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Hello all, 

 

CURRENT FTS:

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I'm new to the hobby of saltwater aquariums and wanted to share the progression of my build with you all! I've done freshwater planted tanks in the past and finally made the decision to play in the big leagues and start a reef tank!

 

Here is my equipment list so far:

ADA 60F 8.6 Gallon rimless aqaurium

30 gallon DIY sump with refugium and liverock sections

Mame medium sized overflow     Eshopps Eclipse Overflow Box (small)

Kessil A160WE 40W LED Light

DIY Protein skimmer Bubble Magus Curve 5 Protein Skimmer

36W LED Grow light for Refugium

Top Fin circulation pump Ecotech Mp10

Koolermax AR-122 6-stage RO+DI 

Quietpro 1.2 Controlled Pump

DIY float valve auto top off

 

 

Since I live near the coast in Southern California, I will be using mostly natural seawater filtered through filter floss and activated carbon for my water changes (except for after rainstorms when runoff destroys the water quality). 

 

I cant wait to have the tank up and running! There are many pictures to come so stay tuned! (Yes, I know the filter sock is the complete wrong size)

 

 

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Interesting. A huge sump and a tiny display tank... don't believe I've seen that before. 

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2 hours ago, samnaz said:

Interesting. A huge sump and a tiny display tank... don't believe I've seen that before. 

I read that nano reefs are difficult  to maintain because of the fluctuations in parameters. So hopefully a combined volume of around 35 gallons should help mitigate that difficulty

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19 minutes ago, skrist said:

I read that nano reefs are difficult  to maintain because of the fluctuations in parameters. So hopefully a combined volume of around 35 gallons should help mitigate that difficulty

Sure it will!

But soon or later you will regret its the other way around!  Because as soon as corals grow you will want more room.

If price is concern, well designed and maintained AGA tank can be as beautiful as ADA aquarium in my opinion.

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6 minutes ago, oogie said:

Sure it will!

But soon or later you will regret its the other way around!  Because as soon as corals grow you will want more room.

If price is concern, well designed and maintained AGA tank can be as beautiful as ADA aquarium in my opinion.

My long term plan is to move the corals into a bigger tank once I reach that point! 

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So I did some research about filter media in sumps and decided to ditch the bio balls and change the layout to accompany a refugium. The pic with water is before and the pic with the numbers is the new layout.

 

Im thinking of having the inlet + filter sock + protein skimmer in section 1, refugium with chaeto macroalgae and deep sand bed in section 2, live rock in section 3, and return pump + auto top off in section 4. I will have a small sponge in the baffle between 3 and 4.

 

Let me know if you have any suggestions! Im very open to changing the layout before I add water and begin cycling!

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The tank stand has finally been completed to the point I can install the sump. Still need to finish the doors, add live rock, sand for my refugium and finish the diy protein skimmer.

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Added live rock, ceramic filter media, and some sand. 

1.jpg

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Finally finished the stand! Just need to order my Kessil and circulation pump and wait awhile to cycle before I can add livestock!

 

(please excuse the mess)

FullSizeRender (1).jpg

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Beautiful stand. That shelf will be very handy, but looks like it's gunna make sump maintenance tough.

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43 minutes ago, samnaz said:

Beautiful stand. That shelf will be very handy, but looks like it's gunna make sump maintenance tough.

The shelf is easily removable! It just sits on 2 pegs on each side just like most cabinet shelves.

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Finally completed the setup! Just a few more days of cycling and I can start adding corals!

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17 hours ago, Halo_003 said:

Looks awesome so far!!

Thank you! Its still a work in progress but I always appreciate feedback!

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So 500gph is too much for the medium sized mame overflow. The display tank overflowed and I had about a gallon of saltwater to clean up. However, I switched to a 130gph pump and it seems to be working perfectly now. I also checked some water parameters today and it looked pretty good. Probably another week or so before I will start adding livestock.

