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The Rainy Day Aquarium

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

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kimdawg

You have nothing to be jealous of.  I started with fully cycled rock out of my 75 and have been adding lots of tiny 1-3 polyp frags to it.  It has been up 6 months now and I feed the corals something almost every day to encourage good color and quick growth.  Your tank has a variety of corals that are placed to show off their color, size, growth patterns, and individual beauty.  I envy the look and openness that you have going on in your tank.

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

@kimdawg thank you for the kind words. I suppose, and that's understandable. I'm not in the pico contest, but am really enjoying what you and others are able to pull off in such small aquariums and I take a lot of inspiration from them. Keep up the great work! 😊

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Wow. It has been one hot minute since I wrote an update on how the the 4.1 is doing! I blame the holidays 😉

 

The Lifegard 4.1 gallon is chugging along! However it really has taken a beating and a half. Back last fall we had some little friends decide to set up shop in our basement living room 🐭🐭🐭 I had to disinfect a lot of things as result of finding their cozy little home in our couch, but as I was using cleaners, like a rookie, I didn't even think to cover my aquarium and long story short my reef crashed, hard, having absorbed an unhealthy amount of cleaning agents. Most of my livestocked were dispatched and a few prized coral were gone by the next morning. I quickly did several water changes and put a ridiculous amount of carbon in and I managed to save the remanding coral from certian death.

 

I felt sick as through my neglect killed so many wonderful coral and animals. But I suppose it is a great lesson for me to be more mindful of such a sensitive piece of nature I keep in a tiny glass box. 

 

As one could imagine I had an a horrific (and quite impressive) algae bloom due to the excess nutrients in the water and having my tank parameters go off the rails. With steady water changes though, I managed to get things under control about a month later, however bubble algae and hair algae had rooted in so thick It has been hard to eradicate let alone even put a dent in it. Since there are no fish in the tank anymore my feeding has been greatly reduced as the only inhabitant now is my lonely pistol shrimp.

 

In any case I would say now would be a great time to tear down the tank and start over, but with anything in the hobby there are ups and downs. I just happen to be in a "down" right now 😐 I decided to stick it out and try to get things back to a healthy and happy state. *click* <--me bucking in for a long ride--🤠 It's going to take some serious time but I'll get there. Right now I'm dosing vibrant with regular water changes and picking out as much algae as I can. Things are starting to look better but it's still quite the project! Anyways, that's what I got for you all! Below is a wonderful FTS! 😅😳😱😨

 

Thanks for stopping by and happy reefing!

 

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TatorTaco

Vibrant just recently popped up on my radar and I've really been considering it.  I just assumed it was snake oil but found a great video BRS did on it awhile back which (to me) seemed to legitimize it.  How has Vibrant been working out for you so far?  

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
3 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Vibrant just recently popped up on my radar and I've really been considering it.  I just assumed it was snake oil but found a great video BRS did on it awhile back which (to me) seemed to legitimize it.  How has Vibrant been working out for you so far?  

I was on the fence about it too. Even the labeling on it seemed to claim quite a bit. But I gave in and said what the heck? I don't expect it to fix all my problems, but I am using it in conjunction to water changes, manual cleaning, etc. I've only started dosing this week so I can't give an honest review yet. I'm using near the maximum recomended dosage and all my coral seem fine. I'll make sure to keep a log and report in a week or two on how things are going! 👍

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TatorTaco

I'd definitely be interested to read how it works out for you.  I have GHA that exclusively grows over my GSP and I'd love to have them open back up after months of being irritated. 

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Okay so after a few weeks this is how the 4.1 is doing with bubble algae dosing with vibrant:

20200229175621_IMG_5377.thumb.JPG.11e8371f2567eceebd5fef218cc95242.JPG

 

Overall, bubble algae has died back. Just for fun I haven't done any water changes during this period just to show the effects of just dosing vibrant (given mileage may vary). After about two weeks most of the bubble algae turned clear, however there are other algaes that seem to be thriving.

