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coopaloop

Half Gallon Reef Jar - 6 months in

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Equipment

Tank: Libbey 62oz Jar 

Light: ABI 12w Tuna Blue (diffused)

           Asta 20 Marine Led

Heater: 25W Slim Heater with Controller

Circulation: Adjustable Air Pump (no air stone)

 

Inverts

  • Scarlet Hermit
  • 2 Sexy shrimp
  • 2 snails

 

Coral

  • Blasto
  • GSP
  • 2 Rics 1 Ric
  • 2 Shrooms
  • Birds nest
  • Acan
  • Frogspawn
  • Zoas

 

11/29 FTSPB290145-2.thumb.jpg.d493af97677b66e02d095dd5c428a066.jpg

 

Original Post: Soooo my tank that I've been contemplating over the years will have to wait. INSTEAD I've seen the pico jars that are a lot cheaper to set up and don't require top offs as often, which is ideal for being away. As of now I'm planning on getting one of these jars but am having trouble deciding which would better and need advice on drilling:

 

56oz 

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B075R5F43C/ref=twister_B073RL6VQK?_encoding=UTF8&th=1

1617779571_ScreenShot2018-08-30at3_35_56PM.thumb.png.9f3cb5bf96c801786363f488dbfb0eb0.png

 

62oz

https://www.amazon.com/Libbey-62-Ounce-Vibe-Storage-Jars/dp/B000MR2OKK/ref=pd_sim_79_2?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B000MR2OKK&pd_rd_r=a9b2e8b1-ac91-11e8-861c-cd06ea1130b1&pd_rd_w=WY352&pd_rd_wg=bcjx8&pf_rd_i=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_p=927de5f5-b69e-427f-88fd-1d020a551b5a&pf_rd_r=HFXZWNEKVVZQR67EA8CC&pf_rd_s=desktop-dp-sims&pf_rd_t=40701&psc=1&refRID=HFXZWNEKVVZQR67EA8CC

783074075_ScreenShot2018-08-30at3_38_23PM.thumb.png.5f05535b580ba7b929b5adaac5f1e298.png

 

I was thinking of drilling one side (or bottom if thats not possible) and fitting some bulkhead. Though what I had in mind was a little different the one below might help get the idea. 

124448168_ScreenShot2018-08-30at3_46_02PM.png.f477a2eb6b6b195a9eba213bbf8e4207.png

 

Now that I'm looking at it I'm guessing it would have to be on the bottom since its flat. My idea was to run an air pump without an air stone and just have a T or some fitting on the end in the tank

 

Any advice on drilling/fittings or which jar you like would be very helpful!

 

 

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@seabass drilled the jar he used in the pico contest earlier this year. He even posted a video on how to do it. Just do a search. 

You wouldn’t need a bulkhead if you drill it near the rim (above the water line obviously) and are just running the airline tubing through the hole.

 

As as far as those jars go I like the last one although I didn’t check the dimensions. The others are a little narrow for my liking and may make scaping it difficult. 

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I might be missing something. How are you going to keep the water from draining out of the bulkhead in the bottom of the jar?

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@SeaFurn I did see that! What I had in mind was an external air pump with basically tubing running through the bottom or middle of the jar. So the hole in the jar would be submerged in this case. Though, with the shape of the sides this might only be possible on the bottom of the jar

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@Porkpie5000 Don't have much experience with these small air pumps but my idea was to attach an external air pump (like those you see hooked up to airstones) to the bulkhead and have a check valve on the tubing

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You might be able to get away with using a Uniseal bulkhead on the side (you'll want thick glass for this).  The Uniseal will work on curved surfaces.  Essentially, you would run silicone airline tubing through a piece of pipe.  Then you'd load the pipe up with aquarium silicone sealant to prevent leaks.  Finally, you'd insert the pipe through the Uniseal (which is seated in the hole you drilled in the tank).

