Jump to content
ValerieR

66 SCA Predator Reef build

Recommended Posts

ValerieR

I started out with a 13.5 Evo nano Mantis tank back in April, but Mr Pickles didn't make it through his first molt. I ended up with a White ribbon eel ("Slimy") that "wouldn't eat." He eat pellets now. Main issue is that he will quickly outgrow my 13.5, so I needed better long term planning for him. I settled on a 66 from SCA, because if I got rid of some clothes and got a smaller dresser, I could fit it in my room. This is sort of long, so I'll try to keep it brief and with pictures. I'm condensing 2 months of planning into one post. 

 

315254202_Screenshot_20190716-135137_SamsungInternet.thumb.jpg.1c7f85527b8a1ba64011fd43c08d179b.jpg

 

Found a used tank on Craistlist. Haggled, waited, he finally agreed. Sale didn't include the skimmer or light, but I paid WAY less than it was posted for. New tank/stand runs $1200 on Amazon. I got a skimmer (Bubble Magnus 5) for $70 on Craigslist in Reno when I was visiting a friend, and the guy had a Maxspect Razor 420 he let me have for $30 and a reactor for $20. Sent the light back to Coralvue for warranty repair of the burnt out LEDs and broken fans. Now, it's good as new. I like it, and think it's a good light for what I spent on it. 

 

I set up the tank, and started planning the plumbing. This is my first sumped tank. From my research, the old owner had set up the overflows all wrong, so I started over. I got Innovative Marine's tank mat for both the tank and the sump. The hinges were so rusted they were falling apart, so I swapped them out. I planned my plumbing on paper, bought parts, test fit it, and then glued it. It has a manifold for (3) 1/2" lines, a check valve, and several unions and gate valves. I went with a Herbie overflow. 

 

20190825_194409.thumb.jpg.6598d62a50cf22ca0f068610a1a7ca5c.jpg

 

I did a write-up in the DIY section on mounting the power switch into the front board, so I'll spare you the details. Short version: hole, light up switch, behind it, outlet. Cords stay up away from water. Add a labelmaker, and I'm happy.

 

My ATO is a $6 cereal container from Walmart, but I not sure it'll hold enough (1.5 gallons) so I may connect 2 together with little RO hose bulkheads. The sump is about 18 gallons, so it takes a bit to raise the water level.

 

I needed to leak test, but had no good way to drain it if I used tap water. I ended up deciding to use straight RO, then when I'd fixed any leaks, I added salt. I left my live sand bags in the tank for volume's sake, and it took almost 3 days after work to fill with my little under sink RO system.  But I made my money back on it right there. 

 

20190902_184253.thumb.jpg.5b6780e16a785e776d638a048ea0dab8.jpg

 

Once it was full, I starting adding salt.  Estimate it to be about 80 gallons with the sump. Started low, and fine tuned. I've got it at 1.024 now. I'd prefer it to 25, but with the ATO not on, it'll get itself there before I put livestock in it. 

 

Sunday, I added the sand. I took a clean razor blade and split each bag. I tried to dump them gently, but no luck. The bubbles coming out and dumping action stirred everything up. I put my eel tubes in the sand, and covered them. I added filter floss and black foam stuff to the sump baffles to help catch sand. The skimmer, amazingly, picked up a TON of sludge. 

 

20190908_174257.thumb.jpg.a9702451283c3b86f455d8e1706b3cfe.jpg

 

I should have my Current USA (Amazon) wave pumps when I get home, and I'll see how the sand is. If it settled, ill need to even the sand out still. After that, I'll pull my filter sock, turn off my skimmer, and add Dr Tim's. I'll probably hang some frozen silversides from a veggie clip for ammonia. They're starting to freezer burn anyway. I added chaeto yesterday, and I'll add more from the 13.5. Should give it a boost, and start adding pods. My last tank cycled in less than a week, so hoping for the same. More pics to follow once I get home. 

