jason2459

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I've been on this site for a little while now and I'm finally building a new tank for an older aquarium.

I guess I'll do a "quick" recap up to this point.

I started with a 55g I got from my sister-in-law around 2006.

55g with some coral life compact Florence and some glo T5s, CPR Skimmer and HOB refugium I think they were, a HOB filter and a canister filter. Eventually got a coral life super skimmer I turned into a fran'n skimmer. Softy FOWLR

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Ran great till 2008 and this happened where we lost everything including the house due to the foundation caving in.

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Wife talked me into trying to recover the tank
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Lots of sanding and staining and sealing later it looked better then before. And yep, that's a reverse UGF thanks to @Paul B and I have always ran one since.

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I still have the same rock, dolomite, and inhabitants from that tank and have just added more. My clownfish were my first fish I got and they were a breeding pair then and still are now. They are probably close to 20 years old.

I also used to have a 20g mantis tank. I ran this for over 9 years until the mantis finally died of old age and transfered over the yellow tail damsel I dared to house with the mantis to my main tank. I didn't transfer over the Xenia. lol

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Wow! That's a crazy story! Your resilience is admirable!!!
 
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jason2459

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So, that 55g ran from 2009 till 2011 when I did a minor upgrade to a 180g with a sump plumbed to the basement. Over the years I played around with many skimmer and algae methods. I played around with different lighting. I added some more Softies, LPS, and SPS. Then a couple RBTAs that eventually took over the tank. I didn't mind it but with the new tank build I've sold off all the RBTAs and just have some mushrooms, zoa's, and gorgonians that survived the RBTA take over.

I have some threads on my LED testing, Iron dosing for my @Turbo's Aquatics ATS, saltmix comparisons, lots of test kit and ICP testing, and joined in some threads on bryopsis, cyano, and dinos that I had fun with.

My favorite thread of mine is my microscope picture and video thread. https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/our-tanks-biology-up-close.239838/

I have my own home lab and still enjoy playing around. I just haven't had much time for posting and uploading stuff the past few years. Life and all.

I mostly hang out in the Chemistry section and have always enjoyed @Randy Holmes-Farley 's posts and articles.

So, pictures and more to follow on my journey to my new tank.
 
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I bought the 180 used for about $300 with a stand and canopy in October of 2011.

I repainted those all black
2011-10-01_21-16-51_558.jpg


And if you have a canopy it must be used for decorations. December that year...
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It did take me a bit to get it setup because the tank had leaks in the seams. I tore it all apart and resealed it and reenforced the seams with more glass. Resealing a tank is a lot of work...

Along the bottom I put down strips of glass and on top I put in angles of glass.

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I also custom made my own external box for an @BeanAnimal overflow and an internal shadow type box out of acrylic and held on with a bulkhead. Silent and flawless.
2011-10-29_16-11-31_604.jpg



Filled and leak testing in the garage.
2011-11-02_23-27-12_791.jpg
 
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I started with some reefbrite LED strips and not pictured some T5s on the front and back of those.

2011-11-05_17-09-22_175.jpg



Eventually I switched to T5s down the middle and 4 Reefbreeder Photons around them back when Photons were a heck of a lot cheaper then they are now. Holy Cow!


Those Reefbreeders are setup with carabineers and longer and shorter ones to have them angled in a bit.
20170226_005617.jpg
 
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Another favorite purchase of mine during this time frame is a RODI unit that I still use from @Buckeye Hydro

The Gapper 400GPD and added two big DI chambers.

I love this thing... lol

20170216_233417.jpg
 
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Here's the 40 Breeder I turned into a sump and still use it.

Left side in the first picture is for the skimmer which feeds into a bio whatever larger area, which feeds back through some baffles, and back to the return pump.

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And here's the mess I made with wiring, heaters, switches, probes, etc
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For skimmer, I've used many from hang on backs, cylinders, cones, recirculating, internal/external, Becket, etc.

This is my all time favorite and current skimmer still. In this thread I've documented a lot of testing and different pumps and configurations.

