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UGFuge 2.5G Pico - No Rules Old School Reef

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748S911

Where did you get that chiller? and hows it working?

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Wonderboy
12 hours ago, 748S911 said:

Where did you get that chiller? and hows it working?

It's not running yet, though it really needs to be - the tank hit 84.5 F last night - pretty sure the underglow's to blame. I just finished plumbing it to the underside of the sump. I grabbed mine from Ebay a while back - pretty sure they were much cheaper then...  This one on amazon has a little video review of someone else using it though:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Greensen-Aquarium-Chiller-Cooling-Aquaculture/dp/B07GL4TP37/ref=pd_cp_199_2?pd_rd_w=drHaE&pf_rd_p=ef4dc990-a9ca-4945-ae0b-f8d549198ed6&pf_rd_r=Z9F79JNWRWKEXKCTQ5B6&pd_rd_r=e400ac18-8539-11e9-b428-7d17b7108ea6&pd_rd_wg=cZx11&pd_rd_i=B07GL4TP37&psc=1&refRID=Z9F79JNWRWKEXKCTQ5B6

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748S911

Yeah they were cheaper in march, thats the exact chiller I was looking into.  Really would like to know how it works out for you. 

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Wonderboy

I was thinking of doing what was necessary to pull off a little bean animal overflow, but I just decided to work with what I had. The threads are drilled out and did my best with the band saw to castle the fitting. I will upgrade if this causes problems in the future; low profile 1/2" overflow with some type of micro gunk/anemone/snail guard:

 

IMG_2428.thumb.jpg.dc8b8a7057f788f5f5c59badfe479a30.jpg

 

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I drilled the hole in the back while the HOB was still running with half volume water, anemone just hanging out. Koralia magnets held a bag inside and a towel outside the tank to catch shards/dust and sprayed water. In place:

 

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Under the lid:

 

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That's the silicone bell from an iphone speaker amplifier over the return (returns through the once broadcast feeding hole) - it is to help keep water and fish in - JIC:

IMG_2439.thumb.jpg.332aab90ab59b0d20a9055aa565b9a35.jpg

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Wonderboy

From the overflow, water is directed to the back chamber in the sump just under the water line:

IMG_2444.thumb.jpg.a6efea44a16505736237c4c5ffb92d36.jpg

 

This piece locks on to the bulkhead with the inner slip fittings and has air and access with the air-stone top:

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The return pump faces down:

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So it can supply the chiller/heater before returning to DT:

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Next step is testing  :eek:

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seabass

Sweet little sump.

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Wonderboy
4 hours ago, seabass said:

Sweet little sump.

Thank you - it's running RODI within itself right now - looks like the operating volume is exactly one gallon. So far, the outside is staying dry 😅

 

I added some mushrooms, zoas and palys to the DT from my 10G in the meantime. Things seem to be responding well.

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Wonderboy

Additional equipment tests completed - no leaks and it seems (stimuli testing) that the chiller/heater is ready to respond appropriately. 

 

It was time to fill with rubble and make some mini deep sand beds. I put the sponges from the palm HOB filter at the bottom opening of the back chamber to promote more overflow into the second chamber and so the water can pass through its bottom opening as well (larger shells at the bottom - low restriction). The shells came from a bag of terrestrial hermit crab substrate (sifted and treated).

 

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The specimen cup has two holes plugged with pieces of palm HOB sponges near the bottom and a very fine nylon screen top - filled with all the small particulate from the hermit crab substrate. And there's a small piece of sea lettuce in chamber 2 (going to see if morning sun is enough).

 

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The temperature probe is in the HOB because I think most heat is produced in the UGF (also noticed that this palm HOB produces a bunch itself) - the decorative shell has been modified to hold it in place. I haven't been able to run the underglow for more than 4 hours before. I could not get the heating enabled for the unit, but I'm not too concerned about that right now. Tonight will be a test for the chiller - I am leaving the underglow LEDs on all night to see what the temperature ends up at by lights on. Oh, I dosed more pods and phyto.

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Wonderboy

The chiller is working well so far. I had it set to 25C with a fluctuation allowance of .7 degrees. Recently the tank has been pushing 84F degrees while testing with only HOB and UGF LED time variations, but here's proof of this morning's improvement with the sump and chiller running:

 

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I tried to set the heating feature again, but it would not enable - after looking into it, I guess there are cooling only machines out there; so this must be one of those. The one I have is not a heater after all.

