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Sub-gallon stacking system .123G PICO


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On 2/15/2019 at 8:51 AM, Christopher Marks said:

Neat to see more progress @Wonderboy, how are the blastos doing these days?

They have been doing well, young heads on top getting larger - but the system really needed some overdue maintenance - I was having trouble getting a view of the blastos through the algae. Calcium reactor still down and now clogged with algae - result is increased flow in display and plenty salt creep; recently grabbed a Fluval 45g CO2 kit, will get it running quite soon.










Scrubbed the display, poured out all vessels for a 100% WC - everything took aprx 20 mins - all cleaned up:









Opting to get more coral in here asap so the algae has less room to thrive; I did add two itty-bitty blue leg hermits on the top floor - we'll see if they can keep up. Now to find some spare tiny shells...

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  • 2 weeks later...

This thing is still running strong - noticed 100s of baby dwarf ceriths - I feed it pretty heavy for such a tiny tank - nitrate near 0.

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  • 1 month later...

Our house has gone through a couple warm/hot spells due to equipment issues - the blastos were losing flesh-volume and color fast - I pulled the entire scape out, dipped it with CoralRX and put it into my ten gallon nano (trust it the most for coral recovery); also, during so, I noticed that there are many baby stomatella in the system, so I move my two adults to my 68G "retro reef". The blastos have since recovered nicely - all heads present and well. Calcium reactor remains dormant - I'm still missing the electronics behind it. Everything else (hermits, snails, ricordea) is still kickin' - will be moving the scape back into its home soon, probably with coral additions, finally.

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Wow this system is incredible!! It's amazing how tiny everything is


I hope you can get a handle on these temp swings. With a tank this tiny if you breathe on it too much it might overheat!

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hardscape back in place - added a few zoa polyps here and there - hard to see cause some are still recovering and the LED, sorry:




Still waiting patiently to attain all calcium reactor control parts; had to focus on other projects.



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Just for the memories - this is the hammer that was originally put in here once upon a time (in the ten gallon) :




I took the time to grab some close-ups of the additions - pictures are edited to try representing what the actual colors look like in person:






-pink diamonds



-rasta (best shot I could get)



-bam bam polyp 1



-bam bam polyp 2



-and these two polyps of IDK. Seriously can't even find where I got these from right now.



Here's a shot of the blasto from last night - seems to be content so far:


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Conceptualizing Fluval CO2 cartridge placement combo FTS:




That bright white glare is the top to this thing - I made it a hat to reduce the intensity in the DT and to minimize light exposure on the acrylic walls.

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  • 5 weeks later...









-Not much differnet, changed the top a litttle, and sorry about the reflections (the LED over this thing is overkill, but plants near the pico like it 😎  - there's much sun, too) I removed the zoas in the middle because they were stretching too much. Added some type of red macro to the back right corner DT. I haven't scrubbed the acryllic at all since last documented; the breeding cerith snails, stomatella snails, munnid copepods, and planaria are keeping flat surfaces 90% clear. It's becoming nearly mandatory that I get the last of any stoney stuff placed in here pretty quick - zoas are growing...





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Looks great and happy corals! It's crazy to think at one time reefs under 55g were thought near impossible and now we have tiny little unique tanks like this 🙂

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  • 3 weeks later...
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Thank you guys 


Sorry that I have really been slacking on completing this little guy, but it has still been chugging along. I feed it plenty reef roids and change the water whenever it seems like it may need it (pret, but the little Ca reactor is not running yet - still need the probe and controller. I KNOW. And I'm hesitant a little to let it run automatically because I can't test the effluent. We'll see what happens. I have been putting 4 drops of Brightwell Iodion in the little top-off res when I refill it which keeps the iodine concentration in the pico readable daily on the test kit. Added a micro brittle to the DT. I have been moving lights around on systems and have finally played musical lights efficiently enough to end up with LED that I had been wanting to try over this pico - it is the 2 white, 2 blue, 1 red LED e26 bulb from my 10G. I utilized the same hanging system for the old light and it's adjustability worked well. Previously, I don't think things in here were getting sufficient light for promoting very much growth. The light this time around, and the lack of the need for any kind of diffusion screen, seems to be much better for things so far. So, recently I added a vendetta paly and some montipora chips all over the scape and left it in the 10G for a few days to assure successful healing. Before putting the scape in I set up to do a thorough scrub, line maintenence, and large WC:








This thing hasn't clogged once since start-up - really helps a lot to make sure that restrictive points in plumbing paths are not illuminated:



This is underneath it:



Here is how the 'fuge LED cooks and kills the chaeto that tries to grow too close to it - I am fine with this as it promotes regrowth and helps create a a type of balance with the mass [some primary with much secondary metabolism] - also, I removed the red tape covering the LEDs to increase the intensity of light:



The scape in the 10g (top down):



Putting it together....




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Yup, it was the original plan to do mostly an encrusting monti in here - I was thinking of putting in a few kinds, but too many others like to plate or branch randomly. This one is the lowest growing one I know / have seen. We'll see what happens when the zoas and montis meet - I will maybe mediate where needed - it's probably going to get a little crazy in here. Have been playing with some concepts, I have some very interesting plans for this system when I find time - in the meantime, it's monti vs zoas.



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Things are trucking along - it had been much over 2 months since using any H2O2 for said-intended line cleansing; well, the flow was almost at a drip. Took the sections apart, squirt some H2O2 into each section of line, rinse with SW, put back together - it took minutes - flow is back to normal. This ridiculous pico has been a lot easier to take care of than I thought it would have been  :]  I feed reef roids almost everyday; that takes seconds, much less than a minute for sure lol. WCs have been about 9 - 12 days apart - takes 2 mins. Needing to top off the RODI res with iodine about every 10ish days. I've been planning to get an update video of this pico with some feeding footage together soon. Also, even though the calicum reactor hasn't been able to run itself, a recent dissection of it suggested that the rock in there has been slightly dissolved from manually micro dosing CO2 whe necessary. Well, future plans will utilize the calcium reactor's in/outlets, so we will see what happens from here. There's a baby porcelain crab in the DT somewhere somehow hidden (well, can't see through algae duh...) from reefcleaners.com - added him last week



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Thanks  :} 


Well I suppose I'll share my little sketch, and also I want to mention that not all potential aspects shown will be in the final build and some aren't at all shown - like the Ca reactor, it will be in incorporated in the end - maybe not the test tube reactor though  :[   we'll see. The upgrade is going to be some type of phyto-production-and-dosing-station/system thing. The goal of it is to pretty much perform automatic micro water changes / feeding by exchanging some system volume with a auto-fertilized phyto culture (good luck I know) - will be fertilized with water from a special FW amphipod and physella culture combo pea puffer pico (possibly nano - I might go crazy lol). Speaking of pea puffers, want to mention that I'm excited to keep a few of these again. Was kind of thinking of sneak building everything - so I wasn't planning on showing anybody this premature drawing (barely labeled, nothing to any scale, plumbing may change, maybe even only I know what's going on 😂 ), but yeah, you asked for it haha:



AL=Aqua Lifter

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  • 1 month later...

Still chugging along, many circumstances have kept me from progressing here, but soon I'm sure I will have some changes to share. Really want to do a feed video - I just have to remember... I keep feeding it before thinking about it lol


Sorry about that view through the algae bloom, pretty sure the munnids crashed themselves because there were so many at one point, but them, the ceriths or planaria should take care of it again soon. 


The little blasto seems to be growing soooooper slowly - hoping future upgrades help with that



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Your system is awesome, very well planned. I love those colorfull corals.


That cherith will be a good help. If u can manage to have some stomatella snail in there, u may forget about cleaning things up. They are very effective imo. And fast too.

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