Hmmmmm's Infinity build - The high end automated craigslist special on a budget

hmmmmm

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Alrighty then, here we go, my first build from the ground up. Had 3 tanks in the last 2 years, all bought of craigslist, fixed up and resold. Mainly for the giggles, but also to acquire some experience and fund the hobby. I want(ed) everything, but don't have the means to pay for it, so all my hobbies have been a mix of trading up and some extra effort. I have been gathering equipment for a while now and building my house so im starting to think about the right tank for me, not to trade or sell. This is going to take a while.. havent finished my house, dont have the tank yet, not even sure on the size to be honest, so this will be more like a diary then a build thread ;)

The plan is to build a shallow reef style tank that sits on the kitchen island. About 4 feet wide, 2 feet deep, and 1 feet high. I would like something thats visable from all 4 sides, with low iron glass and no wires in the tank (that should be easy :rolleyes:). Im a service engineer by trade, installing systems for the healthcare industry, so half the fun for me is automating everything.

But first there is a space issue. Its my first house, tiny and old (1930's). So i dont have room and for all the equipment im planning to run, a sump in a stand is just not going to cut it. So the only option is the basement. Only problem is i live in the Netherlands, so far below sealevel im starting to develop gills. That means no houses on our block have usable basements. I have a space about 4 feet high, 4 feet wide, and 15 feet long. So not even enough room to stand in, and crazy humidity. The plan is to make a big hatch, hidden in the living room floor, and use that space to create a workstation where i can do my tests, frag etc without ruining the floors.

The 'basement', not in the best condition, only used to hide the heating installation at the moment.
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Refinished the walls, painted the beams, and put in some led lighting with sensors and some power sockets.
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Leveled the floor and needed 20kg epoxy to get it waterproof. Could order it in the right color, but would cost me €300, found the same amount on craigslist for €60, but its bright green. Not my first choice but i like the €240 in my pocket more then the color ;Happy
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Its like Kermit exploded in there! I like it tbh, dont have any grazy colors in my interior so to have something like this hidden away is kinda fun.
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And just some of the equipment ive gathered so far; Theiling Rollermat, Tunze algae reactor, Cloud9 skimmer and a big UV light.
EDrOlMP.jpg


The Theiling/Tunze combi should take care of most of the nutrients, skimmer is mainly to raise PH, distribute Ozone and anything it picks up is a plus. Its to big for my water volume but its DC so maybe it can be run at lower power and still do what i need it for. Got it cheap and if i add anything to the system later i can just turn it up if needed. I would like to run the tank without any media reactors. The rollermat and algae reactor can be mounted externally so i will try and keep the sump as clean as possible to ad some frag racks later.

Picking up some water tanks that should fit in there easier than barrels next week, and working on some Giesemann fixtures that came without the power adapters so thats a big unknown. They were apparently used on the Giesemann stands around the word for demo purposes, they even have 'not for sale' etched into the glass :oops:
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Hopefully i can get them working, could never afford a new one so this would be nice way to get some quality equipment right from the get go!
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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Had a little time to mess around with the Giesemann fixtures i picked up a while back.

1250mm Futura S, came without any power supplies and has the weird not for sale text etched in the glass. Daisychained some power supplies together to get the required amperage.
8RvDQ9y.jpg


I can only run 3 of the led pucks at a time while testing with the psu's i have laying around. But they all seem to be working, paid 300 euros for the fixture, it's around 2k new, so SCORE :cool:
JYb6zRN.jpg


I was afraid there would be some kind of weird firmware on it, as it was a demo light. But i can connect to it and change the settings so all good.
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In the deal there was also a Giesemann Teszla, same as the futura basically but only one light puck. Also no PSU but after some messing around i got it working. This will go over the coral quarantine tank, so i can use the same par and spectrum as the MD.
NbNQc7r.jpg


Good week overall, next up redundant controllers using GHL, Apex and Seneye
 
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Mastiffsrule

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Looks like a fun build. Love the floor. It reminds me of my kids play slime, I keep thinking your stuff is about to sink into the floor. :D
keep updating
 
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hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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Already had a Seneye, which will come in use to set up the lights and as a ammonia monitor during the startup phase. Maybe even to triple check the pH but I don't like the slides\montly costs. I will be using an Apex as my main monitor, but everything needs redundancy on this build, so I've added a profilux to the collection ;Smuggrin

It's an old 3.1 model with an extension card, so it has temp, ph, salinity, redox etc. Don't really care how accurate the old sensors are, this will only be used to monitor big spikes\drops when the Apex fails or freezes. Had some problems updating to the latest firmware but mutiple software servions and a rs232 converter did the trick.

