Jon's Reef Tank Take 2

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Jon's Reef

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I had the opportunity to pick up a used tank/ stand/ sump from a fellow reefer in Madison. My current tank seems to be filling up, so I will be transferring things over as time goes on.

Here is my current tank:
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The tank and sump were custom built by Crystal Reef Aquatics. 36x30x24, integrated external glass overflow setup for bean animal, 3" euro bracing, double glass starboard bottom (one outset, one inset then starboard. Pretty heavy. Sump is a modified version of the SRS20 with front compartment expanded 6". The stand is made of extruded aluminum.
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First job was to clean it all up. Bought some citric acid from amazon, filled the tank and sump then let them sit with a flow pump for a day. Scrapped everything down then drained and rinsed. The glass is in good shape. The sump had quite a bit of hazing, so I bought a novus polishing kit and went to town. In the end it came out really well.

My plan is to rebuild the stand. It is a bit too short and I want it on wheels. The middle area will have the sump with areas for mounting control panels on the left and right. On the right will be a hole for my Trident. On the right side of the stand will be the electrical area (power bars etc). Left side will be the dosing/ skimmate locker. I am planning on setting up a water station (RODI and salt bins) for ATO reservoir and AWC.
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Construction began. Ordered the extra frame pieces from 8020.net. I used expanded PVC from Home Depot. The internal structure is glued using PVC cement. Wheels are heavy duty casters with built in leveling feet.
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Painting took a long time. Both the black and white are painted using primer then color coats of spray paint. The top of the stand is a piece of expanded PVC topped by a neoprene mat from BRS.
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Plumbing came next. I want to maximize the flow through the tank and sump. Drain is fairly straightforward. Bean animal style, 2 45 vs 2 90 to adjust for angle and offset, 1" pipe (to match the overflow and sump holes) I have made a few adjustments to the overflow plumbing vs the pictures. I raised the secondary drain about 1.5" up and lowered the main siphon as far as possible. Also the 90 "end" of the main siphon seems to be limiting the drain capacity so I plan on upping that to 1.25".
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The return side was a little more complex. I have a 57 watt Aqua UV that I will be using (Currently using a 2" mock up as stand in). The general idea is:
Cor20 --> 1.25" flex line --> up to 2" for the UV (goes up then exits down due to UV geometry) this feeds a 1.25" main tube in the back which has 2 1" verticals --> 1" check valves --> convert to 3/4" to match the return holes of the tank
I will eventually add flow meters to the left and right verticals of the return, but it is pushing the limits of the 1" siphon return, so I am guessing over 1k gph right now.
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In the pics above you can also see the extra baffle that I added to the front compartment of the sump. I wanted to separate it into a refugium on the left and skimmer section on the right. By breaking it into 2 areas it also has dramatically increased the flow so I will be able to get the chaeto to tumble and stop and detritus buildup.

This brings it to where I am today. Filled the tank up and started cycling. 80 lb of special grade sand along with some previously used rock. I will eventually move the rock/ corals out of my current system. I have 2 maxspect gyre 350 on the tank. I really like the distributed flow. Return is a COR20. For the heater I bought a 300W finnex, bought it was struggling... so I threw in a 200W eheim but will replace it with a second 300W finnex. The wires are a bit of a mess because things are not in their final place right now.
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Cycling is being done with a few pieces of live rock from my other system, a bottle of Brightwell microbacter start and the brightwell ammonia. Currently Ammonia is at 0, Nitrite is at ~0.5 ppm.
 
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Really well thought out right down to the purple algae ( forget the name ). Is that a Globe, or Gate valve you are using? I went for ball valves, and am kind of surprised they wont shut off 100%. Not a total problem though close above 99%. All the same would like to know how yours works out
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Really well thought out right down to the purple algae ( forget the name ). Is that a Globe, or Gate valve you are using? I went for ball valves, and am kind of surprised they wont shut off 100%. Not a total problem though close above 99%. All the same would like to know how yours works out

The purple rocks are covered in coralline algae and are from my other tank. I am hoping that they help seed some of the bacteria.