 

I'm working on the program/timer on the Maxspect, anyone have any advice? 

 

I'll be taking the live rock and almost all the coral out of the 13.5, when would it be safe to do that for the corals, since they're attached? 

 

Plan for the tank *so far* is Slimy the White Ribbon eel (about 16-18" now), 3+ Leaf fish, 3-4 McKoskers Wrasses, and a Scopas, Yellow, or Purple Tang. I'll need to trade them out as they outgrow the tank. One of my LFS have 2 Waspfish, so I'm very tempted to grab them and cut out the wrasses, although I'd like a few "swimmy fish". Here's Slimy, yawning. 

 

20190906_185317.thumb.jpg.956709d3fbc06f9642091b61886e3a6c.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
WV Reefer
28 minutes ago, ValerieR said:

I started out with a 13.5 Evo nano Mantis tank back in April, but Mr Pickles didn't make it through his first molt. I ended up with a White ribbon eel ("Slimy") that "wouldn't eat." He eat pellets now. Main issue is that he will quickly outgrow my 13.5, so I needed better long term planning for him. I settled on a 66 from SCA, because if I got rid of some clothes and got a smaller dresser, I could fit it in my room. This is sort of long, so I'll try to keep it brief and with pictures. I'm condensing 2 months of planning into one post. 

 

315254202_Screenshot_20190716-135137_SamsungInternet.thumb.jpg.1c7f85527b8a1ba64011fd43c08d179b.jpg

 

Found a used tank on Craistlist. Haggled, waited, he finally agreed. Sale didn't include the skimmer or light, but I paid WAY less than it was posted for. New tank/stand runs $1200 on Amazon. I got a skimmer (Bubble Magnus 5) for $70 on Craigslist in Reno when I was visiting a friend, and the guy had a Maxspect Razor 420 he let me have for $30 and a reactor for $20. Sent the light back to Coralvue for warranty repair of the burnt out LEDs and broken fans. Now, it's good as new. I like it, and think it's a good light for what I spent on it. 

 

I set up the tank, and started planning the plumbing. This is my first sumped tank. From my research, the old owner had set up the overflows all wrong, so I started over. I got Innovative Marine's tank mat for both the tank and the sump. The hinges were so rusted they were falling apart, so I swapped them out. I planned my plumbing on paper, bought parts, test fit it, and then glued it. It has a manifold for (3) 1/2" lines, a check valve, and several unions and gate valves. I went with a Herbie overflow. 

 

20190825_194409.thumb.jpg.6598d62a50cf22ca0f068610a1a7ca5c.jpg

 

I did a write-up in the DIY section on mounting the power switch into the front board, so I'll spare you the details. Short version: hole, light up switch, behind it, outlet. Cords stay up away from water. Add a labelmaker, and I'm happy.

 

My ATO is a $6 cereal container from Walmart, but I not sure it'll hold enough (1.5 gallons) so I may connect 2 together with little RO hose bulkheads. The sump is about 18 gallons, so it takes a bit to raise the water level.

 

I needed to leak test, but had no good way to drain it if I used tap water. I ended up deciding to use straight RO, then when I'd fixed any leaks, I added salt. I left my live sand bags in the tank for volume's sake, and it took almost 3 days after work to fill with my little under sink RO system.  But I made my money back on it right there. 

 

20190902_184253.thumb.jpg.5b6780e16a785e776d638a048ea0dab8.jpg

 

Once it was full, I starting adding salt.  Estimate it to be about 80 gallons with the sump. Started low, and fine tuned. I've got it at 1.024 now. I'd prefer it to 25, but with the ATO not on, it'll get itself there before I put livestock in it. 

 

Sunday, I added the sand. I took a clean razor blade and split each bag. I tried to dump them gently, but no luck. The bubbles coming out and dumping action stirred everything up. I put my eel tubes in the sand, and covered them. I added filter floss and black foam stuff to the sump baffles to help catch sand. The skimmer, amazingly, picked up a TON of sludge. 

