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Photos of My 12 Gallon Nano Reef

Last Updated: 7/14/15

Go to the reef photos page to see more photos of my other reef and reef animals as well as videos.

My 12 gallon nano reef - inventory
My nano reef blog


Photos are listed from oldest to newest.

Tank when first filled with the lights off on 4/26/08. My betta, Homer, is watching from the 20 gallon freshwater tank.
Tank a few hours later on 4/26/08 with the lights on.

Here are two photos from 4/27/08 after I put in live rock:
Tank with live rock
Close-up of the dead clam

These two photos are from 5/11/08 after the crabs were in there.
Entire tank
Live rock - close-up from the middle of the tank showing some coralline algae and one of the hermit crabs who kept sticking himself in a tight crevice in the middle.

These two photos are from 5/22/08 after I added two Ocellaris clownfish, four corals, and seven snails (who all died).
My tank
My tank

This photo from 5/25/08 just shows one of the piles of dead snails. The one at the bottom left is the one that came back to life after three days and then died again.
Dead snails

Here are some photos from 5/31/08:
Zooanthids and live rock - note the bubbles on the live rock; that is nitrogen gas from the live rock trapped under sheets of dead diatoms (I took a toothbrush to it after the photo). The scarlet reef hermit crab is also at the top of the photo.
My nano reef- look at that nice crop of hair algae! Nemo and the star polyps are also in the photo.
My nano reef - full view after cleaning
My nano reef - full view after cleaning

These photos from 6/13/08 were to show the algae problem in the tank. There are sheets of box hairy algae and sheet algae (diatoms but not brown?). Bubbles get trapped under the sheets during the day. High phosphate and intense lighting are most likely to blame. Here I thought the stronger lights would be better for corals but the algae is just too much!
Entire reef - you can see Nemo the clownfish and Jose the firefish as well as the big cerith snail on the back wall
Hair algae on the live rock, also part of Jose and one of the scarlet reef hermit crabs (well disguised), note all the bubbles
Algae - larger strings of algae at the front of the tank
Close-up of the two little feather duster worms growing on the zooathid colony
Zooanthids plus the macroalgae and two feather duster worms that are growing on the colony, note all the bubbling algae again

These photos from 6/16/08, I took the day I got the corals. That means that the sun coral and star polyps were fully closed, and the Duncan LPS coral was half closed.
Entire reef
New corals - the star polyps (closed in the back), Duncan LPS coral (partially open, front left), and the SPS coral (right). Jose is also in the photo.
Feather duster worm - this is a better photo of the largest feather duster that is under my oldest zooanthid colony. He is in the left of the photo and fully open.

I took more photos on 6/17/08 with the corals open.
Entire tank - the star polyps are open.
New corals - the star polyps (in the back), Duncan LPS coral (front left), and the SPS coral (right). Jose's rear is also in the photo.

These photos are from 6/21/08:
Entire tank - this was when the mithrax crab was in a breeding trap hanging in the tank. You can also see Jose, Nemo, some corals, and some snails.
Entire tank - after I cleaned it so the corals are all shut up. You can see Jose.

These photos are from 6/28/08:
Entire tank before the weekly cleaning. The corals are open.
Corals - Duncan coral on the right, big star polyps on the upper left, little star polyps at the bottom, nice coralline algae above them, SPS in the background, zebra hermit crab posing too!
Corals - view of the same corals and other animals (hermit crab, an Astraea snail, and Nemo) from the front of the tank.
Corals - top view of the same corals, a totally different perspective!

These photos are from 7/4/08:
Entire tank - there is a good amount of algae growing on the glass
Animals - starting from the upper left and going clockwise, you can see part of Jose, the big star polyps, the SPS coral, the Duncan LPS coral, the smaller star polyps with coralline algae above them and the little dwarf zebra hermit crab, and Nemo.

From 7/14/08:
Mushroom coral with hermit crabs visiting
Zooanthids - with a hermit crab visitor nearby too.

These photos from 7/19/08 show some new developments:
Bubble algae - just what I wanted (not)!
Baby coral - new "heads" on the Duncan coral coming out.
Star polyps spreading - they have now affixed themselves to the live rock. I took the photo when they were closed because you cannot see the spread well when they are open.

These photos are from 7/26/08 of things have shown up recently in the tank:
Pineapple sponge - this bulbous yellow thing is now hanging from the live rock.
Bryozoan? - a yellow sponge or maybe a bryozoan that appeared on the long-shaped live rock piece.

On 7/28/08, I noticed a strange thing growing next to my larger feather duster worm:

By 7/29/98, the thing was even bigger:
Thing next to the feather duster, zooanthids, etc.
Thing next to the feather duster, zooanthids, etc., another view
Entire tank
Bryozoan colony or maybe some kind of sponge (same as above, just another photo).

By 8/2/08, it was obvious what the "thing" was:
Halimeda macroalgae growing next to the feather duster and zooanthids.

From 8/9/08:
12 Gallon Nano Reef - entire tank.

From 8/15/08:
12 Gallon Nano Reef - entire tank.
New Feathery Macroalgae growing among the green polyps and orange zooanthids. It is hard to see but there is a lot of it now.
Coralline Algae - pink coralline algae growing on the live rock, star polyps to the left, dark purple coralline algae behind that.

From 8/29/08:
Entire tank
Fuzzy tip algae

From 8/30/08:
Entire tank - note that I moved the SPS coral (compare to the last entire tank photo from the day before); also, this photo was taken shortly after the weekly water change and maintenance so many of the corals were still closed (they close when I work in the tank).

Entire tank on 9/27/08 right after the tank cleaning. The feather duster, Dusty, is new in the photo. He is on the right side of the tank.

Entire tank on 9/28/08. I painted over the flash bulb light.

Entire tank on 4/11/09. The lower levels of the tank are full of short hair algae that does not pull easily.

My cat, Tinkie, lays on my aquariums a lot. Here she is on 8/16/09 laying on my 20 gallon freshwater tank while her head rests on my 12 gallon nano cube reef tank.
Tinkie on my aquariums

These photos are from 10/17/09. Nemo can be seen.
Entire tank
Entire tank

Entire tank on 7/3/10. Note how algae has really taken over!

Photos of the tank during the 7/30/10 cleaning can be seen on this page.

I took these photos on 1/15/11:
Right side of tank - note the hair algae on the Koralia pump and the Caulerpa at the bottom that sent out a long runner floating in the current.
Entire tank - note Nemo, Zeby, and the new Maxi Jet 600 that I put in because the Koralia refused to start.

The lights stopped working on the 12 gallon tank due to a bad ballast. It took days to get it replaced so I propped up the lid and put the spare 6 gallon tank lid over the tank to provide some light. Here are photos on 3/17/11 of that set up:
12 gallon tank with the lid up and the 6 gallon lid on the tank. You can see Nemo.
12 gallon tank - the lid improvisation, close up.

This worm comes out in the 12 gallon tank sometimes. These photos are from 9/2/11. I think it is a peanut worm.
Peanut worm
Peanut worm

I took these photos on 5/10/12 when I did a total cleaning of this tank:
Sponge - on one of the 12 gallon live rocks out of the water.
12 gallon tank mostly empty.
12 gallon tank empty.
12 gallon tank refilled and everything back.

These photos of the 12 gallon tank from 5/12/12 were taken after the new Pagoda cup coral was added on 5/12/12.
12 gallon tank
12 gallon tank

Nudibranch that I removed from the 12 gallon tank on 5/29/12.

12 gallon tank on 11/30/12.

12 gallon tank on 4/26/13. You can see Nemo.

Back on 1/14/13, a little starfish came with an astraea snail that I put in my 12 gallon tank. I did not see him again until 9/13/13 when here he is! Nemo, of course, is a photo hog.
Starfish and Nemo
Starfish and Nemo
Starfish and Nemo

From 8/2/14:
12 gallon tank - view from above, note how the green star polyps have taken over!
12 gallon tank - view from above with Nemo, front part of the tank.
12 gallon tank - view from the front with Nemo

On 2/28/15, I saw the little starfish again.
Starfish and Scarlet reef hermit crab.
Starfish - close-up of the last photo.

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