A Pale Blue Dot – My SPS Dominated Reef

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by chrishet, Nov 7, 2018.

  1. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    Hi R2R's, This is my first tank build thread on R2R. I am very excited about getting my newest reef up and running and sharing discussions and images of its progress. I started this build 7 years ago - you heard that right! I had a lot of life changes but now I have the time to rededicate myself and get this thing going finally!

    My inspiration for this new tank will be the Cosmos, thus the reference to Carl Sagan’s famous words after seeing a photograph of Earth taken from Voyager I as it left our solar system. As some here may know, I am a photographer and my favorite subjects have been rocket launches and deep space objects. This will be a very interesting project for me as I try to bring into this reef some of the shapes and colors often seen in my deep space photos. It may not turn out this way but it gives me something to work towards, and it should be a lot of fun!

    I'll get a complete equipment list going but basically this is a 65 gallon Reef Savvy custom tank - a work of art! I have a custom stand and a lot of custom parts. I have a new interest in 3D printing and have been making a lot of brackets and parts for the tank. I'll be sure to keep the thread update with some of my designs.

    Here is the first pic. I just started the cycle, the lights are on just for effect.
    [​IMG]
    I'm looking forward to being a part of this community!

    -Chris
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
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  2. dantimdad

    dantimdad Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award R2R Secret Santa Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor North Alabama Reef Club

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    Very cool!

    Welcome aboard!
     
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  3. Oscaror

    Oscaror On A Break R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa

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    Welcome aboard ;) Good luck with the tank!
     
  4. PanchoG

    PanchoG Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to R2R!!! very interesting build, following along.
     
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  5. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    Here is a list of equipment that I have - so far! I'll snap some pics once I clean things up a bit...

    Tank - Reef Savvy - Custom 40x22x18 - 65 Gallon
    Custom Stand - 4 sections - Sump (Wet), Electronics (Dry), Controllers, Storage
    Overflow - Custom Low Profile Herbie - Made by Mike at Glass-Holes.com
    Sump - Custom - Made by My Reef Creations
    Return Pump - Varios-6
    Lighting - 3 Radion XR-15 with Diffusers
    Light Bracket - Custom - 80/20
    Skimmer - Reef Octopus Essence S-130, Avast Locker
    Refugium Light - Kessil H160
    UV Starilizer - Pentair Smart UV 25
    Neptune Apex Controller, Probes, iPad Display
    Neptune EB8 - Sump
    Neptune WXM - MP40, Radions
    FMM - Flow Meters (Return, UV), ATK
    Neptune ALD - Leak Detection
    Neptune Breakout Boxes - Control Panel, Float Switches
    Dosing Pumps - Neptune DOS (2)
    IceCap Gyre Interface
    IceCap Battery Backup - MP40
    Ecotech Vortech MP40WQD
    Maxspect Gyre XF230
    Heaters - Finnex
    Auto Topoff - Neptune ATK, Custom Sensor Bracket (3D print)
    Media Reactors - Avast Marine, BRS
    Rock - Stax - Two Little Fishes (Marco Rocks)

    Water Changing Station:
    BRS 6 Stage RODI
    2 40 Gal Storage Tanks
    Neptune EB8
    FMM - Leak Detector, AWCS Flow Monitor, Neptune SV-1 Solenoid Valve
    Neptune PM2 - Temp Control
    Auto Water Change Pump - Stenner 170DM5
    WCS Pump - Pan World
    Heaters - Finnex
     
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  6. Wrasse-cal

    Wrasse-cal Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Looks like it'll be a nice build. Why'd you select that size tank?
     
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  7. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    Thanks and great question. In all honestly I made that decision a LONG time ago and I can't recall the exact reason, lol. I was stepping up from a 22g reef and was looking to step up but still keep it in that nano feel. The stand design had some to do with it but of course I could have made adjustments there as well. I was originally building a custom LED light and was using a Makers 36 inch heat sink and having a few inches on either side looked nice. I also wanted a rimless and a reasonable height for working in the tank. Again, not sure but I do like the dimensions of the tank and countertop space.

