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limadiener

My challenging pico

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limadiener

Hello everyone, I'm Diener from Brazil and I'm new to this forum. I already have a 50 gallon cichlid tank with mbunas for almost 10 years and recently I started to be brought to the saltwater world by a friend of mine. I decided to build a pico tank for two reasons: lack of space at home and I because I find the pico tanks are more challenging than bigger tanks and for this reason, when well built, they tend to be even more aesthetically appealing to me. And also, because I'm crazy! haha

 

I had a 3 galon tank at home from the old days when I had a betta aquarium (lived for 5 years, RIP) and I thought, why not? I bought a simple hang on filter on the internet and a LED light fixture, added aragonita on the bottom from my mbuna tank and also the rocks are from the large aquarium. I washed and rinsed these rocks and aragonita very well before adding them. 

 

The tank cycled for 5 weeks before I add some corals to it and everything is working fine, although I'm having trouble with the power had placement and the light, which is too white (more informations below).

 

IMG_3552.thumb.jpg.6816c98d60bcd74b9477caa29aecb846.jpg
 

 

(front view)

 

Equipment:

 

Tank: 30x15x20 Glass

Heater: Cheap-o 25w

Filter: Sunsun HBL-302 90galons / h

Media: I took out the cartridges that came with the filter and filled it with Seachen Matrix and floss for mechanical filtration

Flow: HBO Power Head 50galons / h

 

Livestock - Clean Up Crew

1 Turbo Snail

2 Red legged hermit crab

 

Corals:

GSP

Zoanthus

Cloves

Mushrooms (brown, red and blue)

Torch Cristata

Leather Green

Palythoas

 

Water Parameters (testes from LFS)

PH 8,0

Salinity 1.026

Amonia 0,016 ppm

NO2 0,5 ppm

PO4 2,0 mg/l

KH 10

Ca 400

Mg 1.475

(I make salt water with salt from Red Sea)

 

As I said, I built the tank 5 weeks ago and it’s pretty new and not perfectly cicled yet (although ammonia levels are quite low already). The plan was not to add the clean up crew but I had an algae problem earlier and had to add them and they have done a great work in keeping the tank clean.

In general I’m having two main problems right now:

 

1. Temperature

The temperature here where I live is pretty high right now, ranging from 80 - 90º F and inevitably the water heats up and it’s hard to maintain the correct temperature inside the tank, actually don’t know what to do.

2. Light

I bought a cheap lighting on the internet that was meant to be put on planted and seawater aquariums (10W). But I find that it’s too bright and white which results in not so nice colors on the corals and a bad aspect to the tank (don’t know how to better explain). To remedy this I put a blue kind of plastic (just forgot its name in English now) and it improved a lot the aspect of the tank but I know it’s not the best solution. But right now I can’t buy a better (and expensive) lighting.

 

Anyways, that’s my project and tank. I hope you all help me with better understanding how to better care for the tank, which I find it’s very beautiful and looks like it has some good potential.

 

Thanks!

 

What I had to do with the light:

1.thumb.jpg.f1eee91ba2dca716cfadf5fe2ca75348.jpg

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debbeach13

Welcome to NR. Nice little tank. I like that you were patient with the cycle. Having a friend in the hobby is great. Good luck with your tank.

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Seadragon
1 hour ago, limadiener said:

1. Temperature

The temperature here where I live is pretty high right now, ranging from 80 - 90º F and inevitably the water heats up and it’s hard to maintain the correct temperature inside the tank, actually don’t know what to do.


Sounds to me like you need an Aquarium Chiller coupled with a thermostat to maintain an appropriate water temperature.  Otherwise, the water may get too hot and you’ll experience issues or even deaths.

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JBM

A fan blowing across the top of the tank will help with temperature. However, your water loss will (evaporation) will increase dramatically. You will need a auto top off unit. Even a simple mechanical one will work.

 

None of your coral are showing signs of stress. Your light is fine for now till you save $ for a proper spectrum light. A single par38 from tune blue would work nicely.

