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Duckhams
02-22-2015, 09:05 PM
I actually started this build over a year ago, and will be doing lots of modifications and updates to it in the next few months. Including new plumbing!
But here is a quick overview of the journey so far:

Display: 75 gallon 48"x20"x20", Eurobraced Low-iron glass, External Beananimal overflow. (all by Miracles Aquariums).
Sump: 30x14x18 Rimless, 3 compartments. Drain (media-reactor), skimmer, return.
Stand: 48x20x40 for optimal viewing and inside tank reach. (I can touch all areas inside the tank without a step-stool).
Rockscape: 2 main structures based on high arches and off-centred caves for a 3-dimensional feel.

Current Equipment:
Lighting: 2 x Kessil A360WE LED pendants, 4 x T5 LET-MIRO retrofits with ATI Actinics and Blue Plus bulbs.
Return Pump: Eheim 1262
Skimmer: Originally a Reef Octopus NWB-150. Just upgraded to a Vertex Omega 130.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1807_zpsvrhyyzge.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1807_zpsvrhyyzge.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1796_zpsymsmd8jd.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1796_zpsymsmd8jd.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1801_zpsofgrekbr.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1801_zpsofgrekbr.jpg.html)[/IMG]
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1802_zpsvxbx5l5b.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1802_zpsvxbx5l5b.jpg.html)[/IMG]
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http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1799_zpscnsctcyc.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1799_zpscnsctcyc.jpg.html)
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Bugger
02-22-2015, 09:21 PM
Can you tell me how much just the tank and stand cost?

Duckhams
02-22-2015, 09:44 PM
Next I had to cut a space out of the back panel of the stand for the drain lines. The first 2 lines on the BeanAnimal overflow are hard-plumbed with ball valves, the third line, the emergency drain, is an open line run with flex-pvc (honestly just because I had it, there was no specific reason to use the flex line). Once the plumbing was all set, I sprayed it matte black. Its not a great finish, and a lot of it has worn off now, but it looked good to start with!

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1835_zpsr1alkroe.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1835_zpsr1alkroe.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1873_zpsvmjqw4bz.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1873_zpsvmjqw4bz.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1881_zps6am8asss.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1881_zps6am8asss.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1896_zpsiksxtmhz.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1896_zpsiksxtmhz.jpg.html)

Got the new rock soaking. As this was a brand new setup, I let the rock cure in the tank (for 2 months or so) before adding any livestock.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1970_zpspmdb9dag.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1970_zpspmdb9dag.jpg.html)

Then finally, sprayed the inside of the tank white and sealed the bottom panel with caulk, just in case there were any spills in the future. This has been a life saver!
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1906_zpsfjnyexjz.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1906_zpsfjnyexjz.jpg.html)

Once that all dried, we moved it into the office and levelled the complete unit, front to back and side to side with plastic (composite) flooring shims from Lowes. Each one was labelled and cut to length before being tapped into place.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1983_zpsps9o8nff.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1983_zpsps9o8nff.jpg.html)
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http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1985_zpshbnj1d5w.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1985_zpshbnj1d5w.jpg.html)
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Duckhams
02-22-2015, 09:45 PM
Can you tell me how much just the tank and stand cost?

PM'd.

Duckhams
02-22-2015, 10:01 PM
We did a full test run of the whole system before setting up in the office. All worked well, silent overflow, quiet pump, it worked like a charm!
With tank level and in place, it was time for water, rocks & sand! The rockscape changed quiet a bit before I was happy with it. This is my favourite part of the setup, playing with the rockscape! So much potential! The 'high-hat' rockscape was a bit weird, but led to something better later on.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_1989_zpssb0ff9tg.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_1989_zpssb0ff9tg.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2007_zpsnomjzsqw.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2007_zpsnomjzsqw.jpg.html)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2026_zpsbe6gwybt.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2026_zpsbe6gwybt.jpg.html)
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Tn23
02-22-2015, 10:44 PM
Sweet build thread. Following along, love the removable overflow area and the rounded arch rock scape.

Bugger
02-22-2015, 11:55 PM
I'd cut holes into the sump and run that pump external.

Duckhams
02-23-2015, 03:46 PM
I'd cut holes into the sump and run that pump external.

As the system is running in my office, I ran the return pump in-sump to reduce the chances of water reaching my floor. It's an extremely quiet pump, so it's perfect as an in-sump return.
That being said, I've run several external pumps on other systems and never had an issue, but better safe than sorry.

Bblinks
02-23-2015, 08:59 PM
Very nice!

Duckhams
02-23-2015, 10:31 PM
Very nice!

Thanks! Your 300DD is beautiful, well deserving of TOTM.

Duckhams
03-04-2015, 03:05 PM
Added a nice big bag of mysis to get the cycle going.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2102_zps0w7acg1z.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2102_zps0w7acg1z.jpg.html)

The rocks started to get a nice green colour to them. (watched this carefully increase hair algae was about to take over, thankfully it didnt).
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2293_zpsjmbctvyz.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2293_zpsjmbctvyz.jpg.html)

Then gradually, after about 2 months when the nitrates were down (ammonia and nitrite at zero) I started to add a few pieces I saved from the old setup.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2314_zpscyhepmou.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2314_zpscyhepmou.jpg.html)

Then added 3 Lyretail Anthias and 2 Clownfish. The rockwork got a bit of a readjustment and added another 150w halide for a total of 300w of 14k Phoenix halides.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2400_zpsjyiwelj0.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2400_zpsjyiwelj0.jpg.html)

crimper
03-04-2015, 03:19 PM
Looks very nice and sleek, can't wait until its filled with corals.

What brand/model is that light fixture? I love it!

Duckhams
03-04-2015, 03:21 PM
A few more creatures! These yellow sponges really take over with the right care, they do an amazing job of natural filtration. And the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimp is a must have in every reef tank, they are great 'Parasite Guards' for your fish. This is a great article documenting their effectiveness:
http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2015/02/23/beyond-symbiosis-cleaner-shrimp-clean-up-in-culture/?utm_content=elliottduck%40gmail.com&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=&utm_campaign=Shrimp%20on%20Parasite%20Patrol%2C%20 Win%20a%20Rare%20Frag%20and%20Chilling%20Reef%20Vi deocontent

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2455_zps6kokkmme.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2455_zps6kokkmme.jpg.html)

This Electric Blue Hermit got a little destructive with the snails in my last tank, but he's just so beautiful I couldn't bring myself to give him away. He's quite the character. I really love these little guys! I have found that the Scarlet Hermits are much less destructive on my snails and stay a bit smaller, its always a gamble with these tiny little scavengers though!
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2512_zpsfrun7ki7.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2512_zpsfrun7ki7.jpg.html)

Duckhams
03-04-2015, 03:34 PM
Looks very nice and sleek, can't wait until its filled with corals.

What brand/model is that light fixture? I love it!

Thanks! It's a JBJ K2 Viper Halide Lamp. They're not the easiest to find these days, but they're great lights for smaller tanks. I actually swapped them out for 2 x Kessil A360WE LED pendants, and I have to say, while I love the JBJ 150's for a smaller tank, the Kessil A360WE are incredible on this system. I love being able to control the colour intensity and the dusk/dawn effect gives great shimmer, just like a halide but much more blue!

