Lifegard Aquatics 7.4g Pico Build "The Burry"

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Karl Sanders

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Pretty sure the fix is to plug the drain and ensure the return flow is low... Which means you'll need one or two power heads in the display
My tank came with a drain plug that allowed a bit of drain flow and a plug that just stopped up the hole. Once I just used the plug, everything works fine. I have no idea what the plug that allows it to drain is for. I wish it was mentioned and explained on the Lifeguard website.
 
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Once I just used the plug, everything works fine. I have no idea what the plug that allows it to drain is for.

I think the tank was not originally designed with a bottom hole... It seems like it was added later in response to the fact that the throughput on the overflow is too low. The only way to run a return pump with higher throughput is to let some water in through the bottom hole in addition to the overflow... However, people who take this route will learn over time that it turns into a nightmare for maintaining salinity stability and that they're better off with a low flow return and no drain.
 
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However, people who take this route will learn over time that it turns into a nightmare for maintaining salinity stability and that they're better off with a low flow return and no drain.

If you don't run any kind of filtering in the first back chamber, _maybe_ you could get away with it ... But I haven't tried.
 

Karl Sanders

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I see what you mean. I'm using the stock return pump but I have a Nero 3 wavemaker for flow and the two combined are working in perfect concert.
The other thing I thought the drain could be intended for is a fresh water planted tank with mangroves. I've seen examples of those setups where the water level varies and doesn't seem that important. Most of the established Lifeguard tank images I have seen when searching, is freshwater.
 
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I'm using the stock return pump but I have a Nero 3 wavemaker for flow and the two combined are working in perfect concert.

Nice :) should be ok then! I started with a Sicce return but even when fully restricted the flow was too high for just the overflow alone ... Had to fall back to the weaker stock return.

The other thing I thought the drain could be intended for is a fresh water planted tank with mangroves. I've seen examples of those setups where the water level varies and doesn't seem that important. Most of the established Lifeguard tank images I have seen when searching, is freshwater.

Oh huh ... That is interesting! Maybe ...? I don't know much about that stuff.

The bottom drain was attractive to me at first because I'd hoped it could help clear heavier debris from the bottom of the tank ... It never really did that effectively either though :)
 
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Karl Sanders

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Here is my setup.
20210725_200247.jpg
 

Karl Sanders

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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 :)
The Aquamaxx Bullet-1 fits in the back filter of this tank. It's the only one I could find that would fit but it seems to be working very well.
 
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After almost one year, I am pleased to be able to post another update here!

I am visiting my family, and this little SPS dominant tank is just absolutely
thriving. The details captured in the rest of this post are my family's learnings, told here second hand. First, pictures!

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Alk has been a struggle but is now under control. The small water volume means individual doses are very small (especially when spread over time) but absolutely critical. Alk can fall very quickly here without the constant tiny helping hand of the doser.

The cheap BRS dosers were no good.. difficulty programming timers, calibrating next was too great .. and we need very small volumes regularly. Ended up going with red sea doser. They like it a lot, much better also of course more expensive :)

Even red sea software had it's own problem due to unsual size and demand ... We could not even create a new tank profile with the real size of the system :-D we had to lie.

All working very well now!

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The powerheads have been high maintenance. The tank generally runs pretty low nutrient. Softies surviving not thriving. We had a fish loss, which translated into a few new zoa polyps ... Control over this tank is tight.

The sexy shrimp get fed almost daily. They are target fed rods food and have learned to eat from the dropper. It is an efficient operation. The mini carpet anemone is also fed from time to time, it has split twice so now there are four.

This tank gets a 2 gallon water change weekly, which I approximate to almost 50%. The powerheads and stilts strategy has worked wonderfully, the bottom is generally clear and mechanical filtration is working very well.

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The heaters have been a little underpowered lately (winter). My family placed a heater near the tank :) that has worked ... I wonder if one of the two heaters has failed.

That's it for now .. happy reefing!

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Ranjib

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This is looking stunning. The top sps is growing rapidly, i see multiple long white expanding tips. This tank deserves some better pics. Like stop waterflow, adjust the color temp, crop for better composition level care...
 

ari43

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Any new updates?
I’m about to setup something very almost identical with the lifegard 7.4 and the a80. I’ve had a jabeo sw2 wavemaker or whatever it’s called that worked well for me in the past so I’m gonna try and use it again. Hopefully it doesn’t crap out on me. Did you ever mention what your lighting schedule was?
 
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