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jservedio

Jack's New EXT-50 Lagoon

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jservedio

Drain plumbing has been finished and I started the return plumbing, but decided to use silicone tubing for the last foot between the pump and the rest of the plumbing to dampen vibration a bit so I needed to order a few more parts. To make sure I got free shipping on my $15 of parts, ordered a new 200w heater for the tank along with a Gyre XF330! With the Gyre and two MP10s to supplement it sitting around should I need it, this tank should have insane flow. Will be able to finish the plumbing on Thursday when the rest of the parts come. I also got a DJ strip so I won't have to shut the entire tank down to do a water change!

 

Construction starts Friday, the 20g gets broken down on Thursday and I should be able to get to get this tank wet the next Friday should everything go as scheduled for the floors. Once the tank is up and I get a feel for how the Radion looks over the tank, I'll either be getting a few ReefBrites to supplement it or the AquaticLife 24" 4xT5 Hybrid. I'm leaning toward the Hybrid and just running 2 bulbs, but we'll see how it looks - I'm getting too far ahead on that.

 

With my return plumbing I chopped the bulkhead down 1/4" and used a couple 45s to get my union about 3/4" of an inch closer to the tank so I can put the overflow box right up against the wall (well, 1/16" of an inch from) instead of having it stick out an extra 3/4".

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Now I just need to add some light under the tank.

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thecoralbeauty

I'm ordering this tank to replace my current 50gallon setup who's stand i've had to replace 3 times in the last 5 years. I'm so happy to read about how much you like the stand- I can't wait to see what you do with this build!

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jservedio

All of the construction on the house (except the bathroom) is complete and the tank has been wet with freshwater for the last 24 hours out in the garage. The plumbing, tank, and sump all passed all of the leak testing so I'll be draining it tonight or tomorrow and moving it in the house this week once I finish cleaning up the construction dust. Since I've got nowhere to mix 50-60 gallons on water, I'm just going to mix it right in the tank before I add sand! I will miss being able to do a 100% water change just using a few 5g buckets.

 

The gyre is incredibly cool, moves so much water, and the controller is super easy to use. Very impressed with it so far.

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jservedio

It's officially wet! I basically just dumped everything from the 20g in along with 30 pounds of sand. It still needs to be scaped, but I've got a ton of room to work with! I am probably only going to add 5-8 pounds more rock to the display (I've got about 15 in there now) and will start scaping next week when I have had a little time to stare at it and pick out some really good rocks. I've got a ton of pruning to do and need to glue a bunch of stuff down, so anyone I owe frags to, they should be ready in a couple weeks.

 

Right now, with the sump baffles as high as they go to maximize volume, it's got a total of 57.5 gallons of water, which is surprisingly little for a 50 gallon tank and 26 gallon sump! Without any rock or sand, the water hit the return in just 40 gallons and hit the overflow at 45 gallons. I am going to add another 10-15 pounds of sand into the first chamber of the sump and add 5 or 10 pounds of rock down there and keep it in the dark as a little cryptic zone since I had really good success with that in the 20's sump. I would imagine when everything is all scaped. I'm hoping once everything is in, I'll still have at least 54 gallons of water - almost triple what I'm used to. Definitely not exited to have to test alkalinity and start over with dosing!

 

I am surprised with how well the single Radion works over the tank - I thought for sure I'd need at least two T5s or ReefBrites, but it looks really good for now. The fact that it's shallower than the 20g really helps out along with the wide-angle lenses. As I add more sticks, I'll see how the shading is, but I don't think I'll actually need the 4xT5 retrofit (not that I won't get it...). I got super lucky with the brackets, too - I thought I was going to have to make something to hang the light. The dead-center of the tank is 15 5/8" from the wall and the heavy duty brackets I happens upon in Lowes are 15 3/4"!

 

Lots of work ahead in the next couple of weeks.

 

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jservedio

I really gotta get the doser hooked up tomorrow - I figured the SPS would slow down the day they were transferred from tint stress, yet they still ripped through a little over half a dkh even with nearly triple the volume! I guess they like their new home.

 

While I've still got some wires to clean up for easy maintenance, it's a bit more tidy under the stand than it used to.

 

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Those socks are just temporary - just using them to catch the fines from the new sand. I plan on running this tank dirty too. That first chamber will be full of sponges, feather dusters, and spirorbid work worms soon enough.

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A.m.P

Can't wait to see everything come together, that bowerbanki's stealing the show in the FTS.

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I'm Batman

Fantastic build!!! I ordered this tank earlier this year and had to cancel because of - you know - this years unforeseen changes in work. This is still my dream tank! Happy I can enjoy this vicariously! Sicce 2.0 looks like it works perfect for the 50 EXT...

