I expect to have this pico until the acrylic breaks. There really is no reason not to keep it, it doesn’t cost much to maintain, it takes 20-30 minutes of work a week and if I don’t feel like doing the water change I just skip it.
Mangroves only make a good refugium if you have 1 or 2 per gallon which isn’t the easiest thing to do when you have a 100 gallon reef. When you have a 2 gallon it’s easy. Stick one or 2 in the back and watch them grow.
Detritus is the one thing that’s going to cause a crash and it’s much easier to get rid of when you can just turkey baste the whole tank. You can’t even tell my tank is bare bottom anymore.
Don’t be afraid to take on a DIY project. I’ve never considered myself to be a craftsman, but with enough research and planning I’ve found pretty much anything can be DIY’d. There are videos and protocols out there to do just about anything. I knew nothing about building LED’s or drilling an aquarium when I started, but now that I’ve done it I know I’ll never have to buy commercially built LED’s or a plug and play aquarium. When you do it yourself, you get exactly what you want. Eric W. Roth, “Mr. Microscope.”