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A.J.’s 70 gal shallow reef

ajjw0828

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Hi All,

I’m a little late on starting this but I figure something is more fun than nothing so I’m going to try and post my build and go from there. Started the process back on Feb 13th when I saw a 69 gallon deep blue rimless tank for 225, not drilled or anything but never used. PayPal the guy and proceeded to grab my GF at the time and drive 3.5 hours to a traverse Cory, MI. Got the tank and been working on it ever since when I have free time/ money, lol. Ordered a modular marine overflow. Drilled the tank and set it up. Bought 2 40 gallons breeders and 2 - 20 gal Longs. Longs for quarantine tanks and breeders for a sump and a refugium. Drilled the one 40 breeder and did two overflow pipes (in case one gets clogged) and then got a local glass shop to cut me two sheets of glass for the sump. Think they charged me like 20 bucks and they were 1/4” and perfect. Used GE silicone 1 to caulk them and it worked great. Let it dry for a week before putting water in. Plumbed everything on the go from menards. I’ll post some pics and go from there.

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CasaReefer

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Hi A J ... Welcome to R2R... Thanks for jumping in.. Nice Job planning your set up... Looks Awesome... I really like your rock work. Your very skilled handyman that has paid off Big Time.. Nice Job :)
 
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ajjw0828

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Hi A J ... Welcome to R2R... Thanks for jumping in.. Nice Job planning your set up... Looks Awesome... I really like your rock work. Your very skilled handyman that has paid off Big Time.. Nice Job :)
Thanks CR, been slowly getting there. Definitely made a few trips to the hardware store, lol!
 
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ajjw0828

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So just to put some more detail into the time line:

--From when I saw the tank on FB on Feb 13th to getting water in it (no rock, pictured above) .
--Feb-16th thru Feb 26th-- Bought two galvanized water heater stands (home depot) and two 65gal Norwesco containers (from Blains farm and fleet like $110 a container out the door), 7 stage Brs RO/DI unit, plumbing and jeboa dcp-6000 circulating pump (amazon) to mix the water. Using IO Purple box salt. 1.026
--March 9th - Bought 2 - 40gal breeders and 2 - 20gal long petco $1 per gallon sale aquariums.
--March 10th - Built aquarium stand.
--April 7th - siliconed glass in 40 al breeder to make sumpo with GE 1 silicone.
--April 12th - Drilled 40 gal breeder and main display tank for overflows and returns.
--April 14th - Hard plumbed the system getting it ready for water. Used DCP-1600 return pump, with dual stage BRS GFO/ Carbon reactor (not running GFO), Modular Marine overflow (1600gph, love it!), check valve above return pump, cpr 4" sock filter, bubble mangus curve 7 skimmer and 4 tees for future additions with ball valves. Used a nice quality gate valve for my primary drain, and just regular ball valves for everything else. A gyre 150 and gyre 250 synced together on random flow. Added 2 - cheap ebayy 150 watt heaters (note dont go with these, later bought eheim 300watt heater and much prefer that). Ive had a eheim on my 90 gallon for 8 years and never failed.
--April 15th - Added water to tank.
--April 20th - Went and bought some of that lighting frag rack material at Menard's and built that white rack shown in a pic above. Added 4 - 100watt led bulbs above refugium and hooked up to apex to run on reverse lighting. Was real eager to get coral in the tank, so added some. I'd say the corals did pretty well, started encrusting and then at some point about 2 months in they went down hill fast. Lost all of them except for a few polyps of setosa. Talked to a pretty experienced reefer and he told me no chance at holding SPS coral without any sort of rock/ filtration. I kinda got into summer mode, didn't have a ton of time or money to put into it, so tank just kind of existed until end of October 2019.
--May 7th -- Added chaeto ball to refugium.
--October 20th - Bought 50lbs of rock off BRS and had another 20-30 from a different tank I had. Threw a few pieces from my other tank in there to help jump start and I swear Just trying to document timeline, because I know I always wonder how long it takes people to setup their tanks. I never know if I'm slow about it or fast. So just posting in case others want to compare.
--Nov, 17th - Then after about 3 weeks of letting the marco rocks cure in a brute trash can, heater and power head with weekly water changes had zero nitrite and ammonia (really before the three weeks just let it sit longer to be sure), added rock to tank. After that I added a chunk of rock from my 90 gallon with a couple anemones on it, just to see how they did.
--Nov 19th- Added CW-55watt Jaboa UV sterilizer.
--Nov, 24th - Anemones did good. Added a $15 dollar birdsnest frag and a monti cap. Then the next day I traded a bubble tip for some corals from a local reefing friend my fiance and I met at the per store. He hooked me up with a JF jack-o-lantern lepto, a couple cool acans (never have had before), and a favia war coral.
--Black Friday week sales from BRS brought lots of goodies. Bought, SQ-520 apogee par meter, dimmable t5 kit, Apex VDM Modual, apex dimming cable, 3155 osmolator ato, 1 gallon ROX 0.8 Carbon, 10" seaside aquatics coral viewer, DI resin refills, flipper 4" magnifying viewer, Icecap photo lens kit, citirc acid, hanna checker phosphate/ alk reagent.
--Nov 30th added two t5 lights to my LED's for some extra spectrum/ coverage. Wanted to get some UV as my LEDS are DIY and only 450 nm. Added a coral plus and blue plus bulb. Later swapped coral plus for Actinic as I was told it would bring out some good color in my corals.
--Dec 2nd- Added Male Leopard wrasse and a glass container with sand in it anf cut out lid for him to sleep in as I am doing bare bottom but really loved the fish. He burrows in it every night. Also around this time added a Foxface, stripped fang tooth blenny, and midas goby. Also added a juvenile blue tang but didnt get along with my Tomini tang ?(that I had since the get go) so I put the blue tang in my refugium.
--Dec 7th - Added a no name acro (maybe a bonsai or tri color valida) to see how it would do.
--Dec 18th- Ordered Salifert Iodine test kit, brightwell aquatics Lugols solution advanced iodine, brightwell aquatics Potassion p, and 16oz of vibrant.
--Dec 19th- Ordered Neptune DOS.
--December 21st - Picked up some acros I bought way earlier in the year but didnt think would survive until now. I got a PC Superman, PC Sunset milli, two no names and a Blue Tort. Also, found a good ddeal on a used GEO Calcium Reactor, new box of two little fishies media, carbon doser regulator, 10lb tank, 5 lb tank, BRS double junction probe and 1200 maxi jet, for 400 bucks, which I thought was a good deal. Really want to go to a calcium reactor as I just think it's more natural.
--Dec 27th - Ordered Kamoer FX-STP Peristaltic continuous duty dosing pump and BRS double junction PH probe.
--Dec 29th - Met up with another reefer and bought a Walt Disney Frag, RR Sexy Passion Asia, and PC superman (looks more like a red planet but gorgeous) frag and added those to my tank.
--Jan 6th 2020 - Ran lines to hook up calcium reactor. Got media and water in it, and water moving. Just haven't hooked up CO2 as I need to get a 4ph calibration fluid packet for the pH Probe. Cool seeing it setup and calibrated with the Kamoer pump. Currently dosing BRS 2 PART 44mls of each over the course of 24 hrs. Also just started doing Nitrates to tank using DIY mix from green leaf aquariums with their potassium nitrate. Did this as increased feeding was still keeping Nitrates at zero.
Currently all corals doing well and growing.

Current parameters are:
Alk (hanna): 8.6 stable
Calcium (red sea): 410
Phosphate (hanna ULR): .04-.05
Nitrate (nyos) : 4ppm
Salinity (refractometer) : 1.026
Potassium (salifert) : 390
Iodine (salifert) : zero (Been slowly doing lugols and haven't seen it rising)
Want to look into testing Strontium.

Working on battling some Dinos right now. l think due to low nutrients. Over last couple weeks removed a lot of chaeto, just switched to bi weekly water changes instead of weekly, started doing 10ml of vibrant and microbacter 7 once a week (with skimmer/ UV off for 4 hrs after). If it doesn't get better I will proceed with sucking as much out as possible and doing a 3 day blackout. Frags seems to be growing with it well though.

Coraline algea is growing like crazy! Never had a tank get so much so fast. Going all over the rock and bottom/ back glass. I've ordered a couple other frags that I'll get in a couple weeks but after that I think I'm just going to try and let it ride. No new additions and start documenting some growth.

Feeding fish/ corals nightly blend of Rods food, BRS reef chili, and some rotofeast.

Also, check out my buddy Blue, he's the handsome pug in the attached photos. He loves reefing, as much as I do lol.

IMG_1604.JPG
 
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Mastiffsrule

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Hope all is well

that is a lot of work you put in. Looks like great progress. Dino is a bummer, hope you get a hand up on it. keep us posted looks great
 
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ajjw0828

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Hope all is well

that is a lot of work you put in. Looks like great progress. Dino is a bummer, hope you get a hand up on it. keep us posted looks great
Thanks, it’s been pretty fun! Can’t wait to beat these Dino’s and hopefully just get into maintain mode. No more buying, just growing.
 
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ajjw0828

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Update:

Beat Dino's! Took me about 3-4 weeks, but did it! Tank has been looking great as of Jan 16th. Only things I did were up my nitrates to 3-5ppm from zero when I got the Dinos. My phosphates have gone up a bit to the .1 range. Then just dosed Vibrant and Microbacter 7 at the same time once a week (12 ml's of each on my 105 gallon total water volume system). I left my UV sterilizer off overnight and plugged back in the morning. About a week before beating them I used maxijet 1200 to suck out as much Dino as possible and run it through my filter sock in the sump. Other than that it cleared up. Didn't do anything with my lighting just left it normal. Lesson learned, wont ever light my Nitrates or phosphates hit zero again.

Also, picked up two used MP 60 QD's, from a local reefer for $400 total. Great deal, they work and look like new.

Went to the Lansing Frag swap and ended up finding out (from like 10 different vendors, actually had them coming up to me) the nem's in my 90 gallon are all Black widows which was cool. Ended up selling a few of them to vendors there! Helped pay for the coral and the MP60's! Made a lot of good contacts with people/ vendors too.

Also picked up a small Blonde Naso Tang and a coral beauty. I acclimated them and have them in my QT system now for observation. Prolly keep them in there for at least a month. Corals I picked up are as follows:

Tim Herman - BC Ultimate table, CC Frostbite Horrida, BC Bleeding Tree V2, Greg Caroll Acroberry, BC Frankenberry V1, Green slimmer, and of course my favorite Thermans Rainbow!

Other corals I picked up were a "Rainbow Flare Milli" from a fellow Michigan Reefer and a "SC Orange Passion" from another Michigan Reefer. Also picked up an orange setosa that my Fiance loved. Was a really fun swap and had a lot of fun!

Just yesterday bought/ ordered a 115 gallon Botanicare reservoir ($201 shipped to local grow store) to see about adding to my current tank. Wanted a cheaper option to add rock to my system as well as possibly grow out some corals and give some of the bigger fish a larger area to swim. Now I gotta start looking for some dead rock to throw in the 115 and get curing. Hoping to find a good deal on some locally, that people have left over from builds, seems to see it on Michigan Reefer Classifieds every so often. Going to also look into make some more DIY LED's to run over them for lighting. Will also be building a wood stand for it. So pics to come!

Also, just today ordered a BRS CO2 scrubber, media, and some fittings to try and recirculate the CO2 media/ air in the skimmer. So we will see how that works and possibly add a solenoid to shut it off if it works too good.

Going to try and attach some pics of the new corals in the tank.

BC Ultimate Table: 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-7.16.20 (MAXED OUT ON # OF PHOTOS TO ATTACH IN A SINGLE POST SEE LATER PAGES FOR UPDATES ON CORALS IN THIS POST)
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bc ultimate table side.JPG



Green Slimmer: 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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green slimer.JPG


Orange Setosa: 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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Rainbow Flare Milli (tri tipped shaped below): 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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wd and milli.JPG
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Walt Disney (top): 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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wd and milli.JPG
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original walt disney.JPG
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BC Frankenberry V1: 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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SC Orange Passion: 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20- DEAD (No apparent cause)
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CC Frostbite Horrida: Dead
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BC Bleeding Tree V2 (One of my favorites): 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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bleeding tree.JPG
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bc stag.JPG



GC Acroberry: 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
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GC Accroberry.JPG
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gc acroberry.JPG


Therman's Rainbow Nasuta (my favorite): 1.19.20--3.14.20–4.15.20-5.19.20-6.28.20-7.16.20
IMG_1953.JPG
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DC3F7AD6-0EFF-4E46-AF35-A2F558928CF4.jpeg
Therman's rainbow.JPG
thermans rainbow.JPG
thermans rainbow 11.JPG
IMG_1958.PNG bc ultimate table.JPG bc ultimate table front.JPG
 
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ajjw0828

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Friday night I got my shipment from BRS with my CO2 scrubber. It was super simple to hook up. I had already been running an outside air feed line into my skimmer intake, so all I did was run the outside air into the intake of the CO2 scrubber than rant the out out to the intake on the skimmer. I added a little bit of RODI water to the bottom of the CO2 scrubber container, as I heard this helps. So far so good. I noticed my PH is about .1 higher and not dropping into the hight 7's at night. I attached a photo from my APEX so you can see for yourself. Now we wait to see if the higher PH helps with coral growth as well as how fast I burn through media. I got the stuff to do a recirculating CO2 scrubber through the top of my skimmer, with a float switch but I'm nervous that with the Bubble Mangus Curve 7 there isn't a great place to tap into the lid to draw air that I'm confident wouldn't pull skimmate into the CO2 scrubber. If I am really burning through media I might play with this some more.

Also got my Skimmer draining into a 5 gallon bucket so I don' have to empty the cup as mush.

Picked up two new frags as well from Pruess Pets. A $30 dollar Red Dragon and a $15 dollar nub of red planet. They had some beautiful colonies for $250 so hopefully it will eventually grow into something like that.

Also I started slowly dosing some Brightwell Aquatics Phosphate E remover to lower my phosphate. For the last week they've creeped up from .10 to .18. Everything actually looks extremely happy but I just want to get them back to that .10 area. So far its worked gradually over the last couple days got it down from .18 to .15 and last night down to .12. I really like the stuff. I have a GFO reactor but I think it kinda hard to manage, and am worried it will strip the water down fast to zero. I like this because you can calculate how much you want with this calculator and it brings it down that much. Hopefully I can stop dosing this soon, but I think the Vibrant has been preventing my Cheato from up taking the phosphate as well. We will see how it goes.

Lastly, fish have been in QT for just over a week now and look happy and healthy. Will probably leave them in there for a couple more weeks just to be safe but then will work on adding them to my display. Hopefully they all get along. I have a Tomini called Mr.Knight and hes kinda a D**k, but he was my first addition so don't want to get rid of him, plus he eats algea like a boss.

Hardest part now is just staying hands off and letting the tank do its thing.

CO2 Scrubber.png
 
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ajjw0828

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Well out of my Naso Tang and Coral Beauty, came down and checked out my QT and the Naso was dead. Had a few little white dots on him so I'm guessing Ick. I got a hold of a local reefer I know and he sent me some Chloroquine phosphate, 1.2grams (60mg/gal) for a 20 gallon long. Also told me to get some powdered prazi (got it off amazon). He said to add the 1.2 grams CP and wait ten days. 3 days into the treatment to add the powdered prazi per the instructions on the bottle. After the 10 days move the fish to a 5 gallon bucket and sanitize the tank with alcohol or bleach. So Just stared the CP last night so we will see how the coral beauty does after the ten days are up. He said to add directly to tank at that point. I might add it directly to tank at that point or I might put it back in the QT and watch for a little while longer. Just don't want to endanger all the fish in my display tank. I'll keep this updated with which way I go.

