Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Ecoxotic EcoPico: Unboxing + LED Upgrade


It's been about 2 years since I've had an aquarium of my own.

One of the perks of working at MarineDepot.com is that I see aquariums every day. Monday through Friday, at least. But still, it's not the same.

I've been plotting my return to the hobby since I got married last May. Since we're saving money to start our family, buy a family-friendly car—you know, things young couples do—the aquarium had to meet certain criteria.

Namely, it had to be small (I live in an apartment), easy-to-maintain (I'm lazy) and energy-efficient (my obsession with gadgetry is already running up my electric bill).

Then, I saw her: 5.1 gallons of all-in-one simplicity. Her minimalism and affordability ($109.99) made my heart skip a beat. Her name? EcoPico. I like to whisper it: EcoPico. Now you try.

Oh yeah.

I first bared witness to her elegance on the Ecoxotic website. I admit it was love at first sight. I immediately knew we were made for each other.

The only problem was the tank wasn't available yet. So I waited. I passed time by watching YouTube videos and fantasizing about my future aquascape.

Then, on a recent rainswept morning, she arrived... with her twin sister in tow. I've documented the unboxing for your viewing pleasure.












Many hobbyists set up their EcoPico tanks as saltwater systems. I've been thinking about starting up a freshwater planted tank for a few years now, so that's the direction I decided to go for this setup.

First things first: I needed to upgrade the standard light fixture.

To make that happen, you first have to buy a a 4-way splitter ($12.95) and some additional LED strips ($22.99 each). Although the splitter allows up to four strips, the alcove in the included light fixture fits three. You could probably fit another two strips on the light, though, if you want to go crazy.

The EcoPico already includes one 12K white/453nm blue strip, so I opted for two additional 12K white strips.












Here is a picture of the new tank with the upgraded light fixture.


Here she is posing with her twin sister (aka my boss's tank).


If you want to go super crazy with the LEDs, mount two fixtures!


My boss thinks he'll have a better aquascape inside his EcoPico. I'm up for the challenge!

I'll be documenting my tank setup for the next couple of months so stay tuned for future posts!

Read more about my EcoPico: