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Back at it again..


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Back at the hobby after a five year hiatus. I cleaned off the old NUVO 16 and some old equipment with it. I am relearning most of this so bare with me. 


Kessil A80 tuna blue 

Stock pump, upgraded media baskets (chemi pure elite, fluval spec biomax media, filter floss), spin streams

IM DC skimmer

IM mini media reactor running carbon atm, will change to some ROWA phos 

ecotech MP10

Before I got out I had some things still new in the box and put them to use.

Typhoon 5 RODI 

Reefkeeper lite with ph/temp probes

Tunze mini ATO

20 lbs dry rock and small sand bed

I started this tank the end of June. I have gone through the cycle process, but having issues with high nitrite and nitrates. I'll post a picture of my water perms as well (using API test kits).

Currently have a biota dwarf red spotted goby, 3 small hermit crabs, 2 astrea snails, 2 nassarius snails (haven't seen in awhile), 2 different mushrooms, trumpet, small unknown zoa colony, and some type of hammer coral.

I just did a 5 gallon water change on 8/11, should I do another?

I just noticed today there is some brown rust looking film on my ATO sensor.

Thanks in advance for any help!




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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm really interested in how your tank will progress and how you will be maintaining it.   I have been out of the hobby for years and I find that things have changed considerably - for the good.

Back in the old day, we would recommend that you only do a 10% water change max, per week if you are trying to control some sort of chemistry in your tank.   The theory back then was to take these things slowly.   This would mean that you'd change about 1.5 gallons per week.  Once the reef chemistry started to become stable and in the correct  ranges, this water change could be reduced to two weeks.   After the tank is very stable, this can be like a 10% every two weeks or a 20% per month.

I did this on my 100 gallon tank with great success.

It will be interesting what people say about the nano tanks.   I want to set set up a nano tank in the future too.

What do you think you'll have for live stock in the tank?   I'm mostly interested in large polyp corals like blastamusa (I know I'm spelling this wrong), maybe a small clam, and some zoa's.  I really don't want the invasive corals or the corals that have the long stinging tentacles.   I probably only want 2 smaller, healthy fish that are colorful and easy going.

Looking forward to others thoughts.


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The tank is doing great right now, even with the readings I got. I've been doing 5 gallon water changes every week. My nitrates were the only thing a bit high still, but the corals look great. The dwarf red spotted goby will come out and just perch before his hiding spot in the rock and watch. He prefers the Benepets I feed the corals over the mysis shrimp. I'll turn my mp10 off and wait for all the tigger pods to come out and he'll pick them off.

I had a 180g tank for a bit, had some corals in it, but mostly fish. I think with the nano you are watching your water chemistry closer since changes can happen faster. I had a heavy hand in feeding before, but have learned to watch how much I fed and will do every other day to feed. The last water test I did had nitrate lower, phosphate was low too. 

I have an order coming in for an LPS coral package and Swalesi basslet next week. I'll get some type of torch down the road, and those blastos look good too. By the end of the year I'll get a jawbreaker mushroom, those look sweet. 

How big of a nano were you thinking about? So many to choose from right now. I've been watching Waterbox channel on youtube, those don't cost a lot plus the staphire glass on them. Make sure you decide if you want a tank with a sump or AIO. 

Let me know what you decide on!

Thanks for the input and response.


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API tests are to be avoided if you want any level of confidence in your parameters. I wouldn't worry about nitrite. Chemist Randy Holmes-Farley has explained at length about how due to the chemical makeup of saltwater, nitrites has little impact on saltwater reefs. They will eventually go down on their own. The fact you have nitrates AND nitrites (if you actually do and there isn't done testing inconsistency) means you are in a mini cycle after having already cycled your tank.

The way you cycled your aquarium will play a role in where your nitrates are at. If you provided too large an ammonia source, you could see a spike in nitrates. There are numerous methods for nitrate reduction so you'll have to read up on that. Water changes, growing macro algae, and denitrifying bacteria are a few of the most common. I'd get a better nitrate test kit before doing anything else (although water changes are rarely a bad thing). Something like Hanna, Red Sea, or Salifert test kits.

Sent from my SM-G975U using Tapatalk

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Thanks for the response. I ordered a new test kit for nitrate and i'll be checking calcium/alk as well. Just did checked my parameters and everything is looking good. The nitrates did come down, but I do see how the api test kit isn't very precise. Still waiting on an order from aquariumcreationsonline.net, should let me know tomorrow when they will send my order out. I didn't realize how long the stalks on my zoas were, almost look like goniopora. 

Question, should I keep doing weekly water changes or stretch it out another week since my parameters are good? 


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