Lil Elroy’s “I’M BACK” Glass Cages 36x18x16 45 Gallon Build

LilElroyJetson

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Hey everyone! Been out of the hobby a few years after experiencing a tank crash during law school, then a cross country move and getting my new career off the ground! Now that I’m settled in and my life has some order to it (sort of…maybe - at least for the time being…I hope), I walked into my LFS today and pulled the trigger on a 36x18x16 Glass Cages 45 gallon tank with stand! Wasn’t convinced I was ready to get back into the hobby but had been browsing the forum a ton and talking to Joe over at Glass Cages. He is a great guy and they are top notch over there, an unreal level of customer service.

I saw the tank and semi-impulsively decided the risk was low enough, and it was too beautiful to pass up on. It’s a perfect set up for what I’m hoping to be a “minimalist” mixed reef to enjoy until I eventually buy a home and move into something bigger.

I’ll continue to update this thread, but now that I’ve had multiple tanks and know what worked for me and what didn’t, and that I want to give this tank the best shot at stability and sustained success, I’m going to take this build a little slowly, starting with a nice long cycle (at least a few months).

Some preliminary equipment thoughts:
- Synergy CL-26 Sump
- Apex and Trident
- 2 MP40s
- 2 Radion G6 XR15 Pro lights
- Nyos Quantum 120 protein skimmer
- Reefmat 500
- Sicce Syncra SDC 6.0
- Aqua Ultraviolet UV Sterilizer - 8 Watt (wondering if 8 watts is enough, it says up to 70 gallons. My total tank volume is ~68. Wondering if I should go with the 15 watt just to have the extra power.)

For coral:
- My coral selection will be VERY similar to my old build, because those were some of my favorite coral (RIP).
- The rock in the back will be GSP because I love GSP on an island to add the bright green pop.
- The bottom right of the main scape will be mostly Zoas and maybe an orange setosa and a Montipora or two.
Most of the top of the large rock will be SPS.
- I’d eventually like a clam and maybe an anemone and a torch coral.
- Would love another OG Bounce Mushroom.

For fish:
- 2 clowns
- I would REALLY love to try to keep a Blue Spot Jawfish again, it’s my favorite fish.
- Sunburst Anthia
- Blue Green Chromis (7)
- Halichoeres Wrasse
- Lawnmower Blenny
- and some maybes:
Pearl Jawfish
Potters Angelfish

Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions as to the equipment list. I’ll continue to update as things progress. For now, I’m excited to be back! And finally, here are some pics (including my tentative minimalist rock scape):

IMG_9245.jpeg IMG_9244.jpeg IMG_9246.jpeg
 
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blaxsun

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Thanks Blaxsun! Your tank is beast! Might draw some further equipment inspiration from your tank thread.
Thanks! Since you're going with a Neptune you can run your Sicce pump through it, ie: speeding up, slowing down, etc. When you get to the setup stage drop me a PM with any questions (I have a few Trident tips as well).
 
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LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

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Thanks! Since you're going with a Neptune you can run your Sicce pump through it, ie: speeding up, slowing down, etc. When you get to the setup stage drop me a PM with any questions (I have a few Trident tips as well).
Will do! Much appreciated!

Out of curiosity, in what instances do you find it helpful to vary your return pump speed?
 

blaxsun

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Will do! Much appreciated!

Out of curiosity, in what instances do you find it helpful to vary your return pump speed?
Just when feeding, so I have 3 feed modes dedicated to quick/light feeding, regular feeding and coral feeding (each runs for a different length of time and pump speed). The 4th feed mode is for maintenance and turns everything off.

Slowing down the pump vs. turning it off outright ensures the water doesn't back flow into the sump while reducing the likelihood that food goes to waste.
 
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LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

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Just when feeding, so I have 3 feed modes dedicated to quick/light feeding, regular feeding and coral feeding (each runs for a different length of time and pump speed). The 4th feed mode is for maintenance and turns everything off.

Slowing down the pump vs. turning it off outright ensures the water doesn't back flow into the sump while reducing the likelihood that food goes to waste.
That’s brilliant. Never really thought about the backflow into the sump not being ideal or different feed modes. Will definitely reach out for more programming advice when things are up and running.

Now I just have to figure out how I can have the 2” sand bed I want in a 16” tall tank while having ~100x flow and the sand staying put and I’m set…:zany-face:
 

Townes_Van_Camp

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That’s brilliant. Never really thought about the backflow into the sump not being ideal or different feed modes. Will definitely reach out for more programming advice when things are up and running.

Now I just have to figure out how I can have the 2” sand bed I want in a 16” tall tank while having ~100x flow and the sand staying put and I’m set…:zany-face:
Tampa Bay saltwater. Their sand stays put.
 

blaxsun

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That’s brilliant. Never really thought about the backflow into the sump not being ideal or different feed modes. Will definitely reach out for more programming advice when things are up and running.

