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View Full Version : Budget doesn't exist in this hobby: Brian's 45g Build


Etaloche
12-13-2015, 01:14 AM
Hey guys, I'm Brian and completely new to owning an aquarium. Recently moved back to Vancouver from Ontario and kind of spontaneously decided to finally start up a mini reef. I have been looking into starting one up and researching from time to time for the past couple years but the cost of starting a tank always deterred me from committing. Couple of weeks ago someone parked on the side of the road opened their door without looking and smashed my mirror off my car. They decided not to go through insurance and paid me $600 which was the quote for repair. Managed to find one for $100 from a scrap yard and had some extra cash :peace: So I thought what better time to look into starting a mini reef again.

I was just casually browsing through craigslist last week and found a brand new 20g tank for $20 and thought that's a really good price so I'll just buy it and store it until I end up using it for a tank one day. After that, I was just browsing on the forums here and saw a 29g for sale for $20 as well so I actually just decided to buy that too :razz: I went over to user Galizio's house to pick it up and that was the first time I've actually seen a mini reef in real life. It was so much more beautiful from what I have seen in videos and I was completely blown away. His tank was absolutely stunning and this was the moment when I knew I was committed. So now I have 2 tanks and don't really have a plan just yet. I might sell off the 20g or end up using it as a sump.

I say this will be a budget build but that doesn't necessarily mean it will be cheap. I guess cheap is a relative word but in general I don't really like using just the cheapest product available especially in something like a mini reef where quality of equipment will matter. When I say budget I will mean that I will try to get the best performance I can while keeping the cost as low as possible by either buying used items or fabricating my own stuff. So I will be documenting how much I've spent as I go to perhaps give other new reefers a sense of the cost of starting up a reef from complete scratch.

For now I guess I have some planning to do ahead of me and will be sitting in front of my computer looking for some good deals for the next while. If anyone has suggestions or tips as I go don't hesitate to let me know. Any help will be appreciated as I have never tried something like this before.

Total cost so far: $40

Here are the tanks
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7072

The 29g I will be using for the main tank that I got from Galizio
It had black silicon which I thought looked nicer than just clear
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7073

Finally, the 20g I might end up using as the sump.
It came with a metal mesh top which fits the 29g width-wise as well so I might cut it in half later and use it on the 29g
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7074

Myka
12-13-2015, 01:49 AM
Welcome to the addiction! :D

I think that's a great idea to use the 29-gallon for the main tank and the 20-gallon for the sump. Now you need to build a stand to hold them. :) You won't be able to use that metal mesh lid though as it will rust very quickly.

Etaloche
12-13-2015, 02:35 AM
Welcome to the addiction! :D

I think that's a great idea to use the 29-gallon for the main tank and the 20-gallon for the sump. Now you need to build a stand to hold them. :) You won't be able to use that metal mesh lid though as it will rust very quickly.

Thanks for the welcome!
Yup, been scanning craigslist for a suitable stand or design one from scratch. Could I spray on some coats of protective paint or still no good?

Aquattro
12-13-2015, 04:25 AM
No, paint will peel fast and you'll get rust. If you need a lid, use mesh with an aluminum frame you can make from window parts at Home Depot.

Etaloche
12-13-2015, 04:40 AM
No, paint will peel fast and you'll get rust. If you need a lid, use mesh with an aluminum frame you can make from window parts at Home Depot.

Got it, I'll see if I need a screen. I guess that'll depend on what livestock I go with. Was just gonna try to make use of it since it came with the tank but guess not. Thanks for the tip! I'll definitely try to fabricate one if need be

Myka
12-13-2015, 02:26 PM
Yup, been scanning craigslist for a suitable stand or design one from scratch.

Yeah, for a smaller tank like that, just look for a nice household cabinet. You can always reinforce it by adding some 2x2" or 2x3" to the inside. Just make sure it's tall enough for a skimmer to sit in the sump and be able to work comfortably in there.

Etaloche
12-14-2015, 11:19 AM
Yeah, for a smaller tank like that, just look for a nice household cabinet. You can always reinforce it by adding some 2x2" or 2x3" to the inside. Just make sure it's tall enough for a skimmer to sit in the sump and be able to work comfortably in there.

Went to go look at a couple cabinets today.

I want to put the tank under this shelf I have in my room but hard to find one that will fit under nicely with the tank.
This is where the tank will be going. Don't mind the mess I just cleaned the shelf off to get a better idea of how I wanted the tank set up underneath :redface:

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7079

This was the best one, solid oak and fit perfectly where I wanted it.
Unfortunately I couldn't negotiate the price under $60 which was more than I was willing to pay at this moment.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7075

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7076

Will be going to look at this one tomorrow. Also oak, doesn't look as sturdy but will probably get the job done. I'll see when I go look at it tomorrow. This one is listed for $20 so my hopes are up. Little bit less storage space but as you said as long as there's enough room for a skimmer and work it should be good.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7077

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7078

Myka
12-14-2015, 02:37 PM
I see a backpack, are you a student?

First of all, do you have any tools available to work with? Circular saw? Drill?

The first one is pine, not oak. It looks to be a really good option. You could paint it white or the wall color to match the house trim or walls and it would look pretty sharp. I'd probably pop the boards off the back of it and replace that with 1/2" plywood. You're right though, $60 is too much.

The second one I wouldn't be comfortable putting a 29-gallon tank on top of it as it is. It appears like it would collapse sideways fairly easily. I would remove the lower backing, and put a single backing of 1/2" plywood covering the whole thing. I'd also check under it to see what's supporting the "floor" inside the cabinet. What's the inside measurement from the floor to the shelf? It looks pretty short.

The reason I suggest plywood is because it's one solid piece, and if you tack it on all the way around with nails or screws every 6-8" it adds a significant amount of reinforcement preventing the cabinet from leaning one way or the other and collapsing.

Etaloche
12-14-2015, 07:10 PM
Yes I am indeed, I'm attending BCIT for mechanical engineering right now.

I do have some tools, I also have access to the machine shops at school. For more specialized tools I was going to start asking local reefers if they could lend me a hand when the time comes. I'm sure my school will have more than enough tools for my needs though.

I never knew shopping for furniture would be so difficult and expensive to get just the one you want. I'll usually spend about 2 days max looking for something online and picking it up, but 4 days of searching for the right cabinet and still nothing...

Once I have a cabinet in my possession I'll start to look into ways to strengthen it for sure. Have you built a stand from scratch? What is the rough estimate cost of the 2x4s and plywood altogether? I want to spend just about as much as it would cost to build one. Another couple of days and if I can't find something to my liking I might just hit up the hardware store and DIY it.

I see a backpack, are you a student?

First of all, do you have any tools available to work with? Circular saw? Drill?

The first one is pine, not oak. It looks to be a really good option. You could paint it white or the wall color to match the house trim or walls and it would look pretty sharp. I'd probably pop the boards off the back of it and replace that with 1/2" plywood. You're right though, $60 is too much.

The second one I wouldn't be comfortable putting a 29-gallon tank on top of it as it is. It appears like it would collapse sideways fairly easily. I would remove the lower backing, and put a single backing of 1/2" plywood covering the whole thing. I'd also check under it to see what's supporting the "floor" inside the cabinet. What's the inside measurement from the floor to the shelf? It looks pretty short.

The reason I suggest plywood is because it's one solid piece, and if you tack it on all the way around with nails or screws every 6-8" it adds a significant amount of reinforcement preventing the cabinet from leaning one way or the other and collapsing.

WarDog
12-14-2015, 07:46 PM
Lots of members here build their own stands. Just scroll through the Tank Journal forum. You can spend as little as nothing, if you have material lying around, or hundreds to thousands depending on many factors including welded metal frames, or fancy millwork. In your case, I'd expect you would spend $60 at least on materials at Home Depot etc. Buying a used piece of furnature and reinforcing it as Myka suggested is the best way when on a budget.

rishu_pepper
12-14-2015, 08:57 PM
Check the "Free" section on Craigslist. Once in a while you can find some gems on there that cost you nothing, just need transportation to bring it home. You'd be surprised at what people give away for free.

Roskoreef
12-14-2015, 10:27 PM
Lots of members here build their own stands. Just scroll through the Tank Journal forum. You can spend as little as nothing, if you have material lying around, or hundreds to thousands depending on many factors including welded metal frames, or fancy millwork. In your case, I'd expect you would spend $60 at least on materials at Home Depot etc. Buying a used piece of furnature and reinforcing it as Myka suggested is the best way when on a budget.

I agree, I built this one for about 95$ 2x4s and pine covered. Added trim and stain and still without doors im in for 150$....

http://i1377.photobucket.com/albums/ah74/rosko21/DSC_0252_zpsbdegenlk.jpg (http://s1377.photobucket.com/user/rosko21/media/DSC_0252_zpsbdegenlk.jpg.html)

http://i1377.photobucket.com/albums/ah74/rosko21/DSC_0257_zpsc73skkm3.jpg (http://s1377.photobucket.com/user/rosko21/media/DSC_0257_zpsc73skkm3.jpg.html)

Etaloche
12-14-2015, 10:55 PM
Lots of members here build their own stands. Just scroll through the Tank Journal forum. You can spend as little as nothing, if you have material lying around, or hundreds to thousands depending on many factors including welded metal frames, or fancy millwork. In your case, I'd expect you would spend $60 at least on materials at Home Depot etc. Buying a used piece of furnature and reinforcing it as Myka suggested is the best way when on a budget.

I agree, I built this one for about 95$ 2x4s and pine covered. Added trim and stain and still without doors im in for 150$....

That nice pine cabinet for $60 doesn't seem like a bad idea anymore... hahaha
Your stand looks awesome though Roskoreef, if I had time and money right now I wouldn't want to do anything else but custom build all my equipment.

Etaloche
12-15-2015, 06:51 AM
Wow today was a busy of running around picking up some equipment and looking at multiple different cabinets.

This was today's haul:

CPR CS-90 overflow box and brand new Tom aqua lifter with hanging kit
Got this for $50 together from someone on craigslist
The overflow has some buildup but it's eventually bound to happen. Any tips of removing this? Is acrylic safe to vinegar dip?

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7080

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7081

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7083

Next, I grabbed a return pump and a simple LED light to use for the fuge for $10 also from craigslist.
Not sure what brand the pump and the label doesn't have much info either, but from what I've researched I think this is called a mag7 pump? If anyone has more info and want to post it'll be appreciated. I just thought it was cheap and there wasn't much to lose with this purchase so just went for it.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7086

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7103

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7089

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7090

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7091

Finally, I found a cabinet that I think will finally work for my build!
I believe it's solid pine, and it was built by the seller's uncle.
I got very fortunate with this purchase, he was selling a set of 4 furniture and I thought he wanted $90 for it and was thinking of offering $30 for the cabinet alone. When we met up and started talking price he wanted $200 for the cabinet and I was shocked and I told him I came here thinking of spending about $30. Turns out the ad was for $900 altogether and I had just misread it. We negotiated a bit and I told him since we're both out here and I got $40 cash right now that I would take it on the spot if he can let me have it cheap for a project and in the end he let it go to me! The furniture was too big for his my apartment and he had been paying storage to have it stored so I think that's why he was so generous about letting it go. In Vancouver Kijiji seems to be less popular compared to Craigslist but I'm glad I looked there and found this cabinet.

Here it is!
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7097

Each side is made up of about 1" thick wood and even the back which is shown in the picture
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7095

The bottom is supported by beams on 3 of its side
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7092

Each joint is glued and either screwed together or nailed together
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7093

The back panel has a bit of gap between it and the top but i think structurally it should still be sound. I might fill in the gap with some wood putty.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7096

Even the doors are joined together instead of 1 piece, looks awesome imo
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7101

I gotta admit though that with the sump in the storage compartment it's a tight fit. I'll be able to get everything in there but will need to do some amazing cable managing to get everything to fit nice. Starting to plan out the plumbing as well now and things are starting to get complicated. Maybe I'm being overzealous with the 20g sump and maybe I'll try to find a 10g to use instead.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7102

Here it is set up with whatever I have for now.
I wanted to hang the lights off the shelf I have and the cabinet turned out to be the perfect height so I'm very happy.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7100

The wood on the cabinet is also rough finished so I can just light sand it and stain or paint it the way I want or just leave it the way it is. I kind of like the look of the wood right now and how it contrasts the rest of the dark furniture in my room so I might just leave it the way it is and just give it a nice finish.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7099

The cost is slowly starting to rise and the next couple of things I get will be more expensive probably. Next on the list to hunt down are a skimmer, heater, lights, and power head.

Total cost so far now: $140

Etaloche
12-15-2015, 11:23 PM
Check the "Free" section on Craigslist. Once in a while you can find some gems on there that cost you nothing, just need transportation to bring it home. You'd be surprised at what people give away for free.

Thanks for the tip, while looking on there I actually found some glass sheets being given away for free. I wanted to take a sheet and cut it up to use for my baffles.

I had some questions though, the glass is coming from some office and I assume it has been cleaned with chemicals during its time. Is there a safe way to clean the glass so that it will be aquarium safe? Or should I just not bother?

Does anyone know of a reputable and inexpensive place to get glass cut in GVRD?

