And now for something a little different ...

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LBReefer

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The final outcome doesn't look dramatically different than the before shots.

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A Piece of the Ocean for Every Reef Tank
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LBReefer

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I decided that I am going to try and setup a copepod haven. I have a baby mandarin and one on the way. My attempts at establishing adult mandarins are 1/5.

I just made an impulse buy for a second baby mandarin from ORA/AlgaeBarn, along with some sea lettuce, and assorted macro algae.

I plan to dose this holding tank with tiger pods or the assortment of algae barn pods at some point down the road.

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Karen00

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Introduction
I am not entirely sure what my inspiration was, but I decided that one is never enough and picked up a new (to me) 100 gallon acrylic tank last weekend off of craigslist. While this is not my first tank, its my first build thread, so please be patient with me. I will share my trials and tribulations as I try and get this tank off the ground and ask for your guidance on a few concerns as I confront them.

Tank Acquisition
I blame a slow day at work for this new money pit. I was trying to avoid drafting some talking points and was tempted by the dark embrace of the craigslist aquarium classifieds. I had purchased and setup an 80 gallon glass aquarium in my office and was looking to have something at home with which to tinker. Not far into my sojourn I came across a deal to good to be true: a tank, stand, t-5 light and sump for $200. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the tank and stand were in pretty good shape and most importantly, small enough to fit into the back of my SUV.

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I have since gotten the tank home and started the process of scrubbing off the dead coraline algae and rinsing the interior with several rounds of diluted vinegar. The wife and dogs have started to question my choice of cologne and desire to stand out in the rain. Any recommendations on scrubbing this stuff off - beyond patience and elbow grease?

I was lucky to pick up 80 lbs, or so I am told, of used, but dry live rock. I sorted through the pieces and began the curing process. I am very appreciative of the posts shared by several fellow reefers about the curing process, along with a relevant BRS video. I went the wimpy path and used diluted vinegar and RODI over bleach or acid. After one week I have a pretty good boil going I am on to round two of the water change.
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Any advice on how long I need to go on the curing process before I go switch to saltwater and start the curing process?

The Stand
I wasn't sure about utilizing someone else's homemade stand, but a quick review of the construction made me feel much more confident. Nonetheless, the front board and one of the side pieces did seem a bit worse for the wear and I decided to replace them.
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And sand and repaint the remaining pieces:
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I am pretty happy with how it turned out and much more confident in the stand's ability to repel mold and moisture. Most importantly, I hoodwinked my wife into being part of the process by asking her to choose the paint color and advise me on the painting process.

Equipment on a budget
As I mentioned earlier, this was not a fully thought-out endeavor and so I am attempting to be fairly frugal in my equipment purchases. I was able to find a very gently used Reef Octopus Space Saver 110 and a brand new AquaMaxx Magnus VSB 12000 pump off of craigslist. I then blew all of these savings ordering fancy colored plumbing off at BRS and 60 lbs of additional sand.

I had originally picked up an Eheim 1262 pump, but the guy I bought it from dropped it and shattered the pump cover. I didn't think much of it at the time, but have since struggled to find a replacement pump cover online. I have an email into Eheim, but I am not too hopeful. Unfortunately the plumbing I purchased was sized to match the Eheim, and I believe the Magnus has a larger 1 1/4 output. Here's to hoping good thoughts for BRS's return policy and limited difficulty in shipping 58" pipes.

Next steps
I am continuing to cure the rocks and replace some of the hardware on the stand. I am debating dropping another couple hundred bucks on a chiller. The aquarium is going into a bonus room off the garage that is well-insulated and the temperatures here in Long Beach very moderate 350+ days a year. I don't have much of a frame of reference. My main display take is at my office which enjoys year round A/C and is on a trio of back up generators the size of a buick.

I also had a bit of an adventure in picking up a new sump, but that can wait for the next update ...

Thank you for following along on this little misadventure.
Oh oh... The moral of this story is to watch out for those slow days at work. Haha.

Great job so far! I look forward to seeing how this turns out!!
 

Katrina71

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This weekend I also made some progress on building the removable doors for the bonus tank. Time is of the essence as the little guy has discovered how much fun it is to scoop water from the ATO tank into the salt bucket.

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@GoVols check out the ORANGE!
 
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LBReefer

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I'm continuing to build out my low key, pod haven. This is a decidedly different approach to some of the other approaches I've seen. I'm hoping that a more natural, refugium like environment will lead to a high yield, low effort copepod factory.

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I'm planning for a deep sand bed ...

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