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el fabuloso

El Fab's Simple Guide to Pico Tanks

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brandon429

thanks man I must say many people do not agree with all that I say but thats the fun of forums you just type up a bunch of crap and see if it sticks.

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badfish816

well your rants definately stick. it has me looking at my pico in a whole new light. i am going to try something new and see if my algea problem gets better.

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.Newman.

so is that what they are Brandon?

 

and what will you try, badfish? I could use advice lol.

Edited by .Newman.

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brandon429

newman they are definately not due to a few reasons.

 

I can't identify them, that would be Dr. Ron Shimek in one of the many online forums he frequents, the fact that man posts free information to the web when he could be charging for it in books is always nice. for invert id, if he can't call it I don't bother looking.

 

these have calcareous tubes that support the bottom third of the animal. they are some kind of featherduster or colonial anemone-like feather duster, I have no idea what they are. the speed at which they retract into the tubes when scared is so fast it cannot be anything but a worm of some type.

 

if I start that thread I'll link it here.

 

What I like about them best is they model the seafloor vents with those 10,000 year old stands of red tubeworms but in micro form. I didn't put them there is what strikes me most.

 

Fab has those in his tank plus healthy plant growth which Im missing in a plant-sterile approach, if there was a way to plumb a refugium to the bowl id do it lol

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badfish816

100 percent water changes just after a heavy feeding.

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brandon429

yep thats one way that works, and in addition to times I walk by the tank and just change it all anyway because its a safety net, what does it hurt to be dissolved nutrient free lol just a different way.

 

Watching ElFab attain the densest live rock growth with the full mix of animals on consistent partial changes has been fascinating and very important to what I mentally note about pico reefs.

 

His refugium extends the time we'd normally be doing a feed/change, but for pico reefs that don't have a fuge, or a very helpful one, full water changes are just snap and take the place of like 5 core activities people must attain for any marine tank

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.Newman.

oooo a big water change eh? that would be a huge problem for my tank as one of my favorite corals is very high up in the tank and will be completely exposed for far too long.

 

@brandon: wooo, theyre not hydroids! I thought i had a hydroid plague when i saw them on my rocks lol. I seem to have two colors of them now. the originals I had are tan/yellow/brown like yours with brown tubes and tannish funnel+tentacles, but now I notices a new color, a brown tube but bright green funnel and tentacles. these things glow neon green under blue LEDs, theyre easily my favorite HH now.

You know I'm willing to bet they are worms for reasons you described. fast retraction, the calcerous tubes. they probably are :)

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brandon429

the hydrocoral part of the medusa stage in hydroids is likely not ever seen in our tanks, probably the size of a human hair diameter. its the later stages that look like twisting pink growths with spiky ends, and white contorted microgrowths with spiky little ends, those are the larger bodies we can usually spot on live rock.

 

 

 

what kind of coral is it, all of them I know don't mind emersion

 

also consider just doing the changes more often, rather than 100%. same thing, and your corals don't have to come out of the water. there are complex charts online about how many partial water changes it takes to totally export a tank, its A LOT of work so usually smaller pico reefs that don't have refugiums or a skimmer need to find a way to accomplish it...

 

 

part of changing the way we approach water changes is to keep the work as low as possible so we won't procrastinate, whether its regular partial or full changes.

 

for mine, I just keep a three gallon standard water container under my sink, set at 1.023 with nothing but the top open so it won't go bad. not circulated, not heated.

 

I siphon the water out into the sink, so there are no water buckets, and then reach down and pour the cold water under the sink cabinet into the tank letting the heater in the pico catch it up from like 74 to 79 ish lol what I do to my corals is lunacy, pick and choose your tactics lol but I don't baby them.

 

the point is by having it ready made, and three full water changes with just a three gallon jug, means its so fast you won't put it off like a larger reef and all that rigamarole

Edited by brandon429

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.Newman.

its a green finger leather...

 

I used to do 40% water changes weekly but reduced due to seeing my leather not opening for days after being subjected to air.

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badfish816

makes sense. but i don't think my tank could survive a temp swing like that. wow! but to each there own. obviously it doesn't hurt yours.

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brandon429

yes its wiser to take a sec, draw a quick hot sink bath and set the change water in it. likely 3 mins is 78 degrees from an average of 73 ish on the water. this is what I have to do in winter when sink area gets like 68.

 

good call on the leather, not a species I work with much if you have found emersion sressful maybe you could lower it slightly to allow for more export per water change regimen and I forgot to ask do you use a fuge like El Fab has shown in his thread?

