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SaltyGallon

The Tidepool Two: UK Temperate Tank

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SaltyGallon

Morning gang,

 

Welcome aboard to this year's DIY project - a temperate tidepool pico!

 

The plan is to keep things super simple with this one... No heater, no chiller, no mechanical and/or chemical filtration. The tank will be reliant on good lighting, good flow, good biological filtration and generous water changes - as well a fan for when things gets hot. It's a good month or so off being stocked (for now I'm in the "gubbins accumulation" stage) but the scape will be cycling in a friend's sump for a month or so from this weekend.

 

To kick things off...

 

The main event

Light: Kessil A80 Tuna Blue

Wavemaker: TMC Reef-Tide 4000s 

Tank: A 20cm³ i.e. 2.1 US gallon tank in 4mm opti-white glass

 

The secondary event

Red Sea salt (blue bucket) (link)

A gnarly branching dry-rock scape

Half a bag of CaribSea arag-alive Fiji pink sand (link)

 

Tertiary gubbins

Salifert test kits

Frosted backing

Sensual backlighting

Simple gravity ATO (link)

ATM Colony bacteria (link)

Arctic Breeze USB fan (link)

A clear perspex lid in 10mm

One MaxSpect Bio-Block (link)

Wifi controllable plug socket (link)

Square of white foam (for under tank)

Chunky piece of oiled American oak with hidden bracket (for under tank)

 

Stock list

UK native anemones, inverts and possibly macros - intertidal rockpool/tidepool species only!

 

FTS'

 

11/05/2021

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20/04/2021

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19/03/2021

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Ratvan

oh i'm following this 

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debbeach13

Yeah a new set up. Also following.

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SaltyGallon

I do warn you though... I'm not messing about with this one lol 😜

 

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Ratvan

snakelock heaven

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SaltyGallon
14 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

snakelock heaven

Oh yes! 😎

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SaltyGallon

👻

 

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RoyalGramma001

Following cool concept

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Tired

Ooh, lots of potential. Do you live somewhere you can go catch any of the future inhabitants yourself? That's always satisfying, particularly if you can catch a baby of something and watch it grow up. Though I suppose babies of most livestock suitable for that tank would be too small to easily catch.

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SaltyGallon
10 hours ago, Tired said:

Ooh, lots of potential. Do you live somewhere you can go catch any of the future inhabitants yourself? That's always satisfying, particularly if you can catch a baby of something and watch it grow up. Though I suppose babies of most livestock suitable for that tank would be too small to easily catch.

That's the plan. We're a couple of hours from the South Coast so I'm hoping to head out with a bucket one morning when it's a bit warmer and see what's what. I'll be strictly sticking to hardy rockpool/tidepool species and if anything doesn't appear to be thriving then it'll just go back where it came from, simple as that.

 

The tank isn't huge so I anticipate it'll just be a handful of native anemones, shrimp, cushion stars and topshell snails for CUC. While the rock will be well cycled by the time stuff does go into it I'd like to find some small sources of natural biodiversity too, maybe coraline and/or filter feeder encrusted rubble, that kind of thing.

 

A small hermit is tempting - for added viewing and comedy value - but the tank will almost certainly be staying fishless! Macros will be an interesting addition but as I understand it our UK species are very fussy on temperature ranges - alot of the prettier reds, pinks and blues are seen in the spring, and they give way to greeny brown species come the warmer water. I can see some of these later summer species being better suited to a tank, but we'll see. Although there's a few tanks out there doing this biotope well (chiller-less) I'm keen to only collect stuff that will do well - it would seem a waste otherwise! 

 

But anyway, lots to think about before I head out collecting. Really been getting stuck into learning about the colourful species around our shores - and regularly been leafing through an old ID book haha!

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JR!

you have my attention

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SaltyGallon
9 hours ago, JR! said:

you have my attention

And your curiosity too, I hope?

 

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A few likely tank candidates:

 

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Ratvan

The beadlets look nice, shame the tanks too small for a couple native caught Common Gobies

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SaltyGallon
18 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

The beadlets look nice, shame the tanks too small for a couple native caught Common Gobies

Yeah that's true mate, "shannies" look real character fish and I think they'd take frozen food instantly! The Montagu's blenny and Tompot blenny also look lovely - and great colours - but again they'd need a bigger tank to fulfil their habitat/dietary needs.

 

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Tompot blenny - what a character!

 

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SaltyGallon
7 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

found the following page which could be useful for the temperatures of the inhabitants, the range for the two nem species looks doable without the need for cooling

https://www.glaucus.org.uk/PF2.htm#SURVEY OF THE COMMONLY KEPT

 

Yeah that's a classic that webpage - been on it many times haha.  It looks like it was written on Windows 95!

 

This guy's website is also fantastic - An Bollenessorand he's even got a top 10 species for the un-chilled aquarium (not to mention his rockpool photography is just gorgeous). I bought some reasonably well powered USB fans off Amazon this week - based on the tropical pico's temp last year I'm confident I should be able to keep temps under 23°C in this tank, even on the hottest of days. Though the downside of a pico is it heats quickly it also cools quickly too 😉

 

I know it can be done because there's also a few pages on the UK forums of people accidentally putting beadlets and snakelocks in their heated tanks and surprise surprise - they thrived and killed their clownfish 🤣

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JR!
4 hours ago, SaltyGallon said:

And your curiosity too, I hope?

 

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yes very much

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Hami

How is your light being supported, and I have to say this is gonna look great 👍 

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SaltyGallon
11 hours ago, Hami said:

How is your light being supported, and I have to say this is gonna look great 👍 

Thank you sir! The light bracket attaches to an upright piece of wood at the back of the base. You won't be able to see it when the tank's full and it will keep the chunky bracket out of the display 👌🏽

 

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Nathans_Reef

Wow, really cool! Definitely following. 👍

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Micro-Reefs Aquariums

I absolutely love picos, and yours is certainly no exception with the tropical pico that I have been following.  But this is even more interesting because you are going Temperate and I too am going Temperate from the Pacific Ocean, mainly California Tidal species.

