Lifegard Aquatics 7.4g Pico Build "The Burry"

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Let's try shorter, more frequent updates :)

I tore the tank down for maintenance yesterday... that kind of thing is easy to do when the tank is that small, and all the rock work is glued together and on stilts. I glued down a bunch of new corals, and took a look at a problematic powerhead (that saga continues - the manufacturer is sending me a new one). It's a good opportunity to suck a bunch of stuff off the bottom glass and do a large(er) WC.

I also glued in a drain plug that I printed. It plugs up that bottom drain hole, and is 1mm shorter than the glass thickness so it doesn't protrude into the filter chamber, allowing me to slip in my media basket (which I also installed). We'll see how all of that goes in time, but so far so good.

I started feeding the tank after I discovered the sexy shrimp chowing down on my new corals. They really did a number on my birdsnest and stylophora, plucking polyps out and even eating the tissue off of the skeleton. Now that they're being fed, that behavior seems to have subsided. The next task will be to figure out how little feeding I can get away with. I initially tried small sinking spectrum pellets... they were very excited at the smell, but when they get a hold of one they usually let go in a short 10-20 seconds. I've had to resort to frozen food...

Here are some pictures I took tonight. Everyone seems to be relatively happy following the big shake-up yesterday... and I hope that over time, with the shrimps being less voracious, things improve even further.

PXL_20201122_230245382.NIGHT.jpg


PXL_20201122_230258303.NIGHT.jpg
 

Ranjib

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Dude , the tank already looks superb. The glass bed encrusting is an awesome view :) . I’m thinking of moving in it of benepetit to just reef roids. I might have missed it , what are you feeding the shrimps ?
 

Ranjib

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Those two bed encrusting will meet soon and the cyphsatrea will win over the monti (?? Green yellow one ) . Create a rock or bench like thing , shadow is the best separator
 
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Dude , the tank already looks superb.

Thanks :) I'm pretty proud of it considering it's barely 4mo old

I’m thinking of moving in it of benepetit to just reef roids. I might have missed it , what are you feeding the shrimps ?

I've found reef roids to be too homogeneous in particle size and ingredients. I prefer foods with a mix of a bunch of stuff in it. I use BRS reef chili from time to time as it has a wide variety of particle sizes, which helps make sure that all my corals get something they like.

Of course, these things are not ideal for the shrimps. As a matter of emergency (my corals are being eaten!) I have switched to Rods Original. A tiny piece about half the size of a pencil eraser is enough to do the trick. Even the mini maxi gets in on that action. Rod's was by far the favorite in my other tank.

Those two bed encrusting will meet soon and the cyphsatrea will win over the monti (?? Green yellow one ) . Create a rock or bench like thing , shadow is the best separator

Yea :-/ it has happened quicker than I thought. The green/orange/yellow one is a sun king psammacora. I like it a lot :( maybe I should pop the frag off the glass and move it elsewhere.

I'm not sure if shade will do it since cyphastreas usually do ok in low light. Maybe I will experiment with the rock positioning a bit. In the end though, the goal is to cover as much of the bottom glass as possible with coral
 

shaner014

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This is an epic build! Really shows that no matter the size, all the rules still can apply. I have just setup the little brother to this tank, the 3.8. I am loving it so far! Will be following you!
 
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I have just setup the little brother to this tank, the 3.8. I am loving it so far!

Cool! Are you doing a build thread for it?

Some quick updates on the burry. Plugging the drain hole has stabilized the water level (and in turn, eliminated my salinity swings). I printed a drain plug and superglued it in.

The media basked seems to be doing well. With three filter pads, it is definitely overkill! I haven't yet changed any (they're still looking OK) but I'll pull them out this weekend and have a gander.

I was away for 5 days or so over thanksgiving. In that time, the sexy shrimp have really done some damage to my SPS. The hardest hit is my purple stylophora - they have been picking polyps out of it :mad:. I have started feeding a little more rod's food, once every other day, making sure each shrimp gets a big chunk. If I can't fix their behavior, they will have to go...

PXL_20201202_182726706.MP.jpg


The other corals, including my acros, seem to be pretty happy. Maybe it's the food, maybe it's the increased salinity stability... probably it's both :)

I'll post some more pictures in another few weeks.
 

Willz

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Any updates? My wife just got the 8.3g tank. I wished we could have held off and bought a brand that had a larger rear chamber.

I see that you were able to fit the Sicce 1.0 in. I was hesitant to order it until I saw this build and that you have had success with it.

However, after reading about you having hassles with salinity due to the overflow design I’m on the fence about it again.

I really like your media tray and the custom plug. If you or anyone that sees this post has a 3D printer and wanted to make some cash I would be willing to pay for you to print one out and mail it here. DM me.
 
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Hi @Willz!

Any updates?

