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Christopher Marks

Kickin' It Old School 2.5g Pico Reef Competition! 😎🎓

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Christopher Marks

Old School 2.5g Pico Reef Keeping Competition

marinedepot.gif Cultivated Reef

Hardware sponsored by Marine Depot, Livestock Sponsored by Cultivated Reef

 

To help celebrate the Nano-Reef Community's 18th Birthday 🎂 this April, we're going to kick it old school with our next reef keeping competition and get back to our roots! The entire nano reef hobby has been built upon the continuous experimentation, discovery, and innovation that our amazing community members document and share for us all here to learn from. Incredible ideas and reef keeping concepts have been shared through our aquarium journals for nearly two decades now, encouraging so many others to join in and try their hand at reef keeping too. You probably still remember the first reef tank that caught your eye, odds are it was a nano reef!

2.5gal.jpg

Just as nano reefs were once believed to be impossibly small to ever sustain long term, the concept of a pico reef under 3 gallons truly pushed the boundaries in those early years. There were countless pioneers who tried their hand at pico reef keeping, centered around new-to-the-hobby power compact florescent lights, and generally contained in a classic 2.5 gallon all glass aquarium with black rim. Hobbyists had to experiment with available compact aquarium equipment of the time, most of which had never been used in a saltwater reef setting before. Hang on back filters quickly proved to be advantageous, and some select mini powerhead pumps were discovered. Through sheer determination and thoughtful collaboration here, many of these early pico reefs found flourishing success, and the innovation has never stopped since!

 

In honor of these early beginnings, Nano-Reef.com is proud to announce the Old School 2.5g Pico Reef Keeping Competition! For this competition we are going to get back to the basics and focus on the reef husbandry skills that make for a successful pico reef. All participants will be building a pico reef aquarium within the classic dimension of a standard 2.5 gallon all glass aquarium of old, 12" x 6" x 8", and equipping it with select equipment similar to what was available in the early days of the hobby. By equalizing and limiting the aquarium equipment selection, I hope to keep this competition accessible to everyone, no matter your budget or experience level, and stay focused on the life that is kept inside each pico reef! This is a system that virtually anyone can find the parts to build to their liking. 🙂 

 

Everyone can choose their own equipment, but it must follow these basic rules:

  • 📦 A Standard 2.5 gallon 12" x 6" x 8" or near-equivalent dimension tank, glass or acrylic.
    • Max variance of 2" is allowed in two dimensions only. Minor variations in dimensions are fine.
    • Rimless tanks are allowed as long as their dimensions fall within the allowed range.
    • Custom built tanks should adhere to the standard rectangular 12 x 6 x 8 inch dimensions.
    • In the spirit of fair competition, please stay as close to these tank dimensions as reasonably possible.
  • 💡 Any Lighting - Yes really! Dazzle your coral and your competition!
  • 🐠 Any Livestock - Go wild, but keep it pico friendly!
  • ⚙️ Limited Equipment Choices (Use all or none)
    • 1x Hang On Back Filter Unit (total water volume no greater than .5 gal)
    • 1x Powerhead circulation pump
    • 1x Aquarium heater of any wattage
    • 1x Air Pump with accessories (air line, valves, etc)
  • Optional Allowed Equipment (Use all or none)
    • Lid, cover, or screen (highly recommended)
    • Automatic top-off and/or dosing system
    • Aquarium controller, temperature controller, power strips, timers, etc.
    • Media baskets or other hang on back filter modifications or inserts
    • Surface skimmer modifications for hang on back filter
  • 🚫 Disallowed Equipment (For a level playing field)
    • No External sumps or external plumbing
    • No all-in-one inserts (AIO) or any dividing walls
    • No Protein skimmers
    • No Reactors
    • No Canister filters
    • No Internal filters

 

The idea is to have a tank that is as close as possible to the same dimensions as a classic 2.5 gallon tank, every aquascape has the same basic canvas. If the closest tank you can find is actually 12x7x7", 13x7x8," 12x8x8", rim or rimless, that is A-OK 👍, all you're asked is to try your best. If you're looking to go to the very limits of the rule with a 14x8x8" tank, we're not gonna stop you. We're after a friendly competition, after all! 😉 

 

Keep the equipment simple and focus on husbandry. You do not have to use all of the allowed equipment, you could go without a HOB filter, for example, or never use an air pump, but you cannot use any additional unapproved equipment. You are welcome and to create custom stands, bases, lighting canopies, or other aesthetic customizations to the outside of your tank, as long as the front viewing panel (12" x 8") is not obstructed.