WarDog
12-16-2015, 12:54 AM
Thanks for the tip, while looking on there I actually found some glass sheets being given away for free. I wanted to take a sheet and cut it up to use for my baffles.

I had some questions though, the glass is coming from some office and I assume it has been cleaned with chemicals during its time. Is there a safe way to clean the glass so that it will be aquarium safe? Or should I just not bother?

Does anyone know of a reputable and inexpensive place to get glass cut in GVRD?

Just clean it with a vinegar/warm water solution and that will do the trick.

Cheapest way to cut glass is with a glass cutter from Revy/Home depot, maybe $10, and use a straightedge to score. Finish the edges with some sandpaper. Provided of course, the glass in question is NOT tempered.

Myka
12-16-2015, 02:27 AM
Try to find a 15-gallon tank for your sump. Dims are 24 x 12 x 12". You just have to be smart about your baffle height and plumbing so there is room for the water to backflow and not overflow the sump. I used a 15 on my 50-gallon reef.

Sent from my SM-G870W using Tapatalk

Etaloche
12-16-2015, 05:42 AM
Try to find a 15-gallon tank for your sump. Dims are 24 x 12 x 12". You just have to be smart about your baffle height and plumbing so there is room for the water to backflow and not overflow the sump. I used a 15 on my 50-gallon reef.

Sent from my SM-G870W using Tapatalk

Alright I'll have a lookout for one.

Myka
12-16-2015, 02:10 PM
Alright I'll have a lookout for one.

Maybe you can trade your 20-gallon for a 15? Or, Petsmart here carries the 15-gallon tanks for I think less than $20, but I can't remember for sure. A 10-gallon will be too small.

Etaloche
12-18-2015, 09:09 AM
Got a fresh box of apples from user SSDiver from Kamloops!

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7104

Let's see what's inside!
Awwww it wasn't apples :sad:
SSDiver really put in some care packaging everything and even covered half the shipping.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7105

So here are the things I bought from him:

Tunze DOC 9004 protein skimmer for $70 and 3162 comline filter for $50
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7106

SWC Xtreme LED lights $90
I couldn't pull up much info on these lights other than that they use 3W Cree LED which people seem to have mixed opinions about.
Do you guys think this will be adequate for a 29g? If not I was thinking of adding a T5 fixture to go along later down the road.
Fan is so damn loud on this thing... I don't know how someone could listen to it all day. Will have to replace it for sure.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7107

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7108

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7109

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7110

I was a little hesitant about this purchase but went for it anyways.
Tunze 3155 ATO for $120
I'm trying to keep this a budget build and an ATO is a bit of a luxury item, but since I was buying multiple items SSDiver gave me a fair price for it so I thought why not.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7111

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7112

Koralia Nano 425 PH for $10
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7113

Here are some things he threw in for free which was really nice of him.
Power bar, 300W heater, magfloat glass cleaner, and a mechanical timer
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7125

Quick mock up of how everything will go in the sump.
Heater, skimmer and filter in the first chamber. The 300W heater might be too big and I might need to purchase a smaller 200W heater instead.
ATO sensors and the pump in the return chamber.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7126

Shoutout to SSDiver, he was so amazing with communication and just an awesome person to do business with.

Even while trying to keep this a budget build it's not proving to be cheap. For someone on a tighter budget the comline filter and the ATO were not necessary purchases and could save roughly $170 without those 2 parts.
At least all the expensive components have been purchased now. Only the plumbing left really.
Where is the best place to buy plumbing parts in Vancouver? I went to RONA today and they had scarce amounts of plumbing parts.

Total cost now: $480

FishyFishy!
12-18-2015, 07:03 PM
Good choice on going with the ATO. I wouldnt consider that a luxury item at all. In a smaller water volume setup such as this, evaporation can cause salinity swings easily if you're not diligent with your water top ups. Id count that as a good, must have purchase.

Aquattro
12-18-2015, 07:07 PM
I wouldnt consider that a luxury item at all.

Agreed. I think this is mandatory equipment. If I'd had to top off manually, I would have quit years ago. My ATO is plumbed right into my RO. Haven't touched it in years.

Etaloche
12-18-2015, 10:22 PM
Good choice on going with the ATO. I wouldnt consider that a luxury item at all. In a smaller water volume setup such as this, evaporation can cause salinity swings easily if you're not diligent with your water top ups. Id count that as a good, must have purchase.

Agreed. I think this is mandatory equipment. If I'd had to top off manually, I would have quit years ago. My ATO is plumbed right into my RO. Haven't touched it in years.

Thanks guys, making me feel much better about the buy.
Now only if I could convince my gf that spending $120 on a "thingy that squirts water into the tank every once in a while" was a sensible purchase hahaha :razz:

Geo
12-18-2015, 10:32 PM
its all good practice for the day you have to justify the 100.00 - 1/2" frags. :wink:

I'm enjoying the build, thanks for sharing it.

Etaloche
12-18-2015, 10:49 PM
its all good practice for the day you have to justify the 100.00 - 1/2" frags. :wink:

I'm enjoying the build, thanks for sharing it.

This is very true, thanks for following with my build!

mrhasan
12-18-2015, 11:17 PM
Me likes your choice of equipment! :mrgreen:

Like others said, ATO is just too darn important; manual topping off is just too painful.

$480 with almost everything so your budget build, I would say, is well within budget. I am more than $700 in and I still have to get skimmer, ATO, live rocks and you know...stuffs to put inside the tank and etc.

Etaloche
12-19-2015, 12:32 AM
Another busy day and it's only halfway through the day!

The fan in the lights is way too loud and have to come out.
Time to disassemble, my favorite activity!
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7114

Here is a closeup of the 3W Cree LEDs, looks like they are quite easy to replace if a module fails or I want different colored LEDs. Right now there's 10 white LEDs and 10 Blue LEDs. Would any of you change out 1 or 2 of these for a different color?
If so which would you go with?
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7117

The thermal paste contact was quite poor from the factory... less than 30% of the heat from the main board was probably being carried to the cooling fins.
This won't do, so time to get modifying.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7115

This is what I use to clean thermal compound off anything. It was for use in my computer build a while back but they have come in handy for many other unexpected applications like this one.
It comes in 2 stages and does an amazing job, you can simply use 100% rubbing alcohol to get similar results.
Will also be using some nice new thermal compound lying around from my last PC build as well.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7116

Nice and clean
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7118

Luckily I had some fans lying around from trying out multiple fans to get the most optimal airflow in my PC. I will be using the Noctua NF-S12B for the lights. Anyone in the PC building community will know that Noctua is the undisputed leader when it comes to quiet performance fans. The NF-S12B was designed for airflow rather than static pressure like most computer fans are, which makes it ideal for this application. Since the density of the cooling fins are nowhere near the densities of computer radiators, getting more air flow through them rather than static pressure should be more efficient and keep them cooler.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7127

Time to "simply" switch over the wiring from the old fan to the new.
You'll see why it wasn't so simple soon.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7120

There are 3 or 4 wires depending on the fan. The only ones we want are the red power and black ground wires and I simply trimmed off the yellow. Rest are usually for variable fan speed signals from the motherboard of the computer.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7119

Here it is soldered and heat shrinked. After assembling everything I was still able to hear the fan at 100% so I went back and added a resistor to keep the fan running at 50% but not shown here in the picture. Do you notice something weird?
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7121

If you noticed that the power is connected to the black wire and the ground is connected to the red wire you are correct. If you look back at the original disassembly picture, someone at Cree or SWC thought it'd be a great idea to switch up the colors of the wires for the fan :idea:
I soldered everything like I supposed to the first time and went back to assemble the light and the fan wouldn't turn on no matter what. I thought I somehow broke something and pulled out my multimeter to check the voltage at every point on the circuit board. To my surprise everything seemed to be working right until I checked on the connector for the fan and saw that the polarity was reversed. That's when I looked back at the photos and realized the red wire was the ground and the black wire was the power for the fan connector :doh:
What should've been a 5 minute soldering job turned into hours of trying to troubleshoot a simple wire mixup.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7128

Time to assemble everything back together, I wanted more thermal compound on these cooling fins but the tube came in small volumes since they were only really designed to cover a CPU. I actually emptied the whole tube here.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7122

I used the rubber attachments provided by Noctua instead of the original screws to hold the fan to further decrease the amount of noise from the fan. Finally everything is assembled and running!
There's nothing quite satisfying like the sound of a silent fan operation hehe :mrgreen:
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7124

I have 2 more of these fans lying around so I might use them to create some airflow in my sump area if the space permits inside my cabinet.
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7123

I also ran around 3 different RONA locations today to find all the plumbing parts I needed. I still need a check valve since neither RONA nor J&L carried any. Anyone know where I can find some locally? I also need a method of connecting soft tubing from my mag7 pump to one end of the 1" PVC pipe. What is the best method of doing this?
http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=976&pictureid=7129

Also, does anyone in the Vancouver area have a hole saw that can drill a hole big enough for 1" bulk head to go through? This might be a bit of a stretch but I'm also looking for a 5" or 120mm hole saw to drill a hole for the circulation fans. If anyone has either of these tools and was ok to lend it to me for a bit it would be much appreciated! I checked up on these tools while I was at RONA and for the 5" one it was like $50+ before taxes :sad:

The only plumbing I've ever done was inside my computer but seems like the concept is pretty much identical
http://i.imgur.com/HnGrxT2.jpg

The cost of the PVC parts came out to more than I expected/wanted to.
I think I spent just around $80 for plumbing parts.

Total Cost: $560

My total budget I had planned for was around $600 until I start cycling and it's getting close!
The bulk of the equipment has been purchased now so I think I'm doing an OK job at keeping to budget. Usually when I enter a hobby I like to go all out. This one is just a bit too costly to do that, so this is the first time I've had to really keep track of my budget and it's proving to be a good learning experience.

Etaloche
12-19-2015, 12:43 AM
Me likes your choice of equipment! :mrgreen:

Like others said, ATO is just too darn important; manual topping off is just too painful.

$480 with almost everything so your budget build, I would say, is well within budget. I am more than $700 in and I still have to get skimmer, ATO, live rocks and you know...stuffs to put inside the tank and etc.

Your signature hits too close to home hahaha
I see that you recently got back into reef keeping so I'll be keeping a close eye on your work.
Thanks for dropping by, I knew what I was getting myself into but didn't expect the costs to pile up this quick :lol!:

mrhasan
12-19-2015, 01:15 AM
The only plumbing I've ever done was inside my computer but seems like the concept is pretty much identical
http://i.imgur.com/HnGrxT2.jpg


That thing is drool worthy! Braided cable and rigid pipe water cooling....sighs I always wanted to do that to my PC my with all the horror stories about coolant leaking and the expense is just too much to swallow.

Your signature hits too close to home hahaha
I see that you recently got back into reef keeping so I'll be keeping a close eye on your work.
Thanks for dropping by, I knew what I was getting myself into but didn't expect the costs to pile up this quick :lol!:

:lol:

Thanks :)

The cost of setting up is the tip of the iceberg. It's like you pay $7 for the ticket to a movie but then end up paying $15 for popcorn and drink. And you know watching a movie without the snacks are like a saltwater tank without the fish/corals (you see what I did there?).

Etaloche
12-19-2015, 01:42 AM
That thing is drool worthy! Braided cable and rigid pipe water cooling....sighs I always wanted to do that to my PC my with all the horror stories about coolant leaking and the expense is just too much to swallow.



:lol:

Thanks :)

The cost of setting up is the tip of the iceberg. It's like you pay $7 for the ticket to a movie but then end up paying $15 for popcorn and drink. And you know watching a movie without the snacks are like a saltwater tank without the fish/corals (you see what I did there?).

Thanks, I have more time and money invested in my computer than I want to admit. It was a year long project with every tube being hand bent with a heat gun and every individual wire made and sleeved by hand as well. Never really worried about leakage with hard tubing. It's more of an issue with soft tubing as it deteriorates over time. It's definitely a fun project and I recommend it. It's really like plumbing an aquarium on a smaller scale. In terms of expense, you can try to spend as little as you like or just go all out. Since this project took a whole year I had more time to save up money compared to this tank build.

I totally get your analogy. That is why I'll only be keeping track of the cost until I am done cycling as anything that comes after that I cannot predict.

Ian
12-19-2015, 07:20 PM
Fun build! Yup budgets are meant to be smashed when it comes to hobbies.
That computer is awesome, showed the wife the pic and the first word out of her mouth was NO! LOL back to spending money on getting back into tis hobby.

Etaloche
01-10-2016, 05:17 AM
Fun build! Yup budgets are meant to be smashed when it comes to hobbies.

So ya... this totally happened over the holidays haha

Myka
01-10-2016, 02:47 PM
So ya... this totally happened over the holidays haha

Such a teaser! We need pics!

ALBERTA REEF
01-10-2016, 07:14 PM
Nice build so far. Pics!!!:lol:

WarDog
01-10-2016, 07:29 PM
Budgets are meant to be smashed when it comes to hobbies.

... this totally happened over the holidays.

Hehe... having fun yet? :wink:

Etaloche
01-10-2016, 07:50 PM
Been very busy celebrating the holidays and classes in college just started again for me, but I have been constantly working on the setup during that time.

