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View Full Version : Looking for a good Nano reef for family room


Gwall30
08/28/2012, 06:23 PM
Im trying to find a good Nano reef set up around 12G-30G the most. preferably somewhere in the mid range of 20G will be perfect. i have a 100G now and thats my big show tank. wanting to get something smaller that also need less care. its going in my family room so above all else i really need it to be very quiet. i plan on keeping mostly LPS but maybe a few SPS if i get frags from the bigger tank.

whats a cool sleek looking Nano that has the best equipment?

anybody have suggestions?

blackwagon
08/28/2012, 07:17 PM
Elos mini looks cool and is 20 gallons, but mine was far from quiet. Are you looking for an all in one or no?

reefsahoy
08/28/2012, 09:03 PM
If you want quiet, get a aio tank, t5 or leds so you wont need chillers or fans. That will almost gurantee you quiet. The only noise you may hear is the skimmer, but if you do water changes enough, you wont even need a skimmer. I got a picoaquarium db18 and its absolutely quiet.
http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac125/reefsahoy/Nano%20rimless/IMG_1026.jpg

Gwall30
08/28/2012, 10:26 PM
Elos is sexy, but I'm not planning breaking the bank lol. But noise is a huge factor for me, like you said, it may not be as good for me.

Wow, Reefsahoy, your nano looks amazing. Did it all come in a single unit or did you have to put it together from a few manufacturers? Love those black seams. What kind of light is that? Looks like a led.

Thanks for the responses guys, hope to see more options out there.

Gwall30
08/28/2012, 10:26 PM
Oops double posted

reefsahoy
08/28/2012, 10:39 PM
Elos is sexy, but I'm not planning breaking the bank lol. But noise is a huge factor for me, like you said, it may not be as good for me.

Wow, Reefsahoy, your nano looks amazing. Did it all come in a single unit or did you have to put it together from a few manufacturers? Love those black seams. What kind of light is that? Looks like a led.

Thanks for the responses guys, hope to see more options out there.

I put it together. Initally, i was thinking going elos, then i thought of ease to upkeep and quietness, so i thought aio, but i like the rimless elos look, so i went custom build aio tank. I wanted a clean look, quiet, and a custom look. I decided to go the picoaquariums option. I designed it to look as close to elos as possible but easier to maintain, and more quiet. I call it my elos knockoff! Lol. I got the ai nano led light, and bought the stand. The stand is no longer made by the manufacturer.

http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac125/reefsahoy/Nano%20rimless/IMG_0865.jpg

Heres tank empty.

http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac125/reefsahoy/Nano%20rimless/IMG_1008.jpg

The completed knockoff setup
http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac125/reefsahoy/Nano%20rimless/IMG_0991.jpg


I also had picoaquariums make this custom cover i designed for the back filter so i get a really clean look.

http://i892.photobucket.com/albums/ac125/reefsahoy/Nano%20rimless/IMG_1145.jpg

STiREX
08/28/2012, 10:39 PM
whats a cool sleek looking Nano that has the best equipment?


Elos midi

If you want to be on the opposite end of the price spectrum, look into the IM Nuvo 16. I like the styling of these but there is a lot of mixed reviews of the build quality.

Gwall30
08/28/2012, 11:18 PM
Nice job Reefsahoy! Your tank looks awesome. I wish I can make something like that. But I'm not that good and worse case if the tank I made sprung a leak, then my wife will probably kill me.

The Nuvos are cool, I've seen them in a few forums. Definitely something to think about and looks cooler than the aqua pods and nanocubes.

Gwall30
08/28/2012, 11:28 PM
Checked out their site, but looks like they are closed? Strange, never seen a business do that before. Guess I need more options now lol.

reefsahoy
08/28/2012, 11:32 PM
Checked out their site, but looks like they are closed? Strange, never seen a business do that before. Guess I need more options now lol.

They are tenporarily closed. I think he got real busy with orders. He'll probably open back up soon.

Gwall30
08/29/2012, 10:03 AM
Any other choice guys? Hope to see more before buying one.

brad908
08/29/2012, 04:58 PM
Pico aquariums won't be opening again.

