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stevejo

Steve's "Old School Pico Reef" done cheap and sexy :D

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stevejo

So, prior to stumbling on the thread regarding this contest, I decided I wanted a tank in my bedroom.  Being upstairs, I did not want to drag a ton of water up (no RODI maker just RO jugs from the store) so I decided on a small tank.  Being a lazy SOB and not wanting to do a lot of maintenance, I decided to go with a 2.5gal and limit maintenance/filtration to water changes, to run super simple.

 

My darling wife (who is enamored with the concept of sexy shrimp) gave me a $75 budget before livestock, and I went shopping with both the budget and livestock goals in mind 🙂

 

My purchases were as follows:

Aqueon 2.5gal (Petco, $12.99+tax)

Hydor Nano pump (LFS, $15.00 +tax)

Hydor flat undergravel heater (LFS, $10.00 +tax)

Unknown Lifegard light (LFS, display model, $15.00 +tax)

Coral Crete (LFS, $6.99 +tax)

My (awesome) LFS also let me rummage through the rockpile and swap him out some pieces I had that would not work in this tank for some pieces that would.

 

I now have tank, light, flow, rock, and heat.  All in $64.84.  Leaves me a few bucks in the budget for uh-oh issues and should make a dang nice starting point.

 

IMG_20190321_210629.jpg.3f8bdf100642f8dfc174a6ab5e0d209d.jpg

Rock fits in, but I think I still need to dig through the closet and find one more piece...

 

FTS 04/01/2019:

IMG_20190401_092231.thumb.jpg.583947718c8a19a6779bd454fb80baa9.jpg

 

Contest pic to have in the first post:

 

IMG_20190331_141847.thumb.jpg.8786891b46b279bf464f08a8d3f1c939.jpg

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stevejo

So the Hydor pump may be Nano, however, the bracket for it is most certainly not...

 

IMG_20190323_220945.jpg.5db76572f2683e82c60b2b80722699b8.jpg

 

I think I may relegate this guy to water moving and mixing duty and see what else I can come up with for the tank.  With the pump attached, this bracket will take up a very significant portion of the space in the already tiny tank 😞

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stevejo

The light is super basic - looks like 9 white and 3 blue LEDs, but for the money, I don't think I can complain too loud.  I'm gonna push forward with it given the depth of the tank and see what I can do with it as far as corals go.  It'll be a grand experiment 🙂

 

IMG_20190323_214536.thumb.jpg.013f4450fd81cfe3fd4f73252d7364bf.jpgIMG_20190323_214535.thumb.jpg.320fd19c9aa8cc031507407f7191a3a3.jpg

 

IMG_20190323_214607.jpg.66f4b6de06bb4a77cf5dcce25472cc16.jpg

 

IMG_20190323_214637.thumb.jpg.60606e4fc689d9854603073ab7db2902.jpgIMG_20190323_214646.thumb.jpg.6799a6c365c4e3a9cfc96e793660a135.jpg

 

The only problem I see is that the clip will not fit on the rim (this was originally intended for a rimless tank), so time to trim up the plastic a bit!

IMG_20190323_214618.jpg

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billdeluz

It has started!!!!

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stevejo

I know!  My wife has been watching Youtube videos of sexy shrimp dancing since I introduced her to them, so I think this is the direction that I will go.  It should be a grand adventure 🙂

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stevejo

Ok, so perhaps it's time to reevaluate my light mounting theory.  My initial thought was to use the clip on the light to mount to the aquarium, but the rim of the aquarium was too wide.

IMG_20190323_214637.thumb.jpg.c1ef2a085edfbd89e883581e01852925.jpg

 

No problem, we'll just grab the cutters and snip out some plastic... OOPS!  Dang these guys use thin glass...

IMG_20190323_214659.thumb.jpg.05fb862d0975fb64cc3e0091f989e914.jpg

 

Well, that puts a hold on my activities for the evening, good thing there is almost room in my budget for another 2.5 from Petco 😞 

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skyscraper2290

It will be interesting to see how that light works for this, I actually have this light from a 5G FW I had for a bit. It was able to grow some plants so in the 2.5G I think it should be able to do low light corals. That’s a bummer about the tank, too bad the $/G sale doesn’t apply to these haha. Now I’m glad I didn’t go in with a clip on mount for my light, definitely would have crack the glass with the weight of the bulb. 

