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My first pico! Dymax IQ3 now 4 YEARS OLD!


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#1
andrewkw

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Hey guys, this is my first post on nano reef in a long long time. About 5 years ago I started my first 15g nano reef and used this forum a lot. I moved onto bigger things with a 112 gallon reef as well as a 90 gallon cuttlefish tank.

My display has been meh for a while. RO malfunction, tank crashes ect. It's still going and many of my fish are 3 and 4 years old, but many of my corals have died for one reason or another. The 90 gallon cuttlefish tank keeps me busy watching the short lived creatures grow fast and die young. I have raised them from eggs and they are not just in the breeding stage and should begin to lay eggs soon. That tank is only lit by a couple of T5 bulbs so it's basically a softy tank.

I frequently buy ghost shrimp for the cuttlefish but haven't been shopping at my local reef shops much for some time. Instead just picking up the shrimp at a big box fish store. Well I noticed they had this pico and I just couldn't resist. The last thing I need is another tank, but given it's side and the fact it requires almost no electricity I was sold.

The tank is just over 2 gallons at 8.66" x 6.69" x 8.66". The LED's seem okay. they are about 12k. I just got the stock fixture but in a couple of weeks I'll pick up 2 more and triple the lighting. I'm probably going to stock with zoos and maybe some acan frags. Unsure about other live stock. The smallest of gobies, or a pair of sexy shrimp are likely. I can start buying stuff for the tank whenever, as I have my frag tank to use as a QT. I won't be able to weigh the rock I'm going to use but I'm going to guetimate about 2lbs.

This tank is very sleek. I've removed the sponge from the back filter and am unsure what I will replace it with. Maybe Cheato, maybe a mangrove or 2, maybe just more live rock and a bag of carbon on top.

Here are the pictures. Tank sites right beside me on a shelf by my desk. I have it at an angle so It's viewable from 2 sides.

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empty tank, didn't adjust the white balance yet

other side
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LED's - i will add 2 more fixtures before corals

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Going to grab some rock from my frag tank as well as a bit of rubble and try my tiniest aquascape yet.


Edited by andrewkw, 25 June 2014 - 06:25 AM.


#2
Gerber77

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Welcome back man, that is a great looking tank. Youve always had some sick set ups so Im sure this will be just like those.

#3
.Newman.

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an idea for your cuttlefish: couldnt you buy a few red cherry shrimp and breed them in a small FW tank and use those instead of keeping on spending dough on ghost shrimp? Idk if that would work, but both shrimp are relatively FW i believe(i have RCS but im sure ghost are FW too?)
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#4
Jacobnano

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Sleek! There is a competition going on right now, you may want to think about joining it, I mention this because you are just starting this tank, and it is sleek already B)

#5
Gerber77

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I think the cost for cherry shrimp to get a colony started would not pay off. Ghost shrimp are like 5 cents.

#6
andrewkw

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Sleek! There is a competition going on right now, you may want to think about joining it, I mention this because you are just starting this tank, and it is sleek already B)


Link me. If the competition rules do not interfere with any of my plans I'll enter.

As for the ghost shrimp they aren't quite that cheap in Canada, but it's just easier this way. Holding them is hassle enough, I do not want to breed them. I can get them to eat off a stick too. They eat frozen uncooked shrimp but they like to hunt too.

Getting back to the Pico, wow aquascaping is hard! I epoxied the taller rocks on the left there is actually a pole in the middle and it's made of about 20 pieces of rubble. The piece on the right is just resting on it after I smashed it 3 times to make it small enough to fit in the tank.

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What do you guys think of the scape? suggestions are welcome. I'll add sand shortly (and water for that matter before I get a massive die off).

Edited by andrewkw, 25 June 2010 - 06:07 PM.


#7
andrewkw

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already made some changes. otherwise I won't be able to clean the acyrlic :)

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#8
Gerber77

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looks very good man, you have tons of places for some nice coral.

#9
.Newman.

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I think the cost for cherry shrimp to get a colony started would not pay off. Ghost shrimp are like 5 cents.


