Flexing my Fluval

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I must admit, I’ve procrastinated quite a bit on starting this. But since R2R has that contest this weekend for the awesome R2R shirt—here I am (medium guys, unless it runs small, then a large will do)
E23BEDD3-2DB6-4425-A925-2318E0EADDF2.jpeg

So my saltwater journey began in the late eighties, when I was stationed at Fort Bragg, NC. We sold off our 30 gallon freshwater and picked up a 55 gallon tank with an under gravel system. It was fish only and we had a blast feeding our three predatory friends: a Picasso Trigger, Lionfish and Panther Grouper. We kept it this way for a couple of years—until we became enamored with the idea of starting a reef system. So we got a retrofit (bioball, I think) kit and a bunch of live rock from a LFS in Tampa. Full of excitement, we hauled out loot back to North Carolina and it was game on. You’ll notice I didn’t mention any decent lighting—oops.

it was a bit of a struggle, but we eventually managed to defeat the lovely GHA and were slowly learned to keep simple corals alive in the tank until 1994, when I received orders for Germany and the tank had to go.

Fast forward to Christmas 2022, when I walked into the living room to discover two sizable boxes with my name on it. If you haven’t guessed yet, it was a 32 gallon Fluval flex and stand.

I was in a bit of a pickle, as we had looked at aquariums recently and this was not the direction I would have taken. I understood why she picked it—it had a canopy and she never could stand the open lights on most modern systems (she’s a tad light sensitive). none the less, I felt like the guy who wanted the Mustang but got the Pinto instead. Those of you that got more than a few years of marriage under belt can certainly understand why this is not an opinion conducive to harmony at home though, so I resolved to make the best of this tank and, when everything was big and fat in the tank, then start politicking for the upgrade.

I did some quick research, much of it on this forum as a nonmember and spoke to folks at a couple of LFS and I decided to use a mix of live and dead rock (mostly live, but availability was a bit of an issue) and got started. My aqua scape absolutely lack artistry, but there a numerous caves and passages to keep the denizens occupied. I also spent a bit of time adjusting it the first few weeks to get rid of dead spots. Then it was time to soup this Pinto up.

We waited about 5 weeks before adding fish—a pair of clowns. The first inhabitants were actually snails, as we started to get algae growth. We started with Trocus snails and quickly learned just how fast they could multiply (anybody want some baby snails?) and because I found a number of vermitid snails, I threw in a couple bumble bee snails too. My wife also became enamored with macro algae and some specimens found their way in too—although most were ultimately removed as it was difficult to keep them trimmed up. The remaining bits in the display are Halimeda and some Pom Poms.

I discovered others in this forum who were Flexers as well and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them for all the great upgrade ideas I stole from them. Upgrades incorporated thus far:

1. Replace the anemic pump with a SICCE 1.5.
2. Got rid of the grungy media sponges and replaced with the Intank baskets.
3. Added a Maxpect Gyre.
4. Trashed the Fluval skimmer and replaced it with a Magtool DC-SQ70SLM.
5. Added a Fijicube HOB refugium and a Chaetomax refugium light

I also added a second Fluval Marine 3.0, but this is temporary. I also built a 4” tall riser from a PVC sheet. This got the close fitting lid up and accomplished three things.
1. Helped get temperature below 80.
2. More room for gas exchange
3. Hides the snot-filled skimmer cup.

Inhabitants.
BAC2417A-26B3-4B1E-B115-C87151A02D63.jpeg

For corals I have a mix of softies and LPS. All are doing well, except for a Favia colony that got the two day overnight delivery (thanks a bunch, UPS). It’s still hanging in there but I still wonder if it will recover.

As to fish, I have a McCosker’s Wrasse, Clownfish, Yellow Watchman Goby, Bagninni Cardinal, Coral Beauty, two yellow gobies and a sharknose goby. All are fat and sassy.

For inverts, I have a variety of snails and a Bristleworm. I did have four blue legged hermits, but they got on the wrong side of the wife and ended up as store credit with the LFS (they walked her favorite coralline encrusted ceriths. Bad, not good)

so for my next trick, I’m going to address the canopy and the lights. This tank is in my living room and a chinsy plastic top just does not fit. I also want new lights and I believe I need 1-2 inches more space to be effective. I have collected some 1 x 1 ash strips for the frame and some decent looking 1/8” thick poplar boards to wrap around. Right now Orphek is in the lead for the new lights, but we shall see.

well that’s all for now.
 
OP
OP
paragrouper

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Today my tank is 6 months in operation. fish And invertebrates are will and most corals are growing. Unfortunately, I found a few more bits on bubble algae to scrape and I whacked Three Aiptasia in my AIO.

I continued on with my new canopy today and made a bit more progress.

