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The Rainy Day Aquarium

RDA's 4.1 Pico (It's a work in progress)

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Well well well, here we are again.

New tank, new build! Here's what we've got!

 

Equipment

Tank: Lifegard Aquatics Crystal AIO 4.1 gallon

Heater: Cobalt NeoTherm  25 watt

Light: Fluval Sea Marine Nano

Skimmer: DIY

Media Reactor: DIY

 

I picked up this aquarium on a sale (along with another small tank, but let's take one thing at a time 😉 ). This small "all in one" pico (or nano at the most) is only 4.1 gallons. Not as extreme as many of these crazy hooligans showing off their one gallon reef bowls, but this thing is pretty small nonetheless! Being an AIO, filtration will be taken care of with coarse foam and plastic bio media (these are stock supplies that came with the tank). With this aquarium being so small it's a little difficult to find equipment that will work/fit, but I ended up using a spare NeoTherm that I had lying around and I ordered an Asta 20 (the marine version) from amazon for lighting. I've read the controller for this light is a hot mess but the light seemed decent enough to fork out the $50 to get (I'll let you all know how I like it). 

 

Like mentioned in the list, I am planning on using a small media reactor and skimmer, both of which I'll be making (parts are in the mail). I've always liked the DIY aspect of the hobby and enjoy the challenge, but am more into making things that are not only functional, but have as much quality as I can muster (aka I'm not rolling with hot glue and water bottles). I'll probably make a separate thread on making these two pieces. 

 

Stocking will be kept to a minimum, being such a small volume of water, but I kind of want to keep that all a surprise until it comes in and everything is happy and doing fine. 

 

I've had a lot of experience keeping nano planted aquariums so small volumes of water are no issue with me, but I still have a lot to learn with this niche in the hobby and am excited to see what comes of it! 

 

Updates to come.

 

Thanks for stopping by!

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kimdawg

Nice looking tank, and I have the asta on my old school contest tank.  Several of the contest tanks are using that light and I love mine.  The control isn't that hard to use and I am very happy with the color and growth of the coral under it.  I can't wait to see what you do with your tank.

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Christopher Marks

I like these little Lifegard Aquatics Crystal all in one tanks, looking forward to seeing what you create @The Rainy Day Aquarium!

 

I like the sound of this DIY pico media reactor and skimmer you're working on, keep us posted!

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
On 6/24/2019 at 11:58 PM, kimdawg said:

Nice looking tank, and I have the asta on my old school contest tank.  Several of the contest tanks are using that light and I love mine.  The control isn't that hard to use and I am very happy with the color and growth of the coral under it.  I can't wait to see what you do with your tank.

I agree! it's a pretty sharp design. I've heard mixed things about the Asta 20s, but I think the negative comments come from people expecting a "high end" light for sub $50? Haha I've just started reading through the contest posts for the 2.5 (Behind the times a little I know😅). But I'm excited to see what everyone is putting out there! Your tank looks pretty on point too. 👌 good luck @kimdawg!

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
On 6/25/2019 at 1:23 PM, Christopher Marks said:

I like these little Lifegard Aquatics Crystal all in one tanks, looking forward to seeing what you create @The Rainy Day Aquarium!

 

I like the sound of this DIY pico media reactor and skimmer you're working on, keep us posted!

I really like them too! They even have those 45° mitered edges (Ooooo Awwwwee) 😂 I'm surprised I haven't seen more of them. Thanks @Christopher Marks! I have a few ideas in the works so I have some testing to do, but I'll for sure keep you all updated on how it turns out!

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MetaTank
1 hour ago, The Rainy Day Aquarium said:

I agree! it's a pretty sharp design. I've heard mixed things about the Asta 20s, but I think the negative comments come from people expecting a "high end" light for sub $50? Haha I've just started reading through the contest posts for the 2.5 (Behind the times a little I know😅). But I'm excited to see what everyone is putting out there! Your tank looks pretty on point too. 👌 good luck @kimdawg!

The asta is definitely worth the money. It's a nice little simple light, no frills. But it's easy to find a color you are aesthetically pleased with, and it'll grow some stuff. I'm using one too.

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Ratvan
56 minutes ago, MetaTank said:

The asta is definitely worth the money. It's a nice little simple light, no frills. But it's easy to find a color you are aesthetically pleased with, and it'll grow some stuff. I'm using one too.

