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  1. Hello one and all, So i have been lurking since I got my Clownfish in a trade, to be honest I really struggled and eventually traded her away to a friend who has been teaching me about Saltwater (and I about Fresh and Brackish). The tank has now been stripped down and returned to Freshwater use and is currently inhabited by a school of injured Corydora's from my LFS. Anyways, I have been looking at this contest build and rummaging through my spares room (the basement) and I think that perhaps I can take part, with a serious amount of community help!! Currently I have leak tested the tank, and made sure the heater fits within the Hob. I have some work to do on the lid to allow the HOB room to fit but keep the minimum exposed surface area to a minimum. Equipment Tank: 12 Litre Cuboid Tank: (12x6x8) Heater: I have a Nano 50W adjustable and a 15W Preset Filter: Marina Slim S20 Power HOB Filter (I plan to add a heater within the HOB) Hydro Ripple HOB 250LPH(70GPH) Media: Filter Floss, also I have some Ceramitex and Bio Carbon Filter Cartridges for the HOB still, are these usable? Lights: Nicrew 6-Watt White/Blue LED Asta 20 Saltwater LED Gooseneck Rock: 1KG Live Rock Sand: 1KG Live Sand Livestock - Clean Up Crew Red Legged Hermit Crab (Miss Penny Pincher. MPP for short) Turbo Snail Nassarius Snail Stomatella "Daniels" 🤣 myself with toothbrush and turkey baster Livestock - Others 3x Sexy Shrimp 1x Firecracker Goby Corals - Ricordea Yuma's Blue Ricordea Yuma Green Ricordea Yuma Orange Rainbow Ricordea Yuma Purple Ricordea Yuma Metallic Lava Ricordea Emerald Jewel Ricordea Corals - Discosoma Mushrooms Blue Discosoma Red Discosoma Tiger Tamerin Discosoma Lava Lamp Discosoma Opal Sparkle Discosoma Ultra Toxic Green Discosoma Water Parameters: From LFS (£10 per 10 Gallon - minimum spend) PH: 7.9-8.2 Salinity: 1.024-1.026 Nitrate: 5-10ppm Phosphate: Below 1ppm Magnesium: Around 1200-1300ppm Calcium: 400-450 ppm Iron: about 0.01 ppm Iodine: about 0.04 ppm The plan is to keep this tank and build as simple and cheap as possible and use it to learn SW before I start to look at pretty fishes, crabs, snails, shrimp. Does anyone have any input on any of my choices, or even can point me in a good place to learn more about HOBs? I gave up on these years back and switched to internal and HMF filters FULL TANK SHOTS MARCH FULL TANK SHOT 31.03.2019 APRIL FULL TANK SHOT 30.04.2019 MAY FULL TANK SHOT 31.05.2019 June FTS 30.06.2019 July FTS 11.07.2019 August FTS 23.08.2019 September FTS 2019.09.02 October FTS 2019.10.02 (and office Bitch) Final FTS 2019-10-24
  2. Hi everyone I’ve been lurking on this forum for more than a decade, and now that I finally have a job on land, I’ve decided that the time has come to finally start building my first SW reef. So as you can see, I’m going with a fishbowl instead of the traditional rectangular aquarium that was called for in the contest. It does however, meet two of the dimensional criteria, (2.5g and 12 inch diameter) which is why I’m joining in. The main reason I’m going with this shape is that I had been looking for a decent quality fishbowl for months and finally purchased it about a week before the contest was announced, so I’m sticking with it. The other reason is that none of the LFS in this city have a tank of the correct dimensions, which doesn’t help much. On to the build…
  3. Wingy

    Wingy's "Old School Pico Reef"

    So I am going to give this a go. I have no experience with saltwater and its been 20+ since I had goldfish so this is all new. I am sure I will have many questions but I know you all will help and be cheering me on. Equipment 2.5 gallon Aqueon standard tank Lumini Pixie 30 AquaClear 20 HOB Hitchhikers Collonista snails Asternia starfish bristle worm Gammarus Amphipods (hopefully now all deceased) spaghetti worms 4/28 update Blue mushroom (aka Mister Cranky Pants). Pom pom xenia Clove polyps (3 polyps) Knopia polyps 5/2 update 3 sexy shrimp 1 pom pom crab (aka Chris the crabby bastard) Armour of God zoa with 4 polpys. 5/16 update Astera snail Nassarius snail 5//26 update Duncan with 2 large and 3 emerging heads Sunny D's zoa with 7 polyps
  4. This guy is extra salty

