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UWWMatt's 25G Journal


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#1
uwwmatt

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Welcome to my 25G Journal...

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This tank was started in December 2008 using mostly used parts purchased from local hobbyist. My goal was to build a set up that would be as cost effective as possible because of my limited budget. Much of my original livestock came from my old 14G Biocube. Because of my finite budget I did not really have a set plan for my new system. I just kept an eye out for used pieces that would go together.

This was my first complete tank build so as you read the journal you will see some of the set backs and pitfalls that happened while I was designing and building my system. Also during the building portion of my journal I have tried my best to keep a running tally of the cost of each item purchased. Hopefully this will show people that you don't need thousands of dollars to set up a beautiful reef aquarium.

I hope you enjoy my tank, and thanks for stopping by,

Matt
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My current stocking list as of May 2010:

Coral
Euphyllia paranchora (Branching Hammer)
Lobophytum sp (Devil's Hand)
Caulastrea curvata (Trumpet Coral)
Caulastrea furcata (Candy Cane)
Euphyllia paradivisa (Frogspawn)
Sinularia brassica (Cabbage Leather)
Seriatopora hystrix (Pink Bird's Nest)
Seriatopora guttatus (Green Bird's Nest)
Capnella sp (Kenya Tree)
Sarcophyton sp. (Toadstool Leather)
Cynarina lacrymalis (Button Coral)
Pachyclavularia (GSP)
Ricordea florida
Tubipora musica (Pipe Organ)
Fungia repanda (Plate Coral)
Actinodiscus sp. (Mushrooms)
Anthelia sp
Montipora Spongodes
Duncanopsammia axifuga (Duncan)
Parazoanthus spp (Yellow Colony Polyps)
Protopalythoa spp. (Button Polyps)
Zoanthus spp (zoanthids)
Lobophyllia hemprichii (Brain Coral)
Montipora sp.

Macro
Halimeda spp (Halimeda Macro Algae)

Inverts
Epicystis crucifer (Rock Flower Anemone)
Thor amboinensis (Sexy Shrimp)
Neopetrolisthes ohshimai (Porcelain Anemone Crab)
Lybia sp (Pom Pom Crab)
Lysmata amboinensis (Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp)
Calcinus elegans (Electric Blue Hermit)
Clibanarius tricolor (Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit)
Paguristes cadenati (Scarlet Hermit)
Ophiactis spp (Micro Brittle Stars)
Asterina Starfish

Fish
Amblyeleotris guttata (Orange Spotted Goby)
Apogon chrysopomus (Spotted-gill cardinalfish) x2
Amphiprion percula (Clownfish)
Chromis viridis (Blue/Green Chromis)

TABLE OF CONTENTS

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TANK 1.0

The Build: Pages 1-2

Journal entries:
December 10th, 2008
December 11th
December 13th
December 14th
December 15th
December 16th

December 17th
[url="http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=179289&view=findpost&p=1959069<a%20href="http://December%2018th"%20target="_blank">December%2018th</a>%5burl="http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?s=&showtopic=179289&view=findpost&p=1960342"]December 19th[/url]
December 23rd
January 1st
January 5th
January 7th
January 8th
January 11th

Tank Maturing: Pages 2-3
January 12th
February 7th
March 19th
April 11th

Tank Disaster: Page 3-5
May 5th , conitued
May 7th
May 11th
May 13th
May 14th

TANK 2.0

Tank Reborn: Page 5-6...
May 14th continued
May 16th, 2009

Another Disaster: :angry:
Disaster thread: http://www.nano-reef...?...203123&st=0

TANK 3.0
Recovery to follow on page 9...

Edited by uwwmatt, 09 June 2010 - 06:03 PM.

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#2
got2envy

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good deal! your avatar is awesome lol

#3
uwwmatt

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Wed Dec 10
Today I sold my 8G Biocube for $60, with the intent of using the money to buy a new tank.

