Because apparently there are aren't enough 40 Breeder builds

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
I've had several different builds in the past (a 75g mixed reef and a nano mantis reef being my favorites), but I've always eyed the 40 Breeder. There's a reason they are so popular. Let's let the pictures do the talking!

Equipment:
Generic 40B glass aquarium
Modular Marine 800 GPH overflow
300w Viparspectra LED unit (yep, a generic black box LED)
2 x Jebao OW-25's
2 x Eheim 150 watt Heaters on an inkbird controller
Bubble Magus Curve 5 Skimmer
Sicce Syncra 2.0 return pump
ATO from autotopoff dot com

I put a lot of thought into where I'd get my rock from. I've done dry rock in the past and was never really satisfied with the lack of life on it even after it matures. So I went with uncured live rock from KPaquatics. Not gonna beat a dead horse (too much), but UPS really screwed me on this one. They were a day and a half late getting this delivered (was shipped next day air). The UPS driver asked that I open it when she dropped it off, because she wanted to mark it as damaged. She was literally gagging from 10 feet away. I have to say Philipp from KP is an awesome, super swell and neat guy, and I wouldn't hesitate to go through them again. These issues were solely on UPS, not KP.

Live Rock 4-30-2020 (2).JPG
Live Rock 4-30-2020 (5).JPG
Live Rock 4-30-2020.JPG


Because most people like equipment pics. I used that ATO a couple times now. Not fancy, but it works really well (plus its got the safety backup).

Oddly enough, that skimmer broke in in about 4-5 days and has been pulling some nice brown nonsense out. It's only sitting in about 5-6" of water, but so far this depth is perfect, I feel it's easier to tune at this height.

IMG_E2430.JPG
IMG_E2431.JPG


This is the overflow from Modular Marine. Considering the price, this actually the only thing that bothers me like the live rock situation. Not sure how the bigger models are, but this is the smallest model and all three drain holes at the bottom of the exterior box line right up to where the bulkheads are from the aquarium side. I had to get really creative to plumb all three drains. Its definitely the most quiet overflow I've seen, but I'm not sure I'd go with them again.
IMG_E2432.JPG


So here's the biggest question for now........ I found two aquascapes I really like and cant decide which one I like the most. I'm leaving towards the second pic, I like that there is more room for flow, but I'd be curios to see what you all think. BTW, Im trying to work on the picture colors. I do tend to run my LEDs a little on the bluer side, but not as blue as the pics make it looks.

IMG_2414.JPG
IMG_E2427.JPG


A few more angles, because, why not :)



IMG_E2434.JPG


IMG_E2428.JPG
IMG_E2433.JPG


So that's it for now. Today was a little bit of a turning point. After the live rock got here, I went through 150 gallons of water changes in 4 days, and the ammonia levels were still through the roof. So much so that I thought the test kit was busted (To confirm, I mixed and tested 0.5 ml of tank water with 4.5 ml of fresh saltwater multiple times, which tested at 1 ppm Ammonia at one point). However, today at the 10 day mark, tank levels are at about 0.75 and were reading high nitrites. So not too much going on, but I think its looking pretty cool and I and my kids are pretty excited about it.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
I lost a ton of coralline, easily 90% of it, but Im sure it'll regrow. I also haven't found a single bristleworm. There is one little brown urchin still running around, I have no idea how she is till alive, and three snails I threw in the fuge section.
 
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
The guy that runs KP, Philipp, is a great guy. He took the time to call me a couple times and check in to see how things were going. He actually offered to take things a step farther to makes things right, but I told him it wasn't fair to hold him responsible for UPS's faults. There's more to the story, but I just really liked the interaction with him. The only other way to avoid the issues I had is getting it delivered submerged in water, and that's definitely a little more $$$.
 
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
Well, little bit of an update. First almost rage-quit moment today. Notice a heavy amount of salt buildup and this under the tank stand......
048A388B-8F1B-44B0-ADCF-A92546A6348A.jpeg


What a PITA. The overflow had a small leak (better than a big leak I suppose). Took the whole
thing apart, cleaned all the gaskets, etc, and retightened everything. Crossing my fingers, hopefully it stays dry. This overflow design is way too much overkill..... 5 holes for 800 gph? Not sure what the logic is.

I’ve successfully installed four overflows In my tanks before, which isn’t an incredible amount of experience, but still, I would not pursue modular marine again, and I wouldn’t recommend them, atleast for smaller tanks like mine. Of all the equipment I bought for this build, the overflow is my only regret.

