Idaho Reef build - Break is over - Reefer 900

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Ok believe I am cycled. That Seachem Aquavitro Seed seems to have done the trick (along with all the life rock I used). A small ammonia spike followed by a small nitrite spike and now both at zero and have been for several days. Registering a little (5) Nitrate.

Added 3 clowns from my other tank. Will keep testing to make sure ammonia/nitrites don't change. Will leave lights off for another day or two and then bring them on slowly and work my way up.

I finished my Auto Water Change system. I haven't been running it since Ive been cycling. Figure Ill wait a few more days and then turn on. Haven't started dosing for ALK or Calcium as obviously there is no coral in the tank and to this point all levels are fine anyway. Trident seems to be working great.

Starting my control panel build today. Bought some Expanded PVC board.

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AS
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I was able to get my control board finished today. Hope to install it tomorrow.
I used 1/2” expanded PVC board. I wanted something that would be easy to install and access and ended up with something similar to the adaptive reef set up but more custom to what I wanted. The PVC board is really easy to work with - cuts and screws similar to wood yet is water proof, strong and light weight. I think I spent around $60 on materials.

I have limited space for my controller board so I won’t have Apex EB or FMM module mounted on the front. Instead I’ll have my four MP40’s, the two COR20 return pump controllers, the Apex brain, a 10 plug switched power strip and one of my DOS pumps. It was a tight squeeze just getting that much in.

I started using cardboard to decide what I wanted to mount in the face and how to lay it out.

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Then I started cutting. The hole for the DOS pump was tricky since all I had was a jig saw but I took my time and it looks good. I created a shelf for the recessed DOS and shelves for the power bricks. I had thicker (3/4”) white PVC board and used that to make shelf and corner cleats to screw into.

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Control board (cabinet) is done and installed. Thankfully after disconnecting everything and installing onto the controller board it all still works lol. I also spent some time organizing/hiding my cords, hose lines etc. in both sump areas. I installed my Fuge and Frag tank lights. Ill keep those off until needed. Ive started a 30 day acclimation cycle for my Radions so they just come on for a few hours each night. I put in a small Tunze pump in my frag tank to create more flow.

The control board/cabinet slides into the stand with about 1/16" to spare on all sides. I didn't plan for it to be quite that close lol. But it fits perfectly and looks as if it was built into the stand. To access I simply slide it out and can access from the top or slide all way out if I need to get into it deeper. I installed the EB and FMM on the back of the stand as there was simply not space on the controller board.

Tank is looking great. Cycle appears to be done and the 3 clowns are doing great. Only issue at this point are the micro bubbles I get into my display tank. The skimmer is mostly broken in but I guess it still has a ways to go - that or I don't have it adjusted correctly yet.

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Update. Have some new occupants. Have been feeding heavy to keep everyone healthy and building up immunities. Have been feeding Rod’s but bought some fresh clams today to make sure fish are getting the guts with the bacteria. I’ve blended and will freeze then slice cubes when feeding. I’ve ordered black worms and white worms. I’ll make an attempt at propagating the white worms. My plan is to feed as well as I possibly can and hopefully that will include sustained live worms.

I’ve also added two soft corals from my other tank as a test run along with a small zoanthid frag. So far they are happy.

my parameters are all good. No ammonia, no nitrate for weeks. Nitrate is low (possibly too low) which is one reason for im feeding heavier.
I haven’t started dosing yet. Alk has stayed stable around 8.5, ph around 8, Ca around 430. Once I see a drop or add more corals I’ll start dosing. My AWC has been doing a two gallon per day water change.
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Yesterday I installed an oxydator (size W). From the reading I’ve done on them I really wanted to give it a try. For anyone interested there is a really good and informative thread here:


Unfortunately the 12% peroxide and two catalysts I started with were two strong and my ORP plummeted quickly. I took it out and it slowly climbed back up. The quick drop proved to be to much for my cleaner shrimp as I found him dead this morning. I reduced the H202 down to 6% and took one catalyst out and reinstalled. This time there was another drop but much smaller and it started to climb back up and has leveled off.

fish and coral (the small amount I have) all seem to be doing well.
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powers2001

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@ID-Reefer where are you in Idaho? I’m on the Montana side close to Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry Idaho
What type of drill bit did you use to make the 1/2” holes for acrylic rods? Masonry? I have a bunch of 1/2” acrylic rod but I’m afraid the bit to make the holes will be too big and crumble the rock. How did that work for you?
 