Reef Pilot
03-04-2015, 03:35 PM
And the Scarlet Skunk Cleaner shrimp is a must have in every reef tank, they are great 'Parasite Guards' for your fish. This is a great article documenting their effectiveness:
http://www.reef2rainforest.com/2015/02/23/beyond-symbiosis-cleaner-shrimp-clean-up-in-culture/?utm_content=elliottduck%40gmail.com&utm_source=VerticalResponse&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=&utm_campaign=Shrimp%20on%20Parasite%20Patrol%2C%20 Win%20a%20Rare%20Frag%20and%20Chilling%20Reef%20Vi deocontent

Really!... They use cleaner shrimp in salmon aquaculture? Must go through a lot of cleaner shrimp...

Duckhams
03-04-2015, 06:42 PM
Really!... They use cleaner shrimp in salmon aquaculture? Must go through a lot of cleaner shrimp...

No not shrimp. "cleaner fish species have been used in salmon aquaculture". :mrgreen: I dont think the shrimp would last long in fresh water!

Duckhams
03-11-2015, 03:22 PM
I originally set this tank up with a Reef Octopus NWB-150 skimmer, and it did a great job, beast of a skimmer, but it barely fit the sump and was pretty loud so I swapped it out for a Vertex Omega 130, which I feel fits the bioload a bit better too. I love the Vertex, its incredibly quiet and very efficient! (you do need to adjust the volute to dial it in properly, but once you do its great!).

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2022_zpss61iqm0j.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2022_zpss61iqm0j.jpg.html)

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/big-reef-depot-display-vertex-omega_zps9sbj8uew.png (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/big-reef-depot-display-vertex-omega_zps9sbj8uew.png.html)

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/big-reef-depot-display-tank-vertec-skimmer_zps1p94led6.png (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/big-reef-depot-display-tank-vertec-skimmer_zps1p94led6.png.html)

Duckhams
03-11-2015, 03:36 PM
This little hippo tang (about 2.5") had some nasty parasites buried in him. A fresh water dip brought them out wriggling, like thin little slices of a grain of rice, and it was quite traumatizing for him. But he recovered really well! and got really big! I attribute a lot of his recovery to good nutrition, garlic soaked nori is like penicillin for tangs.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_2669_zpstef0widm.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_2669_zpstef0widm.jpg.html)

This is probably 5-6 months later. He made a complete recovery! These poor little guys sometimes come in terrible condition from some fish stores, but are well worth the effort of looking after.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/big-reefdepot-hippo-tang_zpsqgomd7vw.png (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/big-reefdepot-hippo-tang_zpsqgomd7vw.png.html)

One of my favourite Gobies, we call this guy David Bowie because of the pink streaks on his face! He was pretty starved when he came from the LFS, he's a fat little sausage now.
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_3695_zpsvvrrpxra.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_3695_zpsvvrrpxra.jpg.html)

Duckhams
04-03-2015, 07:29 PM
We actually still have most of these guys still in the tank after almost 18 months. We lost a couple of hammers to a prazipro dosing (euphyllia do not like praziquantel), it took the survivors months to bounce back.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_3145_zpsmcak5ba7.jpg (http://s1383.photobucket.com/user/bigreefdepot/media/IMG_3145_zpsmcak5ba7.jpg.html)
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Duckhams
04-03-2015, 07:44 PM
As the tank has developed things most of the corals have done really well. Even with a change from 150w metal halides to Kessil A360WE LED's. There was an adjustment period where colours changed and growth slowed in most cases, but overall things acclimatized very well and got back to normal, if not better growth rates and colouration! I love halides, but im very impressed with the Kessil LED's.

Duckhams
04-03-2015, 08:19 PM
A few 'back to the future' shots of the new rockscape after a big 'rock scrub' last week. The red/pink monti in the middle is starting to colour back up after an alk swing that left it almost completely white. The fluorescent pink is really coming back quickly now that things are back in check. Love those monti's!

Wretch
04-04-2015, 12:24 AM
Very nice. Has a very clean look that I like.

Duckhams
04-06-2015, 06:35 PM
Very nice. Has a very clean look that I like.

Thanks! :D

Duckhams
09-28-2015, 05:11 PM
TROUBLE IN PARADISE:
It's been a few months since my last update. The tank has gone through a few 'events', a big alk swing caused by a dosing tube that popped off, which created a nice slick pool inside the tank stand, a bubble algae outbreak and a small aiptasia infestation. Due to the alk swing I lost most of my SPS and chalices (enter tears here), it's taken the tank a few months to recover but things are finally getting back to normal.
WORKING ON A SOLUTION:
After manually removing as much as I could with a sharpened screwdriver, I added 6 emerald crabs to tank and they've taken care of the bubble algae since. Small bubbles pop up from time to time but they soon disappear.
Unfortunately, one or more of the emerald crabs took a munching to my german blue digitata and made short work of it over a couple weeks, a trade off I guess. And im still battling the aiptasia, they're not a major problem, but long term they could be an issue.

TO RESCAPE, OR NOT TO RESCAPE? THAT IS THE QUESTION:
SO, im toying with the idea of rescaping the tank. The BIG REEF was setup before I setup Big Reef Depot, so im thinking it could be time for a reboot. A Big Reef needs some big rocks, so im cleaning up some Pukani to see how it would look. Still not sure if i'll do it, im going to get it curing in a rubbermaid first, so I have a month or two to decide.
THE NEW BEGINNING:
I gave the Pukani a 30 minute, 15:1 ratio muriatic acid bath to 'etch' off the top layer of calcium carbonate which should limit P04 leaching as it cures and remove a ton of organic material. Right now its in a 10:1 ratio chlorine bath until tomorrow to remove any other organic 'mulch' that might be left over. The acid bath produced a nice layer of floating sponges, other critter bits and scum, which should also shorten the cycle/cure time in the rubbermaid too.
The pics below are BEFORE the acid/chlorine bath. I'll post more pics tomorrow of the cleaned rock.

Duckhams
09-28-2015, 05:12 PM
The rock came out of the acid bath and bleach soak REALLY clean, loads of sponges and other organic material came off, it was definitely worth it and will shorten the cycle considerably. I let it sit dry for 2 days to allow any remaining bleach to evaporate. Now its sitting in fresh saltwater with a powerhead and heater, ready to start curing.

You can really see the difference the acid bath / bleach soak made in the pictures below. As a quick reference as a few have asked why I did this:

Muriatic Acid Bath - Dissolves top layer of calcium carbonate off the rock, removing a lot of the 'locked up' P04 that would otherwise leach back in to the water column while curing.
It does a good job of dissolving organic material too, but this isn't the primary reason for doing it.

Bleach Soak - Loosens/dissolves/cleans the rock of dead organic material. A powerhead is required during this stage for it to be really effective.

The results are pretty clear.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-09-28%20at%2011.50.57%20AM_zpsm2eerquc.png[/URL]

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http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-09-28%20at%2011.40.36%20AM_zpsxsipi118.png[/URL]

Duckhams
11-25-2015, 08:47 PM
Breaking the down this week and selling all the corals and live rock. Lots of frags for sale, rhodactis and some other rare mushrooms. Lots has been sold already so things are starting to clear out. I'll put the remaining livestock in the holding/frag tank while I redo the system with new rock and equipment. I hate this part, I try to get through it slowly and carefully so as not to lose anything but I just want to throw it all in the frag tank and setup the new system up asap.

