Rebecca's Downsized Reef Build

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
Hello. I've been a longtime lurker and sometimes poster. I got into the salty side of the hobby in 2015. I started out with a 20 gallon FOWLR, upgraded to a 40B and then to a 65 gallon with a few corals (mushrooms, zoas, euphyllia, candy canes and duncans).
We started a construction project on our home mid to late May. It might be done mid-December. Hopefully. In the meantime, my reef tank has been horribly neglected and is currently overrun with green hair algae. I pretty quickly realized, even before the construction chaos, that I had bit off more than I could handle with the 65 gallon, but tried to persevere. However, being vertically challenged and having some lower back issues, doing proper maintenance was an issue and a pain, literally.
I've come to the conclusion that large / tall tanks are just not for me and I plan on downsizing to either a 29 gallon or 37 gallon tank, as the tank's new location will allow for only a 30" wide / long or smaller aquarium. I know I like the size of a 29 gallon, because I've had those before with freshwater. I like the idea of a 37 gallon, but am hesitant about going that route due to my vertically challenged-ness.
The new set-up (as all my other ones) will not have a sump. It might aspire to have an AIO type box installed, but will more likely have 2 large HOB filters for filters, carbon, etc. I like keeping things simple and oddly enjoy doing weekly water changes and other tank maintenance chores.
I don't know when this build will start, but hopefully I can start working on the stand and doing some major clean up and maintenance on the 65 soon. I'll take pics as I go along to document the progress.
 
Corals.com

tvpham93

Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 17, 2019
Messages
68
Reaction score
46
I would get a setup with a sump if you could, it makes reefkeeping so much easier maintenance and you can setup a refugium. And another benefit you extra water volume, which with a nano setup is always a must. Going smaller is actually harder than having a bigger tank.
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
I would get a setup with a sump if you could, it makes reefkeeping so much easier maintenance and you can setup a refugium. And another benefit you extra water volume, which with a nano setup is always a must. Going smaller is actually harder than having a bigger tank.
Thank you for your response. I've looked at setups with sumps, but I don't have any desire to have one. I enjoy the challenge of a smaller tank, much like some people enjoy the challenge of growing SPS. I got much more enjoyment from my 20g tank than I do my current 65g setup. Being able to reach the sides and back of the tank easily for maintenance is not without its merits.
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
We went to visit family over the Thanksgiving weekend and came home to a cold tank and with a sprained ankle. My heater had apparently crapped out and the tank water had dropped to 69.4. The corals are looking pretty rough, but the fish seem to be doing ok. I was able to locate a spare heater and get the water warming up. I'm keeping an eye on the corals and hoping they will rally.
Before we went out of town, my husband and I went and looked at aquariums, comparing the heights of the 29 and 37 gallon tanks. He brought up something that I hadn't thought of... I've had 29 gallon tanks in the past and didn't keep them, so going with another 29 gallon might not be the best decision. Valid point. Their 37 gallon tank wasn't on a stand, but a bit of mathing and measuring other tanks that were on stands let me get a feel for how accessible the tank would be for me. Decision made and I will be purchasing the 37 after I've got the stand spruced up and ready to go. I'm hoping a week of resting my ankle will have me feeling ready to get this party started.
 

jazzfisher

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2019
Messages
210
Reaction score
279
Location
So Cal
Being vertically challenged myself, I went from a 26 gal AIO regular rectangle shape-14-16 in deep to the IM 30l (about 11 inches deep) and couldn’t be happier. I can actually reach everything in the tank. And it is much easier to take care of.. Look into the shallower tanks!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
It turns out that I didn't just sprain my ankle, I fractured my ankle bone.
Then the countertops we've been waiting on for 4 weeks got delivered and were the wrong color. Now we have to play the waiting game all over again.
What's a girl to do? Work on reinforcing an old aquarium stand, of course. It's a very used Aqueon pine stand that was pretty rickety, but only cost me $10.

20191206_144422.jpg


I reinforced the original slats with screws, then reinforced all the corners with glued and nailed 1/2" × 3" pine boards. I added a piece of pegboard to cover the back opening to keep cats out, but still let air circulate. There's a gap at the top for plugging in equipment to surge protector. A bit of caulking, sanding and painting should spruce it right up.

20191206_163935.jpg
 

Mastiffsrule

I’m not “in” debt, I’m just “out” of cash
View Badges
Joined
Feb 10, 2019
Messages
6,775
Reaction score
27,185
Location
Charlotte
Hi,

Broken ankle, ouch. I’m with you on the counter top thing. I think unless you watch them pull the slab, measure, cut, polish its 50/50 it is right.

Looks like a nice build. Of course I have no choice but to like it once I saw the kitty. Keep updating.
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
Hi,

Broken ankle, ouch. I’m with you on the counter top thing. I think unless you watch them pull the slab, measure, cut, polish its 50/50 it is right.