?
I got 10 for like $10 and months later my FW tanks are swimming in them. theyre like pests, i'm sure they can easily pay for themeselves, i mean they dont even need to be directly fed 0_0
but its just a suggestion. ghost shrimp cost like 9.99 a peice where i live, so it just seemed outragious to me lol. if that is true about your prices then thats cool.

Edited by .Newman., 25 June 2010 - 06:50 PM.

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#10
Gerber77

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wow thats crazy for a ghost shrimp, I apologize.

#11
andrewkw

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I think cherry shrimp are a lot smaller.

Ghost shrimp I pay $3 for 10. Typically I get 120 at a time and they usually don't count and i'm guessing I end up with closer to 150. If they don't count them, I wont either.

I've added sand and once again changed the aquascape. I cant even put my hands in without the water almost spilling out. Once it clears up I'll take another pic.

I've decided to use the sponges for the first couple of days to help clear out the detritus.

#12
.Newman.

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use filter floss :)
unless you have no access to that.
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#13
andrewkw

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use filter floss :)
unless you have no access to that.


It actually did come with some so I am using it.

Here's the tank now, so far I've seen 2 little starfish hitchikers.

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#14
.Newman.

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kewl, what kind of sand is that?
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#15
andrewkw

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kewl, what kind of sand is that?


caribsea aragonite. I don't remember the exact type. I just took a cup of sand out of my display.

#16
.Newman.

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i musthave used something else. carib sea something... mines a bit more fine.
tank is off to a good start :)
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#17
andrewkw

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I was actually thinking about using sugar sized sand, since this tank is extremely low flow, but grabbed from the tank that had this :) I also have even more course stuff which would look too big in the pico.

It's really cleared up. I've now seen at least 3 astera starfish and one bristleworm. Amazing what hitched onto this tiny amount of live rock. Also it was out of the water for a good hour.

I'll probably remove the filter floss today. I'm going to check the temp today. I don't think I will need a heater for sure not in the summer. I will probably need a fan, I'll see what I can find this weekend.

For additional flow I'm thinking of one of those hydor pico powerheads. I have so many bad experieces with hydro though. It's only 3 watts so even if it does leak I don't think it's such a big deal. Any other suggestions for tiny tiny powerheads? I might be able to get away with none but I'm unsure how much flow I have now. At least the overflow should keep the surface clean.

Also do you think an aqualifter pump on a timer would work for auto top off? I want something cheap and if I put it on a timer to run for a couple of minutes a day that should suffice. I will of course measure the evap first. I am home most days so it doesn't even have to be 100% accurate I just don't want to ever be in the situation (again) where I'm like well I gotta go home to top off the tanks.

#18
andrewkw

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Day 2:

Salinity 1.026
nitrate 2.5ppm - in line with where the rock and sand came from
temp 80.5 - I will look into a fan, but the ac is off and its very humid in the house, if this is as hot as it gets I won't be doing too bad

I did not test calcium alk and mag since the water was mostly newly mixed thus all other parameters should be acceptable.

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I'm not sure how long I'll have to wait to start stocking. Everything is established from other tanks. I just have to figure out the temp swing. I don't except a cycle.

I am thinking 2 astera snails I'll just take from another tank, maybe a stometella since it will reproduce on its own as the cleanup crew. There is no point adding them until algae starts to grow though. So far i've seen 4 astera starfish and one smallish bristleworm.

I may add some pods from other tanks too.

#19
.Newman.

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i see the asterina :)
2 astrea might be overload. I have 1 in my 3 gal pico and its a major waste producer, I kinda want to get rid of it (but no one would likely take it as its shell is overgrown with bryopsis lol)
you might want to look into that stomatella and other tiny snails such as dwarf ceriths, but its all up to you :)
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#20
andrewkw

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This might sound crazy but given the rock & sand is from an established tank I've decided to add a couple of zoo frags. I have a bunch of these just sitting in my frag tank so I threw them in to add a splash of colour. The temp stayed within 80-81 all day which was my only concern. I will be picking up a tiny powerhead, a desktop fan incase it gets any hotter then 82, and will look into ato options. I haven't lost much water at all so manual top off will be fine for now.

