View Full Version : Fool me once... a comeback story

07-15-2017, 06:23 PM
Im jumping back in for a second shot at this whole reefing thing. Started my first tank in 2005. Lost the tank after a move, sold off most of the equipment.

Plan is a mixed reef with an emphasis on SPS as the system matures.

Goal here will be to develop an established system and learn a few things along the way.

Going to be more focused on maintaining a stable pest free environment. My hope is to do thing the "right way" this time around (but i think that varies in this hobby). To do so Im going to be putting a greater emphasis on maintenance, testing and quarantine processes.

Looking for lots of input and advise along the way.

07-15-2017, 06:31 PM
Here is the tank I picked up, was told it was concept aquariums build.

Display 40 x 20 x 20 - approx 70 gallons with 5 x 10 x 28 overflow box.

Plumbing has 2 3/4 returns with manifold. 1 inch drain with gate valve for water level control and 2 inch back up.

Sump has a few different sections and Im still trying to figure out the thought process behind one of the sections. Im thinking its a fuge that was run off the manifold but Ive been wrong before.

Stand is going to need some refinishing as its rusty, planning on sanding to rust, treating the remainder and coating in something like a truck bed liner.

Here are some pictures.

07-15-2017, 07:18 PM
You forgot to mention the ballin' one-piece eurobracing! Looks like the tank is Starphire too. Nice pick up!

That chamber in the sump is for a fuge but with that drop into the skimmer area it will be noisy. I'd use it as an RO chamber for an ATO.

07-17-2017, 07:42 PM
Things are moving along. Got an old mag 12 hooked up over the weekend to get an idea of how everything works.

I did some calculations on the head pressure. I didnt include the manifold in these calcs. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170717/4b55b9e359beed5023f2fc3020aab376.jpg

Is this too much flow going through the sump? I find it a bit loud. Wondering if the filter socks or less flow might change things. Here's a video so you can get an idea of the noise.


Also noted some rust around the mag screws. Is this something that can be cleaned? Would anyone have concerns using it? I've heard gfo is similar to rust. I might just get rid of it or use it for salt mixing to limit the exposure. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170717/22fd448061c6ef69ccdcb27fc286179c.jpg

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07-27-2017, 08:36 PM
Tagging along.

07-28-2017, 03:34 AM
After using mag pumps at home and for work I have found them to be on the loud side and have had to deal with frequent jammed impellers for unknown reasons.

If you can afford to spend a little more on the circ pump you will be thanking yourself later.

tang daddy
08-08-2017, 07:34 PM
Second what Tyler said, I only use mag pumps to mix salt would never trust one on my main system. I've gone through several return pumps from controlled to straight on/off a lot of them over time fail or get super loud on my system and have found that bang for buck with peace and quiet, the lagunas are work horses, after all even bk uses same housing block.
Also a few friends have used the fluval sea SP series return pumps with success.

08-09-2017, 12:08 AM
Thanks for the advice, I'll use the mag for salt mixing. What are the thoughts on turnover rate? Should I look for something with similar specs to the mag?

I was away on vacation for a while but managed to get the stand cleaned up. Started by scraping the loose rust, treated with a cleaner, sanded and sprayed with a truck bed liner. Happy with the results.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170809/79ae74afb59e71feb79d40b5b3c44ecd.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170809/9396c196c9b95991af2ba9417c9e48ab.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170809/134607da6b46fd1f66817ad38336e8ed.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170809/e2207be3dd42e18aabf87161561199c9.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170809/3b61ef7ccccbcc48cf601f963b5339b4.jpg

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08-09-2017, 01:02 AM
Following... looking nice bTw!

08-09-2017, 05:16 AM
Welcome back. Good luck with your new build.

08-10-2017, 05:01 PM
Got a 150 GPD 5 stage BRS system with booster pump set up. Ran it and was getting TDS after the DI so I ordered new filters. Ordered July 24th and still waiting :twised: but looks like its finally been shipped.

Picked up some Marco dry rock and will be starting the cycle in a brute while I work on getting the system moved into place. Going to be throwing in some Bio S as recommended by Wai's. Am I still going to need an ammonia source for this or will the Bio S take care of that?

Hoping to get started on the stand skin this weekend. Right now Im leaning towards some cabinet grade plywood that ill counter sink some magnets into so I can remove panels for maintenance. Anyone have some pictures or tips? Ive only ever built wood stands so this will be a new challenge.

08-15-2017, 08:11 PM

08-16-2017, 03:51 AM
You will need ammonia. "Ghost" feeding works - just don't overdo it.

08-22-2017, 05:34 PM
Got things set up over the weekend. Ended up going with a dcs 4000 for the return. 2 x 200 watt eheims for heat. Still on the lookout for a skimmer lights and powerhead.

Total volume was 90 gallons with the substrate and rock.

I only ended up with about 50 lbs of Marco rock and will add some more to the sump in the future if I have issues.

Need to do some tests today for parameters. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170822/4a4fd9c13633737b9b8491d94860c96d.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170822/a158c9ef10a910e598d990dd837d04d0.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170822/695a1bd673d6d3bef37746ff46286df4.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170822/ed7c44b835039ffb10584ff8ac37bf38.jpg

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08-23-2017, 12:21 AM
NaCl H20!

