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TheCoralReef731's Picotope Build and 90 Gallon Restoration

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Well, here I am again. On the fish forums once again. Its been quite awhile but these forums are greater than ever. I always manage to learn something new each time i visit NR.


Anyway, this thread will mostly be about my 3 gallon picotope build, but I will refer to my 90 gallon and use this as its home thread as well. In addition, my 90 gallon will be my tank while I'm at home, and my pico will be my tank while at college, so this thread will trade-off topics every few months.


Pico Specs

JBJ 3 Gallon Picotope

Modded AquaClear 70 Filter

2x18w Current Satellite Lights


Live rock, sand, water, heater, fish, and corals will be added as necessary. I'm planning on just transferring most of the rock and sand from my 90. Any suggestions on other equipment I'll need. I am working on getting a refractometer and I'll just bring test kits with me when I go back to college. All of the items I listed above are currently shipping from MarineDepot, which gave me a GREAT deal. They price-matched all of the items, saving me almost $40. I can't say enough. I can't wait until Monday to open up the box of my new toys!


90 Gallon Specs

90 Gallon Glass Aquarium

Hand-built Stand and Canopy

Pondmaster 18 (1800gph)

2x250w Metal Halide on PFO ballast

20 Gallon Sump/Refugium

AquaC EV-180 Protein Skimmer w/ MagDrive 7

Phosphate Reactor (currently leaking and out of service)

Live Rock (its been way too long. i'm guessing 200 pounds. That memory is probably repressed due to how much i spent :P )



Coral Beauty Angelfish

Sailfin Tang

Royal Gramma

Blue/green Chromis

Brittle Starfish

Reef Lobster

About 15 Turbo Snails


Corals (I am horrible at names, please help if you can)

Yellow Cup Coral


Brain Coral

Colt Coral

GSP (currently dying, hopefully recovering though)

Trumpet Coral


This tank is obviously not full, and needs a lot of work. I have a lot of great equipment, but my water parameters have been out of wack but only recently fixed themselves (thanks to chaeto mostly). So, I am intent on filling this tank with wonderful, cheap corals that can spread far and wide across my tank. This will hopefully make my tank look great while keeping costs down (I am only in college, after all). Pictures will be up soon.

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Well, the Picotope, Satellite, and AC70 arrived yesterday. Sadly, I noticed a scratch on the front pane of glass. So today I called up MarineDepot and they are shipping me a new one at no cost. They have amazing customer service. I also got a refractometer from ebay. Now I have to wait AGAIN for my new toys. In the meantime I can mod the AC70.

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All the goodies:



AC70 Mod:



Freshwater test:



Sweet Flow:



Added rock and sand:





Water all cleared up:



There's still some foam on the surface. I hope it will clear up soon. The live rock actually has some GSP on it that I have been trying to save in my 90 without much luck, so as a last ditch effort, maybe changing tanks will help it recover.


I also replaced my ghetto check valve on the return for the 90 and it has practically doubled the flow. I should have done this long ago.



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How's your tank going btw?

I just started mine a week ago!

Edited by edd333

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edd333: what type of tank did you start up? picotope as well?


Well, today was quite a nice day. I fragged an SPS coral for the first time. Its a purple blue acro, which I managed to get four frags from without making a dent in the parent colony. I was very excited to see polyp extension in all the frags just a few hours after fragging.


The picotope is doing alright. I've decided to add more live rock so I'll transfer some more over tomorrow. Currently all that is in there is a fairly large piece of LR with dying GSP on it and a snail that apparently was on the rock when I moved it.


I should be adding more corals to the picotope soon, as the cycle will probably be very short.

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I GOT CORALS!! I managed to talk the guy at the fish store into giving me small frags of a ton of species for cheap. I think i have at least 6 types of zoos now, as well as a mushroom. I also added some colt coral from my 90. The first addition was a emerald crab, which I'm hoping cleans up some traces of caulerpa I saw. Enjoy!















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I've added a bunch of corals. I calculated that I now have 16 species/variations of coral in this tiny 3 gallon. Now I'm just waiting for them to fill in the space. My macro-algae has sprung up again, ever since my emerald died.


New additions include some mushrooms, zooanthids, hairy mushroom, ricordia, GSP, some sort of leather, and of course, a citron goby and peppermint shrimp.










3 baby red mushrooms. They split off of the mother one soon after I added it, but the mother one recently fell off during a move and I haven't been able to locate it:







baby brain corals:



the awesome peppermint shrimp:




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