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Fryguy0201

Shallow pico filter and heater pondering...

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Fryguy0201

Hi! Haven't had an aquarium in 4 years (college) but I'm moving in June, definitely been planning something as I never quite accomplished my dream of a shallow ricordea garden. So I am planning a 5 gallon ADA shallow tank that's 17x12x7 because I am in love with the footprint especially for where I plan to put it but it kinda is giving me headaches thinking about the filtration. I really want to go no filter but at the same time its such a shallow tank there's not lots of room for a hefty sand bed and the vision I have does not include piles of live rock. That being said would a shallow sand bed of course (maybe crushed coral?) and fine sand with 5ish pounds of live rock be enough to sustain a bio-load of ricordeas, shrooms, polyps, zoas, cuc, and a pair of cute little sexy shrimp? Also considering a canister filter (also for the bonus of being able to use an inline heater with not heater in the tank) but don't trust myself to do the maintenance to keep it from turning to a nutrient dump but am open to suggestions! Plan on using an ATO to hopefully keep salinity as stable as possible and using a Vortex MP10 for flow but still need a good small heating option if anyone has suggestions!

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Picogoby

Could you put in a really small sump? Just thinking you could get a small tank with no baffles and have the heater and some LR in that with the return pump giving your flow and no need for the MP10?

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Fryguy0201
Just now, Picogoby said:

Could you put in a really small sump? Just thinking you could get a small tank with no baffles and have the heater and some LR in that with the return pump giving your flow and no need for the MP10?

I thought about this as I have a spare rimless 10 gallon I just cannot think of a way to plumb it where I am wanting to put it without the overflow being obtrusive/blocking a side of the display as it is kind of going to act as a peninsula tank with the back having very little room minus cords. Is there a way to plumb it with lily pipes only?

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Picogoby
1 hour ago, Fryguy0201 said:

I thought about this as I have a spare rimless 10 gallon I just cannot think of a way to plumb it where I am wanting to put it without the overflow being obtrusive/blocking a side of the display as it is kind of going to act as a peninsula tank with the back having very little room minus cords. Is there a way to plumb it with lily pipes only?

You can get small 45 degree tank fittings, I use them on my 50ltr scaper’s tank, as there is limited space behind. If you get one with a strainer of some sort and don’t have any fish you should be able to get away with say 20mm for return and 25mm drain.

i will try and get some pics later if I can......... no promises with 2 wild little kids in the house!

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Tired

I will warn you that sexy shrimp and zoas don't always mix well. Make sure you keep the little buggers really well-fed. 

 

It sounds like a really interesting shape. Be sure you toss some pics our way when you have everything set up.

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Fryguy0201
6 hours ago, Picogoby said:

You can get small 45 degree tank fittings, I use them on my 50ltr scaper’s tank, as there is limited space behind. If you get one with a strainer of some sort and don’t have any fish you should be able to get away with say 20mm for return and 25mm drain.

i will try and get some pics later if I can......... no promises with 2 wild little kids in the house!

Would love to see it when you have a chance! Thank you for all the advice 🙂

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Fryguy0201
1 hour ago, Tired said:

I will warn you that sexy shrimp and zoas don't always mix well. Make sure you keep the little buggers really well-fed. 

 

It sounds like a really interesting shape. Be sure you toss some pics our way when you have everything set up.

Yea I had two sexys in my first 5 gallon with a couple zoas and rics and I fed them once sometimes twice a week and I never had any issues but always a good reminder, thank you! Definitely planning on doing a build thread when the time comes.

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Rob Francis

Is it the ADA 45-F your interested in?

I have one on order and it should arrive in the next couple of days.

Im going to set it up with no filtration, just the (man-made) live rock and hopefully no substrate.

Heaterwise, Im going to try a 50w Schego titanium lengthways behind the rock and flow will be from one or two Tunze mini pumps.

Ive looked into sumps - no room, external filters - dont want the hassle and internal filters  - wont fit so am giving filterless a go.

I have come across some tiny pumps of a similar size to the Tunze which have a little basket on the inlet so am wondering if I could mod it to hold some floss for a bit of mechanical filtration though?

https://reefloat.myshopify.com/products/12-volt-dc-pump-v6-1

Rob

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Picogoby
9 hours ago, Rob Francis said:

Is it the ADA 45-F your interested in?

I have one on order and it should arrive in the next couple of days.

Im going to set it up with no filtration, just the (man-made) live rock and hopefully no substrate.

Heaterwise, Im going to try a 50w Schego titanium lengthways behind the rock and flow will be from one or two Tunze mini pumps.

Ive looked into sumps - no room, external filters - dont want the hassle and internal filters  - wont fit so am giving filterless a go.

I have come across some tiny pumps of a similar size to the Tunze which have a little basket on the inlet so am wondering if I could mod it to hold some floss for a bit of mechanical filtration though?

https://reefloat.myshopify.com/products/12-volt-dc-pump-v6-1

Rob

You can buy those pumps on eBay (search 12v dc aquarium pump) I have used 4 before on a small frag tank project. A simple flip-flop timer unit can be used to give alternating flow. Oh and 1/2 the price on eBay too!

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Fryguy0201
19 hours ago, Rob Francis said:

Is it the ADA 45-F your interested in?

I have one on order and it should arrive in the next couple of days.

Im going to set it up with no filtration, just the (man-made) live rock and hopefully no substrate.

Heaterwise, Im going to try a 50w Schego titanium lengthways behind the rock and flow will be from one or two Tunze mini pumps.

Ive looked into sumps - no room, external filters - dont want the hassle and internal filters  - wont fit so am giving filterless a go.

I have come across some tiny pumps of a similar size to the Tunze which have a little basket on the inlet so am wondering if I could mod it to hold some floss for a bit of mechanical filtration though?

https://reefloat.myshopify.com/products/12-volt-dc-pump-v6-1

Rob

I was looking at that one but I ended up going with this 13g frag tank from ebay (link below) so I could have the AIO section to hide stuff and not worry about it although I plan to only run rock and sand with a bag of carbon running maybe 2 days a month (will adjust accordingly). Although I do plan to mod it so one section of the AIO is a mini refugium section. Looking at the pump my only concern is how small the basket is I think you risk either clogging the flow or having to change the floss every very often as it would have such little surface area I feel it will get nasty quickly. I would say get the pump and lots of liverock don't put the floss in at first and see how things go. If you're going to go no substrate either just make sure you get good porous rock and a good amount of it so you get plenty of surface area in there!  https://www.ebay.com/itm/16-x24-x8-White-Frag-Tank/283636356872

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mcarroll
On 4/20/2020 at 4:32 AM, Fryguy0201 said:

So I am planning a 5 gallon ADA shallow tank that's 17x12x7

On 4/20/2020 at 4:32 AM, Fryguy0201 said:

5ish pounds of live rock be enough to sustain a bio-load of ricordeas, shrooms, polyps, zoas, cuc, and a pair of cute little sexy shrimp?

Everything on your list except the shrimp will be taking nutrients and detritus out of the water and essentially acting like a filter.  There's barely a bio-load there.  As long as you don't succumb to dosing stuff like reef roids the tank should be fine.  Feed the shrimp.  (Won't the much!!!)

 

On 4/20/2020 at 4:32 AM, Fryguy0201 said:

Also considering a canister filter

Run it empty and use it for flow and to support the heater if you want.  It might increase your system volume by 50-100% depending on the canister you pick.

 

Since you'll be running two mission-critical life support systems (heat and flow) with it, I would select a high end canister, not a Chinese "bargain" canister.  Eheim, Marineland, etc.

 

On 4/20/2020 at 4:32 AM, Fryguy0201 said:

Plan on using an ATO to hopefully keep salinity as stable as possible and using a Vortex MP10 for flow but still need a good small heating option if anyone has suggestions!

ATO for sure...tho if you can be there to do it every day, that does work.  (With obvious potential downside of forgetting.  ATO is best.)

 

Vortex would be out for cost, size and performance reasons.  Try the canister...if you need more flow, there are options.

...take a look as some 5 gallon tank journals.

 

On 4/28/2020 at 3:12 AM, Picogoby said:

simple flip-flop timer

A what??  LOL. (A google search on that doesn't return any results that you could plug a pump into....are you talking about a DIY project?)

 

Unless you're doing something more interesting than the OP is, a pair of actually-simple and commonplace appliance timers (aka lamp timer) would do the trick.

 

$5 at Harbor Freight..."one per tide"/one for each pump....just for example:

image.thumb.jpeg.0c67c467739e2e66e362f16c2f53de1d.jpeg

(Buy what's local to you tho.)

