4gal Pico Biorb Build

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
Hello all!

I am new to the site, and recently acquired a (free!) biorb 15. Decided to adventure into converting it into a little pico coral tank as we already have 3 freshwater tanks of various sizes. My husband and I are also setting up a 40g breeder (in the supply gathering stage) now that were settled into our own house! Growing up my family had a 125g tank for about a decade but I haven’t had any salt systems since. I learned a decent amount through my teens with that one but would still consider myself a beginner since this is my first solo project. Any and all advice is appreciated!!

Current state: the orb is cycling with some live sand and rock that I confiscated from a friend. Ammonia is on its way back down and planning a water change in a few days. I noticed an asterina star hitchhiked.... Haven’t decided if I’m going to let it stay or not. Thoughts?


As for the logistics of a biorb itself, I dissected and removed the under gravel filter thing by unscrewing the bottom and cutting off the large basket from the actual plug with the airline connection. Then I put it back together and sealed around the new mini airstone plug. I kept the airflow in so the orb has some circulation. It seems to have a nice flow up the middle (the air bubbles) and water gently flowing down the curved sides. I’m waiting for some dry rock to arrive so I can build a scape around it and see how the flow and bubbles go. I’m a little worried about it disturbing the future corals, so well see if I keep the air or not. (Also it’s in my home office and the constant bubbling is moderately annoying) If anyone has any feedback and experience on flow or air and picos, I would greatly appreciate it as well. I’ve never done a tiny tank before so I’m heavily in research mode!

C2CCDA28-4EC9-4E37-9B59-12ADE445FC3A.jpeg IMG_1138.jpg
 
First Choice
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
Welcome (back) to the hobby! :) I haven't kept any nanos quite that small (7.5g is as small as I've gone), but using airstones for the smaller tanks seems to be fairly common.
Thanks! I might mess with the strength because it seems to be producing a lot, but we shall await some coral to see how its doing.

I didn't realize how much I missed it until we set up the first freshwater tank a year ago!! My husband has never had any aquatic beings before, but seems excited. He even let me put the 40gal in our bedroom so I can watch the tank all night. Thankfully, because I have a feeling in a year there will be at least 2 tanks in every room of the house.
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

Daniel92481

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
1,464
Reaction score
5,480
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston, TX
Hello all!

I am new to the site, and recently acquired a (free!) biorb 15. Decided to adventure into converting it into a little pico coral tank as we already have 3 freshwater tanks of various sizes. My husband and I are also setting up a 40g breeder (in the supply gathering stage) now that were settled into our own house! Growing up my family had a 125g tank for about a decade but I haven’t had any salt systems since. I learned a decent amount through my teens with that one but would still consider myself a beginner since this is my first solo project. Any and all advice is appreciated!!

Current state: the orb is cycling with some live sand and rock that I confiscated from a friend. Ammonia is on its way back down and planning a water change in a few days. I noticed an asterina star hitchhiked.... Haven’t decided if I’m going to let it stay or not. Thoughts?


As for the logistics of a biorb itself, I dissected and removed the under gravel filter thing by unscrewing the bottom and cutting off the large basket from the actual plug with the airline connection. Then I put it back together and sealed around the new mini airstone plug. I kept the airflow in so the orb has some circulation. It seems to have a nice flow up the middle (the air bubbles) and water gently flowing down the curved sides. I’m waiting for some dry rock to arrive so I can build a scape around it and see how the flow and bubbles go. I’m a little worried about it disturbing the future corals, so well see if I keep the air or not. (Also it’s in my home office and the constant bubbling is moderately annoying) If anyone has any feedback and experience on flow or air and picos, I would greatly appreciate it as well. I’ve never done a tiny tank before so I’m heavily in research mode!

C2CCDA28-4EC9-4E37-9B59-12ADE445FC3A.jpeg IMG_1138.jpg
Hey! Looking good! I would definitely use the suction cups to attach the airline with or without a stone to the side of the glass, as far down as you can put it to manage the bubbly noise if you don’t prefer it. Also, a lid of some sort really helps to quiet the sound.
 
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
Hey! Looking good! I would definitely use the suction cups to attach the airline with or without a stone to the side of the glass, as far down as you can put it to manage the bubbly noise if you don’t prefer it. Also, a lid of some sort really helps to quiet the sound.
Thanks! Since its a biorb, the airline comes from the bottom outside of the tank and just has a small outlet in the very center at the bottom (you can see it in the first pic). I have some acrylic laying around leftover from making a lid for a freshwater tank. Just waiting for the husband to trim it down for me! Although in the last week since it got water, I haven't lost much to evaporation but I have noticed some salt spray.
 

Daniel92481

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
1,464
Reaction score
5,480
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston, TX
Thanks! Since its a biorb, the airline comes from the bottom outside of the tank and just has a small outlet in the very center at the bottom (you can see it in the first pic). I have some acrylic laying around leftover from making a lid for a freshwater tank. Just waiting for the husband to trim it down for me! Although in the last week since it got water, I haven't lost much to evaporation but I have noticed some salt spray.
Oh ok, yea I see it now. That’s interesting? I’m excited to see all your projects. Keep us updated!
 
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
Oh ok, yea I see it now. That’s interesting? I’m excited to see all your projects. Keep us updated!
For sure!

(How many containers of water are too many? We have 3 fresh tanks, this pico and the 40g in setup. Husband got a 16g biocube for a bargain - brand new $60 - and I'm the process of digging a hole to house the future goldfish pond in the yard next to the bigass pool I'm restoring....)
 

