Reef Room project w/ 4 systems (1000g+) - From SCRATCH!

OP
reefnook

reefnook

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
82
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spain
The system is going pretty well so far. Corals look happy and I just added some astrea snails to help battle the algae that appeared on the rocks.

I want to point out that this is also my first time using kalkwasser. I have the feeling that this method is not commonly used here in Europe, and I do not understand why: it is very simple, it is very cheap, it increases pH (which is actually my main motivation using it) and it helps to reduce PO4. I just see benefits so far. In my case I bought a kalkwasser stirrer (from Deltec) and I use it in conjunction with an ecotech versa. I add about 2L everyday and my pH fluctuates between 8.3-8.4. The only drawback, perhaps, is that it does not add any trace element, but I leave this task to the 10% water change that I perform every 1 or 2 weeks.

Let me share some pics I took the other day (taken 22th April):

IMG_3899.JPG
IMG_3931.JPG

IMG_3907.jpg
IMG_3911.JPG

IMG_3935.JPG
IMG_3936.JPG
 
Last edited:
Never Wash Another Nasty Filter Sock Again!
OP
reefnook

reefnook

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
82
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spain
I'd love to see some more details on your water mixing station. It looks pretty elaborate!

Here you have some additional info. The water mixing station is pretty standard actually. I hope this explains itself @blaxsun:
  • RODI Water goes into the 1st tank (left one) at 1. This tank is only for RODI water.
  • At 2 I connect one Sicce ultra zero pump. Depending on the positions of valves 2.A and 2.B, this pumps water into the 2nd tank to mix it with salt (2.A open, 2.B closed), or it pumps the RODI water into 4 (2.A closed, 2.B open), where I attach a tubing to take the water to the ATO tanks.
  • Now we are into the 2nd tank (right one). At 3 I connect another Sicce ultra zero pump. Depending on the positions of valves 3.A and 3.B, I use this pump to recirculate the water and get the salt mixed (3.A open, 3.B closed), or it pumps water into 4 (3.A closed, 3.B open), where I attach a tubing to take the saltwater mix into aquarium system.
3.jpeg
 

blaxsun

10K Club member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2020
Messages
16,273
Reaction score
19,123
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
The Abyss
So for the Sicce Ultra Zero pumps, are these triggered manually or do you have them controlled for remote operation? One last question: the pipe from 3A appears to go through the side of the tank and down - does it re-enter back into the tank? (couldn't see as 2B is obstructing the view).
 
Last edited:
Tidal Gardens
OP
reefnook

reefnook

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
82
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spain
So for the Sicce Ultra Zero pumps, are these triggered manually or do you have them controlled for remote operation? One last question: the pipe from 3A appears to go through the side of the tank and down - does it re-enter back into the tank? (couldn't see as 2B is obstructing the view).

The pipe 3.A does not go through the side of the tank, it just re-enter back into the tank (from the top), just to complete a closed loop and mix the salt. The pipe you see that follows from 3.A going to the bottom is already inside the tank, not the back side.
 

saulgoodmannnn

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Apr 7, 2021
Messages
68
Reaction score
29
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Buffalo, NY
Deff following along, extremely impressive build thread! My guess is that you are an engineer by trade lol...Quite disappointed you didnt post photos of the tanks being actually made though I'm sure you had your hands full, this is super interesting to me. What type of glass did you use?
 
BRS
OP
reefnook

reefnook

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
82
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spain
Deff following along, extremely impressive build thread! My guess is that you are an engineer by trade lol...Quite disappointed you didnt post photos of the tanks being actually made though I'm sure you had your hands full, this is super interesting to me. What type of glass did you use?

Thanks @saulgoodmannnn ! Not an engineer, but have always enjoyed building stuff myself. I do have pics building the tanks (the intermediate steps, of course), but I tried to make the posts a bit shorter so I just posted the relevant pics. As an instance, let me detail a bit more the sump, which is the tank it took me more hours to build:

75FC272E-94DF-46C0-835A-1ABC022E5BAA.JPG
IMG_2027.jpg
4AE15FD6-840E-4F40-8A06-DE71017FA5CC.JPG
IMG_2032.jpg
FC7EA877-1110-4176-A9A7-CEA77916BF2A.JPG
F373E7F9-8B23-45E3-8CAB-BE76E6394A7E.JPG
075E6FE2-9C24-421C-B574-55799974C318.JPG


As for the glass, it really depends. If it is gonna be a display tank I go for ultra-clear glass, and regular one otherwise. The glass thickness it depends on the size of the tank (obviously). For instance, the sump above is 160 x 70 x 40 cm. It will eventually hold rock in the first section, so I used 12mm thick glass for the base and 10mm for the walls. Sectional walls are 8mm. Professional building companies would even go for thinner glass, but I am a bit paranoic and did not want to risk the operation just for saving a bit of cash. The display and frag tanks are 160 x 90 x 40 cm, so I went for 15mm thick glass. This way I avoided the eurobrace. I would have needed it if the height was 50 instead of 40cm, or for larger tanks.

