Congratulations to community member @Aqua Splendor and his 9 gallon nano reef aquarium for being selected for our November 2021 Reef Profile! This custom all-in-one peninsula reef began as a competitor in our 365 Day AIO Reef Challenge, which quickly matured into a stunning showcase of coral, and won the community vote for the 'Best Aquascape' category. In this article Aqua Splendor shares his experiences in the hobby and this aquarium's journey over the past year and a half. Please share your comments and questions in the comments section below, and be sure to follow his aquarium journal for additional photos, history, and information about this amazing nano reef tank.
Asking the age of my tank is like asking the age of a woman, it can be complicated. The first time I added water was on June 2nd, 2020, but this aquarium had a restart on June 25th. After submitting an ICP water test, I found out my black sand had many elements in its composition that would favor algae growth. This was a battle which I had no interest in dealing with at the time, since this tank was entered into the 365 Day All-In-One Nano Reef Challenge. I was already late to start by nearly 6 months, but I used different tricks to accelerate the cycling process, like keeping my aquascape in another aquarium while I replaced the black sand, and used new sand from my other reef aquarium. While the tank was re-cycling without fish or coral, I took the opportunity to make some physical changes to the tank.
This left me just four months to work on my aquascape and coral growth before the end of the Nano-Reef.com 365 Day All-In-One Challenge. It was a time frame that gave me anxiety while documenting every step of this project, but a delightful challenge as a reef keeper! Meanwhile other great competitors were already well advanced with their 365 Day Challenge aquariums, while I was just starting mine, but everyone has their own reef journey .
When starting a reef aquarium I usually go this way: What type of environment do I want to create What fish do I want (if any) From the fish, what fish is compatible with corals and invertebrates From corals, what genus can live together in a nano How long before the coral will get too big What does my LFS have in stock What is the budget How much time can I dedicate to the tank Where will the tank will be placed Sump AIO What aquascape style
I love some Asian freshwater aquascapes, especially those that create a portion of nature instead of a miniaturization of a landscape. Very few seem to master this art, I would love to try this route in the future, it seems very challenging and even more with a reef aquarium. I mostly watch different videos of animals in their natural habitat, photos look great but videos reveal much more information. I love to watch underwater videos whatever the region of the world. I have a little crush on the abyss, the unknowns, the weird-looking scary-looking creature are sublime to my eyes.
Like anyone, I do have regrets and have made mistakes during this journey. Losing animals is by far are my biggest regret. I lost my Paragobius goby, shortly after being introduced into the aquarium, I never expected the Wheeleri to eat them, and I saw some early signals when I introduced them. They were my #1 on the list of fish I wanted initially. A few months later that Wheeleri committed a Seppuku via jumping. Since then my DIY aquarium lid has been on all the time. 781b155fdc