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Islandoftiki's Mantis/Pest Tank Pico Contest Winner!


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#1
Islandoftiki

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Ok folks, here we go! I just got the pico contest entry tank up and running!

This is going to be a pest tank filled with everything you hope to never have in your main display tank. I will be calling on many of the local reefers and local fish stores to donate pests to this worthy cause. No livestock will be purchased for this tank. It will be stocked 100% by local donations.

The Gear:
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Tank: Fluval Spec 2 gallon
Pump: Mini-Jet 404, rear cover removed and lower half of front cover cut off for clearance.
Heater: Hydor Theo 25 watt
Filtration: Planning to run Chemi-pure in the rear chamber with filter floss and about 2 lbs of infested live rock.
Lighting: BoostLED par 30 bulb on a swing-arm desk lamp.

Substrate:
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Nature's Ocean Premium Marine Substrate, Medium-Coarse.

Modifications:
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I plugged off the lower orifice in the filter compartment with epoxy to force all of the flow through the filtration media.

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Mini-Jet 404 pump installed with the rear cover removed and the bottom half of the front cover cut off. The top half of the cover was retained to insure that the pump inlet remains as far away from the glass as possible.

Assembly:
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Substrate and water installed.

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Rear chamber with filter floss and heater. No chemical filtration during the cycle.

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All set up and running. Lights off for the initial cycling of the tank. I did put in a cap full of Niteout bacteria in the tank to help speed up the cycle. It shouldn't take long.

Once the water clears, I'll start working on the rockscape. My rock already contains some hitchhikers that are going to be part of the main display of the finished tank. Those include Aiptasia, brown majano anemones and some poop-brown palys and zoas. There are also several different kinds of nuisance algae that are there in small numbers. Hopefully they will grow out of control! I will be adding much more starting April 1st.

Stay Tuned!


Edited by Islandoftiki, 05 May 2013 - 10:22 PM.


#2
Builder Anthony

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neato i like the towel
Anthonys 5 Gallon
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http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=267313

#3
MetaTank

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Subscribed! Welcome to the contest, we have so many different Picos, you guys aren't making my job any easier! :) Good Luck!

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#4
Islandoftiki

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Well, when it comes time to make the final judgement, consider the neato towel!

#5
Islandoftiki

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Alrighty, time for some modifications to make the Spec a little more friendly for saltwater applications. I had this tank set up before and always had some issue with the lack of media racks. I just kinda dumped the bag of chemi-pure in the bottom, stuck chaeto on top of that and packed some filter floss at the top. The problem was that the way the water goes from the filter chamber to the pump chamber is simply at 1/4" gap at the bottom of the divider between the two chambers. The chemi-pure bag sort-of restricted the flow a bit, and ideally, we want the best possible flow we can get from the pump.

So, I devised a simple little media rack made from some florescent light diffuser grid material and a couple little plastic tubes (I used some barbed fittings I found in the irrigation aisle and cut them in half and put slots in them to attach them to the rack assembly. Total spent, about 9 bucks, and I have enough to make about a 5 dozen more, or some frag racks, or whatever.

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Note: I shortened the stanchions about another 1/4" after I took the picture.

Here's the media rack installed. It comes right out for easy maintenance.
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After 24 hours, the water has cleared up and the rockwork can be seen. It is not final and I will probably be breaking some of it up and changing things around. But here it is as it goes through the cycling process...
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Note the awesome aiptasia, majano and poop-brown pally hitchhikers! Woohoo!

#6
funkngroovy

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Is that a massive aptasia in the back right corner? You might be able to win the growth part of the comp if you can get the one in the center to feed well :P

What are you going to use for lighting? I found it hard to get light to the bottom of mine.

Thats a nice little set up. I built one a similar size a while back and it worked well. Good luck for the comp.

#7
Islandoftiki

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The lighting is a Par30 BoostLED bulb with three royal blue, one cool white and one neutral white.

And yes, that's one nasty big aiptasia you see there.