    Made of acrylic

    So I’m participating in the contest and I’m deciding to build EVERYTHING from scratch well except the acrylic which will be pulled from the scrap bin (my ole lady said,”You can participate if you don’t spend any money.”) Aka “TEAM BUDGET” FTS 10/31/19 Proposed equipment: 1-12x6x8 (2.5 gallon tank) 1-8x3x4 hob filter(acrylic) (didn’t work as planned) 1-160gph pump(for HOB Filter) 20$ (😭) 1-2.5x7.5 surface skimmer(acrylic) 1-AI prime HD w/mount 1- custom stand (for AI prime hd) 1-controller board (I’m debating this) 1-50w heater 1- hydor nano 240gph wave maker (too much flow) 1-90gph pump 1-Hydor water deflector 1-6ft water proof warm white led string (didn’t need it) 1-24hr timer 1- 🎁 auto aqua smart ATO/AWC (g 1- 🎁 Brightwell Aquatics Xport mini cubes (Gift) 2- 🎁 VCA random flow generators Total spent: -20$ I didn’t even need it 😭 Livestock: candycane pistol shrimp (pew 🔫 pew) moved to 160g ♾Bristle worms (who’s counting?) 4-cerith snails 4-astrea snails 4-trochus snails ♾majano anemones ♾aiptasia anemones Coral list: compliments of Corallivore Corals jedi mindtrick montipora (1 polyp is holding on) mystic sunset montipora didn’t make it Blue discosoma Teal discosoma blue spot discosoma orange ricordia rainbow ricordia reverse rainbow ricordia kedds red zoanthid rasta zoanthid eagle eye zoanthid nuclear waste zoanthid bam bam zoanthid rainbow infusion zoanthid armor of god zoanthid green finger leather Brown toadstool GSP blue clove polyp green Ricordia pink moon zoanthid BOP stylo Didn’t make it gorilla nipple zoanthid Pulsing xenia cove polyps cespitularia out grew the tank moved to 160 purple hammer moved to 160 macro algae dragons burp( compliments of @inland_reef) bubble algae GHA (it’s finally dying! 10/2/19) The beginning picture “4/2/19” with dehydrated apple rings and cuppy cakes Here is a shot of it empty
  5. My first Nano-Reef contest tank! 🙂 August FTS The pico didn't like me going on vacation 😅 July FTS June FTS May FTS April FTS Background I've been keeping saltwater aquariums for the past 12ish years straight, so I've been having some serious fish tank withdrawals in the past 6 months without one (since I moved from CA to Hawai'i). Luckily I get to play with tanks at my work, but I really miss having a tank of my own. So I'm glad I could use this contest as an excuse to get my feet wet again! If you are familiar with some of my old tanks, you may already know I like to keep things as simple as possible, so I'm loving the restrictions of this contest. Reef Tank in Hawaii? I think my main challenge will involve stocking this tank. I live in Hawai'i, where it is illegal to keep hard corals in your aquarium. They take this very seriously, so I will not push that. What you can have are zoas, palys, soft corals, and some anemones (I think just H. malu). Not too bad, right? Well...you can't import any coral, so you're stuck with whatever grows here in Hawai'i. Zoas and palys selection is ok, soft coral is almost non-existent (just a brown Sinularia and a mat-forming softie similar to Blue Snowflake). Also, live rock/sand is illegal to sell/collect. So you must start with dry rock and sand. The good news is you can collect your own CUC and zoas/palys, as long as you don't take any live rock with them. I can collect my own fish as long as I follow the regulations. Good news, limu (Hawaiian for algae/seaweed) is legal to have/collect. So you guys know exactly where this is going 🤓 Stocking * = endemic to Hawai'i Fish - Juvi Zebra Blenny (Istiblennius zebra)* - 2x Petite Gobies (Priolepis farcimen)* Macroalgae (limu) - Pink Galaxaura (Galaxaura rugosa) - Hairy Galaxaura (Galaxaura divaricata) - Halimeda discoidea - Turbinaria ornata - Sargassum spp. - Laurencia - Dictyota - A few more, I'll update this list later Coral - Anthelia edmondsoni* - 1 Zoanthid morph Inverts - Mini brittle star - White Claw Hermit (Calcinus seurati) Potential future stocking: Maybe a feather duster, if I culture phyto Equipment Tank: Marineland standard glass 2.5g Lighting: Natural sunlight (indirect) Filtration: Plenn-Plax Cascade HOB (their smallest one)
  6. Tigahboy

    Tigahboy's 🌋 Pico

    October FTS: September FTS: August FTS: July FTS: June FTS: May FTS: April FTS: *** I'm in: After being out of the SW game for close to 10 years, I recently started a FW tank that I've been calling the #kiddieplantedtank for my 3 year old son to house Japanese Blue Endler guppies. The tank has elements that he really appreciates (i.e., mostly having a miniature "house" with a spinning wheel and seeing guppies "walk" on the bridge), but I've enjoyed it a great deal myself as well. Photo below: That FW tank led me back to N-R, and I've been itching to set up a nano reef tank ever since. I do have a 20g nano reef project in the works right now, but that is taking a bit longer than anticipated to get wet. So I figure might as well make my life harder and throw this pico tank into the mix. For this set-up, I'm going to try to make a pico that complements and replicates some elements of the #kiddieplantedtank that I set up for my son. Basically a tank that both he and I can enjoy together. I'm calling this one the #kiddiereeftank. 🙂 And the pico will be home to pom-pom crabs. Maybe I should call this tank the Pom-Pom Pico Paradise Tank. 🤔 Some background: I've been away from N-R for a very long time, so I'm not familiar with most of the active N-R members anymore, and don't see many of my old N-R buddies around (😥), but I'm looking forward to getting to know current N-R members through this contest. I was a very active N-R member myself almost 15 years ago (Team '04!), and I had a blast participating in N-R's very first pico contest back in 2005-2006 with my custom 2.5g surge/tidal pico. Admittedly, I focused more on the set-up than the livestock for that first contest, so I'm glad that we have standardized the tank and equipment this time so I can focus more on what's inside the tank. But sorry, I just can't bring myself to do the janky tank. lol. TL;DR - I'm super thrilled to be back in this hobby after a long absence, and I'm entering the pico contest with my #kiddiereeftank which will house pom-pom crabs. Anywho, time to put on my game face.
  7. GraniteReefer

    Granite’s Dropoff Poopico: New Light!

