And so it begins...

TriggerFinger

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My dad had a 75g show tank when I was younger, kept it running for about 10 years. I was familiar with the dedication to reef tanks and thought, how hard can it be?? I started reading R2R and figured out it’s not as easy as the tv show Tanked made it sound and my dad took a rather hands off approach. His tank ended up being overrun by bubble algae and mushrooms and his green brittle star grew huge and started eating fish. By the time we figured out it was the star, the star and a rather large hippo tang were the last inhabitants. He sold the whole set up to a LFS and that was that.

I had my first baby in February 2017. She was 9 weeks early and spent her first 6 weeks in the special care nursery. I spent my days in the nursery too with a 2lb baby girl. When we finally brought her home she slept literally all day and night and only woke to eat every three hours...that’s when I got hooked on Tanked and decided I needed a reef tank.

Fast forward to June 2018 and I found a complete 90g reef ready setup. Offered the guy $250 and he took it, sweet!!
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I loaded up my sisters Tahoe and took it all home to see what I got.
608636A1-FD84-4DFC-887B-CA5E4261E420.jpeg EAD686A3-0F02-4A93-8397-49EFA007C9CC.jpeg

The stand was roached and I didn’t care for a lot of the equipment but there was about 100lbs of nice looking rock. Not so sweet deal...but oh well. I pretty much got the tank and the rock for what I paid and a few other miscellaneous things.

The rock had a lot of those spiral shelled worms and dried algae and dead bivalves. I powerwashed it, put it in a brute with vinegar and tap water and a power head in the garage for a month or so, changing the water and vinegar every other day the first week. The smell was horrendous...the rock still had quite a bit of algae on it and some stench so I bleached it and sun dried it all summer.

79D76D52-BC89-49C7-92DE-1E799538F17E.jpeg 41A19958-2F67-4CED-94BE-D8B55CE91514.jpeg 236DF3B0-BB07-4152-88ED-BF3ED4907CB3.jpeg

Before winter hit I started taking the rock in the basement and added it to a brute with saltwater, ammonia, bottled bacteria and a mag pump. I also built the stand during the summer.
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TBC...
 
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TriggerFinger

TriggerFinger

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I refinished my kitchen cabinets 5 years ago and used general finishes gel stain. It’s a great stain and turned out beautiful but I can only get it an hour away. I ended up getting “varathane” from Home Depot 5 minutes up the road. I hated it. It was messy and drippy and both colors I bought were ugly. Mixing them together made a pretty nice color though. Again, the varathane top coat was crappy so I ended up driving the hour to get my trusty general finishes top coat. I used oil based white kilz for the inside of the stand, 2 or 3 coats. At last, it was finished and moved to the basement to cure. Overall I’m mostly satisfied with how it turned out. Already know more than a few things I will change for the next tank. This one is also waaayyy too tall. 97604448-3652-4D90-8A89-0735B2F7797C.jpeg 34BF7F35-2977-4A57-9549-D467C583279C.jpeg DFD20EB8-AE3D-49CF-A827-1A499FDB5B7B.jpeg

Here’s my kitchen cabinets 5 years after refinishing. I love them.
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So I started gathering supplies. I ordered sand, powerheads, heaters, a return pump and more stuff...I acquired a 30g from a freshwater friend and decided I needed to get Liverock before it got too cold. Winters in the Midwest are very cold and I just knew this tank would be “ready” in a couple short months time. Why not get the live rock now and keep it in the 30g? Ordered 15lb kp aquatics Liverock. Setting the 30g up I realized the aqua top heater that came with the set up was faulty and I shocked the ish out of myself. This was around midnight the night I ordered the rock and it would be at my door in about 9 hours. Petco saved the day and I was able to get my rock in warmish water. The rock is great! I left it dark for around a month. I decided to set up the only light I had, a 300w mars hydro grow light. This created hairy glass within a week. It was odd that the rocks never grew algae, just the glass. *knock on wood* C43571ED-413F-45D6-89F3-1C85D8E698FA.jpeg 00883E8B-8920-44F2-BFD1-EC93D44C134A.jpeg 19F2E87C-0B19-4503-A3A5-09F7E1DC7D0F.jpeg
 
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TriggerFinger

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I ordered A Lumi light 50/50 pro strip and took down the mars light. I also drained the tank and scraped the glass of the hair algae. New saltwater in and off to the fish store I went. Came home with a tiny starry blenny and acclimated my first fish! I love this fish! He has so much personality. He loves his barnacle cluster and sleeps in it every night. 96A204AB-5A6E-4AD5-BDD1-3B675F6B78FE.jpeg

