Just keep swimming!View Badges
Partner Member 2020Build Thread Contributor
- Sep 24, 2017
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- Salty, Florida
What's up R2R!! Thanks for checking out my build thread! After a year and a half away from the hobby, I'm excited to be back and to get my new 20 gallon (long) reef tank started! I picked this size because I'll be moving again in about a year or two and wanted to get a good starter tank that was easy to move. I went with the long, because I've had a few tall or square shaped tanks and I've learned that I personally prefer a long, shallower tank for maintenance and coral placement.
I'm not sure how, but I managed to fit 25 lbs of rock into the tank. I think the rock might be overcrowding the tank (for my taste) and I'll probably be removing a piece or two in the future. I always start with dry/base rock because I personally enjoy watching the coloration of the rock transform over time, and of course, it's cheaper. I've used live rock in the past and it was a headache dealing with all of the hitchhikers that come with live rock (mainly aiptasia!)
I started this build with a lot of budget items for the sake of the video series on YouTube and for getting the 30+ day tank cycle started as soon as possible! I definitely do NOT recommend the $15 water heater that I purchased and showed in the video and I will be upgrading to the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Heater this week! I have no complaints from any of the other budget items and everything is working fine and going according to plan.
My only other concern is the black bar across the center of the glass top lid. It creates a bit of a shadow/dark spot underneath and could possibly affect any corals placed under those shadow areas. I can easily slide the light to shine in front or behind this black bar and just place the corals where the light is directly shining, but I'm also looking at possible modifications to the glass top lid or maybe creating my own diy lid top. Any ideas for a diy lid top are greatly appreciate but I'm interested in full coverage only, not any mesh or egg crate options.
I always jump start my tank's cycle with a grocery store (food grade) shrimp. I remove it after 3 days and it always works like a charm! So, I'll check back in three days with some water test results for you!