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Sunlight Clam Pico II (1.25g)


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#51
Steffo

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I really like this pico! Very interesting project!
I use an adjustable heater, and have had no problems with it. It's 10W and ~4 inches long. It's not hard to find in Sweden, but I don't know if you can find it in the states...

The dealer is Swedish, but at least the product information is in English:
http://www.tritonakv...p...ub=0&page=1

I hope you can work out the heat problem (and hide that ugly HOB...)

// Steffo

#52
tinyreef

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Yeah, I had trouble with that type of heater overheating my 2.5gal.

ok, now you've officially worried me. :unsure:

i'm not crazy about using that heating pad but i really have no choice. i need the fan but the lighting changes day-to-day depending on the weather forecast, e.g. sunny w/fan ~ ok, but a cloudy day w/fan ~ too cold (it was back down to 73F yesterday before i intervened). and that doesn't even include cooler days, warmer days, rainy days. it was definitely easier with the 2.5-gallon tank where i had more room to use standard/available equipment. *sigh*

so i'm pretty much left now to leave the heater pad on almost all the time to counter too much fan cooling (ironic?). jeebus!

so far the constant flow of the hob isn't too bad. had to make some minor adjsutments already but nothing too bad. going to gauge evaporation over the next few days though. the lid isn't pretty but it's somewhat covering the top. >.<

i added a couple of baby ceriths (again) as well as a couple of asterinas. we'll see if they dent the scummy algae leftover from the heat wave/zero flow period of the last couple of weeks.

thanks for the comments though! :happy:

steffo,
that looks interesting but is it adjustable? the link says that unit is "constant on" like the mini-heat unit is. but you said it's adjustable?

the hagen is the smallest adjustable one i know of in the US. i'm sure there are others abroad like you note though. i also think there's some FW heaters (like mini-heat was originally designed for) but i don't know if they're all sw-safe. :(

thanks for the suggestion though!

#53
Lalani

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Didn't mean to worry you. :P
I had that same hydor heater pad in my 2.5gal. and the temps kept climbing up to around 87F. I tried unplugging and plugging again, but didn't help. It could have been a faulty one, but I got rid of it quickly. Just keep an eye on it. I switched to a hydor theo 25w which is about the same length as the heater pad.

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#54
Steffo

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Sure it's adjustable. You probably read it a bit too fast. It says: "continous use" and also: "The clear temperature indicator on the cap enables easy and precise temperature adjustment"

It's made for continous use, it's not constantly on.

I've used mine in SW, but the heater is made for FW. The retailor is "only SW" though.

Good luck anyhow.

#55
tinyreef

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Update: i added the mini-heat but i'm still getting some crazy temp variations even with it in there. it's making me re-think getting a "constant on" heater like stef suggested above.

for example, i'm getting variations of 71F (6AM) -> 82F (9AM) -> 75F (11AM, with the fan on) -> 78F (afternoon, fan off) -> 75F (late afternoon, fan off).

i don't think the mini-heat is able to compensate and maintain temps. *head-smash*

*sigh* looks like i'll be getting a larger HOB and a tune-able heater afterall. i'd rather it fight it out with the fan than fluctuate all over the place like it's been doing. it's probably worst than i depicted above too because that was only on cloudy/rainy days here (last two days).

all the following are without color correction. i wanted to show actual color and intensity for the time of day (late afternoon, 4PMish), season (early autumn), and weather condition (rainy/cloudy).

overall shot on a rainy day (about 4PM lighting)
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closeup of the above (without the paper towel background :P ), even with the cloudy/rainy day condition the lighting's sufficient to cast shadow and easily elicit coral response.
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Side view, just a different angle. but you can see it looks dark in the overall shot but i think the lighting's still pretty bright on an overcast day.
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new addition, this shot was actually partially shadowed as i'm taking the pic from the front and blocking some of the light. the brightness of the top shows the difference in lighting.
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(this pic i did alter a bit color-wise but more to back off the glare, the zoo actually lost some color in the shopping, i think)

i added more baby ceriths, a couple more asterinas, a baby blue shroom, palys, carbon filtration and increased my Poly-Filter changes. i've been too lazy still for waterchanges though. :blush: but the pipe organ finally re-opened. whew!