Little fella didn’t eat for about 5 days so a lot of food went uneaten. Film algae started on the glass so I got some snails and Hermits. Picked up frozen brine with algae and he started eating that with gusto.
87A27CB8-D763-4F89-9C82-51CC4FCEFC0E.jpeg A3CCD4F9-50CA-43BC-8F39-41E5224F6623.jpeg 177E5727-A04B-4449-8B22-CCBBC4A511D1.jpeg

I let Fella adjust for a while, he was quite the chicken. Some time later I got a couple different mushrooms from the lfs. Easy ones, not the crazy $700 ones. Aiptasia started popping up so I got 2 peppermint shrimp. Bye bye aiptasia! *knock on wood*

I was ordering more equipment every so often and ended up getting a HOB skimmer for the 30g. It’s been running smoothly for about 7 months now...remember how I said I KNEW the big tank would be ready right at the start of winter? Hah...how wrong I was. I kept discovering all the new stuff I needed!

It’s taken me quite a while to gather everything I needed for the 90g. I got a bigger sump, a better skimmer and new lights. The back of my stand is open so I cut a hole in the basement wall and have access from back there. I like it, much easier than squeezing between tiny doors like on the stand that came with the tank.
1BEDC6CC-984F-4B6D-99DF-0D39B8672C12.jpeg C7D3F483-13DC-45AF-A86B-3D6EF8D3BE41.jpeg
Peel and stick rubber roofing material was used to cover the exposed wood frame of my wall surrounding the back of the tank.

C9034E9A-7CE1-48FE-9925-7C81DDD3E26E.jpeg
 
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TriggerFinger

TriggerFinger

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The past 6 months I was hauling new saltwater and top off from the fish store. I got tired of it after the first few times...I also kept buying stuff every time I went. I now have 5 different basic mushrooms. Who needs that many basic mushrooms? I was gifted a nice candy cane and Monti cap by a local reefer so at least that’s something different. Decided to get a 6 stage deluxe plus rodi from good ole BRS. Had a hose spigot ran to the basement for the rodi. Built a stand to mount it on since I wasn’t comfortable drilling into the concrete walls. 7A12F37C-3484-48A6-BED9-08049794BB6A.jpeg 9305D8EE-C41C-4D6D-B88D-22D69CE2B2DF.jpeg

Much better than hauling water from the LFS. There was a couple leaks with this unit, BRS sent me a couple new parts and it’s working fine now.

I made water, hooked up the plumbing and filled the tank to check for leaks. It leaked around both bulkheads, I took it apart, cleaned the glass and did it again. So far so good. So the tank has been running with saltwater and my precycled rock for a couple weeks. I put filter a filter sock to catch debris and the socks have been pretty gross.

I ordered 40lbs caribsea live special grade and 30lbs dry tropic eden. I rinse all the sand in tap water...the live sand had a lot more silt and gray water than the dry sand did. Note to self, stick with dry sand. Easier to clean and MUCH cheaper.

My first aquascape attempt was with a tank full of water. Terrible idea; everything is distorted, I got soaked and it didn’t turn out at all like I wanted. 2CB6E1BB-A40E-4DD1-BA23-8793A3598C5B.jpeg 9EEE38E2-32B5-4372-8473-9EAB49E68A19.jpeg

I have two 32g brutes so I drained as much as I could into those and rescaped and added the sand. We mounted tv brackets to the wall for my viparspectra LEDs. This brings us to present day...
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I need to do some serious wire management. I have to program the lights. I need a couple parts for the skimmer. I also need to move everything from the 30g to the big tank, mushrooms, clean up crew, corals and live rock. I think I need a wavemaker on the back wall.

I recently found out I’m pregnant again so everything will be slow going for a while longer...