 

Otherwise, you're right; you'd need to put the bulkhead on a flat surface.  IDK, maybe something like this: https://www.amazon.com/Lifegard-Aquatics-Airline-Bulkhead-Kit/dp/B008UR91YQ

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So I found these:

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=23652&catid=669

https://www.usplastic.com/catalog/item.aspx?itemid=124520&catid=669

 

Update: Shortened this nightmare of a post and my measurements were all off. I ordered too many fittings to count and the one below ended up workings the best. The others like those mentioned above would have required bigger uniseals like 1/2. 2045631781_ScreenShot2018-10-11at1_51_30PM.thumb.png.0f6a2e37f8e427433f8d8e837ac2c0e1.png

 

I know flow is a good thing, but in this case would I be better off going no equipment like new-b-reefer's and just using a light and no equipment?

Update: No way

 

 

 

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I didn't read through that entire thread, but it looks like he added air lines to at least a couple of the containers.  An air line is mostly for aeration, but also for flow.  However, maybe with enough surface area, additional aeration might be optional? :unsure:

 

I haven't researched the ID of air line tubing.  The fitting would have to be very small.  I'll leave that up to you to figure out.  However, I'm pretty sure that a PVC pipe stuffed full of silicone, with an air line through it would work.  Although maybe not the cleanest looking solution.

 

IME, an air line coming down from the top really doesn't look that bad.  Some people even had creative ways to disguise it (like a coco tube worm tube).  IDK, just a thought.

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I have the lifeguard aquatics airline bulkhead kit, when Dr foster and smith had that clearance I grabbed it for 3.50 or something stupid.  It's quite bulky and needs a flat surface and if installed on the bottom I would ensure the air pump was fastened to a surface higher than the water level at the top of the tank, plus using one of the included check valves.  In regards to losing all equipment but the lighting, look at the supplied threads stocking list(zoas, mushrooms, macro, hermit). If that is what you want to achieve it's apparently possible, but having browsed the thread it doesn't appear anything is thriving/growing which is usually a good measure of success.  Adding an airline would allow you to keep a more diverse stocking list.  Look into lift pipes I think they are a good addition to picos with airlines

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Jars came and I ended up ordering two just incase drilling and fittings don't work. Ordering stuff has been going slowly so bear with me on that

 

IMG_2495-1.thumb.jpeg.5ffee89dcfb7f09e3149af6d24387c60.jpeg

 

This brings me to my biggest concern at the moment, which are the LEDs. Since the jar is so small I was thinking of having a par16 bulb with 2 RB and 1 NW LEDs

 

diddy2k has a nice guide to swapping LEDs in a bulb here 

 

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Would 1 NW and 2 RB 3w LEDs be enough for this size of jar? It's about 6 1/2in tall and only 62oz and want to keep options open for what I can keep

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IDK, too bad you can't put a PAR meter on that setup.  The best advice I can give you is to look at some other picos and see what they used.  My initial thought was that it might be a little weak for the more light demanding corals; however, it's such a small jar that it might just be alright. :unsure:

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The jar has been up and running for over a month now using cured rock from a LFS. I decided to use an ABI 12w tuna blue bulb and an adjustable lamp without the shade. 

 

So far theres some a scarlet hermit, blasto, gsp, and waiting for some macros to put in it as well. Don’t want to put in anything other than $10 -15 frags for the time being. 

 

930584907_PA1700012-3.thumb.jpg.944bd0a981debbfab5cfde63ae0da9f2.jpg

 

Used an old painted crate to house the air pump.

 

PA170048-2.thumb.jpg.b93193cae9f48556bb3026d8b0f3f974.jpg

 

Apart from the light being a little strong, my main issue has been keeping it heated. I've looked into heating pads but haven't seen much success. I've seen a number of people keeping their jars around 78 degrees with tiny pumps like the Hydor Pico Pump or maybe even a cheap Amazon Pump. The other option is a small heater like this 5w Cobalt Heater. There's a slim controllable heater a number of people used in the container contest. 

