It wasn't long before hobbyists started trying all sorts of new things: keeping Anemonefishes, Royal Grammas, Prawn Gobies with their symbiotic shrimp, and a host of other smaller fishes and invertebrates in their little "nanos," as they came to be called. Websites popped up, devoted to the serious hobby of working with little aquariums. A whole subculture in the hobby had arrived. Nano aquariums were here to stay. Many wonderful hobby "careers" were launched as a direct result of nano aquariums.
Little Blue Penguin - New England Aquarium
At one point or another, every aquarist has experienced an unexpected outbreak of snails in the home aquarium. It can be incredibly frightening, too. There are these small little animals in tremendous numbers that have seemingly appeared overnight, and you did not put them in the aquarium. Where did they come from?
Cute little aquarium, good for kids
This little aquarium under the Santa Monica Pier is quite nice--just don't expect it to compare with the one down in Long Beach. There are several ceiling-high tanks with local critters including various rockfish, small sharks, morays and wolf eels. Several open, hands-on pools with knowledgeable helpers will keep the kids (and the inquisitive) busy. Sometimes smaller is better...
Little Aquarium - Sat, May 27 1PM at Pinot's Palette - Briarcliff
However, on the application level, nothing new was being tried. How many aquariums filled with little coral "frags", Neon Gobies, and Clownfish pairs could you see before you just rolled your eyes? Yes, these aquariums brought the wonders of the sea to a whole new group of people; this cannot be overlooked. However, it wasn't until some ambitious advanced hobbyists got into the nano game that things got interesting.In order to maximize water quality, Mike incorporated a slightly oversized protein skimmer, as well as ozone. The ozone is injected at about 25 mg per hour, to maintain an ORP (oxidation reduction potential) level of 320 millivolts. Further nutrient export is accomplished through twice-weekly water changes of up to 25% of the aquarium's capacity. In a nano system, these water changes have a great impact on water quality. Mike maintains that it's a fine line between keeping water quality high and keeping the aquarium well fed, and the nutrient export mechanisms in his system are very well developed. Internal circulation is important to this aquarium, and is accomplished with a Vortech MP10 pump, which provides "intelligent" water movement and varies the current pattern within the aquarium.Using an off-the-shelf Elos Mini aquarium system, and then further outfitting it to meet the needs of his animals, Mike has demonstrated what is possible when you take an out-of-the-box product and mix it with outside-the-box thinking. Long a lover of non-photosynthetic animals, he carefully studied their requirements, and immersed himself in the world of possibilities that awaited the intrepid hobbyists who ventured into this realm. Mike's plan was to create parameters that were perfect for these animals, and the flexibility of a nano system allowed for a lot of experimentation. He knew that he had the challenge of keeping large quantities of food in front of the animals, without creating a cesspool of organic waste- a very real possibility in a small system.Unique in almost any aquarium, incorporating these animals into a nano system is literally boundries aside. Among the benefits of working with this smaller system is the opportunity for Mike to keep large amounts of food in front of the animals at all times, while keeping water quality high with frequent water changes. The "economies of scale" provided by the smaller water capacity make both of these tasks easier on many levels. This is a great example of a nano aquarium being the ideal system to serve as a test bed for new technologies and techniques, which can ultimately be "scaled up" to larger systems. In fact, the concepts learned on the nano enabled Mike to recreate this system in a 65 gallon aquarium.