But there’s other (good) progress, working on getting presentable pics that I’ll post soon ;)
 
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
Picture time. Some nice updates in the last month or so.

tank is now stocked with a Maroon Clown, Yellow Clown Goby, Splendid Dottyback, and a Lawnmower Blenny. I kinda forgot how territorial the blennies can be, but they’ve all settled in great. Seems the only time all four aren’t hanging out near each other is when I’m taking pics

Obviously going through an algae bloom, but it’ll settle out. I’m only running the main lights for 6 hours a day, and I’ll be starting some macro algae in the fuge soon.
E8152D0E-330C-4214-B925-7535A8C80F6D.jpeg


Skimmers doing a beautiful job. Lots of reports online about people not being able to keep the skimmer level consistent, but it’s been

EC76930F-5C44-4D60-A771-CF9EE035830F.jpeg


02D25C62-B9D7-4F06-BE2F-60FE90AECCA7.jpeg


I’m really liking my fish selection. I forgot how personable clowns can be. I’ll be picking up a buddy for this clown soon, I don’t want to wait too long.

BB016ABB-7598-4465-9E0C-E9046A898967.jpeg


So, we got a little piece of ocean seaweed going on. The clown loves to swim in and perch in it, and my my kids love it too, so I haven’t been able to bring myself to take it out yet.
4F8CA8D5-AE8F-4E65-9742-936F1DBDCC6F.jpeg


563C2BB8-A73F-49B8-AF89-E1F2A41E87CA.jpeg

33C68481-1A21-4539-A0D5-D3C745C409F3.jpeg

Once I can get this algae settled a little better and the fuge going, well be moving onto the LPS, so that’ll be cool :)

Having a hard time getting accurate pics with the iPhone. I’m using the Aquarium Cam app, which gets the colors fairly close. Hoping I can tweak the settings more and get a little more accuracy.
 
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
So I'm long overdue for an update. Been kind of a busy summer, but its been good. Tank was cruising along as I thought it would. It didnt go through all the algae cycles like I thought; the diatoms didnt get too bad, and never had a problem with cyano (which is a first). But the GHA was kind of getting to me. This was the GHA at its worst:

IMG_2843.JPG


IMG_2844.JPG


Kind of unsightly. So I made a few solid steps. First I redid the plumbing so that it would be better supported. I didnt like how the drainage and return pipes were all hanging there with no support, plus I think it just looks cleaner. This also made it so I could hang a filter sock:

IMG_2943.JPG


I also did a 3 day blackout, and cut back on the feeding a bit (Im now feeding 1/3 to 1/4 cube twice a day, pinch of pellets in the afternoon 3-4 times a week). I figured if I blacked out the display, and ran the fuge 12-on/12-off, it might give the chaeto a little more of a leg up. And I think it helped.

I also added more of a CUC (5 more hermits and 3 nassarius). I was reluctant to add more hermits and snails, because it seems like they always die off. But they're holding up well and doing their jobs.

I also toned down the intensity on the Viparspectra (50% blue, 20% white), and brought the lighting cycling down to 5 hours per day. Im currently adding 15 minutes to both channels every week or two.

Another thing I did, I was kind of hesitant about because I'm usually pretty reserve when it comes to additives and whatnot, is started dosing peroxide (3%) every day. I add 5 mls every day to the sump. Hard to tell how much this helps considering everything else I did, but the plan as a whole has worked pretty well so far.

Some update pics. I hate how difficult it is to get accurate pics. I might p/u a lens, but well see, or just bust out the DSLR.

These guys are still my favorite. My wife loves them too, which is even nicer.


IMG_2941.JPG


Small birds nest. Nothing too fancy, but all the splitting on the ends is new growth, so Im doing something right. Some nice zoas too

IMG_2938.JPG


IMG_2924.JPG


IMG_2934.JPG


Listenin' to Dwight in the background :)

IMG_2931.JPG


One of the things I'd like to see is some better coraline growth. Someone in another post asked if I was confident with my lighting in relation to this. I was more certain about it yesterday, but now I'm wondering if the lights are too intense, even at 50%/20% and hung 12" above the waterline. I noticed that the coraline seems to grow fairly OK in the shaded areas, but is like a 'faded' purple (bleached?) in the spots that are directly under the light.

Params have been good, but i suspect my salt mix (Reef Crystals) is high in Ca and Mg. Before dosing anything, I tested the tank water 3x and the Ca was 480, Mg 1500 (the highest range in the test, so it may even be higher) using brand new Salifert tests. Alk was a little low at 7.3 dkh, so I pushed that up to 9.3 last week in hopes that it would drive some of the calcium into use. I'd like to keep it above 9 for now. Im using Randy's DIY 2-part. Im only testing every 3-4 days because the demand is low. But Ill be adding more corals now that the frags I have are doing so well, so Ill test more frequently once the demand changes.