So here's the first update of the new year!

Preparing to paint the back
http://imgur.com/mX24JsP.jpg

Used some black spray paint I had around.
Definitely didn't put out enough newspaper and got a lot of overspray on some stuff in storage haha oops :p

First light coat
http://imgur.com/OCc8IWR.jpg

Took a shot at cutting up some glass
I got 3 24x24 glass sheets for free from craigslist and a $15 glass cutter and it was a lot easier and fun than I expected

Cutting up some baffles to use in the sump
http://imgur.com/u3pxW5e.jpg

Grabbed black silicone from J&L during the boxing day sale and took some scrap pieces to practice with

http://imgur.com/NcYbb4h.jpg

I thought I might as well make something with the scraps and built a container for the ATO
Got this idea from seeing Rich's tank couple of weeks ago at a meet

http://imgur.com/d03ytCI.jpg

Was a messy job but whatever it holds water, I'm calling it a day haha

http://imgur.com/dMCyCtH.jpg

Here's how it would sit in the cabinet

http://imgur.com/vG0q84Z.jpg

Installing the baffles as well, simple 3 chamber design with a bubble trap
With a pretty small sump I was pretty limited with space.
A little worried if I have to upgrade the skimmer one day but I'll make it work.

http://imgur.com/D6lezZo.jpg

3 coats of paint later

http://imgur.com/RUIgo0Q.jpg

and plumbing completed
Lots of unions, I love unions. What lovely invention :mrgreen:

http://imgur.com/Jxd1Ny8.jpg

Finally, a leak test on everything
Did have a small leak with a bulk head but easy fix

http://imgur.com/HBTjnel.jpg

and then I decided I wanted to have the biggest possible tank that this cabinet could fit and grabbed a 45g from craigslist...

http://imgur.com/8NxriPM.jpg

There's more to the update but I'm running out of time since I'm going skiing since it's such a nice day. I'll post more later~ :lol:

Etaloche
01-10-2016, 07:54 PM
Hehe... having fun yet? :wink:

A little worried about how much fun I'm having, if I'm dead honest haha

WarDog
01-10-2016, 08:05 PM
Took a shot at cutting up some glass, it was a lot easier and fun than I expected

See I told you... easy peasy!

I thought I might as well make something with the scraps and built a container for the ATO
Got this idea from seeing Rich's tank couple of weeks ago at a meet

Nice buddy!

...and then I decided I wanted to have the biggest possible tank that this cabinet could fit and grabbed a 45g from craigslist...

Haha, not even wet yet and you're upgrading! You won't regret it!

Etaloche
01-11-2016, 01:44 PM
Fell asleep after skiing and woke up at 3am got nothing better to do than to give you guys part two of the update!

The standard 45g was the best fit for my cabinet especially with how I had plumbed it.
The issue was that the 45g is rather odd and unpopular tank size and getting hold of one was not easy.

I tried almost all the big LFS around here and every single one of them told me that they don't carry the 45g because people simply don't really buy one.
Messaged the 1 or 2 tanks on craigslist from people in Kelowna to even the islands with no luck.

When I finally saw this one come up for sale in abbotsford I just had to grab it.
I paid $60 which was more than I wanted to but I knew if I didn't grab this one I wouldn't have much other choice in terms of finding another 45g

The tank overall was in rough shape. Scratches here and there I can deal with but it seemed like someone had attempted to reseal the tank over the existing silicone and did a terrible job at it.

http://imgur.com/DbwRWA2.jpg

The silicone was also bubbling which was ugly and compromised intergrity.

http://imgur.com/S8A7jlM.jpg

When I finally saw the tag of when this tank was made I knew a reseal was inevitable.
This tank is old enough to buy itself drinks at a bar!
(the bubbles are from me testing if it would even hold water on the bottom because the silicone was in terrible shape)

http://imgur.com/ILEojd7.jpg

New tank proposed new challenges as well like this center brace.
I plumbed for the overflow box to run in the middle and the brace will also block off my lights.

http://imgur.com/S4m3AzE.jpg

So I simply cut if off...
I am convinced that the 45g doesn't actually need this brace as I did a full water test and measured that the glass doesn't bow more than 2mm in total and the brace didn't even go tight.
Just so I can sleep with an ease of mind at night I will still be replacing the brace with something else in a future project.

http://imgur.com/DSuL4bS.jpg

Now it's easy to work on the silicone without the brace getting in the way too.
Resealing the tank was fairly easy and didn't take as long as I expected.
It was almost scary how easily the silicone on there came off. I'm very glad I decided to reseal the tank.

http://imgur.com/nDplnCN.jpg

Prepared for reseal

http://imgur.com/SSOcurd.jpg

Cleaned up all the glass and sealed her up.
I gotta say my silicone applying skills have come a long way since that test ATO container I made :mrgreen:
Seeing the glass clean and smooth silicone edges make me a very happy person haha

http://imgur.com/srjNxBd.jpg

While waiting for silicone to dry and whatnot I wired up this fan system for cooling as I don't have space nor expenses for a chiller.
I grabbed a tank fan from craigslist for $20 and soldered in my 2 fans in the wiring.
The power supply is a 220V supply and conveniently only runs at about 8V DC instead of 12V since it's only on 110V. This keeps the fan running quiet.
The issue was that there wasn't enough current to drive the 120mm fans so I wired in a fan controller going into the tank fan to control how much current I sent to it until the two 120mm fans had enough power to start running.

http://imgur.com/Y8HzZ59.jpg

Started cleaning some of the more gunked up used items with a 48 hour diluted vinegar dip.

http://imgur.com/1cbr39G.jpg

This stuff was gross to clean.

http://imgur.com/JYfbNIT.jpg

So grabbed some new equipment over the holidays like this Tunze nano wavebox for $40 from a fellow reefer here and a Tunze silence pump from J&L as the mag 7 was unbearable.
As you guys might've noticed in the short time I've been in this hobby I have fallen in love with Tunze products. Every time I try their stuff out it's dead quiet and energy efficient.
If I'm having troubles choosing between brands I will have no hesitation to try out the Tunze first.
I might try to find a used controllable Tunze powerhead to connect up to the second channel on the wavecontroller for better flow and ease in the future.

http://imgur.com/6O685Nu.jpg

I also scored a RKE for $200 from a fellow reefer with the modules I wanted.

http://imgur.com/WR4Y7B6.jpg

I was a little disappointed to find out that there were some issues with the unit.

First, the temp probe would only throw an error when connected through the RJ11 ports

http://imgur.com/oyMVPuH.jpg

Second, the SL1 module was reading nonexistent values even when there were no probes connected to it.

http://imgur.com/F9oX7p1.jpg

http://imgur.com/8Ip3ZzL.jpg

http://imgur.com/G5YtavU.jpg

Finally, this PC4 module would not power up...

http://imgur.com/yDwN1GM.jpg

Having a look inside there were heavy corrosion and even after trying to wipe off most of the debris with 100% alcohol I had no luck.
The owner said that he got it a while ago and never used it.
I would say that being near saltwater and being stored away for a long time caused the board to corrode and fail over time.

http://imgur.com/BJV0R49.jpg

Some really heavy corrosion around these mosfet chips

http://imgur.com/5IpuLFZ.jpg

So I assumed that the SL1 probably suffered the same damage as there are openings to the case on the SL1 which make it more prone to humidity damage.
As I predicted I found some corrosion inside the unit but not as bad as the PC4

http://imgur.com/JUkGHRe.jpg

Gave it a good brush with 100% alcohol.
The red circle shown is actually one of the areas I think was causing issues.
If you look carefully enough you can see that the corrosion built up enough to the point that these 2 contacts on this chip were touching.

http://imgur.com/cjCmhRa.jpg

Cleaned off the area well and voila! Never thought I'd be so happy to see an electronic throw an error before.

http://imgur.com/Jc9N93p.jpg

So now I had to test what was wrong with the temp probe so I cut off the RJ11 connector and crimped on some molex connectors that I had from my computer build.

http://imgur.com/JdHaXoA.jpg

Plugged it into the SL1 and it works!
I guess this is how I'll be using the temp probe from now.
The owner did promise to refund me some of the cost for the broken PC4. I'll either have to ship it to DA for repair or try to find another one for sale.
Or maybe both...

http://imgur.com/iE6cK1G.jpg

Decided I was gonna drill a 3rd hole in the cabinet to add a second drain to the overflow box.

http://imgur.com/da6ntFO.jpg

So after much research, I have read from Herbie himself that the Herbie method is not viable for a siphon overflow.
So I know that Herbie can't be achieved here but the overflow is already pretty silent as it is and the 2nd drain will just purely act as an emergency and not to surface skim.
This should give me some redundancy as many people have told me that HOB overflow tends to fail a lot.

http://imgur.com/7psSZKn.jpg

The middle drain had a cheap ball valve and when I did a leak test on the 29g I realized just how clunky these things are to control flow so I decided I wanted a gate valve on the main drain. Grabbed a gate valve from a reefer on here.
The issue was that even though the middle drain was on unions I didn't want to remake the plumbing already installed under the cabinet so I just had to route the plumbing to run to the existing ones I had already installed.
It got a little wonky but I'm happy with the final product.

http://imgur.com/TTwZd6q.jpg

Total cost now: who knows... I've lost count
I just started researching more and realized I want more and things quickly got out of hand before I even knew it lol

One of the mods should edit the title of this thread to - There is no such thing as budget in this hobby: Brian's 45g build :lol!:

Bblinks
01-11-2016, 06:02 PM
Brian, just skimmed through your thread, that's a whole lot of work you did buddy. One thing I want to mention is that overflow, I have had nothing but bad experience with them...I think you should drill...

Bblinks
01-11-2016, 06:08 PM
Brian, just skimmed through your thread, that's a whole lot of work you did buddy. One thing I want to mention is that overflow, I have had nothing but bad experience with them...I think you should drill...

GoFish
01-11-2016, 07:19 PM
I see you painted the back of a tank and swapped to a different size? If you wanna black out the back of the new tank you can Pm me I have some black vinyl you can have for free, save your floor from overspray again. And if you want to drill the tank as Rich suggested I have a mastercraft maximum kit you can borrow, never tried it but looks like it would do the trick

Etaloche
01-11-2016, 08:52 PM
Brian, just skimmed through your thread, that's a whole lot of work you did buddy. One thing I want to mention is that overflow, I have had nothing but bad experience with them...I think you should drill...

Ugh ya, another member spit.fire actually offered to drill for me too but at this point the plumbing is complete and I don't want to have to alter it again especially with the added costs of replumbing. I will be adding float switches inside the overflow and the main tank to my RKE for another level of redundancy. Could I ask you what bad experience you had with one. Whenever someone tells me they had a bad experience with HOB I have been asking about the experience to see if I can failsafe it further. This is just a starter tank for me and I'm sure within couple of years I'll be upgrading again and I'll make sure to have it drilled next time before I get building.

Etaloche
01-11-2016, 08:56 PM
I see you painted the back of a tank and swapped to a different size? If you wanna black out the back of the new tank you can Pm me I have some black vinyl you can have for free, save your floor from overspray again. And if you want to drill the tank as Rich suggested I have a mastercraft maximum kit you can borrow, never tried it but looks like it would do the trick

Thanks for the offer! I should really post my plans for the tank and see if anyone can help before jumping into it. This hasn't been the first time someone offered to help but I got it done already :cry: I actually just painted the back black last night but used a roller instead of spray paint to avoid over spray this time.

Etaloche
01-12-2016, 03:10 AM
As I mentioned I managed to paint the back before falling asleep again.

http://imgur.com/OCUhrAw.jpg

No mess this time

http://imgur.com/nEHRkp3.jpg

Also went and picked up this RO/DI unit from a member here
It was $50 and just thought I'd give it a try. Was expecting a simple 3 stage unit but I think this is 5 stage?

http://imgur.com/3ublYaI.jpg

Was told that the DI filter and the RO membrane were almost new when it was taken down.
The unit hasn't been in use for over a year though. Are there any precautions I should take to flush out the system before using?
I'll have to add a TDS meter, pressure gauge, and possibly a flush kit in the future.

Myka
01-12-2016, 04:15 AM
Wow, you've been busy! Do you want the thread title changed? It's no longer a 29-gallon! :lol:

Ugh ya, another member spit.fire actually offered to drill for me too but at this point the plumbing is complete and I don't want to have to alter it again especially with the added costs of replumbing.

I don't think you'd have to redo the plumbing. Some minor modifications and you'd be on your way. Although not ideal, you could make an internal overflow box in the middle of the back of the tank and have the drains use the same holes you already made in the stand. Ideally, you'd make an overflow in a corner. I'll hop on the "you should drill" boat too.

Also went and picked up this RO/DI unit from a member here
It was $50 and just thought I'd give it a try. Was expecting a simple 3 stage unit but I think this is 5 stage?

Was told that the DI filter and the RO membrane were almost new when it was taken down.
The unit hasn't been in use for over a year though. Are there any precautions I should take to flush out the system before using?
I'll have to add a TDS meter, pressure gauge, and possibly a flush kit in the future.