 

Many of you may already own these items or have them available around the house, dig through your aquarium supply stash! Your container and equipment do not need to be new, but they must be DRY at the beginning of the contest!

 

There are no rules or budget limits in regards to stocking of your pico reef tank, but use your space wisely! Have fun and let your imagination run wild! Note: Your entry must be a saltwater aquarium, no freshwater entries are allowed.

Contest Timeline How To Enter

Official Start Date: March 30th, 2019 🎉

 

The contest is open to any and all Nano-Reef Community members starting Saturday March 30th! In order to formally enter the contest, you must begin your Old School Pico Reef build by the end of April 2019! This means that by April 30th you will need to have done the following tasks:

  1. Sourced your qualifying 2.5 gallon pico reef tank and equipment.
  2. Started a new aquarium journal here on Nano-Reef.com in our Pico Reefs Forum.
  3. Shared a photo of your dry pico reef tank in your competition journal with Your Favorite Snack Food inside.
  4. Posted an announcement of your entry into the contest here in this thread with a link to your build journal.

Contestants are required to post at least one monthly update to their contest journal that will include a full tank shot photograph in order to remain eligible, at the bare minimum. Your build thread must also include the tag "Old School Pico Reef", so that they are easy to locate on the forums. We all can understand that life gets in the way of our hobby sometimes, photo updates can be up to a week behind, but if you miss more than 2 monthly updates along the way, you will be disqualified.

 

Qualifying contestants will be asked to post a final synopsis and full tank shot in their aquarium journal within the final two weeks of the contest, which will be used for voting purposes.

  • 🌏 🌍 🌎 International entries are welcome with the disclaimer that our sponsors may not be able to ship prizes internationally due to customs and increased costs. In the event that an international contestant wins, I will do my best to see if it's possible to ship the prize internationally, but I can make no guarantees. Additional shipping costs may need to be paid by the international contestant if it is possible to ship their prize(s).

 

The contest will officially end on Sunday October 27, 2019 at 11:59:59 PM PST. This means a 7 month contest from start to finish. I wanted to give everyone an additional month to get their tanks started, cycled, and headed on the path before the traditional six month contest period. Community Voting will begin on November 1, 2019.

🏆 Contest Prizes

There will be 3 winning pico reefs chosen at the end of the contest by community vote. In the event of a tie, I, Christopher Marks Community Founder, will cast the tie-breaking vote. The winners will be chosen for the following categories, while taking into consideration the pico reef's overall heath, growth, and progression throughout the contest period:

 

Best Use Of Color

Not Necessarily The Most Colors...

cultivated reef frags.jpg
Cultivated Reef $150 Gift Certificate (shipping not included)

 

drtimsaquatics.gif

Dr. Tim's Aquatics Prize Pack ($50 Value)

Small Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels

 

Most Diverse Livestock

Fill Your Pico Reef Wisely...

 

Aquatic-Life-Twist-In-100-GPD-4-Stage-RO-DI-System.jpg

Aquatic Life Twist-In 100 GPD 4-Stage RO/DI System ($140 Value)

 

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Dr. Tim's Aquatics Prize Pack ($75 Value)

Large Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), (1) Waste-Away, 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels, and 2 Bene-FISH-al Fish Food Grinders (one veggie one protein).

 

Best Aquascape

Creativity, Use Of Space, Visual Appeal...

imnuvo10.jpg
Innovative Marine 10 Gallon NUVO Fusion Nano Aquarium ($100 Value)

 

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Dr. Tims Aquatics Large Prize Pack ($100 Value)
Large Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), (1) Waste-Away, 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels, and 2 Bene-FISH-al Fish Food Grinders, and a Marine Fish Food Starter Kit.

 

Potential category prize winners may only claim a prize package from 1 of 3 prize categories. In the event a pico reef tank is voted as a winner for 2 or more categories, the winner must choose only 1 of the available winning prize categories and forfeit the remaining category prizes to the pico reef tank(s) with the next highest vote count(s) in the remaining category (or categories).

