Slythy's 70 Rimless SPS Dominate Build

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slythy

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First off I would like to say this is @revhtree and @REEFTIDE 's fault for me doing this. I havent had a reef in 20 years and have stuck to freshwater because of my work schedule. It hasnt really been an option to keep a successful reef until recently with all the controllers and monitors. I like to read through this forum in my spare time and just see how people do things and just keep up with the current thought processes. When the Partner fund raising came about I figured I would support the forum that I got enjoyment out of and for $100 a hat and a shirt was enough. Low and behold I won a large giftcard to the Reeftide for coral.....

I have a 180g High tech planted, a 70g rimless high tech planted and a 7g low tech cube. The 180 is out of the question for converting because I'm not getting rid of my ~12" Black piranha and I have a decent little side hustle with all those plants I sell. the 70g was kind of redundant and I literally have no where else to put another aquarium so the 70 is the obvious choice to convert.

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The plan for the Tank is an SPS dominate barebottom tank.

The current parts lists that I have ordered or have for this is the following

Tank:
PlanetAquariums 70g Rimless
PlanetAquariums 48x18 stand

Filtration:
Modular Marine 1600 Overflow
Bashsea Smart 36 sump
Bashsea 10g ATO
Reef Octopus Classic 150
AquaUV 57w
Finnex TH-0300S Titanium Heater

Pumps:
2x Echotech MP40QD's
Sicce SDC6.0

Lights
2x Radion XR15 Pros
Aquatic Life 36" T5 Hybrid Fixture
2 ATI Coral Pro & 2 ATI Blue Pro

Controllers:
Neptune Apex
Neptune Dos
Neptune Trident (will order after tank is cycled and coral starts showing up)
Smart Reef intigration I/O box

Salt:
Red Sea Blue Bucket

Rock:
Tropic Eden Morroca (currently 31 lbs)

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I started by Drilling the 70G for the Modular marine and 2x 3/4 returns.

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I was beyond nervous because I broke my 180g mainland drilling it. I think the drill caught when it was breaking through and i was drilling horizontally which probably didnt help.


I didnt want any light leaking through the bottom into the sump so i sprayed a faux sand using 5 different spray paints. I started with the Rustoleum Stone texutred paint. Then once that dried just random sprayed the holes with tans, whites and black to pepper in and give it a little bit different look. Then coated the bottom in solid white then a layer of solid black. The stone is super messy.

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My current sump layout I think the Skimmer in the second bay makes more sense and the refugium in the first will make changing socks and working on the skimmer easier.
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My current thought for my Aquascape looks something like this

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Might change it or add a few more pieces. I really like the cave on the left so I epoxied those 2 pieces. The rest are free to be moved.
 
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slythy

slythy

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Next small set of updates.

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I decided I needed to up my RO/DI game a little bit. I added an auto shut off valve and a Aquatec 8800 booster pump. My city water pressure in is about 55-60psi and with the pump turned down a bit I got 85psi steady. This is a hodge podge of parts that I bought second hand, then upgraded with the BRS 200gpd water saver kit. I would like to buy the Auto flush kit as well......

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Next up is I plumbed my tank. Its setup as a standard bean animal with 2 3/4" returns. I havent ever used the flexible pvc before but with the stand being a 30" tall stand and the sump being so large It did make it a bit easier. I would have preferred all hard plumbed but oh well. It was leak tested and passed! I also added a section of 6x1's on the right hand side of the tank So I could mount my UV nicely.

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So my return pump goes directly to my 57w UV. Hoping this helps with ich management if I ever get it. The plan is to run the pump pretty slowly. I dont think it needs to run much higher that 600-900gph with how much flow I am going to get with the MP40's. The bashsea smart 36 and the 10g BashSea ATO fits perfect under the tank makes it look like 1 well thought out plan. Also to keep my aqua UV transformer happy I mounted it on 2" PVC pipe holders up above the water line. Hopefully it will keep it happy.



I have spent most the time cleaning and getting ready more so than on the tank. I still need to hang lights. I have an electronics cabinet being built currently. This will house my DOS (maybe 2?), Apex, all my pump controllers, an IPad, the trident and anything thing I decide to add last min!

Next step is to clean out the garage to make some space for a water mixing station. I currently have my built Evo X and 5 motorcycles taking up all the realestate so will have to do some massive reorganization to make it happen but I am thinking of getting 2 of the square 55g NTO container and some sort of jabeo pump to make it all happen. I was thinking of doing it this way so I could get prepped if I ever wanted to do auto water changes.
 

