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How long have your Pico reefs been up?


NUWildcat928

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Hey,

I'm fairly new to reefing - my girlfriend introduced it to me about a year ago and I've been reading up ever since. I would like to start a reef of my own, but due to space limitations I think a pico tank would work best, at least for now.

 

My biggest concern is: How long have your pico tanks been up? Seems like quite a few pico setups on here don't last longer than a few months. Anyone have a pico tank lasting a year or longer?

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Mr. Microscope



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Started 2009.10.31

 

I know many have been up at least a year. El Fab just took his down and it was up for 3+ years.

 

Check out the life in these picos by Brandon429. They've been going for years!

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Mine has only been up about 8 months, but I plan on running it for at least a few years.

 

I don't think it's that pico reefs cannot last it's that people either grow tired of the novelty or move onto bigger and better things. Sure you can do it pretty affordable but after a while you get tired of topping off the water manually, dosing chemicals and whatnot and while you can automate these things on such a small scale a lot of people don't want to spend the money when for the same costs they could automate them on a larger scale.

 

That's just a theory though I'm still newish to pico's so I don't really know what I'm talking about.

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Mine has only been up about 8 months, but I plan on running it for at least a few years.

 

I don't think it's that pico reefs cannot last it's that people either grow tired of the novelty or move onto bigger and better things. Sure you can do it pretty affordable but after a while you get tired of topping off the water manually, dosing chemicals and whatnot and while you can automate these things on such a small scale a lot of people don't want to spend the money when for the same costs they could automate them on a larger scale.

 

That's just a theory though I'm still newish to pico's so I don't really know what I'm talking about.

 

The equipment you purchase can scale up if you buy it right the first time around. For instance I just picked up an Osmolator for my office pico. I will obviously keep using it if and when I move up in size.

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carbon-mantis

I've had a ~1.5g pico tank running for about three years now, but right now I don't have any coral in it(used to have a nice colony of zoanthids in it before the asterinas went rabid and ate them). Lately I've just been using it to raise bristleworms and pods for other tanks, and a few pseudocorynactis I've been fattening on shrimp pellets and forsaken children.

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I've had a ~1.5g pico tank running for about three years now, but right now I don't have any coral in it(used to have a nice colony of zoanthids in it before the asterinas went rabid and ate them). Lately I've just been using it to raise bristleworms and pods for other tanks, and a few pseudocorynactis I've been fattening on shrimp pellets and forsaken children.

 

Interesting... thanks for the responses. What actually happened that made the asterinas go rabid? And why use the tank for that as opposed to as a small reef, as originally intended? I guess I'm curious why people seem to abandon their pico tanks much more easily than a larger tank.

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The equipment you purchase can scale up if you buy it right the first time around. For instance I just picked up an Osmolator for my office pico. I will obviously keep using it if and when I move up in size.

 

I realize this, but to some people it's hard to justify a $190 ATO for a tank they maybe paid $50 for that has $100 worth of live stock.

 

Also since there really isn't any pico skimmer that will fit in the smaller picos you pretty much HAVE to do water changes, which to a lot of people can be a pain.

 

Personally I love my pico, it's great having a tank on my desk. I'm looking at it right now as I type this. However I would NOT recommend a Pico as a first tank nor would I recommend it as an only tank. Even a modest nano of 10-20 gallons you can do a heck of a lot more for not much more money. Pico's certainly are a niche and only a certain amount of reefers would enjoy them to the point they would do daily / weekly work on them.

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I realize this, but to some people it's hard to justify a $190 ATO for a tank they maybe paid $50 for that has $100 worth of live stock.

 

Also since there really isn't any pico skimmer that will fit in the smaller picos you pretty much HAVE to do water changes, which to a lot of people can be a pain.

 

Personally I love my pico, it's great having a tank on my desk. I'm looking at it right now as I type this. However I would NOT recommend a Pico as a first tank nor would I recommend it as an only tank. Even a modest nano of 10-20 gallons you can do a heck of a lot more for not much more money. Pico's certainly are a niche and only a certain amount of reefers would enjoy them to the point they would do daily / weekly work on them.