#8
not_so_nano

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Id have to step on your tank in pure fear if I seen it in person :D

SQUISH THE BUGS !!!! SQUISH THE BUGS !!!!!

Cool tank though !!!! Like the size !!!!

When your done toying you should pee in the tank a lil and see how tough those pest nems are :D Be interesting to see what they can take !

#9
MetaTank

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Crazy HH's...I predict a lot of brown in this tanks future...lol

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#10
funkngroovy

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That will be a great light for that tank.

#11
Islandoftiki

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New addition tonight!

Vortech MP10!
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Cha-Ching!

#12
Bobyboy

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WOW a mp10 in that, can you say OVERKILL haha.
Looks like a great tank in the making.

#13
Islandoftiki

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Ok, that was a joke. I was cleaning the wet side of the MP10 in my 10 gallon tank and just had to stick it in the pico and take a picture. LOL.

That would be one heck of a sand storm if it were powered up though! :D

#14
Islandoftiki

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Found a bristle worm hanging out on the live rock. Looks a little redish. Maybe a fire worm? I hope so!
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The Aiptasia hitchhikers are really happy...
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Everything is going well with the tank. It's done cycling.

One cerith snail added yesterday. I'll add some more CUC next week.

#15
altolamprologus

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This tank needs bryopsis! :P

You're the type of man who passes by sports illustrated and grabs encyclopedia brittanica when you take a dump, huh?

Did someone mention Alto ???
Im GAGA for Alto !!

I'd give you a hug but you might stab me

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#16
Islandoftiki

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This tank needs bryopsis! :P


Yes it does, yes it does. I'll be looking for some when I can add livestock.

A local guy also has green majanos and green/red tip majanos that he's saving for me.

The LFS is also saving pests for me. Hopefully some big fat fire worms and gorilla crabs!

#17
ecogirl22

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put some green caulerpas in there, def count as pests and will add some nice green color! maybe some prolifera...

is the centerpiece going to be a MANTIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I vot for a MANTIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!:):)

BTW if you lived in VA you could have my SPS coral eating mithrax crab...now missing one leg after i pulled him out of the main! :o
Sep 25 2007, 04:13 PM PeachesInMich "I still say that mushrooms do not sting seahorses they might eat a dwarf but they don't sting."

#18
Islandoftiki

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The LFS has a beautiful green/white spearer. But alas, no mantis. Even though I want one real bad.

#19
ecogirl22

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oh, and this is my fave tank so far. but i think you should try to make it beautiful. Just show all the haters how beautiful a caulerpa, majano;), gorilla crab tank can be :)

FYI guys in general are trying to figure out how to kill GSP, kenya, and xenia- apparently all "pest" corals...though i disagree--have them ship you their stuff before they inject it with lemon juice! hahaha

ask on local forum, someone's got to have one!
Sep 25 2007, 04:13 PM PeachesInMich "I still say that mushrooms do not sting seahorses they might eat a dwarf but they don't sting."

#20
Islandoftiki

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I have some xenia that's just about ready to frag.

The green/green-red majanos are actually quite pretty and will be a great addition.

I'll be adding bubble algae, I'll probably throw in some GSP, and clove polyps. +1 to the caulerpa, although I don't want it to go asexual on me.

I thought it might be cool to cover the back wall of the tank with GSP.

#21
funkngroovy

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Some Majanos are really nicely coloured. I also had a small colonial anemone that was a pest due to it's unreal stinging potential that were green with white specs and bright blue fringe. Would be perfect.

Try turning one of your anemones upside down so it's out of the light. It will bleach in a few weeks and you'll have a rare white anemone. They live for ever still provided that you feed them and they stretch out long looking for light. I've got heaps in my main tanks' sump.

Some Majanos are really nicely coloured. I also had a small colonial anemone that was a pest due to it's unreal stinging potential that were green with white specs and bright blue fringe. Would be perfect.

Try turning one of your anemones upside down so it's out of the light. It will bleach in a few weeks and you'll have a rare white anemone. They live for ever still provided that you feed them and they stretch out long looking for light. I've got heaps in my main tanks' sump.

