SCA 120 Gallon PNP Build

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by CJs Aquariums, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. Gdk414

    Gdk414 Active Member

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    Hey CJ. I've been a subscriber since I started in the hobby last summer. We've chatted Livestream a cpl times recently. I'm right along with ya on my own build. A 125g tank. Just finished my aquascape tonight. Looking forward to seeing how our tanks progress and mature together

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  2. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome - Been watching all your past vids finally got caught up when does part 6 come out ???
     
  3. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    hopefully here soon... just got 110lbs of pukani rock... so ill start aquascaping soon
     
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  4. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    Cool I started watching your vids about a month ago with the 45 and got addicted then last night I ran across the one where you were breaking it down and I got worried said to myself hope he is not getting out of the hobby as I find your videos not only informative but very entertaining to watch as well. I you tube them on my 65 inch smart tv. Was very happy to see that you have started on another build will be looking forward to the next vid.
     
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  5. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    The Build Continues! with a small amount of drama... The plan was to order the perfect amount of pukani rock.. my guess was 80 lbs because of its reputation for being so Light. This was my first time using pukani and was interested in seeing how it compared to the Marcos rock Ive used in my previous reef tanks..

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    The prob was I requested football- Softball Sized pieces ... unfortunately 1/3 of the rock were way undersized... So I reached out to BRS with my complaint and without question they sent me 30 lbs of huge pieces! Shout out to BRS Customer service haha...

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    ( Everything in red was way too small...)

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    ( Replacement rocks)

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    (110 Pounds of pukani)


    So now the aquascaping could begin... The tools of choice where a chisel, Acrylic rods, 1/2' pvc and Aqua forest Stone Fix Cement... Out of all those choices the Chisel and stone fix is all I even used... I found that using a bunch of Styrofoam cups made each batch easy to manage.. this stuff cured quick! worked very well!

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    I made a full mock of my tank using a 6 ft working table.. and card board to match the exact dimensions of my display and also included the actual overflow size and teeth for water level.. Some may say I go overboard but I feel having a accurate tank mock up will insure you end up with the scape that you want.. not to mention making sure it fits inside of the euro braces lol

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    (Used whatever i could to support overhangs as The cement cured.... )

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    The goal was to use a combination of the Rules or 3rds, Golden rule... and keeping everything on the same angle to create a unique balanced and natural looking scape.. My plan is to have a mixed reef that is flow friendly and fish friendly with lots of swim through for maximum viewing.. and less hiding.. So After a full weekend of aquascaping and a few beers I was able to completed this entire scape with roughly half of my rock unused..


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    So far I'm liking the way it looks... I still have a few tweeks to make.. and making sure I like some of the angels.. but those things can be done when i can see this scape in the tank...

    Next will be rinsing it and trying to place this structure in the tank without any screwups..

    Stay tuned!
     
  6. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    Awesome Progress I like the idea of setting it all up in advance and using the Mock aquarium LoL Cool Idea. In the past I simply laid down some plastic egg crate on the bottom of my tank to protect the glass and prevent settling then covered it with live sand and finally stacked rocks on top. The overall end product was hit or miss . On the positive side I could change things anytime I wanted but I have to admit setting it all up outside the tank definitely is appealing . I may try this on my next setup.
     
  7. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    dealing with pukani and cement would have been a disaster working inside the tank.. not to mention having to rush and clean up due to kids running around.. way to many advantages to doing this outside the tank... only reason i wouldn't is if the tank was small like a 15g nano or something... good luck on your scape!
     
  8. ash9965

    ash9965 Well-Known Member

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    on an unrelated note noticed in your videos you sometimes mentioned long hours at work just curious what career field are you in.
     
  9. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    gave rocks A nice rinse with the water hose... all kinds of crap flew out.. sponges, crabs, ect... just wanted to give them a quick wash before throwing them in the tank..

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    I'm SOOOOOO glad I had hinges on the canopy.. otherwise this never would have fit inside the tank... primary structure was about 50lbs and took a lot of care as I nervously lowered it into the tank... second structure had a failure with one of its arches as I lowered it but all in all everything went pretty well considering I did it solo hahaha

    we are now ready for water!!

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    To be continued.....
     
