60 Gallon Build

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otzhorse

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So I started a tank many years ago when I was living in Virginia. It was a 45 gallon FOWLR that I started because when I was younger I had a freshwater tank and never really liked the fish colors. Of course everyone said, "Saltwater is really hard, you don't want to do that". That made me decide to go for it. I setup the 45 gal, learned all about saltwater, got a nice big live rock, and a HOB filter and that tank ran great for 10 years. My family and I moved to KY so I decided to sell all the fish and bring the tank with me. It sat in storage for 2 or 3 years and then I said heck with it and put it at the road to get rid of. Fast-forward to COVID and being stuck at home all the time and I decided to try again.

Feb 2021:
I ask my wife if she minded me getting another tank going. She said you don't need to do that but whatever. So I started looking at tanks, decided on a 75, showed my wife and she said it was way too big (NO SUCH THING). I decided to meet her in the middle and go with a Marineland 60 that came with a stand, hood, and hidden LEDs. Keep in mind my last tanks had a canopy light that was not strong at all. So I'm thinking, "wow, LEDs this is great". I started gathering supplies. I ordered the tank, stand, some dry live rock (btw where did this new thing come from), a heater, a canister filter and some live sand.

The initial setup was not bad. Get the tank together, added a lot of live sand, set up the canister, add the heater and wait on the dry live rock. My son wanted a sponge bob theme so I agreed we could do that. The dry live rock showed up in a box with a ton of piece. When I build my first SW tank I bought one beautiful rock and it was the focus of my whole tank. I looked at this box of rock and had no idea what to do. So I did what anyone would do and dumped it all out on the kitchen table and started building. After an hour or so and the approval of the wife and kids, I took what I had and attempted to move it to the tank. I FAILED. Lesson learned. Build it in the tank.

Kitchen Table Build: 2/23/21
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In Tank Build:

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In Tank Build with Spongebob:

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The Tank Ready to Go:
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Coral Mania
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otzhorse

otzhorse

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A lot happened after the initial build and the addition of fish. Added 2 powerhead shortly after getting the rock in place and allowed the tank to cycle for 60 days. I ordered a small clean up crew that died almost immediately. Checked parameters and we were in good shape. Ordered another CUC and again they didn't last long. Decided to try for a couple of fish so I added a few clowns and lost them pretty quickly. Parameters were good so assumed it was the shipping. I ordered 2 more and they have done great. They were about the only things that did great. After a few months of having clowns I bought 3 chromis, a six line wrasse, and a few others. 1 Chromis is still alive and the rest of the Chromis have died, everything else is good. I quickly replaced the Marineland hidden LED with a NICREW 36" marine light and was happy with the look. I ordered 2 coral, a duncan and a blastomussa. They also were doing great. All of the sudden GHA took over the tank, and then red slime, and then the corals died out. I was so frustrated and decided I would just stick with fish.
 
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otzhorse

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November 2021:
Decided to give coral another go but needed to get rid of the GHA that was still an issue. Ordered a Lawnmower Blenny and a new CUC from reafcleaners.com. I also decided I would move to the Current USA Marine IC light with bluetooth and 2 of their wave pumps. Thank goodness for Christmas time. :) I also decided to learn more about my canister filter. Turns out the stuff marineland send is not great and harbors GHA and all kinds of other stuff. I was doing water changes weekly early on because of the Algae. That when I had learned about RODI which I had never used in the past. Ordered RODI system in April of 2021 and that helped with all of the algae except the GHA. November 2021 is when I realized the cheap RODI I bought wasn't going to cut it. It was slow, the DI resin ran out quick and several other things. I decided to get a slightly better and more expensive system.
 
Coral Mania
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otzhorse

otzhorse

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Middle of November 2021: Decided to do a 50% water change, remove all of the rocks, add a m50 HOB protein skimmer and make significant modifications to the media in my canister filter. I also decided to change the filter inlet and outlet and add an in-tank refugium. This time around I'm learning why people say SW aquariums are tough. I was lucky the first time because my tap water was great, the live rock was truly alive from day one, and I had no desire to do corals.

I removed 50% of the water, I removed all of the rock and scrubbed it down to remove the GHA and any dust that had accumulated. My thought was I would put it back exactly the way I had it. HAHAHA....that did not happen. I worked all day on that Saturday to clean everything, replace the rocks (a different way), the spongebob decor had been removed many months earlier because all it did was collect algae, refilled with RODI water, built a DIY in-tank refugium, and fixed the media in the canister.

