Tank update

Lots of things has happened with my nano tank in last 3 months. New corals and fishes are arrived. Some new equipments etc. Here is brief update what is happening.

I installed more flow in the tank using Jebao Cross flow CP-25 (which is a knock off from Maxspect gyre) (I ordered one from Fish Street ). I also moved my rw4 stream pumps to other side and start using synchronous mode. Cross flow pump works as advertised. It is little bit louder than RW4 and it adds nice flow in the tank. I need to test it more, but it seems the flow is more gentle than ones coming from normal stream pump. Now the pump is installed horizontally but maybe in the future I put it in vertical position. I also run the pump with W3 mode and 3 dot speed (30% or something like that).

PH has been a problem to measure with test kit(s) (I have tried many, but not satisfied with the results). I bought American Marine Pinpoint Ph meter and it has been online about 3 months or so. The Ph in the tank runs between 7.85-8.1 during the day. I can see direct effect when rooms CO2 levels rise (e.g. working whole day in the room vs being away from home). No complains about the meter here :).


Pinpoint Ph monitor

I also add new corals and two fishes in the tank. Here is almost completed list of inhabitants currently roaming my little pool.


  • Acanthastrea Bowerbanki
  • Acanthastrea echinata
  • Acropora sp
  • Acropora Coral blue Acropora sp
  • Acropora echinata
  • Acropora millepora
  • Assorted Zoas
  • Acropora yongei
  • Montipora digitata (blue?)
  • Caulastrea furcata
  • Echinophyllia aspera
  • Duncanopsammia axifuga
  • Echnipora sp. celtic frost
  • Ricordea florida
  • Acanthastrea lordhowensis
  • Montastrea sp.
  • Montipora confusa
  • Sinularia sp.
  • Pocillopora
  • Montipora samarensis
  • Sarcophyton sp.
  • aulastrea curvata
  • Turbinaria sp.
  • Stylophora pistillata
  • 4 Hermit craps
  • 4 different snail and few hitchhikers.

I now use Dupla Marin Premium Reef salt and I like the salt. I started using Fauna Marin color elements along with the new salt. Corals are getting better coloration but I think my tank has also matured a little bit more. I use biopellets with basic reactor and Seachem Seagel with innovative marine minimax reactor as well. I have Medium size minimax reactor which seems to be little bit too small for amount of seagel I’m using. I use additional bag with purigen inside the sump.

I also run problem with algae. My algae gallery has now species like: Cyano, bubble algae, brown hair algae type, green hairy algae and diatoms etc. My CUC cant keep with the algae growth at the moment so additional members is arriving later on this month. I also try to keep my tank clean as possible and start dosing Corallen zucht CyanoClean which seem to help with the cyano problem. My current water parameters are:


I use hobby grade test kits from Seachem, Hanna Checkers (calcium, alkalinity, phosphorus (ulr)) and Red Sea Color test kit. I already received one Triton icp-eos test kit which I will use soon as possible to see what my values really are.

I also installed two t5 bulbs to my led array but more on that later. So far no disasters and corals are started to grow so my tank might look like a reef someday.






Coral needs (balling, doser and excel)

After a week with new SPS and LPS corals I found out that calcium, magnesium and alkalinity is dropping fast. I already have ordered Tropic Marin Bio Calcium original balling salts and Aqua Medic Reef doser evo 4 doser so I will add these components to my pico reef to maintain calcium, magnesium and alkalinity levels. I have been using Salifert All-in-One calcium acetate from the start. Salifert has been working quite well but now the bottle is almost empty so it is time to try something different.

Aqua medic 4 channel reef doser evo 4 dosing system

Aqua medic 4 channel reef doser evo 4 dosing system

The Aqua medic reef doser is simple 4 channel doser. It is operated by remote control unit which have buttons and small lcd display. First I had to set up date and time and then I run through calibration process. Calibration process was quite easy but there is possibility of bit of a user error involved in the process. I have not yet checked how well pump output will stay on their targets but I found out that in small doses there is little bit variation of output volume.  Pump timer setups can be done for each channel (how many times per day, what time, dose amount). One bit of annoying is that there is no bracket for installing control unit.  More information can be found from Reef Builders introduction of the pump and from Aqua Medic web site.

Tropic marin bio calciums original balling set.

Tropic marin bio calciums original balling set.

The balling salts I have are from Tropic Marin. There is nice introduction about balling method from Hans-Werner Balling in youtube and detailed article from ultimate reef. One bit of a warning about Tropic Marin balling salts. The instructions are very vague (e.g. “125 ml / ½ US-cup / 4 fl.oz of each solution raise the calcium concentration by 25 mg/l (ppm) calcium and 3.5 °dH. The maximum recommended dose is 125 ml / ½ US-cup / 4 fl.oz. of each solution per day.”). As a newbie in the hobby I found these instructions quite hard to to follow. I have calculated my that my calcium demand is somewhat 6 ppm a day so I had to make a excel for calculating right amount of ml to add. I also have to figure how much trace elements to add and which liquids  (I have Tropic Marin -A and +K trace elements).

Screenshot of tropic marin balling calculator

Screenshot of tropic marin balling calculator (click image for excel file)

Let me know if there is an error with calculations. This is just basic help to get amounts correct without spending too much time with calculator. Here is the link for the excel calculator. I will post update how the starting of the balling method went.