    Here is a vid I took of the design - using SketchUp. A lot has changed since then but its fun to look back.

     
  8. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    So here is a short video narrated by Carl Sagan called A Pale Blue Dot. His story about turning Voyager around, just past Saturn, for one last glimpse of Earth is the inspiration I had for this tank. Humbling.
    enjoy....
     
  9. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    One of my biggest questions right now is sand or bare bottom...I really love the look of sand and have never had a bare bottom tank. Just to be safe I installed a 1/4 inch ABS bottom to my tank. I have a bunch of Caribsea Special just in case....thoughts?
     
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  10. PanchoG

    PanchoG Well-Known Member

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    I am a sand man, if you want to keep the black you could try black sand though.
     
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  11. NY_Caveman

    NY_Caveman Troglodyte R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Love this. I always felt a close relationship between my feelings for outer space and my feelings for earth’s oceans. Vastly unexplored with incredible beauty amidst large stretches of apparent nothingness.

    Welcome to the forum!

     
  12. NY_Caveman

    NY_Caveman Troglodyte R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor

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    BTW I went bare bottom with black Starboard and have no regrets. I never even notice a lack of sand. To me sand is just a place for waste to collect and fester. The only benefit I can see to it is if you desire specific livestock that require sand. Wanting sand purely for aesthetic reasons is certainly valid, but one must be prepared to maintain it and likely, one day, replace it.

     
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  13. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    I suppose I can try bare bottom and add some sand later if I wish. I saw your threads/vids Caveman...nice!
     
  14. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    I suppose I can try bare bottom now and add some sand later if I wish. I saw your thread/vids Caveman...nice!
     
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  15. andrewkw

    andrewkw Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    I prefer bare bottom, just glass. Tank and stand look very nice. I used to be really really into astrophotography to the point where it was almost up there with reef keeping. I actually thought it would reach that level of interest for me but now that I live somewhere where light pollution isn't an issue I've completely lost interest. Still interesting to see when different unrelated hobbies cross paths like this. You should post a few of your photos I'm sure a lot of people here have no idea what is possible to capture by an amateur.
     
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  16. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    Thx Andrew....here is a link to my site (currently under construction) and some astro-photos taken over the years. I too have backed off this hobby a bit...I have many!
    http://hetlage.com/astrophotography/

    Regards,
    Chris
     
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  17. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice! Following!
     
  18. andrewkw

    andrewkw Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Fantastic photos better than anything I ever achieved. I think you should link at least one in your thread for people who aren't going to click on it. Very impressive. It's a long story which I won't get into in your thread but much like my reefs I could never decide on what direction to go astrophotography wise. I did a lot of planetary imaging along with long exposure and a bit of solar..
     
  19. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    Its update time. I am one week into my Tim's cycle and nitrites are rising a little and ammonia is still high. I'll keep monitoring. I suspect having no sand will slow the process down. I also added a ball of chaeto and some pods to my sump. I hope the high ammonia won't hurt them.

    IMG_5058.jpg

    1M4A9995.jpg
     
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  20. chrishet

    chrishet Member R2R Supporter

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    I'll be happy to throw an astro-image out there every one in a while as well - to keep the theme alive.

    This nebula/star cluster region is known as NGC 281, AKA The Pacman Nebula, and is located in the constellation of Cassiopeia about 9200 light years from Earth. This is a star forming region in our galaxy, the gasses seen emitting from the nebula are forming stars and as they do they glow, much like a florescent light bulb. I shot this image from my observatory at DAV during the PSSG event. It is a false color image, meaning I intentionally processed this image in such a way as to bring out the details in the nebula structure by assigning each narrow band image to specific color channel...The colors I used are the same as used by the Hubble Team in their processing techniques. The total exposure for this image was 12 hours.

    [​IMG]

    ngc-281_2_med.jpg
     
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