Btw, I will use this post to share the home solar electric system we recently installed. This covers the 100% of the reef system electricity consumption between 9:00-20:00h in summer time. It will drop a little bit between november and march, since at 18:00h is dark, but we will still have some production. In my city we enjoy the sun for about 3400h a year, which makes it one of the sunniest locations in Europe, so this installation was a must.

IMG_4197 2.jpg
IMG_4200.JPG
 
Last edited:

Bpp124987

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 3, 2019
Messages
189
Reaction score
209
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Thanks @saulgoodmannnn ! Not an engineer, but have always enjoyed building stuff myself. I do have pics building the tanks (the intermediate steps, of course), but I tried to make the posts a bit shorter so I just posted the relevant pics. As an instance, let me detail a bit more the sump, which is the tank it took me more hours to build:

75FC272E-94DF-46C0-835A-1ABC022E5BAA.JPG
IMG_2027.jpg
4AE15FD6-840E-4F40-8A06-DE71017FA5CC.JPG
IMG_2032.jpg
FC7EA877-1110-4176-A9A7-CEA77916BF2A.JPG
F373E7F9-8B23-45E3-8CAB-BE76E6394A7E.JPG
075E6FE2-9C24-421C-B574-55799974C318.JPG


As for the glass, it really depends. If it is gonna be a display tank I go for ultra-clear glass, and regular one otherwise. The glass thickness it depends on the size of the tank (obviously). For instance, the sump above is 160 x 70 x 40 cm. It will eventually hold rock in the first section, so I used 12mm thick glass for the base and 10mm for the walls. Sectional walls are 8mm. Professional building companies would even go for thinner glass, but I am a bit paranoic and did not want to risk the operation just for saving a bit of cash. The display and frag tanks are 160 x 90 x 40 cm, so I went for 15mm thick glass. This way I avoided the eurobrace. I would have needed it if the height was 50 instead of 40cm, or for larger tanks.

Btw, I will use this post to share the home solar electric system we recently installed. This covers the 100% of the reef system electricity consumption between 9:00-20:00h in summer time. It will drop a little bit between november and march, since at 18:00h is dark, but we will still have some production. In my city we enjoy the sun for about 3400h a year, which makes it one of the sunniest locations in Europe, so this installation was a must.

IMG_4197 2.jpg
IMG_4200.JPG
Nice solar setup!
Where in Spain are you!
 
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com

revhtree

Owner Administrator
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 8, 2006
Messages
45,486
Reaction score
76,592
Review score
+1 /0 /-0
Killer build so far!
 
OP
reefnook

reefnook

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jul 13, 2020
Messages
45
Reaction score
82
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Spain
Hi guys, I have finally found some time for writing up an update!

Quite a few things have been going on over the last 3 months (let us say, 18th April 2022 - today) in the 3-tank system.

First anecdotal issue I had early that period was that I ran out of salt and I went into a 2.5 weeks period where I did not perform any WC. The system and all corals were very good so far, so I did not think anything was gonna happen. Wrong! First warning signals: some of my montis and my master lobo started to fade out, loosing its coloration.

1741D57B-EB1E-4B4B-89CE-6576338BA8BB.jpg


Looking for culprits I realized that my (3 months old) tunze care magnet had rust on the wet side.

DC8E4A51-1A64-4176-98FA-CB7529E460F8.jpg


I never left the magnet inside the tank, but I thought that it may have leaked some metals when I used it to clean the glass. I immediately sent an ICP and it came clean regarding metals. Only thing out of place was iodine, which hit 0 ppb. Waving through r2r, I found other posts where people was talking about issues with montis (and other corals) and zero iodine. Maybe this is another instance where this has been observed, or perhaps the issue was a completely different thing. Or maybe it was a combination of two or more issues: during 2.5 months I have been dealing with green cyano, which I will turn on to discuss later.