 

I am a little upset that somebody sent me a machine that doesn't do what it said it would, but I'm not worried to the point of replacing it. I had never thought that I would need a heater, and I'm pretty sure the HOB and UGF LEDs (could run 24hrs) will do enough heating for the system.

 

I am going to set the chiller at 26C so that it works a little less when it gets warmer in the house.

 

WIll be arranging the additions today and while I'm at it, might as well see what it takes to change some water.

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Wonderboy

Water change went well - with the chiller in standby, I can just stick a tube into the HOB to remove water all the way to below substrate level in just about the same time that the sump pump removes about half of the sump's volume; then, I poured prepped water into the sump and HOB - and resumed the chiller - it went really quick. What did not go as quick was placing corals afterwards.

 

On a side note...  I added more leds to the DT light because there seemed to be room in there for more, so why not? The strange part is that something was telling me to add pink to the "blue" channel. So, I did, but I didn't face them straight into the tank:

 

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I did this because I wanted to give the corals a little more color options and I didn't necessarily like that a lot of my photos were getting some pretty bad blue washing to them in many areas of the tank. It was easy to tie them into the "blue" channel, but I didn't want to entirely disable viewing flourescence too much - hence less/sidestrapped pink LEDs. Here's the new hue:

 

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I got the GSP tree off the substrate - thinking of orienting it differently, but hopefully it will slowly take to the glass and overflow (can hardly see). Also, I put a little bit more GSP on it:

 

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I'm going to let pulsing xenia do whatever it does on the substrate - I was interested to see what a transparent-ish softy would looks like with the underglow. I am also a big fan of their movement.

 

Here's a few shots of some additions:

 

IMG_2471.thumb.jpg.9b06214fb195064f9578dd88df22aaed.jpg

 

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Wonderboy

I added fish back to the system after lights out last night - both the damsel and Jaws Jr are back at it, eating minutes after introducing like nothing happened - I chose to put the damsel back in here cause these two are getting along nicely and are very entertaining to watch. That and I think the extra fish waste is important. The goby will patiently keep adjusting his perch towards the damsel and then tries to clean it; the damsel wants nothing to do with it and will dive into a nearby hole in the rock for a short moment every time.

 

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This morning, I turned off the CFL to see if I could get some clear shots of what the corals look like with just the pinktinics going. It was quite difficult; this is the only tolerable coral shot:

 

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Things are quite different in person than on camera, but that shot is still interesting.

 

I'm not sure if it's the pink or blue at play here, but Jaws Jr was sporting a different color scheme:

 

IMG-0783.thumb.JPG.8f8cfa4c280063197ca6716459aaccc3.JPG

 

His yellow stripe is fluorescent orange under the pinktinics - it looks a little pinkish in the photo, but in person it is brighter than neon tetra orange. He also tries to clean the phone if it gets close to the glass.

 

The damsel isn't even worth trying to focus on - it's bluer than blue.

 

I really like how the color looks on camera with the CFL and additional LEDs though - FTS for today:

 

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Lingwendil

That sump setup is wild, pretty cool setup!

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Joevember

I like the livestock choices you made, finally someone put fish in one of these!

Nice looking substrate too, very creative.

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748S911

Thank is looking sweet, love all the additions.

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Wonderboy

Thanks everyone! 

 

I have a handful of updates to share tonight:

 

I found and added another tiny feather duster attached to sea lettuce from a QT tank - I put this peice of macro in the back left corner of the DT where the UGFuge LEDs shine up through the HOB intake. I think that it's just bright enough back there for something that can tolerate lower light levels.

 

I further modified the glass top so that it can slide in or away without disturbing the return line. It looks like some kind of puzzle peice, but it's been way useful for quick access:

 

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I really needed some good light when working in here; setting the light aside was irritating, so I put together some sort of detachable hanging system for the light hood:

 

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I added a new resident today! I have been looking forward to this addition for a while:

 

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The damsel freaked when I added this. It hid for almost a half hour, then all of a sudden realized everything was still cool. Based off of characteristics, I'm going to name the damsel Twitch. Not sure of a name for the star... Kraken??

 

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FTS right before lights out:

 

image3.thumb.jpeg.3ebe1802f3b539923b8ecd1d299c2a56.jpeg

 

Goodnight! Hope everyone had a good weekend!

 

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seabass

It could be alright, but your fish's concerns might not be unfounded.  A small sleeping fish (especially in a small confined space), could possibly become a meal.

 

The sea star still looks pretty small.  How big is it?  I assume it'll outgrow your pico.  What are your long term plans for this cool, little creature?

