Jump to content
DB Fishy

Hi, New member new .5 gal pico tank.

Recommended Posts

Hi, new here and haven't lurked much so I hope this is appropriate to post. Since this was a DIY project I posted it there but I think I will need help and advice from those who have kept really small tanks. The tank is now cycling. I filled it up yesterday and added some bio-spira to get the biological filter started. The rock is not live as it has been in the tank with fresh water for several week as I was trying to work the kinks out of the project. I expect this to be a coral only tank. Because of its small size I plan to do about 50-100% water changes each week and use packaged sea water to refill the aquarium.  How long should I expect to wait before adding any coral to this kind of setup? Any other constructive criticism is most welcome. Thanks 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post

:welcome: to Nano-Reef!  It's a cute little tank!  I would recommend posting your build thread here as the DIY forum doesn't get as much traffic and is usually used more for people showing how they did various projects.  Do you have a source of ammonia?  If not, try to find some Dr. Tim's.  You can use stuff from the hardware store but it must be pure ammonia with no additives.  You'll need the ammonia to feed the bacteria to get the cycle going.  How long it will take just depends, I used Bio-spira, Microbacter7, and Dr. Tim's ammonia and cycled my 15L in 3 weeks using dry rock and live sand.  Every tank is different though.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

Hi DB Fishy!  If you read some of the threads from the Creative Container Contest, (especially the smaller containers) you will learn a lot about what worked and what did not work.  Many of the containers were the same general volume as your new build but without the benefits of mechanical filtration.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
On 6/13/2018 at 5:38 AM, vlangel said:

Hi DB Fishy!  If you read some of the threads from the Creative Container Contest, (especially the smaller containers) you will learn a lot about what worked and what did not work.  Many of the containers were the same general volume as your new build but without the benefits of mechanical filtration.

Thanks

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

So I have connected with the local reef store and they have suggested a few starter corals. here they are im not sure what they are exactly. some kind of Zoanthid and a leather coral and I'm not sure on the wavy one. Yesterday after I put the wavy one in, it was all kinds of open and  "flexing" its "branches".  This morning I came in and everyone was closed and the wavy one was all limp. so far the zoanthids are more open than yesterday but the wavy although more erect  does not have its branches extended. (Can anyone reassure me that this is normal or point me in a good direction for help?) I'm sure they close up shop at night. I'll Keep an eye on them. Pretty darn excited.

 

Yesterdays Picture (day 1)

20180711_161843.thumb.jpg.95cbd96ed70ca5567dcadbd167126b9d.jpg

 

Today (Day 2)

20180712_085452.thumb.jpg.a347320bee0af4b76e5c289e8a814e0d.jpg

Thanks for looking :)

 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post

The wavy one looks like pulsing xenia. I have a lot of it growing in my sump, when the lights go out it will often close up, even though they are close together some will open faster than others when the lights come on. Same with my zoas, some open faster than other one day and the next they will open slower. Xenias can be finicky, some times they pulse sometimes they don't. For me, flow seems to affect this most. They also seem to prefer 'dirtier' water. When my sump has algae growing on the glass they seem to be the most active. This of course is my own experience, others may have different opinions. Hope this helps. 

Share this post


Link to post
35 minutes ago, SavaS said:

The wavy one looks like pulsing xenia. I have a lot of it growing in my sump, when the lights go out it will often close up, even though they are close together some will open faster than others when the lights come on. Same with my zoas, some open faster than other one day and the next they will open slower. Xenias can be finicky, some times they pulse sometimes they don't. For me, flow seems to affect this most. They also seem to prefer 'dirtier' water. When my sump has algae growing on the glass they seem to be the most active. This of course is my own experience, others may have different opinions. Hope this helps. 

Thanks,...Do you find the Xenia like more or less flow?

Share this post


Link to post

For me it's not enough to knock them over but enough to keep the stalks waving. If they are in too much flow they don't pulse. Again this is just my own experience. 

Share this post


Link to post
9 minutes ago, SavaS said:

For me it's not enough to knock them over but enough to keep the stalks waving. If they are in too much flow they don't pulse. Again this is just my own experience. 

I value your experience until I can get some of my own... :) thanks for sharing.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

Day 3, 

I came into the office to find that the Xenia, I'm sure, is dead. All day it just kind of shriveled up more and more. This morning looks like this: 

 

20180713_074029.thumb.jpg.f94415c933806b190f038b31126c47ae.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

Xenias can be weird. I had a small colony wither away to a few tiny nubs that I left for dead only to notice tiny branches forming a few weeks later that eventually regrew into whole new colonies. They are considered by many to be weed corals and they can live up to the name. Hopefully they bounce back.

Share this post


Link to post
1 minute ago, SavaS said:

Xenias can be weird. I had a small colony wither away to a few tiny nubs that I left for dead only to notice tiny branches forming a few weeks later that eventually regrew into whole new colonies. They are considered by many to be weed corals and they can live up to the name. Hopefully they bounce back. 

Maybe don't remove it yet then?

Share this post


Link to post

Once the snail is my sump cleans up the film algae on the glass I'll take a few pictures for you. Some of them are the tiniest nubs with little branches because I cut and fragged them to spread them around. The pictures in my thread on this forum aren't very good because the algae obscures them. But yes personally I would leave them. It doesn't take much tissue for them to regrow. 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post

So for anyone following this all the corals died in short order. I have been running it empty since then. I know have some algae growing on the rock and glass which I take as a good sign that there is a biological filter that is cycled. I have put in a small snail. I will try corals again soon. The LED's I bought crapped out and I think they were too intense anyway. I bought a marine led on a goose neck mount and cut the roof off the tank. With the automatic top off I'm not too worried about evaporation but it doesn't look as clean as it did before.   Could lighting be the reason for the fairly immediate demise of the first corals I had?   

20180926_150552.jpg

Share this post


Link to post

With one month of cycling starting from dry rock, it makes a bit of sense on the coral deaths. Still a bummer though. Have you been testing your water parameters at all?

Share this post


Link to post

Really cool setup you have there, I actually have done something similar on my 10" cube(4ish gallon).

 

Sorry to hear about the corals. Those 10W LEDs can be quite intense. Did you use 2 of them? Since that would be 20W and in such a small area and so closely mounted it would melt most corals. I am also running diy LEDs around 30W all together and on my tank usually never run them higher than 50% (PWM) and they are mounted 6" above water line + 10" to the bottom.

 

Xenias can be really picky. I had one in my 10 gallon was happy a week and then withered away. Meanwhile the one in my cube is quite happy and a weed like others say.

Share this post


Link to post

Water quality is important so testing weekly helps new hobbyists understand what is going on and what is effecting their corals.

 

I personally believe there is a thing as too much light for corals. Just depends on the coral. Type of light and spectrum is important too.

 

Personally my experience with xenia is they love light and flow. I have xenia directly under the light and they do better than the ones in lower light areas.

 

 

In a 5g doing 50%-100% waterchanges is a bit much without fish and with filters.

 

In small jars its frequently done because there is no filter.

 

I do 1.5g waterchange on my 5.5g every 1.5-2 weeks and there is a bicolor blenny in there. My nutrient levels are 0-2 nitrates.

 

If you have no nutrients, corals will not thrive.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post

Well, it sounds like I may have had too much light for the new corals. This new light should be more appropriate. I'll considered the lighting a failed part of this experiment.  So far the snail seems to be thriving. I'll find it all over the tank. looks Like it has a hitchhiker. 2 for 1 :) Is it common for Margarita snails to carry a younger snail? ill see them seperate then the small one will b back on the big one... weird.

  • Like 1

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

×