Angel box, heaven or hell??

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Have decided i will start my build thread.

Rather than bore everyone with a prologue to provide context, i will keep it brief and suffice to say that after my Wolf Cichlid passed away back in April("Agro" was cared for by me for 15yrs and approx 17-18yrs old on expiry @44cm length and 1.7kg) i had decided to convert his home and switch back to Marine using the existing Juwel 450 Vision, Canister filter and other running gear.
I have run 2 previous marine systems prior so do not regard myself as a total newb, each system was more complex than the previous, the first of which was FO, the next was probably regarded as FOWLR by Reef standards but did house Tubastrea and many Mushrooms, nems and was built from scratch by myself from the stand to the lighting hood with all glass cut to my dimensions and assembled by me in a 5 sided Corner style and approx 380 litres and i never not once lost a single fish.

Well the more i talked to people about my prospective conversion build, the more people fell silent at my idea of converting the Juwel. Canister filter was now a dirty word, nitrate factory they said, which made no sense to me at all, i ran my last marine system with zero issues for nearly 5 years until i had to move house, i used real LR and fed live foods almost exclusively. My opinion and proven through experience is a Canister filter is no different from any mechanical filter, socks or whatever, anyway i digress.
So a sump and all these fandangled things such as wave makers, what the heck is an Apex i asked myself, PAR what's that? apparently not something you call your grandfather lol, temperature controllers, dosers OMG like seriously what happened to this hobby?? the more i researched i discovered the marine aquarium world had made massive changes since i last ran a marine system and is now a well established commercial machine of enterprise, even protein skimmers had gone from something costing $100 with a lime-wood block to something worth potentially thousands of dollars, just wow.

Well a sump simply wont fit in a Juwel cabinet with all this new gear so i found myself and at crossroads.

So i chose a Waterbox 230.6, well they don't make them anymore, uugghhh, did not like the Red sea after reading reviews and seeing the asking price.
So right there and then my financial commitment turned from a minimal outlay to omg how do i hide this from the wife, how do i sell this as a great asset to justify the cost. Well i am not known for doing things by halves, if i commit, i am all in, oh dear my Aspiness is taking over again, lol i hate it when i do that, the more i research the more i spend.

So now its a custom build at Waterbox spec with dimension changes to suit rather than a commercial usual size. Final dimensions settled on are 1850mmL x 750mmW x 630mmH, full Starphire 19mm glass, black glass overflow, black painted rear glass panel, sump as per Waterbox 230.6 with manifold and separate ATO, full Marine ply stand sealed with black polyurethane ordered from Aquarium Gallery Perth on 12thMay. The build is made by FireAqua who also are the manufacturers of other top brand names i will not mention here.

The display arrived in my state Capital port last Thursday and the install date has been scheduled for the 25th of Aug so i have been a very patient customer and have been left with far too much time on my hands to devote myself to waay too much research and the spending of large sums, not going to detail the cost of my build, i need no reminder.

So along the way have selected and progressively been acquiring my running gear but to this point are not really entertaining a full aquarium controlled system.

Internal wave makers: 2 x R/O OP4
Return Pump: R/E RD3 DC 100W
Temp Controller: Aqualogic
Heaters: Schego x 2 300W
UV: Lifegard pro max 90W H/O 3"
Skimmer: R/E Supermarin 200 + R/E RD3
Lighting: 2 x Vipars 165W

Livestock: LPS and 2 Regal Angelfish with possible Majestics at later date.


The RD3 DC 100W return, breakdown and pics for those who may be interested.
DSC_0020.JPG

DSC_0019.JPG

DSC_0017.JPG

DSC_0015.JPG

DSC_0014.JPG

DSC_0012.JPG

DSC_0011.JPG

DSC_0022.JPG


[The R/E RD3 100W DC is a very substantially built pump and looks like it could outlast my lifetime, the motor block is very solid looking, as is from inspection every other facet of the pumps design, the impeller housing is either cast or machined from a solid block with the outlet solvent welded in place, the impeller shaft is impressive also at nearly 12mm thick. While they are not for everyone due to economics i do hope the outward indications of build quality overall are indicative of its service life capacity. The controller box is also solidly built with housing screws sealed in place as well, all electrical fittings and cables are soft and flexible indicating high quality multiple core wiring inside, not stiff and un-pliable. The owners manual is also well formatted with clear instruction for operation and maintenance.

