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dawz2

Good morning! I've made a quick introduction video to my office pico tank. This little tank has quickly become my favorite. Only, because I don't get to see my home tank (28 gallon JBJ nanocube) as often! I'm starting this thread as a foundation for future updates and a place to request guidance/assistance. Thank you for stopping by!

 

Here's the video:

 

 

And here's some quick stats:

  • Set up in middle of February 2017
  • Back in the hobby after getting out in 2009. Still learning, taking it slower, being patient, bigger budget to do this correctly
  • Fluval Spec III, 2.6-gallon (freshwater) leaked, replaced by Imagitarium Pro 3.7 gallon in February 2018.
  • Kessil A80 with controller - never used stock lighting - tried to use ABI Tuna Blue 12w Par38 bulb
  • Rio Plus 180 (120 GPH) return pump – cut small holes in return line to promote circulation
  • Cobalt Neo-Therm 25 watt, temp set to 78
  • InTank media basket – filter floss – poly filter pad – BioMax bio rings – ChemiPure Blue 6.5 oz
  • Feed – Reef Roids, once a week – frozen brine shrimp, Monday, Wednesday and Friday
  • Water changes – daily, heavy on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, small amounts on Tuesday and Thursday 80% weekly changes
  • No interaction on the weekend and holidays
  • Use Aquarimate (on iOS) to track special incidents, livestock additions, parameters, and completed tasks
  • Rarely test parameters (other than salinity)
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cju84

Really like how clean the tank looks.  It'll look awesome when those candy canes/trumpets grow out!

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Friendly

how do you find it for evaporation over the weekend? 

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ajmckay

Nice tank!   I have this same tank in white trim that I initially intended to set up as an office tank.  Unfortunately I pretty much found out that I can't set it up at work though - so it's in the "home office".

 

Overall I really like the tank though!  I upgraded the pump to a Hydor centrifugal and I made a DIY media basket.

 

I really wanted to find some cool thin branch rock to put in this but it appears that style of rock is pretty hard to find  Still - I like the simple scapes similar to yours.

 

How do you like the Kessil A80 light?  I still use the stock saltwater light.  It does fine for my soft corals and ocasionally I pull a handful of chaeto. Somehow it hitched on a frag or something and the little pieces grow into decent size chunks pretty quick LOL. Still - I'd like to have some LPS or RFA's in there someday.

 

On a side note - since the tank is at work here's a cool little device I put together to make daily maintenance a bit simpler.

 

 

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dawz2
3 hours ago, Friendly said:

how do you find it for evaporation over the weekend? 

I usually add a bit extra RODI before I leave Friday afternoon and it's about 1/8" below my fill line when I return Monday. The difference is barely measurable using my refractometer.

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dawz2
2 hours ago, ajmckay said:

How do you like the Kessil A80 light?

I absolutely love it. The balance of spectrum is exactly what I want: not too blue, not too yellow. My RFAs are much happier under this light. I couldn't get the ABI Par38 at the right intensity to make them happy. Also, the kryptonite trumpet coral is about to split for the 2nd time in a month. I assume they are happy, too.

 

2 hours ago, ajmckay said:

On a side note - since the tank is at work here's a cool little device I put together to make daily maintenance a bit simpler.

I saw this several months ago and have plans to put one together! Great write up!

 

Thanks for the kind words.

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Friendly

funny how in the pico world, the tank is usually the least of the expenses. $10 jar, $300 light, WOOT! B)  

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dawz2
37 minutes ago, Friendly said:

funny how in the pico world, the tank is usually the least of the expenses. $10 jar, $300 light, WOOT! B)  

How does the saying go? "A fool and his money are soon parted." Something like that. Yep, I'm a fool lol

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dawz2

UPDATE and HELP!

So, I've been getting a slow growing amount of green algae on the substrate. I've been siphoning it out weekly during my Friday water change, but it seems to accelerating. I've also noticed what appears to be some macro algae.

  • I only feed Herbie and the RFAs on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and I only feed a small amount of Reef Roids on Fridays.
  • No, I haven't tested my parameters.
  • The poly filter pad doesn't look bad, but could be changed.
  • The ChemiPure Blue is about 1.5 months old.

I plan to take Herbie home and reduce RFA feedings to once per week.

 

Besides these changes, what other suggestions do you have?

