PicoParadise Cadlights 4g

Chesapeake, VA
Volume 4 Gallons
Make Cadlights
Model 4g


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
  • 3
  • 9
  • Bam Bam Zoanthids /


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.
Green Favites Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 4
  • Green Favites / Favites spp.



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.
Duncan Polyp Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Duncan Polyp / Duncanopsammia axifuga


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.
Merry Christmas Acan Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 4
  • Merry Christmas Acan /


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.
Australian Acan - Red Colony Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 1
  • Australian Acan - Red Colony /




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.
Red People Eaters Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Red People Eaters /

1 Fish

Rusty Goby Priolepis hipoliti,

34 Corals

Australian Acan - Green/Lavender
Australian Acan - Red
Australian Acan - Red Colony
Baby Back Blue Eyes Zoa
Bam Bam Zoanthids
Blue Eyed Monster Zoas
Blue Mushroom Actinodiscus sp.
Blue Zoas
Candy Apple Zoas
Dendrophyllia Dendrophyllia
Duncan Polyp Duncanopsammia axifuga
Eagle Eye (Zoanthid) Zoanthus sp.
Flame Skirt Zoanthids Zoanthus sp.
Green Birdsnest Coral Seriatopora hystrix
Green Favites Favites spp.
Green Star Polyp Clavularia viridis
Idaho Grape Montipora Montipora undata
Lunar Eclipse Zoa
Merry Christmas Acan
Metallic Green Eyes Favia Favia sp.
Pipe Organ Coral Tubipora musica
Poppy Pickin Cyphastrea Cyphastrea sp.
Radioactive Dragon Eye (Zoanthid) Zoanthus sp.
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


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.
Flame Skirt Zoanthids Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Flame Skirt Zoanthids / Zoanthus sp.


I used Reef Crystals and frequent water changes, along with daily hand doses of Reef Fusion 1 & 2, and Via Aqua Ions for magnesium.
Red Death Palys Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Red Death Palys / Palythoa sp.

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.
Australian Acan - Green/Lavender Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Australian Acan - Green/Lavender /


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.
Poppy Pickin Cyphastrea Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Poppy Pickin Cyphastrea / Cyphastrea sp.

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

0% total water change in October.

0 activities in the last year

Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct

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!
Dendrophyllia Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 4
  • Dendrophyllia / Dendrophyllia

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...
Australian Acan - Red Thumbnail
  • 0
  • 3
  • Australian Acan - Red /