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Sams DIY Pico

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Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Fri 22 Nov, 2013 9:59 pm

Whilst waiting for my new big tank to be built, I have been getting incredibly itchy fingers. Each morning whilst eating breakfast looking at my incredibly neglected 9l Aquaone freshwater tank, I felt bad. I mean, that $25 little tank is what got me into this hobby and since getting a marine tank, the thing just got no love. One by one the fish had been farmed off to our freshwater tank at work where they had heaps more room to swim and actually got some attention and care. Well, this morning I thought bugger it! Take the last of them to work and set this bad boy up as a neat little marine pico.


Display System:

Initial Fill Date: TBA, soon though
Display Tank Dimensions: 20cmx25cmx15cm (plus 20x25x5 rear chamber)
Display Lighting: DIY LED
Hood or Rimless: Rimless, with a DIY frame for lighting
Support systems:
NSW or ASW: NSW
Display Water circulation: Bunnings pond pump, 400l/h
Evaporation Top Up: Smart ATO


So, I want to have a tiny tank, still with some equipment - but hidden as much as possible... Hmm, bit of a challenge! Made a false wall to hide it all, then a media rack to hold some filter floss and a small bag of chemie pure elite. Create a section for the heater and one more for the return pump and its almost done!
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Then lastly, knocked together a quick aluminum frame to mount a simple 4 LED DIY setup in/to.
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I'm really happy with the progress so far, tank is looking awesome and owing me about $40 so far :)
Last edited by sparker on Thu 05 Jun, 2014 4:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby culturedreef » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 10:04 am

Table decoration for Christmas haha, it does look fantastic and the cost. I have a couple of fish for free if you want them. :thumbsup:
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 10:32 am

That'd be awesome John, thanks! I'll get some sand, rock and water in Sunday night and start the cycle. Once ready, I'll be in touch for a loan of some small fish :)

Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby onetonne » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 11:30 am

Awesome Sam! The old fresh setup looked very cool though!
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby swinkl3 » Sat 23 Nov, 2013 1:47 pm

Wow, 9L, this is going to be awesome! Good luck in the comp!
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 9:04 am

Got some sand from Htu08 and some led's from rockerpeller (thanks heaps guys!) not to mention a nifty little pistol shrimp from the frag day. Popped some live rock rubble in the tank to get the cycle going and the little pistol is a happy lad (gave a couple of clicks this morning when I looked at him!)

Will build the light over the next few nights, fit an ATO and start planning on suitable corals :)
Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby rockerpeller » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 1:42 pm

Come on Sam, chop chop! I pulled my lights apart, and reconfigured it already :poke: :roflmao: :roflmao:
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 2:03 pm

hehehe alright, I'm on the case! Snuck out from work to grab a heat sink, a jiffy case for the driver and scored a laptop power supply to power the leds' up.

Will try and get it together and on tonight :)
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby Htu08 » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 2:09 pm

sparker wrote:hehehe alright, I'm on the case! Snuck out from work to grab a heat sink, a jiffy case for the driver and scored a laptop power supply to power the leds' up.

Will try and get it together and on tonight :)


Looks like its coming together well.
PHOTOOOOs of the updated tank!
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 2:15 pm

Will try to get some photos tonight mate, must say - your sand looks a treat in there!

The power supply I just picked up (for free!) is about the size of the pico... Will do for now, but must find something smaller :laugh:
Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Mon 25 Nov, 2013 9:41 pm

Light and ATO fitted and running. Better pop the piece of live rock with zoas I have in for the poor littl pistol shrimp to hide in, looks funny trying to hide behind an empty frag plug :konk:

Will post pics in the morning, but I must say - it is looking pretty darn slick for something I made!
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 8:52 am

Alright, as promised, here are a heap of pictures. I dropped a bit a green acan (which has a pretty chunky skeleton/rock base) in to give the poor little pistol somewhere to hide and to really start to get some biological filtration going on.

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RODI resevoir:
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Pistol shrimp trying to hide:
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Thanks!
Sam
Last edited by sparker on Thu 05 Jun, 2014 4:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby Htu08 » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 9:36 am

That's pretty slick mate! Looks good :)
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby cody.sheridan-2008 » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 12:33 pm

Looks fab! Looking forward to watching it progress!
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 12:35 pm

Thanks heaps guys :)
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby Ilona » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 1:35 pm

I'm still just amazed that a pistol shrimp actually managed to survive frag day :P That one looks a lot bigger than the others though, not so squishy :D
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby DaElf » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 5:15 pm

Very nice,
I love seeing these tanks next to things, such as a drink dispenser (I think?), it points out just how small these really are.
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Tue 26 Nov, 2013 8:19 pm

Hehe yeah, that's a soda stream machine. Haven't used it since setting the tank up, but I'm thinking pistol Pete might give a click or two when that is going!

