MikeR's Nano Advice appreciated

Discussion in 'Beginner Discussions' started by MikeR, 29 Jan 2009.

  1. MikeR

    MikeR

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    Hello all,

    Due to budget and space constraints I have settled on the Boyu 550 to start with. I know bigger would ve been better but you gotta work with what you can.

    Anyway so due to pick it up from Lanzo Friday afternoon, abd i thought maybe in the meanwhile you guys could let me have all possible advice- im sure the more the better..

    Particular questions:
    1 what mods if any should i do to the tank?
    2 What test kits do you advise- make/brand etc
    3 any hints during setup of the tank
    4 Anyone know the best place around jhb to get water containers for the ro water
    5 any peripheral things i should keep in mind?
    6 any other advice info.


    Thanks in advance, sorry for the hassle I relaise this must be your millionth post like this.
    Mike
     
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  3. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Hi Mike, there are a couple of boyu owners here, so i'll leave any mod reccommendations to thems that know.

    Test kits, Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and Phosphate along with PH will do to start with, later on calcium and dk/h will be handy.

    Set up, take your time, use the R/O and salt mix, also get the best live rock you can buy, you will enjoy the hobby much more with good quality live rock (i think fiji is tops).

    Have a look at the general advice in the link in my signature, and read up as much as you can, look at the members tank specs for live rock scaping too.
     
  4. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Hello Mike , and welcome to MASA if I haven't already welcomed you.

    Nothing wrong with starting off with a Boyu. They are great little tanks :thumbup:

    Insofar mods are concerned there are quite a few things you can do.
    Bear in mind that most of the mods done by Boyu owners were done out of preference and not out of neccesity .

    In other words , you have a choice to do it or not do it.

    Anyway, check out the threads from Matt and Quinton on their mods.

    I run a TL450 nano , and even though the layout is slightly different to yours , you can have a look at the mods I have done :

    My thread is called "My nano starts ... finally"
    Sorry , I can't seem to copy the shortcut .


    Some hints during setup and operation of the Boyu :

    1. Make sure you have sufficient flow in the tank. The return pump and spraybar in the Nano does not provide enough flow, so best would be to get yourself an additional flow pump like the Seio M620 / M820.Aim to have no "dead spots" in your tank where detritus can possible accumulate. Also ensure that you have good flow on and around your LR.

    2. Make sure your LR does not touch the sides or back of the tank. This will not only prevent you from scratching or cracking your glass potentially, but will also avoid that the flow is not restricted too much and make it a lot easier to do your weekly maintenance in the tank. You need to look at adding some quality LR . The importance of LR cannot be understated insofar a Nano is concerned. Aim to have approx 10-12kg's of LR in your tank. You want to have porous pieces that will facilitate good bacterial growth and act as a good base for lifeforms to grow and attach.

    3. Substrate should be aragonite (first prize) or fine playsand ( a lot cheaper). It's up to you which substrate you choose and you can even consider going for a BB display (bare bottomed). If you do use substrate make sure that it's fine enough (1-1.5mm grain size). This will prevent detritus from accumulating on your substrate and will also give the "critters" in your sand the ability to easily turn over the particles. Your substrate should be approx 20mm deep.

    4. Remove all bio balls and ceramic rings and replace with a combination of either filter floss , LR rubble . Run a good phosphate remover compound (Phosban , Purigen etc.) in conjunction with some activated carbon.

    5. If you are going to consider keeping corals (LPS and some SPS's) you may want to look at upgrading your main lights. Ideally aim at having 3 x 24W PL tubes . There is a mod done by Matt that shows how you add another tube. Having said that though , the existing lights will be fine for most softies and LPS's . You just need to plan and take into account the individual coral requirements in terms of flow and light.

    6. You can find plastic containers (25 or 50 liters) at Builder's warehouse. They are ideal to collect and store your RO water and will set you back approx R 80 for a 25liter container.

    7. RO water is available from most sponsors . You can try Jungle Pet Zone at Broadacres or VIP pets at Northgate. Alternatively , just shout: I am sure there are some fellow reefers in your area that can help you out.