Get an ADA, Mr Aqua, GLA, or deep blue all make rimless tanks

Spirofucci
08/29/2012, 06:02 PM
Of course I'm partial to the RSM 130d. Probably the best plug & play out there. But you still have to do a mod or two on all of them including the RSM. It does not come with LEDs, but the stock lighting will grow all but the most demanding sps.

reefsahoy
08/29/2012, 08:18 PM
Pico aquariums won't be opening again.

Get an ADA, Mr Aqua, GLA, or deep blue all make rimless tanks

Really? What happened?

brad908
08/29/2012, 08:36 PM
Really? What happened?

From a different forum
"This year after becoming a official sponsor of NR PicO became too much for me to handle alone. This is indeed the last year for PicO as it is currently " One man shop". My products may be available in the future with or without the PicO name but at this point I can't give much more detail then that"

Either closing or joining another company

Gwall30
08/30/2012, 10:51 AM
Thanks for the update Brad and hope to see your products again soon.

I think I have narrowed down some choices so far

Cadlights 18G mini series Concept (30W mult-chip, Starfire glass)
Nuvo 16G (Led, cheaper price)
Cadlights 22G Super output (30W multi chip, biggest volume)
Mr. aqua 17.4G, but will have to buy equipment separately, losing the aio look
Jbj 28G with LEDs

Any other good ones I'm missing?

Thanks so much for everyone in contributing!

VGT
08/30/2012, 10:57 AM
Elos midi

If you want to be on the opposite end of the price spectrum, look into the IM Nuvo 16. I like the styling of these but there is a lot of mixed reviews of the build quality.

Early units had questionable quality, everything in the last six months of so has been impeccable. Not unusual for a new company to go through growing pains with the manufacturer.

Gwall30
08/30/2012, 11:26 AM
Thanks Vgt. Only thing is I want to be able to keep LPS and some SPS frags possibly later on from my 100G. Not sure if the Nuvo 8W LEDs can do it. There aren't any PAR ratings I can go by. The 18G Cad, 22G cad and Jbj 28 looks to have more powerful lights for supporting SPS later on.

I can get the Nuvo and upgrade to another light, but price goes up a lot more.

Gwall30
08/30/2012, 01:45 PM
Spiro: Those Red sea max look really nice too, but don't like the T5 and a bit too big at 34G. It also is over the $600 I wanted to spend

Spirofucci
08/30/2012, 05:00 PM
Spiro: Those Red sea max look really nice too, but don't like the T5 and a bit too big at 34G. It also is over the $600 I wanted to spend

No worries! If I had to do it all over again, I'd wouldn't do an AIO and just assemble all the components to suit my needs. Ha, although I'm not sure that's the cheapest way to go. :)

Whatever you choose I'm sure it will be a great addition to the living room!!!

Gwall30
09/04/2012, 12:22 PM
Found a really nice tank its a 25G Low iron Mr. Aqua tank. does anybody have experience with these and what equipment do i need to have it all set up?

perfect size, but too bad it isnt a AIO. my 3 options are the Mr. Aqua 25G (DIY project) or the CAD Lights 18G Starfire glass AIO or the Nuvo 16G package (Not Starfire glass) but a AIO too.

any good one piece filter units that can do this whole tank, hopefully as small as possible and quiet too.

cody6766
09/04/2012, 02:00 PM
Nothing is stopping you from making the mr aqua into an AIO. Seriously, with some work, some acrylic and some basic tools, it can be done for little cost. I bet there is also someone that would do the work for you. I see people posting custom acrylic baffles, baskets and the like quite often. Sorry I cant remember who, but they're out there.

mandarin_goby
09/04/2012, 02:53 PM
I have a Mr. Aqua 12 gallon long tank and I love it. I added an Aquaclear 50 fuge and a 36" 4x39 watt t5HO fixture, runs like a top!

Gwall30
09/04/2012, 07:34 PM
Hey Mandarin Goby, do you have any pics? would love to see a Mr. Aqua tank in action.
thanks for the recommendation.

any other recommendations on filtering, im Not handy. last time i almost cut my finger off cutting some floor boards for the house. cutting acrylic is scarier. anybody have a good recomendation on who can do some custom acrylic work?

mandarin_goby
09/05/2012, 01:04 PM
Hey Mandarin Goby, do you have any pics? would love to see a Mr. Aqua tank in action.
thanks for the recommendation.

any other recommendations on filtering, im Not handy. last time i almost cut my finger off cutting some floor boards for the house. cutting acrylic is scarier. anybody have a good recomendation on who can do some custom acrylic work?