i'll be placing an order for a backup HOB, adjustable heater, etc. hopefully, i'll have it in-place by next week for pics.

reminder: pics are really only accessible on weekend daytime lighting. sorry, that's why i pretty much only update weekly and primarily on the weekends. thanks for reading though! :happy:

#56
NAL

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I love the concept of a sun lighted tank, it just makes so much sense. Maybe try this heater: http://www.drsfoster...mp;pcatid=18445

#57
tinyreef

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I love the concept of a sun lighted tank, it just makes so much sense. Maybe try this heater: http://www.drsfoster...mp;pcatid=18445

thanks for the suggestion, nal. i was actually looking at that already but with the problems i'm getting from this un-tuneable mini-heat by hydor, i'm not feeling lucky enough that that marineland unit will solve my issues either (being it's un-tuneable as well).

i'd rather go with something i'm comfortable with (an adjustable heater) and just suffer with a larger hob to house it. i figure the larger volume and filter chamber will makeup for some of my disappointment.

i might just get the marineland unit as a backup or try it anyways. it's not so bad at $15.

the sunlight is pretty 'natural' feeling. i really do think it supercharges the phytoplankton (one of the bases of the food pyramid) and therefore benefits the reef ecosystem. but the simplicity of it really appeals to me.

and the lower energy costs. :P

#58
NAL

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Ya, it's awesome, it makes me want to start one, but I really don't think any window in our house gets that much light. We are in a valley with a lot of trees.

I think that marineland unit at least has a themostat, unlike the lil hydro one. I have that hydro heater, I used it in a beta tank my old roommate had. But I tried it in my 3gal pico, and haha, that was a joke. Someone on here is running it in a picotope, I forgot who.

#59
Steffo

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Looking good.
Temp swings suck though. Too bad I can't send you my heater, it's currently not in use, but I'm on the wrong side of the Atlantic... and we have 230V...

I'm increasingly interested in the concept of a sun-lit tank. May try it out...

Good luck,
Steffo

#60
tinyreef

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just a normal 'nighttime' view under room lighting: halogen spotlight, probably around 2800K or whatever. hence, the very yellow/red look.
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i'll probably be updating with some new livestock this weekend. it'll depend on the livestock's actual appearance/size (that i ordered) compared to the tank size. there's no way the 3~4 pieces i ordered could fit in this tank but i want to see what comes in and re-arrange/downsize as needed.

although there's one piece in particular that i can't downsize no matter what. the ols knows it's for this tank though. i hope they have a small enough specimen. :lol: but i'm already planning to 'make room' if necessary.

i'm actually putting more thought into how i'm going to add the livestock without creating a flood. :huh:

i finally took the heater off timer. i just couldn't adequately control it that way. i think it was taking too long to heat up or whatever but i was getting temp swings of 69F to 84F within the same day! so i'd rather chance it that it'll be on the higher side almost all the time than chance it at extended sub-70F temps. :o so far, it's been around 75F~81F now.

i have a shipment of equipment also due in (actually it was due in last wednesday/thursday <_< ) that i hope will be more accurate in the temps.

#61
tinyreef

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ok, i was very happy (almost giddy) i got my shipment of corals and baby crocea from Fraggle Reef but then i get home and check my tank temp. a nice balmy 90.2F. d'oh! >.<

cue frantic efforts to cool tank and prep for livestock acclimation. omgomgomg changeover to AC100 from Azoo mini and then deal on the fly with too much flow even at lowest setting. arrrgh! (i shaped a foam block and muffled the intake for the moment)

anyhow, after an hour of frantic efforts and temp acclimating, i plopped in the new crocea and mushrooms. fyi, pheallox, i put the other shrooms and an acro in the display tank downstairs. thanks! ;)