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Tombob84

I like where this is going, misses has informed me my budget is also tight so will be watching with interest.

 

 

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stevejo
8 hours ago, skyscraper2290 said:

It will be interesting to see how that light works for this, I actually have this light from a 5G FW I had for a bit. It was able to grow some plants so in the 2.5G I think it should be able to do low light corals. That’s a bummer about the tank, too bad the $/G sale doesn’t apply to these haha. Now I’m glad I didn’t go in with a clip on mount for my light, definitely would have crack the glass with the weight of the bulb. 

Yeah, I doubt the lil guy will get any acros going, but I feel like I should be able to pull off some zoas and euphyllia.

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Underworld2.0

Looking forward to this build 

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Clown79
18 hours ago, stevejo said:

So the Hydor pump may be Nano, however, the bracket for it is most certainly not...

 

IMG_20190323_220945.jpg.5db76572f2683e82c60b2b80722699b8.jpg

 

I think I may relegate this guy to water moving and mixing duty and see what else I can come up with for the tank.  With the pump attached, this bracket will take up a very significant portion of the space in the already tiny tank 😞

I ordered the same pump and that bracket is ridiculous. I don't understand why they designed it that way?

 

The powerhead with magnet  Pico Evo Mag will work for you. It's apparently discontinued but some places in the US still have it available.

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stevejo
48 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I ordered the same pump and that bracket is ridiculous. I don't understand why they designed it that way?

 

The powerhead with magnet  Pico Evo Mag will work for you. It's apparently discontinued but some places in the US still have it available.

Yeah, it's getting a hose on it and getting used as a transfer pump for clean water.  Picked up one of these guys on Amazon for $9:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EWENMAU

 

I'll be going bare bottom, so that should be just fine.  If not, for $8, I ain't out much.

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stevejo

Made a trip to Petco last night and picked up a new 2.5 gal, and the pump from Amazon arrived today.  Just need a lid and I will have all I need to begin cycling on April 1!

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This guy is extra salty

I have noticed a lot of people breaking the tank or should I say bank 

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stevejo

Five LFS's later, we have a lid!

 

IMG_20190326_151025.thumb.jpg.5bab957a41fc3196eac2fefc722c971b.jpg

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MetaTank
2 hours ago, stevejo said:

Five LFS's later, we have a lid!

 

IMG_20190326_151025.thumb.jpg.5bab957a41fc3196eac2fefc722c971b.jpg

After going to 5 myself, I finally gave up and cut an acrylic lid to fit. I figure it'll be easier to cut out a section to fit the HOB filter. You gotta cut this one, or does it leave room for a filter?

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This guy is extra salty
3 minutes ago, MetaTank said:

After going to 5 myself, I finally gave up and cut an acrylic lid to fit. I figure it'll be easier to cut out a section to fit the HOB filter. You gotta cut this one, or does it leave room for a filter?

Awesome lid

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stevejo
On 3/26/2019 at 6:42 PM, MetaTank said:

After going to 5 myself, I finally gave up and cut an acrylic lid to fit. I figure it'll be easier to cut out a section to fit the HOB filter. You gotta cut this one, or does it leave room for a filter?

I won't be using a filter on this tank.  Just heat, flow, and rock.

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MetaTank

Nice,is there room for the power cable for your powerhead?

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stevejo
3 minutes ago, MetaTank said:

Nice,is there room for the power cable for your powerhead?

Just barely 😉

 

MVIMG_20190331_145839.thumb.jpg.105d6d14f5608d7bdd4f5168d9d64933.jpg

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MetaTank
1 minute ago, stevejo said:

Just barely 😉

 

MVIMG_20190331_145839.thumb.jpg.105d6d14f5608d7bdd4f5168d9d64933.jpg

Awesome! Nailed it!!

