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ASpec

Aspec's Solana Reef Tank

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ASpec

Welcome to my little Solana 34g build thread. It’s taken a couple of weeks to get to this point, but I’ve very happy to finally have a Solana. I started out with a BioCube 29g in January and quickly discovered some limitations I was not willing to work around, so I sold it and ordered the Solana. I am thrilled with this tank so far and absolutely love the rimless look. Current did a great job with this tank. It’s not prefect but pretty close in my opinion.

 

Quick overview of my setup

 

■ Solana 34g

■ Espresso stand

■ SunPod 150 HQI MH

■ Reef Keeper Elite

■ Koralia Nano

■ Azoo Double Fan

■ 30 lbs of Fiji, Tonga, and Pukini Cured Live Rock

■ 20 lbs CaribSea Oolite & 10 lbs CaribSea Special Grade Reef Sand

■ ChemiPure Elite & Purigen in chamber 2

■ Stock skimmer and return pump

 

Upcoming

 

Tunze Osmolator

VorTech MP20

inTank MP20 Dry Dock

■ 2x Drew's Peristaltic Dosing Pump

 

 

Stay tuned for pics and more!

Edited by ASpec

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ASpec

Still boxed up.

post-12181-1236050935_thumb.png

 

Unboxed view of the rear chambers of the Solana

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Just filled. Excuse the cloudy water and 2 temp probes.

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Rear chambers and all cords zip tied

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I just filled the tank this evening. I am trying to ensure my Reef Keeper Elite' temprature probe is giving me an accurate reading as I have my controller setup with serveral alarm conditons based on temprature.

 

I am pretty impressed with the stock skimmer. My LR had been sitting in a 30 gallon tube with a couple power heads and a Tunze DOC 9002. The Tunze took a few days to get dialed in where as the Current stock skimmer went to work right away with just a minor cup height adjustment. I had the Tunze running in my BioCube so I used it finish off the LR curing process outside the tank.

 

More to come later. For now I think I'll go admire the "shimmer" of the new tank.

Edited by ASpec

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TriggerHappyDude

Sweet! I'm watching you while you're watching me! Ha! Nice start.

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davidr2340

Congrats on the tank... I'll be watching!

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Jake42393

ugh! i want this thing so bad, or a 40g breeder some day.. we'll see =p

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pprwngs

Nice start, I look forward to watching this...

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ASpec

Thanks everyone. I have to say the Azoo fan and the RKE are the 2 best purchases I have made. My tank stays between 80.0 and 80.2 F 24/7 -- even when the MH is on for 10 hours.

 

I got my Tunze Osmolator yesterday and installed it today. This thing is awesome. I've got some installaton pics I'll upload soon. Next big investment is that MP20.

 

I picked up my CUC today (before you jump me, my tank is fully established since I transfered all my rock, sand, water, ect from a previous BioCube 29g). I also ended up with this for the amazing price of $8

 

IMG_0903_edited-1-1.jpg

 

Quick FTS update -- I'm not happy with my rock scape but it works for the moment.

 

IMG_0908_edited-1.jpg

Edited by ASpec

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TriggerHappyDude

So the RKE is one of the best purchases huh, do tell, I need some help pulling the trigger, I almost had myself talked out of it, thinking it was over kill for our Solana sized tank...tell me why I need it!

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pprwngs
So the RKE is one of the best purchases huh, do tell, I need some help pulling the trigger, I almost had myself talked out of it, thinking it was over kill for our Solana sized tank...tell me why I need it!

IMHO the RKE is not needed for this tank. For $499 you get a pH probe, temp probe, 8 programmable outlets, and the ability to program it from your computer. The $225 you can get the ACJr. with 8 programmable outlets, a temp probe and for $65 more you can get the pH probe and the cable to hook up your computer. All the same jazz as the RKE minus ORP and the price but still all the bang you can ever need for this tank... Well that's my .02

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TriggerHappyDude
IMHO the RKE is not needed for this tank. For $499 you get a pH probe, temp probe, 8 programmable outlets, and the ability to program it from your computer. The $225 you can get the ACJr. with 8 programmable outlets, a temp probe and for $65 more you can get the pH probe and the cable to hook up your computer. All the same jazz as the RKE minus ORP and the price but still all the bang you can ever need for this tank... Well that's my .02

 

Yeah but what about expandability? Can you add what you can add to the RKE?

I plan to use the RKE on my future, bigger tank, and so on and so forth...and know I will need expandability, and its just cool looking too! I love the blue readout etc...I think the future holds a lot of cool things to come for the RKE, and I'm all about that.

Edited by TriggerHappyDude

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ASpec
IMHO the RKE is not needed for this tank. For $499 you get a pH probe, temp probe, 8 programmable outlets, and the ability to program it from your computer. The $225 you can get the ACJr.

I agree with you, but I would go with the RK Lite before the ACJr. For $279 can get the RK Lite level 3 which includes 8 outlets and PH. You can add ORP later. I have nothing agaist AC but I like the looks of RK better. That's a personal opinion.

 

The RKE allows you to run upto 64 modules. Sounds like overkill, right? I thought so too... until I started connecting devices and thinking about what I wanted my controller to do.

 

I have 8 outlets already and I am about to purchase 4 more. The new SL2 is about to be released as well which will measure your salinity. This is going to be a great module since you can program the conroller to make salinity adjusts automatically if necessary.