Money:+ $60

Thur Dec 11
I found a used 25g tank and stand, along with a variety of other miscellaneous aquarium supplies. I am still up $10 dollars B)
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I decided that I wanted a sump on this tank so I went about designing an overflow. I came up with an intank overflow design using google's Sketch Up. But would later settle on something different.
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Link to thread about this design: http://www.nano-reef...howtopic=178776
Money:- $50 Overall:+10
Fri Dec 12
I got my paint scraper out and began cleaning the tank and stand. It took over an hour to get all the old coralline and other crap off the glass. My arms were sore the rest of the day. But it came out looking pretty good.
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Today I also found a guy who is breaking down several tanks of various sizes and am in the process of working out a time when I can go and check out the equipment he is getting rid of.

Sat Dec 13
I went over to another reefers house and got about 75lbs of dead sand and 50lbs of livesand. I also picked a hang-on overflow and some various pieces of plumbing. The overflow is covered in algae and looks pretty nasty, but I got a good deal on everything.

Money:- $50 Overall:-40

Sun Dec 14
Spent the day trying to figure out what other supplies I am going to need, and finding them for used in my city.
-sump tank
-lighting
-skimmer
I also placed an order with Marco's Rock for 25lbs of Fiji rock. There wasn't any in stock but they will ship it out as soon as it is available.
Rock: $67.00
Shipping: $13.21
box & packing: $3.00
Final Total: $83.21

Money:-$83.21 Overall:-$123.21

Mon Dec 15
Found one person selling an AquaC skimmer and 30" 150W sunpod, and another person selling a 10 gallon tank which I could use for the sump.
Sunpod: $150
Skimmer: $75
10 gallon: $15

I also went to Ace hardware and made a few purchases
Latex paint: $5
Krylon Fusion: $5
Painting tape: $4
Brush: $1
I painted the tank and overflow black.
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Money: -$255 Overall: -$378.21

Tue Dec 16
Today I set out designing my sump. I have never had a tank with one, and never used one before so I have been doing a lot of reading. Once again turning to Sketch Up, I came out with this design:
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Link to Sump Design Thread: http://www.nano-reef...p;#entry1954868

My fiance is beginning to get pissed because we live in a one bedroom apartment and I have fish tank crap everywhere. This morning (I work the night shift so I was sound asleep) she went into the shower and found a 75lb bucket of sand. She was unable to move it and just showered with it in there. (There was a lid so I am not worried about soap getting in there.) Needless to say she was not happy.

I tried to pick up the living room a bit and move all the tank stuff into one corner.

Here is the tank as it stands today:
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To be continued...

Edited by uwwmatt, 16 May 2009 - 12:18 PM.

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#4
nebthet

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You have just given me soooo many ideas.

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Nebthet's 20L led lit pygmy clown reef

My Photography Thread:- Canon T1i, 18-55mm lense, 100mm 2.8 macro & 75-300mm USM III lenses.


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I feel like a mushroom. its dark and this tastes like sh!tty crackers.


#5
uwwmatt

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Wed Dec 17th

I went to Home Depot today to get some clear silicone and some glass baffles for my sump. It turns out that Home Depot doesn't offer glass, only Plexiglass, and they won't cut it for you. Anyway I headed over to Ace Hardware and they had just what I needed. Originally it was going to cost $30 to get my four 9 3/4 X 8 1/2 baffles, but the clerk found some old scrapes to use and it ended only costing $13.
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I put together my sump, making a complete mess with the silicone in the process. I started taping off the sections I was going to be gluing but decided it was to much of a hassle, and I didn't really care what the sump looked like.
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I am not a very handy person, so this is a learning process, but I would offer a bit of advice when attaching the baffles. Mark your measurement and placement lines on the outside of the glass so you can just wipe them off when you are done.

I made a few changes to my sump design after posting a thread in the DIY forum. I increased the fuge section by 1", and swapped the position of the baffles.