Popped a STC1000 temp controller on it tonight coupled with a massive overkill 100mm fan (was all I had laying around, will search the cupboards at work for a 40 or 50mm unit over next few days. Was watching the temp rise and rise online via my monitor at work today (not surprising, the house temp got to 27!) So hopefully this will resolve that :pirate:

Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 9:06 am

After a couple of warmish days in Geelong, I noticed on my tank monitor (whilst watching from work) that the little pico was warming up quicker than my larger Nano (no surprise really). Perfect excuse to play with some more gadgets!
Breakout the STC-1000 temperature controller, connect up to my heater and a huge (well, huge for the size of the tank!) fan. Now I don't need to trust the cheap AquaOne thermostat in that tiny little heater. The STC-1000 has its own temperature probe and will ensure that only the heater, the fan or neither is switched on at any one time.
OK, so, the pics! Well, first up I tried to mount the fan on the side quickly with some double sided tape. Not only did it look messy, it also became unstuck in about 30mins... Enter Rubber Band!!! Lol, ok, this isn't really all that neat, but will do till a find a more suitable sized fan and then I will mount properly and hide the wiring inside the frame :)
First Attempt:
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Current setup:
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The STC-1000 can be seen down the bottom right hand side of the back of the tank, this needs to be boxed up and mounted neatly too :)
Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby onetonne » Wed 27 Nov, 2013 7:32 pm

That is looking so good mate!! Can't wait to start mine :D
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby timmeh1 » Thu 28 Nov, 2013 10:28 am

Looking good Sam! Cant wait to see how it progresses
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby culturedreef » Wed 04 Dec, 2013 12:29 am

Starting to come together Sam :clap: if you need stock just give me a call. :thumbsup:
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Wed 04 Dec, 2013 9:33 am

Cheers John - what did you have in mind? It's a pretty small tank :)
Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby culturedreef » Wed 04 Dec, 2013 1:23 pm

You can call around and have a look at what you like and we can work out if it will be OK for the pico. :thumbsup:
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Wed 04 Dec, 2013 2:58 pm

Cheers mate- will do, will be in touch in a week or two (want to make sure its had a decent time to get a cycle done)

Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Fri 06 Dec, 2013 12:13 pm

Had a couple of people PM me regarding the Smart ATO used on this tank asking for some more details.

Basically, it is a tiny, clever little ATO. Cheap too, retails at $150 I believe. No moving parts, uses optical sensor to see if water level is too low and connects to an incredibly small (yet powerful) pump in your RODI reservoir. This is what you get in the box (note the 20c coin showing size)
Image

Here is a video of the unit in action:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVFeEtXV-W0

Let me know if you have any other questions!
Sam
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby Kah » Fri 06 Dec, 2013 1:42 pm

Picked up one of these as well. Dont know if I will use it on my pico yet, but it is probably the smart thing to do.
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Mon 06 Jan, 2014 1:44 pm

This pico experience got me thinking and has made me take a slightly different path. I've made a scale replica of my new 6x2x2.5 main tank. Tank is built, plumbed and currently cycling, I will need to pillage some parts of the existing pico to complete the build though (mainly lighting). I have the same sand as a pretty close replica of the aquascape in there at the moment (well, it has three bommies... lol). Looking pretty cool. Just need to finalise lighting and hood ventage before setting up on desk at work.

Few early build/progress pics below :)
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Final short video testing flow from pump and drain to sump. Since then I have redone the pump outlet with a durso so that it doesn't siphon back into sump (and then overflow!) once power goes out.
http://youtu.be/asCxYhZCKVw

Cheers!
Sam
Last edited by sparker on Thu 05 Jun, 2014 4:08 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby Wakareefer » Tue 07 Jan, 2014 4:58 pm

Awesome idea with the scale model tank mate!
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Re: Sams DIY Pico

Postby sparker » Tue 21 Jan, 2014 10:55 am

Just to prove that the new tank is wet and is nearing completion of cycle, I have attached a couple of pics. Also nearly completed the lights for this new tank, will run 4 seperate chanels via a typhon controller :)

Image
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Sam
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