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    The Remarkable Pico Reef of Marcello

    We’ve featured a variety of aquariums here at Glassbox Design, but never one quite like this. This small reef has been getting some attention lately and understandably so. At 6.6 gallons and 24″ long it’s an impressive feat to keep corals alive, keeping Acroporas is an entirely different level. Marcello maintains this reef via a chiller, […]

    We’ve featured a variety of aquariums here at Glassbox Design, but never one quite like this. This small reef has been getting some attention lately and understandably so. At 6.6 gallons and 24″ long it’s an impressive feat to keep corals alive, keeping Acroporas is an entirely different level.

    Marcello maintains this reef via a chiller, DIY skimmer, sump, refugium and DIY kalkwasser reactor all of which are below the tank in a cabinet. Waterflow in the tank is provided by a Rio 1800 return and two small Rio 180 power heads. Lighting is provided by four 24w self-ballasted Japanese Spotlights. Once again, these are not available due to legal issues. Marcello conveniently resides in Japan, hence their use.

    Without a doubt Marcello’s livestock choices are questionable. I personally feel the Hepatus tang should not be kept in that tank, but this is not my aquarium. I do not know the situation so I cannot judge. Hopefully this is just temporary before the fish moves to a larger aquarium. Tang aside, I do love the small Eviota gobies!

    The beauty of this pico reef is not up for debate, but many seem to doubt its validity. Jealousy perhaps? What I have found the most shocking is the claim that the small fish above are in fact freshwater Characidae Tetras. Au contraire, mon frère. The small striped fish in this reef  is actually Eviota bifasciata, belonging to the Gobiidae familly. These small Gobies have a max size of 1.3″ and help make this pico reef appear larger that it actually is.

    What ever your opinion, real or fake, the aquascape, presentation, and coralscape are all something worthy of striving for. Thank you to Marcello for allowing us to share his incredible small piece of the ocean with you all. Thank you for pushing the boundaries of modern reef aquaria.

    13 Comments

    1. January 21, 2009 at 11:53 AM | Permalink

      Beautiful tank. I have to confess I’ve kept a regal tang in a 2-foot tank before, though it was a cube and the tang was a 1.5″ baby. It moved on before it got too big.

      Getting tang-style grazers for small tanks that won’t pick or bother corals or clams half to death is a non-trivial issue in my experience.

      I’d imagine the chiller is a big part of Marcello’s success. You can go a long way water quality wise in a nano with big partial water changes; there’s no shortcut to temperature control though.

    2. January 21, 2009 at 10:16 PM | Permalink

      I like it! What do you mean by “Once again, these are not available due to legal issues?”

    3. Felix
      January 21, 2009 at 11:19 PM | Permalink

      Another perfect example small spaces can be used. Well job done here.

      Felix-

    4. January 22, 2009 at 9:37 AM | Permalink

      @Marlon,

      There is patent issue between two companies which is preventing their distribution outside of Japan.

    5. February 12, 2010 at 12:40 AM | Permalink

      awesome setup dude!!

    6. June 30, 2010 at 2:43 PM | Permalink

      It's so nice and creative reef aqua.
      we put a persian translated report to members of our reef keeping forum too.

    7. Nickolas Houdek
      July 23, 2010 at 6:59 PM | Permalink

      Sure is a small tank for a tang.

    8. Nickolas Houdek
      July 23, 2010 at 1:59 PM | Permalink

      Sure is a small tank for a tang.

    9. March 1, 2011 at 2:47 AM | Permalink

      i’m sure anyone that can make THAT tank is more the able to take care of the tang and deal with it when the time comes that it is too large.

      so what is the size of the sump? that could really make a diff. with a huge sump most anyone could pull this off.

    10. dean
      June 24, 2011 at 7:11 PM | Permalink

      Impressive!!! What are the aquarium dimentions, 24″x9″x9″ ??

    11. Qedfasdf
      September 27, 2011 at 9:48 PM | Permalink

      its fake, you guys are idiots

    12. December 7, 2011 at 8:27 PM | Permalink

      Love the tank!

    13. Auston Gough
      September 18, 2015 at 1:39 PM | Permalink

      its not fake, if you knew anything about photography you would see it.

    7 Trackbacks

    1. […] of a throwback to an old post on Glassbox Design, and adding to one of his more recent posts “The Remarkable Pico Reef of Marcelo“, I happened across some of Marcelo’s marine inspired artwork on flickr.  His […]

    2. […] I got interested in the sizes of these little guys after i saw these pics of a SIX gallon tank! The Remarkable Pico Reef of Marcello | glassbox-design.com __________________ http://www.reefsanctuary.com/forums/…lon-build.html -Check out my 55 and let […]

    3. […] At $50 it’s inexpensive and plug-in-play. Perfect for a small biotope, or perhaps the next SPS Pico Reef like Marcello’s on the cover photo? Available at Premium […]

    4. […] The Remarkable Pico Reef of Marcello | glassbox-design.com _________ 287L (76US Gal) system; DT, macro tank and sump, TMC V2 skim, SCWD closed loop, koralia with wave maker, 5xT5, 195LEDs. Flame fin tang, Koles tang, watchman goby pair and pistol shrimp, neon goby pair, Talbots damsel pair, yellow tail damsel pair, bicolour blenny, 3 peppermint shrimp, cleaner shrimp, various corals. Macro algae tank: 50 upside down jellyfish, tiger pistol shrimp, yellow bellied damsel, 5 chromis, chalk goby, court jester goby, various sea weeds. Born in 2005 evolving ever since. […]

    5. […] point when I saw THIS: I was stunned. This tank is art. The setup can be read about here: The Remarkable Pico Reef of Marcello | glassbox-design.com So as I began to browse here, RC, and Nano Reef again, I began to search for a tank that could be […]

    6. August 18, 2010 at 1:08 AM

      […] Marcello’s “nano” tank is an amazing 25 litres small. I’ve been thinking about setting up a tiny nano tank, but supported under it’s stand by a huge tank (more volume = more stable) for a few years now but seeing something as amazing as Marcello’s tank just makes me want to give up before I even try. More of his tank here. […]

    7. May 12, 2011 at 8:05 PM

      […] photoshopped or not? i saw this article while searching the interweb….lol.. but couldnt help to think that this was totally photoshopped. it says its six gallons? and it has a hippo tang in it. just thought id show this sweet little tank to you guys. The Remarkable Pico Reef of Marcello […]

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