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2504C3C4-C602-47B9-87AA-2B0DB1CE9907.jpeg
 
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TriggerFinger

TriggerFinger

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So my drain pipe goes into a sock in the sump. It’s a Durso drain and yes it’s noisy but I don’t mind it. What I do mind is all the splashing coming out of the sock. It’s getting water and salt everywhere. I’ve tried adjusting the flow, the height of the drain in the overflow box and the height of the drain pipe from the bulk head into the sock. I need a cover that fits snug onto the 1” pvc drain pipe and covers a 4”x3” opening in the sump. The splashing is the same without the sock. Ideas? 4FCC5285-87A0-4BC6-A048-4E754EFA77C8.jpeg
E9941615-DBE4-4D72-B210-B1DC85B5D5BE.jpeg
 
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TriggerFinger

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So I’m back over a year since the last post on this thread. I had a baby and didn’t do really anything with the tank for 9 months. I left the large 90g running and just did manual top off and fed a couple hermits a couple times a month. The 30g also stayed running with my blenny and a few corals. Neither of these tanks have skimmers, socks or refugiums so they were very low maintenance.

To recap the last few months, I’ve gone from one fish to 4. I got a massive red serpent star, an order from reef cleaners and oh too many coral. a new sump was installed; needs some changing; more on that later. My lights were turned on and programmed and I had an outbreak of brown hair algae looking stuff show up pretty quickly. It looked like diatoms at first but got hairy, fast. I panicked a bit and decided to try vibrant and then placed my reef cleaners order. I dosed 8ml for a 90g display with 30g sump. I figured 8ml was a conservative dose for roughly 110g of water. Reef cleaners came a couple day later and all the critters were added to the tank. Disclaimer: I did not test my water after the initial cycle so I had no idea what my parameters were when I added the vibrant. The hairy brown algae and my coraline vanished in a matter of a week. My clean up crew are various snails, a conch, hermits, a couple porcelain crabs and starfish. Nothing that eats coraline...it just faded to white and disappeared. Vibrant maybe? I don’t know...

So...that’s where I’m at now.
my current livestock:
4” starry blenny
3” lightning maroon (needs to be caught from 30g and moved to 90g)
3” ruby head fairy wrasse
2” carpenter flasher wrasse
Massive red serpent star (Kraken)
Hermits
All the snails except nerites
Scarlett hermits
2 porcelain crabs

zoas, candy cane, 1 hammer, 1 chalice, 1 pectenia, multiple (easy) acros, montis, acans and a couple other other miscellaneous pieces.

My short term goals are:
-get in the habit of testing my parameters on a regular basis
-Hook up the skimmer (maybe? Nutrients are quite low so I’m hoping the new fish will help raise them some)
-rearrange my sump and plumbing
-add the clownfish to the display-she’s quite content where she is and refuses to be caught.
-grow coraline

I know a build thread is worthless without pics...I’ll add them when I have more time.


@fishguy242 @ReefGrammie :p
 
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TriggerFinger

TriggerFinger

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ok caught up,nice,excellent job on kit cabs ;) hint on socks,cut a piece of acrylic to slide over sock with u cut in for pipe,and.........get your build badge;)following:)
That sump was such a pain, I upgraded and cut the crappy one up to make frag racks. More on the new sump later, with pics!
 

ReefGrammie

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Yay!! Great thread! We are very much alike...except I'm a "few" years older! Did I ever mention I have triplet sons? Born at 29 weeks, 5 days? I can tell you all about long NICU stays...my tiny 2-pound boys are now grown men with kids of their own! It goes by SO fast.

We both have a 90 with a 30-gallon sump.

We have a "thing" for red serpent stars (and wrasses)! I'm glad Kraken is doing well. Yeah, you have to stay away from those green brittle stars. Those things can be awful! Sorry you had to go through that with your dad's tank. That would have made me crazy.

I'll definitely be following along! ;Joyful
 
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TriggerFinger

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Yay!! Great thread! We are very much alike...except I'm a "few" years older! Did I ever mention I have triplet sons? Born at 29 weeks, 5 days? I can tell you all about long NICU stays...my tiny 2-pound boys are now grown men with kids of their own! It goes by SO fast.

We both have a 90 with a 30-gallon sump.

We have a "thing" for red serpent stars (and wrasses)! I'm glad Kraken is doing well. Yeah, you have to stay away from those green brittle stars. Those things can be awful! Sorry you had to go through that with your dad's tank. That would have made me crazy.

