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  1. Started on the 27th of august 2017 Restarted post crash end of May 2019 Equipment: -2.5 gallon rimmed seapora tank - Azoo mignon 60 gen 2 -50 watt heater (aqueon mini) -par 38 tuna blue led by abi (12w) -Ikea desk lamp (it's 13w so be sure to use a stand that works well with your bulb's wattage for safety) -Abi Refractometer -Inkbird thermostat (temp controller) Other: -live carib sea sand -live rock (pre cycled at lfs) from indonesia + caribsea life rock -Red Sea Coral Pro (love this so far, mixes super well, never problems with parameters, corals accilmate instantly and do great with 1-2 water changes a week) Lps Coral: Leptoseris Hammer coral Warcoral favites Kryptonite caulastrea Blastomussa merletti Hollywood stunner chalice Micromussa lord Lobophylia Soft coral : · various zoas Inverts Black foot trochus x2 Pom Pom crab Blue leg dwarf hermit crab x4 Bristle worms Copious amounts of pods Maintenance: -Water changes 1x time a week (between 50% and 90%) -10 hours of lighting -test specific gravity every other day -top off with a drip system when necessary -closely monitor heating (fluctuates between: 77.3 - 78.0) -scrape and 3% peroxide any unwanted algae growth (do with caution and research before hand) -remove bad hitchikers whenever i spot one (harmful nudibranches, flatworms, other worms. Important to see what is beneficial in your tank, but if ever youre not sure remove it anyways. If theres one theres more, so youre better off getting rid of it while you can) -stare endlessly into a 3 gallon bowl because you cant help yourself. I have an instagram: fools_reef August 28th ...the beginning: nov 24th 2017 Dec 13th 2017 January 17th April 21st May 31st July 7th Dec 27th 2018 Jan 3rd 2019 Jan 27th 2019 Post crash: May 19 2019 Partial reset, same rocks...different coral (and vision) June 27 2019 July 11 2019 November 3rd 2019
  2. 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
  3. Christopher Marks

    2 Gallon Pico Reef Jar - Snail Kingdom 🐌

    I have to make a confession: I have not had an aquarium since early 2004 😳😱😅. In the formative years of the Nano-Reef Community, I kept a 7.5 gallon nano reef that I hand built, and soon built a 15 gallon nano reef, along with a 46 bow-front and 90 gallon reef tank, all in my childhood bedroom. I took them all down a few months before leaving home that summer, when I moved to Arizona to go to college. Aquarium keeping had been a passion of mine since age 9 or so, and for the first time life got in the way of having one. Out in the world on my own, I was always too college broke, moving apartments too often, or traveling too much to convince myself to get back in, over time it got easier and easier to put it off and make excuses. Some dear friends of the community even banded together some years ago to send me a nice Picotope system to set up, but I still wasn't ready. Had I just lost the bug? Flash forward to MACNA 2018, my wife Courtney @Food Court and I are walking the expo floor, browsing the beautiful display tanks and a sea of vibrant frags, and something clicks, she gets bitten by the aquarium bug! What better place to learn and see it all first hand than at MACNA?! We spent a lot of our time discussing the fundamentals of reef keeping, the nitrogen cycle, how live rock and sand work, types of lighting, filtration, pumps, etc. We'd get drawn into the eye candy frag displays and try to ID all the corals, name the fish on display, and scoped out all the nano tanks to compare. By the end of the show I had the bug too, and we drove home daydreaming about how we might be able to fit a nano reef into our lives. Tank Specifications Tank: 2gal Anchor Hocking Heritage glass jar. Lighting: 24w PicoPro LED light & lid (pre-production). Circulation: 24gph Air pump with stone bubbler. Rock: Real Reef Rock cultured live rock. Sand: Caribsea Arag-alive Fiji Pink live sand. Established: December 11, 2018 Our Creative Container Pico Contest was a really eye opening and inspirational project for me, it demonstrated what was possible with nano reefs of this scale, proving that a simple maintenance routine of 100% water changes is all that's needed for lasting success and growth. Many participants decided to use this same glass jar for their pico reefs as well, showing it was a suitable container for the long haul. I was also pleased to hear that most contest participants found the simple maintenance routine to be easier than caring for their regular reef tanks, it was truly back to the basics. The appeal of a pico jar was real, but how would I light mine? While the contest tried to level the playing field with limited lighting options (PAR or CFL bulbs only), it also showed some of the pitfalls and challenges of finding a good bulb and positioning it right. Keeping a lid on a reef jar was also proven to be another key tenet of success, to nearly stop evaporation and salinity swings, but this glass jar lid seemed to distort and bend light from overhead bulbs. Undecided on a reef jar, I started kicking around the idea of a 10 or 20 gallon AIO tank, and even picked out a potential place in the house. But with even broader options at that scale, information overload hit an indecision road block. Yet again, life got in the way, excuses crept in. That is, until last month when @ReefSmart reached out to sponsor the community and introduced me to their newly developed PicoPro reef jar light. 😲 The PicoPro Reef Jar This is a pre-production version of the PicoPro light by ReefSmart. It uses 24 watts of power, has a 2 channel dimmer, 600 PAR max output, with diode spectrums of 420nm, 430nm, 450nm, cool white, warm white, and red. The light housing is painted metal, with a single power cord that leads to the two channel in-line dimmer, one for the blue channel and one for the white and red. The underside features an almost edge to edge plastic diffusing lens that blends the LED light beautifully and keeps it sealed from moisture. It is designed to fit specifically on 2 gallon Anchor Hocking Heritage glass jars, commonly available at Target and Walmart for around $15. Placed on the jar, it nearly sits flush with the rim, with the exception of the single power cord and airline tubing coming through at the edge. Since it's a full lid, it will contain the majority of condensation and reduce evaporation. I'm hoping to avoid needing an ATO, but in the dry desert air it may be unavoidable. It's so simple and sleek, the jar emits a mesmerizing glow that draws people in! The Beginning While I waited for the PicoPro light to arrive, I set out to find a suitable glass jar for the pico reef! As other community members had discovered earlier, these jars are all hand blown glass put into a mold, so the optical clarity varies quite a bit from jar to jar. After inspecting the only three jars in stock at a nearby Target store, only to find bubbles, scratches, and too many distortions, I had better luck at Walmart, picking the better of the two that were in stock. My jar is not perfect, but one side was pretty clear with only a few dimples here and there. The distortion is unavoidable when it's full of water, but it's also part of the appeal, even though it makes photographing it so difficult! I am following in the footsteps of the PicoPro creator when it comes to the remaining equipment choices. He has had his prototype pico reef jar running for over two years now, which you can see on the ReefSmart website, and it's packed with coral! Zoanthids, acans, SPS and other high light coral, he's frequently fragging it. Circulation is provided by a cheap 24 gallon per hour air pump, the same model he has found success with. The heat of the light itself should be sufficient for running the reef jar simply at room temperature, the temp swings have not caused any issues in his jar. Since I live in Phoenix where we spend summer months in triple digit heat every day, I am a little concerned about keeping the jar cool enough, come summertime. A temp controller with a desktop fan near by may be my plan of attack, should the need arise. Let's cross that bridge when we get there, right? I have a few creative ideas. The foundation of our pico reef is two pounds of Real Reef Rock man made cultured live rock, along with Caribsea Arag-alive Fiji Pink live sand. My past reef aquariums were all built on imported cured live rock from Fiji, which was readily available back then in 2001, starting with cultured artificial rock is new for me. While I will miss discovering the endlessly fascinating community of hitchhikers from ocean collected rock, I am optimistic that I will be avoiding a lot of potential pests by going this route. @Food Court and I brought the jar to a nice LFS and hand picked the rocks from their holding tank to design our aquascape, right there in the store! Two large and two small pieces later, it came out to 2 pounds at $4.99 a pound, not bad! I am impressed with the Real Reef Rocks after sorting through a bunch in their tank, they're quite porous and really mimic the look of pacific reef rock quite well! We brought everything home and put the reef jar together with ease yesterday afternoon! Courtney had made sure to take lots of photos of the aquascape design so we could arrange it the just same way at home. We had a 5 gallon jug of pre-mixed saltwater from the LFS and used it to fill the tank, and just like that it was done! I plan to utilize pre-mixed water for water changes, at least initially. The cabinet beneath the tank houses a power strip, LED controller, and the air pump, providing a clean look. There's room to spare, so a temp controller or ATO should be easy to add and hide away, even the 5gal water jug fits down there. Our Pico Plans We're going to take it slow with our pico jar and give it some time to cycle. Our plan is to focus on a coral collection and find an invertebrate of some kind to feature, most likely a shrimp. Zoanthids have always been a love of mine, all the way back to my first reef, so I suspect they will be a focus. Courtney is really into LPS corals as well, it won't take long to fill up the jar with frags, so we'll have to try our best to be selective! As the water clears and the cycle progresses we'll be sharing more photos. It's nice to have an aquarium in my life again, I'm excited to get my hands wet again and continue learning! Many thanks to all those who have pioneered this path ahead of us, journaling your experiences over the great many years has provided so much wisdom and insight. ❤️ Archer inspects his new roommate
  4. The Rainy Day Aquarium

    RDA's 4.1 Pico (It's a work in progress)

    Well well well, here we are again. New tank, new build! Here's what we've got! Equipment Tank: Lifegard Aquatics Crystal AIO 4.1 gallon Heater: Cobalt NeoTherm 25 watt Light: Fluval Sea Marine Nano Skimmer: DIY Media Reactor: DIY I picked up this aquarium on a sale (along with another small tank, but let's take one thing at a time 😉 ). This small "all in one" pico (or nano at the most) is only 4.1 gallons. Not as extreme as many of these crazy hooligans showing off their one gallon reef bowls, but this thing is pretty small nonetheless! Being an AIO, filtration will be taken care of with coarse foam and plastic bio media (these are stock supplies that came with the tank). With this aquarium being so small it's a little difficult to find equipment that will work/fit, but I ended up using a spare NeoTherm that I had lying around and I ordered an Asta 20 (the marine version) from amazon for lighting. I've read the controller for this light is a hot mess but the light seemed decent enough to fork out the $50 to get (I'll let you all know how I like it). Like mentioned in the list, I am planning on using a small media reactor and skimmer, both of which I'll be making (parts are in the mail). I've always liked the DIY aspect of the hobby and enjoy the challenge, but am more into making things that are not only functional, but have as much quality as I can muster (aka I'm not rolling with hot glue and water bottles). I'll probably make a separate thread on making these two pieces. Stocking will be kept to a minimum, being such a small volume of water, but I kind of want to keep that all a surprise until it comes in and everything is happy and doing fine. I've had a lot of experience keeping nano planted aquariums so small volumes of water are no issue with me, but I still have a lot to learn with this niche in the hobby and am excited to see what comes of it! Updates to come. Thanks for stopping by!
  5. Snow_Phoenix

