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A little late, but here it goes....

Bfragale

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I kept a mixed reef from 2003- 2007. Times were different then. But that tank crashed when I was out of townand had a power outage.

So my currrent reefing journey began September 2019 when I purchased a used (running) 90 gallon bow front aquarium. The guy said it was 3 years old. It came with chiller, API canister filter, some cheezy LED lights, glass top, canopy, stand, two clowns, a blue hippo tang, some sand and some rocks. Also some other miscellaneous items like Eheim auto feeder, syphon hoses, API exapired master test kit, heater, jugs etc. For $300 cash.

I picked up tank- arrived around 11 am. Finished breaking down and loading by 12:30-1. Made it to my place by 2:30. Started cleaning everything, and got it all back together and running by 10 pm.

a little back story: when I arrived to buy the tank: it was about 20 gallons low on water. And the water was so yellow/brown that you couldn’t even find or see the fish. It was covered in cyanos and a maroon turf algea, hair algea, and more.High salt, high po4, high no3 and everything way out of wack.

I rinsed and reused about half of the sand. Added 40 lbs new live Caribbean sand. I got rid of the plastic decorations but kept the algea invested rock.
I wish I had photos of the before the cleaning process or during. But I was so excited I didn’t take any photos. I took one photo after it was all done.
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Remarkably the fish survived.
I had a few pieces of live rock and an additional canister filter with built on UV. Photos taken about an hour after done.

I then started in my hunt for used items, was on YouTube and r2r reading and learning.

I call everything above “phase 1”
This was the tank, and the initial I acquisition and set up. More to folllow....
Here’s a few pics from the first week:
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Bfragale

Bfragale

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Within the first few days: (was an impulse buy- probably way premature..) I was so excited I
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bought a few peoples fish and inverts etc. that were breaking down tank. I got some more rock, bunch of snails and a electric blue damsel fish, a scopus tang, a yellow tail blue damsel, a tomato clown, a small clown and a few other items like a hang on back skimmer and a box led light. One of the guys had a few- dying corals he threw in for free- here’s some photos:
 
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Bfragale

Bfragale

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My next thing was to look for wave makers, better lights and a sump..

I found and won a mp40 needing a wet sideAnd power cords on eBay for $57.
I found an eshops r-100 sump with eshops a-120 skimmer for $120 on OfferUp.
got dc return pump new from LAX Aquariums on their Black Friday sale for $100ish (50% off)
Bought some AI Prime HD with Mounts New approx $450
lost the glass tops and canpony when I put the ai Prims on.


also probably a bunch of stuff from offer up. A few fish and inverts from LSF etc
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Bfragale

Bfragale

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I realized I need more light. Bought another set of used AI prime with brackets. These I got in a package deal for a tank break down along with a few more fish, two small tanks and stand, filters, a nano slimmer, some Hanna checkers and a bunch other stuff for $300. Also got another mp40 used and a up sterilizer for $150.
bRS media reactors x3 and pump $100 along with a few other odds and ends. Also somewhere in these deals I got a heater controller and an auto off. Bought more corals and stuff. Also found a really cool cabinet for $40 I put next to the tank to hold chiller. After I added auto I moved chiller out from under neath. Also picked up a used computer power back up and hooked only mp40’s to it. Here’s some photos:

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Bfragale

Bfragale

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Learned tank in bad condition, fish rocks inverts corals from offer up comes with a lot of pests. Battled many things, fish illinesses, bunch of different algae’s and more. But honestly it was all a learning experience.

next thing I did was buy uses RO/DI system and built mixing a station from mostly used parts. I think I was in that about $400. I have a build thread in that, but here’s a few photos: (mixing station best thing I ever did lol)
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Bfragale

Bfragale

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Since mixing station I have really focused on stability, and husbandry. This started as a budget build but I’m in it probably about $4000. Which to some may still be a budget build lol, but for me not so much. But this is what brings me sanity in this crazy world. This was written today, and is a very very short summary of the last year. But I wanted a badge lol: I’ve come a long way with still a long way to go. It it’s been a blast! here’s some recent photos:
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Bfragale

Bfragale

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Had to remove a few fish due to aggression either towards other fish or corals: removed an a hole damsel lol. A tomato clown that was getting beat up and a electric blue damsel fish that loved to eat zoas. But the electric blue damsel was a good looking fish lol.

last 6 mo check list:


verminted snails under control- check
Aptasia eradicated- check
Hair algea eradicated- check
Turf algea, bubble algae, cyanos and more eradicated- check
Dinos- in progress
Flukes eradicated- check
Flow issues resolved- check
Lighting - Improved- want to get auquaric life hybrid once I find a used one.
apex- with trident - added to dream list
Frag tank- In the idea process
Fish stocking- done

will be working on getting rid of gsp (limited to back wall only) also I have a few zoas/palys that are invasive- getting those out.

most of all just enjoying the ride. Love reading r2r posts, learning where I can, sharing my experience where I can, (wife tired of reefing YouTube videos lol) I feel I’m at a point where I have some confidence (finally) yet feel there is so much more to learn and see In This hobby. Can’t wait to see where this journey leads me.
Happy reefing! Thanks for reading my rambling lol.
 
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Bfragale

Bfragale

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Update: So I picked up a used, but new to me 48” aquatic life hybrid fixture for $190.

I bought the 16” rails and decorative end caps to convert it from18” wide to 16” wide.

I also modified the power cords: swapped the ballast around- had to modify the end cover and the end rail for wires to come out both on the same end:
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I picked up 3 ai prime hanging kits from eBay for $20- and ordered the fourth for $20 also from eBay (the fourth has yet to arrive)

my tank is in my office, so I still have to fix drop ceiling tiles. Going to make little holes for wires to go thru and attach to wood roof.

I got the 3 primes mounted and the fourth rigged up to work until I get last mounting bracket. All wires come out the back corner, with a clean wire cluster instead or a mess.
So far I like it, I’m running the bulbs I got with it. Ordered two ATI blue plus and Two ATO coral Plus.
But here’s that I have so far:
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so I’m in it about $325 for complete fixture with modifications and about another $100 in bulbs.

hoping to get more par. Once new bulbs come I’ll get the seneye out and test it.

HAPPY REEFING!

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revhtree

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Looking good!
 

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