Fluval M90 build

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by A.L.S., Jun 26, 2016.

  1. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    Hey folks. It's my first week with the forum and I decided to document my first saltwater build.

    I tend to be a methodical person, so I'll try to keep to the key stats. Since this is my first build, I'd love to hear feedback and advice from anyone that has stumbled upon my little journey.

    I'll be updating this thread on a weekly basis. Hopefully this will help all the fellow newbies (or those folks that are on the fence about getting into the hobbie).

    AQUARIUM STATS
    • 35.4"W x 15.7"H x 16.5"D
    • 36 total gallons
      • 27 gallons (main)
      • 9 gallons (rear filtration)
      • With 4 compartments
    • Included:
      • LED Lamp (25000K)
      • Protein Skimmer (PS1)
      • Circulation Pump (CP3)
      • Marine Salt (3 bags)
      • Stand
    • LFS included with purchase:
      • 40#'s of Real Reef Rock (aquacultured)
    • Self Purchased
      • 150W Cobalt Neo-Therm Heater
      • Innovative Marine Customcaddy Fusion 40 (x2)
      • Trigger 5 gallon ATO reservoir
      • Smart ATO Micro
      • Innovative Marine Magnafuge light
      • CaribSea Bimini Pink
      • SpectraPure 4-Stage RO/DI
    STEP ONE: Aquascaping
    Throughout all of my research, there has been one underlying theme that I picked up, and that is "the key to a successful tank is PATIENCE."

    So, on Father's Day, my wonderful kids got me this awesome tank. They helped me set it up, and my wife helped me layout the rocks. From there, I let it sit. I looked at the tank from all angles, at different times of the day, just to make sure it was as beautiful as we could make it (and that it would provide the future inhabitants a diverse and exciting place to live).

    After ensuring that the layout was ideal, we set it in place. Here's the final product:
    image.jpeg

    So, next week I'll be getting my RO/DI installed and prepping my water. I'll make sure I take a good number of photos to share.

    I'd love to hear your feedback and suggestions (since this will definitely be a learning experience for me).
     
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  2. Broadfield

    Broadfield Red Sea Reefer Consultant... Non Affiliated R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Now that's a Father's Day present! Looks really good man... I've been looking forward to someone doing a build thread on the M90. If I were to give any feedback at all, it would be to maybe cut down on your amount of rock. That way it's not so much of a "wall of rocks". The cosmetic aspect of it is mostly just opinion... I have grown to prefer a more simplistic look. However, it should give you better flow in and around the tank if you don't just have one large wall. Sorry for the poor edit, but maybe something like this:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I would say, keep those children and wife:). That is a awesome tank. I am digging the rock work/aquascape. I look forward to the progress
     
  4. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    Broadfield-
    I also tend to yield on the side of simplicity (and I like the look you proposed).

    So here goes the newbie question:
    Throughout my research, the "rule of thumb" was 1-1.5#'s of rock per gallon. I made the assumption that this was must for aquariums, but I couldn't find an answer on why. Any idea's why that would be the common suggestion?

    Thanks!
     
  5. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    I agree, the wife and kids are keepers. Thanks for the kind words. This should definitely be a fun build.
     
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  6. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    So, I stumbled across this R2R thread, which helped enlighten me on the purpose of live rock...
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/t...ock-per-gallon-in-a-saltwater-aquarium.86762/

    I especially appreciated @TBAquaculture insight. Looks like simplistically that more live rock, the more stable the environment. Less live rock requires additional maintenance.

    Additionally, the amount of rock should be dependent on what the tanks focus is. More coral means more rock.

    Learn something new everyday. :)
     
  7. thelawnwranglers

    thelawnwranglers Member

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    Make sure you have room between rock and glass want to be able to fit a scrapper everywhere. Also I wish o thought more about water flow when I set up my aquascape.
     
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  8. Broadfield

    Broadfield Red Sea Reefer Consultant... Non Affiliated R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Don't get "too" caught up in the lb/gallon rules you see. Some will recommend at least .5lb/gallon and others recommend a minimum of 2 lbs/gallon. I know people that have tremendous success with virtually no rock at all... basically only sand. You will see success and failure stories using various amounts of rock. If you have a decent amount, you will do just fine. Do an aquascape that is appealing to you and don't look back! If you are really worried about it, you could simply run the 2" MarinePure ceramic blocks in your sump.
     
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  9. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    @thelawnwranglers - can you expand on the water flow comment? I've been under the assumption that the power head takes care of everything, but it sounds like there maybe something that I don't know. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks.
     
  10. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    @Broadfield - looks like I have more thing to research...and possibly buy. :)
     
  11. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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  12. Broadfield

    Broadfield Red Sea Reefer Consultant... Non Affiliated R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Reef Spotlight Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I didn't see one listed in your equipment selection, but you will probably want a powerhead of some sort to create MUCH better circulation over what the return pump can do. Again, I have seen nano tanks like yours be successful with only the return pump. But that's not the norm... and if you plan on having any SPS, you will need a powerhead.

