Jump to content


Photo

TeenyReef's 4g PicoParadise - Fish poop!


  • Please log in to reply
1760 replies to this topic

#1
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Established: January 2014

 

Due to an overdose of alk solution, the tank crashed on May 19, 2016, after being up for about two and a half years. I rebooted the tank as a frag tank a little while later.

 

FTS: 2016-05-24:

 

27197640576_4afdaf80cb_b.jpg2016-05-24 Cadlights 4g Frag Tank FTS by TeenyReef, on Flickr

 

 

Last FTS as a display tank: April 24, 2016:

26019187663_3e84f9a115_b.jpg2016-04-24 Cadlights FTS by TeenyReef, on Flickr

 

This is my first saltwater tank since I had a 55g FOWC (Fish Only with Cyano :furious: ) back in the 80's. My goal was to learn a lot without spending a ton of money.

 

Well, at least I've learned a lot :bling:

 

Display: 4g CAD Lights
Lighting: Nanobox Mini Tide
Filtration: modified InTank IM10 media caddy with filter floss and carbon

Skimmer: PicO SkiM 2.0 Micro Skimmer powered by Whisper 20 air pump
Heater: Finnex 50w
Circulation: Mini-Jet 606 with Aqua Gadget Spinstream water deflector
ATO:  Tunze Nano ATO
Controller: Apex Jr.

Dosing: BRS dosers with Seachem Fusion 1 & 2, Aqua Vitro Ions (magnesium)

 

Fish:

  • Green Banded Goby "Rock Star" (RIP, little dude)
  • Rusty Goby "Flash" (MIA as of New Year's 2015) (Came back from the back chamber 1/22/15!)
  • Green Banded Goby "Rock Star II" (lived less than 24 hours) (Came back from the back chamber 1/22/15!) (jumped again 2/14)
  • Green Banded Goby "Emerald" (jumped through a gap in the screen)
  • Black Clown Goby "Midnight"
  • (2) Green Banded Gobies "Lincoln" and "Roosevelt"

Corals:

 

LPS

  • Duncanops
  • Dendrophyllia
  • Metallic Green Eyes Favia
  • Green Favites (moved to a bigger tank)
  • Hammer Euphyllia

SPS

  • Green Stylophora
  • Red Acropora Millepora
  • "Poppy Pickin" Cyphastrea
  • Red/green encrusting Monti Cap
  • Encrusting Spongeodes
  • Oregon Tort
  • "Electric" Myagi
  •  

Softies

  • Various Zoas and Palys
  • Various Ricordea Florida
  • Green Star Polyps
  • Various Acan Lords
  • Pipe Organ Coral (Tubipora Musica)
  • Blue plating sponge

Inverts:

  • Sexy Shrimp (2)
  • Harlequin Serpent Star (outgrew the tank)
  • (2) Pom Pom Crabs
  • Snails: Ceriths, Dwarf Ceriths, Nassarius, Nerites

Macros:

  • Misc. red stuff

Here's what it looked like when it started on January 23, 2014, (stock lighting and filtration) with too much sand and too much live rock:

 

14992490793_de8ff2ec86_b.jpg

 

I plan to post updates going forward, but I also want to log some of the mistakes I made along the way. I think I've learned at least as much from other people's mistakes here as I have from the success stories, and I hope that somebody else can learn from my mistakes too.


  • reefernanoman, ucreefer, Rehype and 21 others like this

#2
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

So after the tank cycled for a couple weeks I got my clean up crew from John at ReefCleaners. I hadn't yet heard about how John can't count. Here's what you get when you order "2" Dwarf Ceriths, "1" Nassarius, "2" Ceriths, and 3 Nerites. The big pile on the left is "2" Dwarf Ceriths...

 

15419769147_bf2488eb4e_b.jpg

 

Unfortunately my order was shipped right before a huge snowstorm hit the East Coast, including Florida. It took four days for the order to arrive and although I gave them a chance to revive they were mostly DOA and had to be removed.

