80 gallon shallow lagoon mixed reef - upgrade time!

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adittam

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So anyone who's seen my first build thread or read any of my several posts about planning this upgrade may already know this, but while this is my second reef tank, it's my first one with a sump, so the learning curve has been steep this time around as well.

I've been planning this upgrade since the middle of this summer, which is way sooner than I anticipated upgrading, but c'est la vie. I decided on the 80 gallon shallow display size for several reasons: the 48"x24" footprint will allow me to keep a small tang or two, with a good amount of horizontal swimming room in many directions, and the shallow depth will fit the space it will be going in the living room well, without blocking any of the art on the wall there (a requirement of my wife in our negotiation to move the reef to the living room). I had a difficult time sourcing a new tank in this size, even going so far as contacting Seapora directly to see if they had any tips on distributors that might have one in stock. They said that while there could definitely be some still out there in stores, they are not currently making them due to COVID-related glass supply issues, and their need to focus on manufacturing their more popular sizes. But, I was able to find one semi-locally in Kenosha, and it came with a 45 gallon sump. The top rim had a few tiny cracks in the corners, but the seals look perfect, no leaks, and the center brace was perfect, so I think that the cracks are from someone trying to life or move the tank by lifting on the rim sides, not from stress on the tank or bowing. Decided to pull the trigger, and then reinforced the rim corners with plastic epoxy on the inside and outside.

As followers of my first build thread know, I love keeping things as simple as possible, as well as keeping them as inexpensive as possible, so despite switching over to a sump setup this time around, I'll still be foregoing any sort of automation for the time being. My goal is to create is a self-sustaining ecosystem, so I'm planning on running a refugium in the large middle compartment of my sump with macroalgae. I'll be pulling some of my equipment from the old tank, including my inkbird temp controller, and probably the heaters if they can handle the larger system (I think they'll be able to since the return pump will provide some heat to the system also). I am upgrading to the follow equipment, though:

2x Jebao SLW-20 wave makers
Eheim 1262 return pump
2x AI Hydra 26 lights with AI Director (found them new-in-box locally on Facebook marketplace collecting dust in a guy's closet since an abandoned build years ago)
BRS mesh filter socks
Reef Octopus eSsence S-130 Protein Skimmer

Here are some photos of getting the tank, modifying stand that came with it, and plumbing my first sump! Next up, the leak test...
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adittam

adittam

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You're going to extend the overflow pipes under the water, yes?
Yep, for the primary overflow. I just needed to know where the filter sock holder was going to sit. Wasn’t planning on the emergency pipe though, so I can hear if it’s being used.
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IanK

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Don’t rimmed tanks still need support under the full rim of the bottom(your sump)? Just a thought, I’m not 100% certain but that’s how I always see them. That is one kick butt foot print for a tank
 
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Don’t rimmed tanks still need support under the full rim of the bottom(your sump)? Just a thought, I’m not 100% certain but that’s how I always see them. That is one kick butt foot print for a tank
Honestly, I’m not sure. When I bought the stand, sump, and tank, it was even less supported, so I moved the 2x4’s out to be underneath the two edges and added 1 underneath the middle brace.
 
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Don’t rimmed tanks still need support under the full rim of the bottom(your sump)? Just a thought, I’m not 100% certain but that’s how I always see them. That is one kick butt foot print for a tank
Ok, new plan. Still don’t have a support under 100% of the rim, because I want the wood floor under the sump to be able to breathe and not have moisture trapped, but I removed the three 2x4’s running front to back under the sump and got three PVC 5/4”x4” boards to put underneath it the long direction instead. This way each of the long sides are complete supported, with an extra support in the middle of the short sides.
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Got everything transferred over to the new tank successfully on Thursday! Made for a very long day, but I was able to get it all done before my weekend of three 12’s at work started on Friday.
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Turned on the skimmer for the first time today. Planning on running it wide open for 2 weeks to break it in. If anyone has any tips for how to tune my first skimmer after that break in period, lay them on me!
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Great looking tank.

Really jealous of your butterfly fish he looks great.

How is it caring for him? In terms of diet and compatibility with other livestock in the tank?
Thank you!

I haven’t had any issues with my CBB, but I was able to get one that was a trade in at my LFS, and it was already eating frozen foods, so I was spoiled. That was the only circumstance in which I was willing to try one (buying one that was already conditioned to eating frozen food), because I don’t have the time or desire to culture live worms. He loves spirulina brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and the hikari butterfly/angel frozen preparation.

Haven’t had any problems with temperament either; my two-spot bristletooth tang was a little territorial toward him for the first two days he was in the tank, but now they all get along great. Current fish in the tank are:

Copperband butterflyfish
Two spot bristletooth tang
Melanurus wrasse
Bicolor blenny
Pair of ocellaris clowns

Now that everything is transferred and happy in the new tank, I’ll be adding some more fish soon :D
 
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Added 4 new fish and 3 new rocks from my LFS today. Decided that my family and I care more about having our dream fish than being able to keep every single species of coral, so I pulled the trigger on a gorgeous flame angel today. I hope it doesn’t eat our coral, but if it does, I just won’t keep that type of coral anymore. We also got a trio of springeri damsels. Finally, I decided to get some live rock from the store to supplement my aquascape since we didn’t have enough spots for the number of fish we want to keep to hide and sleep. I’m pretty happy with how it looks now.
 
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I'm starting my shallow build myself
I'm running Bashsea sump
6 bulb ATI Dimmable fixture
Reef octopus 150 Regal series skimmer
Reef Octopus Varios 2 return
2 200 watt BRS Titaiam heaters controlled by ink bird
AI prime Fuge light
Nero 5 wave pump
So far just a few corals in the sump
 

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AquaCave

How difficult is it REALLY to keep Acropora corals?

  • 1 - easy to keep

    Votes: 17 3.8%
  • 2

    Votes: 6 1.3%
  • 3

    Votes: 13 2.9%
  • 4

    Votes: 9 2.0%
  • 5 - average

    Votes: 113 25.4%
  • 6

    Votes: 44 9.9%
  • 7

    Votes: 116 26.1%
  • 8

    Votes: 66 14.8%
  • 9

    Votes: 17 3.8%
  • 10 - difficult to keep

    Votes: 44 9.9%
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