    Welcome to Granite’s 2.5g Dropoff thread. Let me start off by pointing out that I got carried away during the building process and used dividing walls to create a drop off tank. All my other equipment will remain within contest parameters and I plan to proceed as though I am participating with hopes of winning a nanoreef shirt and some stickers in the rule breaker category! Display: Deep Blue 2.5g standard Lights: Upgraded 9/28/19 New: Hipargero Aquaknight A029 Old:Current USA 12” Truelumen Pro LED Strip Lights. 1xMarine Fusion(12k white/453nm blue) and 2xDeepwater Blue(453nm only) 9w each. Both are connected to a Current USA Ramp Timer Pro. Heater: 25w Archaea Nano w/ controller Air Pump: Cobalt Aquatics USB DC Air pump Dual Port (47.6gph!!!) Lid: Aqueon 2.5 lid, also have the deep blue lid but it fits the rim tighter and leaves no gap for tubes/power cords Dividers: These came as a set with the Deep Blue lid to make the tank a 3-way betta tank. I simply set one at 4” horizontally and the other slightly pitched vertically to make the Dropoff platform. Filtration: 2x cut to size Lee’s 2.5 original undergravel filter. Substrate: Caribsea Florida Crushed Coral Rock: Dry pukani and coral rubble, one live rock with brittle stars and bristle worms and Copepods Salt: Redsea Coral Pro mixed to 1.026 Refractometer: Milwaukee MA887 FTS: In the March/April 2019 coral magazine on pages 106-111 you will find a really great article written about the author’s experience in scientifically working with Leptastrea Purpurea. This coral and the article really captivated me, so I am making the drop off a Leptastrea specimen tank! Both because of its hardiness and its cool brooding reproduction technique. Leptastrea Resources This link is to the same research that was showcased in coral magazine but in a more scientific manner. https://doi.org/10.3389/fmars.2018.00466 This is some poorly written news article about leptastrea’s ability to survive a molasses spill. Super random but interesting. https://www.petcha.com/leptastrea-purpurea-more-resistant-to-stressors-than-other-corals/ Basic Care Guidlines. https://captivecoral.net/portfolio/leptastrea/ Towards the bottom of the last link is species specific information and it will redirect you this very helpful site http://www.coralsoftheworld.org/species_factsheets/species_factsheet_summary/leptastrea-purpurea/
  8. Hi to all I have been lurking in this forum for a few years waiting to get involved in this beautiful hobby. Not having the time, enough knowledge, space, or resources, I procrastinated the start up of my 14 gal bio cube. On my daily lurking schedule I read Christopher Marks announcement for the Old School 2.5 gal Pico Reef competition. And as life has settle down a bit I think it’s time to begin. I don’t run for the price, I run for the joy, and to keep a continuos advance in my Pico reef and to keep track of it. I am very excited, it is a great forum, because of all of you, and the best way to learn and share knowledge. Equipment at the moment: janky tank 2.5 gal janky light temperature controller tk4s-14rr Hang on back filter bio pro hf600 livestock green star polyp clove polyp coral purple tip australian hammer few zoa frags 2 acan frags green-purple splashed hammer war coral frag green favia frag 3 monti frags inverts 3 dwarft cerits one porcelain crab one pom pom crab (MIA) 2 sexy shrimp fish small clown fish gone in an amonia rise Janky tank with chocolate bunny inside. leak and filter pump test Insert other media June 13 2019 FTS August FTS
  9. I can't wait to get some coral in this tank! I decided to set it up as a mini peninsula style tank. The coral will be ALL zoas/palys in as many shapes, sizes, and colors as possible (gives me an excuse to expand my collection...). I will also be trying a bare bottom tank and seeing if I can get a carpet of zoas to grow along the bottom. FTS - 3/30/2019: Current Equipment: Tank - Hidoli AZ-712-01 ...? Lighting - Kessil A80 Filtration & Flow - AquaClear 30 AQUA-Tech 5-15 Heater - Aqueon 50W Zoas and Palys (Updated 10/6/19) : Captain Jerk Twizzlers Sakura Sunrise Shadow Prince Chucky's Bride Spiderman Rainbow Incinerators Scrambled Eggs Frozen Apples Agave Miami Vice Pink Zippers Armor of God Mohawks Utter Chaos Candy Apple Red Buttmunchers Rainbow Incinerator Morph Cats Eyes Puple Monsters Green Paly Sunny D's Star Lords Laser Lemons Nirvanas Rainbow Infusiuons Rastas Fire and Ice Blue Lagoons King Midas Blondies Eagle Eyes Red Hornets Yodas Nightmares Screwballs Burning Embers Good luck to everyone with the competition, and I can't wait to see what everyone comes up with!
  10. The Kickin' It Old School 2.5g Pico Reef Competition has officially come to an end! 🗳✅ WE NEED YOUR VOTES! ✅🗳 ❤️ Competition sponsored by Marine Depot and Cultivated Reef ❤️ Hey everybody! 👋 How was your summer? Can you believe 7 months have gone by since we first kicked off our 18th birthday celebration with our very first Old School 2.5gal Pico Reef Competition?! This fun competition got started back in March 2019 and is centered around the one of the earliest popular pico reef tanks around, a classic 2.5 gallon all glass aquarium. Competitors were asked to constrain themselves to these classic tank dimensions, 12" x 6" x 8" or near-equivalent dimension tank, along with a simple list of limited equipment choices similar to what was available to pico reef pioneers nearly 18 years ago. After 7 months of fierce competition, an impressive 19 pico reef tanks have made it to the end to compete for one of three amazing prizes! Now we need you, the Nano-Reef Community, the help decide the winners! Each contestant has been asked to share a final FTS and a brief summary of their experiences in the competition, which are listed below in alphabetical order. Please review each competitor's 2.5gal Old School Pico Reef before casting your vote in each of the categories below. Click on any contestant's pico reef to be taken to their competition aquarium journal to learn more about their journey in old school pico reefing. Voting Ends November 17th at Midnight PST! 