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So the latest issue of Coral magazine just arrived. This issue ios devoted to Pico Reefs. I see there has been some previous threads and a contest regarding this topic but nothing more recent. Anyone keeping one? It seems to me the biggest difficulty would be temperature control.

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I've kept a few in the 3-5g size.  Temperature isn't a problem at all, a small fan is enough to create surface agitation and evaporative cooling.  Evaporation becomes the biggest problem.  I had a 3g on my desk at work. If .5g evaporates over the weekend then you get wide parameter fluctuations.  I resolved mine by having a cover on the tank and ultimately set up a mini ATO.  It was incredibly fun to have a goby and emerald crab at work with me every day.  The crab would see me come in each morning and immediately climb the rocks and wave at me until I hand-fed him a piece of nori.

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I have a 4gal aquarium with rock and whatnot is probably more like 3.5 gallons of water. I would agree with mFrame that temperature hasn't been a problem except for when my HVAC went kaput over the summer, but normally I don't need to have a fan on it and the thermometer usually reads 78~80. Again I agree that evaporation is definitely a big problem with pico's and have a plastic cover on the tank so that condensation drips back into the aquarium. I manually top off in the morning before I leave for work and whenever I get home from work. To be honest I don't test nearly as much as I should, but with water changes once a week things seem to stay happy.

4 hours ago, mFrame said:

I've kept a few in the 3-5g size.  Temperature isn't a problem at all, a small fan is enough to create surface agitation and evaporative cooling.  Evaporation becomes the biggest problem.  I had a 3g on my desk at work. If .5g evaporates over the weekend then you get wide parameter fluctuations.  I resolved mine by having a cover on the tank and ultimately set up a mini ATO.  It was incredibly fun to have a goby and emerald crab at work with me every day.  The crab would see me come in each morning and immediately climb the rocks and wave at me until I hand-fed him a piece of nori.

What sort of mini ATO did you end up using mFrame? I've been wanting to set up one, but most of the double sensor style of ATO's are too big to fit in the rear chamber of my aquarium.

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  • 1 year later...

I've been running a 3G pico for the better part of 2 years now.  Evaporation, for some reason, has not been much of an issue for me.  I'm using an AutoAqua Micro ATO on the tank and only have to refill the 5G carboy that feeds it once ever 3 months or so.  It consumes fresh water VERY VERY slowly and it is not covered.  I also have a small heater controlled by an external temp controller keeping the temp at 78*. 

Inhabitants are a clown goby, a hermit crab, a whole army of amphipods, and some RBTAs.  YMMV, but I've seen very little evaporation problem from my 3G tank.  If I could go do it over from the beginning I would not have gotten a bowfront because it's a PITA to clean.

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