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jservedio
10 hours ago, A.m.P said:

Can't wait to see everything come together, that bowerbanki's stealing the show in the FTS.

It's really coming along now. Also, that Bowerbanki has been stealing the show for the past 7 years! It's getting bigger and I'm hoping with more space it'll grow a little more quickly and really start filling out. I also just found out the person I sold my RBTAs to still has them and they are regularly splitting for him, so next baby is mine! I will actually get my old RBTA back, so I'm real happy about that. I was really on the fence about getting a carpet, but I'm now leaning toward just taking my old nem back because I don't want any wrasses to be eaten.

 

9 hours ago, I'm Batman said:

Fantastic build!!! I ordered this tank earlier this year and had to cancel because of - you know - this years unforeseen changes in work. This is still my dream tank! Happy I can enjoy this vicariously! Sicce 2.0 looks like it works perfect for the 50 EXT...

Thank you. Sorry to hear that, but you'll get it eventually after this is all over - and now you have the option of a white stand, more time to plan, and you won't have to buy as many corals to fill it since your will have more time to keep getting bigger! I cancelled upgrade plans 2 or 3 times now and I'm so glad I did otherwise I'd have a boring old rimmed Deep Blue 60 cube.

 

The Sicce 2.0 works really well - I was a little worried it'd be slightly underpowered, but it definitely isn't. This pushes much more water through my sump than I am used to, however, if you are going to build a manifold for stuff, I'd probably go with the 2.5 or 3.0 if you really need a ton of flow. If it's just a return though, the 2.0 pushes more water than you'd ever need.

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jservedio

The rest of my rock should be here on Thursday, so I should have the tank fully scaped by early next week. I'm going to be pulling anything that's not massively encrusted off so it can all be moved next week and I should also have one of the babies from my old RBTA this Friday.

 

Now that I can actually see through the glass on the sides of my tank, I was able to get a picture of my old rainbow maxi mini. It was crazy colorful when I got it back in 2015, but it's gotten much better since then. It was really pastel and light back then which was cool, but the colors have gotten much deeper over the years under the Radion.

 

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My SPS island is doing well, even if it got a little bit beaten up and fragged a few times during the transfers. During the rescape, this is going to form a bridge between the main islands so I should be able to get it 3-4" further below the surface and I should get some deeper colors out of the acros once again.

 

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Never was able to take a shot from the side of my ex-pico island since the glass was always too dirty. I had to break the red cap off to get it out of the tank (it had grown up the glass of the 20g), but I'll be heavily trimming the purple cap and mounting the red cap back again. I should also have room up top for another acro after the trimming. Maybe something like a PC Rainbow or another longer-branching acro that won't shade the caps too much. The micro lost a bunch of color getting crowded by the caps and palys, but hopefully after trimming the caps it'll color back up nicely. I have to bust that single micro polyp off before it gets overtaken completely - it's been shrinking slowly over the last 4 or 5 years, losing the battle to the caps.

 

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My old platygyra is now not being totally shaded and crowded, so it's growing pretty quickly for once.

 

platygyra_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.c0fbd133259726a71c1e748ed2a9174e.jpg

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jservedio

Had the camera out taking Christmas photos of the baby, so I got a few more cool shots of some of the corals settling in.

 

My red cap got pretty beaten up being taken out of the 20g since it was attached to the side panel and had to be broken into a few pieces, but the biggest piece still looks pretty good and is about 5" across. Should be re-attached later this week after I rip off the chunk of purple cap growing over top.

 

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My big orange crush echinata lost a bunch of color during it's temporary housing while being totally shaded by the caps, but it's got lots of room now and no shading, so it should color up really nicely again over the next few months. Figured I'd get a shot of it now so I can see how far it goes.

 

echinata_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.ce4e774571645c427a4d6ed143dd7226.jpg

 

 

My two bargain bin lords continue to grow - the green/purple one has been super happy and getting really big, but the pink one is a little moody. It threw 6 new baby heads on in the past couple months, but it hasn't been getting very puffy lately. Hopefully that changes soon since I'll be giving it a tile of it's own now that I have room. It looks super pink in this picture and a little more than it is IRL under normal lighting - for whatever reason my camera makes pinks much brighter than other colors under Blue/UV light just like I did with my RBTAs.

 

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And my favorite coral in the tank, the bowerbanki - it's got a ton of room now and isn't being shaded by anything. I'm hoping it'll only take a year or two for it to be properly sized to be a centerpiece for this bigger tank. While it isn't the brightest it's been in the last 7 years, it's still pretty awesome and will hopefully color up some more too.