Yes, that's a 5-stage. I'd suggest you run it just with the sediment and carbon filters first for 5 gallons or so, then add the RO to it for another 2 gallons (test TDS after the RO while you're at it), then put the DI on and run it for 2 gallons, then test the TDS of the RO/DI water. Just get a handheld TDS meter - they're like $15 or less. Just make sure you buy one that comes with a little screwdriver so you can calibrate it. Some cannot be calibrated.

Etaloche
01-12-2016, 05:20 PM
I think you should drill...

I'll hop on the "you should drill" boat too.


Ok I think at this point it'd just be stubborn of me to not take this advice after so many people have tried to tell me to. I came home last night and just tried to visualize how to redo parts of the plumbing.
I'll be asking around and try to get the tank drilled in the next week.

One of the reasons I didn't want to drill/overflow was that because my tank is not very deep, only 12.5 inches so an overflow inside the tank would take up a lot of room.

I'll be trying to fabricate something like this so that it's less intrusive

I even had thoughts of being super ambitious and try to do the Bean Animal method but I don't think my cabinet has room for another plumbing line to run through it haha

https://farm6.staticflickr.com/5599/15464321242_95cab62e6c_c.jpg

Ideally, you'd make an overflow in a corner.


I did not know this, thought the overflow could just be anywhere. Could you explain to me why this is the case?
My reasoning for putting in the middle was that it'd be less likely that snails and whatnot would end up there rather than in a corner.


Yes, that's a 5-stage. I'd suggest you run it just with the sediment and carbon filters first for 5 gallons or so, then add the RO to it for another 2 gallons (test TDS after the RO while you're at it), then put the DI on and run it for 2 gallons, then test the TDS of the RO/DI water. Just get a handheld TDS meter - they're like $15 or less. Just make sure you buy one that comes with a little screwdriver so you can calibrate it. Some cannot be calibrated.

Alright I'll do this once it's hooked up. I think I will just get an inline one since they're not that expensive and the ease of use is a big appeal to me

Do you want the thread title changed? It's no longer a 29-gallon! :lol:

Budget doesn't exist in this hobby: Brian's 45g build

Thanks!

The Guy
01-15-2016, 02:59 PM
Hey Brian great looking build so far, I think building and putting it all together is the best part of reefing and of course the finished product makes it all worth the work.
See you Saturday

PS: budget what's that?

Myka
01-15-2016, 03:23 PM
Brian, looking at the overflow you currently have, you could drill the back of your tank to line up with the bulkheads in the front of that overflow. You'd have to use some silicone on the bulkhead threads (inside the overflow) to get a good seal. Drilling through the bottom of an unknown tank can be risky since you don't know if it's tempered or not.

I did not know this, thought the overflow could just be anywhere. Could you explain to me why this is the case?
My reasoning for putting in the middle was that it'd be less likely that snails and whatnot would end up there rather than in a corner.

Just visually. Since your tank is only 12" wide, an internal overflow will protrude a lot. I'd put it in a back corner. It won't make much, if any difference with the critters. I've never noticed that issue, nor actually thought about that before. :)



Alright I'll do this once it's hooked up. I think I will just get an inline one since they're not that expensive and the ease of use is a big appeal to me

The thing about an inline TDS meter is that it only tests that one line. If you have a handheld one then you can test the tap water, you can disconnect the hose between the RO and the DI and check the RO performance and when it needs to be replaced, and you can check the product water after the DI as well. Also, the inline TDS meters can be tricky to get an accurate calibration on them since they need flowing calibration fluid. I find handheld TDS meters easier to use long-term. That's just my preferred method though.

Etaloche
01-16-2016, 02:23 AM
Hey Brian great looking build so far, I think building and putting it all together is the best part of reefing and of course the finished product makes it all worth the work.
See you Saturday

PS: budget what's that?

Couldn't agree with you more, see you tomorrow!

Etaloche
01-16-2016, 02:31 AM
Brian, looking at the overflow you currently have, you could drill the back of your tank to line up with the bulkheads in the front of that overflow.

I was actually thinking this exact same thing but I ended up picking up a nice unused glass hole overflow from a member here and he gave me a amazingly reasonable price too.
Unfortunately the bulkheads don't quite match up so I'll have to make my own external overflow box since these overflows can't really be set to run herbie or anything.
Anthony offered to help tomorrow at the BBQ to drill the holes for a small fee but since the kit came with a drill bit I might attempt to tackle this myself and save a couple bucks too.
So I've been told that it's ideal to drill holes with a drill that has a clutch but I only have a drill connecting straight to the wall with no clutch that I'm aware of. Is there high risk to use what I have or should I borrow tools that are better?
Also, do the diamond coated drill bits work well on acrylic/polycarbonate? I have a 1" hole saw but these bulkheads on the overflow are 1.5" so I was thinking of just using the drill bits after I cut glass to cut the holes in the external box too.

http://imgur.com/BQRAeRt.jpg

http://imgur.com/GDRg3nC.jpg


The thing about an inline TDS meter is that it only tests that one line. If you have a handheld one then you can test the tap water, you can disconnect the hose between the RO and the DI and check the RO performance and when it needs to be replaced, and you can check the product water after the DI as well. Also, the inline TDS meters can be tricky to get an accurate calibration on them since they need flowing calibration fluid. I find handheld TDS meters easier to use long-term. That's just my preferred method though.

My inline TDS meter actually arrived today (amazon prime is simply the best), but I might actually just grab a handheld one down the line as they cost almost nothing and you're right, it does sound convenient to have one you can test any water with.

Myka
01-16-2016, 04:49 AM
Get Anthony to do it. If you had an old tank sitting around you could practise, but if he's willing to do it, then I'd take him up on it. He's also knowledgeable enough that he should he able to spot if it's tempered.

You can't use diamond bits on any plastics - they will heat up and melt the plastic which then sticks on the bit.

Etaloche
01-16-2016, 05:32 AM
Get Anthony to do it. If you had an old tank sitting around you could practise, but if he's willing to do it, then I'd take him up on it. He's also knowledgeable enough that he should he able to spot if it's tempered.

You can't use diamond bits on any plastics - they will heat up and melt the plastic which then sticks on the bit.

OK I'll take it to Anthony's tomorrow.
Ah dang now I need to find a 1.5" hole saw Haha

Myka
01-16-2016, 02:22 PM
Anthony doesn't have one? Is there a Princess Auto where you live? I get them there...they're only $15.

Fishy!
01-16-2016, 06:08 PM
Cool build so far! I love how you keep changing your mind, to try and get the best possible end result. I am notorious for this, it drives my wife nuts. I call it being adaptative and dynamic :wink: Tagging along.

Etaloche
01-16-2016, 07:30 PM
Anthony doesn't have one? Is there a Princess Auto where you live? I get them there...they're only $15.

I'll ask him today when I'm over at his place.

Cool build so far! I love how you keep changing your mind, to try and get the best possible end result. I am notorious for this, it drives my wife nuts. I call it being adaptative and dynamic :wink: Tagging along.

I know exactly what you mean! I'll tackle a project with the mindset of keeping it simple and low budget, but as I start to get going and do more research I'll be like "well I mean I already started so I might as well make it the best I can" and before I know it I'll have gone through like 5 revisions. I like how you call it, I'll use that term in my future resumes haha

Etaloche
01-18-2016, 07:28 AM
Had a really fun time at Anthony's BBQ this weekend and finally got my tank drilled thanks to Anthony.

His tanks were beautiful!

http://imgur.com/MZHkGtb.jpg

Finally drilled the tank! Anthony got both holes done in less than 5 minutes I think, it was quite impressive.

http://imgur.com/NWIXlGj.jpg

Now I just need to find some help to get an external box built for the overflow. Anyone good with working with acrylic/polycarbonate that can help out?

http://imgur.com/FHArR8F.jpg

WarDog
01-18-2016, 07:40 AM
Finally drilled the tank! Anthony got both holes done in less than 5 minutes I think, it was quite impressive.



Nice. That Anthony is good people!


Anyone good with working with acrylic/polycarbonate that can help out?


Why aren't you doing it in glass? You're practically an expert now!

Etaloche
01-18-2016, 08:05 AM
Why aren't you doing it in glass? You're practically an expert now!

I might actually have just enough scrap glass left over to do this. I'd have to take it back to Anthony to get some 1" holes drilled
I would have to strip the paint off the section of the back too in order to silicone the box on and because I don't know how the paint would affect the livestock

Myka
01-18-2016, 03:00 PM
I might actually have just enough scrap glass left over to do this. I'd have to take it back to Anthony to get some 1" holes drilled
I would have to strip the paint off the section of the back too in order to silicone the box on and because I don't know how the paint would affect the livestock

Looks good! Make the outside box the same size as the inside box so you can't see into it from inside the tank. :)

Etaloche
01-19-2016, 11:44 PM
Got around to making a mockup of the external box.
Anthony warned me that with such thin glass there was a chance of breaking it so I decided to go for a design that only requires 1 hole per pane.

http://imgur.com/aCPSWyO.jpg

I did make 2 bottom pieces in case something goes wrong but hope this will work. Decided to try a BeanAnimal's overflow cause at this point why not...

Myka
01-19-2016, 11:56 PM
Anthony warned me that with such thin glass there was a chance of breaking it so I decided to go for a design that only requires 1 hole per pane.

It's not that thin. Anthony will be fine. :) I'd drill all three in the bottom. Well technically, I'd just do two and go for Herbie because, why not? :p

If you put a 45 degree elbow at the top of the first emergency drain, and use 45s on the rest of that line instead of 90s, the drain will be quieter. There will probably always be a trickle going down the emergency line.

Etaloche
01-20-2016, 12:03 AM
It's not that thin. Anthony will be fine. :) I'd drill all three in the bottom. Well technically, I'd just do two and go for Herbie because, why not? :p

If you put a 45 degree elbow at the top of the first emergency drain, and use 45s on the rest of that line instead of 90s, the drain will be quieter. There will probably always be a trickle going down the emergency line.

I've heard mixed opinions about having a wet emergency line.
People who are running the bean animal all told me they are happy with it and wouldn't ever go back haha I just thought after all this work why not implement the best method possible.
I think I will try to tinker with the design a bit more and see what's possible.

Etaloche
01-22-2016, 07:24 AM
Another big shoutout to Anthony for helping me out big time!

http://imgur.com/kKZbqKl.jpg

Anthony's "They don't teach you this in school" technique for keeping the drill in the right place using a cloth hanger.

http://imgur.com/b9AGp2h.jpg

This is the final product of the external box and my take at the BeanAnimal's overflow.
Hacked together fittings and strainers I had around and I think it will work, I hope... Cutting tiny parts in a straight line is hard... :redface:
We were working with a bit that was starting to get dull and the first hole took much longer than when we drilled the tank so I decided to go with my original design so that not all 3 holes would be on the same panel.

http://imgur.com/fdFPclZ.jpg

Tank prepared to have the external box siliconed on.

http://imgur.com/kDPcBJb.jpg

Now I just need to clean everything and plumb the tank once more and I'll be done with the build! I hope... haha

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-22-2016, 09:04 AM
Good luck. Looking forward to seeing this tank when it's finally completed.

Myka
01-22-2016, 01:42 PM
That's an interesting overflow setup. I can't say I've seen one quite like it. It should work well.

The Guy
01-22-2016, 04:35 PM
Another big shoutout to Anthony for helping me out big time!

http://imgur.com/kKZbqKl.jpg

Anthony's "They don't teach you this in school" technique for keeping the drill in the right place using a cloth hanger.

http://imgur.com/b9AGp2h.jpg

This is the final product of the external box and my take at the BeanAnimal's overflow.
Hacked together fittings and strainers I had around and I think it will work, I hope... Cutting tiny parts in a straight line is hard... :redface:
We were working with a bit that was starting to get dull and the first hole took much longer than when we drilled the tank so I decided to go with my original design so that not all 3 holes would be on the same panel.

http://imgur.com/fdFPclZ.jpg

Tank prepared to have the external box siliconed on.

http://imgur.com/kDPcBJb.jpg

Now I just need to clean everything and plumb the tank once more and I'll be done with the build! I hope... haha
I bet it really helped to keep a steady hand resting your wrists the box of frozen chicken strips, :sorry: bud couldn't resist :lol:

Etaloche
01-23-2016, 06:46 AM
That's an interesting overflow setup. I can't say I've seen one quite like it. It should work well.

I don't think I have either, it was just something I came up with as I went.
Deciding to drill the tank after completing everything wasn't the most ideal thing and a lot of my plumbing just had to be modified and improvised to fit what I already had haha
Tomorrow will be the final leak test so hope everything works *cross fingers*

I bet it really helped to keep a steady hand resting your wrists the box of frozen chicken strips, :sorry: bud couldn't resist :lol:

I think Anthony was using it as a knee rest. Can't resist them chicken strips :razz:

Etaloche
01-23-2016, 07:06 AM
Thank god it's the weekend! I think I'm finally nearing completion of the tank portion of the build.

