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5.5 AC 110 Pico Reef


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I have been a longtime freshwater hobbyist, and i have always been interested in setting up a saltwater tank.


I have browsed these forums for what seems like years, and I have finally gotten up enough nerve to jump in.


I wanted to start small, to see if i was up for the extra work involved in keeping a salt tank. I really liked what people have done with the small space of pico tanks, so I decided to try my hand at one of them.


I chose a simple Deep Blue 5.5 gallon glass tank, that i had laying around. I purchased and modded a aquaclear 110, and I ordered a BoostLed Par 30 to light her up real nice like.


For water I just chose to use walmart pink top distilled, by the jug.


Heres a few pictures of my setup.


Just the empty tank in its new home, complete with floating light. Check my mad DIY skills.



Here is the tank filled with saltwater before LR, micro bubbles galore.



Here are some of the hitch hikers i spotted, before adding sand.

Limpet im told.



Candy Cane ?



And finally how the tank looks now. Uggghhh.... I kinda wish I would have left the glass bottom, for now anyways.



Thanks for looking



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Jbb_00 you were the one that convinced me to throw a AC 110 on there. I figured ah what the hell, its a big step up in space you get over the AC 70.



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Ok, well the sand has settled, and i was able to add some base rock to improve my scape. Here is how the tank looks now.



I only have a nitrite and ph test kit at the moment, but i tested both and Nitrites were 0 and the ph was good.


I have the salinity around 1.023


Here are a few pictures, of some more hitch hikers, and a better pic of the brain coral.





Second coral



Other thing




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Btw I find most corals in my tank like a salinity at 1.025-1.026,and if your planning stars (a little known fact) they prefer high salinity and part of the reason stars don't do well in our tank is because the salinity is (most of the time) between 1.022 and 1.024 anywhere between 1.025 and even 1.030 they thrive but 1.030 is unsafe for most corals

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Day 3

I am slowly increasing the salinity by adding salt water to replace evaporation, as per your suggestion Dendro.


I ran another nitrite test this morning, and its still holding at 0.


Ph was around 8.2 which was a smidgen lower then before.


No signs of any cycle yet, but its a waiting game.


Here is this thing i spotted this morning.





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Wow you got some nice live rock there! The last thing looks like a Favia.


Thanks, I am really taken with it as well, I could not have hoped for better pieces.


That would have to be the dreariest favia ever. The ones i saw on google were mad colorful compared to my hh., but alas he is still small.



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I tested again today and the readings were the same, however I did notice a small amount of diatoms, or algae on some of the rocks.


All the hitch hikers seem to be doing well, and the limpet is really active, all over the live rocks.


Do you think it would be safe to add a few cuc members this weekend? Like a blue hermit and detritus eating snail?



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Big update,


After seeing diatoms and small nuisance algae for a few days, with my readings not moving and my HH doing good, i finally caved and bought a small cuc.


2 blue leg hermits

heres a pic



2 narcissus snails


They went right to work, and are still at it a day later.


However, when I dropped them in the tank, I noticed that two of my main LR pieces, had small aiptasias on them. I counted three little heads in different places, on different rocks.


I want to go get a peppermint shrimp asap.


Will that screw with my bio load, readings, etc...


I cant remove the rocks, because my HH corals are on them.






Also finally caught a pic of my starfish, and i couldn't rob you guys of that.


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cheap way to kill the aiptasias is mrs wages pickling lime (not pickling salt). mix 1 tbs with 1 gal water and inject into them with syringe might take 2 injections to totaly kill but it works. you can use the rest of the bag as kalk for under $4.

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Awesome rock!




I decided to add the peppermint shrimp and it totally worked, he ate all the aiptasias I saw earlier.


Great success! :happy:


I'll add pics when I'm able to get a good one. I spotted some Florida rics at the Lfs, and man do I want one bad, so in all Likly hood that will be next livestock purchase.

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