Im hoping to get a deal on a Canon 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM on black friday for future pics. The standard kit lens just isn't cutting it.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-25%20at%203.31.02%20PM_zpscuip3lw6.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-25%20at%203.31.45%20PM_zpszmpkhy7j.png

Duckhams
11-27-2015, 08:56 PM
Finally got the hardware in! Im hoping to get the lights installed this weekend while I transfer most of the frags to the frag/holding system and then start work on emptying the tank and swapping out the plumbing. The rock is cured and ready to go and phosphates are finally 0.04 ppm without raising after a few days, hopefully it stays that way. Im keeping an eye on it with the lanthanum chloride ready. :D

EcoTech Radion XR15wPRO's:
Im seriously impressed with the Radions. Their much heavier than I expected too, which I like. You instantly feel the quality of the equipment as you pick it up and unbox them. The colour control and functionality is impressive, with moonlight and storm modes (not that storm mode is important, but it was more fun than I expected! Plus if you initiate storm mode from the app, your phone plays thunderstorm/rain sounds! LOL! Which was cooler than I thought it'd be). The app is great fun when it comes to changing colour modes and intensity, I played with that for a good hour before I settled on a few presets to save that I really liked for the frag system. The colour options are endless! Which is a huge feature for me, because I find my tastes in lighting/colour change constantly.
Im going to install the 3 x Radion XR15wPRO's on a custom low profile t-track mount inside the canopy so that I can move them length ways across the tank as need with the rockscape/corals/light spread. Im dying to get them all hooked up and get the moon phase settings on. The Radion's are a serious piece of hardware, incredible quality and real PAR monsters! Im really excited to get them running on the display tank.

ReefLink
The ReefLink is very compact, only 5" or so across. I have it sat on desk under my screen so I can keep an eye on the indicator ring (which glows blue when all is good). EcoSmart Live is very much like APEX Fusion but for EcoTech Marine products and provides a lot of controllability for the Vortech's and Radion's, it works just as well as Fusion in my opinion, but the app was the kicker for me! I love controlling everything from the EcoSmart app! It's so easy to change settings, save your own presets, it's a lot of fun and really easy to use.
I've hooked up the reeflink already and put one of the XR15wPro's on the frag/holding system and im super impressed with how easily it all connected, though I did have to hit the refresh button to get the settings to save/load, the page just kind of froze on 'updating settings' and never completed.

Vectra M1 Return Pump
I haven't hooked up the Vectra yet. It's not as heavy as I expected, but man is it sold. Watt for watt it's the same size as my Eheim 1262, so hopefully heat won't be an issue. I won't be running it at full power, so im expecting it to be very quiet and have no effect on tank temp. The quality of the pump is impressive, the Eheim feels a little like a toy, but the Vectra feels like a serious workhorse. It will be interesting to see how hot the controller gets with the built in heat-sink and how the beananimal overflow reacts to the feed/surge modes etc. Not having the return pump shut off for feedings, gurgle the house down and then gurgle the siphon back up will be amazing! Im so sick of hearing that twice a day.


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http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%203.04.17%20PM_zps6ksecjew.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%202.59.09%20PM_zps19gb18qz.png

AdamsB
11-27-2015, 10:35 PM
Why the switch from Kessil to Radions?

Duckhams
11-27-2015, 11:01 PM
A few reasons really. I wanted something more low profile that fit in my canopy better, I wanted to raise the Kessil's for better spread but didn't have room. I probably should have had 3 instead of 2. I never really got the colouration I wanted out of my SPS with the Kessil's (got close though) and the Radions give me a lot more control over colour, intensity and spectrum (including UV). The Kessil's also shut off below 14% but the Radions give me control down to 1% for moonlighting and adjustable colour in every direction (not just blue or white with the Kessil's). Don't get me wrong, I loved the Kessils, but found matching a decent combo of T5's to a colour setting I really liked kind of hard with just the blue and white. Plus the Radion's are PAR monsters! I also saw the XR15wPro's on a demo tank at MACNA and after seeing the Kessil's and Radion's side by side, it was a no brainer (given my goals with my new setup). The Kessil's are amazing LED's for LPS/frag tanks and really offer a set it 'n' forget it setup, I need more control and more SPS.

Duckhams
11-29-2015, 10:25 PM
I picked up a Canon 100mm f2.8 USM Macro lens today (non-L version) in the black friday sales and took a few shots with it, all with a tripod. Im pretty pleased with how they turned out. It does take a little practice to get used to, but I like it a lot. These are pics of a few frags im keeping to put in the new setup, lights installation is almost complete. More pics coming soon.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%201.13.08%20PM_zpstyr9siwp.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%201.14.21%20PM_zpsagdh5xcf.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%201.15.00%20PM_zpsmcwltd9l.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%202.20.58%20PM_zpswmk043cl.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%2012.03.24%20PM_zpslct8gjvl.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-27%20at%2012.55.58%20PM_zpslgkv7kmy.png

kobelka
11-30-2015, 05:28 PM
Hi there. Beauty setup. I just was wondering the back of your tank is black. Is that black acrylic or paint? I like the removable overflow shade. If it's acrylic is it inside the tank or outside?
Keep the pics coming.
Dave

Duckhams
11-30-2015, 05:58 PM
Hi there. Beauty setup. I just was wondering the back of your tank is black. Is that black acrylic or paint? I like the removable overflow shade. If it's acrylic is it inside the tank or outside?
Keep the pics coming.
Dave

Thanks Dave! The back of the tank is covered in a cut sheet of black vinyl, that just peels off as needed. It's easier to apply than paint IMO. And the overflow grate is made from acrylic and inside the overflow box.

Duckhams
12-08-2015, 02:01 PM
Things are coming together now. Im mounting the Radions on a low-profile 36" long T-Track (https://www.blackrocktools.com/samona-aluminum-t-track-4-ft-44162.html). This will allow me to move the Radion's from side to side as needed for coral placement, and to move them out of the way when I have my hands in the tank. A couple of M5x20 bolts slide nicely into the T-Track.

Also got most of the plumbing done and started on the wiring.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-29%20at%208.06.21%20PM_zpsjae61kqr.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-11-29%20at%208.08.01%20PM_zps0gx1w35l.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/bigreefdepot-plumbing-pvc-pipe-red_zpsncqyk9wp.png

Duckhams
12-08-2015, 02:02 PM
A few quick evening shots! The rocks are in, Vectra is on and sand is slowly being washed and added. Im still working on the wiring but it's up and running!
The Vectra is insanely quiet, im super pleased with it, but more on that later. :D

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-07%20at%206.50.56%20PM_zpshjfg6mwa.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-07%20at%206.52.49%20PM_zpsbakymlqz.png

Duckhams
12-08-2015, 02:13 PM
Vectra M1 Return Pump:
The Vectra is a really solid built pump. The controller is easy to use and makes adjusting the water flow very easy and allows for fine tuning your drains for absolute silence. Im running a beananimal drain with 1" pipe and I can run the Vectra M1 at full power and it handles it nicely. I close the ball valve on the first line slightly and run it at about 60% which gives me good flow through the sump and great surface agitation. The feed mode lowers the return flow to barely a trickle, and im not yet sure if this is going to create a lot of noise in the overflow box as the siphon will pull more than the pump is pushing, but we'll see. Im not overly worried about that feature as the pump has so many other benefits. The soft start and near silence being top among them.
EcoSmart Live allows you to set flow rates throughout the day, like you would with a Vortech, and set low flow feed modes, night time flow, high flow surge/nutrient transport times etc throughout the day. It's an incredible amount of control over a return pump and definitely adds a new dynamic to the systems return flow. Overall, I couldn't be happier with the it.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-08%20at%208.58.08%20AM_zpsqnmg0n5h.png

Duckhams
12-10-2015, 07:39 PM
Im really pleased with the new rockscape, the high left peak has added a really cool dimension for the fish to swim around and is going to be great for coral placement on both sides. I've still got lots of frags to get rid of if anyone is interested, let me know! The 3 x XR15wPro Radions provide great, even coverage for the tank with the TIR lenses and the corals seem to have reacted very quickly to the added PAR and spectrum. The colour's change throughout the day to make the corals pop in the morning and evenings and then bring out the colours in the fish during the day while im working (3ft from the tank at my desk) with a brighter 'daylight' setting. EcoSmart Live has made controlling and customizing them a lot easier.

