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Gaviota

Gavi's Noob New Pico fluval build thread

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Hi everyone. Picos are awesome. Not sure on how to use forums. This is my new build. Will keep updatimg  here and would love input. 

 

I just started to read about  saltwater tanks and saw this whole world of picos and became enamored with the idea! Never done saltwater but did manage to maintain a nice 90 gallon mangrove biotope brackish tank of archer fish for about 5 years.  im thinking im in for an adventure. Heres where im at with it.

 

I bought arag alive bahama oolite (on accident grabbed the wrong bag, was wanting special grade, but oh well). I have about an inch and a half to 2 inches of substrate.  Concerned i have too much... i saw a thread on here with a fellow that has a beautiful pico running for 5 years and eventually ditched substrate alltogether... do you think this is ok as an initial substrate set up? Should i remove some now or do so gradually over the course as it becomes more stocked?

 

Filled with petcos Imagitarium Sea Water (no lfs around me other than this). I cant mix my own now as i have horrible well water and no RO. Plan on getiing a filter later so can at least drink our water too! 

 

I have a tiny heater that is auto set to 78 degrees: Aqueon preset heater 50w

I put this in the chamber with the pump making sure no electrical wire was resting on it which wasnt as easy as it sounds. 

 

A digital temp monitor: imagitarium

 

Running stock pump and filter with carbon removed. Plan to upgrade to the 404 i see eveyone seems to be using later. 

 

I also picked up the API 5 in 1 test dip sticks.. ph, no2, no3, kh, gh and then realized they dont test for amonia until i got home, so i plan on taking them back if theyll take um. Ill keep them if i need them... suggestions?

 

Been running tank with light off for 4 days now. Figured id check to see if the thermometer and digital temp are reliable and doing what they should before i start buying anything else... so far so good. Been holding at 77.8 - 78.4 the whole time. 

 

Sooo...

On order is 4 lbs of Reef Saver Live Dry Rock, Penso and Co , Salinity Refractometer for Aquarium, Fish Tank Seawater ATC Hydrometer Dual Scale (1.0 to 1.070 S.G.) , the API Master Saltwater Test Kit and ARC Reef Coraline Algae + Nitrafying Bacteria in a Bottle. 

 

Plan on adding the Coral Compulsion Par 30 LED about a month from now once my dry live rock has cured (seller BRS suggested leaving lights off for 30 days so i dont see the point in buying a new light today).

 

Do not plan on doing any water changes through the cycling of the tank which im planning will take at least 30 days from when i add the rock.  Sound good?

 

In place of an auto topper i drew a fine line on the side of tank with a sharpie where water line is and top of with distilled.  It seems to be about 1 or 2 ounces per day which i know cause i use a baby bottle to measure. 

 

I used two of the dipsticks... shhh i dont think petco will notice... 

 

1-12-2018:

gh > deep purple 180, KH: 240, Ph: 7.5-8, NO2 and NO3 0

 

1-15-2018:

GH > 180, KH: 120, Aall others the same

 

Where'd the KH go and why?

 

Here's my other main questions: is it pointless to use the ARC Coraline if im not running lights? Is this stock light of any use to a coral tank?

 

So thats where im at. Would love any suggestions or input from anyone! 

 

Picture are pretty uneventful at this point. Will update when i aquascape. 

Is it normal to have all this salty foam at the top? 

 

 

 

 

20180115_093651.jpg

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Welcome to the community @Gaviota! Looks like you’re off to a good start with your pico reef.

 

I would probably reduce your sand bed a little over time, less is more these days as we’ve come to understand. Shallow sand beds are easy to keep stirred up. You can do it slowly after your cycle is finished. 

 

The foam at the top is probably from the new sand. How is the surface skimming in the tank with the overflow? You should be able to get it out during your next water change. 

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On 1/15/2018 at 2:17 PM, Gaviota said:

Hi everyone. Picos are awesome. Not sure on how to use forums. This is my new build. Will keep updatimg  here and would love input. 