Lots of work in the last couple days.
Overflow and external box put into place with silicone on all the bulk heads and in every nook and cranny to avoid any leaks.
Waiting for more things to dry, my favorite... :turn-l:

http://imgur.com/bcGsVVI.jpg

With the use of many couplings, I was actually able to reuse all of the previous plumbing I had and minimize cost which was nice.
One new line put in for the emergency line.

http://imgur.com/0SoBCG0.jpg

Inside plumbing, really starting to get crowded down here.
Can't imagine how crammed it's going to be after all the electrical components are installed too.

http://imgur.com/wvmxsbp.jpg

Tomorrow will be leak testing and I'll be able to call the build done if nothing goes wrong!! :mrgreen:

Myka
01-23-2016, 02:50 PM
Looks good!

Etaloche
01-23-2016, 11:58 PM
I managed to make the brace last night before sleeping so that I can have a peace of mind when the tank is filled.

http://imgur.com/ggTd5OW.jpg

As you can see even after couple practice pieces my plastic bonding technique is still quite lacking... :redface:
Never done a piece with a big area to bond and didn't realize the cement wouldn't seep all the way to the middle.

http://imgur.com/qN1oz2X.jpg

Second try went better but still getting lots of bubbles

http://i.imgur.com/tnyyyrh.jpg

After all that, the long piece was scary to tackle but it actually ended up being my neatest bond yet.

http://imgur.com/xSdI9jZ.jpg

Here's how it looks like on the tank. Luckily the imperfections on the bonds aren't really visible when looking at the tank so it won't bother me and keep me up at night haha :lol:

http://i.imgur.com/sUhcNEz.jpg

Leak testing!

http://i.imgur.com/FYJveWu.jpg

Everything looks good, overflow working as it should.
I found that the airline tubing was not needed to allow the open channel to achieve a full siphon once the water level gets high enough.

http://i.imgur.com/u4XyJ9q.jpg

All good in the sump too.

http://i.imgur.com/pGyr1NE.jpg

Uhhhh... so I think I'm ready to get some saltwater into this tank now!? :mrgreen:

The Guy
01-24-2016, 07:32 AM
Looks good Brian, your workmanship is very tidy and well thought out.

maron6977
01-24-2016, 05:16 PM
Is there enough volume in your sump if return pump is turned off ? Watch out for back flow from returns !

The Guy
01-24-2016, 05:52 PM
A small hole drilled at the water line on the back side of the return pipe also works well to break the syphon in the event of the return pump going off or a power loss, on page seven I think I see a check valve in the return piping which is a good idea too, make sure to keep it clean as those pesky little snails can cause it to stay open sometimes. :biggrin:

Etaloche
01-25-2016, 12:15 AM
Is there enough volume in your sump if return pump is turned off ? Watch out for back flow from returns !

Did a quick test
In my leak test the pump chamber was way overfilled so it won't normally be that full
Here's how high the water gets when the pump is off. It doesn't even fill up to my 1st chamber even when overfilled so I think I'm in the clear

http://imgur.com/9nGm52B.jpg

A small hole drilled at the water line on the back side of the return pipe also works well to break the syphon in the event of the return pump going off or a power loss, on page seven I think I see a check valve in the return piping which is a good idea too, make sure to keep it clean as those pesky little snails can cause it to stay open sometimes. :biggrin:

Ya I don't trust these things completely. I've been trying to find the check valve for the loc lines as a second measure but it's either not available or ridiculous to ship.

Myka
01-25-2016, 04:20 AM
Make sure you have enough volume in the sump without the check valve. It will fail at some point - usually when you're not home. Murphy's Law. :D

You mention the return chamber was overfilled in your leak test photo, but it's actually at the level where it should be - it should be about 1/4 - 1/2" higher than the last baffle so that there isn't a waterfall into the return chamber. If you have a waterfall that makes the baffles a moot point.

Looks like it's time to get salty! :D

Etaloche
01-25-2016, 06:44 AM
Make sure you have enough volume in the sump without the check valve. It will fail at some point - usually when you're not home. Murphy's Law. :D

You mention the return chamber was overfilled in your leak test photo, but it's actually at the level where it should be - it should be about 1/4 - 1/2" higher than the last baffle so that there isn't a waterfall into the return chamber. If you have a waterfall that makes the baffles a moot point.

Looks like it's time to get salty! :D

When I ran the test in the previous picture the return nozzles were placed high enough and when the pump was turned off they weren't submerged so didn't even use the check valve.

I never thought of that in terms of the water level in the last chamber. Totally makes sense though.

Etaloche
01-25-2016, 11:34 AM
I think it's safe to say at this point that this build is proudly sponsored by Anthony

Had a post up looking for some rock and he was quick to contact me and give me a deal I couldn't refuse
Got them sitting in some water for now to get some of the debris loose

http://imgur.com/PQludDQ.jpg

Got a refractometer in the mail but it's taking longer than I had hoped, luckily I was able to borrow one from him

http://imgur.com/vKkDIBX.jpg

Also a 50g bucket for the initial mixing and filling

http://imgur.com/7XM76kY.jpg

Without the help from Anthony this build would've been much more difficult and time consuming. Can't thank him enough! :angel:

Etaloche
01-28-2016, 11:00 AM
Can't believe my tank is finally up and running!
5 years of wanting to get into this hobby and well worth the wait so far!

Here's a light fixture I whipped up from 3/4" polycarbonate

http://imgur.com/QRR92Si.jpg

Figuring out the aquascape. Anthony told me that he never epoxied any of his rocks together so I did the same and simply piled up the rocks where they were structurally sound

http://imgur.com/cNnAd2p.jpg

I shipped one of the PC4 modules that wasn't working in for repairs so I couldn't finalize the wiring so it's a little messy but this is what it looks like

http://imgur.com/IqiJ5kC.jpg

Tank finally filled with water!!

http://imgur.com/7u6c6Hs.jpg

After the water has settled a bit and cleared

http://imgur.com/aJcCakP.jpg

Sitting at 78 degrees F and pH of 7.80 for now

http://imgur.com/V4x5Ypq.jpg

Day 1 of reef keeping and I couldn't be more excited!
I want to thank everyone that gave me great advice and help. Couldn't have done it without the help of this great community :mrgreen:

The Guy
01-28-2016, 04:15 PM
:thumb:Wow looking awesome Brian.

Etaloche
01-29-2016, 01:10 AM
Day 2, water has completely cleared and finalized the installation of the lights

Been just sitting in front of my tank staring into it wishing I had some livestock to make it more interesting and exciting :lol:

I guess now's a good time to think about livestock as I wait a while for the cycle to finish

http://imgur.com/17tewF8.jpg

Myka
01-29-2016, 01:13 AM
Looking pretty stellar Brian! :D

WarDog
01-29-2016, 01:18 AM
That came together quick and looking awesome!

I've got some bubble algae you can have, free!

Myka
01-29-2016, 01:20 AM
Also, your cycle won't take long with dry rock. If you want to speed it up, add Prodibio Start Up. I add this to all new tanks that are started with dry rock. Really seems to help establish the good bacteria (rather than bad). I just add one pack (I think it has 6 or 8 vials in it) as directed until it's gone. I know the instructions say to use it longer, but one pack sure helps. :)

Etaloche
01-29-2016, 01:25 AM
That came together quick and looking awesome!

I've got some bubble algae you can have, free!

How generous of you kind sir :twised:, sounds good! I think I've spent a good 2-3 hours staring into my empty tank so far, even a bit of bubble algae to add some movement would be an improvement hahahaha c'mon do something interesting! :boink:

Fishy!
01-29-2016, 01:27 AM
How generous of you kind sir :twised:, sounds good! I think I've spent a good 2-3 hours staring into my empty tank so far, even a bit of bubble algae to add some movement would be an improvement hahahaha c'mon do something interesting! :boink:

Looks good. Anyone remember when we used to cycle tanks with cheap fish like damsels?

SeaHorse_Fanatic
01-29-2016, 01:31 AM
Looks awesome my friend. The aquascaping even looks very much like what we were able to setup in my living room, with lots of great caves and places for both corals and fish. Really like how your tank has come together.

Etaloche
01-29-2016, 01:34 AM
Also, your cycle won't take long with dry rock. If you want to speed it up, add Prodibio Start Up. I add this to all new tanks that are started with dry rock. Really seems to help establish the good bacteria (rather than bad). I just add one pack (I think it has 6 or 8 vials in it) as directed until it's gone. I know the instructions say to use it longer, but one pack sure helps. :)

I assume these (http://www.amazon.ca/Prodibio-Start--Freshwater-Saltwater-vials/dp/B009LEGCTO/ref=sr_1_4?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1454030756&sr=1-4&keywords=prodibio) are what you're referring to?

I actually picked up one of these (http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem.aspx?idProduct=BW01219&child=BW01220) and been planning to dose it daily starting tonight, are these similar products? If they aren't could I use both to help or should I just stick to one.

Etaloche
01-29-2016, 01:41 AM
Looks awesome my friend. The aquascaping even looks very much like what we were able to setup in my living room, with lots of great caves and places for both corals and fish. Really like how your tank has come together.

This build wouldn't have been possible without your help and I want to thank you once again!:D
Ya, they were some quality rocks and fit together very well. I'm very happy about the way the aquascape came out.
Text me when you're available so I can return some of your belongings

Myka
01-29-2016, 02:27 AM
I assume these (http://www.amazon.ca/Prodibio-Start--Freshwater-Saltwater-vials/dp/B009LEGCTO/ref=sr_1_4?s=pet-supplies&ie=UTF8&qid=1454030756&sr=1-4&keywords=prodibio) are what you're referring to?

I actually picked up one of these (http://www.marinedepot.com/ps_ViewItem.aspx?idProduct=BW01219&child=BW01220) and been planning to dose it daily starting tonight, are these similar products? If they aren't could I use both to help or should I just stick to one.

MB7 and Prodibio BioDigest are similar (How similar? We don't know because there are no ingredients listed haha). They are both bacteria products. Prodibio Start Up also has the Ammo Lock vials in it which neutralizes the ammonia and allows you to add livestock sooner. If there is an algae bloom before the cycle is over, this Ammo Lock comes in handy because you can add a CUC (clean up crew). That's really the only difference. You could essentially do the same with MB7 and some other ammonia detoxifier like Prime or Amquel.

Etaloche
01-29-2016, 09:41 AM
MB7 and Prodibio BioDigest are similar (How similar? We don't know because there are no ingredients listed haha). They are both bacteria products. Prodibio Start Up also has the Ammo Lock vials in it which neutralizes the ammonia and allows you to add livestock sooner. If there is an algae bloom before the cycle is over, this Ammo Lock comes in handy because you can add a CUC (clean up crew). That's really the only difference. You could essentially do the same with MB7 and some other ammonia detoxifier like Prime or Amquel.

Alright, I'll stick with the MB7 and see how things go. Next time I start up a tank I'll definitely try out the Prodibio products. Who knows, at the rate I was upgrading, another upgrade might not be too far off :razz:

Etaloche
02-28-2016, 10:54 PM
Been so busy with midterms and have been too absorbed in my tank to post any updates recently. My tank has been up for a little over a month now so I think an update is due.

After cycling the tank for couple days I did some reading on prodibio due to Myka's recommendation and saw that they claimed you could add fish 12 hours after using their product so I gave it a go.
I waited about 2 days after adding prodibio and went ahead and got a firefish to help with the cycle.

http://imgur.com/VbsT10U.jpg

The firefish was very timid for the first couple days but now he's very active.
After I saw that the fish was happy and there was no spike in ammonia levels I went ahead and got a cleaner shrimp and couple snails as well.

http://imgur.com/LPRYg7m.jpg

The shrimp molted the same night I brought him in, was very cool to see.

http://imgur.com/EivTtur.jpg

Picked up my first coral while I was at J&L buying some supplies.
Thought I'd start with something easier and got some sunny D's.
There was some aptasia starting to grow on the rocks so I've actually had to frag it since this pic in order to break off the parts of the rock with the aptasia.

http://imgur.com/DPuHXjL.jpg

Next I paid a visit to fellow member Wheelman76's place to pick up some more corals.
His tank was super awesome and I picked up a tri-color acan and 3 different zoas: rasta, hornet, and wolverine I think

http://imgur.com/Af1b9xJ.jpg

http://imgur.com/UuLxSPl.jpg

http://imgur.com/otliTcT.jpg

http://imgur.com/PEfVZPq.jpg

Next I visited gregzz4's place and picked up some more corals, purple and green plating monti and some GSP.
Anthony lent me his spare ebay LEDs and gave me some chaeto and caulerpa to seed my fuge on the same day.
I didn't realize how much more powerful these LEDs were and accidentally started bleaching the montis.
I quickly moved the corals to the lowest parts of my tank and turned down the lights from 50 to 30% to acclimate them to the new lights and looks like the bleaching has stopped.
Still learning I guess :redface:

http://imgur.com/kiEmGca.jpg

http://imgur.com/0kxXGWW.jpg

http://imgur.com/H2IxBSD.jpg

http://imgur.com/JR8S1po.jpg

The purple monti is starting to show some signs of recovery but I fragged a small piece off and mounted it elsewhere in case the colony doesn't survive.
Couple days later I saw that the green monti finally had its polyps extended and even saw some new growth so it's doing much better now.

