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My very first SW tank build!! 75 gallon beast.

mario4933

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Hello everyone! I’ve never been much of a writer but after finding that a lot of people make build threads I decided to give it a shot. I’m mostly doing this so I can journal my journey and maybe I can help those starting out avoid mistakes I’ve made.

Where to begin? Hmm [emoji848]

Let’s start with detailing my luck and my equipment shall we?

A friend of mine got started in the hobby a little under 4 months ago. He bought the tank and everything brand new. During one of the visits to his local Petco to pick up a salt bucket and some substrate he met the guy who runs the fish section and he happened to be a reef hobbyists getting out of the hobby due to lack of space and ticked off wife. He sold my buddy all his live rock (almost 100lbs) and all his livestock for $600 (it was a steal! Just in fish there was a good $500-600 and corals another bunch). I helped my buddy get all setup and fell in love with how his tank looked.
I told him I might just get a 20-30 gallon tank to enjoy the hobby as well.

The guy who sold all the rock and livestock told him if he knew anyone that would like to buy the equipment. I was at this point looking for options and told my buddy “listen if he’s willing to let it all go for under $300 I’m taking it off his hands this week” well you can imagine that’s what happened!! Lol that’s how I ended up starting off with a 75 gallon tank.


He agreed to let go of the tank with an eshopp wet/dry filter and most of the things one needs to get setup for $250. I knew he also had a bucket of Red Sea Coral pro salt that he wanted to get rid off and some other things but I wasn’t going to be an ******* and tell him all for $250 so what I ended up doing is I gave the guy $330 for everything.


A STEAL!!

So here is the parts list:

- 75 gallon tank
- Eshopp Wet/dry sump
- Anehim heater (600w I think)
- Orbit current LED lights
- 2 koralia 565 wavemakers
- Lifeguard Aquatics Quiet One 4000 return pump

This is the extras he gave me:
- Seachem pristine bottle
- Red Sea Coral pro salt
- Refractometer
- 2 Aqueon magnetic glass cleaners
- Extra filter pads
- Live rock rubble for the sump
- Water conditioner (some extreme something)
- Few nets

I think that’s all for the list of things I got started with!! Later today I will update on some modifications I did and every step I took the last month to get setup
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Here is to the second update! I didn’t feel like posting one before because I had some casualties on my tank and my buddy’s tank so I was helping him sort out his tank and well dwelling over my loss...

I won’t talk about it now since I want to keep a timeline going so I will try to get to today on this post so tomorrow I’ll explain the casualties.

Day 1 like of the build!!

It’s time to add water and figure out how much salt I need to mix... you thought it’s easy? Well once you get an idea how much salt per 5 gallon bucket it kinda is. I looked everywhere and tried making sense of Red Sea directions but couldn’t. My buddy said just do 2 cups per bucket and adjust.

Sooooo that’s what I did!



After a few hours (I underestimated how long it would take to mix enough for 75 gallons tank + 20 gallon sump lol

I added the substrate the next day because I didn’t have it yet.



Once everything settled I added some live rock and the shrimp to start the cycle.




Oh I almost forgot!! At this point I realized how loud my overflow was... I couldn’t stand it first night and unplugged the whole thing!

So I got my butt to research the next morning how to silence it and I found something I don’t remember the name but here is a picture of the one I DIYed



It fixed the issue so we were off to the races! Now time to wait and test everyday.

I did that until my tank cycled then added more rocks and here is where I make my first big big mistake.

I went to my LFS I showed them my test results since day one and they said you’re 100% good to go now you can add whatever you want. Mind you I had some corals in one of my rocks thriving so I believed the guy.

My happy butt went ahead and purchased 10 hermits, 1 emerald crab, 1 oscellaris clownfish, 2 blue chromis and 1 coral beauty....


I literally added all of that before even my first water change... [emoji2359] well they were all super happy except the coral beauty angelfish... he was hiding all the time and scared.
Long story short in less than a week I lost 1 chromis and the coral beauty...



RIP little guys I learned my lesson.

At the same time this happened one of my buddy’s fish got ICH which I’m proud to say I spotted it after hours of researching why my chromis died lol



This little guy along with a couple other passed away too but now we’re treating the tank and hoping it works.

Back to my tank tho!!!

Here is how we’re looking now.



Currently have 1 blue chromis, 1 oscellaris clown, 1 maroon clown, 3 Turbo snails and the 10 hermits.

