ggNoRe's Prostar 200 Peninsula Build Thread

ggNoRe

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I'll let the pictures do most of the talking as let's be honest that's what everyone wants to see anyways. :)

This is my "dream tank" that has been in the back of my mind for over a decade when I first got into the hobby with a Biocube 30G. There has been a lot of planning that went into this and I decided to go for it after I moved into a house that I plan to be at for a while. It is meant to be a fully diverse reef tank with all kinds of corals, inverts, and fish.

Some mistakes I have made thus far that I want to warn others to be aware of:
When dry fitting PVC pipe make sure to twist it together all the way. Not doing so will throw off your measurements.

Double check all valves before gluing as well to make sure water will flow the way you intend to. I completely forgot one valve and ended having to splice a valve in the vinyl tubing which wasn't part of the plan.

Rinse sand before putting in tank or you will end up with a milky mess.

Install all sump cabinet lights before doing anything else down there. There is two reasons for this; 1. It's easier to work down there when you can see. 2. You don't have to worry about your lights getting wet.

Check for leaks not only in tank but in tank piping and fixing any before installing all your equipment. My overflow drain ended up having a minor leak and boy is it hell to work on.

This was a very strenuous setup but tonight I'm feeling good about the progress and feel like the most difficult parts are done.

The rocks were cycled for 4 months. I used 4 different bacteria products as I believe having thriving and diverse bacteria should be a key to success. Instant Ocean Biospira (was fully cycled in 2 days), Microbacter 7, and 2 different ones from Algae Barn.

The small tank is a brine shrimp hatchery to have some live food on hand for my fish. Specifically a Copperband Butterfly which I plan to be my first.

Side note: Reefbreeder's has excellent customer service with the owner responding to emails right away even on Sunday.

Aquaticlife also had exceptional customer service.

The Prostar Aquarium I think is amazing for the cost and a better option then Waterbox or Red Sea. Full disclosure I am dealing with a minor leak where the overflow connects to the first piping union but I think it should be fixable. Also this tank and cabinet comes shipped fully assembled and plumbed.

Ecotech has yet to respond to my email that was just sent a few days ago about a neccessary cable missing for the battery backup.

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ggNoRe

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Looks like thousands of brine shrimp already hatched just 24 hours later. But as per Google should take about 3 weeks before they grow into adults.

It is incredibly difficult getting a good quality picture of the aquarium with a cell phone. The one attached is with an app from the playstore with increased brightness but still doesn't look anywhere near as good as in person.

Also, Ecotech responded and is shipping me the missing cord for the battery backup. It's really awesome that all these aquarium supply companies have great customer service thus far. :)
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ggNoRe

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After testing 0 ammonia for 5 days straight I figured the "pre-cycling" worked and got my first fish! A couple cleaner shrimp and some clean up crew. Did have one casualty unfortunately one cleaner shrimp died overnight. Everything else is doing good so far. I have not got the Copperband to eat in my tank yet but I asked the LFS where I purchased it from to feed it and was able to see it eat frozen food in front of me. I may have an issue with the flow possibly being to strong for the fish. Posting a seperate thread on that to get some advice.
 

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ggNoRe

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After testing 0 ammonia for 5 days straight I figured the "pre-cycling" worked and got my first fish! A couple cleaner shrimp and some clean up crew. Did have one casualty unfortunately one cleaner shrimp died overnight. Everything else is doing good so far. I have not got the Copperband to eat in my tank yet but I asked the LFS where I purchased it from to feed it and was able to see it eat frozen food in front of me. I may have an issue with the flow possibly being to strong for the fish. Posting a seperate thread on that to get some advice.

Looks great! Keep us informed of the brine... I’m interested in this as well.
Brine shrimp hatchery seems to be working really well. There must be a million of them in this 10G. Lmk if you have any questions on the setup and I'll be glad to try and help out.
 

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ggNoRe

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Thanks guys!

Today when I got home from work the tank was really cloudy. Ammonia is still 0 and no noticeble changes. Pretty sure it's just a bacteria bloom which I'm cool with as cultivating as much good bacteria as possible was part of the plan. Picked up 4 banggai cardinals on the way home from work. Dealing with a flow issue the MP60 seems waaaay to strong for my tank. I thought it was just the Copperband but the cardinals too showed that even at 1% they couldn't keep up with the flow of the MP60 and stay far away from it's path. May have to exchange it for something smaller.

