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Wonderboy's UGFuge 2.5G Pico


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So, I was feeling pretty bad for the cloves in the sump... I decided to play around with the lighting options around the house. Well one of them would fit so nicely that it would be silly not to do it; I'm going forward with the lightning of the rubble/sump project. 

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2 hours ago, Ratvan said:

fairly sure that was a typo

😆  Yes a typo, and thank you for the compliment and good laugh   :]



Teaser of sump light hood (to contain the violent brightness of the little light as it's near eye level):




OH. At this point, I'm 100% sure that the brittle ate a stomatella:




Cleaned out like a steamed mussel.

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13 minutes ago, This guy is extra salty said:

That shark nose and monster brittlestar

I know who'd win that face off. :scarry:

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I would say the fish will have to be very ill. Jaws Jr is fast and slippery, unlike a snail - also this brittle entirely refuses krill and pellets. It will only take mysis and brine to its mouth (hoping it prefers smaller prey); of which I am feeding almost like one might feed their 20Gs (WCs are too easy so why not)... was planning a feeding video soon. It's also not a green brittle, it's reddish - I just don't see it happenning, but fingers are still crossed it's a gentle giant 😁

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Sump LED hood ready to go:




(1/8" closet slot, wood glue, black engine enamel, aluminum tape, super glue, too much time)



Here's the light:




(A JIC purchase from Ebay a while ago - it was cheap - impulse buy? Maybe...)



Here's basically what it was doing to anyone's face nearby:





This is the pico's new rear view with the hood in place:




(Threw in the extra carbon cartridges once intended for the original UGF) 









It was all in the name of clove:




(And macro, there's some macro in there, too)  👍

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Figured I'd show everyone this ridiculous cord puzzle:




I'm still "hiding" it with pothos  😅





The brittle star right now:




It's basically saying, "Feed me, Seymore!" :lol:

On it, but hoping it doesn't want blood one day.... :huh:

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The BTA was looking really disheveled, small and flat this morning. I hadn't decided yet whether I should be concerned or not, and then another one appeared from behind the rock this afternoon. 👍  It must have split sometime last night (hard to photograph through small phyto bloom right now 😁). I'm giving them a little recovery time and then moving one back to the pico jar where it came from.

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It was a little tricky getting both BTAs visible in the same frame (had to manually illuminate the one on the glass - sorry it's all blurry), but:



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I was able to get another shot of both BTAs; the one in the back came slidin' out sporting its new nem-shoe just now:






Of course, I will be taking this opportunity to remove this one  

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Earlier, I moved the snail and anemone to a collection cup and came back not 5 minutes later to the snail doing the work without me - it was starting to lift the BTA out of the water. Look at the determination in those eye balls:





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The brittle has been a model citizen so far - this specimen is 90% statuesque, even at night when it slightly exposes itself. It is really entertaining to watch it converyor belt things under the rock. Jaws Jr has no problem biting his arms whenever they get too close to wherever he is perched (has a few go-to spots), and the brittle immediatlely retreats or slowly repositions the limb. I have seen the damsel bite the brittle arms, too, but much less often.



It's now day 3 for this addition - moved it over from my 10G - it's still not too pleased about it though:





Employee of the month:




Jaws Jr has displayed exceptional service as the front panel greeter and is also a great co-habitant mediator.



I do wish there was a way to share here how coral looks in person under the pinktinics - the colors are very popping in here; even the no-name zoas in dark places have more appeal here than I have seen in other systems. I think it shows off color much better than any of my other actinic equipment. You really would have to see it to know what I mean...




FTS for today:



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Still a few stomatella in here - the brittle seems uninterested with the larger ones, or maybe I've been feeding sufficiently:



No changes with the goniopora - it will just be open only a little for the first half of a day. Not spot feeding as it didn't seem to care for that in the 10G. Regularly dosing phyto and feeding pods fodder:



Double photo bomb:


Both these fish try to tackle me or something whenever I get close to the glass (phone/hand/face).

They are way more interactive than I had expected.


Installed a new surface skimmer:


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Just started reading through this thread. Great pico you've got here @Wonderboy! I love that snail-riding 'nem; it's like he was reading your mind and just wanted to make moving a bit easier for you. 😄


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2 hours ago, MetaTank said:

Dang, that brittle star is a monster!!!


