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WHY WON'T MY PICO STAY STABLE?


goldendreamer

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goldendreamer

i have had my 2 gal aga setup for weeks now, and am still completely unable to keep the temp stable. i know this sounds dumb, but i feel like i've exhausted every possible option that seemed feasible.

 

my apartment's 'thermostat' acts much more as a 'high-low' gauge than an actual thermostat. if you put the thermostat on a certain setting, and never touch it, you will still have variances of several degrees, over a period of days. if it is warm out, my apartment automatically gets warmer, despite not touching the thermostat.

 

 

 

even during a particular day, the up and down swings are very drastic.

 

i currently have a fan on my unit, on a timer, and the fan goes on / off at 1 hour intervals all day. this has helped to stabilize, but i still have a swing of 1 degree MINIMUM on a daily basis. 2/3 degree swing at a maximum.

 

 

 

what can i do? no matter how stable i have this thing setup, it can only be stable relative to my home environment, which is very unstable, and cannot be fixed (i'm friends with a kid who works in my complex, and told me that's as accurate as these units will be). i have giant water turnover in my tank, so it is hypersensitive to changes in the ambient temperature.

 

the only option i see is to have something in my tank that is somehow on a switch that senses temperature, so that it can heat/cool my tank appropriately at the right time. a heater doesn't seem to be an option, as keeping it at the upper max (~81) seems too high. also, that means that when my apt decides to get really hot, the tank will probably fly up to 82/83. another thing is that i am not convinced that any heaters will be responsive enough to keep these up and downs in check all day.

 

a chiller seems to be a possibility, but again, like with heaters, i can't confirm that the thing will be sensitive enough to detect a small rise in temp, and to then cool it down, all quickly enough to eliminate the swings.

 

any help is appreciated, i am at my wit's end dealing with this. i knew that keepign the small tanks stable would be a problem, and i thought i'd be able to conquer it, but i feel that my only options are to gamble by buying an expensive piece of equipment (chiller) that may or may not even work. without a stable ambient temp, i don't know how on earth i can keep a high turnover, 2 gallon tank stable

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but i still have a swing of 1 degree MINIMUM on a daily basis. 2/3 degree swing at a maximum.

 

Im not sure this is a real problem, My 62G + 30Gsump swings between 77-80 daily, and isnt a problem. I assume the ocean temp swings a couple degrees between day/night also. Imagine if you had MetalHalides, how much it would swing. :o I say dont worry, its ok.

 

btw, my old 24G nano swung between 80-83 daily, with no problems.

 

Good luck, Mike :)

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I second Mike. I have a 2.5 and it will swing from as low as 76 some mornings to 80/81 towards the end of the lighting cycle. Even with these swings I have not noticed one thing ever being affected by temp.

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Run your house cooler, so that even on the high end of a temperature swing it never gets above 80 degrees. Then use a heater to keep the tank at the desired temp when the house is cooler than the max.

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I like temperature swings in my 2.5, my fish/inverts/coral have never had any negative effects from it.

 

One day it swung from 60 degrees to 78 =X

 

Most of the time it hits 71 as a low and gets up to 80 by the end of the cycle.

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goldendreamer

cgnano, you have a 9 degree swing most days?!? have your inhabitants been surviving, or are they flourishing? corals splitting?

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My < 1g office pico runs from low 70's to as high as 77 when the ambient temp nears 75 and I have both lights on. It hasn't been a problem for my zoas, GSP, shrooms, xenia and snails.

 

In my 6g NC at home, temp swings from 80 to 82.5, in an old vintage apartment building with steam radiators that I do not control. I have SPS, zoas, GSP, xenia and shrooms, crabs and snails, tho no fish.

 

Your only option is to keep ambient temperature down, and run a heater for when ambient gets low. It would be crazy to put a chiller on a 2g IMO. Are you running a powerhead in the tank, or HOB filter? What kind of lighting, and is the tank covered? I run my pico uncovered during the day when ambient temp is higher, and cover it at night. Any powerhead in a tank as small as yours will surely raise the temp a lot (as well as look like hell).

 

And please tell us what you plan to keep in this tank if you really need temps so stable!

 

G

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Coral growth is fantastic.

 

The Encrusting Gorgonian extends much more with fluctuating temperatures.

 

And my Cinnamon Clown is the only fish i've had (other than my Mandarin) that has never gotten sick.

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goldendreamer
Answer to your problems= Get a bigger tank

 

haha seriously... i actually have this because i downgraded from a (bigger) fowlr tank, and won't be able to setup another until i move to CA next year. i only had 2 places to put this new tank, to keep me from jonesing for salt too hard, and a 5 gal was too big for either place, so this was my only option if i wanted a tank

 

 

Coral growth is fantastic.

