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madtrax

12G Long Shallow Reef - Hong Kong

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Hello nano-reefers,

 

After many months strolling around this forum and many others, I finally decided to start a thread here. I feel like it would be a great opportunity for me to keep track of my tank too and get some harsh critics.

Long story short, I am French living in Hong Kong for few years now. I always wanted to start a reef tank and I finally jumped in few month ago with a small cube. That was lot of fun (and pain...) but I always thought it didn't really look great. I never really liked aquarium per say as I always found them pretty out of place and clunky.  This forum gave me a lot of inspiration, mainly 4x5, Scorched and holy carp tanks (go checkout there thread if you haven't done it yet).

 

Anyways, I decided to do everything myself starting from the stand, then plumbing etc… I just didn’t want to mess around with glass tho.

 

Equipment

 

Light: 2x AI Hydra 26 HD

Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve A5

Return pump: Aqua Engine DP6 Vectra M1

Dosing: Bubble Magus bubble BM-T11

Other: Small DIY Chaeto reactor

 

Stand build

 

Here are some pictures of the stand build which is more a complete furniture aimed to integrate the tank. 

I first made a 3D model to get an idea of size and to test different configurations.

 

Then, once I was happy with the end result, put that back on paper and went to get some plywood roughly cut to size.

Here are few pics from the build.

 

IMG_0008.thumb.JPG.0ea3397aa7d737e2a39d69f57c6bf235.JPG

 

IMG_0009.thumb.JPG.f899c8935437a70bda6e72d5530685a4.JPG

 

IMG_0004.thumb.JPG.3a41b6efb5ad01ea768464dd643a498f.JPG

 

IMG_0010.thumb.JPG.a3782cf6f8879b972cfb874db1925af9.JPG

 

IMG_0047.thumb.JPG.fa314df0a3f7d2da5cc2f9aabd27d2f2.JPG

 

IMG_0048.thumb.JPG.f7c58d54961d577f886d71248099a9a5.JPG

 

End result of the furniture

 

IMG_0049.thumb.JPG.a08a4dcd598c56324ae520c24e6e1e23.JPG

 

Plumbing

 

Time for some plumbing. Turned out to take me a while as I battled to find SCH80 pipe to go with the lifeguard bulkheads I ordered on Amazon; I finally gave up as Hong Kong as totally different standards.

 

The overflow is heavily inspired by the holy carp overflow. I like it as it's simple, elegant, small and has both full syphon and surface skimming. I messaged him and he was very helpful in giving me some details. Check him out here

IMG_0019.thumb.JPG.06252b4f1e1ead366342ade38ae70ef4.JPG

 

I ordered a custom tank and send them the diagram above for drilling. I also designed and order a custom sump to fit in my stand.

 

IMG_0023.thumb.jpg.da332d30c65b79d1451c66cfdf85eace.jpg

Some dry fitting of one part of the plumbing

 

IMG_0037.thumb.jpg.6b9417770b5d9b5a1b307d8d26d3c2c1.jpg

Custom 90 degree elbow for the surface skimming.

 

Aqua scape

 

There is no such thing as Fiji, Pukani rock and co here. So I bought a nice large piece of live rock at my LFS and decided to bleach it. As I had already live rock from my nano cube, I planned to use half of these already cycle rocks. Meaning I had to do some aqua scape at the last moment when transfering them from my existing tank.

 

I mainly broke a large piece and put the piece back together using simple putty.

 

IMG_0025.thumb.jpg.6e77517074b615c95fe74c7081418b29.jpg

 

IMG_0026.thumb.jpg.c02e8a23ebadb4e8769ae1abf1f4520f.jpg

 

 

Sump & Lighting 

 

I don't have many pictures of this part. It's very simple, the idea is to have all the hard plumbing in the stand so I could easily add a ball valves, unions etc... and keep things clean. Then, flexible tubing will go from the tank to to the hard plumbing. I find clear flexible tubing to be more elegant (as it will be exposed).

 

For lighting, I decided to go with 2 x Hydra 26 HD. I was thinking of a nano box but having two different units seems a better idea. If one day I want to change tank and either upgrade or downgrade for instance. I was also running an AI Prime HD on my cube and I've been very pleased with this fixture. I explored the Radeon lights too but not having wifi on-board at such a high price tag was a deal breaker (and also I wanted white lights). Below is a picture where I finally put everything together and started to test for leaking, fixed the lights, setup the electrical mess, finalise the aqua scape etc...

 

IMG_0043.thumb.jpg.8bc474db0818a71ac6afd558a40560ec.jpg


 

IMG_0038.jpg

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4 minutes ago, madtrax said:

Hello nano-reefers,

 

After many months strolling around this forum and many others, I finally decided to start a thread here. I feel like it would be a great opportunity for me to keep track of my tank too and get some harsh critics.

