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  1. I'd like to preface this by saying that I'm a DIYer at heart and I enjoy that process. I'm sure that much of what you see here could have been avoided by going with a small AIO tank, but I wanted to do something different. We'll see if this backfires as it's my first reef tank, but fingers crossed! Around 3 years ago I was ready to set up my first tank - a Fluval Evo 13.5. I was nearly ready to add water, auto water change configured, custom stand build, etc, but had to move shortly thereafter. My new place was going to be much smaller, meaning no place to put the stand I had built for the 13.5g tank. Fast forward a year.. having already been considering a jar, not only for the interesting aesthetics, but also the potential to rip clean and just generally less water to deal with. I decided to go for that instead as my new place had a little snack bar, perfect for such a tank! I ended up purchasing a Reefsmart light (intended for use with the Anchor Hocking 2g jar), and again was just about ready to add water. This was at the same time as the PG&E power shutoffs in Northern CA, which seriously put me off from setting up an aquarium of any kind. I told myself that if by the next year there had been no PG&E outages for a extended periods of time, I'd pick it back up. During this period of de motivation, I decided to implement a reef-pi and Kasa power strip in place of the Inkbird setup. Said to myself, might as well monitor temperature swings in my jar as my home insulation isn't the best. Sure enough, my little 10w heater wasn't keeping up in the coldest months and indoor ambient temps would get over 82 during the summer. This further demotivated me as I don't have central AC. After staring at the Anchor Hocking jar for literally a year I just could not get past the lack of clarity. I delved deep into Google trying to find a clearer alternative that would work with the Reefsmart light, no such luck. I came across a single mention of the extra large snack jar available at CB2 in a post over at nano-reef as a potential candidate. From the product photos it looked crystal clear, and slightly larger in diameter. Despite some lines visible from production and few other imperfections, the clarity was night and day in comparison to the Anchor Hocking in person. I resolved the diameter issue by designing a simple 3d printed reducer ring. I'm not very happy with the finish of the ring even after smoothing it out and painting it, so I'll likely to another version that will also extend down past the water line. Now to address the heating and flow. After extensive research, I decided to use a canister filter for both flow and heat, with no intention of using it for filtration (although I have that option, probably just carbon). I found the Oase Thermo 100 canister filter which has an option to install a heater directly into the canister itself - perfect! I liked this as it would clean up the display and would allow me to use a higher wattage heater. Ordered the Thermo 100 and quickly realized that the flow was way too much for such a small jar, its physical size would also make the whole setup very ugly. I stumbled on a post in the freshwater community stating that the smaller Oase 60 (and it's much cheaper clone the ZooMed 10) uses the exact same blanking panel as the Thermo 100! Meaning you can use Oase's heater conversion kit intended for the non Thermo 100, as long as you can find a heater identical in diameter to the Oase and short enough to fit in the smaller canister. Bam, problem solved.. well, almost. I am a paranoid person by nature, so the idea of using a canister filter sketched me out with their leak potential. After some brain storming I decided that a kitchen container to house the filter would kill 2 birds with 1 stone - leaks and aesthetics. Another step towards leak prevention/containment is ensuring all plumbing connections are made inside of the container. I hated how the stock hosing looked, so I ordered some acrylic tubing intended for PC cooling