The valve is a Spears gate valve. Ball valves are good for on/off but too sensitive for flow limiting applications. If you use a ball valve for limiting flow, it can sometimes erode the internal seal which prevents it from fully closing.
 

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You sound like a plumber. So am I Globes are for flow control. I have seen so many gate valves freeze open, and closed ( I worked mainly in Industry so talking about steel , Hydro, and Refinery's large valves }. I only use the ball valves PVC as open, closed. Thanks for the reply though I now assume that is for regulation.
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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You sound like a plumber. So am I Globes are for flow control. I have seen so many gate valves freeze open, and closed ( I worked mainly in Industry so talking about steel , Hydro, and Refinery's large valves }. I only use the ball valves PVC as open, closed. Thanks for the reply though I now assume that is for regulation.
Not a plumber, but I have plumbed a few tanks.
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Temporary light up
T5: 2x B+, 1x Actinic, 1x Coral +
A360x

Will eventually move my 2x sky's and use the a360x

Moved some corals, rock from old tank and the fish:
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Next step is to start migrating the apex and other gadgets (skimmer etc)
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Equipment is going into the sump now.

Water comes in through filter socks and is heated with 2 300W finnex (primary control via independent controllers and backed up by APEX)

Water then flows into the skimmer area. Skimmer is a NYOS 160 connected to an AVAST skimmate locker.

Flows under a baffle through a narrow channel (~1 mm) giving a high velocity stream to the fuge area. The fuge has a very fast tumbling flow which keeps the chaeto spinning. Light comes from a GRO. The black plexi walls give perfect isolation of the light into the fuge.

There is a weir going into the next area of the sump where the water then flows down under a baffle and is pushed up into the probes, then over another baffle into the return zone where the dosing occurs. This constant flow up and into the probes ensures no bubbles gather giving consistent salinity readings.

AWC water is taken out of the skimmer section and goes back into the return. Return pump is a COR20 plumbed with 1.25" giving >1k GPH.

The wet stuff is on the left side of the base cabinet. Unfortunately I measured the Skimmate locker wrong... so I will need to swap over to a medium vs the large. The left DOS handles the AWC and the right handles the 2 part (ATI Essentials). The bottom container is being used for the waste of the trident.

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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Lights are up. 2 SKY with an A160 for shimmer. Details in this post:

Also transferred the remaining corals from the frag tank.

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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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UV sterilizer hooked up. Bulb was burned out so had to order a new one. It is a 57W Aqua UV plumbed in line with the return pump. At 1k GPH it should be doing ~90kmW/cm2, so protection from both algae and protozoa. ORP shot up after the install, so it seems to be doing something!
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Also hooked up the CO2 scrubber for the skimmer. 2 BRS reactor housings, a tupperware container on top of the skimmer and some tubing. For media I just buy the bulk from a vet supply company. PH is on the way up. Install was the morning of May 2.
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Turned on the Trident controlled dosing. Alk seems to be settling in nicely (8.0)
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Lastly added some new SPS.
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PC rainbow in the back middle, JF Hateraid middle back, TSA daydream front left, WWC Cookie Monster Front middle, WWC Yoda Front Right.

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CB Maleficent back middle, TSA Carolina Reaper Top, UC Dippin Dots front

Some FTS
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Nice tank. I have a question. I bought 2 UV lights at 150 each. The bulbs and one controller failed way to soon. The replacement bulb is not worth buying on its own. How long did yours last?
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Nice tank. I have a question. I bought 2 UV lights at 150 each. The bulbs and one controller failed way to soon. The replacement bulb is not worth buying on its own. How long did yours last?
The bulb was about 2 years old before I started moving it. I think it was bumped a little by my little helper. They should be changed annually to maintain the right dose.
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Decided to automate feeding. Up to now I was using LRS frozen for breakfast/ dinner with an Eheim autofeeder with TDO for lunch. Then feeding corals occasionally by hand. My goal were tighter control of nutrients going into the tank and consistent feeding whether I am home or away.