A few pics of my new favourite Rasta's too!


http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-10%20at%202.26.23%20PM_zpsekiq7rxs.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-10%20at%202.24.33%20PM_zpsf5a8kg2v.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-10%20at%202.13.08%20PM_zps0uoglvh6.png

Myka
12-11-2015, 01:09 AM
I like the rockscape! Why don't you slide a piece of black acrylic in the overflow so the pipes aren't so obvious?

Sent from my SM-G870W using Tapatalk

Bugger
12-11-2015, 01:12 AM
Did you use rods for the rocks

Duckhams
12-11-2015, 01:34 AM
I like the rockscape! Why don't you slide a piece of black acrylic in the overflow so the pipes aren't so obvious?

Sent from my SM-G870W using Tapatalk

I do have an overflow insert that came with the tank, im just leaving it out for now so that I can play around with the flow settings on the Vectra M1 and I need to be able to see the water level in the overflow box. :D It will go in soon enough, don't worry!

Did you use rods for the rocks

No I didn't, it's only 2 pieces. The one on the left is almost 22" long! I got a couple of big pieces of Pukani and chiselled them with a hammer and screw driver to create the shapes, caves, ledges, etc.

Myka
12-11-2015, 02:33 AM
[quote=Elliott@BigReefDepot.com;973486]I do have an overflow insert that came with the tank, im just leaving it out for now so that I can play around with the flow settings on the Vectra M1 and I need to be able to see the water level in the overflow box. :D It will go in soon enough, don't worry!/quote]

Oh good! I was like, "Woah, fail." :lol:

That sump setup is looking pretty slick too. I saw you have the colored PVC pipe - I might have to order some. :D

Duckhams
12-11-2015, 02:17 PM
Oh good! I was like, "Woah, fail." :lol:

That sump setup is looking pretty slick too. I saw you have the colored PVC pipe - I might have to order some. :D

Lol! Thanks! We have lots of the coloured PVC in stock, it's got a nice shiny finish to it, it looks so much better than the industrial stuff. All the fittings have tapered edges too which makes it look much more 'fitted' for lack of a better term. Im glad I redid the plumbing at the same time, it was totally worth it.

Myka
12-11-2015, 03:48 PM
Lol! Thanks! We have lots of the coloured PVC in stock, it's got a nice shiny finish to it, it looks so much better than the industrial stuff. All the fittings have tapered edges too which makes it look much more 'fitted' for lack of a better term. Im glad I redid the plumbing at the same time, it was totally worth it.

Yeah, I noticed those fittings look really nice, but you need gate valves, ball valves, and reducer bushings. :) I did all my plumbing in SCH80 which looks pretty slick too, but yours looks a lot brighter.

If you found reducers like these (http://www.abwplastics.co.uk/ekmps/shops/abwplastics/images/pvc-reducing-piece-plain-spigot-x-plain-3586-p.jpg), that would be sweet. (I linked instead because the pic is huge)

Duckhams
12-11-2015, 03:56 PM
I didn't need to use reducers anywhere on the system, but a gate valve would be much easier to adjust for the beananimal overflow. I find the ball valves work ok, and are a lot cheaper. Plus I can dial it in with the Vectra now, so a gate valve isn't as important.

If you need plumbing, email me and let me know what you're looking for and I'll package discount your order for you.

Duckhams
12-11-2015, 04:00 PM
A few pics of my fish in the new setup, I also have a pair of clown fish and will try to keep this as my bioload for a while. I've got to get my dosing system online and get the frags up in the rock work. Still lots of work to do!

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/2_zpsnitwukot.jpg

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/4_zpsrp1cu6cl.jpg

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/3_zpsr9qilhpq.jpg

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/1_zpscdtzqhfu.jpg

Myka
12-11-2015, 04:10 PM
Wow, great fish photos!!!

I didn't need to use reducers anywhere on the system, but a gate valve would be much easier to adjust for the beananimal overflow. I find the ball valves work ok, and are a lot cheaper. Plus I can dial it in with the Vectra now, so a gate valve isn't as important.

If you need plumbing, email me and let me know what you're looking for and I'll package discount your order for you.

Sorry, my comments were for your website, not your tank. I do need a reliable source for gate valves and bulkheads (for my business), but I get the rest of my plumbing from a local plumbing store. :D

Bugger
12-11-2015, 11:36 PM
Whaat did you use to treat the aptasia?

Duckhams
12-13-2015, 02:29 PM
Over the years i've tried the aip-zapper, super glue tombs, kalk paste, biological options, but the best method i've found is manual removal with a sharpened flat-head screw driver. A matted filefish also works wonders but they'll also go after every other type of anemone in the tank too. A sharpened screwdriver and aggressive coral cutters are my weapons of choice.

Duckhams
12-19-2015, 05:33 PM
Just picked this up the other day. Pink with yellow eyes, blue rim chalice. Its about 5"x4" after fragging it up.

It looks awesome under the Radions! Though not very happy right now after being fragged and dipped.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/IMG_4173_zps0qnyncvd.jpg

Duckhams
12-29-2015, 07:32 PM
Things are really starting to look good. The difference in growth from the Kessil's to the Radions is very noticeable. My zoanthids are covering over their frag plugs so fast I could frag them all again after just a month. The new pink chalice I fragged last week has already encrusted over and started growing at a shocking rate, possibly rivalling a hollywood stunner!

I got a new chalice that has really interesting colours, it's sort of purple/blue with green dusting and pink eyes, it's my new favourite! The rasta's I got from Kooka (thanks Phil) are already growing fast, 2 new heads!! and an old Seasons Greetings monti is coming back to life and sprouting little red polyps all over the place! I thought it was a goner, but new lighting seem to resurrect it.

Thanks to everyone who's come and picked up some frags and helped me empty the old system. Hopefully I'll have lots of new frags soon!

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-29%20at%202.10.50%20PM_zpsp16jxbaj.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-29%20at%202.12.04%20PM_zpsqsz0iney.png

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http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-29%20at%202.14.41%20PM_zpsv7yz51og.png

Duckhams
12-31-2015, 10:07 PM
I just got two beautiful colonies but im unsure of their exact ID. I think the yellow/blue tip colony is an tenuis and the pink/purple colony is a microlades? Both are from Australia im told. Anyone have a more accurate ID?