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Wonderboy

Oh most definitely. It's pretty big actually, I'd say almost 8". I don't believe this is for anyone to attempt. I am not too concerned as the underglow makes it very easy to see in the tank at night and tossing some shrimp pellets or krill in sometime after lights out won't be too tedious for me. I don't usually sleep for much more than 3 hrs at a time, so it's important that I have things to occupy myself with in the middle of the night. Right now it is still laying under the rock with it's arms held rigidly across the substrate. If there are problems, I'll move it to another system or back in QT, but I think I'll be able to keep it content.

 

Edit: My plan for this system is considered overfeeding, so it is kind of king of the CUC. Also, IME brittles don't move much at all, especially when spot fed. I rarely saw them in my larger systems, so I'm trying one in this small system for a few reasons.

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Wendy

Wow, lots of equipment mods & interesting reef keeping concepts here!

 

I don't blame little 'Twitch', those stars give me the heebee jeebees when they extend their long spikey legs out from under rocks!

 

Pico is looking great & I really like the glowing color of your substrate (;

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Wonderboy

Thanks - haha yeah, I had been looking forward to upping the :blink:-factor in here.  :]  

 

Everything is still doing well so I added a greenish mushroom and some more zoas (rastas and bam bams). Also found a >1" segmented, sediment-dwelling worm in my 10G, so I turkey basted it and moved it to the rubble in this sump. Oh and some vayssierea felis just because they were easy to abduct, too.

 

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Here's some stock shots from today:

 

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Wonderboy

Sorry it's blurry, here's a shot of the brittle after lights out:

 

IMG_2542.thumb.jpg.792393d4686eef81a8e1605d120523d9.jpg

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ef4life

Your pico is looking good.

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Wonderboy
4 hours ago, ef4life said:

Your pico is looking good.

Thank you!

 

 

Mooore updates:

 

I'm 90% sure that the brittle ate a stomatella snail last night. I found the digested carcass of what seemed to once be a stomatella near the end of one of the star's arms. I am only 90% sure because I didn't feed anything that color to it last night and I can only assume it was a stomatella because of that reason and its exceptionally mucousy texture  👍   ...So, I may add some more if I don't see any naturally popping up in a few months.

 

I added a very small frag of blue clove polyps to the rubble of the sump - watching to see if these can adjust to indirect sunlight. Their potential purpose is particle removal - I have been thinking of adding a light back there.

 

I've noticed a massive pod population increase in the sump after dropping some 'pod fodder' (home made recipe) into the rubble compartment a few days ago and then noticed that the intake to the return pump was hardly accessible to them. I inserted some coarse filter/sponge between it and the glass so that microfauna can better find the vortex to the next world:

 

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I've been waiting for the BTA to figure out where it's going to park its boot before adding any more hard corals (current spot pending approval); there is also a hidden green leptastrea in the cracks of the rock somewhere (small frag, glued down in a crevace of the rock where light reaches, really difficult to photograph, can only wait until it start encrusting out and will have to just tell you it's still alive until then). In the meantime, I just took a couple shots of some zoa action:

 

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FTS this morning - You can hardly see what's going on at the top of the rock, even in person, so I will be modifying the hood so that it sits slightly angled to better provide light to all inhabitants:

 

IMG_2549.thumb.jpg.2170950c887ac2bc481ddf884991d43f.jpg

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Wonderboy

The brittle likes to hang out just outside of the rock after lights out; here's a pic of it peeking in the pico early this morning (Jaws Jr was trying to clean the camera) 

 

IMG_2567.thumb.jpg.bcf0834ebd54e1cc79cfec5238442188.jpg

 

Lights, cameras, creature feature:

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I moved all but one mushrooms to their likely-permanent postions (providing preffered lighting to each) - you can see most of them in the previous shot. I also added some uknown zoas to a couple dark areas of the rock and a single tiny pink diamond polyp in better light on the left side. 

 

Shot of the entire setup this evening:

 

IMG_2588.thumb.jpg.b9558576fff273a1c60e07c125748b9b.jpg

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allesluge

That glowing bottom is surreal. It reminds the people who walked on burning charcoal, very  nice setup.

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Wonderboy
3 hours ago, allesluge said:

That glowing bottom is surreal. It reminds the people who walked on burning charcoal, very  nice setup.

I appreciate the compliment :]   A while ago, I had actually noticed that the front red led strip's connection isn't secure and that it flickers every few seconds. I haven't taken the time to fix it because I was okay for the time being with it looking like live embers 😆

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