    Snow's 2.9G O.S.P.R. Mushroom Mansion

    Hello. So I'm pitching in, but from the opposite side of the world. Mostly tagging along for fun - it's been a while since I kept a Pico-reef, and even then, my smallest pico reef was 3G++. So this would be both a challenge and a new experience for me. Specifications: Tank: 5mm thick, rimless, crystal white glass, pre-made. (Not a janky tank, I'm afraid ) 12" x 7" x 8" ~2.9G capacity Equipment: Filter: Small Nice288 HOB filter (1.72L or 0.45G capacity) Lighting: 36W PAR38 LED or 16.7W Aquazonic LED *Tentatively no other equipment included. Media: Filter Floss Activated Carbon PhosBan RowaPhos Seachem Purigen* (*Maybe) Rocks & Sand: ~1.5kg++ of aragonite LS ~1.5kg of cured, mature LR taken from the refugium of my 20G Livestock: Simple stuff. Honestly, tbd - and whatever that catches my eye. I'm making this a budget tank, meaning all pieces are not going to exceed $15 in value per frag.* 1 TSB. (currently in QT ) 1 pink-legged hermit crab. 1 interesting shrimp. Any good hitchikers will be retained. (already had my first unofficial hitchiker in QT - turns out to be this tiny crab with blunt claws and striped legs) *I've already acquired around 12 frags today from my LFS. Each one cost me between RM 10 ($2.46) to RM 20 ($4.92). All the frags are currently being held in my 20G and will be moved into the Pico over time. I've fragged some of my own corals in my 20G, so I'll move those over to the Pico too once they're stable. TBC. Theme: 'Rojak' tank. Rojak is a Malaysian dish with various fruits and fried char kuey smothered in thick, sweet sauce with peanuts. 'Rojak' generally means 'mixed' in local slang - which means I'll probably have anything and a bit of everything included. (Well, within reasonable means, of course). *Updated Livestock List (Subject to change at any time): Corals: Red Pavona Red/Blue Lobo brain Red Acans Green Acans Orange Clove Polyps Assorted Rhodactis Mushrooms Assorted Ricordea Yuma Mushrooms Green Hairy Mushroom Neon Green Star Polyp Green Japanese Nepthea Green Weeping Willow Toadstool Leather Orange Polyp Toadstool Leather Pink Finger Leather Green Blasto Ultra Green Zoas Eagle Eye Zoas Pink Zoas Dragon Eye Zoas Red Zoas Utter Chaos Paly Rainbow Implosion Paly Anemone: Red Mini Carpet Anemone/Bali Anemone (*bleached but recovering) Macroalgae: Galaxaura Fern Caulerpa Grape Caulerpa Inverts: Pink-legged hermit crab (Calcinus sp.) - Derp Golden Banded Coral Shrimp (GBCS) (Stenopus zanzibaricus) - Zanipolo (Zani) Nassarius Snail (Nassarius vibex) Hitchikers: Microbrittle stars Red spaghetti worms Tiny duster worms Various sponges and tunicates 1 xanthid crab (Paractaea monodi) - Scarlet 1 unknown crab - Grump Fish: Circus Goby (Priolepis nocturna) - Prowler Tailspot blenny (Escenius stigmatura) - Miko FTS: 1/4/2019: 2/5/2019: 1/7/2019.
  6. So... after being inspired by @jbb_00 and @WV Reefer I decided that I'd turn my newly bought Mini Complete tank into my first ever reef aquarium. I've done some research and am sticking with hardy corals such as Zoas and Mushrooms. You've all been super helpful and reading your threads have just been an immense amount of information and knowledge. I know that getting into this hobby with such a small tank (the Mini Complete is less than a gallon) is a daunting task but I'm going to take it slow and make this a learning experience. I've had the tank now for a week but all I've done is fill it up and check its temperature. I realized the heater that came with the tank wasn't going to do it, it never got the water temp above 70F, with @jbb_00 help i got the heater he had and for the last couple days now its been stable at 78F. Next thing I did was find a really small but passionate frag store in Toronto (where I live) and was hoping they could help me out. I found FrabBox and decided to bring the tank with me... they blew all my expectations. The owner saw the tank fell in love and started making the hardscape right there and then because he was just amazed at how such a small All in one tank could exist. He supplied me with live rock, live sand, and a bag of his water which was more than enough to fill it up and then do a water change. He basically said I got a transplant of his 1400 gallon system for his frag store. Anyone in Toronto should really check it out. I was excited when he told me the rocks had already a couple of mushroom corals on it and i promised him I'd come back next week for some Zoas. But needless to say I've spent over a few hours just watching the small tank and I've seen so many creatures now. Hoping some of you guys can confirm my IDs or help me figure out what they are. Here are some photos of the set up first, and then the creatures in question in the next post. I'll keep you guys updated as I progress but thank you so much for all of your advice and in advance for all of your help and guidance! Live Rock Live Sand - store gave me from an open bag they had of Carrib Sea.
  7. AyeNick

    Bay Area Nuvo 10

    Hi all, and hi to the Nuvo 10 community! For the past year or so, I've been wanting a reef of my own, and I'm now addicted. I decided on the Innovative Marine Nuvo 10 for the compact size and transportability, given that I plan to take it to college eventually. As of the moment I am writing this, I currently have put the rock and sand into the tank, after cycling the rock for about 3 weeks in a 5-gallon bucket using Fritz Turbo Start. The sand is Fiji Pink, and the rocks are Walt Smith 2.1. I have the tank on the 10 gallon white JBJ Nano Cubey Stand, which looks really great with the tank. Equipment List IM Nuvo 10 Tank 10 Gallon White JBJ Nano Cubey Stand AI Hydra 26 HD (Modified AB+ Settings) Cobalt Neo-Therm 50 watt heater (best heater on the market) Sicce Syncra .5 Return Pump Vortech mp10wqd inTank Media Basket (Running inTank filter floss, 2 chemi pure blue nano packets, and 1 marinepure cube) Tunze Nano ATO (Not running a skimmer, I'm running 4 MarinePure cubes in the second chamber) Aquatic Life 100gpd RODI unit Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt (mixes extremely fast) Tank as of August 16, 2019. No light or ATO yet. Tank as of October 2, 2019. Hydra 26 with diffuser has been added. Snails, hermits, and goby have been introduced. No corals quite yet.
  8. This is not a cute little 'all in one' aquarium, this is a Frankenstein, a diy monster that is going to offend some with its lack of interest in traditional reefing. This is a hands on, built not bought reef. Most of you won't respond or comment, it's expected, but you will look because you must, it's your nature. So here for your enjoyment (quiet, unresponsive enjoyment) is a reef tank that has undergone changes, that has evolved since the first post and is flourishing. Here is the beginning, if you can make it to the end you might find that you enjoy it instead of skipping to the end now and not understanding what you are looking at... ... So this is my current Pico... 2.5 gallons... (this is a crappy picture that I murdered even further with a photo editor...) 6/26 new tank fts 9/20 fts Fts 10/12 Fts 12/3 And things are starting to get cramped, when the Duncan is fully extended he really takes up a lot of space on his own, not that he cares. He's just like that, but is also my favorite coral in the tank. (he's also growing 2 (maybe 3) new heads. I also want to spread out the zoas, move the Kenya tree further away and put the xenias in their own area. The anthelia I mowed down already but know it will come back which is fine. So enough of the why, let's get to the point. The new tank is going to be 6.5 gallons. (it's gonna be huuuge). I'm currently working on the hood and stand. I will be using my sump and canister filter from the smaller tank still. It's a semi hex and it was a gift. The wood is rough cut cedar I had left from a gazebo I built for a customer. So here are a few things I'm planning to do differently this time, because I have been paying attention : Better flow! I mean way better, turbulent! alternating! flow flow flow! My entire scape will be mounted to a removable background to make it easier to add new corals, move corals, treat algae or pests (should they appear from thin air or awaken from hibernation). This will also allow me to dip the entire scape if the corals require it. I will be adding violet and turquoise leds to my lighting and switching out my 10k whites for neutral whites for a better blending of color and spectrum. Ok, so here are a few things I want to do but won't really know how they will work until I get it set up. I plan to have a set of return lines behind my Live rock scrap and a set up top facing down. These lines will be powered by separate pumps that will alternate via a wave maker. I'm hoping that will be much better for keeping detritus from settling. My canister filter will be a sort of closed loop set up. Two returns coming up from the bottom with heads/nozzles designed to sweep the bottom of the tank and the drain mounted in the bottom as well to (theoretically) catch any debris. I plan to hollow out two small pieces of rock to hide these nozzles. Will my green star polyps hate this constant flow? They will be spread out on the bottom of the tank. I still have a lot to do and decide on, like most things I will probably change my mind about a dozen times before it is all said and done. So this is the beginning, I post pictures as I go, maybe you will find it interesting or maybe you won't (boooo) if you have tried any of the things I've said please let me know how or if they worked out for you. Thanks (fingers crossed I don't just screw this up :p)
  9. Started this tank March 4, 2018. The tank itself is a 5 gallon Fluval Sea Evo 5. I have tried small saltwater tanks before but this is my first attempt going by the book (cycling/patience). Any criticism, tips or advice would be great! Equipment: -water pump upgraded to AQ600 (doubled flow to ~160 GPH) -50W heater -10W LED with 37 11000k day and actinic lights Stock: ~3.5 lbs of live rock -6 line wrasse -CUC of 4 hermits -GSP (purchased a week ago, looking very healthy so far) -supplemental phytoplankton Filter: -sponge filter -Phosgaurd -activated carbon -ceramic filter rings Notes: -Tank cycled, but only a month old so still waiting for some new tank syndrome (bryopsis, hair algae, coraline algae and possible diatoms sighted) -Most likely adding mushrooms and pulsing Xenia, and possibly a small clown ~20% changes about twice a week so far to keep water parameters in check -Eventually adding wave maker for extra flow and upgrading light
  10. *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.
  11. Nelson

