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--chris--

Chris's IM30 - 'MI' New Frags are here!

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Edit: Change of plans, my wife found a IM 30 on a Facebook swap she belongs to...ditching the 40 breeder, IM 30 here we come!

 

Wow its been a long 3 years! A quick timeline for anyone who cares:

  • Got into keeping fish tanks when I was little, had numerous fresh setups. Parents had a big reef in the late 80's into the 90's. Got out of it until about 2006.
  • Into reefing from '06 to 2013 when my son got old enough to make the fish tank a dangerous thing and we had to tear it down.
  • Put house up for sale in late 2013...then waited for almost 3 years before it sold, the whole time not wanting to put up a new tank because "we might move anytime"
  • Moved into new house this past January, settled in, fixed things, got a better job/closer to home
  • Now we are finally ready for another reef tank!

 

The itch never left, I had to remove all my NR, RC, R2R bookmarks and sell off all my reefing stuff to keep from "slipping". I held onto one piece of equipment, the Melev's reef RO/DI unit with booster pump :) It was my anchor to this fun hobby.

 

So onto the new tank. I want a tank that is several things and I will need help from everyone making sure I achieve these goals.

  • First and foremost, QUIET
  • Second, nothing expensive, rare or otherwise difficult to manage/keep. I will give preference to CB fish and propagated coral. I love PaulB's ( http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=727454) take on reefing and want to emulate that. Low stress and fun. I don't want to sound cold, but we travel 2-3 weeks a year and I live in the sticks. I don't have anyone to rely on/trust maintaining the tank while we are gone. I will do my BEST to keep everything alive and happy, but if we lose power while I am gone I do not want to be emotionally and financially devastated because of it.
  • Finally, LONGEVITY. I plan on having this tank setup for 10+ years. I dont want to go through setting up / tearing down a system. No "bigger" tanks are in my future, this will be it for a long time.

 

Those are the requirements from a design aspect. So what goes in it? Anything that fits that criteria! This will be your typical mixed reef with a focus on fish! My wife loved our last pair of clowns, so she will be picking out those at some point. Everything else is up in the air. Our son is now 4 so he will have a say in what goes in as well since the point of the tank is to get him interested in the oceans as well as work in some responsibility as he grows up.

 

The tank (just got it home):

8181b56e-084a-4641-a11e-539966b96f56_zps

 

I have Ro/Di parts on order with BRS, dry rock is probably coming from Reef Cleaners this week. Once I get the tank setup I will post a break down of equipment.

 

Update #1 (8/2/2016) WATER!

20160730_201500_zps3ul7e4xf.jpg

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Rock is ordered and shipping today from Reef Cleaners. I emailed John @ Reef Cleaners ahead of time and let him know what I wanted to do with the rock (Bonsai'sh). He said that he will do his best to help me get rock to fulfill that design. Very excited to get started!

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Rock is ordered and shipping today from Reef Cleaners. I emailed John @ Reef Cleaners ahead of time and let him know what I wanted to do with the rock (Bonsai'sh). He said that he will do his best to help me get rock to fulfill that design. Very excited to get started!

Welcome back!

 

John is so nice to work with. He's very accommodating and responds very quickly. I love the tank! I'm a sucker for cubes.

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Got my ro parts in the mail Friday, assembled and started making water last night. Somewhere along the line my in-line tds meter got destroyed so I have no way to test the water. I'll just trust that the membrane and DI are working like they were when I stored it...

 

Rock should be here today!

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Rock is here, time to scape!!

 

I've been researching a light for this and I like the Ai prime HD. It might be on the small side for the tank but I'm planning on soft corals anyway.

 

Anyone see a prime on a 20x20 tank? I see some people using them on BC 29s which is similar in size to what I have.

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Ugh...having a hard time getting the rock to do what I want. I must have got off real easy last time I did this...it was so easy!

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Rehosted as promised:

20160730_201500_zps3ul7e4xf.jpg

 

I added 5 ml of ammonia on 7/31 to start the cycle. Now its time to wait.

 

Any recomendations for a light for this? I really like how the AI Prime HD looks and don't need a ton of light for this setup since its going to be all polyps and leathers but I am uncertain the Prime HD would be enough for them.

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Rock looks awesome! I have a hard time with scaping tall tanks but you did a great job!

 

Thanks, I had something else in mind but the rocks didn't want to do it and my acrylic rods were not going to make it happen. What you see there is 5 sticks of putty and a few hours of fiddling. Its OK, but not perfect or exactly what I wanted....maybe it will grow on me.

 

I forgot to mention and review the rock from Reef Cleaners!

 

John was great to deal with, very responsive (within an hour of most emails) and very willing to help me get what I wanted.

  • The rock shipped well (about 900 miles).
  • It is very porous as described but also has many larger holes in it that make hiding spots fish as well as making it easier to 'scape with.
  • The volume of rock is A+! By that I mean what you see pictured is about 18lbs of rock from John. I ordered 30 but could not use or fit it all in there.
  • It was also very clean as you would expect from quarried rock...a quick rinse off and it was ready to start building with
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Coming up on week 3 of the cycle, no algae yet and no detectable nitrates yet. The waiting game continues...

 

I did receive a new Hannah inline TDS meter with dual sensors yesterday, which got me excited.

 

But my wifes dog (she had it before we were married, since High School) died the other night. That deflated some of the excitement around the new tank, but I am sure that will return in due time.

 

I still need to get a better light (really liking the black Prime HD), I don't see a good alternative in that price range that is also as aesthetic. As mentioned previously, I don't need a ton of light with shrooms and polyps.

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We have nitrates and no ammonia (that was faster than expected). I added another 5 ml of ammonia last night, pending the results of that test tonight we might be ready for our first fish this weekend.

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Forgot the reason I came here to post (derr)....the skimmer that came with the tank is pretty loud, I believe it is this:

 

http://innovative-marine.com/auqa-gadget/skim-mate.html

 

Its not the pump or vibrations that is loud, but instead the air intake for the venturi. I can hear it in the next room over....is there a trick to quiet this thing down? Or do I need to play with the adjustments to make it quieter? As it is now, I wont be using it if it can not get quieter.

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Ammonia present after 48 hours at about the same concentration I added = not cycled.

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Clowns!

 

Both captive bread obviously, sticking to the plan!

 

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2evqh5c.jpg

 

My wife's family came over and made a joke about the "fish" tank now having fish in it after 2 months of being up lol.

 

I'll try to get a better pic, I am stuck using my cell for pics until I get a battery charger back from my mom.

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This is such a shit show. I need a mag float and ATO still.

 

Better pics through the algae covered glass with manual mode on the cell phone.

 

29wr877.jpg

 

wlpyja.jpg

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The clowns are doing well, eating like pigs and co-existing peacefully but not appearing to bond quite yet. The smaller is submissive and does the "side ways twitch" indicating the pairing process is occurring.

 

Things I still need to do (feedback anyone?):

 

  • Improve the lighting: I am leaning towards the Mars lighting from Ebay, can not link while at work but I think most of us know what I am talking about. Price is good and I don't need top notch lighting for Soft coral.
  • ATO: I like this setup (have used these in the past) http://www.aquahub.com/store/product26.htmlwith a Tom's aqualifter

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