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Broadside

New to Saltwater - Looking at setting up a Pico

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Greetings All

 

So I have been quietly planning my first SW tank for a couple of months now, I have extensive background in Freshwater and wanted to make the transition to a Saltwater Tank. 

I am looking for a second Pico for my Desktop at work, I currently have a Betta in a Fluval Spec 3, I am thinking that for symmetry I would pick up a second (done)  Spec 3 Tank to set up as Saltwater. 

 

I do not want a great deal in this tank, I like the planted look as well. Here are my initial thoughts

 

Yellow Clown Goby/ Yasha Goby

Trio Sexy Shrimp

Clean Up Crew

 

I am aware that I need to upgrade certain aspects of this tank, here is what I am thinking in terms of equipment

Tank: Fluval Spec 3

Heater: I have 25, 50 & 75 adjustable Nano heaters available. All fit in back compartment of the Spec 

Lights: Currently stock, I want to have Macro algae, Sexy Shrimp, Clown Goby small CUC. Do I need better lights?

Pump: I'm looking for a Mini Jet 404 or Pico Evo 400

Filtration: I am thinking two bags of Chemipure Blue in the existing media rack and Filter Floss on top to stop debris entering compartment (FW has this problem also) 

 

Now as I said I would like to have a Macroalgae Pico Tank, I have thought about it and would like some Cheato, another 2 Green Macro's and 1-2 Red Macro's. 

What are some good "starting" Macro's? Both Red and Green. I would like some movement in the tank as well if that makes any difference to the recommendations. 

 

 

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welcome Broadside!  😄 

 

if you have the space, push up to the Fluval Evo 5, which is meant for reefing, not the Spec 3, as it's for fw. you'll still need to upgrade stuff, like getting the inTank media basket for it, but the rest will work at first and won't need immediate changes.

 

also, such small tanks do better with a large weekly water change than loading it up with filter media and such. floss and a bit of chemi pure or at just activated carbon would be enough.

 

movement in small tanks like this can usually be achieved with a bigger pump. the Evo 5 is longer, so it 'may' benefit from a small wave maker like the Koralia Nano.

 

if you take a look at the tanks WVReefer runs, she uses no filtration other than biological and frequent water changes.  🙂

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4 minutes ago, Friendly said:

welcome Broadside!  😄 

 

if you have the space, push up to the Fluval Evo 5, which is meant for reefing, not the Spec 3, as it's for fw. you'll still need to upgrade stuff, like getting the inTank media basket for it, but the rest will work at first and won't need immediate changes.

 

also, such small tanks do better with a large weekly water change than loading it up with filter media and such. floss and a bit of chemi pure or at just activated carbon would be enough.

 

movement in small tanks like this can usually be achieved with a bigger pump. the Evo 5 is longer, so it 'may' benefit from a small wave maker like the Koralia Nano.

 

if you take a look at the tanks WVReefer runs, she uses no filtration other than biological and frequent water changes.  🙂

Thanks, but unfortunately the Spec 3 is the largest tank I can have at work. I am more than happy to undertake larger changes as this is what I do with my current Betta set up, currently run 1-2 50%-75% weekly water changes, this all depends on evaporation from the rear compartment of the Spec 3 as well as other things (parameters, how messy Betta ate etc)

Can I get away from using activated carbon? I hate the stuff and try and avoid at all costs

 

Excuse the lack of knowledge what is the difference between a pump and wave maker?

 

I will hunt the threads down and look.

 

Thanks for the welcome

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Look at the pico contest thread. We're about to kick off. Its definately not sexy like evo. But would give you a lot of support as similar setups will be constructed.

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hey Broadside...the Chemi Pure products and such all incorporate activated carbon with their other elements. carbon is a very good/important filtration media as it cleans out smells and tastes in the water and helps polish (catch debris) a bit too for the crystal clear look. you are supposed to rinse it thoroughly before use though, as it can be dusty. most people often buy the elements separately and combine them into their own bag rather than buy the pre-mixed stuff, since that has quite a premium added to the price tag.

 

also, what are the dimensions  you have to use? perhaps going with a cuboid tank that fits the spot for most water and use a HoB filter would be better? inTank has media basksets for the AC50, which would be perfect for a 3 gallon or so tank.  :) 

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12 minutes ago, Friendly said:

hey Broadside...the Chemi Pure products and such all incorporate activated carbon with their other elements. carbon is a very good/important filtration media as it cleans out smells and tastes in the water and helps polish (catch debris) a bit too for the crystal clear look. you are supposed to rinse it thoroughly before use though, as it can be dusty. most people often buy the elements separately and combine them into their own bag rather than buy the pre-mixed stuff, since that has quite a premium added to the price tag.

 

also, what are the dimensions  you have to use? perhaps going with a cuboid tank that fits the spot for most water and use a HoB filter would be better? inTank has media basksets for the AC50, which would be perfect for a 3 gallon or so tank.  🙂

Dimensions of desk space? Or dimensions of available tanks?

