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mkregs CADLights 39 Pro Seahorse Ranch


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#1
mkregs

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I ordered a CADLights 39 Pro at the end of last week.

Plans for the tank are to create an environment for Seahorses. I have been doing research on this for a while and am still reading up.

LR will be 2 to 3 pieces of shelf rock in the middle of the display and stalks of variable length branch rock behind the shelf rock. I will have a few different species of decorative algae on either side of the LR centerpiece. I already have a nice cluster of Halimeda in my 29 Biocube that I plan on transferring to the CADLights tank when ready.

Corals will be pretty basic. I plan to have Rics/Yumas on the shelf rock and a few Monti Caps mounted to the higher stalks of branch rock. I noticed that Montipora was not as highly recommended as I looked at it's SH compatibility rating in another forum. Was that rating more applicable to the digitata and encrusting varieties of Montis? Would Monti Caps pose an issue?

I do plan on having at least 1 fish in the tank (Mandarin or Red Scooter Blenny). I also plan on using snails (Nassarius, Trochus, and maybe Ceriths) and probably a conch. I'm not a big fan of hermits, so they won't be in the mix. Any other recommendations for inverts?

During cycle I will evaluate whether or not I can maintain temps in the 74degree range without the need for a chiller. My challenge with that will be the lighting fixture that will be used (24" Outer Orbit 1070 - 150 HQI plus 4x24watt T5HO plus 6white and 6Blue LED). There is a fan that comes with the tank package and it will be placed over the sump inside the stand. I will be adding an additional fan atop the display to help keep temps down. Of course this will cause a higher rate of evap, so I might also be adding an ATO.

I was getting my RODI from my LFS, but that will be a PITA with 2 tanks running. So, I bought a WaterGeneral unit (Model: RO 6102 DINT).

So, that's the general plan. Now I just need my tank to ship so I can get going on it.

I have approx 5 years of SW experience, so I'm very familiar with tank setups, cycling, and maintenance. However, this will be my first venture into the SH world. Please feel free to provide your thoughs on my setup as well as any recommendations or advice you may have for me.

Edited by mkregs, 26 January 2010 - 05:44 AM.


#2
mkregs

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Tank arrived today.
Posted Image

I'm not happy.

#3
illuminano

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Tank arrived today.
Posted Image

I'm not happy.


That SUCKS. why does this always happen! CADlights needs to figure their #### out on the shipping standpoint. They must be losing a lot of money in returns. Great tank, i'm excited! (sexually. ) check out my thread!

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#4
Rehype

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Sorry about the tank...The same thing happened to mine <_< Your definitely going to need an ATO and a chiller. It wont be possible to keep temps in the 74 range unless the room your tank is in is totally climate controlled. The fan it comes with is pretty good but with Halides running a chiller is going to be a must.

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#5
mkregs

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Since the tank arrived cracked, I figured I would get something productive done and get the stand built and put some water in the sump for a leak test. Well....no sense in adding water to the sump as I noticed it was also cracked when I unpackaged it. Not a good day yesterday. I did get the stand built though and it's very sturdy.

I reported the damage to UPS and had several communications with oceanreeflections yesterday. I expect to hear today when I can look for my replacement tank and sump to arrive. I hope they ship them as separates this time so I don't have to go through the same PITA.

Ok...enough #####in' and time to be a little more positive...I am expecting some shipments on Monday!!!
Things that are coming:
My RODI unit
2 - 20lb bag of Arag-Alive Indo Pacific substrate
Replacement T5 bulbs for my Outer Orbit

The lighting will be configured as follows (by recommendation of an RC lighting guru):
Front
ATI Blue Plus
UVL 75/25
Halide (10k)
ATI Blue Plus
ATI Blue Plus
I'm looking forward to seeing how that mix of bulbs will appear.

So, I'll have water, lighting, and substrate....I just need a tank.

#6
subielover

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Very cool, although it blows about the busted tanks. Like someone else said I don't see you being able to keep the temp at 74 degrees without a chiller. Should be able to find one used for a decent price though I would think. I will be following your build, good luck!

