Show Off Crums 3g Pico Reef

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Boy, do I have a love hate relationship with this tank.

Started in May of 2020 - this is my 3 gallon pico reef. It was also my first saltwater tank!
Here is a fairly out of date picture of the tank during one of it's 'good cycles' 😁 I will go into detail shortly...
PXL_20211205_012351767.MP.jpg


Another slightly more recent picture:
PXL_20220325_194130990.jpg


Build:
Marineland Contour 3g - glass lid
Lominie Asta 20 LED - full power with whites off (note: I use the old version of the light. The new version isn't as good IMO)
Pump upgraded to aquatop np-302 118gph full power
AutoAqua Nano ATO
Tetra 50w heater
Filter running floss, chemipure, carbon, poly filter (sometimes)

Schedule:
Lights on 8.5h a day
1g water change/week (or so) - tropic Marin pro reef
1ml Red sea coral nutrition every few days

Current Stock:
Some LPS (duncan being the 'showpiece') mostly softies
1 nerite snail
1 money cowrie
1 jellybean slug (from @TheWyldZone)
1 blue let hermit crab
No fish at the moment but will discuss this later


The story:
A lot has happened with this tank in its 2 years of existence. It's first year went relatively smoothly. This is mostly because I didn't do much with the tank, it was lightly stocked and kept up with well. Very easy going and I loved it! A great way to learn about the world of reef keeping. The first coral I put in there was the Duncan on the right, it was 1 head. I originally stocked with a citron goby, which unfortunately died of what I assume is old age a few months ago. I've struggled finding fish I enjoy since losing him. Such a personable tiny fish.

Most of this tanks issues began when I started working at my LFS and had access to a lot more coral and stocking options. Oops! On and off there have been some nutrient issues, fish loss (I tried a few different fish I regret), algae problems, invert loss, and more. There was always something wrong every other month, but usually not a huge deal. And all are solved for now. But the biggest issue I have with the tank came long before and didn't cause problems until very recently. And you may have seen it in the pictures. The dreaded blue clove polyps. It's gotten so bad that they are killing everything now and I am very close to needing to start over. They are even growing inside my zoa's, inside my filter and pump and out of the water onto the lid. So, at the time of writing this, my feelings towards this tank are not so good 😅

I still love the tank in the end though, working with it has been amazing and is what made me want to pursue my current career path even. I love pico reefs, there is something special about having this tiny world that you can work on with a pair of little tweezers in a desk chair. Instead of digging your whole arm into a deep reef tank that needs 5000 frags and 20 years to look full. Contrary to what everyone told me, it was not that hard, definitely worth it, and a great first time experience. I have used this tank many times to show people interested in the hobby, or interested in pico reefing that it is possible to do it very well very easily! Anyone can do this, seriously. It just takes the right mindset (spending $2000 on a tank the size of your head)

:)
 

Jposch

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Nice! Unfortunately, clown gobies are about your best bet in terms of Pico fish that are readily available. Possibly a rosy blenny from the keys, as they are quite small, and docile. The old version Astra light really does work well for the cost. I have over a 10 gallon with a mandarin that's just kind of in QT limbo. Lol
Eats frozen real well, but they don't tolerate meds well, so she sits in her 10 gallon getting fed a few times a day.
 

crum

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Where did the blue clove polyps come from?
They came from one of the first frags I put in the tank. Just a single polyp on some zoa's I got. Tried controlling it at the beginning. Obviously that didn't work.

Nice! Unfortunately, clown gobies are about your best bet in terms of Pico fish that are readily available. Possibly a rosy blenny from the keys, as they are quite small, and docile. The old version Astra light really does work well for the cost. I have over a 10 gallon with a mandarin that's just kind of in QT limbo. Lol
Eats frozen real well, but they don't tolerate meds well, so she sits in her 10 gallon getting fed a few times a day.
Actually I've discovered quite a handful of teeny fish that work. But I either don't like them much or they're too hard to keep alive 😂 I tried a grissingeri goby but it was dying when it arrived. Blue stripe pipefish did really well actually - died right after the goby cuz I didn't QT (rip). Then I tried a small hector's goby and he lasted a few months but it was extremely afraid of me and wouldn't come out to eat.
Part of how I kept copepod eating stuff alive is I have a sponsorship with algae barn through my TikTok account (Crumpetss..follow me 😂) and they send me lots of pods and phyto all the time haha
I also have the same tank at the store I work at. I put some of the biota eviota gobies in there. I also have some dwarf cardinals and dwarf dartfish I'm considering adding if they eat better.
Right now, I am acclimating some endlers to go in this one ... I gave up on fancy fish haha.
 

