A rare situation

A detailed posting about my fish tank

with 3 comments

I managed to post threads about my fish tank on two different forums but forgot about my blog.

A while ago I decided I wanted to start with saltwater reefkeeping again, so when I ordered a small fishtank for my office, I decided to salt it up. Putting it in my office, however, just wouldn’t be very practical. The tank I’m using is only three gallons, and in the dry atmosphere of a heavily air-conditioned office, it’d evaporate like crazy. That’s bad enough with a freshwater tank but it’s really bad with saltwater because salt doesn’t evaporate, so the salinity of the water would fluctuate badly. It wasn’t too bad with my 10g tank back at CSSM because I had a topoff going and there was more water mass to balance things out. Long story short(ish), the tank ended up in my living room instead.

So, with minor alterations, here’s the contents of the thread I posted on Something Awful:

I bought a 3 gal Picotope a couple weeks ago, and decided to make it a nano reef in the general style of Sandeep’s 5.5 gal with in-tank refugium. I didn’t go the full refugium route, but I really liked the idea of partitioning off the hardware with the addition of an overflow.

The bare Picotope, it’s about 11″ x 8″ x 8″.

The piece of plexi I cut for the partition. It’s 3/32″ thick, with slats for overflow and a hole for the return powerhead. It’s about to be painted with Krylon Fusion flat black and set in the tank with GE Silicone I.

The tank is masked off and ready for the equipment area to be painted with Krylon Fusion satin black. I ended up masking off the bowed part of the equipment area so I had a place to look in and make sure things were working okay.

Looking into the equipment area after the painting. The powerhead (MJ400 or 600, I forget) and the HOB Taam Rio Nano skimmer are visible here. Note the plastic screw on the skimmer – that’s not stock. I didn’t like the way it was hanging on the back, so I got some little rubber stick-on feet and fixed them to the skimmer against the glass, then used a securing screw from an old HOB skimmer to get a tight fit. No rattling = good 🙂

The tank on its stand in my living room. The lamp that comes with the Picotope is a 9 watt PC 50/50, which I may be upgrading at some point.

Water + sand + rocks from an older tank added. There are a lot of microbubbles, which will hopefully go down as the skimmer activates.

Already churning away!

For stocking, when the time comes, I’ll probably stick with ricordea and zoas.

Since that thread was posted on August 4th, several things have changed. The microbubbles did subside after I added a piece of live rock from a nearby saltwater fish store, which activated the skimmer as the tank’s cycle got started. Ammonia/nitrite/nitrate testing a couple days ago indicated that the tank is almost done cycling. It’s already pretty freakin’ alive. There’s a small brittle starfish that came in with the piece of rock, an unexpectedly large number of amphipods (which is great, it indicates a healthy tank and makes good food for things), and last night I got a margarita snail and a scarlet reef crab. I’ll be taking more pictures tonight, after I pick up the fourth season of House and ingredients for gazpacho. Busy busy.

Written by Chris

August 19th, 2008 at 9:18 am

3 Responses to 'A detailed posting about my fish tank'

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  1. you post about this on something awful?


    2 Sep 08 at 10:16 am

  2. Yeah, in the pets forum there’s a thread about saltwater fish tanks. I would find a link to it but boy am I lazy.


    2 Sep 08 at 11:08 am

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