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Control board (cabinet) is done and installed. Thankfully after disconnecting everything and installing onto the controller board it all still works lol. I also spent some time organizing/hiding my cords, hose lines etc. in both sump areas. I installed my Fuge and Frag tank lights. Ill keep those off until needed. Ive started a 30 day acclimation cycle for my Radions so they just come on for a few hours each night. I put in a small Tunze pump in my frag tank to create more flow.

The control board/cabinet slides into the stand with about 1/16" to spare on all sides. I didn't plan for it to be quite that close lol. But it fits perfectly and looks as if it was built into the stand. To access I simply slide it out and can access from the top or slide all way out if I need to get into it deeper. I installed the EB and FMM on the back of the stand as there was simply not space on the controller board.

Tank is looking great. Cycle appears to be done and the 3 clowns are doing great. Only issue at this point are the micro bubbles I get into my display tank. The skimmer is mostly broken in but I guess it still has a ways to go - that or I don't have it adjusted correctly yet.

IMG_3442 2.jpeg

IMG_3446.jpeg
IMG_3448.jpeg
IMG_3444.jpeg
IMG_3443.jpeg

epic controller board! what is it made out of?
 
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@ID-Reefer where are you in Idaho? I’m on the Montana side close to Sandpoint and Bonners Ferry Idaho
What type of drill bit did you use to make the 1/2” holes for acrylic rods? Masonry? I have a bunch of 1/2” acrylic rod but I’m afraid the bit to make the holes will be too big and crumble the rock. How did that work for you?
I’m near Boise. But grew up near Sandpoint (Priest Lake).
I used a masonry drill bit with a hammer drill. Worked great although I didn’t break a couple rocks. The large rocks drilled fine it was small pieces that break easier.
 

powers2001

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I’m near Boise. But grew up near Sandpoint (Priest Lake).
I used a masonry drill bit with a hammer drill. Worked great although I didn’t break a couple rocks. The large rocks drilled fine it was small pieces that break easier.
@ID-Reefer wow small world. We go through Sandpoint and Priest River quite often on our way to Spokane. My aunt actually had a houseboat docked on Priest Lake year round.
 
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A little update. Received my UV sterilizers and pump. Went to do the install over the weekend. What a pain in the ****. I decided to do a closed loop within the display tank (take from and return directly to the display tank) as from my research this was the best method.

because I’m so tight on space and do not want the UV exposed on the outside of the tank I am putting in the cabinet behind my tank in a different room. I went with Vecton 600s (25 watt each) which from my reading is a really good unit. More on those at a later date. I was using a Hydor 1000 which has a controllable flow. Well after getting installed I had leaks. I was very careful doing the install yet the union I was using between the sterilizers kept leaking. Sooo I removed it he union and went with barbs and 3/4” hose. Fixed. Reinstalled. Then the pump leaked which can be used as an external pump which is what I’m doing. I tried several things including finally using aquarium silicone. It somehow kept leaking and had to eventually give up but not before managing to lose about 3 gallons of water on the floor form the siphon that had been created. No photos of that. Anyway I ordered a different pump and will update once I have this up and going.
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Jeffcb

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A little update. Received my UV sterilizers and pump. Went to do the install over the weekend. What a pain in the ****. I decided to do a closed loop within the display tank (take from and return directly to the display tank) as from my research this was the best method.

because I’m so tight on space and do not want the UV exposed on the outside of the tank I am putting in the cabinet behind my tank in a different room. I went with Vecton 600s (25 watt each) which from my reading is a really good unit. More on those at a later date. I was using a Hydor 1000 which has a controllable flow. Well after getting installed I had leaks. I was very careful doing the install yet the union I was using between the sterilizers kept leaking. Sooo I removed it he union and went with barbs and 3/4” hose. Fixed. Reinstalled. Then the pump leaked which can be used as an external pump which is what I’m doing. I tried several things including finally using aquarium silicone. It somehow kept leaking and had to eventually give up but not before managing to lose about 3 gallons of water on the floor form the siphon that had been created. No photos of that. Anyway I ordered a different pump and will update once I have this up and going.
E3B7DE07-5C9C-4D05-904D-D9F0767CDE36.jpeg
0CBD5B15-F9F3-44FC-9D64-9667B8B8354D.jpeg


I don't think closed loop makers on a few hundred gallons. idk Looks good.
 
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