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From Nano to Pico Reef Tank

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I have started this amazing hobby about 4 years ago and I have gotten many good advice from reefing seniors here. Started with a simple 2-3 feet tank (set up by some startup/hobbyist company), then upgraded to Fluval Edge (12 gallon) which was a mistake because the opening was too small, then to the Innovative Marine 10g (nice), next was a bigger acrylic tank maybe 15-16g including the canister filter (acrylic - bad idea due to scratches!) One of my favorite long-living Nemo died and I got tired of the hobby suddenly -all the water spillage, the water change, the RODI preparation, the expense etc. And I decided to donate the tank to my university researchers working on visible spectrum that can inhibit algae and bacteria growth. Unfortunately they realized they were too busy to deal with the maintenance and rightly so. And I was beginning to hate the mess of wires and tubes and it clashed with my home office minimalist look. Then the idea hit me - why don't I downsize to a smaller tank! So tada here is Tank no. #5 - I got the Fluval Spec V as the Fluval Evo V (for marine) was not available (Covid19 period).

And I got a simple IKEA Besta Cabinet, flipped it around and managed to hide all the cables, tubes and power socket.

Here is my set up:

1. No space for a sump. So the Ehiem Canister serves as a reactor. No filter floss. Just two baskets of bio-media. Overkill for a pico tank but it is linked to the chiller. And it is not a nitrate factory as I clean it weekly. Trick: have the canister next to the balcony. So weekly maintenance is easy. And the waste is trapped at the bottom due to gravity so it turns out to be a blessing to clean.

2. Total water volume is around 6 gallon (including the Ehiem canister). So weekly water change is 3 PET Bottles (3* 1.5 liters). I will retire the RODI set which is aging and the TDS is rising anyway. Just buy 3 bottles of distilled water PURE from NTUC. I tested it with a TDS pen. Near zero TDS. Not bad.

3. Just one fish and one hermit crab (survivors from previous tank). With the canister "reactor", I think I can get another clown fish and a cleaner shrimp. Unfortunately it is Circuit Breaker time so these additions have to wait.

4. AI Lamp controlled by iphone, powerbrick is controlled by Google Home/Alexa, Nero 5 wavemaker also controlled by iphone - so my tank is voice controlled. I have shifted the NEST camera behind (photo is outdated). Geek factor.

5. Additives - all Red Sea Recipe. I have to use a syringe as the tank volume is so small. Will try the All for Reef and maybe add a wifi single doser to replace all the bottles. The less job you do, the chances of giving up is lower. Just got Vibrant to make the tank even cleaner.

6. Last week ordered Chaeto and added a Innovative Marine MagnaFuge to the back chamber. The AIO of Fluval Tank is light-passable. Google it and you will get it. This is controlled by smart timer connected to Google Home.

Future Enhancements:

1. An auto water change system but that means I cant close the balcony glass door fully.

2. Doser for All for Reef if it works.

Ideal future:

Almost fully automated. Just prepare saltwater. Very light feeding. I dont think the Ehiem auto feeder can just drop 5-6 pellets. I skip two days after every feed. And of course algae scrapping. Wish me luck and Stay SAFE everyone. And thanks for the good advice all these years.



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