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KimP 3gal Micro-Reef


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Here is the start of my entry. I have a lot more planning to do, as I don't have an idea for theme or stocking yet.

I knew right away I wanted to try something smaller, even like a 1 gal but in the end I wanted 12" long for a light, so I went with the 3 gal. I really liked Micro-Reefs tanks especially because they come with a glass lid, are very reasonably priced, and are shallower than most. Then I researched various lighting options for a while. I had to go with something out of the box since I don't know how to do any of the diy lighting. I decided to go with a custom BML 12" fixture with a dimmer. It wasn't the cheapest option, but it was definitely a good price for all I got. I really wanted to include red and green and uv, and have the flexibility to use on other tanks down the road.

Here's my official entry picture


With the light on (when the tank is ready to cycle and in it's final position I'll have the light hung above it)


All I have ready right now is the live sand, so I went ahead and weighed it and put it in. It's deeper than I like, but I'm going to leave it for now until I decide on what I'm going to stock the tank with.





I will have water ready soon and then more planning to do. I would like to run an old AC70 I have and possibly slow the flow a bit and make it a refugium, but we'll see.

fts February


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Pico tank budget:

Tank: $150

-$37 micro-reefs 3 gal

=$113 slush

Equipment: $150 + $113slush

-$161 BML light + dimmer

-$4 live sand

-$10 azoo hob filter

-$12 4# live rock

-? Nimble Nano glass cleaner

-$30 used AC70

-$10 rio mini sun all white fixture

-$10 simple light timer


$237 leaving $26 (hope I don't need anything else!)

Coral budget $150

Watermelon zoa look alike? $10

Bam bams $15

King midas $15

Radioactive Dragon eyes $5

Tubbs blue (victoly) $20

Eye of rah $5

Dendro frag $20

Leptastrea $15

Toadstool $10

Chalice $5

Sympodium $5

Napthea $10

Blue cloves $5

Monti cap (ckyuv) free

Birdsnest (ckyuv) free


$135 leaving $15

*I had a terrible time finding fmv for the leptastrea so I put what I would ask for it. I'm open to change if I'm way off.

I will keep this post updated as I go

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Thanks everyone! It's not much yet, but it hopefully will be. Competition sure is tough already! I would've expected no less from this club smile.png

I disagree it is much more than I have at this point...you have sand and a light setup already...about half the participants don't have that yet :) and yeah...I too am impressed with the entries thus far as well

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I was looking at these, but they didn't have anything in the 5 range. Great little tank and even more so considering it's glass and not acrylic.

Yes, it's sort of strange how they skip sizes. Having a glass tank was a huge selling point. Most of the little tanks are acrylic, and acrylic and I do not get along. I can look at it and it scratches :P

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It's wet biggrin.pngpost-1781-0-92189300-1358358844_thumb.jp I have a little azoo filter running on it now, and even it is causing the sand to blow around. Didn't expect that. So I might rethink using the ac70 as a refugium. I don't know how low I can get the flow on that thing. We'll see!

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Yesterday I had some free time so I took the opportunity and came up with an aquascape and got the rock weighed and in the tank. I still don't have a theme or stocking idea yet, so the aquascape and sand level are still open to change. I can get things cycling now at least smile.png Shouldn't take too long since I used live sand and rock from another tank I've had. When I shut the tank down, I put the rock in a bucket with a powerhead and that's where it's been until now.

post-1781-0-30932400-1358799221_thumb.jp post-1781-0-38810300-1358799240_thumb.jp

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I have that little azoo filter on there now, but I keep reading about others having an ac70 on 3 gallon tanks. I'm going to get it out and give it a try next. I used to have one modded into a refugium with a cut impeller, and it was kind of loud. First I'm going to give replacing the impeller with one from a smaller model a try first.

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I hooked up the AC70 last night, just as is, not ready to be a refugium yet. The flow is way too much, but I figured out of I just pull the intake tube up a bit, it reduces the flow and makes it run silent. It was kind of loud before. So the more I pull up on the intake tube, the more the flow is reduced, so this way I don't have to cut anything or buy a new impeller, and can change the flow easily whenever I want, less or more. In the next few days I'll get it ready to run as a refugium, probably with cheato since I already have a cheap little light to use on it. I'll also run chemipure or something like it.

I'll update the budget tonight.

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Can't you pivot the AC intake tubes to reduce flow? It's been a while since I've had one, and it was a 10, not a 70, but if you rotate the tube (after the U joint, inside the box away from the pump housing, it would reduce the flow.

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It does reduce the flow, but only marginally. So I turned it to the right and lifted it to reduce the flow enough to stop the sand storm. And it's silent now :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Finished turning the AC70 into a refugium. I used an old rio mini light I got free with a tank purchase, a very small section of plastic canvas to block the front (it just slides right in), and a little clump of cheato from my lagoon tank. I may cut a hole in the lid of the AC70 for the light to shine through, or just leave the lid off, or not mess with it. It actually seems pretty bright through the lid.




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Thanks guys! I'm still not too sure on coral. I'd really like to come up with a plan ahead of time. I just started running the light so I have some diatoms at the moment. After this kind of stuff clears I do have some zoas ready to go in. That's about it so far. I'm liking the aquascape too!

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