Nicholas Hatton’s Fluval Edge 46L LPS Coral Heaven
When the Fluval Edge range of aquariums were released, I highly doubt the people at Hagen had the saltwater market on their radar. But where there is potential, there will always be reefkeepers with a “Hey let’s try reef that freshwater type tank” and that saw a whole legion of hobbyists pick up a Fluval Edge, especially the little 23litre version and proceed to modify to become marine ready.
One of the strong points of these types of systems is that they are readily available in most local fish shops and entice newcomers to our glorious hobby. This is where Nicholas Hatton comes into the picture, and with under a year’s reefkeeping experience, he has managed to create a stunning display within the confines of his Fluval Edge 46Litre aquarium. Here’s some insight into his system.
Name, where are you from, hobby experience etc
My name is Nick Hatton. This is my first reef tank and I’m absolutely loving this hobby. I have kept tropical fish tanks in the past but I have never had the same excitement I get from keeping my own little reef. I love adding new corals to the tank to try and make it as stunning as possible. I look at it like a piece of art in the home because when my friends come round they can’t take their eyes off the tank.
What size is your Nano reef and how old is it? What make/model is it?
I have had my Fluval Edge 46l tank set up for 11 months now. I originally started off with the 23l version but after only being set up for a couple of months I decided to go for the larger edge so I had a bit more space to play with. The idea of having a marine tank started when we had our little girl Isla. I thought it would be nice for her to have a ‘nemo’ fish as a pet. After a couple of months into the hobby, I realised it was more of a fish tank for me than Isla and my coral addiction began.
Tell us about the filtration you run on this Fluval Edge reef tank.
I am still using the standard fluval edge filter on this tank with biophos 80, seachem purigen and filter floss in the chamber. I have around 6kg of live rock in the tank plus any other bits where I’ve bought pieces of coral with live rock attached. I don’t run a skimmer on this tank as I’ve found regular water changes of about 20% once a week to be enough to control my nitrate and phosphate levels in the tank. If I’ve had a heavy feed of the corals I might do a water change twice in that week.
What lighting do you use? Wattage? Spectrum? Photoperiod?
I run a 36w LED light unit on this tank with a mix of 6 10,000k white and 6 blue lights. I have these controlled with a dimmer switch. The blue lighting is switched on around 8am in the morning with the whites going on about half power around lunch time. I usually keep the white lights on for about 4-5 hours and the blue for about 10 hours. The blue lights get turned down in the evening to about half power.
What other equipment do you run?
I have a Vortech mp10 to control the flow in the tank. I don’t have a set mode that I leave this on as I’m still experimenting to find out which ways my corals react best. Currently it is on long pulse mode on the lowest setting and everything is looking great. It’s amazing how much flow these little pumps give off.
Tell us about your corals. What have you got and how many corals do you currently have?
My coral list at the moment is: 1 orange and purple scoly, 9 various acan frags including 3 rainbow acans (favourite coral), various zoa frags, 1 hammer coral, small colony of green clove polyps, 2 ricordeas although I can only see one as one has fallen through my rocks and I don’t want to move them now I have got them positioned to how I like them, 1 ultra green and red wellsophyllia and a small colony of green blastomussa coral. I have swapped a few corals on the way as I started off with a few boring mushrooms and finger leather corals. I traded those in for some store credit at my lfs and started my acan addiction. I feed the corals a mix of H2Ocean reef paste and Mysis shrimp once or twice a week.
You’re a self confessed LPS coral lover – what makes them so appealing?
I love sitting and watching the tank in the evening with just the blue lights. When I go to buy a coral I always ask to see what they look like under the blue lights. If they don’t glow, they’re not for me. Due to the size of the tank I believe it is better to fill it with a few ‘stunning’ corals rather than quite a few dull and not very brightly coloured corals. If I had a bigger tank, I would probably go for a mix of these corals just to fill in the spaces between rocks. I do intend on upgrading the tank in the next couple of years but with the news that we are expecting our second baby in the near future, the upgrade has now been put on hold.
What about fish?
I currently have 2 ocellaris clownfish (one orange and white, one black and white). Many people will say that clownfish should not be kept in a tank this size. I intend on moving the fish on once I feel they are too big for the tank and swap them for maybe one juvenile clown and a small goby, but for the time being they have more than enough space and the water quality is good. I also have 3 fire shrimp and a couple of turbo snails. There is also a few bristle worms, starfish and other snails in there that came as hitch hikers with the rock. I feed the fish and shrimp a mix of new era flake, hikari marine s pellets and crab cuisine as well as the occasional Mysis shrimp they get that the corals miss.
Tell us about the tank overall, what do you love about it, what problems have you had?
The only real modifications I have made to the tank are the lights. I want to keep the same look with the tank as when I first bought it. I have seen a few fluval edge tanks with the hood removed and all sorts of equipment sticking out the top. The look of the tank was the first thing that attracted me to the tank so I’m pleased I have been able to run this tank without much change. I don’t fill the water to the brim anymore on the tank however as I like to keep as much water agitation as possible to keep the oxygen levels in the tank high. The top down look on the tank when it full to the brim is stunning, but I’d rather that all the fish and corals were happy and healthy in the long term.
I have had a bit of a battle with aiptasia in the past and there are still a few that keep coming back every now and again and I also had quite a lot of algae in the first 2-3 months. Both my turbo snails looked like Bob Marley with hair algae covering their bodies. Thankfully this has now gone after the addition of biophos 80 and the reduction in my photoperiod.
Do you belong to a reef club? Which online forums do you use, (what is your username)? What books do you read for reef knowledge?
I am a member of ‘thenanoreef’ forum under the username nhatton14. Without this forum I wouldn’t have a clue what I was doing. I have learnt so much in such a short period of time from some very knowledgeable members on there. I have recently ordered a new book by Albert J. Thiel called ‘Nano Reef Aquariums’ which I’m looking forward to reading and hoping to expand on the things I have already learnt in the last year.
Anybody you want to thank? Anything else you’d like to say about your tank?
I’d like to thank all the members on ‘thenanoreef’ forum who have so far given me help and advice on keeping my tank. Without them, I probably would still have a tank full of algae and Bob Marley snails and all my corals would be very unhappy.
Enjoy this video of Nick’s tank.