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Rant about my pico/contest experience


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#1
funkngroovy

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I've been hanging out for another opportunity to build a pico. I've had one in the past which was a touch over one gal.

My contest build will be as close to 3 gal as I can get without going over of course). I'll also be sumping it with the same or similar size. The sump will hold all equipment, a fuge with shrimp.

The sump and display will be made from one small glass tank. Not sure of the exact dimensions yet, I'll have to check out the LFS. I'll cut the small tank into two and it will look something like this.

These are the dimensions of the tank, and sump. The display will hold 3 gal exactly and the sump about 2.8 gal. These volumes are before the addition of livestock or equipment.

Posted Image

The small wier will have a full syphon/overflow style silent system.

Posted Image

Introduction:

System Type: LPS with Acropora dallaswarreni.

Strike up Date: 1 April 2012

Display Tank: 460x 215x120mm glass with polished edges all round.

Display Lighting: Sunlight plus 2x 6500k 12W compact flurescent.

Stand: work bench

Sump: 460x215x100mm glass. Mostly fuge but small section for return/recirculation pump..

Refugium Lighting: Sunlight

Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water

Display Water circulation: Closed loop. Sump pump will provide disply tank circulation

Return Pump:2000lph

Evaporation Top Up:Gravity fed RO via float valve in sump

Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: Via water changes.

Alkilinity Addition: Via water changes

Other Chemical Maintenance: Via water changes

Current Water Chemistry: Update upon strikeup
Nitrates:
Phosphates:
Alkalinity:
Calcium:
Salinity / Specific Gravity:
Magnesuim:


Images:

Edited by funkngroovy, 06 August 2012 - 02:46 AM.


#2
MetaTank

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Huh? What do you mean? As long as the display tank is 3 or under... Sounds intriguing.

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#3
funkngroovy

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eg, I'll be grabbing a small glass aquarium, they are only $15, taking it apart and cutting the four sides down to the required height. Then silicone it all back together and cut a new base to build the sump.

I'll make sure to post all the pics as I go.

Edited by funkngroovy, 11 March 2012 - 02:39 PM.


#4
MetaTank

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Wow! Sounds ambitious! I've been thinking about tinkering around with building my own tank, but I don't trust my silicone skills yet...lol...Sounds great! Can't wait to see the build.

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#5
funkngroovy

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Photo update. I went and picked up a small aquarium today as per the dimensions above.Here it is plus the disection. I'll cut the pieces down, drill and prep ready to silicone back together next weekend. Meanhile, this week I'll be selecting some rock to get some scaping done. I've already got cycle LR so i'll go with that.
Posted Image
As you can see, it cost me $30.
Posted Image
Carefully cutting between the silicone so as not to chip the glass
Posted Image
5 mins later, a leaky tank.
Posted Image

Edited by funkngroovy, 11 March 2012 - 02:39 PM.


#6
shaneandjohn

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Wow...I like what you have going here! This one I will be watching.


( Subscribed )
Shane and John
Father and Son

35 Gallon Custom Built AIO, and Custom Stand, Kessil A350 Tuna Blue, Cadlights PLS50 Elite Skimmer,2 IM Media Reactors,InTank Media rack and MP-10
Higher End Corals. Mainly Chalice and LPS. 6 year old pair of B/W Clowns.
Set up on 5-16-14

Nuvo 8 with a Kessil 150 Ocean Blue, InTank Media Rack, Upgraded Eihem 600 Return Pump
LPS and Chalices, Single S/A SnowFlake Clown.
Set Up on 6-1-2012

#7
MetaTank

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Yeah, very nice start so far, very nice documentation of the build too, keep it up!

Meta

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#8
funkngroovy

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Quick update. Took my glass to work today and cut the pieces up during my lunch break

Ready to cut one of the ends

Posted Image

End cut, the wider piece on the left is 130mm high, this is the depth of the display. The remainder is 105mm for the sump.

Posted Image

And also had to use an old bit of glass to cut another base. This glass is 6mm thick where as the tank is only 4mm so I'll use the 6mm for the base of the display and the 4mm for the sump

Posted Image

This is the new base and the base from the cut up tank together.

Posted Image

Edited by funkngroovy, 11 March 2012 - 05:51 PM.


#9
dallasprstn

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dang, that is one slick looking tank. or should i saw was....i can't wait to see it pieced back together!

#10
funkngroovy

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Yeah, thank goodness for cheap chinese manufacturing! The great thing about it is that all the edges are polished so as long as I do a good job putting things back together, I will have a really nice tank.

It was also supplied with a lid that was also polished all round so I'll also have a polished edge to the top of my wier.
I'm going to make a little jig to help hold things together perfectly while I assemble it. Putting together thin glass and smaller tanks are often harder than bigger tanks.

#11
MetaTank

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Pretty freaking awesome! I like to think I'm pretty handy with DIY projects, but now I feel pretty inadequate about my handyman skills after seeing this build...lol

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#12
funkngroovy

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Sorry for the mass of uploads in a short amount of time but I only realised this had started yesterday and I've sprung into action.

Here is some after dinner progress. Built the sump first so I could learn from any mistakes....Plenty of learning going on here! I'll do things a little different to make sure I get an A.1. finish on the display. I'm going to make a 4 sided jig to hold it together because these small pieces are so damn fiddly. I'l also tape up the outside of the joints because I am the messiest person on earth with silicone.

Anyway some pics....

The pieces laid out. The sides go on first. I taped up so I didn't have huge silicone joints.