🏆 Contest Prizes There will be 3 winning pico reefs chosen by community vote. In the event of a tie, I, Christopher Marks Community Founder, will cast the tie-breaking vote. The winners will be chosen for the following categories, while taking into consideration the pico reef's overall heath, growth, and progression throughout the contest period: Best Use Of Color Not Necessarily The Most Colors... Cultivated Reef $150 Gift Certificate (shipping not included) Dr. Tim's Aquatics Prize Pack ($50 Value) Small Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels Most Diverse Livestock Fill Your Pico Reef Wisely... Aquatic Life Twist-In 100 GPD 4-Stage RO/DI System ($140 Value) Dr. Tim's Aquatics Prize Pack ($75 Value) Large Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), (1) Waste-Away, 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels, and 2 Bene-FISH-al Fish Food Grinders (one veggie one protein). Best Aquascape Creativity, Use Of Space, Visual Appeal... Innovative Marine 10 Gallon NUVO Fusion Nano Aquarium ($100 Value) Note: This specific aquarium has since been discontinued, substitute prize TBA soon. Dr. Tims Aquatics Large Prize Pack ($100 Value) Large Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), (1) Waste-Away, 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels, and 2 Bene-FISH-al Fish Food Grinders, and a Marine Fish Food Starter Kit. Potential category prize winners may only claim a prize package from 1 of 3 prize categories. In the event a pico reef tank is voted as a winner for 2 or more categories, the winner must choose only 1 of the available winning prize categories and forfeit the remaining category prizes to the pico reef tank(s) with the next highest vote count(s) in the remaining category (or categories). 🎁 Bonus Awards from CM - A Nano-Reef T-Shirt & Sticker pack! We had a lot of great pico reefs that entered the competition and gave their best. Some didn't quite follow the rules all the way, but tagged along in spirit, while others fell victim to pest infestations, or just a lack of available time this summer. We had some really dedicated journaling as well, with lots of fun updates to follow along, and also some pico reefs dedicated to housing unusual specimens. I appreciate everyone who gave it a try, stuck it out to the end, and those who didn't make it but still gave it their best. At the close of voting I will be announcing my personal selections for the following bonus award categories, who will receive a Nano-Reef.com T-Shirt and sticker pack from me. 🙂 Most Janky Tank - Award for the best humble budget build with classic glass tank with plastic rim. Worst Infestation - Award for the poor pico reef contest tank that suffers the worst pest outbreak. Best Rule Breaker - Award for the coolest 2.5g tank that doesn't follow the contest rules, or qualify for other prizes, but still tags along for fun! Best Documentation - Award for the pico reef contest tank with the best aquarium journal documenting the process. Most Unique Creature - Award for the pico reef contest tank that successfully houses an unusual specimen. 📜 Final Competitors List (Alphabetical Order) @allesluge Long time lurker, first janky Pico Reef @caas1496 Paly Peninsula: 2.5G Pico Contest - Final Post @ChristopherDido Dr. Seuss's Truffula Tank - Final Post @Clown79 PICOING IT OLD SCHOOL - Final Post @Eclipse522 Eclipse's secret lagoon old school pico - Final Post @Joevember Joe's Boneless Pico Reef - Final Post @kimberbee Kimber's Contest Pico - Turning up the HEAT - Final Post @kimdawg Tybee Janky Tank - Final Post @Lingwendil 2.5G Pico Contest! Team Jank! - Final Post @MetaTank MetaJANKs Old School Polished Turd - Final Post @Noah C Peterson Noah's Hidden Cavern - A Old School Pico Adventure - Final Post @Ratvan Old School Zoa/Paly Garden - Final Post @RudyEnt Rudy's New Pico Reef - Old School Pico Reef - Final Post @seabass Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom 🗿 Old School Mullet - Final Post @SeaFurn Seafurn's NOTORIOUS P-I-C-O - Final Post @This guy is extra salty DIY acrylic old school V3 - Final Post @Tigahboy Tigahboy's 🌋 Pico - Final Post @William William’s “why am I doing this” ... old school pico - Final Post @Wingy Wingy's "Old School Pico Reef" - Final Post Shoutouts to our Rule Breakers who made it all the way to the very end @Wonderboy (Wonderboy's 2.5G - Old School Pico's Got Tricks), @GraniteReefer (Granite’s Dropoff Poopico), and @Tempestas (Seaview Pico – An Old School Cheerleader)! Thanks to everyone who participated in the competition and gave it a try, and everyone who followed along to cheerlead! I hope everyone had a fun time! ❤️ A very special Thank You to community sponsors @Cultivated Reef and @Marine Depot for supporting our Nano-Reef Community! We wouldn't here here without your amazing support all these years! 😍
  11. Will it be a Janky Tank©️ or not... 🤔 Follow along on Instagram: www.instagram.com/kimbomk/  Monthly updates on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/KimberBee 1. Livestock Ideas 2. Contest Kickoff 3. Problem #1: Background 4. Problem #2: AquaClear Intake 5. Sand and rock added 6. Cycle Started (April 9th) 7. Equipment box and heater added 8. Attempting a lid 9. Hitting the PAUSE button 10. Back from vacation 11. Problem #3: salinity is wonky 12. The take down 13. The bad crab moves in 14. Updated To-Do list made 15. Bad Crab gets dinner 16. Setup #2 video update 17. Final Contest FTS 18. Final recap/thoughts 19. Contest voting is OPEN!! 20. Quick water change vid Tank: AquaMaxx 2.6 Gallon (Marine Depot) Filter: AquaClear 20 (Marine Depot) Glass Cleaner: Small Mag-float (Marine Depot) Heater: Aqua Forest Archaea Mini Heater (25W) (Aqua Forest Aquarium) Light Fixture: Clamp on lamp (Home Depot - shade removed) Light Bulb: 12-Watt LED Par Bulb (Reef Radiance - was a closeout item, no longer available) FTS #1 - April 1st, Kickoff FTS #2 - May 1st, Month One FTS #3 - June 1st, Month Two FTS #4 - July 7th, Month Three FTS #5 - August 31st, Month Four (and five-ish) FTS #6 - September, Month Five (pretend end...) FTS #6 - September 30th, Month Six FTS #7 - October 27th, Final
