5G Nano (pico) SW Build

Discussion in 'Saltwater Aquarium Builds' started by monkeypie102, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Alrighty so i feel I have read enough to attempt a small Pico :) nothing extreme though... tank specs before people start giving a QA session :)

    Size: 11"(l)x9"(h)x7.5"(w) (the little calculator says about 2.8g)
    Light: right now there is a 13w tube light (will post picture as i have no clue what its called) however I can change it to the small led clip on one it came with... it has 8 small led bulbs... will include picture as well
    Filter: my brother gave me a small hob but i can't find the darn thing I was thinking of using it for a wavemaker then a filter (I would add carbon in a bag or something though I know that the cartridge is a no no) the tank also came with a small filter that is really strong I would likely use it for a power head more than anything else...
    Sand: I want at least 2" or would that be to much?
    Lr : I was think 1-2lbs

    I know the ph will raise as it cycles and i am prepared for daily caps and weekly water changes :) I am going to buy all that I need next week (hydrometer, instant ocean saltmix, sand, live rock) and start the cycle... or is there a time period where it isn't safe to add anything to the saltwater after mixing it?

    As for the inverts I want to add 1 hermit crab and 1 type of snail... maybe the nassarius snail... but that will be after the tank has been cycled for no less that a month... I currently have 1 7.5w heater that keeps it at 73* I am thinking of buying another to see if it gets it to about 80-82*

    I know this is a lot of work and I am ready for it! It would help though to have some support/feedback if i am going to do something wrong :) thanks guys... in the next post I will have the pictures of everything including what the tank looks like now...
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2013
  2. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    This is the led light the tank came with
    Light currently using
    The filter it had came with that I could use as a power head (if thats possible)
    Here is whats on the filters top side
    Current tank view... started to remove water tank move the shrimp to the 26gi four d 3 berried along the way ;)

  3. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Hermit crab? Not aquatic.

    EDIT: Nvm, this is saltwater XD

  4. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    So 'Kay *pats back* I feel you pain haha I was the same way for a while haha

  5. Tigress HillWell Known MemberMember

    I LOVE hermit crabs! I catch them all the time at the beach:)
    ...perhaps I could ship you one:;nin2
  6. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Omg... I would love one haha... but I prefer to just save the stress on a wild one and just buy one already tank trapped from my lfs :)
  7. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Pico's are hard, very hard! Too much for me to deal with ;)
    I'm at work, but I'll try give you some decent feedback when I get home (apparently I gotta do some real work :rolleyes:)
  8. soltarianknightFishlore VIPMember

    Lol, i love saltwater herms! I also have a recent found love of murex and tulip snails.
  9. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Haha I would love to know what you do that you can take time on your phone xD and okay Ryan i will wait ;( I understand that they are hard as the temp swing and Ph goes up and down with the lighting and such... I am a week away from even attempting to start it and a month or two away from adding anything alive...
  10. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    The tulip is prety cool but the actual snail in the murex freaks me out a bit but the shell makes up for it some... I said some xD
  11. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    Monkey lets just say my dad tried one and it crashed the minute he put one sexy shrimp(it survived and lived in his 30 until it died of old age) in the tank and this is after having a Nano for 30 yrs picos are get FW shrimp tanks but crash very easy in SW.
  12. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    I'm a Business Analyst (I create technology solutions, part programmer, part analyst). I sit in front of a computer all day, so keeping an eye on Fishlore is quite easy :D

    You're still going to have to wait till tonight though (about 3-4 hours till I get home) :p
  13. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    I understand that they crash very very very easily but in all honisty I would still love to give it a try... heck even if I can't add anything living i don't mind just having a Pico that is a mini reef with nothing else in it... I have no life for the most part, out side schooling and work, and I am home all the time so the tank will be monitored, even when i am not home i have a dad that kikes te idea who will watch the tank as well... but like I said, or didn't say, I am in no huge rush to add anything just want to know right now if the stuff I have would be good for at least growing mushrooms and how much sand/live rock will be needed..

    I know and i am ready to get yelled at about why this is a horrible idea... ;)
  14. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    My dad has been retired since I was 18 (Airforce man :) ) He tried but it just kept crashing. And was home most of the day. You can try but I do think it will be very hard.
  15. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Wow... you said it was after he aded the sexy shimp right?are they large waste producers?(sorry don't know much about them) or did he figure out why it cashed on him.maybe i can try to avoid it...
  16. JessiNoel21Well Known MemberMember

    setting up a 2.5g pico

    No but his temp, nitrates, phosphates, and SG kept dropping and raising. Seeing no skimmers will fit them and he was doing top offs 5 times a day, water changes 4 times a week, and testing 3 times a day. And finally he loss his cycle due to water loss.
  17. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    Oh wow... I keep reading a bunch of success stories on the internet for some tanks this size and just as many failed attempts... it sort of seems this size tank is always up in the air with if it works or not... however not to live down what you dad has done in the last 30+ years of his sw keeping I still want to try... so in your opinion for a 2.5 of this size how much sand/LR should i have for this tank?
  18. monkeypie102Well Known MemberMember

    I just read about ATO systems people build to keep their tanks filled without doing it daily or worring that the water level has dropped so much the salinity has killed the cycle... anyone use one (if you have a nano/Pico) and any idea how to build one? I have a few feet of airline tubing so that's a check :)
  19. ryanrModeratorModerator Member

    Okay, I'm home, and can chat.....

    So you wanna do a pico huh? :)
    Jessi has pretty much covered all the major concerns.

    The smallest successful pico I've seen is a 5G. It was a desktop setup, and had a 40G sump on it! That's right, a 40G sump to support a 5G display. I have no idea what possessed them to do it, but, like Jessi's dad, the volume of water was practically impossible to keep stable. I guess they really wanted a small tank.

    As Jessi pointed out, finding a skimmer to fit, almost impossible. In fact, finding a lot of equipment suitable for a pico is difficult, powerheads rated at 25-50GPH, heaters that won't cook the tank (you'd only want 8-10W max), lighting is possible, chiller would be a necessity. And when you do find the equipment, it's expensive!

    The maintenance and upkeep required, like Jessi mentioned, is phenomenal. The more successful setups tend to be in the LFS where they can monitor constantly.

    Now, for a bit of a reality check.... consider your lifestyle, are you likely to go to college? parties? study? significant other? vacations?

    Do you think you would realistically have the time to maintain the setup, given how unforgiving the small volume would be, and how quickly it can change.

    The one thing that hasn't been mentioned, there are few things you can keep in a pico. Inverts yes, but they are sensitive to parameters, which adds to the dilemna. Corals, whilst mushrooms are quite hardy, they still don't tolerate large continual swings in parameters, and would rapidly consume nutrients in the tank.

    If you're still keen, then here's how I see it panning out, to give you the best chance of success:
    Assuming no sump:
    - Electronic/Computer Controller with probes to monitor all elements
    - Auto-dosing machine, controlled by electronic/computer
    - Auto top-off device, with pin point accuracy
    - a reservoir for salt water, and RO/DI that can be used to draw salt/fresh as salinity dictates.

    Or, hook it up with a massive sump!

    IMO - picos are too difficult for a human to keep in check. The assistance of electronics would be a great advantage. I have seen pico setups run into the many thousands of dollars to try and make it work, and still they have trouble.

    As you've found, there's as many failures as there are success. My advice would be to read as much as you can about the successes to fully understand how they made it successful (and how they define success).
  20. ryanrModeratorModerator Member


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