The Marineland Canister now runs like this:
Bottom Tray-Mechanical Foam Sponge Filteration
Next Tray up-Seachem Matrix Bio Media
Next Tray up- Marineland Diamond Carbon
Top Tray-Chemi-pure, Purigen, and Polishing Filter

New Rock Design:

IMG_2455.jpg
 
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otzhorse

otzhorse

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December 2021:
December proved better in the experience. I got a lot of Detritus and no doubt that was from the tank cycling again as a result of the multiple changes I made. One 12/1 I got the in-tank DIY refugium set up with a breeder box and a 20w submersible LED running on red only. Added the cheato and the power head. On 12/9 I finally added the M50 protein skimmer ( I was hoping to avoid running a skimmer) but no such luck. The cheato from Algae Barn did not last very long and I quickly removed it and replaced with another brand of cheato that has lasted and is slowly growing. I run the red LED opposite of the main tank lights.

Christmas came and I was fortunate to get the Current USA Marine IC and 2 wave pumps on the loop controller. I added the light and the wave pumps and did a bunch of reading about the light setup and the best light cycles for my tank. I really enjoyed the weather patterns and even added some speakers to my loop controller to be able to make a "thunderstorm" every now and again. I also removed the breeder box refugium to seal up some of the holes that were allowing cheato to blow all over my tank. I also realized with the temp probe that my other thermometer was really wrong. So I adjusted the tank temp to 78 degrees.
 
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otzhorse

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Jan 23, 2022:
Tank is doing great now. Wave pumps are really cools, the light functions great. I have my light set as such:
Sunrise 60 Blue-10 Red
Daylight 100 Blue 50 white
Sunset 60 Blue-10 Red
Moonlight 20 Blue 5 red

It looks good and the new CUC is quickly destroying the GHA that tried to grow back.

Parameters:
PH 8.2
Calcium 420
Phosphate 0
Nitrate .15
Temp 78
Salinity 1.025
Magnesium 1320
Alkalinity 9 DKH

I bought a bunch of coral frags in the WWC and LRO flash sale. I went with several LPS, 1 Mushroom, and 2 SPS. The SPS are a trial run to see if I need to buy the second IC light to grow them. I'm ready to go and will send pics once I get the frags in the tank.
 
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Atlantik icon reef aquarium LED lighting
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otzhorse

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I got 3 coral frags into the tank last week and just recently put them on the rocks. I was acclimating them to the lights and the water. So far the Duncan I got from @WWC is doing amazing. It arrived in great shape and seems to love the tank so far. I also got a banana hammock acropora and muy verde birds nest. They are both doing well so far. I have mounted them at the top of the tank with direct flow and lots of light. I'm waiting on a few more pieces from @Living Reef Orlando and when they arrive I will take some pics. I added about 20 lbs more of live rock to the tank to get the coral frags exactly where I wanted them and in the right spot for good growth. Also added some loose rocks so I can put the encrusting corals on them and be able to isolate for fragging way in the future. My 10 year old demanded the spongebob decor get put back in the tank but I explained that if it start growing algae or causes parameter issues it is coming out. Lastly, I got a phosphate ULR Hanna checker and the Alkalinity checker. I really like them. Still considering the calcium and nitrate but I have read several people say they aren't worth the money. I'll decide at some point.
 
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otzhorse

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All of my pieces from @Living Reef Orlando arrived on Wednesday of this week. I immediately pulled them out and started the acclimation process. They hung out on the bottom for a bit and then moved up to where I planned to put them. Yesterday I set them all in their new homes. I cannot wait for everything to grow out and really fill in the tank. I also added some more fish. A pajama Cardinal, Cleaner wrasse, 2 blue green Chromis, and a skunk clown. Lastly, I moved my wave pumps around a bit to help with the detritus settling on the tank bottom. Everything seems happy at the moment. Corals got their first feeding of reef roids today. Parameters are looking great as well. Now I'm going to leave it alone for a while and watch everything grow out.

Pics soon.
 
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otzhorse

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I'm officially hooked on corals.....I need to stay off of this forum and particularly live sales. I might have a bad addiction. So I bought 2 more mushrooms, 2 Cyphastrea, a red Monti Cap, A green Monti Cap, Leptastrea, and I'm running out of room fast. I have figured out I love mushrooms. The colors are amazing and so easy to care for (so far). Even with my 1 current USA IC and my cheap Nicrew on all blues my coral are all growing. Also bought a Jebao dosing pump and the @Bulk Reef Supply 2 part dosing system. The Jebao is my first adventure into dosing. My wife ask me the other day if I would ever quit buying stuff. I said "probably not'. Anyway I will take some pics soon so everyone can see the progress.
 
