View Full Version : 20L marco tank

05/21/2016, 11:58 AM
OK guys it finally time to start this build.
I have been wanting to do this for well over 1.5 years now.
so after trying to decide between a 40br and a 20L

so this is what I am doing...

tank info:

~standard 20L 30x 13x13
~special reef grade sand. love this stuff
~75W ehime heater or 50W finnex

~AC 50 for filtration, gas exchange, surface agitation. there is a chance i might upgrade to the AC70 so the finnex heater will fit in that and keep it out of the DT.
I plan to run a simple system here just some biomedia /LR rubble and carbon.

1x jebao RW4 wave maker I think it will be nice to see the macro flow from side to side.

aquamax 32W nemo light or the current marine orbit. most likely the neno light.

live rock
15 to 20# of TBS OR
15to 20# of live reef n rock both are FL. aquacultured.
there is a small possibility I might use "real reef rock" the dry made made stuff as well.

not 100% sure on this. it will prob. change is I get closer to stocking. also depends on what i add to my reef. but here are some contenders:
fyi I am NOT going to add them all just a few off the top of my head.

Kaudern's Cardinalfish. (Pterapogon kauderni)
Azure Damselfish (Chrysiptera hemicyanea)
Yellow Banded Possum Wrasse (Wetmorella nigropinnata)
Clown Goby, Green (Gobiodon atrangulatus)
Flame Hawkfish (Neocirrhites armatus)
Tail Spot Blenny (Ecsenius stigmatura)
Canary Blenny (Meiacanthus oualanensis)

updates to come.
along with macro wish list

feedback on equipment welcome.

05/21/2016, 09:11 PM
Sounds pretty good.

I would remove the flame hawkfish from that list. Many that I have seen are very aggressive, and chase fish. In a tank with multiple other perching fish like your canary and tail spot blenny, I think it would get too territorial.

05/22/2016, 01:27 AM
Also, I can recommend the banggai cardinal. I have a 40tall macro tank and my banggai is so neat to watch swim through the forest. Is there a particular reason you are running carbon?

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05/22/2016, 04:45 AM
Also, I can recommend the banggai cardinal. I have a 40tall macro tank and my banggai is so neat to watch swim through the forest. Is there a particular reason you are running carbon?

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I was wondering myself if there is any reason to run carbon on my macro build.

05/22/2016, 09:05 AM
Usually carbon is run for removing potentially toxic things out of your system like medications or DOCs. But if you're running a macro tank you want the nitrates and phosphates to feed your macros. I dont run carbon in my system

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05/22/2016, 01:52 PM
well I was thinking..and not sure it was the right thinking..but it would help keep the water a clearer. I know we want PO4 and no3 in the system but at the same time dont really want green water.
that was the idea any way was prob. not gonna run it all the time just when I feel i could be useful.

and media for the AC50 you folks recommend? I have a small bag that came with it but could use more. sure with I could put the heater back there...

05/22/2016, 03:02 PM
You shouldn't have a problem with water quality unless stuff is dying frequently. And honestly for a simple system you'd be fine with some ceramic rings for biofilter and a scrubber pad for mechanical. You'll have plenty of filtration from the rings and the live rock. Just check your mechanical filtration often if you overfeed

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cHRoNzZe 619
05/22/2016, 06:11 PM
Awesome....I enjoy the look of a all natural macro tank ... I wouldn't add the hawkfish,and on a small tank that size I would put more fish in there that will help out your tank,Like gobies( clean the sandbed ) and maybe a few small fish to keep feeding to a low. Good luck with the build and do some research on the macros you want , some will overtake you tank Very quick

05/22/2016, 10:38 PM
IMO, you should have enough sand sifting from nassarius snails and a conch. Gobies are great, but they'll dump sand everywhere. And you won't have enough food in the sandbed so you'll have to supplement feed

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05/23/2016, 09:48 AM
thanks guys for the feed back.
yeah I have been looking in to macros a lot I think I have a pretty good idea of what I want and not want. that said I am sure there is a learning curve as in everything.

gonna do I h2o change on the 90 and use 10-15 gallons for the marco.
also have a line on the nemo light and some LR. but will have to drive down to SLC for the LR..

update to come.

05/23/2016, 09:21 PM
Keep us updated!