 

🎁 Bonus Awards from CM
Win a Nano-Reef T-Shirt & Sticker pack!

  • Most Janky Tank - Award for the best humble budget build with classic glass tank with plastic rim.
  • Worst Infestation - Award for the poor pico reef contest tank that suffers the worst pest outbreak.
  • Best Rule Breaker - Award for the coolest 2.5g tank that doesn't follow the contest rules, or qualify for other prizes, but still tags along for fun!
  • Best Documentation - Award for the pico reef contest tank with the best aquarium journal documenting the process.
  • Most Unique Creature - Award for the pico reef contest tank that successfully houses an unusual specimen.

Resources

  • So you want to enter, but don't know how to setup a pico reef aquarium? El Fabuloso's Simple Guide to Pico Tanks can help get you started!
  • Aquariums known to qualify for the competition:
  • Share Your Old School Pico Reef on Instagram with the hashtag #oldschoolpicoreef and tag us @nanoreefers

 

Please keep in mind our wonderful sponsors :wub: when purchasing your equipment, supplies, and livestock. Links to appropriate equipment from our competition hardware sponsor MarineDepot.com are provided for you below.

 

marinedepot.gif

Heaters

Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 25 Watt Aquarium Heater with LED Display

Lifegard Aquatics Pre-Set Quartz Heater - 25 Watt

 

Hang On Back Filters

Aqua Clear Power Filter (Models 20, 30, 50)

Seachem Laboratories Tidal Power Filter (Models 35, 55)

 

Air Pumps

Cobalt Aquatics USB Powered DC Air Pump

Marina Air Pump

Tom Aquatics Stellar Air Pump

 

Powerhead Circulation Pumps

Hydor Koralia Nano 240 gph

Hydor Pico Evo-Mag 4W Circulation Pump 180 gph

Sicce Micra Aquarium Pump (90 GPH)

 

Auto-Top Off Systems

Auto Aqua Smart ATO Micro

XP Aqua Duetto Dual-Sensor Complete ATO System

Tunze Osmolator Nano

 

Cultivated Reef Competition Special

cultivatedreef.jpg

Cultivated Reef has generously offered 3 free frags with any $150 or greater purchase!

Simply add "Nano-Reef Rocks!" to your order notes along with a coral type request (zoas, SPS, softies, LPS)

and Cultivated Reef will choose some great bonus frags for you!

Pico Reef Competitors List

Follow along with all the entries by using the Nano-Reef Community Tag "old school pico reef" <- Bookmark This Link

  1. @748S911 748S911's "Undercover Janky" 2.5 pico reef OSPRC...
  2. @allesluge Long time lurker, first janky Pico Reef
  3. @AugyBear Austin's New Old School Pico 🐳
  4. @billdeluz Billdeluz Tank o' jank
  5. @caas1496 Paly Peninsula: 2.5G Pico Contest
  6. @ChristopherDido Dr. Seuss's Truffula Tank
  7. @Clown79 PICOING IT OLD SCHOOL
  8. @DaVinciClown RFA + Anemone Shrimp Pico
  9. @Donny41 Bare bones old school pico reef
  10. @Eclipse522 Eclipse's secret lagoon old school pico
  11. @GeneticallyModifiedNerd Beginner Pico - Old School Pico Reef
  12. @HahahaHeather Heather's a Picorastinator
  13. @Joevember Joe's Boneless Pico Reef
  14. @JP728 Joe Pie's 2.5 - Janky tank
  15. @kimberbee Kimber's Contest Pico - Turning up the HEAT
  16. @kimdawg Tybee Janky Tank
  17. @ksadam Adam's Pico Reef- Old School Entry
  18. @Lingwendil 2.5G Pico Contest! Team Jank!
  19. @mariahranch “Old school can be so cool”
  20. @MetaTank MetaJANKs Old School Polished Turd
  21. @Noah C Peterson Noah's Hidden Cavern - A Old School Pico Adventure
  22. @pricewayne pynk pico
  23. @Ratvan Old School Zoa/Paly Garden
  24. @RudyEnt Rudy's New Pico Reef - Old School Pico Reef
  25. @seabass Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom 🗿 Old School Mullet
  26. @SeaFurn Seafurn's NOTORIOUS P-I-C-O
  27. @Snow_Phoenix Snow's 2.9G O.S.P.R. Mushroom Mansion
  28. @SophiaPlaysGod 01101001 01010011 01100101 01100001 Old School Pico
  29. @spectra Spectras not so Janky UNS
  30. @stevejo Steve's "Old School Pico Reef" done cheap and sexy :D
  31. @Tamberav The Broken Janky Tank - BAD CRAB!
  32. @This guy is extra salty DIY acrylic old school V2.501 contest build
  33. @Tigahboy Tigahboy's 🌋 Pico
  34. @Tmr8188 TmR’s Old School Basement Pico 2.5
  35. @Underworld2.0 UW's "kicking it old school" contest pico!
  36. @vlangel Lost Ponies of Atlantis Pico
  37. @Wendy Wendy's Old School Pico Reef
  38. @William William’s “why am I doing this” ... old school pico
  39. @Wingy Wingy's "Old School Pico Reef"
  40. @Wonderboy Wonderboy's 2.5G - Old School Pico's Got Tricks
  41. @yoshii Yoshii's Old School 2.5g Hawaiian Pico 🌴