Long story short, I am French living in Hong Kong for few years now. I always wanted to start a reef tank and I finally jumped in few month ago with a small cube. That was lot of fun (and pain...) but I always thought it didn't really look great. I never really liked aquarium per say as I always found them pretty out of place and clunky.  This forum gave me a lot of inspiration, mainly 4x5, Scorched and holy carp tanks (go checkout there thread if you haven't done it yet).

 

Anyways, I decided to do everything myself starting from the stand, then plumbing etc… I just didn’t want to mess around with glass tho.

 

Equipment

 

Light: 2x AI Hydra 26 HD

Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve A5

Return pump: Aqua Engine DP6

 

Stand build

 

Here are some pictures of the stand build which is more a complete furniture aimed to integrate the tank. 

I first made a 3D model to get an idea of size and to test different configurations.

 

Then, once I was happy with the end result, put that back on paper and went to get some plywood roughly cut to size.

Here are few pics from the build.

 

IMG_0008.thumb.JPG.0ea3397aa7d737e2a39d69f57c6bf235.JPG

 

IMG_0009.thumb.JPG.f899c8935437a70bda6e72d5530685a4.JPG

 

IMG_0004.thumb.JPG.3a41b6efb5ad01ea768464dd643a498f.JPG

 

IMG_0010.thumb.JPG.a3782cf6f8879b972cfb874db1925af9.JPG

 

IMG_0047.thumb.JPG.fa314df0a3f7d2da5cc2f9aabd27d2f2.JPG

 

IMG_0048.thumb.JPG.f7c58d54961d577f886d71248099a9a5.JPG

 

End result of the furniture

 

IMG_0049.thumb.JPG.a08a4dcd598c56324ae520c24e6e1e23.JPG

 

Plumbing

 

Time for some plumbing. Turned out to take me a while as I battled to find SCH80 pipe to go with the lifeguard bulkheads I ordered on Amazon; I finally gave up as Hong Kong as totally different standards.

 

The overflow is heavily inspired by the holy carp overflow. I like it as it's simple, elegant, small and has both full syphon and surface skimming. I messaged him and he was very helpful in giving me some details. Check him out here

IMG_0019.thumb.JPG.06252b4f1e1ead366342ade38ae70ef4.JPG

 

I ordered a custom tank and send them the diagram above for drilling. I also designed and order a custom sump to fit in my stand.

 

IMG_0023.thumb.jpg.da332d30c65b79d1451c66cfdf85eace.jpg

Some dry fitting of one part of the plumbing

 

IMG_0037.thumb.jpg.6b9417770b5d9b5a1b307d8d26d3c2c1.jpg

Customize a 90 degree elbow for the surface skimming.

 

Aqua scape

 

There is no such thing as Fiji, Pukani rock and co here. So I bought a nice large piece of live rock at my LFS and decided to bleach it. As I had already live rock from my nano cube, I planned to use half of these already cycle rocks. Meaning I had to do some aqua scape at the last moment when transfering them from my existing tank.

 

I mainly broke a large piece and put the piece back together using simple putty.

 

IMG_0025.thumb.jpg.6e77517074b615c95fe74c7081418b29.jpg

 

IMG_0026.thumb.jpg.c02e8a23ebadb4e8769ae1abf1f4520f.jpg

 

 

Sump & Lighting 

 

I don't have many pictures of this part. It's very simple, the idea was to have all the hard plumbing in the stand so I could easily add a ball valves, unions etc... and keep things clean. Then, flexible tubing will go from the tank to to the hard plumbing. I find it more elegant as transparent flexible tubing looks better (as it will be exposed).

 

For lighting, I decided to go with 2 x Hydra 26 HD. I was thinking of a nano box but having two different units is better if one day I want to change tank and either upgrade and downgrade. I was also running a AI Prime HD on my cube and I've been very pleased with this fixture. I also explored the Radeon lights but not having wifi on-board was a deal breaker (and also I wanted white lights). Below is a picture where I finally put everything together and started to test for leaking, fixed the lights, setup the electrical mess etc...

 

IMG_0043.thumb.jpg.8bc474db0818a71ac6afd558a40560ec.jpg


 

IMG_0038.jpg

:welcome:

 

I like it!!  Following along. 

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Final product

 

After few weeks, I went ahead and transfer the live stock from my existing tank. I don't have much pictures yet. I will detail each member of the family later. Below are some pictures of the final product.