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05/29/2016, 11:14 AM
been thinking about my macro list and here is what I came up with :


Caulerpa ashmeadii
Neomeris annulata
Caulerpa cupressoides
Halimeda opuntia
mermaid cups
shaving brush

Haliptilon Sp (Red palms, fern, smooth kelp),
botryocladia (Red grape)
string of pearls
Euchema spinosum
Cryptonemia Crenvlata

blues /purple:
Coralline Cluster (Fine Branched)
Hypnea pannosa
blue scroll
Purple Fauchea (violet flames)

that's kinda my wish list but it all comes down to what i can get and what will grow in the tank. this is going to be a fun build I look forward it.

thanks for fallowing along!

any advice on the above would be great. I did do a build thread in the build section as well. i'll keep this going here as more of a in-depth macro discussion. and that one more of a show and tell.

05/29/2016, 11:16 PM
I personally would caution against two types of caulerpa. Though not to the extent of prolifera, they still grow quickly, especially ashmeadii. You have several amazing macros in that list tht I'd worry about the caulerpa encroaching the others

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06/03/2016, 08:51 PM
Cupressoids is one caulerpa that can be easily maintained. I keep mine strictly in the sandbed and maybe once a month it reaches for my rock work and I cut it back and wait till the following month. I feel like a lot of the time caulerpa gets a bad rap because of prolifera and racemosa

06/04/2016, 11:23 AM
Finz that's good to know!
Well I got my LR in from KP aquatics really nice stuff for coming 3 day USPS.
Here is a quick FTS after just adding the LR

More pics of the rock and packing over on my build thread.

Getting excited!
So let me ask you macro Guru this.
Should I add a few fish 1st then macros or macros them fish? I am a week or two out depending on the cycle time.

Guessing if I add a few macros I'll have to ghost feed. Or use skimmate from my reef to keep PO4 and No3 up to feed em correct.
Wonder what is "best"?

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06/04/2016, 04:48 PM
Macro can go in at any time. They generally are not phased by the cycle process as they will feed off the nitrite, nitrates that will arise during the process... All my recent tanks have had macro present from day one essentially

06/05/2016, 09:44 AM
Ah good to know finz. guess I just got to keep an eye on levels to make sure they have a food source.

Michael Hoaster
06/13/2016, 09:11 AM
Your tank looks great!

One nitpick: maybe hide the heater behind the rocks. You're going to have some die off with the new rock, which will start the cycle. It might be good to have a macro or two in there to soak up any excess, and avoid a micro algae outbreak.

I look forward to more!

06/14/2016, 10:24 PM
yeah that heater is a temp one. its my water change and back up heater.
I got my finnex 100W HMo heater in man its so small love it. have yet to plug it in.
gonna do that tomorrow. and re-scape some. need to move the left island over so the mag float can get by.

what else is going on...I got a large macro pkg. coming in on Thursday! about 12 verities.
I dosed a few drops of skimmate from my 90 yesterday just to give it more nutrients. will test tomorrow and add more if I think its to low.
wanna make sure they have enough...

i also plan on getting a mangrove at some point too. :)
oh and fish yeah gotta have fish too.

06/23/2016, 12:53 PM
OK got in alot of macros.
For more details on what I got and more in depth build thread updates check out my build thread in that section.

But thought I would keep this going for more in depth Marco alage talk n' stuff..yes that is a very scientific term.
Anyway here in a FTShttp://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160623/6b8e02d6cddf18072af3f8224e7a1623.jpg

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06/23/2016, 12:55 PM
Made some cool little Marco shapes http://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20160623/9ba186aea8560ee1b8f42f44497dd6b2.jpg


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Michael Hoaster
06/23/2016, 09:17 PM
Lookin' good!

It might be time to add the first/smallest/most timid fish on your list. That'll give your new plants an ammonia source. I think I lost a lot of my first macros because I didn't add enough fish early on.

Very cool that you're starting with small cuttings! They won't require too many nutrients, and they can grow into your tank scape looking very natural.

06/24/2016, 10:59 AM
thanks Michael,
yeah I got 12 or so verities in there now. check no3 before I added then was around 30 I doses skimmate 3 days before to get it up. going to check it hear soon to see how much they are using.

been fish shopping for both tanks. prob. gonna place an order with L.A this weekend.

thinking of a cannery blenny anyone know if they will eat macros? I dont think they will but just wanna double check this fish 1st.

Michael Hoaster
07/03/2016, 10:31 PM
Canary Blennies are beautiful! I'm pretty sure they're plankton pickers.