300G "Re-Build" - Phoenix rising from the ashes---I hope!!!

BostonReefer300

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Hi All, as I mentioned in my new member intro and my profile, I recently gave my 300G tank a complete overhaul. I put all the fish, CUC, a couple pieces of live rock, and a few SPS/LPS/Zoas (didn’t have many corals to begin with although I had a boatload of Xenia and GSP) in a hotel tank while I spent weeks rehabilitating the rest of the live rock (custom cooking method to be described another time) and sand bed. Here are pictures of the tank one month post reboot. Front view is from the finished basement and the back views of are from inside the “fish room”. I’ll list all my equipment shortly. [Please note: I know that I have Vermetid snails, so please don’t give me grief about them. I'm battling them and making progress, but it's slow! Any advice on eradication would be welcome!]
Front.JPG

Back.JPG
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Back2.JPG Back3.JPG
 
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BostonReefer300

BostonReefer300

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And here's my equipment list:
  • Tank: Marineland 300G Corner-Flo Aquarium (72”L x 36”W x 27”H)
  • Stand: Custom-built wood frame
  • Control System: Neptune 2016 Apex
    • Using three older EB8 energy bars
    • Two Neptune ALD leak detection module with six detection probes
    • Temperature, pH, Salinity, and ORP probes
  • Tank Lighting: Three Ecotech Radion XR30 Blue Gen5 ceiling mounted with lights 10 inches from water line
  • Sump:
    • Main: Advanced Acrylics “Alpha Series XL” – custom modified
    • 3-sock holder for 7x14" felt filter socks with cover for splash/noise
    • System Pumps: Two Eiheim 1262 Universal Pump (900 GPH) [See Updates on Posts #5, 7, & 11]
    • Heaters: Two 300-watt Eheim heaters
    • Skimmer: Vertex Alpha 250
    • Refugium: Hang-on-Back CPR AquaFuge 2 (Large) kit with Tunze Waterproof 6500K LED Fixture 8821.00 (submerged). Fuge is supported with wood braces. [See Update on Post #6]
    • Carbon: BRS Jumbo Reactor
    • Ground wire
    • Extra Biological Filtration: Eight 1-lb bags of Seaside Aquatics Ceramic Biospheres
  • Supplemental Tank Circulation: 2 Ecosmart Vortech MP60wQD pumps centered on each of the two side panels. Fitted with extra guards from BRS.
  • Cooling: Arctica Chiller (DBM-250)
  • Auto Top-Off System: Tunze Osmolator Universal 3155 in an Advanced Acrylics 11 gallon reservoir
  • RODI System: BRS 6 Stage Deluxe RO/DI System - 150GPD – with added boost pump and solenoid control valve
  • Dosing: Four BRS dosing pumps. (Three use AquaForest 3-part bundle, one feeds Red Sea Reef Energy Plus AB+)
  • UV Sterilization: Emperor Aquatics Smart HO UV Sterilizer (025050-W/50) [See Update on Post #16]
  • Top: Three thin acrylic covers
  • Background: Black felt drape
 
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BostonReefer300

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Forgot to mention: the little green tank in the last photo is my new experiment growing pods. I added a little too much phyto---oops! Hopefully, I'll get severely obese pods instead of a giant bacterial soup. Anyway, I figured I give it a shot just for fun.
 
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A note about the rockscape:

From a distance, I wanted my rockscape to look mostly like a solid center reef with a few islands on the outskirts. However, if you blow up the first picture and look carefully, you can see that all the rock pieces are islands (except for a few small pieces that are extra accent pieces). I did this because of bad previous experiences with corals growing out of control and/or in totally unpredictable and undesirable manners. I'm still a relative newbie when it comes to coral, so I'm hopeful that this "archipelago" strategy will help me manage growth better. In addition, I can remove rock pieces more easily now if needed for maintenance or TLC (please God no) or rearrange them if I get bored. Finally, I wanted to experiment with keeping some type-specific islands in the hopes of getting crowded coral growth (and, fingers crossed, some spontaneous grafting) without warfare. For instance, I have a lepto island, a couple zoa islands, an encrusting monti island, etc. I know that there's still a chance of intra-class warfare, but I'll keep monitoring things and will move pieces as needed.
 
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BostonReefer300

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Ashamed to Admit It: System Flow
I originally set up my 300G several years ago when I was somewhere between a newbie and intermediate reefer. The instruction manual for the tank said that the two plumbing setups had optimized flow rates of 700GPH each, so I felt comfortable putting in two 900GPH system pumps figuring I'd probably end up around 700GPH (which would be low anyway, but I had read an article at the time saying that 2-3X system turnover per hour was good). I never checked my flow to confirm.
Fast forward to this weekend. I gave advice to someone on R2R about flow rate was feeling pretty good about myself for being such a helpful, knowledgeable guy. But then I remembered I had never confirmed my own flow rate! Well, I figured out a way to do it on Sunday and found out that one pump was delivering 240GPH and the other was at 160GPH. Oh crap! All these years with low system turnover! At least I have a lot of circulation flow in my DT.
Anyway, ordered new system pumps (two Sicce SDC 9.0 WiFi Controllable Pumps 1000-2500 GPH) on Sunday. I'm targeting 5-6X/hour turnover which I know some would say is still low, but I don't want to stress the Marineland tank plumbing. I also plumbed my UV to run on it's own loop with a dedicated pump and ball valve.
Live and learn!
 
