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Hello everyone! I finally decided to rejoin the hobby! I’m a little late on starting this thread so I will add a bit in due time for timeline purposes. I got out of the hobby nearly twenty years ago while I was in the Navy. I told my now current lovely bride for the last 10 years how much I enjoyed it and would like to get back into the hobby. She finally gave the go ahead early this year. I ordered this tank from “Corals fish and beyond”in Fort Worth Texas back in early March! It’s a Premium Reef crystalline 96x24x21 from Planet Aquariums. It arrived July 28th. It had some issues but both LFS listed above and Planet Aquariums were quick to resolve. Planet even made a trip to my house to fix the sealant. Thanks Planet! Nevertheless I have had personal issues that have kept me away from the build for nearly a month. I ordered the majority of my equipment or what I thought was important to get first in March as well. There are so many choices since the wet/dry options of ole. Anyway, I ordered most of my equipment from Marine Depot (RIP), Bulk Reef Supply, and Dynamic Tank (shopdynamictank.com), talk to Marc there, extremely helpful!
So the first orders:
X 2 cor-20
X4 wav pumps
ATK kit
LDK kit
Fmk kit
X2 fs-200 flow sensors
200 lbs of Carib sea dry rock
120 lbs of Carib Agra live sand
Hanna instruments professional kit
150 gallon a day 4 stage rodi
VDM (note this will change down the line)
1000 watt helio ptc
Neptune apex w/eb832
Additional eb832
Eb4 that’s for the helio only.
I was on the fence until summer about the lights and what direction I want to go!
One thing I remember from the hobby before is patience! Two stimulus checks later and a small loan from the 401k got me here lol.

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Congrats!! Looks great! Good equipment list too.

My first reefing experience was way back in 2000, and then I also took a long time off after 2004.

My personal experience has been it seemed harder to get the tank matured this time. I could not find any real Pacific live rock (no longer available) and like many, started this tank with dry rock. I have read speculation that the lack of biodiversity may be the problem. I had a long “ugly period”. Finally past that. There are some places that sell live rock cultured off the coast of Florida, but I have not tried those sources. Might be an idea. Or maybe get some rock from some nice reefer out of a mature (pest free) system. If you get down to the Houston area, I can pull some pieces for you.

All that said, I am sure there are plenty of reefers that have been quickly successful with dry rock and bacteria in a bottle, or some seeded pieces. Just not me!

Glad you are back in the hobby. You will have a good time. Some awesome corals out there these days and plenty of cool fish.

Good luck!!
Mark
 
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Ok second installment y’all, this roughly two weeks ago. I was doing what I could after work. So as the tank was sitting there and I noticed our three cats and dog were playing underneath. I read a thread or two about bad kitties doing terrible things in the sump. So off to Home Depot! I purchased some premium plywood and to put on the back. Oh one thing I negated to mention about the tank was that it also came with a tideline 48 sump and tideline 20 inch slim overflow. X2 1 1/2 inch drains and 1 inch emergency drain. X2 3/4 inch returns. So back to the wood! I bought some dewalt tools and did something I’ve never done before made shapes! Couldn’t even do that in Boy Scouts without getting a cut lol. So I put the backs on to form an aft bulk head and cut a hole in the wall to split the outlets from master bed room to main living area. I know this area looks bare we mainly stay upstairs at the moment. This room is a work in progress. So as I mentioned early about the drains I installed two 1 1/2 gate valves with corrugated 1 1/2 inch provided by Planet aquariums I ran three feet two short three box stores later Lowe’s had some in the garden section for 35 bucks. At least I have 22 feet left over now. Got home and it didn’t fit, hence the stogie and a glass of Strait whiskey! Watched some more videos and went back to reef to reef! Found the answer you have to heat for a few and wholly. For the rest of the plumbing I decided on pvc/vinyl hybrid. I read forums and watched you tube extensively and heard of the woes of vinyl tubing. But I said I got this! Heck I’ve been in avionics for two decades how hard can it be. Well I’m here to tell you! Trying making a curve with 1/4 vinyl!!! Ain’t goin do it!! So I opted on elbows and a crap ton of barbed fittings with all strait runs! Not to mention several trips to big box stores and about 4 orders of various pieces from BRS! With the returns came the installation of the FS-200’s. These things are huge and a pain to mount upside down!
More to come in next post!
 