 

Slow and steady. Your off to a decent start.

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limadiener

Hello everyone, thought I'd post some update to the thread. Here we go!

 

First of all, I've kept the same light for now, but I finally bought a timer. Previously I was turning on and off manually, now it's automatic and the photo period is consistent. 

 

I also bought a little fan for the hot days. It fits perfectly on the top of the tank and is pretty efficient in keeping the temperature down. I have to control it manually when needed, which is not a problem because the tank seats in my desk and I work from home so I'm constantly keeping an eye on it.

 

I did a little mush garden here and they are looking really awesome!

 

IMG_3879.thumb.jpeg.9c8930ef439d2e640ed95b3dda04d9d0.jpeg

 

And here are some of the other corals that are better looking better each day and very different from when I started (see first post). My zoas were loosing color and the dark one went closed for 2 weeks but now it's been coming back and the color is also coming back, which makes me pretty happy!

 

IMG_3880.thumb.jpeg.22a486c6e1bb292c79383e9732856ee8.jpeg

 

Here is the front of the tank. The Kenya Trees are also growing fast, and look at what I did with the GSP frag! I glued it to the back glass in hopes that it will take over the back of the tank hahaha. I don't know if it is too crazy of an idea, but the coral itself is looking good and growing, so I guess it's just a matter of time until my GSP filled wall comes true!

 

IMG_3882.thumb.jpeg.ed2ff3522dd4dfb4a1fff8927e2eac41.jpeg

 

I haven't been having too much trouble with algae, I've been going 90% water changes weekly though, just to be sure the water is in good condition. 

And here's the tank from a distance. I'm loving it! Also, the power head I found is really really perfect. It's small, doesn't make too much noise and makes a PERFECT flow for all the corals. I'm afraid I'll never find another one like it if this one breaks.

 

IMG_3877.thumb.jpeg.9f4024abfbb521702df89e3518738af8.jpeg

 

I've been wondering though, if I should keep the Leather coral. I know it can reach enormous size, so I'm afraid it will take over the tank and be a negative thing. Also, I've thinking about adding more corals (I'm kind of addicted now haha), maybe even glueing some (like mush corals, for example) in the glass, (sides and back), I haven't seen people doing this, so I don't know if it's too crazy.

 

Anyway, thanks for following, I'll be looking forward to your replies!

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SeaFurn

Neat little tank. I like that you put the GSP on the back wall. It will look great when it takes over. I also love the mushrooms. I have some ricordia that I really like. 

 

Do you put the fan above the tank so it blows across the top of it and cools it? 

 

I don’t know much about leathers but I do know they get big like you said and can shed wreaking havoc in the tank. Maybe I’m just scared of them but If it were my tank, I’d probably avoid it. There are lots of other really cool choices and I’m looking forward to seeing what you go with. 

 

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karisma

May i suggest an asta 20 led light. They are fairly cheap.

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limadiener
On 2/14/2020 at 9:15 PM, SeaFurn said:

Neat little tank. I like that you put the GSP on the back wall. It will look great when it takes over. I also love the mushrooms. I have some ricordia that I really like. 

 

Do you put the fan above the tank so it blows across the top of it and cools it? 

 

I don’t know much about leathers but I do know they get big like you said and can shed wreaking havoc in the tank. Maybe I’m just scared of them but If it were my tank, I’d probably avoid it. There are lots of other really cool choices and I’m looking forward to seeing what you go with. 

 

 

Thank you SeaFurn! Yeah, I've discovered I love the mushrooms and every time I go to a fish store, those are the ones I'll be looking for the most. GSP on the back, I'm curious to see it developing! 

 

Yeah, the fan blows to the top of the water, like this:

 

IMG_3883.thumb.jpeg.8d290051c71bb3169b3b6bfd5457fa12.jpeg

 

About the leather, yeah, I've thinking about It and I'll probably keep for some more time to see how it goes, but I'll definitely keep an eye on it.

 

Thanks!