Here's my thread on my tank:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2194856

Also, check out CalmSeaQuest - I think that's his user name - he has this tank too and it is stunning!

Mine has filled out a bunch since the thread pics - more live rock and more corals. I also have the 13.3 bow front by Mr. Aqua - it's a freshwater shrimp tank, but the build quality is top notch.

The 12 long is an awesome size for a counter - mine sits at a perfect level so we can see it easily from the front and back and one side. The dimensions are 36" long, 9" high and 8" wide (I think).

Gwall30
09/05/2012, 02:29 PM
Thanks so much Mandarin. after last night couldnt sleep and did all comparisons (AGAIN). i finally chose the CAD Lights 18G Mini. the biggest thing that sold me was the NR-1 Nano Bio-pellet reactor. one of the biggest issue for Nano tanks (under 30G) is that nitrates and phosphates are so rampant also most ugly algaes too like Slime, bubble, Cyano stuff etc.

everything is neatly packed into the back, nice looking tank and still a AIO system under my budget of $600. i was thinking of getting the Nuvo and adding the NR-1 reactor (which fits btw), but fell in love with the Starfire clarity of the CAD Mini. the standard 30W Multi-chip light gives me the power to grow anything i want too. i probably wont, but having that option definitely is good. plus its only 30W of power. automatic timer too. as a nano package i really couldnt find anything like it.

getting my tank this weekend and so excited to post up pics and progression. i hope all you guys come back and check out my new tank!

Thanks everyone for the advice and sharing your ideas with me!

kad1979
09/05/2012, 02:36 PM
I think you will be VERY happy with the CAD lights. I just got my 12 up and running. The build quality is excellent for the price IMO. Look forward to following your build!

mandarin_goby
09/05/2012, 03:26 PM
looking forward to pics!

Gwall30
09/05/2012, 03:42 PM
Thanks guys! i have a Canon Eos SLR camera, so the pics should come out really nice. i ordered the tank package already and looking to go to a store after work to pick up some supplies.

i ordered the Hydor wavemaker too, so just in case i need more water movement.

heres whats on my list:
10lbs of Live aragonite sand
Reef crystals salt
reef solution (Eco-system)
B-ionic pt A&B


i already have some rock from my bigger tank, so im going to use around 6-8lbs to start it up first. then add as i get more.

dont worry, im gonna post alot of pics. went through 3 weeks of analyzing and comparing to finally get this tank. cant wait to disect it and put it back together :) i think im a little too excited now and gotta calm down and wait a few more days.

Spirofucci
09/05/2012, 04:53 PM
Congrats on your decision! Now get going on your build thread with lots o pics!

Gwall30
09/06/2012, 05:45 PM
2 more days!

Gwall30
09/08/2012, 08:07 PM
Ok, Got the 18G Mini this morning! didnt have time to open it yet. Driver just left it on my front porch even though i had a piece of paper that read "Fedex driver, please leave on side door". hoped to be away from plain sight.

1st impressions

it came in a brown colored box. on top of another white color box inside. lots of foam/cardboards in between and asides from the outer box being a bit banged up, the inside looks totally ok. packed much better than some of the fragile items i ordered online. i ordered a ceramic crock dog bowl from Amazon last week and it came in cracked in 3 pieces....they wont give me a refund but anyway. a large 40LB glass tank making it undamaged....good job. NO DAMAGE, Very happy.

the NR-1 reactor was packed inside the tank and wrapped in foam. everything else is restrained inside.


Im going to test fill it when i get home tonight after errands.

Gwall30
09/09/2012, 01:43 AM
Does anyone know how to post up pics? I worry that my resolution is too high.

Please help.

Filled the tank up in my garage with tap water. Checked all the seams and no stretch marks or any kind of water leaks yet. Going to give it a quick check tomorrow and probably start with set up in 2 days.

Good tip I go by: after water testing with tap water. I like to drain the tank out and then wipe the remaining water and moisture with rubbing alcohol. This can help evaporate any of the left over tap water before RO water goes in.

Gwall30
09/09/2012, 02:13 AM
I thought about something that it, but I already have a 100G. The 18G Mini system is for my living room. Thanks tho.