Did you know that these live corals and invertebrates are both plant and animal? These coral reef organisms have special needs. To keep them thriving in captivity in this beautiful aquarium you must understand about each animal’s specific needs, and be able to provide them everything from the appropriate nutrients to pristine water quality to the correct lighting. To achieve this level of success takes time…but you can always take baby steps with small aquariums!
If you are in the market to set up a small reef aquarium for your home or office, keep watching. We guarantee that you will not only save money, you will also prevent the loss of the animals’ lives that are in your care. It is also our hope that we will help you succeed in this wonderful endeavor. You see, over the past few years there have been many aquarium companies that have introduced small nano aquariums into the trade. Picking the right aquarium setup will help to ensure that the animals you keep will thrive under your care! Picking the wrong one…well…everything you buy may not live! Let’s take a look at what comes with our small aquariums before you consider parting with your hard-earned money.
But before we do… let’s look at what types of equipment and filtration systems successful reef aquarists use in their reef aquariums. The protein skimmers shown here have typically been considered a “must have” for a coral reef aquarium. The first beautiful tank seen here, which is located at the public aquarium, the Aquarium of the Pacific, in Long Beach, California, uses a protein skimmer. The next tank is a magnificent aquarium located in Germany, in the home of German aquarist, Markus Resch. He uses a different approach to aquarium filtration, a method known as the EcoSystem Method. The next stunning reef aquarium belongs to Chingchai of Bangkok, Thailand, who uses a hybrid filtration system — that is, a protein skimmer AND the EcoSystem Method! While the filtration systems used in these three magnificent reef aquariums may be different, these aquariums all have one thing in common — they are all lighted with good metal halide light bulbs made in Germany.
It makes perfect sense that if one wants to succeed in this hobby; one need only follow in the footsteps of these successful aquarists. Don’t you agree? Now, let’s look at what is included with these small aquariums — the ECO MINIs. The ECO MINI aquariums are designed with the animals’ needs in mind to ensure that they will thrive in your care. The Owner’s Manual included with the MINIs will help to guarantee that you will succeed in keeping a majority of the reef animals available today healthy and thriving — that is, if you follow the instructions very closely! So please: READ!
The ECO MINIs come in two sizes — the 14-gallon and the 28-gallon models.
The 14-gallon tank is available with a choice of two types of filtration systems.
The Berlin Method — a filter similar to the prototype Berlin filter — is located in the back of the 14-gallon MINI. Please note the performance of the small, but powerful, skimmer! It performs at, or above, the performance rate of the very popular Bak Pack protein skimmer, made by CPR!
Before setting up the 14-gallon Berlin Method MINI, locate all component parts to make sure they are all there. Insert the elbow joint, with silicone tube attached, to the body of the skimmer. Note that the pumps we use here are made in Italy — the same company that manufactures the Maxi-Jet pumps, made by Aquarium Systems.
EcoSystem Aquarium uses the latest mesh technology to ensure the efficiency of the skimmer! The skimmer collection cup can be raised or lowered as needed. Each MINI unit comes with an ECO PHOS cartridge to remove phosphate and silicates. Maintaining low concentrations of these nutrients is essential to a coral’s survival in the reef aquarium. The submerged ultraviolet (UV) unit shown here is optional, and is designed to keep parasites under control and help the water remain crystal clear. The fan, located in the canopy, will ensure that the aquarium temperature remains cool — you should also purchase a heater! Unlike other small aquariums on the market, the ECO MINI will not require a chiller or refrigeration unit if it is set up in a room kept at a comfortable temperature. This will save you money. The plastic lever shown here can be used to raise or lower the aquarium water to whatever level one wishes.
The EcoSystem Method — the small EcoSystem filter used in the 14-gallon MINI — has been in use since 1994. This filtration method has three functions in the reef aquarium. First, it is a denitrifying filter – that is, nitrate is converted into harmless nitrogen gas, which ensures pristine water quality in the reef aquarium. Second, the “Miracle Mud” filter substrate continually releases 70+ minerals and trace elements into the water, making this filter the only comprehensive filtration system on the market. Third, it comes with a built-in refugium — that is, an area where the microscopic organisms that make up the food for the inhabitants of the main tank are continuously multiplying! In a nutshell, the EcoSystem Method is the most user-friendly filter available, and requires the least amount of effort to maintain. And, it ensures that all animals kept in the aquarium remain very healthy. If you are a newcomer to the hobby, we strongly recommend this system for you! It virtually guarantees that you will succeed and that you will be extremely happy with the results. That is, of course, if you READ and FOLLOW the simple maintenance steps outlined in the owner’s manual.
