Aquatop 40gallon Recife ECO setup

abhemet

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years ago I had a 125 gallon reef tank back when power compacts and berlin style sumps were the thing to have. Well we went on vacation and someone was watching the tank for me. Some how the lights fell into the tank broke and killed the fish and corals. So no more reef tank and I walked away from the hobby. I am thinking it had to be 10- 15 years ago. Anyway back then it seems like there wasn't as much info as now. The information was from LFS and forums like this one here. So I am on youtube some how come across waterbox video and started watching a few of there there series I thought ok I will get another big tank give it go. The boss said no then I seen a series on nano tanks. i went to talk with the Dream killer about maybe doing one those. it wasn't a no. Alright time submit my plan to get PO signed off by CFO( aka Dream killer). Step1 tell her my plan. So we went online showed her what I was thinking. So far she was onboard. Then the price came up as I was listing out what I needed before I even get see any corals or fish in the tank. This Slowed the process for a bit. We didn't talk about for a long while this was November 2019. So I decided to buy things on the downlow. I bought reflactometer one day. Then I bought a couple brute trash cans one month. Then few month later I bought tub of salt. By this time it February 2020. So march rolls around and I decided to get RO/DI unit. I got 100gpd 6 six stage one from BRS. So stuff is in closet waiting to be used. Now stuff has come to stand still. Because of this thing that's going on right now the pandemic. So Boss is working at home part the time wants revamp our freshwater tanks. So we spent some time doing that from march until now. in the mean time maybe august i bought some more parts a couple float valves, t-switch RO tubing. In Nov. I got MJ pump and heater for my mixing station I was assembling. The reef tank train is moving slow at this time. Then my work gives me some money for working during this pandemic to show there appreciation. So I told the boss I am getting my tank. So went to few LFS that do saltwater. I was leaning towards a water box or JBJ. The wife liked both. But I didn't quiet have the scratch for the ones I wanted. So then I was leaning towards a SCA 150gallon. It was on sale for cyber Monday but I didn't have the money I needed until Friday that same week. I was hope I could get it but alas no go. Then I figured I would get a 40 or 50 or 60. Showed the wife. She wanted to see a similar one. to get idea. So we found another LFS that sold similar tanks. Went saw it was almost a done deal. I was going to get SCA online since these similar one were almost twice as much. The LFS went to we haven't been there in years and its where bought corals live rock and saltwater fish years ago. One of the owners came in remember us. Started talking to us asked us what had happened. Tom him the story. He said he was just in here to pull some tanks out for a Christmas sale. There 4 different tanks and weren't displayed on the floor. He only a couple of each. he said if wait a bit he would pull them out display them. Two were aquatops 24g and 40g. the others were bio cubes and other smaller AIO of some kind. He went over each first then the prices. AT 40g was the right price and the wife liked the look. So talked outside in private for bit. We decided bite the bullet if anything it could expense fowler tank I guess. Didnt have big enough car to bring it home. So I had to come back the next day and pick it up. So It sat in box for a couples days in my living room waiting to figure out plan where to put it. order some carib sea special grade sand. Then I went outside to take look at my rock from old tank years ago. Pressure washed it and scrubbed. Then did some research if it was possible to use it. It was But it was long process and it was going to take a least 2-3 month before it could be ready to go into the tank. If you have been reading this has been in the making since nov 2019 and have been slow process and CFO isn't into doling out more money. So I bought some dry base rock 40 lbs. Cleaned it with pressure hose and water put on a table to dry off. Things are moving still no sand yet. I did really like the return and the way you had to take it apart to service it. So I went to LFS in san diego and went to look at bulk heads to see if one would fit on my tank. So I bought smallest one which and some tubing a elbow a tee and locline and couple stream spreaders went back home. The wasn't even close. So I have brand new tank with no water or anything in it and I was going mod it. So I found appropriate hole saw the bulkhead cut a piece of wood into a maybe 4" 4" square took it inside and put were the output line hole is and traced it. Went back out cut out hole the bulk head size. Then came back put my jig over the hole and line the bottoms of the holes and clamped it on there. The moment of truth grabbed my drill with hole saw put it in the hole and began to drill. It was pretty terrify. So here we go went really slow then fast. It worked new hole bulkhead fits. Still no sand. Decided do some research on aqua scaping since I have been out the hobby for awhile. Watch some NSA videos. Alright I am going t try this. order Marcos mortar and some glue. Broke up my base rock started working on it. many hours later it still looks like a pile of rocks at least it won't fall over. Sand finally came time to setup this up. But I had do some moving around of some things. Alright tank in place time for a leak test. No leaks. Rocks and sand and saltwater. Look s good. Time to do a fishless cycle which I have been reading about. Since taking damsel just putting them in there is out now and live rock is no longer a thing either. So I decided I would use Tims one and only. After a couple days looking at the tank with the lights i was sure about them didn't like the way look and you couldn't adjust them. So I was thinking about maybe putting some hydras or red sea on it. But that's way down the road with my budget I am working with. So I was on mission to get this tank cycled. Found a place in Palm desert Zen aquatics that I have never been to before and they had Dr. Tims one and only. Pretty nice store. Then I saw that they had Maxspect MJ-L165 led there. I had just watched video on reefbuilders channel about these products. Told wife about them showed here one his tanks setup with one on it. Went up to counter got the one and only and ammonia stuff and the wife said aren't going to get the light. The wife was feeling generous that day. maybe since the grandson was with us. Biting the bullet again with another product thats pretty new. Let fishless cycle begin... this getting long