http://imgur.com/CWb7dFQ.jpg

The GSP didn't open up even after 3 days and was starting to get worried. I was told that these things are near impossible to kill though so I kept waiting.
Day 4 I saw a single polyp extend which gave me hope.
A little more the next day, and even more the next day after!
Now it's fully extended :biggrin:

http://imgur.com/SCGJ6nW.jpg

http://imgur.com/lt6I4BV.jpg

The GSP seems to be the goby's favorite place to hang out
http://imgur.com/h9ZDcUK.jpg

I also got a tiger pistol shrimp and a lawnmower goby.
Some of you might recall that the pistol shrimp and goby pair was how I first found out about this hobby and have always wanted to house them.
Couldn't be more excited to finally have a pair in my own tank!
The pistol shrimp actually made quite a mess and my water was cloudy for couple of days because of him. I even had thoughts about having to remove him from the tank but it's settled in now.
Took a couple days but the goby finally found the shrimp and they are now happily paired. Luckily they decided to house themselves right at the front of the tank so I get to watch them dig away all day long.

http://imgur.com/Dz8lAs3.jpg

Finally, I got a pair of Banggai Cardinals just couple days ago.
They seemed to get along for the first 2 days but I noticed last night that the big guy was chasing the small guy all over the tank and now the small guy just hides in the corner.
Looks like the luck of the draw left me with 2 males so one of them will have to go and I'll have to try my luck with another.

http://imgur.com/vJQVPmT.jpg

It's been an exciting month to say the least and lots to still learn :lol:
Water parameters are still holding up with 0 ammonia and starting to see traces of nitrates. Greg also recommended that I should start monitoring my alkalinity so I got a salifert test kit.
Alkalinity was starting to get a bit low around 7.2 so I did my first water change last night and now it's up around 8.5 and the corals seem to be a bit happier and opening up much more.

albert_dao
02-29-2016, 12:46 AM
Heh, looking good man! Come out my way and I'll give you a couple cool frags :D

Etaloche
02-29-2016, 02:27 AM
Heh, looking good man! Come out my way and I'll give you a couple cool frags :D

Thanks! I will for sure pay a visit. I've been actually looking at couple frags you had, I'm especially interested in that rainbow acan you had for sale. If I placed it on the same rock the tri-color is on do you think they'd be ok? I've heard certain acans will grow beside each other while some will sting.

maron6977
02-29-2016, 03:50 AM
Coming along nicely. Good job

WarDog
02-29-2016, 05:58 AM
Awesome job Brian, nice to finally see some livestock in there. What's your water change schedule going to be?

Etaloche
02-29-2016, 06:42 AM
Awesome job Brian, nice to finally see some livestock in there. What's your water change schedule going to be?

There's something I haven't quite figured out yet. I remember you guys having a long discussion on it and how a lot of people have been waiting a bit longer between wc. Since it was my first wc i did 25% this time. I think I will be doing 10% every 3 weeks from now and keeping an eye on the parameters and adjust from there.

WarDog
02-29-2016, 06:56 AM
Good idea. What test kits did you get? I ask because you'll be expecting your Alk, Mg and Cal to be dropping, when in reality, limited numbers of corals in a new tank use up very little of these elements.

Take your time and remember, bad things happen fast and good things happen slowly.

Etaloche
02-29-2016, 07:01 AM
Good idea. What test kits did you get? I ask because you'll be expecting your Alk, Mg and Cal to be dropping, when in reality, limited numbers of corals in a new tank use up very little of these elements.

Take your time and remember, bad things happen fast and good things happen slowly.

I have just API ammonia and nitrate kits and then Greg recommended I get a salifert alk kit so I have that. Low alk was the reason I actually did a bigger wc this time around. I will be most likely getting a dosing pump within the next 2 months and have been on the lookout for Hanna test kits to come up for sale for calc and mag. Having a big debate between calc reactor or dosing pump. I think for a smaller build like mine a dosing pump would suffice.

Going slow has been a bit challenging due to excitment but I'm managing in moderation so far! :razz:

Etaloche
03-04-2016, 08:31 AM
So in an interesting turn of events my firefish, goby and pistol shrimp decided to all share the same burrow. The pistol shrimp was digging up more tunnels than I expected and I slowly watched as it kept digging and digging towards the hole the firefish had been living in. I have heard stories where the pistol shrimp was the culprit of killing firefish so I was very worried. To my surprise the next day I saw that firefish popping in and out of the holes that the pistol shrimp had made. I even saw all 3 of them pop out of the same hole at once. The firefish doesn't keep watch like the goby does but he does this funny thing of backing into the hole while wagging his tail as if it's trying to let the pistol shrimp know he's coming in. I know that the firefish is also referred to as a goby but has anyone else seen a relationship like this before?

http://imgur.com/PSOXlAT.jpg

The purple monti seems to be still recovering from the bleaching. I have heard of mixed stories of bleached corals making a recovery. I think I was lucky enough to have stopped the bleaching early enough for the monti to recover.
Here is the monti shortly after I started bleaching it by having the light too intense.
http://imgur.com/YdkIUlk.jpg

Here it is today, it seemed to have built up this thick purple goo over the bleached area kind of like a scab and as it falls off it revealed a recovered patch! Some polyps are starting show as well.
Also scored a small piece of what I think is a spongodes monti if my research is correct from a fellow reefer when a small piece broke off while he was grabbing me a frag.
http://imgur.com/Hprv2IV.jpg

Speaking of new frags, here are some of the new frags I have acquired.
I really need to work on taking some better photos but here are some crappy phone pics for now.
Green and blue zoa which I have no clue of its name but I found it nice and picked it up.
Also picked up a fighting conch to help with cleanup. I really love this guy, hilarious looking and cleans all day long.
http://imgur.com/T4rM7CS.jpg
Also got some fruit loop and pink/purple zoa but forgot to take pics.

Hammer and frogspawn frags. I really wanted to get a torch as well but read that they don't play as nice as the other euphyllias and decided to hold off until I had more experience.
http://imgur.com/GrapCM7.jpg

Albert invited me with the offer to give me some free frags to get me going and I ended up buying some frags as well.

Got a plate coral
http://imgur.com/GpdvvMy.jpg

A favia, got its sweeper tentacle out in this photo
http://imgur.com/O6fm9lT.jpg

I ended up buying a single head of this beautiful rainbow acan.
http://imgur.com/sZO7oGx.jpg

I must've damaged it a bit as I was getting it off the plug or it was already slightly damaged but it seems to be opting to split itself rather than heal the damaged area. Been interesting to watch the process. Not sure if the camera is able to pick it up.
http://imgur.com/l3J2CB9.jpg

Finally, I purchased a frag of pink lemonade and bonsai. I was told these are some of the easier SPS and the polyps came out nicely so I'm pretty stoked on them.
http://imgur.com/YpieLOp.jpg

Tyler and Albert were nice enough to hand off this old calcium reactor they had lying around. It needs some work so I'll be re-plumbing it to work for me.
http://imgur.com/RSS2atN.jpg

The housing for the original maxijet has broken off so I'll need to find a way to attach a new pump to it.
http://imgur.com/s7G2jbe.jpg

Skimmer Juice
03-04-2016, 06:54 PM
I had a firefish for 7-8 years he started burrowing with my pistol shrimp , fire fish was in great health fed him at night , next day I get home and he was dying but had no signs of sickness he was really fat so I thing he might of got hit with the bubble the pistol shrimp makes . SO I would be careful but mine could of been something completely different but that's what I think happened .

Tank looks like its coming along nicely !

Etaloche
03-04-2016, 07:09 PM
I had a firefish for 7-8 years he started burrowing with my pistol shrimp , fire fish was in great health fed him at night , next day I get home and he was dying but had no signs of sickness he was really fat so I thing he might of got hit with the bubble the pistol shrimp makes . SO I would be careful but mine could of been something completely different but that's what I think happened .

Tank looks like its coming along nicely !

Ah, sorry to hear about your loss. At this point the firefish is simply too quick to hide along with the shrimp so there would be no way to seperate them without taking the whole aquascape apart. Keeping my finger crossed and hoping for the best. Everytime I hear the shrimp snapping around in his burrow I get nervous for couple minutes only to see the firefish peek out a bit later and I can breath easily again Haha. Thanks!

Bblinks
03-04-2016, 08:48 PM
That Albert is a good guy....and Tyler too.:mrgreen:

SeaHorse_Fanatic
03-04-2016, 10:34 PM
That Albert is a good guy....and Tyler too.:mrgreen:

Rumour has it they're one and the same.:surprise::surprise::surprise:




JK.

albert_dao
03-04-2016, 11:37 PM
Rumour has it they're one and the same.:surprise::surprise::surprise:




JK.

-________________________________-

I'm not a lanky redneck!

Etaloche
03-04-2016, 11:38 PM
-________________________________-

I'm not a lanky redneck!

Gratata :2gunfire:

The Guy
03-05-2016, 05:42 PM
LOL!!! both good guys :rockon:

spit.fire
03-05-2016, 07:16 PM
-________________________________-

I'm not a lanky redneck!

:cry:

Etaloche
03-10-2016, 06:22 PM
Power just went out with an exam in an hour. Don't think I've been this stressed in a while.

albert_dao
03-10-2016, 07:38 PM
Should be fine for a few hours bro. You can manually aerate the tank with a whisk if you are worried.

SeaHorse_Fanatic
03-10-2016, 08:26 PM
Fortunately his power went back on already.

Etaloche
03-10-2016, 08:45 PM
Yup luckily it came back on right before either had to leave for exam. Going to JL to buy a battery powered air pump after class in case it happens again since the storm in N Van is still pretty intense.

albert_dao
03-10-2016, 11:14 PM
if you have a DC powerhead, just grab a batter backup from a computer store man. Worth the price of admission.

Etaloche
03-11-2016, 01:11 AM
if you have a DC powerhead, just grab a batter backup from a computer store man. Worth the price of admission.

Gah I wanna upgrade to DC powerheads and battery backup but initial cost to get both is pretty significant. I think my wave box is DC. Been wanting to upgrade powerheads but maybe battery backup should come first after this experience.

mrhasan
03-11-2016, 03:44 AM
Gah I wanna upgrade to DC powerheads and battery backup but initial cost to get both is pretty significant. I think my wave box is DC. Been wanting to upgrade powerheads but maybe battery backup should come first after this experience.

Jebao with battery backup is pretty cheap compared. You can get a battery backup for $150 and grab the required size/amount of RW pumps.

Etaloche
03-11-2016, 12:07 PM
Jebao with battery backup is pretty cheap compared. You can get a battery backup for $150 and grab the required size/amount of RW pumps.

I've been looking to get a pair of RW-8 actually! Just need to save up for a bit to afford them + battery. I still want to upgrade lights, skimmer, and get some reactors hooked up. Gah, lots of saving up to do.

mrhasan
03-11-2016, 06:59 PM
I've been looking to get a pair of RW-8 actually! Just need to save up for a bit to afford them + battery. I still want to upgrade lights, skimmer, and get some reactors hooked up. Gah, lots of saving up to do.

Been there done that when I was in grad school. I used to skip meals to buy stuffs for tanks :razz:

Coasting
03-11-2016, 07:23 PM
I've been looking to get a pair of RW-8 actually! Just need to save up for a bit to afford them + battery. I still want to upgrade lights, skimmer, and get some reactors hooked up. Gah, lots of saving up to do.
Theres always room to budget ;) if you can handle waiting the rws can be ordered directly from china for much less then anyone in canada sells them for. I just picked up 2 and the new generation jebao 12000 from overseas.

The Guy
03-12-2016, 06:58 AM
Yup luckily it came back on right before either had to leave for exam. Going to JL to buy a battery powered air pump after class in case it happens again since the storm in N Van is still pretty intense.
They work pretty good and supply lots of aeration, that's all I use and wrap the tank with a heavy quilt or sleeping bag and leave the lights off. while I'm away from home.
When home I run my genset if necessary depending on how long the power is off, 12 hours this time.
Battery powered air pump $15 and change so I have two on hand.

Etaloche
03-12-2016, 07:15 PM
This was the package I was looking at so that I can run both pumps off a single controller as I'm running out of electrical outlets very fast now.

http://www.ebay.ca/itm/222033417765?euid=8f29cb6634f54332860d34a24efcb3ce&cp=1

Etaloche
03-29-2016, 09:31 AM
I should make an effort to update more than once a month. So much can happen in a month I never even realized...

