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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
We finally finished this gallon jar of pickles from costco and I couldn't stop thinking of turning it into a Pico/Nightlight for my 2 year old daughter's bathroom. I had all of the supplies except for the low profile led lights that I bought from Ikea and a small piece of lace rock. The livestock will be various shrimp.

I plan on spray painting the lid brown and having the husband drill a hole for the airline and electrical cord. The sponge filter ended up being a little too large with the corners so I snipped them off. It will act like an undergravel filter. I'm using the leftovers from a bag of amazonia as the substrate. I thought I was going to have to superglue the lights to the underside of the lid but it ends up that it comes with it's own mounting tape.
As it will be super low light, I think I'll just stick with the lace rock as a focal point and some moss as the plant mass. I had gotten some unusual super lush moss from someone here on the forums and there is a ton of it out in my container pond. Looks like java moss but much more compact and fluffy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's just the perspective, it's actually long and thin. I did have to bash it a few times near the bottom to thin it out. It broke into a nice smaller piece, which you can see here, I put it on the side.
Here's a preview of it, freshly done.

Keep in mind, this is a pickle jar. The distortion from the glass actually adds to the scape by magnifying it, imho.
My only problem now is the lighting. I had thought it was a two pack with separate lights/cords, but it's two lights, one cord. They are just a tiny bit too big to both fit on the lid.
edit: Nevermind, I just noticed the "mounting ring" part that I don't need pops off. It took off the little bit I needed to make them fit. Perfect!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well, I'm going to have a hole up top for the airline and the electrical cord, but otherwise it's going to be sealed with it's lid. I'm hoping to cut down on the evaporation that's so annoying with these kinds of pico tanks. It's for a windowless interior bathroom - the less humidity, the less chance for icky mold. :)
 

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cool!!!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
It reminds me of a very ghetto biorb :)
Bathroom light on:

Nightlight style:


Husband is itching to make a tiny stand to hide all those nasty cords!

Really, a pretty cheap way to go if you want a pico since you'll have most of the stuff left over from broken down tanks. The most expensive thing was the Lack Ikea LED lights at $24.99. Pretty necessary because they won't heat up the water too much and very compact. And come on, pickles with a free tank! I love Costco!
 

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Is there any way you could take a pic of how you attached the lights inside the lid. Also what about moisture where the lights are concerned. Are they moisture proof. I really like this set up. Have 2 Betta's that will need a new home with winter coming, looks like they would stay warm in there!!!
TY Karen
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Yep, here's a picture

I thought I was going to need to superglue them on, but it turns out they come with mounting tape on the back. If you needed to do two jars side by side for your your bettas, you could just stick one light in each. They're pretty bright.
As for moisture, I don't know how they are going to do. They already have condensation on the inside of the diffuser lens. I'll keep you posted on how long the lights survive.
 

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Great Thank You
I wonder if one could cut a hole the size of the lens and place the light on top of the lid and a small piece of clear plastic and light from the top side of the light. I really like the concept. The only concern is the condensation issue. We have 4 of these down in the garage. Were just by chance going to Ikea tomorrow, so lights are on the shop list. Man I can shrimp on the lace rock, very cool.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
The inhabitants of the pickle jar are tiger shrimp and one lone golden shrimp. It would have been much too hard to try to get the golden shrimp out without squashing someone/something. I know the antihybrid people are going to get their panties in a bunch, but hey, they aren't going to be mass producing out of the jar.


And better yet, my daughter absolutely love them! She always asks to brush her teeth or wash her hands now so she can stare at them :)
 

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And better yet, my daughter absolutely love them! She always asks to brush her teeth or wash her hands now so she can stare at them :)
Haha, now THAT's the proper way to encourage kids to keep up their personal hygiene! :proud:

Great little nano and innovative idea, btw!
 

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As a kid I had a 2 gal. glass fish bowl. My dad was able to make a light by using a alumminum pie tin and cutting it to make a round circle and he put a reg. night light attached to it 7watt. He put a reg. electrical cord and the night light plugged into this and used some kind of metal stapled thing to peice together the circle and somehow put the night light in the back part of the tank. The night light was cheap you can even buy one at the dollar store or Big Lots. It looked great and gave enough light in the tank for low light plants or fake plants. This would work for a pickle jar also. Another idea I bought a cheap 1 gal. at Walmart just to use the light fixture which was cheaper them buying a light and set it on top of my 3 gal. plastic square cube I got at a thrift shop for cheap and bought a nano filter (Azoo Palm filer) Item # APG-14052 from http://www.drsfostersmith.com this is a great filter for a tiny tank 2-5 gal. and looks like a reg. big size tanks canister filter. But the light fixture that you buy at walmart from a 1 gal. tank has a underground filter included that you can use also. I just like the canister filter. I put a bio-sponge in front of the outflow to the tanks Azoo palm filter. I do like the pickle jar tank also good idea! Endlers would look nice in that tank also beside shrimps or they can be put together 3 male endlers and a couple of shrimps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
... and used some kind of metal stapled thing to peice together the circle and somehow put the night light in the back part of the tank...
This is my favorite part of the story :)

My husband was super against the pickle jar at first, because really, it's ghetto. However, I know Gwen has the "sickness" and can truly appreciate that mommy made a tank for her. And hopefully in twenty years she can be on a forum saying something like ... "and she forced my dad to drill holes in the top of the pickle jar for the airline tubing..."
 

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now this is a good representation of doing with what you have...I mean...isn't an aquarium better than a nightlight? I'd take one of those over a cheaply made nightlight any day. :D nicely done!
 

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This is so cool. At first i read the title thinking it was a new type of pleco (my eyes are bad). Instead it's even better, a new type of nightlight. I might actually make one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Unfortunately the pickle jar has been retired this week.

Design Flaws:
The hole in the lid for airline tubing was rusting due to the water bubbling up from the sponge filter. Should have sealed it with silicone or clear nail
polish.

LED lights failed this week due to humidity and getting into the casing - from the same "water from the bubbler" effect.

I think next time I would have used a smaller sponge filter. The one I was using was for a 20 gallon so the uptake tube was really high - splashing water on the lid and LED lights. I think the little ones only have two inches or so of uptake tube.
But the tank was good enough to breed CRS, I got one batch of babies from it and two berried ones right now just about to pop. However all almost all of my tiger shrimp in there died, possibly from the warm water from the light being on all the time.
 
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