(Copied from Alexander's post last year, slightly modified). Welcome to the 2010 Pico Contest! The contest officially begins November 1, 2010 and ends August 1, 2011. All participants must be entered by March 1, 2011 to qualify. At the end of the contest, all eligible systems will be judged by the community. Besides general bragging rights, a prize will be awarded to the top tank! Please note that this contest will require you to have a digital camera, or access to a digital camera at least once per month. You will not be able to participate without one. THE RULES! THE TANK Unless alternative arrangements for our non-US participants has been discussed ahead of time, all entrants must purchase and use the 3-gallon "Deco Kit Aquarium", found here: Desktop & Starter Aquarium Kit: 3-gallon Deco Kit Aquarium and here http://www.bigalsonline.com/edealin...extag+Datafeed&utm_medium=Comparison+Shopping You do not have to order it from Drs. Foster and Smith or Big Al's; if you prefer to order it from another site, you may. But it MUST be the same aquarium linked to above. THE LIGHTING No changes to lighting are permitted. You must use the standard lighting that comes with the Deco Kit. POWERHEADS AND HANG ON BACK FILTERS AND PUMPS No changes to filtration or flow are permitted. You must use the equipment that comes with the Deco Kit. STANDS Any stand may be used. Entrants will not be judged on their stand. SUMPS/REFUGIUMS No sumps or refugiums are permitted. OTHER RULES INFORMATION (Answers to common questions) Can thermometers be used? Yes, any thermometer may be used. Can I test my water using test kits (ph, alk, cal, etc) such as Salifert brand? Yes, all typical marine aquarium test kits may be used for your tank entry. Can I plumb my pico tank to my display? No, it must be a stand-alone system. Can I rig up some sort of auto top off system? Yes, auto top off systems are okay. Can I stock my stock contest entry tank with frags or corals from my display tank? Yes, you are welcome to use frags from your other display tank. There will be a cutoff when contestants are not allowed to add any more corals to their tanks. This will force contestants to show they are in fact able to maintain and show growth under stock conditions, even if their corals came from a display tank 5 feet away. Can I dose my tank with nutrients, etc? You are welcome to dose your tank as you see fit. What can I put in it? Anything you want, but let's be reasonable here! No animals that obviously cannot survive happily and be healthy in a pico tank. HOW TO ENTER THE CONTEST To officially enter this contest you will need to take a photo with something (specified the day the contest begins, i.e. a newspaper) inside your unfilled tank setup. You will post this information in your own entry thread in this forum. This proves that your tank was empty on the date that the contest starts. ENTRY THREAD INFORMATION Your entry thread is where all the information, photos, and updates for your pico reef will be posted. When you are ready to enter the contest, please create a new topic in the appropriate area of this contest forum. The topic title should be: “Your Username - Contest" or something similar, to identify you and your participation. You must post the dated photo of your empty tank on or after November 1, 2010 to show that you have not started your tank ahead of time! Updates to the progress of your pico reef must be posted at a minimum of once per month, and include at least 3 photos. Entries with missing months of updates will be disqualified for final voting. At the end of the contest, all entrants will be asked to make a final post summarizing the progress their pico reef has made. Remember to keep your entries as clear and organized as possible. A WORD ABOUT TANK CRASHES! If your tank crashes (for any reason) you will not be able to restart after contest entry has closed (March 1, 2011). Reason: If your tank crashes, you would have to set it up again which would be basically be entering a new system after contest entry has ended. The point of this contest is to keep a healthy reef the first time around, not to start and then restart over and over if you continually hose your system. IMPORTANT DATES November 1 , 2010 - Contest officially begins March 1, 2011 - Last day to enter a new tank and add livestock (livestock includes fish, inverts, corals, macroalgae) August 1, 2011 - Last day of contest PRIZE First prize will be a $100 gift certificate good for use at Drs. Foster and Smith or LiveAquaria.com. The gift certificate will be emailed to the winner at the conclusion of the contest. All information subject to change, but we'll try not to. Any questions? Send a PM to Bifferwine.