Jump to content
SavaS

2.7 gallon Pico-Added new corals (soon to be moving to new tank)

Recommended Posts

59c5ac9b46311_2017-09-2016_24_55.thumb.jpg.f9cf5b6a251566c808b39454a6d1bd02.jpg

 

10/8/17 - Tank has been moved into a new setup, link to new journal is here: New Tank

 

So here is my little Pico reef. Including the AC70 filter mod the tank is right around 2.7 gallons. When I first started it this was my first attempt at saltwater and the tank was a plain glass aquarium and a cheap 6 X 3watt led fixture I bought off ebay. I had to remove the optics because you could clearly see the blue and white light in the water. 

I knew when I started this I didn't want a tank with a light hanging high above it or I would never be happy. The LEDs are currently about 2 1/2"s above the water level, it works, the tiny zoa Frag I first added has grown considerably from 10-12 heads to over 30.

One of the two hammer corals I first added is still there, the other was eaten by a peppermint shrimp. It of course was the more attractive of the two. The remaining one was also torn up pretty good but is slowly coming back. 

I spent days reading forums from all over the net, anything to do with picos and decided that like a lot of others I wanted the tank to look like a piece of furniture instead of a glass box full of water. So after some measurements and several bad cuts I had the basic frame work finished. 

I had to empty the tank into a bucket and then paint the back of the glass and attach the wood to the framework. 

Everything survived in the bucket for about a two days while I worked. Here are some pictures of the original tank and some variations of the rockwork that have changed over the past couple months. 

_0D529~5.JPG

20170220_204018.jpg

20170304_174706.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The largest rock in the tank is to the left of the last picture, it was covered in orange sponges which now are mostly gone and about 12 or so hidden cup corals (I believe that is what they are) that are still going strong. From time to time I see new ones popping up and their tiny tentacles (?) moving in the current.

Ill post some pics of that and my first corals, and my light. I ended up adding a few led strips consisting of warm white, 10k, Uv, and royal blue. Whether they helped or not is debatable but they are no longer there. 

20170312_093316.jpg

20170304_173456.jpg

20170224_193044.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The tiny zoa Frag and two pulsing xenia were my first frags, needless to say I didn't and still don't like Frag plugs so I popped them off the plugs and glued them to rock and rubble. 

Fast forward a bit and I added (and then lost one of) hammer corals. I also added several macros. I love my 90 gallon planted and liked the idea of adding something that looked like a plant (plus the color pop) 

20170506_180555.jpg

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post

So still moving forward I rearranged the rock work and sometimes the corals numerous times. At times the goal was to be able to clean the glass, others it was about what I could and couldn't see. 

20170526_154023.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

The xenias were cut back to nothing, they were way too big. The remaining hammer was hit by something, not sure what, but it has since started to bounce back. Also I added the gorgonian and moved the rock a bit. 20170809_163620.thumb.jpg.675ae9a8c70dffc3ac91e02a3d56a5e9.jpg

 

I later added a three headed Duncan and a torch coral. 

20170813_112141.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

 

After several weeks the torch coral fell victim to some kind of brown sludge/slime and was removed. Maybe this was a hasty move but I didn't want to take a chance. The Duncan is still going well, all three heads are fully open, each a little bigger than a quarter. With the loss of the torch I decided to buy more corals. 

I added a new zoa, single polyp (had to file a claim on eBay about that one) and a few loose frags of Kenya tree. 20170814_154623.thumb.jpg.7dd57e076d7e75c0d66c22333c889fd7.jpg

 

Can't find the picture of it in the tank at the moment, I'll have to get another. It kept coming unglued so I finally wedged it in a crevice and it has been holding and expanding pretty well. 

 

I've always been a fan of Gsp but my local lfs doesn't have frags of it and I don't have any reefing friends. I finally got around to ordering some new frags. I got two of Gsp, several new zoas and some palys. 

 

20170824_120203.thumb.jpg.9b2296bc1d28e11e2f2d8bdd6f82ec91.jpg

 

Also my xenias are making a comeback, two colonies with 6-7 polyps each are coming in pretty fast. 

20170824_161517.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Also if anyone can help me figure out what this guy is, he came as a sliver on one of the xenia frags and I figured it was worth a shot. It is located above the paly, center of the picture, possibly a pagoda coral? 

20170908_194054.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I will update with more current pictures when I clean the glass, with the hurricane and work the tank is on the back burner. 

Share this post


Link to post

Welcome to the community @SavaS! This is a neat little pico reef you've built, it looks like quite a journey so far. I love that purple gorgonian!

 

That really does look like it could be a tiny pagoda cup coral starting there by the palys. Has it grown much since you first found it?

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks Christopher, yes it was maybe a third of the size it is now, cut straight on one side like it had spread to another Frag and then was sliced in half. I'll see if I can find a old picture of it. The gorgonian is one of my favorites as well. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

I really like this tank, the scape is really unique too, I personally like the more natural looking structures and you nailed it! :D

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

My hammer coral when it was still fully expanding, I really hope it gets back to this point.

The rock with hidden cup corals (?) these guys are still a favorite.

 

I looked back and can't seem to find a picture that shows how small the pagoda was when I got it which is a shame, also I see now (on the pc, originally started this on my phone) that the pictures aren't great, but my cellphone camera is all that I have.

 

In the last picture you can see the pagoda in the far left above the xenia, doesn't do much for showing it's size then but it was so little back then, not really sure how big it might get, I'll have to do more research. Thanks for the replies, glad you guys are enjoying the tank.

2017-04-07 15.15.20.jpg

2017-03-13 19.59.52.jpg

2017-04-07 08.04.34.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

So the reason I started this journal is because I'm planning on upgrading the tank. I like the tank the way it is but it has some issues that I've decided are just to much. First off the new tank is also a 2.5 gallon so I'm not straying too far other than I'm plumbing in a 2.5 gallon sump (yeah I know that's probably nuts but I think it will work. Overall the water volume will go from 2.7 gallon to a little over three, maybe 3.5.

 

issues with the old tank:

-the lid isn't hinged, so I have to prop it up and it's a pain with the wires from the lights, minimal issue yes, but I still don't like it.

-Heat! the tank occasionally gets to 85 during the day and the fans I installed aren't cutting it. I know this could be solved by raising the light or removing the hood but I can't see that happening.

-Evaporation... The new tank will be equipped with a ATO to fix that issue.

-keeping the glass cleaned on the sides. Keeping the rock and corals away from the glass to make room for a toothbrush, scraper or whatever I grab to clean it limits placement and room for growth, the new tank will be viewed from the front only with rock work in more of a U shape from side - back -side. This should let me place the corals further apart in order for them to grow as well as placing future corals.

-The substrate... The more I read the less I want it. The dream is a gsp carpet on the bottom of the tank with corals and rockwork on the walls. I'm hoping this will give a feeling of depth to the tank and I will only have to focus on keeping the front glass clean.

 

The new lid is going to have a slot cut into it for the difuser to slide into so a) i'm not blinded when I open the lid and b ) everything will be contained, I won't have to open the lid and then fish out the Plexiglas cover on top of the tank like I do now.

 

The new tank (stained now, waiting on clear coat to dry and my sump, simple two chamber (ignore the sloppy silicone work) with the ATO float switch installed though I may have to lower it. I look forward to any replies/thoughts, thanks.

2017-09-17 16.57.46.jpg

2017-09-17 16.57.55.jpg

2017-09-20 15.07.26.jpg

2017-09-20 15.07.33.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

These two shots really show some of the evolution of the tank. looking back I wish I would have taken more pictures like this to show the changes (should have started a journal then and I probably would have) but I started this more as a 'let's see if I can do this long term and make it work kind of thing'.

 

I've added and removed several critters over the span of this so far (some died) originally was three turbos, and three hermits, I think three blues. Then was the dreaded peppermint shrimp aka hammer killer who was then removed. I added an emerald crab, a while later I found a molt that wasn't a molt... two of the original turbos were killed for their shells by the hermits, only one remains and he is really too big, he won't be going into the new tank. I've added a few more hermits over the months but I only ever see two anymore, I think they are fighting each other ( I added a few extra shells to remedy this a while back) I added a new tiny white hermit recommended by the coral guy at the lfs and a few minutes later I walked by the tank to find a blue hermit with his arms in the whit'es shell, pulled them apart but in three weeks it hasn't moved. I added another emerald a while back and he happily picks at the rockwork and has actually molted instead of dying. I also added two nerite snails which do a much better job of cleaning the glass than the turbo. There is a yellow tail damsel in the tank, too small for fish I know, she is not a keeper, I was told they nibble at hair algae though I'm doubting this but the entire population of 1,422 pods in the tank have virtually disappeared.

