75g “predator reef tank”

Han

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A little background-

This is my second saltwater aquarium, 3rd if I count my parents’ 60g reef tank that I maintain (I live at home). I started in the hobby a couple years ago with their tank but quickly grew tired of not getting to make any of the decisions and I got a 75g (reefer 350) of my own that I set up as a FOWLR. I was very unsuccessful for the first year, I didn’t quarantine anything and the tank was wiped multiple times due to velvet that was introduced via a sick puffer I bought. I seriously considered quitting, but lurking here on r2r for a while definitely helped me get past that and now I quarantine all fish and am in the process of setting up an invert qt. Anyway, after I got past my many mistakes in the fowlr I had a radiata lionfish who wasn’t getting along with his tank mates. (killed a foxface and stung my plesiops betta). The betta is my favorite fish (don’t tell the other guys), so that was the last straw and I knew I had to either get rid of the lion or set up another tank. Thankfully some people on here convinced me to keep the lion and set up another tank, which leads to this build thread.

I decided to go with another reefer 350, I would’ve liked to go bigger but I live with my parents and am a college student so money & space were both limiting factors. The only place I had room for another tank was my basement, which is unfinished and apparently has uneven floors. Front to back 2 feet from the wall the floor was off by 1”. My dad and I built a platform for the tank from 2x4s and plywood, after we got the tank on it was perfectly level. My lfs did the install, I don’t quite trust myself enough yet. Maybe next time.

Equipment is as follows:

Vectra return pump (definitely overkill compared to the rio+ I have in my FOWLR)

Reef octopus classic 152-s (more suitable than the reef octopus 110 in my FOWLR)

2x cobalt neotherm 150w heaters (returned an eheim jager due to a bad thermostat)

Cyberpower battery backup ups

Tunze powerhead

Fluval sea 48” light (my favorite piece of equipment, more on that later)

Custom glass lid from local glass shop

Brightwell Xport brick

2x 100 micron Red Sea filter socks

lifegard reactor (not currently using it but have it just in case)

Stock red sea ato (I know many people upgrade but it works for me)

70lbs of fully cured live rock from my lfs (complete with free aptaisia)

Caribsea live sand, I forget how many pounds

LED strip lighting from amazon in sump




Platform waiting for tank:

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Tank on platform (October 26):
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Tank all set up (October 26):
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Sump (October 26):
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There was basically no cycle, which was pretty amazing to me as I had never used fully cured live rock before. I tested daily for the first 3 weeks. 1 week after set up I started by adding some gsp, a blue mushroom, some zoas, a toadstool, and a trumpet coral, all frags from my parents' tank. After adding the lion at 3 weeks I bought a montipora and tiny ricordia. For cuc I added 6 nassarius snails, 6 astraea snails, 6 blue legged hermits, and 2 unidentified hermits (got too big for my parents' tank).

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The fluval sea LED light is great, I actually like it more than the AI primes I have on my FOWLR (overkill I know). The fluval sits very low on the tank rim, which is great since my TV is near the tank. There is virtually no light spillage. The light does not seem very powerful, but all of the corals are doing great so far. The one light is not quite enough to light the whole tank, the rear half is pretty dark. This doesn't bother me as I don't intend to keep any demanding corals and the lion/rhino are more active in lower lighting anyway. The app is very easy to use/program and so far has been working flawlessly. I may end up selling the primes and switching to the fluval on my fowlr.
fluval light.jpg


I bought a purple rhinopias shortly after setting up the tank, added him a couple days ago (december 7) after quarantining him. I would have liked to qt him longer, but I will be going away for the holidays and wanted to get him settled in to his new home before I leave.

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Full tank shot (December 7):
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My dad and I also built a rodi/saltwater mixing station, I finally convinced him that buying water from the lfs isn't practical lol (only took me 2 years)
I could probably make a whole build thread about this but I didn't take any progress pictures.

station.jpg


And that about wraps it up. I don't plan on adding any more fish, but will keep this thread updated as I add corals/inverts or extra equipment. So far I have been very happy with my progress and equipment choices. It's nice to feel a sense of accomplishment, something I never really got with my fowlr. Both fish seem happy, they are eating great and generally ignore each other. Sometimes they sit together on the sandbed which is always kinda cute. I primarily feed them frozen silversides, krill, clam, and shrimp. I feed live when I can but unfortunately don't get to do it as often as I'd like. I'm setting up a 10g freshwater tank so I can stock up on live food and keep it longer in hopes that I will be able to incorporate more live feedings into their routine. Let me know what you think of the build and if there's anything I could do differently, I'm always looking to make improvements. Thanks
 
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NHgoalstop

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I'll be waiting for a write up on that salt water mixing station. It looks great. Lol
I keep a few freshwater tanks and the key to easy success I've found is add lots of plants especially floating ones for babies to hide in.
 
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Han

Han

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I'll be waiting for a write up on that salt water mixing station. It looks great. Lol
I keep a few freshwater tanks and the key to easy success I've found is add lots of plants especially floating ones for babies to hide in.
Thanks I was ready to just get a garbage can powerhead and heater but my dad likes to go a little overboard. Which plants do you find are the most low maintenance?
 

Tahoe61

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Thank you for sharing. Great predator tank.
 
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NHgoalstop

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Thanks I was ready to just get a garbage can powerhead and heater but my dad likes to go a little overboard. Which plants do you find are the most low maintenance?
Of course just like reef tanks lights matter. I likented root floaters for my floating plants. And hornwort is great for nutrient export. I ended up getting rid of the hornwort because it grew way to fast for my display tank. But it's insanely easy to grow and good for fish to hide in.
 
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Han

Han

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Of course just like reef tanks lights matter. I likented root floaters for my floating plants. And hornwort is great for nutrient export. I ended up getting rid of the hornwort because it grew way to fast for my display tank. But it's insanely easy to grow and good for fish to hide in.
Thanks, I’ll keep that in mind. I’d like to eventually breed feeders myself but for now I’ll just be keeping ghost shrimp and maybe mollies.
 
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Han

Han

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Nice predator tank, I am pretty jealous of your radiata, haha! How has your nutrient control been?
Thank you, so far no problems, nitrates holding steady around 5 ppm. Both fish get target fed twice a week so there is virtually no waste from excess food, everything gets consumed.
 

Goodair

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90g, marine beta and snowflake. Lost some fish some months back (panther, volitan and a fox). Been starting on some easier corals to add some movement since the tank isnt really active. I got a thread if you wanna check it out!
 
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Han

Han

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Lost my rhinopias today, not sure what happened. I was away on vacation and returned to find him lethargic and not eating, he passed a couple hours ago. Seems to be an all too common occurrence with these fish.

It looks like my lion will be alone for a while, not sure if I should give up on keeping scorpionfish or if it’s worth trying a less demanding species.

On a more positive note, all the corals are doing great.
 
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