 

 

_DSC4481.thumb.JPG.5e3ed2fa08477c3139ab9c47672d77f7.JPG

 

_DSC4482.thumb.JPG.e289232c7b223cedd6915633edab1b88.JPG

 

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_DSC4477.thumb.JPG.1b85ef6839e0e3e8a0b24dc97dcc5ebf.JPG

 

 

 

 

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This build looks great so far.  What a nice slim sump also - it fits so nicely in the sleek cabinet.  I'll be following along.  Cheers!

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7 hours ago, Jonboy21 said:

Looking really good,  great design idea. Also nice bike ?

 

Thanks, fixed gear all the way :-)

 

6 hours ago, Glweek said:

awesome! what are the dimensions?

 

Thanks! It's very similar to a Mr. Aqua 12 Gallon Long; slightly taller I believe, it's 90cm x 25cm x 25cm 

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Hello there,

 

It's been a while so here are some pictures. Things are progressing slowly but surely. I have recently added a marine pure block in the sump as well as an algae scrubber with some chaeto, will see how it goes.

 

I have been struggling to keep Montipora (the encrusted ones), they quickly bleached for some reasons I am unsure of. I found out the salt I was using was pretty bad, very low magnesium specially (AquaMedic salt) so I recently switched to Red Sea Coral Pro, I have good hopes. They were probably getting too much lights too, I suppose, as I when I moved them to more shaded area, they stopped bleaching (but haven't got their full colors back yet).

 

I have added some plate montipora in the middle island, I hope these ones will be fine as they are pretty high...

 

_DSC4592.thumb.JPG.cfa5e6a71824cc1055bcfa921c1bbc38.JPG_DSC4569.thumb.JPG.4479ad6ba70af6a5cce08a41b92a0af8.JPG_DSC4564.thumb.JPG.7b6cd36d55d56ccd976fa707e4075d9d.JPG_DSC4560.thumb.JPG.9da58644a622a58e57d60892eff8e43e.JPG

 

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Hi,

 

Talking about lights, I got my hand on a pre-loved Seneye Reef monitor on eBay. I was specially interested by the PAR monitor. My plate Montipora are currently getting 240~280 PAR with my lights down to ~25%. I wonder if they will be fine or if it's already too much. Would love to get some feedbacks.

 

Also, I have noticed that Seneye has given some code related to the USB driver of their device so I decided to play around and see if I could connect it to an Raspberry Pi in order to monitor pH, Amonia and Temperature remotely. Turned out to work pretty well, I developed a quick software that runs on a Raspberry Pi which publish metrics on a simple database that a custom webpage is using to display them. That allows me to get alerts and monitor the temperature when I am not home. In addition, I use it as a standalone PAR monitor when plugged with an small external LCD screen. (Note that my Arduino is also plugged to an 8 channel relay which allow me to control 8 different equipments remotely).

 

I will publish the code if anybody is interested btw.

 

Cheers,

 

 

IMG_2407.thumb.jpeg.0985d124ca5cda6cbd3ede4e7552d989.jpeg

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On 9/5/2017 at 7:48 PM, gogeta said:

Really nicely done and well thought out looks awesome 

 

On 9/5/2017 at 9:35 PM, schgr.cube said:

This is amazing so far!

 

12 hours ago, Jonboy21 said:

Lovely little Zoa garden 

 

Thank you !

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I left my PAR meter at the bottom of the tank for the day, just under one of the AI Hydra 26 HD, as I was curious to see the average  values and how it was ramping up across the day. Note that the light is at around ~35%, the tank is 25cm high (~10") and the light is at around 20cm from the top (~8") if I recall correctly.

 

par.png.3da5a49057552f17469dd5c303e09e69.png

 

I have modified the morning schedule to have a quicker increase already.

There is an average of 220PAR which seems decent enough for now, it might be even too much for the type of coral I have.

 

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Not reef related (and I'm a dude), but I'm ridiculously impressed that you're French, but can speak English and I assume also Chinese.  Then, you're super good with computers (designing the build) and woodworking (actually building the stand).  My wife might run off with you at the next local reefswap if you lived in the states.  

 

Tank looks terrific.  Could you post a FTS as if you were looking at the tank? 

 

Is that a freaking purple tang in a 12G tank?  You are one brave fella. 

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2 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Not reef related (and I'm a dude), but I'm ridiculously impressed that you're French, but can speak English and I assume also Chinese.  Then, you're super good with computers (designing the build) and woodworking (actually building the stand).  My wife might run off with you at the next local reefswap if you lived in the states.  

 

Tank looks terrific.  Could you post a FTS as if you were looking at the tank? 

 

Is that a freaking purple tang in a 12G tank?  You are one brave fella. 