    2g Do!aqua cube

    Dear all, This is my first aquarium and it happens to be a pico reef! Hopefully everything ends well, but today is still a mystery for me. I was triggered to start with this hobby after visiting a lfs and seeing your beautiful creations in the contest. My equipment is: - Ada cube 8L - Aquaclear 20 - Chinese e27 bulb, advertised as 36W but actually 12W - Real reaf rock (the brand) - A pet drinking bottle as ATO. Bought the wrong one. - Ikea lamp - Seachem ammonium alert I have coral pro salt and a RODI unit. I will do a 100% water change weekly. First I plan to cycle it with the shrimp method, because I don't have live rock and sand. As for livestock: - Hammer. Is this possible? - Maybe a mushroom - Snail - No fish - As for coral, does somebody have a good suggestion for a beginner? Is it possible to skip the cycle? Thanks for reading!
  12. Hg23

    Pico Reef

    Hi everyone, I'm thinking of starting a Pico Reef project, but I'm missing information about this type of project, I'd like you to help me with this work by answering my questions: 1- Is it possible to create a totally natural saltwater aquarium? (without heater, mechanical filter, etc.) 2 - Is it possible to make a natural aquarium in these proposals with less than 1 gallon? 3 - Would you like to make an aquarium in these terms only for resistant corals? what do you think?
  13. MrGlass1024

