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Desktop Pico Portrait 5gal

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Reviving this thread since I've had more time to concentrate on the tank.

Recently I did an emergency update to the return on the tank. I was never happy with the stock return nozzle as you could only turn it so much until it rotated too far and exposed a slit in the lock line portion. And that slit just happened to be oriented to spray over the lid and other undesirable locations because it was half above the water line for some reason. Also, since I upgraded the return pump the return lines had a tendency to come detached after a pump cleaning as line connections were just loose friction fittings.


To solve the loc line issue I ordered a return nozzle for a fluval flex for just over $5. This return has two nozzles vs the stock 1 on this tank and also has more loc line segments so I can position them in more orientations  and even had a barb fitting to solve the loose friction fit issue. I didn't find any dimensions so figured for $5 I'd just take a chance and order it. Part came in and unfortunately the new return nozzle was too big to fit the stock hole in the background but the barb fitting did fit the return line size. So it went into my fish tank storage bin for another days project.


Soon after receiving the part I was feeling particularly ambitious for the tank and decided to do some deep cleaning.... Including the return pump.... So of course I was feeling accomplished and didn't even think of the loose fit issue. Slapped everything together and went on with my day. Later my wife asked me what that splashing water sound was. I knew immediately what the issue was and bolted for the tank trying to minimize any damage. Unfortunately the return had been detached for a decent amount of time and had emptied 1/4 of the water from the tank. Now since it is a small tank not a huge mess in the grand scheme of things but it is carpeted where the tank was. Also there was an electrical outlet that was unfortunately close enough to get sprayed even though I have meticulous drip loops and under cabinet power strips to avoid any splashes or leaks directly from the tank. Now I'll have a 5ft spray zone check as well when setting up tanks 😄. So as soon as I get to the tank the breaker trips and kills the power to the entire room, and I'm not going to flip it back on knowing that the conductive salt water is still everywhere. So begins the process of cleaning up what I could to start drying everything out. Once I did a decent clean up I knew I needed to replace the return since it was a ticking time bomb waiting to happen again.


It was a pretty tricky operation as in my exhaustion I decided to drill the back (plastic) while all the inhabitants were still in place. Hindsight I should have just got some buckets and moved everything but I was not in the state of mind to listen to reason at that point. I draped a paper towel over the tank and floated it on the surface of the water hoping to catch as much plastic debris and shavings as possible. This actually worked pretty well but the tank dimensions didn't give me enough room to work comfortably with the drill to drill out the back. I didn't let that stop me for some reason. I managed to drill through without cracking the background or the tank but the hole was still not big enough and the bit kept catching. I had enough sense in me not to push my luck and decided to move to a knife to clean up and widen the hole instead of trying with the bit which I'm sure would have ended in a cracked tank.


I finally managed to widen the hole after what seemed like an eternity at the time awkwardly whittling away at the background. Got the new return installed and hooked the the return line after softening the flexible hose in boiling water for a bit (life saver). Switched the breaker back on and tested the pump. It worked great! really pleased with the results but not at all pleased with the conditions I had to work under to get them. I think all the corals are happier with the better directed flow in the tank as well.


New return nozzle


You can see the old return in the top left of this picture. most of the flow would just hit the front glass.


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