20200229175630_IMG_5378.thumb.JPG.f4ed5b98b2a4e242477f30e68182e26b.JPG I blame myself for not doing a water change for a while. In all I think if you have an algae problem this will be an okay solution in addition to water changes and manual removal to help get on top of a very dirty reef, but this product shouldn't be the exlcusive treatment. I'll continue to dose vibrant with my regular cleaning schedule and hopefully here in a month or two we'll be back on track! 😊 

 

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TatorTaco

I've also been dosing vibrant for a few weeks now.  I've noticed that some bubble algae appear to be losing their color while others are still dark green.  Maybe after another few weeks I'll have similar results? 

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
On 3/2/2020 at 12:05 PM, TatorTaco said:

I've also been dosing vibrant for a few weeks now.  I've noticed that some bubble algae appear to be losing their color while others are still dark green.  Maybe after another few weeks I'll have similar results? 

I'm at 5 weeks dosing and still counting. Not all the bubble aldae is dead but I'd say 95% is gone now. It takes a while, but with water changes it helps you get on top of everything👍

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

I finished dosing vibrant. A lot of the bubble algae is gone, but I mostly stopped because almost all of my remaining zoas dissolved. I'm not sure if it was due to dosing vibrant or to other things but I have heard of people having issues with it melting everything in their tank? I'm now moving on to dealing with hair algae (which isn't too bad) and some bryopsis. But I think with just manual removal and weekly water changes things will get under control. I've always had issue keeping LPS in this tank especially hammers and torches so that's my goal is to be able to keep them without issue. I have a ways to go before I get there though I think. 🙃 

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Gravity
1 hour ago, The Rainy Day Aquarium said:

I finished dosing vibrant. A lot of the bubble algae is gone, but I mostly stopped because almost all of my remaining zoas dissolved. I'm not sure if it was due to dosing vibrant or to other things but I have heard of people having issues with it melting everything in their tank? I'm now moving on to dealing with hair algae (which isn't too bad) and some bryopsis. But I think with just manual removal and weekly water changes things will get under control. I've always had issue keeping LPS in this tank especially hammers and torches so that's my goal is to be able to keep them without issue. I have a ways to go before I get there though I think. 🙃 

Bad luck on the vibrant.  Haven’t used it myself but heard mostly good things about it beside some SPS bleaching and refugium issues. Wouldn’t have thought Zoas would melt. 

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raul lopez

What happened To the lumini asta 20?

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
On 4/30/2020 at 10:50 PM, raul lopez said:

What happened To the lumini asta 20?

Sorry for the late reply. I swapped it out for a Fluval Nano Sea Marine 3.0 fixture. I'm not sure if it's per say a "better" light, but it definitely has more control in regards to spectrum and general features. 

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Reefkid88

How is the battle with Bryopsis ? My last tank about 2 years ago,it was so bad I just broke the tank down. I would get it gone for about a week,then BOOM I would come home from work and there would be clumps growing EVERYWHERE !!! 

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
3 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

How is the battle with Bryopsis ? My last tank about 2 years ago,it was so bad I just broke the tank down. I would get it gone for about a week,then BOOM I would come home from work and there would be clumps growing EVERYWHERE !!! 

We moved a few weeks ago and I ended up just tearing it down, so I'm glad to report that the bryopsis is now gone 😉 (I know I cheated there haha). I have this tank up and running again, but life right now is incredibly busy so it's been kind of slow starting it all back up. Hopefully here soon I will actually have some rockwork and a new scape finished for it!

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Okay I figured it's about time for an official update on this tank. 😅

 

We are settling in from moving into our new place and I have found it hard to find time in the day to work on my tanks tank. However, things are starting to settle down and I have been having a little more free time to give much needed TLC to my now lonely little reef tank. I have sold all of my other aquariums to better manage my time and in preparation for possibly getting a new, larger AIO aquarium (spoiler alert :ninja:) . Most of my coral have died due to tanks crashing or other issues. I do have a few frags of zoas left, but other than those I am pretty much starting with a fresh slate.

