RedStick's 30g Reef Build

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by RedStickReefer, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Hi guys! I just wanted to document my 30g reef build here so y'all can follow along.

    Build List:

    Aqueon 30g long tank (used to be the sump for my old 90g reef)
    Two Radion Gen1 lights on RMS mounts
    Coralvue Icecap sump
    Ehiem compact 2000+ return pump
    Tunze Osmolator 3155 ATO
    Finnex titanium heater tube
    Two TLF Phosban reactors (1 for carbon, 1 for GFO)
    Reef Octopus NW-110-6520B Skimmer (equipped with the aquatrance 1000s pump, not OTP)
    Jebao DP-4 dosing pump
    Jebao SW-8 powerhead
    DA Reefkeeper Lite
    Hanna checkers for Ca, Alk and phosphorus
    Pukani rock from BRS
    CaribSea special grade sand

    Here's a few pics of the build progress so far.

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-52-44 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-52-59 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-53-13 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-53-25 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-53-42 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-53-54 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-02_06-54-09 by Jensen Esneault

    I still need to sand and paint the stand white. Then, it'll be plumbed and I can get water in it. All of my electronics will go on a control panel under the stand on the right side. The front and side access panels are magnetic and I used plain old cabinet magnets to hold them on. Let me know what y'all think!
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  2. Hi.Gene

    Hi.Gene Member

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    Great DIY tank build!

    Can't wait to see this finished.
     
  3. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! This will be an SPS dominant tank. I'm shooting for a minimalist scape with plenty of negative space in the tank. Not the final scape, but it will be something simple like this.

    [​IMG]2017-12-05_10-04-22 by Jensen Esneault
     
    NY_Caveman likes this.
  4. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    My Radion mounts were delivered today. I couldn't stand it, I had to put them on the tank. Hard to believe all that stuff piling up on the left side of the tank is going to fit in this build!

    [​IMG]2017-12-07_05-34-00 by Jensen Esneault
     
  5. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I made a little progress this evening, but ran out of daylight. I still need to put another coat on the stand and I still need to sand/paint the doors. I was able to buy all my plumbing today with the exception of a few 1/2" valves. Lowes was sold out and they don't sell the double union valves at Home Depot.

    [​IMG]2017-12-11_05-40-16 by Jensen Esneault
     
  6. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    More progress. I sanded and painted the door panels. I also installed the control panel and painted it. The stand is now finished, so hopefully I can start on dry fitting plumbing tomorrow evening. I might have water in the tank by this weekend!

    [​IMG]2017-12-13_04-00-39 by Jensen Esneault
     
  7. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I stopped at the Lowes on Millerville in Baton Rouge since the Lowes just off of Siegen didn't have 1/2" double union valves. Millerville didn't have any either, so I just bought 3 more 3/4" valves and will reduce them to 1/2". I refuse to pay $60 plus shipping for three 1/2" cepex valves from BRS...I completed dry fitting the plumbing after work today. I ended up having to make a quick trip to the Home Depot by my house for one dang 3/4" elbow. I'm going to sleep on this plumbing arrangement and if I don't think of any other way to improve it I'll probably glue it all together after work tomorrow. Depends on how my day goes tomorrow though.

    The valve on the manifold all the way to the right is for my return. The three valves in the middle are for reactors or any other equipment I might add in the future. The valve all the way to the left will be for water changes. I have a window to the left of the tank, so all I'll have to do is run the hose out the window and open up the valve. I'll put a quick connect fitting like a john guest or similar on that valve. I can close off the return flow as well if I need more pressure when doing a water change.

    [​IMG]2017-12-14_05-37-09 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-14_05-36-42 by Jensen Esneault

    I also got the tank cleaned up this evening. Sprayed some vinegar on it intermittently and let it soak while I was working on the plumbing. After I was finished with the plumbing I scraped all the coralline algae and other crap off of the glass. Looking much better now...The spots you see on the glass are vinegar droplets. I sprayed the glass down one last time after I hit it with the razor blade.

