Nano reef 40 build Part 2

Nano reef 40 build Part 2

 

Following on from our first blog on building the Nano reef 40, we’ll look at supplements and extra additives we’re using to help with the success of the reef and why these supplements and additives are important.

What’s needed and why.

Corals are organisms that require a good balance of elements and nutrients which need to be balanced and consistent.

First of all, a buffer is what makes your aquarium tick. Natural seawater has a KH of 7, but as we’re looking at captivity and the smaller more unstable environment we personally at SomefinFishy recommend a KH of 9, this allows for fluctuations without issues. We’ve achieved this by dosing Tropical Marin Triple Buffer, adding it to any RO used for top-ups, and dosing directly to the setup if needs be as we have a couple of greedy corals within our setup. We check on our KH once a month with the Salifert KH testing kit to determine if any extra buffer is needed. On dosing RO, together with the KH buffer we also advise adding Tropical Marin Re Mineral Marine adding back any of the good elements which will have been lost in producing Reverse Osmosis water.

 What helps the health and growth of the corals?

To build their structure and keep healthy, corals rely on several elements from the periodic table, the most important being KH, Calcium & Magnesium. These can be bought individually with Trop Marin Calcium, Trop Marin Magnesium and the Trop Marin Triple Buffer as we've mentioned above. We used these products early on in the build to stabilize each element. Once this was done we moved onto an easier dosing method with all of what we needed in one bottle, using Trop Marin All For Reef. With the following testing kits, Salifert KHSalifert Calcium & Salifert Magnesium we worked out our dosages which worked best for our setup, looking to keep our levels at 450ppm Calcium, 1350ppm Magnesium and as mentioned above a reading of around 9+ on KH.

As an extra additive we also on our build use Tropic Marin Iodine, best dosed daily to the requirements on the bottle. We use 7-8 drops per week on our setup and find the benefits of extra growth and much stronger colors in our corals, so we highly recommend it.

 What’s not wanted!! 

Although Corals require many good elements that may need dosing, there’s also the bad. A few of these to mention in high levels are Silicates, Nitrates & Phosphates which are all the causes of problematic algae & Diatoms and at extreme levels can damage or kill livestock. Not all of these levels want to be completely diminished though. Using Deionised Reverse Osmosis water which can be bought at the store will not only get you off to a good start as it is completely stripped of all the above, but regular water changes to follow can help in diluting any build-up in the aquarium long-term.

On our Nano 40 build we use other methods to help reduce these levels as too many water changes frequently can alter all of your elements too often, which in turn can upset your livestock through a lack of consistency.

As our tank is now mature enough, its become its own eco system meaning our Nitrates don't rise as quickly. This is because our Corals and filtration are breaking them down just as quickly as they are being created. This allows for us to only displace water just enough to clean out the mechanical part of our filtration (Aqua Nano 40 Sponge) as if this is left to long, the waste caught can start to build up the nitrates rather than reduce them. The water change is only offered up to our build once every 5-6weeks so the only maintenance required is to algae wipe the glass and dose up with the supplements. In store we use the JBL Blanki, Scrub N clean algae pad and a toothbrush to keep the look of the aquarium sparkling clean.

For best results, if you wanted to follow our method we find Rowa Phos to work well on our build which keeps the phosphates at a good level, and though you don’t want these to be high a reasonable level would be no higher than 0.10 as phosphorus is introduced via food and we feed pretty heavily in store. Overdosing on the phosphate remover has no ill effects so we in-store add a full 100g in one go which treats up to 400L, this usually lasts us in-store up to 6 months and keeps our phosphates at a healthy level of around 0.02.

In our next blog on our Nano 40 build we'll be looking at Lighting, Filter media, converting the lid, and a few other odd bits.

Happy fish keeping :)

 

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