 

Tanks Tagging Along For Fun (Rule Breakers)

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FISHnChix

Best rule breaker category!!!. That's awesome!! Nicely done!🤙

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kimberbee

Petiton that you send me a sticker for being the first to call 'em "janky tanks"!!

 

:flower:

 

P.S. I'm in (thread here)

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jbb_00
17 minutes ago, kimberbee said:

Petiton that you send me a sticker for being the first to call 'em "janky tanks"!!

 

:flower:

Petition not to send her anything since she called me out for my filter 

 

 

🥀

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Snow_Phoenix

Yay! Finally - so many interesting categories too. Plus...best unusual specimen, huh? 🤣😈😋

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skyscraper2290

Thanks @Christopher Marks for putting this together! Looking forward to seeing all the entries!

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Tamberav

giphy.gif

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spectra

finally :lol:

 

 

 

 

 

and here is my entry................

 

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This guy is extra salty
1 hour ago, jbb_00 said:

Petition not to send her anything since she called me out for my filter 

 

 

🥀

You will get the rule breaker category lol

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seabass

I love it. An old school build, with a modern twist.

tumblr_lw7cgqvjBU1qikcuzo1_400.gif

 

Can you believe it?

osblue.gif

 

Count me in:  Old School pico thread

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yoshii

I need to find myself a 2.5g tank

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Underworld2.0

Count me in ! This should be fun and thank you @Christopher Marks

For putting this on! 

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jbb_00

Do I , or do I not ? 🤔

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seabass

We can search for tags, but I noticed that they aren't displayed when simply viewing the Pico forum.  IDK, it might be nice if either tags could be displayed, or that people would include "Old School" somewhere in their title (just to help identify contest participants).

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MetaTank

Woot! Glad to see it’s finally official!

 

I'm in.

 

 

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kimberbee
3 minutes ago, seabass said:

We can search for tags, but I noticed that they aren't displayed when simply viewing the Pico forum.  IDK, it might be nice if either tags could be displayed, or that people would include "Old School" somewhere in their title (just to help identify contest participants).

Maybe even just "OS -" at the beginning of the threads. Would that work for being searchable too?

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seabass

Yeah, really anything to make contest entries stand out; just as long as we can standardize on something.

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billdeluz

Im in 

 

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Grundler

YES!!!!

Now, I just need to get my hands on an actual tank! 

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stevejo

Tossing my hat in, build thread here:
 

 

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Clown79

I'm in.😁

 

 

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Snow_Phoenix

Journal thread already started: 

 

 

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Frag Factory

Hell yeah! 😎

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asting

Hm. Was going to set up my aqueon evolve 8 again. Maybe I detour and do a 2.5? Seems like a lot of extra work... 

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hotdrop

Might be fun can we limit it to frags only? It’s kind of lame to have people shove a couple hundred dollars of mature coral and rock into a pico and show off a gorgeous reef. A big part of the challenge should be to grow out the pico not just decorate it. 

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