REEF2REEF Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Forum
The tank is filled!
This afternoon I drove up to OSA to pick up water, live rock/sand, and test kits. Scott was nice enough to lend me the containers for the day so that I could get all the water transported. Unfortunately my apartment has well water with very high TDS and low pressure, so I will most likely be buying my water from here on out. Shoutout to Scott and Kris at Ocean State Aquatics for hooking me up with containers, water, and everything else I needed to get this tank filled today #keeponreefing
It took 10 trips to get the water and live rock up the stairs- 72ish gallons and 42 pounds of LR, plus 40 lbs of sand, and it's the middle of a heat wave. I could've probably filled half the tank with sweat- hah!
This time around I wanted to make a rock scape I could be proud of. My last couple of builds I kind of just threw it all in a pile against the back wall. This time I wanted a branch structure with caves and space to place corals. There was a decent amount of branch rock at OSA- but what really made this 'scape come together were these rocks they had that were cut in half, giving them a flat edge. That allowed me to build a very stable bottom, plus a back wall going up the overflow box, which really completes the look.
I built an arch and epoxied that part in place- Kris suggested a bit of superglue along with the epoxy, since the epoxy does not act as a binder- it's more of a space filler. I took the epoxy and used it to fill any gaps, which makes the rock look like a natural extension of the reef, and really completes the look I was going for. The rock stood on its own so it wasn't too much trouble to fit everything in.
Laying out the scape on a cardboard cutout prior to placement:
Water and sand going in:
While filling I ran into an issue- the return line was leaking at the end of the vinyl tube as soon as the pump was turned on. After getting 2 hose clamps on there with no change, I removed the tubing and found that the fitting was cracked. I emailed waterbox and I am sure they will send a replacement fitting. In the meantime, I went to HD (it was about 7pm so local hardware store was closed) and got a 1" ID tube to act as a sleeve- it goes over the original vinyl, and over the entire fitting instead of just the barbed output, skipping over the cracked part. It's a temporary solution but it did the trick. I will get a photo of my quick fix if anyone is interested.
Tank full and water running- waiting for everything to clear up:
I would like to note that I actually ended up with 29 gallons of extra water- so the tank's total water volume is around 43 gallons.
I used 12 gallons of nutri-sea water, and kick started my cycle with a piece of ham in the filter sock. I will test the water in a couple days and see if there is an ammonia spike.
Thank you for reading, today's post is a long one!
TLDR? Water in tank, scape done- onto the cycle