Francisco's 80g Reef

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frcarvajal

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Hello everyone,

After almost a year of being working at home due to COVID, I decided to start a new tank since I have more time these days. This started getting into my head in September 2020 and the tank was filled with saltwater in January 2021 so it took me about 4 months to figure out what I would like to do and purchase everything I need to make it happen. I explained before that I am from DR and I am currently living here and getting stuff (corals, fish, equipment) is really difficult. I need to either import them or go to the US and bring it myself and at this point, I can't tell which one is more expensive than the other. I decided to go to the US in November 2020 and purchase all the equipment I need except the tank because we have a local builder that makes a decent job without breaking the bank. Most of my equipment was second-hand as I am a true believer that certain things can be purchased used and still get out of them a great life. The things that were not purchased second-hand were purchased on Black Friday and I got great discounts.

Tank and equipment list:

-Tank: 40 x 21 x 21 custom build tank with Eshopps overflow.
-Sump: 22 x 16 x 16 custom build sump (skimmer section, return section, and integrated ATO only).
-Lighting: 36" 8 Bulb ATI and 2 XHO actinic reefbrites.
-Wavemakers: Vortech MP40QD
-Return Pump: Jebao DCP: 10,000
-ATO: Tunze
-Protein Skimmer: Reef Octopus Regal 150-INT
-Doser: Jebao 3.4 Wifi
-Calcium Reactor: Geo's 618.
-Chiller: JBJ 1/3 HP (currently looking to sell and downgrade to 1/10 or 1/4 as is an overkill).

My plan for this tank is mainly SPS but I am open to LPS too. As I have a few years of reefing many friends gave me few corals when everything started in January, mostly LPS and they're looking great at this time. Right now the tank is not looking that great due to the ugly stage but is nothing that I haven't seen in the past (regular algae etc).

I haven't been dosing since the beginning, just regular water changes, and everything was OK but I decided to start making tests and to my surprise, the ALK was 5.8 a day after a water change so I started monitoring and decided to start dosing Kalkwasser from BRS and 2 tbsp every 5 gallons is maintaining the tank parameters for now. When Kalkwasser can't keep up, I'll start dosing KH & CA and when the demand is higher I will start running my CaRx.

Received the tank in January 2021:

IMG_0079.jpg


Added saltwater about a week later:


IMG_0122.jpg


The sump and equipment:

IMG_0622.jpg


The tank today (4/3/2021):


IMG_0601.jpg


:)
 
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frcarvajal

frcarvajal

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Forgot to mention the livestock, but as getting fish is so hard right now I only have a clownfish, a Lawnmower blenny, bicolor blenny, and a cardenal pijama. Planning to get a Purple tang, Yellow tang as my tang squad and few wrasses when they become available in the country.
 
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frcarvajal

frcarvajal

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Managed to change the 1/3HP chiller to 1/10HP same brand. Reefbrites were taken down because I was not using them and I like the look of the T5 without the leds, might install back soon. Added two royal grammas, two neon gobies, and a six-line wrasse a week ago and I don't find the last three. Everything is looking ok, not great but ok, some algae but it's part of maturing the tank.

Salinity: 1.026
Temperature: 78
KH: 7.2
PH: 8.1 the lowest, 8.5 the highest
CA: 410
MG: 1400
NO3: 5
PO4: 0.01 (currently struggling to raise, starting dosing DYI trisodium phosphate).

For the past months, I've been dosing Kalkwasser only. This maintains my tank just ok and Coraline has been exploding. I've been struggling with no3 and po4, been feeding a lot, turning off the skimmer, and no success so I decided to start dosing them and will update how it goes.