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Top down
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The zoos seem fine under the one LED fixture. Nice colour and the polyps opened quickly. I learned I'll have to take a cup of water out when adding new frags so I don't spill any water out of the tank. I will be adding another light fixture the next time I'm out to double the lighting output.

#21
Gerber77

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It looks awesome man, I didnt realize how small the tank was until you showed the money. Are those OPE or RPE?

#22
andrewkw

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It looks awesome man, I didnt realize how small the tank was until you showed the money. Are those OPE or RPE?


Yeah it's tiny. I guess they are RPE, that's what I consider them although I don't really pay much attention to the names of zoos and palys.

So I'm going to take the floss out tomorrow and the sponge from the back chamber. I'm not sure what I want to put in its place. If I were to put cheato I'd have to find a way to light it. I could just put more live rock in there. Other options are carbon or maybe a couple of mangroves. I have quite a few growing in my frag tank and even the ones under indirect light seem to be doing pretty good, i could always get a desktop light and turn that on for a couple of hours a day.

#23
.Newman.

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ssponge in ther is not a good idea, so its good youre taking that out. i've heard bad things about rock rubble in there. carbon/chemi-pure/purigen is a good idea, mangroves probably work similar to chaeto. i hear you shouldnt add chemical media until after your cycle is done and over with.
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#24
andrewkw

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Day 3.
Replaced the sponge and filter floss with 2 mangrove plants. They already have a couple of leaves and pretty thick roots. So they fit in quite nicely in the back chamber. I am hoping ambient sunlight will be enough otherwise I'll put a desk lap above them and turn it on for 4hrs a day. I have tons of mangroves and unlike cheato or other macro I won't need to light it specifically (hopefully) nor do I have to worry about pruning. Just misting the leaves a couple times a week.

By mid week I will be upgrading the flow. Either by adding a powerhead or perhaps by replacing the return pump. Keeping the powerhead out of the display section would be nice since there is such limited space. There is flow throughout the tank but its very weak. I am thinking a Mini-Jet 404 would work out nicely. If there is a real tiny powerhead I could attach to the back wall I'd consider that option as well.

Light still looks pretty bright. Zoos have once again opened and shown good colour. I've also added a small cestipulara frag (purple xenia). What a pain to attach to the back wall. Still I got it up and now it can spread on the back wall and side wall. If it gets out of hand I can simply scrape it off with a razor blade. I am also considering attaching both gsp and purple star polyps to the back wall as well. Also considering clove polyps. I will also pick up another LED light and double the lighting the next time I have to go pick up ghost shrimp or if the corals start to look like they need more light.

I also added the smallest baby mushroom I have seen in a long time. It was sitting on my frag tanks floor when I grabbed the purple xenia so I took it too. Surprisingly I was able to attach it to the rock without incident.

I wouldn't be adding stuff so quickly if I didn't have it readily available and free. Everything added in, exists in another tank or in my frag tank. That being said, I don't expect to see any losses with these hearty corals.

New FTS
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Top down of the purple xenia
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mangrove fuge
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The smallest mushroom ever
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#25
andrewkw

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Update. I've added a second light fixture and it sure does it make it a lot brighter. I noticed the palys have been pointing up so perhaps they were not getting enough light. I am still considering a 3rd, but I decided to wait as I'll have to pick up more ghost shrimp next week so I can pick up another fixture then. They are just 1.6 watts so the electricity costs of 3 is still nothing.

I was unable to find a small heater so I ordered a 7.5w hydor. I have plenty of bad expereinces with hydor and their korilia powerheads leaking, but at 7.5w I suppose it's not too big of a concern.

I also ordered a Zoomeds Micropump 104 it's just 30-60gph. I am going to try and get it into the overflow compartment. There is a small hole which should let enough of the flow back into the tank. If not I will attempt to make the hole bigger. There wasn't too much planning with the pico but there are a lot of possibilities with this little guy. I did check the return pump and turned it up all the way it's 200L so should be about 52gph so I just need to add a very small amount of flow.

I also added some GSP and PSP. The purple have not opened yet but the green is looking good. Also noticed a small stomatella wandering about. Maybe I won't need to add a cleanup crew, they're already secretly in there!

Tomorrow I'll look at doing a .5-1gallon water change.
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