and bent up some custom lily pipes. Finally, I added a very simple leak sensor on the outside of the filter's container connected to the reef-pi. I was able to fit a 50w heater in the ZooMed, and the flow looked good enough for me. After running it through its paces, my water temps stayed pinned at 77 despite ambient air temperatures of 58 during the morning (for science!) I haven't had many hot days to address over temp issues, but I did add a small USB driven fan on a Kasa smart plug, controlled by my reef-pi. I did some short tests and it looks like it does drop the temp by a few degrees, which may be enough. This is something I'm still not confident on, so I'll have to adjust on the fly. I also ordered some 25c phase change material to throw under the tank as a test. Fast forward to Thursday of last week, my 3lbs of the Australian live rock from Unique Corals arrived and it's currently curing in a 5 gallon bucket! My rock is in quite a few smaller pieces, so I'll have to figure out what I want to do for an aquascape. I ordered a few sealed magnets from KJ's, so I might actually create a few live rock shelves. Still unsure what I want to do in regards to stocking, but definitely coral and inverts only, I'm thinking a RFA centerpiece with sexy shrimp would be awesome. I'm stoked with how it's coming out thus far, need to do a bit more cable management, but it'll be viewable from almost 360 degrees which I don't thing I could have achieved with a traditional tank. Finally, I just want to thank @brandon429 for constantly fielding my questions and guiding me and so many others, I probably would have given up without his help.
  2. I'm using a single thread to document all three of my bowls. Central concept: Simplicity. Reefbowl, 4 January 2017 Reefbowl, 27 June 2016 Opae'ula Brackish Shrimpbowl, 26 March 2016: Reefbowl 25 March 2016: Quick specs (updated 20 March 2017): Mossbowl (land picosphere) Tank: 1 gallon hand-blown glass bowl from Amazon.com ~$15 shipped Substrate: Random rocks and ceramic baby heads (now entombed by moss) Moss: Random moss from the backyard and from the pots my carnivorous plants grow in Inputs: RODI water once every week or so Light: East window + old Skyye LED fixture Shrimpbowl (brackish picosphere) Tank: 1 gallon hand-blown glass bowl from Amazon.com Substrate: White silica sand Rocks: Dry Marco Rock Water: Brackish SG 1.012 Evaporation control: Repurposed glass jar lid Light: East window + old Skyye LED fixture Stock: 12 captive-bred opae'ula (Hawaiian volcano shrimp, halocaridina rubra), 1 horned nerite snail, 1 brackish moss ball Reefbowl (ocean picosphere) Tank: 1.75 gallon hand-blown glass bowl from Amazon.com Substrate: Aragonite flakes Rocks: Dry Marco Rock Circulation: Airline, no airstone Heat: Betta Stik 7.5 watts with Finnex digital temperature controller Light: ABI 12W 50/50 blue & white Tuna Blue par38 LED from Amazon.com Fixture: Black architect table lamp from Amazon.com Light cycle: 11am-7pm with time switch; intermittent sunlight from east & south windows and LED light from shrimpbowl Filtration: None Dosing: None Skimmer: None Auto top-off: None Credit card debt: None Evaporation control: Repurposed terrarium lid; vinyl tubing added around rim to control salt creep Water change: Weekly 100% Feeding: Weekly before WC. Combo of: Reef Roids Coral Frenzy Rods Food Coral Blend Phyto Feast Fauna Marin Ultra Ricordea & Zoanthus + Ultra Min D Stock as of 27 January 2017: Pink goniopora Green/yellow gonipora Orange Rainbow goniopora Red Planet acropora Green slimer acropora ORA tricolor acropora valida Neon green nephthea Purple/green frogspawn Bubblegum montipora digitata Red montipora digitata Tyree sunset montipora Orange leptoseris JF jack o' lantern leptoseris Mr. Freeze leptoseris 2 misc. acan lordhowensis Witches' wheel acan lordhowensis Blastomussa merletti Duncanopsammia Captain America palythoa Meteor shower cyphastrea Traded in at LFS Mountain dew chalice Traded in at LFS Zoas: Petroglyphs (or something very similar) Utter chaos Blondies Supergirls Raspberry