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5.5g College Reef


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Long time lurker, decided to pick back up the hobby! I had a biocube years ago that I tore down for a move and never put back up. I’m back in school and needed something that I can enjoy between school work.


  • Tank is a 5.5 gallon aqueon rimless 
  • 10 pounds of live sand 
  • Unsure on exact amount of live rock since I’ve been piecing this tank together. I’ll take a guess and say there’s around 7 to 8 pounds.
  • Nicrew 30w Reef LED with pro timer
  • 118gph pump


Livestock right now includes:

  • Mexican turbo snail. Will be exchanging for a fleet of ceriths and maybe a nerite.
  • nassarus hitchhiker. Might also exchange this since I'm not feeding the tank and I'm worried it's going to starve.
  • Cerith hitchhiker
  • Blue sponge hitchhiker
  • Some kind of paly hitchhiker
  • Lots of spaghetti worms, bristles, fan worms


This will be a slowly evolving tank dependent on budget and time during semesters. I didn’t have much of a cycle other than a quick hair algae outbreak and levels are normal. Lots of critters already showing up and the tank has been very interesting as is. For future livestock I’m planning on two or three RFA’s, pom pom xenia, neon green nepthea, and zoas. I want but on the fence about duncan or other LPS like acans as well but still doing research.


Possibly some sexy shrimp but haven’t really put enough thought into inverts yet.

No plans on fish right now but I’m always reading other’s experiences with small gobies and blennies just in case I feel like it. 


I wanted the rockwork to sit in the middle as a peninsula style and will be rotating the tank in the future so you can see three sides of the tank easily. Due to this I had to adjust the pump to split the flow more evenly. I'm worried the flow might be too slow once I start introducing coral over the summer, but for now it seems to suffice.




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  • 3 weeks later...

Small update so no pics!


Tank is still doing well. It already feels more mature than my biocube I had years ago. Must be the benifit of the small form factor of a pico, I notice all the small spots of coralline and spirorbid worms on the glass and rocks much easier than in a larger tank. My populations of feather dusters that came in on the rocks are much more diverse now that things are getting of size. A small colony of hydroids has appeared but doesn't seem to be growing larger or spreading, and are rather florescent along with some of the feather dusters and the palythoas under my blue lights in the morning and evening. A fun surprise has been a growing and lively population of what I believe are mysis shrimp (definitely not amphipods or copepods) that have started to become more adventurous.


Planning on going to the LFS this weekend for some ceriths, a nerite or two, possibly a red hermit, and I will also be hunting the bargain frags for my first pieces!

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