5.5G aio style pico. (warning very long and pic heavy first post)

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by picoreefguy, Mar 8, 2014.

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  1. picoreefguy

    picoreefguy Bristle Worm

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2010
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    Location:
    north east georgia
    well guys i havent been very active on 3reef these past couple years mainly cause ive been over on my local forum, the atlanta reef club. but i figure its time to get back to being a little more active on here. so why not do it with another pico build thread since you guys liked my last pico build. it all started when i was at petco picking up a 40 breeder the day after christmas for my main tank upgrade. i saw a 5.5 sitting on the shelf and just couldnt help myself for 5 bucks (turned out to be 13.99 and a whole lot more for everything else). so i got the tank and started coming up with ideas. i decide to build a stand and canopy but i didnt want it to be too big since this was going to sit on a counter. so both the stand and canopy are aprox 2.5 inches tall. and it looks nice and sleek. heres a few build pics.

    gluing together the frame
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    adding the supports that the tank will sit on.
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    stand done. all supports glued in.
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    testing. perfect fit.
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    gluing together panels to make the lid.
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    starting the canopy.
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    test fit.
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    gap that needs to be fixed.
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    gap fixed
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    adding additional bracing to stand and canopy (wood was too thin for screws so i used gorilla glue)
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    bracing for lid/spacers for leds
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    frames painted
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    gap made even tighter.
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    hinges added
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    beginning of filter
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    test fit.
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    I forgot to take pics for a couple days and got some work done. in the next pic you'll see the lid painted and has a notch for a button that i plan on using to open it. also the filter has had the bubble trap added, strainer/inlet cut and been painted and siliconed in.

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    i wanted the back of the tank to be blacked out but the paint idea didnt work out too well and someone on the Atlanta reef club suggested using tint so i went with it. i stripped the paint off using a razor blade and applied the tint. its not as dark as i would like but its much nicer than the paint job i had on it.

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    back and partial side tinted to cover filter.
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    view from back. also added a notch for wires to come out.
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    video of the button mechanism i made to open the lid. click for video
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    inside pics of button. open and closed
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    stunner strips mounted and cords routed
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    new filter had to be built because the old one kept the water level too high and didnt allow for the amount of flow i want in this tank (120 gph). new filter is also 50% bigger to allow for more matrix and a larger pump down the road if i want it.
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    let there be light.
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    stunners. 1 12k/royal blue, 1 12k/magenta, 1 royal blue, 1 blue. (both blues look the same to me)
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    water and sand in tank. very cloudy even after several rinses
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    cloudyness gone after 10 mins using clarity by seachem
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    filterfloss after pulling out all the junk thanks to clarity
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    diy flow divider half the flow goes straight out and the other half gets pointed to the front left of the tank.
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    seeded matrix to fill the first chamber 2/3 of the way.
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    first chamber filled the rest of the way with new matrix. some of them floating.
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    excessive use of filter floss to help raise water level a little and to keep floating matrix underwater.
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    started work on the rock structure.
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    lid warped after a few days on the tank so im going to build a new one tonight.
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    finished rock structure. i know its small but i may add more to it later. i left it small to allow for coral growth since its such a small tank im hoping the coral will fill in the space pretty quickly.
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    i know that was a very long post and im sorry about that. ive been posting as i go on the arc and just now thought to put this on here. thanks for reading ill update as more happens.
     
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    So what are you going to put in the tank?

    Looks a lot bigger than 5.5 gallons.

    Welcome back.
     
