Jump to content
SavaS

6.5 gal Pico reef - (December pictures)

Recommended Posts

This is not a cute little 'all in one' aquarium, this is a Frankenstein, a diy monster that is going to offend some with its lack of interest in traditional reefing. This is a hands on, built not bought reef. Most of you won't respond or comment, it's expected, but you will look because you must, it's your nature. So here for your enjoyment (quiet, unresponsive enjoyment) is a reef tank that has undergone changes, that has evolved since the first post and is flourishing. Here is the beginning, if you can make it to the end you might find that you enjoy it instead of skipping to the end now and not understanding what you are looking at... 

 

... 

 

 

So this is my current Pico... 2.5 gallons... 20180313_164143.thumb.jpg.e321bca2b043eea5cabf52bfb58150cb.jpg

(this is a crappy picture that I murdered even further with a photo editor...) 

 

6/26 new tank fts

20180712_175452.thumb.jpg.769d9b9c129af60eb2703d3d876044c4.jpg

 

 

9/20 fts 20180920_154057.thumb.jpg.cc76ebea279cbfbfb0c517541c4fdb54.jpg

 

Fts 10/12

20181012_182443.thumb.jpg.1aa7ac28ccff8556ee238c73996c2b9e.jpg

 

Fts 12/3

20181127_132702.thumb.jpg.12a9d90c89d078f2ccadc7a6c908f5cf.jpg

 

 

And things are starting to get cramped, when the Duncan is fully extended he really takes up a lot of space on his own, not that he cares. He's just like that, but is also my favorite coral in the tank. (he's also growing 2 (maybe 3) new heads. I also want to spread out the zoas, move the Kenya tree further away and put the xenias in their own area. The anthelia I mowed down already but know it will come back which is fine. 

So enough of the why, let's get to the point. The new tank is going to be 6.5 gallons. (it's gonna be huuuge). I'm currently working on the hood and stand. 20180607_082325.thumb.jpg.ffac43ec995ebfb2889843678b4f7eb5.jpg

I will be using my sump and canister filter from the smaller tank still. It's a semi hex and it was a gift. The wood is rough cut cedar I had left from a gazebo I built for a customer. So here are a few things I'm planning to do differently this time, because I have been paying attention :

Better flow! I mean way better, turbulent! alternating! flow flow flow! 

My entire scape will be mounted to a removable background to make it easier to add new corals, move corals, treat algae or pests (should they appear from thin air or awaken from hibernation). This will also allow me to dip the entire scape if the corals require it. 

I will be adding violet and turquoise leds to my lighting and switching out my 10k whites for neutral whites for a better blending of color and spectrum. 

 

Ok, so here are a few things I want to do but won't really know how they will work until I get it set up. I plan to have a set of return lines behind my Live rock scrap and a set up top facing down. These lines will be powered by separate pumps that will alternate via a wave maker. I'm hoping that will be much better for keeping detritus from settling. My canister filter will be a sort of closed loop set up. Two returns coming up from the bottom with heads/nozzles designed to sweep the bottom of the tank and the drain mounted in the bottom as well to (theoretically) catch any debris. 

I plan to hollow out two small pieces of rock to hide these nozzles. Will my green star polyps hate this constant flow? They will be spread out on the bottom of the tank. 

I still have a lot to do and decide on, like most things I will probably change my mind about a dozen times before it is all said and done. 

 

So this is the beginning, I post pictures as I go, maybe you will find it interesting or maybe you won't (boooo) if you have tried any of the things I've said please let me know how or if they worked out for you. 

