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Discussion in 'Reef Breeders' started by Reef Breeders, Jun 7, 2018.

  1. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Hey Everyone,

    Let's start with a bit of background here. I started Reef Breeders because of my passion for reef tanks- when I developed my first light I had a 90 gallon reef. Then like most people in this hobby, I went up to a 125. That wasn't enough, so then I set up a 220 gallon with it's own sump room. I started Reef Breeders pretty young, and a year after the 220gallon was up, I moved away for college and my aquarium inevitably went downhill. I finally broke it down with the help of a friend who found a good home for my fish and corals, and sold off all of the equipment last year.

    Fast forward to now, I graduated on May 20th from URI with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration. I moved into my first long term apartment, and got the go-ahead to setup an aquarium from the property owners. For the tank- I went to see Scott Crowe of Ocean State Aquatics in Coventry, RI. He is a big proponent of the Waterbox aquariums- and after seeing the awesome builds he does and all the shiny new tanks at the shop, I decided on the WaterBox Platinum 75.2 in white. This aquarium is going to be a model of what Reef Breeders and Coral Box equipment can do for your reef- and a major theme of this build is going to be efficiency. Everything will be DC powered, and everything will be Reef Breeders or Coral Box, except for the aquarium heater.

    This is both the culmination of years of adding new products that cover every aspect of a reef aquarium, and the start of my next journey into reef keeping.

    For starters, here is a list of the equipment that is being collected at the start of this build. I will add to this list as the build progresses:

    Screen Shot 2018-06-07 at 2.41.48 PM.png

    The spot where the aquarium will most likely be going:

    IMG_4743.JPG

    The aquarium is going to be arriving tomorrow according to Scott, I will be picking it up over the weekend and will have more photos then.

    Stay tuned for more photos, videos, and updates!

    Thank You,
    Logan Vanghele
    Owner
    ReefBreeders.com
     

  2. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Update 6/12/2018

    Yesterday I picked up the tank from Scott at Ocean State Aquatics. If you haven't checked out his shop in Coventry, RI yet I highly recommend that you do. OSA also offers cherry picked, WSIWYG corals online at https://osacorals.com/

    This thing was heavy! But my Subaru will carry pretty much anything- so in it went.

    2018-6-11 OSA Photo.jpg

    The Stand comes flat-packed on WaterBox aquariums, so assembly was akin to ikea furniture. The instructions in the box are lacking- but there is a video on youtube with more detailed instructions, and after getting the process started it quickly becomes apparent where every piece belongs. It took about 1 hour to do the full assembly:

    IMG_4784.JPG
    IMG_4783.JPG

    I really like the slow-close hinges, and the magnetic push latch. Unfortunately my apartment is pretty old- so the floor is not even close to level in this spot. I may have to move the aquarium, as the self leveling feet included with the stand just don't do enough in my situation. Note that the tank is not up yet- I am going to enlist a friend of mine to help get this thing up the stairs- it's definitely a 2 person job.

    IMG_4785.JPG

    I will never run an aquarium without a GFCI outlet- period. This outlet will be going in once I determine exactly where I want to place the aquarium.
    To the right is the under-sink adapter for the RODI unit. RODIs are another essential piece of equipment that I would not run a reef tank without. Water quality is the first step in setting up a successful reef tank.

    The RODI unit pictured is going to be added to the ReefBreeders.com lineup soon. It is a private label from Aqua FX with some custom upgrades. They are made in the USA. Shoutout to Marianne from Aqua FX for getting this sample out to us so quickly, and Bob Winfrey of Monti Caps Outfitters for putting us in touch.

    Stay tuned for more updates!

    IMG_4781.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018
    WVNed, Retro Reefer, DSC reef and 2 others like this.
  3. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Cyber Monday Sponsor

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    Congrats bud! I remember when you were first starting and then finding out how young you were! You have been a great asset to R2R and the hobby! Congrats!
     
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  4. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Hey Rev, that means a lot to me. Reef2Reef was instrumental in both getting started in the hobby, and building Reef Breeders as a company. Thank you for building this amazing reefing community :)
     
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  5. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Update 6/13/2018

    Tank is in Place!!!

    The aquarium was a bit out of place in the first spot I tried, so I moved it to the opposite wall. It fits in an alcove with just enough room to fit some equipment next to the stand. I plan on putting a dosing container in that space once the aquarium is up and running.

    IMG_4786.JPG

    The plumbing is all included with the waterbox aquariums- and I must say this is the first time I didn't have to place 3 orders for fittings, just to find out I need one more, then spend all night measuring, cutting, and gluing PVC- LOL! That made a huge difference in getting the tank ready for water. But I'm not filling it up juuuust yet- the aquarium is slightly off-level. And it's on a carpet in a rental- so I plan on doing a few things first.

