smchan

Sam's 34G EcoTech-heavy Solana

FTS

 

4/7/2012 None yet; we're still not wet. :huh:

 

Equipment

  • Current USA Solana 34G with black stand
  • Stock pump and skimmer
  • InTank media basket
  • EcoTech Radion
  • EcoTech MP10w

 

Corals

  • None yet.

 

Livestock

  • None yet.

Edited by smchan

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Pics or it didn´t happen! PS sounds like a great build. Will follow!

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I've been looking for a used Solana in order to consolidate my BC14 and NC12 tanks into a single tank. My LFS bought a handful of old Current USA tanks - some Cardiffs and a Solana. They offered me a new Solana and stand for about the same price as a used one, so I bought it the last week of March. I'd prefer a larger tank - around 45-60 gallons - but I'm in the process of remodeling the room that would house the tank, so I opted for a compromise for now.

 

Anyways, I performed a leak test in my garage last weekend, moved it into position this week and started on the aqua-scape today.

 

I have left over Marco rock from another project that I'm reusing. My goal is to do something slightly different and unusual, and I want to utilize the height of the tank. My inspirations are MedRed's 60 Gallon Solana XL and John Ciotti's "Upside Down Reef" nano reef.

 

I cut a piece of egg-crate to the tank's dimensions and will use it to stabilize the aqua-scape because it has a high-center of gravity and is off-balance as you can see from the photo. I've drilled the main column of rock and attached the bottom rock to the egg-crate with a zip-tie.

 

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I stacked the next 2 rocks using Marco's aqua-scaping mortar between each layer, then ran a big zip-tie around everything to compress the rocks together and keep everything stable while the mortar cures. I also dry-fit a shelf at the top of the column.

 

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Finally, I cemented the shelf to the column and added a couple clamps to hold it together while the cement sets. The next 2 photos show the front and back views. I'm going to leave the shorter zip down shown in the back view to help hold up the column. I will also trim the PEX to the top of the column and plug it before moving everything to the tank. The vertical piece of egg-crate in the rear view picture shows the top of the waterline which will be just a few inches above the top of the column.

 

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Sam

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Removed the clamps from the aqua-scape this afternoon. So far, it's holding together. I'll remove the big zip-tie after the rock is in the tank.

 

6912087210_99080179f3_z.jpg

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Received the light today and ordered a media basket, JBJ LED refugium light, and misc. supplies from InTank today. This feels like Christmas... I love opening the new toys, but I'll be crying the blues when I pay off the credit card bill next month. I'm into this tank for over a grand now, and it's still not wet!

 

Next up... trying to figure out how I want to mount the light and investigating whether I an ATO or a reef controller.

 

6915957974_d88aa01c89_z.jpg

 

Sam

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Nice, I really like the scape. Nice equipment choice also. I went with the tunze skimmer to leave room under it for the fuge. I am also going to order a radion on this week and ditch my nova pro. btw I had to get rid of the glass top and build my own mesh because two fish jumped out the feeding corners cut in the glass top. I'm definitely going to be following this build.

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Nice stuff! Can't wait to see it wet!

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I went with the tunze skimmer to leave room under it for the fuge.

 

That's an interesting idea. My aim was to put the fuge in the media basket, but I like the idea of running it under the skimmer, as well. How much room do you have under the skimmer? Any problems with chaeto getting into your skimmer?

 

Sam

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Nice choices of inspiration. MedRed's rock-work is a work of art and perfect for a cube tank design.

 

I too have a Solana 34g (and Radion :D ) that I am waiting to set up. Good luck with your build.

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Still waiting for my InTank shipment to come in and still trying to decide how I'm going to mount the Radion. Getting anxious - especially for the former - so I can get it wet!

 

Meanwhile, my wife had grown frustrated with the bristle worms in our NC12 to the point that she's pulling out rocks that have worms and laying them out in the sun so they'll die a slow, horrible death. Did I mention she's a redhead? :o

 

Sam

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And the light was hung from the ceiling with care in hopes that tiny clownfish would soon be there.

 

Like I said, it's like Christmas in April. :-). Sorry for the crappy pictures. I'll break out my Nikon after there's something more interesting to see.

 

7075380029_4bba2e0704_z.jpg

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And I failed to mention how I hung the light. I used 4" toggle bolts with 1/4-20 x 3" threaded rods. Since the "bullet" end of the Radion hanging kit is small, I used a 1" washer between the "bullet" and ceiling to help hide the 3/4" hole required to push in the toggle bolt.

 

The power cord tends to pull on the light, so I will put a patch of Velcro on the back of the stand to support the power cord so it doesn't affect the way the light is hanging.

 

I still need to trim the cable and program the light.

 

Sam

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I was not happy with the aquascape. I disassembled the bottom part, re-shaped it a bit, attached it back to the top and still not happy. It strikes me as too over-bearing and not as stable as I'd like, so I decided to change it up a bit.

 

I called the LFS looking for branch rock. None in stock or on the way, so I ordered a small amount of dry branch rock from BRS. It's due here on Wednesday meaning I might be able to finish my aquascape next weekend.

 

We have a local event, ReefSmart, in late May and I was hoping to be cycled by then so I could get a few small frags. That's likely not happening at this point but I'm still anxious to get the cycle started, so I might put a rock or two in and get it started with a damsel. I'll put the egg-crate, sand and rock work in after I finish the aquascape. Whatever rock I use to get the cycle started will be a small, stand-alone island piece that I use in the final aquascape.

 

I'm looking for advice on controllers and auto-top offs. I like the Neptune controllers but not sure how hard it would be to install one on an established AIO tank. Thoughts?

 

Sam

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Decided to get it wet today even though the aqua-scape is not done. I'll start it cycling with a bare bottom this week. Next week, when I install the aqua-scape, I'll partially drain the tank and put in sand as well. Also need to trim the hanging cables for my Radion.

 

7099980603_0ff5854fd0_z.jpg

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Looking good so far. What are your coral plans for this tank?

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Looking good so far. What are your coral plans for this tank?

 

I'm supposed to have a plan?!? And I thought the goal was to blow as much money as possible. :lol:

 

Seriously, I have some zoas, a yellow leather, a few yuma rics, some mushrooms, a frog spawn, some gsp, a few other misc polyps, and a maxi-mini that I'll move from 2 smaller tanks. I'd also like to buy some xenia and candy cane. Beyond that, I haven't really thought about it much.

 

Sam

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I was not happy with the aqua-scape. It was a little too unstable and too over-bearing for a small tank. I ordered some branch rock from BRS to try again. Can't say I'm completely happy with this effort, but it might grow on me.

 

IMG_01403.JPG

 

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I'm not so sure about the aqua-scape but was out-voted 3-1 by my wife and boys, so in it went. I'll add sand in the next day or two to cover the egg crate and hide some of the rock that's supporting the 'scape.

 

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any updates?

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Update Please! i love the Lights.

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