Tiny Tank: Pico Build | Eshopps Deskmate 4.8 Gallon

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LeannaBanana

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Decided to bite on the BRS Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal on the cute little Eshopps 4.8 Gallon AIO Deskmate Bundle.
eshopps-product-picobundle-hphero-v600x600-1200x1200v1.png

**PHOTO BELONGS TO BRS, just hawking it from the website until she arrives**

Tank Specifications
11" x 12" x 10"
Display: 3.8 Gallons
Chamber: 1 Gallon
Circa 100 Return Pump (100 GPH max) + nozzle
Nano Filter Sock
25W Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater

Starting the tank with:
10lbs CaribSea Fiji Pink Arag-Alive Reef Sand
1 CaribSea LifeRock dry rock
2 LifeRock Nano Arches
1lb Seaside Aquatics Ceramic Bio-Spheres

This little tank will live in my office. The plan is to have a collection of softies (ricordea, GSP, sympodium, perhaps zoa), a few snails (Astrea, Nerite, maybe Nassarius +/- Ceriths), and maybe an RFA or two eventually. No crabs for this tank, and I'm leaning away from shrimp as many seem to especially pick on softies. No plan for fish right now, either though I did briefly entertain the idea of a YWG/shrimp pair before deciding the space was probably too small.

Delivery set for Thursday! I'll post photos and updates through the cycle process. I'll use the included Instant Ocean Bio-Spira Nitrifying Bacteria to start the cycle. I've never used the Aquaforest Sea Salt mix, and am leaning towards just using Reef Crystals like my other tanks use just to keep it simple so each tank has the "same water."

Would love to hear from anyone who already has one set up for any tips/tricks. I've read through a few posts here about tricky flow and replacement lights.
 
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Fish Think Pink

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Decided to bite on the BRS Black Friday/Cyber Monday deal on the cute little Eshopps 4.8 Gallon AIO Deskmate Bundle.
eshopps-product-picobundle-hphero-v600x600-1200x1200v1.png

**PHOTO BELONGS TO BRS, just hawking it from the website until she arrives**

Tank Specifications
11" x 12" x 10"
Display: 3.8 Gallons
Chamber: 1 Gallon
Circa 100 Return Pump (100 GPH max) + nozzle
Nano Filter Sock
25W Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater

Starting the tank with:
10lbs CaribSea Fiji Pink Arag-Alive Reef Sand
1 CaribSea LifeRock dry rock
2 LifeRock Nano Arches
1lb Seaside Aquatics Ceramic Bio-Spheres

This little tank will live in my office. The plan is to have a collection of softies (ricordea, GSP, sympodium, perhaps zoa), a few snails (Astrea, Nerite, maybe Nassarius +/- Ceriths), and maybe an RFA or two eventually. No crabs for this tank, and I'm leaning away from shrimp as many seem to especially pick on softies. No plan for fish right now, either though I did briefly entertain the idea of a YWG/shrimp pair before deciding the space was probably too small.

Delivery set for Thursday! I'll post photos and updates through the cycle process. I'll use the included Instant Ocean Bio-Spira Nitrifying Bacteria to start the cycle. I've never used the Aquaforest Sea Salt mix, and am leaning towards just using Reef Crystals like my other tanks use just to keep it simple so each tank has the "same water."

Would love to hear from anyone who already has one set up for any tips/tricks. I've read through a few posts here about tricky flow and replacement lights.

LOVE mine... I just bought an ATO for it because I'm evaporating water so much I have to refill with RO both morning and night/bedtime.... which is not tanks fault just dry TX weather...

The tiny CIRCA 100 pump that comes is ADJUSTABLE - but you have to squint at the side bump on the side of the pump to realize it. Initially I thought pump defective, but then once found & adjusted faster it pumps like a beast (BRS put eShopps support in touch with me). Now LOVE that tiny pump and weirdly don't seem able (yet?) to be able to buy it without getting whole tank. I'd like to toss one into my 5g macro algae tank since that pump has such a wide range of pump speed. I'd also like a hot spare because its the only pump so lifeline of my little system.

Water takes days to clear up with that live sand (bag even says so), even with the little clarifying packet I found mixed in the sand (didn't know it was coming - almost over looked it and it would have just been sealed up in sand for eons...)

My zoas I moved into tiny tank aren't doing as well, but I'm also not feeding as well in my tiny tank as in my 180gallon where 2x daily phyto & fish food goes in. I'm using the included light, and with zoas and likely other softies it seems fine.

Just like any saltwater tank, I am trying to take it slow and break it in. I'm very pleased. I now have two, but nothing yet in second (haven't put 2nd tanks light or even heater on yet).
 

