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Malacoda's 65g Long from Crystal Reef Aquatics

malacoda

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Tank goal: Java Sea biotope (or as close to one as I can get given the current rock/livestock bans).

8 Sept 2019:

FTS 190908.JPG


Equipment:
  • 65G Crystal Reef Aquatics tank: 48" x 18" x 18" with BA overflow
  • Octo Aquatics cover
  • Crystal Reef Aquatics Triton 30 sump along with a CRA tall dosing container set
  • Coral Box Wifi doser (mount but not in used yet)
  • 2 Orphek Compact Atlantik V4s
  • CurrentUSA eFlux DC 6010 (1910 gph) return pump
  • Tunze Nanostream 6095 x 2
  • SpectraPure ATO
Livestock:
  • 3 x Smiths Blenny (Meiacanthus Smithi)
  • Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon meleagris)
  • Tangaroan Goby (Ctenogobiops tangaroai
  • Hi Fin Red Banded Goby (Stonogobiops nematodes)
  • Exquisite Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus exquisitus)
  • Lunate Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lunatus)
  • Multicolor Lubbock's Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus lubbocki)
  • 2 x Candy-striped pistol shrimp (Alpheus randalli)
  • 2 x Maxi-Mini anemones (Strichodactyla tapetum)
  • 4 x Sexy Dancing shrimp (Thor amboinensis)
  • 2 x Scarlet skunk cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis)
  • 3 x Orange (Halloween) hermit crabs (Ciliopagurus strigatus)
  • 8 x Banded Trochus snails
  • ~8 Dwarf zebra hermit crabs (Calcinus laevimanus)
  • ~6 Nerite snails
  • Tiger Sand Conch (Strombus spp.)


***First post from start of project: 30 Dec 2018***

Let's get this show started:

Custom 65g from Crystal Reef Aquatics. It's scheduled to be delivered the end of January and will be 48" x 18" x 18".

john_mccrea_tank_v1.jpg


Planned set up will include:
  • A CRA Triton 30 sump along with a CRA tall dosing container set
  • Coral Box doser
  • 2 Orphek Compact Atlantik V4s
  • CurrentUSA eFlux DC 6010 (1910 gph) return pump
  • 2 Gyre XF230s
  • SpectraPure ATO
  • Skimmer (I've narrowed it down to 3; will decide on one after the tank is running a few months and is actually ready for it)
I'll be starting work on a stand made of 3/4" plywood this week and hope to have it ready for when the tank arrives.

Updates and pics will follow as work progresses.

Stay tuned for more.
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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Stand is just about finished.

Made from 3/4" plywood with a bit of 1" x 2" sub-framing.

1/2" thick plywood would've probably been more than adequate, but I wanted red oak veneered plywood to match the grain/wood-type of other furniture in same room and neither HD or Lowe's carry red oak in 4' x 8' sheets. So, went with the 3/4".

I rabbeted the mating edges of the plywood walls so they'll form a nice, strong joint. The 1" x 2" sub-frame pieces then provided thicker material to drive the screws into during assembly so that every thing held in place while the wood glue dried, not to mention providing support for the cabinet bottom.

The top is three 10" x 1" red oak planks ripped and cut to size then laminated together and sanded smooth. I don't have a planer though so, while it's pretty flat it is not perfect and will definitely require some 1/2" foam beneath the tank.

Trim is made from various widths of 1/4" and 1/2" thick red oak.

I'll post a fully finished photo after I get it up into the family room this weekend.

IMG_6499.JPG


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Job supervisor, she's a real stickler when it comes shop (e.g. garage) safety:

IMG_6514.jpg


IMG_6515.jpg


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IMG_6517.jpg


IMG_6518.jpg



Tank is scheduled to ship within the next 7-10 days. Stay tuned for an update when it arrives.

IMG_6518.jpg
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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Stand is ready and in place.

Added a DIY light rack made from 3/4" copper pipe (type L). Both height and front-to-back positioning are fully adjustable. And the whole set up can be removed by simply sliding the pipes out of their holding brackets.

Tank, sump, lights, return pump all shipped Friday and should arrive this week.

finished stand 1.jpg

finished stand 2.jpg
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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Woot, woot!

Tank arrived Friday.

Was very well crated. And the sump was in box atop the crate safely protect by foam block ... thankfully! Despite PLENTY of 'Fragile: Do Not Stack' labels on it, the freight company did of course stack stuff on it. Box got a bit squashed, but the sump remained undamaged.

box.JPG


Tank is built like a tank and looks great. Really nice job on the silicon, the corner guards, the polished, beveled glass edges... everything.

The guys at Crystal Reef Aquatics did a great job and I couldn't be more pleased.

new tank 1.JPG


new tank 2.JPG


new tank 3.JPG


new tank 4.JPG


new tank 5.JPG


new tank 6.JPG


Communication was great throughout the process as well. I had originally asked for delivery at the end of January.

When an unexpected change in their shop lease necessitated a last-minute move and set things back 2 weeks, Julian the owner called me himself to give me a heads up and explanation on the delay.
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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Getting closer!

Tank is plumbed. (But not yet leak tested.)

And 50lbs of rock fresh from Fiji is curing in a tub in the garage.

rock.jpg


I'll get some picks up in a week or two when I've plumbing has been leak-checked, the rest of the equipment is installed and the rock is in the DT.
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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Rock is cured and in. All the equipment is set up, calibrated and working properly.

First livestock additions should be arriving next week. Will post livestock list once they're in the DT.
 
