LMDAVE First reef and build log. 38 gal Bow Front

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by LMDAVE, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I decided to do a build log for my first reef tank instead of having scattered posts around. I don't expect this build to be the level of other here, but I'm merging some of my other pictures into this one thread. I'm building as I'm learning and gathering equipment. So here it goes....

    I started out with this Marineland 38 gal bow front. I am going with a sumpless tank for my first reef. I'm sure this may change in the future or next tank. I even was going to consider not having a protein skimmer. But after doing enough research, I'm planning that one also.

    First step I wanted to do was to build a stand.

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    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018
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  2. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    My Reef Octopus skimmer came in and I'm pleased with it's performance, however I am now going to have to mod the stock cover that came with the tank.

    [​IMG]

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  3. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I currently only have one power head on the left. A 425 GPM. I will probably double that up with one on the right.

    This is were I would like some critiquing. I purchased 40 lbs of FIJI dry rock and 10 lbs of FIJI live rock from LFS. I'm letting my tank cycle with the dry rock.
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2018
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  4. FredsNJReef

    FredsNJReef Active Member

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    Hey buddy great start! I like bow fronts.

    Your stand looks awesome!

    The scape looks good enough, but is it glued? One of the things I learned is rocks do actually get knocked over, whether through cleaning or with aggressive large snails. I would hate to see that tumble down and scratch the tank or trap an inhabitant.

    Also, take a look at all the build here for ideas, there are so many incredible designs I wish I was more patient with my scaping.

    Good luck and happy reefing :):cool:
     
  5. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! The base rocks are on glass and live sand was covered around them which stabilized them well. No concern of tunneling below them, but yeah never know with clean what accidents can happen. The stacked rocks above probably could use some security at some of the joints just to be safe. I gave them a good pull/knock test that I feel good about their placement. I do have several sticks of the Instant Ocean hold fast epoxy. Is that too late to use in the tank? I does say it hardens underwater.
     
  6. FredsNJReef

    FredsNJReef Active Member

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    Ok great then, and yes it wouldn't hrt to put some glue in key places. Unless of course you want to rearrange in the next few days lol.

    You can put glue on the rocks and let harden underwater, they say it just takes a little longer to bond. But now is a good time for that.

    I started with 4 big live rock pieces and now went down to only 2 lol. It's funny how we go the way of a simple design after time. And also, I wish I drilled my rocks so the frag bases fit better.
     
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  7. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Day 3 of my initial cycle and I'm happy to see ammonia being produced without the addition of shrimp/chemical. The two pieces of live rock must be the catalyst.

    Ammonia 2.0 ppm
    Nitrite 0
    pH 7.8
    Temp 80
    Sal 1.025

    I don't know if this is normal in the beginning. My two pieces of live rock have these tiny white peach fuzz hair on it, but on my dry rock has this one long (about 1") piece of white hair off of it waving in the water. This morning, I think I saw a smaller second one. Just these 2 strands over the whole tank besides the two pieces of live rock with peach fuzz.

    Is this something to be concerned about early? I know I have a month or so before I can introduce anything to the tank.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I decided to update my aquascape given I through it together a little fast than I should have. I like this one a lot better and givens me more shelf space.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I added an Aqueon 30 filter for running Chemi Pure Elite. I added my first clown pair in my tank as my cycle is ending. Nice to have animation in the tank as you see it starting to come to life. Also, added a Fluval LED which should give me adequate PAR in this tank for future coral.

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  10. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Made some doors for my stand to conceal all wires and compartments. More presentable for the front room now.

    3953B615-460E-4E96-B19A-EB00DAA9E2C6.jpeg
     
  11. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    As my cycle is coming to an end, everything seems to be going good, which has me nervous. I did a lot of research on the chemistry of reefs, etc., and given this is a sumpless system I feel that I'm cutting corners on equipment, but so far I'm happy. It's way too early for me to predict that.

    I'm started to see signs of brown dust algae (as I expected towards the end of the cycle) so I added a clean up crew yesterday. And I have to admit I was confused on the recommended size of the crew per gallon, but after I laid my eyes on them, they arent as big as I was expecting, so now it all made sense. I started out with 15 blue legged hermits, and an assortment of Astraea, Nassirius and Cereth snails. I was amazed at how fast they spread out and went to work.

    This little fellow reminds me a PC game in the 90's called Dune where they we out harvesting spice on the sand. So, I'm enjoying the startup of this tank so far.

    IMG_2658.jpg
     
  12. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    After my numbers have been stabilizing I took the plunge and introduced a few corals. Green hammer coral, Brain coral (trychyphillia) Blow pop zoanthia frag. Trying them out in these positions. Video under blue light
     
  13. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I added the Fluval 24 Marine 2.0 LED light system with separate WiFi unit. So far, I've been very happy with the performance of it. Without the Wifi you are really limited, but being able to set up a schedule for Blue's and White has been a great addition.

    I set up a schedule for the two channels as:

    White:

    Sunrise (0 to 100%) 8:30-10,
    100% 10-12
    50% break 12-3pm
    100% 3 PM- 6PM
    Sunset (100% - 0%) 6pm-9PM

    Blues (Even though this is moon light, the rise and set is still referred to as Sunrise and Sunset)

    Sunrise (0 - 100%) 6- 8:30
    100% 8:30-12
    50% break 12-3
    100% 3-8
    Sunset (100% - 0%) 8-12

    Everything 0% 12AM-6AM
     
  14. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I avoided my first big disaster yesterday. I was using the stock heater from this Marineland aquarium, and after a month it looks like it got stuck on. When I checked my temp yesterday, just by chance in up up from 79 to 85! Fortunately my fish and coral were fine, the fish actually seemed to enjoy the warmer temp, but I let it drift back down to normal over about a 6 hour period and now have a new heater.

    I possibly was using the old heater wrong, with zero instruction when I got it, I didn't know if it was submersible or not. I kept it at what I thought was the water line but found out later that was the minimum line, so possibly ran below minimum several times and may have damaged it.

    But, back up and running now. The only thing that seems off is my zoas aren't opening healthy like they were before.
     
  15. JoelSolid

    JoelSolid Member

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    Looking great! In the past I have tanks destroyed by faulty heaters. I will never trust a heater again for the ability to regulate the temperature without a back up. I cheap and very effective back up is this little gem.

    https://www.amazon.com/Inkbird-Itc-308-Temperature-Controller-Thermostat/dp/B01MDSWXY4

    It works amazingly well and gives you a second level of protection. You can set your heater to whatever temp you want then set the inkbird just a degree or two higher as a fail safe. Let me know if you have any questions.

    Joel
     
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  16. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    That’s a great idea, thanks i may try to implement that.

    Attempted my first coral gluing today. This purple tip torch frag was on an ugly blue plug, so I filed down a rock fragment and glued the coral to it, then glued the rock underwater with gorilla super glue. Happy with the results and the coral loves it’s placement
     
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2018
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  17. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Duplicate post

     
  18. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    F16C9F31-DBDE-4509-927F-1260ED4C7EB9.jpeg
     
  19. LMDAVE

    LMDAVE Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Added a green and red monti cap frag encrusted on the same rock to top right. And a Sunny D Zoa frag that I molded into my base rock. Having concerns over flow by the monti. I really want to keep it on the right but the flow is not doing well over there. My power heads push towards middle and my rock has a peak that blocks some flow in that direction. So I may just see how it does there.

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  20. ArcKatana

    ArcKatana Member

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    Great start! Just be ready to move the hammer coral up if needed, the Fluvial lights are nice, but don't punch down all that well.
     
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