 

bowerbanki_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.0983c12cce4c84cec5595077746ea53f.jpg

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mitten_reef
15 minutes ago, jservedio said:

bowerbanki_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.0983c12cce4c84cec5595077746ea53f.jpg

can you grab the topdown of this one next time, now that it's out in the open?  I can see green specks in the mouths on the two side heads.  this will be an awesome centerpiece, especially if the highlight streaks start to develop on all the other heads.

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jservedio
10 minutes ago, mitten_reef said:

can you grab the topdown of this one next time, now that it's out in the open?  I can see green specks in the mouths on the two side heads.  this will be an awesome centerpiece, especially if the highlight streaks start to develop on all the other heads.

 

It's a crappy picture since my tripod doesn't get that tall and I don't have a porthole, but yes, a lot of heads have at least some green specks in them and the center has a lot. It's also pretty pissed off on account of the clowns blasting it with sand when I turned the pumps off. I'm hoping the green develops more that it's not so crammed in and shaded - the dark rings get a pretty nice purple and the inside of the heads get a pink/magenta tinge that is different from the outside of the heads. The mother colony this came from at UC was spectacular.

 

bowerbanki-td_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.bb3b20b399cab9e7e38130b788d5f2e1.jpg

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tk-it-ez
On 11/30/2020 at 3:40 PM, jservedio said:

Had the camera out taking Christmas photos of the baby, so I got a few more cool shots of some of the corals settling in.

 

My red cap got pretty beaten up being taken out of the 20g since it was attached to the side panel and had to be broken into a few pieces, but the biggest piece still looks pretty good and is about 5" across. Should be re-attached later this week after I rip off the chunk of purple cap growing over top.

 

red-cap_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.cdc351ffa3379a33d1007803472abc41.jpg

 

 

My big orange crush echinata lost a bunch of color during it's temporary housing while being totally shaded by the caps, but it's got lots of room now and no shading, so it should color up really nicely again over the next few months. Figured I'd get a shot of it now so I can see how far it goes.

 

echinata_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.ce4e774571645c427a4d6ed143dd7226.jpg

 

 

My two bargain bin lords continue to grow - the green/purple one has been super happy and getting really big, but the pink one is a little moody. It threw 6 new baby heads on in the past couple months, but it hasn't been getting very puffy lately. Hopefully that changes soon since I'll be giving it a tile of it's own now that I have room. It looks super pink in this picture and a little more than it is IRL under normal lighting - for whatever reason my camera makes pinks much brighter than other colors under Blue/UV light just like I did with my RBTAs.

 

lords_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.3bb7a7cbcc2d9be8a4cc0ad82d27f2b7.jpg

 

 

And my favorite coral in the tank, the bowerbanki - it's got a ton of room now and isn't being shaded by anything. I'm hoping it'll only take a year or two for it to be properly sized to be a centerpiece for this bigger tank. While it isn't the brightest it's been in the last 7 years, it's still pretty awesome and will hopefully color up some more too.

 

bowerbanki_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.0983c12cce4c84cec5595077746ea53f.jpg

Great pictures, looks awesome. i need to add some corals like this to my daughters reef to make it little more colorful.

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mitten_reef
On 11/30/2020 at 5:13 PM, jservedio said:

 

It's a crappy picture since my tripod doesn't get that tall and I don't have a porthole, but yes, a lot of heads have at least some green specks in them and the center has a lot. It's also pretty pissed off on account of the clowns blasting it with sand when I turned the pumps off. I'm hoping the green develops more that it's not so crammed in and shaded - the dark rings get a pretty nice purple and the inside of the heads get a pink/magenta tinge that is different from the outside of the heads. The mother colony this came from at UC was spectacular.

 

bowerbanki-td_2020-11-30.thumb.jpg.bb3b20b399cab9e7e38130b788d5f2e1.jpg

I think I see some yellow specks on the rim of the center polyp facing topside of the colony.  

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jservedio

Hell Yeah! This morning I picked up a baby from my old awesome RBTA that I had to sell out of the 20g when it got too out of control. Apparently they really like their new 180g and has gotten much bigger in the last 6 months and the other split 3 times. Nothing like being reunited with something you regret getting rid of, and not even having to pay for it!

 

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Oh yeah, also took this new pic of my nem for the photo contest - I actually took my time for once, shut off the pumps and adjusted my lights UV way up. Came out pretty well I think:

 

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TatorTaco

This is such an incredible build.  How long do you suppose you contemplated your options before starting this build? 

 

I have a 20G now but want to move into our "forever" home in 5-10 years.  I'm just thinking how crazy I could go on it if I started saving NOW with the intention of having it for 10 years. 

