Auto Top Off

Recently I have added a JBL auto top off for my aquarium due to my location(Arizona).  My evaporation is insane here especially during the summer months when I have to use evaporative cooling.  Since I’ve added it, its been so easy to care for, other than the usual water changes and some dosing here and there to maintain optimal levels.  Amazon sells the auto top off for around 70 dollars and I purchased a fountain pump for the operation.


Thanks for listening and have a spooky October!

Sorry for the late post everyone!

Recently bought a home and have not been able to find the time to update the site.  Here is a few updates on the coral growth in the aquarium.

Updated picture of the aquarium

Quick update of the tank

Here are a few pictures of the tank as of now, more soon to come after the holidays!

nano tank, update, setup
Here is an update of the tank and a few different views

IMG_20151127_181526 IMG_20151127_181523 IMG_20151127_181520

The feathers are here!

In one of my prior tanks, I had brought in a random rock that was covered in Christmas tree feather dusters, but its was not a Spirobranchus porites.  It could have been I suppose but only if the coral portion had died.  I was told these micro feather dusters would not spread through the tank.  For a while I thought this to be true however, after a few months, my tank was filled with these micro feather dusters, various colors, red, black, orange, yellow, pink, blue, basically every color of the rainbow.  They even came in multi color versions however only a few of these.  Well I am doing all that I can to recreate this and as such, have added a Spirobranchus porites to my tank to hopefully allow it to spread among the tank.  I have also added a few large feather dusters for the time being, and researching ways to propagate these tiny coco worms.

how to build a nano reef tanksalt water reef setupnano reef tank build5 gallon reef setup

Decorating and placement of corals

Added in a few new corals, built a semi circle within the tank and picked up a pistol shrimp for the tank.

The Yellow Watchman Goby ended up pairing with the shrimp and reorganizing my tank.

Here are some pictures of the tank these days!

Front view of a nano tank
A full view of the front, tons of coral and getting a lot of growth too!
side view of the semi circle
Side view of the semi circle
side view of coral
Another view of the circle

The protein skimmer didn’t work out so well.


Yes, failure with the PVC protein skimmer.  I am sure it can be done, however within this size tank, I think there is not enough space.  So I decided to find another way to remove phosphates from the water.

Voila a miracle refugium built with the light that I started with!  I had to modify the black lid on the tank but after a few drops of super glue and a metal saw blade, it was a perfect fit.  Now you may be wondering how I am able to keep this macro algae from entering the sump pump, and that is a great question.  I went to the local pet store and bought a large pad of bio-foam for a different sump and cut it to size.  I wedged it down beneath the macro algae and things have been going great!

I have plans on upgrading the lighting in the back by building an LED assembly with drivers and all but that will be a ways away.


Chaetomorpha linium in the back of a sump tank
Within the sump portion of the tank, I added Chaetomorpha linium and a light.

A nano worthy protein skimmer

So over a few months now, and I’ve had difficulty with my lighting and I think possibly the nitrites and nitrates.  What I mean is that I’m having a wee bit of hair algae growth within the tank and its come in on the coral frags I’ve purchased.  So I’ve done a little bit of overkill I think for the tank to rid myself of the growth.

Stage one of my attack!  I asked around and found out that bumblebee snails are not actual algae a Mexican turbo snail should help out!

Stage two, decreased lighting from 9hrs to around 7hrs.

Stage three, I made a PVC pipe protein skimmer out of 3/4 inch PVC.  I am not super sure if its needed but the 5 dollars I spent making it couldn’t hurt.  Have to wait a few days to see if its actually working.

This was a failure

A few weeks in!

Everything is going great, we’re adding in a few more corals and we finally got our clown fish(Charlie) and a Yellow Watchman Goby(Jack Sparrow)

a few weeks into our reef tank build
This is the current updated photo of the 5 gallon reef tank that I built for under 400 dollars.

The Initial setup

After all the components and parts are put together your tank could look something like this!  I am super happy about the turnout here.  Total amount spent was $264.89 with weeks of food and premixed water!

first set up of a nano marine tank
Look at the little Domino Damselfish