An MTC MVX

Coming out of the box
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Added an extension to it
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... including dual venturies

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And I still love watching this thing produce bubbles
 
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For water flow in the main tank besides the return I have been using the maxspect gyres since when they first came out. I think I have XF250's now. I have a single one in my new tank for now and think I like it.

But in my 180 I did one of the coolest things I think I've done with the tank by creating a tidal flow and lunar light programming that matches the oceans tidal patterns and moon phases in my region.

Here's a post I described it all in detail including the Apex programming for it.



An old FTS. With the tidal and moon phases going I would frequently get coral and even anemone spawning events.
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For dosing I add some Mg to my new saltwater used for automatic water changes controlled with the apex and a DOS.

I use limewater for top off.

And I've been dosing vinegar for many years and for a little while now some iron I make myself as described in this thread
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I don't remember how old these BRS 1.1ml/m peristaltic pumps are and some day I'll changing out the tubing like I'm supposed too. Used for vinegar and iron.
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The DOS for water changes.
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I just found my old sump design around using a RUGF and ATS which I still use this sump as seen above.

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Can see it here before getting covered up by lots of things
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I guess the last major piece of equipment I want to highlight before going on to my new tank build is my @Turbo's Aquatics ATS.

I started with I think a Rev 3 L4 and it did amazing. Then when the Rev 5 came out I bought one and upped it to an L8.a Last I saw he's still working on a Rev 5.

They are algae producing machines and it's also on of my favorite places to collect samples for my microscope work.

I made a mount for it out of cpvc
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And dosing the iron really gets that algae thick and green
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I think I have that intensity something over 50% and run the lights for I think around 20hours a day controlled by my apex.
Fallback OFF
Set OFF
If Time 16:00 to 23:59 Then ON
If Time 00:00 to 12:00 Then ON
If Output ATSPump_3_1 = OFF Then OFF

I currently use a DCP 6500 to feed water to it running at 50%
IMG_20230914_214436521_HDR.jpg
 
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FTS before the anemones took over.
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This grew quite big before I took it out as the RBTAs spread.

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I rehomed most of the corals I could like this lovely yellow leather. It grew quite big too
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But I did enjoy the bubble tip forest while I had it.
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My clownfish pair loved them
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And here they are taking over the tank. Plus my two KP Aquatics common star fish. I love those two and one of my favorite additions I've added to my tank. Reef safe and has been living in my tank for over 5 years now.
4efcc72e3a32db4d2a0f694b06210a34.jpg
 
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So, I guess that's the "quick" recap to to this point.

I've been doing a lot of home DIY renovations and one of the items that needed relocated was the aquarium. The new space needed a shorter tank and we decided to buy a new tank this time. It's my first new tank.

I went with Planet Aquariums ordered through a LFS.
IMG_20230722_185048814.jpg

I went with a canopy again as I still have curious cats that would cause problems with out one.

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The new tank has two center back holes for mounting an external overflow box and two returns.

Compress_a2cfbbec-c111-4172-be2d-80ca056130d1IMG_20230722_185438519.jpg


IMG_20230722_184555606.jpg


IMG_20230722_184616911.jpg
 
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External setup Bean Animal style with some interesting intake like strainers
IMG_20230722_184533866_HDR.jpg



Tank is on a concrete slab now but it's right next to where our bilevel goes up so plumbed down and to the side to the basement.

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For the most part I'm still using all my old equipment and methods.

Sump is still that 40 breeder. DCT 15000 return pump that's been running for years, MTC MVX with DCP 18000 that's been running for years, that Turbo Aquatics ATS shown above, a couple 500w titanium heaters ,couple Ranco Controllers with the Apex as a backup, DOS AWC, Vinegar dosing, iron dosing, Davy Jones skimmate locker, limewater ATO, Reverse UGF with dolomite, and a bunch of rock and other media in there.
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Seafood exploration: Do you feed any unusual items to your fish or corals?

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