When the build out of the Reef Builders Studio first began, I thought it was fitting and necessary to go ahead and get one token reef tank in there as soon as possible. Since all the big aquariums were still a long way away, i thought it’d be cool to set up an ‘instant nano reef’ using the first transplanted corals from home.
A simple 8 gallon JBJ Flat Panel with light and filter was selected and after filling with water and ‘installing’ a preset heater, the nano reef was begun. Despite having zero live rock or biomedia, within hours the tank had a handful of hammer colonies with polyps opened up and comfortable.
A few days later a very special dottyback was added to the instant nano reef alongside one pre-cycled block of biomedia to handle the meager ammonia from this one tiny fish. It’s been three months now and the only thing that’s fundamentally changed about this tank is its placement, and the number of corals inside.
We waited three months to perform the first water change just to see how the tank would hold up and we are happy to report that this is on gorgeous nano reef aquarium display. The aberrant dottyback is doing great, the hammers have all grown but not nearly as much as the tiny frags of gonies and green polyp leather.
This instant nano reef proves both that basic reef tanks are very easy to keep, and it’s definitely possible to set up a very nice display without rock, sand, or having to wait a ridiculously long time to have happy healthy corals. What really carries this reef tank is how little I resist the urge to feed the begging Pictichromis in order to keep nutrient addition to the tank to a minimum.