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Also got the titanium heaters in, 2 small ones for the frag QT system and 2 600 watters for the DT (2 used, 2 new). Plus the Schego controller as a backup.

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Not sure on the right way to go about this yet, any thoughts? So far I was thinking:
1 600w on the apex\dt
1 600w on the profilux as a backup
1 200w on the Apex\qt (with extra temp sensor)
1 200w in the Schego contr\qt backup

Also got my first ecotech pump, which was a weird one. Someone had this on the shelves as a backup since 2014. So it's 6 years old but also new in the box at the same time. It's not the qd version but it was €125, so I didn't ask any questions ;Happy

IMG20200218232139.jpg


Anything I should check with an older unit like this, or just dump it in and good to go for the next 6 years?
 
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hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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Finally found some glass, got a price from a builder but it was around a 800 bucks and its not really working for my second hand mindset. So i found something that is almost perfect, would have liked 2 inches wider and lower but close enough, and for a quarter of the price ;Happy 10mm ultra clear rimmless in very good condition.

IMG-20200413-WA0006.jpg


Also found a sump, second hand aquarium with 8mm glass, so a bit sturdier than what i would normally use for a sump.
I would like it to roll on the ground so i can clean the skimmer and filter without having to crawl on the ground, so i made a platform with some wheels on it, damped by thick pieces of rubber.

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Not the safest thing ive ever done in a cramped space..
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Works like a charm, but this is without water so ill have to wait and see, might be a complete disaster :rolleyes:
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hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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Holy crap what size is that sump looks huge

Wide angle lens on my phone makes it look bigger than it is ;)
Its 120x50x60 cm if im not mistaken. I dont mind a bigger sump, more room for biological filtration as i prefer negative space in the DT, and some coral racks. I would like to try a big rack full of Xenia and GSP in the future as well, so more space=better+
 
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hmmmmm

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Ive been saving liverock for a while now. Had it soaking in bleach for a good 10 days.
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Its been dead and cleaned for months maybe a year, but as you can see by the color of the water the bleach still cleaned it up quite a bit!
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Now its finally indoors in a heated bin, along with some pumps and a titanium heater. Using salt from Arka Biotech in Germany, the Microbe Lift brand, as well as their bacteria to give it a quicker start, combined with a similar product from Colombo. Got the Seneye with a new slide to monitor the Ammonia cycle, should make it a bit easier to follow along ;HappyFirst time starting with dead rock so curious to see the differences..
IMG20200503173016.jpg
 
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hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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Here's a non update, lots of fails lately :rolleyes:

First the rock I had curing in the tub is probably leeching phosphate. No ammonia or nitrates but phosphates off the scale.. So under advise to do a big water change I decided to move the rock to the basement sump. 100% water change, waiting a few days to retest. Was expecting fully cured rock so not a great day, but hopefully salvageable.

IMG20201004220953.jpg


Moisture will be an issue, and it's an old house, so covered the sump up with some Plexiglas and turned on a big dehumidifier. Put some airstones in the sump, and a couple of Tunzes to throw the bubbles around for a bit.

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Meanwhile I broke down the QT I had running. Double fail on this one.. ;Bored

First when I pulled the stand from the wall I noticed I must have had some salt creep going on the wall.. so that's ruined after just a couple of months..

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And then when I tried to take the QT tanks down to the basement I knocked it on something.. so that's also ruined..
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I thought, you know what, screw this, I'll do something fun. Wanted to get a nano up anyways because the main tank will take a long time. Too long to be without corals. Just a small 15 gallon.. what can go wrong he said with blissful ignorance :rolleyes:

Found something I really liked, a tiny peninsula all in one. A Waterbox 15 to be exact. Clear glass and including some accessories for only 150 with free shipping, don't know how they are making money on this but I love it.
waterbox-peninsula-mini_5.jpg_August-29-2020-308pm.jpg


Had some reel reef rock laying around so bleached it, and started to cut it up to make a little aquascape.
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Here what I came up with. Difficult to get a good picture, but everything is of the sand to keep it clean a little easier. Used superglue to keep things in place, then stonefix to strengthen. Liquid superglue and sand to hide some of the cement. Measured it out with some taping on the floor to make sure it would fit while still being able to use a magnet cleaner on all sides.
IMG20201004131510.jpg


.......


Wanted to make sure it looked good in the tank so took it upstairs, only to figure out I took the dimensions from the box, which are the absolute dimensions of the whole thing.. it's an aio so I should have substracted the dimension of the rear chamber...