Now I just have to figure out how I can have the 2” sand bed I want in a 16” tall tank while having ~100x flow and the sand staying put and I’m set…:zany-face:
1.5" is good, too. As long as you're not using oolite it should be a lot easier!
 

Gumbies R Us

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Hey everyone! Been out of the hobby a few years after experiencing a tank crash during law school, then a cross country move and getting my new career off the ground! Now that I’m settled in and my life has some order to it (sort of…maybe - at least for the time being…I hope), I walked into my LFS today and pulled the trigger on a 36x18x16 Glass Cages 45 gallon tank with stand! Wasn’t convinced I was ready to get back into the hobby but had been browsing the forum a ton and talking to Joe over at Glass Cages. He is a great guy and they are top notch over there, an unreal level of customer service.

I saw the tank and semi-impulsively decided the risk was low enough, and it was too beautiful to pass up on. It’s a perfect set up for what I’m hoping to be a “minimalist” mixed reef to enjoy until I eventually buy a home and move into something bigger.

I’ll continue to update this thread, but now that I’ve had multiple tanks and know what worked for me and what didn’t, and that I want to give this tank the best shot at stability and sustained success, I’m going to take this build a little slowly, starting with a nice long cycle (at least a few months).

Some preliminary equipment thoughts:
- Synergy CL-26 Sump
- Apex and Trident
- 2 MP40s
- 2 Radion G6 XR15 Pro lights
- I would like to run a reef mat but not sure I can in the CL-26 sump, I don’t know that I have the real estate but I’ve reached out to Synergy to ask
- Nyos Quantum 120 protein skimmer
- Sicce Syncra SDC 6.0

For coral:
- My coral selection will be VERY similar to my old build, because those were some of my favorite coral (RIP).
- The rock in the back will be GSP because I love GSP on an island to add the bright green pop.
- The bottom right of the main scape will be mostly Zoas and maybe an orange setosa and a Montipora or two.
Most of the top of the large rock will be SPS.
- I’d eventually like a clam and maybe an anemone and a torch coral.
- Would love another OG Bounce Mushroom.

For fish:
- 2 clowns
- I would REALLY love to try to keep a Blue Spot Jawfish again, it’s my favorite fish.
- Sunburst Anthia
- Blue Green Chromis (7)
- Halichoeres Wrasse
- Lawnmower Blenny
- and some maybes:
Pearl Jawfish
Potters Angelfish

Appreciate any thoughts or suggestions as to the equipment list. I’ll continue to update as things progress. For now, I’m excited to be back! And finally, here are some pics (including my tentative minimalist rock scape):

IMG_9245.jpeg IMG_9244.jpeg IMG_9246.jpeg
Welcome back! Tank looks good so far!
 
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LilElroyJetson

LilElroyJetson

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Wondering if 2 MP40s is overkill on this build given how shallow it is and that I’ll have sand. Debating whether I should instead go with 2 MP10s…:thinking-face:
 

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Wondering if 2 MP40s is overkill on this build given how shallow it is and that I’ll have sand. Debating whether I should instead go with 2 MP10s…:thinking-face:
Depends on the glass thickness. 3/8" is max for MP10 and I had trouble with them wanting to decouple even at that thickness. Nero 5 is a good alternative if you don't want to spend MP40 money.
 
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LilElroyJetson

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Depends on the glass thickness. 3/8" is max for MP10 and I had trouble with them wanting to decouple even at that thickness. Nero 5 is a good alternative if you don't want to spend MP40 money.
Thanks for the reply! It’s 1/2” thick glass. Less about the money and more so about whether or not it’s overkill. I had a Nero 5 before and liked that. I may do two of those instead. I think they look better anyway. Can they be automated with the Apex controller though?
 
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LilElroyJetson

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I'm jealous your LFS has Glass Cages custom tanks in stock.
I was pleasantly surprised as well. Not sure if they regularly stock them or not, as tank selection was unimpressive otherwise, but they had mentioned the owner recently attending an expo, so that may have had something to do with it.

It’s not the most impressive LFS, but I’ve been spoiled in past places I’ve lived, but it’s definitely got everything you need. I haven’t developed any further opinion as of yet. I approach every LFS with a healthy dose of skepticism. However, I did get a deal on my tank which was a nice foot to get started on with them.
 

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Thanks for the reply! It’s 1/2” thick glass. Less about the money and more so about whether or not it’s overkill. I had a Nero 5 before and liked that. I may do two of those instead. I think they look better anyway. Can they be automated with the Apex controller though?
They can be through the new MXM module but not sure how it compares to the AI app
 

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