crum

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Awesome little tank! As far as the love-hate, replace your pico with my Biocube and we’re in the same boat. Some days I love it, others I want to burn it to the ground 😂
Oh yeah, I have no plans on upgrading, I have a few other reef tanks too. Same deal with them, there's always something! My 20g recently had a fun few months over a magnet :)

~

Thanks everyone ♥️
 

crum

Pico Reefer
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Great tank @crum , I love pico and nano tanks, yours is a fine example. Thanks for sharing.

Interesting about the Asta 20, I have the old version as well, but I got hold of the new wifi module and was thinking of getting hold of the Asta 20 to try it on. What is it about the new one that you don't rate as good?
The main thing I think is that the remote controller changed. It's missing some buttons and feels a lot cheaper. For some reason it doesn't seem to change the same leds, not sure, it's weird. But it's a lot whiter I feel like. The new one I got also didn't come with the replacement lens. I have a second pico tank just like this one that has the newer version and I can't get the colors the same, even with the same corals.
It still works just fine, it's just...different. And a note for that light, I wouldn't use it on anything bigger than this. It barely has enough par at the bottom even turned all the way up.
 

Sustainable Marine

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It still works just fine, it's just...different. And a note for that light, I wouldn't use it on anything bigger than this. It barely has enough par at the bottom even turned all the way up.
I used to run mine on a much "bigger" pico at 16 litre (4 gallon) :giggle: I had just shrooms and a breeding family of sexy shrimp in mine.

The new asta has a wifi connector and a phone app for settings, so may be easier to use. I have the wifi connector but it does not fit my old version so I was thinking of getting the new version for a pico jar project I was thinking about.

Here are some pics of the thors in my old pico.




Rhodactis and Thor Fluval Spec.jpg


Thor on Orange Spot Fluval Spec.jpg

RICORDEA THOR.jpg


Blood Orange 20221604-2.jpg

Really difficult to keep cool in the summer. Next to them is my L Ambo breeding tank. The vossen trap is out of pic on the right.
 

crum

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I used to run mine on a much "bigger" pico at 16 litre (4 gallon) :giggle: I had just shrooms and a breeding family of sexy shrimp in mine.

The new asta has a wifi connector and a phone app for settings, so may be easier to use. I have the wifi connector but it does not fit my old version so I was thinking of getting the new version for a pico jar project I was thinking about.

Here are some pics of the thors in my old pico.




View attachment 66006

View attachment 66007
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View attachment 66009
Really difficult to keep cool in the summer. Next to them is my L Ambo breeding tank. The vossen trap is out of pic on the right.
I've never used the wifi controller personally but I hear it's basically the same as those crappy stick on LED strips people put around your bedroom, you can't actually change the specific LEDs like you'd think. Though, I have no experience to be sure! Just what I've heard.
 

TheWyldZone

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Looks good Crum! Still jealous of your cloves or blue polyps. Whatever they are. Super pretty 😍
 

crum

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Well its official. I have given up trying to control the blue clove polyps. All of my zoas are dying or near dead from the runners choking them out. My attempts at scrubbing them off caused the cycle to stall and the rest of my corals are suffering from that too. The polyps don't care. So I am giving in.

3mg of fenbendazole

Going to dose it in the next day or two. Will keep everyone updated on the progress.. in the meantime... any tips or tricks? I plan on removing as many unaffected corals as I can (toadstool, frags in the sand, duncan) and all inverts before poisoning my tank. 😔Worst case, it doesn't work and I have to start the whole tank over. At this point, thats whats going to have to happen if I don't try this.
 
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