Decided to go with an @AVAST Marine Plank. I like that the design allows both large pieces (ex. mysis), powder (Ex. reef roids) and flakes (ex nori). Mixing tube works great and I have yet to see any pieces float to the surface. Reef Jerky sounded like a nice mix on the site and seeing it in person does not disappoint. The fish have taken to it immediately (Clowns, watchman goby, Tomini Tang, Potter Angle, Springeri Damsels, Blackcap Basselet) I may add a little extra mysis and nori to the mix as the Tomini and Potter scoop up the pieces asap and seem a little hungry.

The build is nicely thought out. For example, notice how the pump cable tucks under the mount.

I programmed it with APEX using the template on their website. The pump kicks on 1 minute before the auger starts and runs for 10 minutes to ensure all of the food is cleared from the tube. I have the auger set to run for 1 minute. I tried 30 sec, but it did not seem like enough food. I have it set to run every 2 hours from 8 am to 8 pm.

Auger Program:
Fallback OFF
OSC 001:00/001:00/118:00 Then ON
If Time 20:01 to 07:59 Then OFF

Pump Program:
Fallback OFF
OSC 000:00/010:00/110:00 Then ON
If Time 20:01 to 07:59 Then OFF

When the fish sense the pump turn on they know the food is coming. When the food comes out they are all over it. Anything that is not eaten right away is quickly distributed by the flow in the tank.

Cutting the screen top was fairly straightforward. I used the DD jumpguard kit which comes with extra corner parts. Nice and sealed up all around it.

Really happy with it.

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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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A few top down pics. Starting to see the WD and Solar Flare color up. Also my WWC yellow tip is starting to show the yellow tips. In general the corals are really loving the full light coverage and overall stability.

Nitrate sitting at ~10 ppm and Phosphate 0.03. Alk, Ca and Mg are staying rock solid due to the trident controlled dosing and 1% daily cAWC (continuous auto water change).

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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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I felt inspired by the new G6 spectrum, so decided to boost the violet in my lighting. I moved the A160 to the nem tank and the a360x to the big tank.

With the a360x in place, I reduced the sky to give 300-400 par in the sps areas, 200 in the LPS and 100 for the softies. I then rebalanced the colors to max the violet channels.
Kessil a360x noon settings:
100% color (50% at start and end of day period)
30% intensity
100% Violet

SKY noon settings are:
100% power
100% Violet, 40% Blue, 40% Amber/Green, 40% White (During the start and end of the day I am at 50% blue, 10% Amber/Green and 10% White)

Here is my estimate on the SKY spectrum at noon:
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I did a par measurement with the violet only on (kessil and sky) and have ~100 par. With the blue only on I am at ~150-200 par. so the estimated spectrum above is likely close.

Visually the tank looks similar to before.
 
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Jon's Reef

Jon's Reef

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Decided to try some MP40s to clear up the view a bit. I bought 3 used and a WXM. The WXM is great. Having control right in APEX makes things much easier.

I want to try to avoid obstructing the view, so I put 2 on the back and on the right side. The two on the right side are synced so when they blow they create a lot of turbulence over the SPS area. I have it set to do a pulsed mode in the morning and afternoon with reef crest at mid day. During the pulsed mode time I vary the intensity of the left and right sides so that the point of intersection moves around.


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AquaCave

What are all the ways you "filter" your reef aquarium?

  • Chemical Filter Media

    Votes: 158 47.4%
  • Skimmer

    Votes: 273 82.0%
  • Natural Methods (rock, sand etc)

    Votes: 286 85.9%
  • Algae Scrubber/Reactor

    Votes: 45 13.5%
  • Rollermats

    Votes: 55 16.5%
  • Filter Socks/Pads

    Votes: 183 55.0%
  • UV Sterilizer

    Votes: 105 31.5%
  • HOB or Canister

    Votes: 47 14.1%
  • Ozone Generator

    Votes: 14 4.2%
  • Coral

    Votes: 161 48.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 6 1.8%
  • Refugium

    Votes: 128 38.4%
  • Water Changes

    Votes: 227 68.2%
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