 

I just started to read about  saltwater tanks and saw this whole world of picos and became enamored with the idea! Never done saltwater but did manage to maintain a nice 90 gallon mangrove biotope brackish tank of archer fish for about 5 years.  im thinking im in for an adventure. Heres where im at with it.

 

I bought arag alive bahama oolite (on accident grabbed the wrong bag, was wanting special grade, but oh well). I have about an inch and a half to 2 inches of substrate.  Concerned i have too much... i saw a thread on here with a fellow that has a beautiful pico running for 5 years and eventually ditched substrate alltogether... do you think this is ok as an initial substrate set up? Should i remove some now or do so gradually over the course as it becomes more stocked?

 

Filled with petcos Imagitarium Sea Water (no lfs around me other than this). I cant mix my own now as i have horrible well water and no RO. Plan on getiing a filter later so can at least drink our water too! 

 

I have a tiny heater that is auto set to 78 degrees: Aqueon preset heater 50w

I put this in the chamber with the pump making sure no electrical wire was resting on it which wasnt as easy as it sounds. 

 

A digital temp monitor: imagitarium

 

Running stock pump and filter with carbon removed. Plan to upgrade to the 404 i see eveyone seems to be using later. 

 

I also picked up the API 5 in 1 test dip sticks.. ph, no2, no3, kh, gh and then realized they dont test for amonia until i got home, so i plan on taking them back if theyll take um. Ill keep them if i need them... suggestions?

 

Been running tank with light off for 4 days now. Figured id check to see if the thermometer and digital temp are reliable and doing what they should before i start buying anything else... so far so good. Been holding at 77.8 - 78.4 the whole time. 

 

Sooo...

On order is 4 lbs of Reef Saver Live Dry Rock, Penso and Co , Salinity Refractometer for Aquarium, Fish Tank Seawater ATC Hydrometer Dual Scale (1.0 to 1.070 S.G.) , the API Master Saltwater Test Kit and ARC Reef Coraline Algae + Nitrafying Bacteria in a Bottle. 

 

Plan on adding the Coral Compulsion Par 30 LED about a month from now once my dry live rock has cured (seller BRS suggested leaving lights off for 30 days so i dont see the point in buying a new light today).

 

Do not plan on doing any water changes through the cycling of the tank which im planning will take at least 30 days from when i add the rock.  Sound good?

 

In place of an auto topper i drew a fine line on the side of tank with a sharpie where water line is and top of with distilled.  It seems to be about 1 or 2 ounces per day which i know cause i use a baby bottle to measure. 

 

I used two of the dipsticks... shhh i dont think petco will notice... 

 

1-12-2018:

gh > deep purple 180, KH: 240, Ph: 7.5-8, NO2 and NO3 0

 

1-15-2018:

GH > 180, KH: 120, Aall others the same

 

Where'd the KH go and why?

 

Here's my other main questions: is it pointless to use the ARC Coraline if im not running lights? Is this stock light of any use to a coral tank?

 

So thats where im at. Would love any suggestions or input from anyone! 

 

Picture are pretty uneventful at this point. Will update when i aquascape. 

Is it normal to have all this salty foam at the top? 

 

 

 

 

20180115_093651.jpg

:welcome: to Nano-Reef! The oolite looks nice, the grains are much tinier than the special grade! You only really need no more than an inch, so I'd probably take some out so it doesn't become a big ol' detritus trap. I've been running my 5.5 bare bottom but am planning to add sand in the near future. It's really a matter of personal aesthetics, the bare bottom is fairly easy to keep clean but I decided I want sand lol. If you have no access to RODI water you can use distilled. I've used it for nine years for top offs and water changes and literally just got an RODI unit of my own (I was tired of lugging jugs lol). It's very convenient if you only have a pico and much more cost effective than buying the ready-made stuff Petco sells. 