    1) Shims need to go under the front of the stand. These tanks do have self-leveling feet built in. However, they are not much good on the carpet since they sink right in. The tank is only off by about 1/8" , but I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

    2) I plan on getting a washing machine catch-bin, which is basically a big plastic tray. They come in sizes of about 28" x 30", so perfect for my little cube tank. That bin would contain any minor spills and keep salt creep off of the carpet, and make the stand easier to clean (simple wipe down without the need for avoiding drips on the carpet).

    3) GFCI outlet needs to be installed before I plug anything in.

    4) RODI fitting needs to be added under the sink- I can't find my wrench. I don't really have those lying around since most of my work is on electronics- haha
     
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  6. 915MANG

    915MANG Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Cool Thread Logan! Following along :)
     
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  7. HerpN

    HerpN Member CTARS Member

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    Nice good luck! Following....
     
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  8. HerpN

    HerpN Member CTARS Member

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    Nice good luck! Following....
     
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  9. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    Awesome build and thanks for sharing your story Logan. I've heard nothing but good things about your lights and I've seen what they can do in person.
     
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  10. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Update 7/5:

    Not much has changed yet- I gathered some equipment, I have a heater, the lights are on the tank and programmed. I am bringing over more equipment tonight to prepare for water, namely a DCS6,000 return pump to get everything circulating.

    The aquarium is nearly level- one corner is off by less than 1/8", I think that's as good as it'll get. The GFCI outlet has not been installed- it's in the corner next to my tank so I will probably end up just getting a GFCI power strip.
    About the water- unfortunately I have well water with a TDS of 500, and low water pressure. Given those 2 issues I think it will not be feasible to setup my own RODI system, so I will be buying my water instead. Scott at OSA was nice enough to lend me some containers so I could move all 75 gallons in one trip. The plan is to fill the tank, and get the water circulating and up to temp. Then I will add sand and get started on the aquascape.

    I have a square kitchen table, so I will cover it with cardboard cut to the footprint of my aquarium, and start putting the scape together. This time around I will be doing a branch/island structure. My previous builds I did an old school rock wall, and hated it. This was compounded when I upgraded, and found that the coral growth makes it nearly impossible to move the rocks into different spots. So this time I will build it right once- and make sure I am happy before I place it in the aquarium.

    Sorry guys, no pictures for this post, nothing has really changed yet, but cool stuff and photos are coming! :)
     
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  11. biecacka

    biecacka Active Member

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    Following along on the reefbreeders complete build!

    Corey
     
  12. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    The tank is filled!

    This afternoon I drove up to OSA to pick up water, live rock/sand, and test kits. Scott was nice enough to lend me the containers for the day so that I could get all the water transported. Unfortunately my apartment has well water with very high TDS and low pressure, so I will most likely be buying my water from here on out. Shoutout to Scott and Kris at Ocean State Aquatics for hooking me up with containers, water, and everything else I needed to get this tank filled today #keeponreefing

    IMG_4873.JPG

    It took 10 trips to get the water and live rock up the stairs- 72ish gallons and 42 pounds of LR, plus 40 lbs of sand, and it's the middle of a heat wave. I could've probably filled half the tank with sweat- hah!

    IMG_4874.JPG

    This time around I wanted to make a rock scape I could be proud of. My last couple of builds I kind of just threw it all in a pile against the back wall. This time I wanted a branch structure with caves and space to place corals. There was a decent amount of branch rock at OSA- but what really made this 'scape come together were these rocks they had that were cut in half, giving them a flat edge. That allowed me to build a very stable bottom, plus a back wall going up the overflow box, which really completes the look.

    I built an arch and epoxied that part in place- Kris suggested a bit of superglue along with the epoxy, since the epoxy does not act as a binder- it's more of a space filler. I took the epoxy and used it to fill any gaps, which makes the rock look like a natural extension of the reef, and really completes the look I was going for. The rock stood on its own so it wasn't too much trouble to fit everything in.

    Laying out the scape on a cardboard cutout prior to placement:

    IMG_4875.JPG

    Before Epoxy:
    IMG_4878.JPG

    IMG_4883.JPG


    Water and sand going in:

    IMG_4885.JPG

    While filling I ran into an issue- the return line was leaking at the end of the vinyl tube as soon as the pump was turned on. After getting 2 hose clamps on there with no change, I removed the tubing and found that the fitting was cracked. I emailed waterbox and I am sure they will send a replacement fitting. In the meantime, I went to HD (it was about 7pm so local hardware store was closed) and got a 1" ID tube to act as a sleeve- it goes over the original vinyl, and over the entire fitting instead of just the barbed output, skipping over the cracked part. It's a temporary solution but it did the trick. I will get a photo of my quick fix if anyone is interested.