    Dirt Cheap DIY Pico Peninsula

    Dirt Cheap DIY Pico Peninsula How it happened: I've been keeping fresh water aquariums for an year now, mostly pico and nano planted tanks, while they are great fun they are now all mature and pretty much take care of themselves, so I've been looking for a new challenge. Since my house is pretty much strapped for aquarium space and we have a baby on the way the only option was a nano/pico reef. Luckily during a random trip to a big box hardware store I found the perfect little 2.5 gallon (10 litter) tank. Well 3 months of research and bargain shopping this is the result: The Gear (approximate price in dollars) Aquarium: 2.5 gallon (10 litter) 12$ Filtration: Old noname HOB that happened to fit the aquarium perfectly ~15$ Filter Media: Seachem Matrix leftovers from fresh water aquarium bought it bulk so i'd say it's about 3$ worth Lights: 2 noname white and blue led lights 6W each 18$ 1 strip of 18 high powered blue actinic leds 6$ Heating: Aquael Slim 25W 20$ Cooling: Single 60mm 12W pc fan 3$ Thermometer: JBL slim 3$ ATO: Airtight cereal box 3$ Air tubing & 2 valves 2$ Timers: 3 digital timers 15$ Aquascape; 2 small pieces of dry Zanzibar rock 8$ 2 litters of dry Zanzibar 3mm sand 5$ Other random bits & bobs: wires, plexiglass, super glue etc. 7$ GRAND TOTAL: ~120 $ The setup Lighting Since the 2 LED lights I found in a LFS didn't have blue and white channel controls and seemed a bit under powered, I decided to augment them a bit with a led strip I found in a hobby shop. The strip is SMD2835 12V and claims that each LED outputs 100 lumens also it's IP67 water resistant and comes with double sided tape pre-attached, should be more then suited to light this little tank. All I did is solder a power connector to the led strip made sure it's covered thoroughly with shrink wrap, plugged it in to a 12 power supply I had laying around. I've mounted them to a thin piece of transparent plexi (wish I had a white piece but what can you do), glued some standoffs and then glued the whole thing in between the two lights I already have. Job done, now I can have the blues on one timer and the whites on another. What I would have done differently is add a switch to the LED strip cable so I don't need to unplug it to turn it off and use a white piece of plexi to match the LED lights. ATO For an ATO I decided to go for a simple gravity fed drip system to keep the cost as low as possible. I got an airtight cereal box container, used my soldering iron make two holes the size of the air tubing. I threaded 2 pieces of tubing one that goes close to the boom and a short one that goes in about one inch into the container. Because the tubing tended to curl up I threaded the long one in a plastic straw to stiffen it up. After I made sure that the lengths of the tubing are right I super-glued around the holes to make a seal as air tight as possible. (inert silicone would have been a lot better but I didn't have any at hand) At the end of the tube that runs to the aquarium I put two valves for a more precise control of flow. In order to figure out how many drops per second I needed to keep up the evaporation I let the aquarium run for 24 hrs then measured how much it evaporated. As it turns out it evaporates exactly 0,5 litters... lucky me the maths will be easy. Assuming a drop is 0,05 ml I end up needing about a drop every 8,3 seconds roughly. That was the easy bit getting the valves closed just right took me about 45 minutes of trial and error, my phone timer never had as much use. The drip rate will most likely have to be adjusted as the seasons change and the light schedule will be set. After two days I'm satisfied with the results the level is pretty much unchanged. The container is big enough that I don't need to refill it for 4 day and It also has a handy dandy flip cap so I can re fill without removing the lid. What I would have done differently is get a "prettier" container as the wife doesn't approve of this (and I quote) "ugly ass bottle of water in between my beautiful plants" Cooling Since my house is basically a sauna all year around, a cooler is a must. I went with a small 12V, 60mm processor fan, as quiet as I could find. I cut a usb cable and spliced the fan the power cables to the USB cable again making sure to carefully shrinkwrap the finished product. Then all I did is plug it in in a old mobile phone usb power brick. Pro tip: use a 5V power supply the fan will work at approximately 40% speed and it is inaudible. I used double sided tape to fix the fan to the HOB filter with some hot glue added for extra safety. The fan is plugged into a timer after some fiddling with duration of on time I got stable temperature 26C (78F) with one hour on one hour off time, as with the ATO the schedule will have to change to account for seasonal temp fluctuations and lighting schedule. What would I have done differently is spring for a 30$ JBL temp sensor to have precise control but unfortunately the sensor only supplies 12V so the fan would be considerably nosier. Filtration & Flow As it stands the filter witch is 400l(100gl)/h is over kill, I'm pretty sure even on the low setting it could easily provide flow for SPS, even on the lowest setting but I intend to fit in a filter pad and possibly a light over it to make it into a mini refugium which would slow down the flow considerably. Heating Heater barely fits in the HOB filter wohoooo! Aquascape I wanted to go for something very simple and that looks good on all sides because the pico-reef sits in between my wife and my desk, so I spent hours looking through the box of rock and measuring each piece till I found the combination we both liked. After I washed the sand and the rocks in RODI water I dried them thoroughly, mocked the layout and proceeded to use gel super glue to fix the rocks to the bottom of the aquarium again silicone would have been muuuuch better. The damn glue takes ages to cure, being a bit impatient and a colossal moron, I thought let's use my wife's blow-drier on blister hot to speed up things ... WRONG! ... Do not do this! not only did it not speed it up significantly, the hot air evaporated the glue making a irritating toxic fume, my eyes were watering and my sinuses were on fire for a couple of hours! Current Status (21.03.2019) Tank has been cycling using Seachem Stability, a bit of seeded Seachem Matrix and daily small ghost feedings for about 3 days. Ammonia is starting to show up so the sit and wait phase of the process is on it's way. It's the first time I use any bacteria in a bottle and I'm really curious if it has any impact. Chemistry: Salinity; 1.025 Ammonia: ~1ppm Nitrite: 0 ppm Nitrate: 0 ppm Temp: 26C/78F I will start test alk/cal/ph as soon as my Saliferst tests arrive. Which reminds me... "Hidden" Costs: RO unit: Aquamedic 2,5gl/hr 50$ Various water tests: Salifert NH4 NO2 NO3 Calc Alk ~50$ Refractometer: Red Sea 50$ Salt: Red sea coral pro 7kg/15lb 25$ (should last me for ages even with 100% water changes) Total: 175$ Future Plans Make a Plexiglas lid, I already have some supports left over this should be easy to do. Make a mini refugium in the HOB filter, might need some further research for this, as I what I gathered it might have low to no impact in such a small space. Define a maintenance schedule: weekly water changes, ato refilling, glass cleaning etc depending on the stocking. Planed Livestock CUC: one blue legged hermit one snail (astrea?) one/two shrimp (I'm quite partial to the cleaners, wife likes the red ones with white dots) Coral: Zoas Mushrooms Palys GSP (on the back wall) Xenia (wife's favourite) Hammer (my favourite) That's about it, I'll make sure to update as things evolve and I'll leave you with a few more pics of the tank:
  14. Utahpico

    5.5g ADA Reef

    Tore down my 3.7g reef and replaced it with a 5.5g ada "mini m" low iron glass tank.
  15. cincyJames