 

Thanks 

(fingers crossed I don't just screw this up :p) 

20180625_213401.jpg

20180712_175452.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

So I didn't get a whole lot accomplished this weekend. Finished the lid and stand of the tank, will have to get a picture of that later. I managed to get the drain and return lines drilled and pour the epoxy bottom. I wanted to try something different instead of just painting the tank bottom black. It's not as great as I had hoped but it's not horrible and plus it will be covered in green star polyps eventually. I added paint to the mix for color but it's way off what I was going for (I may still just paint the outside black). Next I need to do the back of the tank. So far things are progressing nicely, waiting for the new leds to arrive. Planning the tank move weekend after next. 20180611_075428.thumb.jpg.620cc483691914923ddb4616399b3440.jpg20180611_075438.thumb.jpg.3c5e5229d455922fe71b3261b0f6115a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

After some reading I'm debating on moving my xenias to the sump and letting them take over, I may keep a small piece in the tank though. Something for the back wall maybe. Anyone else tried this? I do like the xenias and know they can be a weed. 

Share this post


Link to post

So I finished the background, it came out pretty well. Majority of it will be covered by the rack holding the live rock so it doesn't really matter how it looks. 20180612_075452.thumb.jpg.f21728e71466280716cdd17492a2c380.jpg

 

Also by adding a bit of black spray paint to the outside of the tank the bottom is looking much better than before. Once the GSP grows in it won't matter much. 20180612_075504.thumb.jpg.3decc2820996278680ccf29fe067120f.jpg

 

And finally I got my return lines glued and painted. The actual returns are still adjustable from side to side. I cut small X's of eggcrate to hopefully help change the flow as it comes out. 20180612_080918.thumb.jpg.896ec77f9b3af29c917dc86c23aa17dc.jpg

 

Still lots to do. I'm debating on doing a baffle-less sump. Need to look into it more. Any thoughts or ideas, feel free to comment. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

So I managed to get a few things done when I got home from work today. First up are the 'sweeper' jets that will attach to the bottom of the tank and connect to the canister filter acting as a closed loop. Hopefully these will keep anything from settling on the bottom. 20180613_180650.thumb.jpg.54217aa188471336b89bfeec21e1410d.jpg

These are 1/2" caps that I sliced notches is, sanded and painted black. Each will be covered by a hollowed out piece of live rock. 20180613_180655.thumb.jpg.e08661c8fc15eed1f7a0ffdcc9ba046b.jpg

20180613_180759.thumb.jpg.8a6d8d4464815ce35cac8fb6102bf1c5.jpg

20180613_182853.thumb.jpg.516e6ad0c6aece30d004271cafca58b4.jpg

20180613_182929.thumb.jpg.de2956c84ec9b692a5000c623084dc38.jpg

The piece here is much bigger than what I'll use, it's just to give a visual of what I'm thinking. 

The hood and base are finished as well, just need to mount the fans and make the splash guard. 

I also drilled a safety drain and have that set up. Still need to cut the overflow drain pipe to length, rebuild the main return line, my safety drain ended up in the way and I have to adjust for that. 20180613_183101.thumb.jpg.3acac6df027a5ed2915242005fba9014.jpg20180613_183108.thumb.jpg.99e1d6452ded639158d7f9693f0724aa.jpg

Still lots to do... 

20180613_180730.jpg

20180613_183101.jpg

20180613_182853.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Didn't get much accomplished today, cut my finger on the table saw this morning before work (I'm fine, I can still count to 10) but I did manage to get some work done on the lid. Cut the plexi splash guard and started the vent area for the fans. Had to change up the plumbing a bit but that's not too bad. 20180614_200714.thumb.jpg.f5cc3fe89853dff5c3a021637cd93908.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

So I got around to testing my returns and decided I don't like the flow. The X's do a good job of 'turbelencing' (might have made that word up...) the flow but it wasn't what I was looking for. In the end I ordered two hydor Pico evo-mag 180's that will be placed on the back wall pointed to the center of the tank and connect to a wave maker to get a good back and forth flow (I hope), these will work opposite one another while the bottom jets. I'm just going to have to sump return terminate in a single 90 pointed behind the rock rack. I've also decided to add a few leds for moonlight running very low for a few hours before and after the main lights go off. Anyone else doing this? 

