Building my First Fishy Tank - IM EXT 75

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FishieFlashdrive

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I have been dreaming and dreaming of having my own saltwater reef tank. When my husband caught me reading a book about saltwater aquariums in my free time, I got the green light to go wild and get what I want!

I found a local experienced reefer who wanted to upgrade his system and sold me his old set up for $1000. He purchased the set new approximately two years previously. He included the Innovative Marine EXT 75, the stand, a 36 gallon Ice Cap sump, and an Aqua Medic DC Runner 5.1 return pump. Best part for me is that he had already plumbed it and helped me get it set up in my house. He was a saint and literally brought it to my house and set it all back up and aquariums are heavy.

I have been doing water/leak tests before going further, since it is a second hand tank (pictured below). I had a small leak in the first redundancy emergency drain. Plumbing not being my forte, Hubby went to home Depot, bought the reef-forum recommended PVC doctor equipment and redid the fittings and we are LEAK FREE.

Next step: all the other equipment. Good grief!

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REEFTIDE
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FishieFlashdrive

FishieFlashdrive

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UPDATES:
I got a huge chunk of the equipment and I am officially up and cycling!
I got two eheim heaters, a refractometer, Red Sea Coral Pro salt, test kit, the BRS DIY mesh lid, the TUNZE 6055 nano stream power head with controller, filter socks, and probably more but those are the biggies.

I went to my LFS to design and buy my live rock. I am really glad I did! I was able to get help with the design and also play around with it like Legos before I bought the rock, so I only bought exactly what I need.

I ended up getting dry aragonite sand, also from my LFS. I know live sand would have sped up my cycle but I have time and I wanted the budget to spend on the other things. If my cycle is taking forever, I'll go back and get a bag of live sand to sprinkle on the top.

I don't have fish food yet, and didn't really know what food I was going to need, so I grabbed a frozen food shrimp from my fam and dropped it in. And off we go!! Next step is lights, and then a first fishy!
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ProfPoundcake

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“Live sand” is kind of a fluke, it’s actually freshwater bacteria (you can taste the water from the bag there is no salt) so it actually all dies off during the cycle just adding ammonia for the cycle. I have found from setting up 3 tanks and Upgrading tanks that it adds so much ammonia (sometimes was 8ppm) that it actually stunts the cycle so you have to do water changes to get the ammonia to a safe point even for a cycle. Would recommend bottled bacteria if anything. So far, looking great. Looking forward to an update
 
AquaCave

Have you ever torn down a tank over an issue you couldn't seem to beat?

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