 

I agree that is seems like there are 2 pico camps - the "how cheap can I get this thing up and running" camp and the "how awesome can I make this tiny tank" camp. When i was in college I probably would have been in camp 1, but now that I'm not broke I am in camp 2.

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I guess I'm curious why people seem to abandon their pico tanks much more easily than a larger tank.

 

1. A small tank has greater restrictions. Your choice of organisms is going be limited as well as the number compared to what you can keep in a larger tank.

 

2. Small tanks can be more easily brought out of balance. Careful attention to feeding, bioload, and maintenance tasks are a must if you want a Pico or small Nano to last a while.

 

3. A Pico tank is easier (and usually much cheaper) to set up and it is much easier to tear it down. Very easy to store it, too. Not so easy with a 60 or 100 gal. tank, for example.

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Mr. Microscope

Holy cow carbon-mantis! Awesome sig! I'm gonna have to copy those links somewhere. What a great resource. I know I've probably been to all of those sites, but it's nice to see them so readily available like that.

 

Sorry to get off topic.

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carbon-mantis
Interesting... thanks for the responses. What actually happened that made the asterinas go rabid? And why use the tank for that as opposed to as a small reef, as originally intended? I guess I'm curious why people seem to abandon their pico tanks much more easily than a larger tank.

 

No idea on the asterinas. There are a few with slightly different color variations, and I've always wondered if perhaps there are a few separate but nigh-indiscernible species(with accompanying dietary preferences) living in the same tank. Not sure what set them off, but randomly one night a few started visiting the zoanthid colony, starting with the newly budded off polyps. By morning the polyps would be reduced to a thin mat of tissue on the rock. After the asterinas left(executed via dessication) the larger amphipods finished what they started. The zoas were regenerating for a bit, but there was always that one stray starfish or two that would sneak out of the rockwork and have a midnight snack.

 

As for the corals; several reasons. The LFS nearby has cut their SW stuff out except for the larger, more expensive pieces, and the closest affordable dealer is several hours away. That, and the combination of equipment failure and school expenses sort of put the whole thing on the back shelf. I kept it up and running so when I finally got around to fixing it up I could negate some of the cycle time. Right now, all the tank is running with is a light and an air pump.

 

Luckily though I finally got around to ordering one of those azoo mini-filters and some other new equipment last week. I've used cyanobacteria, algae, and anemone tissue samples from the tank for various projects at school, so I can write off the improvements as an education-related expenditure.

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While technically not a pico (I post here mainly because I like picos and find that I get better responses than in the member's tank thread), my 7.5g has been up and running since April 2010. Just under a year and going strong.

 

Looking forward to one day adding a true pico to my hobby.

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I almost abandoned my pico tank shortly after I merged my two nanos into a 40b. I'd actually transferred many of the corals over to the 40b already as they had really outgrown the pico. (It's 4 gallons.) I wanted the stability a larger tank offered plus the ability to keep different types of corals, fish, and invertebrates.

 

What made me keep my pico up and begin to restock it was that as I began taking it down, I started noticing all of the tiny life that I never notice in the bigger tanks(even a 20gal nano). I think when it was completely packed with corals, I only saw that- an overstocked tank. So, my pico, my first saltwater tank, is well over a year now and I have no plans to take it down though I may occasionally move corals over to the 40b.

 

Raelin

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I have had my 3 gallon picotope for 5 months now. I also have a 2.5 pico running with frags from my 3 gallon and keep it relatively empty just in case of a emergency. It is my first tank, never had previous personal experience with one. A pico is quite a bit of work if not planned well, but once settled it should take no more than 10-15 minutes a day (at least for my tank.)

My piece of advice is to think outside the box, keep it interesting, challenge the current thoughts of pico husbandry, and appreciate it because you will never be as close to a microsystem of a ocean as with a pico.

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