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  • Christopher Marks

    Congratulations to community member pongpit and his 2 gallon pico reef aquarium for being selected for our January Reef Profile! This amazing pico reef is our first Chinese aquarium to be featured here on Nano-Reef.com, it showcases the incredible potential of micro reefs. Below is the aquarium profile pongpit has written for us sharing his experiences in the hobby and his aquarium's progress over the past year and a half. See what he's been up to and share your comments and questions in pongpit's featured reef profile thread, or in the comments section below. Be sure to also check out his aquarium journal in the members aquariums forum for more information about this reef tank.


    Tank Specs

    Display: Glass cylinder vase, approximately 2 gallons, 11" high x 7.5" diameter.
    Lighting: DIY LED Fixture with 3 blue, 2 white, and 1 purple diode, 3W each.
    Heater: UP 50 Watt
    Circulation & Filtration: EHEIM classic 150
    Aeration: 3 Watt air pump.
    Skimmer: None
    Filter Media: EHEIM SUBSTRATpro
    Dosing: None

    Established August 2015


    • There was a Banggai Cardinalfish in this pico, but it was growing bigger and bigger, so I transferred it into the different larger tank.


    • Green Star Polyps
    • Various Zoanthids
    • Tube Coral
    • Frogspawn coral
    • Brain Coral
    • Acan Coral
    • Elegance Coral
    • Flowerpot Coral
    Acropora sp.
    Montipora digitata
    • Birdsnest Coral


    • Hard Tube Coco Worm
    • 3 Saron Shrimp
    • Cleaner Shrimp


    I bought this glass vase for my first time keeping tropical fish, 6 years ago. It's a vase for flowers from an ordinary supermarket actually, and I retrofit it to be my first planted aquarium. When I became a saltwater hobbyist, I just threw my hat in the nano tank battle with this glass vase, and tried to reduce the costs of keeping a reef tank.

    This glass tank can hold about 2 gallons of water, but with the corals and rock inside, there is only about 1 to 1.5 gallons water in it now. With such little water, I have to maintain it different from an ordinary large reef tank. There is no skimmer, and no wave maker, I just use the EHEIM classic 150 canister filter with EHEIM SUBSTRATpro filter media to run the system. The return pump from the canister filter can make some waves in the vase, providing good circulation. Many people object to using an external canister filter and artificial filter material, but in my opinion, there is no perfect way and equipment, every coin has two sides, we can foster strengths and circumvent weaknesses according to our own circumstances. Since there is no protein skimmer, I decided to put a little air pump in to add oxygen to the tank.


    As for the lighting, I built a custom LED system by myself, with 3 blue, 2 white, and 1 purple lamp beads, each with 3 watts of power. In general this little tank hasn't cost too much money or time, I do not plan on disturbing the growing creatures in it either.

    Maintenance Routine

    When the temperature and salinity are equal between freshly mixed saltwater and the old tank water, I begin a water change. I use air tubing from an air pump to change 80% of the water every week, the narrow tubing slows down the water change process to reduce stress on all the creatures. At the same time, it sucks out the waste and detritus at the bottom of the tank as the water subsides.


    So far I haven't dosed any elements except freshwater to top-off for evaporation. Now that the SPS are growing, I may add some supplements as needed, based on the condition of all the creatures.


    To feed the corals, I mix up coral foods in advance, feed the corals in my other larger tanks first, and then use the injector to shoot the rest to corals in this tank.

    Until now I haven't tested the water parameters even once, I usually evaluate the quantity of water by observing the condition of the corals, I think data is not the only standard, it's just for reference, and observing the condition of each creature is more direct. Luckily, everything has lived very well in the past 16 months, SPS are obviously growing, I can even cut frags for friends as gifts! This tank is almost too small, I try to consider the direction and size a coral will grow at the very beginning, because even my hand is too large to adjust the corals, I usually have to use tweezers.


    For algae control I depend on 3 Saron Shrimps, they keep the whole tank very clean so I just need to wipe it now and then. Generally I try to wipe the front half and keep the other half dirty to let the algae grow wild, they provide plentiful food for the shrimp. The algae can also help absorb nutrients and waste from the tank.

    Inspiration & Goals

    When I was new to keeping a reef tank, the TOTM articles on Nano-Reef.com were always one of my best ways to get professional knowledge. I especially like the nano tanks of Wawawang and MedRed, they inspired me a lot and helped me to improve in raising coral.


    Now I have three nano tanks running at the same time, the other two are SPS tanks. I wish they could always be healthy and stable, that will be my happiest thing, because they are just like my little babies!

    Words of Wisdom

    Don't touch your tank too frequently, have your own stable maintenance routine, stay curious, patient, diligent, take care of your tank frequently, it will surprise you.

    Advice For New Hobbyists

    To new reef keepers, I suggest that you should understand the basic principles of a reef tank ecosystem thoroughly at first, this is the basis of everything, and it's the magic code behind your tank.


    When you master the basic theory, the equipment and lighting can be custom-made to suit your own requirements. Lots of people think money is the only thing to keep a tank right, because it can buy the best equipment, but in my opinion, there are many ways to build a beautiful healthy tank. If you want to save money, you have to pay by spending more time on it, but if you have no time, you should buy equipment to make things more automated. Learn from successful reef keepers' experiences, it can help you improve your own tank quickly.

    Thoughts On...

    • Lighting
      For me LED lighting is the best for a nano tanks, it can make a dreamlike shimmering visual effect, but the light can not be too strong, especially for SPS. If you can adjust the LED to spread the light evenly on SPS, that will be perfect.


    First of all I want to say thank you to Christopher Marks and NR.com for choosing my tank for the Featured Reef Profile for January, and my wife Vivian, who always backs me up on my love of reef tanks, and thank you to all of you guys who support me on the N-R forums! I hope everyone can have fun and enjoy yourself in nano reef keeping, thank you all!



    • Like 2
    • Wow 3
    • Thanks 1

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    Wow, what an amazing tank. When I saw the initial picture, I immediately thought, ok well someone pasted 50 colonies into a jar and took some pictures... I'm completely humbled and in awe that you've been able to keep the density and overall health this way for such a long period. Truly impressive on that aspect alone but the tank speaks for itself.

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    Congrats! Great little tank!


    I 2nd what everyone has said! Nice little tank and well deserved!

    Congrats Pongpit :)


    Wow, what an amazing tank. When I saw the initial picture, I immediately thought, ok well someone pasted 50 colonies into a jar and took some pictures... I'm completely humbled and in awe that you've been able to keep the density and overall health this way for such a long period. Truly impressive on that aspect alone but the tank speaks for itself.


    Thank you! :)

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    Wow very inspirational.


    I love the minimalist approach and the beauty and elegance speak for themselves... Well done!!


    Well done bro, hope to continue watching this picos evolution :)


    Thank you!




    Would it be possible to give more info on your DIY LED fixture on your thread? It looks great.

    Thank you!OK!

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    Very full looking good great work keeping that elegance and gonipora...


    What a stunning tank! You should be very proud of that masterpiece

    Thank you!

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