This is the tank today 5/31:

tank 1.JPG
 
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frcarvajal

frcarvajal

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5 months have passed since my last update. Time flies lol. To be honest the tank hasn't changed much. The main change I've done is that I stopped using Kalkwasser and started using the Calcium Reactor the last month. Nothing wrong with Kalk, just decided to try the Calcium Reactor and I missed the look of the ATO without the milky water of Kalk. I had the GEO CR618 but I realized that it was too big for my application so I sold it and purchased a smaller MRC Calcium Reactor and I couldn't be happier. I am feeding the CaRx with Sicce 0.5 but it is impossible to tune it to a specific flow rate. I am replacing the Sicce 0.5 with the new Kamoer X1 pro T stepper pump. The pump will be here the next week and hopefully, I have a good experience with it.

I reinstalled the Reefbrites XHO and I am currently using them for 12 hours a day. One of the power supplies died on me last week and they're out of warranty. Since they're 70 bucks for a replacement, I purchased a generic one (same 24v and 4amps) on eBay for $12 and hopefully, it will work. I Will post an update when it is delivered to me.

Right now I am not doing much to the tank other than weekly testing the parameters and doing water changes. Fish are fed every two days with frozen, pellets and nori.

Parameters:

KH: 7.7
CA: 420
MG: 1320
Salinity: 1.026
Temperature: 81-82f
PO4: 0.07
NO3: 20

The tank nutrients seem to be a little high according to Hanna test kits but the algae in the tank is slowly going away. I only have a few patches of what appears to be green Ciano in the sand and I am not worried at all.

10/1/2021 Pictures:

hello.png


IMG_3217.JPG

IMG_3219.jpg
 
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frcarvajal

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Quick update:
The Kamoer X1 PRO T is working as it should. CaRx now is stable. The generic power supply replacement I bought on eBay for the reef brite is working properly. Algae is completely out. Today I took the time to glue all the corals that were introduced the first week of October and they're in better places. Everything is looking healthy.

The tank finally got to a point where tests results are pretty consistent on all parameters. I am doing nothing but looking to the tank for 10 to 20 minutes daily, weekly tests and 5g water changes. These 9 months feel like forever but it's now looking mature and stable. That's what the test results says too. I can finally say that I am enjoying my reef tank.

I'm doing my research in order to purchase a KH monitoring system before the end of the year. I am leaning towards the GHL KH Director. Hopefully, they have discounts for black Friday.

Today's FTS:

IMG_3631.jpg


Thank you for reading :)
 
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HiImSean

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Hey I’m curious how sturdy those mounts are you’re using for the ATI? I’m struggling to decide how to hang the exact fixture for my tank and I really don’t want to go from the ceiling. How far out from the wall do they come? I assume you have them directly into a stud?
 
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frcarvajal

frcarvajal

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Hey I’m curious how sturdy those mounts are you’re using for the ATI? I’m struggling to decide how to hang the exact fixture for my tank and I really don’t want to go from the ceiling. How far out from the wall do they come? I assume you have them directly into a stud?
ATI fixture is heavy. Thats why I decided to go with these metal brackets. These are the ones that holds the outdoor unit of an air conditioner. They are 15 1/2 inches long from the wall. You can find them in different lengths and depending how deep is your tank you should decide which length to go for. My tank is 21 inches deep. Here more pics for your reference:

864280C8-24CE-451F-BA6B-7B7809B9B907.jpeg
83F34C5F-C3DC-4C25-B7E1-5CB19FB9D975.jpeg
7BAF7235-7C14-420E-BC45-5D362A1D8FEB.jpeg

At first I thought that it would look bulky but it looks ok for me.
 
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frcarvajal

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Quick update: I started to have problems with KH spikes with the CaRx. The issue was that the PH probe needed to be calibrated. I don't remember the last time I did but it had almost .4 difference. Now everything is stable and back to normal.

Also, I am struggling with nutrients:

No3: 25 (Hanna HR)
Po4: 0.1 (Hanna Po4)

Im evaluating a few options, one of them is buying a new sump with a refugium or adding an algae turf scrubber. I know both options work very well but haven't decided yet. Will post an update when I decide to see how it goes!
 
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