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DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

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DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Tue 12 Nov, 2013 3:48 pm

Introduction:

Ok so let's kick this off. I've been thinking about a Pico idea for a little while now, and this competition has given me the motivation to get it started.
A lot of this info in this first post will be edited as we go, so please excuse me leaving a lot of the template blank, but I'm still working out a fair bit of this.

I wanted to go with an Impossible Bottle theme. (like a ship in a bottle)

After being inspired by some of the reef vases you can see on the net, I thought it would be cool to have a set up that would show case a limited number of coral. One or two nice bits of coral being showcased in a small pico, then thinking more I was drawn to an immpossible bottle idea to go with this, thus aiming to have a nice sized piece of live rock inside a container that looks to small at first. (I'm sure this doesn't make sense just yet, but the pictures will help explain I promise)

So while out looking for ideas on what to use at the "tank" (I'll use that term loosely for now), I came across a candle holder that was perfect for what I had in mind.

The bottom will allow me to slide a large piece of live rock in, before sealing it up and thus making the appearance of an impossible bottle.
The metal that holds the glass will also cover the bottom, meaning the viewer will not be able to see how the rock went in.

Ok so that's the quick run down, so let's get the build started.

System Type: LPS (with maybe some soft)

PICO System:

PICO Tank: Candle Holder - Impossible Bottle.

PICO Volume: 5L of water added (total volume I would say is about 7L maximum)

PICO Lighting:

Start up date: 13-11-2013


Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water (I live two blocks from the beach, making NSW an obvious choice)

Display Water circulation: Small water feature pump (chinese brand, from local nursery), and airstone

Filtration: Just the live rock, and airstone making the top of the bottle act as a skimmer

Evaporation Top Up: Manual

Water Changes: Large water changes weekly, like most of the reef vase projects are doing. (eg 80% to 100%)


Chemical Support:

Calcium and Alkalinity Addition: Not at this stage

Other Chemical Maintenance: Not at this stage

Current Water Chemistry:
Nitrates:
Phosphates:
Alkalinity:
Calcium:
Salinity / Specific Gravity:
Magnesuim:


Livestock:

Corals:

Invertebrates and or CUC:

Feeding Regime:

Coral food: Mysis shrimp

Method: Turkey baster, done a couple of hours (or night before) a water change to eliminate any spikes from excess food.


Budget
Equipment expenses

Candle holder - $20
2 x glass circles for bottom - $45
Silicone - $5 (This means I can just say the tank cost me $70)
Small pump - $30
Airstone - $5 (for a pack of two)
Airpump - $20

Total $125 (so far)

Images:

Current FTS Date: 14-11-13
Image
Last edited by DaElf on Mon 18 Nov, 2013 9:28 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Tue 12 Nov, 2013 4:01 pm

Ok so here are some pictures and a quick run down of where I'm currently at.

This is the Candle Holder I found
Image

for the bargain price of
Image
Thank you Target

Stripped down to get rid of the LED candle, and allow me to cut away the candle holder
Image

I found a piece of live rock at my LFS that I really liked, and with a little bit of manipulation I managed to get it to fit in through the bottom as previously discussed.
Image

Now the rock has to be in when I seal up the bottom, making it a little tricky

Now here is where I had a blonde moment.
I wanted to run the cord for the pump through the bottom, and the other half had some acrylic spare so I cut a bit to go on the bottom,
and notched it to allow the cord to slip in.
Image

Ok so like I said blonde moment :-s , I know that silicone doesn't bond to acrylic, but for some reason it didn't even occur to me,
until this happened.
Image

It's ok to laugh, god knows my other half did (that's who took this picture before I realised what she was doing.... :konk: )

Ok so I've got a couple of bits of glass cut into circles which I will be using this afternoon to seal up the holder.
(for round 2 lol)

So that is about where I currently stand.
Any questions or advise, feel free to let me know.

cheers
D
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby MeLLeR » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 12:56 am