Temp Controller and Schego Titanium Heaters:

DSC_0025.JPG


Not much to tell here but by reviews on Schego heaters and Aqualogic controllers i can keep the display running within 1.0 degree F or 0.17 degree C, i think this is more than good enough temp variance control. I have selected the 300W x 2 setup for redundancy, you may be thinking that 2 x 300w heaters are insufficient for my display. I live in Western Australia in a fairly temperate area, with reverse cycle aircon ducted throughout my home so the heaters will easily cope with the winter temp while in summer i expect the heaters to work at a minimum of activity.


Lifegard H/O Amalgam pro max 90w 3"

DSC_0027.JPG

DSC_0028.JPG

DSC_0029.JPG

DSC_0030.JPG

DSC_0031.JPG


For a UV sterilizer i can't really recommend the Lifegard Aquatics more strongly.
The reasons for the selection of this brand was due to 2 key factors being price vs Pentair and the fact that the Lifegard unit utilizes a replaceable and removable interior protective liner, making the unit completely serviceable. other factors are the rotating unions for positioning, High output amalgam globe and are available in both 3" and 5" casing diameters. The ballast also has a countdown day timer and alarm for when service is due. In the pics below of the globe and quartz sleeve you can see one of the two amalgam dots inside the globe.
This was a heavily researched topic for me before i purchased the unit, there are many factors to consider before you go and shell out for a UV system.
Against what BRS have done on their builds i chose the 3" model as dwell time for me was not as important as exposure, by that i mean the effective penetration and proximity of the bulb to water contact inside the case of which all water must pass, dwell time is simply adjusted by a ball valve on the outlet from my manifold.
Looking back now i am for sure glad i went with the 3" for the additional reason it is simply huge and there is no way this unit can be mounted correctly inside my cabinet both for function and or yearly maintenance, as such i will have to have this vertically mounted on the exterior of the cabinet. I can push over 3000 litres per hour with this unit and easily attain stage 3 sterilization, being on the manifold i can adjust as per my requirements for whatever dwell time and what it is i want to zap.

Scape:

scape2.jpg


Going to try to achieve as close as i can to this above, while i understand the perspective of man made reef rock etc, i will be using real live rock and NSW for water changes.
This may be a bit of a challenge as the advantages and flexibility creating forms in man made rock may be a bit of an ask using RLR.
Anyway sample pics from my supplier were sent through today of what is on offer.

LR1.jpg

LR2.jpg

LR3.png


The middle pic of the rock above is offshore rock and is less commonly available, fingers crossed i can get a really good cross section of material to use but by my scape looks like i am going to need a heap of shelf flat pieces.

Lighting:
Well we all know what Vipars look like, have 2 x 165w on hand but may purchase a third, i am undecided as to needing 3, will only be running LPS and Regal angels do not like bright light and are prone to hiding out due to it, or so i have read, only time will tell.
I do not like any of the options for hanging kits or aquarium glass mounts and want to be able to clear my lights when doing maintenance. In the end after much indecision i purchased two of these below, Neewer photography and studio wall mount booms and will be making a sliding frame so i can position the Vipars anywhere i want on the mount and also enable me to add a third unit in future. As to mounting height that is still unsettled, will check the Vipars vs height for light spill and go from there.

Neewer wall mount boom:
Some small modification may be necessary, primarily in possibly shortening the primary boom length, but these are more than sufficient to hold the Vipars weight, and hopefully won't look tacky.
light mount boom.jpg

I don't really have more than this to include, as my LFS is in possession of the R/E Supermarin 200 i cant upload pics or give any sort of comment, so i have to wait till the 25th of Aug to see if it was worth the considerable financial outlay, i am still borderline on whether this skimmer is too large for the bioload and may have to be feeding phyto and food heavily, we will see.

End Goal:
All of what you see above, the planning and components has by no means been easy to achieve with the current climate of the world but i have made it this far, there will be many of you already saying i am mad running Regals, Majestics and LPS, many of you reading this being entertained by my aspiring craziness, eating popcorn only to watch and say i told you so.
Not really caring as i have my plan and it has been thoroughly researched by myself over the last 3 months and since the very beginning i was committed to these two species. Only time will tell.

My end goal is to have my Regals breeding for home aquaculture. Impossible lol, well maybe but i just loooove a challenge. I have never taken the easy way out in my life and my life experience can by no means be assessed as ordinary and have decided to add this to my bucket list, i am more than aware of the needs of the environment the Regals prefer to breed in, so depth of the display may be a huge factor in any successful spawning, but nothing ventured, nothing gained. I will not write further as to the intricacies of pelagic spawning, its far too complex, suffice to say this is what i would like to achieve and am going to give it a solid crack, at worst i will successfully find ways that will not work and be able to add to the information available to aspiring home aquaculture of ornamental marine species.