#7
mkregs

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Thanks for the comments Subie, Rehype, and Illuminano!

Well..my RODI system came yesterday. Very well built equipment. However, I am just shy of 40psi and am getting just a trickle out of the pure water valve. Bummer as it looks like I will need to order a booster pump.

The substrate came in and so did the T5 bulbs. Now, I just need the tank. I was told that it shipped out last night. The difference this time is the sump will be shipping separate (which I'm told is what they will be doing from now on). Hopefully, that will cause the tank to arrive unharmed.
fingerscrossed

I'm still looking around for Tonga branch rock. Since it's not being sold commercially anymore, I've been cruising the classifieds looking for some. I only want about 4 ~ 6 stalks of variable length branch rock ranging from 10" ~ 16", so I should be able to find that somewhere.

#8
mkregs

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So far, this project has been a challenge...

To recap, as I posted previously, the first tank and sump arrived damaged/cracked. CADLights and Oceanreeflections were quick to ship me a new tank which arrived within a couple days. The replacement tank and sump were shipped using CADLights new packaging and it arrived unharmed. However, due to a misunderstanding, the bulkheads, lock lines and elbows were not assembled with the new tank as they were with the first tank...so, I had to ask that those get shipped to me (again, they were very quick to address and ship those). Also missing was the air tubing and silencer for the skimmer and the fitting that connects the skimmer body to the pump was cracked. CADLights shipped out those parts with the other missing return plumbing.

Now...I finally had a great looking tank with all the needed parts. Just fill with water, right? Read on...

As stated in a previous post, my water pressure in my home was a little low to efficiently run my RODI system. So, I ordered a booster pump from H20 Science. 4 to 5 days later, the pump arrived and one of the PVC fittings was cracked. I was anxious to get some water made so I could water test the tank, so luckily I had a fitting that was the right size. After making that repair, water was being made and I was dumping buckets into the tank as the RODI system filled them. It took 44 gallons to get the levels in the tank and sump where they needed to be. Of course I was going to have to remove some water as I added salt, then LS and LR. When I was satisfied that everything passed the leak test, I started adding salt directly to the tank. After a while, I had it at the correct salinity. I was ready to start adding some live sand and live rock. It worked out as I needed to remove some water to make up for what the LR and LS would displace, but it was also time for a water change in my 29 Biocube, so I just used what I pulled out of the CAD for my Biocube. The LR and LS were then added to the tank. I let it settle for a while and then wanted to pop my Outer Orbit fixture on top to see how everything looked under lighting. Unfortunately, when I bought the docking legs for the fixture from Marine Depot, there were 3 RH legs and 1 LH leg. So, I had to contact Marine Depot for a replacement. The Outer Orbit was a used fixture when I bought it, but the casing and components are all in great condition. I had already replaced the (4) 24w T5HO bulbs, but didn't expect that I would have to replace the metal halide bulb for a while until it burned out a couple nights ago. I am expecting the new Phoenix 14k bulb I ordered to arrive tomorrow.

I've been spending the last few days working on ways to get the tank to run more quietly...and after replacing the stock Durso standpipe with one that I custon made for the tank, it's just about as quiet as I need it now.

I'm sorry to have been so negative, but I'm sure you can appreciate my frustration. On a positive note, I'm happy with the nice pieces of tonga branch and shelf rock that I have been able to find at a few LFS over the last week. Plus, the tank has a great look to it when it is lit. Things are coming together.

I'll post a pic or two when I am able.
Mark

#9
pismo_reefer

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sorry to hear about/ see the busted glass, bro.....GL with the rest a the build. this 'ill be good.

Edited by pismo_reefer, 11 August 2009 - 10:36 AM.

*clickety*
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#10
mkregs

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Here's a pic of where I am so far...
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#11
mkregs

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No love? Wow...tough crowd here on NR.

The Phoenix 14k bulb arrived yesterday. Much better look than the 10k that was in there. I'm kind of happy it burned out now.

