Ken's Reef Tank

Ken Good

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I was in this hobby around 10 years ago. At that time, I had a 150 gallon tank in my office with many bells and whistles. Then my youngest daughter had a bone marrow transplant when she was five (it was successful). During that time, I turned over my tank to a service to take care of and as you can imagine it went to hell and a hand basket while I was gone. Then I moved my office. I sold the tank and got rid of a lot of my equipment.

In celebration of the 10th anniversary of our daughter's medical success, I decided to come back to this hobby. I do not feel like I was successful and that I have an incomplete that I need to finish. We are very thankful that our daughter had a good outcome and know that is not true for many other parents.

My goal is to try to have water in the tank by the end of the year. Our daughter's actual transplant date was in the middle of December. So that seems fitting. Also, the last week of the year is a good time for me to spend a lot of time tinkering with getting water in and the tank running.

I have made a list of all the things that I need to get done and I have been diligently working to get these things taken care of. Initially, I decided that I did not want to do a "build thread" because I was concerned that I would get obsessed. But now that I am 3 or 4 months into this process, I have changed my mind. So we will see how it goes. My biggest fear is that I will get the tank set up and running and then get ahead of myself and have a mass kill off. I have seen several people who did that and then decided to shut everything down. I do not want that to be my result too. So patience is the name of the game.

My name is Ken. I am 59 years old. I got married later than my siblings and I have a great wife and 2 kids. My oldest daughter is a senior at Baylor University. She is planning to attend law school in the fall. Also, on a side note (sorry have to brag on her), she interned at the White House a year ago. She was one of three interns in the West Wing every day as the President was impeached. Someone asked me during that time how much it cost us to get her that internship and I laughed and said that it did not cost us anything because we had nothing to do with it. She did it all on her own.

Our youngest daughter is a sophmore in high school and she is the one who had the bone marrow transplant. She was born with a very rare condition that affects her arms and she did not make platelets well. The transplant addressed her platelet issues and they are normal today. She is very smart, but needs extra assistance to do certain things. She is a big gamer and has spent the pandemic sharpening her skills on whatever games she is playing now. I have this fear that one day there will be a knock on the door and some "gamer" guy will show up and say that he and Laurel are running away to some gamer utopia. Ha!

I am trying to keep myself in check on this. My wife says that I have a tendency to go all out on everything I do. When I was in the extreme Christmas Light Hobby I was in the New York Times and on Good Morning America. So there is a risk of that.

So remember I am trying. My water volumn will be around 100 gallons total with tank and sump.

So it all begins. If at this point you are thinking, "Boy is he wordy" this may not be the thread for you. Ha!
 
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Ken Good

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I spent the first month or so updating my information about this hobby. The first thing that I noticed was that there is alot more information and technology than there was 10 years ago. My favorite advances are the automated water change pumps. I really, really want that and plan to incorporate it into my set up.

This tank will be in my home office.

I mentioned to my wife that I was thinking about getting back into the saltwater aquarium hobby and her response was that me mentioning it to her meant that I had already made up my mind. She may have been right.
 
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Ken Good

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Ten years ago, I had a GHL set up and I kept a lot of the equipment. I spent the second month upgrading the firmware. I thought about buying the Profilux 4, but it just seems fitting that I should use the Profilux 3 ex that I already have. I also kept my very fancy at the time protein skimmer (which is now 10 years old) and my chiller and vortech powerheads that I loved at the time and now I think are 3 generations out of date. I like the significance of using all of this.

I also have noted that there is a ton of stuff that has come out recently. I have already bought the Kh Director that GHL makes and additional dosing pumps. We seem to be getting deliverys every week.

Another thing that I have seen since I started my research anew is the use of a cabinet to show off your computer equipment. I really like that and I decided that I wanted one of those too.
 