Before setting up the 14-gallon EcoSystem Method MINI, locate all component parts to make sure they are all there. Bioballs for bacteria to settle on and perform nitrification should be in chamber one. Set up the return pump with or without the UV unit. Fill the MINI aquarium with premixed saltwater to about 1½ to 2 inches below the rim of the aquarium. Slowly and gently place the two Miracle Mud trays in the refugium chamber, so as not to disturb the mud — pay careful attention to this step in the video. Insert the ECO PHOS cartridge. Set up the LED light on top of the refugium chamber. Turn on the pump!
Note: The 14-gallon MINI is made of glass that is 6 millimeters thick, with a base thickness of 10 millimeters. The glass is 50 percent thicker than any other nano tank on the market.
The 28-gallon MINI comes with two choices of filtration systems, as well.
The EcoSystem Method — please locate all component parts and make sure they are all included, and then follow the set-up instructions detailed earlier for the 14-gallon EcoSystem Method MINI.
The Hybrid System — the EcoSystem Method combined with a protein skimmer. Again, make sure all component parts are included, and then follow the set-up instructions detailed earlier for the 14-gallon Berlin Method MINI and the 14-gallon EcoSystem Method MINI.
Note: The 28-gallon MINI is made of glass that is 8 millimeters thick, with a base thickness of 10 millimeters.
Additionally, note the quality of the ECO MINI stands! Unlike other stands on the market, the MINI aquarium stands are made of the highest quality wood, with glass doors. The paint used is water resistant to prevent any damage caused by water spillage. Don’t you agree that any of the MINI units will be a great addition to either your living room or office or both?
Light is life! Having the correct spectrum, wavelength and intensity, however, mean life or death to the corals and invertebrates you keep in the MINI aquarium — they depend on it. You may want to save money by using a cheap light for your nano reef aquarium. However, if you have a hard time keeping anything alive under that lighting, then you are not saving anything! Please take a moment to think this through. Most of us like to save money, and so too do the staff aquarists at the Aquarium of the Pacific, Markus and Chingchai. My friends — we can’t penny-pinch here. Let’s do it right. Shall we?
The MINI comes with two lighting options — the T5 light and the metal halide light. This particular T5 light is great to use on the tank if the animals you want to keep, such as mushroom corals, don’t require intense lighting, or if the animals included in the tank aren’t dependent on light for survival. The metal halide light, however, is strongly recommended if your goal is to keep corals typically found under high light intensities in the wild, thriving long term. It comes with either a 70- or 150-watt bulb.
Insert the base of the light under the aquarium base, as seen here. After inserting the light pole into the base pole, secure the light to the tank, again, as seen here. This will keep the light from falling into the aquarium. Don’t you think this is a good safety feature you would want to have? You can adjust the height of the light — for instance, when changing an old bulb with a new one — so that the intensity of the new light will not burn and kill the corals down below. The light bulb we use here is an HQI bulb made in Germany or the USHIO brand bulb, both of which are similar to those most successful reef aquarists use! The metal halide light comes with a high-end electronic Vossloh-Schwabe ballast. You should feel very good about this. Seriously, this is the best metal halide light unit you’ll ever find. Expensive? No, because not only is it extremely attractive when attached to the MINI, it is also firmly attached. You can keep corals alive and thriving under it!!! This may not be the case with other metal halide lights on the market. You decide.
The ECO MINIs are the least expensive of all small aquarium setups available on the market. Do your homework…please. Not only are they built with the highest quality in mind, they have also incorporated all the correct equipment components to make sure that you will have the best chance of keeping corals healthy and thriving in the aquarium! You have two choices of aquariums…you decide. You can pay a little more now to ensure that you get the right light, pick the tank with a proven filtration system for the reef aquarium, and a stand that complements your furniture. OR, you can pay a lot more in terms of the animals you will lose later on. You may even find that other nano tanks on the market don’t function as they claim, because some of them are not even appropriate to use as nano reefs! Do the right thing…please.
What would you do if you knew you wouldn’t fail in this endeavor? READing and FOLLOWing the simple maintenance steps outlined in the ECO MINI owner’s manual will start you out right on the road to success in the reefkeeping hobby. We are standing by to help you realize your goal of having a “slice of the coral reef” in your home or office.
All cars in this parking lot…regardless of brand and model….will take you from point A to point B — guaranteed! This is not the case with many of the nano aquariums currently offered on the market. On the other hand, the ECO MINI aquariums will make nano reef aquarium keeping a breeze…GUARANTEED! Do your homework…and check these MINIs out!
For more information, please click here.