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jservedio
16 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

This is such an incredible build.  How long do you suppose you contemplated your options before starting this build? 

 

I have a 20G now but want to move into our "forever" home in 5-10 years.  I'm just thinking how crazy I could go on it if I started saving NOW with the intention of having it for 10 years. 

So I'd been planning some things for like 6 or 7 years, basically just learning from mistakes I had made in the past and figuring out what I wanted to do. It wasn't until I moved into my house 4 years ago when I saw where it would be that I finally started figuring out sizes and which equipment I wanted. Last year I got more serious and started designing everything and was planning for a 50-INT with a custom stand, had the stand designed, and had started building a cabinet for my ATO to test some of the things I wanted to do and was about to order the tank. Thankfully they were on backorder when the white APS stands were released, because I scrapped all my plans and bought the 50-EXT! Baby was the biggest factor in snatching that instead of building the stand and I'm really happy I went that route.

 

My intention going into this was to pick a tank I'd have for a minimum of 10 years.

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jservedio

Snapped a couple of pictures today. My orange crush lost a lot of color during the transfer, but it's starting to get a little back now along the edges. The green is still a little dull and the purple is still not very bright, but at leas the orange is starting to get bright again:

 

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My toadstool leather was kind of getting beaten down in the 20g and was very shaded, not growing, and the polyps weren't very extended. It's starting to actually grow and the polyps are most of the way extended for the first time in years. Even though it's still only about 3" across, I've had it for about 7 years. Just never grew for me until now.

 

toadstool_2020-12-11.thumb.jpg.7350dab72decc1cfbec5333f66eb5f76.jpg'

 

My merulina is still kicking on the sand - it's starting to get a few bits of purple here or there, but is boring as ever even though it's big:

merulina_2020-12-11.thumb.jpg.39b0d8eb682e4d61d3c2187e6d03fbb0.jpg

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Gore15

You have stunning photos. Using a DSLR or these are taken with phone as some lens packs? 

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jservedio
10 hours ago, Gore15 said:

You have stunning photos. Using a DSLR or these are taken with phone as some lens packs? 

Thanks! All of the close-in coral photos were taken with a DSLR. I shoot a D5600 using a 40mm Micro Nikkor lens. Everything else I just use my smartphone - but I don't bother with a lens kit or filters or anything - I just shoot in RAW and adjust the white balance/blue channel after the fact.

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jservedio

Did a ton of fragging and gluing today while slowly getting my new rock added to the tank. My RBTA is apparently just happy anywhere, and never moved out of the BBQ container so I had to cut up the container and rubber band it to a rock. Hopefully I can just slowly rotate the rock and jam it's foot into the sand and make it walk onto the rock.

 

@Tired, I was able to cut off 5 polyps of the Hawaiian Ding Dang Palys if you still want them - I'd suggest waiting until after Christmas since USPS is pretty crazy right now. If anyone wants a frag of my grafted purple/green cap I've got 3 or 4 chunks I broke off.

 

The RBTA is looking good for less than two weeks in the tank. Clowns are already starting to check it out - hopefully they don't love it to death like they do with everything else

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All the fragging and moving rocks has kicked up a ton of crap and the LPS are going nuts

angry-platy.thumb.jpg.d74ec6f6c7fdb5ba9cfdc59e9bd2d0db.jpg

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jservedio

@Tired, can't attach pictures to PMs, but here is your frag. Just PM me some time after the new year when you are ready and I'll ship it out. Hopefully it'll have a few more polyps by then too.

 

hdd_frag.thumb.jpg.c5c156552e57b07d7ff85cb796431f97.jpg

 

 

Also, while I had my camera set up to take a picture on my frag rack, I got this super close up of the polyps on an Acro Austera I thought was pretty cool:

 

austera_polyps.thumb.jpg.edd62c871b10eda96d5c34101c4e346f.jpg

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jservedio

Clowns found their new home! Not quite the roomy luxury of this anemones mom, but it's already 30% bigger than it was an should be 3-4x the size in a year or so. They'll just have to be patient.

 

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JustReading

Amazing photos 

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ajmckay
9 hours ago, JustReading said:

Amazing photos 

I'll second this - the photos are great!   I need to take more honestly!   A few years ago I went out and picked up an extremely well used D60 just for that purpose. I even got an old macro lens with some extensions.  They're a bit trickier though - almost need the corals on a frag rack of sorts to get close enough. 

 

I've thought about replacing my 40br with a lagoon tank - maybe the 25g one since I don't have a ton of space though.  Seeing yours set up with the nice stand is making me want one lol. 

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