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Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope


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  1. #1
    Mr. Microscope - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Evanson, IL
    Posts
    256
    Awards Tank of the Month - August 2012 Tank of the Month

    Default Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope


    Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Hello fellow Captive Reefers!

    I've been in the reefing hobby for about two years now. As of today, my three gallon JBJ Picotope is about sixteen months old. I'm very excited by this forum. As a member of several other forums, I'd admit this one seems to stand out above most others. Okay, enough flattery. Let's get down to the tank.

    I've found keeping a pico tank to be incredibly fun. It's not quite as difficult as one may think. These small tanks come with their own set of issues, and have very different problems than regular reef tanks or even nanos. Stability is probably the main challenge, but many innovations have developed in the last few years that make pico tanks entirely possible to keep in the long term.

    This is my first salt water tank and I'd say I owe any success to lots and lots of research and patience. It seems every time I turn a corner there's something new to learn in this hobby. It all started a few years ago. I received an Amazon gift card from my sister for my birthday. I've always loved aquariums, but my wife really doesn't like them. So, when I saw the picotope online, I knew that I could keep this at work with no problem. After I figured out that I wanted to do a reef tank, I spent a good two months researching each piece of equipment and making the most careful decisions I could before taking the financial plunge.

    Since then I've experienced plenty of downfalls, crashes, death, and destruction. I've certainly come close to quitting once, but I just kept up with water changes and research. Today, I'd say I'm very glad I didn't stop reefing. This hobby has really brought about a sense of pride and excitement to my life. It's amazing what a few gallon of simulated ocean can do for one's well-being.


    age - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope
    Started 2009.10.31

    FTS 2011.02.09

    FTS 20110209 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Top down
    TopDown20110209 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Here's a shot of it on day three back in 2009:
    FTS 20091102B - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Current Equipment
    3 gallon JBJ Picotope
    Hydor Pico Evo 180 Circulation Pump
    DIY LEDs
    AC70 Fuge with Chaeto, Marineland Stealth Pro 25W heater, Filter Floss
    Picotope Stock filter hung on side of AC70 dedicated to Chemi-Pure Elite
    Sybon Refractometer
    1L gravity fed ATO
    5 lbs LR, 1/2" LS

    [list]Current Stock
    CUC: 3 Scarlet Hermit Crabs, Mithrax Crab, Feather duster, Brittle Star, Colinista Snails
    Corals:
    Soft: Toadstool leather, Anthelia, GSP HH, Purple Cabbage Leather
    Zoanthids and Palythoa: Crown Royals, Green Implosions, Whammin' Watermelons, Zombie Eyes, Magicians, Inside Outs, Valentine's Day Massacre, Lunar Eclips, Kedd's Reds, Organisms, Tub's Blues
    LPS: Neon green Trumpet

    Previous Inhabitants in Picotope
    Softy: brown mushrooms, red mushroom, blue spotted mushroom, Papaya Cloves, Yumas
    Zoas/Palys: Neon Greens, Radioactive Dragon Eyes, Tub's Blue, King Midas, Fire and Ice, Green Lanterns, Day Trippers, AOGs, Purple Death, Pink and Golds, Mohawks (Variable Stars), button polyp HH
    Large Polyp Stony: Green Goniopora, Trumpet Coral
    Small Polyp Stony: Birdsnest (Frog in a Blender), Pink Procillapora, Green Procillapora
    CUC: 2 Nerites, Stomatellas, Tonga Nassarius, Porcelain Crab, Bristle worms, Scarlet Hermit Crab, White Hermit Crab
    Fish:
    Yellow Clown Goby "Gobiodon" C.O.D.> Desk surfing
    Blue Damsel "Blue Lightning" C.O.D.> Unknown

    Previously Used Equipment
    18W Current Satellite PC, MiniJet 404 Circulation Pump, Hydor Koralia Nano powerhead, Hydor Theo 25W heater


    Here's a couple close-ups of my current livestock:

    Green Implosions
    GreenImplosions20110211 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Crown Royals
    CrownRoyals06 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Magicians and Organisms
    Magicians20110128C - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Some zoas. Check it out. The Whammin' Watermelons on top are kaleidascoping!
    WWsKaleidascoping20110217 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Finally, here's a fun shot of two of the three Scarlets I have in there.
    TwoofThreeHermits - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    Enjoy!
    Last edited by Mr. Microscope; 04-11-2011 at 09:21 AM.

  2. #2
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
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    UofM territory
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    First Name
    Chris
    Awards Monthly Giveaway Winner

    Default

    Wow!!! Nice little tank!!!