#12
mkregs

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Ok...so, you hated my first scape which is evident by the lack of comments. That's ok...I had planned on adding more LR, just didn't find the pieces I wanted until today. So, here's a FTS with the last pieces of LR I will need for this build.

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#13
rizakaniza

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Following this thread ;) Keep up the good work.
Rizakaniza's 39G Cadlights Pro

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#14
MGDMIRAGE

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Looks great, despite the rough beginning Cadlights are awesome! can't wait for the ponies B)

#15
mkregs

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Following this thread ;) Keep up the good work.

Thanks! I've been watching your CAD thread as well

Looks great, despite the rough beginning Cadlights are awesome! can't wait for the ponies B)

Thanks for commenting. I'm going to let the tank age at least a couple months before adding ponies.

Next purchase will be a chiller.

#16
timdanger

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I admire your patience! I'd love to eventually turn my 8g biocube into a seahorse tank. i'll be watching this.

#17
mkregs

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I figure the total system volume to be around 40gal with the sump running half full and accounting for water displacement from LR and LS.
Lighting: Outer Orbit 150w MH w/4x24w T5HO

I started this tank about 2 weeks ago and don't have a heater in it as I wanted to see what the temps would be w/lights on and w/lights off. My home thermostat is set to 74 in the Summer and 68 in the Winter. Right now, the ambient room temp has been 74. At that ambient temp, my tank runs at 78 lights off and 81 lights on. So, I will need a 4 degree pull-down when the lights are off and a 7 degree pull-down when the lights are on.

I have been looking at the following chillers:
Current Prime - 1/15 hp - $270 shipped - New
AquaEuroUSA - 1/13 hp - $280 shipped - New
Current Prime - 1/10 hp - $362 shipped - New
AquaEuroUSA - 1/10 hp - $320 shipped - New

Please help me decide as I would like to order within the next week. Your experience with any of these would be appreciated!!
Thanks,
Mark

#18
schg

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I figure the total system volume to be around 40gal with the sump running half full and accounting for water displacement from LR and LS.
Lighting: Outer Orbit 150w MH w/4x24w T5HO

I started this tank about 2 weeks ago and don't have a heater in it as I wanted to see what the temps would be w/lights on and w/lights off. My home thermostat is set to 74 in the Summer and 68 in the Winter. Right now, the ambient room temp has been 74. At that ambient temp, my tank runs at 78 lights off and 81 lights on. So, I will need a 4 degree pull-down when the lights are off and a 7 degree pull-down when the lights are on.

I have been looking at the following chillers:
Current Prime - 1/15 hp - $270 shipped - New
AquaEuroUSA - 1/13 hp - $280 shipped - New
Current Prime - 1/10 hp - $362 shipped - New
AquaEuroUSA - 1/10 hp - $320 shipped - New

Please help me decide as I would like to order within the next week. Your experience with any of these would be appreciated!!
Thanks,
Mark



My tank is about 34-36 gallons total water volume, and without any heaters or chillers the tank was 82 lights on, 84 lights off. I recently bought the Azoo quad fan ($40 on marine depot) and the Reefkeeper Lite ($100) and this combo keeps my tank at a constant 79.4-79.6 without problems. I have it set to turn on a heater if for some reason there is an extreme drop (doubt it living in Florida), but it really has helped. I'm not sure if you need more power than the Azoo puts out, but it's worth a try if you're thinking about using a controller anyway.

PS: Looking forward to this tank very much, as I'm planning a similar setup for my wife who wants seahorses down the line.

Edited by schgriffith, 21 August 2009 - 11:50 AM.


#19
mkregs

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Thanks schgriffith for your comments. I have tried a couple of fans on this tank already. It does drop the temps 2~3 degrees, but that's not enough during the Summer. I want this tank to have stable temps at around 74 degrees and don't think I can get that done without a chiller.