I'll definitely be following along! ;Joyful
Triplets?! And tiny ones?! Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine. I was such a basket case with my daughter, three would have pushed me over the edge. I’m so glad they are healthy now! ;Smug We were fortunate enough she didn’t need to be sent to the NICU, she remained in a “transitional” type nursery that’s usually for babies who only need a couple extra days in the hospital before they go home. I will never forget the Doctors and Nurses who cared for her, they are the most wonderful, caring and strongest people in the entire world...well, you understand:)
We’re almost living the same life!! Do you have a massive hairy white dog too? ;Hilarious
 
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these pictures will give you an idea of the brown hairy algae and the coraline I once had before vibrant( it wasn’t a lot but my rocks weren’t white like they are now)
B8F30BB7-4AF5-45F0-80D9-B30E0EE24FF1.jpeg
6D56F800-4877-4B25-8DE8-71E8AF90477A.jpeg
2BD144BE-0652-4CE6-94E3-16401D861D4A.jpeg

my first zoas, Rastas and a no name bright orange/pink.
7101EAA7-9447-4410-BF5B-2A4907ABC7C6.jpeg
3BA8ABB1-FE64-4BC5-8C00-26ACAE2B8271.jpeg


My first online coral order from Aqua SD.
FB9DE98A-42D4-411B-9C02-62CF9848F93F.jpeg

E3FEC6A6-50DD-40F0-A4BF-A227D22B540D.jpeg
My lightning maroon, she’s a beauty :)
970AA775-4D7B-4F71-A1EB-4E958707522C.jpeg
D54AF2C2-0269-479E-B960-674BBD1F61AE.jpeg

The Duncan came from Aqua SD. It got brown jelly on the smallest head and melted away in a couple days...I loved that Duncan :(
7D55FDC9-96F4-4A98-8865-6F4F2DE93A79.jpeg
the only full tank shot I have at the moment. This was before vibrant and reef cleaners, you can see the brown fuzz all over the rocks. Never went anywhere else, I wonder if it’s something leaching from the rocks that was fueling the growth? Not sure, at any rate the fuzz is gone for now.
AF5CBD42-FE9C-4D68-91C0-F6B2FDF1B01F.jpeg

this is another coral pack I bought from an R2R member. Look at those digis!! They’re so fluffy, they might be my favorite coral;Happy
821937C8-C330-4751-85CB-FA34F733E131.jpeg

I THOUGHT I found a jellyfish and was so excited. Turns out hydroids have a phase that look like jellyfish...bummer...
90C93F9E-AE09-49C9-8BA2-50182C805809.jpeg

This is Kraken. I was on a waitlist for MONTHS at 4 fisher stores local to me. I FINALLY found one and had to have it. It’s huge and I love her.
B1AB615E-7889-4E10-95C4-3E145E00F02E.jpeg

reef cleaners porcelain crab. Feisty little guy, swipes at anyone who gets close and argues with Kraken and hermits over food.
F80F3810-8A31-4691-9BD4-51E641B6979B.jpeg
CB3E92D9-2918-48DD-B362-41CD842F335F.jpeg

I routinely forget when I’m making water, I’ve flooded the basement more times than I care to admit.
2FC34DD9-CAFD-4C5E-9852-5363D617EE50.jpeg
Recent pic with kraken...and ugly white rocks :(
B8AF6F5F-5BF2-4A68-8C26-44470DBC6EAD.jpeg

My newest fish and more I got white rocks. The orenji monti in the back is slowly bleaching...related to low nutrients I believe.
FA13615B-AFED-46D2-8A13-BB49C1AE266C.jpeg
AF451504-65C0-466E-B07C-6F1A2ED146E4.jpeg

ok @LRT...that’s all the photos I have for now. Proof enough that this all happened?!;Smuggrin
 

LRT

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these pictures will give you an idea of the brown hairy algae and the coraline I once had before vibrant( it wasn’t a lot but my rocks weren’t white like they are now)
B8F30BB7-4AF5-45F0-80D9-B30E0EE24FF1.jpeg
6D56F800-4877-4B25-8DE8-71E8AF90477A.jpeg
2BD144BE-0652-4CE6-94E3-16401D861D4A.jpeg

my first zoas, Rastas and a no name bright orange/pink.
7101EAA7-9447-4410-BF5B-2A4907ABC7C6.jpeg
3BA8ABB1-FE64-4BC5-8C00-26ACAE2B8271.jpeg


My first online coral order from Aqua SD.
FB9DE98A-42D4-411B-9C02-62CF9848F93F.jpeg

E3FEC6A6-50DD-40F0-A4BF-A227D22B540D.jpeg
My lightning maroon, she’s a beauty :)
970AA775-4D7B-4F71-A1EB-4E958707522C.jpeg
D54AF2C2-0269-479E-B960-674BBD1F61AE.jpeg