Havent had too many discouraging moments overall. Redoing the plumbing really got to me though. What was supposed to be a 20 minute job turned into 4 hours, but atleast that's over with!
 
AS
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
So even though quite a few updates, not much has really changed. For the past 2 months I’ve been battling algae and can’t get a hold on it.

Dosed vodka for about 6 weeks but I saw no difference in the algae, so I stopped that. Cut back feeding quite a bit, and added chaeto and some more LR to the fuge. Chaeto’s doing well with not dying, but definitely not flourishing.

Params have been pretty stable, though I’m a little frustrated with reef crystals. My magnesium has been off the charts. My tests (salutary) on fresh made saltwater are greater than 1500. As an experiment I waited 3 weeks to do a water change to see what the consumption was (I do 5 gallon water changes every 2 weeks) and the mag level was 1470. I suspect this could possibly be why my 7 hermits and 3 of my snails died. They died before I cut back on the feedings.

All the fish are good and fat. Except Bog Momma caught a wild hair and killed her partner. Was pretty bummed about that.

Birds nest, zoas, and a small frog spawn a local friend gave me are doing very well.

Decided to take some drastic measures to combat the algae. Honestly, I can appreciate patience, and usually am, but it’s starting to get to the point where it’s not enjoyable. I decided to dip some of the LR in peroxide (3% for 4 minutes), and am cutting the skimmer out to try to encourage more fuge growth. We’ll see. I’m not a big fan of dosing extra additives because I’ve had a few successful reefs before and have never had to dose additives. Pics to follow.
 

Jasper05

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
188
Reaction score
148
Tank looks good! Are you still sour on the overflow? How do you like the overall flow that it gives?

I was looking at the 1200 gph for a 40 breeder. It's a few inches wider. If you had a redo, what overflow would you go with?
 
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
Tank looks good! Are you still sour on the overflow? How do you like the overall flow that it gives?

I was looking at the 1200 gph for a 40 breeder. It's a few inches wider. If you had a redo, what overflow would you go with?

Thanks, honestly I’m not impressed with the progress. Maybe I need more corals to add diversity, another fish or two, who knows. I may add a more powerful fuge light.I’ve had successful and fun reefs in the past, butI’m starting to feel like this is a little bit of a chore.

I’m just OK with the overflow. At this point, I would have rather gone with 2 other options. Either a simpler overflow with just 2 drains, or a diy coast to coast. Although this one works just fine, I have no complaints about the performance, I’m still not convinced it’s worth the price. Would have been nice to go thru Glassholes, but they are no more
 
Lazys Coral House
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
My friend, that is not a generic black box LED. Viparspectra is by far the best of them. Very good light, seen AMAZING results with them that you would usually only get for lights 2-3x that price.

I agree, its a good light. I'd easily buy it again. Its certainly a powerful light and there are tons of testimonies and pictures to backup how successful they are. But I know this light is the biggest contributor to the algae issues Im having, and Im just not sure how to balance it out. I've got it down to 40%/10%, but everything Im seeing online shows I shouldnt have to run the blues/whites this low.

Im not seeing the fuge and chaeto growth I'd like to see either. I've always been a proponent of just a plain old Lowes CFL (I use a phillips grow light now), because that has always been very successful for me when I ran T5s. But Im thinking those thoughts are obsolete now.
 

Jasper05

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 28, 2019
Messages
188
Reaction score
148
Thanks, honestly I’m not impressed with the progress. Maybe I need more corals to add diversity, another fish or two, who knows. I may add a more powerful fuge light.I’ve had successful and fun reefs in the past, butI’m starting to feel like this is a little bit of a chore.

Sorry to hear that, I hope things start turning for you. Looking back, would have done anything else differently?
 
OP
reef_ninja

reef_ninja

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 14, 2014
Messages
302
Reaction score
223
Location
Carson City, NV
Sorry to hear that, I hope things start turning for you. Looking back, would have done anything else differently?

No worries. This is a bummer, but my kids and wife are healthy, life is still good, and I woke up today! Lots to be thankful for. :)

That's a great question, I've asked myself the same thing, and so far the answer is, not much. The overflow I've addressed, but that's not a big deal functionality-wise. MAYBE using dry-rock instead? But that's a strong maybe. The only definite thing is a stronger fuge light, so I'm reseaching that now.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Do you use any type of LIQUID additives, supplements, foods, medicine etc. for you reef aquarium?

  • Yes LIQUID

    Votes: 325 89.3%
  • NO

    Votes: 30 8.2%
  • Yes but not a LIQUID

    Votes: 6 1.6%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 3 0.8%

Online statistics

Members online
2,200
Guests online
6,131
Total visitors
8,331
CK
Top