    [​IMG]2017-12-14_05-37-32 by Jensen Esneault

    Currently soaking my skimmer in a 5g bucket of vinegar to get it good and cleaned up. I also plan on soaking my reactors and any other old equipment I plan on reusing for this build. My biggest fear is that some kind of residual contamination from the flood is going to prevent this tank and its inhabitants from thriving, or worse, killing everything I try to put in it...
     
  8. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I got my pH and salinity probes calibrated and everything is online. Control panel is finished for the time being. No plumbing leaks, so salt and sand went in last night. I'm still waiting for the tank to clear up and I also have to adjust my salinity. I still need to play with the scape some too.

    [​IMG]2017-12-17_11-59-40 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-17_11-59-19 by Jensen Esneault
     
  9. skiergd011013

    skiergd011013 Well-Known Member

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    Nice tank and truck!
     
  10. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks! It took me a year to gather all the equipment and build the stand for this tank. The truck has served me well. It's a 2005 Tacoma and I've never had a single issue with it.
     
  11. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Update! The tank has cleared up pretty good. I don't plan on running my lights during the cycle, but I have been turning them on periodically while home just make sure they are truly working. I'm just a little gun shy with the Radions since they were over my 120 during the flood and the last thing I want is to get expensive SPS in this tank and the lights crap out. Well, good thing I was running them because one of my radion fans went out. Nothing major, but I'm glad I've been running them a little bit so I can get this issue fixed while the tank is still cycling.

    I have a question for those of you monitoring salinity using a probe with the Apex, RKL or similar. Does your salinity bounce around like crazy? I'm wondering if it's due to the fact that I just added salt on Saturday night so the salinity is still bouncing around, or is it the position of my probe (air bubbles from skimmer hitting the probe?), or is it just that these probes aren't the most accurate/reliable? I've measured using a freshly calibrated temp compensating refractometer and salinity is dead on at 35 ppt every time I measure. I know a small swing is expected, but I can watch it swing on the RKL readout anywhere from 49 to 56 mS/cm within a few minutes...

    Here's a little bit better pic of the scape than the one above. I don't plan on adding anymore rock. I know how quickly healthy happy SPS can pack a tank in just a couple years, and I plan on giving them all the space they need in this small tank.

    [​IMG]2017-12-18_10-13-11 by Jensen Esneault

    A few pics of some of the progress made. I was having a syphoning issue with the Tunze ATO, but I fixed it by putting some loops in the excess tubing and zip tying it to my manifold. I also got my radion power supplies mounted under the stand. Not my first choice in placement, but it'll have to work at least for now.

    [​IMG]2017-12-19_04-42-01 by Jensen Esneault

    I got my saltwater mixing setup ready to go. I repurposed an ehiem pump and part of the manifold from my old 90g reef for salt mixing. The Brute can, lid and dolly were purchased from Home Depot.

    [​IMG]2017-12-19_04-41-16 by Jensen Esneault

    I also added an APC battery backup just to run my return pump and heater during a power outage. We get a LOT of short duration power outages in Baton Rouge. No more rushing home from work and putting in battery powered air stones for me! I should get about 2hrs, or a little less when the heater kicks on, with this 900w battery backup. Our outages usually don't go on for longer than that unless we're having a hurricane, or VERY severe thunderstorm...

    [​IMG]2017-12-19_04-41-35 by Jensen Esneault
     
  12. bo0sted2g

    bo0sted2g Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    This is an amazing build. I love seeing such dedication and quality builds being put into normal size tanks! Not all of us have the room for these 120g+ tanks. Don't get me wrong maybe one day!
     
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  13. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks for the compliment! I originally planned to set up a 240g dream build tank in my living room when my house was rebuilt after the flood, but I took a risk switching careers from environmental consulting to a family owned construction business. The first year or two of business is always tough and that was the deciding factor in scrapping the 240g build idea. All my focus went toward this smaller, more manageable tank build.

    I got my dosing pump set up. Next I think I'm going to seed this dead rock and sand with a variety of live copepods and amphipods. A crucial step I regretted skipping when I set up my old 90g. Still need to get my carbon and GFO reactors plumbed in, but that can wait for now.

