Hi from the UK

Jul 4, 2020
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My name is Phoebe, and I live in Lancaster UK. I started my saltwater journey when I was 15, I dived straight in (‘scuse the pun) without having owned any kind of tank previously! I had saved up for a few years and I got a simple plug and play nano 90L/20G from Kent Marine and a few second hand books on Marine tank keeping.

Over the years I had successes and failures, I’m sorry to say that I lost a few corals and fish due to ignorance, and a sales happy LFS. But I’m happy to report that this tank is still going, with many thanks to my long suffering mother, who took over as aquarist-in-chief when I went to university. As it stands, it is a simple softy tank with two clowns and a cleaner shrimp, but I am very attached to it!

However I am now out of uni, making my way in the world, and I have the space and the bank account to do something a bit bigger. My plan is to have a 3 tank system, one 120L (26G) DT, a sump and a separate refugium, set up as a smaller DT with some delicates in there. I know this isn’t a lot bigger than my previous tank (and is a lot smaller than some of the tanks on here!) but it will be my first time drilling a tank, plumbing tanks together, trying out the refugium process, and total water volume has doubled. I’d like to think I’ve learnt my lesson previously and not to take off more than I can chew! But starting up researching again, I’m realising that there is always more to learn. I’m going through the beginners threads and that’s proving really useful.

So far, I’ve already plumbed in my refugium tank, an adapted secondhand bi-orb, to the sump. I built the stand for it too, I am proud to say! I have cycled it with some live rock and sand from my old tank and got some Marco algae growing well in there, as well as snails, a couple of hermits, a crystal shrimp and sexy shrimp (I’ve always wanted sexy shrimp!). It looks very wild right now - aha! Am I right in thinking that having an established refugium will assist in the cycling of the DT?

Right now I’m researching the best equipment I can buy for my DT. My total system volume is 40G, and I’m aiming between 20-30x total turnover for a mixed softie-LPS tank. I am going to get a Fuji overflow box (400GPH), hang-on returns and powerheads to make up the difference. It would be a dream to have a control system but that is too far out of budget, so I think I will go for a timer style wavemaker. In terms of lighting systems I want an LED strip, with brackets to hold it above the tank. Controlling the spectra would also be high on the wish list but that again depends on budget. If anyone has any suggestions, especially for stuff I can get in the UK, I would be much obliged!

I’m looking forward to exploring this forum further as a member, and sharing this build with you.

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Top Shelf Aquatics
Top Shelf Aquatics
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

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