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[STOCK] tinyreef

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thanks, zarax! yes, i plan on continuing the tank. i'll be stocking or changing out some stuff (see below) but i think i'll let it continue until the topping-off drives me nuts.


i really liked the simplicity and naturalness of it. very ecological/environmentally friendly imho: low power usage (heater/fan/air-pump) and iirc basically everything in the tank was aquacultured by me or a couple of ols (Seacrop and Coral Dynamics), i.e. no wild-caught/harvest.


six, i'm not sure if the moss is anthelia. the polyps stay really small. like the size of this lower-case "t", no bigger. they aren't growing larger or taller. the couple of polyps that look bigger are another species growing within the boundaries of the 'moss' colony. i do have a clavularia colony that kinda looks like the anthelia though. it sometimes exhibits varying sizing (anthelia-like) and other polyps show consistent sizing (more clavu).


btw got your pm. so you can take a look for yourself at the 'moss' then. ;)


probably should wait out the stony coral problem i just encountered though. once the contest ended (actually i did this on 4/3), i added a couple of frags from my office nano that i had been holding off on (until the contest ended). but one of the frags was a sick brown candy cane which i believe affected the stonys in the pico (blue cane, mystery sps, and the brown cane itself).


the illness/affliction probably went into overdrive and basically is jellying my stonys as i type this. the softies couldn't be happier though but the snails look drunk. the shrooms were po'd too but everything else was actually happy. misery loves company.


of course, i did the waterchange, doubled the carbon-fresh, and poly-filtered but the infection or whatever had already taken hold on the blue cane (visible pink fuzz and skin!). :o


we'll see when i get home. :unsure:

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nice pot



the low profile top is much better

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nice pot
flowerpot coral. <ba-dum-dum!>


the low profile top is much better
thanks! :happy:

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First, thanks to all that visited this thread and had encouraging comments. And for the rest that didn’t visit and weren’t supportive <pbbbbbfft!>


Bascially, this tank was an experiment on sunlighting in an everyday application/situation. I know sunlight works in a greenhouse (e.g. Tropicorium or Seacrop), skylighting/sola-tubes, and natural setting (i.e. those reef-things/places near the equator) but I wasn’t sure how it’d stand up in a plain ol’ regular tank setting plopped down next to a window like a potted plant.


I was definitely concerned how the corals would color up/down with the sunlight but I think I’ve been pleasantly surprised at the coloration and growth. The usual problems of nanos/picos affected the tank (i.e. temperature, evaporation, alleopathy, etc.) but by and large I think it was a success. During the contest the main problems I had were temperature and alleopathic issues from a sinularia but otherwise things seemed to get along.


Long-term for sps and stonys I'll have to investigate more but not sure if I'll bother since those corals really don't interest me. So far though, the stonys seemed very happy with the lighting levels (although we are entering spring/summer, not sure if winter season would sufficient).


Unlike some of the other contestants’ view of "easier maintenance with such a small tank", this tank was more work than my typical tank. But I think that’s more because I’m lazy to a nirvanic-level than the tank really needed maintenance. I’m just not used to doing waterchanges religiously/weekly and switching out filters and so on. If you do that already, then this setup’s easy. I often go weeks or months without such maintenance on my other tanks (they look it too! D’oh!) so the regularity of this tank sort of irked me. Topping off constantly is also a bother for me. I long for a pico-sized ATO. <sigh>


The setup is a 2.5-gallon All-Glass tank. The rock was bleached fiji rock from my lfs’s toss-away bins. The substrate is caribsea’s crushed coral and fiji pink sand. The heater is a 25W Hagen. The only water movement is generated by an undergravel filter system (over)powered by a Whisper-40 air pump. Lighting was by sun.


IIRC, all of the corals were either aquacultured by me, two OLS’s (Seacrop and Coral Dynamics), or from the frag tanks of two LFS’s (Hanover Pet and Country Critters-Long Island) I "frequent". Many of the coral livestock below are in multiple colonies but I've only listed them singularly, e.g. there are actually two separate colonies of the tubiopora and probably a half-dozen colonies of the orange zoanthid.




Sarcophyton elegans

Sarcophyton latum


Discosoma-Brown/Green (MIA)






Clavularia #1

Clavularia #2 (previously mis-ID’d, same as above)

Clavularia viridis

Clove Polyps (in ill health)


Stoloniferan #1-Pink

Stoloniferan #2

Stoloniferan #3 (aka ‘Moss’)


Parazoanthus (Yellow Polyps)



Zoanthid-Red (mis-ID’d, same as Zoanthid-Orange)




Zoanthid-Brown/Green (color changed to predominantly green)



Blue Xenia


SPS-Yellow (Unidentified)



Livestock (other than Corals)



Padina sp.

Amphoria fragilisima



(2) Astrae Snails

(3) Brittle Stars

(1) Stomatella Snail



Phyllochaetopterus Worms

Ctenophores (casting line-type)



Mysis Shrimp

Feather Dusters


Below: initial setup pic (10-23-05), chalk-white rock and northern facing window (I was concerned of overexposure for the tank at the time).