 

I use to have 1 and a half asterina starfish that came with my live rock but haven't seen them in months. Also there was a crab... I could barely see it, usually lurked in the shadows and crevices  of the rock until one day I got a look at him, I thought I had a picture but guess not, it was brown and hairy with black pointed claws, I think a gorilla crab, what I read said it was a issue so I managed to grab it one day with some long forceps (though he lost a claw) and dumped him in the media part of the filter and wrote him off figuring he could do no harm. A few months later I pulled the filter off for a cleaning and there he was, newly regrown claw and all. As far as I know he is still back there... I did have a very large bristle worm (what I could see was over 3 inches) but I think I accidentally exported him when I removed a rock, since then there are 4 or 5 much smaller ones.

 

I haven't bothered to go into details about how I maintain the tank or how the mod is done on the AC70 I figure this has been detailed enough over the years, though I will share my experience/opinion of anyone needs it. Other than the typical AC70 mod, I did do the surface skimmer mod with a T and a slip 90, I think it is a huge help. Thanks for following. I just scraped the glass and turkey baster'd everything, most of the corals are open but I'll wait another hour or so before posting current tank photos. any questions, feel free to ask.

2017-03-05 09.19.58.jpg

2017-04-07 08.04.41.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

So as promised, here are some current pictures of the setup, a few things to note, I do have a bit of a hair algae issue at the moment but I'm going to treat that on a rock by rock basis when I transition to the new tank in roughly a week or two, second there is a bunch of very white base rock tucked everywhere I can get it, I figured I'd let it seed a little in this tank while I'm finishing the other.

2017-09-20 16.24.55.jpg

2017-09-20 16.24.35.jpg

my xenia making a comeback, they had all but vanished and my hammer coral, not as glorious as it once was but hopefully in the new tank it will do better, i'll probably put it as close to the bottom as I can.

 

Also the 6mb limit on uploads is why I am submitting so many posts, sorry if it is annoying.

2017-09-20 16.10.06.jpg

2017-09-20 16.09.53.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

nevermind, it seems to have merged the posts... 

 

palys and zoas,

more zoas, some kryptonite palys in the bottom corner (not sure if that name is legit or not...) and my kenya tree

my duncan, by far one of my favorites

 

2017-09-20 16.09.37.jpg

2017-09-20 16.09.31.jpg

2017-09-20 16.09.25.jpg

these are green skirt zoas with a few eagle eyes mixed in, again I'm not sure if the names are legit. Above, the purple people eaters were sold to me as Laser Lemons so I'm not sure if anything is what it says it is...I tried to play with the settings on my phone to help with the pictures but it is what it is, now I'll post a few pictures of the new setup. Thanks for looking.

2017-09-20 16.09.20.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

So the tank has been stained a dark mahogany. I like dark colors but didn't want to do another black or dark gray tank. Currently I'm waiting for the epoxy resin I painted on it to dry, it will give the tank a really high gloss and make it super resistant to water and hopefully any issues with the wood down the road, also it will make it easy to clean. The wood was all cut from a single block of cedar I picked up about 2 years ago and has been sitting in the garage, the table saw and I made a day of slicing it up to size. in the top of the lid you can see a fan grate, underneath is a 120mm pc fan all of which is mounted into a thin aluminum sheet, hopefully this will take care of any issues with heat (hopefully). If not I already have a bank of tiny pc fans, the kind that go in 5.25" dvd rom slots ready to go to help pull heat from the back of the hood. I'm hoping I won't have to do this but we'll see. Also the black things under the front of the tank are to prop it up while the resin dries.

Last is my light fixture, a diy led monster of my own creation, it is a mixture of cool white, warm white, blue and royal blue. Yes it is overkill for the tank and it will be dimmed. My thinking was build it now and if one day I transition to a bigger tank, 5gal or maybe something custom the light will be usable. I spent a few days reading and re-reading posts about leds and lighting, about ratios and color mixing and this is what I settled on, it isn't permanent and can be altered/adjusted as needed. Also I will be using either a light diffuser or piece of plexi as a splash guard, it just depends on how the light mixes over the tank.

 

Any thoughts/suggestions or questions feel free to post.