1 hour ago, billygoat said:

it's like he was reading your mind

No kidding though! Should I be worried about this?? :lol:  Thank you, I really appreciate the compliment!

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I took a video of the pod fodder in the sump today - will get that up here shortly.


Jaws Jr's appetite matches his name... 



The little bubble tips are still shaping up, but doing well.


The mushrooms were content all day today (duncan too); had to take a picture:



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I also have some brittle star videos that are worth sharing so I'll get those up as soon as I can.




Brown and hair algae growing like crazy in the sump. Just going to let it happen. Eventually it will have to comepete with the chaeto (in the UGFuge - no, I haven't checked on it; yes, soon) and sea lettuce (in sump and DT, growing well). I might move one of the now 3 blue leg hermits in the DT back there, we'll see. There is some gracilaria taking off, red turf algae doing well, and small clumping red algae addition growing well-ish all in the sump, too.


I added a micro brittle (quick to find under frags in the 10G) to the rubble in the sump for even more CUC-ness. While watching it scurry, I noticed a huge bristle worm in the rubble as well; it surprised me because I used all dry rock and dry, bagged shells in the sump. I have no clue how this weaseled its way back there, but welcome aboard to yet another extension of the CUC.


The display has been staying pretty clean - there is green algae growing everywhere including on the substate. The snails have kept the glass completely clean though; I think that because of all the different locations for algaes to grow in this system is why I seriously haven't had to use the mag-float at all (used it once to check for obstruction :rolleyes:). That and Twitch eats every single pod he sees on the glass like it's his hobby - otherwise it would probably look like the glass in the sump, so I appreciate the extra effort he puts in...


Things are doing well still - performing a WC every 3 - 4 days or so just to keep the phyto from getting too turbid. I have been watching certain parameters (iodine, KH) between WCs to brew up particular top-off water for this system - already installed the shelf above the pico for a resevoir. Waiting for certain verfications and then I can get to more plumping and equipment shenanigans.


Update's not complete without a photo:




That's the overflow behind the arms at the top - it likes to pull all the detritus and old food that gets stuck up there; I check often, but I haven't had to clear the overflow once. It's possible that this is why. Right, because of his appetite, we have been calling the brittle Audrey II around here.

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Oh man, look at those pods go to town! That's a 'fuge to die for. 😄


Seeing things like that really makes me want to get a 'fuge going on my own system. It's almost certainly not needed for nutrient export since I have nothing but a bunch of macros, but those pods... a reef's just not the same without them. 😢


That brittle star seems like an industrious fellow, always helping out around the tank... sort of nightmarish though, in its own beautiful brittle star way.

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15 hours ago, billygoat said:

Oh man, look at those pods go to town! That's a 'fuge to die for. 😄


Seeing things like that really makes me want to get a 'fuge going on my own system. It's almost certainly not needed for nutrient export since I have nothing but a bunch of macros, but those pods... a reef's just not the same without them. 😢


That brittle star seems like an industrious fellow, always helping out around the tank... sort of nightmarish though, in its own beautiful brittle star way.

You're right - a reef just isn't the same. I always try to incorporate an area where pods can reproduce unchallenged by predators (I do the same in my FW systems). I was pleased to be able to expand on this little system because I was once worried that the UGFuge alone was minimal area to properly populate such a small volume all the time (especially with fish); not to mention, I like to be able to feed just the pods once a week on all systems, so I really appreciated the 1000x better access with the addition of the once sump (I do suppose it's a 'fuge now since adding the light :happy:). I absolutely recommend adding an area just for microfauna - dooo it!   :]


The brittle star keeps me curious (concerned?), too - I frequently stop whatever I'm doing just to check if it's up to anything strange. Very much most of the time, it's sitting still almost entirely concealed. Very little of the time it seems to be shifting position slightly. Very rarely, it's sprawled or crawling all over everything or sitting in a spot I didn't think it would be. Very, very amusing critter.

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Awesome tank! I love the brittle.... I will never be brave enough to try one but looks like yours is behaving himself.

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