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The salinity, Calcium/Alklinity, trace elements, and pH swings are the primary concern of these little nanotanks especially when you are doing tons of ro/di water topoffs. I would say that the main difference between a salt and freshwater nano is that the salt nanotank would require weekly water changes. I don't believe freshwater nanos require such maintenance. Yes, actinic lighting provides for coralline growth on the live rock. The coralife mini aqualights would be perfect for this application. Hope this helps!
 

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The substrate looks like crushed coral or aragonite (aragonite is the Flourite of the reef world).

Live rock is actually dead coral skeletons with other plants and animals living on it, that has aerobic and anaerobic zones that aids in filtration.

You would put whatever corals you want on top of the live rock.
 

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The substrate in the first picture is aragonite (texture of the particles rules oolite out), which is pretty fine by itself. I used to run a pretty deep layer of this in both my 10 and 40 mini-reefs, but wanted something finer and went ahead and swapped it out for oolite (sugar fine sand).

Looks like the rest of the tank is pretty barren other than the mushroom (hairy), receding sun polyp (lower left hand corner...on second look, it looks like the skeleton of one...), with some astreas snails and a microhermit. The live rock seems to be coming along nicely too, looking at the coraline growth on it.

BTW, nanoaddict, nice tank that your gf has going there. Those frags of torches looks very healthy, sitting on the oolite.

As for keeping nanos, it's takes quite a bit of time to maintain stability in such small systems (hence the reason why others have them piggy-backed to something else).

For additional info, you definitely want to visit the nano-reef forum. I post on there also, but haven't lately, but I haven't posted to this one either :icon_redf .
 

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live rock is rock from the ocean that contains small organisms and bacteria, corals however are small organisms that live in a group or colony together and have a symbiotic algae that lives inside them, they are partially photosynthesetic...
 
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