superfrog's custom 20L AIO pico build

Discussion in 'Pico Tanks' started by superfrog, 17 May 2011.

  1. superfrog

    superfrog

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    hello folks

    So i thought I'd share what I've been up to lately. After having great success with my Dymax IQ3 Pico and my RSM 130D I've decided to start a new project. Unfortunately, I've had to decommission the RSM for various reasons, but the tank is still around and will be wet someday soon.

    In the meantime, I'm dabbling in the pico world again since i find these little tanks to be fantastically fun and interesting.





    The plan: :shuriken:
    • 20 litre, rimless, AIO setup
    • Filtration will include chemical and biological filtration - no skimmer. Nutrient exchange to be supplemented using a built in AIO refugium with macro-algae.
    • Lighting provided by a custom built Cree LED fixture (50/50 XR-E Cool White and XR-E Royal Blue) with integrated moonlighting and refugium lighting.
    • No additional flow pumps for now. All water movement being facilitated through the return from the AIO filtration (AquaOne 600 lph return pump).
    • Custom built 10 litre ATO with overflow protection (had a close call once before :tt2: ).
    • Custom built fuge/media rack (this is an idea I've been toying with...want to see how it turns out...stay tuned)
    Scaping for this tank will be primarily a bonsai type of setup. Inspiration comes from the awesome work the freshwater planted guys are doing on their iwagumi style tanks. So this will be a marine iwagumi of sorts :whistling:



    Will be using:
    Stocking:
    At the moment the coral socking list is primarily softies (zoas, shrooms, GSP).
    Haven't decided on the fish yet as I'm trying to find something really striking and unique that is still suited to a smaller setup.
     
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  3. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Very Nice I had something similar to this a short while back.....well it started that way anyways....

    You going to Diy your own tank? Got lots to cram into a small space?

    Im looking forward to your first pics
     
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    Dude you have to go DIY! :tt2: .. Ive been think of a nano or pico.. Its killing me lol..
     
  5. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    well im not going to build the actual glass tank myself (haven't built up that kind of courage yet :p ). Using a tank i found real cheap at the flea market...pics to follow soon.
     
  6. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    We look forward to them....the sooner the better;)
     
  7. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    so this is the basic concept...nothing too fancy in the basic design. simple and uncomplicated is what im going for...

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]

    The picture above shows just one baffle in the filter. I ended up with 2 baffles which allows a better flow path for the water.
     
  8. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    ok here goes, please excuse the crappy quality pics. my camera battery was dead and i was too lazy to charge it. so all i have at this stage of the project is cellphone pics...

    i picked up this tank real cheap for around 120 bucks. Just an empty glass box with the curved front corners i wanted to finish the look a bit better...
    [​IMG]


    and since i was so excited about the build i just had to make a mock-up out of cardboard and 'pre-fit' the tank and plan the filter dimensions around the pump and heater while i was at it...
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  9. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Neat and simple idea! should be super easy to maintain once you work out how to maintain temps and have a good top-up system
     
  10. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    well the temps shouldn't be a problem. The amount of heat generated by one return pump this small is negligible, even in a tank as small as this. From my experience with the Dymax pico, excessive heat shouldn't be a problem.

    Also, the rimless setup does promote more evap, so evaporative cooling helps too. the ATO takes care of the rest ;)

    So far the tank has been running a while and it has never deviated from 26 degrees, even on those strangely hot winter days we had a while back, or the nights when my wife has the 2000watt heater boiling up the room... :p
     
  11. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    false wall and one baffle cut, smoothed, polished and test fitted
    [​IMG]

    view from the side - equipment fitting well in the back. future proofed it as well by allowing a little more space in there should i have to use a different pump or heater
    [​IMG]

    next step...give the tank a good cleaning and prep for painting...
     
  12. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    After painting I manged to work in the second baffle in the filter that i mentioned earlier - and silicone everything into place. Also manage to find a nice flanged return nozzle so i could plumb everything in nice and neatly when i fill it...

    With the tank painted and cleaned up, i decided to move forward and do a little planning for the scape. As i said before, i'm going for a sort of bonsai iwagumi look. The idea is to have a bonsai tree scaped from Tonga branch live rock and use various zoanthids as foliage for the tree. So i did a little bit of mock scaping using paper and masking tape to build up a tree structure.

    These pics with the mock scaping give you a good look at the finished tank after painting. I'm quite thrilled with the finish. It's smooth and glossy with no blemishes! (not bad for a first try) [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    This last pic gives a view of the finished filter section, if you look closely you can see the two baffles in the middle...

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Keanan

    Keanan 2time

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    Nice superfrog. Love the black.

    What did you use to paint the glass with. Brush or roller?
     
  14. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Exellent build you got going over there....working very neatly!

    Im getting more interested in the out come at every update!

    I just wonder about those LED's....I had the smae light on my small tank and never got satisfactory growth out of zoas or enything for that matter....
     
  15. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    @2time: Neither! hehe. I used spraypaint! In my opinion the finish is 100000000 times better than using a brush or roller. The pictures dont do it justice though...

    @Archicrain: The lights on the tank are the Dymax Robot LED lamps. They are lighting up the tank temporarily until i finish the Cree fixture. Stay tuned for the actual lighting on this tank...i'm almost done with it.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  16. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    my bad forgot about that....:blush:
     
  17. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    hehe, no worries. i wired up the cree fixture 2 nights ago. DAMN! those LEDs are impressive! The light and the colour is unlike anything I've ever seen before!
     
  18. superfrog

    superfrog Thread Starter

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    So the next step was to work on my fuge/media rack idea. The idea is to utilise the limited space i have in this tank to include both chemical filtration and a refugium. From past experience i've found stuff like purigen and chemi pure to work wonders in small setups like these, especially with the lack of mechanical skimming.

    So i wanted to see if i could incorporate both a refugium and chemical filtration into what little space i had to work with. And this is the concept i came up with...
    [​IMG]


    The top most 'chamber' of the rack (the largest space between the top most plate and next one) is going to be a little fuge area. The idea is to strap down a few smallish chunks of live rock to the second plate and have a bit of cheato floating above that. The design sketch above was a little flawed since i'd forgotten that chaeto floats. So i ended up removing the top most 'plate' to allow free movement of the cheato ball.

    The subsequent chambers below the fuge area are basically shelves for chemical filtration media. I'll use the bottom most one for purigen/chemipure and the middle one is available should i need to run some phosphate removal media or even a temporary layer of filter floss for polishing the water.

    The grid pattern of the plates varies intermittently so that the water is forced to choose a new path every time it passes through another layer. I'm hoping this would force the water to kind of move latterally and spend more time moving through the media, hopefully enhancing the effectiveness of the media. The media bags and plates are designed to fit the chamber exactly so the water is also forced to move through the plate as opposed to around it.


    Once i got busy with the perspex, this is what it ended up looking like... (The picture shows the rack with the top most plate still attached. That plate has been removed for the free float chaeto application discussed above)
    [​IMG]


    :D
     
  19. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Damn thats neat!!

    Where did you get the materials?

    This is going to be a realy smart little setup
     
  20. mupwi

    mupwi

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    looks interesting tagging along
     
  21. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Just one thing....Have you checked if your filtration plates will allow enough flow to your Return pump? Especialy when you have a bag of Purigen and carbon?
     
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