#22
ecogirl22

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...I'll be adding bubble algae...


you're gonna laugh, but I was showing off my 46 bow stuffed to the rim with gorgeous coral and on several occasions people asked "whats that pretty shiny green ball coral?" (grumble grumble grumble) hehee
Sep 25 2007, 04:13 PM PeachesInMich "I still say that mushrooms do not sting seahorses they might eat a dwarf but they don't sting."

#23
ecogirl22

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HEY! i wonder if you put food coloring in the tank if the nems would take it up like flowers do?????
Sep 25 2007, 04:13 PM PeachesInMich "I still say that mushrooms do not sting seahorses they might eat a dwarf but they don't sting."

#24
Islandoftiki

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I got my rockscape set up and glued together today, and more or less have my stock figured out.

I went out to happy hour with some of the local reefers last night and we talked about what all to put in there besides majanos and aiptasia.

So, the plan is going to be more or less like this: GSP's blanketing the back wall of the tank. So many people curse GSP's when they get out of hand. Many considered them a pest. They spread fast and overrun more expensive and desirable corals.

We've got these sea-foam green palys that they give away at nearly every local club meeting, but not before warning that they are highly invasive and grow rapidly. I have them in my 10 gallon display tank, isolated on the sand bed. They'll go in and hopefully get out of hand.

I have some poop-brown zoas that match the hitchhiker palys that are on one of the live rocks in my tank already. They're currently sitting on a frag plug in my QT tank. They're also pretty invasive as well, and very ugly.

I already have a nice hitchhiker bristle worm, but I'm hoping to get a large fire worm to go in there.

I'm also hoping to find a nice pest crab.

We decided that clove polyps can be a real nuisance, so I'll be looking for some of those.

As for macro algae, I'll be adding bryopsis if I can find some. Some Caulerpa and some bubble algae.

A couple reefers have some mushrooms in their tank that multiply out of control and they hate them. I'll add some of those.

I'll be fragging the xenia in my main display tank and letting that go wild in the pico.

One of the guys here has some kenya tree that's been a problem in his tank, too. So in it goes!

While hammering up the rock today, I found a green majano (or maybe green and red, it was all shriveled up) on the bottom of one of the rocks, hiding in a hole. I pulled about half of it out with tweezers and stuck it in a more visible location. I hear you can't kill these things, so despite being a bit mangled, it'll probably survive. In fact, it'll probably multiply!

I discovered also that the rock has a pretty nice pod population and I found a large brittle star about 1" in diameter (maybe a small serpent star?). There were also what looked like some white sponges on the bottom of a couple rocks.

I found a couple small clam-like things, too.

Here's a picture of the new rockwork with the Par 30 lighting turned on:

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#25
Islandoftiki

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March 20, update:

Everything is going fine. I'm finding baby aiptasia everywhere! The majanos look happy. It looks like the green/red one I mangled is going to survive, and maybe split. Not too concerned. I'm going to be throwing in a big pile of them on April 1. I think I'm seeing the start of some bubble algae, but it's hard to tell. They're very tiny if they are bubble algae. Pod population is on the rise. Clean up crew is busy.

Current clean up crew: One mexican red leg hermit. One dwarf blue leg hermit. Three dwarf cerith snails. One regular size cerith snail, and two small nerites.

Here are some pics:

Front. Clean up crew busy!
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Majanos, majanos, everywhere!
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Poop brown pally hitchhikers. They're already multiplying!
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I received some Chemi-Pure Elite today, but it won't go in until I'm ready to stock the tank.

As with my main tank, Alk is a little low in the pico. I'm changing my system for mixing salt and I'll see if that helps, or I may switch to a different salt. I'm currently using IO Reef Crystals and having low Alk issues in all tanks. It's dropping to 5 after a week. I'm starting to dose the main tank to get it up slowly.

Beyond that, the tank is just happily hanging out in the basement and waiting to be stocked. I have two LFS's saving pests for me. :D I'm not going to have to spend a penny stocking the tank! LOL