Mike’s 750 Gallon Tank

mikeintoronto

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I’m going through a bit of a slump so I thought I’d start a build thread. Where it makes sense I’ll add a “If I could do it again” section.

Here is a current full tank shot to start:
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The tank:
120”x48”x30”. Nominally roughly 750 gallons. It was built on-site by Miracles.
Here are a few build pics:
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I started this tank in early 2019. It’s a peninsula with the overflow on the short side. It runs a Beananimal overflow.
It has Eurobracing with 3 holes drilled into the brace on both long sides. This was to allow me to not have the wavemaker cords wrap around the bracing.
If I could do it again: I would have added a closed loop or two (see Water Movement). I would have had holes drilled into the front and rear braces.
 
Tidal Gardens
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mikeintoronto

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Lighting:
10x Radion G4 Pros
4x Kessil A500X

The Radions were meant to be the only lights but I just couldn’t get the right look. A friend of mine added some Kessil A360Xs to his tank and the colour was amazing. So once the A500Xs were released I immediately got 3 and I finally got the right looks. I added a fourth a month later.
If I could do it again: I would have bought 10x A360Xs instead of the Radions.
 

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mikeintoronto

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Water Movement:
10x Neptune WAVs
2x Jebao DC 20000 pumps
Six WAVs are on the rear and four are on the front. I initially had six WAVs on the sides of the tank which is why the holes were drilled on the side bracing. The flow isn’t too bad right now but the pumps on the front is an eyesore. I might have to add the pumps back to the sides.
The Jebao pumps are okay but I’m just trying to convince myself to upgrade to the Abyzz pumps. When I set up the tank only 18000 was available but once the 20000 were available I upgraded. I use the 18000 for my small 220 tank.

If I could do it again: Again, I would have added a closed loop or two. I would have had holes drilled into the front and rear braces.
 
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mikeintoronto

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Water Quality:
Nyos 300 Skimmer
Lifegard UV Sterilizers
Ozone

I chose the Nyos 300 because my sump was originally under the tank and it was one of the few skimmers that could fit based on the volume it had to process. I have no regrets about this skimmer and I don’t think I would have taken another path.
I started using UV because I keep a large stock of fishes and an didn’t want to risk any missed parasites.
I use ozone because it is amazing at clarifying the water. The ozonizer is just a spa ozonizer from China. I didn’t want to invest in an expensive unit until I was confident with its capability.

If I could do it again: It’s easy enough to change any of these out if they don’t work so there are no regrets here.
 
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mikeintoronto

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Here are some interlude pics
 

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REEFTIDE
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mikeintoronto

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Sump:
DIY sump

The original plan was a modular DIY sump made with 5 totes. I built it while the DT was cycling and while on a time constraint. When I filled it with fresh water to test it, it leaked every where. The following morning, I bought a 135 gallon and added glass baffles. It was meant to be temporary until I figured something else out but it’s worked out perfectly so I’ve left it on there.
The sump has a manifold. It’s modular so I can add/remove valves from it as needed, and I can build new ones with just a few parts. The manifold feeds the refugium and the reactors. As time goes by, I’m trying to use the manifold less because when the pump gets dirty, the effect on flow to the reactors is compounded.
I flip flop between using mechanical filtration and letting the debris float around. The issue is the debris ends up in the reactors if it isn’t filtered out. Sediment in the sump itself doesn’t bother me.

If I could do it again: I would have just started with the 135 gallon sump. I also would have just started with the sump in the neighbouring room.
 
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mikeintoronto

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Macro Dosing:
Korallin Calcium Reactor + Carbon Doser
Avast Marine Kalk Stirrer
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The main source of alkalinity control is the calcium reactor. It’s dialed in to keep the CO2 solenoid on all (most) of the time but the Neptune Trident shuts off the solenoid if the tank alkalinity is too high or the chamber pH is too low. I run the alkalinity at 8.0 – 9.0 (target is 8.5). The CaRx is fed via a PMUP. The water first enters through an RO canister with a mechanical filter to keep debris out. On the terminal end I just use a valve to control the drips. I was using a Kamoer STP to control the drips but its really noisy, it couldn’t add enough effluent, even at max, and it required a lot of tube replacement. I might find a new pump to control the flow at a later date but I’ll drip for now.
The CaRx used to be fed via the manifold but flow was impacted when the pump got dirty. The CaRx has a release on top for excess gas so I run a line to the sump where I get about 1 drop per second. This keeps the gas out. It also helps bleed out if the chamber fills with air.
I also dose kalk via a kalk stirrer. I evaporate about 5 gallons a day so the stirrer has 4 gallons of water run through it and the ATO covers the remaining freshwater. The kalk is delivered at night so the pH doesn’t drop much at night but the water level is a bit higher than the ATO sensors in the morning until it evaporates down.
I also dose All For Reef. This only kicks in when the Trident reports an alkalinity lower than 8.5 so a container of AFR lasts a really long time.