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-31%20at%204.56.15%20PM_zpsng17znzx.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202015-12-31%20at%204.56.47%20PM_zpsb0swsaen.png

Duckhams
01-24-2016, 05:52 PM
I had quite a specific hit-list of SPS that I wanted to keep in this setup and im pleased to have been able to get most of them. I added a couple colonies this week, which im super pleased with. I picked up an Acropora Microclados which is a pale pink with white polyps right now, im hoping it's a strawberry shortcake, but until it colours up a bit im not sure. It looks awesome as is with the white polyps, so it's win win however it turns out. Here's my current acro list:

Acropora Yongei (Bali Green Slimer)
Acropora Microclados (possibly a Strawberry Shortcake, yet to colour up)
Acropora Granulosa (Northern Lights - love this one and its huge at least 7" across)
Acropora Tenuis (Blue Ice Tenuis)
Acropora Caroliniana
Acropora Carduus (Mr. Pacman)
Acropora Hyacinthus (Red Planet)
Acropora Secale (Grape Vine)
Acropora Robusta (electric green but instantly browned out in ReVive coral cleaner)
Acropora Plana (Purple Highlighter)


http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-23%20at%2012.27.57%20PM_zpsv0oo1igm.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-23%20at%2012.28.37%20PM_zpsjb54l0a1.png

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http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-23%20at%2012.29.12%20PM_zpswpghf1da.png

Duckhams
01-24-2016, 07:20 PM
Im really finding AquaticLog helpful in keeping track of my tank parameters, the app is awesome and really easy to update (I should note that I am not a sponsor of, nor am I sponsored by AquaticLog, I just really like the site and being able to explore other members tank photo's, very inspirational). I know Apex Fusion offers measurement tracking as well, but I really like the photo profile options in AquaticLog. It's a lot of fun seeing your system profile photo log! This is actually where I first noticed Albert's (notclear) tank, it's a pretty awesome system.

My profile link is in my signature below. (http://www.aquaticlog.com/aquariums/darkwingduck/4)

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-24%20at%202.09.52%20PM_zpsynj27jyo.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-24%20at%202.10.39%20PM_zpsjq2ybk8n.png

Roskoreef
01-24-2016, 07:39 PM
nice!, aquatic log looks cool, very organised.

Bugger
01-24-2016, 08:59 PM
The tank looks super clean. Nice new corals

Duckhams
01-25-2016, 05:13 PM
nice!, aquatic log looks cool, very organised.
Yeah, it's pretty cool. It sends me updates to do water changes, check my alk etc, I like that it keeps me on track with my tank. But the photo/tank galleries are so cool to look through and see other builds, I find many of them very inspirational.

The tank looks super clean. Nice new corals
Thanks! I think it might be a little too clean, im getting some red slime on my rock work, which I find I get if i over do it with the ZeoStart3. It's new rock though, so who knows, im running my 'code red protocol' for the slime and hopefully it'll be gone soon. :D

Duckhams
01-25-2016, 07:03 PM
So after running the Vectra for a few months now i've found a few helpful features that fit my setup better than I could have expected. The simplest and most helpful feature is the control EcoSmart LIVE via the ReefLink offers over the pumps flow output.

QUIET NIGHT TIME FLOW MODE: (reduces overflow noise and power consumption)
Through EcoSmart LIVE I can calibrate and reduce the pumps flow so that during the night time hours the return flow slows, which significantly quiets the water noise in the external overflow. And while lowering the water level in the overflow box, it doesn't go slow that my beananimal drain (full siphon) siphons more water than available and gets really noisy. This is huge for me because my tank is in my home office 2 doors from my bedroom and overflow box gurgling is the number one reason I get hit in the face with a pillow every other night. (see graph below, super easy to setup and just)

Detritus Flush/Feed Mode Cleanup: (increases return flow in sync with Vortechs to remove detritus)
I have only tested this a couple times and haven't yet set it to run daily as i've been playing around with all the other pump features. But you can also use EcoSmart LIVE to set 'points' throughout the day where the calibrated flow raises to full power (which again, doesn't overload you drains because you calibrated it to your system) to flush your system of uneaten food, flakes, detritus etc. When you sync this with your Vortech's (having 2 is really the best for this) you can create a veritable washing machine effect in your tank to clean every available crevice and cranny of detritus, and man does this work well! M1 pump goes into full power, vortech's sync and ramp up and up comes the dirt! At first I was worried about my corals getting bashed around, but they reacted well and seemed fine with the extra turbulence.

SOFT START: (keeps pump/returns quiet on start up)
The feed mode option is great, but I still get more flow than I'd like since I had to dial it in with my beananimal overflow to keep the overflow running silent all the time. So I just shut the pump off for feedings as usual, and the soft start feature (automatically) gently ramps it up again to get the overflow running, which takes about 30 seconds from start to finish and it's crazy quiet as it gets running (the pump I mean). This is nice, because it doesn't wake me up when it gets running again after a power outage in the night or disturb me when it starts after a feed mode and im on the phone (home office). I can barely hear it.

There are more things I like about the pump, but I won't go on. It's near silent operation is why I got it, but it's proven to be more of a benefit to my system/life than I had hoped. 5/5 from me.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-25%20at%201.38.29%20PM_zpsxkwoui9m.png

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-01-25%20at%201.39.59%20PM_zpsvwyp3d5v.png

Myka
01-25-2016, 09:09 PM
Thanks for the review on the Vectra! I like the feed mode and the tank flush sounds pretty cool too. I'm not a fan of Vortechs though so I wouldn't make use of that. Maybe the new QD will win me over.

I just downloaded that app too. I've been looking for an app to record params.

Duckhams
01-25-2016, 09:34 PM
Thanks for the review on the Vectra! I like the feed mode and the tank flush sounds pretty cool too. I'm not a fan of Vortechs though so I wouldn't make use of that. Maybe the new QD will win me over.

I just downloaded that app too. I've been looking for an app to record params.

The app is very handy! - The QuietDrive's definitely won me over. I traded my old Vortech's a few years back for Tunze's chasing silence (and liked them a lot on the APEX), but now switched back to Vortech's because of the QuiteDrive's, increased power and I find the wide flow on the Vortech's better for my tank dimensions/rockscape.

Myka
01-26-2016, 02:32 AM
I just wish you could "point" them.

I can't get in to the app...it's asking for a username and password. No option to sign up.

Duckhams
01-26-2016, 02:49 AM
I just wish you could "point" them.

I can't get in to the app...it's asking for a username and password. No option to sign up.

That's kind of the point, it's such wide, turbulent flow, you don't need to 'point' them. I get full coverage across my 20" wide, 20" deep tank with the MP40QD. With 2 of them, I have them at max 55% and get strong wide, random turbulence, no pointing needed. I was constantly adjusting my Tunze's as things grew in or moving them trying to reduce detritus build up in low flow spots, the laminar flow was hard to control on my setup/rockscape. I just find the Vortech's so effective without much effort on my part. Win win.

I guess you have to sign up online first to use the app.

Myka
01-26-2016, 03:13 AM
My tank is same height and width. Ime, he lack of pointing ability blows the sand around a lot worse. That's my main reason right now. I'm liking the Gyre, but it lacks control flexibility. It's deadly silent though. :)

I'll try online. ..Thx!

Duckhams
01-26-2016, 03:13 PM
My tank is same height and width. Ime, he lack of pointing ability blows the sand around a lot worse. That's my main reason right now. I'm liking the Gyre, but it lacks control flexibility. It's deadly silent though. :)

I'll try online. ..Thx!