  12. Old School 2.5g Pico Reef Keeping Competition Hardware sponsored by Marine Depot, Livestock Sponsored by Cultivated Reef To help celebrate the Nano-Reef Community's 18th Birthday 🎂 this April, we're going to kick it old school with our next reef keeping competition and get back to our roots! The entire nano reef hobby has been built upon the continuous experimentation, discovery, and innovation that our amazing community members document and share for us all here to learn from. Incredible ideas and reef keeping concepts have been shared through our aquarium journals for nearly two decades now, encouraging so many others to join in and try their hand at reef keeping too. You probably still remember the first reef tank that caught your eye, odds are it was a nano reef! Just as nano reefs were once believed to be impossibly small to ever sustain long term, the concept of a pico reef under 3 gallons truly pushed the boundaries in those early years. There were countless pioneers who tried their hand at pico reef keeping, centered around new-to-the-hobby power compact florescent lights, and generally contained in a classic 2.5 gallon all glass aquarium with black rim. Hobbyists had to experiment with available compact aquarium equipment of the time, most of which had never been used in a saltwater reef setting before. Hang on back filters quickly proved to be advantageous, and some select mini powerhead pumps were discovered. Through sheer determination and thoughtful collaboration here, many of these early pico reefs found flourishing success, and the innovation has never stopped since! In honor of these early beginnings, Nano-Reef.com is proud to announce the Old School 2.5g Pico Reef Keeping Competition! For this competition we are going to get back to the basics and focus on the reef husbandry skills that make for a successful pico reef. All participants will be building a pico reef aquarium within the classic dimension of a standard 2.5 gallon all glass aquarium of old, 12" x 6" x 8", and equipping it with select equipment similar to what was available in the early days of the hobby. By equalizing and limiting the aquarium equipment selection, I hope to keep this competition accessible to everyone, no matter your budget or experience level, and stay focused on the life that is kept inside each pico reef! This is a system that virtually anyone can find the parts to build to their liking. 🙂 Everyone can choose their own equipment, but it must follow these basic rules: 📦 A Standard 2.5 gallon 12" x 6" x 8" or near-equivalent dimension tank, glass or acrylic. Max variance of 2" is allowed in two dimensions only. Minor variations in dimensions are fine. Rimless tanks are allowed as long as their dimensions fall within the allowed range. Custom built tanks should adhere to the standard rectangular 12 x 6 x 8 inch dimensions. In the spirit of fair competition, please stay as close to these tank dimensions as reasonably possible. 💡 Any Lighting - Yes really! Dazzle your coral and your competition! 🐠 Any Livestock - Go wild, but keep it pico friendly! ⚙️ Limited Equipment Choices (Use all or none) 1x Hang On Back Filter Unit (total water volume no greater than .5 gal) 1x Powerhead circulation pump 1x Aquarium heater of any wattage 1x Air Pump with accessories (air line, valves, etc) ✅ Optional Allowed Equipment (Use all or none) Lid, cover, or screen (highly recommended) Automatic top-off and/or dosing system Aquarium controller, temperature controller, power strips, timers, etc. Media baskets or other hang on back filter modifications or inserts Surface skimmer modifications for hang on back filter 🚫 Disallowed Equipment (For a level playing field) No External sumps or external plumbing No all-in-one inserts (AIO) or any dividing walls No Protein skimmers No Reactors No Canister filters No Internal filters The idea is to have a tank that is as close as possible to the same dimensions as a classic 2.5 gallon tank, every aquascape has the same basic canvas. If the closest tank you can find is actually 12x7x7", 13x7x8," 12x8x8", rim or rimless, that is A-OK 👍, all you're asked is to try your best. If you're looking to go to the very limits of the rule with a 14x8x8" tank, we're not gonna stop you. We're after a friendly competition, after all! 😉 Keep the equipment simple and focus on husbandry. You do not have to use all of the allowed equipment, you could go without a HOB filter, for example, or never use an air pump, but you cannot use any additional unapproved equipment. You are welcome and to create custom stands, bases, lighting canopies, or other aesthetic customizations to the outside of your tank, as long as the front viewing panel (12" x 8") is not obstructed. Many of you may already own these items or have them available around the house, dig through your aquarium supply stash! Your container and equipment do not need to be new, but they must be DRY at the beginning of the contest! There are no rules or budget limits in regards to stocking of your pico reef tank, but use your space wisely! Have fun and let your imagination run wild! Note: Your entry must be a saltwater aquarium, no freshwater entries are allowed. Contest Timeline How To Enter ⏰ Official Start Date: March 30th, 2019 🎉 The contest is open to any and all Nano-Reef Community members starting Saturday March 30th! In order to formally enter the contest, you must begin your Old School Pico Reef build by the end of April 2019! This means that by April 30th you will need to have done the following tasks: Sourced your qualifying 2.5 gallon pico reef tank and equipment. Started a new aquarium journal here on Nano-Reef.com in our Pico Reefs Forum. Shared a photo of your dry pico reef tank in your competition journal with Your Favorite Snack Food inside. Posted an announcement of your entry into the contest here in this thread with a link to your build journal. Contestants are required to post at least one monthly update to their contest journal that will include a full tank shot photograph in order to remain eligible, at the bare minimum. Your build thread must also include the tag "Old School Pico Reef", so that they are easy to locate on the forums. We all can understand that life gets in the way of our hobby sometimes, photo updates can be up to a week behind, but if you miss more than 2 monthly updates along the way, you will be disqualified. Qualifying contestants will be asked to post a final synopsis and full tank shot in their aquarium journal within the final two weeks of the contest, which will be used for voting purposes. 🌏 🌍 🌎 International entries are welcome with the disclaimer that our sponsors may not be able to ship prizes internationally due to customs and increased costs. In the event that an international contestant wins, I will do my best to see if it's possible to ship the prize internationally, but I can make no guarantees. Additional shipping costs may need to be paid by the international contestant if it is possible to ship their prize(s). The contest will officially end on Sunday October 27, 2019 at 11:59:59 PM PST. This means a 7 month contest from start to finish. I wanted to give everyone an additional month to get their tanks started, cycled, and headed on the path before the traditional six month contest period. Community Voting will begin on November 1, 2019. 🏆 Contest Prizes There will be 3 winning pico reefs chosen at the end of the contest by community vote. In the event of a tie, I, Christopher Marks Community Founder, will cast the tie-breaking vote. The winners will be chosen for the following categories, while taking into consideration the pico reef's overall heath, growth, and progression throughout the contest period: Best Use Of Color Not Necessarily The Most Colors... Cultivated Reef $150 Gift Certificate (shipping not included) Dr. Tim's Aquatics Prize Pack ($50 Value) Small Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels Most Diverse Livestock Fill Your Pico Reef Wisely... Aquatic Life Twist-In 100 GPD 4-Stage RO/DI System ($140 Value) Dr. Tim's Aquatics Prize Pack ($75 Value) Large Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), (1) Waste-Away, 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels, and 2 Bene-FISH-al Fish Food Grinders (one veggie one protein). Best Aquascape Creativity, Use Of Space, Visual Appeal... Innovative Marine 10 Gallon NUVO Fusion Nano Aquarium ($100 Value) Dr. Tims Aquatics Large Prize Pack ($100 Value) Large Bottles of ammonium chloride (1), One and Only Live Nitrifying Bacteria (1), First Defense (1), (1) Waste-Away, 1 pack of Waste-Away Gels, and 2 Bene-FISH-al Fish Food Grinders, and a Marine Fish Food Starter Kit. Potential category prize winners may only claim a prize package from 1 of 3 prize categories. In the event a pico reef tank is voted as a winner for 2 or more categories, the winner must choose only 1 of the available winning prize categories and forfeit the remaining category prizes to the pico reef tank(s) with the next highest vote count(s) in the remaining category (or categories). 🎁 Bonus Awards from CM Win a Nano-Reef T-Shirt & Sticker pack! Most Janky Tank - Award for the best humble budget build with classic glass tank with plastic rim. Worst Infestation - Award for the poor pico reef contest tank that suffers the worst pest outbreak. Best Rule Breaker - Award for the coolest 2.5g tank that doesn't follow the contest rules, or qualify for other prizes, but still tags along for fun! Best Documentation - Award for the pico reef contest tank with the best aquarium journal documenting the process. Most Unique Creature - Award for the pico reef contest tank that successfully houses an unusual specimen. Resources So you want to enter, but don't know how to setup a pico reef aquarium? El Fabuloso's Simple Guide to Pico Tanks can help get you started! Aquariums known to qualify for the competition: Standard Glass 2.5 Tanks: Marineland, Aqueon, Topfin, Deep Blue, Perfecto, etc. UNS 3N Ultra Clear Rimless - Ultum Nature Systems A Community Sponsor! AquaMaxx Long Cuboid Rimless Aquarium 2.6gal 11.9" x 7.1" x 7.1" Aqua Japan Ultra Clear Rimless 12.25"x7.15"x9.5" Share Your Old School Pico Reef on Instagram with the hashtag #oldschoolpicoreef and tag us @nanoreefers Please keep in mind our wonderful sponsors when purchasing your equipment, supplies, and livestock. Links to appropriate equipment from our competition hardware sponsor MarineDepot.com are provided for you below. Heaters Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm 25 Watt Aquarium Heater with LED Display Lifegard Aquatics Pre-Set Quartz Heater - 25 Watt Hang On Back Filters Aqua Clear Power Filter (Models 20, 30, 50) Seachem Laboratories Tidal Power Filter (Models 35, 55) Air Pumps Cobalt Aquatics USB Powered DC Air Pump Marina Air Pump Tom Aquatics Stellar Air Pump Powerhead Circulation Pumps Hydor Koralia Nano 240 gph Hydor Pico Evo-Mag 4W Circulation Pump 180 gph Sicce Micra Aquarium Pump (90 GPH) Auto-Top Off Systems Auto Aqua Smart ATO Micro XP Aqua Duetto Dual-Sensor Complete ATO System Tunze Osmolator Nano Cultivated Reef Competition Special Cultivated Reef has generously offered 3 free frags with any $150 or greater purchase! Simply add "Nano-Reef Rocks!" to your order notes along with a coral type request (zoas, SPS, softies, LPS) and Cultivated Reef will choose some great bonus frags for you! Pico Reef Competitors List Follow along with all the entries by using the Nano-Reef Community Tag "old school pico reef" <- Bookmark This Link @748S911 748S911's "Undercover Janky" 2.5 pico reef OSPRC... @allesluge Long time lurker, first janky Pico Reef @AugyBear Austin's New Old School Pico 🐳 @billdeluz Billdeluz Tank o' jank @caas1496 Paly Peninsula: 2.5G Pico Contest @ChristopherDido Dr. Seuss's Truffula Tank @Clown79 PICOING IT OLD SCHOOL @DaVinciClown RFA + Anemone Shrimp Pico @Donny41 Bare bones old school pico reef @Eclipse522 Eclipse's secret lagoon old school pico @GeneticallyModifiedNerd Beginner Pico - Old School Pico Reef @HahahaHeather Heather's a Picorastinator @Joevember Joe's Boneless Pico Reef @JP728 Joe Pie's 2.5 - Janky tank @kimberbee Kimber's Contest Pico - Turning up the HEAT @kimdawg Tybee Janky Tank @ksadam Adam's Pico Reef- Old School Entry @Lingwendil 2.5G Pico Contest! Team Jank! @mariahranch “Old school can be so cool” @MetaTank MetaJANKs Old School Polished Turd @Noah C Peterson Noah's Hidden Cavern - A Old School Pico Adventure @pricewayne pynk pico @Ratvan Old School Zoa/Paly Garden @RudyEnt Rudy's New Pico Reef - Old School Pico Reef @seabass Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom 🗿 Old School Mullet @SeaFurn Seafurn's NOTORIOUS P-I-C-O @Snow_Phoenix Snow's 2.9G O.S.P.R. Mushroom Mansion @SophiaPlaysGod 01101001 01010011 01100101 01100001 Old School Pico @spectra Spectras not so Janky UNS @stevejo Steve's "Old School Pico Reef" done cheap and sexy :D @Tamberav The Broken Janky Tank - BAD CRAB! @This guy is extra salty DIY acrylic old school V2.501 contest build @Tigahboy Tigahboy's 🌋 Pico @Tmr8188 TmR’s Old School Basement Pico 2.5 @Underworld2.0 UW's "kicking it old school" contest pico! @vlangel Lost Ponies of Atlantis Pico @Wendy Wendy's Old School Pico Reef @William William’s “why am I doing this” ... old school pico @Wingy Wingy's "Old School Pico Reef" @Wonderboy Wonderboy's 2.5G - Old School Pico's Got Tricks @yoshii Yoshii's Old School 2.5g Hawaiian Pico 🌴 Tanks Tagging Along For Fun (Rule Breakers) @GraniteReefer Granite’s Dropoff Poopico @jbb_00 JBB's "YoUr FiLtR iS ToO cOoL" DisKolafied Old School Pico @mariahranch The “it must be free” secret secondary 2.5g old school pico @Tempestas Seaview Pico – An Old School Cheerleader
  13. Joevember