 

With that in mind I have deep cleaned the tank (getting all the leftovers out from my bubble algae/briopsis fiasco), and put in fresh substrate and am now waiting on a small order of dry rock to come in the mail. I recently have taken a liking to Caribsea's Life Rock Frag Zone pieces in lieu of regular dry rock. This product is more meant for attaching coral frags to, but I have found it to be rather attractive for scaping smaller tanks. Also, it looks a little better in comparison to regular white dry rock IMO. For some reason, my go to type of scape is just an arch, but I would like to try something different this time around so I've been hunting around for some nifty looking scapes for inspiration. 

 

I have also replaced my Fluval Sea Marine Nano with the Asta 20 again. Haha I know I know, I said I think the Fluval is better but it's just underpowered for what I have in mind for this little tank. I don't have much else to report on at this time. I'm just waiting for things to cycle and settle down before I start putting in coral. 

 

Thanks for stopping by and happy reefing!

 

PSX_20200829_200606.thumb.jpg.0d3f79450e8d94cb26d705b2aea93bdd.jpg

...and then there was one...

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Rock scape is in!

 

Although I still have a lot of work to do with it. I left a lot of negative space as I'll be relying heavily on the coral to be more of the "structure". My zoas are making a come back as well as my GSP. I really need to do an inventory on what corals I actually have in here haha 😅

 

IMG_20200909_214316_347.thumb.jpg.e6851f1dba2bcbaa96a992ba7a503409.jpg

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Things are starting to pick up pace!....well, kind of. 

 

The last few weeks have been just watching, and waiting. Haha lots of that in this hobby eh? All of the zoas are doing great. When I put them in this tank they were all in pretty poor shape. Honestly all of my coral were; I had so many casualties (it was a rough move haha). Until today I thought it was the end of watching things die, until I found my lifeless pom pom crab halfway through a molt (I snatched his last little anemone and attatched it onto a rock to remember him 😭) I'm not sure what happened to the little guy? To be honest I'm not sure how old he was either so maybe it was just his time. Or rather he just got stuck in his molt and..well...yeah died 😅. Who knows. 

 

That was the bad news. Other than that things have slowly been coloring up and are now doing well! Today I needed to drop my wife off at the school that she teaches at for an activity, so I decided that I "needed" to go to my LFS to "look at" some stuff 😅😉 it seems like it's been forever since I stopped by. Anyways, I was on the hunt for some Acans and maybe some sps. My budget is tighter than tight right now so I wasn't getting my hopes up that I would find anything in my price range as I was planning on picking up a pair of baby clowns.

 

As luck would have it I did find some nice orange/blue Acans as well as an SPS frag that I have already forgotten the name of 😅😬 (but hey it looks pretty and it was dirt cheap 😎). With that detour, I did indeed pick up my two *tiny* baby clowns. The owner of my LFS is an awesome guy and also gave me a solid deal on a fish that I have been eyeing for a while now and since I was under my budget I pulled the trigger and got the teeny tiny little guy --more on that at a later date 😊

 

In all I am super happy with how this little pico is now coming along. It definitely has changed a lot since I first started it up, but in some cases going through a crash and now taking things slow has been almost a good thing in a weird way. Life has been crazy busy for me as I'm sure it has been for all of you, but being able to come home at night and take a moment to stare at a tiny piece of the ocean that sits on my bookshelf is calming amazement. An aspect of life I'm sure we can all relate to being in this hobby.

 

Hope all is well with everyone!

Happy reefing and as always thanks for stopping by!

 

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Daniel92481

Cool tank and setup! I just bought the exact one and will be setting up soon. What is the difference between the drain plug and filter plug? I put the drain plug on mine, but I see you have the other. 

