Fluval Chi - First SW tank - Open to Ideas

BSVKilbey

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Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to view this.

Firstly I have done some searching on this forum at PICO tanks and will continue to do research before committing.

However... As this is my first SW tank I am open to all ideas and thoughts.

I have OCD so the aesthetics need to be minimal, for my 5G Fluval Chi I would prefer not to have lots of cables or things inside the tank which ruin the appearance. I believe in less is more if possible.

I saw a few YT videos of PICO setups with 1 fish etc and happy to look at this option, maybe a Domino Damsel or Clown?

I really like the Idea of Coral, however, I understand that the Fluval Chi Light won't do the job?

The tank was abandoned in my garage for about 3 years and is now CLEAN!

Have any of you got a Chi? Or had one?

All input welcome and as mentioned, no rush so let's get it right!

(As a complete SW newbie I need advice on the sand, rocks the lot! No such thing as too much information)

Thanks again :)

OH! I almost forgot........... If we can do this and get it right so that the Mrs likes it. She has given me the all clear to make a rather large hole in the adjoining wall between the kitchen diner and the kids' playroom. Of course, it will all be documented on here for all to see!

tank.jpg tank3.jpg
 
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AutumnReefs

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I would not use that for salt water. Primarily because a tank that small will be extremely difficult for a first tank, not to mention how little filtration and flow it will have.
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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I would not use that for salt water. Primarily because a tank that small will be extremely difficult for a first tank, not to mention how little filtration and flow it will have.
Thank you for your reply.

How do people make Pico tanks so successful and they are sometimes smaller?

Not scared of a little challenge, however willing to listen to advice.
 

AutumnReefs

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Thank you for your reply.

How do people make Pico tanks so successful and they are sometimes smaller?

Not scared of a little challenge, however willing to listen to advice.


Auto top offs or auto water changes are handy on small tanks. I can't speak for pico tanks in particular as I haven't owned one that small (10 gallon is the lowest I go and that is for a QT). Pico tanks are going to have massive swings in salinity, wase, temperature, etc if anything doesn't go according to plan.

If you would like a small tanks, consider an all in one meant for saltwater or something like a fijicube aio filter box.
 
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karamreef117

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Auto top offs or auto water changes are handy on small tanks. I can't speak for pico tanks in particular as I haven't owned one that small (10 gallon is the lowest I go and that is for a QT). Pico tanks are going to have massive swings in salinity, wase, temperature, etc.

If you would like a small tanks, consider an all in one meant for saltwater or something like a fijicube aio filter box.
Plus one on that! ATO is very important for a small tank or really any tanks unless you have so much time on your hand and your always near your tank. Just saves time and removes headaches.
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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Auto top offs or auto water changes are handy on small tanks. I can't speak for pico tanks in particular as I haven't owned one that small (10 gallon is the lowest I go and that is for a QT). Pico tanks are going to have massive swings in salinity, wase, temperature, etc.

If you would like a small tanks, consider an all in one meant for saltwater or something like a fijicube aio filter box.
Ok, Thanks I will look into this.

In regards to another tank that will be hard for me to convince the other half. She already doesn't want this one as it is!

So I guess it comes down to try and fail, try and succeed, or don't try at all.

My motto in life is "Never regret the things you did and failed at. Regret the things you never did and could have"
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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Plus one on that! ATO is very important for a small tank or really any tanks unless you have so much time on your hand and your always near your tank. Just saves time and removes headaches.
Just watching a YT video on ATO and noticed that there is a separate chamber in their tank.

Despite the Chi not having this, It is something I can create/do with the right divider and some sealant :)

Would this be a better alternative?
It would fit my brief of hiding everything.
 

Auquanut

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Maybe @brandon429 can be of some assistance. He keeps pico jar reefs. I believe large frequent water changes are the norm in these very small tanks to keep parameters in check, but I've never had one so I don't know.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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Hey nice tank here

id make a planted tank out of the chi vs salt only due to evaporation, not that small gallonage reefing is hard it’s easy if youll control salinity

see this post in my opinion for most successful initial pico planning



you can get away with even less gallons if you’ll deal with salinity creatively. My one gallon pico is more stable on salinity than any reef on this entire board not a joke, there’s no auto topoff we handle things by restricting evap. We can precisely meter how much freshwater leaves the tank, it’s not always in the precision addition of freshwater to keep salinity strong.
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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Hey nice tank here

id make a planted tank out of the chi vs salt only due to evaporation, not that small gallonage reefing is hard it’s easy if youll control salinity

see this post in my opinion for most successful initial pico planning



you can get away with even less gallons if you’ll deal with salinity creatively. My one gallon pico is more stable on salinity than any reef on this entire board not a joke, there’s no auto topoff we handle things by restricting evap. We can precisely meter how much freshwater leaves the tank, it’s not always in the precision addition of freshwater to keep salinity strong.
Thanks for the input a really solid answer.

