Slow and steady 40b Build

lpsouth1978

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I'm back y'all!! I have been away from the hobby for almost a year now. Ended up getting rid of all my tanks during COVID, but I have decided to jump back in with another 40b build. This is going to be a long build, likely taking place over the next few months. I plan on doing this one right and using quality parts throughout. The plan so far is:

40 breeder for the display - just got @ $1/gallon sale
10g tank for ATO reservoir
Hydor E-SK 600 Skimmer
Coral Box D300+ Skimmer
Fiji Cube Fiji-24 sump
Tunze ATO system
Auto Aqua XP Duo ATO
Dual Finnex 200W titanium heaters and Temp controller
Dual BRS 100W heaters and Inkbird Wifi controller
Dual Noophsych K7 Pro II
Dual Nicrew Hyper Reef 100W w/ Kessil Spectral Controller X

I am still deciding on the overflow to use. I am looking at the Exotic Marine Systems and the Fiji Cube 1600GPH model. I have used the EMS overflow in the past and really like it, but the Fiji Cube has some features I really like as well. I chose these because I want to run a bean animal and would like to utilize high flow with RFG's and eliminate the need for pumps in the tank. I am thinking of doing a mostly Clownfish/Anemone tank, so no powerheads would be ideal.

I am also undecided on the return pump. I have historically used Jebao and have NEVER had an issue, so I may go that route again. However, I am also looking into other options.

Let me know what you all think of my current plan. I am open to suggestions (accompanied by sound reasoning) as I only have the tank at this point. I will keep you all updated as things progress.
 
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bob salzlein

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I'm back y'all!! I have been away from the hobby for almost a year now. Ended up getting rid of all my tanks during COVID, but I have decided to jump back in with another 40b build. This is going to be a long build, likely taking place over the next few months. I plan on doing this one right and using quality parts throughout. The plan so far is:

40 breeder for the display - just got @ $1/gallon sale
10g tank for ATO reservoir
Hydor E-SK 600 Skimmer
Fiji Cube Fiji-24 sump
Tunze ATO system
Dual Finnex 200W titanium heaters and Temp controller
Dual Noophsych K7 Pro II

I am still deciding on the overflow to use. I am looking at the Exotic Marine Systems and the Fiji Cube 1600GPH model. I have used the EMS overflow in the past and really like it, but the Fiji Cube has some features I really like as well. I chose these because I want to run a bean animal and would like to utilize high flow with RFG's and eliminate the need for pumps in the tank. I am thinking of doing a mostly Clownfish/Anemone tank, so no powerheads would be ideal.

I am also undecided on the return pump. I have historically used Jebao and have NEVER had an issue, so I may go that route again. However, I am also looking into other options.

Let me know what you all think of my current plan. I am open to suggestions (accompanied by sound reasoning) as I only have the tank at this point. I will keep you all updated as things progress.
The Hydor Seltz D would work for you on the return, same pump as your skimmer.
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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Not a lot to report yet. I have nailed down a couple of my parts and will be placing my first parts order Friday. This will include the overflow, bulkheads, most of the plumbing parts, and maybe the return pump. I have decided to get the Fiji Cube 1200gph overflow. It has 3 x 1" drains, so I can set it up as a bean animal.

As for the return pump, I have narrowed it down to the Maxspect Jump DC 6k or the Sicce Syncra SDC 6.0. The Maxspect jump seems like a well built pump, just without the app and wifi controls. The Sicce has a 5yr warranty and has an app and wifi control, but costs 60% more.

While I work on getting the parts and drilling the tank (hopefully next weekend), I decided I would get the rock cycling. I have ~70lbs of Caribsea Life Rock that was removed from my 200g when I broke it down last summer. It has been sitting in a Brute can in the backyard since about August. I sprayed all of the rock down and put it in a different Brute in the garage with saltwater, 3x pumps, and 2x heaters. I will be adding ammonia and Microbacter 7 on Friday. Hopefully, the rock will be fully cycled and ready for use by the time the build is done. This should allow me to leak test the system and then start adding livestock immediately.