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The Rainy Day Aquarium
2 hours ago, Daniel92481 said:

Cool tank and setup! I just bought the exact one and will be setting up soon. What is the difference between the drain plug and filter plug? I put the drain plug on mine, but I see you have the other. 

Thank you! It's a fun little tank for sure.

It really depends on how you want your flow in the tank. Others with this specific aquarium (or I suppose any other AIO aquarium made by Lifegard) have expressed issues with overflowing the display when the plug is used instead of the strainer (especially when using an upgraded or higher flow pump as the return). It has been debated a little in this thread which I recommend checking out as I'm sure others ( @Break @TatorTaco @clownfish14 @SeaFurn )can voice their opinion/ideas/experiences: 

As for myself, I have always used the strainer as I believe it helps reduce the buildup of detritus near the bottom of the aquarium. I have noticed the water flow favors the bottom strainer instead of the top overflow, but there is still enough flow to keep film on the surface from building up. Notice I do have the stock return pump running on my tank, but I am also running two micro pumps inside the display for increased flow as using just the stock return pump is a little weak in a reef type application. Excited that you are starting a reef (especially with the Lifegard 4.1 😁) be sure to start a journal or post in the Official Lifegard Aquarium Club page as we all like to see what unique setups everyone has! 😁

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Daniel92481

Sounds good! I appreciate the clarifying response. I think I will change the plug out for the strainer. I plan to set up possibly on Wednesday. I have a Nuvo 40 that I plan to break down before I start this project. I will make sure to start a thread here. Thanks again! Also, where can I find that pico contest y’all were referring to? 👍🏼

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The Rainy Day Aquarium

Yeah for sure! If you have any more questions we're all here to help! 😊 Wow from 40 to 4 gallons is quite change! Good luck with everything!

 

Ah yes the contest! It can be found here: 

 

 

 

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Daniel92481

Awesome! I appreciate it. Yea, so definitely a big difference between the 40 and 4 lol. I’ve always been interested in a tiny mature reef tank. Maybe it’s the challenge of keeping parameters in line, or just the beauty of a simplified K.I.S.S. tank. I’m sure I will definitely have some more questions for you once I get going. Thanks again. It’s people like you that really make internet communities great. Here’s some pics of my 40. Most, but not all corals are sold. I plan to put the remaining ones in this pico. Thanks for looking! 3BEA6B6A-C71A-4942-9F46-D8C9776E04C0.thumb.jpeg.286d3041643045926bcd6066a7411970.jpegCA5FD29D-55C3-42C7-8707-AE71854D6922.thumb.jpeg.26e48643c9a5caa39b2334479be3a827.jpegD97C198F-1364-47D9-AEC2-669906237D44.thumb.jpeg.5c1d60192b2939bbc841699294bdb257.jpeg

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SeaFurn
On 9/28/2020 at 8:06 PM, Daniel92481 said:

Sounds good! I appreciate the clarifying response. I think I will change the plug out for the strainer. I plan to set up possibly on Wednesday. I have a Nuvo 40 that I plan to break down before I start this project. I will make sure to start a thread here. Thanks again! Also, where can I find that pico contest y’all were referring to? 👍🏼

Like @The Rainy Day Aquarium , I also used the bottom strainer but I partially plugged it and adjusted the flow strength setting on the pump to get an amount of water through the top overflow that I was happy with. I was using a Cobalt MJ606 pump. Doing it that way gave me enough flow with with the return pump that I didn’t need any additional pumps inside the tank. I was running the tank bare bottom and the lower strainer did help keep the bottom of the tank pretty clean. 

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Daniel92481

Thanks for the info. I tried to put the strainer on, but it wouldn’t fit at all. My only option was the plug at this point lol. I broke down my Nuvo 40 today and placed the remaining corals and inverts in it today. I want to start a thread, but not sure where to post it at? Here is a pic of the current setup! 

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9539C96C-A659-48D0-9EFD-0A43098B5FD4.jpeg

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