Share this post


Link to post

So my hydor pico 180's came today, and wow they are tiny! These should do the trick for creating a nice cross current. 

20180619_155400.thumb.jpg.f2622adfed6cdd447039cbc9cc236068.jpg20180619_155419.thumb.jpg.36eb03e52a1c7b1c25e0d7bb2194edb3.jpg

 

Also I started tinkering with a bubble tower that I hope will do the job of eliminating bubbles from the drain. 

This is a 1 1/2" spa jet with a 3/4" inlet. The water will (in theory) hit the center pipe and divert around. The hole in the middle should allow air to travel up. The top is a short piece of 1 1/2" well-point pipe that has tiny cuts that should let the air out. The cap allows for adjustment. 

20180619_193055.thumb.jpg.616bfb85a6aa5e1a3e096cbc57300c1f.jpg20180619_193124.thumb.jpg.20a228f3a5a8e47564b358b2a8b0ae4d.jpg

20180619_193203.thumb.jpg.bba93090187fa8cad9347dba239691c5.jpg20180619_193146.thumb.jpg.a073fca9fa7b74dd2952ee50a458e5cb.jpg

20180619_194902.thumb.jpg.e51cb4698530ccb2144e9d4da830bdee.jpg

The drain from the tank will go into a 3/4" slip 90 that will connect to the 3/4" reducer on the side. The notches on the bottom should allow plenty of flow. The notches don't go all the way around so that the water is moving forward and not behind the pipe. I plan to place a piece of eggcrate near the bottom above the notches. I will then put 2 or three mediapure balls inside to further slow the water and help the air diffuse. I may end up drilling a hole in the top and feeding a short piece of tubing inside to further vent the air. 

 

Any thoughts? 

Share this post


Link to post

So in preparation for the changing of tanks I pulled the sump out of the stand last night and gave it a good cleaning. My return pump needed it, though most of the gunk was in the impeller shaft. I cleaned the skimmer as well but only really focused on the motor and impeller. I didn't see a reason to clean it completely on the inside, figured that residue/slime was more beneficial than not. Next I took the canister filter offline and did the same. My canister filter doesn't have filter media in it, meaning there's no sponge or floss just 1 quart of marinepure balls that fill out the top three trays, the fourth remains empty. So does that mean it's a marinepure reactor? Lol. So anyway, I found this guy fully attached to the bottom of the canister filter. Attached, seemingly growing in utter darkness... 20180619_210819.thumb.jpg.c1cdc632d00cd00d745c1b1f1619c4db.jpg20180619_210826.thumb.jpg.b62d2ba8eaba257cecc04044cb60b012.jpg

That is a piece of anthelia. I mowed down the colony a few weeks ago to thin it out knowing it would grow back. Eventually. I doubt it's thriving down there but I'm surprised it even attached. I'm leaving it in the name of science and whatnot. I still need to mount my canopy fans, wire up the moonlights, mount and wire up the violet and cyan lights and a few other things. Tank is full of water at the moment with a pump running, so far no leaks. We'll see when I get off work... 

Share this post


Link to post

Well today I'm hoping to set up the new tank and connect the plumbing to the sump. I'm hoping the corals will be fine in a bucket with a powerhead and light while I finish setting everything up. We will see I suppose. Need to get about 15 gallons of salt water and some rock, it's time to get this thing finished. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Wow good job. This is such a cool project. Can't wait to see it running.

Share this post


Link to post

Thanks! Picked up 6lbs of live rock today. Got a small blasto Frag and a chunk of rock with a nice colony of zoas and a mushroom. Managed to get 12 gallons of salt water before the holding tank ran out. All in all it's more than enough for me to get everything finished. 20180623_184449.thumb.jpg.55079a86e0b985ed018a2912282c6a5c.jpg20180623_184529.thumb.jpg.658ce14435cd54941ec7149d59cedad5.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Just noticed this brittle Starfish hitchhiker! 20180623_190814.thumb.jpg.cc4811b79a07108d00453c74eff75be6.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Filled the tank up and have it running, all corals and rock are in buckets with power heads at the moment. I need to tweak my bubble tower a bit but I should be adding everything to the tank after work today. Tested my safety drain and it functions pretty good, also the sump is able to handle a power outage perfectly so that is good news. The drain isn't really loud either, sounds like trickling water which I enjoy. Hoping to have this project completed by tomorrow. 

