I'm really looking forward to another great nano contest, last year's was a great experience. You can check out my build from lat year here: Synergy's 12gal zen nano
I will be using the same tank as I did last year, the previous structure has been moved to a different tank.
Tank: JBJ 12 gal DX
Lighting: 2x24w PC (1 50:50 and 1 10k) and 3x3W Blue LEDS
Flow: Stock JBJ return pump and Korallia Nano 240
Filtration: No skimmer. Run carbon and filter floss in back chambers.
Heater: Via-aqua 50W submersible
Rock: Marco dry rock and Rock Mags for aqua-mags
I plan to try to keep things simple, well in SW terms at least, so top off and any dosing needed will be done by hand, Livestock will be relatively "easy" corals (mainly softies, zoas, mushrooms). The majority of the corals will come from my existing tank although I'm sure I will find some things at the LFS and swaps that will catch my eye.
Here are the rock mags from aqua-mags that I bought last year but never ended up using. Going to try to incorporate one or both this year, Not sure how well they will fit into my plan though. (Pics are from 2011)
My mess from building my rock structure.
I have tried for minimalist aquascaping on my past two tank so I have come to really like using the plastic rod, ziptie and two part epoxy method to making rock structures. The possibilities are nearly limitless and I really like the open look you can create. My envisioned outcome for this tank is probably something you would never see on any natural reef but I think overall it will look rather unique and very pleasing.
I will try to get some more build pics up this weekend. Hoping to get some water in before Monday!
Been a few days without an update and A LOT has changed. I'll start from the beginning. Finished my rock structure a few weeks ago and stuck it in my main tank to try to get some good bacteria on it since I wont have a sand bed or a lot of rock.
The inspiration for my tank came from a tank I saw a few years ago, It had a large rock with some torch corals on top that formed sort of a tree and GSP growing on the bottom. The owner must have moved on to bigger and better things because The tank was never finished. I would have loved to see how it would have looked if it were to grow out.
Going off that idea, I decided to make a xenia "tree" with GSP "grass". I had considered a few options of coral for the "Tree" such as yellow polyps, zoas, and encrusting gorgonian. I choose the xenia because i feel like its growth will best resemble the tree shape I am going for, as an added bonus its fast growth should help make this end result a possibility in a relatively short time.
Here are what you all want to see, a few shots of the structure I pieced together.
You can see the acrylic rod that runs through the "trunk of the tree" which is inserted in the hole I drilled in the flat rock I posted a few days ago as a teaser.
The "branches are a mix of tonga branch and broken up marco dry rock. Everything is held together with zip-ties, acrylic rod and two part epoxy. The "branches" balance eachother out allowing the structure to stand upright on the small flat base.
Here is the official start photo showing the "tree" and the rock-mag I put in.
Im not sure if I will be keeping the rock-mag. It is nice in that it hides the powerhead but not sure how it will look when everything grows out and I still need to figure out what coral I would add on it. Maybe something blue or yellow and it could look like a cloud or the sun respectively. It will stay for now.
Here is a side view.
And here is the xenia a local Ann Arbor reefer gave to me that will go on the rock "tree".
I'm not really sure the price for this frag as It doesn't really have a stalk as the xenia pricing goes by, seems more like a mat? About 2 inches by 2 inch. Any advice on pricing would be appreciated. Was thinking somewhere between $20-$30???
The xenia has only been in the tank a few days and is already starting to grow onto the bottom glass, really amazing. Will be separating the frag into smaller pieces to place on different branches of the tree to speed up the spreading.
Heh I was using the same tank for inspiration! It will be cool to see how we both implement different variations of his tank especially with our tanks being so different!
LOL, we were definitely using the same tank for inspiration. I like your taste! I agree, should be really fun seeing how the tanks differ. Cant wait to see what coral/corals you use for the "tree". I think frogspawn or hammer coral would look awesome! I really considered it but with the size of the "tree" I built it would cost to much or take too much time to get the look I wanted, might work better in your smaller tank.
As far as stocking I plan on going with just the xenia for the tree. I would also like to place a few mushrooms on the flat base but i'm not sure if they will get shaded out by the xenia above. GSP covering the bottom and I might make a couple mounds of zoa rocks in the GSP to give it some color, sort of like flowers in a meadow.
I was thinking about a pair of clowns and a few sexy shrimp for non-coral livestock.
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