limes Solar flares Fruit loops Pink & golds Rastas Rings of fire Glitches Unique Corals fire hornets Gifted to Teenyreef Vamps in drag Ultra searchlights Morphed watermelons No-name green, purple and blue zoas ----------------------------------------------------------- So, this is my new project After several years of reefing, I wanted something extremely simple, minimal and low-maintenance so that I could have more time to do other things, like travel and painting. I learned about volcano shrimp or opae ula (halocaridina rubra) while listening to the Reef Threads podcast; Christine has a little opae ula tank and loves it. Volcano shrimp live in pools of oxygen-poor water in Hawaii. So this isn't technically a reef tank, in fact it's not a reef tank in the slightest, but it's brackish water and it has Marco Rock in it, and Nano-reef is fun, so...yeah Equipment list: -Hand blown glass 1-gallon bowl from Amazon -Leftover white sand from planted tank -Dry Marco Rock -Gorg skeleton -Brackish water from LFS -Old Skyye LED that I use to light my moss bowl All ready to get started (I was going to use that red pumice too but ended up wanting all white stone and sand) Gluing together the rockscape Aaaaaand it's wet! I have it in the studio next to the moss bowl. I like the contrast between the two. Try not to pay attention to the metal bars, that's an old tomato cage I'll figure out a more stylish solution eventually. I added a drop of Zeobak and the cycle is well underway. As soon as the cycle is done and I start to see some algae growth, I'll order the shrimp, captive bred from Petshrimp.com. I love my shrimp bowl already and it doesn't even have shrimp in it yet.
  3. Hey everyone! I used to keep track of my projects on other forums years in the past; I figured I should try to document my tangents once again. I found there are several usb powered miniature water pumps on the internet and it squeezed my thoughts into reason of a similar ratio... put a mini-pump in a mini-sump for a mini-reef! So my latest experiment is a very tiny pico reef aquarium; the system is constructed from found up-cycled material and attempted-budget-purchased equipment. I plan to play with it while I setup other more sustainable systems. The tedious DIY aspects of it are complete; its success will depend on equipment application/reliability from this point. The empty "display tank" can hold .123 gallons. The system is very nearly sealed using multiple containers and a mini pump for movement, no airline or stone. My goal is to culture some type of really-small-polyp coral and micro-fauna. Obviously a few or more concerns: can the pump produce sufficient movement? Avoiding the inevitability of rapid temperature and PH fluctuations. Also, choosing the appropriate species of coral... I just filled it with saltwater not even a few days ago; I had been taking checkpoint pictures and hand-recording processes and will share them with details here as soon as I can. - Brant Here's a teaser photo for now:
  4. Hi, New to the forum but not reefing in general, have been out for a few years but recently set up a small nano for my daughter in her room, and have been bitten by the bug again. I have been offered an old RSM130 for free but cant get it for a few weeks due to covid restrictions here in UK and now i'm working from home I'm going for a little desk pico while I wait! I've had a large empty vodka bottle sat on teh shelf gathering dust for some time with a mind to upcycle it at some point, and reading through the Jar picos threads on here its seemed like an ideal container to build something a little different. the plan is to drill out the bottom of the bottle, seal the top and stand it upside down. with a small power head for flow and LED lighting. The bottle will be mounted in a solid wood base, with a matching hood suspended on copper pipe, I have roughly started the build today with progress pics below. small amount of rock is currently in the nano seeding up and i'm still waiting on pump, LED driver and heat sync to be delivered.
  5. RedTxn