Also, saw a guy on facebook mention using an automatic valve to turn on and off his CO2 scrubber. I thought it was amazing that he was able to keep his pH consistently pegged at 8.3 +/- 0.05. I ordered a U.S. sOLOD MOTORIZED bALL VALVE - 1/2" stainless steel 9-24v ac/dc two wire auto return (amazon $39.99), 2 - 3/4" NPT to 1/2" BARB NYLON CONNECTOR FITTINGS (Amazon $2.01 per/ fitting), and a 1/2" barbed t fitting (amazon $0.72). I then went on www.stevesleds.com and got a bunch of the Molex Micro Connector 2 position Female w/ pins (item# 8794102464) to make my own harnesses to connect the valve to the 24v connectors on the apex. I think for 15 (ordered more in case any local reefers wanted some) it was like $15.25 for 15pcs with shipping. Going to use some speaker wire and make my own cut to length harness versus bying one off of BRS for like $20 bucks. Should be getting the connectors in the mail today, so I will update with the results of this new experiment once I have it up and running and know if it really works. I'm also in the process of ordering some DIY refugium LEDS to try and increase my chaeto growth in my refugium to help with raise my nightly pH without using the CO2 scrubber.

IMG_2455.PNG IMG_2456.PNG IMG_2457.PNG IMG_2459.PNG
 
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ajjw0828

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Forgot to mention that I saw someone on Facebook mention that they had a regular Menards/ Home Depot PVC check valve rust on them. This was like a ohhhh **** moment for me since I had installed the same check valve not even thinking about a spring rusting inside. Took me about 10 minutes since I used couplers to remove the check valve, and cut a new piece of tubing to go from the plumbing to the return pump. Just a tip in case anyone else made the same mistake as me.
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So I received my Botanicare 115gallon reservoir from the grow store and it is actually pretty awesome, I think it would be a perfect frag system tank. Only problem is my plans have changed. Saw someone selling a practically new 210 aqueon on facebook for $500 and a bunch of marco reef rock @ $1.50/lb. I messaged him and ended up buying 300lbs of reef rock for $450 and the 210 gallon aqueon for $375 with a stand. I checked and it isn't tempered on any of the 4 sides so it's drill able. Went down with my dad and his work transit van and picked it all up. Thank the lord for him and that van cause otherwise it wouldn't have fit in my truck. The guy was really helpful. Luckily we were able to back the van into the shop and slide it off the stand and into the van. 1.5 hr drive home and called my buddies and lucky for me they came over and helped. Took 4 of us to carry it into the house. Slid it down the stairs into the basement and were able to rotate into position. I mixed 130 gallons of RODI saltwater and added to the tank, then added the rock to start the curing process. I have another MP60 I'm going to throw on this tank to keep the water moving. Added a Eheim 300 watt heater to keep it at 79 degrees. I still need to either get a lid of some sort fitted or cover in cellophane to keep the water from evaporating. Plan is to let the rock cure for 4 months and then remove it all, drill the tnak, fit a modular marine over flow (like on my 70gallon) and get it all plumbed into my 70 gallon setup. We will see if that changes and this becomes it's own seperate system but for now the plan is to combine them. Pretty excited to start getting some of the DIY lighting ordered, plumbing bits, and everything else to make this work. Cannot wait to get some of my tangs in this tank to give them some room to swim... and of course grow out some colonies! Also met up with a reefer in Royal Oak that hooked me up with a MC Paparazzi milli and tri-color acro. Can't wait to see these grow out!

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ajjw0828

ajjw0828

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No big updates to report, tank has been in stand by mode. Ordered a WXM module that I need to pickup to get my vortech pumps wireless. Also over the last couple months I'd say my Alk everyday testing has been at 8.8dkh. I started waiting like a week in between testing and a few days ago tested as usual and found my alk to be at like 8.3. I upped the Kaomer from 9 to 10ml per min. Tested the next day was at 8.2. waited and tested again and found the same thing next day, so last night I upped it from 10 to 11 ml per min. We will see what happens. All corals look happy and are encrusting pretty good onto the rock, so hoping this is just the corals using the Alk up. Will continue to monitor daily and see. 210 is just in cycling mode. I've had a brick of media from brightwell in my sump for a bit now and am going to remove it and put it into the 220 to help get the bacterial population going. Also, still need to order a refugium light from RapidLED to work with stabilizing my pH. The scrubber helped to raise it but it needs more help. Still seeing a decent swing at night.
 
Corals.com

Which do you prefer?

  • A few LARGE, not as colorful less expensive, coral colonies filling your tank

    Votes: 91 38.7%
  • A lot of TINY, but very colorful more expensive, frags covering the rock

    Votes: 100 42.6%
  • Other (please explain in thread)

    Votes: 44 18.7%

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