    Tank full and water running- waiting for everything to clear up:

    IMG_4886.JPG

    I would like to note that I actually ended up with 29 gallons of extra water- so the tank's total water volume is around 43 gallons.

    I used 12 gallons of nutri-sea water, and kick started my cycle with a piece of ham in the filter sock. I will test the water in a couple days and see if there is an ammonia spike.

    Thank you for reading, today's post is a long one!

    TLDR? Water in tank, scape done- onto the cycle :)
     
  13. DSC reef

    DSC reef Coral wasted R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 Build Thread Contributor

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    The scape is impressive. That's one area I'm really going to take my time with on our next build.
     
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  14. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Thank you! That was my first time working with branch rock and I got really lucky- everything fit together and I got it finished in about an hour. I tried about 3-4 configurations before settling on this one. My goal was to make it viewable from all 3 sides plus above and have even space for corals to spread out without too much shadowing- the plan is to put encrusting montis and acros on the inner branches, and plating caps on the outer branches over the sand, so I can fit more corals on the rockwork, and have a shaded area for zoos, shrooms, and acans on the sandbed.
     
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  15. hwntunda

    hwntunda Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Looking like it’s going to be a great setup!
     
  16. Zeal

    Zeal Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I always get jealous when I see awesome scapes. I wish I would of thought it through more when I first started. My next tank forsure will have 2 rock islands to create depth
     
  17. Retro Reefer

    Retro Reefer Been there done that.. R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Hospitality Award

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    Off to a great start! Following along
     
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  18. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Let the Cycle BEGIN!!!

    Ammonia- .25-.5 PPM

    IMG_4905.JPG

    Nitrate ~2PPM (divide by 10 for sideways readings- low range test)

    IMG_4906.JPG

    Once the ammonia reads 0 and nitrates also read 0, I plan on adding my first fish and installing the protein skimmer.

    I already see some diatoms on the rockwork, I am bracing myself for a lot of ugly algae for the next month

    In terms of equipment- since this tank turned out to only have about 42.2 gallons of actual water volume- instead of the 75 I initially expected, I am making some changes:

    DCS6,000 Return pump is going to be swapped out for the DCS3,000 shortly. It's clearly too much for this tank- if I turn it up too high, the output nozzles shoot out of the tube and water sprays all over the place! So definitely downsizing hahaha

    The D500+ Protein Skimmer is what I originally planned- those are recommended for tanks from 60 to 120 gallons of water volume. I am now going to use the D300+ instead, which is great for tanks from 30-85 gallons. It should be more than what I need. This is practically a nano compared to my old 220 :)

    I installed a Reef Power RP-26 yesterday for flow.
     
  19. Reef Breeders

    Reef Breeders ReefBreeders.com R2R Supporter Gold Sponsor Toys For Kids Sponsor

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    Updates!

    The cycle looks complete, 0 ammonia and almost 0 nitrate for weeks. Right now I am working on controlling phosphate and temperature. The tank gets indirect sunlight in the late afternoon, so I am being more careful to close the blinds before the sun starts setting. I have several snails chugging along cleaning up the mess I made by leaving in meat to cycle the tank and letting all that extra light reach my tank. It's slow going but they are getting close to eliminating all the algae. Yay!

    IMG_5242.JPG

    I have been struggling the past few weeks with high temps. Some days a frozen water bottle in the sump and a fan blowing across the top just don't cut it- I left for 2 days and when I got back my tank was 86 degrees- YIKES! I don't have central air- I plan on purchasing an AC unit just to keep the tank room at a constant 80 degrees and get these temperature swings under control. Parameter swings make for unhappy fish and corals- I will not be adding any fish until I have all my parameters fully under control, including temperature.

    More equipment to be added soon- I have a Coral Box D300+ sitting there ready to go in. I am waiting for the temperature to stabalize, so that I can add my first fish and get something in the water for the skimmer to remove. In the meantime I finally added a powerbar inside my stand- I have never had such a confined space, and the powerstrip I used works wonders, just having the outlets sideways is a huge plus for reefkeepers- I have a million different power supplies and they don't play nice when the outlets are in a straight line, one after the other. I will get my controllers mounted and up off the floor shortly.

    IMG_5439.JPG

    IMG_1168.JPG

    Here is a link with more information on the CoralBox D300+: https://www.reefbreeders.com/shop/coralbox-d300-plus/
     
  20. Mark Gray

    Mark Gray Valuable Member R2R Supporter Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice I like it and like your lights have one set on my 55
     
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