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So I took off this entire week from work to install the majority of equipment and finalize return plumbing. It took several tries of different methodologies to get the FS-200 but ended up using rectorseal 5 that did the trick. The main issue I had was my choice of connections to the 2 inch unions. I went with a slip bushing reducer to threaded 1 1/4 male threaded barb. In hindsight I should of gone slip to slip bushing and saved myself the trouble. Either way the rectorseal 5 did the trick. Only other issues I’ve been battling the entire week of leak checks was the L/H bulkhead return. I’m on my third bulkhead connection as of today to try and get the confounded thing to not leak through the rubber gasket and yes the gasket is inside the tank where it should be. So I’m letting the tank run for a bit to see what happens. I was wondering if it was cavitation but… I’m only running the cor-20’s at 45% with my install they haven’t gone over 475 gallons per hour the entire week and that’s only for about 3-4 hours a day. On the return bulkheads they are 3/4” my plumbing is 1 1/4” all they way to the cepex ball valve then 1” to the bulkhead which I’m using a reducing elbow 3/4” thread to 1” barbed fitting. I’m still used to getting used to the APEX UI when I can but so many other stuff to prep and getting ready for. So back to that earlier post about the VDM. I was originally going to go with reef breeders but since the sky came out I’m going that route. Got three from BRS and ordering the fourth this week if still available! So on the VDM purchased from Marine Depot. I was about to get BRS to take it back even though it was out of the 60 day window that Marine Depot had. So I purchased a 1 link for my L/H wav’s. Since I mount the EB832s on the far right of the cabinet the wire was a foot to short. You can probably see them coiled up on the panel I installed on the left of one of the pictures below. Everything on the left panel is running left hand part of the system and vise versa for the right panel. So tomorrow I’m receiving my 1 link to test out the wav’s on the left and my 40w UV sterilizer. So I will be emptying out tank and hacking up my manifold to to plum that and I’m going to prep it also for the two reactors coming in at the end of the week. Setting up a carbon reactor and gfo I think. I also have to prep and install my rodi in the laundry room.
 

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Received the 1-Link and installed! All 4 WAV’s are fully operational. I also purchased the Nyos 300 protein skimmer should be in next week.
Also got in two BRS buckets, I know they cost more then big box stores but I plan on installing floats in them to fill at my RODI station for ease of swap outs every couple of days. May decide to upgrade later depending on how much this happens lol.
I’m still messing with my left hand return bulkhead leaking on my fourth at the moment. I think what I was doing was tightening the elbow in to far which was cause a hairline fracture that I didn’t notice. Took extra care not to over tighten elbow this time!
Need to get pest this stage of leak checks to empty tank again so I can modify manifold for reactors and UV sterilizer. Then leak check again. I did have this planned out but cost overruns are #%*^+. So the plan hopefully this weekend is modify plumbing and get rodi station set up in laundry room!
 

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Hey besties, so today I installed my Marine Depot Kleanwater advanced RODI with BRS dual DI upgrade with TDS meters. I changed the plumbing on the RODI To convert that DI chamber to additional carbon block. I also installed the the BRS auto shutoff kit. My only issue at the moment is I don’t know if I should of re-plumbed the the gauge before auto shut off valve because I have cavitation in the gauge when produced water valve is closed. Anyone have any thoughts?

I still have to finalize all of ro tubing to brute trash cans and 5 gallon buckets.
 

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I figured out the cavitation issue on the same day I posted last update. It’s because I will still was doing my pre rinse and didn’t add the ro membrane. Once added no more issues with gauge or pressure. Sitting at 58 psi at just before membrane.
 

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I know it’s been awhile since an update. So many things to do. In the pictures below I added some more equipment.
1) I plumbed 3/4 inch and connected a pentair 40w UV sterilizer. I’m still waiting for BRS to get the mounting clamps back in stock. I have install a FS-100 to monitor flow and set alarm to turn of UV in case of low flow. As you can see in the picture I haven’t install the light and currently not in a rush too. Letting the tank run and settle so one I can figure out the apex and doing extensive leak test.
2) I plumbed utilizing 1/2 RO tubing in BRS media reactor and installed on back of tank for easy access. I also install FS-50 for %>#<| and giggles to monitor flow. I will be using this mainly for carbon, but if GFO is needed I can swap back and forth.
3) I finished assembling my manifold. This is a Tee off the right hand COR-20 utilizing 1 1/4 inch plumbing.
4) I completed set up for ATK and installed an additional sensor in my RO bucket. I have two of these buckets. One will be under tank while the other lying in wait in RODI/laundry room. From what I’ve seen so far I probably have to swap buckets every two days which is kinda insane evaporation.
4) I also finalize all wiring for what is currently installed using common sense I hope. I have separate wire runs installed by system. So hopefully swap outs and upgrades don’t pose to much difficulty.
 

