Adventures in keeping a sps reef

Llorgon

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So I'm looking to setup my 75 gallon again(had to take it down for a move). With the plan of making it a SPS dominant reef.

I currently have a IM 25 up and running for all the LPS corals. It's been doing pretty well so I hoping to build off that success and jump into the scary world of SPS!

Before everything gets wet, I need to update some things.

1. Sump. My current sump is a 20 gallon and while it works it barely fits my skimmer and everything is pretty cramped. I'm looking for sump suggestions. I have been looking at the premade sumps, but man are they expensive! I could make my own, but I admit my diy skills are really lacking.

2. Powerheads. I have some cheap jebao wavemakers that work...ish. they have some trouble starting up sometimes. Which makes me think I should probably upgrade. I have a mp10 on the IM25 and it works great, but again the bigger ones are pretty expensive. Suggestions on some good powerheads/wavemakers?

3. Lights. I have an reef lights. They are 2 smaller ones on a mount that came with the tank. They work fine and my only complaint is I have 2 power cords for the blue lights and 2 for the white. Takes up a lot of plugs. Is it worth it to upgrade lights or leave them and deal with all the extra cables.

What other equipment should I look into picking up to be successful?

Here is my tank and equipment cabinet.

IMG_20200116_173906.jpg IMG_20200116_173843.jpg
 
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Llorgon

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Had my annual review at work today and got a raise plus an extra weeks vacation! Decided to celebrate by ordering a trigger systems amethyst sump. I mean, you have to make the fun decision with money sometimes, right?!

Anyways it should arrive middle of next week!
 
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Llorgon

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Look what came today!

New sump is here and everything fits in it with room to spare. Looks like the return pipes will fit into the current ones I have nicely as well.

I think I will run it without the filter socks and just the filter pad though. The socks were a bit of a pain to get out.

Now next thing I need to get is some new wavemakers!

IMG_20200123_123452.jpg IMG_20200123_123628.jpg
 

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Great decision to start it again. Great looking sump upgrade as well. I would stick with the SB ReefLights as they just work. The extra cords are a bit of a pain but get a splitter, two into one to gain valuable plug space. The photo of my tank in my signature is under SB's and running that way for the entire time. I had three and three into one cord management going to my apex. As long as those are the 16" Basics, you can hack them to be controlled by your Neptune Apex if you have or get one. This is what I would use for cord consolidation. Two blue cords to one and two white cords to one.
PS-YCable-Product.gif
 
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Llorgon

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Great decision to start it again. Great looking sump upgrade as well. I would stick with the SB ReefLights as they just work. The extra cords are a bit of a pain but get a splitter, two into one to gain valuable plug space. The photo of my tank in my signature is under SB's and running that way for the entire time. I had three and three into one cord management going to my apex. As long as those are the 16" Basics, you can hack them to be controlled by your Neptune Apex if you have or get one. This is what I would use for cord consolidation. Two blue cords to one and two white cords to one.
PS-YCable-Product.gif

That's a great idea. Why didn't I think of that. Really my only two issues with the lights were the plugs and you can't really program them that well. I will look into the apex mod. I don't have one, but I am planning on getting one for this build.
 
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Llorgon

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I am trying to narrow down what powerheads/wavemakers to get.
Nero 5?
mp 40.. sooo expensive here in Canada
gyres - I hear they require a ton of maintenance
Tunze nanostream?
Other

Pretty open to suggestions as my current powerheads need some help getting started once stopped.
 

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I am trying to narrow down what powerheads/wavemakers to get.
Nero 5?
mp 40.. sooo expensive here in Canada
gyres - I hear they require a ton of maintenance
Tunze nanostream?
Other

Pretty open to suggestions as my current powerheads need some help getting started once stopped.
I have used Jebao's for wave-making and use the Apex adapter to connect to my Apex. I purchased two sets to swap out when it is time to clean them and ended up being still well under budget then going for the more expensive route with MP's or Tunze or the like.
If you go Apex, the Apex hack is pretty straightforward on your SB's. Contact me if you go that route. I simplified the wiring connections in the light a bit as there is an unnecessary additional step in all the videos out there on how to do it.
 
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Llorgon

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I have used Jebao's for wave-making and use the Apex adapter to connect to my Apex. I purchased two sets to swap out when it is time to clean them and ended up being still well under budget then going for the more expensive route with MP's or Tunze or the like.
If you go Apex, the Apex hack is pretty straightforward on your SB's. Contact me if you go that route. I simplified the wiring connections in the light a bit as there is an unnecessary additional step in all the videos out there on how to do it.

I didn't mind the jebao's. They served they purpose, but I think it's time for a bit of an upgrade on the next pumps I get.

Ok good to know the mod isn't too complicated. I will have to pickup a soldering iron I assume.
 
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Llorgon

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So I've hit the first roadblock. Sump came, sump doesn't really fit in the stand... Lengthwise it fits, but it's a little too wide in the centre braces where it's been reinforced. I did manage to get the sump in once I removed the centre braces and got it almost all the way to the bottom of the stand. Actually it's sitting on the bottom of the stand on the left, but there's a significant gap on the right.

So it appears sump is a little big for the stand and my stand has warped significantly on the bottom!

Now the question is try and fix it/ shove that sump in there or make/buy a new slightly bigger stand.

I've never built a thing in my life, but my grandfather was a carpenter and has all the woodworking tools. So I could attempt to build as he gives me directions and wonders what happened to men these days.
 