Cool idea, and i promise im not laughing too hard :roflmao:

How are you going to keep the live rock alive while the silicone dries (to seal up the base)? Or are you trying to use wet area/wet set silicone?
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 9:07 am

Ok round two of trying to seal up the base lol

Slipped the rock in,
Image

The two circles of glass already siliconed together.
Image


Ok MeLLeR,
to answer your question. I'm going to put it in a bucket upside down,
and you'll see I used a bit of hose to stop from creating a airlock and popping the bottom off.
Image

Sorry I know not the best pictures, as they were all taken with a phone.
But you get the idea.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby cody.sheridan-2008 » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 12:04 pm

Nice work mate, tagging along!
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby MeLLeR » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 1:00 pm

Ahhh, well done! Ingenious engineering in the workaround solution, im impressed! ;)
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 1:03 pm

Well let's just wait and see if it works first lol.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Wed 13 Nov, 2013 9:26 pm

And it's wet. (I really need to work out a light)

She took 5L of water, add the volume of the sand and rock to that I'm going to say the total volume is about 7 litres max.

Now it's a waiting game.....

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Image
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby Mr Miagi » Thu 14 Nov, 2013 12:53 pm

I think less might be more with the liverock, but a really cool idea! You have any idea about your live stock?
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Thu 14 Nov, 2013 1:02 pm

Mr Miagi wrote:I think less might be more with the liverock, but a really cool idea! You have any idea about your live stock?


Yeah kind of, I want to use it to showcase one/two corals.
I'm thinking a nice brightly colour small hammer or torch frag,
and then some rainbow acan.

No fish for obvious reasons, but I might conisder 1 small breed shrimp.

Not sure about cuc yet, but I leaning away from any crabs etc, so I'm not 100% on that yet.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Thu 14 Nov, 2013 1:04 pm

Ps bear in mind the bottle is distorting the view, making the rock look a little bigger then it really is.
(but only a little lol)
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Thu 14 Nov, 2013 1:34 pm

Ok this is it looked this morning having settling down over night

Image

And check out the size of this bristle worm,
Image
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Fri 15 Nov, 2013 9:42 am

Ok yes I know that bristle worms work as part of the cuc,
but considering the size of the bottle and these guys I've started to pull the ones I can out.
(I've pulled at least 3 that were over 6 inchs long)

However they just keep coming out of the rock... There are a stack of them, the couple pictured I pulled out last night,
and then by this morning there were a stack more out on the sand bed. Anyone have any suggestions to get rid of them?
(remembering that the bottle is not the easiest to get a hand in and around....)

Image

Also it turns out that I will be needing an airstone in the bottle,
I was holding off to see how it would go with just the small pump, but the top had a film set across it this morning.
So I'll pick up an airstone this afternoon to try and stop this, and I'll being flushing the water a couple of times over the weekend.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Mon 18 Nov, 2013 9:33 am

Ok just a quick update for anyone playig along at home.

The Airstone works great, and really does turn the bottle into it's own skimmer,
so all I do it wipe the top to get rid of the skim.

Also I've flushed the bottle with NSW a couple of times now to get rid of some junk that was on the rock.
It appears to be settling down a bit now, however it doing this I realised that I may have miscalculated the water volume.
After draining the water to the sand, it only took about 3.5 litres to fill back up. However as its difficult to work out the total volume,
I'm going to keep saying it's 5 Litres.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 12:17 pm

Quick update

Image

I'm waiting for the levels to even out a bit, but I may be putting the first bit of coral in on the weekend.
(all going to plan that is)
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 9:42 am

Wow reading through all of the other comp threads I feel like I'm a little behind.

So many people have been able to start stocking tanks already.. :(

Meanwhile I've been waiting and waiting for the levels in my bottle to smooth out,
and I they held pretty good over the weekend. I seemed to be having a big ammonia problem,
which was just creating more and more die off.