40g3.jpg 40g15.jpg 40g2.jpg 40g7.jpg 40g1.jpg 40g5.jpg 40g11.jpg 40g10.jpg 40g12.jpg 40g13.jpg 40g14.jpg 40g16.jpg
 
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abhemet

abhemet

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Here is few pics with the new lights maxspect MJ-L165
 

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abhemet

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After 7 days of fishless xycle everything appeared good so i got a couple clown fish and did drip acclimatization. Next get some powerheads. Build power station/control board to wrangle the cables.
 

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abhemet

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So last night i thought I would turn on the light for a bit to see if the clowns would stop acting weird. They did. So one them decided to swin down to bottom and all sudden he shot up and jumped. He hit the side of the glass. It Must have scared him. He was stunned for a little under minute. Now they to be acting normal. I guess shouldn't have put that jump guard into the universe.
 
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abhemet

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nice. have the same tank.
is your skimmer working properly?
it seems to be taking out stuff. I read alot that it doesn't work well. I got the 2nd version with my tank. Kind of looked online for better one but there dosen't seem to be any that fit in the back. Its only been for a couple of weeks. Just got a couple clown fish in it. Still a work in progress.
 
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abhemet

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small up date no pics busy with life and work. Hopefully on my days off I can get some more stuff done on the tank. But really I can't do much at this time playing the waiting game. Doing the second cycle method I watched on brs channel keeping the tank dark until this second cycle is done. Only turning on the lights when I feed the fish. I was going to turn on the lights but after watching so many videos and seeing posts in different groups of people and there new setups. See all the problems people are having with diatoms, hair algae just some ugly stuff that happens in tank when they finish there cycle I am thinking its best to wait. The fish don't seem to mind. So the goal of this week is to install the powerheads I ordered setup a schedule and figure out what all these different waves do and how much I am going to have to reduce or turn up the flow to get the right turn over for the type of tank I am leaning towards. Maybe make a control board if I have time so i can wrangle the cords in nice orderly fashion. Do water change some testing maybe get a couple of fish. I am thinking April I will turn on the lights. So from now until then I will be getting more fish and inverts and a cleanup crew when i need them. Shooting for April to put the first coral in. Still alot of learning to do. The hobbly has changed so much compared to when I had my first reef tank over 15 years ago. Alot more info about it and how to do it(recipes, methods, best practices) The price tag for this hobby has sky rocketed. It was expense back then for fish and corals but now it cost at least 3X more maybe even higher for some things. At least i got the basic equipment mostly taking care of and since my tank is AIO small I am pretty limited to and can't get all crazy on the equipment. iam sure there's a much more cost effect way of doing this hobby but from what I have seen its a lot more work. Well I rambled enough. Time for work.
 
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abhemet

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Another small up date. Yesterday started cutting for control board. Stiil need to cut some holes and paint it and take some pics. Also after i got done with getti g my car serviced. Went to the pet store and got a couple Bangi Cardnals.
 

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abhemet

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Today added two AI Nero 3 pumps. The clowns appear to like them. Took a while to figure out how to anti sync them not sure i did that right Now there programmed and on schedule.
 

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abhemet

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been awhile since I posted. added some more fish haven't had time to take pics. Finally turned on the lights after 4 months. Added 3 coral frags not sure what they are. Still learning how to take pics of the tank with phone. but seem to be doing well. Hopefully I will get some more soon. maybe this sale that's going on right now.

coral2.jpg
coral1aquarmium.jpg

coral3.jpg
 
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abhemet

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Well after work yesterday went to local store(Deep Sea Creations) and got 3 more corals. It turns out this store is only a couple minutes from my work. Might be good thing or bad thing. I guess I will see how it goes. I got t hammer coral frag that had two heads, Some kind of polyps on a rock, and 5 polyp Zoa of some kind. Hopefully I can get some picks.
 
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