Daniel92481

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
1,464
Reaction score
5,480
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston, TX
For sure!

(How many containers of water are too many? We have 3 fresh tanks, this pico and the 40g in setup. Husband got a 16g biocube for a bargain - brand new $60 - and I'm the process of digging a hole to house the future goldfish pond in the yard next to the bigass pool I'm restoring....)
I don’t think you can ever have too many haha. Also, don’t forget about your little cool micro tank in the works! So cool!
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
I don’t think you can ever have too many haha. Also, don’t forget about your little cool micro tank in the works! So cool!
Yes! If I ever get back to the office life I think that will be the perfect companion to my collection of succulents on my desk.

I half jokingly thought about turning the pool into a 50,000gallon pond......
 

Daniel92481

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 28, 2018
Messages
1,464
Reaction score
5,480
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Houston, TX
Yes! If I ever get back to the office life I think that will be the perfect companion to my collection of succulents on my desk.

I half jokingly thought about turning the pool into a 50,000gallon pond......
Yea, they would be pretty nice. You wouldn’t be the first one who had that crazy idea. I think there’s a thread on here somewhere about it haha. Wouldn’t that be ahhhhhmazing?
 

TriggersAmuck

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
663
Reaction score
715
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa, FL
Yes! If I ever get back to the office life I think that will be the perfect companion to my collection of succulents on my desk.

I half jokingly thought about turning the pool into a 50,000gallon pond......

.......shark tank?

I forgot about the downside of air stones (having kept saltwater since 1985)...... spray! (As an addendum to that, drywall doesn't hold up to salt spray very well).
 

TriggersAmuck

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 26, 2015
Messages
663
Reaction score
715
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Tampa, FL
My recommendation to how many tanks are too much: a good rule to follow is to not add an additional tank until the most recent addition and all prior tanks are completely stable (not a pain in the a....). Of course when one starts the hobby one is usually much more optimistic in this regards. Later on, not so much. ;)
 
Last edited:
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
My recommendation to how many tanks are too much: a good rule to follow is to not add an additional tank until the most recent addition and all prior tanks are completely stable (not a pain in the a....). Of course when one starts the hobby one is usually much more optimistic in this regards. Later on, not so much. ;)
The fresh tanks have been up and running for a while so those aren't a worry! And for now we're focusing on the pico & 40 gallon. Hubby's biocube was a spontaneous purchase because of such a good price but its planning to sit in its box until the 40 is established and stable and such.

As for the pond.... it won't be alive for a few years yet. I can't afford all the large boulders & plants and whatnot that I want to do the yard scape with everything else going on!

The pool swamp is a WHOLE OTHER STORY! I bought the house with a neglected hole in the ground that has become its own frog pond ecosystem..... We drained it a couple years ago but I've been saving for the big overhaul costs and it started filing and becoming a swamp again (oops) so now there's about 3 ft of water at the bottom of a 12ft hole that takes up half my yard.... but it's officially getting all spruced up over this next year - new plumbing running under the deck this summer and the concrete surround repaired. Next spring it gets a brand new liner and will be ready to go.
 
AS
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
Latest update: Steve has moved into his new home in the 40g with a pair of black/white clowns. Catching Steve the goby in a round bowl tank was quite difficult..... we ended up grabbing him during a 50% water change.

A few corals have entered the tank. The hammer is doing well and the red shroom likes his home on the top of the rock, he finally attached after a few days hanging out up there.

B67B6983-4D82-439D-9E5B-DBF961F41819.jpeg
Would love an ID on this blueish shroom? He and the Xenia sharing the rock piece were free thrown in from the LFS when we got some stuff for the big tank but I forgot to ask what kinda fellow he was.
 

Attachments

  • C6CEC79F-2D8F-4111-A056-0C96940F7B50.jpeg
    C6CEC79F-2D8F-4111-A056-0C96940F7B50.jpeg
    241.8 KB · Views: 13
OP
exalectric

exalectric

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
171
Reaction score
223
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Rochester
Been having a hard time with enough flow to make the hammers happy. Also decided I’m over the whole no filter thing…. So, now I’ve added a mini canister filter and a small submersible pump to get more flow. They seem much happier now. I gotta say I’m pretty impressed so far with the small filter I picked up from amazon. They claim it’s for turtle tanks up to 15g but I don’t think it can really filter enough water for one that large. However, It’s perfect for a 5g tank, cheap and easy to customize your media of choice.

Zoo Med Turtle Clean 15 External Canister Filter
new inhabitants:
Cristata torch
Pink frogspawn
2x peppermint shrimp
3 tiny blue leg hermits

We picked up the corals at RAP NY along with a gorgeous scoly, acans, zoas and blastos for the 40g. So naturally, now I’m itching to move a few zoas into the pico to fill out the bottom area a bit…..

774D443C-D4AC-477E-B585-C2BED07844C9.jpeg 110E400E-CDCC-40B6-AA6A-A9BCA2C4E557.jpeg
 
Fritz

What is your most favorite type of shrimp for your reef tank?

  • Peppermint Shrimp

    Votes: 1 1.9%
  • Banded Coral Shrimp

    Votes: 4 7.4%
  • Snapping or Pistol Shrimp

    Votes: 7 13.0%
  • Harlequin Shrimp

    Votes: 6 11.1%
  • Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp

    Votes: 14 25.9%
  • Blood Red Fire Shrimp

    Votes: 12 22.2%
  • Sexy Anemone Shrimp

    Votes: 5 9.3%
  • Camel Shrimp

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • NO shrimp in my tank

    Votes: 5 9.3%
Top