View Full Version : 1 Gal Pico help with ideas.

01-10-2014, 11:50 PM
So I have decided to jump back into the SW reef scene after 7 years away. To give myself a challenge I decided I want to do a 1 Gal pico, mushroom and zoo reef, in a glass mason jar.

My biggest challenges are maintaining proper heating, proper current, and evaporation, as you can guess there will be very little room within the jar for much of anything. Does anyone have any ideas on how externally heat, and circulate the water?

I am in my homework phase, so feel free to blast away with your ideas.


01-11-2014, 12:11 AM
Since you are clearly a masochist, you will enjoy every bit of frustration ahead of you. I guess you could see if your light will heat your water. For water movement, maybe just an airline? That might help oxygenate the water. Any then daily water changes? It will be interesting to see how this turns out.

01-11-2014, 12:32 AM
I thought about lighting, I plan on running LEDs, so not a lot of heat. Plus I am trying to avoid a huge temperature change at night.

I do plan on keeping the lid shut tight for most of the day, to minimize the evaporative losses. Opening the lid for an hour a day for gas exchange.

I was thinking I can kill two birds with one stone, by placing the mason jar on a heated turntable. Now will that create enough circulation? Allow for enough gas exchange? etc.

This will be an interesting experiment here in Alberta during the winter.

01-11-2014, 04:04 AM
You might be able to put the jar on one of the mini heaters from hydor...they sell at J&L

01-11-2014, 05:22 AM
can you drill out the bottom of the jar and go external?

01-11-2014, 05:55 AM
Some systems run sir stones others run with no flow just regular water changes seen some with fans from remote control boats and mini water pumps and even mini external pumps and seen 2 systems that used gravity piping for flow

Lots of different options but common theme with most of the pico systems is the frustration level for every one that works there are 8 failures.

Good luck in your endeavour and hope it turns out great for you

01-13-2014, 12:03 AM
I have a 1 gallon going but it's a tank not a jar for heat I am using the mini hydor 7.5 watt I am finding it a tad to warm but will be moving all to a 2 gal very soon I don't know what to suggest for movement I use a mini hob filter but you would not have room for that I also have led lights watch they are not to strong so they don't cook your corals I do top ups every day had a 1gal a few years back I don't find them hard to keep they arealot offun post some pics of you project as you go along

01-15-2014, 02:33 AM
Well the turn table idea produced very little current, so I guess I need to entertain ideas of having a circulation pump or air stone within the jar. I will play around with both systems to see which I prefer.

I am now in search for a heating pad, like the kind used for reptile tanks, if anyone knows of someone letting one go for cheap, please let me know.

01-15-2014, 06:07 AM
This may sound crazy and have no idea if it would work (but would be cool) if you had you rock and hollowed it out with lots of holes and put a rc boat motor under it for flow. You would not see it and it would be speed adjustable.

05-26-2014, 08:16 PM
any updates to this project i'm planning on doing one out of a texas mickey

05-26-2014, 08:19 PM
What about putting it on one of those coffee cup heaters? You would need water movement tho to circulate the water but

Idk lol just an idea

07-17-2014, 06:46 AM
Just saw a betta bowl heater at a lfs. Not sure if it'll fit your jar or how it'll look.

Check out:
Zoo Med Laboratories AZMBH10 Zoo Med Submersible Betta Bowl Heater 7.5 watts

07-17-2014, 03:11 PM
use an overkill sump. connect a teensy overflow and you will have temp, water movement and clean water under control.

01-27-2015, 04:37 AM
Small reptile heat pad on a dimmer to control heat and why not have or make a tiny air stone bubbler for water movement.

01-27-2015, 05:12 AM
I would think if your just doing zoas and mushrooms that you wouldnt have to worry about temperature. Room temperature will be more than fine for simple corals. Just my opinion, but i wouldnt even heat it at all. I suggest advil extra strength gel caps, for the headaches about to come your way :mrgreen:

01-27-2015, 12:39 PM
You can do a lot in a pico. Just keep up with water changes. I highly recommend you do not put sand in the tank. A heater is not needed unless you keep your house especially cold. Depending on what pump(s) you use they will provide enough heat.

Here is my 2 gallon (8x6x8) it's been running over 4 and a half years. I use a par 30 for lighting.


01-27-2015, 07:38 PM
That's amazingly awesome.

01-28-2015, 08:36 PM
here is the best idea for heating pico tanks
small Waterproof Heating Pad that you can put under the jar or wrap a part of it.

01-29-2015, 12:06 AM
If your place is always room temp or above, I wouldn't even bother with heating. I have no heaters in my nanos.

01-29-2015, 02:10 AM
Tagging along