    Joe's Boneless Pico Reef

    8/2/19 7/16/19 6/12/19 5/8/19 Hello NR! I’m excited to be joining the old school pico reef contest. My plan for the tank is a ‘boneless’ setup… so all (or mostly) soft corals and nems. On top of this, the tank will be set up at my high school, Whitney Young, as a part of my club, Eco Club, which focuses on animal stewardship and environmental education. I will be the one managing all maintenance on the tank. My main goal for this project is to teach other students about coral reefs/marine habitats and for them to be able to become active in their protection and conservation. Since I’ll keep it at school I won’t be there to take care of it every day, so I’ll try to make it as bulletproof as possible (why it'll be boneless). Let’s get down to the setup list: The tank I’m using is a UNS 3N, very seamless, clean look. Aquaclear 50 power filter. I’ll get into the filtration below. Kessil A160, supplied by the club. Kessil Spectral Controller, supplied by the club. Aqueon 50W heater. ACKE horticulture/refugium light. JBJ ATO, cheap and ugly... I'd like a Smart ATO micro in the future because the JBJ is reeaally bulky. Now we’re getting into filtration: The filtration is going to be mostly biological. I converted the AC50 into a refugium by putting the light on the back and taping the sides to keep the light in. I’ll be putting chaeto in there along with 3 marine pure spheres- I considered caulerpa but the possibility of it going sexual and nuking the tank outweighs the pros. The other biological filtration will be from the sandbed and live rock. I have a small bag in with a tbsp of carbon and a few pinches of GFO as well. I have a strip of filter floss next to the intake in the filter for mechanical filtration. Jumping into the aquascape plan: I wanted to give this its own category since I planned so much about it. Just to give you an idea of how long I spent on it, it took me over 10 minutes to wash the epoxy and super glue off my hands after I finished it. I designed an arch to be able to let a few corals grow up the sides of it while leaving enough room on the sandbed for other corals. I’ll try to find some tall corals like leathers, kenya tree, xenia, or photosynthetic goniopora to put on the back of the arch to give it more depth. I’ll get cloves, GSP, zoas, mushrooms, and some other softies to grow over everything and make colorful. It's mostly zoas though. Then on the sandbed I’ll keep RFAs to put some more colors in there. Moving onto the stocking list: So the only real things that I will stock in the tank will be a clean up crew and a few crabs. Right now I have a purple porcelain crab, a halloween hermit, two trochus snails, and a few hitchhiker stomatellas. That about does it, I’ll try to pump out as many updates as I can for you all.
  14. Aquarium specs: Tank: UNS 3N (2.9 gal) Light: Nano-box reef Tide Filter: Azoo mignon 150 with surface skimmer attachment Heater: Marina Compact Heater Auto-top off: XPAqua Circulation: Hydor Pico evo-mag 180 Rock: Rubble from my RSR Nano, "shapes" rock Sand: Sand from RSR nano, pulse a small amount of dry special grade Dosing (weekly): 2ml Tropic Marin "All-For-Reef" 1ml Acropower 3 drops of Vibrant Inhabitants: Fish: Snow Onyx Clownfish Inverts: Red Mithrax crab Pom Pom Crab Rainbow Bubble-tip Anemone Mini-maxi carpet Anemone(s) Rock Flower Anemone(s) Various snails Various hermits Coral: Birdsnest Katopora Green acropora Orange setosa Red pocillopora Orange leptastrea Green Duncan x2 Dragon soul favia Zoanthids (random) Purple frilly gorgonian Blastomusa merletti Red Iridescent mushroom Orange Jawbreaker mushroom Assorted favia Assorted Chalice 9/21/19 8/22/19 4/25/19 4/20/19 4/17/19
  15. Wonderboy

    Wonderboy's UGFuge 2.5G Pico

    Recent FTS - Oct 27, 2019: (this one is the contest final FTS) -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- I really like the theme of the Kickin' It Old School Pico Reef Contest - so I'm going to jump in on this one. Looking forward to putting this together as "old school" as possible with some necessary twists. I am almost finished collecting everything for my build; here's a shot of the 2.5G and my current preferred snack (contest prereq):
  16. Better late than never so here we go! I had so much fun a couple of years back in the 100 Days of Nano's contest that I thought I'd join in on the fun on this one! I can't promise that I'll be able to keep up with all the action on everyone's' contest pages but I'll try my best. My hope for this tank is that, even though it's going to be janky on the outside, it ends up being beautiful on the inside, with stable parameters and thriving corals. Future TOTM? Probably not, but it's good to have a stretch goal, right? Speaking of corals, that's going to be my focus in these 2.5 gallons - so no RFAs or baby RFAs in this one. And who better to help me with that than my friends at @Got Corals ! Since my RFA obsession began, Sandy has been so helpful with all my RFA's. When I mentioned doing this contest and having her help me, she didn't even hesitate! I'm really looking forward to the collaboration on this! We are still kicking around ideas so stay tuned. Tank - Tetra 2.5 gallon Filter - Seachem Tidal 55 - this thing is a beast - flow won't be a problem. Probably won't use the intake tube at all. Plan on making a media and heater holder from egg crate. Heater - Cobalt Mini-therm 10w Temp Controller - Finnex Lighting - ABi 12w Tuna Blue Par 38 bulbs - may use 2, we'll see ATO - manual top offs for now Substrate - going bare bottom on this one; will probably use white ABS over the bottom glass Lid - have an Aqueon glass lid but need to watch @seabass 's glass cutting tutorial first Livestock - Coral, CUC, possibly an invert Rock's are cycling in a bucket. May throw some rocks from my 45 into the bucket to speed things up. Now for some pictures - More to come.....
  17. Well its finally happened, after five years out of the hobby I stumbled on the contest thread and got hooked by all of your sick tanks. I'm really excited to jump back into the game! Equipment Tank: 2.5 AGA Aquarium (Are Tecatas a snack? If not banana for scale/snack) Lighting: ABI Tuna Blu 12w LED Filter: Whisper PF10 Heater: Aqueon Mini 10w Livestock: ** I really want to focus on one centerpiece, thinking a maxi mini and some sexy shrimp, maybe a pretty toadstool, not really sure yet. Please give me suggestions!!***** The Plan: One of my favorite parts of going to a well designed aquarium is the attention to detail that goes into not only the inside of the aquarium, but the fully themed displays that capture the world both within the tank and around it. The goal for this little guy is to devise a Hidden Cave. A glimpse into a lost ecosystem. How: The biggest challenge for this tank is going to be creating the illusion of depth in a tank that is only 6" deep. I plan on constructing and exterior shadowbox behind the tank making a mirage of stone deeper in the "Cave" I want to put a lot of time into the exterior of the tank. The plan is to design a cave structure to surround the tanks, giving us a glipse into the tank. I'll post some of my inspiration images below so this maybe makes sense Lol Well that about wraps it up until I can actually start working on the tank. I have no clue if any of these things are going to work out but I think this is going to be a very fun little contest and I'm so stoked to finally be back in this awesome addiction.... I mean hobby...Thanks for looking everyone, I would love some suggestions or ideas on stocking and critics of my plan!
  18. Hello All I am so excited to join this contest. Since this is my first tank journal I want to try new things. This will be my smallest salt water tank ever, the first time I have used a HOB filter on one and my first bare bottom tank, and yes I do live on Tybee Island. I got this tank wet on April 2nd and just got the nerve up to start my first personal thread on nano reef. Before we added water we took the janky tanky for a photo shoot. EQUIPMENT LIST 2.5 topfin tank AC 50 HOB Asta 20 LED Aqueon small heater Marina thermometer Do you think the two clowns will be to big for this tank? I plan to keep this tank up long term. I have a 75 reef as well but have to depend on my husband for most maintenance due to limited use of my left arm and hand. With a tank this small and a solo cup I will be able to add and change water whenever I want. After I added salt water I tried to glue and reef putty some of the rocks together and make a floating rock structure. I was not successful at it so I will make do with this rock-scape. I plan to add zoas, acans, and mushrooms at this point and let it develop from there. If anyone has any suggestions or critiques please let me know. I am really enjoying looking at all of the contest tanks and can't wait to see what directions they will take.
  19. Ok. Here we go. I have not had a Pico reef in 10+ years but I saw this contest and I had to build one again. I dug up my 2.5g tank from my garage. It has been dry forever. I also went into my box of equipment and as you can see from the picture, my filter is over 15 years old and was put away dirty. Really bad of me. I have not turned it on and I hope it still works. As for the light, I found my old light but I don't think it will be good enough so I am going to take apart the LED light in the picture and build a small LED fixture for the tank. I found my old air pump but I don't think I will use it. I will be going bare bottom and as for corals I will frag from my main system. It being a 150 gallon mixed reef. My wife looked at me saw what I had bought out and shrugged and shook her head. I guess I am off to a good start. Good luck everyone.
  20. Montipora Fields of Bikini Bottom 🗿 Business Up Front... Party in the Back CURRENT PIC: FTS: 10/27/19 HIGHLIGHTS: Equipment/Livestock lists, and Progression Photos Live rock Lights and filter Top and SpongeBob decorations Pics of cutting the glass top Video of cutting the glass top (and fish room tour) Merch Diorama construction Completion of diorama Water added Copper pipe stand Unique Corals orders (with Bayer dip) Corals and April FTS Heater and temperature probe Proposed LED mods May FTS June FTS July FTS August FTS September FTS Contest Recap (October FTS) What could possibly go wrong?
  21. MetaTank