    Anemone Jar Inquiry

    The popularity of jar reefs coupled with the video below is inspiring me to create a desktop biotope with just anemones. I used to have a bunodosoma cavernata in a 2 gallon while in college but that was almost 40 years ago when undergravel filters were the norm. In the past decade I have seen others keep condys, rock flowers, bubble tip and even min-maxis in nano tanks, but there is something intriguing about going smaller and trying an anemone in a jar. I came across this article and would like to do something similar but with a different, more colorful anemone. https://www.reef2rainforest.com/2017/10/31/when-i-say-aiptasia-you-say-pest-at-pratt-we-say-pet-instead/ First choice would be the red beadlet anemone (Actinia equina) but they are impossible to find in the USA. Waratahs are also difficult to locate and they are cold water, therefore not being considered atm. So my search is leaning towards majano's... a green one or one with colored tips would be ideal. The closest marine LFS is about 80 miles away so I really don't have the option of browsing through their live rock in the attempt to find one. I am currently searching online and the reefing community for a colorful majano, but since most hobbyists kill them on sight my attempts to locate even a single specimen have not been productive.
  6. householdofpayne

    Another Reefsmart PicoJar

    I recently came across Christopher Marks Pico Jar that really intrigued me to give it a try. My biggest draw back before was dealing with top offs without having any bulky equipment hanging out the side of the jar. Reefsmart developed a light that was integrated into a lid that reduced the amount of evaporation by having a tight seal, and directing the water back into the jar. With seeing how much joy our display tank has brought my wife, I decided this would be the perfect Valentines gift for her desk at work. Steve at reefsmart.com was amazing to deal with, providing tons of hand holding information so get me started with success. I headed out to Target to purchase my 2.5 gallon jar that would house our mini reef. I found that the clarity of the jars varied greatly from jar to jar, and choose the best that I could find. Once I got home I water tested it to see just how clear it was, and decided to head to a different store with more options to have the best view possible. I did however have to accept that there was no perfect jar out there, and settle for one that had the optimal viewing window for about a 130 degrees around the jar. Selecting the jar was the hardest part thus far. I purchased a few different air stone defusers to experiment with, and found that just the air tube itself with no defuser created the largest bubble that created the least salt creep. Other difusers also created micro bubbles that bothered me aesthetically. The other examples that I followed used just the air pump for filtration. I have always approached the hobby by over sizing, and over filtering everything I set up. I opted to put a small internal filter to be able to seed some filter floss from my display tank, as well as create a little more flow. One thing that I found to be pretty cool about the jar was that beings the sides are curved, you can actually hide the equipment on the sides as it obscures the view. The internal filter is a little to large to completely hid, but some coral placement should make it hidden pretty well over time. As for aquascaping I put 2.5lbs of CaribSea Bahamas oolite live sand in the base, but decided to add just under another pound for looks. I was able to find the perfect size rock in my sump and left it to cycle. The first light you see in the tank was a bendable air stone with light that I used to test the clarity, and experiment with the entire back of the jar being bubbles. The back of the jar beings solid bubbles was cool, made a lot of flow, but created a ton of micro bubbles. The 2nd picture is just a extra light that I had that I used for cycling while I awaited the reefsmart light. We are now a day before valentines day, and I have placed my first few corals to be ready for the day. Again for over filtration and for more color, I placed some red macroalgae. I am very excited to try this back to the basics approach to reefing. I will be completing a 50%-80% water change weekly. I will include the equipment that I am starting with. Filter: Aqueon X_small filter quiteflow internal, 3 gallon A 3.5w air pump by Imagitarium An Aqueon 50w Heater. Nimble Nano glass cleaner Light: Reefsmart Picopro
  7. Wonderboy

    Project Xenia

    I don't even know the volume of this thing. It was important for it not to be too volumous, though. I set this up mainly because I wanted there to be some existing reason for making that ATO I retired from use for my 2.5G a while back. This is going to be my special little xenia experiment. I am not sure of all demands that this thing may need to be powered by xenia instead of any kind of pump, but I have some ideas and am willing to fail if not figure it out. This is what I've done so far: Start-up was 8-22-19 Ingredients: dry rock, water most from my 10G reef some RODI (for a salinity of 1.0205), 1/2mL Microbe-Lift Special Blend, fauna, macro, and a dash of Reef Roids Fauna introduced (same day): 1 blue leg hermit crab + shells, 7 tiny dwarf cerith snails, 1 asterina sp. starfish (which immediately split over night, so kind of 2), tisbe copepods, munnid copepods Macro: pretty sure it's a titanophora sp.? - it responds well to low or bright light - there's many little free floating pieces placed under the rock intentionally) Equip: jar, thrift shop stand/cabinet thing, air pump, acryllic top, DIY ATO bottle, little centrifugal fan, blue and pink LED lights strips (wattage: not a clue), 15min increment analog timer, and emergency didgeridoo I was aware already that these LED strips produce a good amount of heat from using them on my 2.5G - so I knew I would need to cool this thing. The fan is wired so that it is on with the LEDs. I had the fan mounted to the inside of the box at first - it pulled air from outside and pushed it up throught the LEDs - the water temperature was not being reduced (running at 83 - 84F) - swapped the fan to the outside (would have done it in the lower compartment if there wasn't a hole already) water temperature has been stable at 78 - 80F Adding the xenia soon - thanks for checking this nonsense out!
  8. Squidfish66

