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Our story begins in 1989. Boy works in LFS. Girl works in LFS. A year later they start dating and soon after that their fish rooms merge. Fast forward a bit. Boy & girl have some children, and many aquariums together. But the economy collapse, boy & girl lose almost everything (except their children), and go on a long aquarium hiatus during their recovery. Fast forward to today. Boy & girl have one more kid (now making three). They are recovered from old economic hardships. And they miss their shared hobby. ... The kitchen is the social center of our crowded little home. It's a very small kitchen, and space is at a premium. But my wife voiced to me some interest recently that she'd like to have an aquarium again, specifically a reef, and very specifically she was interested in the Fluval Evo 5 (no sponsorship, just a sincere personal preference on her part). And she wanted this right smack in the middle of the kitchen countertop so everyone could see it frequently throughout the day. She was out of town yesterday with the kids for a dog show, leaving me alone to embark on a project. I headed over to the LFS (The Fish Room in Raleigh) and they got me set up with their last Fluval Evo 5, a compact heater, some live sand and live rock, and a jug of salt water. Wife came home last night and saw this in the kitchen. I got her sincere reaction on video, which I'm cutting together with some other footage for my new YouTube channel. I've not upgraded any of the stock components (yet?) on this tank. And no, I don't intend to stock with LPS/SPS. I have to say, though; I can't help but feel a little bit like Buck Rogers combing back to the hobby after a long hiatus. The technology and products have changed. Certainly the pet industry has changed and moved far more toward big box stores. I'm really fortunate to have a good shop near my home. I don't think I would have even bothered with a project like this if I didn't have a good shop nearby.
*Updated 11/18/2018* How's it going everyone? I'll make this my video journal for everyone to keep up with my first nano (pico?) reef build. Hope everyone is entertained and finds it informative. Tank setup: 01/08/2018 -Lights are stock, looking to put the AI Prime from my Lagoon 25 on it when I upgrade that light. -Swapped out return pump for cobalt MJ 606 -DIY media basket-running filter floss to carbon, to bioballs that came with it. I’m also running additional ceramics under the basket in the empty spot. -I went with ~10lbs of LS and ~6lbs LR -Weekly 1gallon waterchanges (Fritz RPM mixed by store to 1.024, but I keep my tank at 1.025) -Temp fluctuates between 78-79 using a hydor Theo 50w and ink bird. Livestock: -Wheeler Goby (killed by emerald?) -Tail Spot Blenny (Jumped 6/6/18) -Sexy Shrimp 🦐 -Pistol Shrimp 🦐 -Azure Damsel -Purple Lobster 🦂 CUC: -2 Red-legged Hermits (lazy af lol) -2 Astrea Snails (slow af lol) -2 Blue-legged hermits (also lazy af) -1 Tiger Conch (😎 af) -Emerald Crab (possibly killed wheeler goby) Coral: -Bunch of zoas (Fruit loops, Green Bay Packers, Radioactive Dragon Eyes, no names) -Candy cane -Mushrooms [ricordea (Yuma, Florida) , rhodactis] -GSP -Pulsing Xenia -Palys -ORA Vargas Cespitularia -04/04/18- After losing the torch in this tank I really reconsidered things in here. (Big changes coming). -I’d like to get another filter feeder, probably a coco worm, since I’m already feeding phyto every three days. -This tank will now be low maintenance, housing corals I wouldn’t sob about dying. Including xenia, cespitularia, zoas/palys, mushrooms, GSP, clove polyps, and when I upgrade the lights I’ll get a RFA or two. Heres what were looking at until I get things stable in here as far temp control and bringing up my nutrients goes. -6/6/18: Completely rescaped the tank while doing some good scrubbing on the GHA that grew over the rock work.
I'm bored at work so I guess I'll officially make a thread for this tank (seeing as though I have been better at updating lately). I'm going to start the thread with it's current stocking and state. If you want to look at older pictures of the build, I have a pretty extensive record on my Instagram account: pico_reefer. Equipment: - Fluval Evo 5 - MP 10 - Cobalt 50 watt heater - Kessil a160we Livestock: - Gold nugget maroon clownfish (female) - lightning maroon clownfish (male) - 1 sexy shrimp - various types of bubble tip anemones (the original plan was to be a bta only tank). - mini maxi anemone - green and red Monti caps - rainbow Monti - bubble gum digi - sunset monti - yellow and black sun corals - dendro - utter chaos zoas - green/red bowerbanki - jack-o'-lantern leptoseris - branching psammacorra - space invader pectinia - a green platygyra? - darth maul porites - a two tone red streaky chalice - sinularia - toadstool (The ultimate goal was to keep the theme green and red, I've diverged a little bit but that's ok) Maintenance: I typically do at least a 100% water changes weekly if not more (seeing as though it's only roughly 4 gallons of actual water volume) Long term plan: I've realized that this is probably not a feasible tank for a long term, I'll probably upgrade to the 13.5 gallon version eventually. I haven't had an issue with nutrient control or algae due to my weekly water changes. The one thing I am concerned about is the size of the maroons (however they are couch potatoes and rarely leave their btas, only to eat and attack my hand lol). All I know is it's pretty difficult to chose a favorite between this system and my 2.5 gallon. Here are some pictures: DSLR pic under a whiter spectrum: Blue spectrum with aquariclip: Top down with DSLR: Macro of the lighting: