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So after a few years off from keeping a tank, the big bit again, and armed with the knowledge gained by making ALL the mistakes (open top, over feeding, under filtered, canisters, poor research, eels...) I set out to make a Pico reef that would tick all my boxes. So a 30cm cube was bought from a certain large river, as well as a tiny wave maker, a budget LED light and a minuscule preset heater. The five gallon format would allow for 100% water changes in a matter of minutes and for a couple of quid. The old tank was big (and annoyingly deep) enough to make maintenance a chore (especially with our growing family) so this was a major consideration. Endless topping off would be dealt with by the construction of a lid from acrylic. The original plan was to try and mimic Jake Adam’s Ecoreef Zero, bare bottomed, no filer, minimal bioload, however the plan changed slightly to accommodate a pistol/ goby pair, so sand happened. Not just any sand though- 1.5 kilos of Limpopo black sand, which gives a minimalist look. As this was now starting to go the reef route, rather than the original minimalist ethos, some nice branching rock was procured from my lfs along with my first flexible water carriers full of salty water. pic below is a couple of months in.