Other Dosing:
I dose Acropower. I used to dose RS AB but after the Tropic Marin scare, I decided to change to a more trusted brand. Nothing wrong with AB, and I still use it on the 220, but AP is really good too.
I also dose Aqua Forest Component A, B, C. Do they even make this any more? I bought it a while ago so I’m trying to use it up. I’ll have to run another ICP test to see if things have changed.
I recently started dosing Flatworm Stop. Its pricey since I need 1000 mL a month so there will probably be a time when I stop, or just use a bottle a few times a year.

Other Reactors:
I run a biopellet reactor 24/7. I’m not running it for nitrate control but instead, I run it to feed the coral the bacteria it produces. I think it was a Lou Ekus video where he discussed how the coral can eat bacteria to get their phosphate since they don’t absorb it very well. The effluent doesn’t go to the skimmer to filter it out like normal, it just feeds into the refugium.

Depending on needs I could also run carbon or Rowaphos or something, so I have extra reactors.

All of the extra reactors are fed via the manifold.
 
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mikeintoronto

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Enjoy reading what you would have done differently!
Thanks! Yeah it’s always nice to see the changes people would make. There’s a lot of learning there instead of pretending everything is perfect lol
 
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mikeintoronto

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Can you talk more/show some pictures about your ozone and UV? I have been wondering if I should do something with it and I need some ideas,
Sure
I run two 90W Lifegard sterilizers. I run two return pumps and each pump returns through a separate sterilizer so 100% of the water that returns to the tank has been sterilized.
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I used to use bypasses but found I didn’t need them. The pumps only put out about 1000 gallons each.
I run the UV 24/7. These units allow me to replace the inner sleeve so the wall of the unit isn’t going to break down with time.
The UV bulbs are long so the units are oriented vertically so when it’s time to service them I can just unscrew the top and remove the bulb. Also, all the water just drains out the inlet when the power is off so they’re easy to clean. They are programmed via the Apex to shut off if the pumps are off so they don’t run dry. I’m not even sure that matters.

Ozone is the best thing ever. I use a 300 mg spa unit. You can smell the ozone a bit but not much. I don’t use any carbon to absorb residual ozone. In the atmosphere I’m not worried and in the tank, since all the water passes into the UV, the ozone is destroyed before it gets to the tank. The ozone is connected directly to the air intakes of the skimmer. It doesn’t need an extra air pump, it just pulls in the ozone via the Venturi.
My ozonizers aren’t meant to last so I can replace them rather than clean them.
I don’t run a desiccant anymore.
If/when I get a permanent ozone unit I’ll use an air drier just to improve the efficiency.
 
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mikeintoronto

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Livestock:
The tank is dominated by SPS and anthias. I don’t have a full list of the SPS but there are a few different species. I recently lost a few colonies due to AEFW but I was able to save frags of most of the coral. Most of everything else is in my 220 so I can take a frag out later.

This is a rough list:
Bugout Stylo
Mystic Sunset
Various Unbranded torts
Various Echinata
RR Holy Grail
Tyree Pink Lemonade
Walt Disney
RR Tropicana
RRC Goldenrod
ARC Black Dragon
CC Firewalker
RR Lemon Demon
TSA UC Dippin Dots
PC Rainbow
Twizzler
JF Fox Flame
Rainbow Road
ARC Fireworks
Red Planet
Green Slimer
Oregon Tort
Bonsai
ORA Pearlberry
Vivids Confetti
Merlin’s Staff
Princesss Peach
Pikachu
TNT
Tierra del Fuego
Sunset Monti
Miyagi tort
Cherry Blossom
Tricolor Valida
RR Shazam
Orange Passion
Rainbow Loom
Strawberry Shortcake
Marvin the Martian

There are others but I don’t remember the names. Also lots of unnamed acros. We have a LFS who sells cheap wild frags and if you let them grow a bit in the tank for a few months they come out beautiful. Also, they don’t always put the names on them so there are some “named” corals in there but I never knew their names.