Below: similar time frame (10-29-05) but moved into living room and a southern facing window.



Below: early front view (11-5-05), sorry for the glare/reflection.



Below: angled fts (11-8-05)



Below: overhead view showing condensation and splash from the bubbles



Below: another front view (12-4-05), lighting for correct pics was definitely an issue for me. Sometimes the pictures would be too blue or too red depending on overcast days or bright sunlight, respectively. That’s not even counting my very poor photo-skills, which I hope have improved through the contest.



Below: side views (12-4-05) were much easier to obtain good-looking (i.e. low/no glare) shots



Below: another angled fts (12-18-05), the bleach whiteness of the rock has been replaced with a biofilm and coralline is just starting to take hold.



Below: front fts (1-1-06), happy new year!



Below: front fts (1-22-06)



edit: the system said i exceeded my picture limit within a single post. :huh: so this is just the other half.


Below: front fts (2-11-06), I’m getting better on the glare as you can see. :P



Below: side view fts (2-25-06)



Below: angled fts (3-17-06), my short stint with an tall afro-canopy (changed it out within days).



Below: new canopy closeup (3-24-06), new and improved low profile canopy.



Below: side view fts (3-25-06)



Below: side view fts (4-1-06), final shots right after contest end-date



Below: front view fts (4-1-06), NOTE: this is a cropped and spliced shot. What I did towards the end of the contest is take two pics of the front fts, ignoring the obvious glare/reflection, then cut/cropped two pictures (right & left) into one pic that minimized the glare/reflection. You can still see the slight seam line in the middle though. I didn’t say I was good at photoshop, I just wanted less glare from my honda in the driveway. :P



Overall, I’ve been very happy with the setup and process. The contest forced/prodded me to be vigilant and conservative with my livestock additions (never did add the fish I wanted to). The ugf system was ok by-and-large. The bubble geysers gave me some grief but overall I liked the randomness and easy/light flow of the bubbling versus a small powerhead.


One of the original concepts I wanted to incorporate into this setup was an emulation of Lee Eng Chin’s “natural method” utilizing bubbling action as the water flow. I’m not sure if I could apply his method effectively to a large traditional-type tank but I think I did a decent job imitating it here in a pico.


But I think the sunlight application proved out very well. I don’t think I’ll be doing another tank without sunlight as a significant light source or as the only light source from now on.


In fact, the very rich phytoplankton generation from this tank has me thinking of other corals and applications to combine with our “traditional” tanks. will advise!


Again, thanks for following along and the encouraging remarks. Both were very much appreciated!

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this is awesome in so many respects, I hope you win...

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I have enjoyed watchign this tank.


It's got my vote. :flower:

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thanks for the comments! :blush:

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It's been fascinating watching this tank develop. I didn't think that it would have been my cup of tea but now I'm completely hooked. You've done a really great job and the best of luck when the voting begins. :D


Best regards



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This by far has been the most interesting tank. Who knew you could do such a great job with out a big electric bill! Very nice, tiny. :)

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You have come a long way baby....


and so has your tank! :P


This tank was very unique and original and I was impressed with the amount of success you had with it. If you would take it to a grandeur scale and spend a bit less time porn surfing, you could be right up there with Moe, Sprung and the other elite reef nerds....... :lol:


I tip my hat to you.......

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ok, who are you and what have you done with dickie?




thanks for the comments everyone!

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I'm impressed


*thumbs up**

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good good stuff tiny so did you win. i know this is an old topic already hehe!!

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oh hey, i didn't realize you or anyone posted. thanks, buick and demented! i think i got 2nd place or something. no prize. :(


i ended this tank a month or so ago to consolidate my systems. too much work and bs as i diverted my time to mission critical stuff, i.e. family.


it was a fun project though. sunlight would still be my first choice if i had a blank check though. the lighting quality and corals' reaction was just perfect in the limited timeframe (about 2-hours of prime light iirc), which surprisingly still proved to be sufficient for growth and health. it'd have to be a sunroom-type of setup though for a huuuuge tank. B)


right now, i've incorporated partial sunlight into my 75g tank. i have a big (somewhat) southern window exposed to that tank. so far, so good. the (phyto)plankton generation seems to be strong and the glass doesn't seem to be too bad, especially considering i forgo cleanings weeks at a time now. *blush*


thanks for stopping by though! :happy:

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Bump!!! Wholely cow. Deserves a look, I think.

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what kind of nikon you got great chrisp picture quality nikons are the best if you ask me

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it's Nikon E995? i think. it's set to macro, tripod, and i used a timer to avoid "hand-shake". (basic drdrew advice)


it's actually an easy to use (i.e. amateur :P ) camera but more for a tourist than for the pro pics like many others here have. those are really sweet cameras (both nikon and canon) and better optins than the one i have (inherited/hand-me-down).


thanks for the comments though. drdrew helped me and i watched others, scratching little bits of info here and there trying to do so without looking too noobish.


i've tended to limit my photoshopping in recent years though. i was mainly using it to sharpen and color-correct (sunlight is very red/yellow). but they often looked too blue or weird highlights. so i stopped trying to adjust the pics (they were looking too funky). :lol:

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