    MetaJANKs Old School Polished Turd

    A Uh yeah...it's a thing apparently... Found myself in Petsmart the other day after reading about the contest, and this happened. Current FTS 5/20/19 Current Equipment List: -Subject to change(especially the cheap heater) any time before April whatever-the-cutoff-date is 1x 2.5g Tetra Janky tank 1x AC50 I had laying around. I ordered an AC30, and the next day found my old AC50...oops? 1x 50w Tetra compact preset heater 1x 7.5w Hydor compact heater 2x 40mm PC cooling fans 1x 80mm PC cooling fan 1x Inkbird Temperature controller 1x Asta20 LED... marine version 3x Blue LED 0.5w dusk/dawn 1x Blue LED strip moonlight 3x USB LED strips refugium lights 4x Timer cheapo home depot
  22. Lingwendil

    2.5G Pico Contest! Team Jank!

    Hoo boy, it's been a while, hasn't it? My first successful reef was in a 2.5G AGA way back in November of 2004, and here we come full circle back to one. Paid already, picking up tonight on the way home from work. 10% off if you reserve online 🙂 Plan so far is simple, but I haven't nailed anything down for equipment yet. I may go full retard on a fancy DIY LED light, with a simple sponge filter for the lulz. Who knows 🙂
  23. This will be my first pico tank but not my first saltwater tank. I want to grow some macroalgea that I cannot keep in my main tank. Snails and urchins love to eat my nice and not so cheap macroalgea. Equipment Aqueon glass aquarium 2.5 gal 12 x 6 x 8 Aquaclear 30 Tetra ht10 50 watt heater Light is a reefstar I bought used a while ago Diy temperature monitor Top off will be manually or gravity feed Livestock I don't know yet Dry/live sand and live rock Hopefully tomorrow I will add the sand rock and water.
  24. Clown79

    Clowns 2.5 Cove

    Finally, time for another contest. The last one was so much fun, I had to join this one. All of the items I had in my closet, so this has so far started off to be cheap. That's probably why the hubby was ok with me setting up another tank after shutting down my 5.5g. Tank Seapora Rimmed tank 12 x 6.5 x 6 Equipment Aquaclear 20 Tetra Heater Abi Tuna Blue Par 38 12w Plans are pretty simple for this pico but we will all have to wait and see what happens. The rest is TBA March 30th
  25. So I'm in... This will be my second pico reef, wife gave me the go ahead. I'll be building this pico reef through the eyes of a child. We just had our son just over 7 months ago and watching him discover and be fascinated by the simplest of things and reading to him at nights got me thinking of all the wonderful fairy tale like aspects there can be to reefing. So this build will be devoted to my son and recreating a scene from Dr. Seuss's The Lorax, so I present to you Dr. Seuss's Truffula Tank. I hope to build a whimsical little world that my son will be fascinated by and Dr. Seuss would be proud of. Here's my official entry shot, tank should be wet today: Hardware: Aqueon 2.5G - $14 Aquaclear 30 - $0 Cobalt heater - 5W, probably gonna have to replace this - Changed to Tetra HT10 $20 Par38 not sure if it's the 12W or 23W I bought both during the reef jar contest and can't remember which stayed over the converted jar (anyone know how to tell by looking at it?) - $0 Still need to find/make a lid that will work with HOB on there (any ideas?) Planning to do manual top off Stocking: Still deciding on lots of things... Plan for corals at the moment, Truffula Trees (AKA different colored hammers) and trying to grow green, grassy mats (thinking green star polyps) over the "hilly" rocks. Will also keep looking for other corals that will keep the Lorax theme.
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