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Bloke

Bloke's 34g Solana

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Bloke

My 180g came down a few weeks ago. Almost all of the coral has been sold and the tank is barely a shadow of what it was.

 

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However, there is still hope and optimism. I've purchased a Current Solana Rimless 34g Cube. It's a new type of AIO system and can be seen displayed in a few of the LFS. I did purchase the 14k MH pendent to give me the option in the future to add SPS and provide necessary lighting for a few items I'm keeping. Additionally, I've ordered a Vortech MP20 to spruce up the flow.

 

From the 180g, I've decided to keep a few of my favorites:

 

First, as far as fish, I CANNOT part with my mated pair of True Percula and the purple carpet. They will be going into the Solana.

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Secondly, it's a big boy, but if I can find the room, I will be keeping the blue spotted squamosa clam. I've never seen another like it and since squamosa require lower levels of lighting, it should be fine in this system.

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Well, this has been a slower process than the 180g, but there had to be somewhere to put the new tank. :) I started by putting the stand together. Surprisingly, it's quite nice. I was expecting some sort of Walmart-type furniture, but there's real wood and it's quite stout.

 

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The tank itself was packed incredibly well. I looked over the filtration system and with the exception of the absence of a fuge, it's a pretty cool setup. I hope to get water and rock in this before the weekend. it should be easier since I only ork two days this week.

 

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I'll keep you posted and thanks for following along...

 

Well, I've successfully removed the rock out of the 180g and delivered it to its rightful owner. The tank still needs to be drained but there are a few fish left to be fished out before that happens.

 

As far as the Solana, I did get a single pillar inside as well as about 40lbs of crushed coral (easier to syphon). Here is a shot of the tank after adding the majority of the rock and me starting to fill it up.

 

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Here's a closer shot after the dust settled a little. There are only four rocks on the pillar. The larger flat piece as a base, a "C" shaped rock with the carpet anemone on the back side (this was the rock he was attached to), a larger ledge shaped rock coming out to the left (my son liked it because he thought it looked like the head of an alligator), and then the softball sized rock to top off the PVC pillar. There are two additional rocks at the base of the pillar with zoanthid colonies (orange with white and yellow centers and some greenish-yellow, or chartreuse, both on the right side).

 

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I put the zoanthid colonies to the right side because I wanted to make room for the blue-spotted squamosa to fit on the left. Requiring less light, I thought it would fit nicely under the ledge. After getting the clams inside the tank, here is a close-up of the left side:

 

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And on the right side, I stuck the tear drop maxima right between the zoanthids. He'll get a little more light as needed over here:

 

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Edited by Bloke

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Amerijuanican

very cool... will be tagging along

 

can you post a pic of your 180 in full glory?

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Bloke

This week marks the third month of this Solana. Here are a couple updates:

 

I removed the stock 150w HQI and replaced it with a 250w Icecap SE 12k Reeflux. This allows more light, greater PAR, greater distance between the surface and the bulb (13" rather than 5"), cheaper replacement bulbs, etc.

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I also thought that the crushed coral looked a little too un-natural and seemed to collect more garbage making it look constantly dirty so I replaced it with Southdown.

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Edited by Bloke

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PSYS

Looks awesome... B)

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imkevin20

followwinnggg :)

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Bloke

Decided to build a reactor for my Solana. It's a single chamber unit with a small pump for recirculation - the same pump Pacific Coast runs on their CR-70.

 

The first pic has the freshly cut tube. Next to the tube is the remaining piece that I cut a section out so it can be fit in the tall tube. The little white disk will be the media plate. I still need to cut the holes in it. The tube is 3 inch O.D. and 2.75 inch I.D

 

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Assembled

 

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A little more progress...

 

The flange and top have been drilled and tapped for 1/4X 20 screws. 8 of them will fasten to the flange.

 

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The flange setting up in Weldon 14.

 

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This is a pic of the tube sitting on the bottom plate. This is what I have so far.

 

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Routed the flange.

 

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Drilling the diffuser plate. This is the plate that the media will sit on. It is easy to make but takes a long time to drill and clean each hole. I first traced the out side edge of the round acrylic onto a piece of paper. I then find the center and set lines at the diameter, 90, 45, and 22.5 degrees. I then used a compass to set the smaller rings, seen in the pics below. Where each line crossed another that was a drilling point, except the inner most ring, it was drilled at every other line. I used rubber cement to fasten the paper to the acrylic and drilled away.

 

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The pump does not have standard pipe threads, so I have to use barb fittings at the pump. This might work to the positive, the pump sets on suction cups and with a soft mount to the hard pluming the pump should be isolated. This should reduce vibration noise.

