#9) User is offline   Death in #'s 

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i love this 5g nano Posted Image
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Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:49 PM (#10) User is offline   Wide_Eyed_Wanderer 

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^ I don't he has 2 fish in there.

Posted 21 August 2009 - 04:52 PM (#11) User is offline   Death in #'s 

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View PostE-THUG, on Aug 21 2009, 05:49 PM, said:

^ I don't he has 2 fish in there.

the shape :p
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Posted 23 August 2009 - 10:58 PM (#12) User is offline   roccov12345 

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View PostE-THUG, on Aug 21 2009, 05:49 PM, said:

^ I don't he has 2 fish in there.



Hey E-Thug, what's with everybody hating on the "fish in sw nano" ordeal? I was on the nano-reef forums just earlier for the first time and I noticed everyone was pretty much saying the same thing. Is it because of the bio-load that puts on the tank or just because it's mean to pack two fish in such a confined space?
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Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:13 AM (#13) User is offline   Wide_Eyed_Wanderer 

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Its not cool for the fish to be in such a small space like a 5 gallon tank. I have a clown in a 10 gallon and I'm starting to feel like even this is too small and Im getting a 20 gallon within a few days. Plus roccov the evap in going to be a pain to deal with on your little 5 gallon since even a little evap on a tank that small can change the salinity drastically possibly effecting your livestock.

Your going to have to keep a close eye on it. Your probably going to need an ATo which is about 100 bucks I think.

Posted 24 August 2009 - 12:24 PM (#14) User is offline   His Majesty 

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the general rule with SW tanks is that the smaller the tank the more difficult it is to keep the params under control. it actually also takes as much effor to keep a nano as it would a 150g reef.
adding fish to such a alreayd small space is just cruel tp the fish and also adds to the bio load which in turn adds strain on the water quality. if you start loosing control it just kill the whole tank and be a big waster of fish and coral.
its not impossible, many people have beautiful nano tanks and make it look so easy, but there is alot of hard work
this is why many of the more experienced keepers suggest newbies start of with a medium sized tank as its easier to manage rather than going with a nano or pico tank.


but i do wish you al the best in setting it up. get it right and you will get so much joy out of the little tank and it will put a smile on your face everytime you see it

if you really do want a fish i suggest maybe a firefish or a goby. but realy nothing else will be comfortable in there.
best to keep it a coral and invert tank.

good luck. and please do keep us updated on your progress

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Posted 31 August 2009 - 09:59 AM (#15) User is offline   roccov12345 

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Makes sense re fish in such a small tank.

Anyway, I think I have most of the parts I need. Right now my equipment list is:

Aragonite Live Sand
40 Gallon HOB Filter
50 Watt Heater
Rio 800 Power Head
Current Satellite 40 watt 10K/14K
Nano Skimmer

All I need now is time...... I moved my 5.5 gallon from the desk, where the new nano sw tank will be, to the bottom of my 75g stand. Fits perfectly...

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Posted 02 September 2009 - 10:54 AM (#16) User is offline   SeedlessOne 

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You are putting your new SW Nano under your 75g stand?? Why?
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Posted 02 September 2009 - 02:01 PM (#17) User is offline   roccov12345 

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View PostSeedlessOne, on Sep 2 2009, 11:54 AM, said:

You are putting your new SW Nano under your 75g stand?? Why?



Nah thats my old FW planted tank under the stand... The sw will be on my desk...
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Posted 04 September 2009 - 02:13 PM (#18) User is offline   roccov12345 

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Finally got it going.....

I picked up about 5lbs of LR and LR Rubble from an LFS for 7.49 a lb. Yes it was a mistake  :nod:

I think I may pick up a few small pieces today. Doesn't seem like its enough....

Just water and mechanic parts. I removed the skimmer for now, just made too many bubbles plus I can't imagine that many organic materials being in the tank right now.

Attached Image: sw5.jpg

I was excited with this package...
Attached Image: sw4.jpg

Sorry the water is a little cloudy, the Sand was still settling...

Attached Image: SW1.jpg

Attached Image: sw3.jpg

Attached Image: sw2.jpg
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Posted 04 September 2009 - 03:41 PM (#19) User is offline   Wide_Eyed_Wanderer 

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Wow that is beautiful! Nice light and rock man, and btw skimmers take a few days to break in and work properly.

Posted 04 September 2009 - 04:00 PM (#20) User is offline   Winkyee 

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Very nice!

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