What if I modified the tank to reduce the evaporation?

I do have the plastic lid it originally came with which will help, however, I am happy to create something to fit.

In addition, it is on a cabinet which I can install a 5G container to be able to use an ATO so that could be an option?

Or in your experience are you honestly saying put your pride in your pocket and let it go? :)

Oh and I have extremely thick skin so I prefer honesty.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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the truth is all those arrangements can work

the older it gets then the fail points come into play, fewer fail points lives longer but all arrangements start well at the beginning


for sure lid modification is possible but that changes salt creep, caking around the edges, which pulls out salts faster than norm and can actually drive salinity down though the water level is dropping

an offset for that condition is lids that rest on the inner diameter of the walls, not on top (a vase's fluted neck is specifically this arrangement, zero salt creep)

so its not that lid modification can't work, its that the vase design and plastic lid fit is already tested for unpredicted variables. that's also not very fun discovery, copying an existing arrangment, nothing evolves that way. so you have to decide in my opinion do you want a flat out guaranteed working method or do you enjoy the fun of tinkering, tuning, $ setbacks for sure, but also potential advances.

if you'd rather allocate initial funds into top shelf corals packed in a pico, you can see that's not hard to do but if you choose to do it in a square reef you bring in setback costs/design experiments that add to cost. a benefit of using the adapted vase pico system (its not really about the actual vase, its the inner diameter fitting lid) is zero waste of funds/all focused on corals and they'll grow for sure.

nothing is stopping you from fitting an inner-diameter resting lid into that square tank you have all cleaned up. a perfectly cut square of glass, lined in gasketing, could rest on eight little tiny clear pegs glued right inside that tank and you'd have inner diameter fit=evolution


gas exchange matters greatly, we're literally pumping in clean air 24x7 in vases with air pumps, a powerhead pico is not. they have co2 buildup issues at times. so many changes follow minor tweaks.

that's my two cents nice to meet you!
B
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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the truth is all those arrangements can work

the older it gets then the fail points come into play, fewer fail points lives longer but all arrangements start well at the beginning


for sure lid modification is possible but that changes salt creep, caking around the edges, which pulls out ions faster than norm and can actually drive salinity down though the water level is dropping

an offset for that condition is lids that rest on the inner diameter of the walls, not on top (a vase's fluted neck is specifically this arrangement, zero salt creep)

so its not that lid modification can't work, its that the vase design and plastic lid fit is already tested for unpredicted variables. that's also not very fun discovery, copying an existing arrangment, nothing evolves that way. so you have to decide in my opinion do you want a flat out guaranteed working method or do you enjoy the fun of tinkering, tuning, $ setbacks for sure, but also potential advances.

if you'd rather allocate initial funds into top shelf corals packed in a pico, you can see that's not hard to do but if you choose to do it in a square reef you bring in setback costs/design experiments that add to cost. a benefit of using the adapted vase pico system (its not really about the actual vase, its the inner diameter fitting lid) is zero waste of funds/all focused on corals and they'll grow for sure.

nothing is stopping you from fitting an inner-diameter resting lid into that square tank you have all cleaned up. a perfectly cut square of glass, lined in gasketing, could rest on eight little tiny clear pegs glued right inside that tank and you'd have inner diameter fit=evolution


gas exchange matters greatly, we're literally pumping in clean air 24x7 in vases with air pumps, a powerhead pico is not. they have co2 buildup issues at times. so many changes follow minor tweaks.

that's my two cents nice to meet you!
B
Absolute legend and food for thought thanks.

The issue I have is with the default Chi lighting and filter it sticks proud of the top as a "waterfall" style so would need to lose that.

I viewed your Vase video and it is very impressive! Do you not even have a filter in there?

If so how often do you clean it? Looked to me like all you had were aeration and heater?
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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yes aeration and heater bc rocks and sand alone will filter all reef tanks, no extra surface area is needed. this upscales to any size reef its not just a rule for picos, all reef tanks are using well beyond the needed degree of surface area. we don't need filters or bioballs, but if we run them that's ok. im making use of the space they'd take up and using the rule to filter my pico anyway. neat scaling right


its hard to imagine being true but nonetheless is, when you see anyone's reef tank you're able to subtract all the surrounding surface area besides the rocks, done correctly and in an ordered series of course, and you'll not cause a cycle if the same # of live rock is kept. and in some cases, we removed even some of that with the sand, and filters all at once keeping the same fish loading.


the reason people would want to do that is to move homes safely, or upgrade tanks, or change sandbeds. to do any of that with a ten thousand dollar reef tank takes very ordered careful steps. if you want to see how surface area really works in a reef tank, consider this massive log of jobs:


because the rule of subtractable surface area is 100% true all the time, we can get away with that business for any number of pages that thread will run. page 48 outcomes look exactly like page 2 outcomes, that's solid statistics.