    8. All nano's suffer from a lack of stability insofar water chemistry make-up and temperature swings are concerned. You will need to learn how your tank maintains it's temperature . Also, bear in mind that anything dying in your tank or releasing toxins will have a far greater impact in a nano than in a bigger tank. One bit of advice though : Invest in a small inverter or UPS unit or battery operated pump to carry you through the power outages or failures that are occuring more frequently in South Africa.

    9. If you cant test for it , don't add it to your tank. There are many products out there that claim to better water quality etc. In my opinion most of these are "snake oils" and will actually do more harm than good. Be mindful of what you put in your tank.

    10. Weekly waterchanges of 10-15% . This is crucial and you need to be diligent with this. Also vacuum your substrate at the same time

    Lastly , bear in mind that this is a hobby that requires lots of patience. Take things slowly , read a lot , do proper research before adding inverts , corals and fish and ask lots of questions on the forum.

    Good luck and enjoy ! ;)
     
  5. MikeR

    MikeR Thread Starter

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    Hey Apollo,

    great info and advice thank you for the time and effort. Whats the best way to search for those threads I cant seem to find them?
     
  6. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Mike,

    Have a look at the "Nano" forum . Matt and Quinton's threads are in there.
    Sorry, I can't remember what they are called, but if you page through the threads you will find them. If I remember correctly these threads were posted approx 1 year ago.

    My thread is located under "Beginner's discussion" forum , I think .
    Otherwise just click on my avatar and go to my profile. Click on "View all threads started" and you should find it.

    :)
     
  7. Tobes

    Tobes Retired Moderator

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    Congrats on your new tank - you must be excited :)

    Lanzo can help with test kits, he stocks Elos test kits or something like that :p
     
  8. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Hey Mike,

    How's about an update on your tank ?

    Progress sofar ?

    Oh... and of course pictures please ;)
     
  9. MikeR

    MikeR Thread Starter

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    Hey Apollo,

    No pictures yet, unfortunatly been away on business till last night. Aim to kick start tommorrow morning. Thanks for the interest though, actually really great that someone is interested...

    As soon as I have some worthy feedback Ill put it through
    LAters
     
  10. Apollo

    Apollo

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    OK Mike,

    No worries.

    We'll eagerly wait for the pics :whistling:
     
  11. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Hey Mike,

    Ok. It's been 3 days .... and still no pics ? :lol:

    Waiting .... :whistling:
     
  12. MikeR

    MikeR Thread Starter

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    Apollo, Fair enough. I have hit a dilemna tho. in fact thought about posting in urgent advice...

    After being ready to go- ro filter set up, substrate check,filter bits and pieces check,powerheads check,test kit check,purigen check, floss check,each and every piece neeeded - check.

    I hit a hitch, My wonderful wife, bless her, mid setup - has decided she doesnt like the stand for the tank. SHe likes the idea of the tank and what it will look like(included a real good sales pitch armed with pictures..) but thinks the stand is not going to suit the room..

    And, Its probably a good time to paint the house... Now Im nervous to paint the house with the tank setup becuase I dont want the fumes to harm any little guys be it fish or LR.

    So my options are as follows:
    Poison the wife
    live in eternal misery
    get a divorce
    sell the tank and all parts - before i even started:(
    or build a new stand that is to her liking - man these female creatures are tough.

    Obviously I cant get the tank going untill i resolve the stand issue- thinking Ill make a facia piece around the existing stand out of pine and stain it to some dark wood colour..

    As soon as i get around this one ill let you know- Guess my only option is to paint asap and build the stupid *&#$@# facia so i can get on with it.. Meanwhile I'm tempted to just go get a 6 foot monster tank just to tick her off for making me wait.



    LAters guys
     
  13. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    Hey Mike. Welcome!!!

    I totally aggree with the tips / advice Apollo has given you. To me the UTMOST of important factor is the water changes. Do not underestimate the importance of this. My dad had a Nano Cube, and it just did not work out due to this factor. Most of the guys with bigger tanks, can incorporate additional volume to our tanks. I have a 3 foot with a 2 foot Sump/DSB. My dad is running a 3Foot tank, 2Foot DSB and a 3 Foot Sump. Thus total water volume increases, and ultimately increases water stability to a good extent.

    One thing me and daddy learnt with a 100litre nano system is that - when it goes wrong it goes wrong much quicker than a 1000litre setup.