Till next time then, will update pics on the day of Install.

Stay safe and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Regards
B.
 
Last edited:
Maxout

Gablami

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 14, 2017
Messages
1,314
Reaction score
1,921
That was quite a first post :). Very ambitious! When I read “livestock, LPS and regals and later a majestic” I was like :eek:! I wanna see how you do this....but I won’t be eating popcorn saying I told you so.

Had to do some conversion, but for those who don’t process metric, that’s about 72”x30”x24”. Great dimensions!
 
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Yes the year 2020 will forever be known as the year of the Murphy, we need to adjust the Chinese zodiac to accommodate it.
So Tuesday was a no go for install, go pushed till today Thursday 27th, Supermarin did not arrive on time for install, Live rock was not what i really expected either, nice quality just not big enough pieces, so my scape will be fine tuned and added to as i find the pieces i want, bit of a bummer, but gotta go with what is. Plumbing the UV has changed and will now be a hard plumbed return back to the display.
That display is incredibly heavy and not something i ever want to move.......ever. Rd3 return pump plumbing presented a few headaches that were eventually overcome after a few more trips to the irrigation supply shops.
Its done anyway, cloudy as hell but i guess i gotta take ownership of my short coming in my planning.
There is still many small things to address, spaghetti tidy up etc i guess everyone wishes it had gone smoother, shame when so much planning and prep goes in.

DSC_0039.JPG DSC_0040.JPG DSC_0041.JPG DSC_0042.JPG DSC_0043.JPG DSC_0044.JPG DSC_0050.JPG
 
https://www.youtube.com/c/ReefStache
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Thanks @Fishnut . I know the guys at Aquarium Gallery did the best they could, it was a long day for them too and must have been a little frustrating, mostly as i live in a regional area and they traveled along way to do my install over 250km one way, they brought so much extra stuff with them to try to be best prepared, but we were lucky at the end of the setup to find the fittings needed to get it over the line and running.
I may sound a bit flat and feel that way too, just tired, been a few long days, i know the system will be really nice once its settled in.
They told me about their next install tomorrow and showed me the pics, wow is all i can say when someone drops a hundred grand on a custom build, lol my whole system is smaller than the sump.
 
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Yeah I think the scape looks pretty cool. I think they did great.

Thanks, the whole install was pretty rushed, the plumbing absorbed far too much time and never really had the time to spend with the guys setting up the LR as i was back and forth trying to get plumbing supplies.
Water is still real cloudy this morning and its filling with decaying organics, so am piling in start up bacteria and unfortunately have got to fill the socks with carbon today, but no skimmer, there is nothing else i can do but watch and keep circulation up.

The two OP4's are running random at 50% and the 100W RD3 is at 70%
 
Aquashella
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Joined the R/E skimmer club today and finally took delivery of my Supermarin and RD3.
Did not hesitate to get it set up and running, cycling with live rock for me skimming is a must, read on and you will see why.
DSC_0055.JPG


So in the sump she goes and powered on, the Supermarin and RD3 are dead silent, the pic below is from less than 5 minutes of operation time while still playing with water level and air flow. Yep she is pulling crap already and check out that head;Woot
DSC_0056.JPG


I really cant believe how the Supermarin performs right out of the box, now break in just power on and out comes the crud, i am one very happy Supermarin owner, you know what, one of the best things i have found within 30 minutes of installation is that the Supermarin can be set easily to skim wet or dry, so if you think the Supermarin is only for wet skimming it is simply not true. These things are built solid too.

DSC_0058.JPG


Let it fill the cup and decided to wind it down so i don't have to monitor it while i am super wet skimming, here she is running drier and frothing at the bit.

DSC_0059.JPG


Will get it up on a plinth tomorrow and settle her in for set duty cycle of my liking, i simply love this thing, i did not really know what to expect, no matter how much you read or what tubes you watch, nothing really prepares for the performance these are capable of right out of the box, seriously i think this is THE single best investment of my build equipment.
Will try to sort out my UV plumbing later this week, just waiting for fittings to come in the mail, test kits and in really bad need of some extra felt socks, been cleaning the single one i have every 1 1/2 days before it is totally clogged.
 