I used to keep a variety of anthias species but anthias, like chromis, don’t like life very much and end up disappearing over time. Only a few species have been with me long-term including squarespots, borbonius, and lyretails. I decided to focus only on Indian Ocean lyretails now so I have about 50+ of those and a smattering of other species. Right now I buy 5 new ones every few weeks to quarantine and add to the tank. I’ll keep adding them until it “looks right”. I started with one male but the dominant females transitioned shortly after I added 11 new females. I guess the male lost control and she took her chance. Surprisingly they live perfectly fine together with zero fighting.

Based on memory I have approximately:
5 Cooper anthias
3 Squarespots
2 Borbonius
1 Bimac
1 Truncate
5 Hutchi
50 Lyretails
2 Carberryi
2 Bartletts
Dispars?
Others?

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I have a few tangs as well. A local hobbyist gave me a Black Tang which was an awesome score.
For tangs I think I have one of:
Yellow
Black
Powder Blue
Blackstreak
Sailfin
Kole
Purple
I think I have 8-9 so I’m missing one or two. I used to have 5-6 yellows. The original vision was a contrast between yellow tangs, pink anthias, and blue chromis. Unfortunately I lost all but one of the yellows during the “poisoning” and when I tried to replace them the resident tangs were not having it so I had to split them between the other tanks. Strangely, the kole tang was the worst. Also strange was the powder blue was accepted without any issues when I added him late; and the white cheek was not. Tangs are weird.

I also have a smattering of some others. I only have two chromis remaining so I’ve switched to blue damsels like Springers to take that role.

All fishes are given a formalin bath. They then go through 14 days of copper and 14 days of separate observation before I add them to the tank. Certain sensitive species like wrasses are not treated with copper but go through 30 days of observation. Anthias and chromis also get treated with metronidazole for 14 days.
Near the end, all fishes get two doses of prazipro. I can get more into my QT if it’s of interest.
I had a number of issues before I developed my quarantine practice. I lost all of my fishes very early to velvet. Thankfully they were still awaiting transfer to the tank in a big trough so the tank was parasite free, but they were all together. Next, I had my first bout with dinoflagellates and I decided to dose hydrogen peroxide to solve it. It actually worked to kill the dinos but the toxins ended up killing almost every fish because I didn’t add carbon; I actually didn’t think the H2O2 would work. In this case I had to drain 700 gallons of water to get out all of the remaining fishes, who happened to be wrasses in a tank of sand

If I could do it again: I would have developed a better QT system to start. Then again, everything I learned about good QT is due to the losses early on. I also wouldn’t have bothered trying less common anthias species. The truth is, no one who sees my tank really cares about unique anthias and even I don’t care after they are lost in the swarm.
 
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am3gross

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Some questions for you. 1st, thanks for the pictures of the UV. You talk about your bout with parasites,

Did you have the UV set up at the time or was it a later addition?
How do you find your pod population? Does the UZ wipe them out? ( I have a Mandarin Goby and want to make sure he stays fed.)
Do you have a refugium? If so what kind of algae's are you growing? (might be getting ahead of you here, as there has been no mention of this, if its part of your story, and you have not got to that chapter yet, just tell me to be patient, lol)

I am really liking this thread! Keep it up!
 
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Did you start off in the reef hobby buying used equipment? Do you still use pre-owned equipment? (Choose all that apply)

  • Yes, I did start off with some used equipment. It made getting everything going easier!

    Votes: 136 39.8%
  • Yes, I did start off with some used equipment, but it was a mistake I won't make again.

    Votes: 18 5.3%
  • I still buy used equipment! It's a helpful way to save money in this hobby!

    Votes: 105 30.7%
  • Nope! Everything I used to get started was new! And I'm glad I started with all new stuff!

    Votes: 84 24.6%
  • Nope! Everything I used to get started was new! But, I should've looked around for used options!

    Votes: 35 10.2%
  • I still only buy new equipment! Lots of problems avoided that way!

    Votes: 45 13.2%
  • Other... (Post in the thread)

    Votes: 13 3.8%
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