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cincyJames

AM Radio Pico

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After downgrading my Gumball Pico to a Betta tank, I got the itch to once again turn something that wasn't meant to be a fish tank into a fish tank. After scrolling through eBay, I found a 1940's Mitchell Lullaby Bed Lamp Radio. I felt like it had a really cool design and the price was right so I picked it up. After gutting it, I made a small glass aquarium to slide inside of the radio shell. I trimmed out the speaker section and added a new light cover.  More posts to come later this evening! I also have more pictures and videos of the tank on my Instagram- reefingjames

 

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Siiiiiiick!  Looking forward to seeing more.

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I divided the tank into a display section and sump. The sump sits behind the radio dials.  There is A LOT going on in the very small space of the sump. I have a heater and inkbird sensor, ATO and pump. The total tank volume before I added rocks and sand was 1/2 gallon. I also bought a Bluetooth speaker and put it inside the top of the radio.  It is synced it to our Alexa so it can play music too. Now just waiting for the tank to cycle for a few days (using existing sand and some filter media) and then going to add coral. 

 

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More to come!

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1 hour ago, cincyJames said:

After downgrading my Gumball Pico to a Betta tank, I got the itch to once again turn something that wasn't meant to be a fish tank into a fish tank. After scrolling through eBay, I found a 1940's Mitchell Lullaby Bed Lamp Radio. I felt like it had a really cool design and the price was right so I picked it up. After gutting it, I made a small glass aquarium to slide inside of the radio shell. I trimmed out the speaker section and added a new light cover.  More posts to come later this evening! I also have more pictures and videos of the tank on my Instagram- reefingjames

 

20190227_143413.thumb.jpg.cd42cca8d3b7a318bb04b87797073c0c.jpg

 

20190227_143920.thumb.jpg.a9dc895c66a0d9021c75c71484960ce1.jpg

 

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Great! 🤦🏻‍♀️

 

Now I want a radio pico too! 😄

 

 

That is the cutest thing!! 

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I would have to say. That is a seriously creative reef.

 

Altho, a tear does come to my eye as another classic am radio is gone.

 

Best of luck with the radioreef. I shall be keeping tabs on it.

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Your gum ball machine conversion was incredible, this is such a neat idea @cincyJames! It's cool to see the glow of the light through the speaker mesh at the top, and I love that you put a bluetooth speaker in there too haha!

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Thanks everyone! I appreciate the kind words and following along. I'm pretty excited to see what happens in this little tank. I went to the LFS and picked up some cheap frags and a halloween hermit crab. He seems to always have his back towards me though. I want to see how the anthelia, GSP and polyps do before adding anything else. Being patient is always the WORST part of this hobby. Haha!

 

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Nothing too exciting to report but that I added a little pop of gold to the radio. I really like how it looks! I may try to touch up the gold lettering on the dial too. 20190311_210536.thumb.jpg.9c901232ab66e3ab85f2404902f14050.jpg

 

 

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Very Cool.

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4 hours ago, cincyJames said:

Nothing too exciting to report but that I added a little pop of gold to the radio. I really like how it looks! I may try to touch up the gold lettering on the dial too. 20190311_210536.thumb.jpg.9c901232ab66e3ab85f2404902f14050.jpg

 

 

 

It keeps getting better and better! 😃

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The gold pinstripes are a classy touch! Congrats on the first livestock additions, how exciting!

 

@cincyJames Does the whole radio cabinet just lift up and over the custom tank you've built inside?

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1 hour ago, Christopher Marks said:

The gold pinstripes are a classy touch! Congrats on the first livestock additions, how exciting!

 

@cincyJames Does the whole radio cabinet just lift up and over the custom tank you've built inside?

Yes, the radio shell is slid right over the top of the tank. It literally has about 1/16" of space to spare. Haha!

 

I was hoping to keep the shell complete intact, but I had to cut a 3/4" slot from the bottom to the middle of the back of the tank in order to accommodate all of the wires and ATO stuff.  I will post a picture of the back later this evening.

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Everyone loves a pic of the backside. Lol

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I also went against my better judgement and added some LPS. Neon candy canes, hammer and the world's smallest/most pathetic Duncan head. Lol. I also moved the anthelia so it is super pissed off too. I travel to DC for work this week so Monday through Thursday this little tank is on its own... a true test of the stability of 0.5 gallons of water. 

 

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How did it do when you were gone? 

Also, do you think the vibrations from the sound are detrimental to the corals? I have a speaker next to my tank and I'm always worried about it because it has a lot of bass.

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7 hours ago, mattbaar said:

How did it do when you were gone? 

Also, do you think the vibrations from the sound are detrimental to the corals? I have a speaker next to my tank and I'm always worried about it because it has a lot of bass.

Well, I would like to say that the tank survived the week without incident.... But that would be a lie. On Monday night, merely 16hrs after leaving my house, my wife and I are face timing and that's when I hear her say, "Oh my God!" She turns the camera around and shows me my tank. There is water draining out of the tank, onto the sofa table it sits on and all over the floor. I have her lift the radio shell off the tank to see where it is leaking. To my surprise, it wasn't leaking at all but overflowing. My ATO had been filling the tank with fresh water. I knew the ATO had about 1 gallon of water in it before I left. In my mind, the radio pico was done for. I wasn't necessarily sure how long it had been filling with water, but the pump was running dry by the point we saw the water everywhere. I had 2 or 3 gallons of salt water in a 5 gallon bucket, so I asked my stepson to do a quick 100% water change. He willingly stopped playing fortnite to help his mom with the tank. This was the first time that either of them had done anything to one of my tanks... Let alone over FaceTime. He was able to drain about 95% of the water out and refilled the tank with saltwater... And then we waited. After about 10mins, I taught him how to use a refractometer via FaceTime and he said it was right around 1.023. I had my wife send me photos later that event and the next morning and everything seemed fine. I have to assume that the ATO could have only been running for about 10-15mins or so to have been able to save the tank. I am sure that the water was pretty much completely diluted by the time we caught it though. 

 
To celebrate saving the tank, I went and picked up a frag on my way home from the airport. It wasn't anything special. Just some small little polyps and a blue mushroom. From what I can tell, everything looks great! Ultimately, work travel is done and the tank survived thanks to my wife and stepson!
 
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Holy moly that was a wild ride! 😲

 

I was expecting a total loss, what “lucky” timing for a new tank disaster! I’m so glad they were able to save the tank, it’s the family’s pico reef now! 🙂 

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Wow this is such a creative little tank! it looks great so far. Glad your family was there to save it! Do you know why the ATO pump was not turning off? Float valve stuck?

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11 hours ago, Christopher Marks said:

Holy moly that was a wild ride! 😲

 

I was expecting a total loss, what “lucky” timing for a new tank disaster! I’m so glad they were able to save the tank, it’s the family’s pico reef now! 🙂 

Hahaha!  I wish I could swing that for my wife.  Then when I want to buy stuff, I could say, "Well, this is your pico too you know...!"  It is doubtful that will fly :smilie:

11 hours ago, yoshii said:

Wow this is such a creative little tank! it looks great so far. Glad your family was there to save it! Do you know why the ATO pump was not turning off? Float valve stuck?

From what I can tell, I believe that the float got stuck, yes.  It is a little magnetic float and had been running fine for weeks now... no better time than while out of town for it to fail though. LOL.

 

I will be doing manual top offs for a little bit I guess.  At least until I feel more confident with the top off.

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