    Target terrarium reef jar

    Tired of the annoying aspects of a Fluval edge and wanting to do a jar reef to simplify maintenance I always look around while shopping looking at containers and ask “can I do a reef in that?” At target I found this terrarium that is almost perfect for the look I wanted. Tank: Target terrarium 2-3 gallons Light: Fluval led Flow: Air pump Heater: Top fin 20 watt beta heater live stock: Randall’s goby, Candycane pastor shrimp Plans: Add temp controller, lid, mount light.
  9. Coinee

    My first (pico) reef

    Ever since I was about 15 years old, I've always been interested in salt water aquariums but I've never had the ability to own a large tank. And owning a large tank when you may move in a year or so is not something I want to deal with. I've own some small freshwater aquariums and stuff (I liked planted tanks), but I've never thought about salt water stuff being possible and anytime I thought maybe I could make a small tank, I'd see people saying "a small tank is impossible, it will always crash soon and quickly" in other forums, so I dismissed the thought. Then about a few months ago I found some with a pico aquarium and then found this forum and saw that a lot of reef newbies have had success with their pico reefs, so I just read stuff for a few months, then I bit the bullet a few days ago. I started my first pico jar now. Even a pico was expensive! Much more than fresh water since I needed better lighting, refractometer, higher quality water etc, but when this is successful, it'll be worth it! I'll list what I bought for this below: Equipment Prices in Canadian dollars Anchor Hocking Jar - $20 Red Sea Coral Pro salt - $45 Caribsea Livesand - $10 Caribsea Liferock - $30 Tetra Betta heater - $15 Brandless digital thermometer - $10 Brandless water pump - $10 Asta Mini Nano light - $60 I'm using distilled water bought from a local store. December 15th I added live sand, mixed water with Red Sea Coral Pro salt to measure 1.026 on the refractometer. Some stuff didn't arrive in the mail on Friday like I was expecting, so I didn't have my heater and a couple other items. So basically I just let the sand settle now. I realized I had some of Dr. Tim's Ammonium Chloride, so I added enough to bring Ammonia to about 2 ppm. I put my small pump in and let the water circulate a bit and left it alone. December 16th I tested parameters today: Ammonia - 2 ppm Nitrate - 5 ppm Nitrites - 0 ppm Sp. Gravity - 1.026 I went to the LFS and bought some Caribsea Liferock after seeing the price of their Liverock and the size of it. A piece of rock is not worth $75 to me, I'd rather wait a bit longer. The Caribsea Liferock looked nice (oooo purple heh) and it wasn't too bad, plus with its marketing of "dormant bacteria", I figured I'd try it even if it's BS at least it looks nice. I got home and added the Caribsea Liferock. December 17th I received my heater in the mail today, so I added it to the tank. Temperature of the water is about 26.5C or about 79-80F. I got some Seachem Stability today since I was curious if it would work. I checked my tank parameters again today just to see where it was at before I added the Stability: Ammonia - 2 ppm Nitrate - 5 ppm Nitrites - 0.25 ppm Sp. Gravity - 1.026 Interestingly enough 24 hours after adding the Caribsea Liferock, I am reading some Nitrites, this was faster than I was expecting. Maybe the rock has something in it, or who knows. I added a cap-sized dose of Stability to the tank. Picture is a bit hazy since I kicked up the sand a few hours ago cleaning the glass because I'm too stupid to realize the streak on the glass was on the outside, not on the inside. I have my light, I just haven't put it on the tank yet since there is nothing to benefit from it yet. I'm gonna make an ATO or buy one within a few days once I have everything set up. It doesn't lose water very quickly since the lid stays on mostly, so I'm not worried at this point since I have nothing living inside (besides maybe bacteria). Overall, my plans for the tank are to have a few cool beginner reefs and a couple inverts. If those survive for a couple days, I'm probably going to put a few tangs in because they look nice. By the way, the red LED on the right side by the thermometer is just the heater's LED. It looks like there is a lot of sand but there isn't, the bottom of the jar isn't completely flat. The glass of the jar makes the rock look huge but it's actually pretty small in real life. Just watching this now makes me want a bigger tank, hahaha. If anyone sees any problems with what I am doing, please let me know and my tang comment was a joke, I am going to add things slowly and this will be a reef and invert tank only.
  10. NuisanceAlgaeCultivator

