I think Scapegoat was a little more "blunt" about the dark side of nanos than I was, lol!
And he also referred you to an excellent nano forum.
Like I said, there are similarities and yet big differences. Join Nano-Reefs and even ReefCentral to get a better feel for what it will entail. The investment, though less than with a full-blown reef or FOWLR is still not one you want to have to bail out on.
dude, i effing hate the thing. all it is is work to me. It was a learning experience though, and I'd absolutely consider doing a 20g long reef if I had an RO unit, and all the equipment already.
if you don't keep up on water changes, it turns into an algae farm real quick. at least without fish you're probably going to be able to let them go longer than I do.
They're really cool because there is always something new to find; like the pin head sized bodied brittle starfish i saw one time. I have/had a bristle worm in there somewhere... maybe still.
i've grown coral real well. I've turned 3 rasta zoa polyps into at least 2 dozen. they're worth about $15-$20/polyp. I'm letting the entire contents go for $200. I'm just over it. it was cool... but it's not my thing.
Hell, i originally wanted an Edge to do a cool shrimp tank. wifey thought it was boring, so we spent more money to get the nano cube and crap to get a reef tank going. I've had moments where I want to throw it out the window. I can't wait to get that stuff out of the tank and bring it to the office and have a nice little low tech planted tank here.
a thousand bucks on this sucker... coral thrown out, fish dying, shrimp disappearing. and don't put clowns in a nano... they crap up the place
If I was a smart man i'd just get rid of them, redo the tank, and start cutting up the rastas to sell to get some cash back, then break it down. I will miss my duncan.
I'm pretty much sick of running to get RO every week, or every other (i do a full 5g bucket water change) then mixing up salt. I don't feel like investing the cash or time in setting up an RO system.
don't let me steer you away though... they're really freaking cool. they just take work to keep going well. it's not like a planted tank. if you miss a water change, crap gets unhappy, algae starts to grow in crevices you can't possibly clean. be prepared to work on it, to scrap coraline algae off the glass.