PicoParadise Cadlights 4g

Chesapeake, VA
Volume 4 Gallons
Make Cadlights
Model 4g
Timeline

Introduction

I started this aquarium as a learning experience using some freshwater equipment that wasn't being used. My first saltwater aquarium was a 55 gallon tank back in the 90's. Canister filter, tap water, no protein skimmer or sump. Things have changed a lot since then!
Bam Bam Zoanthids Thumbnail
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  • Bam Bam Zoanthids /

Background

This tank started using all stock equipment (light, filter, etc.) that came with my Evolve 4, which was sitting around unused at the time. I wanted to learn what the most critical elements were to upgrade as I went. I've been slowly upgrading both my equipment and my reef keeping skills.
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  • Yellow Faced Zoas /

Photos

Filtration

Basic filter floss, Purigen, and Cheato in my HOB AC-70, along with live rock and a 1/2" sand bed. No protein skimmer - I rely on regular large water changes.
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  • Chaetomorpha / Chaetomorpha sp.

Lighting

Coral Compulsion 14W PAR30 LED 18k Vibrance Reef Light, using a generic desk light stand from Target. One of the few things in the saltwater world that is both cheap and high quality.

My refugium lamp is a 7W CFL bulb in a homemade receptacle made from a plastic electrical workbox, attached to the back of the refugium with velcro.
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  • Red Death Palys / Palythoa sp.

Flow

The Hydor Flo Rotating Water Deflector attached to the water return is powered by the return pump. I had to drill out a larger return hole in the bulkhead to use larger tubing to increase the flow from the return pump, but now I have plenty of flow.
I added an MP-10, running at 20%, to add some flow for SPS that are higher in the tank and weren't getting much flow from the return pump.
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  • Lavender Acan / Acanthastrea lordhowensis

Measurements

7.2
Alkalinity
Salinity
Nitrate
Phosphate
500
Calcium
Magnesium
79
Temperature
8.1
pH
Ammonia
Iron
Iodine
374
Potassium

Inhabitants

Mostly LPS and Zoas, with snails, one Sexy Shrimp, and a brittle serpent starfish for cleanup.

I'm starting to experiment with a few SPS corals just to see how they do.

I have one Green Banded Goby as my token fish. It would be nice to have more but I don't think the corals would do well if I had to feed more than one fish.

I think I've added most of what I'd like to put in the tank for now. I need to sit back and see what thrives and what doesn't, and work on final placement for some of the corals.
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  • Merry Christmas Acan /

1 Fish

Rusty Goby Priolepis hipoliti,

34 Corals

Baby Back Blue Eyes Zoa
Blue Eyed Monster Zoas
Blue Mushroom Actinodiscus sp.
Blue Zoas
Candy Apple Zoas
Dendrophyllia Dendrophyllia
Duncan Polyp Duncanopsammia axifuga
Green Birdsnest Coral Seriatopora hystrix
Green Favites Favites spp.
Green Star Polyp Clavularia viridis
Idaho Grape Montipora Montipora undata
Lunar Eclipse Zoa
Pipe Organ Coral Tubipora musica
Rainbow Monti Montipora capricornis
Red Acropora millepora Acropora millepora
Red Death Palys Palythoa sp.
Red Mushroom Actinodiscus sp.
Red People Eaters
Whammin' Watermelon Zoas
Yellow Scroll Coral Turbinaria sp.

33 Invertebrate

15 Dwarf Cerith Snail Cerithium sp.
4 Florida Cerith Snail Cerithium sp.
Harlequin Serpent Star Ophioderma appressum
4 Nassarius Snail Nassarius sp.
3 Nerite Snail Nerita sp.
Pom Pom Crab Lybia tesselata
4 Sexy Anemone Shrimp Thor amboinensis
Sexy Anemone Shrimp Thor amboinensis

2 Plants

Chaetomorpha Chaetomorpha sp.
Portieria Macro Algae

Equipment

78.5 degrees, 1.025 SG. Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Phosphate all as close to zero as I can measure without spending a fortune on test kits.
I try to keep all other parameters close to freshly mixed water by doing frequent water changes.
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  • Dendrophyllia / Dendrophyllia

Additives

I used Reef Crystals and frequent water changes, along with daily hand doses of Reef Fusion 1 & 2, and Via Aqua Ions for magnesium.
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  • Green Favites / Favites spp.

Feeding See more

Cyclop-Eeze · Reef-Roids · Acro Power · Formula Two Pellets · Mysis shrimp · Phytoplan · Zoaplan · Reef Frenzy · Rotifers · Cyclops
Reef Roids and Cyclop-Eaze about twice a week, with the pumps turned off. I target feed the corals and broadcast some Cyclop-Ease in the back of the tank where the Green Banded Goby hangs out.

I use a very small pinch of Reef Roids, and use a small sliver of frozen Cyclop-Eaze. By slicing off slivers, I can make one cube of Cyclop-Eaze last about two weeks. I thaw it in a small container of tank water and use a pipette to put it in the tank.

Every once in a while I use some small Formula One pellets or chop up some frozen Mysis shrimp.
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  • Greenbanded Goby / Elacatinus multifasciatum

Maintenance

I do two water changes per week. One change is about 1 gallon, the other is about 2.5 gallons. Water changes are done right after blowing off the rocks and feeding Reef Roids and Cyclop-Eaze. I also change the filter floss and clean the tank walls then.
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  • Purple Passion Paly /

On average you perform a 30.2% water change every 8 days.

0% total water change in July.

Diary Entries View all Diary Entries

Left alkalinity doser on overnight. Unfortunately, all corals and fish were lost other than zoa frags and the tubipora.

Tank retired on 5/20/2016 and converted into a frag tank.
Reef Crystals
Alk 11
RODI
168
152
5
2

Changed filter, carbon, and RODI
Set lights to 255/128.
PAR just under the water surface: 408
PAR at SPS level: 180
PAR on sandbed: 206
Set lights to 255/120.
PAR just under the water surface: 400
PAR at SPS level: 178
PAR on sandbed: 207
Set lights to 250/125, changed light angle to lower the light slightly.
PAR just under the water surface: 390
PAR at SPS level: 176
PAR on sandbed: 196

0 activities in the last year

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Inspiration & Goals

I was inspired to try keeping a salt water tank when I started to learn how many people are now successfully keeping Pico reefs. My goal is to keep this tank going long enough for all the corals to outgrow the tank, forcing me to convert my 90 gal freshwater tank to saltwater!
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  • Duncan Polyp / Duncanopsammia axifuga

Words of Wisdom

I've kept various tanks, both freshwater and saltwater, for 35 years now. Water changes are probably the easiest, cheapest, and most effective way to maintain the quality of your tank. If only it was as easy to do 50% water changes in a 200g tank as it is in a 4g tank...
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  • Australian Acan - Red Colony /