  4. picoreefguy

    picoreefguy Bristle Worm

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    north east georgia
    mostly just the coral but probably 2 or 3 little gobys. i was thinking maybe a green clown, hectors,and flaming prawn. but thats just a thought. i wouldnt mind putting a barnacle blenny in there but theyre so dang expensive
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2014
  5. picoreefguy

    picoreefguy Bristle Worm

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    north east georgia
    to give you an idea of scale that flow diverter is made from a 1/4" cpvc 45 degree fitting. so its right around half an inch wide
     
  6. chris adams

    chris adams Purple Tang

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  7. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    looks great! sounds like you have a nice plan for it - little clown gobies are so cute! what about sexy shrimp? I love those
     
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  9. tattoolew

    tattoolew Sea Dragon

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    Location:
    Bluefield, VA
    cool little post. I don't know how you could get a lid on this without it warping, one made of wood any way. I thought of doing a lid for my brothers FW 55 out of acrylic and tinting it. As for mounting stunners a few pieces of acrylic to give you a suspension mount like hanging wine glasses. + a few holes for venting above stunners
     
  10. picoreefguy

    picoreefguy Bristle Worm

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    Location:
    north east georgia
    yea i will probably put small shrimp in as well either a couple sexy shrimp or some bumble bee shrimp. i also saw this really cool picture of a clear shrimp with blue claws that looked small enough. but thats been forever since ive seen it and i dont know what its called.

    im going to give wood one more try. but this time im going to give it a couple coats of spar varnish to keep the water out. and if that works ill think about acrylic. the reason i didnt go with acrylic in the first place is because im concerned about it warping due to the heat from the leds and i dont want holes all in the lid cause it wouldnt look right to me but i will be drilling holes in the back part of the frame to allow for ventilation. and if the acryic lid doesnt work i may just figure out a way to suspend the leds over the tank and just not have a lid at all
     
  11. picoreefguy

    picoreefguy Bristle Worm

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    Location:
    north east georgia
    ok well its been a little bit but i have the lid fixed and back on the tank. i cut four large holes in the back for ventilation and made sure to varnish the crap out of it so the humidity wont damage this new one. its been on for a couple days and im still getting some condensation on the lid and the inside of the frame so i may go with an acrylic lid anyway but well see as time goes on if the new lid warps or not. also i noticed a little bit of algae when i put one of the frags in and after a couple days it had spread to the sand. it was only a little bit but since the tank was so new i decided to go ahead and break the tank down and start from scratch again. i took the sand, rock and matrix out took the frags off the rock and cut off the dead base of the frag that caused the algae so there was only live tissue left. then put it and the other frag in another tank temporarly. then i used peroxide and vinager on the rock and the tank and soaked them over night to make sure they were algae free. i restarted the tank and this time i used matrix from my reactor at home which has been up and running for a little over a year. also i decided to go with a different sand which is being ordered for me and should be here on tuesday. i checked the ammonia the day i put in some water and there was a little bit and the day after there was none so the tank is good to go and ill be putting a green clown goby in this afternoon when i get off of work. i went ahead and put in a frag of war coral, fruit loops, and a black sun coral (i may take that back out cause i dont know if i want to feed it all the time). the pics were taken late last week before finishing. its now sanded, painted and varnished on the inside.
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  12. picoreefguy

    picoreefguy Bristle Worm

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    Location:
    north east georgia
    for anyone still interested in this build. i thought the holes in the rear and the varnish would fix the humidity but for some reason i got condensation all over the inside of the hood and that didnt happen before. before the varnish i just got condensation on the lid and after it was on the sides as well and i couldnt figure out why and still cant. but now i have fixed the condensation problem as well with a super simple fix. i cut a lexan lid to allow light to enter and keep water in. it also cuts down vastly on evaporation which does two things in my favor. 1 it keeps me from having to top off every day and 2 it allows me to get rid of the heater. ill do a trial run with out the heater over the course of a day and see how much the temp changes and if its too much i may out it back in. i also cut some notches in the lexan to allow for wires to enter and some brethablilty. ive been trying to get seachem's pearl beach sand in for a couple weeks but it has been out of stock at the warehouse my lfs orders from but he said they should have it in next tuesday so heres hoping for the best. also i added a green clown goby, a small frag of war coral, a fruit loops zoa frag, and a black sun coral frag. not all at once of course. the hood has been painted, the lights mounted, and the lexan placed on the tank, sand ordered, fish is in the tank and everything is on its way to looking like a reef tank.

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