 

John was great - even though it wasn't his fault, he sent me a replacement order at no charge. I'll never buy a CUC from anybody else :D

 

After the replacement crew came in, I removed some of the excess live rock and rubble, and the new guys went right to work. I was amazed what a difference it made in just a week or two.

 

During this time I also the upgraded the lighting to a Fluval Sea Marine & Reef LED Nano Aquarium Lamp. It was fairly new on the market at the time and I didn't yet know where to find good information on LED's. It was much brighter than the stock light, looked pretty, and had some nice mounting features, but I wouldn't recommend it for anything demanding.

 

FTS: February 2014 (1 month)

14985033604_076a4a2292_b.jpg

 

Up next: cycle is complete, what to add first?


  • jeremycee, Oceanbox Designs and pappadumplingz like this

#3
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Added some basic beginner corals and a few macros over the next month. My main criteria was "what's cheap" since I didn't know whether anything would live very long...

 

FTS: March 2014 (2 months)

 

15661344481_120209fb02_b.jpg


  • pappadumplingz likes this

#4
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Over the next month I upgraded the lighting to the Coral Compulsion PAR 30, added a few more corals, and added a Harlequin Serpent Star and some Sexy Shrimp. Turns out its a lot harder to take decent pictures with the new light.

 

Some of the macros started to show some wear and tear at this time, and the mushrooms and rics weren't really thriving. The established zoas were doing well but the new ones were in danger of melting.

 

FTS: April 2014 (3 months)

 

15661425071_a9ac5e5771_b.jpg

 

Up next: filtration woes and tank crash :o



#5
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

After a fex more weeks things started to stabilize, so I ordered some new corals, including a few SPS. Everything went well at first but then the zoas started closing up and some of my SPS were turning brown, so I decided to improve my filtration.

 

I'd read a lot about using AC-70 filters as a refugium, so I got one along with an InTank media basket. I also decided I needed to improve the flow in the tank for the SPS. So I drilled a larger return in the bulkhead and put in a Hydo Flo rotating water deflector. This helped a lot!

 

There was just one problem...the 5/8" tubing kept getting kinked, so I got a 90 degree fitting at the hardware store, which solved that problem. I sat back to watch everything settle in over the next couple days.

 

The very next day, most of the zoas were closed and the SPS were no longer extended. I did a partial water change and reduced the flow in case that was the problem.

 

After two days, the acros were receding and mushrooms were closed up. Finally, I realized that the 90 degree fitting I had installed was made of brass and was leaching copper into the tank. Total noob mistake! I have no idea what I was thinking that day at the hardware store...

 

I pulled everything out of the tank, threw out the old sand, did a 100% water change, and put in some new sand.

 

I ended up losing two of my three Sexy Shrimp, all of the SPS, and most of the Acans. Although the starfish looked dead when I pulled him out, he moved a little bit after I put him in new water, and eventually made a full recovery.

 

I didn't take many pictures during this time, it was too depressing. This one is right after things stabilized and I got in a few new frags to repopulate - definitely the worst this tank had looked since going through the initial cycle.

 

FTS: June 2014 (5 months)

 

15685571605_cb1e4c4146_b.jpg

 

Just to show how much quickly things can improve, though:

 

FTS: July 2014 (6 months)

 

15683703541_4028d6d11f_b.jpg



#6
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

In the next month I learned about Zoa Pox and how to treat it with Furan 2. The treatment was successful, and I decided to take another shot at keeping SPS.

 

FTS: August 2014 (7 months)

 

15500871300_8cb8a69839_b.jpg



#7
tess&ellie

tess&ellie

    I can't keep my hands out of My Tank

  • Members
  • 102 posts
  • Joined 11 Jan 2010
  • Jasper, ga
Very nice tank and a fantastic learning experience
  • teenyreef likes this

#8
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Thanks! Even though I've done a lot of research I've learned even more just by trying things.



#9
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

ATO: without an auto top off, I had to add water every single day. There's really not a lot of room for an ATO sensor in this tank, especially since I wanted to avoid placing it in the display area. I first tried using a Tunz Nano ATO. I had to place it in the display area because it wouldn't fit in any of the rear compartments. Unfortunately, it's not snail proof.

