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This tank was upgraded into a 5.5 after a week! Read down a bit to find that update. Hello all! I've recently gotten back into the hobby after quite a long time out of it. I was scrolling through Craigslist, and found a cheap 10 gallon reef setup that someone had let go bad. It still had some inverts and some macroalgae, but it was covered in nuisance algae. It needed to be started over, and I kinda wanted to use the 10 gallon for something else anyway. It's becoming a planted betta community! However, I did want to get back into reefing, and since I had all the equipment on hand, I decided to try my hand at a pico reef. I went to Walmart and found one of the 3 gallon glass cookie jars that seems to get used for this quite a bit. I threw in a cheap "powerhead" from Petsmart (it's an internal filter without any media) and a preset heater. I went to the nearest saltwater shop, and bought some truly cured Live Rock, got some old aragonite out of my storage, and bought some salt. Here we are! I set the tank up today, and I'm loving it so far. I'm planning on doing a pretty simple mixed reef. I'll probably stick with softies, macros, and LPS, with one centerpiece invert, plus all the snails and the hermit crab from the 10 gallon. Equipment List: Walmart 3 Gallon Jar Top FIn 10 Internal Filter (no media) Tetra 50W Preset Heater (may replace soon with an adjustable one) 50W Walmart Desk Lamp EBAY PAR 30 LED (may replace with an ABI bulb I have on hand) Stocking List: Inverts: 1 Scarlet Hermit 10-15 Dwarf Cerith Snails 1 Florida Cerith Macros: Codium Dragon's Breath Caulerpa Prolifera (not certain that it's prolifera) For now, I've got the macros sitting in a tub of water until tomorrow when I can get them glued down onto rocks and such. The Codium seems to be doing okay, but the Dragon's Breath is just tiny pieces and the Prolifera is just stems with "roots" shooting out of it. We'll see how they handle things. In the future, I'm considering adding an RFA as the "main attraction" of the tank, along with something along the lines of a Blood Shrimp as the centerpiece. Maintenance will include weekly 80-90% WCs, along with a 100% every few months. Here's a cloudy FTS. I'll update with another pic tomorrow, once the macros have been added.
So, I'm planning on moving my 2.5 gallon into a 5.5 gallon when I move rooms. I've been happy with the 2.5, I just want a bit more room and freedom to do what I want in the tank. I'm currently using a freshwater 12" Finnex LED strip that, for whatever reason, my zoas (and the hair algae) seem to love. It's been discontinued at this point, but it's a good little light. I've ordered one of the cheap 15W PAR 30s off of Ebay to try after seeing them used on other picos. It's got x3 10000K and x2 actinic. I know they tend to not last a terribly long time, but if I like the cheap one, I'll go for the name brand. I had been planning on covering 2-3 LEDs for my 2.5G, as I know the bulb will cook my coral if not. But for a 5.5G, would I need to do the same? Or would it not be enough for the tank? I'll be keeping mostly softies and macroalgae, although I may test the waters with a hardy LPS at some point.