new baby crocea soaking up some of the indirect light of the afternoon sun.
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fts side shot with the clam and displaced palys (ugly step child of the tank now :( ). the lito and candy cane are still a bit po'd from the 90F+ bake.
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odd angle shot of the tank, sorry i was rushing out the door to an appointment. this was all done during my 'lunch break' (rushed home, found hot tank, acclimated newbies, and taking pics). i'm not sure what my mailperson thinks of me as i was hovering around my tank as she delivered the mail today. :wacko:
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i finally got my equipment shipment though! after 6 business days. <_< hopefully, i can re-do part of the setup to have better temperature control tonight and not kill this clam tomorrow in the heat of the midday sun. *sigh*

anyhow, thanks to Fraggle Reef for a great order, selection, and communication! i appreciated the extra info/communication! it did make things a lot easier (yeah, i guess it could've been even worst for me! :o ).

thanks pheallox/Fraggle Reef! ;)

#62
brian92

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That clam is an awesome addition to the tank.

Does the sunlight effects the clam or coral's colors?
Posted ImagePosted ImagePosted Image
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#63
Lalani

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Nice clam! :)

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#64
tinyreef

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That clam is an awesome addition to the tank.

Does the sunlight effects the clam or coral's colors?

thanks, i've been planning on the clam since the beginning actually. i only just found an affordable and appropriate sized one from fraggle. the sunlight does affect coloration and shape/form.

colors will seem to brown from certain angles but not from others (it's like when you look at your tank from the surface under artificial lighting, it's different than from the sides).

with the side light (sunlight), corals will turn to face the sun like a satellite dish tracking the sun. (phototropism) the clam seems to have already shown some of this but it's really too early to say for sure.

Nice clam! :)

thank YOU! :naughtydance:

:P thanks for following along!

#65
lilredneckman

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that clam really makes you tank!
Took Down:

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#66
Lalani

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thank YOU! :naughtydance:

:P thanks for following along!

Hey waitaminute, you made it sound like I meant it another way! :P
I don't know how you're dealing with the constant temp issues, that would drive me crazy.

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DON'T TALK ABOUT LALANI LIKE THAT!  :angry:


#67
Weetabix7

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The temp thing would bug me too.
It's funny, but I had intended to do a similar project over the summer.
I had a vase that I was gonna do a Pico with and had planned on putting it in my kitchen windowsill, which faces mostly east and gets plenty of sun.
Coincidentally, I had the same lil heater and Azoo HOB you started out with.
I never got around to setting it up, but am watching this tank of yours to learn from it for when I finally do get around to that project.

I had no idea that it would be possible to keep a clam in a tank like this.
I would have been WAY too nervous to try! :scarry:
I'm interested to see how this one does.

I always learn things when I read your tank threads, thanks for once again helping me to look at reefing from another perspective. :flower:

#68
Steffo

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Sweet clam!

Sorry to hear your still battling temp issuees.
You know you could get an ATO and remove the top... The evaporation would probably solve the heat issue. Anyway, you know this, so I don't even know why I mention it.

I've wanted a sunlit pico since I saw "Sunlight pico I" (the contest tank), but watching you struggle makes me a bit unsure if I have the guts...

Good luck though.

#69
tinyreef

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I had no idea that it would be possible to keep a clam in a tank like this.

me too! :unsure: but we'll see how it goes.

it's mainly the temp issues i'm worried about for the clam though. it's simply not hardy enough to be able to take the extreme temp swings like the corals so its imperative that i keep the temps within tolerances.

also why i was po'd at dfs for the delay for my equipment shipment. <_< i wanted the opportunity to test and stabilize things before the clam came. so unfortunately now, it'll be a mystery until i get home tonight on how the clam fared. :scarry:

I always learn things when I read your tank threads, thanks for once again helping me to look at reefing from another perspective.

thank you for your kind comments! :happy:

You know you could get an ATO and remove the top... The evaporation would probably solve the heat issue. Anyway, you know this, so I don't even know why I mention it.

i can't find a small enough ATO sensor. it's been the bane of my pico/femto efforts for years! i jury-rigged one for the last pico but i had it stuck 'on' once and flooded the tank. thankfully i didn't lose anything because i was home at the time. really weird thing was i had all three ATO units (i had 3-tanks at the time) fail within a day of each other even though they were in different locations! :huh:

but i'll probably re-try that again (definitely before the spring/summer) because you're right, it's the simplest way to combat the temp issues (i.e. evaporative cooling).

