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June 2011 AFI Editor's Note

Joining the Nano-Reef Set

By Clay Jackson |

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One of this month’s features is Scott Michael’s “Nano-Reef Aquariums, Part 1.” Look for a follow-up nano article in the July issue. Between the two articles, Scott will leave no piece of live rock unturned as he delves into the advantages of these 30-gallons-or-less setups.

All-in-one prepackaged nano setups have opened up the saltwater hobby to a whole segment of the fish-and-coral-loving public that might not otherwise be able to keep saltwater animals in captivity — be it economics, the intimidation factor involved in keeping “giant” 6-foot-long tanks, a lack of space or a combination of all of these.

Incidentally, I just picked up a 12-gallon curved-glass nano-cube (pictured) for my office here in Irvine, California. If you have any ideas on what to put in it, you can pass them along to me (details below). Here’s what I wrote in one of my exclusives on

"I’m thinking along the lines of about a 2- to 3-inch-deep crushed coral sandbed; two pieces of eco-friendly live rock that, when pushed together, form an archway; some mushroom corals (Actinodiscus spp.); one orange-spotted goby (Amblyeleotris guttata); and three bumblebee snails (Engina sp.) for cleanup."

I’m also considering a goby-shrimp combination. Here are a few other suggestions I’ve already received:
• Mandarinfish
• LPS (large-polyped stony corals): Acanthastrea lordhowensis and A. echinata

For suggestions of what I should put in my new nano setup, go to my article “Saltwater Nano-Cube” and log your thoughts into the comment field that follows. Go to

I appreciate the suggestions I’ve received already and those that I will be receiving. Not only will I carefully consider everyone’s ideas, but I’ll heed any advice offered, too. I’ll let AFI readers know what I decide to go with in a future issue.

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June 2011 AFI Editor's Note

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Grant    Marietta, GA

5/18/2011 3:48:05 PM


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