Aqua Nano build Part 3

Aqua Nano build Part 3

In part 3 of our nano build we will be looking at lighting, modifications to our lid and any extra equipment we have used on our Aqua Nano build in store!

Why are lights so important!

It may seem hard to believe but corals work together in a symbiotic relationship with algae. As the algae photosynthesizes from light it produces sugars. These sugars get used up as a food source by the corals which can take up to 99% of what’s produced from the algae for themselves. In return for the offering of food the coral can protect the algae from predation by allowing housing just under its transparent skin. The colour of the algae is then what makes your coral look so colourful.
This brings us on to why lighting is so important.
Buying a light for starters which is controllable is best advised as this way you won’t be running powerful lights on full spectrum for a lengthy amount of time making it easier to control unwanted algae growth, as well as feed your coral. We in store have used the Ai Prime 16HD together with the 12" Flex Arm Bracket which has 8 different colour spectrums. All the different colours when combined mimic UVA rays of the sun, in turn mimicking the corals natural environment.
With the Ai Prime, pre-sets can be found via Facebook groups and online forums with links to set your lights as others have theirs, linking up with other aquarists who have similar size aquariums or may be keeping similar species of corals and have shared their light schedule which has worked best for them. We in store believe setting the lights up to suit the needs of your own build is much better.
When setting up our lighting we started with high percentages on pretty much all colours. As the unwanted Algae started to grow we wiped it down with a Scrub 'N' Clean fine sponge, then lowered the percentages each day until we found a balance. Enough to keep the corals happy but not too much to allow the unwanted algae to return quickly. This then became our light setting and can be easily altered were anything in the reef build to change.

Why did we change the lid?

As we have distinguished photosynthesis through algae is an important part of a corals survival, but as algae is a plant form it is important to remember it still produces Co2. As this exchange occurs we have found it best to allow the exchange to breathe freely through the surface rather than getting trapped as condensation within a lid. Having an open topped aquarium also allows for more evaporation which is an important part as you will then regularly need to top up with RO water. Evaporation is the loss of only water from the aquarium so as your water level evaporates the salinity in the aquarium will rise. Using RO water dosed with Triple Buffer & Re Mineral Marine will mean your aquarium will frequently be getting dosed when diluting your salinity back down, reducing the need for regular water changes. This is providing you’ve built up your reef at this stage and are not producing lots of Nitrates.

If we are not using the lid, what are we using?

A reef tank can easily be kept without a lid on, this is all well and good but a lot of marine species are quiet fast moving and often over shoot the length of the aquarium with the speed in which they move, this is when you end up with jumpers. With wanting access for the tank to breathe but also making sure no livestock were to end up on the floor, we have used the D-D Jump guard 75 x 75cm. The jump guards are available in multiple sizes and as our tank is a 40cm cube we have opted for the 75x75cm which is the smallest available and as it is adjustable. The kit is fully adjustable to which we've chopped the guard down to fit neatly on top. Be sure to leave around an inch gap off the back over the filtration so the Ai bracket can still clip on.

All about additions

So on a whole for our Nano build, after the purchase of the aquarium which comes equipped with both its own filter and heater, we have used all the following additional equipment;-

Ai Prime 16HD Black
Ai Prime 12” Flex Arm
4kg Limpopo Sand
Around 10kg Carib Sea Purple Rock
2kg Alfa Grog
75x75cm D-D Jump Guard
API Saltwater Master Test Kit
Salifert KH Test Kit
Salifert Phosphate Test Kit
Salifert Magnesium Test Kit
Salifert Calcium Test kit
Trop Marin Refractometer
JBL Blanki
Scrub N Clean Algae Pad Small
Betta Glass Thermometer

The items listed below which have been used are on going purchases.

Trop Marin Pro Reef Sea Salt
Rowa Phos
All for Reef 
Iodine
Triple Buffer
Re-Mineral Marine
Seachem Reef Glue

As with any aquarium, this build for us has had its ups and downs, but is all part of the challenges of creating a nano eco system. Ultimately the journey has been very enjoyable and still is, with its ever changing look as the corals grow and spread, and the constant urge as a fish keeper to add new colourful, unusual, characteristic creatures to the collection, gathering new information along the way about how complex life is under water! 


Happy Reefing 😃

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