RFBF's Five Footer

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by redfishbluefish, Jan 12, 2016.

  1. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Having requested so many newcomers to start a Member's Tank thread, I thought it time to post mine. For the first number of posts, this will be retrospective, considering I started this build in 2008, but I will try to keep it to the "Reader's Digest" version. I continue to make changes and improvements to my tank and wanted a place where it could all be documented.

    I picked up a custom five foot 90 gallon tank with 1/2 inch glass for cheap. It was being used for land crabs. The ever-so-typical dimensional lumber stand was built.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    And skinned with plywood and simple panel doors made. That one missing panel is where the refugium will be, and thought it would be interesting to have it viewable.

    [​IMG]


    The tank was drilled for a 1500 gph Glass-Holes overflow.

    [​IMG]


    The back of the tank was spray painted using $0.98 flat black for HD (and still looks brand new today), and the plumbing (overflow and return) was installed.

    [​IMG]


    The return came up to a tee and had two wye Loc-Line drains on either side of the tee, for a total of four wye loc-lines.

    [​IMG]


    The original lighting was six T5's being overdriven by IceCap 660 and 440 ballasts. It was truly retro built with all wood.

    [​IMG]


    My very first sump was a DIY 40B, and being a noob, I put in the typical three baffle bubble trap....times 2. Since I had two drains in each corner of the sump, I had two bubble traps. I couldn't find a picture of the original sump, because soon after, I cut out the bubble trap on the refugium side. Here's that picture.

    [​IMG]


    A MAG 9.5 was the return pump, and I was a beckett man as far as skimmers. Went through an MRC1, MRC2 and an MTC. They were driven by a MAG 24. By far the best skimmers I ever owned were the MRC's. They sucked the crap out, but suffered from needing energy sucking pumps, and were also very loud...a jet airplane loud. I wonder how these would do today with a low energy DC pump?

    [​IMG]


    Anyway, the one MRC today is being used as my $350 telephone stand in the fish room.

    [​IMG]


    Flow was provided by three-four Koralia K4's. They were great, with the exception of occasionally starting backward. Still use one of them today for mixing saltwater.

    More to come later.
     
    jsker, Bronc, Robink and 6 others like this.
    Tags:

  2. twilliard

    twilliard Winter break! well on my way to being an I.T. PRO R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    10,279
    Likes Received:
    9,031
    Location:
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Nice Paul!
    How do you like the Icecaps?
     
    kschweer and steve&mari like this.
  3. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    23,360
    Likes Received:
    23,159
    Location:
    California
    Sweet!

    Id put an led in the bottom . $350 and it doesnt light up?:D
     
    Be102, Robink, Reefrookie220 and 4 others like this.
  4. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    I liked the lights and the look. Preferred ATI bulbs...they seemed to take the overdriving fairly well. What I didn't like was $125-$130 in new bulbs every year. I actually have extra ballasts as well....and I can't even tell you how many different bulbs I have from when I was playing with bulb combinations and brands. But again, great lights. Don't know how true it is, but I was told that these ballasts take a 54w bulb and overdrive it up to 80w.

    [​IMG]


    With a push towards going as green as I could (and saving bulb replacement costs), I now run LEDs.


    I've already thought of the light idea....but slightly different from what you're talking about. Do you think I could recoup my money selling two end table lamps? :rolleyes:

    [​IMG]
     
    cracker, fundean, Bronc and 7 others like this.
  5. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! Reef Squad Leader Photo of the Month Award Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2014
    Messages:
    23,360
    Likes Received:
    23,159
    Location:
    California
    BAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

    Needs tassels.
     
  6. steve&mari

    steve&mari Blessed Reefer R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2011
    Messages:
    3,127
    Likes Received:
    3,288
    Location:
    grand rapids michigan
    Or rope trim on shade lol
     
  7. twilliard

    twilliard Winter break! well on my way to being an I.T. PRO R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    10,279
    Likes Received:
    9,031
    Location:
    Ellensburg, Washington
    Beautiful ballast!
    I rebuild them and have quite a few here (business owner in electronics)
     
    kschweer likes this.
  8. TheEngineer

    TheEngineer Formerly icecool2 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Showcase Editor Delaware Reef Club Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    4,852
    Likes Received:
    3,138
    Location:
    PA
    Really cool to see the progression.