One thing I noticed after posting for advice yesterday...The Current Prime and AquaEuroUSA 1/10hp chillers look to be the exact same machine, but just sold under a different name. So, I've decided to order the AquaEuroUSA 1/10hp chiller and save the $40.

#20
rizakaniza

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FYI, I noticed a few used 1/3hp chillers in the NR and RC for sale sections. I know it's overkill, but heck, why not. ;)
Rizakaniza's 39G Cadlights Pro

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#21
rizakaniza

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Also, check out this article on Parameters, especially noting the section on Temperature. Since reading this I decided I will keep my temps between 78 and 83. In fact, I am going to allow for a temp swing by setting the heater to come on at <78 and the Fan to come on at >=83.

http://www.reefkeepi...5/rhf/index.php
Rizakaniza's 39G Cadlights Pro

I neither respect nor agree with your opinion. However, you are entitled to it, no matter how horrible it is.


i hate people too. that's why i'm going into nursing.


#22
timdanger

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Also, check out this article on Parameters, especially noting the section on Temperature. Since reading this I decided I will keep my temps between 78 and 83. In fact, I am going to allow for a temp swing by setting the heater to come on at <78 and the Fan to come on at >=83.

http://www.reefkeepi...5/rhf/index.php


not trying to jack the thread here (my apologies, mkregs), but i interpreted that article differently than you did, riz. i didn't think it said that you should let 6 degree swings happen -- i think it just said that anywhere in that range of temperatures was acceptable. my interpretation of the article was that a stable temperature anywhere in that range was acceptable, not that a swing within that range was acceptable. :huh:

#23
mkregs

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not trying to jack the thread here (my apologies, mkregs), but i interpreted that article differently than you did, riz.


That's ok. However, while those temperature ranges would apply to my Biocube reef tank, they don't apply to this Seahorse tank. I want the temps to hover right around 74degrees.

I did my final rescape at the end of last week. Here are some shots of then new scape and some new additions:
Halimeda (Monile/Incrassata) - This one shipped a little rough (as expected), but is beginning to green-up.
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Cactus Caulerpa
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Flame Algae
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FTS
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#24
schg

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Looks awesome so far! Any more updates?

#25
mkregs

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Looks awesome so far! Any more updates?

Thanks for asking....

The chiller arrived last Thursday. Works really well in keeping the temps in the 74-degree range.

I added a filter sock in the drain chamber and it's done a great job at eliminating the microbubbles. Also, I changed out my drain plumbing to flexible PVC. I will be building a lid that will fit on the top of the sump with a hole that will receive the drain pipe and a filter sock holder monted to the underside of the lid. This will help with some of the condensation problems that I hear people talking about. I'm kind of using a rigged-up version of that set up right now, but will build something with a more finished look when I get time.

The tank has reached the 4 week mark from the time it first got wet. I haven't seen much of a cycle, but didn't expect to. There might have been a very slight trace of Ammonia during week 1, but I haven't seen any Nitrite and I've seen only a slight trace of Nitrate. The tank was started with fully established rock that came out of a few tanks that have been running for years....and I used live sand / substrate in the tank and fuge.

CUC is a mixture of...
5 Ceriths
7 Virgin Nerites
6 Trochus
1 Turbo (which will be going back into my Biocube soon)
1 blue legged hermit (not a hermit fan, but he was a hitchhiker that has earned my respect as he's survived from the tank's beginings).
3 Peppermint Shimp - Had some aiptasia on the LR I bought and the peps did a great job of clearing those out.

I moved over a few seahorse-friendly corals from my Biocube to the CAD. Those were (1 Acan colony, 3 Ric polyps, 1 blue St. Thomas Ric). I also picked up a couple frags for this tank (a green Monti Cap with purple polyps and a redish/purple encrusting Monti). Also, one of the pieces of LR I bought has pink Encrusting Gorgonian all over it. The sick thing is that I was charged the per pound rate for that piece as well. Not bad to get a coral like that on a rock for $3 per pound (LFS was having a LR sale).

It's coming along...I'll probably add a pair of Seahorses (h. Erectus) within the next couple weeks.