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  1. Chowder's Reef

    🚀Pocket Rocket Pico Reef🚀

    Introduction: Part of my employment includes working part time at a pretty slow desk job. Besides the common desky things that reside in my newly acquired personal space, it seems rather empty. I recently sold some aquarium hardware and such and had some extra funds to start a small office pico reef. After hours of research I knew what I wanted, but unfortunately there were no available commercial products that fit those needs/wants. Enter DIY. I'm not a professional, but consider myself fairly handy and enjoy a challenge. In all I ended up building my own pico reef using 1/8" thick acrylic. Equipment: Tank: DIY 1 gallon rimless AIO Light: Zetlight mini (zn1000) Heater: Aqueon mini heater 5watt (controlled by a Cobalt Neo-Stat) Live Stock: TBT Build: This was my first time working with acrylic so there was a learning curve for sure. The main panels were cut out using a compound miter saw and then sanded to finish the edges, and the rest of the fine cuts and details were done on a CNC machine. One of the key things that I wanted was to have a small tank, but with a false back leading to the built in filtration. Although this is a classic "AIO" filtration design, I had a lot of fun designing it. Since this tank is so small (measuring only 6" wide, 6" tall, and 8" long) It was for sure a challenge to find hardware that would work for what I wanted. I ended up going with a small unbranded 52gph pump as my return pump. For heating I am using an Aqueon 5watt mini heater controlled by a Cobalt Neo-Stat. Lighting was a challenge for me, I wanted something sleek, but small. I'm not a fan of the "light bulb hanging over the tank look" howbeit effective, it's just not my style. One thing I found is that there are not many, if any, vendors selling lights specific to pico reefs especially in the 1 gallon area haha. After a while though I found a light made by Zetlight that was close enough and decided to give it a try. I ordered two of them. One being a daylight, and they other is an all blue LED just to see which one worked the best for what I was trying to achieve. Installing it on the tank, it looks pretty sharp and am impressed with how much light this tiny 3 watt LED pumps out. This aquarium may be small, but it has a problem common to almost all aquariums, the medusa of cords hanging out the back 😜. Since this little tank will be visible from almost all sides, I acquired a black nylon cord wrap and tidied up the wires in the back that go below to the power strip that will be mounted under my desk. Stocking with this tiny reef will be kept simple to give the best chance at success as possible (can't show off an ugly tank at work 🙃). Aka strictly corals. Which ones I have yet to decide, I was thinking a duncan as a center piece with a bunch of zoas around a small rockscape, but who knows haha, let me know what you have any ideas. I might, MIGHT add a small shrimp (I really like Pederson's Cleaner Shrimp as they have beautiful coloration and stay pretty small) but stability is key with this tank so the less I have to feed the better 😉. Overall I'm pleased with how everything turned out so far! I'm going to be doing a leak test here in a few days and start working on a tiny rockscape. Let me know what you think/any suggestions that you might have! Thanks for stopping by! Baffles for filtration Testing some new cnc drill bits before cutting out the lid 😉 Back Panel installed Finished! Cord management Power strip setup
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