    I've got one that works collecting dust in my basement with a heatsink. People buy these still?
     
    kschweer and twilliard like this.
  9. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Yep! Coralvue still sells them.
     
    kschweer and twilliard like this.
  10. twilliard

    twilliard Winter break! well on my way to being an I.T. PRO R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2015
    Messages:
    10,279
    Likes Received:
    9,031
    Location:
    Ellensburg, Washington
    I buy them!
    They are great to push t5 lamps. Sure replacement is more frequent but cant beat the icecap for driving ;)
     
    kschweer likes this.
  11. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Here is a summary of what occurred as far as changes up until present time. I started to type "improvements", but some could be debated as being an improvement. So we'll stick with changes!


    Lighting

    As mentioned in the OP, original lighting was T5's driven by IceCap ballasts. Great look, great growth, but a bit too much heat, too much electricity, and a yearly bulb cost of about $130. About five-six years ago, at a local frag swap, Apollo had a booth with their LED lights, along with a PAR meter. PAR was really high....and the price wasn't too bad. I eventually purchased one fixture, not knowing if I was ready. As I thought about this....maybe a year later, I decided to make the switch. I contacted Apollo, and my fixture was no longer being made. However, the owner said he had two of the old cases still left and he would make up one that would be very close to what I had. So I switched, and was happy. These were two, 120W, 55 LED fixtures, no adjustment, advertised as being 20,000 kelvin. I liked them; the corals seemed to like them; and everything was hunky-dory.....Until about nine months ago, my future son-in-law noticed the blues were blackened. FYI, my corals hadn't been doing too well at this point, and I couldn't figure out why....but this was it. I ended up replacing all the blue LEDs, and that was documented HERE. In addition, I added an eBay fixture.....a Mars Aqua....as a third fixture, with the lenses removed. Apollos on the outside, Mars Aqua in the middle:

    [​IMG]


    Powerheads

    Originally started with Koralia K4's. I liked them. Inexpensive and pushed a good amount of water. The only issue was they re-started in reverse on occasion. Along came the Koralia Evolutions, and I pre-ordered four 1400 Evolutions. What a mistake! Customer service was great, sending out redesigned wing pieces and those little rubber bits that would first get sucked back into the powerhead when it started backwards, and then you'd watch as you plugged it back in to get it going forward and see that little rubber piece get blown across your tank while you would frantically try to get a net to catch it. Never caught one...they disappeared into the rocks. The biggest issue was with the magnets, which I had to believe were laminated. They would swell and crack. Two swelled so much, I couldn't get the shaft/magnet out of the powerhead. I think within a year, all four of these were dead! That's when I went to Vortech's....two MP40's in the DT and an MP10 in the sump. Now these aren't without issues. I did have to replace the bearings on the MP10, that was out of warranty.


    Skimmers

    Started with beckett skimmers....External MRC1, then to an MRC2, and a short stint with an MTC internal. The MRC's have been the best skimmer I've owned. However, number one issue was noise. These things are loud...really loud. If you had a remote sump area, like a basement, great. But my setup was all in the same room. The second issue was power consumption of the pump. They ran off a MAG 24, which I believe draws 285 watts. It took some time, but I eventually purchased an SWC 160. I think I'm on the third pump for this because those Atman's are not the best. I did find that if you put a couple nylon washers between the face plate and the impeller head it no longer stalls. I think the new pumps actually come with similar washers. But otherwise, it does it's job.

    [​IMG]


    Sumps

    I explained the first sump in the OP above. In November of 2010, starting with a new 40B, I made Sump #2...with one bubble trap held in place with nylon bolts.

    [​IMG]


    This sump included a sock holder for seven inch socks:

    [​IMG]


    A pH probe holder. There are some who don't realize you can NOT submerge a pH probe, and this assured it wouldn't go under.

    [​IMG]


    An ATO from AquaHub. I wanted one with a secondary back-up float switch, knowing that the primary will eventually fail. The primary has already failed once, and had to be replaced. And with float switches, some don't realize that you can NOT get the top of float switches wet. That's why it's covered with tubing.

    [​IMG]


    And here it is right after it was installed:

    [​IMG]


    Over the next five years the sump evolved even more. The one blue bubble trap disappeared. It wasn't necessary. As mentioned earlier, the external skimmer was replaced with an internal SWC160, and a biopellet reactor was added, and the clip on refugium light was replaced with a small blue/white LED fixture. Here is the sump today.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
    kschweer likes this.
  12. kschweer

    kschweer Zoas!!! Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award NJRC Member Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2011
    Messages:
    10,210
    Likes Received:
    16,292
    Location:
    New Jersey
    About time! Lol. I really like the lamp!
     
