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Christopher Marks

2 Gallon Pico Reef Jar - Amphipod Kingdom 💧

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8 hours ago, Friendly said:

 

well...if you drilled a hole, couldn't you just flip the heater over and drop the cable through the hole?  :tongueout:

The plugin would never fit through the hole that I drilled.

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for some reason i was thinking the hole was in the bottom...and then your pic made me realize it would never werk cause of the power plug. duuuh!!!

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We spent the weekend in Las Vegas for a wedding with family, it was quite an adventure! I had bookmarked a couple recommended LFS’s in the area to visit before our drive back home, but exhausted as we were, we only had energy for one. Aquatic Treasures was a beautiful shop, and we were happily surprised to see a friend from MACNA there too!

 

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Ricordea have been on my wanted list for the pico reef since it’s inception, we fell in love with these two and brought them home. This is quickly becoming a road trip tradition to bring a coral frag or two home! ☺️

 

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The reef jar has been doing well this week, I cannot believe how many amphipods are swimming around and burrowing in the sand bed all day long. I topped off the tank with a little distilled freshwater to bring it back to my scotch tape water line. The zoanthids are still a little fussy, but open wide more often than not. There’s a little algae growth on the glass, but my Nimble Nano should arrive today to clean it up! I think I will order the cleanup crew in a week or so, once we return from another trip, the tank has enough light algae for a couple snails. 

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lots of amphipod's, eh? when do you get your Mandarin?

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47 minutes ago, Friendly said:

lots of amphipod's, eh? when do you get your Mandarin?

Haha! They are really getting quite large now, I’m seeing them out during the day more often too. The burrow into the sand at the edge of the jar sometimes, their tunnels are pretty shallow, but they seem to stir the top of the sand bed a lot. No real predators besides the coral tentacles, I wonder just how big they might get!

 

You had asked earlier about putting the air tube into the sand bed as a diffuser, that would end up stirring the sand out and away from the bubbles, they have a surprising amount of force. It happened earlier when I was installing the rigid tubing. It might actually come in handy to stir the sandbed up with it from time to time before a water change. 

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another thought came to me about the air tube. if you can 'bend' the solid tube with heat, you could make a U that could fit through and become stationary once placed.

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Beautiful tank and lovely scape 🙂 Glad you see you finally set one up. I like the idea of bringing back coral from road trips. That is a way cooler souvenir than magnets or shot glasses or w/e I see in those gift shops. Then you see the little coral and remember the fun you had getting it too!

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21 hours ago, Friendly said:

another thought came to me about the air tube. if you can 'bend' the solid tube with heat, you could make a U that could fit through and become stationary once placed.

Definitely, I'd like to try and create that, so it can be a solid tube bending all the way around the rim of the jar. Interestingly, the rigid tube is already showing a surprising amount of salt creep buildup on the inside, near the outlet underwater. The flexible air line also had salt creep inside when I removed it for the change over to rigid tubing. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

15 hours ago, Tamberav said:

Beautiful tank and lovely scape 🙂 Glad you see you finally set one up. I like the idea of bringing back coral from road trips. That is a way cooler souvenir than magnets or shot glasses or w/e I see in those gift shops. Then you see the little coral and remember the fun you had getting it too!

Thanks so much! It's definitely been fun so far. In such a small space I feel like it would only take an online frag order or two to fill the whole thing up, it's been nice to take it slow so far, one frag at a time.

2 hours ago, Marine Depot said:

Back in the game! 😍

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where is the salt creep on the tubing?

 

and I wasn't thinking around the edge/lip of the jar, if that's what you're saying...I was meaning more like one of those straws with the swirls...they use heat to bend it to shape. if you heated and created a 90 degree bend the right way, it could become more of a clip to snap it into place and hold it there.

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18 minutes ago, Friendly said:

where is the salt creep on the tubing?

 

and I wasn't thinking around the edge/lip of the jar, if that's what you're saying...I was meaning more like one of those straws with the swirls...they use heat to bend it to shape. if you heated and created a 90 degree bend the right way, it could become more of a clip to snap it into place and hold it there.

The salt creep buildup is inside the air line, where it's submerged inside the tank, about an inch before the end where air exits. I was thinking of a cane shaped bend to get around the lip of the jar, yeah. I don't think I'd have the finesse to pull this off, but it would be neat to spiral the air tubing around the glass heater, so it was like a single unit in the tank. At 7.5W it doesn't get very hot.

 

The suction cups came loose again already when I was topping off the tank today, it's becoming a hassle for me to reset them. These are the only magnetic air line clips I can find, but some product reviews online have said the magnets rust over time: Zoo Med MagClip. I wish I had at least one other option.

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yeh, bending so it can snap/clip into place was my intended recommendation. mebe reach out to 'thisguyisextrasalty' and see if he can work some magic on a piece of acrylic tubing for you?

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5 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

Interestingly, the rigid tube is already showing a surprising amount of salt creep buildup on the inside, near the outlet underwater. The flexible air line also had salt creep inside when I removed it for the change over to rigid tubing. I'll have to keep an eye on that.

I experienced the same thing with the airline tubing on my reefbowl. I found that if I simply turned off the pump for a few seconds, water filled the tube and the salt dissolved. I usually did that one time between the weekly water change to keep the air flow strong. 

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39 minutes ago, SeaFurn said:

I experienced the same thing with the airline tubing on my reefbowl. I found that if I simply turned off the pump for a few seconds, water filled the tube and the salt dissolved. I usually did that one time between the weekly water change to keep the air flow strong. 

Great advice, I’ll try that!

 

I think I might attach the rigid air line tubing to the heater with zip ties next. It has a nice rubber suction cup that holds strong, and a second one is available  for the bottom half if needed. That should simplify things a little further and give the air line a better mount that won’t come undone.

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On 1/29/2019 at 9:29 PM, seabass said:

The plugin would never fit through the hole that I drilled.

101117b.jpg

 

 

I considered cutting the plug off, feeding the narrower wire through and then putting a new plug on the end. That way, hole could be pretty small.

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36 minutes ago, Derek Claxton said:

 

 

I considered cutting the plug off, feeding the narrower wire through and then putting a new plug on the end. That way, hole could be pretty small.

Me too.  I even bought a plug from Home Depot. :lol:

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I thought I’d share two photos of the early growth I’m seeing in the acans and zoanthids. The acans have been quickly  growing two new heads on the right side ever since it was first added to the tank, but just this past week I noticed 3 new protrusions in the flesh up front, and by this morning they were clearly 3 new heads!

 

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Its nice to see growth like this, everything is working well. Just as the lights came on this morning I also noticed the zoanthids were sprouting baby polyps too, I guess they’re finally getting acclimated! I wish they’d open more fully, but I’m being patient. They haven’t stayed wide for an entire day just yet.

 

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I’ll feed the coral and do a water change on Tuesday before a trip out east. I’m feeling confident about leaving the tank without worry, it can handle a week without attention. I’m thinking a computer UPS battery backup along with a battery powered air pump will be a wise investment in the future for a little more peace of mind. I believe the whole system only needs 30 watts to operate. 

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 That is awesome with how good everything is going and growing already. Its pretty cool how easily you are able to get crystal clear pics with it being a jar. I think some Acan's from BSA would look insane here !!! 

 

 Everything is staying pretty stable for the most part ? 

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4 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

I thought I’d share two photos of the early growth I’m seeing in the acans and zoanthids. The acans have been quickly  growing two new heads on the right side ever since it was first added to the tank, but just this past week I noticed 3 new protrusions in the flesh up front, and by this morning they were clearly 3 new heads!

 

0BCF9990-614F-495C-B26E-23513CB72A1F.jpeg

 

Its nice to see growth like this, everything is working well. Just as the lights came on this morning I also noticed the zoanthids were sprouting baby polyps too, I guess they’re finally getting acclimated! I wish they’d open more fully, but I’m being patient. They haven’t stayed wide for an entire day just yet.

