Jump to content
avalanche1201

Avalanche's Aquapod Reef

Recommended Posts

avalanche1201

Hello everyone. I got an AP 24 from my g/f's parents for free w/ a 70w HQI mh.

 

This will be my official thread, as well as my log for seeing how much I have spent so other users can get an idea for how much can go into this hobby. Luckily I have the tank and light for free as I stated above.

 

Here is a picture of it during water testing:

IMG_1057.jpg

 

I hate to spend money and I know I needed to do some serious modding for this thing to be completely happy with it...so tonight after I had some friends over and I had some beers in my I thought it would be a good time to purchase some stuff for my 'pod so I could be happy with the flow....Below is the list of items I bought, alot of the items I bought came from how Icenine moded his own 'pod.

 

The List:

2- maxi-jet 1200's

2- 6" ball socket tubings (1/2")

2- 1 1/4" Flare nozzles (1/2")

1- MPT connector (1/2")

1- Y fitting (1/2")

1- MPT Insert (1/2" x 1/2")

2- Double Threaded bulkheads (1/2"....in case I want to run 1 maxi-jet as a closed loop)

1- Threaded bulkead screen (1/2"...in case I do go closed loop)

1- 9w 50/50 Picotope Lamp (will be used for my fuge light for chamber 1)

1- Refractometer (bit the bullet and got the best investment I could ever use for my tanks)

 

Total Cost: $142.15 (includes standard shipping to 06876)

 

I have some old LS that has been sitting in my old FO tank for about a year, I will be rinsing that out and using it for the 'pod. I will get a few pounds of established LS to help seed it.

 

For LR I will prob be going w/ premium aquatics for LR.

 

I hope you enjoy what I've got so far, updates will be coming once everything arrives :)

 

enjoy

 

-Scott

 

Total Spent: $142.15

Edited by avalanche1201

Share this post


Link to post
G-Force

gl with the new project.

 

one tip while the tank is naked..put a bead of silicone INSIDE where the top plastic intersects with the glass. I noticed that when the water is at the bottom of the top plastic piece and I put my hand in the tank, the water would leak out toward the back edges.

 

also may I ask why 2 mj 1200's vs 2 mj 900's? 2 900s would be less wattage then 1 1200 and less heat as well (cheaper too!). and one thing I noticed about my 1200's...they vibrate like a mofo and make the pod an annoying buzzbox. JMO

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

well to late now for that MJ1200 tip...Ill make Sure I can get them mounted real well or just have them hang so they dont touch anything.

 

I tried to do the silicone around the edge but failed horribly b/c I lost the tube that you put at the end to control a nice bead...Ill have to find one soon so I can do that

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

***Update***(edits in bold)

 

Got my plumbing supplies on friday (7.13). I was able to get the loc-line together w/ some luck and alot of cursing. Only thing I was missing was a boring bit so I borrowed one from my friend today and drilled the hole. Unfortunately I only ordered one MPT insert elbow so I couldnt create a closed loop like I wanted to...O well, i should still be happy w/ the flow, ill just point one of the Loc-lines towards the back rear of the tank.

 

Got my supplies from Dr Fosters and Smith and once more I am very pleased to do business with them. They always pack there supplies very well and would recommend them to anyone

 

Package first opened:

Picture003.jpg

 

All of my supplies:

Picture008.jpg

 

Now for some pics

 

Last picture before I could have destroyed the tank:

IMG_1200.jpg

 

Bulkhead hole drilled:

IMG_1202.jpg

 

Bulkhead hole close up:

IMG_1201.jpg

 

Bulkhead Installed:

IMG_1205.jpg

 

Installing the loc line:

IMG_1204.jpg

 

Final shot after everything is installed:

IMG_1209.jpg

 

All I need to do now is run to the hardware store get some flexible 1/2" tubing for my MJ 1200's, get a bunch of distilled water, and some new sand (was going to use old sand from a tank that has been sitting for a year, but I figure might as well get new stuff instead of tanking it out and rinsing etc etc)

 

hope you enjoy

Edited by avalanche1201

Share this post


Link to post
Prowland

looking good so far

 

I went with the mj1200 as well and feel any less flow would not be enough

 

I am moving here in about a week or 2 and am going to drill for another mj1200... mine has to be on the same side as I have a sapphire aquatics protien skimmer in the first chaimber

 

What are you planning on stocking it with?

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

busting out the big question eh prowland?

 

I havnt thought much about my stocking list but I guess I can give it a shot.