  13. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    I should open a lighting store.....two MRC's, an MTC and an SWC 120.....so that makes two end table lamps, a reading lamp, and a night light with the little 120. :D


    I'd actually like to see those MRC's running with a DC pump. They are great skimmers.
     
    fundean and kschweer like this.
  14. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Miscellaneous Stuff

    I. Dosing Pumps


    I originally started off dosing by manually dumping the alk and calc into the sump once a day. I use the DIY Recipe 1 found HERE, where the calc is from Preston Driveway Heat and the alk is baked baking soda (Arm & Hammer). Other then a short stint with four gallon buckets of B-Ionic, I've been using this DIY stuff since 2008.

    After four years of manually dosing, I finally broke down, and in April of 2012 I picked up two BRS 1.1 ml dosing pumps.

    [​IMG]

    I never calibrated them, and rely on testing to tell me what's needed, but I'm dosing somewhere in the area of 50 - 55 mls per day. I use an old ReefKeeper 2 that doses at three different times at night....for both, but at different times. You don't want alk and calc dosed together, side by side, at the same time. However, it would work if dosed in distant places.

    As far as containers for the pumps, I originally started with 1 gallon juice jugs. The problem with these was trying to refill them with their relatively small mouth. So I eventually ended up getting one gallon cereal containers from WalMart....and these had nice wide mouths to make refilling very easy.

    [​IMG]


    Here is where the alk and calc lines come into the return section of the sump. A simple piece of scrap acrylic with a slot holds the lines in place.

    [​IMG]


    Make sure you clearly label your alk and calc containers so that you don't mistakenly re-fill with the wrong solution. You will get immediate precipitation if you do. Doh!

    A final note about magnesium.....I also DIY this as well using the above referenced recipe, using MAG Flakes (a snow melt product) and Epsom salts. This is still dosed manually when needed.
     
  15. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Miscellaneous Stuff (continued)

    II. BioPellets

    I installed a JNS Alpha 2 Biopellet reactor in June of 2013. Here it is after just going into the sump with 1 cup of BRS pellets to get it started:

    [​IMG]


    It might be difficult to see, but the exit pipe from the reactor is inches away from the pick-up of the skimmer.

    Shortly after installing the Biopellets, I was told that the bacteria like their privacy (just kidding), actually prefer total darkness. I was aware that certain bacteria proliferate faster in darkness, but this was the first I heard about these guys who eat biopellets. So I constructed a black-out cover using 4 inch drainage pipe. I actually purchased a ten foot section to make this little cover. Very easy to make, first cut it to length and then slit it down it's length.

    [​IMG]


    I then cut a door into the side so that I could view the movement of the pellets.

    [​IMG]


    I later found this last step I'm about to explain was a waste, but I finished it off with a piece of acrylic I bent to match the pipe.

    [​IMG]


    This was tapped and screwed (with nylon bolts) onto the pipe, where there was also a threaded closure.

    [​IMG]


    All this last step with the acrylic latch wasn't necessary. The door stayed closed on its own from friction.

    Here is the cover in operation...one more note, a length of black electrical tape was first run the length of the reactor. The slit in the cover was positioned over this tape to assure total blackout.

    Door open:

    [​IMG]

    Door closed:

    [​IMG]


    So everything was humming along just fine with the exception that biopellets just didn't seem to knock my socks off. I was approaching having to order another gallon jug of pellets from BRS, and I posted HERE about my lack luster performance. What I found out from this post was, according to Jon Warner (owner of Warner Marine, and producer of Ecobak Biopellets), was that darkness wan't necessary.

    So in November of 2015 my DIY cover came off the reactor. I still have it running today, but then again, I also have a very nice crop of hair algae in my refugium that two clowns are hosting. I've also stalled ordering more pellets....maybe another 3-4 months of pellets left. Unsure what to do.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2016
  16. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Miscellaneous Stuff (continued)

    III. Refugium Light


    When I first set up the sump I purchased an inexpensive clip on fixture from HD and put a compact fluorescent bulb in there. Worked great. Over the years I played with both compact fluorescent and LED bulbs for this fixture. What was critical was the temperature had to be about 5000 to 6500 K, and the wattage had to be appropriate to the depth of the sump. I tried cheato for most of the years and eventually tried caulerpa as well.