08-25-2017, 05:36 PM
Parameters after a couple days
Temp 79
Salinity 1.022 (at time of these tests, have brought up to 1.025)
Ph 7.6
Ammonia .2
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0.05

Im not running a skimmer at the moment and my salinity was low would this cause my pH to be this low?

What do I need to keep testing and how often? Am I safe to keep doing only Ammonia and Nitrite until I see spikes and drops?

Also got a water change station set up. Kent Float seems to allow for a constant dribble especially with the booster pump, thinking about adding a solinoid with floats as a backup.

Now just need to figure out the best way to lug 20 gallons up 2 floors on a regular basis. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170825/08fcca9790bbe848a7c14eeaea19a3cb.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170825/77e405500493f46504e835c5dfc2927e.jpg

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08-25-2017, 05:37 PM
Could also use some advice on Tapatalk photos cause it's obviously not working how im doing it.

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08-29-2017, 04:26 AM
Still not much activity on the chemistry front. I think I was expecting a magic bacteria fairy to smell the bio s. No such luck.

In the meantime I've found the red sea tests to be fairly simple and like them over the salifert ones I've used in the past (ten years ago).

Getting started on the stand "skin" and will get some photos out once I've cleaned up my workspace a bit.

Lastly I fixed an old 48 inch 6 bulb tek light I had kicking around. Threw it on so I could get some pictures. It felt real when I saw those beautiful blues light up for the first time. I don't know what I'm going to do at this point as I was leaning towards led to avoid bulb purchases. Also not too keen in a 48 inch fixture on a 40 inch tank. Wonder if a 36 inch setup would provide enough coverage.

Anyways. Photos.

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08-29-2017, 03:24 PM
Parameters after a couple days
Salinity 1.022 (at time of these tests, have brought up to 1.025)

Im not running a skimmer at the moment and my salinity was low would this cause my pH to be this low?

Yes, it's quite possible and likely that your lower pH is due to the lower salinity. Test it again to be sure :-) It's not that far off though. An acceptable range is somewhere from 7.8 to 8.4 and remember that pH of your tank will typically swing from morning till night as well.

edit: The lack of skimmer can also affect pH but this variable also depends on the CO2 content of the surrounding air around the skimmer. That is, if the C02 around the simmer is high, the skimmer could potentially lower the pH further. But generally, if you have lower CO2 around your skimmer, the injection of this air can raise your pH.

08-29-2017, 09:29 PM
Appreciate the comments. I was leaning towards a bubble Magus skimmer but the more I read the less I want one... Not too keen on something that needs constant adjustment.

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09-01-2017, 03:33 AM
Ammonia is up to .4 today nitrates still at .05... And the wait continues.

Working on the stand today, starting to take shape. Should fill and sand tomorrow and hope to paint shortly. Looking for recommendations on paint at the moment. Would like something with a lacquer type finish. Probably end up using something oil based. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170901/a3074ef8d385319fe825d507a36957b6.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170901/8e3103dbf48b6247f8e4bcec2ec8e053.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170901/fbc5b8c42d1b23c39716fd1587d68725.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170901/5a42abd16922aa77337638db39bb8a48.jpg

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09-01-2017, 05:14 AM
Could you tell.me a bit about what you did for your stand/skin. I have a peninsula with a metal stand, and I'm really struggling with how I want to skin it.

09-01-2017, 10:00 PM
Could you tell.me a bit about what you did for your stand/skin. I have a peninsula with a metal stand, and I'm really struggling with how I want to skin it.

I used Medex which is a "water resistant" type MDF. Ive read a hundred times youre not supposed to use MDF cause of the glues, chemicals etc but Im gonna roll the dice.

I have a piece of that plastic cardboard type material on the back affixed with magnets, this will keep the salt off my wall and keep the outlets somewhat isolated from the moisture.

All three remaining sides are separate and will be detachable. I did this for maintenance and overall functionality as i felt hampered by my last stand. Once it was there is was stuck with it.

The two sides are "L" shaped with some risers that sit on my stand, this elevated the top surface to hide the unsightly bottom of the tank. I had planned to put some magnets into the sides to hold it in place but the top lip seems to hold it on just fine with the assistance of gravity. I might add one on each side of the panel just to keep it in place. In hind sight i dont think magnets would cut it cause these panels arent light.

Front panel then sits even with the sides and trims out the front. I have doors to install however think the weight might be an issue once again and magnets arent gonna cut it. Im thinking about using some plugs to connect the face to the sides in order to hold the front up. Time will tell how this shakes down.

09-04-2017, 09:33 PM
Levels as of today (day 13 with shrimp)
Temp 77.5 (I did add 5 gal of top off prior to testing)
Ph 8.0
Ammonia .2
Nitrite .1
Nitrate 2

Should I leave the shrimp in there or pull it out and watch my ammonia levels in the coming days?

09-20-2017, 03:52 AM
Ammonia at 0, Nitrite still above 0... Tick tock ...

Got the stand finalized. Or so I thought. Hinges I used weren't perfect for the application. Should get that sorted in the next few days.

Electrical is coming together but I'll need to work on the extra cords. Planning on mounting the components and controllers on the left panel of the stand.


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