 

Controllers are one of those things... you don't know what your missing until you have one... and once you have one you won't even run a tank without one again. Keep in mine I also got my RKE for $300 for a local reefer who was getting out of the hobby.

 

I love the blue readout etc...I think the future holds a lot of cool things to come for the RKE, and I'm all about that

You can change the blue background color one of 25 different colors. And I agree, Digital Aquatics has some cool things coming down the pipe for the Elite later this year. If you want a controller you can "grow" into I believe the RKE is the way to go. If you need a controller for your 34g tank now, I would save some money and go with the RKL Level 3. You can trade in - trade up later down the road.

Edited by ASpec

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TriggerHappyDude
I have 8 outlets already and I am about to purchase 4 more. The new SL2 is about to be released as well which will measure your salinity. This is going to be a great module since you can program the conroller to make salinity adjusts automatically if necessary.

 

This is a really cool feature that people are excited about. What would be the setup to adjust salinity?

In other words, what would the controller do in reaction to low or high salinity? Dose with something?

 

I thought about saving the upfront money and going with that RKL3, but I'm a computer guy so the early adoption of the RKE with /NET gives me some stuff to play with and feed back to DA on new features.

Besides that read out on the RKL3, isn't as cool...does is have a color display you can change to 25 different colors? (not the most important thing)

 

I'm pretty much sold on the RKE, having read lots of good things from people with them.

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pprwngs

I'm sure the RKE is cool and for $300 used it would be awesome. I just can't throw down $500 for it new.

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TriggerHappyDude

Do they have a Version 2 of the RKE out or am I confusing that with my VorTech?

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ASpec
Do they have a Version 2 of the RKE out or am I confusing that with my VorTech?

There are 3 levels of the RKL.

 

The level 3 version includes 2 PC4 modules which gives you 8 outlets, the SL1 module which lets you monitor PH and ORP and has 2 switch ports. This version includes the PH proble and temp probe but not the ORP.

 

Level 2 has 1 PC4 module (4 outlets) and the SL1 module, temp probe, but does not include the PH probe.

 

Level 1 has all the above minus the SL1 module.

 

The RKL series can only expand to 4 total modules. If you purchased Level 3 you would have 2 open modules left for future use and I don't believe you can use the NET module with the RKL series.

 

 

This is a really cool feature that people are excited about. What would be the setup to adjust salinity?

In other words, what would the controller do in reaction to low or high salinity? Dose with something?

In theroy your could raise/lower your salinty levels based on the salinty monitor. If you salinty was too high you could dose/add fresh water until the salinity was "in range". If the salinty was too low you can dose/add premixed salt water with a salinty level a bit higher than your display tank so it would raise the salinity level in your display tank. A little much for a 34g tank if you ask me, but I'm still getting it when it comes out!

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TriggerHappyDude

Well and thats my thoughts, why not just get the one and be ready for all future usage?

The expandibility is what I love about it...knowing whatever situation comes up I could basically do.

I'm getting one!

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TriggerHappyDude

Hey can you take some close up shots of your substrate, with rock/fish in it. I just want to see how it looks, the mix/combo of sands you chose is interesting and I wonder if I'd like it. Thanks!

Edited by TriggerHappyDude

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ASpec
Hey can you take some close up shots of your substrate, with rock/fish in it. I just want to see how it looks, the mix/combo of sands you chose is interesting and I wonder if I'd like it. Thanks!

I will indeed try this evening. Anyone got any good tips for doing this with a Canon D-SLR? I've never been good with extreme close ups.

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TriggerHappyDude
I will indeed try this evening. Anyone got any good tips for doing this with a Canon D-SLR? I've never been good with extreme close ups.

 

Use macro mode or a macro lens if you have one? I went ahead and ordered my sand...so you don't really have to worry about this anymore...

 

I bought the West Caribbean Reef 10 lbs and Ocean Direct Original Grade and 20 lbs.

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ASpec

Just purchased a few new items. Trying to keep with TriggerHappy... not an easy task I must say! ;)

 

 

 

AquaFX RO/DI Barracuda

AquaFX.jpg

 

I had this same unit 4 years ago when I had my 58 gallon reef setup. I sold it when I "got out" of the hobby. Time for another! I pay the LFS $1 per gallon for RO/DI water and I go though almost 5 gallons per week in evap/top off water and another 5 gallons for water changes. This will pay for itself in 3-4 months... not to mention I don't have to lug 5 gallon containers back and forth.

 

 

MP20

mp20b.jpg

 

Time for more flow! Since I've already started to add some LPS/Zoa's... and want to go SPS and Clams down the road I needed more flow. This should do it! Found a great deal on this from a authorized EcoMarie dealer online.

 

 

And finally... the inTank Solana Dry Dock

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No wires in the tank at all! This is a super cool mod that StevieT made. Get yourself one here: http://shop.mediabaskets.com/main.sc

Edited by ASpec

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TriggerHappyDude

Ahhhhh nice buys! You are ahead of me in terms of water in the tank etc...I just have a bunch of stuff laying around in boxes! :lol:

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StevieT

Did you get the dry dock set up yet?

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TriggerHappyDude

I haven't yet, it fits nice in the back there and allows the wires for the submersible lights to come from below...just haven't opened up my MP40w yet...soon.

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StevieT

Do you feel it has to be black? I am thinking of making it clear since I can't see my welds with the current color.

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TriggerHappyDude

I think clear would be ok, but what do you mean your "welds"? Why is that an issue?

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