    [​IMG]


    However, one day I was doing something in the sump area and my arm hit this fixture. It came loose and started to fall.....it was like slow motion as I tried to grab this thing, all the while thinking what would happen if it fell in the water. It seemed like an eternity, but I did catch it. However, it scared the crap out of me. What would have happened if it fell into the water?

    Goodbye clip on feature! That day I went to HD and purchased a couple things for a couple bucks....no big expense.

    [​IMG]


    I attached a piece of scrap lumber to the structure of the stand and, using stainless steel screws, screwed the box to this piece of wood. This new setup wasn't going to go anywhere if I bump it now.

    [​IMG]


    The domed reflector simply rests on the bulb. If you have a clip-on fixture, I'd highly suggest doing this very inexpensive fix. Those clips are too easily knocked off.

    So for years this was my lighting in the refugium. Worked very well, and very happy with the fixture, now being secured to the stand. But, as mentioned earlier, I had started biopellets. My thought was, with running biopellets, I no longer needed a refugium. The thought was to convert the refugium into a small frag holding area. With that, I purchased a small LED fixture.....an Eshine 24 with 3 watt LEDs. It was the simple white/blue fixture with 24 LEDs....way to much for my little sump, but it had pots to turn down the intensity.

    [​IMG]


    So today I have the above fixture with no purposely put algae in my refugium. Note I have a forest of hair algae growing that I can't remove. I am viciously attacked by two clownfish that are hosting the hair algae. I'm not overly concerned because the hair algae is confined to the sump/refugium. I still have the deep sandbed and maybe six or seven corals in that area.

    One of these days I will set it up as a frag tank.
     
    kschweer likes this.
  17. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Photo of the Month Award R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    Messages:
    3,065
    Likes Received:
    24,022
    Great build Paul!
     
    redfishbluefish and kschweer like this.
  18. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Partner Member 2018

    Joined:
    May 4, 2014
    Messages:
    14,722
    Likes Received:
    21,490
    Location:
    Dallas area
    Great build Paul! I"m glad you decided to share it with us :D
     
    redfishbluefish and kschweer like this.
  19. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Thanks David and Meredith.

    I have asked so many new members to start a Member's Tank thread that I felt compelled to do the same. I started this build in 2007/2008 time frame, well before joining R2R, so my first number of posts here are catching up to where I am today. More to come when I have a chance.
     
    melypr1985 likes this.
  20. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Stay Positive, Stay Productive R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor Article Contributor NJRC Member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2012
    Messages:
    6,703
    Likes Received:
    6,885
    Location:
    Sayreville, NJ
    Miscellaneous Stuff (continued)

    IV. Carbon and Granulated Ferric Oxide


    When the tank was originally set up, I had two, Two Little Fishies 150 reactors that were set up with GFO and carbon.

    [​IMG]


    I wished to run these outside the sump, and just could not stop them from dripping. So I then picked up a BRS dual reactor with a Maxijet 1200.

    [​IMG]


    This thing is great.....and is mounted just to the right of the sump. Our local club had purchased, as a group buy, mega bags of gfo and carbon....so I was set. I can't remember the amounts, but I want to say they sold them in 10 pound bags to members.
    I set up this BRS reactor with 2 cups of GFO, and 3 cups of carbon (filled canister). I would change this approximately every two months.

    Eventually the pump died. I went to purchase a new Maxijet and noticed that the appearance had changed. I read some reviews and surprisingly saw that they were terrible. I said to myself, these can't be Maxijet's....certainly not the original Maxijets. I started searching and found that Marineland dumped their original Italian supplier to improve their profit margin. Pity. Sacrificing profit over quality. I've seen this too many times....including my own experience with medical products. Go figure. When will these companys figure out that their loss in sales doesn't equal the profit in the reduced number of cheap product they are now selling.

    Anyway, I eventually found that the original quality pumps were still being sold (by this original Italian company), but now under the name of Cobalt MJ1200. [I chuckled when I saw they still used "MJ" in the name of the pump.] So if you need a quality pump, do not get a Marineland Maxijet, but get the Cobalt!

    Once I started running Biopellets, I stopped running GFO. I still use this dual reactor, but only fill the one canister with carbon.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2016
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Loading...