You can never support the degree of life in that tank it would take to overcome the filter biosystem. available oxygen would limit first in the water by a long shot. filter systems are overpowered in all reef tanks, they're not just barely keeping up. they have room for instant doubling of bioload carry, we test this right above. nobody's tank dies, because the rule of subtractable surface area is true for any reef tank.

100% of the thread is removing someone's sandbed all at once, along with any other filtration they're running, keeping the same number of fish, all done instantly not spread out, its just done for different reasons. in a third of the jobs we did it to beat cyano invasions in one pass. BRS says specifically on their website this is not possible to be done. the thread is going on sixth year, they missed the light intensity drop timing and sunburned all their transferred corals is why it seems impossible.
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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yes aeration and heater bc rocks and sand alone will filter all reef tanks, no extra surface area is needed. this upscales to any size reef its not just a rule for picos, all reef tanks are using well beyond the needed degree of surface area. we don't need filters or bioballs, but if we run them that's ok. im making use of the space they'd take up and using the rule to filter my pico anyway. neat scaling right


its hard to imagine being true but nonetheless is, when you see anyone's reef tank you're able to subtract all the surrounding surface area besides the rocks, done correctly and in an ordered series of course, and you'll not cause a cycle if the same # of live rock is kept. and in some cases, we removed even some of that with the sand, and filters all at once keeping the same fish loading.


the reason people would want to do that is to move homes safely, or upgrade tanks, or change sandbeds. to do any of that with a ten thousand dollar reef tank takes very ordered careful steps. if you want to see how surface area really works in a reef tank, consider this massive log of jobs:


because the rule of subtractable surface area is 100% true all the time, we can get away with that business for any number of pages that thread will run. page 48 outcomes look exactly like page 2 outcomes, that's solid statistics.

You can never support the degree of life in that tank it would take to overcome the filter biosystem. available oxygen would limit first in the water by a long shot. filter systems are overpowered in all reef tanks, they're not just barely keeping up. they have room for instant doubling of bioload carry, we test this right above. nobody's tank dies, because the rule of subtractable surface area is true for any reef tank.

100% of the thread is removing someone's sandbed all at once, along with any other filtration they're running, keeping the same number of fish, all done instantly not spread out, its just done for different reasons. in a third of the jobs we did it to beat cyano invasions in one pass. BRS says specifically on their website this is not possible to be done. the thread is going on sixth year, they missed the light intensity drop timing and sunburned all their transferred corals is why it seems impossible.
I understand what you are saying.

Whilst completely not on the same subject matter I feel the same and very strongly about things (nonrelated to tanks) in regards to the numbers 3,6,9

So I feel your frustrations when you try to get other people to understand that the "meta" is not always correct. Challenging narratives is easy, the hardest part is convincing others when it is right in front of their face.

My job is in the field of Bitcoin and Crypto, specifically, BSV (Bitcoin Satoshi Vision) which relates to your findings in an odd way in regards to "proof of work"

I am keen to learn more and understand in more detail what you are referring to, however, will not rely on you educating me as it seems like you have done more than enough of that already.

Getting back on topic, what you have produced to me seems like the only cure to my own fussy requirements.

Simple
Minimalistic
Effective

I know I will not convince the Mrs to put a "vase" as a tank so might accept the challenge of a workaround.

Although I found this in my garage too (do not ask how or why I have it) but it's a Shisha Bowl... I bet you could turn it into something special!

tank5.jpg
 
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BSVKilbey

BSVKilbey

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Hi all,

Update, I am still deciding what is best for the lid however made the decision to continue.

I will be putting water in etc probably next week and will run it just to see how much evaporation I will get.

I won’t be testing the water just yet more placement and design.

Whilst on the subject I bought myself some Dry rock today from my LFS and 3KG of it and temporarily scaped the tank.

I also saw some barnacles which I had to buy however is it all too much for this tank?

Honest answers only, please. If it looks s*** I won’t be offended. They are only balanced there and not set yet. Still, time to move.

Appreciate your feedback.

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38EB8D82-3AB3-41E0-A239-F8D150E5D310.jpeg

4719C44E-58E6-4392-9247-8673DF5CE8F6.jpeg
 

BoxKing

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You can drop $100 on a baseline AIO pico setup that will serve a much better purpose for your goals.
Filter chambers
Lid
Return pump chamber

A setup like this will Allow for better control over parameters, and the addition of an ATO. The chemistry will be a battle upfront... hell ppl with 100G setups have problems, and the same will just be compounded with such small water volume if You end up in a crisis mode.

Like you mentioned above, just go with it. Picos usually mean small investment in equipment, and lower “maintenance“ - so if it fails or doesn’t look the way you want, then just MOVE ON TO THE NEXT ONE!
 
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