TangerineSpeedo

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I run a few Nano's and Yes, an ATO is your friend. The other PIA is dosing. You can either do constant water changes or if that is not enough you will have to hand dose daily. Get you 1ml syringes ready because the numbers you’re going to use are going to be in the .2 - .6 ml range. I am currently setting up a GHL doser to use AFR for the nanos to see how that goes.
 
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LeannaBanana

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LOVE mine... I just bought an ATO for it because I'm evaporating water so much I have to refill with RO both morning and night/bedtime.... which is not tanks fault just dry TX weather...

The tiny CIRCA 100 pump that comes is ADJUSTABLE - but you have to squint at the side bump on the side of the pump to realize it. Initially I thought pump defective, but then once found & adjusted faster it pumps like a beast (BRS put eShopps support in touch with me). Now LOVE that tiny pump and weirdly don't seem able (yet?) to be able to buy it without getting whole tank. I'd like to toss one into my 5g macro algae tank since that pump has such a wide range of pump speed. I'd also like a hot spare because its the only pump so lifeline of my little system.

Water takes days to clear up with that live sand (bag even says so), even with the little clarifying packet I found mixed in the sand (didn't know it was coming - almost over looked it and it would have just been sealed up in sand for eons...)

My zoas I moved into tiny tank aren't doing as well, but I'm also not feeding as well in my tiny tank as in my 180gallon where 2x daily phyto & fish food goes in. I'm using the included light, and with zoas and likely other softies it seems fine.

Just like any saltwater tank, I am trying to take it slow and break it in. I'm very pleased. I now have two, but nothing yet in second (haven't put 2nd tanks light or even heater on yet).

OH yea, I most definitely will have an ATO! I forgot to put it on the list, but I have a little auto aqua ready to roll.

Thanks for the tips on the pump! I knew it was adjustable but didn't know where to adjust so that's super helpful! I know it might take a little bit to get everything dialed in and cleared. My last tank sat for almost 4 months before I was brave enough to put anything other than CUC in there. lol This one will probably take longer since I'm using dry rock instead of live. Time will tell!
 
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LeannaBanana

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I run a few Nano's and Yes, an ATO is your friend. The other PIA is dosing. You can either do constant water changes or if that is not enough you will have to hand dose daily. Get you 1ml syringes ready because the numbers you’re going to use are going to be in the .2 - .6 ml range. I am currently setting up a GHL doser to use AFR for the nanos to see how that goes.

I hadn't even considered small syringes. I only have 3, 5, and 10ml right now. :face-with-tears-of-joy: Ordering on Amazon as I type lol.

I have an ATO ready to roll, I just forgot to list it. I tend to do a biweekly small water change in my other tanks (usually around 10%) and am expecting to have a higher frequency for the small tank. Hand dosing daily as needed is no prob. I tend to carve out time each afternoon after work for any tank maintenance or admiring, so this tank will just get added to that list. I definitely want to follow along with your GHL dosing set up, though!
 
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LeannaBanana

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Any updates? Really interested in seeing this build.

YES! I will post photos and an update tomorrow after tank maintenance. Been away for a work conference this week. :)

But so far I'm very pleased with everything! The sand settled quickly and rocks are in good shape. I added an established live rock from my larger tank after about 4 days. Tested parameters just before I left town and was sitting on

Temp: 78.1
Salinity: 1.024
Alk: 9.6 dkh
NO3: 12.1
PO4: 0.04
Ammonia: 0
 

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Hi. I purchased the same bundle. Is the return pump loud for you as well? It gives off a good amount of noise, not sure how I’m going to manage having this in my office. Any way to dampen the noise coming from the pump?
 
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LeannaBanana

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Hi. I purchased the same bundle. Is the return pump loud for you as well? It gives off a good amount of noise, not sure how I’m going to manage having this in my office. Any way to dampen the noise coming from the pump?

Yea mine is pretty loud. I spent a significant amount of time making sure the pump was perfectly centered and not touching any of the walls around it. I've also found that if you push the fill level, it's significantly more quiet, but I can't add or remove anything easily as the trade off. I have mine behind me in my office, and it's not overpoweringly loud, but if it was right next to me on my desk it would bother me and likely be heard in my zoom calls.
 

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Yea mine is pretty loud. I spent a significant amount of time making sure the pump was perfectly centered and not touching any of the walls around it. I've also found that if you push the fill level, it's significantly more quiet, but I can't add or remove anything easily as the trade off. I have mine behind me in my office, and it's not overpoweringly loud, but if it was right next to me on my desk it would bother me and likely be heard in my zoom calls.
Gotcha. I may replace it with something like the Sicce Silent Nano. Raising the water level in the return compartment worries me a bit, if the power went out it could overflow.
 
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LeannaBanana

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A couple of updated photos from today. I've added 1 Nassarius, 1 Cerith, and 1 bumblebee snail (I'm suspicious of some Vermetid slime that may have transported in from my live rock).