 

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The calcium reactor is 20 inches tall. The leak test went pretty well, as normal a few leaks had to be repaired. The pump has to be one of the quietest ones that I have used. At first I had reservations because of the barbed fittings, I like to work with hard pluming and the barbs forced me to spend a bit more time at the hardware store finding fittings that converts from barb to NPT. The side effect of the rubber feet and nylon hose was a very quiet unit.

 

The pump sits on a 1/4 inch plate; the reactor is also fixed to the same plate. All hard pluming is 1/2 inch; the barbs are 1/2 also.

 

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The business end of the pluming. The first fitting on the left is Jaco, this will be the tap that CO2 enters. The second tap will attach from the display feed pump. The tap below the 1/2 inch pluming is the effluent line. All of the tube fittings are tapped into the reactor or 1/2 inch pluming are set with 1/4 National Pipe Threads. The 1/2 inch pipe enters the reactor tube via 1/2 National Pipe Threads.

 

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The top of the reactor. The screws are 1/4X20 nylon screws. The flange below the gasket is drilled and tapped to accept the nylon screws. The gasket is made from hobby foam. It is closed cell and sold in sheets, found at Wal-Mart. The pipe and elbow are the return loop. This unit will blow down on the media. The Guest fitting will have a tube attached to it with a valve. Its only purpose is to vent air when filling the unit with water.

 

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In order to fit it below the tank, I had to first pull the drawer all the way out. The drawer does NOT go all the way to the back and actually leaves just enough room for everything to fit behind it:

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Here it is completely plumbed in and the rest of the junk still fits!

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All that's left is to replace the drawer and call it good!

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Bloke

$27 in acryllic

$17 pump

$25 misc plumbing

 

$69 to build the reactor

 

Of course you have to include $55 for the CO2 bottle and $75 for the regulator. A pH monitor was already on hand as was a small feed pump but a complete CR setup for under $200. I believe the CR-70 alone runs close to that price, I'd say it's been a good day. :)

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twichstile

Wow man, awesome!

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ryanmilo

WOW! I got lost at cutting the tube. I couldnt build a cheese sandwitch if you gave me directions but this is incredible! I have the same turkey baster. :bowdown: I love your tank. Mine is finished with cycling and ready for fun. Ill let you know when I need the reactor :)

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davidr2340

Sweet DIY bro... Love it! Now go ahead and build me one!

KTNXBY!

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Bloke

They are actually super simple. Give it a try - What's the worst that can happen? :)

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davidr2340
They are actually super simple. Give it a try - What's the worst that can happen? :)

I'd be out sixty nine dollars it cost to build... Plus all the other stuff I would break in the process out of anger!!! :happy:

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Bloke
I'd be out sixty nine dollars it cost to build... Plus all the other stuff I would break in the process out of anger!!! :happy:

 

But what if it works?!! You'll have saved yourself hundreds and walk with a little more swagger. ;)

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ryanmilo

If it involves fire or electric I'm out....I can give ya directions on a killer rum and coke :P

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davidr2340
But what if it works?!! You'll have saved yourself hundreds and walk with a little more swagger. ;)

You make a good point Bloke!!! :haha:

I love swagga!!!

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Osric
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What kind of star is that? Everything I read seems to say almost no stars are reef safe ... is it a blue Linckia?

 

thanks

Osric

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Bloke

Yes - a blue linkia. Never heard anything about them being unsafe. I've had this guy for ver a year in my 180g and now this tank. Hmm...

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subielover

Have never heard they are not reef safe, but I would be worried about how long you can sustain him in such a tiny tank. May be time to give him to someone with a larger tank. Do you spot feed him?

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Osric
Yes - a blue linkia. Never heard anything about them being unsafe. I've had this guy for ver a year in my 180g and now this tank. Hmm...

 

In the case of Linckia, I haven't read that they are actually unsafe, only that they require lots of water (>70G) and are hard to maintain in captivity. The source is wetwebmedia.com, they have a series of pages about these animals (e.g. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/linckiaselfaqs.htm). In hunting for what kind of star I could add to my tank (a solana, like yours) I've been at a loss to find anything that fits. If you keep and maintain your star, I'd love to hear about it - given that he's established in your care, maybe you can maintain? Or maybe in the smaller tank he'll eventually starve/become unhappy. Not super clear :(

 

Osric

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Bloke

I'll keep you posted :)

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Mike Maddox

Gorgeous! I love the clams, and the carpet anemone.

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