Sorry for the relative silence :( work has gotten super busy, and this poor little tank isn't getting the attention it deserves. It's up and running still, but with a touch of STN on some of the SPS due to WC neglect. I may need to sell the whole system soon :(. Otherwise, everything is running great, with the exception of the powerhead system.

I see that you were able to fit the Sicce 1.0 in. I was hesitant to order it until I saw this build and that you have had success with it.

However, after reading about you having hassles with salinity due to the overflow design I’m on the fence about it again.

Yea... Sicce is hands down the better pump. But you will need to rig up some kind of flow restrictor beyond what it comes with. The key with this tank is to not worry about return throughput - focus on turnover in the display itself (i.e. powerhead number and placement). Throughput through the return and filtration is going to be slow, but it is what it is. It's not too bad, if you have powerheads to stir it all up and keep it suspended.

I really like your media tray and the custom plug. If you or anyone that sees this post has a 3D printer and wanted to make some cash I would be willing to pay for you to print one out and mail it here. DM me.

I'd happily print this for you for free, but alas I have no time :(. You may need to scale it down a bit, maybe 98% or so, I think I noted that in the post. I received a notification that there's a new 3d printing forum here. I already shared the necessary file on my previous post, so I might recommend you go there and see if anyone would be willing to print it for you.

Good luck! Please let me know if you have any more questions or if I can help further. Happy reefing :)
 

Willz

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Nice. I wound up buying the InTank media basket for the first chamber found here:


I would still like to get something slightly springy to plug the bottom hole you have had issues with. Something like a runner O-Ring to really plug the hole. Or a rubber “cork” that would plug in there and stay.

We have added a Tunze nano Ozmolator for evaporation. We also bought 2 Kamoer Nono-dosers from BRS since we have some LPS a and SPS. I’m waiting for the little acrylic storage vessels for alk and calcium to add them to the system.

I am tempted to add another smallish tank behind the DT with a HOB an overflow and small pump so that we can add a skimmer and refugium and just have a little more real estate for doodads and gadgets. The 2” depth of the filter chamber is certainly a challenge to work with.

Good luck with your tank and thanks for your insight! Hope you don’t have to get rid of it, but I understand if you do :)
 
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Nice. I wound up buying the InTank media basket for the first chamber found here:

Cool! I don't remember seeing that option from InTank back when I printed my basket, nice to know that there's a commercial option. Next time :-D

I would still like to get something slightly springy to plug the bottom hole you have had issues with. Something like a runner O-Ring to really plug the hole. Or a rubber “cork” that would plug in there and stay.

I printed a plug with a wide fringe and a truncated trunk so it wouldn't stick into the rear chamber... I applied super glue to the fringe and trunk, and held it in place for a few seconds. Haven't had a problem since.

I am tempted to add another smallish tank behind the DT with a HOB an overflow and small pump so that we can add a skimmer and refugium and just have a little more real estate for doodads and gadgets. The 2” depth of the filter chamber is certainly a challenge to work with.

I'm convinced that my little tank would survive very well with what it's got, and bi-weekly to monthly 2G water change, _if_ the ATO had kalkwasser. IMO that's the major missing piece for me. I bought the kalkwasser but haven't put it in yet because I read that it can eat through the plastic ATO container I have currently. Need to figure that out I guess..

I have a very small goby, two sexy shrimp left, and a dozen or two corals. I feed a small pinch of frozen rod's food every 2-3 days. Nitrates and phosphates stay pretty low. The only real problem is keeping up calc and alk (hence kalkwasser). I think it's totally possible to keep SPS, LPS etc including acros, in this tank with very low overhead if done well. No skimmer or fuge required :-D. IMO, anyway.

Good luck with your tank and thanks for your insight! Hope you don’t have to get rid of it, but I understand if you do :)

Thank you! I hope this has helped. I'm getting ready to leave here, and my family will need to take care of the tank. Despite its current state, it's become clear that perhaps my family doesn't want the responsibility of caring for a whole "world" - if something were to go wrong, they'd be very sad about it.
 

Willz

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I like to hear you think your set up could handle SPS without a skimmer or refugium. That gives me hope for our set up. Just need to get through the cycle! Cheers!
 

What do you look for when making sure your skimmer is working correctly?

  • Amount of skimmate

    Votes: 206 46.0%
  • Dark Skimmate

    Votes: 277 61.8%
  • Light Skimmate

    Votes: 18 4.0%
  • Dry Skimmate

    Votes: 53 11.8%
  • Wet Skimmate

    Votes: 45 10.0%
  • Low Nutrient Levels

    Votes: 58 12.9%
  • Low Nuisance Algae

    Votes: 42 9.4%
  • Algae on the glass

    Votes: 26 5.8%
  • Other (please explain in the thread)

    Votes: 12 2.7%
  • I don't run a skimmer

    Votes: 54 12.1%

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