Share this post


Link to post

Don't have the lights installed yet but the corals are attached to the new rock wall. Time will tell about how this went. Right now everything is very annoyed. Hopefully tomorrow they will open up a bit. Pictures are quick shots, I'll get some better ones once I get the lights hooked up. 20180625_213401.thumb.jpg.987399e1ccef81ef2e318e516ebd2457.jpg20180625_213417.thumb.jpg.f6cf0a0702232a66b9857e5d09da0993.jpg20180625_213410.thumb.jpg.84d8606864fa29441aaee12453c3ceb5.jpg20180625_213424.thumb.jpg.c0b97deb043321cbb9c3b4c1c4bba29e.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Whoa that looks like a lot of rock! :lol:

Share this post


Link to post

It's about 7lbs of rock, majority of it is rock from the other tank plus I used maybe 3lbs of the 6 I bought. I got the lights connected finally, ended up changing things so there are now 4 dimmable channels. The first to come on is the blue/cyan followed by the actinic then purple and finally the whites. I have the purples at about 10% to start and will adjust as necessary. Most of the corals are looking ok, starting to open up some. My favia and candycane look the worst, like they are slimmed over. I don't know if it was the dip. I used the koral MD mixed with tank water for 5 minutes. There are several heads that are just skeleton now. My biggest mushroom is really shrunken and the hammer is fully retracted. Time will tell I suppose. The xenias in the sump are looking ok. The hex tank really distorts the rock but it is about 3" off the front and sides. 20180626_184916.thumb.jpg.281f2e172b805bebfc9b8451cc65d5ec.jpg20180626_185010.thumb.jpg.ffa541d53eac7d91a4263629be962118.jpg20180626_184938.thumb.jpg.52e8bb1700d6b148f4d6bf5b141fa710.jpg

 

And the sump with tweaked bubble tower 

20180626_185001.thumb.jpg.aa85a82e88068be5c9fbcd1996038b05.jpg20180626_184954.thumb.jpg.0d292707e82ee810459d07ceb549db77.jpg

 

Any questions or thoughts please feel free to share. Thanks. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Most of the corals have opened up and are looking good. Seems the only loss is the orange favia I had. Maybe it will recover in a few months. Picked this guy up today along with a few more hermits and snails. 20180701_122352.thumb.jpg.a13e8ea3f908a890abe644b20d9c1082.jpg

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

So I managed to get a few (crappy) pictures of the fire fish. It's still pretty skittish but seems to be doing well. Will come out for food and swim around if I keep my distance from the tank. It definitely has a spot that is all it's own behind a rock with a mushroom growing on it. 

 

I've decided to start growing copepods, tisbe to be exact, and isochrysis phytoplankton. I've set everything up in a broken mini fridge to keep everything neat and contained. I'll post a few pictures after I finish mounting the fans in the door to keep the temperature consistent. 

 

In other news my Duncan has sprouted 5 new heads. 20180703_174724.thumb.jpg.6501be75fcc1b9c2fbc136cc3147b2d2.jpg20180703_174719.thumb.jpg.e9e4144a72d525d04b6e343e77e37d8c.jpg20180703_173501.thumb.jpg.c43ee50435aa78a77db705b1e4ff7290.jpg20180703_173459.thumb.jpg.3e4f58d7c5265936bdef0da06a5f305d.jpg20180703_173523.thumb.jpg.0b1cf4c08cf48d16c226f62cc62c2941.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

so here are the pictures of my pods/rots and phyto set up. Pods and rots are already in, phyto culture and ferts will be here Friday. 

