My 75 gallon adventure

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taulgrl

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I have had freshwater aquariums over the years and found myself with some spare time on my hands and a newly acquired 75 gallon, used, pre-drilled tank with an old Durso setup. Time to try saltwater! I quickly realized that saltwater is much more complicated. Each step required a bunch of research and decisions. I'm about a month into it and here is my current status:

Equipment so far:
Aqueon pine stand
Trigger systems Crystal 30 sump
Syncra Silent 5.0 Pump
BRS 6 stage RODI
Lots of plumbing stuff
30 lbs (so far) dry rock
Will be getting powerheads asap (leaning toward 2 Koralia Evolution (1500 GPH) - is that enough flow for soft and LPS coral?
Really struggling to decide what lighting to get. Will add light later to help prevent algae probs
Skimmer added once up and running

Almost done with plumbing. Decided on Herbie overflow but waiting on black PVC fixtures so return (which will come up over back) will look good.
Water made, rocks 'scaped (draft #1) hoping to get tank running with water, rocks and sand in a week or two. Will post pics then.

Plan after that is to add inverts and then when the water checks out, a few mellow fish.
Eventually want a fabulous tank of soft and LPS coral with good variety of fish....
 

SuperDave531

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My 75 is still rather young, but it did take me months of planning and collecting pieces for this and that, saving cash while taking care of my toddlers, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, etc. have you decided on a light fixture yet? My now DT was a toy box for kids junk for the better portion of 8 months while it was going up. A lot of my method decisions were also made in order to toddler proof as much as I possibly could.
 

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taulgrl

taulgrl

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Pictures finally! Added two Jabao OW wavemakers and More rock! CUC (nasarias snails and blue legged hermits) happily living in the tank for a week now. Added a couple of shells from Cape Cod and my biggest hermit moved into one within 45 min. So cool! I’m having fun watching the critters and can’t wait to add fish. Waiting for test kit and fish food to arrive. Thinking about adding 2-3 blue chromis once water checks out.

Still deciding on type of LED lights and skimmer to get... SO many choices! And need to add black background. Ugh should have done that before filling tank
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taulgrl

taulgrl

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My 75 is still rather young, but it did take me months of planning and collecting pieces for this and that, saving cash while taking care of my toddlers, figuring out what works and what doesn’t, etc. have you decided on a light fixture yet? My now DT was a toy box for kids junk for the better portion of 8 months while it was going up. A lot of my method decisions were also made in order to toddler proof as much as I possibly could.
This cracks me up! I remember those days... busy times. I look forward to watching your build. I can relate to all of the planning, decisions and slowly collecting stuff for the build!
 
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Soren

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Update: left the RODI on overnight and flooded the basement. Time to rethink wasteline drainage and purchase of overflow shutoff!
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Well, I've heard that is one part of the initiation into the reef club!
What do you run the RODI water into for collection? I use a Brute 44-gallon can with a simple float valve (similar to this one from BRS) installed near the top. So far, it works very well for shutting off flow to the reservoir when full. You might consider if this option would work for you.

Your setup should be a nice size for options without being too restricted, and it is looking great!
 
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taulgrl

taulgrl

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Well, I've heard that is one part of the initiation into the reef club!
What do you run the RODI water into for collection? I use a Brute 44-gallon can with a simple float valve (similar to this one from BRS) installed near the top. So far, it works very well for shutting off flow to the reservoir when full. You might consider if this option would work for you.

Your setup should be a nice size for options without being too restricted, and it is looking great!
Thanks Soren! I usually collect in a Brute can but this time was collecting in a 5 gallon bucket. Waste line was going into utility sink and the pump that empties the sink didn't work so both RODI and waste water over flowed! I already have the BRS overflow in my "cart" to purchase (and spoke to husband about better method of draining waste water :)
 

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Thanks Soren! I usually collect in a Brute can but this time was collecting in a 5 gallon bucket. Waste line was going into utility sink and the pump that empties the sink didn't work so both RODI and waste water over flowed! I already have the BRS overflow in my "cart" to purchase (and spoke to husband about better method of draining waste water :)
I have it easy, since my system just T's off my basement utility sink with the wastewater line tapped back into the utility sink drain. From the output of the system (which also has a 4-gallon storage tank and tap to the sink), I just T off a line over to my Brute can with the float switch. This leaves very little chance for overflow, and it matters little in my basement anyways, since it is all concrete and unfinished.
 
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taulgrl

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That was my intent but, according to the directions, it has to be submerged to the water line on the black part below the blue dial.I could fit it diagonally w glass part submerged but water line is exposed on top. Worried this would be a problem. Thoughts? Hoping to get smaller titanium when they start shipping again from BRS.
 
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jsker

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Been there and done that with the RO/DI. Sorry about that.

I found, by adding float valves in me reservoir and mixing station, I have not had an over flow in sometime. If you do decided to go with a controller, one can setup leak detectors also as another fail safe.
 
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taulgrl

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Been there and done that with the RO/DI. Sorry about that.

I found, by adding float valves in me reservoir and mixing station, I have not had an over flow in sometime. If you do decided to go with a controller, one can setup leak detectors also as another fail safe.
float valve on order but adding leak detectors is great idea. Added to shopping list!
 
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taulgrl

taulgrl

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Time for an update! The CUC has company now. I added 2 yellow tailed damsels, waited a couple of weeks, and then added 2 green chromis. The damsels were spending all of their time in the rock work until the chromis arrived. Now everyone is swimming around the entire tank :). I had a little issue with an ammonia spike in their DT. Fish and CUC were acting fine but ammonia tested at 0.4. Yikes! Did two big water changes and added Prime and all is now back to normal. According the LFS I was over feeding my fishies. I have since adjusted my behavior :)

Other big news is that I got 20 lbs of Gulf Live Rock. It is entering week 2 of curing in a 10 gallon bin in the basement. I did the 3 day ship and had a lot of die off. Like ALOT. The brown macroalgae died as did all of the turkey wing clams (4 of them?) and a tunicate. Luckily the tall sponge, the fern-like macroalgae and another tunicate are still kicking. Lots of corraline and random plant life remain too. Now that I've gotten through the clam carnage and the associated ammonia mega-spike I'm having fun watching it cycle. Chemistry pic is from the rock tank (not my DT lol)
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Rock 2.jpg
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JCM

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Definitely sounds like you're dealing with more die off than I did. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised once the ammonia disappears though. I've had a ton of new algaes and unknown things growing in the last week or two since my ammonia disappeared.
 
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taulgrl

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Definitely sounds like you're dealing with more die off than I did. I think you'll be pleasantly surprised once the ammonia disappears though. I've had a ton of new algaes and unknown things growing in the last week or two since my ammonia disappeared.
Next time I’ll pry my wallet open and splurge on next-day, in water shipping. Surprisingly, it is still close to what I paid for dry rock at my LFS so I’m still ahead of the game!
 
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