Reef Casa Pico Reef Tank Review
After a few successful months with our Reef Casa Studio 12 aquarium we wondered “what would be twice as good as one Reef Casa aquarium?” and the answer clearly was “two Reef Casa aquariums.” With that, we made the decision to add a Flat 6 pico aquarium to our kitchen. I say “we” because this was going to be my wife’s tank, and she had a completely different vision for it than anything I had done before.
We picked up the tank in December and by mid January had begun the process of planning the rockwork, as well as what types of coral she wanted to keep. Inspired by the Flat 6 Lagoon tank that she saw set up at the Fragbox retail store, she decided she wanted to create a tidal pool style tank with rockwork rising beyond the water level and a focus on invertebrates. She wanted it to have a “cool water feel” and wanted to try and recreate the cool tidal pools of the British Columbia coast. We decided to use Staxx dry rock in a step-like pattern to maximize ledges for coral placement. It took one evening (and a few false starts) to create the initial aquascape.
Just like the Studio 12 tank, the setup of the Flat 6 was a breeze. Since we already had salt, live sand etc. we opted for the tank only, instead of the kit, and paired it with the same Halo light that was growing corals very successfully in the Studio 12. In terms of PAR the Beam light would have been sufficient, but we wanted to avoid the hassle of external timers and liked the programmability of the Halo light. The return pump connected easily to the included plumbing and next we added the sand and rock and filled it with water from a mature system. Even though we used water and some biomedia from a mature tank we still fully cycled the system before adding any livestock. Even without any corals the tank looked great sitting in our kitchen. The glass was very clear and the fit and finish was excellent.
Because we had a couple of tanks already running we were able to begin the fun of shopping for corals while the tank was still cycling, since these new frags could be stored in another tank. We decided to focus on soft corals for both ease of maintenance and to get that “tidal pool” look. Early corals included a couple of Kenya Trees, a Daisy coral, Toadstool and a striped mushroom. The centerpiece coral was a bubble tipped anemone (that hopefully won’t outgrow the tank too soon). We added some Dragon’s Breath Macroalgae to bring a splash of red and to help with nutrient export.
In terms of livestock, we have added a uniquely coloured Boxer Shrimp, a Porcelain Crab and various snails and hermit crabs. We also recently added an Emerald Crab to help with algae control. We initially purchased a pair of Pajama Cardinalfish but found them not to be what we were looking for and returned them. The plan is to add some Red Fiddler Crabs and possibly a small starfish or a small urchin. We may add a single small fish, or possibly keep this an invert only tank.
Maintenance of the Flat 6 has been just as easy as on the Studio 12. The precut filter floss is quick and easy to change. I haven’t had to clean the rear chambers yet but I’m sure they will be just as easy to clean as the Studio 12s (or maybe even easier due to the shallower depth). Because I use a collapsible water jug on the counter for water changes I had to figure out a way to make the water go uphill. I picked up a fluid transfer pump off of Amazon and it works great for both removing and adding water as well as keeping spills to a minimum.
While it is still early days, coral growth has been good. We are running the Halo light at about 50% on a heavy white spectrum and everything seems happy. The tank is through its diatom stage and starting to look really good. We recently added a Reef Casa Random Flow Generator and found that it really helped to reduce the flow hot spots we were experiencing because of the unique aquascape.
Just like the Studio 12, we are really impressed with the Flat 6. It looks great in our kitchen and we are excited to see what it looks like as the corals fill in and we add more unique inverts to our kitchen tidal lagoon.