Where to even start

Woke up one day to a pod outbreak. I added a bottle of Doc's Eco Matter when I first got the tank up and running because I've always wanted a mandarin goby.
I kinda thought they all died out because there wasn't enough for them to eat in a new tank but I guess I was wrong.
Hopefully I can house a mandarin goby in the near future.

http://imgur.com/Ypt1juS.jpg

I decided to turn off my wavebox at night for no particular reason, just trying out stuff. Seems like the firefish decided to sleep in it and got shredded pretty bad when it turned back on in the morning
He healed up in about 3 days though. The rate at fish seem to heal is pretty surprising. Needless to say the wavebox stays on 24/7 now.

http://imgur.com/M0KsSqK.jpg

http://imgur.com/wHfTdGp.jpg

Everyone needs a pair of clowns in their tanks! I decided to splurge a little and got a pair of awesome black ice from JCharles
They are so active it's hard to get a clear photo with a phone camera!

http://imgur.com/O52OEga.jpg

Also got a lawnmower blenny, I've always heard they were peaceful herbivores but my god he is mean to my goby. Will not let the goby have a moment of peace if the goby is peaking out of the rocks.
Can also see the armageddon zoa I picked up right beside.

http://imgur.com/zyKAlie.jpg

Picked up a coco worm from Laurie's tank shut down. I've been dosing phyto to keep the pod population going strong so the coco worm should be happy about that.

http://imgur.com/9URU7H3.jpg

Next I visited Anthony and got a small RBTA for my clowns. It took about 2 hours of persuading to get it off the rock it came on.

http://imgur.com/B7k63LV.jpg

It decided to situate itself on the corner of one of my rocks. Stayed there for couple days before trying to move around to a new spot.
I was checking my tank one night with a red flashlight and suddenly saw something fly across the tank and scared the hell out of me.
Turned out to be the anemone taking flight to a new location. Woke up next morning to it right in the front of the tank so I'm super happy about that.
Clowns showing no sign of any interest of hosting the anemone though. Typical...

http://imgur.com/bThdnGT.jpg

http://imgur.com/6G1nuHN.jpg

A mini brittle star decided to hitch a ride with the anemone so I saved it for my fuge

http://imgur.com/nAyQsRq.jpg

Some new SPS frags as well

Red digi and green birdsnest
http://imgur.com/125qgOU.jpg

Alien haystack and no name acro, if someone has ID on the right frag let me know.
http://imgur.com/bGWr4X8.jpg

Purple pocillopora
http://imgur.com/XTTYor9.jpg

I got a plate coral from Albert for free when I first got my tank up. It was a coral I started liking much more than I thought I would at first.
The issue was that I don't have much room on my sand bed and it was growing really quick! So I traded Anthony the exact same plate coral but for a smaller one.

http://imgur.com/C8UPgL0.jpg

The rainbow acan I got from Albert that I thought was gonna split actually ended up doing so.

It's melting!

http://imgur.com/tcCcgZj.jpg

Ended up with 2 heads of rainbow acan right away. Not bad, just need to wait for them to grow out now.
Here they are after couple weeks of healing

This one healed up into a full head
http://imgur.com/ybCdljY.jpg

This one still seems to be healing. Looks as though it might even attempt to split once again.
http://imgur.com/4fkCdRh.jpg

I also bought 2 heads of green hammer from Albert. I was a complete klutz and accidentally broke one of the heads in half while trying to get it off the plug :redface:
I've always heard you should split euphyllias by cutting a whole head off and wasn't sure how it would do if the head was split.
Couple weeks of letting it be and it's showing signs of recovery. Fingers crossed

When I broke it
http://imgur.com/xMkQTpA.jpg

Couple days later
http://imgur.com/nran5tu.jpg

I finally got new lights as well, china box LED I have been using until now wasn't showing very good signs of growth. After much research I still decided to go with china box LED but the best one I could find.
It's from a company called SB Reef Lights and has full spectrum with UV as well. So far very pleased with them. I've never seen my corals extend so much before until now.

http://imgur.com/QDYyPEk.jpg

Fully custom ramping feature as well. This is really nice since my firefish used to always freak out when the whites went off before.

http://imgur.com/SghIqEy.jpg

Here is that broken hammer frag today under these lights looking much better. Been interesting to see how new polyps grow inside a hammer. They seem to start as a big bunch of polyps that later split into individual polyps.
http://imgur.com/aizNuhu.jpg

Never even realized my frogspawn was this large until I got these lights.
http://imgur.com/Y3sq8hV.jpg

So much polyp extension!
http://imgur.com/v0kJnPR.jpg

http://imgur.com/CyBVBi4.jpg

The coloration under these lights are amazing too!

The pink lemonade I had was turning a little pale from the bottom up but couple days with the lights and all its color came back.
This bonsai frag (or purple valida?) has turned deep purple with very florescent green since being put under these lights.
http://imgur.com/JlkiCUN.jpg

This leather coral that Anthony gave me that was accidentally fragged when getting the RBTA showed no sign of life and 2 days with new lights and it's somewhat responding to it. No full extension just yet.
http://imgur.com/50AOuUl.jpg

Even the anemone seems to be enjoying the new lights
http://imgur.com/dCjXzjZ.jpg

I think Albert told me I seem to be lacking a full tank shot so as my final post on this update here it is.
It was right before lights out so most of the corals have already started to retract. You can see that my aquascape got a change since my initial setup.

http://imgur.com/L06zEEC.jpg

SeaHorse_Fanatic
03-29-2016, 11:37 AM
Looking good Brian. Glad those new lights are working out well for you so far. Very thorough description for your "monthly" update. Enjoyed it as always. Cheers. Its 3:36 am and I'm finally done with editing papers for the night. Talk to you soon, I'm sure.

Anthony

Etaloche
03-29-2016, 12:15 PM
Looking good Brian. Glad those new lights are working out well for you so far. Very thorough description for your "monthly" update. Enjoyed it as always. Cheers. Its 3:36 am and I'm finally done with editing papers for the night. Talk to you soon, I'm sure.

Anthony

A night owl like me eh. I'm very glad you lent me those lights because I doubt that any of my sps frags would've survived under the lights I had before. These new lights are like China boxes on steroids though. Here's the retrofit boards that I was talking about when I was over. Could be a worthwhile investment for you in the future. Could even be interesting to see if you changed just one of your lights to these and see if there's growth difference or if I'm just having placebo effect.

https://sbreeflights.com/sbox-upgrade-retro-kits/6-sbox-replacement-pcb-board.html

The Guy
03-29-2016, 04:27 PM
Hey Brian your tank looks awesome so far bud, the coco worm looks happy too.

Etaloche
03-29-2016, 08:56 PM
Hey Brian your tank looks awesome so far bud, the coco worm looks happy too.

Thanks Laurie, it's definitely been a beautiful addition to my tank. The plate coral also came from your tank because Anthony told me he picked it up from you:razz:

The Guy
03-29-2016, 10:38 PM
Thanks Laurie, it's definitely been a beautiful addition to my tank. The plate coral also came from your tank because Anthony told me he picked it up from you:razz:
Ya I thought it looked familiar. :lol:

albert_dao
03-29-2016, 10:38 PM
Tank's too small bro... :P

Etaloche
03-30-2016, 01:39 AM
Tank's too small bro... :P

Tell me about it... Think I've maxed out my livestock already?

Etaloche
04-02-2016, 12:44 AM
Was sold a faulty PC4 module a while back and had some troubles contacting the seller for a bit, but finally got a hold of him and got it all worked out. Instead of a $50 refund I opted to grab this scoly for $20 more.
I've always wanted a scoly but the expensive price deterred me from getting one. $70 is the best price I'm ever going to get for a scoly this size so I couldn't pass up the offer.

The long transit and dip stressed it quite a bit and it lost a bit of color
http://imgur.com/iRtczBP.jpg

3 days later and couple feedings did it wonders but colors are still faded a bit. Hoping that more of the orange takes over and it will be a stunning piece of coral! I'm very excited about this purchase
http://imgur.com/P280o8t.jpg

Right after that Anthony invited me over to see of his new corals and fish he got for a great price (what a showoff! :lol:)
I love going over to his place and always seeing something new despite his famous last words "I can't add any more to my tanks"

He handed me this candy cane which wasn't doing too well in his tank in hopes that a new environment could bring some life back to it
http://imgur.com/6tEbKno.jpg

It was looking a lot better the morning after so I have high hopes for it. If it can recover it will be an awesome addition to my tank as I don't have anything nearly as big as this yet.
http://imgur.com/QWvYYll.jpg

Couple of days later it's still showing good signs of recovery. I'll be working hard to bring this one back to good health!
http://imgur.com/xynnucv.jpg

And by working hard I mean staring at it for hours on end :mrgreen:
http://imgur.com/ZTF4Mof.jpg

Anthony also shared some frags of the big zoa colonies he picked up

I don't remember the name of this one...
http://imgur.com/CONVCaq.jpg

Fire and ice, someone give me some good tips on how to take better photos please. These photos are just dang awful
http://imgur.com/IKtCVjV.jpg

coolhandgoose
04-02-2016, 01:27 AM
Nice scoly. Hope it colours up for you.
Lots of algae going on there :wink:
Candy canes are the one coral that's bullet proof in my tank so I'm sure it will come back around nicely for you.

mrhasan
04-02-2016, 01:30 AM
For the CC, put it in a low flow low area light. They recover miraculously when they are not getting blasted with light or flow.

Impressive progress :mrgreen:

Etaloche
04-02-2016, 02:08 AM
Nice scoly. Hope it colours up for you.
Lots of algae going on there :wink:
Candy canes are the one coral that's bullet proof in my tank so I'm sure it will come back around nicely for you.

Ya I added a whole bunch of livestock in the past few weeks and my feeding hand got a bit heavy cause I got so excited :redface:
Just did a 10% WC yesterday and lots of manual removal of algae. Doesn't help that the weather almost went up 10 degrees in the past week and lots more sunlight coming through even though I live in a basement.
Still learning the ins and outs of algae control.

For the CC, put it in a low flow low area light. They recover miraculously when they are not getting blasted with light or flow.

Impressive progress :mrgreen:

Oh ok, I just moved it to the lowest flow part of my tank which happens to be a low light area as well. Fingers crossed now. Lawnmower blenny keeps picking at the algae on the tips and making it retract ugh.

SeaHorse_Fanatic
04-02-2016, 06:51 AM
The zoas are called Green Bay Packers or Boy Scouts, depending on whether you follow NFL football or not, I guess. If the candycanes survive, they're yours.:wink:

Etaloche
04-04-2016, 11:39 PM
I've been fragging all my zoas when I first get them so that I always start with just 4-5 heads. I just wanted to see growth pattern and speed of their growth individually.
The idea is also to have one of my rock evenly spread with different kinds of zoas.

Anyways, I traded in all my small frags for this open brain coral. I didn't get the one I wanted because it was sold 2 days after I decided I wanted it :sad:
Anthony told me to always ask to have the coral you want on hold from now on. Will definitely take on that advice from now.

Still very happy with this one, has awesome splashes of colors.
http://imgur.com/LTb0vAp.jpg

I noticed yesterday that my firefish has developed a bit of a cloudy eye on one side. After some research I've narrowed it down to some possibilities: physical damage like scratches, internal parasitic infection, or bacterial infection.
I couldn't really get a clear photo but will try to. I have a QT tank setup but haven't been able to catch the fish.
Not ready to tear down my scape and decided to keep an eye on him for couple more days. Planning to add a UV in case it's an infection. Any other advice?

Could be related but I added a springer's damsel to my tank last week who disappeared in a single night. I assumed my pistol shrimp got to it and ate it.
Maybe it was carrying some sort of disease... I really hope not but I'm prepared to act on it in case it was.

Etaloche
04-05-2016, 12:27 AM
Had to whip out the DSLR to get somewhat decent photo of the eye

The cloudy left eye, hard to tell but it has a slight hazey area right in the middle.
http://imgur.com/USB5Pmx.jpg

Right eye seems completely clear and will give better contrast to what I'm talking about in the left eye.
http://imgur.com/m9HizJv.jpg

Dash
04-05-2016, 05:11 PM
Hi Brian,

Newbie here. I've been reading tons on Canreef since setting up my tank last Nov. Great info but most of it is so far off from what I've got running:redface:. I have a 75g fowlr cobbled together mainly for my 2 green spotted puffers (that the LFS told me were freshwater). Anyway, these guys have been the gateway to a new addiction, albeit on a budget.

After adding a couple of softies I'm now looking for a new light. I've been looking on ebay for a deal on Evergrow lights but have also looked at the SB Reef lights. Just wondering, what were the Chinese box lights you had before?

Ps. I have a goby/shrimp pair and lawnmower blenny too. I love "character" fish:smile:

Maggie

Etaloche
04-05-2016, 09:57 PM
Hi Brian,

Newbie here. I've been reading tons on Canreef since setting up my tank last Nov. Great info but most of it is so far off from what I've got running:redface:. I have a 75g fowlr cobbled together mainly for my 2 green spotted puffers (that the LFS told me were freshwater). Anyway, these guys have been the gateway to a new addiction, albeit on a budget.

After adding a couple of softies I'm now looking for a new light. I've been looking on ebay for a deal on Evergrow lights but have also looked at the SB Reef lights. Just wondering, what were the Chinese box lights you had before?

Ps. I have a goby/shrimp pair and lawnmower blenny too. I love "character" fish:smile:

Maggie

Are you looking into turning the 75G to a reef tank?

I had SWC Xtreme which are really really old now. A very nice member here who goes by Seahorse_Fanatic lent me some marsaqua lights since the SWC were nowhere near the performance I needed for some corals.

I did hours of research into lights and I would highly recommend 2 16" models from SB Reeflights for your tank. I think they are the best bang for your buck currently, I'm seriously loving mine. They have a range of models from basic, timer, to ramping as well if you feel you want to go fancy. I personally really like the ramping model since some of my fish were freaking out when the lights would abruptly turn off and turn on. With the ramping they seem much more comfortable. Shoot me a PM if you have any more questions although I'm still quite a newbie as well.