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  10. Maacc

    Maacc Well-Known Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Just a heads up everything I have read on the Pukani rock is that it is super dirty and reeks when salt water hits it. Usually causes uglies and phosphate issues for the first 6 months or more even with gfo.
    Most recommended acid /bleach bath with a month or 2 cook or a 6 month or longer cook with gfo/lithanium chloride without the bleach and acid.
    Build looks sweet just want to save you headaches.
     
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  11. Water Dog

    Water Dog Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Yeah, definitely cure that rock for a good amount of time to get rid of all the nasties. The beauty and porosity of that rock definitely comes at a cost, but if prepped properly before going into the DT, it's definitely worth it!

    And I'll echo everyone else's sentiment as well... love your YouTube videos! :D
     
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  12. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    Yea I'm aware of the nasties that come with it... gonna cure it in the tank and roll with it. I'll be running carbon for the smell ... also protein skimmer and Algae Scrubber to help remove the decaying nutrients... and water changes as needed

    Also running tank bare bottom while it cures so I can drop 3 additional 950gph power heads and crank up the gyres.. this will help with clearing all the detritus from the rocks

    I'm a big fan of letting things handle themselves naturally... tangs and blennies will help along the way.. not in a hurry on this
     
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  13. AlexG

    AlexG Well-Known Member Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    I like it CJ.
     
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  14. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    Finally had time to make a vid for those that wanna watch instead of read hahaha

     
  15. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Good-looking scape!! Great job!
     
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  16. pelphrey

    pelphrey Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor

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    Build is looking great CJ!
     
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  17. Jimbo662

    Jimbo662 Valuable Member Partner Member 2018

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    wow...great rock work!
     
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  18. CJs Aquariums

    CJs Aquariums Member

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    One last look at the aquascape dry before the real boring part begins LOL....

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    time for the cycle.... Before I could do anything I had to figure out my RODI situation.. for the past 2 years Ive been using the 75 GPD unit from BRS but that would not do for this tank.. so I completed the 150gpd upgrade which was very very easy to do.. just attached another membrane to the unit and I can now make 1 Gallon of RO water in 8-9 mins.. not to shabby without a booster pump.. my house has 75-80 psi straight from the tap

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    ( I ran the RODI tube thru my gyre and added this push connected to the end.. just uncase it decided to try to fall from the tank, the gyre would catch .. i didn't have any clamps)

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    (almost there.... 10 hours in...)

    This process still took the better the better part of 16 hours to fill the tank.... per my calculation that put my system at around 115-120 of total water volume including the sump.. man that rock sure displaced a lot of water! not to mention Ill prob lose another 5-10 gallons when I add sand later...

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    (finally time to begin!)

    I'm leaving the tank bare bottom while I start the cycle process.. this will allow me to run Maxspect Gyre 130 & 230 at 100% and also drop in additional 950gph power heads to help turn this water.. and blow detritus from the pukani as it breaks down.. so far this has worked out very very well...


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    (added Instant ocean salt direct to the tank... this is not the salt I plan to use but is the cheapest option for the initial cycle..)


    After letting the rock run for a week un-bothered.. I decided to speed the process up by seeding the tank with 2 year old cycled Seachem Pond Matrix media that I had running in my JBJ tank and temp nano holding tank.. this stuff is JAM packed with bacteria and def will help me skip a few weeks during this process..

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    (grey is new matrix - brown is the good cycled matrix I added to the mix)

    In the mean time this was the perfect time to go ahead and break in my SCA 302 skimmer.. which is already pulling skimmate out after 4 days!... will take more adjusting and potentially raising to get thick dry skim but this is def a great start...

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    I am still monitoring the smell of this pukani.. I did not cook or acid bath this rock.. i just rinsed it and threw it in the tank... first 3 days were all good but now it does has a very pungent mildew/pine-sole smell.. so I will be adding carbon to the tank with my media reactor to help reduce that problem.. wanted to see how far I could get without it.. experiences are what help us grow in the hobby that's for sure!

    the great thing is just over a week into the cycle Im already registering ammonia and nitrites.. seeding the tank should have me seeing nitrates within the next week I'm sure...

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    to be continued!!!
     
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  19. Reefaddict305

    Reefaddict305 Active Member

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    Its looking great man!! I saw your live video yesterday with the pond matrix you put on there really smart move im digging it.
     
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  20. pelphrey

    pelphrey Valuable Member R2R Supporter Reef Tank 365 Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor

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    Lucky got great pressure coming into the RODI unit. I have to get the booster pump!
     
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