Sand is always an issue when any type of flow hits the sand bed, especially the smaller grain sizes. I have the Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand and the vortech's create nice waves in it that make it look more natural. I like it anyway. Thus ends my pitch for the Vortech's. :D

Myka
01-27-2016, 02:13 AM
I have same sand. I'm sitting at 75x turnover, and the sand barely stays in place! I've been eyeing up the QDs though. :D

Bugger
02-01-2016, 08:37 PM
Hi Elliot!
What setting are you using for your vectra?
How high do you have it turned on to. Is heat an issue?
I want to use two vectra in my system tied to two mocean spray devices but I am worried about heat.
Do you use two drain lines as your sump drain or just one.
I want an XMN device to surge my vortec pumps every fifteen minutes for maybe two minutes or so

Duckhams
02-01-2016, 09:42 PM
Hi Elliot!
What setting are you using for your vectra?
How high do you have it turned on to. Is heat an issue?
I want to use two vectra in my system tied to two mocean spray devices but I am worried about heat.
Do you use two drain lines as your sump drain or just one.
I want an XMN device to surge my vortec pumps every fifteen minutes for maybe two minutes or so

I was worried about heat too, but it only uses 80w on max output, and as I have it set, it only uses around 52w. So it's more efficient than the Eheim 1262 I had. Heat is not an issue at all.
When you calibrate the pump, it sets itself up within the flow capacity of your system and then gives you a percentage range within that calibration setting to use. So you could use it on a 20 gallon tank, or a 200 gallon tank. Its incredible, and you have a lot of control over the calibration, so you can really set it up any way you like (flow/power wise).
I have a beananimal drain system, so my 1 x 1" drain line at full siphon can handle over 3,400 GPH, but I run it at a lot less than that to maximize skimmer efficiency and to make the system absolutely, hear a pin drop, silent. :D

Bugger
02-02-2016, 02:33 AM
SO two drains can handle 3400 gph

Duckhams
02-08-2016, 02:35 PM
SO two drains can handle 3400 gph

2 standard non-siphoning drains? it would depend on the size, and orientation of the pipes. i.e. a 90 degree bend and a horizontal run at any point in the drain line could cause a 'backup' and limit the amount of air/water able to flow through. PM me your plans and I'll take a look.

Duckhams
02-15-2016, 10:34 PM
Here's a quick pic update. I've been playing around with coral placement a lot, so things still need to settle and grow in, and there's a few corals to place still. But you get the idea of where it's heading, things are really taking shape now. A few corals didn't photograph well in this setting, and there's a few not shown. I'll try to do a full photo list soon.

I've also been battling a major 'brown slime' bloom (possibly dino's) for the last month. Long story short, i've been manually removing them once a week during regular water changes. For the last week i've been using Korallen-Zucht's Coral Snow in line with Brigthwell's MicroBacter7 and that seems to have done the job. Ultimately the algae is using up nutrients, which is a good thing, so I let it run it's course and try not to freak out while manually removing it so that it doesn't negatively effect my corals. In a more established tank, I might do other things too. But as the tank is so new, I let it balance itself out with little to no change in husbandry, accept the addition of the Coral Snow and MB7.

Feb 15th 2016 FTS
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.55.20%20PM_zpspv2njg3p.png[/URL]

Bali Green Slimer (Acropora Yongei)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.56.27%20PM_zpscpv7waqk.png[/URL]

Superman/Bullseye Rhodactis
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.56.56%20PM_zpsmj2jch9k.png[/URL]

Grape Vine acro (Acropora Secale)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.59.22%20PM_zps68iuxam5.png[/URL]

Yellow Highlighter (Acropora Caroliniana)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.00.52%20PM_zpsyd6uzjrx.png[/URL]

Mr.Pacman (Acropora Hurlock)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.04.25%20PM_zpsscto98nm.png[/URL]

Purple Highlighter (Acropora Plana)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.03.52%20PM_zpsqpiptzpb.png[/URL]

Tear Drop Tridacna Clam
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.06.27%20PM_zpsw0lvapm6.png[/URL]

Rasta's (Zoanthids)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.02.50%20PM_zpsgzhb7kpc.png[/URL]

Superman/Bullseye Rhodactis
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.03.08%20PM_zpskzwdl9bg.png[/URL]

Superman/Bullseye Rhodactis
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.58.52%20PM_zpstnpjw0l2.png[/URL]

Mr.Pacman (Acropora Hurlock)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.59.51%20PM_zpsrnlifwzb.png[/URL]

Used to be neon yellow, now neon green (Acropora Vermiculata)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%205.00.17%20PM_zpsp3l37iim.png[/URL]

Chilli Pepper Monti (Montipora sp.)
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.55.47%20PM_zps2lypqodd.png[/URL]

Yellow Nebula Yuma Mushroom
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-02-15%20at%204.56.12%20PM_zpsnegj1ahe.png[/URL]

Duckhams
03-09-2016, 07:56 PM
So this week I switched to the wide angle 120˚ lenses on my Radions. After taking some PAR readings, I switched back to the standard 80˚ lenses as the PAR was so low on the wide angles, even at 100%. As I have 3 x XR15PRO's above my tank, the standard lenses do the trick and I get great coverage and now great PAR too!

Below are my readings/settings. Im running them at 70% right now, but you can see what sort of PAR range I have up to 100% intensity. Obviously there is some variation in the readings as you go further toward the back glass/front glass. But all these readings were taken within the 6" center of the tank (front to back). PAR readings on the Apogee MQ-200 actually read <2% low, according to the manual.

At 70% they are incredibly bright already! I really love the Radion's. Im getting good growth from my SPS and i've kept colouration on 95% of them, but still expect to see improvements in colour as my SPS settle in and light intensity/feedings increase.

70% INTENSITY:
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-09%20at%202.42.12%20PM_zps0je30bi6.png[/URL]

100% INTENSITY:
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-09%20at%202.41.51%20PM_zpsu37ikvlf.png[/URL]

Duckhams
03-09-2016, 08:15 PM
I also took a few readings at 100% on all channels just to see what the difference would be. The Radion XR15PRO's put out a LOT of PAR. However, I dont think many aquarists will run all channels on 100% percent as we tend to favour the blue 20,000k look over the bright 5,000k sunshine look. Though for heavy SPS tanks it may be worth ramping up to the 100% on all channels for an hour or so a day just get that extra bump in PAR. How effective, necessary or worthwhile that would be, i don't know. But I like that it's an option.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-09%20at%203.08.16%20PM_zpsqsg70mpv.png[/URL]

Duckhams
03-09-2016, 08:31 PM
My actinic settings on Radion XR15PRO's. In person the tank is a brilliant blue with serious pop on the coral colours, the picture doesn't really show how bright and blue it is, but you get the idea. PAR readings are low but acceptable given the color spectrum.

With the UV channel set to 0% the sand bed reading drops from 50 to 10. The other readings stay around the same and drop very little.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-09%20at%203.25.01%20PM_zps65be8pou.png[/URL]

Bugger
03-09-2016, 10:06 PM
What program did you use to make the picture.
Wasen't it a pain to change the lens

Duckhams
03-09-2016, 10:55 PM
What program did you use to make the picture.
Wasen't it a pain to change the lens

I did it all in Pages on my mac. Changing the lenses took me about 2 minutes on each unit. It's really easy.

Bugger
03-09-2016, 11:23 PM
Really you can do that much on pages

Myka
03-10-2016, 04:49 AM
I also took a few readings at 100% on all channels just to see what the difference would be. The Radion XR15PRO's put out a LOT of PAR.

I like Radions best of all the LEDS today, but I can't say that you're getting "a lot of PAR". Imo, a lot of PAR is 550+. Indeed, for a "nano" fixture, it's good bang for the buck.

I'm really happy you posted this though because I've been toying with removing a couple T5s from my roster and sliding in a couple XR15PRO.

Interestingly, the XR15PRO are 85 watts each I believe? So you're using 255 watts. I'm getting about 30% more PAR wih my T5 fixture and I'm using 234 watts. I was thinking I would be gaining PAR if I replaced a couple T5s with Radions, and maybe I would, but it wouldn't be any more efficient. Hmmm...

