Lost my 29 Gallon Reef in the Divorce [she did't maintain it, it's mostly dead]... New reef + rescue

Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by TinyChocobo, Feb 9, 2018.

  1. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Hey guys.

    It makes me really sad that my reef of over almost 2 years went ignored for about the last 9 months while my divorce has been ongoing. I won't get into the reasons for the divorce but we'll just say it's better for me and my two boys and leave it at that.

    I had the 29 Gallon reef for a couple of years if memory serves me right and I watched it grow and mature over time. I had a couple of scarlet shrimp, an emerald crab, some rock star fish, two true percula clowns, a strawberry dottyback, several hermits, a few snails, and several soft corals. It was a lot of work to maintain but I loved it and I always tried to get my now-ex to at least learn how to do it should I not be able to take care of it.

    It's been about 9 months since I've had access to the aquarium and the skimmer hasn't been cleaned and is surely completely non-functional [it was tiny, needed regular cleaning]. The water certainly hasn't been changed - I know that at least the two shrimp have died and the corals are all in really bad shape.

    It looks like I'll be getting access to the tank maybe within the next month to a month and a half and I'm hoping, if I can scrape the money together to set up a new tank, that I'll be able to rescue what is still alive in the 29 Gallon.

    Right now I'm looking at the Cobalt C-Vue 45 which will give me a larger water capacity as I won't, at least in the beginning, be able to have a sump or external skimmer or anything of the sort. The additional water should help me keep the aquarium more stable between maintenance I think. I checked one of these out at the local reef shop and thought it was a really sharp setup.

    It does have drillable glass - as it's a reef tank - but does not come pre-drilled. I don't think trying to drill it while filled is a good idea [if the glass were to crack I could end up with a shower + shards of glass] but I know that at some point I would like to move from the in-back filtration to a sump with a decent skimmer for the size. I was thinking I should drill the tank when new and empty and then plug the holes so that when the time comes that I can install a sump that I can just shut off flow, possibly drain off a little water to empty the back-sump/put a bucket under the holes, and remove the plugs and pipe for the sump.

    In short even though I won't have the funds for a sump right away - I would like to be prepared for it to save work/labor/having to drain and put strain on the inhabitants when the time comes.

    It's been a while since I've had a reef or set one up - so if I can do this I am hoping to get the tank set up as soon as possible with a few pieces of live rock and to let it run by itself for a month before I move anything in. I'm definitely open to suggestions / recommendations / advice.

    I was hoping to do some live rock / fine sand. I know fine sand can get blown around and such but I really like the look of it and don't mind the maintenance. I hadn't planned on getting anything that would relocate the sand [i.e throw it all over my rocks, corals, etc] but if you have any advice/suggestions beyond fine sand I'm all ears as well.

    I definitely don't want to go with a bare glass bottom [I just hate the way it looks].

    At any rate I've got to head out as my shift at work is over and I have to go pick up my kiddos. I'm open to any advice and suggestions you may have - I really want to rescue what is still alive in my old tank as I feel so terrible for them.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Cobalt C-Vue 45 + Stand + Glass Lid
    RAZOR X R5 100W LED FIXTURE
    2 x Cobalt Aquatics NeoTherm 300W heaters [want to be able to lose one without losing heating, and the temperature difference can be up to 20 degrees between room temp and desired temp].
    EcoTech MP40 x 2

    I'm trying to think if there's anything else I should put on the wish list for when I'm able to acquire this.
     
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  3. NY_Caveman

    NY_Caveman Man of Many Caves R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

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    I would recommend an auto top off (ATO). Sounds like you have a lot going on, so dealing with daily evaporation and salinity stability would be taken care of. I went with the Tunze 3155 because it has both an optical sensor and a fail safe float switch. Good luck with the tank and everything else!

    Beautiful avatar BTW.
     
  4. Kzguns

    Kzguns Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Do you think anything is still alive? Has the tank been fed and topped off at least? Hope it all works out for you. Definitely start a build thread when you get going
     
  5. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I made feeding and topping off easy so that is all that’s been done.

    I’ll find out next month what’s alive and grab my Neptune apex classic.

    I decided to go for the Kessil A360WE for lighting. I think it’ll be enough but adding a second down the road will be easy and won’t cover as much of the top of the tank.

    Never had an ATO but will get one.

    Only thing I’m nervous about is drilling the tank for a sump. I’m sure it’s cake but still makes me nervous.
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
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  6. Kzguns

    Kzguns Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    It’s not bad. You just take your time and let the tool do the work. I would definitely do it and then cap the bulkhead. It’ll make things easier down the road
     
  7. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I added these on to my list:
    UP22 SUMPRO SUMP - SKIMZ
    S-200 SPACE SAVING G4 PROTEIN SKIMMER - ESHOPPS

    Trying to figure out the return pump. Would like to go DC. Also not sure on plumbing. Never actually had a sump before.

    I will have 2 x EcoTech MP-40’s for flow so I just need a DC pump that can return water from the sump to the tank above on the stand at a reasonable rate. I figure a 500 to 700 GPH pump should do it?
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018
  8. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    It looks like the 'bean' style overflow would be the best/safest.

    That said I think that means I'd be drilling 3 holes for drains and 1 for the return.

    The tank I'm getting I can drill the back or the bottom. The bottom sounds ideal from a 'put it near the wall' standpoint where as the back sounds ideal from the standpoint of not having to turn the whole tank upside down to do the drilling.

    If my math is correct the area where I'll be able to drill the bottom will give me about 5 inches of room from front to back. Now to determine what size holes/pipe/bulkheads to use.
     
  9. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Found a nice 85 gallon rimless at the LFS for $359...
     
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  10. Kzguns

    Kzguns Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    That’s a deal! What brand
     
  11. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    “Planet Aquarium”
     
  12. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Sigh. Apparently it’s tempered glass. There goes that idea.
     
  13. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I went ahead and ordered a Red Sea Reefer 350. Now the waiting game begins.

    Will have the return pump, skimmer, and RO/DI setup here and ready before the tank arrives. I'm trying to think if there's anything else I need before the tank gets here.
     
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  14. Kzguns

    Kzguns Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice! Now that’s a real step up! Congrats
     
  15. tnc112105

    tnc112105 Member

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    I love my Reefer. Good choice and congrats!
     
  16. TinyChocobo

    TinyChocobo Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I was debating between the 350 and 425 XL. 3 more inches from to back for $300 more. I would love to have the space but I think I’ll live without it.
     
  17. Pete1968

    Pete1968 Active Member

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    I would bet everything is dead, no doubt
     
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