 

On 4/28/2020 at 12:56 PM, Fryguy0201 said:

I ended up going with this 13g frag tank

You can/should update the main post so it doesn't have all the old incorrect info you started with...helps out the people here who want to help you!  🙂

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

This looks a lot bigger than what you initially described....probably a good thing!  

 

For flow, I'd look at the Tunze pumps the other poster mentioned if the tank is big enough to allow them.

 

I'd still plan to do nothing filtration-wise in the back chamber – just like the idea I floated about the canister filter.  

 

All the extra filtration and refugium you're talking about should be completely unneeded (and may even complicate things) unless your plans for the tank have changed.

 

 

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Fryguy0201
1 minute ago, mcarroll said:

Everything on your list except the shrimp will be taking nutrients and detritus out of the water and essentially acting like a filter.  There's barely a bio-load there.  As long as you don't succumb to dosing stuff like reef roids the tank should be fine.  Feed the shrimp.  (Won't the much!!!)

 

Run it empty and use it for flow and to support the heater if you want.  It might increase your system volume by 50-100% depending on the canister you pick.

 

Since you'll be running two mission-critical life support systems (heat and flow) with it, I would select a high end canister, not a Chinese "bargain" canister.  Eheim, Marineland, etc.

 

ATO for sure...tho if you can be there to do it every day, that does work.  (With obvious potential downside of forgetting.  ATO is best.)

 

Vortex would be out for cost, size and performance reasons.  Try the canister...if you need more flow, there are options.

...take a look as some 5 gallon tank journals.

 

A what??  LOL. (A google search on that doesn't return any results that you could plug a pump into....are you talking about a DIY project?)

 

Unless you're doing something more interesting than the OP is, a pair of actually-simple and commonplace appliance timers (aka lamp timer) would do the trick.

 

$5 at Harbor Freight..."one per tide"/one for each pump....just for example:

image.thumb.jpeg.0c67c467739e2e66e362f16c2f53de1d.jpeg

(Buy what's local to you tho.)

 

You can/should update the main post so it doesn't have all the old incorrect info you started with...helps out the people here who want to help you!  🙂

 

s-l1600.jpg

 

This looks a lot bigger than what you initially described....probably a good thing!  

 

For flow, I'd look at the Tunze pumps the other poster mentioned if the tank is big enough to allow them.

 

I'd still plan to do nothing filtration-wise in the back chamber – just like the idea I floated about the canister filter.  

 

All the extra filtration and refugium you're talking about should be completely unneeded (and may even complicate things) unless your plans for the tank have changed.

 

 

Sorry didn't mean to do that to ya I feel bad you put all that work in but alot of that information will not got to vain lots of it still applies except the vortex which I think will work now plus I always wanted one for some reason lol. Gunna be setting up the five gallon I had years ago with spare parts including the inline heater and lily pipes so I'll use the canister probably and I like the idea of running it empty like you said but what do you think about running live rock in it for more bio filtration? Even though the bioload would be small in that tank as well I might keep a small goby in there for my roommates enjoyment but this would be a couple months down the line though it's never to early to start thinking I guess...

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Fryguy0201
11 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

All the extra filtration and refugium you're talking about should be completely unneeded (and may even complicate things) unless your plans for the tank have changed.

Yea I thought the back middle section would be bigger so I am thinking now you are right about a "refugium section". I still think I want to put some live rock back there to seed the tank and also because I don't want too much rock in the display (trying to keep the shallow look) so I think it'd be good to have the extra rock in the back. I guess it just depends on how much rock I end up with in the display

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mcarroll
3 minutes ago, Fryguy0201 said:

the vortex which I think will work now

Too shallow for a Vortech to work well unless you're gonna have no sand....they blast about 50% of the flow out perpendicular to the pump instead of going out the front.

 

Even with no sand, you'll get superior flow with one of the Tunze's.

 

For mostly the same reason, the flow from an mp10 doesn't travel much further than 12" or so from the pump, and is VERY weak after that.

 

Check out this vid to see a visual of the Vortech's flow....as well as the rest of the vid that does A GREAT job explaining some of the nuances of flow:

 

One of their Nanostreams would be the best bet.  👍

 

4 minutes ago, Fryguy0201 said:

what do you think about running live rock in it for more bio filtration

Good idea if you want to have another maintenance item on your weekly list.....keep it empty if you ask me. 😉  Put the rock in the display and put your corals on it.  Don't worry about needing "extra".