 

The Encrusting Gorgonian extends much more with fluctuating temperatures.

 

And my Cinnamon Clown is the only fish i've had (other than my Mandarin) that has never gotten sick.

you have a mandarin in your 2.5? how long has he been in there? doing well? are you feeding separate pods/prepped foods, or do you have it setup to sustain him?

 

Your only option is to keep ambient temperature down, and run a heater for when ambient gets low. It would be crazy to put a chiller on a 2g IMO. Are you running a powerhead in the tank, or HOB filter? What kind of lighting, and is the tank covered? I run my pico uncovered during the day when ambient temp is higher, and cover it at night. Any powerhead in a tank as small as yours will surely raise the temp a lot (as well as look like hell).

 

And please tell us what you plan to keep in this tank if you really need temps so stable!

 

G

no powerhead, i am running a hob fuge, actually all my data is in my sig. i don't plan on changign anythign from that, except for dealing with this problem and maybe adding zoas

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There are several controllers that will turn on/off your equipment according to temp. range. If you got an ice probe and an extra fan, you could have your fans come on at around 81 and your I-P come on on or two degrees above that. You could likewise have your heater come on at around 78. That way every thing is using the same t-stat to turn on/off.

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goldendreamer
Mandarin isn't in my 2.5.

 

Cinnamon Clown is.

what size is the mandarin in?

 

i want a mandarin soooo bad. make that like 10 mandarins. i wonder if you could get a bunch of mandarins, like 5 mandarins, put them in a 55 gallon, and have a 55 gal fuge beneath it, wiht tons of aragocrete rock 'shelves' in the fuge. for your daily feedings you could just swap a shelf from teh display with one from the fuge, and have a perfect system..... damn i need to get to soemwhere i can put a bigger tank, the restrictions on a minireef are killing me

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How hot does it get when the house is at maximum temp with the fans running?? If its below 81 degrees, just leave the fan on 24/7 and let the heater keep the tank stable?

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Mandarin isn't in my 2.5.

 

Cinnamon Clown is.

how big is the clown? you are proibably pushing the limits with it in a 2.5 if it is anything but a real small baby.

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goldendreamer
how big is the clown? you are proibably pushing the limits with it in a 2.5 if it is anything but a real small baby.

haha i tried pulling my sexed pair of NEMOS from my 55 to my 2.5.... seemed like they never left a 6'' square of the big tank anyways, so didn't seem like it'd be an issue. the big one kept swimming into the corner tho, so i took them out promptly

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even though the swimming room may not seem to be an issue, it probably is. and the bigger issue is the quick degredation of water quality due to a relatively large fish in a small water volume with not a whole lot of water to dillute the fish waste and not a whole lot of rock to maintain biological filtration to break waste down.

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goldendreamer
Mandarin isn't in my 2.5.

 

Cinnamon Clown is.

do you have pics? I have an idea for a mandarin tank that I may begin working on now, that i woudl really be starting in the summer (just getting the aragocrete ready now beforehand, takes forever to cure.... although my experiences have been with 30lbs + pieces).

 

i may attempt a 'nano'ish setup, like 30-40 gallons, probably breeder, with multiple mandarins, anywhere from 3-5 maybe. it would have a sister pod tank, and each tank would have the same rockwork. one tank woudl be a mandarin tank, and the other a pod tank. every week i would trade one of the rocks between the pod tank and the mandarin tank to keep a pod population going.

(these aren't going to be regular rocks, mind you. these will be handmade aragocrete rocks designed to be densely populated pod rocks.

 

To be honest i wouldn't even mind buying all the mandarins' pods mail order, but think this method would be easier than dealing with waiting for deliveries.

 

has anyone ever seen a tank like that? the only place i've seen something like that is the mandarin death camp tanks at my lfs. wait, all lfs's haha, in my area anyways

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How high off of the water surface iare your lights? Are they in a hood? My first instinct is that your temp problems are due to your pc's. My 7.5gal now needs a heater to maintain a constant 79 night and day. My 2gal fluctuated two degrees from the night time temp (78) to the day time temp (80) but switching to a 70w halide helped keep the temp down for me.

 

- Chad

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goldendreamer

i don't think it's really due to the pc's, as it fluctuates back and forth while they are on constantly. turning them on for 12hrs straight is easy for me to deal with, i just have the fan come on whiel the lights are on (well, the fan actually goes on and off in 1 hour intervals through the time period where the light is on). my apartment is the issue, the up and down temp fluctuations of my heater are too strong/frequent for the tank to remain stable

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