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limadiener
On 2/15/2020 at 8:27 AM, karisma said:

May i suggest an asta 20 led light. They are fairly cheap.

 

Hello karisma, thank you for the suggestion. I'm already doing some research on this light and it seems like it's the perfect option. 

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karisma
On 2/16/2020 at 11:11 AM, limadiener said:

 

Hello karisma, thank you for the suggestion. I'm already doing some research on this light and it seems like it's the perfect option. 

Its a really good choice. Its like sixty bucks has full spectrum and a remote control for the different channels. I've had mine running for over a month now and love it.

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limadiener

Hello everyone, time to do some updates! I decided to experiment with having no filter. I was using a hang on since the beginning but the pump of this specific filter sits inside the aquarium, taking up a lot of space. I decided to take it out and see how this would change the parameters. Two weeks later, the water is actually cleaner with lower phosphates even! So, no filter anymore, just the tiny power head to give me some flow. I have more space now, which is very important here.

 

And the most important change, the light. I finally bought the Spectra Aqua Knight 36w, second generation. Been running since yesterday and it's perfect: has nice schedule controls, sunrise and sunset and brought really beautiful colors to the tank. A really nice improvement. Some pictures:

 

IMG_4378.thumb.jpeg.a720ab84aebc1b306797f5418e7e20e8.jpeg

 

IMG_4379.thumb.jpeg.44f32fdcf7c0a8570956e19b9f51b733.jpeg

 

IMG_4380.thumb.jpeg.b058641fbeb9f77dd0c4400d8d0c87f1.jpeg

 

IMG_4381.thumb.jpeg.82c34158e30e349b851dcf1de3c4efe1.jpeg

 

IMG_4382.thumb.jpeg.0fc6bb200409fb63257fd94df43bd03a.jpeg

 

IMG_4383.thumb.jpeg.384e7c4a8a87a432ef83738c78210289.jpeg

 

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smirkis

nice tank! and nice light upgrade. I had the same light over my 10gal but over time it wasn't enough for me but seems plenty for your setup. keep the light clean if you can. not sure why but after a while the first channel which is purple/blue went out on me so i had to swap it out.

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limadiener
3 minutes ago, smirkis said:

nice tank! and nice light upgrade. I had the same light over my 10gal but over time it wasn't enough for me but seems plenty for your setup. keep the light clean if you can. not sure why but after a while the first channel which is purple/blue went out on me so i had to swap it out.

Thanks for the advice! By cleaning you mean the top the light of the lens itself? 

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Tired

I would probably not add many, if any, more corals. Everything is going to take up a lot of space when it grows out. Unless, of course, you get a bigger tank along with them!

 

Looks really nice. No filter can work fine in saltwater aquariums, as you have all the live rock to filter instead. I just have a couple of floss pads in mine, mostly to keep snails from getting into the filtration area.

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smirkis
20 minutes ago, limadiener said:

Thanks for the advice! By cleaning you mean the top the light of the lens itself? 

just try to keep the top area and fan clean. don't let salt build up if you can help it. and the bottom part where the mount is has metal inside. just be sure to watch the bolt area to make sure it doesn't start rusting up real bad. and have fun!

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limadiener
22 minutes ago, Tired said:

I would probably not add many, if any, more corals. Everything is going to take up a lot of space when it grows out. Unless, of course, you get a bigger tank along with them!

 

Looks really nice. No filter can work fine in saltwater aquariums, as you have all the live rock to filter instead. I just have a couple of floss pads in mine, mostly to keep snails from getting into the filtration area.

Yeah, I’m already thinking about getting a 5-6gal tank. Same setup, I think my light still would be able to deal with it, but with sand bottom and a back sump. 
 

8 minutes ago, smirkis said:

just try to keep the top area and fan clean. don't let salt build up if you can help it. and the bottom part where the mount is has metal inside. just be sure to watch the bolt area to make sure it doesn't start rusting up real bad. and have fun!

 

thanks for the tips, I’ll be doing that, for sure. 

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