IMG_1802.PNG.b2822532748a892a5915d73fda61ea49.PNG

 

How can I help you sir?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

:lol:

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On 9/15/2017 at 10:52 PM, TatorTaco said:

Not reef related (and I'm a dude), but I'm ridiculously impressed that you're French, but can speak English and I assume also Chinese.  Then, you're super good with computers (designing the build) and woodworking (actually building the stand).  My wife might run off with you at the next local reefswap if you lived in the states.  

 

Tank looks terrific.  Could you post a FTS as if you were looking at the tank? 

 

Is that a freaking purple tang in a 12G tank?  You are one brave fella. 

Haha, thank you very much for the kind words. You know how it works, it's all about making things appear simple but the behind the scene is less glorious ;-). I work in tech for a big American company which sell expensive fruits based in Cupertino (hint) so that explains the 'computers' part.

 

For the stand, it took me quite a while to jump into it and I went for something relatively easy on purpose. I am pretty happy with the end result but there is some details here and there that still tick me. Everything 3 to 6 months I pick a new topic/activity I wish to learn/do, woodworking was one of them so I basically spent a lot of time just reading and watching videos about woodworking, painting, renovation etc... I wish I had more space to build stuff.

 

I will take a FTS this weekend and post it ! Also, it's not a purple tang, it's a baby blue tang that was dying at one of the LFS (like 97% of the fish here) that I got for ~USD8. I really wanted this fish so I basically setup a super basic quarantine system in a closet and I was able to save him. 

 

 

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You have a problem, that stand is too long for the tank. I think you should get a tank made that is the same length! ;) I'm not joking...

 

Last time I was in HK, I tried looking for the fish street, but I didn't have GPS and didn't know how to ask for directions! Not sure if that's where you rescued the tang, but I can see your point of view. Btw, if you made your tank longer, the tang might fit. lol

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Hey there,

 

Finally got some time to take a FTS. I've to admit it's a bit messy as I, sometimes, go through the usual "let's do some re-scaping.... [15min later]... urgh damn I broke everything".

I was away for a week and the tank survived pretty well on it's own. I always feel like it gets better when I am actually not around... (which is most certainly true)

 

I have added some rocks on the right side to give me more room to put coral. I am not very good at gluing corals. That translates in me not fixing them on the rocks and they get kicked out once in a while by my hermit crabs and snails. 

 

On 9/29/2017 at 12:39 AM, Orangutran said:

You have a problem, that stand is too long for the tank. I think you should get a tank made that is the same length! ;) I'm not joking...

 

Last time I was in HK, I tried looking for the fish street, but I didn't have GPS and didn't know how to ask for directions! Not sure if that's where you rescued the tang, but I can see your point of view. Btw, if you made your tank longer, the tang might fit. lol

 

Haha, I can't say I didn't think about it and some time to time I am tempted to do it :-D (maybe an excuse for an upgrade one day). But overall, the fact that it doesn't fill the entire stand gives the feeling that there is a piece of furniture which happens to have an aquarium on top of it; instead of having the feeling "oh, here is the big ass aquarium". But yeah, I feel you.

 

_DSC4635.thumb.jpg.aa7878576972056bd58ebdbaa4b9a450.jpg

 

_DSC4632.thumb.jpg.3b5785cefded6637c6f46659207a5631.jpg

 

Cheers,

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On 10/17/2017 at 5:17 AM, Jonboy21 said:

Rescpae looks good, what you guna grow on the middle rock? 

 

That's a good question. Originally I was hoping to keep the anemone in the middle but, as expected, it decided otherwise and moved around. Then maybe some SPS when the tank will be mature enough as I didn't have much luck so far with SPS (there is so monti right now but they have lost most of their bright colour, slowly coming back tho). I do change my mind now and then and it's more based on what kind of coral I can get my hands on ! In Hong Kong you basically only have a multitude of small LFS with 'basic' corals, it's not like you can order whatever you like online unfortunately. 

 

On 10/17/2017 at 6:05 AM, flatlandreefer said:

Love that fungia!

 

Love it too ! It's one of the old guy in the tank and it's doing very well. I do feed it regularly and it seems to love it all the time.

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On 20/10/2017 at 4:02 AM, madtrax said:

 

That's a good question. Originally I was hoping to keep the anemone in the middle but, as expected, it decided otherwise and moved around. Then maybe some SPS when the tank will be mature enough as I didn't have much luck so far with SPS (there is so monti right now but they have lost most of their bright colour, slowly coming back tho). I do change my mind now and then and it's more based on what kind of coral I can get my hands on ! In Hong Kong you basically only have a multitude of small LFS with 'basic' corals, it's not like you can order whatever you like online unfortunately. 

 

Gotta love a nem with a mind of its own. They never go where you want and always end up stinging something nice. Maybe something like a Bali slimer? Won't lose colour then ?

Good luck 

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