Edit: I keep thinking this is a 36" tank, but you're covering 48" and I'm covering 36" so that throws my calculations way off. However, my tank is 3" deeper too. Though i think you'd be better off wih 4 instead of 3 ...oh for heck this isn't working analytically...nevermind. :lol:

Duckhams
03-10-2016, 01:34 PM
A lot of PAR is above the 400 range in my mind too, now that you say it. But I am impressed with the Radion XR15PRO's and the PAR output, especially at 100%, they are powerful little fixture. The addition of a 4th may be necessary as I fill in the tank and things start growing in. I certainly would like to have MORE PAR available, but the real question is, is it needed? My SPS all seem very happy, have good colour, acceptable growth and don't seem short of light. Coral placement is a little more important given there are some lower PAR areas in the back of the tank, but I dont see that as an issue right now. Maybe a T5 or two would bump PAR, growth and colour better than a 4th Radion?

Duckhams
03-10-2016, 08:52 PM
Ok Myka, maybe this will help. So here are a couple more readings of 2 x 48" 54w T5's on their own and with my 3 x XR15PRO Radion's.

I expect the T5 readings to be a little better once I have them spilt, front and back but they are pretty close with them both mounted at the back of the tank because the reflectors do most of the work. Anyway, you get a general idea of whats what. You literally just add the PAR of the T5's to the PAR of the Radion's, the increase is pretty straightforward.

With that in mind, I would expect 4 x T5's with the same bulb combo to produce 300 PAR mid-tank and 150-160 PAR on the sand bed. But where the Radion's give you wide variations in PAR numbers throughout the tank based on the lenses used, the T5's provide consistent PAR throughout the whole tank, front to back (only minor changes in PAR).
Adding 2 x retrofit T5's to a couple of Radion fixture's is a cheap way to boost PAR numbers and maximize coverage. Possibly adding improvements to growth and colouration to any SPS that were in lower PAR areas. A T5/LED combo fixture seems to be the fool-proof way to go if you're chasing PAR readings.

I personally love my Radion's and have not yet seen any need to turn the T5's on. Everything seems healthy, growing and colourful and I really like the shimmer in the tank. Though I will run the T5's later in the year for a few months to see if I can actually see a noticeable difference in growth or colouration, just for funzies. :D


T5's ONLY
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-10%20at%203.19.07%20PM_zpsmyucvr79.png[/URL]

T5's & Radions
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-10%20at%203.41.39%20PM_zpsinova74h.png[/URL]

Radions ONLY
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-09%20at%202.42.12%20PM_zps0je30bi6.png[/URL]

Duckhams
03-11-2016, 04:43 PM
PAR READINGS NOTE: I've read on RB and several other forums that the Apogee MQ-200 readings are up to 25% less than actual PAR from LED's given the meter's fixed calibration settings (SUN or ELECTRIC). So all the above readings could be up to 1.25x higher than shown.

Myka
03-11-2016, 05:09 PM
A lot of PAR is above the 400 range in my mind too, now that you say it. But I am impressed with the Radion XR15PRO's and the PAR output, especially at 100%, they are powerful little fixture. The addition of a 4th may be necessary as I fill in the tank and things start growing in. I certainly would like to have MORE PAR available, but the real question is, is it needed? My SPS all seem very happy, have good colour, acceptable growth and don't seem short of light. Coral placement is a little more important given there are some lower PAR areas in the back of the tank, but I dont see that as an issue right now. Maybe a T5 or two would bump PAR, growth and colour better than a 4th Radion?


I have to say I do like the PAR range you're getting with the Radions + (only) 2 T5s regardless of the possible err on the measurements. That range is pretty close to what I'm getting from my 36" ATI 6-bulb dimmable T5 fixture.

Is high PAR needed? Well, that depends. First, not every tank is the same, and for reasons that we as a reefing community don't seem to fully understand, some tanks require more or less PAR to achieve the same thing. My guess is that flow, nutrition in the water column, and parameters have a lot to do with it. There are a lot of variables even in tanks that we think are essentially very similar. Do you need PAR over 400 (or 550) in a mixed reef? That's probably not a good idea because more LPS would be bleached by that amount of light. If you have a dedicated SPS tank then maybe you do "need" that much PAR. I've seen SPS tanks in the 550-700 μmol m-2 s-1 and SPS tanks in the 250-350 μmol m-2 s-1 range that essentially produced the same thing - a beautiful, colorful SPS tank.

I never like to feel like I am being limited by my light fixture though. I'm running my fixture right now only at 100% blues, and 60% whites. For whatever reason (flow? nutrition? parametes? or?), I am not able to increase the intensity of the lighting and achieve better results.

Duckhams
03-11-2016, 05:20 PM
I agree with you on the above, lots of variables involved to achieve success. Im currently ramping my intensity up 5% per week and seeing how it goes colour/growth wise. You just have to be willing to put the time in to test things out on your system to see what works best.

My tank parameter stay pretty consistent week in week out:
Alkalinity - 9.9-10.8 dKH
Calcium - 400-440
Magnesium - 1400+
Phosphate - 0.04 (Hanna ULR Phos Checker)
Nitrate - 0

I've also started dosing AcroPower this week, so we'l see how that affects things. Reef Roids and Oyester Feast have been added twice a week for night time feedings for the last couple months with good results. Im really working on getting my Microclados and Granulosa to colour up. Everything else looks awesome already.

Myka
03-11-2016, 09:17 PM
Everything else looks awesome already.

That's the important part!

There's more than one way to skin a cat. ;) Have you ever tried running NSW values for Cal/Alk/Mg? That's what I've been doing for the first 8 months my tank was up and running, and recently I've been experimenting with slightly higher values. I've started NO3 dosing again too.

Duckhams
03-11-2016, 09:19 PM
No, never tried that. I am trying to lower my ALK to around 9, but I keep fairly high nutrients so lower alk (NSW levels) can cause issues with STN/RTN.

Myka
03-12-2016, 04:25 AM
No, never tried that. I am trying to lower my ALK to around 9, but I keep fairly high nutrients so lower alk (NSW levels) can cause issues with STN/RTN.
You listed low nutrients above. You figure the tank will wander high once established?

Duckhams
03-12-2016, 09:28 PM
I did? I think my tank runs fairly high nutrient levels. I feed well, don't over skim and perform modest 10-15% water changes each week to export.

Bugger
03-14-2016, 11:17 PM
What does your ph sit at with the two part

Duckhams
03-14-2016, 11:48 PM
What does your ph sit at with the two part

7.9-8.07 daily, monitored with APEX PH probe.

Myka
03-15-2016, 03:28 AM
I did? I think my tank runs fairly high nutrient levels. I feed well, don't over skim and perform modest 10-15% water changes each week to export.

You listed NO3 0 ppm, and PO4 0.04 ppm. You don't think that's low? Of course there is a different between a low nutrient system and a low nutrient water column imo. Maybe your tank is more in the latter than the former. Imo, that's the best way to do it. :D

Duckhams
03-15-2016, 05:31 PM
You listed NO3 0 ppm, and PO4 0.04 ppm. You don't think that's low? Of course there is a different between a low nutrient system and a low nutrient water column imo. Maybe your tank is more in the latter than the former. Imo, that's the best way to do it. :D

Ahh I see what you're saying. I don't think N03 and P04 are always good metrics for determining nutrient levels. While my N03 and P04 are low, im feeding my fish and corals quite heavily with a variety of foods/amino's etc (adding nutrients) but also exporting heavily with filter carbon, aggressive skimming, carbon dosing, water changes etc, to keep N03/P04 low. There's also probably a wide range of interpretations on what 'nutrients' consist of. But either way, things seem to be running ok. (other than a bit of green slime).