 

Are you running the sponge in the back (I think it comes with one)? If so, I'd suggest taking it out as it can trap detritus and become a nutrient factory. You can use filter floss instead. You don't really need both a refractometer and a hydrometer, just the refractometer will work great for a pico and is much more accurate. I'm not familiar with the ARC product, sounds like it may have a calcium additive which you want to be careful with if you're not testing for it. I'd suggest a bacteria product like Dr. Tim's, Microbacter7, or Biospira. You don't need dip strips, they aren't very accurate and the API Master test kit will test for the same basic things.

 

It is fine to leave the lights off and you don't really want to do water changes while the cycle is running anyway. The foam on top is probably from your sand, I'm thinking some filter floss will take care of that in a jiffy. 

 

Hope some of that helps, don't be afraid to ask questions, we've got some great, helpful members here!

 

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22 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

The foam at the top is probably from the new sand. How is the surface skimming in the tank with the overflow? You should be able to get it out during your next water change. 

Been using the tank exactly the way it came outta the box. Discovered a couple threads about spec users plugging the slit at bottom and 1/2 blocking the top skimming. Will prog out on doing that next. The bibbles/salty foam swirl around the top edge of the tank no matter which way i direct the flow.

 

Don't suppose there is an expoxy i can use to mod the slit and flow without draining the tank? Not that its that big but it would be good to know anyway?

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16 hours ago, Lula_Mae said:

Are you running the sponge in the back (I think it comes with one)? If so, I'd suggest taking it out as it can trap detritus and become a nutrient factory.

Yes i have been. Found some threads about diy media baskets... going to go that route! Any reason cant just stack or layer the media without a basket? 

 

Thanks! You guys are are so incredibly helpful! I will update when i do these things or make somekinda progress ? thanks again!

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13 hours ago, Gaviota said:

Yes i have been. Found some threads about diy media baskets... going to go that route! Any reason cant just stack or layer the media without a basket? 

 

Thanks! You guys are are so incredibly helpful! I will update when i do these things or make somekinda progress ? thanks again!

Not sure, I've never had an AIO lol. I think it makes it much easier to change things out though, and I hear InTank products are worth every penny.

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Been a while and its about time to update my very slow progress. I ordered the kessel tuna blue light and neglected to realize that it doesnt come with the mount... so i finally got the light on today. Otgerwise the tank has just been running with the live rock amd sand for quite a few weeks. 

Im pretty happy with it.

20180212_210722.jpg

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Got some brown spots in the sand..

Amonia at .25 - .5 everything else zero

Has anyone seen posts on a better way to attach the mount? Its going to male it impossible to get a media basket on, and id prefer it to be in the center. 

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So... I have to be the absolutely slowest reef person ever but whatever. So my tank cycles for like 3 months and then my kessil light just up and quit... anyway, a friend gave me some coral which i added to the tank. She doesn't know what they are... can anyone help me identify these things? Pleased with the set up so far ☺

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1524424800036-884833590.jpg

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The tiny tube things in the last pic have red handlike tiny hairy things that come out and hide if theyre scared. The mushrooms looked much happier yesterday.. Don't know what kind they are though. 

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For journaling purposes...

 

I think it might be a miracle I have coral living in my tank at this point. 

 

I just upgraded the stock pump that came with the spec 3 to the mj404 and put a new purigen pack in my intank media basket. Almost instantly there is now a terrible odor that I couldn't smell before. Not quite sure why. Only thing I assume is the increased flow is allowing the odor to escape?

 

Media basket has 2 carbon and 2 purigen and a small ball of. Chaeto. 2 old 2 new. Gonna pull the old ones once the smell begins to dissipate. 

 

Also have rearranged the rock last week as my reef kinda tipped over. So I like the new arrangement. 

 

I have very little Coraline growing on the rock but the pieces I were given still have nice color, with the addition on hair algae. Water parameters actually look good. So. I guess it's a work in progress. 

 

Added a nifty green mushroom and some zoa 2 weeks ago. There always open unless it's dark

 

 

Running my lights manually on a schedule of 12 hrs a day at 60% intensity and 30% color.

 

If anyone has advice on what I'm doing wrong I would greatly appreciate😄😆

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