 

Might be easier to list what I have knocking about? All below is currently empty and clean (vinegar and elbow grease) I can fit both these tanks on my desk. Nothing larger due to weight, size and power point availability 

12x8x6 Tank (12 litres)

Fluval Spec 3 (10 litres)

Heaters, I have spare 25w, 50w and 75w 

Internal Filters x 3

Hob Filter 

 

I am leaning towards another Spec 3 as I have an idea to have two - three spec 3's all with a single light above the three (ideally FW, Brackish, SW). Not sure how well that would work however, would have to check light parameters for Corals as well as Freshwater Plants

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I would use the 12 litre tank, more volume is better, always.

 

the 25w heater is perfect...and if your HoB is the AC70, it might fit in there, helping make a clean look. inTank has inserts for the AC50 and 70 and they're in the process of redesigning surface skimmers for their intake siphons too.

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11 minutes ago, Friendly said:

I would use the 12 litre tank, more volume is better, always.

 

the 25w heater is perfect...and if your HoB is the AC70, it might fit in there, helping make a clean look. inTank has inserts for the AC50 and 70 and they're in the process of redesigning surface skimmers for their intake siphons too.

I'll see if the HOB fits. If i remember correctly it was a Seachem Tidal 75 Power Filter from a long crashed shrimp tank. I think that might be where my missing heater is as well thinking about it.

I think it adds another 1.9l/0.5g to the tank capacity. 

12 minutes ago, righttirefire said:

And it works for the pico contest!

Fine it looks like i'll be joining in, I don't understand the equipment choices though

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Your plan will work. 

My 1g har pico tank was so easy to care for and it had corals! 

 

Doing a 50% weekly waterchange should be enough on a 3g macro tank.

 

Keeping a pico of macro algae won't be too much work and the macro is a nutrient export which is a bonus.

 

Dragons breath is a really nice macro and provides movement.

 

 

You can make a media basket, they are very easy to make. So many plans online, takes about 15 mins and costs next to nothing.

 

If you can upgrade the pump I'd go that route and forget a powerhead in the tank. That's what I did with the spec 5.

 

As for lighting, you can look into 12w abi tuna blue par 38.

 

Not sure what the stock light on the spec 3 is? It may work for macro.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

Not sure what the stock light on the spec 3 is? It may work for macro

14k range if i remember correctly,

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2 minutes ago, Broadside said:

14k range if i remember correctly,

Should be fine.

 

The tank sounds cool. Pico's are great.

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1 hour ago, Clown79 said:

Your plan will work. 

My 1g har pico tank was so easy to care for and it had corals! 

Do you have a thread on that tank?

Nevermind found the jar

Edited by Broadside
Stopped being lazy
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Would the spec 3 disallow me from the contest? Seems like the better financial choice as I seemed to have chucked the HOB and 75W. 

 

Pump, media basket and replacement lid sounds like a good option. Might just go Macros and Hitchhikers and see how I manage. And how far I can stretch a really thin hobby budget

 

Looking at Dragons Breath, some Codium and also Blue Ball

 

What sort of flow rate am I looking for here?

 

Sorry lots of questions

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8 minutes ago, Broadside said:

Would the spec 3 disallow me from the contest? Seems like the better financial choice as I seemed to have chucked the HOB and 75W. 

 

Pump, media basket and replacement lid sounds like a good option. Might just go Macros and Hitchhikers and see how I manage. And how far I can stretch a really thin hobby budget

 

Looking at Dragons Breath, some Codium and also Blue Ball

 

What sort of flow rate am I looking for here?

 

Sorry lots of questions

The soon to be contest has specific requirements with the tank being used.

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So I have ordered a spare 404 pump for the Fluval Spec 3 to upgrade this specific feature, I have stripped this down and have cleaned all out and is now sitting empty on my desk. The Pump should arrive in the next couple of days. I can use the current pump to mix my water prior to water changes, having done a little swapping around of heaters in current tanks I have also managed to get two spare 25w heaters. One for the back section of the AIO and one for water changes. 

 

I have been into my LFS and enquired about Water cost (£1 per gallon) they also have the below parameters 

PH: 7.9-8.2

Salinity: 1.024-1.026

Nitrate: 5-10ppm

Phosphate: Below 1ppm

Magnesium: Around 1200-1300ppm

Calcium: 400-450 ppm

Iron: about 0.01 ppm

Iodine: about 0.04 ppm

 

Additionally I have found "frags" of the following Macro-algae which I am looking to introduce into my tank fairly soon. 

Codium - This is to be positioned near the top of my live rock within the main area of flow to give me some movement in the tank.

Blue Ball - I have heard reports of this spreading, is this true and how do you stop it ovretaking a tank?

Dragon's Breath - I am thinking of placing this near the base of my scape as it is more rigid and will not move as well?

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Just me but I would stick to Corals and Inverts as it will make it easier.  The biggest issue you will face in a tank that small will be evaporation as it will need daily top up to keep salinity levels in check.  

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