Planet Aquarium 75 Gallon Mixed Reef Tank (First one)

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Littlesquishy

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First saltwater tank, I lurked around the forums early 2010s but never really got to setting one up. Months ago I saw a pico reef and was amazed by it. That inspired me to start reading about saltwater tanks again. After university, I'm finally be able to start to set one up! I got my tank drilled without shattering so it was time to make a build thread. I've got a 20 gallon high quarantine tank running and cycled with two Ocellaris clownfish. I'd like to automate some aspect of the tank like dosing, lights, and find some sort of way to log test data. I'm going to start out simple and then look further into automating dosing and data logging. Light aspect I think is not too hard since a lot of vendors have program or software to input parameters.
Fish Tank drilled.jpg

Equipment list 75 gallon
Auto top off device (not sure what brand)???
Modular Marine 800 gph$149.00
Jebao DCT - 4000$68.00
Lighting - Reefi lights$700.00
Live Rock (yard sale?)$218.00
Sand, Fiji Pink (135 lb needed)$105.00
Maxspect Gyre powerheads & controller$472.50
Refractometer$20.00
RO/DI Filter equipment, need 6 stages 100 gpd$310.00
Saltwater mix (instant ocean)???
Elegance 150 RS w/ Airstar 1000 S$352.50
Heater (Jager)$0.00
Saltwater test kit API$0.00
Fish tank & Stand$200.00
Grand total$2,595.00
Note: I won't be adding salt mix cost. I'll always be buying it when I need it. Its not really a buy once and you are good forever.

Live Stock
  • 6 x Seale's Cardinal Captive Bred
  • 2 x Pink Streak Wrasse pair
  • 2 x Mandarin Goby pair (will add when copepod / amphipod pop. is high)
  • 2 x Ocellaris Pair
  • 1 x Blenny Tail spot
  • 1 x Two - Spotted Bristle Tooth Tang
  • 1 x Clam Maxima (will add later when parameters are stable)
  • 1 x Sebae Anemone will add later when parameters are stable)
  • 1 x Tuxedo Urchin (when theres stuff to clean)
  • M x Clean up crew (snails) (when theres stuff to clean)
Experience so far has been excellent until I realized I drilled the overflow incorrectly. I thought I had the template correct when I was getting ready to drill the tank. The overflow ended up being lower than it should be. I think I can fix this by making a Z like pvc connection to position the weir box higher up so the water level can be higher. The eye sore pvc connection can used as a spot to attach sps or lps. If I can't then its okay I can live with my mistake. The reviews on modular marine made it seem so straight forward that I didn't think to read the instructions. Opps! I'm not going to change the tank or redrill.

Whats Next?
I'll figure out plumbing. Figure out my protein skimmer so I can assemble my sump before winter comes. Do some aquascapes here and there. Once plumbing is finished i'll be filling up the tank to cycle. I want to see if there is a way to shave off excess dry rock. I want enough to form caves and arches. I look forward to cycling, and the ugly phase because its progress!


Please enjoy pictures of Devo (normal Ocellaris) and Spot (misbar ocellaris?). They enjoy hanging (hosting?) around the heater. They'll be getting baby brine shrimp next week when the cysts get here! Clownfish Pic B.jpg Clownfish pic A.jpg Aquascape B.jpg Aquascape A.jpg
 
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Littlesquishy

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Update:
I've figured out plumbing. I haven't solved my overflow mistake but thats okay. I've ordered the parts and oversized gate valve. I plan to return the oversized gate valves and stumbled upon a website with cheap gate valves compared to amazon prices and BRS! Its for anyone curious about prices. I saved about 15$ buying from them. Whats left is to buy the red pipes and the clear pvc primer and clear pvc cement from home depot. Then the fun of putting it all together. I definitely plan to buy a pvc cutter to make things easier.

On another topic I finished putting together my sump. Happy to finish it and bring it in before it got freezing cold. So close to starting up the tank guys! I can smell the saltwater. I want to buy an RO/DI unit, I believe a 7 stage unit? My tds is high 300s and there are chloramines in the city water. I got the suggestion from a reef discord but I figured I should post outloud to confirm my choice again.

I think the next post it may be nice to throw some aquascapes i've thought of. I will try my best to balance future coral growth and creating enough caves for fish inhabitants.