 

See video for reference.

 

Thank you in advance!

 

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Lula_Mae

Do you have any snails in there? What are parameters like?

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Ranjib

Change chemipure blue. That will bring fresh gfo. Add a trochus snail. Your current water change schedule is solid.

 

i would not worry too much, and wait couple of months and see if it’s getting out of control

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dawz2
On 9/22/2017 at 10:44 AM, Lula_Mae said:

Do you have any snails in there? What are parameters like?

I have the 3 snails shown in the video. No, I've already stated that I do not test parameters. With daily water changes, I haven't wasted my time. I will try to do some tests this week and post the results.

 

20 hours ago, Ranjib said:

Change chemipure blue.

Definitely going to do this and change out the poly filter pad. Thanks!

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Lula_Mae
On 9/25/2017 at 9:08 AM, dawz2 said:

I have the 3 snails shown in the video. No, I've already stated that I do not test parameters. With daily water changes, I haven't wasted my time. I will try to do some tests this week and post the results.

 

Definitely going to do this and change out the poly filter pad. Thanks!

Ha I missed that, that's what I get for posting when I ought to be sleeping. :rolleyes::lol:  I don't test either but I know other people can use parameters to offer suggestions which is why I asked (not seeing that you hadn't tested lol).

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dawz2

First, thank you to all who provided support and feedback! Through your suggestions, I eliminated the nuisance algae!

Here's what I did:

  • Reduced the photo period by 1 hour - definitely a contributing factor
  • Reduced the heat from 80 to 78 (was running 78.7 when it was set on 80, now runs at 77.6 when set on 78...weird)
  • Replaced the Chemipure Blue
  • Replaced return pump with 265 GPH pump - super overkill
  • Did blackout for 2 weekends in a row - after 2nd blackout the algae was gone and hasn't come back

Yay, buuuuuut, two weeks ago the tank sprung leaks along the seals!!! I replaced the Fluval Spec III with an Imagitarium 3.7 cube from Petco. At least the tank it to its first birthday! I was super nervous about moving everybody to the new system (afraid of mini cycle after fighting the algae battle), but mostly everybody did very well in the transition! Here's an update video...

 

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vlangel

New transfer tank looks wonderful!  Good job.

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dawz2
On 2/24/2018 at 7:02 AM, vlangel said:

New transfer tank looks wonderful!  Good job.

Thank you!

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dawz2

The tank is settling in. Picked up a few new coral and made some mods to the tank.

 

The only flow in the tank is from the return pump. It's enough flow, but it's not random. I'd love to add or create some random flow, but I can't decide how to do it. I tried to add a small return pump in the display, but hated the look of that thing in the display. I have the Vivid Creative Aquatics Random Flow Generators on my home tank...they rock! I wish they made one for 1/4" loc-line!

 

Anyway, here's the update video:

 

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Ranjib

Yes, you need one of those fancy nozzles :-)

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dawz2
36 minutes ago, Ranjib said:

Yes, you need one of those fancy nozzles :-)

I agree! I'm going to shoot Vivid Creative Aquatics an email! They might already have one in development. Fingers-crossed!

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ajmckay

Bummer to hear about the Fluval Spec !   I wonder how it busted a seam...  Mine is still doing well about a year and a half later, fingers crossed.  Inhabitants are doing great but the looks are nothing to write home about.  Simple lighting and I just let the rogue chaeto run wild...  But hey it seems to be working. 

 

Regarding the random flow...  I've thought the same thing recently.  I have the Hydor Centrifugal 100gph and while I have corals up on a frag rack the flow works but when I put them down further I don't feel there's enough flow long term.  I'm not sure I want to go to the massive Rio pump you upgraded to - create a water jet from that tiny nozzle.

 

I have a 3D printer and I've actually thought about trying my hand at designing something but my skills are lacking in the 3D modeling arena as of current.  Actually, the Vivid nozzles look like they're 3D printed as well.  I have been thinking of upgrading to the 180gph version of the Hydor Centrifugal pump.