Bugger
03-17-2016, 12:25 AM
What did you do with the canopy?
Are there any plans to get a nicer sump.
The tank is just begging for you to do up the sump area.:biggrin:
How did you add the bottom links to your post. Does it do it for you automatically or did you add it yourself

Myka
03-17-2016, 01:41 AM
Ahh I see what you're saying. I don't think N03 and P04 are always good metrics for determining nutrient levels. While my N03 and P04 are low, im feeding my fish and corals quite heavily with a variety of foods/amino's etc (adding nutrients) but also exporting heavily with filter carbon, aggressive skimming, carbon dosing, water changes etc, to keep N03/P04 low. There's also probably a wide range of interpretations on what 'nutrients' consist of. But either way, things seem to be running ok. (other than a bit of green slime).

Ah, you're carbon dosing too. Yeah, not really a low nutrient system then. That's like mine - water column is super low nutrients, but the tank itself has lots of nutrients. You might be able to get rid of the slime if you back off the pellet flow a sniff. Which aminos are you using? I've been experimenting with Acro Power since it seems to have such rave reviews, but I haven't been able to use it without getting red slime. Maybe I should just weather it. :lol:

Duckhams
03-19-2016, 08:50 PM
What did you do with the canopy?
Are there any plans to get a nicer sump.
The tank is just begging for you to do up the sump area.:biggrin:
How did you add the bottom links to your post. Does it do it for you automatically or did you add it yourself

I like my sump... :-( Plus sumps are not cheap. I might go acrylic next time with a fuge section, or maybe a little frag rack, but I'm ok with it right now. Could use a couple filter sock holders though. . . :D

I added the links to my signature in the "User CP" settings page.

Duckhams
03-19-2016, 08:52 PM
Ah, you're carbon dosing too. Yeah, not really a low nutrient system then. That's like mine - water column is super low nutrients, but the tank itself has lots of nutrients. You might be able to get rid of the slime if you back off the pellet flow a sniff. Which aminos are you using? I've been experimenting with Acro Power since it seems to have such rave reviews, but I haven't been able to use it without getting red slime. Maybe I should just weather it. :lol:

I'm not running pellets, I'm manually dosing. I use AcroPower and a select combo of KZ products. Their LPS Amino's are incredible for chalices! My pink panther chalice grows very nicely!

Duckhams
03-21-2016, 11:48 PM
I've noticed my Radion fans coming on through the day, so to make sure they get enough effective air cooling I installed a couple of 4" vents right above them. I think they look pretty sharp, and are so low profile they're hardly noticeable when viewing the tank.

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-21%20at%206.00.32%20PM_zpsuj7isp9f.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-21%20at%206.00.58%20PM_zpsvc06pjf7.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-21%20at%206.02.13%20PM_zpsncnrsns3.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-21%20at%206.01.39%20PM_zpsr7jgzd0s.png
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-03-21%20at%206.02.50%20PM_zps7xz89a3b.png

Duckhams
04-02-2016, 01:29 AM
I took my canopy off and installed the RMS rail and I have to say, I really like the look of it. I've been doing a lot of maintenance/'scaping in the tank lately, so having it open like this makes working in the tank a lot easier. I'll put the canopy back on once i've got everything where I want it in a couple weeks. Im interested to see if this increases evaporation. Anyway, things have been growing in nicely, still a few pieces to move to more optimal areas, but im pretty happy with how it's shaping up. Here's a few update pics.


http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-01%20at%208.16.31%20PM_zpsyhqihctl.png[/URL]

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-01%20at%208.15.14%20PM_zpshhmf6gem.png[/URL]

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-01%20at%208.18.11%20PM_zpstwa4z507.png[/URL]

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-01%20at%208.17.08%20PM_zpsc5ameg8b.png[/URL]

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-01%20at%208.17.42%20PM_zpsvaoqbh7e.png[/URL]

gregzz4
04-02-2016, 02:58 AM
New lights look great

More pics with white light please

Duckhams
04-02-2016, 07:51 PM
I nearly lost a little Chili Pepper monti frag, but it's grown back and starting to encrust!

http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-04-02%20at%202.46.24%20PM_zpsrlvtdc7i.png[/URL]

Bugger
04-04-2016, 01:10 AM
Hi Eliot
What level are you running your Radeions at.

Duckhams
04-04-2016, 06:44 PM
50% right now and things are looking a little better since I turned them down.

Bugger
04-17-2016, 01:31 AM
How do you like that omega 130 is it as quite as you say it is.
I have the 150 and its very loud.

Do you have or know anyone with glass suction cup lifting tool. My tank is to heavy to get off the floor with two people.
I think I might have to use 2 by 4s to shimmy it off the floor

Duckhams
04-28-2016, 09:46 PM
Hey, sorry for the late reply! The 130 is quiet, but is it as quiet as YOU think it is, I don't know. I love it personally. Not sure about the suction cups tool, try a local glass company.

Duckhams
05-03-2016, 11:14 PM
A few update pics. I got an incredible male Potter's Wrasse this week, he's already eating frozen mysis and brine shrimp well but it's early days. I hope he settles in ok, he's pretty skinny. He's quick, so it's hard to get his face in focus!

I'm getting pretty good growth out of my acropora plana, it's encrusting a lot more than it's growing out, but doing well. After turning down my Radion's ive found things colouring up a bit better. Still trying to tweak things to avoid algae growth and get all SPS to colour up and grow. I think I need to move a couple pieces to get better growth, but im hesitant to move them around.

My chalice is exploding! It's defintely one of my favourite pieces. I have a couple frags that are encrusting their plugs nicely. I get a bit of green slime in lower flow areas when I overdose the amino acids. Im still balancing out the tanks dosage and need. I've cut back in favour of over feeding the fish instead to see how things shape up.


http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-05-03%20at%205.55.23%20PM_zpse3c2mnr7.png[/URL]
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-05-03%20at%205.53.03%20PM_zps9vajjhze.png[/URL]
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-05-03%20at%205.56.26%20PM_zpscuxuscil.png[/URL]
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-05-03%20at%205.57.09%20PM_zpsl98ewm0e.png[/URL]
http://i1383.photobucket.com/albums/ah313/bigreefdepot/Screen%20Shot%202016-05-03%20at%205.57.27%20PM_zps31pev5jo.png[/URL]

Bblinks
05-03-2016, 11:49 PM
I think that's one of the best potter wrasse I have ever seen....wish I can house one but a bit tough (impossible)with no sand.
I found with LED's if you dial the white down and pump up the blues the corals react much better to it and as the acclimate to the intensity then you can slowly dial it up.

Anyways, sps are looking happy and fuzzy, keep up the good work.

Duckhams
05-04-2016, 02:22 PM
I think that's one of the best potter wrasse I have ever seen....wish I can house one but a bit tough (impossible)with no sand.
I found with LED's if you dial the white down and pump up the blues the corals react much better to it and as the acclimate to the intensity then you can slowly dial it up.

Anyways, sps are looking happy and fuzzy, keep up the good work.

Thanks! They're doing pretty well. Im slowly tinkering with the LED settings, intensity, colour channels etc to see how things react. I've got them really low right now with greens and reds off completely to slow algae growth as things balance out, which seems to have helped enormously (had a green slime problem for a bit). Im going to start dialling them back up gradually now that it seems to be under control).
Some SPS still wont grow though, might have to move them around. Lokani just won't start growing, neither will my vermiculata.

Bugger
06-03-2016, 11:09 PM
Was the sump you used made by miracles?
Are you still using your canopy if not do you want to sell it to me?

Duckhams
06-04-2016, 01:12 PM
Was the sump you used made by miracles?
Are you still using your canopy if not do you want to sell it to me?

Yes it was built by Miracles to my specs. I sent you a PM on the canopy.