Ammonia- 0ppm

Nitrite- 0ppm

Nitrate- 0ppm

Phosphate -.25ppm

Calcium- 420ppm

dKH- 8

Ph- 8.0

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2 hours ago, skrist said:

So 500gph is too much for the medium sized mame overflow. The display tank overflowed and I had about a gallon of saltwater to clean up. However, I switched to a 130gph pump and it seems to be working perfectly now. I also checked some water parameters today and it looked pretty good. Probably another week or so before I will start adding livestock.

Ammonia- 0ppm

Nitrite- 0ppm

Nitrate- 0ppm

Phosphate -.25ppm

Calcium- 420ppm

dKH- 8

Ph- 8.0

 

That sucks. My issues with my Mame being so unreliable are what has prompted me to just drill my new tank build. I would recommend taking a look at a DC pump for the Mame, that's what I ended up needing to do. 

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4 hours ago, Halo_003 said:

 

That sucks. My issues with my Mame being so unreliable are what has prompted me to just drill my new tank build. I would recommend taking a look at a DC pump for the Mame, that's what I ended up needing to do. 

I'll look into it for sure. I have no idea what the issue is. It just seems like sometimes the mame doesnt return as much water to the sump as it usually does. I'm going to try and setup an emergency overflow because I really dont want to worry about coming home to an overflowed tank.

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On 10/24/2017 at 4:37 PM, Halo_003 said:

 

That sucks. My issues with my Mame being so unreliable are what has prompted me to just drill my new tank build. I would recommend taking a look at a DC pump for the Mame, that's what I ended up needing to do. 

Just ordered the Quietpro 2.0 pump. Its adjustable from 20-500gph so I should be able to dial in the perfect flow. 

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Cool tank. What are you stocking plans for it? 

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1 minute ago, 1967type1 said:

Cool tank. What are you stocking plans for it? 

Thanks! So far I only have plans for a clownfish, clean up crew, and a couple anemones that I will be picking up from another member on here when the tank finishes cycling. But I would love to introduce various zoas, green star polyps, xenia, montis, and gorgonians at some point! The goal is to have as diverse a group of corals as possible while still maintaining peace within the aquarium. 

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sounds like a great plan cant wait to see it.

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At last I have introduced some livestock and snapped some pics with my DSLR!

 

FTS:

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Love this clownfish

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I picked this up from a member on here. I think he told me it was frogspawn, but I dont recall. If anyone could help ID this I would appreciate it.

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Picked up this Xenia from Seaside Tropical Fish in HB

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Zoas from LFS, bubble tip, carpet, and monti are from the classifieds on here.

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Green star polyp from the LFS. Interestingly, the mat is a pale pink color and the bottom side is purple, unlike most GSP.

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The complete setup:

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Bonus pic of my brother's FW planted shrimp tank:

 

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When I mounted my GSP, there were two bare sides with no polyps showing, which is typical of corals being relocated. There was a purple side and a pale pink side. I remembered the pale side being the top at the LFS when I picked it up, but everything I read online was telling me to mount it purple side up. I ended up trusting my memory and mounted it purple side down. However, after the polyps didn't extend for several hours I got worried that I mounted it upside down. I worried about it all day, but when I got home today the polyps were extended and looking great. Moral of the story: don't trust everything you read online.

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Just bought a bubble magus curve 5 protein skimmer and installed this new 36W grow led for my refugium. The quietpro 2.0 DC pump didnt end up solving my issues with the Mame overflow though (the pump is not variable between 5% and 100% as the description states but more like 35%-100%). However, I think the problem has more to do with the overflow itself because I have been through 3 different pumps using all kinds of various flowrates and have been unable to find a flowrate strong enough to autostart the siphon but slow enough to not overwhelm the overflow's siphon capacity.  I contacted the seller of the Mame and asked for a replacement since the venturi section does not autostart under the appropriate flow rate. I'm gonna toss this one up to me getting a lemon. Hopefully I can get a replacement that works. Definitely going to drill the next reef build.

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