Screenshot_2020-10-06-11-40-10-01.jpg


Better get some sleep, this was all very unproductive. Maybe some very strong espresso and a day off work will help get me back on track tomorrow.. ;Brb;)
 
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Top Shelf Aquatics
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hmmmmm

hmmmmm

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lanthanum chloride will get rid of those phosphates

I cant find it over here (Holland) in its pure form. One pharmaceutical supplier but they only have 600g for around 250 bucks.. I can get Phosphate RX locally, but that would require a skimmer. Which isn't in the sump atm and there isn't any space left..

Need to wait a few days anyway to check if the rock is actually releasing more phosphate. Maybe I'll try GFO after that. Can always get the RX and put in my QT skimmers (tunze 9001 X2)
 
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Got the QT mostly up, top will be 2 small tanks for coral QT. With 2 old AI sols for light. Going to run water straight from the sump to these tanks, since everything will be QT'ed, that's the plan anyways ;Pompus

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Bottom tank will be fish QT. Still need some glass to devide it different sections. Would like to be able to have one part running as a QT, and the other as a hospital tank for emergencys.

IMG20201006234754.jpg
 
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The QT system got a big upgrade, a kore 5th doser. Using a couple of pumps to do minor water changes on the QT, maybe add some kalkwasser. And the other ones will be used for the Pacific Sun Phyto reactor. That way I can manage the culture easier, feed the tanks etc. (Maybe even fully automate it in the future?)

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First corals are in, shipping took a bit longer then expected but after the dip they are going into the nano tank.
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According to the seller one of the torches is a pineapple. Can't drive 600km to go an have a look so took a gamble. First time buying a +100 dollar frag so we shall see..
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Got some zoas, more on the way. Hoping to grow and frag some in the coming months to get some ready for the DT.
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First livestock, a pair of breeding percula clowns. These will go through QT and get a seperate tank connected to the sump. Maybe play around with raising a few babies in the future ☺
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Als ordered some snow storm clowns for the DT, but not sure if they are legit. Very cheap considering another LFS wants 375 dollars for 2 small black storms that are not paired up. So smells a bit fishy @ 120 for the 2 snowstorms I got offered.. any thoughts on these, could they be some different variation? Otherwise I figured someone locally is breeding them. U cant imagine these can be imported in small numbers for this sort of money.

Screenshot_2020-11-01-23-31-01-56.jpg
 
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Got lucky with some clowns, not in a niche website sort of way ;)

I wanted to have a look at the snowstorms I spotted online, but the LFS had a pair of blackstorms available as well. I couldn't help myself and they looked healthy, pretty good price as well. They are now in the nano, where I fed them some live food:


Might get them a goby as a tank mate, but currently they are the only inhabitants, apart from some hermits and snails.
 
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Reef Chasers Aquaculture
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Not much goging one with the main tank, still not finished with the house rebuild. But the frag tank/nano bedroom tank is coming along nicely. This tank will supply the DT with corals, function as a coral QT system to spot issues, and hopefully someday the black storm will breed in this tank ;Joyful

Added a small aquarium to function as an ATO reservoir, using a Tunze Nano ATO.
IMG_20210627_120417.jpg


Im away from the tank for multiple days a week so needed a doser to keep things in check. Second hand Kore 5th is doing the job nicely. Dosing kalkwasser for the PH boost (in combination with the scrubber, only way i can keep it above 8), and adding 2 part & a small amount of carbon.
IMG_20210627_015710__01.jpg


3D printed some mounts for the hoses, to keep everything looking neat.
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Reefled 90 @40% blue and 10% white for 8 hours. Aquamedic controller for the titanium heater and cooling fans. And a Seneye as a warning if the temp ever gets above 27C.
IMG_20210629_222041.jpg


I need a bigger frag tank asap :cool:
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Mostly Zoa's on top in the frag racks, LPS on the bottom. 4 torches, couple of hammers and some other random stuff.
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One of my favorite Zoa's, made an ID topic for this one because i have no idea. Looks like a Cornbreds White Zombie Paly but this one also has the blue spatter next to the white. If anyone knows, you know were to find me ;)
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Just some other random shot i liked
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Keds red people eaters, love these, dont want to grow though, had them for almost 6 months.. Bought them as 2 polyps, seem to be very healthy but not in the baby making mood i guess..
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No idea when i can finally start with the DT but this little 10 gallon peninsula is definitely keeping me interested for the time being!
 

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