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Old 09-22-2012, 06:53 AM
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Default FragIt Dan's 2012 nano contest entry

Theme: The Cave... two micro habitats created in one small reef tank.

Objectives: Low budget, recycle used bits and pieces to make a unique reef tank that is stable enough to not need checking for as much as a couple of weeks at a time (I frequently travel for work).

Livestock: SPS/LPS, softies, zoas, inverts and a couple of random fish.

Circulation: Closed loop with Mag drive 5 running externally (I hope)!

Lighting: 20K XM 175W mogul in some sort of pendant I was given a while back (this may change). I may add some mood lighting in the cave too .

Filtration: Phosban 150 reactor(s) packed with ammonia, nitrite and nitrate reducing media as well as Ferric Oxide and carbon (Brightwell Aquatics XPort BIO/NO3/PO4 and Bulk Reef Supply ROX 0.8).

Skimming: Red Sea Prizm with overflow protection mod (just drill a hole at the top of the skimate chamber above the return overflow). I don't like this skimmer as it has never worked very well for me but I have one kicking around.

Water Changes/Supplements: 33% (5 gallons) weekly-ish water change, I will attempt to do no supplementation at all (not even Ca or carbonates).

ATO: Marine Magic dosing pump adding RODI top off water with periodic spot checks to make minor adjustments. I might end up doing Kalk for ATO depending on whether or not my water changes can keep up.

Heater: Finnex HMO-100 Titanium with LCD digital control, set to 78f (purchased from Bulk Reef Supply).

Feeding: a little splash of various different coral and fish foods whenever I remember.

Substrate: Bare bottom with live rock reef

Aquascaping: Live rock placed on cross-members to create the cave (cross members will be pre-glued into the tank prior to filling). Crushed barnacle shell will be silicone glued onto the cross members and overflow to give them a bit more of a natural look. I used 2" abs pipe cut into thirds lengthwise and will silicone glue them onto the glass (see photos in future posts).

Coral Growth: I have found corals really like up-flow. I will try to create this by feeding the closed loop outlet into the cave forcing the water through the live rock and up past the corals above.

ASW: RODI with Brightwell Aquatics salt made to 1.025 sg.

Total estimated water volume: 15 gallons (I will get an exact measurement upon final placement of live rock and post in this thread). The glass tank itself has a capacity of 18.7 gallons filled to the brim, but I will be about 2 inches short of this, less live rock, plus phosban reactors and plumbing.

Budget (me): $75 for a new bulb for the lighting fixture. Everything else has been pulled out of my spares/junk bin.

Budget (you): $300 + livestock for decent used gear; all of this stuff can be sourced used fairly easily (all of the gear used in this build was stuff I originally bought used). New, this would run you about $750 from your LFS.

Questions/Feedback/Constructive Criticism: Always welcome

Dan
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Old 09-22-2012, 11:16 AM
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looking forward to see your progress.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:17 PM
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What kind of tank are you going to be using? Or, is that a secret?

Depending on what salt you're using, you won't need to supplement calcium with the big water changes you're planning. When I was doing 10% three times a week on my first reef (a 10 gallon) my calcium was really high as I was adding it faster then it was being used. I was using Reef Crystals, and that mixes up high in calcium at 1.025. I had to cut back my WCs to bring my calcium back in line.
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Old 09-22-2012, 02:53 PM
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Pictures??
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Old 09-22-2012, 04:56 PM
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This is the starting tank, it is just a plain 24x12x16 glass tank by a company called SeaStar out of Victoria... no secrets but I'm afraid there isn't much to keep secret. I am glueing the braces in today and hope to leak test the plumbing later. I'll post a pic up when the bracing is set,
Dan




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Old 09-22-2012, 07:53 PM
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Got the braces put in and covered with barnacle shell. Silicone is setting as I type this. Hopefully I will leak test the plumbing later today,

Cross braces installed


Cross braces drilled for frag plugs


ABS and IPEX covered with barnacle shell



Looking 'end on' into the Cave...


Oops, looking at that last pic I see I forgot to cover the spray bar with barnacle shell, be right back

Dan


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Old 09-23-2012, 05:45 AM
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Leak and flow test were a success! Just filled it with tap water (no salt) and will let it run the night to make sure. I may end up putting a koralia in for a bit more flow, we'll have to wait and see how it looks once the live rock is in,


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Old 09-23-2012, 12:52 PM
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You have some very interesting things going on here.
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Old 09-23-2012, 03:46 PM
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I like the cave idea, it'll be interesting to see it all come together.
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Old 09-23-2012, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enigma View Post
You have some very interesting things going on here.
Yeah, I am curious to see how things turn out . Your build is coming together nicely as well!


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