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otzhorse

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It's been a minute since I updated but I have added a ton of coral to my take now. It is sincerely my new addiction. My wife keeps asking when I'll be done adding-I say never. So I have purchased 3 rocks from @Aquarocks and a skull octupus. I love these products. Great frag racks but also look great in the tank. @SBB Corals I just received some of the nicest SPS that I have purchased yet. I will be a long time customer of theirs. Everything is coming together nicely.
 
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otzhorse

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Pictures of the new coral, rock and kids decor......making progress. Hopefully, I can convince my son to let me take spongebob out at some point. Corals courtesy of @SBB Corals, @WWC, @AquaSD, @Living Reef Orlando, and @REEFTIDE. I need to stay off of weekend sales.

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Reef Chasers Aquaculture
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otzhorse

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If you’re parameters are solid you might be able to get some encrusting corals to cover that Spongebob decor.
Yeah I'm thinking some leptastrea or cypha would look really good encrusting. I have some Cypha that I'm working on over in the far left corner that I think would look really good. I might do another John Deere Lepta over the old Krusty Krab :). My lawnmower blenny loves sleeping in the Chum Bucket.
 
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otzhorse

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Finally was able to order the Aquamaxx Hob 1.5 Skimmer from @Bulk Reef Supply . Glad it was in stock long enough for me to order it. Hopefully it will arrive quickly. The cheap Amazon Skimmer has served it's purpose but I don't think it will be long before it just stops working. I'll update when it arrives and I'm able to get it all setup.
 
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otzhorse

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I am loving this group and hating this group right now. Or should I say my credit card hates this group. I remember joining and someone posted a dollar flushing in the toilet as a welcome meme. I didn't understand then but I do now. The new Aquamaxx Hob 1.5, I love it. So much better than the cheap Amazon macro-m50. I also purchased several new frags from @SBB Corals and @RiptideAquaculture. All of the coral was gorgeous. I also took advantage of the @noopsyche sale a purchased 2 lights to help grow my nice investment into the tons of coral I have already bought. The new lights should be here soon. I am also building a canopy to put over the tank to house the lights and also make the aquarium fit into the decor a bit more. I'm quickly learning I will never be satisfied and will continue to improve often. I also changed salts from IO Reef Crystals to Fritz RPM because I was tired of the reef crystals mixing at such a high Alk. The fritz mixes right where I want all of my parameters to be. This group has certainly made my journey into reefing easier.
 
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otzhorse

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I finally finished the canopy for tank and now have my brand new @noopsyche K7 V3 over my tank. All I can say is, wow, what a difference some good lights make for the look of the tank. I'm hoping the sps I had at the top of my tank get some color back now that they have some good lights. The mushrooms at the bottom are already coloring up a bit. Pictures to come soon.
 
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otzhorse

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So sort of a funny but not really story. I have/had a eheim autofeeder and because I built the canopy and removed the glass hood, I wasn't sure where to put the autofeeder. So in my infinite wisdom I took several pieces of super sticky double backed tape and attached it to the wood. I went back later to check it and it seemed good. Fast Forward to the very next day and I wake up to my tank making a ton of noise. I walk into my living room with my tank and there is probably 4 gallons of water in the floor. I had no idea why, so I start looking around and throw the canopy up and realize my skimmer is overflowing. I couldn't figure out why. I'm looking everywhere when I realize my eheim is sitting on the bottom of my tank. So the skimmer was going nuts because of the amount of food that had expanded inside the chamber of the feeder and the phosphates shot up to 30 really quick. Nitrate still look good. The corals are not happy but hopefully everyone will survive. Lesson learned-don't use double backed tape around moisture, it will fail.
 

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So sort of a funny but not really story. I have/had a eheim autofeeder and because I built the canopy and removed the glass hood, I wasn't sure where to put the autofeeder. So in my infinite wisdom I took several pieces of super sticky double backed tape and attached it to the wood. I went back later to check it and it seemed good. Fast Forward to the very next day and I wake up to my tank making a ton of noise. I walk into my living room with my tank and there is probably 4 gallons of water in the floor. I had no idea why, so I start looking around and throw the canopy up and realize my skimmer is overflowing. I couldn't figure out why. I'm looking everywhere when I realize my eheim is sitting on the bottom of my tank. So the skimmer was going nuts because of the amount of food that had expanded inside the chamber of the feeder and the phosphates shot up to 30 really quick. Nitrate still look good. The corals are not happy but hopefully everyone will survive. Lesson learned-don't use double backed tape around moisture, it will fail.
Oh man no bueno! Hope you get everything back under control soon and the water on the floor didn't ruin anything.
 
AquaCave

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