    cincyJames' Gumball Pico

    I have always been more of a lurker than a poster online. After reading through EVERYONES contest tank posts, I decided it was time for a new challenge. I didn't even know about the contest container group until Nov. 1, so obviously that was out, but I also liked not having any limitations. I found myself drawn to the gumball tank that @Farmboyreef was doing so I figured I would try to do something similar. Imitation is the best form of flattery I have heard... Ha! I found a gumball machine for $10 on Craigslist and broke out aluminum separator between the glass dome and the section where quarters fall down. I picked up a container from Hobby Lobby that fit perfectly in the base of the gumball machine. I figured this would be a good area to put a return pump, heater and maybe some filter media. Red really didn't go with the color of our living room, so I repainted it with Krylon Chalk Paint. I then enclosed the glass dome with a piece of acrylic and cut a hole in it for a bulkhead. To keep the display as minimalistic as possible, I used 3/4 PVC and ran the return pump line directly through the center with 1/4 tubing. For lighting, I bought an LED clip light off Amazon. Oddly enough, the light fight perfectly inside of the gumball machine dome! After waiting two days for the silicone to set up, I managed to crack the original dome on the gumball machine so I ended up buying a new one. The dome is slightly smaller, but I was still able to use the same acrylic piece, bulkhead, etc. Between both the dome and sump area, I am at roughly 1 gallon of water. When I added sand and live rock, it ended up being just about 3 quarts of water volume. And top down shot of the drain/return. My plan is to wait to add coral until next week. My LFS is having a Black Friday sale...
  16. Hi everyone. Picos are awesome. Not sure on how to use forums. This is my new build. Will keep updatimg here and would love input.  I just started to read about  saltwater tanks and saw this whole world of picos and became enamored with the idea! Never done saltwater but did manage to maintain a nice 90 gallon mangrove biotope brackish tank of archer fish for about 5 years.  im thinking im in for an adventure. Heres where im at with it.  I bought arag alive bahama oolite (on accident grabbed the wrong bag, was wanting special grade, but oh well). I have about an inch and a half to 2 inches of substrate. Concerned i have too much... i saw a thread on here with a fellow that has a beautiful pico running for 5 years and eventually ditched substrate alltogether... do you think this is ok as an initial substrate set up? Should i remove some now or do so gradually over the course as it becomes more stocked?  Filled with petcos Imagitarium Sea Water (no lfs around me other than this). I cant mix my own now as i have horrible well water and no RO. Plan on getiing a filter later so can at least drink our water too!  I have a tiny heater that is auto set to 78 degrees: Aqueon preset heater 50w I put this in the chamber with the pump making sure no electrical wire was resting on it which wasnt as easy as it sounds.  A digital temp monitor: imagitarium  Running stock pump and filter with carbon removed. Plan to upgrade to the 404 i see eveyone seems to be using later.  I also picked up the API 5 in 1 test dip sticks.. ph, no2, no3, kh, gh and then realized they dont test for amonia until i got home, so i plan on taking them back if theyll take um. Ill keep them if i need them... suggestions?  Been running tank with light off for 4 days now. Figured id check to see if the thermometer and digital temp are reliable and doing what they should before i start buying anything else... so far so good. Been holding at 77.8 - 78.4 the whole time.  Sooo... On order is 4 lbs of Reef Saver Live Dry Rock, Penso and Co , Salinity Refractometer for Aquarium, Fish Tank Seawater ATC Hydrometer Dual Scale (1.0 to 1.070 S.G.) , the API Master Saltwater Test Kit and ARC Reef Coraline Algae + Nitrafying Bacteria in a Bottle.  Plan on adding the Coral Compulsion Par 30 LED about a month from now once my dry live rock has cured (seller BRS suggested leaving lights off for 30 days so i dont see the point in buying a new light today).  Do not plan on doing any water changes through the cycling of the tank which im planning will take at least 30 days from when i add the rock. Sound good?  In place of an auto topper i drew a fine line on the side of tank with a sharpie where water line is and top of with distilled. It seems to be about 1 or 2 ounces per day which i know cause i use a baby bottle to measure.  I used two of the dipsticks... shhh i dont think petco will notice...  1-12-2018: gh > deep purple 180, KH: 240, Ph: 7.5-8, NO2 and NO3 0  1-15-2018: GH > 180, KH: 120, Aall others the same  Where'd the KH go and why?  Here's my other main questions: is it pointless to use the ARC Coraline if im not running lights? Is this stock light of any use to a coral tank?  So thats where im at. Would love any suggestions or input from anyone!  Picture are pretty uneventful at this point. Will update when i aquascape. Is it normal to have all this salty foam at the top?    Â
  17. Kharsin

    So There's This Jar...

    Well, we (my children and I) finally threw everything into this jar this past Sunday. We'll see how everything goes. We're following the plans laid out in the Jan/Feb 2018 Coral Magazine on Pico Reef Jars as our first foray into salt water. We'll be throwing in a small live rock to seed this jar tomorrow and allow it to mature for a couple of weeks... Well, three actually, as we'll be out of town for a bit. At any rate, this should be a fun experiment with some hardier corals and probably a tiny hermit crab. For now, it's sitting in darkness for the first 48 hours.
  18. Bruno Campos Gouveia

    Picoreef Brasil Água turva no meu pico 8 litros

    Há 2 meses montei um pico reef, coloquei alguns corais moles e dois peixes palhaços, mais depois de uns dias de colocado um palhaço pulou e morreu, coloquei a tampa, se passam algumas semanas e eu decidi ontem tirar as mídias comuns e colocar Matrix e Purigen a Seachen, hoje fui colar algumas mudas em suas bases com super Bonder gel, depois de algumas horas minha água estava turva esbranquiçada e o meu Último peixe estava morto! A dúvida é foi a troca das mídias de filtragem ou foi o super Bonder gel que utilizei?
  19. RealReefer