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Hello everyone!!
Today I installed four float valves.
1) x2 5 gl. Buckets that will be used for for rodi ATO swaps. Set level at approximately 4 gl mark.
2) x2 32 gallon brutes that will be used for saltwater mixing. Set level at 25 gallon mark. I ran short of one 1/4 inch shutoff valve so have to pick up another.
I purchased two castors for the brute cans said they are rated for 250 lbs ea. So we shall see they work. If they don’t I’ll rig something else up. 25 gl of water weighs about 208 lbs and maybe 5 lbs for brute crosses fingers! :)
I also purchased a baby brute 10 gl depicted in picture below for maintenance while doing water changes. It may turn in to my ato tank if I get tired of swapping buckets every two days. :) Let me know your thoughts or if you have some other cheep solutions.
 

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Oh one more thing I was thinking of going with the Nyos 300 protein skimmer any thoughts anyone?
I run a smaller version of the Nyos filter on a tank at work and it is very user friendly and has been working well.
 
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I run a smaller version of the Nyos filter on a tank at work and it is very user friendly and has been working well.
Thank you. I may have to downgrade to one level down. I ordered it three weeks ago it’s on back order and it will fit in my sump but I don’t think I can fit it through the door.
 
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I did have to downgrade after all from the Nyos 300 to the 220. After doing the plumbing I kinda took away the headroom needed for maintenance and the gap at door would of proved to difficult to remove when needed. It doesn’t quite get me the heavy bio load I was looking for at 250 gallons, but with running filter socks I might be ok after watching those BRS videos.
When I was emptying the tank after final leak test my sicce ultra zero utility pump impeller broke after second use. I called up BRS and they were nice enough to replace for free since I only bought on august 30th.
Next up is I have one more shelf to install in my rodi room to store heater and mixing pump and the biggest job I’ve been dreading is the sky light install. My plan is to get some wood to install on the ceiling to drop the lights from it. Put two holes in the ceiling to route the sky wiring up to an eb4. I also have to drop the aquabus cable through the wall back to tank. I’m not looking forward to this because of the Texas heat.
Once that evolution is done I can move the heavy tank a little closer to the wall it’s almost two feet away at the moment. Start my aquascaping and cycle tank. Estimating sometime in November-December before adding first fish
 

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Adrift

Adrift

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I received my neat aquatics UV clamps and installed them. They look pretty sharp I think. I have it close enough to the end of the tank that hopefully I can service it. I also left the majority of the wire coiled up to be able to pull light and quartz sleeve out for servicing.
 

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Adrift

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Hello R2R! So this morning I installed a shelf to hold/house when not in use at my mixing station a Eheim Jager 125w heater, Marineland 1200 maxi-jet, and sicce ultra zero utility pump. I also installed placards along with reorganizing my yellow bins that house extra 1/4 and 1/2 ro plumbing and pieces, maintenance tools for cor-20’s, cepex valves, and have place in my Hana check temp thermometer and salinity probe. I also installed a hook for 50 foot python siphon. I know this may be a bit wordy, but this thread also doubles as my diary. I have tested out the system and filled all the containers that are in picture last night. The two 5 gallons before I left to see Venom and left the 32 gallon brute filling while I was a theater. I wanted to test to ensure the back pressure with float valve was working. It’s a bit risky but nonetheless it worked, yeah! I showed my entire family where the city feed valve and placard are located in case of emergency they can shutoff. They weren’t impressed of course and went immediately back to their phones, lol!!! So think I’m satisfied for now and sure there will be more to come for my mixing station. Oh the other brute is stored in garage so I don’t block the washer/get divorced.
Today I will also be starting my installation of the sky lights in the ceiling/attic. I will post progress pictures because this will not finish this weekend. Haven’t even picked up the wood nor stained it.

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AquaCave

Have you ever had a nano reef tank?

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