 

Anyways, my top thoughts for getting random flow in a tiny tank (basically I'm typing my notes in your thread):

1) I saw the Current USA eFlux 660 today at my LFS.  It's sooooooo tiny! According to the specs its 2.5" x 1" x 1".  It feels like it might be a tiny bit larger in diameter but I was quite surprised at it's size.  I don't have one to compare it to but I'm guessing it's smaller than the Koralia nano 240. Anyways it looks like you can get it consistently for about $65 and it's a fully controllable DC pump.   Seems like overkill in a 3-4g but it seems like it could provide great flow (min flow I believe was about 100gph).  I'm going to see how it compares to the Jebao OW-10.  I think it's still smaller.

 

2) Do something fancier with the existing loc-line return.  Could just be a splitter with some different heads and flow patterns.  I think that combined with a more powerful pump could be pretty effective.  But honestly figure $20-30 for a decent quality pump that's more powerful + another $10-15.  So potentially another $30-45.  Another option is a spray bar.  Might not be as "random" but does give a broader flow.

 

3) Get a second pump.  Doesn't have to be powerful - like maybe an 80gph DC pump.  Drill a second hole in the false wall and get another loc-line nozzle.  Put this pump on a wall timer - you know the kind with the little tabs in 1/2 hour increments and basically run it on/off in 30 minute intervals.  Cost wise I'm guessing $10 for a cheap pump, $10 for loc line, and $5 for a timer.  So $25 total.  The risk to this is making sure there is enough room in the return chamber.  The other risk is adding heat to the tank with too many pumps.  That's why I think DC would work better.  Less heat, smaller, and more tolerant to constant on/off cycles.  

 

Still not sure what I'm going to do even after typing this all out.  If I could get the eFlux for $45 I think it would be a done deal.  But I guess what's another $20 in this hobby... 

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dawz2

 

21 hours ago, ajmckay said:

Bummer to hear about the Fluval Spec !   I wonder how it busted a seam

I strongly believe the original weak seam was the result of me moving the tank too many times! It was a horrible pain to transfer tanks, but I really like the new tank more than the Fluval.

20 hours ago, ajmckay said:

1) I saw the Current USA eFlux 660 today at my LFS.

I’m seriously considering this pump for my home tank, but I’m not adding another pump to my office display.

20 hours ago, ajmckay said:

2) Do something fancier with the existing loc-line return. 

Yes!! Great suggestion! I’m currently going back and forth with a Vivid Creative Aquatics representative about my options. If they don't have an adapter, I'll hunt down some 1/4” loc-line!

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ajmckay
2 hours ago, dawz2 said:

 

I strongly believe the original weak seam was the result of me moving the tank too many times! It was a horrible pain to transfer tanks, but I really like the new tank more than the Fluval.

I’m seriously considering this pump for my home tank, but I’m not adding another pump to my office display.

Yes!! Great suggestion! I’m currently going back and forth with a Vivid Creative Aquatics representative about my options. If they don't have an adapter, I'll hunt down some 1/4” loc-line!

Interesting!  Please update this thread if you get a response from them.  

 

On a side note - I've found some promising work that others have done regarding unique loc line nozzles for 3D printing. I'll have to see what happens with that lol.  

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Christopher Marks
43 minutes ago, ajmckay said:

On a side note - I've found some promising work that others have done regarding unique loc line nozzles for 3D printing. I'll have to see what happens with that lol.

This sounds like a perfect application for 3D printing! Do you have any links?

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ajmckay
13 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

This sounds like a perfect application for 3D printing! Do you have any links?

Agreed it's pretty ideal!  There's quite a few but I would say most designs are oriented to part cooling in machining operations (same loc line I believe - but the nozzles would suck for aquarium applications).  I think this is currently the most promising, back from 2016:  https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1784377

 

Might try to print off one of these tomorrow - that is if I can get PETG to work right lol.  That's a finicky type of material IME.

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dawz2

4/18/2018 Update:

Thanks to all who provided great suggestions for adding random flow. I'm leaning towards picking up the IM Spinstream or using more loc-line and splitters. Antonio Gutierrez with Vivid Creative Aquatics may have an adapter that will work, but he won't know for sure until I provide more accurate measurements with a caliper (I gotta dig mine out from my machining past). I'll pass along an update once I settle on a solution. Meanwhile, I have some new toys: Tunze Care Magnet Pico, InTank Media Basket and IceCap Digital Salinity Tester. The IceCap is quick and consistent, but I don't think it's accurate. In the video below, I walk through several methods of testing with the IceCap. For those who just want the tank update, skip to 11:17.

 

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