 

20190908_174257.thumb.jpg.a9702451283c3b86f455d8e1706b3cfe.jpg

 

I should have my Current USA (Amazon) wave pumps when I get home, and I'll see how the sand is. If it settled, ill need to even the sand out still. After that, I'll pull my filter sock, turn off my skimmer, and add Dr Tim's. I'll probably hang some frozen silversides from a veggie clip for ammonia. They're starting to freezer burn anyway. I added chaeto yesterday, and I'll add more from the 13.5. Should give it a boost, and start adding pods. My last tank cycled in less than a week, so hoping for the same. More pics to follow once I get home. 

 

I'm working on the program/timer on the Maxspect, anyone have any advice? 

 

I'll be taking the live rock and almost all the coral out of the 13.5, when would it be safe to do that for the corals, since they're attached? 

 

Plan for the tank *so far* is Slimy the White Ribbon eel (about 16-18" now), 3+ Leaf fish, 3-4 McKoskers Wrasses, and a Scopas, Yellow, or Purple Tang. I'll need to trade them out as they outgrow the tank. One of my LFS have 2 Waspfish, so I'm very tempted to grab them and cut out the wrasses, although I'd like a few "swimmy fish". Here's Slimy, yawning. 

 

20190906_185317.thumb.jpg.956709d3fbc06f9642091b61886e3a6c.jpg

Slimy is the coolest! 😃

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

He's totally the best. 

 

Here he is today, hanging out with my new yellow banded shrimp "Honey" like the useless hunter he is. Thank goodness he'll eat any food handed to him with tongs. That makes 2 small fish, 2 shrimp, and a small crab that he shares 13 gallons with, and won't eat. 😂

 

20190909_155801.thumb.jpg.c215d261d6de02968001cf467d6a989a.jpg

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
WV Reefer
6 minutes ago, ValerieR said:

He's totally the best. 

 

Here he is today, hanging out with my new yellow banded shrimp "Honey" like the useless hunter he is. Thank goodness he'll eat any food handed to him with tongs. That makes 2 small fish, 2 shrimp, and a small crab that he shares 13 gallons with, and won't eat. 😂

 

20190909_155801.thumb.jpg.c215d261d6de02968001cf467d6a989a.jpg

It will be so cool to see him swimming around in the new tank. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Wonderboy
3 hours ago, ValerieR said:

I'll be taking the live rock and almost all the coral out of the 13.5, when would it be safe to do that for the corals, since they're attached?

Should be relatively safe as soon as the cycle is complete

 

Great work so far!

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

My tank was crystal clear when I got home. Kudos to one of the guys at my LFS for suggesting the filter floss, it's filthy and obviously did its job.  I'd heard it would stay cloudy for up to 4-5 days.

 

ca1c23d635dde54d17dfb0de54c9a646.0.thumb.jpg.633a3d749f7a6b46fc6ecd9a165bf959.jpg

 

My skimmer is a wreck too. Not looking forward to cleaning it. But that's sand sludge that isn't in my water anymore.

 

8053a382d4c1c9e97f47f417daaaa15e.0.thumb.jpg.ba6a644018ab9c46dc93d48bf8dcba18.jpg

 

I promptly stirred everything up again by leveling the sand bed and moving the live rock around. It had been so cloudy yesterday I couldn't even see the bottom. Tomorrow after work once it settles again I'll pull the filter sock out and start my cycle. I'll need to figure out a cover too... the sump lost 3/4 of an inch of water overnight and went to 1.0245. I was planning a screen, but may need to make an acrylic cover sooner rather than later. Seems to be mostly heating instead of cooling like the 13.5 does. I'll be honest, I had not fully anticipated that. 

