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About cincyJames

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  • Birthday 09/23/1984

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    Cincinnati, Ohio
  1. Hahaha! I wish I could swing that for my wife. Then when I want to buy stuff, I could say, "Well, this is your pico too you know...!" It is doubtful that will fly From what I can tell, I believe that the float got stuck, yes. It is a little magnetic float and had been running fine for weeks now... no better time than while out of town for it to fail though. LOL. I will be doing manual top offs for a little bit I guess. At least until I feel more confident with the top off.
  2. Well, I would like to say that the tank survived the week without incident.... But that would be a lie. On Monday night, merely 16hrs after leaving my house, my wife and I are face timing and that's when I hear her say, "Oh my God!" She turns the camera around and shows me my tank. There is water draining out of the tank, onto the sofa table it sits on and all over the floor. I have her lift the radio shell off the tank to see where it is leaking. To my surprise, it wasn't leaking at all but overflowing. My ATO had been filling the tank with fresh water. I knew the ATO had about 1 gallon of water in it before I left. In my mind, the radio pico was done for. I wasn't necessarily sure how long it had been filling with water, but the pump was running dry by the point we saw the water everywhere. I had 2 or 3 gallons of salt water in a 5 gallon bucket, so I asked my stepson to do a quick 100% water change. He willingly stopped playing fortnite to help his mom with the tank. This was the first time that either of them had done anything to one of my tanks... Let alone over FaceTime. He was able to drain about 95% of the water out and refilled the tank with saltwater... And then we waited. After about 10mins, I taught him how to use a refractometer via FaceTime and he said it was right around 1.023. I had my wife send me photos later that event and the next morning and everything seemed fine. I have to assume that the ATO could have only been running for about 10-15mins or so to have been able to save the tank. I am sure that the water was pretty much completely diluted by the time we caught it though. To celebrate saving the tank, I went and picked up a frag on my way home from the airport. It wasn't anything special. Just some small little polyps and a blue mushroom. From what I can tell, everything looks great! Ultimately, work travel is done and the tank survived thanks to my wife and stepson!
  3. Everyone loves a pic of the backside. Lol I also went against my better judgement and added some LPS. Neon candy canes, hammer and the world's smallest/most pathetic Duncan head. Lol. I also moved the anthelia so it is super pissed off too. I travel to DC for work this week so Monday through Thursday this little tank is on its own... a true test of the stability of 0.5 gallons of water.
  4. Yes, the radio shell is slid right over the top of the tank. It literally has about 1/16" of space to spare. Haha! I was hoping to keep the shell complete intact, but I had to cut a 3/4" slot from the bottom to the middle of the back of the tank in order to accommodate all of the wires and ATO stuff. I will post a picture of the back later this evening.
  5. Nothing too exciting to report but that I added a little pop of gold to the radio. I really like how it looks! I may try to touch up the gold lettering on the dial too.
  6. Thanks everyone! I appreciate the kind words and following along. I'm pretty excited to see what happens in this little tank. I went to the LFS and picked up some cheap frags and a halloween hermit crab. He seems to always have his back towards me though. I want to see how the anthelia, GSP and polyps do before adding anything else. Being patient is always the WORST part of this hobby. Haha!
  7. I divided the tank into a display section and sump. The sump sits behind the radio dials. There is A LOT going on in the very small space of the sump. I have a heater and inkbird sensor, ATO and pump. The total tank volume before I added rocks and sand was 1/2 gallon. I also bought a Bluetooth speaker and put it inside the top of the radio. It is synced it to our Alexa so it can play music too. Now just waiting for the tank to cycle for a few days (using existing sand and some filter media) and then going to add coral. More to come!
  8. After downgrading my Gumball Pico to a Betta tank, I got the itch to once again turn something that wasn't meant to be a fish tank into a fish tank. After scrolling through eBay, I found a 1940's Mitchell Lullaby Bed Lamp Radio. I felt like it had a really cool design and the price was right so I picked it up. After gutting it, I made a small glass aquarium to slide inside of the radio shell. I trimmed out the speaker section and added a new light cover. More posts to come later this evening! I also have more pictures and videos of the tank on my Instagram- reefingjames
  9. 9 month update: Unfortunately, the last 3 months have been pretty difficult for the tank. As mentioned previously, I received in a second set of LEDs and now am running double the light that I was before. I was still able to conceal the LEDs in the lid and it definitely is twice as bright! With this added light though, came ALGAE! This has been the first true issue in the tank and unfortunately, my husbandry for the tank was severely lacking over the summer. Between our 6 kids, vacations, camps, sports practices, work, etc., this tank was placed on the back burner. Today I decided to spend a few hours working on the tank, in hopes of getting it back to its former glory. Besides algae issues, I have also had issues with flatworms again and heater issues. The 10W Aqueon heaters that I have been using with my Ink Bird have been burning out after about 3 months of use or so. I am not certain if this is because of the constant on/off nature of the Ink Bird, in order to keep the heat at 79 degrees or what. Regardless, the past few weeks or so, the tank has just been running at ambient room temperature. I am currently taking any/all suggestions for a heater that is no more than 4" long and can handle the constant on/off nature of keeping this tank to temp. With all of these problems, it appears that my snail and hermit crab have passed away as well. This likely didn't help my algae issues either. Most of the corals look pitiful, but in a shocking turn, my teal candy cane has a head that is splitting?! I assume it is due to being directly under the LEDs and being in a filthy tank. Anyways, here is the current/updated pic of the tank. It is pretty depressing to compare what it looked like 4 months ago and what looks like today. I am hoping that I am able to get it back to where it was. Unrelated to this tank, my 5 gallon tank, even though being equally as neglected, has been doing awesome over the summer! In this hobby, I have always tried to keep my hands out of the tank as much as possible. For this tank, minimal interaction seems to be beneficial. For the gumball tank... more interaction is definitely needed. As always, any thoughts, comments, ideas, etc. are appreciated.
