Sometimes living in a small home is a good thing – for example if I had more space at home I may have converted a room into a very costly aquarium display room similar to what I had when younger and living at home with my parents. I grow up with several custom tanks ranging from 2x 10G breeder tanks, 2x tall 20G tanks (tetra), 2x 40G tanks (discus), long 48G tank (cichlids), wide and short 33G + sump tank (saltwater reef), 45G + sump tank (saltwater marine life), 135G tank (mix of freshwater) and varies small tanks.

Ultimately I believe when Madaleine is old enough to understand “life” and participate in this hobby of aquariums I may squeeze in a ‘small’ Fluval M60 (or M40 if space is really restricted) next to the entertainment wall. For now, I am content with the pico Dymax IQ3 (1.8G) and converted Fluval Spec V (5G) reefing tanks.

The challenges with the converted Fluval Spec V 5G reef tank include water flow and lighting. The standard included pump cycles about 200-250L per hour and the 7000K (11W?) light will not keep anything alive.

The water flow issues was resolved by upgrading to a 300-350 LPH pump and if needed I will use an additional micro 2x2x2″ 200 LPH pump.

The lighting issue was a greater challenge.
I first started with a PAR27 28W bulb with both Royal Blue and 14000K LEDs – it only costed me $20 shipped to my door. At first I thought I found the ideal solution, being able to put the light on a timer and schedule the amount of desired on time. However I quickly released the light beam spread was too circular while the Fluval tank is rectangular shaped. Also it would be nice to control daytime and nighttime simulation.

After searching around I found the NICREW 21W 3-mode (royal blue, 14000K white and mixed). As much as I would love to buy a Nano Box Reef Light the purpose of my tank builds is indeed, budgetary… the cheap Amazon purchased light works like a charm!

See it in action:

The downfall to this light is the power supply – every time it is switched off it returns to the beginning of the mode cycle which is royal blue lights only. My work around is to use a scheduler in Alexa and control a timer to flick the light on/off to get the mode I want at the desired time.

Anyway just a quick sharing – I will need to report back on the growth of the corals once I move them over from the Dymax IQ3 … from pico to nano hah ha!

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