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ggNoRe

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Bloom is getting worse. This wouldn't bother me except I rented PAR meter from BRS which I only get for 7 days. Tried Seachem Clarity, 20g water change, and chemipure elite all to no avail. Guess I just have to deal with it.

The flow situation is improving. Increased the MP60 to 25% and the RPM to 50% and the fish are doing fine. They still avoid direct path of the MP60 but are much more comfortable compared to when they were first introduced to the tank.

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Giant disaster! Houston dropped to 15 degrees and the whole city shutdown. No power or internet for 48 hours straight.

The battery backup to the Vortech definitely came in handy. Unfortunately, I was not prepared for going without heat for so long. I wrapped the tank in blankets and floated water bottles filled with hot water but I'm still not sure if that was enough. All 4 cardinals are missing and the cleaner shrimp. I'm really hoping they are hiding in the rocks somewhere.

Amazingly the Copperband and blood shrimp are still alive. The temp was 53 F when the power came back on.
 

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Wow, sorry for your loss. Maybe a generator would be a good thing to put on your needs list for the future. I bought a small one about three years ago and haven't had the need to use it yet
I turned it on a few months ago just to make sure it still worked.
How's the Copperband? you really lucked out on getting one that actually eats the first time around.
 
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Thank you.

The 3rd cardinal was found dead which leaves just one more yet to be discovered. Copperband seems to be doing ok. And both shrimp survived.

I looked into generators and different backup options quite extensively and came to the conclusion of all or nothing is the best approach for me.

Even though this power outage was caused due to cold weather the odds are any future power outages in Houston are much more likely to happen in very hot weather. In such case I would need a chiller (which are not cheap) and a generator. This would set me back around 2500-3500$ and would only keep my fish tank secure it would not do anything to help my family live more comfortably. Also if I happened to be out of town or away from home for any reason it would not take care of business.

Or I can install a full blown stand by generator that would power my whole house as if the power wasn't even out for about $8000.

Third option is do nothing and take my chances. I already have a battery backup for my MP60 which takes care of aeration for about 24hrs. And I can not remember the last time in my 37 yrs of living in Houston that my residence was without power for that long.
 
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Thank you.

The 3rd cardinal was found dead which leaves just one more yet to be discovered. Copperband seems to be doing ok. And both shrimp survived.

I looked into generators and different backup options quite extensively and came to the conclusion of all or nothing is the best approach for me.

Even though this power outage was caused due to cold weather the odds are any future power outages in Houston are much more likely to happen in very hot weather. In such case I would need a chiller (which are not cheap) and a generator. This would set me back around 2500-3500$ and would only keep my fish tank secure it would not do anything to help my family live more comfortably. Also if I happened to be out of town or away from home for any reason it would not take care of business.

Or I can install a full blown stand by generator that would power my whole house as if the power wasn't even out for about $8000.

Third option is do nothing and take my chances. I already have a battery backup for my MP60 which takes care of aeration for about 24hrs. And I can not remember the last time in my 37 yrs of living in Houston that my residence was without power for that long.
Wow, had no idea generators had gone up so much. I bought a small one for a few hundred which I keep in the garage and hope I'll never need. Hopefully this will be the one and only time you'll go through this and you'll just look back on it as a bad experience.
 
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Wow, had no idea generators had gone up so much. I bought a small one for a few hundred which I keep in the garage and hope I'll never need. Hopefully this will be the one and only time you'll go through this and you'll just look back on it as a bad experience.
Yea for sure. At first I was pretty sad about losing those 4 fish. But now I'm honestly feeling incredibly thankful that's all I lost. This was just a new setup with no corals and only maybe 1/10th the total livestock I had planned.

And even more so when I hear all the stories from friends and co-workers on how much damage they suffered from this historicaly catastrophic event fish aren't even in the conversation. I have 3 people I know whom had a pipe burst in their attic flooding their house and caving in their ceilings.
 
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Update: It's been about 1 week since the big disaster and the tank seems to be doing pretty well. All Copperband, Shrimp, hermit, and snails still alive and seemingly more comfortable every day. Parameters looking good other than nitrates a bit high at +/-20 but they have been like that the past 4 weeks so nothing new. Got some chaeto today and added it to the sump so hopefully that will help. Been looking around for 4 more Banggai Cardinals but it seems almost all my LFS' lost pretty much all their livestock as well. Really sad situation.
 

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Speaking of your latest coral purchase...

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