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schg's 6 gallon invert tank


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 Equipment setup:

  • Tank
    • Aqueon 6 gallon frameless aquarium - $35 (05/23/2022)
    • Ultum Nature Systems 45u 9 gallon frameless aquarium - $95 (pending)
  • Lighting
    • AI Prime HD - $80 (05/20/2022)
  • Heater
    • Hydor ETH 200W inline heater - $30 (05/26/2022)
    • hygger 100w mini aquarium heater - $23 (pending)
  • Flow
    • Aqamai KPS - $97 (06/08/2022)
    • AQQA 800 wavemaker pump with glass lily pipes - $65 (pending)
  • Filtration
    • Eheim 2213 Classic 250 canister filter with nano glass lily pipes - $70 (05/26/2022)
    • Sera 32155
       prefilter - $36 (06/18/2022)
    • Fiji Cube Fiji-12 sump - $75 (pending)
    • Vivosun 800GPH return pump - $25 (pending)
  • Auto top off
    • Magtool optical sensor ATO - $54 (05/25/2022)
  • Control
    • bayite temperature controller - $0 (pending)
  • Live rock
    • 10lbs of Carib Sea Life Rock Base - $30 (05/17/2022)
  • Live sand
    • 10lbs of Carib Sea aragonite sand - $20 (05/17/2022)

 

         Total spent on equipment: $417

 

Filtration and maintenance:

  • Chemi-Pure Blue Nano - $13 (replaced every 2 months?)
  • Mixed density filter pad - $0 (replaced weekly)
  • 1 gallon water change - $17 (completed weekly)

 

         Total spent on maintenance: $30

 

Soft Coral:

  • Green Ricordia - $0 (06/13/2022)
  • Green Kenya Tree - $0 (06/13/2022)
  • Pulsing Xenia - $0 (06/13/2022)
  • Green Star Polyps - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Jawbreaker Mushroom - $50 (06/24/2022)
  • Neon Green Star Polyps - $0 (06/28/2022)


         Total spent on soft coral: $50

 

Zoas and Palys:

  • Oxide Zoas - $0 (06/12/2022)
  • King Midas Zoas - $0 (06/12/2022)
  • Incredible Hulk Zoas - $0 (06/12/2022)
  • Punk Rocker Zoas - $0 (06/12/2022)
  • Nuclear Green Palys - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Unknown blue and green zoas - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Unknown red and green zoas - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Pandora Palys - $0 (06/28/2022)
  • Radioactive Dragon Eye Zoas - $10 (06/28/2022)
  • Bloodsuckers Zoas - $10 (06/28/2022)
  • Utter Peace Zoas - $10 (06/28/2022)

    Total spent on zoas and palys: $30

 

LPS:

  • Mummy Eye Chalice - $0 (06/23/2022)


         Total spent on LPS: $0
 

SPS:

  • Red Monti - $0 (06/13/2022)
  • Unknown dark purple Acro - $0 (06/13/2022)
  • Jedi Mind Tricks Monti - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Rainbow Monti? - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Forest Fire Digi - $0 (06/23/2022)
  • Green Birdsnest - $0 (06/28/2022)
  • JF Slow Burn Monti - $0 (06/30/2022)


         Total spent on SPS: $0

         Total spent on coral: $80

 

Fish:

  • Sharknose Goby - $22 (06/11/2022)
     
  • Green Banded Goby (maybe?)
  • Red Headed Goby (maybe?)
  • Hi-fin Red Banded Goby with red striped pistol shrimp (maybe?)

    Total spent on fish: $22

 

Invertebrates:

  • Astraea Snails - $5 (06/08/2022)
  • Nassarius Snail - $2 (06/08/2022)
  • Blue Legged Hermit Crabs - $5 (06/08/2022)
  • Green Mithrax Crab - $10 (06/08/2022)
  • Nano Conch Snails - $10 (06/19/2022)
  • Rock Flower Anemone - $40 (06/19/2022)

 

  • Porcelain Anemone Crab (pending)
  • Sexy Anemone Shrimp (pending)
  • Candy Cane Pistol Shrimp (maybe?)
  • Crinoid Squat Lobster (maybe?)
  • Acro Crab (maybe?)
  • Mini Carpet Anemone (pending)
  • Dwarf Cerith Snails (pending)
  • Small Nerite Snails (pending)
  • Dwarf Planaxis Snails (pending)
  • Dwarf Trochus Snails (pending)

    Total spent on invertebrates: $72

    Total spent on livestock: $184


    Total spent on build: $631
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  • schg changed the title to schg 3 gallon invert pico

Backstory:

Oof, I'm back again. Of course I'm back again, I just can't stay away from Nano Reef, can I?