+1 to the above. I bought one for the Pico and haven't looked back. It's a great little light for the money

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Okay this light is pretty cool.

 

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ReefCap

Slick set up! Can’t wait to see it all stocked up!!!

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SeaFurn

Looking good so far!

I have the same Lifegard tank and was about to set it up when this Old School Pico contest came up. So I started the 2.5 gal for the contest and the Lifegard tank is on hold for now. It’s a super nice tank.

Looking forward to seeing your DIY media reactor and skimmer! 

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MetaTank
5 hours ago, The Rainy Day Aquarium said:

Okay this light is pretty cool.

 

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Did you put the 60 degree lens in, or running it 180?

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
5 hours ago, SeaFurn said:

Looking good so far!

I have the same Lifegard tank and was about to set it up when this Old School Pico contest came up. So I started the 2.5 gal for the contest and the Lifegard tank is on hold for now. It’s a super nice tank.

Looking forward to seeing your DIY media reactor and skimmer! 

Thanks! Nice! I would have done the same but didn't get my rear in gear on a 2.5 for the contest so now this will have to suffice! I agree it's a really slick aquarium and was surprised about the back panel being glass. Kinda cool. When you get around to setting up yours let me know! The skimmer and reactor are going to be a challenge, but hopefully they'll come out okay...and actually work haha 😂

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
3 hours ago, MetaTank said:

Did you put the 60 degree lens in, or running it 180?

I tried both, but am probably going to go with the 60° lens given the display area is so small (about 12"×6"×8" L×W×H).

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MetaTank
39 minutes ago, The Rainy Day Aquarium said:

I tried both, but am probably going to go with the 60° lens given the display area is so small (about 12"×6"×8" L×W×H).

Thats what I did, it honestly makes a huge difference in the intensity of the light

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Ugh! Well we finally moved to our new apartment! Unfortunately I had to tear down my Nuvo 10 and I'm sad to say it's not going to be filled with water again anytime soon. But on the bright side I moved all of the coral into this tank (aka my 4.1 pico)! It's not what I had planned for it and it's just a temporary thing until I get the rest of everything unpacked and I have some time to really focus on this little tank. I have some scaping plans for it that I'm really excited about!

 

Some of my zoas grew onto a small piece of rock so all of that went in the pico. Today I just noticed that there is a "massive" feather duster poking its head out of that same rock which I was surprised to see and took me off gaurd for a second haha, but its fun to watch. Also, right before the move my Interstellar Mushroom decided to get up and leave; I just threw him in the pico and it has yet to attach its foot to anything. It's just rolling around but seems happy and has great color which makes me laugh. Kind of a derpy thing. 🙃 

 

Over all the move went well and everything is safe and...well...cozy in their new pico. My reefing situation will probably stay small for the foreseeable future as my wife and I will be moving around quite a bit for my schooling. But even she enjoys the new little pico and I occassionally catch her staring at it haha. Anyways more to come, thanks for stopping by!

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Just wanted to give an update on what's going on with everything in this tank!

A lot has changed since my last post, I actually have a rock scape now so that's good😁 I also picked up a few more corals (darn LFS keeps tempting me with good sales haha). And to top it all off I picked up a *tiny* Yellow Rose Antenna Goby along with a candy cane pistol shrimp. I spent a great deal of time trying to figure out the live stock for this reef and finally decided on these two as a pair. They are a great deal of fun to watch and they both have such personalities even though they have never strayed more than a few inches from their burrow (which the shrimp is never satisfied with)! My wife named them Timon and Pumbaa which I think sums up how they act too haha. I did have a Golden Cristata torch die on me, it wasn't looking so good to begin with, but I cracked down on my water quality and replaced it with a new one and it looks a lot better. In fact, all the coral are doing great! Except that one interstellar mushroom that still hasn't attached it's foot to anything yet...idk :happydance: Other than maybe moving around a few corals I think that pretty much sums it up for this tank for now. The pico reactor and skimmer are coming I promise, also a screen lid becuase...well....goby.... I just have no time with work and school (but who needs sleep, right? 🙃)

 

Anyways, thanks for stopping by, and make it a great day!

 

 

 

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