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Kohen's Reef - JBJ RL20 build

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I've been sitting on this tank for a couple months now peicing together all the equipment and parts needed before I started. I am finally down to the last bit so I figured I'd create a build to follow along with. I've been in the hobby for about 8 years now on and off with my biggest tank being 150g. This will be my first SPS dominant nano set up. 


Tank: JBJ RL20 20 gallons

stock: pair of clowns

lighting: AI Hydra 26hd

flow: Vortech MP10QD

controller: reef link, syneye monitor 

ato: tunze nano 

dosing: BRS dosing pumps for dkh/mg/ca

heater: jbj 150 watt true temp

filtration: intank media basket for carbon and filter 

reactor: IM mini reactor for gfo/biopellets


Stand is custom build 30x30. I am almost finish the stand to start putting the puzzle together. 


Here is a few pics of the stand I built, I used a few different types of wood for this with the skin of the stan being red oak. I will be staining it this week to finish along with a few mods to drill for holes and wire routes to go. It also has a section for a "equipment display" board. The doors I will be ordering to fit to size. Those will come later. 


I plan to have it online in a couple weeks if all goes to plan. If you guys think I am missing something please feel free to join in as I mentioned it is my first nano sps system. I plan to do 10% WC weekly to avoid a skimmer but if I need one I will look into it. I am trying not to bulk up the back of the tank at all costs. 



Edited by Dubreuil42
Added stock list

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Couple shots of the stand stained. I should have the poly done tomorrow and will be able to take it home to put into place over the weekend 🤞🏻



Pic to show where the display board will be 


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Picture of the RL 20 (24x19.5x9") not to sure how high I'm going to hang the lights. Right now it is about 9" above the rim. I'll have to get some par readings with the syneye. 


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Got a little done this evening. The tank is in its spot and started working on the wiring. 


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Got the tank in place and ready. Just waiting on some doors now. I'm going on vacation this weekend so will have to wait to get it wet. I have 20lbs of Fiji pink live sand coming and will get the live rock from a good lfs in my area. Their rocks are covered in corraline so will look nice. I'm going for a lagoon style with this build so there won't be a ton of rock



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Little update on the build, I had added a skimmer and started the cycle. Ammonia is at 0 and nitrates are around 10ppm. 


I originally had 20lbs of Fiji pink sand and took it out and went bare bottom. The depth of the tank made it hard to get good circulation with out having sand blow all over or create holes. I’m loving the look more now and can really take advantage of the mp10. 



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Been cycling using Red Sea reef mature... not sure how I felt about it but I started so we will finish! 


Levels are

salinity 35

ph 8.2

ammonia 0

nitrite 0.05

nitrate 10


mg 1600 (🤷🏻‍♂️)

ca 385

dkh 11.2


did a wc today of 2.5 gallons. 

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Looking really nice man. I can't wait to see this done. 


Does this evap a lot of water?

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Thanks! I’m wishing I would of did a cube tank with a sump but this will suffice for the time. 


The top off hasnt been to bad. I had to play with the water level for a few days the filter floss was restricting flow and causing incorrect measurements for the ATO so I took the floss out and am only running carbon. Started with 5 gallons 7 days ago today and have 2g left. So, not to bad considering. 

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I've seen a bunch of IM 25 lagoons on here, but this shallow little JBJ is awesome. Loving the bare bottom too. Following along for this one!

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Little update on the skimmer I have. I purchased the IM ghost desktop from my LFS because it was the smallest they had and on an impulse buy... the skimmer initially did not run well. My water depth was not right for this as I think it needs a level of around 9” to perform its best. I tried to raise the water level to suit it and couldn’t get anything good. Thought I’d return or sell and try at something else. 


Instead i I just cut off the emergency drain valve that was holding the cup from going all the way down and that was enough to make the bottom reach my water line. After a day of  running at this level I am seeing actual skim finally. 


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Here you can see how low I have to run my skimmer cup. No downside to it though as I can always raise it up back if I wanted to use it on a different tank later. The drain valve was kind of a useless piece for me as i won’t rely on it to empty my cup. 


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Cycle nearing the completion stage now. 


Ammonia 0

nitrite 0

nitrates 10


added a small CUC to the tank. 4 astrea snails, I wasn’t sure what a good number would be for such a small space and the combination of a bare bottom display so I started small. They are all out and moving around. 

Also purchased the skim 350 for the center chamber of my sump area. Was having slow water movement back there and noticed a top scum build up. It was well worth the buy as you can see the water movement is perfect now. 


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