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Budget 3gal Pico


treylane

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Well, boredom has set in and I need to leave my main reef tank ALONE because it's doing fine.

 

Enter the pico project. There's a spot on my desk just above my computer that's just begging to display some pretties. I've been through a ton of different designs for tanks that use up the entire space available or have elaborate sumps and plumbing. In the end I decided I do NOT want to be dealing with the ca/alk dosing requirements of a second tank, so water changes need to be small and yet still meaningful.

 

I'm looking to keep the budget on this build to a minimum. Here and there I'll spend a few dollars, but I'm not going to be picking up crazy high-end LED systems. Wherever possible I'll recycle gear that I've got on hand or try to find used items.

 

I found a 3gal miracle baby tank at my LFS that seemed about right for $25. Daily beer-cup water changes should keep a tank this size fairly happy:

IMG_0741.jpg

 

I had a chunk of lace rock left over from the build of my main reef, so I pulled out the chisel and aquamend to make a first pass at the aquascape. I had the 9w light in the garage, which should hold the tank over while it cycles and the permanent fixture is built.

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I like it also I am setting up one almost just like it. One of the things for me is the lighting... Like you I don't want to dump a bunch of money into a LED. the tank will be in my office So I might have to move it if someone complains I will be following along to see how this tank progressed maybe pick up a few Idea's You can check out my tank on my thread if you like Gunbeaux's rimless 2.5.

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Funktastic Wint
Daily beer-cup water changes should keep a tank this size fairly happy

My New Daily Regiment

Step 1: fill glass with beer

step 2: drink all the beer

step 3: water change

 

wow thats a great idea to make water changes fun.

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My New Daily Regiment

Step 1: fill glass with beer

step 2: drink all the beer

step 3: water change

 

wow thats a great idea to make water changes fun.

 

DUHHHHH, what else would you think I meant? :lol:

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Time for an update!

 

The filter (marina slim 20) showed up, I dremelled out the dividers and tacked it on there. I haven't decided whether I should hack it up so that I can stick a pump in the filter body, or leave the pump in the tank. For now it's in the tank. I'll need more rock to hide it if that stays put. Temporary heater is installed in the filter housing, I've got a new one showing up next weekend.

IMG_0758.jpg

 

 

I did a lot of experimentation with 27w quad pc bulbs, spiral pc bulbs, etc. Since I've got a few ballasts laying around already, I'm leaning towards the quads... any suggestions/warnings?

 

Quads:

IMG_0751.jpg

 

Spiral blue and spiral 6500k:

IMG_0754.jpg

 

I've also got this PFO pendant laying around that I haven't been able to unload even at $20, so I may as well put it to use! It'll be rehabbed to be the pico's light fixture:

IMG_0760.jpg

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What's the color temperature on those quad bulbs? They look fairly blue-ish from the pictures.

 

They're 50/50 daylight and blue. Whether they're true actinic or not, or the white is 65k or 10k I don't know. Pico aquarists can't be too picky though. Figuring out how to stuff as much light as possible into a 12" tank is pretty rough.

 

I got them here:

http://cgi.ebay.com/27-Watt-27-W-Quad-Repl...df#ht_527wt_905

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Mr. Microscope

Cool tank! I really like the look of that. Great price for a tank like that. It's glass right?

 

Interesting filter BTW. What are the dimensions on that?

 

Good luck building your light.

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Cool tank! I really like the look of that. Great price for a tank like that. It's glass right?

 

Interesting filter BTW. What are the dimensions on that?

 

Good luck building your light.

 

Yeah, it's very cheap green glass and the finish on the edge is lame enough to have chips in it somehow. I love it anyway - flat front and curved corners are pretty nice. :D

 

The filter is 11" long and 6" tall and the body is ~2" wide. I'll probably be modding it some more in the near future to see if I can get more flow through it.

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Mr. Microscope
The filter is 11" long and 6" tall and the body is ~2" wide. I'll probably be modding it some more in the near future to see if I can get more flow through it.

 

Maybe you could add a small fuge section to it. Good dimensions.

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