 

 

schgpico-0001.thumb.jpg.0e7be43205bc6fbf17f2ef50848ae085.jpg

 

It's been a while, but some of you may remember me (as schgr.cube) for my old ADA 30C, IM 25 Lagoon, or one of the many other tanks I started and never really finished. I have been toying with the idea of redoing my hidden equipment build again (like I said I would about 7 years ago), but I really want to do that project right. So in the meantime, I really just want to have a reef again, and figured I would make something semi-simple and cheap to dip my toes again.

 

I happened to be at Petco today picking up some dog food, and noticed they had a 50% off sale on the frameless Aqueon tanks, so why the hell not? I also happen to have a light from one of the contest tanks I started a while back which would work perfectly, as well as a few other things that I need to figure out if they work or not. I'll post up the details on the hardware as I sort things out there, but I do want to TRY to stay under $100 on hardware for this, which I burned through 1/4 of already with the tank.

 

Stay tuned!

 

Index:

  • Like 1
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NatureGuy

I’m thinking about doing something similar to this! Can’t wait to see what you do! 

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805_reef

I got the same tank going as well. 

went the simple way with a Hang On Back filter and some Live Rick and sand I had in hand. I also have a green Banded Goby, a Pom Pom Crab and a Harlequin Shrimp. 

  • Like 1
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11 hours ago, NatureGuy said:

I’m thinking about doing something similar to this! Can’t wait to see what you do! 

Thanks, hoping I can pull off something fun here. I've always struggled with pico setups, but I'll do my best!

 

7 hours ago, 805_reef said:

I got the same tank going as well. 

went the simple way with a Hang On Back filter and some Live Rick and sand I had in hand. I also have a green Banded Goby, a Pom Pom Crab and a Harlequin Shrimp. 

Yeah that is likely the route I am going for filtration; the tried and true AquaClear with media basket. I'm still torn on exactly which route I want to go with livestock, but I have always had a soft spot for porcelain crabs and sexy shrimp. 🙂

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Lighting, part 1:

 

 

schgpico-0002.thumb.jpg.aae9a9b0bb31ec091b28949bd17fa15c.jpg

 

I mentioned earlier that I really don't want to spend a lot on hardware for this tank, and lighting was one of those things that I really wanted to toe the line on. Since I had the PAR38 bulb from my previous pico tank, but didn't really want to have a PAR bulb sitting above the tank in any form, I decided to customize things a bit. Although I could have spent nothing to use the light as is, I decided to spend $20 on a heatsink and slim fan to create my own fixture. A previous NR member who has helped me with previous builds is going to cut some 8" wide acrylic tubing for the housing and laser cut some acrylic sheets for the top and bottom. I am 3D printing the internal mounting for everything, and will wire it all up to make an actively cooled fixture.

schgpico-0003.thumb.jpg.15e3586d865c481d350aa0fe4f3d7ba0.jpg

 

I don't plan on doing anything here besides on and off, as that would require me to really redo the LED configuration quite a bit more than I wanted to right now. I figure if this build ends up sticking around long enough for me to care about lighting, I'll likely upgrade to a Kessil instead.

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Reefkid88

I love you started a tank thread !!! Super looking forward to this. 

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21 hours ago, NatureGuy said:

Wow, your pictures look cool 

 

21 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

I love you started a tank thread !!! Super looking forward to this. 

 

Thank you both! I figured I would do this thread up right, as that is always my favorite part of this process lol. I'm trying to make sure my photos are fun, but I'll keep my colors / edits a little bit closer to real life when I take actual coral shots 😉

 

 

 

So good news and bad news.

 

The good news is that I sorted a few things out, and decided to go a different route with my setup. I was originally going to paint the back of the aquarium black and just run an Aquaclear 70 as is the standard for pico tanks, but wanted to make things a bit more clean overall. I ended up getting a deal on an open box glass lily pipe set, canister filter, and inline heater, so the only visible equipment in my tank will be the powerhead (which should be small, since I'm most likely going with the hygger mini wave maker). I also removed the excess silicone on this tank as the silicone job was a bit sloppy, so thinks look pretty damn clean now. I know some people will say that is a bad idea, but I think with Aqueon making these tanks to be rimless they seem to have done a better job with the silicone between the gas panels. I suppose time will tell here, but I'll keep my fingers crossed that my water test ends up being accurate long term.

 

The bad news is that I think my Reefkeeper Lite is no longer good, as it seems to be shutting off intermittently while I was testing it. I am going to try to clean the corrosion off the cable contacts better, but with Digital Aquatics no longer being in business, I am going to assume this is a lost cause. Back to the drawing board on this one. I'm also over budget already, but I'm going with a cleaner aesthetic now so I'm not too worried. New hardware budget is $200 maybe? 😆

  • Like 2
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  • schg changed the title to schg's 3 gallon invert pico

Lighting, part 2:

 

schgpico-0004.thumb.JPG.50be04f9fba95a1af368a523ff51b859.JPG

 

Good news, bad news. The good is that I was able to finish up printing the interior portion of the light, and tested everything out without issue. I still need to drill the heatsink, which won't be too problematic, and then route the wiring and finish soldering up my power supply / controller. The person making the outside of the fixture also sent me a shot of the progress, and it is looking AMAZING so far, so this should turn out awesome. I think I'll give the printed part a quick sand and coat of black paint, just so it appears more uniform under the frosted acrylic outer shell.