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
  14. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I just added over 10,500 copepods and a shot of live phytoplankton to the 30g. I hope that's enough copepods...[​IMG]. My sump has a place for a sock holder, but I have never used socks on a reef before and I don't think I'm going to run one with this reef either. I may change my mind in the future, but for right now I just piled up a little bit of rock rubble in the area beneath where the sock hangs. Should provide a good lil safe haven for the copepods and amphipods I'm adding to the reef. My amphipods haven't shipped yet. The copepods are a variety of tigriopus, tisbe and apocyclops I picked up from Algae Barn. It was a buy one get one free deal I couldn't pass up.

    [​IMG]2017-12-22_05-24-53 by Jensen Esneault
     
  15. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, that was quick. My rocks and sand are covered in diatoms and tomorrow marks the two week mark this tank has been cycling. I think I'll do a large water change next week and go ahead and add the clean up crew.

    I started vodka dosing today. I think I'll dose through the 1st and see how it goes...:D

    [​IMG]2017-12-29_02-16-31 by Jensen Esneault

    [​IMG]2017-12-29_02-16-55 by Jensen Esneault
     
  16. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Tomorrow marks a full week of looking at this eye sore of a bacteria bloom, and Saturday marks the end of week 3. After looking at the tank today after work I can definitely tell it has started clearing up though.

    [​IMG]2017-12-30_05-16-36 by Jensen Esneault

    The copepods and amphipods I added seem to still be alive and kicking. I don't really see them crawling all over the glass and such considering I supposedly added over 10,500 of them, but they're definitely in there...I did my first water change at the end of week 2, and man, that was the easiest water change I've ever done. No more sucking on hoses and getting saltwater in my mouth, and carrying buckets back and forth for me! I added a bag of carbon and set my skimmer to actually start skimming. I'll do another water change this weekend as I want to start getting this tank habitable for a clean up crew. I wanted to add the crew this week, but decided it was best to let the bacteria bloom do its thing and clear out. Maybe by the end of next week (week 4) I'll have the CUC added and start deciding on the first fish in this tank for the end of week 5.
     
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  17. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Well, last week didn't go as planned (week 6). I added hermits and snails the week before and ended up getting another bloom. I hoped to add a fish or two last week, but now I'm stuck waiting until my tank clears up again...
     
  18. sneub

    sneub Active Member R2R Supporter

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    Keep it up, looking very nice!
     
  19. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you! I don't know if I'll ever achieve what I did with my 120g, but hopefully this will turn out to be a nice 30g SPS reef.
     
    sneub likes this.
  20. RedStickReefer

    RedStickReefer Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Sorry it's been a while since I updated this thread, but I haven't had much to report until recently. The tank's just been marinating and getting right...

    I added a tank raised bangaii cardinal fish a couple of weeks ago and it's been doing well. Been feeding it frozen mysis.
    [​IMG]2018-02-02_04-44-49 by Jensen Esneault

    This weekend has been awesome as I attended the annual Fragniappe event in Slidell, LA. If you haven't heard of Fragniappe, it's one heck of an event hosted by our local club Bayou Reefkeeping. Here's a few goodies I picked up from the event. Exciting times! First corals to enter the tank! Sorry in advance for the bad pics...

    Zoanthids/Palys from left to right: Sunny Ds, candy apple reds, nightmare, rastas, and emeralds on fire which included one bam bam bonus polyp.
    [​IMG]2018-03-04_12-29-53 by Jensen Esneault

    A small frag of strawberry shortcake I picked up from Harry's Frags at the event.
    [​IMG]2018-03-04_12-30-13 by Jensen Esneault

    Another acropora frag I picked up from Harry's Frags, Miami Orchid.
    [​IMG]2018-03-04_12-30-37 by Jensen Esneault

    Pink maze brain (platygyra)
    [​IMG]2018-03-04_12-30-53 by Jensen Esneault

    Raptors Peace Favia
    [​IMG]2018-03-04_12-31-10 by Jensen Esneault
     
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