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Almager's 4g Pico New Build

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by Aaron Almager, Apr 5, 2021.

  1. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    Hello all! I'm getting back into this addictive hobby. I wanted a challenge while jumping back in & went with a 4g Pico to get my experimentation on. Lifegard 4g All in one tank, Cobalt neotherm 25w heater, Bahama oolite live sand, dry rock in display with dry rock in back compartment for additional bio filtration once established. Currently using supplied pump at 87gph, will see if this supplies enough flow once established (any suggestions to increase flow I would love to discuss with anyone). No lights currently but I have my eyes on a few. I won't set up any lighting until fully cycled. Hoping to eventually turn this guy into a small breeder or holder for inverts. Maybe even a garden for future food needs. Currently shrimp cycling with dry rock, 4 days in. Wish me the best! PXL_20210402_202116085.jpg
     
  2. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Hello and welcome!
     
    Aaron Almager likes this.
  3. TheRealChrisBrown

    TheRealChrisBrown Marlin Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Have you done the Pico's before? I always wondered how difficult it is with chemistry swings and stuff.
     
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  4. Tinyreef

    Tinyreef Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

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  5. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    I did about 11-12 years ago. So much has changed since then. I really didn't have an issue with the fluctuations. More daily upkeep but that's about it. One thing I have noticed is my pico back then cycled a lot faster due to live rock & live sand. But I'm trying to be patient & really build from the ground up. It looks like I'm coming down from a bac bloom so hopefully that means I'm headed in the right direction
     
    TheRealChrisBrown likes this.
  6. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

  7. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    Update: Cycle is going well or at least in my experience it is. Our shrimp for cycling (we named him Cocktail) gave up every last piece of himself to this tank. It's been 2 days since & the bac bloom seems to be dissipating. Water is clearing up & it feels like a good, small hurdle to cross. Ammonia is still high but I know will start to mellow out in the coming weeks. Love this!

    20210408093558s.jpg
     
    SynDen likes this.
  8. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Welcome, and welcome back to the addiction :) I like the tank. Picos are fun and challenging in their own way. look forward to seeing it progress.
     
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  9. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    Great day today! Watched my ammonia nose dive over the past few days. Literally halved each day with today ending at a big fat goose egg! Looks like nitrite is dropping & nitrates are there. Cycle almost complete... Which means I need to prep for the near future... AI Prime 16HD acquired! Turned em on to play with of course, leaving off so they don't jump start algae growth.

    I am kinda surprised how quick this cycle is going. Thinking of testing the system in the next couple days if params continue to trend the way they currently are... Am I wrong here?
    20210413173931s.jpg
     
  10. Tinyreef

    Tinyreef Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Wow thats cycling fast. Did you add any starter bacteria or seed with live anything? When I started with dry rock and sand I had to wait ages.
     
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  11. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    I used live sand & a shrimp but didn't add anything extra. This isn't my first pico but even I am surprised with how quick it is flipping. I know the sand helped tremendously but even with that I figured a month before I would get to this point.
     
  12. Tinyreef

    Tinyreef Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thats awesome.. I'll go with the live sand next time. Im not a patient person lol
     
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  13. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    So params didn't end up trending the way I needed them to. Nitrites stayed high & nitrate holding steady. I am hoping within a week I see a change, until then, nothing added in. I did play with my AI Prime & put in a calming blue setting. Lights aren't running yet but I have turned it on for a half hour here & there just to enjoy it. Gotta say I love the look even at this stage but my family is excited to get something in there.
    20210416103605.jpg
     
  14. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Doing good. Ya, be patient this step of the cycle always takes forever. It will get there eventually
     
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  15. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    For sure! My last pico 10 or so years ago cycled a lot quicker but I did use live rock & sand at the time. It will get there, no need to rush it.
     
  16. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    ya can't be real live rock
     
  17. Aaron Almager

    Aaron Almager Copepod

    First Fish added in! It's name is Pennywise. We actually added him a couple of days ago but it took him a little bit to get comfortable swimming around. Nice to see some life in our tank & the fam is loving it. Also added a blue legged hermit (HIM) & a snail (Gary). PXL_20210430_233154927.jpg
     
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