How not to start a reef tank, my first reef tank build

Which light should I upgrade to after coral qt is done?

  • 2x ai prime

    Votes: 5 50.0%
  • Reefbreeders 24 in. Photon v2

    Votes: 2 20.0%
  • Stick with current orbit USA marine

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Viparspectra 165w

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • 2x hipargero 30w

    Votes: 1 10.0%
  • Other

    Votes: 1 10.0%

  • Total voters
    10
  • Poll closed .

living_tribunal

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As the title suggests, I will be losing my reef tank virginity this weekend.

After about as much research, horror stories, and salivating over absurdly beautiful tanks that a man can handle, I decided to commit to building my very first reef tank.

What you see before you are the makings of an amazingly mediocre tank, that which I’m somewhat proud of, more so nervous as s*** about.

I’m starting with a 36 gal aqueon bowfront, the usual suspect in reef addiction, tragedy, and triumph.
-Two aqueon powerheads.
-Current USA marine orbit 36” LED.
-150w aqueon pro heater.
-50 gal ro/di unit.
-Aquaclear 70 power filter (you down with HOB, ya you know me)
-Reef Clear salt
-10 lbs of Marcos dry rock
-20 lbs of Bimini pink live sand
-Refractometer
-40 gal roughneck, 2x Home Depot 5s
-Gravel cleaner
-20 ft airline tube
-Dr. Tims
-Some electronic thermometer I forgot the name of.
-Dos powerstrips stolen from my battlestation (home office)
-Light timers
-Various nutrients for adjusting levels
-Hot tub grade shims
-Bunch of levels
-Yoga Mat stolen from ex

Here are the results from the initial purchasathon (excludes powerheads, dry rock, and ammonia test strips):

22EFD796-1FC7-446F-8E02-45769188981F.jpeg C98C6EE8-C675-45F5-8757-C92BD0FA72BF.jpeg 31421AF1-2A10-470A-B46E-318BC08FE3AD.jpeg
 
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NY_Caveman

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Welcome to R2R! Nice tank. I always like the bowfronts and that seems like a good size. Best advice is stay patient. Be careful of those level adjusting nutrients. You will not need them for a long time, if ever.
 
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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What I foresee is several months of me demonstrating to future reefers how not to go about building a tank. A lot of veni, vidi with no vici.

Back of the napkin plan:
-Go full live sand but dry rock to boost the initial cycling, but not too much.
- Setup quarantine tank a week into cycling.
- Decided on Dr. Tim’s for cycling. All paths lead to his product.
- Once levels stabilize, give the fish another week or so in copper (just a wee bit) and medicated solution. Not about giving marine fish freshwater stress. Also not about giving ich in my tank before it begins.

Tragedy is best with a gradual build.
 
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Best reef aquarium LED lighting
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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Welcome to R2R! Nice tank. I always like the bowfronts and that seems like a good size. Best advice is stay patient. Be careful of those level adjusting nutrients. You will not need them for a long time, if ever.

I’m an Eagle Scout, also potentially kin of Murphy, the one that has a law named after him. Always be prepared.
 
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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And here we go, the initial fill.

Watching this 50 gal ro/di unit go the extra mile is a lot like the movie Rudy. Am I rooting for its success? Hell yes. Will it succeed? Not entirely sure. Am I going to cry? 100%


Going to kick back, grab a cold one, and turn on c-span because who needs molasses when you have a 50 gal ro/di unit.

B6D06560-F2E7-4C9D-A74D-1EA528ACA1EC.jpeg
 
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boacvh

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Welcome to R2R! Following your build thread now, really entertaining. Fellow noob here, although I might have graduated from disater-in-the-making to I-can-keep-the-water-off-the-floor-during-water-changes.
If I may make a suggestion, I have a very similar rodi unit and I have noticed the DI cartridge lasts a lot longer if placed completely vertically rather than at an angle like in your picture. Not sure why, but before I finally set it up in a cabinet I was using it in a sink like you and I ran through the di cartridges much faster. Then I proped them up vertically and they last much longer.
 
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living_tribunal

living_tribunal

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Welcome to R2R! Following your build thread now, really entertaining. Fellow noob here, although I might have graduated from disater-in-the-making to I-can-keep-the-water-off-the-floor-during-water-changes.
If I may make a suggestion, I have a very similar rodi unit and I have noticed the DI cartridge lasts a lot longer if placed completely vertically rather than at an angle like in your picture. Not sure why, but before I finally set it up in a cabinet I was using it in a sink like you and I ran through the di cartridges much faster. Then I proped them up vertically and they last much longer.

I will go ahead and do that now. I appreciate the suggestion
 
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