    64oz Pico Jar

    Well after months and months of looking at everyone’s neat ideas I decided to take the plunge! Equipment: Aqueon preset 50w heater Song Long 60gph pump from Amazon Live Rock 64oz jar from Hobby Lobby Crushed rock from bigger tank 450 actinic led strip from eBay (abi 12w tuna blue arriving tomorrow though) Prep: First I starting using a drill bit to screw holes in the top and cracked it, then I remembered I had a dremmel tool which cut a nice rectangle perfect for putting sockets through. Heat: one of the big issues I’ve learned from reading fellow post is heating and overheating. The 50w Aqueon seemed like an overkill, but on reading features it said it automatically shuts off at a specific temp, seems to be a strong consistent 79-80 for this tank. This is day three with no corals for testing, once complete the thermometer will be removed. The heater gets hot to the touch so I used the bumper to keep it from touching the rock. Flow: I hooked up a teeny 60gph pump and set it to the lowest setting. I’ve been playing with the idea of turning this into a micro external canister or sump type filter. A lot of drawing, google, and hardware store browsing is going on 🙂. Lighting: For now I’ve got a 12” 450 actinic strip from eBay, but it’s way more blue than I’d prefer and not a good shape to go on such a small jar. On advice from others here I’m going with the ABI 12w blue tuna, should be arriving literally tomorrow. I may end up using the eBay led to supplement my house 30gal.
  11. diddy2k

    Half Gallon Pico Jar

    It's been a while, and I had that itch again. Just started (well, brought to work after cycle) a jar for my desk. I wanted a lamp because sometimes we keep the lights off in the office. Instant inspiration. The "lamp that grows coral" was born. Welcome to the the journal. Installed 07/20/2017. COMPONENTS AND MATERIALS - Ball Wide Mouth Half Gallon Mason Jar - EcoPlus Eco Air 1 - Jebao Pp300Lv Water Pump 40 GPH (for water changes) - 15W E27 Warm White LED Bulb (lens removed) - (2) Royal Blue, (1) Blue, (1) UV, (1) Warm White LEDs - 1/2" PVC pipe (light stand) - Pipe fittings: (3) 90 sxs, (1) T - Aquarium airline tubing - Plexiglass (lid and led splash guard) - Spray shellac (for metal ring) - E27 bulb socket - Epoxy ---------- INHABITANTS - 1lb live rock - (2) Blue Leg Hermit - (2) Bristle Worms - (1) Stomatella Snail ---------- CORAL FRAGS - (1) Aussie Big Polyp Blastomussa - Single head - (1) Fiji Bam Bam Orange Zoanthid - Large polyp with 4 baby buds
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