 

15066263934_3e378e4e27_n.jpg

 

The smaller snails would crawl inside and get it stuck. The ATO would overflow the tank before the automatic shutoff went into effect. After the second time that happened, I got a Hydor Smart Level Control along with a Tom's lifter pump. Because it doesn't use a mechanical sensor it doesn't get stuck, and it's smaller so I can fit it into the rear chamber.

 

Because I had an AC-70 hanging on the back, there still wasn't much room for the sensor, and the magnet mounting bracket really took up a lot of room. Here's how I first set it up:

 

15684310291_a30406e54d.jpg

 

I didn't like this set up much, as it blocked the overflow with a big ugly magnet, and had to be removed every time I changed the filter floss. Eventually, I simplified the setup and removed the AC-70, which allowed me to put the sensor along the back wall. I also removed the magnet brackets, and used a simple plastic clip (picnic table cover holder) to hold it in place. In this picture you can also see the mini-refugium light over the Chaeto, the acrylic filter barrier I made for the filter floss and carbon, and the 90 degree return pipe that I got the replace the original brass one that killed almost everything.

 

This setup seems to work pretty well, although I'm pretty sure that even though my Chaeto grows well, there can't really be enough of it to really make much of a difference.

 

15066408334_36fc8ffba9_c.jpg


  • deadthrone likes this

#10
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

FTS: September 2014 (8 months)

 

15384956511_f060cbbc0d_b.jpg

 

I got some decent pictures of the inhabitants. The theme is green for September...

 

Green Banded Goby:

 

15201454640_03e45d72aa_z.jpg

 

Green Ric:

 

15388118265_5b0b8d1743_z.jpg

 

Metallic Green Eye Favia:

 

15365120276_0d9674344e_o.jpg

 

And of course, Radioactive Dragon Eyes:

 

15384955701_b9ef80fc85_o.jpg


  • gena likes this

#11
ABC

ABC

    MattL

  • Members
  • 247 posts
  • Joined 01 Oct 2014
Great little tank!
How do you like the Hydor ATO I was thinking about getting one.

Great little tank!
How do you like the Hydor ATO I was thinking about getting one.

#12
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Thanks!

 

I like the Hydor ATO and will probably by another one for my next tank. It doesn't have a backup sensor, but for my small pico, the most important thing for me was the small sensor. It has been reliable, and when you include the cost of the Tom's lifter I bought for it, the total cost of the system was under $100. Since it doesn't use a float, there's no problem with snails or anything else causing the float to get stuck.



#13
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Just found out I won one of two PicO SkiM 2.0 Micro Skimmers in the PicO Spooktackular Skimmer Giveaway! Since I never win anything at raffles and drawings I'm really super excited :happydance:

I don't know yet if I can fit it into my tank, but I am planning an change to a CAD Lights 4g soon. Anybody know if it will fit?

If not, I'm also getting ready to set up an IM Fusion 10 as a second tank and I know it will fit there :naughtydance:

Thanks to Pico Aquariums and Nano-Reef for setting this up!


  • gena likes this

#14
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

FTS: October 2014 (9 months). The Green Banded Goby seems to think he's a rock star. He was very shy the first month or so, but now he comes out almost every time I come near the tank.

 

15689472212_447350a9bc_b.jpg

 

There's been great growth on almost everything. There are lots of new heads on the Acans and Duncans, the SPS gang up top is extending and encrusting, the red mushroom is dropping babies, and my big green ric has grown a second mouth.

 

Most of the zoas are spreading but they aren't really as plump and full as they have been in the past. I've decided to try raising the light up by a couple inches to see if they do better.

 

I moved the Cyphastrea from the top to the bottom of the tank. People have reported good results with everything from low to high light for these, but mine didn't like living in the limelight up top. It's starting to recover now that it's at the bottom.

 

I need to do something about the red mushroom that's trying to take over the Favia. I've thought about just removing it since there are plenty of babies there but I'm not sure where to move it.