  10. Thanks! It is crazy that it has been 6 months already. As far as I can tell, no. The aluminum lid never feels warm and the lights aren't really warm to the touch. If they are putting off heat, it doesn't seem to be enough to raise the water temp. My InkBird seems to run a couple times an hour so the heater is definitely keeping the tank above room temp. I hope another set of LEDs at least helps the corals settle back down. Crazy long necks on them these days. Haha
  11. 6 month update!!! The Gumball Pico is cruising along. I need to do a water change sometime soon. It has been roughly a month and all I have done is top off what has evaporated. The photos below are what the tank looks like without water changes or scrubbing the glass... HA! Nothing has really changed in the tank other than my corals continue to stretch to get more adequate light. I ordered a second LED kit off Amazon today so I am going to try and use two of those little kits to provide more light. I am also not sure if some of the lighting issues are coming from the spherical shape of the dome also. I have contemplated removing the aluminum top that came on the gumbal machine and just putting a PAR38 bulb over it. I really don't want to go this route due to taking away from the look of the tank, but we shall see. Regardless, the tank is still a focal point in our living room and a great conversation piece.
  12. 5 Month Update: It is hard to believe that this tank has been up and running for just over 5 months now. No major issues or die offs. Recently though, I did some battle with flatworms. Two drops of Flatworms eXit seemed to do the trick and I have not seen any since. No adverse effect to corals, inverts, etc. You will notice that the Xenia is drastically reduced. I cut a good chunk back and it migrated up and onto my return pump outlet. I still have a couple sprouts here and there and am interested to see if they grow throughout the tank or die back. One thing I have noticed lately is that the corals closer to the sandbed are reaching up for light. Those corals in the center and middle of the globe appear to be doing well though. I assume it is due to cheap LED lights and the curvature of the globe. I may look to update the lighting in the future, but for now I plan to just leave as is.
  13. I hope everyone's week is going well! Death visited the Gumball Pico this week. On Sunday evening, I began to search for my Rainfordi Goby... Much to my disappointment, I found him... being devoured by 2 hermit crabs I saw him eating throughout the week and all of my tank parameters seemed to be good, so who knows. I will probably hold off on adding any other fish for a while. Other than that setback, the tank seems to be doing well. I have began to see an uptick in small fan worms/feather dusters throughout the tank as well as other inverts. I have noticed more bristle worms crawling about too. They aren't out of control yet, but definitely something to monitor. Another cool update, in my opinion, when I added green zoas to the tank, I had noticed a very small muscle attached to the live rock. Over the past week or so, this muscle appears to have grown and also has been on the move. It was originally down toward the bottom of the overflow pipe (never had a pic of him) but now it has taken a place of prominence in the tank. This is just a random shot of a hermit, eying its next victim...lol Hope you all have a great week!
  14. It has been a few weeks since my last update. Nothing too exciting going on in the Gumball Pico, but I do have a couple updates/new additions. Yesterday, I decided to chop off some of my pulsing xenia. What started off as about a nickel sized piece at the LFS.... Grew into a dollar size coral! Although I am glad it grew so we'll, it took up about 75% of the light in my tank, so I cut it back pretty aggressively. The first two photos were from Saturday night and the third photo was after I cut it back on Sunday. The chunks I cut off were shipped across the street to my father-in-law's 29 gallon. In the photo above, you can also see my newest frag purchase. Nothing fancy, just some blue snowflake polyps. They are fully encrusted on the frag so it fit best on the left side of the tank. At this point, I have started to run out of space for corals. I am going to probably sit back and let everything fill in. And last but not least....I made a really BIG decision.... I added a fish!!! I found a Rainfordi Goby at the LFS that seemed perfect for the tank. He is still somewhat timid, but I have seen him out and about quite a bit. These are the best shots I have of him. For the past 3 months, the tank has been super stable... So like any good reefer, it only makes sense to mess with the balance and potentially screw everything up. Haha. If I start to have issue with algae (due to feedings) or other concerns, I may just pull him out and put him in my 5 gallon. I will be sure to keep you all updated!
  15. So Friday was an equipment update, but today is a stock update! The pico keeps chugging right along, with very few issues. On a sad note, my peppermint shrimp appears to be no longer with us.  Last Sunday morning, I woke up to one of the cleanest molts I have ever seen! It basically looked like he ate too much and decided to get some bigger clothes. (I know the feeling too). Lol.   Two days later though, poof.... GONE! I really have no idea what happened to him. The lid was secure and I have since cleaned both the display and sump....and nothing. My only thought is that he simply died and the hermits and snails cleaned him up quick!  To console myself, I decided to pick up some cheap frags. I purchases some GSP and some Green Plays. I moved the green ricordia to the left side of the globe (to be more balanced with the right side) and put the palys and GSP front and center. I am planning on moving the GSP to another spot, and move the palys to below the cloves polyps. The clove polyps haven't been doing as well as before. It has new growths, but they are really competing for light with the Xenia. Only the strong survive in the Gumball Pico! Haha   Â
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