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Rant about my pico/contest experience


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#51
funkngroovy

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Hi,

The pico has been a hell of a lot more stable than I ever thought it would be. One of the main reasons for doing this was to see for myself if Pico's are REALLY a sustainable aquarium. Going from past experience and also by the number of unsuccessful attempts on this forum, I think it's a question we should be looking at. I really believe that anything sub 2 Gallon is unsustainable. My system aims to prove or disprove (I don't know myself yet) whether pico's can really be sustained, not only as a system but by people who have busy lives. It only takes one event such as a hot day or a busy week for one of these tanks to crash, meaning we have effectively killed everything.

Anyway, I have sustained Alk and Ca now by increasing the levels in my exchange water and doing a small dose on the 2nd day after the bi-weekly water change. This in itself can't be sustained because I know that at some point, I won't be able to do this manually. A pico, more than a full size aquarium needs automation.

I am feeding LPS nightly, polyp by polyp and have seen some unbelievable growth of my Duncan already. 3 new heads have half grown in only 3 weeks.

I'm surprised to see one of my acro's has attached. I glued it down as something to do. It was only an axial polyp but it was cracked down the middle. Well it now is still cracked but has about 6 new polyps.


Pics.

here is the acro that i stuck down as a single cracked axial polyp. If you look close, you can see the polyp has now grown out of the crack and several polyps have laid down encrusting the glue.

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And just to confirm for my FES
an equipment list to go with the photo.
pedistool fan for cooling
50W glass heater
Temperature controller
Haliea 1000LPH pump
Float valve for ATO with 20L resevoir
3x 9w GU10 LED lights
1 bag GFO
1 bag GAC
Full range of testing equipment
6 outlet powerboard with timers

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#52
funkngroovy

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New video. This is only natural sunlight. It only gets about 2 hours of full sun then the lights come on for 6 hours. As you can see, the Xenia does not like the full sunlight. The SPS has now encrusted which is pretty cool.



#53
funkngroovy

funkngroovy

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Well, a couple of weeks of busy life has left my little tank looking worst for wear. The next few days will be crucial to see if it is well enough to bother going forward or giving it a miss.

I overdosed Alk a few weeks back and just couldnt' seem to get time to do a few water changes. The Alk has been too high for about a week and combined with my ATO float jamming with precipitated Ca, things just got worse, quickly. Did a couple of 50% water changes in the last couple of days but lost an SPS which had already encrusted.

Got a new bub on the way in a couple of weeks so I'm not confident about this little tank long term. I'll still be giving it a red hot go but I really think, deep down, sub 5 gal picos are unsustainable. My belief is that building or keeping a sub 5 gal should not even be encouraged. That is just my opinion though and I'm sure there are many who would disagree. I just think that the life in these little boxes are too precious to gamble with considering that they are so fragile.

Pic will be up this month but not sure about July.....

#54
Newlinta

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Sorry to hear about the issues your having...hope you can turn it around!
I love the dimensions/layout of your tank.
Good luck!
Here's my tank thread...
http://www.nano-reef...0

#55
funkngroovy

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Thanks mate, tests look good today. All the LPS are feeding so I think it will be ok. If not, I can save it all by putting it back into my 3 foot tank, so won't loose anything which is most important.

#56
Kazooie

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What are these strange Australian measurements you keep using? :huh:

Just kidding, tanks looks great! :)

If you were into the puberty phase, you'd be a ####ing neckbeard. Get out of here you ####ing tween #### ##### ass mother####er stupid ##### bastard ####er chicken leg pride rally supporter. Get out of here with your poverty opinions you ####ing ice cream sandwich stupid #### ##### alter ego reported for harassing me and I messaged the FBI and I left Obama a voicemail and wrote a postcard to your parents.
Enjoy not posting you giant neckbeard looooser.

Do you even logic?

 

thanks jen. i have him on ignore so i don't get sick whenever he's craving attention. kazooie, to be honest the world would be better off without you and your parents will actually be happy when they discover you lifeless in the bathtub with slit wrists. HTH

 


#57
funkngroovy

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Haven't posted in a while, or looked after the little pico to be honest mostly due to a new baby in the house halfway into the comp.

Thought I'd throw some current pics up and let you know what I have learned from this experience (and others).

Pics first, then I'll ramble.

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These pics were taken 4 months into the comp. At this point, I have not done a water change in 5 weeks. PS. This is dumb-you cannot keep a pico without regular water changes.

The cloudy look on the glass is from overdosing Alk in an attemp to (too) quickly raise levels after neglecting dosing for a week. The Ca/Alk basicly precipitated and formed a calcium carbonate layer on the glass and substrate. The substrate became solid as concrete and had to be removed and the film on the glass has to be scraped off with a razor.

I know what you're thinking, this bloke is a 'tard that does not know what he's doing. Yeah a little but I actually do have a fair idea, this is my 3 footer

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I love building and setting up tanks, and I've always had a soft spot for picos and nano's. To me, the best thing about any great nano is the ability to aquascape in a small space. I think alot of guys with bigger tanks can learn alot from this.

Apart from the opportunity to build another rig, I also wanted to do this comp because I was really sick of the amount of comps on this forum (pico), that's wierd.

There are plenty of competitions on this pico forum started by people, both organisers and participants and it is not hard to look back and see that the success rate of either is extremely low. It is my opinion, that any pico sub 5 gal total volume is a waste of time, and shows a disregard for the livestock due to the difficulting in sustaining a system of this size long term. I drives me bonkers that more people don't say to the hundreds of newbies starting sub gallon systems that this is not a viable system. There are exceptions I know, but the average Joe Blow does not have the time, knowledge or patience to sustain anything around the 1-5 gal range.

Despite not doing what I said I would in April, ie: twice weekly water changes, dosing etc, I have gained plenty of knowlege from this experience, and others that I think gives me the right to have a bit of a rant.

I think we should stop with the contests. It grabs the attention of plenty during the build but quickly dies, as is evident in this contest and any other you care to look up. My question is: What happenned to the livestock??? I don't give a hoot about the tank, the pump or any other crap you purchased, but what about your livestock. For me, although, not well cared for, all of my livestock is,,,, still alive. While not thriving by any means, all corals are definately growing. For me, I have the insurance that if any of my corals were in imminant mortal danger, my 3 footer is waiting to take it on. For others, maybe the boneyard of the bucket of dead coral skeletons.

If we are going to do contests, at least grab the vital information to learn from. The 5 Gal contest of last year (ish) was in my opinion the opportunity of a lifetime to gather a bunch of informaiton about what actually works for picos. Sadly from the 60+ starters, only 6 (correct me) finished. And from these 6, we did not start any new topics to discuss the attributes that contributed to success. Was a real shame.

Anyway, my bottle of red is near finished and my ramblings are complete. Hope I'm not sounding like a sore loser or a know it all but it just really gets to me how we don't seem to learn from the mistakes of others, or often ourselves in regards to the keeping of picos.

Please respond, and give feedback. Lets' discuss!! :)