Here it is almost done, just one more baffle to go. I finally found a good use for my old textbooks.
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Money: -$18 Overall:$393

Edited by uwwmatt, 17 December 2008 - 07:07 PM.

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#6
Lalani

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Geez that's a tall tank.. coming along nicely!

20L 8gal. Biorb

KCP - Canon 550D - Canon 28-135mm - Canon 100mm macro - Canon 50mm - Sigma 10-20mm - Flickr
 
 

Oh and everybody is a dick here except Lani. She is an evil genius which is different.

DON'T TALK ABOUT LALANI LIKE THAT!  :angry:


#7
uwwmatt

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Thurs Dec 18
I tested the sump, and it works perfectly! I also added the sand and water 1 1/2 inches of dead sand and 1 1/2 inches of livesand from an established 180 gallon tank. Things are looking pretty cloudy, but it finally looks like a real tank.

I did a lot of cleaning today. My living room no longer looks like a garage! I will post some pictures later tonight.

Now all I have left to do is plumb the sump and wait for my order from Marcosrocks to arrive. Things are really moving fast. It has now been one week since I first had the idea that I was going to build a new tank.
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#8
uwwmatt

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FRI DEC 19
Here is my completed fuge including the skimmer with increased intake tubing. I had to double the length so it would fit smoothly. The picture is looking down into the cabinet.
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Here is the sand. As you can see there are two different sizes. This wasn't really intentional, but the free deadsand I received was a much finer grain then the livesand that went on top, and after all this is a budget tank so I wasn't going to complain.
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I spent about 2 hours washing out the deadsand with R/O water and the livesand with Saltwater. I must have done a good job because here is the tank about 4 hours later with almost no cloudiness to the water.
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I am running an aquaclear 300 for circulation, it was included in the random pile of stuff that came with the tank and stand. The other pump in the tank is not currently running, I have no idea what kind of pump it is, it was also included with the fish tank.

So far I have seen about a dozen snails of various varieties, a pretty large bristleworm, and some spaghetti worms.

Edited by uwwmatt, 19 December 2008 - 12:24 PM.

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#9
uwwmatt

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Tue Dec 23

Stocking plans:

Being transferred from my 14g
-Bicolor blenny
-Orange spotted goby

Possible additions
-2 blue-green chromis?
- Clown?

I was hoping you guys could give me suggestions for my possible additions. I was thinking 2 blue-green chromis because I want something that will be very active at all levels in the tank. My Bicolor blenny basically just perches on rocks or in his shell, and I only see the goby during feeding. I was thinking of adding 3 fish bringing the total to 5 fish.

Any suggestions would be very helpful.

Edited by uwwmatt, 27 December 2008 - 10:24 AM.

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#10
fishstick41

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nice =]

#11
jrs5193

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Speaking from experience, the maroon clown I had for four years was very personable and spent time swimming in all water levels. I'm thinking of replacing him with another that is maroon and gold. (He died of what I presume to be natural causes. He was pretty old.)

Also, I like six-line wrasses or other forms of wrasses. These are hit or miss with certain corals, though. So, do your research on whichever species you'd be interested in. I know that the six-lines are generally reef-friendly and are rumored to eat bristleworms.

#12
odie

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looks good!! Any pictures of how you made the overflow?? Curious on how you got it to work!

#13
uwwmatt

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Thur Jan 1, 2009

I received my Mag 5 pump in the mail, but the first time I tried it the impeller broke so it will be another week before I get another one in the mail.

Sump Plumbing
I bought a 10' section of 3/4" PVC for $1.89 from Home Depot as well as a series of various connections and fittings for a total of $18. My design was pretty simple. Originally it was going to just be some flexible tubing for the return, but the pump was just to powerful, so I decided to make a pvc pipe return with a valve that allow me to control the water output. The excess water is just routed back to the sump.

here is a photo of all the individual pieces that make up the return.
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Here is a test run in my bathtub, it worked like a charm. This is before the pieces were cemented.
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Eventually I plan on painting it black, but that will have to wait until it is warmer outside.