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One thing I would change on your setup is the Cheap wood cabinet, looks like MDF fiber board,, the type that puffs up when it gets wet. I would weld a steel frame if I was you!. Laminated MDF fiberboard wood cabinets are a thing of the past.
 
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One thing I would change on your setup is the Cheap wood cabinet, looks like MDF fiber board,, the type that puffs up when it gets wet. I would weld a steel frame if I was you!. Laminated MDF fiberboard wood cabinets are a thing of the past.

My 180 is on a steel frame, but for the 70 a quality birch wood stand seems to be fine. Might look into changing it to a steel frame in the future when it does start to degrade as I prefer the steel stands ability to be open anyway but thats a future me since I already own the stand and have for a few years
 
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Next rounds of updates!

Havent made a super large amount of progress. but:

I ordered 2 NTO 55g square tanks and a Jabea DPC 10000 for a mixing station. The containers havent shipped yet but hoping I will get them in a week or so.

I hung my lights today. They are the Aquatic Life 4x 39w T5 hybrid fixture with 2x XR15's. I was pretty nervous on how to hand them without crashing down. I ended up cutting some 2x 4's and putting them in my attic with little 90* metal brackets screwed to the joists. Then used a 3/8ths eyelet double nutted and washered through the ceiling.

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Next I'm pretty excited for my controller cabinet I had made. The store I get all my goods at is ModernAquatix and their display tank had something similar to this wthout a door to display the apex, doser and trident. I had the builder add a door so I can hide it a bit more. I plan on having my 3 pump controllers up top with room for a 4th, and then my old IPAD as a controller interface.

I purchased dark walnut stain and a grey tinted KILZ primer for the inside.
So far all I have done is filled the nail holes and getting it ready to sand for stain.

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Few more updates:

Things purchased:
Auto RO/DI flusher
Battery Backup System
Refractometer and cal solution
14 more lbs of tropic eden rock
Salinity probe stabilizer (had a sicce micro already)


first up is my Battery backup solution. the base unit is an APC Smart 750 that had dead batteries in it. I ended up drilling an access hole in the side and adding inlet and outlet fans for the electronics on the sides. I used a Anderson Style connector to connect my UPS to my large battery packs. The battery's i purchased was 2x Weize 55AH 12v SLA batteries. This should give me almost 8x the stock run time. this should be up to 6 hours of run time, which isnt enough to go out and buy a Generator if need be!
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The Electronics cabinet was stained a Dark oak and then inside was all painted with a grey Kilz to seal it for any spills or anything.

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Next is the tank itself. Its was filled up once with RO/DI and then I noticed it was sitting on a power cable for my CO2 Bottle and wasnt able to pull it out lol. I drained the tank and am currently refilling it. Im happy with the current scape and ready to start putting salt in it. The Apex is up and running so I am getting ready to start the cycle!

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Few more updates,

Cycle hs started, used Fritz Fuel for the ammonia to start a fishless cycle. I ended up dumping in Dr Tims one and only, Fritz 9 and Bactiv8 Npx in the tank. Hopefully it adds a few different strains of bacteria.

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Looks like following the Fritz Fuel directions gives you a really strong amonia level. Looks like I'm around 2ppm or maybe a little higher...

The bacteria seems to be able to convert some of the ammonia into nitrates so seems like everything is starting to take off!

I ended up measuring my flow by timing a gallon jug getting filled up by one of the outputs, dividing the time by 2 and dividing 3600 by that number to get GPH

With the 3/4" T with the 2x 3/4" outputs I was getting

50% speed ~271gph
75% speed ~334GPH
100% speed ~369gph

Then changing from the above to a 1" Y to 2x 3/4" outputs.

50% = 332gph (+23%)
60% = 390gph
75% = 408gph (+22%)
100% = 510gph (+38%)

I left it at 60% as it was a very high increase for not a lot of noise.

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The stock piece had a very large inner rim that choked it down to 3/4 before splitting. I was able to "port" it slightly with files so it at least opened up more smoothly but its not perfect.
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As it sits now

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slythy

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Been a while since I have had an update. Work has been super busy and I havent had much time to update.

Firstly is I was able to build a mixing station. I used 2 55gal Square utility tanks, a Jabeo DCP-10000 pump, Inkbird heater controller, Finnex 800W heater, a 3 port smart outlet and 60ft worth of python extensions. I stuggled finding hose as nice as the Python hose and Petco had a 30% off coupon if you bought 2 or more!

