Still new with questions...

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Well-known member
Jun 19, 2004
Puyallup, WA
I am fairly new to this wonderful hobby and started with an established reef, it's over 1 year old. Every thing in the tank seems to be doing great except my colony of star polyps which have been knocked around by my cleaning crew and no longer come out. I am not holding my breath on them.

My questions are these:

First, ever since I cleaned my Skilter, (not my first choice n skimmers but it came with the setup), it has not been producing skimmate. Just today I did the modification to it to hopfuly get it to produce. Is this normal or is my tank just really really clean?

Second, this 10g setup came with a 96w 50/50 antic PC Quad by coralife. Is this over kill for a 10g? I was thinking of moving up to a 20g and using the 10g as a quarntine tank.

Third, I do not currently use any supliments like C-Balance or others, should I be? The guy at the LFS which I do not trust is not just trying to make a sale, said I should use it to provide the needed trace elements that the corals and coraline algea need.

Forth, right now I only have softies in my reef, some polyps, a group of whiteish thing that the LFS I trust said was Xinti (sp) and lots of mushrooms. Well there is also a Percula Clown, a Skipper Blennie, the cleaning crew and cleaner shrimp and soon a Lawnmower Blennie to take care of the green hair algea. Right now I am just feeding flake once a day and twice a week I am also feeding Mycis (sp) Shrimp, is there anything else I should be feeding for the softies and other corals I might get in the future?

Thank for all the help.


Well-known member
Jan 22, 2004
Federal Way
I've been dealing with Nano reef's for quite sometime now. I've realized that on a 10g setup with a skilter or a skimmer is really pointless. First off you really can't have much of a bioload, so the focus is more on the corals. You 96w light is great for this setup. 9.6w/per gallon that is awesome. I've seen your exact setup on other systems growing great frags of SPS and clams.

Now the reason why most people are agaisn't skimmers/skilters in the nano hobby is because.

1. They skim out all the benefical ingredients that your system needs very fast. Most skimmers on a 10g are overkill, which means that some of these beneficial chemicals are going to get skimmed out extremely quickly.
2. You don't need to spend the money on the skimmer. Actually look into buying a CPR hang-on 12" refugium. You will notice that this will be more benefical then a skimmer/skilter on your nano tank.
3. If you have a skimmer/skilter this means that those benefical chemicals are going to be getting skimmed out so you must replace them. This means that you need to dose some kind of extra supplement for these corals. Which in fact doesn't help you to much because these chemicals are extremely strong and cause a sudden change on the nano environment. You must remember, even pouring a cup of "top-off" water into the tank can cause some issues.

Instead of skimming out these benefical chemicals, add a refugium and do 10% weekly water changes. This will help replenish all benefical chemicals without the need of dosing. Thus, being benefical to your fish because new saltwater adds additional vitamins into the tank for their scales. Also, if you have a thick sand bed or even 1/2", get rid of it for the time being. This will only cause problems.

Remember, a Nano tank is much harder then a larger tank. You need to take your time, keep it as clean as possible, and never be shy to ask for advice. These little tanks can crash in the matter of hours.

You might also notice that your Skipper Blennie and the Lawnmower blennie might fight to the death. In a small tank you need to stay away from the same species or even animals that look alike. Also, don't rely on the fish in these little tanks to clean up your hair algae. Try to get rid of it ASAP. Usually this is a sign of high organics, so try to do some water changes and siphon it up. Make sure the light that you bought with the tank has had it's bulb replaced. If not then replace it, it's probably putting off more of a red spectrum and algae just thrives off of that.



Well-known member
Jul 1, 2004
bowling green ky
I agree with Bobby on the skimmer in a nano tank. If you upgrade to a 20 or 30 and still use your skimmer, one way I increased output of skimate is to install a lime wood airstone in the skimtower. Just stick a piece of airline up thru the bottom slots and them hook up airstone to line and pull it back down. Use a check valve and a tiny ball valve, to adjust airflow. I used my 10 gal nano reef for about a year, now its just a holding tank for new fish. Bobby is also dead on about your blennies. Glad you are here. Steve
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