Everything I've read about reef vases seems to go against what is done with the bigger setups.
Firstly they don't usually cycle, using cured LR etc, there normally isn't any real cycle. However my rock was in and out of water a lot
during the sealing up of the bottom, so I started to get a lot of die off, so I had to keep doing water changes so that it would stop creating more die off.
As it's only 1 bit of rock, it wasn't enough to convert all the ammonia before it started to kill other things etc. (if that doesn't make sense let me know and I'll rephrase)

Also water changes, you'd think doing 100% changes would stress everything,
but when it comes to a vase style this is the only way to keep it stable. You feed it, them 100% change thus removing any food that wasn't consumed.

There are a lot more things I've read about vases that have really got me thinking about why this sort of setup could work very well.
But ultimately time will tell.

Some local supplies are getting in some tiny bits of coral for me, so fingers crossed and I should be able to start stocking very soon. ;)
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby MeLLeR » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 1:53 pm

Its funny isnt it how different tanks cycle so differently. Id just be patient and keep doing water changes and monitoring params. I think in tanks so small good cycling to establish a bacterially driven system is essential to avoid algal issues down the road.

FWIW i intend on averaging ~300% water changes per week, obviously broken down into multiple changes per week . :thumbsup:
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 3:44 pm

MeLLeR wrote:Its funny isnt it how different tanks cycle so differently. Id just be patient and keep doing water changes and monitoring params. I think in tanks so small good cycling to establish a bacterially driven system is essential to avoid algal issues down the road.

FWIW i intend on averaging ~300% water changes per week, obviously broken down into multiple changes per week . :thumbsup:


300% a week, what size tank are you going for?

Yeah the ammonia in the bottle has been sitting at zero since friday, so it's pretty close to be being ready.
Also it appears I've just found one of the bits of coral I've been chasing to go in, fingers crossed.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 8:59 am

Ok so I picked up my first frag I was going to put in the bottle yesterday,
however a quick check of the temp showed the bottle was sitting at 32 degrees at 5pm...... :o

Not too sure what cooling options will really work for the bottle,
It will be moved this afternoon to the coldest room in the house,
and if that doesn't drop it enough, I may have to resort to leaving it in the aircon. :bored:
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby Curious_Chaos » Sat 30 Nov, 2013 12:52 am

Dude, get yourself some forceps- then you won't have to stick your hand in ;)

That's what I do with mine :D
There's something fishy going on....
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Mon 02 Dec, 2013 10:09 am

Curious_Chaos wrote:Dude, get yourself some forceps- then you won't have to stick your hand in ;)

That's what I do with mine :D


Yeah I found some big tweezers,
so that is what I've been using as much as possible.

I had to go away for a couple of days and getting back late last night the bottle isn't looking that great at the moment,
I think the heat up this way has really been killing it.

I didn't get a chance to check it out when we got home, as the pop corn machine had a issue,
but I'll let Anna tell you all about that in her thread. But hopefully I get a chance later today to check out how it's tracking.
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby Mr Miagi » Thu 05 Dec, 2013 8:13 pm

Ive recently found some really neat utensils at a Japanese cooking store. Long spoons, forks, chopsticks etc. Im sure you could get crafty with some tools! :thumbsup:
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Re: DaElf's Impossible Bottle themed Pico

Postby DaElf » Mon 09 Dec, 2013 11:50 am

Mr Miagi wrote:Ive recently found some really neat utensils at a Japanese cooking store. Long spoons, forks, chopsticks etc. Im sure you could get crafty with some tools! :thumbsup:


LOL yeah I think that might be the go,
I've had a few rather hot days up this way and the rock is looking very worse for it.

I'm yet to work out much of a cooling idea, so I may have to run it in one of the airconned rooms I think. :bored:

While there is still a little bit of life left on the rock,
I'm pretty sure the heat has killed off most of it. :( so I'm not having a great deal of luck so far.
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