Posted Image

First joint together and excess fingered off.
Posted Image

And full shot of sump. Still have the small divider to place in to separate the pump and I also have a heater holder to go in. I'll remove the excess silicone in the morning.

Posted Image

#13
MetaTank

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Water test water test!

Looking clean so far!

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#14
funkngroovy

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Patience grasshopper :ninja:

I'm rushing into the build but then it will all go into slow motion. Only bad things happen fast in this hobby, and when we are dealing with pico systems, Bad things happen REALLY fast.
This is the reason I am maximising my water volume by making sure I get as close to 3gal for display and sump as possible.

We saw in the last contest that the vast majority of tanks had to be pulled out of the contest due to 'crashing'. The fact is that these tanks need daily attention and major maintenance weekly. Thier size is definately not relative to the amount of work you need to put into them. I think Automation is also essential. I'll be looking to establish some kind of automated water change, but I'm not sure how yet.
Also, I'm not a believer in cycling rock in pico aquariums. The water volume is not enough to create a stable enough environment. I will and would only use cycled rock and established corals.

#15
iball1804

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We've got similar tanks are are in the same contest!

Your tank dimensions: 18L x 8W x 5H (inches)
My tank dimensions: 14L x 10W x 5H (inches)

Good luck bro! Wee you at the finish line ;)

#16
MetaTank

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Patience grasshopper :ninja:

I'm rushing into the build but then it will all go into slow motion. Only bad things happen fast in this hobby, and when we are dealing with pico systems, Bad things happen REALLY fast.
This is the reason I am maximising my water volume by making sure I get as close to 3gal for display and sump as possible.

We saw in the last contest that the vast majority of tanks had to be pulled out of the contest due to 'crashing'. The fact is that these tanks need daily attention and major maintenance weekly. Thier size is definately not relative to the amount of work you need to put into them. I think Automation is also essential. I'll be looking to establish some kind of automated water change, but I'm not sure how yet.
Also, I'm not a believer in cycling rock in pico aquariums. The water volume is not enough to create a stable enough environment. I will and would only use cycled rock and established corals.

Haha, I know. I'm only messing around. I have two 3 gallon picos hooked up to a ten gallon sump...double float switch ATO, 2 heaters in case of one failure...36" Four bulb T5 hanging over them...I have much respect for the Pico aquarium.

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#17
funkngroovy

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Great minds think alike :).
I guess you are thinking like me, an aquairum with this profile will be much easer to 'scape. I also did it for the increased surface area. This will make it easier to cool with a fan and also for gas exchange.

#18
iball1804

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Great minds think alike :).
I guess you are thinking like me, an aquairum with this profile will be much easer to 'scape. I also did it for the increased surface area. This will make it easier to cool with a fan and also for gas exchange.

Exactly. I'm planning to incorporate a large rock that juts out of the surface. It'll be home to a fiddler crab.

#19
funkngroovy

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What type of ATO float switches are you using? I use a gravity fed/float valve system on my bigger tank but I'm not sure I'll have the space for it on this system.

#20
MetaTank

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Exactly. I'm planning to incorporate a large rock that juts out of the surface. It'll be home to a fiddler crab.

So you ARE planning on the fiddler habitat? Sneaky...lol

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#21
iball1804

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What type of ATO float switches are you using? I use a gravity fed/float valve system on my bigger tank but I'm not sure I'll have the space for it on this system.

Probably just all manual. I've got plenty of time with my tanks, so ATO's really are unnecessary.

So you ARE planning on the fiddler habitat? Sneaky...lol

Yes... Maybe...

Creep :mellow:

:lol:

#22
MetaTank

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What type of ATO float switches are you using? I use a gravity fed/float valve system on my bigger tank but I'm not sure I'll have the space for it on this system.

I have the dual float switch sump setup from Autotopoff.com...It's hooked up to a cheap 160gph powerhead with a 3' maximum head lift on it.

They're madison switches I believe, you can buy them on eBay for like a buck a piece..
This is the exact switch model specs

Probably just all manual. I've got plenty of time with my tanks, so ATO's really are unnecessary.


Yes... Maybe...

Creep :mellow:

:lol:

I'm a judge, it's my job to be a creepy watcher...lol...jusst trying to follow every tank as close as I can.

Edited by MetaTank, 12 March 2012 - 03:55 PM.

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#23
iball1804

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You're a "judge." Suddenly an elitist that has the power to creep.

#24
MetaTank

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You're a "judge." Suddenly an elitist that has the power to creep.

You got that right! Haha!! :lol:

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#25
deeznutz

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Patience grasshopper :ninja:

I'm rushing into the build but then it will all go into slow motion. Only bad things happen fast in this hobby, and when we are dealing with pico systems, Bad things happen REALLY fast.
This is the reason I am maximising my water volume by making sure I get as close to 3gal for display and sump as possible.

We saw in the last contest that the vast majority of tanks had to be pulled out of the contest due to 'crashing'. The fact is that these tanks need daily attention and major maintenance weekly. Thier size is definately not relative to the amount of work you need to put into them. I think Automation is also essential. I'll be looking to establish some kind of automated water change, but I'm not sure how yet.
Also, I'm not a believer in cycling rock in pico aquariums. The water volume is not enough to create a stable enough environment. I will and would only use cycled rock and established corals.


Pico are hard to maintain, that's why I tied mine into my basement sump for the 150 DT. I wish I was in the contest, but my sump is way too big. Oh well, there is always next time.

Good luck with the build looks good so far.

-dan

Edited by deeznutz, 12 March 2012 - 03:42 PM.