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
time for an update, I just finished putting up my Vipars, did not take many pics.
Water parameters are progressing through the cycle fairly well ammonia is depleted to 0 and Nitrates are sky now, so am going to do a water change on Monday.
Am pretty happy with the box stock Vipars and have mounted them at 40cm which seems fairly even considering only 2 x 165 watt are covering a 185cm display. I may play with led and lenses but took all lenses off and whoah major light spill, I did not want them close to the water level, I hate having lights in my way for simple maintenance tasks and I get reasonable coverage without too much of a dance party so I am happy for now and will be more than good enough for my lps and regals, I will post again soon as have been lazy while letting the cycle run through. Bought a whole pile of Hanna gear I think 7 checkers and PWT.
So used a alloy flat bar 40mm x 10 mm x 1200mm and secured the Vipars to it, then tapped a thread to suit the Wall mount boom thingy to join the light bar to the boom arm, cut down the boom arms and support arms to suit my centre distance from wall to display, secured it into my brick wall with some 8mm x 65mm Coach bolts and bobs yer uncle. Oh and the Aquarium Gallery guys have still not returned my end cupboard for my cabinet;Yawn
20200918_205932.jpg
20200918_210008.jpg
20200918_210037.jpg
20200918_210054.jpg

great pic of my chinese laundry and my Russian Blue kitten;Wacky

I gotta laugh at myself for a bit, Royal Exc running gear and Vipars for lights,,,,,Scrooge McDuck
 
Zoanthids
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Time for an update, parameters have settled in nicely, have a nice set of Hanna checkers, have been buying plenty of frags and small colonies to get ready for my fishy additions. Mostly all lps barring a few encrusting monti. Have been testing with a few corals that were dying at lfs, the best resukt so far is from the Cynarina i rescued, its fully opening and filling now and looks really happy after careful placement and feeding, i guess i need a filter and macro lens now but live rock is recovering really well.
Livestock so far is just CUC.
2 x Collector Urchins
3 x Blue legged hermits
10 x Nassarius Snails
10 x Trochus Snails
2 x Sand Stars
Coral list so far. Not really easy to get wow factor coral despite being in Australia, most seems to be exported.
Screenshot_20201008-221337_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201014-071653_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201014-145323_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201015-144916_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201015-144955_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201017-143651_Gmail.jpg
Screenshot_20201017-143753_Gmail.jpg
Screenshot_20201017-143818_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201017-143832_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201017-143845_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201021-172056_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201021-172120_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201021-172254_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201021-172451_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201021-173649_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201022-080602_Samsung Internet.jpg
Screenshot_20201022-080616_Samsung Internet.jpg
 
OP
L

Lightspeed

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 15, 2020
Messages
226
Reaction score
316
Location
Western Australia
Ok so small 250 litre water change today, had a new tankmate turn up in the mail too, oh dear i really hope i don't regret this addition.
Apart from a few coral additions and a few fish there's not really much to tell, so sorry but it's not a very exciting update, Sort of happy with where i am at with the display as it is now still under 5 months old, so trying not to be too harsh on myself.
Have been using Coral Essentials Carb, Cal & Mag + trace, Hanna has me at approx 40ml per day to balance daily uptake and am also adding Coral Essentials Amino and Coral care 8 or 9 drops each per day. My KH director still has not turned up so manual dosing. Have been using Phyto for some time now, daily doses and a bit of Red Sea amino also is interchanged with the Coral Essentials stuff.
Not going to go through a list of what i have stocked in Fish or coral, am still waiting to get Regals and or Majestics.
Food wise i am just feeding my seafood blend with some Vitalis and boosted brine all soaked in aminos daily, roughly 3 feeds per day and pretty generous feedings, so due to this po4 has been sometimes hard to balance, although i think its mostly me freaking out un necessarily as my phosphorous levels to date have never been higher than 17ppb. I do notice that the LPS do seem to like higher levels, but i am doing weekly water changes anyway,,,, well just because i can really as i get in 1000L NSW at a time to get me through a month of changes. Kind of would like to try a refugium but the waterbox sump needs to be modded,,,uugghh, have a reactor but is unused at this point, also thinking of an X filter and re doing the sump and ditching the socks, no biggy changing the socks every 2 or 3 days and saving my amphipods from my primary, there's always at least 10 of all sizes in there.

So still cant figure photo's, tried a pro version camera on my note and that sucks, so back to the dslr and that just tells me i cant take pics...lol, was thinking of spending up on a macro but cant seem to use the lenses i have:rolleyes:
pt2.jpg
DSC_0147.JPG
DSC_0155.JPG
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

    Votes: 14 2.4%
  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 357 62.4%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 147 25.7%
  • Mostly White

    Votes: 44 7.7%
  • All White

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 1.6%

New Posts

SaltwaterAquarium.com
Top