Whats Next?
-Save up for 7 Stage RO/DI unit
-Put pipes together
-Leak test tank & sump
-Work on aquascape ideas
 
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Littlesquishy

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Another Day Another Update:
  • Painted the back of the tank black
  • Gluing my rockwork. Going with a YOLO attitude. I know I love caves, shelves, and arches for fish. Corals will grow where ever they can fit. Can't have utility fish and other fish unhappy.
  • I got my RO/DI 7 stage water filter in. Put the bad boy together and its currently filling up the display tank.
  • Washing my fiji pink sand. It took a couple of washes to get a decent clear water.
  • Snagged 2 used gyres and a maxspect controller.
Whats Next?
  • Look into quarantine procedures
  • Cycle the tank
  • Coral shopping (Toadstool, zoas, and mushrooms)
  • Clean up crew when the ugly phase starts <3
Looking forward to the ugly phase of the tank. I guess what fuels it is whatever excess nutrients is in the dry rocks. I'm thinking of buying 10 lbs from gulf rocks or florida rocks. Maybe make it affordable and split the cost with another person in the future. Not sure if there are group orders for that.
 
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Littlesquishy

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75 Gallon Start Day!
Tank is running! Very happy with my progress. I've hit a snag and found a solution that I will explain later. Tank is tuned. I'm happy with its flow down to the sump and pump flow into the tank. There's no suction noise! I've dosed a lot of ammonia and have done a small water change. I am going to see how much work the bacteria starter does in a week worth of time.

Two baffles in the sump has broke free from the silicone. Pretty sad this happened because it looked nice with the dividers. I hope my protein skimmer will work effectively in the future. For this i'm just going to remove the baffles and do a diy refugium. It will entail a simple container with an egg-crate fence. For future tank build I think I will do a hearty glob of silicone for acrylic baffles or buy an acrylic sump.

I will mention I didn't rinse the fiji pink sand with RO/DI water. I wanted to get rid of the silt in the sand. I didn't have enough RO/DI water to rinse clean the sand of tap water. I had two fiji sand bags that I didn't rinse to seed the rinsed sand. Before adding the seeded sand, I added prime to get rid of the chloramine and chlorine in the water.
 
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Littlesquishy

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Cycled & Ready to Rumble...
Everything is cycled I'm happy! Unfortunately I lost a clownfish to internal parasites. I didn't recognize the signs. I'm treating my quarantine tank with anti parasite medication and trying to get the fish to eat medicated food. Lesson learned, preemptively treat your fish. I will go the TTM route. I just need to purchase some things such as methylene blue and copper power + Hanna Copper (high range) to make sure they go in healthy. I got prazipro, Seachem Focus and Metroplex.

I ordered my Reef lights, Reefi uno (one of them). Looking forward to having some lights and see what grows off the rocks (algae lets go!). I plan to order live rocks from Gulf Live Rocks and maybe live rocks from KP aquatics too. I was told to order in spring or summer for more diversity b/c of the weather. On another note I think its cheaper to seed life that way versus buying the components individually (copepods, algae, and etc.). I wil definitely quaratine the rocks for majano & aiptasia.

Question to any readers, where do you get your soft corals at? Any suggestions for place or deals?

Whats Next?
  • Order Reefi Uno #2
  • Order Gulf Live Rocks (Deco) in Spring / Summer
  • Monitor tank & ghost feed
  • Quarantine Clownfish
  • Shop around for soft coral (Zoa, paly, Toadstool, mushrooms)
Fish Tank 2.0.jpg
 
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Littlesquishy

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Update
I got my Reefi Uno today! Its great and I love it. Theres plenty of channels to play with. The connection the controls are simple and easy. I'm sure its powerful to grow any SPS, LPS, softies, and clams. I like the price too! I'm still going through the settings and choosing the right ones for my area. I know for sure I am going to enjoy the tank with these lights. I may be bias since I have never owned any other lights. Other options were effective (cheap) and loud, or expensive but needed more lights than I wanted to buy. Reefi Uno for me was just right.

Painful Afterthought
When I was setting up the lights I felt it was a pain to adjust the height and level the lights. I couldn't adjust the height of the lights without removing them off the tank. There were moments where I dropped screws and the acrylic buffer to protect my glass (very cool to have). If they could rethink the design of the light stand to allow an easier time to adjust height of the lights. I would very much appreciate it because I didn't know what height to start off with. Maybe the design accounts for it and I just assembled it wrong. All I know is I had a hassle adjusting the height of the lights to reduce light spillage.
Fish Tank with Lights Moonlight mode.png
 
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