 

Fish:

2 Clowns

1 Firefish

1 Mandarin

 

Corals:

Various Softys

Various Zoas

Various Rics

Some easier SPS to start off w/

 

CUC:

Going to make my own most likely off of etropicals.com (free shipping over $60)

 

and I def want a clam.

 

All of this is just what I threw together right now though, it will prob change many times in the next week or so, it will at least get more detailed then what I have

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

Took a trip to the home depot today and got zip ties and 1/2" black flexible tubing. I also went over to Petco to get a 20lb bag of LS...damn thing was $40!! there such a rip off omgomgomg

 

anyways pics of the tank running w/ a FW test still

 

FTS:

Picture009.jpg

 

Loc-Line:

Picture010.jpg

 

Surface Agitation:

Picture011.jpg

 

I still want to get a hydor so I get more random flow on the left side, but Ill have to get that another day

 

Todays Purchases:

1- 1/2" Black Flexible Tubing

1- Zip tie bag

1- 20lb bag of LS

 

Days Total:

$51.00

 

Total Invested:

$192.15

 

 

edit: Now I just need a friend to help me break down the 55 and move it downstairs b/c it has 60lbs of sand in it omgomgomg once im done w/ that I can drain the 'pod and bring it upstairs to its new home (until it goes to school for another new home)

Edited by avalanche1201

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

Quick Update. Got the 55 out of the room, so I will now be able to bring up the pod and set that up.

 

SW and Sand go in 2morro...Ill be ordering my LR from premium Aquatics next week. Pics to come soon once sand and water is in

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

Took a look around Premium Aquatics online and they have some nice stuff, but they are pretty expensive. So I discovered reefer madness through another thread (aparker's member thread) and there prices include Shipping. Now I just need to decide what to get...

 

Im thinking either all fiji. Or a mix of Fiji, Fiji Buna Branch, and possibly Hawaiian Live Rock.

 

Any ideas?

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

My tank is officially born today! :) YEA!

 

After browsing the web for some time looking for live rock, and hearing about how great premium aquatics is I decided to give them a look. They have some excellent rock and I was itching to get it from there but unfortunately being a college student I don't have a whole lot of money. The shipping was a bit out of my price range.

 

I was browsing threads on here and stumbled across Aparker's thread. He had some awesome rock for pretty cheap w/ shipping included in the price from Reefermadness. Checked them out, loved the rock they had and placed the order yesterday.

 

I got an email saying what I wanted was out of stock for a week...so I was communicating w/ Jose through emails throughout the day and he offered getting another kind of Fiji rock so I did. At this point I thought it was to late to get it next day (~6pm EST), I was wrong. This morning my rock arrived...couldn't have been happier.....

 

now to get to the pics b/c I'm sure al ot of you haven't even read any of this....

 

 

Outer box Closed:

IMG_0013.jpg

 

Outer box Open:

IMG_0014.jpg

 

Styrofoam:

IMG_0015.jpg

 

Rock wrapped in heat pad:

IMG_0016.jpg

 

Pad Removed:

IMG_0017.jpg

 

In Tank:

IMG_0018.jpg

 

 

I wish I had more time to lay it out on the floor and get some really nice pics of the rock like everyone does, and I enjoy looking at those...however I was in a rush to work so I just snapped some pics and tossed it in. Its a brand new camera so I'm still trying to figure out how to work w/ the colors.

 

 

Also if anyone has any aquascaping ideas I'd love to hear em. I'm thinking of creating a PVC Shelf for the back of the tank to get the rock in back up more...any thoughts?

 

Enjoy

Share this post


Link to post
BJK2

looks good so far.. just play around a ton with the rock. make caves and cliffs that is what i do. just have fun!

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201
looks good so far.. just play around a ton with the rock. make caves and cliffs that is what i do. just have fun!

 

Thanks BJK2. Ill def be messing around alot w/ that rock to get it how I want it to...i hope

 

 

Anyways, I've been working on making LR Rubble "cups" that will go in the back of chamber 1. There will be a few of them stacked on top of each other w/ PVC pipes...the top one will be like a fold open basket for Filter Floss...There not the best handy work b/c I dont have any power tools (except a drill) So the PVC is all cut w/ a hack saw and the egg crate is cut w/ scissors...I need a file to make them smoother....any enough of the rambling here are pics...

 

IMG_0020.jpg

IMG_0021.jpg

IMG_0022.jpg

 

and here are the legs of it.