Before anyone says anything about the clowns!!! I know I know you shouldn’t put two different kinds in the same tank but they look like they love each other and never showed aggression against each other yet.



That’s how they sleep every night they love the glass cleaner [emoji23]

The corals in the tank are doing fabulous!



The Kenya tree looks fantastic.



The unknown zoa is looking great as well.

And the couple mushrooms I have look good too but don’t have pictures right now.

That’s it we are up to date now!! I have some cool things on the way so I’ll update then.
 

Barnabie Mejia

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looking good, congrats on the smoking deal!! my 12 and 14 year old sons are build a 75 gal and I love helping them with it, we have all been doing research and comparing notes and plans to see what is best and or affordable..... R2R has been a great help, and reading new build threads helps learning from other's mistakes (unfortunately for you, you fell in the category) but my sons learned something from that.

keep the build going and we will be following along to see it grow out!
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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looking good, congrats on the smoking deal!! my 12 and 14 year old sons are build a 75 gal and I love helping them with it, we have all been doing research and comparing notes and plans to see what is best and or affordable..... R2R has been a great help, and reading new build threads helps learning from other's mistakes (unfortunately for you, you fell in the category) but my sons learned something from that.

keep the build going and we will be following along to see it grow out!
Thank you!! That’s the reason I decided to start my build thread, so people can learn from my mistakes and my findings as I venture into this amazing hobby.

I have an update coming up shortly (hopefully in a couple of hours) so stay tuned for that and make sure you guys do a build thread as well so we can follow up on your journey!
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Alright so after the incident and everything going well now I decided to go the “smart” way about things and set up a quarantine tank.

I searched for small tanks and found Petco had the $1 per gallon special so I snatched a 10 gallon tank for $11 woot woot!

When I went to pick it up I looked around for the other things I would need the list was as follows

-Filter
-Heater
-Light

So at this point I was looking around and talking with the guy in charge of the fish section in Petco and he’s a cool dude to say the least very straight forward and fellow Reefer that just took a break from his tank because of family reasons so he’s all about helping and what not.

He told me I should check prices for the heater and filter online see if I find it cheaper because the best one they had was a Marineland penguin 150 for $39.99 so I went to our loved amazon and voila! $15 for the same filter lol i also got a led light (white and blue setting) for $30 nicrew was the brand I believe and got the heater there as well some cheap $11.99 50W heater.



I also got the reef roids from polyplab to feed the corals :)

All I needed now was a cheap stand and it was game on!

So I found a deal at petsmart for a topfin 10g stand for $49.99

Here is how it looks now next to my 75g




While all this was happening I was getting ready for the WWC Live Sale!! I needed some new corals and boy was I not disappointed :)

I got 6 pieces in total



From left to right:

-Pulsing Xenia


-WWC Blue Cobalt Mushrooms


-Rainbow Ricordea


-Midnight Daisy Polyps


-Neón Green Star Polyps


-Red Montipora Cap


So I’m super excited to watch this guys grow!

Next step will be to up my inverts game. I plan on adding more snails, cleaner shrimps and a fish or two.
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Today was quite eventful!!


Last 2 days I noticed my two clowns been sorting their territories out and the Maroon seem to be winning the fight. The oscellaris was doing the submission shakes and all!!

Last night I noticed the Maroon was a bit beat up [emoji856] and thought “ouch that’s not good at all I’m going to have to separate them!” But decided to give them one more day.

Last night around 2-3am I woke up to get some water and saw this!!



Little devil blue Chromis was ganging up on the Maroon!!! I guess he saw an opportunity and took it :/

This morning when I woke up I was determined to get an isolation box DIYed to get the maroon to safety while he heals and or the QT tank gets cycled! I love this fish I hope he makes it.

So I started looking through my Tupperware for something that could work and came up with this!! I drilled some holes and used a phone charger to tie it to the light stand lol (it’s all temporary) it looks awful but works.


