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Palooza

Palooza's Pico Reef

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Starting a thread to archive the progress of my 3.7 gallon Imagitarium I picked up 1.5 yrs ago at Petco. It has been a planted freshwater tank since I bought it. 

 

I will be modifying the back filter compartments to hold a filter sock/floss, Purigen/other media. Cheato reactor/algae scrubber and pump/heater compartments. I just purchased an Asta 20 LED to upgrade the lights for SPS corals

 

I plan on making custom live rock from shells, sand, & white cement. This will take about a month to cure properly and I'll include the proccess in this thread. I want it to fit neatly into the tank like a slice of reef wall.

 

For livestock, a zoa garden on the the lower 3rd of the rock work. On the top 2/3s of the water column I am planning for different montiporas. I might do a LPS/GSP somwhere on the bottom if there is room and it doesn't looked cluttered. As far as fish, I am only considering some barnacle blennies. It is just such a small tank for fish and the I would prefer not to add extra bio load to the system.

 

These are my initial thoughts/plan for this project. If you have any suggestions or thoughts, please reply to this thread

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Here are 2 pics of the tank. The 1st one was when I set up the tank and this one is today. I'm taking it down and starting the rebuild this weekend

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The light arrived yesterday. It is the Asta 20. Working great out of the box. I was going to go with a Kessil Tuna, but it just seemed over kill for a pico. This light is very bright with great color and is adjustable. For under $50, I had to try it and if it was weak, it would work for my refugium for the large set up I have planned in the future, but it will be great for this application.

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Edited by Palooza
Mispelling

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Here is the tank. A rimless 3.7 Imagitarium from Petco. Scored it for only $35 almost 2 years ago.

 

My next step is to make the rock work/cure it. During that time I need you guys to help me figure out how to use the filter system in the back.

 

I'll make a post this afternoon about my experience and where I'm coming from as an aquarist. I figure it will help you, help me with doing picos

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My reef husbandry started back in 2005 after over 20 yrs in FW. I did a lot of African Cichlids back in the mid-late 80s and was pretty successful in breeding them. In '05 I started a FOWLR in an old 80gal tall I had. That introduced me to corals and I was hooked immediately. I got a 125gal tank and put it together with (1) 400 watt MH and a sump. I had some success with polyps/mushrooms and some LPS for about a year, then decided to make an all custom shallow reef tank. I had a 228gal (30"×20"×80") peninsula tank custom made with an overflow on one end and a return port 2/3 from the end. I placed a large live rock over the return with a hole up the middle that pushed a large amount of water back from the refugium (80 gallons, with protein skimmer). 2 powerheads were placed behind rock work for extra flow. I made a custom hood and added another MH & lunar lights. This set up, once I worked out the bugs, ran well for 3 yrs before I had to sell everything and move. I propagated polyps/zoas, gorgonia, and LPS. Since then, I have been messing with small planted tanks and a betta bowl that is sustained using the Walstead method

 

I hope this helps you guys understand where I've been because I am used to large water for water stability. Going to about 1% of the water volume I last experienced is going to be a drastic move. I plan on weekly water changes of at least 50% and need advice on how to use the filter area in the back of the pico. I don't like to see equipment, so having in the back is important 

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People have had great success with that light. Everything looks good. 

 

 Even with the tank being way smaller than you are used to,I think you'll be fine. Pico's are super super fun !!! 

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2 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

People have had great success with that light. Everything looks good. 

 

 Even with the tank being way smaller than you are used to,I think you'll be fine. Pico's are super super fun !!! 

Thanks Kid! If you have any suggestions for mods on the back filter, I'm all for input. Right now I'm trying to figure out a cheato chamber. I need to figure out how to get light into the chamber w/o it bleeding out to much to disturb my wife's sleeping. The overflow chamber is all blacked out but it will bleed out bad through the overflow, so the 2nd baffled chamber is what I'm looking to modify. The overflow I'm thinking will be used to hold floss/purigen

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On 12/28/2018 at 10:26 PM, Palooza said:

I plan on making custom live rock from shells, sand, & white cement. This will take about a month to cure properly and I'll include the proccess in this thread. I want it to fit neatly into the tank like a slice of reef wall.

This sounds like a really cool idea! Are you planning to cast it so the back and sides are actually flat to fit flush with the tank? There have been a few sculpted tanks like this in the community over the last 16 years or so, but they're rare! I haven't seen one done in awhile 🙂 

1 hour ago, Palooza said:

I need to figure out how to get light into the chamber w/o it bleeding out to much to disturb my wife's sleeping. The overflow chamber is all blacked out but it will bleed out bad through the overflow, so the 2nd baffled chamber is what I'm looking to modify.

You might consider using a black vinyl film to cover the rear glass and sump area, or at least portions of it. Selective painting with Krylon Fusion spray paint would work too, if you mask it off nicely. As for lighting, something submersible might be best. I was just discussing these submersible light bars, but they're too large for your pico tank. Perhaps you can find something similar though?

 

Welcome to the community @Palooza!

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I would either get a submersible light,or you can get a Moonlight driver from rapidled for $10 that will power 3-4 leds @ 350mah get a small heatsink and 3-4 leds hide it all in a small project box  and mount it on the back of the tank. 

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On 12/30/2018 at 10:02 PM, Christopher Marks said:

This sounds like a really cool idea! Are you planning to cast it so the back and sides are actually flat to fit flush with the tank? There have been a few sculpted tanks like this in the community over the last 16 years or so, but they're rare! I haven't seen one done in awhile 🙂 

You might consider using a black vinyl film to cover the rear glass and sump area, or at least portions of it. Selective painting with Krylon Fusion spray paint would work too, if you mask it off nicely. As for lighting, something submersible might be best. I was just discussing these submersible light bars, but they're too large for your pico tank. Perhaps you can find something similar though?

 

Welcome to the community @Palooza!

Yeah they all are to big. I really only need it for ph stability at night and less for nutrient export if I'm doing 80% weekly water changes to start.

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On 12/31/2018 at 6:25 AM, Reefkid88 said:

I would either get a submersible light,or you can get a Moonlight driver from rapidled for $10 that will power 3-4 leds @ 350mah get a small heatsink and 3-4 leds hide it all in a small project box  and mount it on the back of the tank. 

This seems to be the best option so far. The space is really only 2.5"×5"×2.5". Only a few leds are needed

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Yeah about 3 leds would work for this,4 at most. 1 nw (semi from steves for .99 each),2 rb (semi from steves .99 each),1x 430nm $m($3.90 from steves) would be perfect. 

 

About $13 for the leds,about $13isg for the driver and about the same for a heatsink. 

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