Looks like a nice build. Of course I have no choice but to like it once I saw the kitty. Keep updating.
Thank you. We have 3 kitties and I'm really surprised they weren't all inspecting the stand. We have one that's especially prone to supervising. lol
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
Since I'm accident prone and had mentioned that one of these fancy step stools would be nice to have, my husband bought me one to keep in the bathroom. ;)
It will be helpful for stepping in and out of the tub, but more importantly it will be helpful for maintenance work on the new aquarium. ;Happy


step stool.jpg
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
As embarrassing as this is to post, I'm putting it here for documentation. This poor tank has been neglected for months due to our home remodel.
This pic was taken Saturday morning:

20191214_090047.jpg


I spent several hours Saturday trying to get out as much algae as I could, cleaning the filters and doing a large water change.
This pic was taken Sunday evening:

20191215_181723.jpg


There's a lot more work to be done, but since half the kitchen is no longer in our living room, the tank is much more accessible and I can get back into a maintenance routine.
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
We had hopes of moving into our new addition and planned to go buy my new tank this weekend, but the county inspector squashed those dreams. It's mostly minor electrical and nit-picky plumbing things that are easy fixes, but scheduling to get them fixed and scheduling another inspection throws us into next week. I suppose I could still go buy the tank, but I'm hesitant to bring it into a house where there will once again be flying sheetrock dust. Meh. We'll see if I can delay tank buying gratification or not. Nothing good happens fast in this hobby, right?
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
Happy New Year!
Celebratory aquarium purchase: yesterday we passed the final inspection on our master suite addition. :)
I went with a 29 gallon tank after all. I had stopped by Petco to look at heaters and noticed they had $1 per gallon sale going. That was that. The 37 might have been nice, but the height of the 29 suits me and my frugal heart couldn't justify paying over 3 times as much for just 8 extra gallons.
I don't know when I'll get to start moving everything over from the 65g, but having the new tank is one step closer.

20191231_144616.jpg
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
Love the bathroom tub and sink. Tank will be nice there. Can't wait to see the move.
Thank you! The bathroom was planned to ensure I had space for an aquarium and that I would have a good view of it while soaking in my tub. That got me plenty of odd looks during the floor layout process. lol
The sink vanity is an old aquarium stand. It was pretty beat up when we got it and we worked together to get it looking nice. I had two 20 gallon tanks, one saltwater and one freshwater, sitting side by side on it for a couple years. I was going to sell the stand, but my husband suggested using it for the sink vanity and it worked out really well for that purpose.
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
I got my DIY light hanger apparatus put up today. I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

20200105_175040.jpg


I probably should have done the leak test outside, but temperature is dropping and I'm willing to take the risk of doing it inside with a new tank. Besides, our new flooring is suppose to be waterproof. ;)

20200105_175016.jpg
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
My heart is happy right now. My husband just called to ask where I keep my tongs for the saltwater tank. When I asked why, he said he was trying to cover the new aquarium with a towel to keep out sheetrock dust and knocked the eggcrate on top into the water. He didn't want to just stick his hand in the tank to get it out. What he didn't realize is that it's just tap water in the tank and it's got to be cleaned out anyway before saltwater is added. But bless his heart for being concerned and considerate! It makes me feel good to know that he is listening and paying some attention when I ramble on about tank stuff.
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
I have the aragonite sand, saltwater, filter and heater in the tank. I got the Inkbird controller hooked up too. I wanted the digital display where I could see it easily, but really wish the plug cord was longer so I could have positioned it more out of the way.
I decided not to paint or cover the back of the tank. The live rock should distract from the cord clutter a bit and once the back glass is covered in coralline it will all be hidden anyway.

20200110_190830.jpg


20200110_190901.jpg
 
OP
showmebutterfly

showmebutterfly

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 22, 2014
Messages
163
Reaction score
223
Location
Springfield, MO
I moved a couple pieces of live rock over from the 65 and a couple of smaller rocks with mushrooms from my 10g QT. The rocks from the 65 have 2 types of frogspawn, a wall hammer and zoas, as well as some GHA that remained after picking off as much as I could manually. The LPS all have exposed skeletons, but I can see some live tissue and am hopeful they will recover. Both the 65 and the 29 have now been dosed with Flux rx to help battle the GHA. I have a clownfish and an orbiculate cardinalfish which will probably stay in the 65 for a while or get moved to a QT while I figure out additional stocking for the 29. I'm trying to move slowly and keep a close eye on parameters in the meantime.

20200111_152402.jpg


20200111_152335.jpg
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

What is your most favorite type of reef tank?

  • SPS dominated

    Votes: 213 21.2%
  • LPS dominated

    Votes: 73 7.2%
  • Soft Coral dominated

    Votes: 39 3.9%
  • Zoa dominated

    Votes: 20 2.0%
  • Mixed Reef

    Votes: 624 62.0%
  • Fish focused

    Votes: 19 1.9%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 19 1.9%

Online statistics

Members online
616
Guests online
1,833
Total visitors
2,449

New Posts

Top