I also bought a few things from Drs Foster and Smith:
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Money: -$168.25 Overall:$591.25

Edited by uwwmatt, 01 January 2009 - 04:08 PM.

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#14
uwwmatt

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Mon Jan 5

Today I ordered my CUC and macro algae for my refugium from Reef Cleaners.

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Money: -$68.15 Overall:$659.40

Edited by uwwmatt, 05 January 2009 - 05:08 PM.

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#15
uwwmatt

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Wed Jan 7th

My reef cleaners order comes tomorrow. Than only a few more days before I transfer all the liverock and livestock over from my 14 gallon.
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There is going to be an upgrade from 72w PC to 150w HQI. The bulb in the sunpod is over 10 months old, so I am hoping that it will be weak enough so that it won't shock my livestock. I have a brand new 150w bulb that I will switch in after a few weeks of acclimation.

The fuge light right now is an Azoo Galaxy Light 2. I had one lying around, do you guys think that will be enough?
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#16
uwwmatt

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Thur Jan 8th

My Reef Cleaners order arrived:
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I got a couple of these guys
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Limpits hitching a ride
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Messy full tank, remember the live rock and corals are being transferred this weekend.
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Edited by uwwmatt, 11 January 2009 - 02:38 PM.

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#17
uwwmatt

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Sun Jan 11

Last night I finally made the switch. Here are all my corals in one bucket.
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It didn't really take that long to do the transfer. I did drip acclimate my cleaner shrimp, but the rest of the stuff I just tossed in. I did the transfer at night when the lights where off to lessen the stress on my livestock.


And here is the tank this morning.
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#18
TheUnfocusedLove

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Nice. I like it a lot. :)

#19
adolfo425

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Looks good. That koralia is it pointed directly at the rocks and will this be too much direct flow for the livestock.


Adolfo

Adolfo is the name and reefing is the game.

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#20
pendergraft

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That's awesome. I love the follow along posts. I like pictures along with explanations. Makes it easier to absorb. Looks really great so far.
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#21
jeremycee

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Thanks



Hey adollfo, the koralia is not plugged in yet. I actually don't have an open outlet available at the moment, but I will be sure to move it.


I still have 25lbs of rock coming from Marcorocks some time next week. Once I get the rock and seed it I will be adding it to the tank.


how do you seed the rock?
Me : 2 5/8" W X 7 3/4" L X 15 1/2" H
Spartan: ok thanks thats just a little too big to fit where i want
Me Thats what she said.

Biocube 14g LED

#22
uwwmatt

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how do you seed the rock?



I am going to put the dead rock into my now empty 14 gallon (it still has the sand in it) and add a few pieces of liverock from my display and let it run for 2 weeks. This will allow the coralline and other organisms to colonize the rock. Since it is dead rock I could just rinse it off and put it directly into my display and it would become "liverock" there, but just to be safe in case there is any organic material that might cause a cycle, I am doing it in the other tank.

Edited by uwwmatt, 12 January 2009 - 01:06 AM.

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#23
splitskater

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looks great!!!!

#24
uwwmatt

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looks great!!!!


Thanks

Mon Jan 12th

It has been 2 days since I made the transfer and everything seems to be going great. Here are a couple full tank shots.
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You can see my sump in this one. I have 4 kinds of macro algae and 5 mangrove trees. My skimmer has been amazing, it really gets the job done.
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The grand total for this tank came to $659.40 but that includes $140 worth of salt and other random things that don't really count towards the build and all shipping costs. So really the actual cost was probably less then $500.

Had I bought all of my equipment retail, the light and skimmer alone would have almost cost $500

Edited by uwwmatt, 12 January 2009 - 06:23 PM.

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#25
Boomboy

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looks great