IMG_0023.jpg

 

I need to get different zip ties b/c the ones I have now SUCK..they dont stay zipped

 

I also have some more modding to do...I want to make a baffle in the first section after the LR "cups" so the water has to flow down through the rocks....under the baffle, and through Cheato...Which also means Ill have to black of the divider so it has to flow over that...it will be harder now that I have my rock...so I need to get like a 20gal bucket and fill it w/ my tank water and LR toss in the heater and power heads so it can just chill in there while I work..

 

Enjoy

Share this post


Link to post
annamarie421

That rock is nice looking! Which type of Fiji is that? Nice score getting the tank & light for free!!

 

Anna :)

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

So I'm sitting at home on a Saturday night having a few beers...I started to work on my Rubble Cups and decided on two things....the Zip ties suck.....and they need work...and they are going to be GLUED together.

 

So i started sanding these bastards by hand w/ a file...man o man does it suck not having power tools...the cave men have a ton of my respect now....any ways heres some before and after pics

 

before sanding:

IMG_0024.jpg

 

after sanding w/ a file:

IMG_0025.jpg

 

 

and now some angles of what the "cups" should look like w/o the legs attached

IMG_0027.jpg

IMG_0028.jpg

IMG_0029.jpg

 

 

I feel these will work real well..and w/ a few 2-3 (maybe more) they should be able to hold a few pounds of LR rubble

 

enjoy

Share this post


Link to post
skh

That's a good idea. I'm planning to put the rubble in coarse-mesh filter bags, drop them to the bottom of the chamber, add chaeto on top, and then put an eggcrate separator with the polyfiber on top (held up by some acrylic strips glued to the sides). The AP24's chambers seem a little tight for installing a lot of structure.

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

yea the chanmbers are tight...ill be making them tighter.

 

I dont know if you read it earlier but i want to add a baffle to make the water flow down through the rock..and up over cheato and over the stock baffle into the return chamber....hopefully this can all work out as i plan

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

Besides taking the SG from time to time I took my other first vital test....the temp of the tank...and MY GOD IT IS HOT!!! Its reading 86.9 right now!

 

I unplugged the heater and unplugged the stock pump that i added during curing to help circulate the water better...I'm hoping these two things alone will help bring down the heat...I also turned off the lights

 

Im thinking of adding some fans to the 70w MH, I'm hoping I can figure this all out w/o adding a chiller...I know there are great but I'm hoping I can battle this heat problem w/o dropping a few hundred to do so....

 

Im also planning on not really adding anything until I get to school (will make the move easier) so I dont have to worry about fish coral health etc etc

 

Edit: after no heater or lights or extra pump for about an hour and a half the temp has dropped about 2deg. However, still not enough as the temp is at 84.4...I feel the harsh reality of a chiller may be setting in....I hope it drops more though because I cant run a tank w/o lights

 

Edit: Edit: So after almost 3.5hrs the tank is down to 80 deg...more manageable...However, the AC in my room is on at 65 so I know thats helping alot...now to turn the lights back on for a few hours and hope for the best

Edited by avalanche1201

Share this post


Link to post
skh

The stock pump is a major source of heat. When I was curing my LR with the stock pump (plus two mj900s) the temperature also reached ~86F. Since removing the pump the temperature has been fine (79-82) with a 12-hour photoperiod (stock lighting) and an ambient room temperature between 65-85F, so long as I keep the feeding lid open (and sometimes prop the lid up a little using a pair of wine bottle corks).

 

Besides taking the SG from time to time I took my other first vital test....the temp of the tank...and MY GOD IT IS HOT!!! Its reading 86.9 right now!

 

I unplugged the heater and unplugged the stock pump that i added during curing to help circulate the water better...I'm hoping these two things alone will help bring down the heat...I also turned off the lights

 

Im thinking of adding some fans to the 70w MH, I'm hoping I can figure this all out w/o adding a chiller...I know there are great but I'm hoping I can battle this heat problem w/o dropping a few hundred to do so....

 

Im also planning on not really adding anything until I get to school (will make the move easier) so I dont have to worry about fish coral health etc etc

 

Edit: after no heater or lights or extra pump for about an hour and a half the temp has dropped about 2deg. However, still not enough as the temp is at 84.4...I feel the harsh reality of a chiller may be setting in....I hope it drops more though because I cant run a tank w/o lights

 

Edit: Edit: So after almost 3.5hrs the tank is down to 80 deg...more manageable...However, the AC in my room is on at 65 so I know thats helping alot...now to turn the lights back on for a few hours and hope for the best

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

Yea I've been running the lights for a few hours and the temp is still dropping..so i think it was the stock pump...Im going to toss the heater back in tonight and see how it does w/ the temp...hopefully it will work out

 