Finally, I know I will not need all of the rock I have, but I am considering placing an order for 10-15lbs of live keys rock from KP Aquatics. I feel like having a mix of live and cycled dry rock will give me much better bio-diversity in the tank, and hopefully lead to a more successful system in the long run.
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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Alright, things are starting to progress a bit. I will be placing an order for a lot of the equipment tomorrow. So far the planned order is:

- Fiji Cube 1200gph slim overflow box
- Fiji Cube Fiji-24 Gen 2 Sump
- 40lbs Caribsea Aragonite Special Grade Dry Sand
- 2 x Jebao DCP-4000 pumps, decided to use dual return pumps
- Box of HW-Marinemix Reefer salt
- Lots of misc items like bulkheads, RFG nozzles, DI resin and replacement sponges, and replacement slides for my Seneye

This will allow me to work on drilling the tank and to get started on the plumbing next weekend. The things I will still need to get are:

- Heaters and controller - probably BRS 100W titanium heaters and BRS (Inkbird) controller
- Skimmer - Hydor E-SK 600
- ATO - Probably the Reefbreeders Exo Auto
- Lights - Undecided - maybe Reefi Uno, seems like an amazing light for the price.
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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Hopefully this will be a productive weekend. I received the sump, overflow, pipe, sand, most of the plumbing fittings, RFG's, etc. I am planning on drilling the tank this evening so I can work on painting tomorrow and then hopefully I can get to work on the plumbing and have it basically buttoned down this weekend.

The last thing I need in order to get things running, and start stocking, is the return pump/pumps. I would really like to use dual returns, but the return section is pretty small and the sump only has a single return bulkhead installed. Because of this, I may end up doing a single, larger return pump and split the flow to dual nozzles.

As far as painting the back of the tank, I decided to go with Plast-Dip. I have read a lot of posts recommending it, so we will see how it goes. I also have the rock cycling in a brute and it has completed the cycle. Once I have the plumbing done and pump connected, I can add the rock and start adding fish immediately. With any luck, I will have the first fish in the tank in the next week or two.

I should have a number of Pics to post as the weekend progresses.
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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Good news and sad news.

The good:

I was able to get the tank drilled after work today. Everything went very smooth and only one hole has a slight chip, but nothing I am concerned with. I was actually successful in lining everything up and it all fit perfectly.

20210204_201539.jpg

20210204_201544.jpg



And now the sad news:

After I had completed drilling the holes, i took the tank in the house to dry it and test the bulkheads. I did not tighten anything down as I was just checking that everything fit the way I wanted. Then I heard it....

20210204_201609.jpg


YUP! The tank cracked!!!!

This wasn't even the hole that had the chip. I am sooooo bummed! The $1/gallon sale is over, so it may be a few months before I replace the cracked tank. This isn't the first tank I have drilled, but it the first that has cracked.

I am now considering getting a 75g instead, since the glass is a lot thicker and much less likely crack like this. Of course, it takes more space, salt, light, flow, and $$$. I guess I have a decision to make. :(
 

KingPiscean

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Good news and sad news.

The good:

I was able to get the tank drilled after work today. Everything went very smooth and only one hole has a slight chip, but nothing I am concerned with. I was actually successful in lining everything up and it all fit perfectly.

20210204_201539.jpg

20210204_201544.jpg



And now the sad news:

After I had completed drilling the holes, i took the tank in the house to dry it and test the bulkheads. I did not tighten anything down as I was just checking that everything fit the way I wanted. Then I heard it....

20210204_201609.jpg


YUP! The tank cracked!!!!

This wasn't even the hole that had the chip. I am sooooo bummed! The $1/gallon sale is over, so it may be a few months before I replace the cracked tank. This isn't the first tank I have drilled, but it the first that has cracked.

I am now considering getting a 75g instead, since the glass is a lot thicker and much less likely crack like this. Of course, it takes more space, salt, light, flow, and $$$. I guess I have a decision to make. :(
I’m sorry i would’ve had an attitude for a couple of days. Hang in there
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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I’m sorry i would’ve had an attitude for a couple of days. Hang in there
Yeah, I would have been a lot more upset had it been a high dollar tank. But at only $50, it was just an annoyance. :)

That being said, I was able to locate a new tank today, so the build is back on track. Seeing that the $!/gallon sale just ended, it appears that every Petco in the area is out of the 40b, so I ended up at Petsmart instead. They had 2 Tetra brand in stock so I inspected both and decided on the one that didn't have a gallon of silicone covering every corner. The issue was that these had a label that said "Tempered glass, DO NOT DRILL". I didn't have a computer or polarized sunglasses with me to test the tank, so I got it and prayed that it was just the bottom that was tempered. After getting it home, I found out that NONE of the glass was actually tempered, so I proceeded to prepare for drilling.

I am quite happy to report that drilling the tank was uneventful. I was slower and more deliberate this time, and all holes came out clean with virtually no chipping at all. As with the first one, I brought the tank in the house, dried it off, and proceeded to make sure the overflow lined up and fit properly. It was a perfect match, and NO cracks. Fiji Cube instructs that when installing their overflow box on a rimmed tank, you need to use 2 gaskets on the outside of the tank in order for the box to fit over the rim. Unfortunately, they do not supply you with the extra gasket to do so. Instead of ordering another gasket, I opted to pull out the dremel and cut the rim to fit around the overflow box.