20180710_075739.thumb.jpg.de0ce96b04288722e5ebb8e72a6aacf2.jpg20180710_075749.thumb.jpg.32d8e72f65164b5253695eea38029155.jpg20180710_075758.thumb.jpg.5103c1345237f83f744f43584310b25d.jpg20180710_075803.thumb.jpg.6fbda34c94fff284f7bd12073ddb0c3b.jpg

The mini fridge has been sitting in the garage for a while now. I had gutted it a while ago. Originally was going to turn it into a cooler. So now it's this lol. Temp seems pretty stable, highest I've measured is 80. The filter floss on the bottom is to diffuse the light on the outside. We'll see how everything goes, if it's a bust I'm only out the money for the culture and ferts, everything else was already in the garage. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Fed the corals and did a water change today. Just wanted to post a few pictures of my Duncan chowing down on mysis. You can see a few of the new heads, counting the ones on the bottom I couldn't get a picture of there are seven new ones 20180711_174543.thumb.jpg.c01509530aba7d880381b73aef3a6787.jpg20180711_174730.thumb.jpg.ea361c971acbdf79cfbcda7a656a0138.jpg20180711_174233.thumb.jpg.066050e85903e5239e097f96538311b4.jpg20180711_174530.thumb.jpg.b29362479f8f5676136ffb0da5b4cd65.jpg

 

Also does anyone know what this coral is? Looks like tiny zoas or plays but they skrink into a mat and don't look like zoas when they are closed... 

20180711_174634.thumb.jpg.6ac7de6f167c4fba3df529d32e619269.jpg20180711_174639.thumb.jpg.f14215bcfab671cdcc2b1419644e2b1d.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Interested in your live feed set up. Are you feeding constantly? How are you ensuring that you do not feed quicker than the foods can reproduce?

Share this post


Link to post

Are you referring to the pods or the phyto? I don't have anything in my tank that depends on pods yet so I'm not harvesting them for a few weeks. I want the population to be as large as possible before I start. Even then I won't be pulling large amounts out at first. As far as the phyto there's a 7-10 day turn around per gallon, meaning I can harvest a gallon or so roughly once a week (half of each container) . This is added to my tank and used to feed the pods. I hope this answers your questions, if not let me know. 

 

I plan to add a second tank and keep tiger pods as well. Neither those nor the isochrysis algae are available locally so any extra I might be able to sell for a few bucks. 

Share this post


Link to post

Currently getting rained on at work so I figured I'd post my re attempt at the bottom jets of the tank. I made them shorter this time, also did notches instead of slits. A combination of super glue get and jb Waterweld attached the pvc to the rock. 20180710_081500.thumb.jpg.b62b0ffd02d7e169a94a5e292933708b.jpg20180710_081453.thumb.jpg.34d7b6df610f410c670c13f62a43b6de.jpg20180711_180505.thumb.jpg.2d408470a691fbd99ac99f0b7fc616b8.jpg20180711_180413.thumb.jpg.f6083d99084e801f02052e7dc7b35062.jpg20180711_180448.thumb.jpg.a25ed41e82a7fcc189328a8bfb4f5ff7.jpg

I attached a piece of Kenya tree to one and a few polyps of zoas to the other. 

 

20180711_180416.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Some pictures of the tank as a whole and my crazy stand filled with too much stuff. Ato tank, sump, odds and ends. 20180712_175230.thumb.jpg.cf374ae61ed1eeac83479ac49ec285e0.jpg20180712_175537.thumb.jpg.46f81565a2e7be1877937942e8cfa402.jpg20180712_175259.thumb.jpg.47d9831ff2bd20f1bd89094e1fe341f4.jpg20180712_175649.thumb.jpg.8504e291c9d8c6714ef32dfb1ced694f.jpg

20180712_175410.jpg

20180712_175649.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Dive in and share your thoughts!

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

×