 

You are off to a great start, however, I am super curious how you intend to keep the temperate species without the aid of a ice-probe or small compressor based chiller?

 

Are you going to do frequent water changes and have the water in the refrigerator at the required temp to keep them?  

 

I am following you, and glued to the set!  🙂

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SaltyGallon
1 hour ago, Micro-Reefs Aquariums said:

I absolutely love picos, and yours is certainly no exception with the tropical pico that I have been following.  But this is even more interesting because you are going Temperate and I too am going Temperate from the Pacific Ocean, mainly California Tidal species.

 

You are off to a great start, however, I am super curious how you intend to keep the temperate species without the aid of a ice-probe or small compressor based chiller?

 

Are you going to do frequent water changes and have the water in the refrigerator at the required temp to keep them?  

 

I am following you, and glued to the set!  🙂

Thank you sir! The target species I have in mind have a wide temp range of 10-25°C and are exposed to varying wacky salinities and temperatures throughout the year. I've found several examples of un-chilled European tanks online (with similar or warmer climates to the UK) where the native anemones have done well - or even examples where people have mistakenly put them into heated reef tanks, and they've taken over. A good fan will be essential for the warm summer days, as may cooling water changes if its ridiculously warm, but on the whole these high-mid intertidal species appear to be have a much wider tolerance for temp and salinity than the obligate colder water species found beyond the low water mark.

 

I would not rule out an ice probe for a future properly cold water project though - it would allow for a much greater range of species to be kept. There's a bit more info on the temperature ranges for each species in the marine research group link that @Ratvan shared 🙂

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Ratvan
1 hour ago, Micro-Reefs Aquariums said:

I absolutely love picos, and yours is certainly no exception with the tropical pico that I have been following.  But this is even more interesting because you are going Temperate and I too am going Temperate from the Pacific Ocean, mainly California Tidal species.

 

You are off to a great start, however, I am super curious how you intend to keep the temperate species without the aid of a ice-probe or small compressor based chiller?

 

Are you going to do frequent water changes and have the water in the refrigerator at the required temp to keep them?  

 

I am following you, and glued to the set!  🙂

 

13 minutes ago, SaltyGallon said:

Thank you sir! The target species I have in mind have a wide temp range of 10-25°C and are exposed to varying wacky salinities and temperatures throughout the year. I've found several examples of un-chilled European tanks online (with similar or warmer climates to the UK) where the native anemones have done well - or even examples where people have mistakenly put them into heated reef tanks, and they've taken over. A good fan will be essential for the warm summer days, as may cooling water changes if its ridiculously warm, but on the whole these high-mid intertidal species appear to be have a much wider tolerance for temp and salinity than the obligate colder water species found beyond the low water mark.

 

I would not rule out an ice probe for a future properly cold cold water project though - it would allow for a much greater range of species to be kept. There's a bit more info on the temperature ranges for each species in the marine research group link that @Ratvan shared 🙂

Further to this someone on Ultimate Reef, built a temperate British Rockpool tank including a homemade tidal surge device which drained the tank to approximately 50% of capacity leaving the anemones out of water for a short duration of time before filling back up.

 

Would love to do something similar to that if i could only work out how to dampen the noise from the Bell Siphon discharging

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Tired

Eh, just hire a kid to scoop half the water out sometimes, and pay him extra to be quiet. Like the Victorians did, except hopefully you'd actually pay a decent wage.

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Micro-Reefs Aquariums
2 hours ago, SaltyGallon said:

Thank you sir! The target species I have in mind have a wide temp range of 10-25°C and are exposed to varying wacky salinities and temperatures throughout the year. I've found several examples of un-chilled European tanks online (with similar or warmer climates to the UK) where the native anemones have done well - or even examples where people have mistakenly put them into heated reef tanks, and they've taken over. A good fan will be essential for the warm summer days, as may cooling water changes if its ridiculously warm, but on the whole these high-mid intertidal species appear to be have a much wider tolerance for temp and salinity than the obligate colder water species found beyond the low water mark.

 

I would not rule out an ice probe for a future properly cold water project though - it would allow for a much greater range of species to be kept. There's a bit more info on the temperature ranges for each species in the marine research group link that @Ratvan shared 🙂

I am glad that you mentioned possibly using the ice-probe.  If you do, the longevity of keeping them well within their range of tolerances is multiplied.  I speak with experience with Nova Tec products, the Ice-probe chiller.  A single chiller can keep approximately 2 U.S gallons at 55F degrees that is 12.7 Celsius.  They are extremely hardy and only have one moving part, the fan that expels the heat from the tank working on thermoelectric technology.  

 

Here is a link to their site so you may read up on how it works:

 

IceProbe Thermoelectric Aquarium Chiller, Nova Tec Inc (novatecproducts.com)

 

You are correct about the ability of these intertidal species to withstand extreme tolerances. 

 

My 1st shipment that arrived from Cold Water Marine Aquatics during the time they operated from Oregon, was incredible.  Even though the package arrived priority mail, and not next day air, they looked all dead when I opened the box!  I was so upset thinking I just burned all of my hard earned money.

 

Little was I to learn, that when I dropped them into the tank at 55 F degrees, everything came to life! (hence the notion to extreme tolerances; salinity & temps)

 

I only lost the shrimps the weeks that followed.

 

In fact, when I transferred them into my 6.2 gallon temperate system from the 2 gallon, the sand anemones started to spawn, I have a video of that here:

 

 

 

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