20210205_145909.jpg



At this point it was time for paint. I set up a table in the garage, set the tank on it, and taped off everything but the back of the tank. I then cleaned the glass with alcohol followed by RODI water and a microfiber towel. Over the next couple of hours I sprayed a total of 5 coats of black Plasti-Dip on the back of the tank, then allowed it to dry in the garage for another 6 hours before moving it into the house.

The plan at this point was to quit for the day, get some rest, and start working on the plumbing tomorrow. Of course, I couldn't help myself, so I installed the external Overflow box and return bulkheads, Then I thought, "I'm just going to start on the return plumbing a little bit". Roughly 2 hours later all of the plumbing had been measured, cut, and dry fitted. I still need to purchase a few more unions and a couple other fittings, but I should be done with the plumbing tomorrow morning sometime. With any luck, I can have sand and water in the tank before the end of day Sunday, maybe even get the rock moved in.

20210205_212050.jpg
 

Jisko

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Looking really good man!

I actually used this shelving unit as a stand before, problem I ran into was it rusted like crazy after awhile.
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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I used this one before as an aquarium stand. In anticipation of probable rust. I sprayed all of the metal parts with Black Rustoleum and it seems to have mostly prevented any rusting so far. I also replaced the boards on the top and the bottom shelf with melamine coated 3/4" boards.
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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I was really able to get a lot done this weekend on the system. It looks pretty likely that I will be adding the first inhabitants next weekend, If I can find the fish I want. More on that in a minute.

The goal yesterday was to get the plumbing finalized and glued together, and to leak test everything. Unfortunately, I had a couple of issues that took up too much time for me to get to the leak test yesterday. The biggest, and most time consuming, was that one of the 1.5" bulkheads, for the overflow box, was defective and could not be tightened down. The nut would just slip and loosen again long before you could get a good seal. This meant I had to either find a replacement in town, or put the whole build on hold to wait for a replacement. Luckily, I was able to find one locally, but it took several hours. Ultimately, I glued the final piece at about 11pm.

First thing this morning I started filling the tank for the leak test. Luckily, I have a 400GPD RODI system, so it didn't take very long. I also had 20g ready to go beforehand. The leak test revealed a few small drips that needed my attention, however, in my delirious state last night I placed the tank against the wall in it's final resting place. This meant I couldn't reach most of the problems to fix them. After draining, moving, and refilling the system, I was able to tighten down all of the bulkheads and unions enough to stop ALL drips. Then I just had to drain, move, and refill the tank one last time.

Now that the system was full of water and leak free, it was time to add the salt. In the past I have always used IO Reef crystals, but decided to try the HW MarineMix Reefer this go round. I must say that this stuff dissolves SOOOO much faster than IO. Even the directions on the box say to mix for one hour and it is ready for use. The tank went from cloudy to clear in just a few minutes.

With the SG where I want it, it was then time to add the rock. I selected a number of rocks from the cycling brute, and started stacking them until I found a combination that I was happy with. I am not a creative scaper, I simply try to make something with lots of holes, caves, and swim throughs.

Finally, it was time for sand. I am using Carribsea Special grade aragonite sand (dry). I had a 40 pound bag, so I dumped half of it in a bucket and proceeded to rinse the sand until the water ran clear. I probably spent 45 minutes with a hose in the bucket stirring sand and dumping milky water. I then repeated the process with the other half of the sand. Apparently I was not thorough enough, because the tank still clouded quite a bit when adding the sand. It is clearing pretty quick though.

Right now, I am running the system with my water change pump until I receive my new return pump. The current pump is pretty loud and has less flow than I want, but is fine for now. I also have just a couple of cheap wifi bubes that I had used on my Discus tank. I am able to change the color and control them with an app or my voice. They are useless for corals, but will be fine with fish until I decide what lights to go with.

Taken just after adding sand (3:09pm)
20210207_150955.jpg



Taken @6:38pm
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With the lights set to a blue color to mimic most reef lighting.


20210207_183859.jpg
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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The tank finally has its first inhabitants. I went to the LFS today hoping to find a pair of Spotcinctus clowns. Unfortunately, they are not a common find, but I did find a nice bonded pair of Clarkii's. The female is about 2.5" and the male is maybe 1". Being that they have a similar look and will take nearly any anemone as a host, I decided to get them. Also, They were some of the least expensive clowns I have seen @ only $50 for the pair. They are still settling in, but seem to be doing well so far.

20210213_181014.jpg


20210213_181015.jpg


20210213_181147.jpg
 

riche

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Love the wrap on the stand, I’m having a stand and canopy built and it being covered in pallet wood and stained.
Love the details of your build
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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System update!

I am going to start by saying that I made some choices over the past week or so, that will undoubtedly cause some hate here. :) Please be kind and know that I am an experienced reefer and have contingencies in place.