The Duncan came from Aqua SD. It got brown jelly on the smallest head and melted away in a couple days...I loved that Duncan :(
7D55FDC9-96F4-4A98-8865-6F4F2DE93A79.jpeg
the only full tank shot I have at the moment. This was before vibrant and reef cleaners, you can see the brown fuzz all over the rocks. Never went anywhere else, I wonder if it’s something leaching from the rocks that was fueling the growth? Not sure, at any rate the fuzz is gone for now.
AF5CBD42-FE9C-4D68-91C0-F6B2FDF1B01F.jpeg

this is another coral pack I bought from an R2R member. Look at those digis!! They’re so fluffy, they might be my favorite coral;Happy
821937C8-C330-4751-85CB-FA34F733E131.jpeg

I THOUGHT I found a jellyfish and was so excited. Turns out hydroids have a phase that look like jellyfish...bummer...
90C93F9E-AE09-49C9-8BA2-50182C805809.jpeg

This is Kraken. I was on a waitlist for MONTHS at 4 fisher stores local to me. I FINALLY found one and had to have it. It’s huge and I love her.
B1AB615E-7889-4E10-95C4-3E145E00F02E.jpeg

reef cleaners porcelain crab. Feisty little guy, swipes at anyone who gets close and argues with Kraken and hermits over food.
F80F3810-8A31-4691-9BD4-51E641B6979B.jpeg
CB3E92D9-2918-48DD-B362-41CD842F335F.jpeg

I routinely forget when I’m making water, I’ve flooded the basement more times than I care to admit.
2FC34DD9-CAFD-4C5E-9852-5363D617EE50.jpeg
Recent pic with kraken...and ugly white rocks :(
B8AF6F5F-5BF2-4A68-8C26-44470DBC6EAD.jpeg

My newest fish and more I got white rocks. The orenji monti in the back is slowly bleaching...related to low nutrients I believe.
FA13615B-AFED-46D2-8A13-BB49C1AE266C.jpeg
AF451504-65C0-466E-B07C-6F1A2ED146E4.jpeg

ok @LRT...that’s all the photos I have for now. Proof enough that this all happened?!;Smuggrin
:) plenty of proof it's all happening lol.
How was your experience with Vibrant? Safe for shrooms?
After I made the recent move to crushed coral I've had an explosion of really fine reddish brown hair algae everywhere and it's annoying.
Probably should have taken your advice about soaking in in fritz for awhile.
Was looking at possibly Microbactor Clean. I cant stand looking at this algae anymore and am about to bite the bullet!
 
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@LRT I won’t use vibrant again. I really think it’s what wiped out my coraline. How? I don’t know..nothing else happened that would cause it. And like I said, not sure what I had growing but I think the clean up crew is responsible for removing it and not the vibrant. This tank doesn’t have any shrooms, my shrooms are all in my 30g. Because of how they’ve spread, I won’t move them to the big tank. They aren’t fancy, just provide movement in the observation tank. I have a full bottle (minus 8ml) if you want it. Send me a PM with your address and I can send it your way. It’s been stored in my windowless basement for a few months, a cool 68 degrees down there. I would up your clean up crew before trying anything like this to be honest.
 

BighohoReef

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:) plenty of proof it's all happening lol.
How was your experience with Vibrant? Safe for shrooms?
After I made the recent move to crushed coral I've had an explosion of really fine reddish brown hair algae everywhere and it's annoying.
Probably should have taken your advice about soaking in in fritz for awhile.
Was looking at possibly Microbactor Clean. I cant stand looking at this algae anymore and am about to bite the bullet!
Not sure how fluconazole works on RHA but it wiped out the GHA that was encroaching on my clove rock. I could not get rid of it tried vibrant dosing for several weeks, hydrogen peroxide scrubs, if the fluconazole didn't do the trick acid was next lol.
 

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@LRT I won’t use vibrant again. I really think it’s what wiped out my coraline. How? I don’t know..nothing else happened that would cause it. And like I said, not sure what I had growing but I think the clean up crew is responsible for removing it and not the vibrant. This tank doesn’t have any shrooms, my shrooms are all in my 30g. Because of how they’ve spread, I won’t move them to the big tank. They aren’t fancy, just provide movement in the observation tank. I have a full bottle (minus 8ml) if you want it. Send me a PM with your address and I can send it your way. It’s been stored in my windowless basement for a few months, a cool 68 degrees down there. I would up your clean up crew before trying anything like this to be honest.
That's what I was worried about. I have a ton of coraline algae and my wife would disown me if anything happened lol.
 
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