If you zoom in you can see how his fins are :(
 

Billldg

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Both fish are damsels I believe, so it’s not all that surprising, though I would have figured the maroon clownfish would have been the aggressor as they do come with an attitude usually. I would definitely put the maroon clownfish in the qt to recover, fins usually grow back pretty quick. If you plan on using copper in your QT then I would suggest keeping it at least 10 ft away from your DT as the copper can get into the DT, I keep mine in another room at together. Maybe the Chromis picked on the maroon clownfish because it is a single Chromis, maybe add a few more. I keep 4 blue/green Chromis and they chase each other around the tank as they got bigger and I have a single onyx clownfish that tries to hang with them. Frags look great. Tank is looking great.
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Both fish are damsels I believe, so it’s not all that surprising, though I would have figured the maroon clownfish would have been the aggressor as they do come with an attitude usually. I would definitely put the maroon clownfish in the qt to recover, fins usually grow back pretty quick. If you plan on using copper in your QT then I would suggest keeping it at least 10 ft away from your DT as the copper can get into the DT, I keep mine in another room at together. Maybe the Chromis picked on the maroon clownfish because it is a single Chromis, maybe add a few more. I keep 4 blue/green Chromis and they chase each other around the tank as they got bigger and I have a single onyx clownfish that tries to hang with them. Frags look great. Tank is looking great.
I had 2 chromis but one died fairly quickly after I agitated him too much a day after putting him in my DT :/

For now until the QT tank is ready to go the maroon will stay in the isolation box then I’ll transfer him to the QT and hope for the best unless I see signs of infection then the QT will transform into a hospital tank and go from there.

Thank you for taking the time to help and check out my build!!!
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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One thing I would do is swap the overflow for a drilled in tank one, if you are ever not home and the power goes out you can lose prime and be a huge disaster on your tank
I have been told that but in all honesty I simulated power outages 15 times or more already and never lost syphon on the overflow. I have also simulated a syphon loss and worst case scenario my pump will suck a **** load of air into the DT.

Getting a drilled tank or drilling mine is out of the equation at the moment. What I will do is add a floater valve on the sump so once the water is below the level it’s supposed to be it shuts off the pump. That’s a cheaper and more doable thing I believe.
 

siggy

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Hello, I like all the excitement over here! Nice looking setup and corals @jsker has the same overflow, hit him up if you need to. Thats cool you and your Bud are doing this at the same time.
Good luck
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Hello, I like all the excitement over here! Nice looking setup and corals @jsker has the same overflow, hit him up if you need to. Thats cool you and your Bud are doing this at the same time.
Good luck
Thank you!!! It’s very exciting to be honest with you. It’s amazing to see everything grow and the learning curve is steep but rewarding. I’ll check him out as soon as I’m home and maybe shoot him a message on how to improve my overflow.
 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Entry #5

Hello R2R peeps!!

I have good news! The quarantine tank is looking pretty good so i will be transferring the maroon clownfish from the DT isolation box to it and finally getting that ugly box out probably tomorrow.

The reason I will do it tomorrow and not today is tomorrow is big water change day. I will be pulling out 20-25 gallons from the DT tank and replacing it with some good water.

I’m not sure if I mentioned this yet but since getting a lot of recommendations and people twisting my arm here about not using RO/DI I took the advice to heart and got a basic unit to start with good quality water.


It’s a pain in the butt to be honest... it takes waaaay too long to fill each bucket but nothing comes fast in this hobby right?! [emoji23]

So I will be preparing 3 buckets (15 gallons) and then my buddy will come through with 2 more buckets and it’ll be one for cleaning/draining water and 2nd one for more clean water.

The maroon is healing slowly. I added chemi pure and phosguard to help with silicates, phosphates that were super high and I’m hoping the water change will bring my alk down a little because it’s way to high for some reason.

 
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mario4933

mario4933

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Entry #6

Hello everyone!! I’ve got quite a few updates on the tank :)

I will start off by stating the only bad thing with a happy ending lol I lost one of my frags :/. The Midnight Daisy Polyps didn’t make it but shoutout to @WWC for having an amazing costumer service, they will replace the piece on my next order since it was still under their warranty when it died.

Now onto the other updates!!

The maroon clownfish made a rapid recovery in the QT tank and I found him a new home









My buddy took him into his tank and now he’s happy

I had to also give the emerald crab to my buddy since it was eating my Kenya tree...

I added a cleaner shrimp to the crew and a cardinal banggai fish both super happy.

I also added a couple frags one of which I have been looking for a long time!! Finally got my frogspawn woooooohoo

1292552C-7D69-4A1F-9F2A-E4356F497447.jpeg

The best part is I got it from a local Reefer and made a new friend. He’s been in the hobby for 25 years and still humble and super helpful. He has 3 tanks in his house which all look amazing. He also has connections with whole sellers so yeah cool connection made.

I think that wraps it up for today’s update, if you’ve made it this far I thank you for reading and following along my journey.

Happy Reefing y’all!
 
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