This little pico reef is still a work in progress, but I’m so excited about it I had to add it to the site. After I took down my 1 gallon planted tank, I ended up using the same Marina Cubus tank to build this. I did make some modifications to the wooden canopy to add a blue light so the colors of the corals will pop. I also removed the back compartment and made some improvements. I’m thinking I will be adding more corals overtime.
Aquarium: 0.9 gallon Marina Cubus
Pump: Rio+ 50
Lighting: Fluval C.O.B. For Nano & Desktop Aquariums & GloFish Blue LED Waterproof Light
Lighting Controller: Fluval 2 Channel LED Lamp Timer
Filtration: Biological – Chaeto, Sand, Live Rock
Algae Scrapper: Two Little Fishies Nanomag
Temperature Controller: Inkbird Dual Stage Temperature Controller
Heater: Aqueon Preset Aquarium 50W Heater
Chiller: Cooluli Mini Fridge
As mentioned above, one thing I changed was the back compartment. I ended up drilling some extra holes in an effort to make the water level be more consistent when it evaporates, and also to allow for a higher flow in the tank for the corals. Although the water level is still a problem with evaporation, I ended up adding sudo-auto-top off so it’s become less of a problem. I also added some dividers in the back to allow for more of a refugium with live sand and chaeto that is separate from the pump and heater. Eventually, I will be covering the back with some black foam and attached the refugium light with something other than duct tape.
I also modified the wooden canopy to add the blue lighting. This helps bring out colors in the coral, and it makes the tank look really cool during “sunset”. I also added another hole to the back since I have more equipment and tubes running into the tank now. I ended up removing the acrylic top so the tank is more of an open air tank which helps keep the temperature in check and helps with oxygen exchange. So far I’m really pleased with how the modifications to the canopy came out.
Another thing about this tank is it has a makeshift “chiller”, which is a cool feature, pun intended. I am using a Cooluli Mini Fridge that uses a peltier cooling plate, so it’s all electric and virtually silent other than the small fan. The small size and quietness was important to me since this will be eventually on my desk at work when I go back to the office.
To make the chiller, I used a small external pump, TOM Aquarium Aqua Lifter, and plumbed tubing from the tank into a vase full of water in the fridge, and back into the tank. The pump is regulated by the Inkbird Dual Stage Temperature Controller and only kicks on when the temperature gets above 78°F. It has been able to maintain the temperature of this small tank between 77-78°F since it’s been installed.
The only reason I think this works, is because the water volume of the tank is so small. In a larger tank, this little fridge would not be able to keep up with the heat in the tank. The reason I needed the chiller is that with the pump and the light, the water temperature kept creeping up to the low to mid 80’s and was very unstable throughout the day. Since I planned on keeping corals in the tank, I knew the temperature needed to be very stable, since huge swings would have had negative affects on the tanks inhabitants.
The tank has a long way to go, but I’m very excited to be doing this build. I will continue to update the progress on this page, and will eventually do a more in depth detailed page of the build.