Diving The World's 80g Acro Wonderland!

Crimsonphoenix

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It's the start of my first full year on R2R so I decided to start a build of my acro tank. I've had one on another forum for years which I'll link here in case you have some time and want to go back through the first 4 years of my build but I'll try to summarize a little here as well.

Where to start? I started my first reef tank when I was about 8, so almost 40 years ago. It was a 2.5g with a fish, a snail, and an urchin. It wasn't my first fish tank, but was my first saltwater fish tank. Over the years growing up, I had as many as 4 fish tanks in my room. I did everything myself, self funded from working at pet stores and paper routes. My parents didn't really know what I was doing other than being very supportive of my hobby and overflows on my carpet.

Fast forward a number of years and I got married, we bought a house, had a couple awesome kids and I started growing tired of my 29g Tru Vu I had dragged through several moves over the previous 10 years. It was time for a real reef tank! I had saved some money on the side so planned to do it right. I've found the key to reefing and a happy marriage is to not impact your family finances by the fish tank. So far that's worked out for me.

Space was limited by what the wifey approved for our family room. I stretched that a bit and ended up custom ordering a Lee Mar tank:

40" x 24" x 22"
3 Side Starphire, 1/2" glass
Black Back, Black Silicone
Rear Center Internal RR Overflow
Two 1" Drains (Herbie)
Two 0.75" Returns
Trigger Systems Ruby 30 Sump
Reef Octopus POV-DC1 Skimmer
Reef Octopus Auto Waste Collector
2 MP40w ES (since replaced with 2 MP40WQD)
2 Radion XR15 Gen 3 LEDs
Apex Classic Pro
Tunze 3155 Auto Top Off
Reef Octopus RODC-5500 Return

I custom built my stand to match the other furniture in our family room. It was my first (and last) attempt at furniture so took me almost a year working nights and weekends as I had time.

2x4 Frame
Skinned in Solid Alder
Open back with 4 flush doors (two front, both sides)
Stained in Mahogany
Interior Sealed and Painted w/White Boat Paint
Soft Close Hinges

Over the years I've made some changes as this is my first Acro tank and I've learned a lot! First is lighting. After a couple years I switched out my Radion XR15's to an ATI 8 bulb T5. To this day I think that was the biggest improvement I made with my acros. I also started off using Red Sea Coral Pro salt, but later switched to regular old Instant Ocean. I started out with a thin layer of sand but found I couldn't maintain high flow, so I sucked it out and have been bare bottom ever since. I've adjusted my parameters over time and are currently running +/- the following:

Calcium 400
Alkalinity 8.0
Magnesium 1380
Salinity 1.0264
Nitrate 4-5
Phosphate 0.05-0.08 (would like this to be a little lower)
pH 7.7-8.1
Iodine 0.05-0.06
Temp 79.5-80

I've battled demons over the years from Bryopsis (thank you Fluconazole), Bubble Algae (thank you Vibrant), Cyano (thank you Chemiclean). I found a couple Asterina stars once, but it was an easy pluck out. I've been vary careful and lucky that I've never had any coral pests or fish diseases over the years. My current dip regime is Melafix followed by Bayer.

I'm probably forgetting a million things so feel free to ask me whatever you want. I'm an open book and love to share my successes and failures to help others in this hobby. Here's a link to my full thread on that "other" site. If this is not allowed, let me know.

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2345585

And here's a few pics to get this thread started:

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R2R 1.jpg

2018-12-31 FTS.jpeg
Do you have a materials list for your stand? You did a great job! I do some wood work and would like to make a similar one. Thanks!
 
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DivingTheWorld

DivingTheWorld

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Do you have a materials list for your stand? You did a great job! I do some wood work and would like to make a similar one. Thanks!
Thanks. It was my first attempt at furniture. If you go to the beginning of this "other" site thread I go in further detail. I don't really have a list of materials per say, but there are lots of pics and details:

 
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DivingTheWorld

DivingTheWorld

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Simply beautiful and so healthy looking. I know this has been listed previously but what is your preferred range on nutrients and where do you keep ALK again?
Thanks, I keep Alk around 7.5. For Nitrate/Phosphate I shoot for around 5/0.05.
 
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Have you ever had a reef tank with no sump and how did it go?

  • YES and it was just fine

    Votes: 224 59.1%
  • YES but it was difficult

    Votes: 69 18.2%
  • NO

    Votes: 76 20.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 2.6%
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