 

Right now I have a space heater that keeps it at 76 degrees but it makes my bedroom way too warm. Think I should try heating it with a pump or put a small heater in the jar? 

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The problem with a heater is that you made an effort to avoid cables/lines coming out from the top, and that will nullify this attempt.  I wrestled with this as well.  I considered an external heat mat: https://www.amazon.com/Zilla-Reptile-Terrarium-Heat-Small/dp/B002Z5GOU8/ref=sr_1_33?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1539237594&sr=1-33&keywords=External+heater

 

I'm not sure how good it would be, how much weight it can support, or other safety factors.  The one that I linked was just the first example that I came across; it's not necessarily a recommendation.

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@seabass You're right about my intention to keep cords out. I've looked into these mats and I’ve seen them work on planted tank forums and other posts. There are also seedling heat mats that have good reviews but the few disaster reviews that sound pretty bad and I'd rather not add costs with a temp controller

 

If anyone has used one of these heat pads let me know how it went

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The main reason for the jar is to keep costs very low and eliminate the need for daily top offs. But there's also a small 3.7g Imagitarium tank for sale near me that I could get down to $20 but then I'd have to get an ATO since I'm gone most weekends.. So basically I'm trying to decide whether I want to keep putting money into the jar or go bigger

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@Christopher Marks I like where your heads at. I think after all the time I've put into this I'm going to save up for a nice rimless tank and focus on this for now. I managed to diffuse the light a bit by cutting a tupperware lid and fitting it between the seal

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I updated the thread with some better pictures off my mirrorless after moving everything into a drilled jar and took some without the lid. Still having a hard time getting the color right

 

PA170024-2.thumb.jpg.8c1aaf904b65fd2e2a459994d64e4392.jpg

 

329052654_ScreenShot2018-10-17at4_44_00PM.thumb.jpg.e8fad0a98029669595cc9eaa491373a8.jpg

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6 hours ago, coopaloop said:

I updated the thread with some better pictures off my mirrorless after moving everything to the drilled jar and took some without the lid. Still having a hard time getting the color right.

 

PA170024-2.thumb.jpg.8c1aaf904b65fd2e2a459994d64e4392.jpg

 

329052654_ScreenShot2018-10-17at4_44_00PM.thumb.jpg.e8fad0a98029669595cc9eaa491373a8.jpg

 If you're using the tuna blue bulb, it can be hard to get accurate colors. I've seen people use yellow or orange filters to help produce better colors. 

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On 10/17/2018 at 11:37 PM, Lula_Mae said:

 If you're using the tuna blue bulb, it can be hard to get accurate colors. I've seen people use yellow or orange filters to help produce better colors. 

It is the tuna blue one and I was thinking of ordering one of those filters or trying a pill bottle for now, not sure exactly what color filter would work best

 

With the bulb I'm still trying to figure out how high to put it. I started it at 18in by stacking it on a bunch of books/box and was thinking of getting a longer architect lamp. Having a light that high on this small of a jar looks pretty off though. Now trying to diffuse it with the light 10in from the lid but its hard to say how things are doing because I just moved everything

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Been having a hard time finding some macros locally and plan on looking for something to add to the rock tomorrow. Any suggestions for additions would be awesome! 

 

PA230073-3.thumb.jpg.0cba64d3dcce0737cb97121aa7b4bd57.jpg

 

Here's a pic of the blasto. I was thinking of removing most of the frag plug but wasn't sure if I should just keep it in the sand. Got some reef roids I've been using before water changes but might switch to only using it every other week.

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On 10/23/2018 at 7:23 PM, seabass said:

Read through these to give yourself an idea: https://www.live-plants.com/

Sorry I kinda worded that poorly. I more so meant coral wise but open to macros too - the link is a huge help. My lfs said they would get some red grape about a month ago. Now starting to think I might be better off ordering macro online

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In my experience, finding macros locally is mostly a matter of luck. Most I've had came from online. For pico- sized portions, try LA Reefs or on Ebay, 333aquatics.

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