    Another word of advice (and I can give this advice as I have paid the school fees on this - believe me) is that you CAN NOT "invest" in a cheap test kit. Trust me. I have a *** (trash the manufacturer = lawsuit ;) ) test kit and it measures 0ppm PO4. Really... 0? Took the same water to the LFS just to find out that my PO4 was like the ZIM dollar vs. the English Pound!!!

    Thus, spend the money on good tests - it is worth it. I am slowly (due to $) converting to Tropic Marine kits, but that is my personal choice.

    Send us some pics please and enjoy the hobby. It is a real nice challenge.
     
  14. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Ha ha ,

    Ah, the joys of marriage !.

    I would'nt look at poisoning her ...... unless you can hide the body !:lol:

    I can relate to your dilemma 100% . When my tank was 3 weeks in , the wife decided that now would be a good time to complete cornices and some painting in the lounge where the tank is standing.

    However, the stress it caused me in worrying about the effects on my tank are not worth it.

    I covered up the Nano while painting and made sure an industrial fan was blowing out all the fumes through the front door and windows.
    I have noticed no ill effects from the recent painting excercise, but that doesn't mean that I would recommend it

    Your choice whether you decide to paint in close proximity to the tank.

    Take your time and we'll see you're setup when you're good and ready.;)
     
  15. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

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    HEHEHEHE Mike. My wife cut out a paper fish, made a list of things she wants done in the house and stuck to the back of my tank. Her last words on it is: "Do all of this then we can play fish-fish again..."

    Woman huh?

    Anyway, the paper fish is still there. I have done about 70% of the stuff, and my DSB is hanging the air until I ahave done her wishes.

    Anyway, what I suggest (what works for me) is to take her to the LFS, show her all the nice fishtanks, and as you walk out, ask her if she noticed the stands they stood on. 90% chance she will say NO, so you are in the pouncing seats my friend. Point made - case closed.

    It works for me... Until I got a bloody paper fish - will post a pic of it :p
     
  16. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Mhhm... It just ocurred to me :

    My wife has also recently registered as a MASA member . Although she doesn't want to tell me what her user name is .

    Oops ! Better be careful with what I say:p
     
  17. MikeR

    MikeR Thread Starter

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    Whew Apollo, dangerous ground my bud, if she reads this....
    Yeah i here you all. They have a memory like nothing else I know and its amazing what they can bring up.
    I have learnt 2 hard lessons:
    1) "Do whatever you want " does not in any way shape or form mean, do whatever you want.
    2) If she is happy im happy, if she is unhappy aint no way Ill be happy.
    (kidding of course, she really is amazing )

    Anyway , so game plan is I would rather be patient and have an amazing trouble free setup(ala paintfumes) so i think Ill wait till painting done- also dont want to worry bout painters not getting behind the unit bumping etc.

    Once painted Im gonna set it up (meanwhile look for a bigger setup too;))
    in the process ill keep working on her and make it look like Im really listening to her concerns... Will also suggest i need a hobby and maybe rallly driving would be better.. That should do the trick.

    Otherwise there is always:peroni::peroni::peroni::peroni::peroni::peroni::peroni::peroni:
     
  18. crispin

    crispin

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    mike mike mike.....tell her "tank will be so stunning no one will look at the fing stand anyway"....then run, stay with apollo, learn about all the mods and go back a week later when she realises you were right :)

    oh, but take some beer to apollo :)
     
  19. crispin

    crispin

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    thats a possibility, but its really MUD you need. that thick dark clay stuff and an off road bike, theres enough around....just make sure it gets INTO the house....then the stand wont matter at all.

    for the record i'm not yet married and still have my wellies:)
     
  20. MikeR

    MikeR Thread Starter

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    Fantastic Crispin, fantastic, it hasnt stopped raining in joburg for weeks, mud I can find. Think Ill go all out, back to rugby, rally driving and motorcross, maybe ill borrow my mates boa and put that in the tank.. that could do it.. she hates snakes
     
  21. Apollo

    Apollo

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    Yes , Yes ... great idea. Especially the beer part . :drool5:

    You're welcome anytime Mike


    How you doing Crispin ? Getting gatvol of skiing as yet ? :lol:
     
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