 

1 minute ago, Fryguy0201 said:

Yea I thought the back middle section would be bigger so I am thinking now you are right about a "refugium section". I still think I want to put some live rock back there to seed the tank and also because I don't want too much rock in the display (trying to keep the shallow look) so I think it'd be good to have the extra rock in the back. I guess it just depends on how much rock I end up with in the display

You don't need more than 1 pound per gallon, just to put a weight on it.  Making the tank "about 1/3 full" of live rock is all it takes, just to put it visually.  (easier to see than to weigh)

 

And, again, with the minuscule bio-load there is no need for "extra"...could probably revise the above to .5 pounds per gallon and "up to" 1/3 full.  My guess is that you'll be fighting to keep nutrients in the tank up (not down) like most people.  

 

Just know that "high nutrients" are not the boogeyman.  While I don't know what you've read, I do know that most of the advice on nutrients you're likely to see is probably incorrect, and based on old, out of date (most importantly unsuccessful) theories like ULNS.

 

You want nutrients.  You want algae.  There are no healthy reefs without those things.

 

Just for perspective, check some reefs like mine, @Paul B's and the big one at the Steinhart Aquarium just off the top of my head.  Maybe someone else can name some more high-nutrient reefs.  

 

Speaking for myself, my levels as of the last round of tests were PO4: 1.0 ppm and NO3: 100 ppm....no sign of "pest algae" and corals are happy!

 

In case it helps make sense of that....nutrients don't cause algae blooms.  People do.  They do it by loading up their tanks with animals too fast/before the tank can handle it.  Often they will then proceed to do nothing about it (ie pull it out, get a cleanup crew) so it gets really bad.  Then they complain their cleanup crew isn't eating it.  Should not be a surprise...

 

Snails can't eat long algae...no mouth with teeth for chewing....they just have a tongue for licking it up.  It's a gnarly tongue, but it still can't rip or chew.

 

These guys say it better (never saw this page before – it's GREAT!!!):

http://molluscs.at/gastropoda/index.html?/gastropoda/morphology/feeding.html

Quote

Snails do not possess any mouthparts, such as a crab's mandibles; neither does it possess a set of teeth like a mammal. Instead, snails have got a specialized food processing organ, common to all molluscs: A rasping tongue or radula. Using it, snails are not able to bite of their food, but to rasp it down.

 

Check out some pics:

image.png.e112e3e1d60afb5e02ef312c6212d54b.png

Gives you an idea what the surface is like, but each snails tongue is different....according to their preferred food source(s).

 

image.png.2c88edf216a8bcf4710e9b150d7269be.png

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Fryguy0201
4 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

Too shallow for a Vortech to work

I feel really dumb for not even thinking about this and very informative video got me thinking lots, I will definitely be looking into the Tunze pumps!

 

As for the rock I am just concerned I still won't have enough in the display but I guess I will just have to see what my rock scape looks like. That being said I am actually not that scared of nutrients really as my first tank was very little filtration just an Eheim canister with some bioballs or whatever those are called. The filter ended up being a total pain that I had to clean every other week but my little tank didn't have any problems with algae or nutrients so eliminating any media is probably even better. After the first three months I barely tested anything other than salinity and it was smooth sailing so basically in my head I know you're probably right with nothing in the back I am just...nervous? Running a tank like that sounds very scary but from my research I know it is really just about being patient and giving your tank plenty of time to properly cycle and establish itself and to not shock my natural filter system. Again I am scared of not having enough rock but the more I research the more I think you're right. Thanks for all the advice and thought provoking any other advice is very welcome!

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mcarroll
2 minutes ago, Fryguy0201 said:

with nothing in the back I am just...nervous?

If you find out that you actually do need something back there, it's never too late to add.

 

But adding stuff you don't really need up front can actually compromise the development of the whole tank.  (Lots of example threads out there for this.)

 

Stock your tank slowly, start with the smallest organisms, work up to the biggest, stock only one at a time with a week at least in between additions, and you'll have plenty of time to react to anything "bad" you see happening.

 

So fear not!!  😉 👍 

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Fryguy0201
4 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

So fear not!!  😉 👍 

Your advice has been super helpful, affirming, and eye opening to more stuff I can look further into, back to researching all night...again 😄 thanks !

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