 

schgjpg-0005.thumb.JPG.c87bfe4149bd3d04382236ba11789491.JPG

 

The bad news is that my dumb ass accidentally broke the existing controller that came with the bulb, so I had to order a new one which adds to my total budget. Oh well, I'm still going to be under $200 total it seems, so this should work out.

 

I'll likely have an update later today or tomorrow on the change in filtration plans, which I think are going in a great direction.

  • Like 1
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LazyFish

That's an awesome looking light. Im  about to start a 3g aswell I went with the cubey 3g probly 2.5g actual capacity. It's starting off as a reservoir for my frags for now. Eventualy I want it to house some cool inverts. I realy want a crynoid squat lobster in mine. I may just add in the livestock while Im still useing it to hold fragsand scape it once the frags are mostly gone.

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Reefkid88

Ohhh yeah !!! Well,at least you have the light money to replace what you broke 😂 !!! That light looks amazing though. 

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3 hours ago, LazyFish said:

That's an awesome looking light. Im  about to start a 3g aswell I went with the cubey 3g probly 2.5g actual capacity. It's starting off as a reservoir for my frags for now. Eventualy I want it to house some cool inverts. I realy want a crynoid squat lobster in mine. I may just add in the livestock while Im still useing it to hold fragsand scape it once the frags are mostly gone.

 

Yeah I’m not sure of the actual capacity of mine, but my canister filter will probably add a solid gallon of water so that’s nice. Ive wanted a crynoid squat lobster for soooo long, but never done it. I might try this time, I am definitely going 98% inverts for this build. 
 

1 hour ago, Reefkid88 said:

Ohhh yeah !!! Well,at least you have the light money to replace what you broke 😂 !!! That light looks amazing though. 


lol I actually spent it on the filter and heater, but either way it helps! Thanks, hoping to have it done soon. 

  • Like 1
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Setup, part 1:

schgjpg-0006.thumb.jpg.d5b3b6eaef8647bce6b60375e3e7cb78.jpg

 

I picked up a large piece of Carib Sea Life Rock yesterday for fairly cheap, and split it into more workable pieces for this size tank. I was able to utilize almost the entire rock, and not have too much "raw" rock exposed. While I don't normally love fake painted coralline like this, I figured I would give it a try and see how things went. I figured it will all get covered with real corraline or coral anyway in the long run.

 

schgjpg-0007.thumb.jpg.21e51bebc8fbfc412ab844afa2899a1b.jpg

 

You can also see my silicone job, which looks a LOT better without all the horrible excess they had from the factory. The lily pipes are a bit tight in here, but I think it should work once water is in and flowing. I should have my filter in today, so I can test that out shortly.

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17 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

Looking pretty damn good so far. 

Thank you! I rearranged the rock a tiny bit last night, just to give a little more clearance to the lily pipes, but it looks mostly the same. It's a boring scape in my opinion, but there isn't much I can do in a cube this small and I don't feel like breaking the rocks down further.

 

 

Two small updates; I got the light housing from Sammy, and it looks amazing! He did drop the top of it accidentally, creating two small cracks, but I told him not to remake it as I really don't care enough to waste the material. I'll post pictures of that soon, I just need to get the new driver so I can fully assemble everything.

 

Second is that I am stupid, and I bought the wrong OD vinyl tubing from home depot, and didn't realize until I had already cut everything. Lowes apparently has what I need, but I wasted another $10 on something I can't use. Oh well.

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Thinking about potential stocking candidates, and I have decided I really do want a pico appropriate fish in here. One. Singular.

 

I was leaning toward a green striped goby, since I know they will do fine and I have had them before. However, a friend suggested I do another hi-fin red banded goby, which was ALWAYS one of my favorites when paired with a red striped pistol shrimp. I know @el fabuloso had a Yasha in their pico paired with a shrimp, which is similarly sized to the hi-fin, but does anyone have any concerns about this combo in my tank? I have enough sand for them to burrow appropriately (I think), and will make sure the rock is nicely planted into the sand to avoid squissues.

 

Thoughts?

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Tiki_Reef
7 minutes ago, schg said:

Thinking about potential stocking candidates, and I have decided I really do want a pico appropriate fish in here. One. Singular.