    Gotta love colonista snails, especially in a tank this size!! Very proportional, eh?

    How high are ya running the Par38 above the tank?

  3. #3
    Mr. Microscope - Reefkeeper CR Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    Evanson, IL
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    256
    Awards Tank of the Month - August 2012 Tank of the Month

    Default

    Thanks! Yes. Those snails are the best!

    The PAR38 is at least 18 inches above the waterline, but that's going to change very soon when I finish my new LED light. You can see a pic of the PAR mounted above my tank in my DIY thread.
    Last edited by Mr. Microscope; 02-27-2011 at 12:06 PM.

  4. #4
    demonclownfish - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    ortonville
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    do you know what kind of toadstool that is? really like the look of it , and awesome tank!

  5. #5
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    Oct 2009
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    U.P. of Michigan.
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    Jamie
    Awards Photo of the Month - October 2012 Photo of the Month Post and Reply Award - Winner of the first PAR Contest. Monthly Giveaway Winner

    Default

    Very sweeet tank for sure. Love the fact that it's over a year old even more
    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com

  6. #6
    Mr. Microscope - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Evanson, IL
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    Quote Originally Posted by demonclownfish View Post
    do you know what kind of toadstool that is? really like the look of it , and awesome tank!
    I'm not sure what kind of toadstool it is, but the polyps are white and the body is more or less a light brownish-pink. Not the most colorful addition, but I really love it from a shape standpoint. I think it looks like some sort of exotic mushroom (not marine type). It was one of my first corals and has survived every stupid mistake and unfortunate mishap during the life of this tank. I can tell it's aging well because I haven't seen a slough in a very long time, and it's been looking particularly happy since I started feeding it live photo about two months ago.

  7. #7
    Mr. Microscope - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by MizTanks View Post
    Very sweeet tank for sure. Love the fact that it's over a year old even more
    Thanks MizTanks!

  8. #8
    Shamus - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Mount Pleasant, MI
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    9
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    Steve

    Default

    Nice looking tank! I like the look of the pico and will be interested to see your LED once you're done with it!

  9. #9
    Mr. Microscope - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Evanson, IL
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    Hello All,

    All of my recent hype has been about my new LED's, but there have been plenty of other changes going on with my tank as well.

    To start out, here's the obligatory FTS:

    FTS 20110311 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope
    The tank feeding has been going very well. I'm dosing live phytoplankton from Reef Nutrition, Coral Frenzy, and frozen cyclope-eze followed by larger water changes. Additionally, I moved my heater down to a temperature of 76! Since then, I honestly haven't needed to clean my glass. I've literally had NO green film build up on the glass in weeks despite the heavy feedings. I really think that lowering the temp has made the difference.

    Here's a fun video of my CUC hard at work after a small feeding:

    I traded my colony of Crown Royals. It took up way too much space in my tank and the long skirts were irritating a lot of corals. I think they caused my EZ's to melt. In return, I got a small colony of Ked's Red's, some grees palys of some sort, and a Kenya Tree frag. The Kenya tree frag is also a bit too large for my tank. So, I might get rid of that as well.

    Softies20110311 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    ZoaGarden20110311 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope
    I also met a local reefer who gave me some Pink and Golds and some Pulsing Xenia. That has been one of my favorite recent additions. I let it sit on the sand bed until it held onto something. Then I put it up on top of my cone rock. I caught my first glimps of it pulsing on Friday. I'm hoping it eventually gets to the point that I saw it pulsing in the previous owners tank. It was way faster than mine.

    Here's a vid of this my first signs of pulsing. Note: all pumps were off during this video. It's doing this all on it's own.


    I'm sure you noticed in my FTS the big frag rack on the right side of the tank. This is my new MR3-S frag rack that I ordered from blackrockreef.com. I really like this thing. It's filled up already with frags from the Crown Royals, Green Implosions, Magicians, Ked's Reds, and a few others that are starting to come back to life including my Bam Bams and Zombie Eyes which I thought were goners a few months ago.


    MR3 20110311A - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope

    MR3 20110311C - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope
    I've been experimenting with the taking pictures with the new LEDs. Having the dimming option on things really makes photography much easier. I just pumped up my neutral whites a little and was able to take images clear as day without the blue washout. However, I couldn't resist capturing an image with the royal and cool blues. It seems that green is almost the only color that the camera can pick up under those conditions.

    GreenImplosions20110311 - Mr. Microscope's JBJ Picotope
    I entered this image into the green photo contest here.

  10. #10
    Mr. Microscope - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Feb 2011
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    Evanson, IL
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    Awards Tank of the Month - August 2012 Tank of the Month

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