In wall 240 FINALLY finding Success...

aherre07

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This thread will need to start with a little bit of a back story to bring it in today's progress. Back in 2011 my wife and I decided we would venture on to the next chapter in our lives by designing and building our dream home. The one thing that the house had to have was some kind of integrated fish tank within the design of the house. After many long discussions about where to place the tank within the design of the house we decided to have a sitting area known to us as our "Fish Room" in the house. The tank would be placed in the wall with a decent (small) sized equipment room behind the the wall.

The next decision was easy: GO BIG OR GO HOME. we decided on tank dimensions of 72x30x24 for rough volume of 240g. By going with a 30" depth (front to back) I took up some space in the equipment room but I truly love the added space within the tank. I summoned a somewhat local to me fish builder to build our tank which would be all glass with a starfire front. As the tank was being built I began to collect my equipment:

Equipment List:
Skimmer: Reef Octopus SRO-5000 EXT
Lighting: 4 AI SOL Blue LED in combination with a 4x80W bulb TEK T5
Controller: Neptune Systems Apex to include WXM, VDM, I/O Breakout Box. Later upgraded to the 2016 Apex and added a DOS, Trident and an AFS
Flow: Return pump Varios 8 controllable pump, 2 MP60QD and 1 MP40QD
ATO: Float switches through the I/O box with an aqualifter pump

Here are a few pictures of the tank, equipment and transfer of tank to the wall:
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Once we got the tank home we realized that we hadn't accounted for the drywall on the interior of the cutout in the wall. No problem time to make some adjustments to the wall of course:
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Luckily my dad and I were the builder of the home (no one to blame but ourselves) but more importantly were able to make quick work of the modification. Once that was done we were able to get the tank in its final resting place.
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aherre07

aherre07

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Not sure what happened with the order of those pics I apologize for them being out of order.

So as I was getting everything plumbed together and ready to start filling the tank Mistake #1 occurred; I broke the most important rule in the hobby, NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS FAST in this hobby. A local reefer was breaking down his 120 and had plenty of coral and awesome healthy fish that I was looking at having in my tank so what did I do? Yup, I bought all his livestock without having a tank filled. Well everything was living in a room in the house on the floor while I finished setting up the tank. All went well for a few months and then the tank just went downhill from there. Lost a lot of fish and corals at that time and was basically never right.

To make a very long story short after a heater exploded in sump and caused a pretty big leak beneath the tank, I decided that I needed to do this the "Right way". I drained the tank and it sat empty for about a year in the wall. I never took the tank out of the house as I knew that I would be back and be better for it in the end.

In 2014, I decided that it was best to start over so I rebuilt the sump and redid the plumbing. I was never quite happy with my corner overflows. Fish would often end up in them and it was always a pain to get them out due to space in the overflow. I had told the tank builder to make them as small possible to have as much space within the tank as I could. Well with the reboot in mind I decided to have the builder of the tank come by and we did away with the overflows completely and went with an external Ghost Overflow. This made my life and the plumbing so much easier, let alone the amount of space I gained in the tank.
 
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aherre07

aherre07

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I could literally sit here and write on for days and days about all the different changes and improvements I have made and the many lessons that I have learned but would hate to bore you with a bunch of reading. We need pictures so here are a few pictures of the current state of the tank. You will be able to see many of the improvements I have made (water mixing station, control board, doors above the tank to have access from the front to name a few).
20201028_114927[1].jpg

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aherre07

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Thanks for compliments.

Current tank inhabitants: Pair of Oscellaris Clowns (just laid their first clutch on Saturday) hosted by an H. Magnifica nem, Mated pair of flame angels (spawn regularly), Coral Beauty, Majestic Angel, Emperor Angel Pair of Blue Jaw Triggerfish, Magnificent Foxface, Yellow Tang, Purple Tang, Blue Hippo Tang, Lieutenant Tang, and a Vlamingi Tang.

Here is a short video at Nori time where you can see most of the current fish:

The tank is on its way to becoming predominantly all SPS. Current SPS frags that are doing very well:
Mystic Sunset Monti, RMF Tiger's Blood, WWC King Kiwi, CC Dark Knight, BC Ultimate Table, Tyree Pink Lemonade, BC Bubblebath, ORA Purple Stylo, Vivid Rainbow Delight, UF Tri-Color, BC Ultimate Soli, RR The Vinh, CC Booerry, WWC Nuclear Grapes, Red milli, Vivid Confetti (2), ATL Shades of Fall, CC Needle in a Haystack, PC Rainbow, RR Pink Cadillac, TGC Blue Tort, Green Slimer, ORA Green Planet, BC SKinny Love, ARC Fireworks (being very stubborn), Bubble Gum Digi, Superman Digi and a purple tipped gold torch. Short video to show where they have been placed on the rockwork.

You might be wondering whats on the frag rack in the middle of the tank. I was able to score 15 frags from Cherry Corals Live Sale this weekend and are settling in nicely.
 
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The list of corals added from the live sale: From left to right in the picture
Row nearest the glass: Jedi Mind Trick Monti, WWC Pink Passion, Tyree Pinky the Bear, BC Frankenberry 2.0, FF Red Robin Stag.
Middle Row: BC Magic Wand Tenuis, ASD Rainbow Milli, CR Eternal Flame, JF Fox Flame, Tyree Le Merlin Staff.
Back row: CC Royale Poci, Tyree Bird of Paradise, CC Voodoo Majik, CC Cherry Limeaide, Copps Cali Cali Tort.
20201028_131302[1].jpg
 
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aherre07

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So a little bit about how I run the system itself. My goal with this system was to have it be as low maintenance as possible. Being a high school football coach in Texas takes up quite a bit of my time between July and December and so I needed the system to run itself as much as it can.

With that being said I belong to the do a water change when the corals or tank says it needs one. I will honestly tell you that I do water changes on the system about once every 2 to 3 months usually, But I look at the colors of the corals and whether they are growing or not through visual inspection of each coral pretty much daily.

I am currently using the trident to test my parameters only. I have not had the courage to allow it make dosing adjustments on its own just yet. I will mention however that this piece of equipment has already helped me avoid a potential failure in the system. I was able to see my Alk dropping and so upon further inspection noticed that the dosing line had become clogged with precipitate.

One of the reasons I haven't turned the dosing over to the trident is because I am currently lowering my Ca down from 500 as it slightly spiked with the clogging of the Alk dosing line. I believe that I will turn the dosing management on once I get my Ca down to 440ish.

I try to maintain my Alk at and around 9 dKH as much as I can. Currently running at 8.6 and am slowly climbing back up to 9.

So the maintenance schedule on this tank is pretty basic: Clean out the skimmate twice a week and make sure all is well with the tank inhabitants.

I feed pretty heavily and feed a mixture of plenty of things. From pellets to my own fresh made frozen food. Fish seem to love the variety. The AFS feeds the tank pellets twice a day, I feed frozen once a day and place a half sheet of Nori on the clip right before lights out.
 
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aherre07

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Here's a short video taken of my flame angel pair doing what seems to be their almost nightly ritual..pretty interesting to watch (sorry for the blue light i didn't want to interrupt them by turning on the lights).

 
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aherre07

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Was fortunate enough to receive an avast port hole for top down shots as well an Orphek lens kit. Here are some quick top downs of some of my favorite corals.

Forgot the name of this one..
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TGC tri-color
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Rr the vinh
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PC Rainbow
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Bc Skinny love
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