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BostonReefer300

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Spent most of the day redoing all the wires. Also note that the HOB refugium is now inside the sump. I turned it into an insert refugium because I was tired of reaching over it to get into the sump---and I had the room anyway. I think it looks better as an insert (and less worry about potential flooding).
new big.jpg
rightside.jpg
rightside2.jpg
leftside.jpg
 
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BostonReefer300

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New System Pumps:
Forgot to mention that the two new Sicce SDK 9.0 system pumps are installed. I like them although they're definitely louder than the old Eheim's, but these are much more powerful pumps so I guess it's to be expected. However, one of them occasionally makes a weird sound---almost like a random throbbing sound. I'll keep an eye on it and might call Sicce next week to ask about it.
 
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New system pumps update: I knew I wouldn't get max flow from the new Siccepumps due to my plumbing, but I was hopeful for getting 1500 gph total flow. My new "Rainwave RW-9FM LCD Digital Water Flow Meter" (Amazon $17) came today so I used it to test flow coming out of both drain lines. I got 906 gph combined from the two drains. That's only a 3X turnover of my system volume which I know to be a net 300 gallons. My two new Sicce pumps rate at 2500gph each, but I'm clearly being limited by my plumbing setup. Oh well, 3X turnover is a lot better than the 1.3X I was getting before
 
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I'm surprised you need a chiller. What is so restrictive about your plumbing setup?
Thanks for checking out my build! My fish room doesn't get much airflow when the door to the finished (and air-conditioned) basement is closed. So during hot summer days when ambient temp in the fish room gets above low 70s, the tank will get up past 82 with peak lighting. Regarding restrictive flow, Marineland doesn't have the best plumbing in their big tanks. If I had known what I was doing years ago, I would've gone with a higher end tank.
 
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New UV Plumbing:
Forgot to mention upgraded the plumbing for the UV on Saturday 4/24. . I put it on a dedicated closed loop with a Supreme Aqua-Mag Model 18 1800GPH pump. The pump is in the big center sump chamber. Goes up into a ball valve then to UV then back to return chamber. Everything plumbed in 3/4" PVC and hose. At full blast, the UV is raising the water level in the return compartment an inch or so---not a problem luckily.
For my Emperor Aquatics Smart HO UV Sterilizer (025050-W/50), the suggested flow rate for 30K uWs/cm2 = 1560GPH (1980GPH Max) for algae and bacteria. This equates to a 5.2X system volume turnover per hour. For Protozoa at 180K uWs/cm2, the suggested flow = 260GPH (330GPH Max). This equates to a 0.9X system volume turnover per hour. Didn't do a flow test yet, but I'd guess that I'm getting 1500GPH at full throttle given the simple plumbing setup (7 90-degree bends and less than two feet of head pressure). However, I definitely need to do some flow testing and mark the ball valve for easy reference.
 
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CURRENT STOCKING LIST

Fish

Blue Hippo Tang (juvenile)
Sailfin Tang (juvenile)
Foxface Rabbitfish (juvenile)
Naso Tang (juvenile, new and in QT)
Starry Blenny
Linespot Flasher Wrasse (male)
Yellow Coris Wrasses (3)
Melanarus Wrasse (male)
Engineer Goby
Diamondback Gobies (2, mated pair)
Ocellaris Clownfish (2, mated pair)
Royal Gramma
Flame Hawkfish
Blue-Green Chromis (8 - 3 adult, 5 juvenile)
Yellowtail Damsels (3)
Banggai Cardinals (4, juvenile, new and in QT)

Non-Coral Inverts
Fighting Conchs (3)
"Mystery" Conch (1 - only see him once every couple years - sand dweller)
Nassarius Snails (Dozens)
Astraea Snails (Dozen)
Bumblebee Snails (6)
Hermit Crabs (~15, variety)
Sea Apple
Rose Bubble Tip Anemone
Peppermint Shrimp (3)
"Mystery" Scallop (hitchhiker)

Corals
Variety of LPS, SPS, and a couple soft corals
 

Do you think that live rock is more beneficial in sump than it is in the main display tank?

  • In the sump

    Votes: 47 12.9%
  • In the display

    Votes: 146 40.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 55 15.2%
  • Not sure

    Votes: 115 31.7%
Copepods
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