    Real Reefer's 5g AIO DIY

    Helo fellow reefers! Hope you are well. Long time lurker here on nano-reef. Some awesome setups here. True inspirations. I would like to share with all of you my new 5g AIO DIY build. The Reef : 300mm (l) x 350mm (w) x 300mm (h) - Water level 270mm AIO box: 300mm (l) x 80mm (w) x 300mm (h). 1. Overflow chamber: 50W heater and some filter floss 2. Filtration: Seachem matrix , purigen and carbon 3. Return pump: 230gph / 880lph 4. ATO: 0.32g / 1.2L with DIY double mini switch or single switch with optical sensor. Circulation: Return pump for now. Still trying to figure if a MP-10 or Jebao SW-2 will work. Maybe way to big? Light: DIY 54W led build Substrate: Caribsea Seafloor special grade Rock: Single piece of dry reef rock Cabinet: DIY MDF Rock and sand cleaned in a RO / bleach solution for 24 hours. Rinsed with RO and then soaked in seachem prime for another 24 hours to neutralize the bleach. That's about it for now. I'll post a few pics of the progress so far. Thanks for following!!
  20. skibum513

    Joe's Icy vase

    Hey everyone pico reefs are one of my favorite aspect off reefing. I love how simple and unique they can be. When I saw this contest I had to enter. For my entry I decided to mix it up and do a temperate tank (I know using a chiller instead of a heater isn't on the equipment list but it still just controls temp). Anyways I located this nice flower vase and decided it would be a good tank. This vase is made of acrylic which helps insulate better then glass. I added a 12 volt pump and have attached some acrylic water block to the back to allow the chiller to work. The chiller is going to be another DIY peltier chiller similar to the tank i brought to Kuwait. With the acceptation that it is directly attached with the pump inside the vase not exterior and plumbed. For life in this tank I am going to add some green surf anemones, aggregating anemones, some inverts and maybe a Catalina gobey and keep a pacific cost type biotope. Temp should be around 55 to 60 and regular water changes will be the only filtration. As far as light the anemones dont need much and I will rely on a par bulb placed further away. **** Edit no chiller instead this tank will be placed in my basement over winter to maintain mid 60' temp hopefully. Thankfully Utah gets pretty cold. ****** Current Tank Shot Current StocK Fish - Catalina Goby (Lythrypnus dalli) Inverts Snails- Margarita Snail 2 Anemones- Green Surf (Anthopleura Xanthoframmica) Aggregating Anemone (Anthopleura elegantissima) Starburst Anemone (Anthopleura sola) Vase with some peanut butter and a shot of the chiller attachment point.
  21. picoreeflexguy

    Would This Light Work for 3.7 Pico Reef?

    Would a 15W Par30 5 LED Full Spectrum bulb be sufficient light for my 3.7G pico reef? I could also go a 27W bulb but didn't know if that would be to much? Peppermint shrimp and beginner corals are all thats housed. Thanks!
  22. picoreeflexguy

    Cycle As Freshwater then Convert?

    I want to begin cycling a new reef tank today, however, I will be going out of town for 3 weeks and do not yet have an auto top-off system in place. I do not plan to put any fish/inverts/live rock/ etc in it right now but live sand, so my question is if I have an ammonia source in the tank, should I cycle it with proper salinity knowing water will evaporate over the three weeks and the SG will rise or can I cycle it as freshwater then add salt to make it marine when I return and can have a proper setup in place? I really want the tank to be cycling while I am gone so open to any suggestions. Thanks
  23. Harlequinn

    Cirque Du Reef

    Major Rookie alert! First reef ever, first pico ever, first contest entry ever! Over ambitious? Maybe scared I'll mess up? Hell Yea! The hobby caught my interest around a year back, thanks to @Shean and I've only learnt as much in theory about it. Super excited to get my hands dirty and learn more. Equipment So far: • my 2 gallon oddly shaped jar that looks like a circus tent • Power head for flow and movement • No heater needed considering I stay in India. Need I say more? • Hoping to receive our ABI tuna blue 12W lights soon since we had to get it shipped from the United States Concerns: • Getting our hands on equipment and corals since the hobby isn't as wide spread and supported in the country. • Clarity of the contents inside the jar due to the lovely shape I've chosen impulsively • Temperature control • Water Chemistry Will try and keep the updates as frequent as possible. Suggestions, criticism and tips more than needed and welcomed! P.S: fav condiment? Maggie tomato ketchup because it's different
  24. 10/8/17 - Tank has been moved into a new setup, link to new journal is here: New Tank So here is my little Pico reef. Including the AC70 filter mod the tank is right around 2.7 gallons. When I first started it this was my first attempt at saltwater and the tank was a plain glass aquarium and a cheap 6 X 3watt led fixture I bought off ebay. I had to remove the optics because you could clearly see the blue and white light in the water. I knew when I started this I didn't want a tank with a light hanging high above it or I would never be happy. The LEDs are currently about 2 1/2"s above the water level, it works, the tiny zoa Frag I first added has grown considerably from 10-12 heads to over 30. One of the two hammer corals I first added is still there, the other was eaten by a peppermint shrimp. It of course was the more attractive of the two. The remaining one was also torn up pretty good but is slowly coming back. I spent days reading forums from all over the net, anything to do with picos and decided that like a lot of others I wanted the tank to look like a piece of furniture instead of a glass box full of water. So after some measurements and several bad cuts I had the basic frame work finished. I had to empty the tank into a bucket and then paint the back of the glass and attach the wood to the framework. Everything survived in the bucket for about a two days while I worked. Here are some pictures of the original tank and some variations of the rockwork that have changed over the past couple months.
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