Anyway, at that point I was leaving WC as the responsible of replenishing the trace elements, and in this 2.5 week period of no WC I just saw how fast some elements are depleted in the system. To revert the situation, I got some salt, I made a 400L WC (25% of the net volume) and I started to dose Red Sea trace colors ABCD. Things improved substantially. In just ~2 weeks the montis recovered (partially) their coloration; lobos instead are slower and it took a couple of months to see some progress. 1 month after the 1st ICP, I sent another one just to check whether my iodine dosing schedule was right, and this time it came 44 ppb. Lesson to learn here: never, ever, skip your WC! :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:

Excluding this time, I never skipped a WC, and I was doing 220L (~12%) WC on a weekly basis. The nutrients were, according to testing, under control, however, green cyano showed up by the end of April. People say that cyano is harmless, but according to the experience I will describe next, it is harmful, or it may fuel/be related to harmful pathogens. This is the only explanation I can find to what it came next. I am describing the appearance of cyano after talking about the montis issue, because I realized about its possible connection once I had the perspective. Summarizing:
  • 22th April - Green cyano appears.
  • 22th April - 8th May 2022 - I skip WC. Some corals (montis and lobo) started to fade out 1st May 2022.
  • 9th May 2022 - I perform 400L WC and started dosing trace elements. Montis recover quite fast after that.
So, my guess is that green cyano combined with no WC and iodine hitting 0 was the cause of the issues reported so far. At least, there is nothing else I could see/measure that is known to have negative effects. However, the cyano appearance certainly suggests that something in the biological cycle was off. As I said, after the 400L WC corals started to come back, and I haven't skipped any WC since then. Still, I could not get rid of the cyano until I eventually used Chemiclean the 8th July.

So let us turn on now to the cyano issue. I have been dealing with green cyano during 2.5 months. It covered some big portions of the sand bed and large regions of the rock aquascape. During that time I have always performed WCs (excluding the 2.5 week period mentioned before), the flow was really good and nutrients were not specially high (3-10 ppm of NO3 and 0.03-0.08 ppm of PO4). At the ~1.5 month (around 10th June) mark after appearing cyano, a considerable amount of LPS started to STN (very slowely) or stopped to grow. However, this time the montis were unaffected. The pic below was taken the 20th June.

IMG_4933.JPG


I was suspicious of the cyano, so I went a bit heavier on removing it during the WCs and I also started to remove the sand bed. At this point I started to think about bacterial issues and then is when I really considered using chemiclean. I did never use any chemical quick-fix product before, but after reading all the posts out there and talking to some US hobbyists, I eventually decided to use it. I strictly followed the manufacturer guidelines. The timeline in this case was:
  • 22th April - Green cyano appears.
  • 10th June - Start to notice STN and very low growth on a considerable amount of LPS corals.
  • 15th June - 7th July - I progressively remove the sand bed during the 12% weekly WCs.
  • 8th - 10th July - 50h chemiclean treatment.
  • 11th July - I perform a 450L WC. Cyano is gone, no casualties so far.
  • Today 17th July - It is still early, but so far, the rock is clean and looks super healthy cured live rock. Water is crystal clear, and my goni (which is a very good warning/probe coral) looks more happy than ever.
We will see what comes next.

Btw, I set up again the tank I used as a quarantine/holding collection system using some spare equipment I had. I used the 2/3 of the rock aquascape I did for the 100g. The 100g was never maintained (in a year, the system did not even produce coraline algae and nutrients were out of charts) and I recently decided to took it down. Since I love the aquascape I built, I decided to use it on the smaller tank (net vol. 150L) I had stored. My plan is to run it very simple: bare bottom, no sump, just an ATO system, tunze skimmer 9004, heater, flow and light. The aquascape (marco rocks) is 1 year old, so in terms of managing ammonia it was like an insta-cycle. I have added a small indo rock from the 3-tank system to help the maturing process. The idea is to run the nutrients high and collect some zoas and mushrooms in there. Here a today's pic:

IMG_5348.jpg


The 100g tank will be linked to the 500g system when I set it up in the (far?) future.
 
World Wide Corals

Simo2004

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Dec 24, 2017
Messages
102
Reaction score
67
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Here you have some additional info. The water mixing station is pretty standard actually. I hope this explains itself @blaxsun:
  • RODI Water goes into the 1st tank (left one) at 1. This tank is only for RODI water.
  • At 2 I connect one Sicce ultra zero pump. Depending on the positions of valves 2.A and 2.B, this pumps water into the 2nd tank to mix it with salt (2.A open, 2.B closed), or it pumps the RODI water into 4 (2.A closed, 2.B open), where I attach a tubing to take the water to the ATO tanks.
  • Now we are into the 2nd tank (right one). At 3 I connect another Sicce ultra zero pump. Depending on the positions of valves 3.A and 3.B, I use this pump to recirculate the water and get the salt mixed (3.A open, 3.B closed), or it pumps water into 4 (3.A closed, 3.B open), where I attach a tubing to take the saltwater mix into aquarium system.
3.jpeg
Hi mate the glass lids how are they sat on the top.. Is there some kind of plastic trim they sit on?
 
Never Wash Another Nasty Filter Sock Again!

How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 64 29.9%
  • Frag rack

    Votes: 113 52.8%
  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 69 32.2%
  • Sump Divider

    Votes: 40 18.7%
  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 33 15.4%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 55 25.7%
www.dinkinsaquaticgardens.com
Top