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malacoda

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Exciting! Be sure to include lots of photos of how you plumb things in the overflow box.
Already plumbed, dialed in, and running. I'm going to be out of town for a few days so, in addition to livestock pics next week, I'll be sure to get some plumbing pics posted too.
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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So, first up, plumbing pics.

The bean animal proved to be even easier to dial in than I expected -- although part of that was due to the controllable DC return pump. Got it close to where I wanted it by adjusting the gate value, then fine tuned it by adjusting the pump flow ever so slightly.

From bottom to top (left to right when facing the tank) -- full siphon, trickle pipe, emergency pipe (all 1" pvc):
OF pipes.JPG


Behind the tank -- full siphon is closest, then trickle pipe, then emergency pipe (one of the 3/4" returns is way in the back of the shot, along with the copper pipe I used for my light bar. The other 3/4" return is behind the camera):
pipes behind tank.JPG


And in the cabinet -- again full siphon is on the left with the gate valve, trickle is in the middle, then the return (the 2 returns T together just before entering the cabinet), and emergency is on the right:
under stand.JPG


Due to the position of the bulkheads on the sump and space/sump-positioning constraints in the cabinet, I had to have a few short horizontal sections in the full siphon and trickle/secondary siphon lines. I minimized them as much as possible with the use of 45 deg. elbows instead of 90s.

The full siphon has NO trouble whatsoever starting up and pushing out all the air.

When the system starts up, the siphon kicks in, gurgles once as it quickly drains the OF box to the siphon inlet level, then steadily rises as the remaining air purges from the siphon and the trickle begins to flow.

dang, I love the BA set-up. Silent as can be (which is great because the tank is in the family room not 4' away from the TV) and reliable to a 'T' every time the power gets cycled off and on. (Thanks Bean!)


under stand top.JPG


under stand bottom.JPG
 
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malacoda

malacoda

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And pics of the fish (Yes, unskilled iPhone pics. When I get time to dabble with the light settings more, and my wife's new digital camera. I try to get some better pics.)...

Trio of Smiths blennies (just added today):
smiths trio.JPG


Leopard wrasse:
wrasse.jpg

She was added 8 days ago. Was out for a 10 minute stretch and few pecks at something to eat on 3 of the first 4 days. Has been hiding in the sand under a rock for the past 3 days. Hope to see her rested, relaxed, and out-and-about within the next few days.

Tangaroan goby -- hangs out next to the rocks the two pistol shrimp have started to build burrows under, but they haven't partnered up with it yet. Once they've enlarged their holes and have created actual entrances (versus a few peep holes), I'm sure they'll become best buds:
goby.JPG
 
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malacoda

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Woohoo! After an 8-day respite buried beneath a rock, Freckles is finally acclimated and out and about.

On 3 of the first 4 days she came out for a quick 10 minute stretch without venturing far from her hiding spot. Then, true to leopard wrasse fashion, she remained buried for 8 straight days (may have come out a little at night but I doubt it).

Yesterday she finally made an appearance in the early evening for the final two hours the tank lights were on.

And today she popped out around noon and has been hanging with the blennies, exploring he entire tank, and eat like a champ.t

Looks like she's finally comfortable and her body clock has nearly adjusted.
 
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malacoda

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So far they're fine. If they get dirty it'll require a little extra effort to clean them since my Flipper can't sit flush against them. But the acrylic strips seem far less prone to film algae growth than the glass ... and their longer surface sits on the sides of the tank, making them and any algae on them hardly noticeable from the front.

As far as clear versus black guards/silicone, I find the clear less 'intrusive' when viewing. From my couch I can see though the front and side panel -- essentially looking 'past' the seam/guard without really noticing them. If they were black I think it would act like a focal point that made it harder to 'see past' the seam. Just my preference though.
 

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So far they're fine. If they get dirty it'll require a little extra effort to clean them since my Flipper can't sit flush against them. But the acrylic strips seem far less prone to film algae growth than the glass ... and their longer surface sits on the sides of the tank, making them and any algae on them hardly noticeable from the front.

As far as clear versus black guards/silicone, I find the clear less 'intrusive' when viewing. From my couch I can see though the front and side panel -- essentially looking 'past' the seam/guard without really noticing them. If they were black I think it would act like a focal point that made it harder to 'see past' the seam. Just my preference though.
Cool, thanks! I wound up ordering my tank about two weeks ago but went without the corner guards. They'll be doing a "beauty bead" instead.

How're you liking their sump? Did you end up buying any equipment with your order?
 
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malacoda

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Cool, thanks! I wound up ordering my tank about two weeks ago but went without the corner guards. They'll be doing a "beauty bead" instead.

How're you liking their sump? Did you end up buying any equipment with your order?
So far I love the sump. Fitting a pair of Eheim Jager heaters was a little tight ... just because the Eheims are a bit long. Other that, the only potential drawback I see is that the small 'chamber' the overflow pipes empty into will be a PITA to clean any settled detritus out of. (Not sure but that might be intentional since it was designed for use in a Zeovit system ... which I'm not using it for.) I was aware both might pose a little difficulty for me though when I was choosing between their Triton and Stealth series sumps. But I really wanted some of the other options the Trition sump has -- particularly the adjustability of water level in both the refugium and skimmer chambers.

Overall, everything else in the sump is easy access. And it's really nice to be able to just drop a strip of filter floss down into the 'basket' that feeds into the return chamber.

I did order equipment through them as well: 2 Oprhek Compact V4s with gateway and an eFlux DC return pump. They them shipped to me direct from their suppliers.
 
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