 

11E55467-D7B0-400E-BE56-1D641F2D94A7.jpeg

 

I’ll feed the coral and do a water change on Tuesday before a trip out east. I’m feeling confident about leaving the tank without worry, it can handle a week without attention. I’m thinking a computer UPS battery backup along with a battery powered air pump will be a wise investment in the future for a little more peace of mind. I believe the whole system only needs 30 watts to operate. 

You got lucky with your jar to have such clear spots. I think I only have a few clear spots in mine where I can get good pictures. The rest of the places are a bit foggy, even after cleaning them.

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Wow Christopher, somehow I missed your jar reef.  That is awesome.  I loved mine and may bring it back when I get down to just 1 tank, LOL.

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On 12/13/2018 at 12:54 PM, Christopher Marks said:

I really appreciate all your help and guidance @ReefSmart, I’m really pleased with how the whole setup turned out!

 

I actually never intended to place it by our TV, but it was an easy spot to for me to test it out with freshwater, and there was a free outlet near by. We ended up liking the location, it’s really visible from most of the house. Hopefully it’s a safe spot long term, at least it can be easily moved in the future!

 

Thanks everyone for your support!

Too bad every time I try looking ar reefsmart.com, I get error say the site doesn't exist 

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6 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

 That is awesome with how good everything is going and growing already. Its pretty cool how easily you are able to get crystal clear pics with it being a jar.

3 hours ago, Coinee said:

You got lucky with your jar to have such clear spots. I think I only have a few clear spots in mine where I can get good pictures. The rest of the places are a bit foggy, even after cleaning them.

I was fortunate to find a glass jar with pretty decent clarity, but mainly just the bottom half. The upper portion of the jar has a bit of a texture to the glass that can blur the view from above. Sometimes you can see it in the overall photos I've posted of the reef jar. I haven't really shared many photos of the coral taken from a higher angle because it's near impossible to get a sharp view, but it's nice and clear straight on. I picked this jar as the best 1 of 5 at the store, after rejecting 2 of 2 at a different store. Sometimes I wish I would have kept searching for an even better one, but it was apparent that all of these jars come with some imperfections. I must have looked like a crazy person inspecting each jar round and round, back and forth until I decided. 😄

 

A machine made glass jar of this size with perfect clarity would be amazing to find, but I guess in the end I've come to accept the flaws as part of the charm. That being said, I now totally get why other reef cookie jar owners have been frustrated with the clarity! It's not a deal breaker for me, but something potential reef jar owners should keep in mind. In person the glass imperfections and round jar distortion isn't much of a hinderance to viewing, in fact it's kinda cool, but it's just tough to capture that view in photos.

2 hours ago, vlangel said:

Wow Christopher, somehow I missed your jar reef.  That is awesome.  I loved mine and may bring it back when I get down to just 1 tank, LOL.

Thanks Dawn ❤️, and thanks for helping to pioneer using these jars as reef tanks!

7 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

Everything is staying pretty stable for the most part ? 

It has definitely settled in! Water temperatures go from 77 to 80-81 daily and salinity is holding around 1.024-1.025 with my manual top off every few days. I place a piece of scotch tape at the water line after water changes to give myself a reference point. I may lower the water level a half inch or so to keep the temperature from going above 80, it's currently quite close to the top. I am less concerned with other water parameters at this point, with the frequency of water changes, I'm just using the coral's behavior as my guide so far. I did test for nitrates just before the last water change, for curiosity sake, and it still read zero.

 

The amphipods in the tank are really getting quite large and populous now, there are countless pods around 1/8" long and a few even larger than that. The sand bed is virtually crawling with them in the morning, I suspect they're also benefitting from my spot feeding of Coral Frenzy?

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3 hours ago, MRL said:

Too bad every time I try looking ar reefsmart.com, I get error say the site doesn't exist 

I'm seeing this too. Maybe the site is down for maintenance and they didn't build out a 404 page? Either way, I'm very interested in these lights and this whole idea. A single shrimp reef sounds lovely for my desk.

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