 

I'm messing with the programming on the Maxspect still. Going to start the tank after the cycle with GSP, some ugly palys, the colt coral, some trumpet frags, and a mushroom or two. We'll see how they do before bringing over my favorites. I've picked a U shaped layout with small islands for mushrooms or zoas in the middle, and I'll need a bit more rock to finish it. I think I'll predrill the rock islands for frag plugs so I can get store credit when stuff grows out. 

 

IF I only put in 1 tang, Slimy, and X number of Leaf fish, how many leaf fish do you feel would be safe? Slimy seems to be doing fine (bioload) in the 13 now, and is 4 months strong, so I find it hard to believe that 1/2"=1 gallon for him. He's 16-18" long, and the diameter of my pinky. I feed him between 2 and 4 times a week. I believe predators are built to be hungry, and as long as they're growing and maintaining a healthy weight, they're ok. I'll treat leaf fish much the same. Let me know your thoughts on stocking quantity. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Wonderboy

Plan sounds good - multiple leaf fish sounds very fun - I don't have a lot of experience with leaf fish (once cared for one) - stocking is probably going to depend on how effecient your bio-filter ends up being - it's hard to tell ahead of time, I almost feel that current-state parameter testing may be the only way to determine if more fish is possible.

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

I've added a Cockatoo Waspfish to quarantine. I'll need to determine if it's male or female, I've forgotten how and will need to look it up again. I'll want to get a pair. I added more rock, but still working on the scape. I still have my cave piece and an arch in the 13.5 that will move over, corals attached. The cave will go in the center back, and the arch will likely go from the rear left over to the cave. I'll have a few small zoa or mushroom islands in the middle. 

 

20190911_204254.thumb.jpg.0516a72102bf4ebc334a887b9c21fbfe.jpg

 

I'm hoping to pick a favorite zoa and cover the right side PVC tube opening with it, since it will be an effective island as well. The rock on the right is an arch, but due to the angle, you can't tell, so I'll move it around some more. I've got rock rubble and hermit crab shells to add as well. 

 

The cycle is well under way, so hoping it goes quickly. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

My waspfish is eating frozen krill. Took a bit to convince him the first piece was edible, but he took 2 more small pieces pretty eagerly after that. I don't see the white face, so I don't know if he's a cockatoo or a different variant. 

 

20190913_065404.thumb.jpg.8362617e7be82d6d0a00bd767e105d76.jpg

  • Like 2
  • Wow 1

Share this post


Link to post
WV Reefer
1 minute ago, ValerieR said:

My waspfish is eating frozen krill. Took a bit to convince him the first piece was edible, but he took 2 more small pieces pretty eagerly after that. I don't see the white face, so I don't think he's a cockatoo. 

 

20190913_065404.thumb.jpg.8362617e7be82d6d0a00bd767e105d76.jpg

😯 Ooooh he’s cool! 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Oh, he's gorgeous! I had a rooster waspfish for awhile, but they aren't quite as strange-looking. 

 

I lost a blenny to that waspfish, though. Not because it got eaten- something startled everything in the tank, the waspfish ducked down and flared its spines, and the poor blenny dashed right into them. Rooster wasp venom isn't that strong, but I guess however much of it the blenny got was too much for such a little thing, because he kinda just kicked for a bit and then stopped breathing. I know it's a very unlikely situation, but all the same, I'd be disinclined to put easily startled things with a waspfish. 

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR
1 hour ago, Tired said:

Oh, he's gorgeous! I had a rooster waspfish for awhile, but they aren't quite as strange-looking. 

 

I lost a blenny to that waspfish, though. Not because it got eaten- something startled everything in the tank, the waspfish ducked down and flared its spines, and the poor blenny dashed right into them. Rooster wasp venom isn't that strong, but I guess however much of it the blenny got was too much for such a little thing, because he kinda just kicked for a bit and then stopped breathing. I know it's a very unlikely situation, but all the same, I'd be disinclined to put easily startled things with a waspfish. 