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Ken Good

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I started looking for an aquarium cabinet and tank in month 3. I finally settled on one that was 90 gallons. I had to rent a pickup to pick up the tank to get it home. The owner who sold me his tank, cabinet and hood had a very large sign in his yard supporting the opposite party that I support and I thought it funny that his neighbor across the alley had a big sign pointed at my guy's house supporting the other party which I also support. I found a lot of humor there. But I did not mention it to the seller. I just paid him, rescued the tank, cabinet and hood and delivered it to its new home. It is currently sitting in my garage. The tank was not drilled. So I set about researching drilling a tank. I told myself that I should not spend a great deal on additional money until I had "successfully" drilled the tank. I might not have followed that advice.
 
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Ken Good

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I drilled the tank last month. It turned out to be pretty easy. My wife even helped me to get the aquarium off the stand. We put it on a flat with wheels and rolled it into the grass and got a water hose and kept the water running. I used the drill that came with the kit and I purchased a drill guide or press. I also purchased a second drill bit for the return lines. The center holes are 1 and a half inches and the sides are 3/4's of an inch holes. I somehow did not measure the sides the right way and the distance from the corners is a little different on the two sides. My OCD nearly kicked it. But I decided to not look at it and what do you know I got used to it. Ha!

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Ken Good

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Welcome to the gang!
Our oldest daughter went through a phase where she named everything Ariel. When we got a puppy when she was 4 I put my foot down and said it could not be named "Ariel." So for the next 14 years, I occasionally got to take our little teacup poodle to the vet. Her name was Barbie. The staff loved it when Ken and Barbie came to visit; especially, when I brought her in her little pink shoulder bag. I think I only carried it one time. I can now admit that I wish the dog had been named Ariel.
 

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Our oldest daughter went through a phase where she named everything Ariel. When we got a puppy when she was 4 I put my foot down and said it could not be named "Ariel." So for the next 14 years, I occasionally got to take our little teacup poodle to the vet. Her name was Barbie. The staff loved it when Ken and Barbie came to visit; especially, when I brought her in her little pink shoulder bag. I think I only carried it one time. I can now admit that I wish the dog had been named Ariel.
This is too cute!! Ariel is a great name for a dog and I can only imagine you going to the vet with the pink shoulder bag!
I am close in age to you, newbie this year, and going very slow on a 40 breeder/20 sump upgrade. Read Ron Reefman's articles on here. He is a good reminder to take your time. Enjoy!
 
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Ken Good

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Upcoming items (some in order to be done and others not):
1. Set up cabinet for equipment to sit in next to aquarium;
2. Plumb the aquarium;
3. Set up sump;
4. Set up saltwater mixing station;
5. Conduct water leak tests;
6. Super Duper Top Secret Item;
7. Redesign the hood or build a new one for aquarium;
8. Add lights; and
9. Order rock, sand and salt in preparation for adding water by the end of the year.
 
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Ken Good

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The super duper top secret item falls into the category of do you ask your wife for permission to do something or do you ask your wife for foregiveness after it is done. I am going to be in the ask for forgiveness category. Ha!
 
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Ken Good

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The plumbing is almost complete. I built a manifold which I plan to use for the chiller and the some future stuff. It is about 90% done. I ordered a couple of parts to complete it and I received them a few weeks ago, but still have not completed it.

E09E154C-E04F-485D-BA9D-B2E9A1752493.jpeg D630CAD6-B392-4312-8B51-AC711062FFD8.jpeg
 
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Ken Good

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I plan to use the Triton method. My refugium chamber may not be a full 10% of the size of the aquarium but it is close. I will note that Lowes carries sheets of plexiglass and I learned the hard way that they will cut it for you. I messed up the first sheet and maybe even cut my leg. So on the second trip to Lowes, I noticed a cutting "board" and after that it was a piece of cake. Ha!
 

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Just caught up on your build thread. Really appreciated you sharing about your family and getting how your getting back into the hobby.
Looks like your off to a solid start!
How do you plan to plumb your new 40watt uv into the system?
 
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Ken Good

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I am not sure how I plan to use it yet. It seems that the Triton method does not want you to use it regularly because it can kill good stuff along with the bad stuff. I debated about whether to have one and decided that it would be better to start with one than to try to add one later. I have not finished the plumbing of the tank. I lack the returns. I am probably 75% done with it, but have not made the push to finish. Right now I plan to use one of the connectors on the manifold.
 
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