    A wall of rocks can make it difficult to get good circulation(flow) on both sides of the wall and in-and-out of the rocks. With a big wall, you would need to do at least two powerheads.... one to create flow behind the wall and another to create flow in front of the wall. Whereas you may only need one if you had two or three separate structures where water could easily flow in between, front-to-back. I would also lower the height of your rock work a little bit. I was going to chop some off in the edit I did of your scape, but I didn't want to shock you right off the bat lol. I too have been guilty of my rock work being close to the top of the water. I quickly found that it ended up being pretty worthless for coral. So I dropped the overall height by 30% and it instantly gave me more room for coral and gave plenty of room for the corals on top to grow upwards.
     
  13. thelawnwranglers

    thelawnwranglers Member

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    I have some dead spots that are getting Cyano- to be honest I am very much new so maybe it isn't a flow problem more a nutrient problem. I did something that I liked the look of, but now I am not getting the movement I want in all areas. Still trying to figure out how to beat cyano.

    Cyano.jpg
     
  14. thelawnwranglers

    thelawnwranglers Member

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    The Fluval Power head I would save for water change/ salt mixing- it is huge. Has good flow, but with the suction cups it is a nightmare when it falls off your glass and you wake up to a sand storm.
     
  15. thelawnwranglers

    thelawnwranglers Member

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    also if anyone has a tip on powerhead placement or settings for my dual jeabo wp10s I am all ears (not to thread jack).
     
  16. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    @Broadfield - Great points! So now I'm kind of stuck. I dig the way it looks, but I also want to make sure I provide a good environment for the livestock.

    I did forget to mention above that the kit came with a powerhead and a return pump, so now I'll have to do some research if they are enough, or if upgrades/additional equipment maybe needed.
     
  17. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    @thelawnwranglers - Wow! That really happened with the powerhead? That sucks, but you may have just saved me some real heartache.
     
  18. oodan

    oodan Active Member

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    Well I have a 50 gal tall tank I had the whole back nothing but Live rock I got coral light every where and could do nothing about it could not fit a mag float or scraper any where but only the front of the glass it was cool for about a year then enuff with all the sides all pink I re did my rock work and took out about 10- 20 lbs 1 5 gal bucket full and scraped and scraped now it looks clean and clear as for the flow I have one oversized head I run face down and to the back my return Gos up and the other way works for me well looks good hope it works out
     
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  19. thelawnwranglers

    thelawnwranglers Member

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    In fairiness I think I vinegar bathed it for to long I think that dries out rubber. Who knew. Lol

    It wasn't a devastating event just annoyance.
     
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  20. A.L.S.

    A.L.S. Member

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    STEP TWO: Filtration
    So, as a begin week two (2) of the build, I'm sad to say, I'm already off schedule. my RO/DI was delayed in shipping due to train derailment, so guess who couldn't start making water...that's right...this guy. :(

    Instead I worked on my filtration (which I think was a good compromise. Since the M90 is an all-in-one tank, it has four (4) compartments to store all of your goodies.
    image.jpeg
    They are all 3.75" deep (front to back) and 15" tall. The width does vary. From left to right they are as follows:
    • 5.75"
    • 9.75"
    • 8.5"
    • 9.75"
    Note these are quick tape measure sizes.

    To do my filtration, I did some research and asking around at my LFS and I came up with the following:
    • First chamber - Mechanical and Biological
    • Second chamber - Protein skimmer
    • Third chamber - Refugium
    To accomplish this, I bought two (2) of the Innovative Marine CustomCaddy Fusion 40 (listed above). Within the first caddy, I plan on placing coarse and fine scrub pads, carbon bag, and a phosphate/nitrate/nitrite reducer.

    My only issue was that these caddies only stood 11.81" tall, which means the overflow would pour wherever it wanted and not straight into the mechanical media like I wanted. So my resolution for this was to find some "hooks" to modify one of the caddies. Here are some pictures from the modification:

    I found the hooks at Lowes.
    image.jpeg

    As you can see, these already had an adhesive on them.
    image.jpeg

    So, I had to peel and clean them off.
    image.jpeg

    Since most of the Command Strips that I found were rounded, I used this generic brand since it hangs nicely on the side of the tank.
    image.jpeg

    After some quick measuring (0.5" below the upper edge)...
    image.jpeg

    I siliconed the hooks into place, and now I wait for them to dry. :D
    image.jpeg

    I also took 4 seconds out of my day to attach the Innovative Marine Magnet Refugium light (that had to be the most manual intensive labor I've ever done...:p).
    image.jpeg


    Allegedly, my RO/DI will be here tomorrow, so that will be the fun for the next post.

    Until then, I leave you with the following questions:
    1. Did I cover all of the filtration requirements? If not, what did I over look?
    2. For folks that run RO/DI systems (which is probably everyone), do I really need to make some elaborate storage system for this little 36 galling tank? Or is having 2-7 gallon containers (1 for RO/DI water and 1 for pre-made saltwater) enough?

    Thanks for following and I can't wait to see your suggestion and recommendations.
     
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