Parameters today:
Temp: 80.7 (I increased slightly on purpose)
Salinity: 1.024
pH: 8.1
Alk: 10.1
NO3: 12.6
PO4: 0.08
Ammonia: 0

I'm going to wait before adding corals, but I have a few softies ready to go once everything seems ready!

smoltankafar.jpg


smoltank1.jpg


smoltank2.jpg
 
Tidal Gardens

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A couple of updated photos from today. I've added 1 Nassarius, 1 Cerith, and 1 bumblebee snail (I'm suspicious of some Vermetid slime that may have transported in from my live rock).

Parameters today:
Temp: 80.7 (I increased slightly on purpose)
Salinity: 1.024
pH: 8.1
Alk: 10.1
NO3: 12.6
PO4: 0.08
Ammonia: 0

I'm going to wait before adding corals, but I have a few softies ready to go once everything seems ready!

smoltankafar.jpg


smoltank1.jpg


smoltank2.jpg
Looking great. Nice mature rocks.
 

Gumbies R Us

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A couple of updated photos from today. I've added 1 Nassarius, 1 Cerith, and 1 bumblebee snail (I'm suspicious of some Vermetid slime that may have transported in from my live rock).

Parameters today:
Temp: 80.7 (I increased slightly on purpose)
Salinity: 1.024
pH: 8.1
Alk: 10.1
NO3: 12.6
PO4: 0.08
Ammonia: 0

I'm going to wait before adding corals, but I have a few softies ready to go once everything seems ready!

smoltankafar.jpg


smoltank1.jpg


smoltank2.jpg
I like the orange lights under it!! looks great so far!
 
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LeannaBanana

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Small update. Got a neat little lid from @Kraken Reef for Christmas! :star-struck: Also received a new random flow attachment that I'll add in once I do a small water change later today along with routine tank maintenance for all the tanks. (Happy Sunday!)

Since the last update, I've moved in some Neon GSP (back corner), Blue Sympodium (front right), and an Ultra Ricordea (middle left) in temporary spots to see how they fare. Things seem to be doing well, so I'll likely glue them in today or tomorrow.

As you can see, diatoms have arrived. Moved over some more CUC from the bigger tank for now, but happy to ride out this phase and do some manual cleaning. :)

20221225_125941.jpg
 
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LeannaBanana

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Going to work on gluing the coral frags down today. Everything seems happy and parameters are stable. Diatoms clearing up well.

20221227_120211.jpg


I have a Duncan in another tank that is being harassed by one of the clowns. Sigh. I'm going to go ahead and move it over to the deskmate before it's hosted to death.

20221227_120145.jpg


Bonus photobomb by the Diamond Goby who can't stand not being the center of attention:

20221227_120153.jpg
 
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LeannaBanana

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Not a big update. Just posting cleaner photos :)

Parameters today:
Temp: 79.8*F
Salinity: 1.024
pH: 8.15
Alk: 9.8 dkh
NO3: 20.4
PO4: 0.09

**fed come coral food last night that I think raised the nitrates and phos a bit. I'll give it a couple days and do a water change if needed.

20221228_174838.jpg



20221228_174930.jpg



20221228_174919.jpg
 
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LeannaBanana

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No significant updates this week. Just a couple of fresh photos and updating the "official" list. Diatoms are almost 100% gone. Had some other GHA-type algae starting, but it seems to have resolved/been eaten, as well.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tank Specifications
11" x 12" x 10"
Display: 3.8 Gallons
Chamber: 1 Gallon
Circa 100 Return Pump (100 GPH max) + nozzle (stock)
Nano Filter Sock
25W Eheim Jager Aquarium Heater
Stock LED light
Lid from Kraken Reef

Started the tank with:
10lbs CaribSea Fiji Pink Arag-Alive Reef Sand
1 CaribSea LifeRock dry rock
1 LifeRock Nano Arch
1 mature live rock from my 29-gallon tank.
1lb Seaside Aquatics Ceramic Bio-Spheres

Stock List
1x Blue Sympodium
1x Duncan
1x Neon GSP
1x Ultra Ricordea
1 (turkeywing?) clam
1 limpet
1 conch
1 cerith
many micro brittle stars
_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

20230102_132044.jpg


20230102_132053.jpg


Next to add: Maybe another ricordea and perhaps a goni. Zoa are always a possibility. Light upgrade.
 
AquaCave

What do you feed your Lobo? Edit Feature poll

  • Frozen Mysis or Brine Shrimp

    Votes: 42 43.3%
  • Live Brine Shrimp

    Votes: 8 8.2%
  • Coral Food Powder

    Votes: 39 40.2%
  • Coral Food Pellets

    Votes: 30 30.9%
  • Whatever nutrients are in the water column

    Votes: 36 37.1%
  • Other

    Votes: 12 12.4%
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