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.Newman.

lol yes, My tank is designed after El Fab's and yes I use that fuge.

The problem with the leather is that its grown onto the top most rock, and its the biggest rock in the tank so I cannot move it down lol.

But I think I figured my problem with algae! I need to use true RO/DI water instead of Walgreens/Poland Spring Distilled water haha. now to find a good cheap RO/DI unit.

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brandon429

well great Im happy you plated that soft coral on there and not just placed it, well done.

 

consider this idea for a weekends work it could do a lot for your tank.

 

Imagine taking an airline hose, running it out the top of a 3 or so gallon water vessel on a shelf or something above your pico, you begin the airline siphon (slow due to diameter) into your tank, it begins to fill up.

 

at the same time, you take another airline hose and siphon your tank water out into another container or a sink or something.

 

a flow through change, just watch your hoses so a snail won't crawl on them or something gets stuck on one. by the time you run a whole change container through it occasionally, no water drained on your nice leather and thorough changes just to rock n roll from time to time.

the fuge does alot for the tank, this is just a way to change more water with very very little work.

 

lol roll your change water into the reef room on an IV roller from above and hook it up like IV lines into a patient lol the medical approach

Edited by brandon429

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.Newman.

an awesome I dea but I got tons of tiny cerith snails running about (I must have 30+ in that tank) so the idea might be risky...plus no shelf above the tank lol and It would cause tons of issues to move the tank to a different location. Brandon can you please giv me RO/DI unit recommendations for me in the Equipment section of this forum? thanks I appreciate your help!

 

roll your change water into the reef room on an IV roller from above and hook it up like IV lines into a patient lol the medical approach

 

believe it or not, thats what I would do if I had one of those xD

Edited by .Newman.

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.Newman.

great deal lol. thought only if I lived in Florida xD

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brandon429

newman sorry I have no experience with RO/DI all I have ever used is simple distilled water because I only need a gallon or three at a time lol really that's why.

 

 

 

but on your pass through water change idea it doesn't have to be an open line that could get plugged by a cerith, you could direct the outflow from the reef through any number of little plastic boxes that are cut with slits so 20 ceriths could crawl on them and flow would still get through the passes. like an old penn plax corner filter, anything to shroud the opening of your tube. do whatever it takes to change the water if algae are the prob lol, if its balanced like Fab's don't mess with it lol

Edited by brandon429

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.Newman.

I think the new RO/DI pure water should help a bunch. if not then I'll be forced to do another magnesium nuking of my tank to get rid of this Bryopsis >_<

 

but first up is trying to out-compete it with Chaeto in my fuge. I would do the constant water change thing but I'm afraid 1 the container on the shelf will get stagnant eventually since its constantly holding saltwater non stop, and 2. I dont have any shelves near the tank lol. 3. tank cant be moved. I'm in a bind I know, But I shall figure this out, thank you for all your help!

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brandon429

thanks for the brainstorming man El Fab has shown with a great fuge you don't need the hard change work and thats why he gets big applause from me.

B

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el fabuloso
that being said El Fab what is your nitrate reading as of today bro! Here's my guess, 5 ppm. just a guess, plant fixation and regular partial changes should keep it low but I wouldn't guess undetectable. disclaimer: if you do write zero im blaming it all on your fuge

Before tonight, the last time I tested my tank for nitrates was over a year ago (5/3/09). Tonight the test result showed zero and that's at the end of a full week. :ninja:

 

El Fab rocks, this is by far my favorite look of his tank:

http://i140.photobucket.com/albums/r7/elfa.../Pico011410.jpg

cramped yes but if you think about it, it looks just like someone cut a piece of reef out and framed it in the 3 gal pico xD

I actually miss that look. My tank looks bare these days and it just isn't the same. :(

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badfish816

should never have touched it Fab.

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.Newman.

lmao Badfish if he didnt touch it the monti would have grown so much ,I'm sure it would have made his tank explode with pressure xD (fragging it off might have been a solution lol.)

Edited by .Newman.

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brandon429

thanks for all the updates guys

 

EF with your nitrates that low I can see how partial changes are sufficient, Ive really enjoyed reading all this.

B

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username48

great, comprehensive guide! i would love to set up a pico tank right beside my 20g freshwater tank, i just need more money. i just started working 40 hours per week, so i should be able to afford it soon. get the cycling page up! hopefully that will be up when and if i set up a pico.

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