I've wanted a sunlit pico since I saw "Sunlight pico I" (the contest tank), but watching you struggle makes me a bit unsure if I have the guts...

don't be discouraged from trying these simple setups. my efforts are a little skewed because i tend to be too lazy in my methods. a bit more diligence and thought would make this much easier. :blush:

it really is straightforward imo, as long as you have some reefing experience. it's not difficult, i'm just making it so because i'm a masochist. :P

#70
tinyreef

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i always liked the color variation from viewing angles. this pic shows different viewing angles yielding different colorations. at different light/times of the day there seems to be darker variations (very purple, dark blue, and these below).
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morning sunlight on the new crocea
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temps today seem to be pretty steady at 78F. i was worried i forgot to turn on the fan but thankfully i didn't forget. *whew!*

the clam seems to be settling in as are the new shrooms. there were some bleached spots already (i figured stress from the shipping). i'll be watching closely to see if it recovers and really settles in.

i plan on prettying up the stand and setup this weekend. the table could use a re-surface and the hob should have a better support than a jar. hey, gimme a break! i was panicking! :P

#71
drog

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Very nice little pico! I love that clam. ;)

#72
Steffo

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You could try something along these lines:

And to keep things really simple I've employed a pet watering bottle to keep the tank topped up using RO water:

Posted Image

Works like a charm (when modified correctly) and provides up to a week of fresh water before it needs refilling (yea!, no more daily fill ups!).

Borrowed from: http://www.nano-reef...hl=ato pressure

I'm not a great one for physics, sure - I understand the principle, but I'm not sure if salt would diffuse into the bottle, or if pressure would prevent it. Nano Sapiens is currently testing for this.
Also SW is a lot heavier than FW, which along with water temp variations is driving ie the Gulf stream and water exchange in the Baltic sea...

#73
debbeach13

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Tiny you always amaze me. A clam in a sun lite pico. I was alraedy following along. Now this is like a must see how this turns out thread. Nice clam by the way
Pay It Forward

#74
tinyreef

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thanks for the comments/suggestions! :happy:

stef,
i just read that thread (thanks!). i'm also concerned with jmig's comments on the diffusion principles. i'm curious how sapiens' experiment is going at this point (day #3?). i would think there is dye transfer and there would be salt diffusion in his actual setup.

i remember some of those experiments explaining diffusion principle so that's why i never opted for that type of setup. it works in fw/fw or sw/sw but the differential in fw/sw makes me worried that the combined system would strive to reach ioninc equilibrium like jmig notes. :unsure:

day #2 for the crocea, and it still looks fine in the morning. i really won't be able to see it in daylight until the weekend though but it seems to be responsive and active towards the early light.

i think some of the bleaching has already recovered (as i noted previously, it had some blanching when i rec'd it - stress from shipping). i'll take better/macro pics this weekend to gauge any changes.

one of the basic concepts of the tank and clam that i took into account ahead of time was (what i felt would be) the lack of the need of feeding it, phytoplankton or other plankton in its baby/growth stages. (i told you i'm a lazybutt! :P )

the tank is naturally very rich with phytoplankton from the optimal lighting from the sunlight. i noticed this on the previous sunlit pico when i was comparing water quality and algae/phyto growth, and had filed it away for future reference (pretty much when i began thinking about this tank actually).

and here we are! :lol:

#75
Weetabix7

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Ok, I have kind of a stupid question here, but we're on the topic, so what the heck.
To be perfectly honest with you, my knowledge of phytoplankton is pretty basic.
Can you explain it's effects on this kind of a setup, both positive and negative?