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Will Flo posted a topic in Nano Reef JournalsSo this is going to be one of those stories that starts with a dream followed by absolute disaster, We will see the loss of everything and the journey it takes to get back and push on to greater goals. I truly thank everyone that takes their time to read along and follow my journey with reefing, Through the bad the ugly and the eventual gorgeous place a box of water can bring! Our story starts about a year ago, I was at a friends house and he had in his living room a 60g Cube reef. Personally i had never seen a saltwater tank outside of marineland (I know I know the evil bastards lol XD, this was when i was very young and more than 25 years ago). my friend explained the tank to me and showed me the few coral he had. After a few weeks I was still fascinated with the tank so he got me to start testing the parameters and do maintenance on his tank, I took in as much info as i could at this time as I was quickly becoming obsessed with this hobby 😄 A childhood dream was rediscovered. Fast forward a couple months At this point I felt pretty confident in my basic knowledge of reefing and had saved up some money. I search around for a used reef tank with all the equipment included and found a 125g corner bowfront with a HOB overflow to a 60g sump, Bubble magus curve 7 skimmer, and a programable 4' t5 fixture. It even came with live rock, sand and some corals for 1000$. We put the coral in a holding tank while we moved my new tank to my apartment, gave it a quick clean and reset the tank in its new home. The tank went through an instant cycle basically (it took a week) because i used all the old live rock and sand with about 20g of the old water also left the filters etc dirty for the week to help get the process kickstarted. after that i added a few fish and the coral that was chilling in the holding tank. I enjoyed this process and my new tank sooo much everything was looking healthy and I was learning so much so fast at this point it was Sept. 1 2020. Then disaster. I lived in an apartment building and mid Sept. 2020 we had a new tenant move in. This person was a little off and within a few days everyone in the building had noticed her odd behaviour and were getting uneasy. Within 1 week that tenant had a schizophrenic break and the voices told her to set her boyfriend on fire, she poured gas over her boyfriend and the couch he slept on then continued pouring it out her door and down the hallway of the top floor of a 3 story building. She lit it and ran outside. It was 2:00am Sept. 20 2020 I lived in an apartment on the second floor luckily when I first heard the fire alarm i went to my balcony and heard screaming someone yelled the building is on fire. Now I'm sure most people have heard many fire alarms go off in their life and 99.9999% it isn't actually a fire just some burnt toast in the toaster or the frying pan is smoking hot cooking some bacon and eggs or any number of other silly non consequential reasons a fire alarm will start yelling at you, so we can all agree that when you first hear a alarm you are probably thinking its no big deal well this I quickly found out was that 0.00001%. My friends were directly above me in one of the apartments on the third floor they were trapped with young kids luckily they had a couple friends over that night. As soon as I heard the building was on fire I heard my buddy almost in tears yelling down to me that they couldn't get out of their door. A few seconds later he was hanging over the balcony by one hand down towards mine and his wife was started handing him the kids one by one he managed to take each kid with one hand and pass them to me after we got all three kids down safely to my apartment him and his other two friends climbed down and we got the kids out of the building to the street. One of my buddies friends helped my buddies wife get down and out of the building, at that point the smoke was coming into my place and starting to fill up the ceiling i had just enough time to grab my cat and run out of the doors. The firefighters arrived but because it was set by gasoline the flames didn't go out for hours everything in the entire building was lost luckily everyone got out and there was only one person with injuries. At this point understandably I was crushed... and while I am writing this it is still something that I have only barely been able to start processing and healing from. I had just lost everything in my life. It took about a month and a half to find a new apartment at which time I was couch surfing with a friend, when i moved into my new place I was gifted a 20g breeder and a 29g tank from a close friend that is really into fish and had a few tanks laying around that he could spare and free up some room at the same time 😄 . This was amazing it helped my depression and gave me hope that soon I would be able to have this dream of a saltwater reef. Its almost 2 weeks after I moved in and its Dec. 1 2020. I get some dry rock and some sand toss it into the 29g with some saltwater to start curing the rock. I'm really hesitant to run a nano tank at this point so i'm still trying to find something bigger to run at this point but all I can find that i can afford is the glass panels from a 75g so i buy that and make some grandiose plan of making a pentagon tank out of it that would have a plywood bottom epoxied and be around 150g. Two weeks later I find a 25g rimless cube tank with a clean looking stand and the dude thats selling it is awesome he only wanted 60$ for it. I buy the cube and its just such a nice looking tank even though it is only 25g. At this point I know I want a sump but I also know I want some fish soon to help get past that horrible disaster, so I bite the bullet and set it up with an internal filter a couple small powerheads and heater. I cycle my tank for a month no fish then start looking around to find some clowns that don't look like Nemo 😄 . A local guy is selling baby clowns and had some of the ones that i was looking for. I buy a midnight clown from him and get it settled in its new home. which brings us up to current basically now what? Well upgrades of course. Now I mentioned that i grabbed that glass from a 75g, now I've also managed to grab a couple beat up old tanks people were throwing out so I would have some glass for projects so its time to build. 25g Cube + 50g Custom Rimless Build The Plan So essentially the idea is to add a sump to the 25g cube now looking around if i want to buy a overflow box thats is decent i'm looking at around 200$ cad and pre fire that would have bothered me but at the moment I am still trying to replace years of furniture, studio equipment, and decor so money is super tight lol. So that being said im not spending that much on a overflow box that will make me have to use a internal box portion that takes up room inside my tank, which is already imo small. Lets build it 😄 , I have glass and a cutter I have silicone and a caulking gun, I can pick up the right drill bits for cutting holes and save a ton of money, also I can notch my tank allowing me to not have an internal box portion to my overflow. Next I will cut down the 75g glass panels i have to make a custom rimless tank that should sit around 50g, for this i will use the excess glass and build a bean animal overflow box for the 50g. Finally I am going to make baffles for my 20g breeder and use that for a sump, Both tanks will drain into the sump and will each have their own return pumps by doing this I can ease my mind and minimize the un-stability of a nano tank system making my overall system volume to 85g-90g