2017-09-20 19.47.13.jpg

2017-09-20 19.47.29.jpg

2017-09-14 16.01.53.jpg

2017-09-14 15.31.48.jpg

2017-09-14 15.53.25.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

well the epoxy has finished drying and I've managed to mount the led's inside the tank, didn't test the fan yet, still need to do that. At 100% power the led's jumped 30 degrees (to around 120ish in just a few minutes) The dollar bill is for scale, and a comparison of the new tank next to the old one.

2017-09-21 18.44.05.jpg

2017-09-21 18.44.27.jpg

2017-09-21 17.43.52.jpg

Also some actinic shots--

2017-09-20 20.46.53.jpg

2017-09-20 20.47.05.jpg

2017-09-20 20.47.17.jpg

  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

So hopefully the dimmers arrive today, fingers and toes crossed-or is that too many? The LEDs at 100% got to about 140 degrees F in about 20 minutes. Not sure what the safe temperature is, but I figure less is more. I may have to rethink the cooling of the heatsink, maybe remove the 120mm fan up top and have several fans blow across it from the back, the heat should be able to vent from the top? Thoughts? 

Share this post


Link to post

So my dimmers arrived, which was awesome... until I wired them up and it was blink city, drivers weren't cooperating with me so I replaced them with two laptop power supplies and everything is working great. The led's are a little under volted (that's a thing right?) but are dimable and still get pretty intensely  bright so I figure all is still good, but time will tell. So all in all I have three banks of lights, one royal blue, 7 of these, one blue, 4 of these, and one a mix of warm white and cool white, 4 of the first and 3 of the second, I also have a actinic light bar on the current tank around 6"s long so I figure with a few timers I have lying around I can have the blues come on fist, followed shortly later by one set of actinics and then later the other and finally the whites which will sort of (I hope) give me a sunrise and sunset look, again time will tell. On a different note with the LEDs undervolted the temp is staying around 85 degrees at the heatsink, now this is tested with a generic underwater thermometer, one of the digital ones so I figure the LEDs themselves are probably running between 90-100 degrees which I'm thinking is pretty good. As always thoughts and feedback are appreciated. 

Share this post


Link to post

working on the stand today, but while I'm waiting for glue to dry I figured it was time to do a test of the sump and check flow and water levels, everything worked pretty well, this is just temporary, the final plumbing will be much different. My original pump, one from a bio cube 29 gal decided to break so this is a temporary pump, it's much bigger than I like...but it works.

2017-09-23 13.23.49.jpg

2017-09-23 13.23.56.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

:welcome: to Nano-Reef!   Very nice work.  Your tanks remind me of some of @brandon429's from way back before anybody thought you could do full-on reefs under 2-3 gallons.  I remember one that was a gallon or so and had a stand and hood like yours.  Hopefully the drivers keep the LED temps down!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks Lula, I ran the lights full blast for about 12 hours and everything was pretty cool, not going over 90 degrees. I had to cut the fans from 12v to 9 because they were just too loud. I've read several of Brandon429's threads and he is definitely a inspiration amongst others. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

So today I should have the final coat of paint on the stand and will be able to bring it in the house and measuring up the shelf for the sump to sit on. Here's a few pictures, bottom up view showing the lights behind the diffuser. I may swap this for a clear piece of plexiglass and my emerald crab hanging out. 

20170922_220442.jpg

20170924_110501.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

So spent the evening prepping the inside of the cabinet the tank will sit on. Got the plumbing finished, decided to add a second valve for draining the tank and doing water changes, this should allow this to be a 'hands out' tank once the corals and rock are placed. I mounted the dimmers up top for easy control while keeping them out of the way. Added a switch to the main pump so I can turn it off easily for feeding. Mounted a light inside the cabinet so I can see what I'm doing. I managed to overload my float switch while wiring up my  ATO so I'll have to order a new one. The tub at the bottom will be my ATO reservoir, it holds four gallons which is more than the amount of water that will be in both tanks and should last at least three weeks based off how my current tank evaporates. Once I transition to the new tank I'll plug in the other two timers and everything should be complete. I plan to do a full test of the system for a few days with just freshwater so I can fine tune everything, probably this weekend so I can be home to check everything. And yes, I really slacked on the paint job inside the cabinet. As always, any comments, questions or suggestions are appreciated, thanks.

2017-09-26 19.53.03.jpg

2017-09-26 19.53.19.jpg

2017-09-26 19.53.28.jpg

  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

  • Recommended Discussions

  • Sign Up or Sign In to hide this.

×