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I used bulkhead connectors in the top of the tank so that it stayed sealed while being able to keep the heater and sensor in it.

This has made life super easy for water changes and keeping water. I can basically turn on the pump and heater from my phone. when I am filling the tank I can turn off the pump from my phone so i dont overflow the tank or anything.

Next up is I added a Trident to my tank. I know its very early but I'm trying to gain some faith in it while I know there isnt any calcium or alk take up.
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The numbers look pretty good for 1.026 with the bluebucket. The Salt was dead on for a month than just shot up to 41... no idea on how to fix it but if it stays stable atleast thats what I can track.

I added 2 Wyze Cameras to my aquarium which has been one of the best things I think I could do since I travel. I can see the Sump (skimmer and Socks, and then of course the main tank.

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I did a 80% water change and brought home my first fish. I purchased a small (2-2.5") White tail tang. He is massively afraid of everything and doesnt like to pick off of the nori clip but is eating flake, frozen mysis and if I sprinkle in nori and it breaks up like flake he will eat it. He is very hard to get a picture of so maybe once I add some other fish he will be less scared. My plan is to get him eating fat and healthy before I try to add any other fish to be more resilient to any sort of disease that may arise.

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A few things have changed over the last couple weeks.

First is I measured the Par and adjusted my lights to get about where I think I would need for an SPS tank.

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The bottom is around 150 to 260 depending then increases to around mid 200's to 300 at the top of the rock work. This should be enough for most things and Im happy with the spread.

Next is I added my first corals!

This was labeled a Black Octo

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This was an unlabeled Frammer

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Lastly a Ricordia Florida

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Then last week I got my fish order from @Dr. Reef ! All the fish arrived Happy and healthy! I purchased a Black Ice Clown, Black Storm Clown and a Lawnmower Blenny. They were super awesome to work with. They were able to get me a larger and smaller clown so they would pair up better than 2 of the same size and they were able to get shipping out quickly on the day i asked for! Thanks so much will place a second order for the remaining fish I want!


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The last thing that happened in the last couple days is the Frammer got super unhappy. It went from mega extension to dying. I know its a newer tank but with how happy the Octo looks I would think the chemistry is ok? Only thing I can think of is that maybe mag is a little low around 1280. Any Ideas?

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The last thing that happened in the last couple days is the Frammer got super unhappy. It went from mega extension to dying. I know its a newer tank but with how happy the Octo looks I would think the chemistry is ok? Only thing I can think of is that maybe mag is a little low around 1280. Any Ideas?

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In my experience as soon as this starts happening a lugol's dip is always a good idea. My LPS have always responded well to a lugol's dip. I usually do a lugol's dip for all my LPS before adding them to the tank as I find it helps them from just randomly dying. If you can, maybe try that to save it if its not too late.
 
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In my experience as soon as this starts happening a lugol's dip is always a good idea. My LPS have always responded well to a lugol's dip. I usually do a lugol's dip for all my LPS before adding them to the tank as I find it helps them from just randomly dying. If you can, maybe try that to save it if its not too late.

its too late i already pulled it. It kept looking worse and worse :/ Ill keep that in mind tho!
 
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Small update! decided to go to the local store and spend some money on some cheap SPS and then my wife really liked the torches so we purchased a single head.



Hellfire torch my wife picked out. Super neat sing it sway in the current! Put it on the far side where the Lights arent so bright and that current shouldnt be too strong. Should be able to keep it happy over there and keep it far enough away from other corals so it wont kill those.
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I purchased a Green Slimer because it was around $20 and people say they are pretty easy. Also Why not go for a cheap acro to see if I can make it grow or not.
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Next I have 2 Montiporas. If anyone is able to help me identify them that would be awesome!






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Next I decided since my nitrates and phosphates are growing a little bit I should start my refugium. I bought a H160 light and a large amount of cheato. I combed through the cheato to remove bristleworms and other unknowns before putting it in my tank. I did spot a aptasia this morning but quickly cut that section of cheato out and threw it in the garbage.

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Lastly I figured with adding SPS I will probably have to start dosing Alk/Cal here soon. So i finally set my DOS up so I can start trident dosing to keep up. I have a spread sheet going to try and figure out my daily alk usage. It should be pretty small right now. I think I am going to target 8.25alk and 460 calcium. Any objections on that?

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Added 2 containers of @AquaBiomics live reef rubble. Hoping it adds only good and not bad. My tank hasnt really had any algae blooms other than diatoms but I dont think my Lawnmower, tang and snails will let anything grow haha.

This is my tank as it sits now.

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