The first big update is that I made a decision on the lights. I ended up going with something that was not even on my radar a couple weeks ago, The Nicrew HypeReef 100W LED. I was able to get both lights, stands, and Kessil spectral controller for less than the cost of a single Kessil, AI Hydra, or Radion. Par readings look great, and the spectrum is nice.

I also added 2 more fish and some corals. This will be controversial choice #1. I added a small <2" Tomini Tang and a Melanurus Wrasse. Both are doing very well, swimming around and picking at the rocks constantly, and eating like pigs. Both have even taken to eating nori from the clip. As for corals, I added an acid wash branching Hammer, gold branching Hammer, and a small torch. I'm not sure what torch variety it is and I'm really not worried about it. I like the movement and the unique (non green) color. All the corals are doing great so far. They are nice and full and extended nicely.

And finally, controversial choice #2. I was offered a fantastic Neon Green Haddoni for a terrific price and couldn't turn it down. I am aware that my system is VERY young for a Haddoni, but I have successfully kept a number of haddoni in the past (some in young systems) and believe that I can do the same with this one. It is currently in QT undergoing Cipro protocol. It will remain in treatment for the next week and then I will observe it until I feel it is ready for the DT. The mouth is open a bit today, but is attached to the glass and responds to the light when it comes on. I expect it will improve dramatically over the coming days.

Now for some ever important pictures.

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20210221_123937.jpg


20210221_124038.jpg
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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The tank is doing well. Moved the Hadonni into the DT and it is doing well. The clowns LOVE it and the female is usually seen just laying in it non-stop. I am currently in the middle of a minor bacterial bloom. I am hoping that it clears soon, but I did a 20% water change today, so we will see. Also, the hammers are doing AMAZING, but the torch has not been happy in a few days, not sure why. :(

I will be making the rounds to several LFS tomorrow. Hopefully I can find some nice, affordable pieces to add as I have set a small budget aside for corals each weekend. This is the only way I can keep myself from spending too much and getting in trouble.

I could also use some opinions on a good skimmer for a 40b. Last time I used a Curve 5 Elite, but couldn't stand the constant need for adjustments, so ultimately I rarely used it. I have been looking at the following:

1. Tunze 9410
2. Hydor E-SK 600
3. Simplicity 120 DC
4. Coral Box D300+

Any suggestions and recommendations are WELCOME.

20210226_101319.jpg

20210226_101519.jpg
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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All of the fish, corals, and anemones are doing well except for the torch. I have historically had bad luck with torches and may throw in the towel after this one. My other euphyllia are all doing Very well, but the torch has closed up almost completely, bleached completely white, and started to recede. I just don't have any luck with torches.

On another note, I am currently dealing with a SERIOUS case of the uglies!! the tank is in the middle of a massive diatom bloom. None of the inhabitants seem bothered by it, but, I certainly don't enjoy it. I am trying to just ride it out and not take any drastic measures to try and fix it. I am just doing my regular water changes, and added a portable UV sterilizer to try and clear the cloudy tank the diatoms are causing. I change the filter floss every 2-3 days, and vacuum the sand during my water changes. I also have a skimmer being delivered Monday, hopefully the bloom won't stick around too long. I am also hoping to add a small CUC this weekend, just have to see what I can find.

My current stocking list is:

2 x Clarkii Clowns
Melanurus Wrasse
Tomini Tang
2 x Haddoni Carpet Anemones
Gold Hammer
Neon Hammer
Octospawn
Duncan
Galaxia
Hydnophora
20210305_162432.jpg
20210305_162351.jpg


20210305_162338.jpg
 
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lpsouth1978

lpsouth1978

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Are you running a refugium? The Fijicube has a space for one, I think?
I am not currently. The Fijicube does have a SMALL refugium, but it is only like 5" square. I have a pretty light bioload and a good sized skimmer. I also added a bunch of snails today, trochus, nassarius, cerith, margaritas, and 2 x turbos.
Tomini tang in a 40 gallon!!??!!!!

Im just kidding
I also have a tiny one in my 40 cube, but I also have a 90 gallon for him when he is big
Yeah, my nephew is setting up a 120 the Tomini will go in when it outgrows the 40.
 
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lpsouth1978

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The tank is doing great!! The diatoms are gone, skimmer is working incredibly well, and everything is happy and healthy. I am still on the hunt for new, colorful additions. I am hoping to ges some more pieces in there that are not green. Looking for some red, orange, pink, etc. Space in a 40B is limited, so I am trying to be selective from here out.

Here are a couple of pics I took just before lights out this evening. This is pretty close to what I saw. I used my Orphek 15 and 20k Filters stacked. No other editing (other than cropping) was done.

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