54-Corner Rebuild as Seahorse corral

DaddyFish

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After my time as a foster fish parent passed and all the babies went home, I booted out the Diamond Goby to a reef tank and shutdown my Predator 54. Time for a reboot!

I've been studying Seahorse requirements and communicating with a supplier to relocate and adapt the 54-Corner. The specifics include...
* 74F or less temperature
* Bare or Bikini Bottom with fine black sand
* Good overall flow of 10X tank volume, but it must be even with no hot spots
* Average lighting as this will be SWoLR (Seahorse Without Live Rock tank
* Large volume of biological media to compensate for absence of Live Rock
* Substantial Aeration at maximum depth of 18" since this a completely covered tank
* Strong UV for effective sterilization of parasites, algae and bacteria
* Biopellet Reactor for Nitrate management
* Sump-less canister filtration system (always my personal preference) with a minimum final flow rate of +3X system volume (180+ gph)

So far here's the equipment list and some startup pics from this weekend's efforts...
Aqueon 54- corner tank
Two Oase Biomaster Thermo 350 filters
Coralife Turbo-twist 6X UV
Homemade DIY Overflow box
Homemade DIY 1-cup Biopellet Reactor
Plastic tank cover made from greenhouse panel
Two port air pump
Two 8" flat airstones
Kasa 6-Outlet Power Strip
Modified Aqueon 24" light with separate circuits for main vs moonlight
Two-channel LED Timer with fade in/out

I had already modified the original stand when I first setup the tank. But I wanted to strip off the Latex paint I had used on the tank background and replace it with a feathered pattern of black/blue using Krylon Fusion. As you can see, latex paint peels right off. If it didn't leave such an abrasive texture that interferes with a mag scraper, I would have left it alone.
IMG_20201017_164612640.jpg


Then I fabricated and installed my DIY Overflow Box in that troublesome back corner. Note the spraybar setup that provides an extra smooth return flow. You can just see the tyewraps holding the two airstones on the backside of the overflow slots.
IMG_20201018_200644036.jpg


After all day mounting, plumbing and cursing my mistakes, it passed the initial flow and rinse testing. I got lucky at sizing the slots. They make noise until the water level reaches -2" and then they go dead silent. The Fluval air pump is by far the noisiest component of the system.
IMG_20201018_215159011.jpg


This is the water level where the overflow stops making noise.
IMG_20201018_215221027.jpg


A look at the spraybar flow pattern as water level approaches -1". I drilled a second set of holes at 90-deg to the originals, to provide the additional flow volume missing from the unperforated inner (blue) tube I used. I wanted to insure the return water exchanges well into the tank and doesn't get returned right back into the overflow box.
IMG_20201018_215241069.jpg


This was just a freshwater function test and debris rinse. My mixing tank is only 28-gallons and it's about done filling. I will have to wait until morning to mix a second batch and finish refilling the tank with real saltwater.
 
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DaddyFish

DaddyFish

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Update
I have decided NOT to have seahorses. There's just too many times that I may be gone and unable to feed them on a daily schedule. I need to stick to species that can be auto-fed for short periods.

The artificial coral decor I purchased for that tank from RockNReefs is gorgeous, so I plan to use it in the tank anyway.
 

blackbeltmom

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Update
I have decided NOT to have seahorses. There's just too many times that I may be gone and unable to feed them on a daily schedule. I need to stick to species that can be auto-fed for short periods.

The artificial coral decor I purchased for that tank from RockNReefs is gorgeous, so I plan to use it in the tank anyway.
Keep us up-to-date on whatever you decide to do.
 

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