 

I have been fighting a little bit of cyano on the sand in front, and the couple of Vermetid snails I used to fight have multiplied into a couple dozen in the past month or so. Obviously I need to export more nutrients to stop feeding these guys, but I think I'm going to have to start going after them with a tube of super glue. Their filaments are not attractive at all, and they sometimes bother the zoas.


  • Kalanianaole and gena like this

#15
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

A few more pictures...

 

Ricordea Alley. Rusty Goby photobombing.

15067934034_30581c1a0c_c.jpg

 

Green Birdsnest (according to the LFS I got it from). It looks more like Stylophora to me but I'm still a newb. Anybody know for sure?

15067933774_864424c4b3_c.jpg

 

Acros with Green Banded Goby aka Rock Star (he loves pictures):

15503061400_4277233d72_c.jpg

 

A rare clear shot of the Rusty Goby aka Flash. He spends his time hanging out upside down on the bottom of rocks, so he's usually in the dark. When I feed him, he zips out at the speed of light to grab a piece of food from just about anywhere in the tank and zips back into hiding to eat it. He goes in and out in about 1/10th of a second.

15068514033_706276e822_c.jpg

 

Red Acro Millepora, Red Death Palys, and what the LFS labeled as a Rainbow Montipora. It doesn't have the range of colors I've seen on other pictures, though. It's usually lime green with pink polyps, but does change to electric blue with some pink depending on lighting, so maybe that makes it a rainbow. If anybody knows better please let me know.

15689471402_ded89ac4f8_c.jpg

 

Top down. The Sexy Shrimp seem to have hosted the Duncans - they hang out there almost all the time, which is nice because that means they aren't bothering the Zoas:

 

15502679317_426f282568_c.jpg


  • gena likes this

#16
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Well, since everything has been going smoothly lately, I decided it was time to change it up a little. The biggest problem with the Evolve 4 is that it's acrylic which is easily scratched. No matter how careful I've been, the scratches are inevitable and they've been accumulating. So when I saw that the CAD Lights 4g was on sale a couple weeks ago, I got one:

 

15728100911_e708ea9caa_z.jpg

 

I'm sure I'll need to upgrade the return pump and/or add something to improve flow, but otherwise it's a nice improvement. There's a lot more room in the back chambers, and the Starfire glass with the bent edges is really nice. I'm still using the Coral Compulsion 18K PAR 30, so I have no idea what to do with the light that came with the new tank...

 

I also am planning to set up an IM Fusion 10 where I currently have the 4g Evolve, so I set up the new CAD Lights 4g in my study and moved everything over. I was able to change the aquascaping just little bit in the process. It's still a little too crowded and still kinda looks like a big pile of rocks, but I'm a little happier with this arrangement. There's more depth and it looks less unbalanced. Once the Fusion 10 is set up and cycled, I will probably move some of the pieces out of this tank and really rearrange then.

 

For now though, I'm happy with the new look and I love having it in the study where I can stare at it all the time. I may not get nearly as much work done, though :D

 

15110626623_09a2b5f990_c.jpg

 

Everything seems to have made the move OK so far. I'll post a new FTS after everything opens back up.


  • gena, Arkayology, Zia and 2 others like this

#17
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

I almost forgot - I also got a frag of Gena's Idaho Grape monti cap in the mail today :happydance:

It's in the bottom of the tank for a few days to get used to the light, but it arrived in great condition and I'm looking forward to seeing it settle in. Eventually it will go into the Fusion 10 to grow out. Thanks, Gena!

 

15110626683_f6c72e4a2b_c.jpg


  • gena likes this

#18
gena

gena

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 20,541 posts
  • Joined 14 Jan 2007
  • SoCal

I almost forgot - I also got a frag of Gena's Idaho Grape monti cap in the mail today :happydance:
It's in the bottom of the tank for a few days to get used to the light, but it arrived in great condition and I'm looking forward to seeing it settle in. Eventually it will go into the Fusion 10 to grow out. Thanks, Gena!
 
15110626683_f6c72e4a2b_c.jpg

You're very welcome :). Thanks for buying it! This 4g tank looks incredible...I love it. And the green banded goby too :wub:.
  • teenyreef likes this

#19
salfegio

salfegio

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 14 posts
  • Joined 28 Jan 2013
  • Moscow

Where do you buy your lightning?


Hello all from Moscow!

I apologize for my english because i am autodidact


#20
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Thanks, Gena! The GBG is definitely my favorite. He's active, not too shy, is pretty, and doesn't eat SPS. What's not to like?



Where do you buy your lightning?

 

I use a Coral Compulsion 18K PAR 30 bulb, with a generic desk light stand I got from Target. It's the cheapest way I know to get good lighting. It provides more than enough illumination. In fact, I've had to experiment with raising the light higher which seems to result in better colors. The only downside is that you can't dim it and you can't control the levels of different colors like you can with a much more expensive light.

 

Coral Compulsion is a sponsor on this site.


  • gena likes this

#21
gena

gena

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 20,541 posts
  • Joined 14 Jan 2007
  • SoCal

Thanks, Gena! The GBG is definitely my favorite. He's active, not too shy, is pretty, and doesn't eat SPS. What's not to like?

Nothing not to like :). You've inspired me to get one for my tank. I've had them in the past and always loved them!!!!
  • teenyreef likes this

#22
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

My thoughts on the 4g CAD Lights so far:

 

- It comes with the world's biggest filter sponge. That thing is literally almost as tall as the tank and fills the first chamber. It also comes with a bag of ceramic media rings. I cut the sponge down to about an inch tall just to sit on the bottom of the first chamber and put my bag of carbon/GFO on top of it, and topped it all off with some filter floss. The media rings did not go in the tank. I just don't want a big sponge and media rings turning into a nitrate factory.

 

- The factory light is actually pretty decent and would probably be fine for everything but SPS. Since I'm happy with the light I have already, the factory light is sitting on the floor next to the bag of media rings.

 

- It also come with a nice two piece glass top. Also sitting on the floor next to everything else, since my Gobies aren't jumpers, and the Nassarius snails don't mind being thrown back in after they take a walk on my desk.

 

- The Starfire glass is beautiful, and the tank itself is very well made. I heard about quality control problems with previous models but they seem to have learned how to do it right with this model.

 

- The return hole in the bulkhead is only halfway up instead of near the top as I've seen in most AIO's. I thought I wouldn't care for the location, but it turned out fine given the arrangement of my rocks, and even with the factory return pump I get adequate indirect flow around my SPS since they are right about at the same height as the return. I'm still thinking about upgrading to a larger pump but I'm not as concerned as I was before I set it up and saw how it worked.

 

- Since the return is on the opposite side from my old tank, I've had to rearrange a few corals to deal with the opposite flow direction. I now have a few bare spots where sand is getting blown away by the low return. I think I may replace the sand with a coarser mix.



#23
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

Everything is doing very well after the transfer but I haven't had a chance to take good pictures yet. I was a little surprised how quickly everything recovered. To do the transfer, I just put the old water in a bucket, put the rocks in the bucket along with all the inhabitants, and then pulled out the sand into another container.

 

I used some of the old tank water to rinse the sand out really well, and then put it all back in the new tank with about a 25% water change. The whole process took about half an hour and nearly everything opened back up within an hour. The tank looked completely normal by the next morning.



#24
teenyreef

teenyreef

    Compulsive Coral Collector

  • Premium Members
  • 8,221 posts
  • Joined 19 Sep 2014
  • Chesapeake, VA

I came home from work today to find Rock Star, the Green Banded Goby, had gone desk surfing. RIP little guy :tears:

 

Since I just posted last night about how "my gobies aren't jumpers" I guess there's a lesson here for me. Don't be too complacent and if there's something you can do to avoid a disaster, take steps. The glass tank cover will go on tonight, and I'll be looking at making a screen cover for later.



#25
kylhcky

kylhcky

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 457 posts
  • Joined 18 Mar 2014
  • New Jersey

quite unfortunate to hear about the gobies


  • teenyreef likes this

IM Nuvo 10G