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stevejo

Ok, so had some time today to play with the pico tank.  First, for reference and the contest, some cookies 🙂

 

IMG_20190331_141847.thumb.jpg.4bc998c993315c059055452dd4f7c4c2.jpg

 

All of the supplies together:

IMG_20190331_111505.thumb.jpg.c5ed84e5db082251ffc05414226d8623.jpg

 

For reference: 

 

Second Aqueon 2.5 tank ($12)

Matching Lid for Tank ($9)

LifeGard Light (used, $15)

Aqueon Preset Heater ($12)

Homasay 80GPH pump ($9)

Marco Rock (previously had, but 2lbs @$3/lb = $6)

Bulk sand (2lbs @ $1.25/lb = $2.50)

 

So all in all done we're at $65.50. 

 

The Hydor pump initially purchased would not fit inside with its monster bracket, so now it's in my mixing bucket stirring saltwater.

The Hydor heater has no thermostat, and the Aqueon preset was cheaper than an Inkbird, so that's what we'll go with.

 

Pump and heater placed, playing around with different scape ideas (fairly limited in a tiny tank):

 

IMG_20190331_113458.thumb.jpg.6e40f9b6cd23bce7b96f5a3e20aba884.jpgIMG_20190331_113203.thumb.jpg.06acb55b8b5a552e9dfc9e0aa5c3323b.jpg

IMG_20190331_113426.thumb.jpg.1a043cbe4079b97ebde0e9e70c19eb3a.jpgIMG_20190331_115544.thumb.jpg.4c26207340ad66bf19e46497e74c65d9.jpg

 

Ended up settling on the fourth one - creates a cool little shrimp cave, and leaves lots of flat space for coral.

 

 

 

 

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stevejo

Then it was time to take it to the kitchen for leak testing - lordy this is simple with a small tank 🙂

MVIMG_20190331_112814.thumb.jpg.af880a7beebba427a9d70cf937310e9e.jpg

 

Two hours later, no leaks!

 

Rock and sand went in, then started to fill:

IMG_20190331_144613.thumb.jpg.73c2504734105bf3c585db67200d8b63.jpg

 

Got it full, plugged in the heater and the pump, and fitted the lid!  Just enough room for the cords!

IMG_20190331_144919.thumb.jpg.b293d16923a37ea7af466e3f4bdedf99.jpg

 

And for now, just setting the lights on top:

IMG_20190331_145016.thumb.jpg.e24a4a6ff6d586e3c9018f12df97bf27.jpg

 

Now to let it sit a few hours, toss in some bacteria and ammonia, and get the cycle moving!

 

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MetaTank
1 minute ago, stevejo said:

Then it was time to take it to the kitchen for leak testing - lordy this is simple with a small tank 🙂

MVIMG_20190331_112814.thumb.jpg.af880a7beebba427a9d70cf937310e9e.jpg

 

Two hours later, no leaks!

 

Rock and sand went in, then started to fill:

IMG_20190331_144613.thumb.jpg.73c2504734105bf3c585db67200d8b63.jpg

 

Got it full, plugged in the heater and the pump, and fitted the lid!  Just enough room for the cords!

IMG_20190331_144919.thumb.jpg.b293d16923a37ea7af466e3f4bdedf99.jpg

 

And for now, just setting the lights on top:

IMG_20190331_145016.thumb.jpg.e24a4a6ff6d586e3c9018f12df97bf27.jpg

 

Now to let it sit a few hours, toss in some bacteria and ammonia, and get the cycle moving!

 

Digging the low profile with no HOB and the thin light. Lookin' good so far!

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stevejo
17 hours ago, MetaTank said:

Digging the low profile with no HOB and the thin light. Lookin' good so far!

Thanks!  My hope is that this will eventually migrate to the bedroom and be quiet, slim, and unobtrusive.  Excited to see how the theories play out!

 

 

Also, we now have bacteria, ammonia, and an ammonia badge - /cross fingers for a quick cycle!  The Turbo Start was the smallest bottle sold and was indicated for 25 gallons, but also said it could be used up to 5x - with a 2.5gal, we're at 10x or better, so we'll see how fast we can make it safe for livestock!

IMG_20190401_083319.jpg

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