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Aclman's Petco Pico

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FTS 1/30/2020




  • Petco Imagiatrium 3.7 AOI
  • Removed the sump area entirely to make more room for rock and coral.





Frank the Green Clown Goby 



1 Cerith Snail

2 Nassarius Snails

1 Trochus Snail





  •  Green Star Polyp
  • Green Leather Coral
  • Variety of Zoas
  • 3 Random Mushrooms
  • Green Ricordia
  • Kenya Treef



  • Acan Colony (started as 2 heads and now about 6)
  • Hammer (Two heads)
  • Torch (Almost two heads)
  • Duncan 
  • Green Candy Cane (5 heads)



  • Random from Frag Swap (no clue what kind)



  • Aquaclear 20 running Filter floss, chemipure elite and purigen


  • Lumini Asta 20 



  • Cobalt Neotherm 50W



  • Small USB Computer Fan set up over the Aquaclear Filter



  • Small 80gph submersible pump



  • Spot feed mysis to LPS (2-3 x per week)
  • Target Feed reef roids once weekly



  • Stare at tank daily
  • Pick bubble algae and scrape glass every other day
  • Weekly Water chance of 1 gallon
  • Change filter floss during water change
  • Replace Chemipure bimonthly
  • Replace Purigen when exhausted


This tank started off as a planted betta tank but I soon found the size to be inadequate as well as ugly.  I tried and failed to use aquasoil and the mopani wood I bought was leaching sap and was therefore unusable.  I quickly grew tired and took down the tank and decided to try my hand at running a reef tank.  I had a FOWLR in highschool but never made the jump to coral.  Huge thanks to @TatorTaco who responded to a post I made asking for feedback and was instrumental in getting the tank setup by being kind enough to send me sand, rocks, heater and a ton of other extras.  Some other people I need to thank are @Clown79, @Lula_Mae, @ninjamyst, @ksadam, and @tgore for all their advice and experience!


I hope to keep this journal up to date as a record for coral growth, triumphs and any failures I may (will) come across.


Currently battling an infestation of Bubble algae and some red cyano as well as green algae that are both growing on the sand and the walls of the tank.  No way to test for phosphates, so I am planning on getting a Hanna ULR checker soon so I can stay on top of those numbers.  I theorize it coincided with reduced nutrients when stopping all feeding to try and kill off hydroids that were starting to spread.  The hydroids are under control, but I think it allowed the algae to start and take hold.  I am slowly sucking out the sand during water changes and that is helping to stop the spread of algae on the sand bed and might eventually try going no sand bed to allow me to crank up the flow a bit.  I won't be adding emerald crabs since I have hear mixed reviews on wether they are reef safe.


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This tank is looking great!

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Looks like a good start. The mystery SPS looks like it's a Pocillopora - they are easy to keep so long as alkalinity isn't bouncing all over the place. That toadstool is really nice.

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2 hours ago, jservedio said:

Looks like a good start. The mystery SPS looks like it's a Pocillopora - they are easy to keep so long as alkalinity isn't bouncing all over the place. That toadstool is really nice.

Thanks... the leather coral is actually from petco... was definitely a good deal smaller when I bought it so pretty happy with how it is progressing.

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So glad I could be of some assistance! I really like your tank. I just revamped my 2.5g pico been running a month now and just taking it slow. You may notice that you don’t need the chemipure and purigen after a while especially if doing weekly water changes. I like to mix up 5 gallons at a time and then I can do a bunch of small 1/2 g water changes during the week if I’m getting too much algae growth.

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I'm glad I could help! You're off to a good start. Phosphates can definitely contribute to algae, I suspect I've got some because I think my DI filter needs changing lol. My tank is happily growing tons of algae on the glass right now.

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Time for an update!


I purchased a few more additions to Frank's Dominion; a green tipped torch, some pulsing Xenia, and a goniopora frag.  I have always loved the way the pulsing Xenia looks, but never found it locally until the other day at my LFS.  I know it can be invasive, but I plan to keep it isolated on the sand bed or a small piece of LR.


Picture of Frank chillin' on a toadstool leather:





FTS after latest additions:





I grew tired pretty quickly of the cramped cube as well as the rounded corners which, look great when empty, but make it really difficult to view the tank from certain angles due to the way it drastically distorts the view.  On top of that, the corners were next to impossible to keep clean of algae.  I found a great deal on a used AI Prime HD and found a really nice low iron 5 gallon tank at another LFS near me.  So, following instructions I found on @Clown79 laggon thread and posts by @seabass, I made the switch this morning.  


Empty Tank:



New FTS:





Everything seems happy and open after the switch (except my lone duncan head) so I am considering it a success!  I am also loving the AI Prime HD.  This is my first move into higher end leds and definitely see the difference in both quality of lighting and controllability.  I also used this as an opportunity to secure the stand to the wall (I have a little one running around) as well as mount the power strip to the wall for easier access to plugs as well as incorporating a drip loop into all electronics. Overall, I am pleased with the scape and increased floor space to play around with coral placement.  Definitely much less cramped than it was before and overall it will be easier to maintain.  

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Looks good!

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Wanted some feedback and advice about lighting schedule. Currently I’m running 8:30-6:30 with 2 hr ramps. UV and Violet are at ~5% for a couple hours in the morning so I can see the tank before work. Lunar runs 6:30-9:30, RB channel only and at 5%.  I included a screenshot out of the max day setting. Currently, I am running everything at 50% of the max shown through the AI accclimation mode. It seems on the low end but I don’t want to risk shocking the coral with a huge jump in lighting.

So far things seem open and happy. I have considered running pirates or saxby (tried it but too much white for my liking), but am not sure the point or need for the peaks and valleys. My old light was the asta 20 which ran an a simple  wall timer from 8:30-6:30, which is why I am currently trying to emulate that as much as possible for now. 

Tank is a five gallons. 9.5” deep with the light about 8” off the surface. Mostly softies and LPS. thoughts on my current setting? Does it seem too high or low for my tank based on what others are running? 

Are there any researched benefits to the respites included in the saxby or pirates settings?


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