All in all—things are okay.

2A99ACB2-9D08-4535-97C7-F65B67C655C0.jpeg

7A6712BC-9240-415C-8DC8-0C860A246906.jpeg
 
Last edited:
OP
OP
paragrouper

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Well I gotta win the fishy light, so here is my weekly update.

we received our coral wall from @ReefEco. It is an exceptionally well built kit.I ordered two pieces—one for each side of the AIO. Since we had to move a bit of the aquascape around, we pulled a number of rocks and check for/removed bubble algae and vermitid snails.

We also shifted a number of corals to the coral wall. We’ve A bit more work to do on the scape, it we have time.
5421C1D1-32A9-42A1-B02E-748EEB3F6056.jpeg

The tank is just over 6 months and looking pretty decent for it’s tender young age.
 
OP
OP
paragrouper

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Looking great - can't wait for it to fill in! Thanks for the positive vibes. Grateful, Peter
Thanks Peter. Your company was very quick and responsive And I am impressed with your workmanship. You don’t always find those attributes in the aquarium world.
 

ReefEco

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 12, 2017
Messages
722
Reaction score
780
Location
Truckee
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Thanks Peter. Your company was very quick and responsive And I am impressed with your workmanship. You don’t always find those attributes in the aquarium world.
This made my day - thank you! My mantra is to make a good product, and treat reefers like I would like to be treated : )
 
OP
OP
paragrouper

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
I got to the point today that I could install and test the lights. We popped the new canopy and fired them up at 25%. The difference between the old Fluval Marine 3.0 lights and the @Orphek OR3 lights is incredible.

now back to painting.

72118048-BE56-41A1-B8CB-144F293AA2FF.jpeg
 
OP
OP
paragrouper

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
This week was quite busy at the reef. the canopy is now finished and installed. I also replaced the maxspect gyre with two AI Nero 3‘s and the flow in the tank is much improved. The last project, adding a Tunze 3152 for ATO will likely happen before the weekend’s done.

This Tank is now 7 months old. I’m still finding a few patches of bubble algae during my weekly cleaning and discovered another Aiptasia anemone (he is no more). On the bright side, corals seem to be doing well and the fish are fat. My only mystery is disappearing crabs, but that a story for another time.

Speaking of time: its time for a cold beverage.

90B4499C-F9C1-424C-A658-0008AD142994.jpeg
 

Kasrift

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
9,958
Reaction score
16,016
Location
San Diego
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
This week was quite busy at the reef. the canopy is now finished and installed. I also replaced the maxspect gyre with two AI Nero 3‘s and the flow in the tank is much improved. The last project, adding a Tunze 3152 for ATO will likely happen before the weekend’s done.

This Tank is now 7 months old. I’m still finding a few patches of bubble algae during my weekly cleaning and discovered another Aiptasia anemone (he is no more). On the bright side, corals seem to be doing well and the fish are fat. My only mystery is disappearing crabs, but that a story for another time.

Speaking of time: its time for a cold beverage.

90B4499C-F9C1-424C-A658-0008AD142994.jpeg
Great looking tank. One of the better looking flex tanks!
 
OP
OP
paragrouper

paragrouper

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2023
Messages
1,420
Reaction score
6,469
Location
Shady Shores, TX
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
This week I added a Tunze 3152 ATO. We also added a new inhabitant—Bubble Tip Anemone. In typical Anemone fashion, he promptly abandoned the prime piece of real estate I set aside for him, slid down a crevice and planted his foot on the neck of my feather duster.

good times

7EF4CDD3-60CF-4204-A384-10351FE6C33F.jpeg
 

Kasrift

7500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 2, 2022
Messages
9,958
Reaction score
16,016
Location
San Diego
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
I got to the point today that I could install and test the lights. We popped the new canopy and fired them up at 25%. The difference between the old Fluval Marine 3.0 lights and the @Orphek OR3 lights is incredible.

now back to painting.

72118048-BE56-41A1-B8CB-144F293AA2FF.jpeg
How is the canopy suspended or is it just resting on the tank?
 

HAVE YOU EVER SUCCESSFULLY KEPT SPS? (DROP YOUR TIPS AND TRICKS IN THE COMMENTS!)

  • Yes, I'm a reefing wizard.

    Votes: 57 24.7%
  • Yes, but it was a battle.

    Votes: 39 16.9%
  • I'm working on it!

    Votes: 63 27.3%
  • Nope...

    Votes: 21 9.1%
  • I've never tried, but I will eventually.

    Votes: 32 13.9%
  • I value my peace of mind, so I'll stick to LPS.

    Votes: 13 5.6%
  • Other (Please explain!)

    Votes: 6 2.6%
Back
Top