 

I was leaning toward a green striped goby, since I know they will do fine and I have had them before. However, a friend suggested I do another hi-fin red banded goby, which was ALWAYS one of my favorites when paired with a red striped pistol shrimp. I know @el fabuloso had a Yasha in their pico paired with a shrimp, which is similarly sized to the hi-fin, but does anyone have any concerns about this combo in my tank? I have enough sand for them to burrow appropriately (I think), and will make sure the rock is nicely planted into the sand to avoid squissues.

 

Thoughts?

Yasha Haze goby with a Candy Cane pistol love the coloring and seem to be really available. Make sure you get a male Yasha their dorsal fins are much taller look more majestic.

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1 hour ago, Tiki_Reef said:

Yasha Haze goby with a Candy Cane pistol love the coloring and seem to be really available. Make sure you get a male Yasha their dorsal fins are much taller look more majestic.

I am just not as big of a fan of the Yashas coloration as I am the hi-fin, which I know is probably an unpopular opinion. Theres just something about the contrasted banding and yellow face I LOVE about the hi-fin, but I don't want to stress a fish out if it really isn't appropriate to have them in this size tank.

 

Edit: The media volume of the Eheim 2213 that I am using is about 3.6 gallons, so all in all my total water volume in the system should be close to 6 gallons.

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Lighting, part 3:

 

schgpico-0008.thumb.jpg.9ab3a68402cd2bb6ae0cfbb7cd4d2b0e.jpg

 

Since I have no water in the tank yet, I will just post another update to the light. I am still waiting on my replacement driver, so unfortunately this is the last update on the lighting until I am able to actually wire it up. BUT it looks really pretty, so there is that!

 

schgpico-0009.thumb.jpg.8eafc58c21e06379df15fc70a71d1b81.jpg

 

I have entirely cleaned out the filtration and heater that I purchased used, and got replacement tubing to plumb everything together. I confirmed the heater and filter work, but need to still test while connected to the lily pipes just to make sure it ALL works together.

 

This leaves my to-do list with:

  • Fill tank and complete final water test
  • Wire up new LED driver once it arrives
  • Sort out light hanging setup
  • Get small piece of actual live rock and/or additional bacteria to start cycle
  • Sort out power situation, since the Reefkeeper Lite is not functioning

That should be it, hoping to fill the tank tonight and scratch that one off the list.

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Reefkid88

See this is something I can get behind. This looks amazing. I am ready to see a pic of this array lit up. 

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On 5/19/2022 at 4:26 PM, Reefkid88 said:

See this is something I can get behind. This looks amazing. I am ready to see a pic of this array lit up. 

Honestly I'm about to bail on this light. I love the idea of it, but I am frustrated at figuring out the driver. Steves LEDs still hasn't shipped or responded back to me, and I realized I may have purchased a driver that can't handle the LEDs anyway. I think I'm just going to buy some cheapo Amazon special for now and sell this to someone who wants to finish it, upgrading to a Kessil A80 later if I decide I need to.

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Reefkid88

Nooo,that would be a shame. Go to Amazon,order this:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hiletgo-DC12-24V-Controller-compatible-LEDwholesaler/dp/B073R7H52B/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?crid=3VI0X4VHZ4QP1&keywords=12v+dimmer&qid=1653082104&sprefix=12v+dimmer%2Caps%2C112&sr=8-5

 

 There is a thread on here I can find and link you to it. Or just get this from RapidLed:

 

https://rapidled.com/collections/all-drivers/products/mean-well-hlg-60h-c700b

 

 If you do bail,let me know your price !! 

 

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5 minutes ago, Reefkid88 said:

Nooo,that would be a shame. Go to Amazon,order this:

 

https://www.amazon.com/Hiletgo-DC12-24V-Controller-compatible-LEDwholesaler/dp/B073R7H52B/ref=mp_s_a_1_5?crid=3VI0X4VHZ4QP1&keywords=12v+dimmer&qid=1653082104&sprefix=12v+dimmer%2Caps%2C112&sr=8-5

 

 There is a thread on here I can find and link you to it. Or just get this from RapidLed:

 

https://rapidled.com/collections/all-drivers/products/mean-well-hlg-60h-c700b

 

 If you do bail,let me know your price !! 

 

 

I listed it already lol, here.

 

I think the problem for me is that I am obsessive with clean setups, and I really wanted to integrate the driver into the unit itself so I could have ONE cable coming out, and ONE power supply. I purchased these waterproof 4 pin connectors and was going to wire everything together using that. I think if I can't accomplish this, I'd rather just find a prebuilt solution that fits my needs better (and more quickly....I'm impatient lol).

 

idk, I'll leave it listed while I look around, but if my order from Steves LEDs shows up this weekend I'm hoping I can just assemble it and go.

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  • schg changed the title to schg's 6 gallon invert tank

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