With an eel, and what'll be 4-5 Waspfish & Leaf Fish, I'm not planning much that small. I'll have a tang, and I may add a pair of Bengaii Cardinals, but that's iffy. At least they'd be big enough to not get eaten, but I've noticed they hover low at night which may become a problem. I'd like a small wrasse, but I prefer things in a small group and that'd border on overstocking. I'd also need things that bury themselves or would otherwise make it through the night unscathed. Maybe a Pygmy Hawkfish? We'll see as the tank comes together. 

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

So, the new guy (or girl) has so much charactor! My mom is living with me, and while my doberman could care less about fish, her terrier mix wants to hunt/defend against them. She discovered the waspfish, or should I say the waspfish discovered her? I'm pretty sure it was mocking her, as it came closer and displayed, strutting around in front of her. After much barking and growling, she has given in and is pouting across the room, while the waspfish seems to be looking for her. Sure is a ballsey thing. I think he needs a name. My daughter is thinking Midnight, but I don't like it and I'll need to think about it some more. 

 

Note: LEDs are really difficult to take pics in. 

20190913_191541.thumb.jpg.e9e4af192724abd6f53b8eafb3b6d290.jpg

 

20190913_192347.thumb.jpg.99545a1a7810b9e18b65f1b94db443fa.jpg

 

20190913_191749.thumb.jpg.8c082a0bf7331abddc5568b73181e20d.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Tired

Ha! Venomous creatures are such confident little things. Name him Sassman! 

 

Is he still eating, and do you have to tong-feed him, or does he just snap it up? They're lovely, I'd like to keep one at some future point. Any clue what species he is, also? 

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

He has been dubbed "Mocha."

 

I feed from tongs, because I plan to have several and I'll need to control who is eating what. I also plan to try to get them on occasional pellet food like my eel is, so teaching them that tongs are for food is helpful. I don't feed every day, but I'll feed him again this afternoon/evening. I have a coral show and a house-rennovation-is-over-party to go to. Going to be a long day. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR

I fed mocha yesterday evening. He sees me and hops around to the front of the tank now. I think he has learned that I am the harbinger of food. He ate a half a silverside. Then could barely move. After like 20 minutes he sort of waddled/dragged himself against a rock to "hide." I'm tempted to have him land on my hand before feeding. He's so bold. I wonder what I could train him to do. Here he is eating, then sitting like a stuffed pig. Please ignore the terrible LED colors, I'm working on getting filters.

 

20190917_061032.thumb.jpg.10d9bf98e0b6f8d71952cce4891bdf86.jpg

 

 

20190917_060749.thumb.jpg.1977def84122b874f789862c42c2e325.jpg

 

The algae has arrived, and cycle is fully over. I'll be putting carbon in the reactor soon, and will pick up some snails later this week. I grabbed about half of my macro from the 13.5 and added it, pods and all, into the sump. Algae and pods should get along well. I'll need to pull the chaeto after work and dig through it for little bits of aptasia, I pulled one out before moving it, so I'm sure there's more. I've got a trumpet skeleton (only 2 good heads) in the 13.5 covered in mini feather dusters, I think I'll frag it and add them to the 'fuge in the sump too. I need to turn down the lights too... factory settings have it on at 530am and off at 9pm. 

 

I hate my ATO. With a herbie drain, how do you deal with the up and down water levels and an ATO that either tries to fill the gap with fresh water then times out and doesn't reset, or alarms that the water is too high? 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Tankful

id love to see a sea goblin in there

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
ValerieR
2 minutes ago, Tankful said:

id love to see a sea goblin in there

I've had them before, but they get too big. I'm looking for a max size of 4-5" for most predatory inhabitants, the eel excepted. I might waive that for a blue fin lionfish though. I'd love a blue eyed stingfish too, but they're pretty uncommon. 

Share this post


Link to post

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recommended Discussions

×
×
  • Create New...