 

edit: after running the lights for several hours the temp kept dropping...always a good sign esp when u were drinking all afternoon with your buddies and were ready to throw down the money for a chiller

 

 

I added my heater back to the tank and after a few more hours the temp soared back up to 84...Ive come to the conclusion its the heater...I dialed it down a few degrees and well see how it is the morning....hope i can get everything right w/o a chiller

Edited by avalanche1201

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

So this morning before work I decided to take some parems of the tank, and here they are (API test kit)

 

Temp: 82.9

pH: 8.3 - 8.4

Ammonia: .25 - .50ppm

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: around 10 (using a drip test and its not quite 0 and not quite 20 so im guessing)

 

About Temp: I'm still battling the Temp issues, Im hoping I wont need a chiller, but Im not sure. I run an AC at home around 65 b/c its to small for my room, however, in my dorm room in Boston AC wont be availabe so Im thinking about getting one from JBJ 1/15th. Im going to unplug the heater and see how the temp is w/ the lights on while im at work. Im not to afraid of my hitch hiker zoos b/c they survived shipping w/ nothing but a wet newspaper.

 

About pH: Any suggestions on a good buffer? Or shouldn't I be worried?

 

About Ammonia: My API never seems to read below that. However, I have brought water tests to a LFS in Boston and they confirmed it was 0 and my water was good. I decided to run a test on my 3gal pico and it is reading the same. I think I need a new Test kit. Any good suggestions?

 

About Nitrite: Can't complain...gotta love it :)

 

About Nitrate: I feel this is good to go...people always say try to keep it below 20ppm and I feel I am below that

 

Now enough of the reading...here are some pics of my hitch hiker zoos...not the best quality because Im not to sure on how to use the camera yet...or how to get good pics through glass...Im going to read the manual and turn of the pumps on my next attempt

 

IMG_0046.jpg

IMG_0044.jpg

IMG_0042.jpg

 

and some other tank shots (going to do a preliminary aquascape this weekend):

 

Center:

IMG_0051.jpg

Left:

IMG_0052.jpg

Right:

IMG_0053.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201

After the lights being on all day I came home to a temp of 77.9 (liken that). After turning off the MH I and going to the gym and hanging out with my friends I come home to 74.2 (not liking that). So I turned down my heater by another 2 deg hoping I can figure this thing out...I hope the morning temp will be a good one....I guess we'll (if anyone reads this) find out tomorrow

Share this post


Link to post
chaostactics

please don't let such a nice tank go to waste

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201
please don't let such a nice tank go to waste

 

No worries I wont...I turned the heater on last night after setting the temp on it another 2 deg. lower. I wake up to a tank at 77.9 Now for some reason its up around 80.5 Im going to try another heater I have but I dont trust it. Its called "Thermo" or something like that.

 

I might have to swing by a pet store and get another heater. Any suggestions on a good one?

Share this post


Link to post
Mitch529

For a heater in my AP24 I am using a Visi-Therm 100w Stealth Heater and its been working great. I too was having some temp issues (big swings) when I first started my tank.

 

Try turning off the heater and see what your temp is at the end of your lighting cycle. Then turn your heater on ~1 degree below that temp and watch your temperature through the night the heater should maintain the temperature you have it set at (if not adjust as needed). Once the lights come back on and the temperature moves up a little the heater will turn off since the temperature is above what its set at. At least thats how I setup mine, and its working great!

 

Also great idea with the eggcrate cups I was going to do the refugium in the chamber deal but decided against it since the space is so small and 2 MJ900's take most of the space.

 

- Mitch

Share this post


Link to post
avalanche1201
For a heater in my AP24 I am using a Visi-Therm 100w Stealth Heater and its been working great. I too was having some temp issues (big swings) when I first started my tank.

 

Try turning off the heater and see what your temp is at the end of your lighting cycle. Then turn your heater on ~1 degree below that temp and watch your temperature through the night the heater should maintain the temperature you have it set at (if not adjust as needed). Once the lights come back on and the temperature moves up a little the heater will turn off since the temperature is above what its set at. At least thats how I setup mine, and its working great!

 

Also great idea with the eggcrate cups I was going to do the refugium in the chamber deal but decided against it since the space is so small and 2 MJ900's take most of the space.

 

- Mitch

 

Yea my temps swings are huge. It was around 78 this morning and now its around 80.5 Ill try notching my heater up a notch, hopefully it can keep these swings more stable.

 

And about the cups, Ive got 2 of them complete, they look alot better now glued together instead of just tossed together un-sanded w/ zip ties. Just need to smooth out the PVC Legs now and It should be good to go soon, I hope

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...