Another advice I have is to start up a build thread/journal on the forum. Lots of people will chime in with great advice.

Dash
04-05-2016, 10:40 PM
Despite initially vowing that I would do a fowlr, I'm very tentatively looking at acquiring some corals, more on the LPS side. Impossible to resist the dark side, haha. Before I do that, I need to upgrade my lights. Believe it or not, I'm running an old Aqueon modular led that came with the tank (I bought a freshwater setup from CL) but it's keeping everything going.

I'm leaning towards either Evergrow or SB, but recently found a seller on ebay offering more affordable "refurbished" Evergrows - whatever that means.

Really enjoying your tank build thread as I can understand most of it lol

Maggie

Etaloche
04-05-2016, 10:55 PM
I'm leaning towards either Evergrow or SB, but recently found a seller on ebay offering more affordable "refurbished" Evergrows - whatever that means.

Really enjoying your tank build thread as I can understand most of it lol

Maggie

You can't go wrong with either in terms of softies, if you do one day decide to try LPS or SPS I can already guarantee that you will get better growth and colors with the SB.
The price is almost no different as well from what I know. Not sure how much these refurb units are going for.
I know that the owner of SB was doing a scratch and dent sale last week with some great prices for practically new lights as well. I can link it to you in a PM.
SB also sells retrofit boards with their custom spectrum that you can buy later down the road and install into your evergrow if it's compatible so that's also an option.

https://sbreeflights.com/sbox-upgrade-retro-kits/6-sbox-replacement-pcb-board.html

In any case, with the right conditions both these lights will grow corals perfectly fine.

Dash
04-05-2016, 11:56 PM
Thanks for the info - I'll def check it out.

Hope your little firefish is recovering. Cheers,

Maggie

Etaloche
05-07-2016, 12:28 AM
Not too much going on in the tank lately and just been watching the corals grow out

Some new additions

http://imgur.com/nxfLNFx.jpg

http://imgur.com/TFqkhXm.jpg

Warren if you see this can you give me the name of this coral? I totally forgot.
http://imgur.com/Ri4acmu.jpg

http://imgur.com/ungAazr.jpg

You can see my new orchid dottyback hiding in the rock in this one.
http://imgur.com/UiND1tl.jpg

http://imgur.com/rjCY2Dd.jpg

http://imgur.com/XFgJ7fg.jpg

http://imgur.com/p4m5g2g.jpg

http://imgur.com/ZRo78j9.jpg

This acan has been growing out beautifully. One of the first corals I ever got

http://imgur.com/RdDYw4k.jpg

The candycane has made some great recovery. I've been battling some algae and lost a single head when the algae took over but have since got it under control. I've also been feeding each individual head by hand every couple of days and that's how its been nicknamed the sun coral :lol:

Feeding time
http://imgur.com/L8hjpvk.jpg

http://imgur.com/wJghuWp.jpg

When I first got the coral
http://imgur.com/Hfhacxq.jpg

Today, still got a long way before full recovery
http://imgur.com/kTC5Ezw.jpg

Zoa garden is taking shape
http://imgur.com/Af3ntYW.jpg

Some new zoa and paly waiting to be mounted. Thanks GoFish for providing me with a frag rack. It's been very useful
http://imgur.com/mBwQZ97.jpg

http://imgur.com/IoUDRfL.jpg

http://imgur.com/Fww9h1r.jpg

I also finally got a mandarin goby!
http://imgur.com/bUFTNP3.jpg

Built this target feeder I saw on the internet and hatched some brine shrimp for him. Eventually started putting mysis on the feeder and he happily accepts any frozen foods now. Very happy that training him was a breeze :mrgreen:
http://imgur.com/VNJ41DR.jpg

Halloween urchin which has been a big help with algae control
http://imgur.com/IBqNxpC.jpg

Also got some other critters. This pom pom crab has to be my favorite crab.
http://imgur.com/wVPRbMa.jpg

This porcelain crab is very fun to watch too.
http://imgur.com/QTyH37z.jpg

Finally, the latest addition to my tank has been this sharknose cleaner goby.
http://imgur.com/57k7pKE.jpg

Etaloche
05-07-2016, 12:58 AM
Only recent changes have been that I started dosing the Prodibio BioKit and changed my salt to the Aquaforest Probiotic Salt

http://imgur.com/KDhLqSv.jpg

http://imgur.com/HRznnNq.jpg

http://imgur.com/bQV4Tip.jpg

WarDog
05-07-2016, 03:01 AM
Looking good buddy. That would be a Turaki, original colony out of Jeff's tank at J&L.

Etaloche
05-07-2016, 04:12 AM
Looking good buddy. That would be a Turaki, original colony out of Jeff's tank at J&L.

Gotcha thanks

Etaloche
10-30-2016, 08:32 AM
Wow... time flies, I can't believe it's already been 9 months since my tank has been set up. Just realized my last update was 5 months ago.
Been busy with a new job and school starting up again and caring for the tank has been quite a challenge. Only recently have I finally figured out my ritual and been able to tend to my tank in detail again.
Lots have happened and I had to even set up a frag tank to accommodate room for more stuff. I'll make an effort to do an in depth update on my tank!

http://imgur.com/tvp8tKv.jpg

http://imgur.com/GMI29ZA.jpg

GoFish
11-01-2016, 07:35 PM
Looks great Brian keep it up! Hard not to have a frag tank when trying to stock a 45g when you want a piece of everything :)

Myka
11-02-2016, 02:51 AM
Looks awesome Brian! Good job!

tang daddy
11-02-2016, 08:15 PM
Great looking scape Brian keep up the good work!

Etaloche
05-28-2017, 02:37 PM
Wow, more than a year has flown by now. I've been making lots of long term trips for longboard racing lately and broke my arm on one of the tours. The tank took a hit during that time, but I'm finally out of my cast and getting the tank back on course.

It's amazing to look back at how much some things have grown lately! I've started dosing more diligently and finally got a doser set up this week. SPS has taken off since dosing but I still cannot keep a euphillia alive for the life of me.

This birdnest was one of the first pieces in my tank
http://imgur.com/60yMDSb.jpg

You just don't notice things are growing unless you compare them in photos I think haha
http://imgur.com/kkelrd7.jpg

My SPS garden is finally settled in and growing well
http://imgur.com/1gBPfvs.jpg

http://imgur.com/eW9va4b.jpg

GSP is starting to take over my zoa garden a bit, and the zoas are taking over themselves now that there is no room
http://imgur.com/ewrxYyb.jpg

http://imgur.com/0U8ifVB.jpg

This Crocea clam has been with me for couple months now and during neglect of the tank the clam seemed to love it. It's grown quite a bit putting on 3 new layer of scutes so far!
http://imgur.com/gLpGURU.jpg;

http://imgur.com/tOH2dz3.jpg

Xenia has taken over the right side of my tank but my clowns love it and hosts it as their home. I've just decided to let it run wild until I upgrade my tank one day.
http://imgur.com/YT9qddn.jpg

New dosing setup
http://imgur.com/VQRq6DV.jpg

Full tank shot
http://imgur.com/b9g8FCu.jpg


I've also recently got into collecting exotic succulents, especially of the Haworthia species. I've been trying to find some specialty soil in Vancouver which has been proving quite difficult. I know many here are into plants as well as planted tanks which use similar substrate, so I'm wondering if anyone here might know where to find some of these stuff. I'm looking for anything along the line of akadama, turface, pumice, or crushed lava that is fine grade. Basically anything that provide great drainage for plants. Let me know if anyone has any idea where to find these substrate or alternative in greater Vancouver area thanks!

http://imgur.com/JKSEZzq.jpg

http://imgur.com/dFmYY8J.jpg

http://imgur.com/N7iytqM.jpg

http://imgur.com/uVCTnvg.jpg

tang daddy
05-29-2017, 02:39 PM
Akadama soil they use to carry at the bonsai store on broadway before boundary but have since closed down, we used it to breed BKK shrimps before.

I am guessing your best bet is online, maybe eBay??

Etaloche
05-29-2017, 07:43 PM
Akadama soil they use to carry at the bonsai store on broadway before boundary but have since closed down, we used it to breed BKK shrimps before.

I am guessing your best bet is online, maybe eBay??

Thanks for the help, was trying to find something local as anything online basically doubles the price with shipping.

Etaloche
10-17-2017, 01:36 PM
I thought by now I'd be able to figure out the balance in my tank, but I'm still struggling. SPS are thriving, but I still struggle to keep LPS alive. I have a clam and a sea apple which show no sign of stress so it's not the water quality. I've pretty much never had luck with Euphyllia, now my acan and plate coral are deteriorating out of nowhere. I've tried feeding them as well which usually recovers LPS very quick in my experience, but no luck this time. Don't have a test kit to test nitrate and phos, but rest of my parameters are as follows. Can anyone give me some suggestions/advice on what I could do to achieve a balance between LPS and SPS

Alk: 9.6
Calc: 450
Mag: 1360

https://imgur.com/UgXiStA.jpg

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AquaAddict
10-18-2017, 05:40 AM
I have my LPS at either ends of my 150 6ft tank: Euphylia on the left and Candy Cane on the right under actinic t5's. My SPS in the middle are under an LED. All are thriving.

AquaAddict

Wheelman76
10-18-2017, 09:16 AM
I would suggest you buy a po4 and no3 test kit so you at least know what your levels are.

Etaloche
10-18-2017, 12:53 PM
I would suggest you buy a po4 and no3 test kit so you at least know what your levels are.

Yes, probably a good idea, will do so next visit to the store. Any idea on why my acan is not doing so hot? It's one I got from you ages ago and it has been doing fine all this time, and then suddenly went downhill :cry:

DKoKoMan
10-18-2017, 01:08 PM
If your nitrates climb up and phosphates you will see a decline in your LPS. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out why my small scan frag was struggling, reduced my nitrates and phosphates and it looks better. That being said, most the damage was done and it hasn’t grown much.

Etaloche
10-18-2017, 01:12 PM
If your nitrates climb up and phosphates you will see a decline in your LPS. For the longest time I couldnít figure out why my small scan frag was struggling, reduced my nitrates and phosphates and it looks better. That being said, most the damage was done and it hasnít grown much.

Did you notice any symptoms with your SPS when the nitrates and phosphates went up? I always thought I'd see my SPS colonies showing signs so stress before my LPS would.

DKoKoMan
10-19-2017, 01:44 AM
I noticed when my Nitrate and phosphates were high that coral row th slowed. As well the vivid colours went to a brown not like a pale colour in a ULNS.

Wheelman76
10-19-2017, 06:12 AM
I find the opposite when it comes to acans , if nutrients get too low they are not happy. It also depends “how” they’ve gotten too low. If you are feeding the tank plenty ,and the nutrients are naturally low ,due to denitrifying bacteria doing their job, then it’s usually not an issue, however if they’re low from excessive carbon dosing , and stripping the water with carbon/gfo etc , then LPS and in particular acans will suffer ime.

DKoKoMan
10-19-2017, 07:16 AM
I find the opposite when it comes to acans , if nutrients get too low they are not happy. It also depends ďhowĒ theyíve gotten too low. If you are feeding the tank plenty ,and the nutrients are naturally low ,due to denitrifying bacteria doing their job, then itís usually not an issue, however if theyíre low from excessive carbon dosing , and stripping the water with carbon/gfo etc , then LPS and in particular acans will suffer ime.

Well judging from your frags you got it down! :biggrin:
So there is no doubt in my mind your tank parameters are spot on.

Wheelman76
10-19-2017, 07:46 AM
Well judging from your frags you got it down! :biggrin:
So there is no doubt in my mind your tank parameters are spot on.

Thank you for the compliment, everyoneís tank is different , so itís hard to copy what one person is doing and have success. Iím always learning in this hobby , just when I think I have the tank figured out , something changes and Iím stuck wondering why lol.

As far as the acans go , over the years Iíve went through a couple patches where they just didnít do well. They would shrivel up one or two at a time , and then slowly melt away , like they were slowly being eaten. I believe itís some sort of bacterial infection thatís spreads from one to the other , but who knows. Then it just seems to stop , and back to normal. Very frustrating sometimes

Etaloche
10-20-2017, 10:31 AM
I find the opposite when it comes to acans , if nutrients get too low they are not happy. It also depends “how” they’ve gotten too low. If you are feeding the tank plenty ,and the nutrients are naturally low ,due to denitrifying bacteria doing their job, then it’s usually not an issue, however if they’re low from excessive carbon dosing , and stripping the water with carbon/gfo etc , then LPS and in particular acans will suffer ime.

Interesting you say that, I started using NOPO4x quite aggressively recently. Didn't have luck with euphyllias even way before I started dosing, but acans have been growing well for me until very recently where they've slowly withered away over the course of months.

DKoKoMan
10-20-2017, 08:12 PM
I’m using NOPO-X (2ml on the chart per gallon ratio). Seems to be working well, the other day I noticed some weird stringy snot algae stuff in my sump. So not sure.