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P-Dub

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I didn't mind the jebao's. They served they purpose, but I think it's time for a bit of an upgrade on the next pumps I get.

Ok good to know the mod isn't too complicated. I will have to pickup a soldering iron I assume.
I soldered to connections. You can choose to crimp the connections as that is what everyone else seems to do.

Regarding the Jebaos, it is a cost-benefit analysis for me. IMHO there is just no benefit for the cost particularly since mine have worked flawlessly since day one with better flow at better than 1/5th the cost.
 

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Great intentions and youll be happy with sump- had 2 different sizes. Im a believer in socks, and recommend the mesh type which are so easy to hand rinse in under a minute or two
Next investment- I highly recommend a calcium reactor which has proven itself with my SPS success
Congrats on raise. Just got one myself with another in mid April (annual) and extra week vacation in July
 
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Llorgon

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Build it!

I think I am going to see if I can modify the current stand before trying to build a new one. Maybe I can sand down the extra parts of the centre braces and try and level the bottom out.

I Like where this build is going! Following along

Welcome!

I soldered to connections. You can choose to crimp the connections as that is what everyone else seems to do.

Regarding the Jebaos, it is a cost-benefit analysis for me. IMHO there is just no benefit for the cost particularly since mine have worked flawlessly since day one with better flow at better than 1/5th the cost.

ok. Crimping the connections is probably easier. Less equipment I have to buy!

I agree the Jebaos work great for the price. I may replace them with new Jebaos. My concern is I have no idea how old my current ones are since I got them used. And my previous iteration of this tank had a hydor koralia fry in the middle of the night and send melted plastic all through the tank... killed everything, but one snail. So slightly gun shy on powerheads that are showing problems of unknown age.

Great intentions and youll be happy with sump- had 2 different sizes. Im a believer in socks, and recommend the mesh type which are so easy to hand rinse in under a minute or two
Next investment- I highly recommend a calcium reactor which has proven itself with my SPS success
Congrats on raise. Just got one myself with another in mid April (annual) and extra week vacation in July

Do the mesh ones clean easier than the regular fabric one or whatever they are made of? My dislike of filter socks is the pain of cleaning them.

Ok. Never used or really know much about calcium reactors. I'm guessing it just provides a steady dose of calcium so you don't need to be dosing it all the time. Definitely something I will look into!
 

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I think I am going to see if I can modify the current stand before trying to build a new one. Maybe I can sand down the extra parts of the centre braces and try and level the bottom out.



Welcome!



ok. Crimping the connections is probably easier. Less equipment I have to buy!

I agree the Jebaos work great for the price. I may replace them with new Jebaos. My concern is I have no idea how old my current ones are since I got them used. And my previous iteration of this tank had a hydor koralia fry in the middle of the night and send melted plastic all through the tank... killed everything, but one snail. So slightly gun shy on powerheads that are showing problems of unknown age.



Do the mesh ones clean easier than the regular fabric one or whatever they are made of? My dislike of filter socks is the pain of cleaning them.

Ok. Never used or really know much about calcium reactors. I'm guessing it just provides a steady dose of calcium so you don't need to be dosing it all the time. Definitely something I will look into!
The mesh is heavy nylon and super easy to clean. I have the 7" version and can clean in a little over a minute
 
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Llorgon

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The mesh is heavy nylon and super easy to clean. I have the 7" version and can clean in a little over a minute

Hmm I will definitely look into those then.

I'm guessing by your username that your a Corvette fan. My first car was a 1984 c4 Corvette. Bought it the first year after highschool which I think was 2008. It was bright orange and super fun to drive... As long as the pavement was dry. So where I lived about 3 months of the year.

One summer, on a road trip we hit a big summer rain storm. I slowed down to 60kmh in a 110 zone due to the car being crap in the rain and hydro planned into the ditch. Then I had to sell it. I miss that car.
 
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Llorgon

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So here is where I am at with the stand.
IMG_20200124_122719.jpg

Thos centre braces on the side go from 16" wide near the top to just barely 15" wide on the bottom.

And here is a shot of how the sump sits.
IMG_20200124_122732.jpg

Sitting on the bottom on this side.

IMG_20200124_122752.jpg


Rather large gap on the right side. The sump sits level on the floor and kitchen table so I know it's not the sump.

Is this fixable with adding some material to level it and sand the sides to get more room for the sump?
 

vetteguy53081

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Hmm I will definitely look into those then.

I'm guessing by your username that your a Corvette fan. My first car was a 1984 c4 Corvette. Bought it the first year after highschool which I think was 2008. It was bright orange and super fun to drive... As long as the pavement was dry. So where I lived about 3 months of the year.

One summer, on a road trip we hit a big summer rain storm. I slowed down to 60kmh in a 110 zone due to the car being crap in the rain and hydro planned into the ditch. Then I had to sell it. I miss that car.
My first also was an 84 gold with the questionable crossover engine which ran great for me
 
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Llorgon

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So from talking with my carpenter friend it sounds like the safe thing to do is to build a new stand. He said it would probably be fine as is, but better to be safe than sorry when dealing with large amounts of water.

Been starting to figure out what I want stand wise. I've seen some cool stands that have all the sump and equipment in view. While it looks cool I feel it's asking for trouble with 2 cats.

I will probably go with standard stand with door to access everything underneath. I want to make it a bit longer than the tank so I have more room for ato reservoir and stuff like that.

Anyone have any does and don't of stand building?
 
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