Smartwater's Mixed Reef

smartwater101

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I’ve been meaning to start a build thread for sooo long. So here it is! :) I’ll start with a little background and try to catch up to now. The image in my signature gives you an idea of where my current tank is at. Anyway, lots to cover! Hope you enjoy :)
 
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smartwater101

smartwater101

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A little background: I’ve been doing this off and on for probably 20 years. Steadily for the last 10. Here is a pic of my 30g from when I first moved to LA ~10 years ago.

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This thing was packed with various corals. And I had no clue what I was doing. Coral warfare was never an issue but properly maintaining water parameters was difficult. I eventually learned to take things a bit slower. It never had a major crash or anything. In the past I had only a few corals/nems and this many corals was just more work than I realized it would be.
 
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smartwater101

smartwater101

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Hitchhiking Upside Down Jellyfish. I built a circular tank by heating some acrylic but it never quite worked as I hoped it would. So I left him in the tank. He lived for a couple years before he disappeared completely.

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smartwater101

smartwater101

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I had this pair of clowns for ~6 years. The female was very aggressive and would easily break your skin if she was feeling territorial (which was always.) She hated anything new added near her home, she even managed to glue her mouth shut when trying to knock a coral frag over. (Wasn’t a big deal though, it naturally comes off in a day or two.) She is also the only fish who ever got a name (nickname actually) and since I shouldn’t say it here… I’ll just say its starts with C. And, in this case, C is not for cookie. :p


She was a mean old thing. Unfortunately she (and everything else) died in the “Great crash of 2017.” (More on that later) In fact, this long tentacle anemone is one of the only things that has survived all these years. It was quite pale when I first got it, but it has colored up since.
 
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smartwater101

smartwater101

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Another shoutout to a small tank I built.

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I built this but didn't leave it up long. My apartment at the time had thin walls so while I couldn't turn the sound up anyway... I never felt comfortable with the tank being so close to the speakers. Also, one day I was doing some quick cleaning and a tiny drop of saltwater landed in the top vent of the AV receiver. Zap. Dead. lol

For most of its up-time, it housed a rescue Orange/Blue clownfish and then two frogfish that actually laid an eggraft.

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smartwater101

smartwater101

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2014

I finally decided to upgrade and built a 90g. This was my first time building the actual acrylic tank along with everything else. Overall it turned out pretty well.



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I also started playing around with a 3D printer. I don’t really like fake items in a saltwater tank, But was a fun experiment nonetheless.
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smartwater101

smartwater101

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MID 2014

This is it! I decide I need more space! I need a larger tank! And I need(need!) a dog! Time to move into a new apartment. :)
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Temporary housing for the fish/coral.


I place an order for a custom 200g I designed. At least… It was meant to be 200g... (more on that in a second)
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I also design a large sump. (That is, frankly, not tall enough and longer than necessary.)

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smartwater101

smartwater101

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This is where I make one of the dumbest mistakes ever. The day I receive the tank, we move it up the stairs aaaaand… it doesn't fit. IT DOESN'T FIT! I had mismeasured the hallway and the tank was ~1-2 inches too long. :/
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Very expensive mistake. I had to put it in storage for a bit and ended up selling it (for very little $) just so I wouldn’t have a monthly storage cost.


Soooooo… 160g its is!


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smartwater101

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Finally! I shortened the tank to 90” just to be absolutely sure the thing would fit. Unfortunately it leaves a few inches of the stand sticking out on each side. But ce la vi.

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There has been so much delay with this project, the fish/coral have been in temporary housing for almost 2 months. Fish are good… corals are… okay.


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Sagan confirms that the tank is indeed sturdy enough to hold 28.6 lbs.





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TRANSFER TIME!!!!


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smartwater101

smartwater101

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Oh my... going to be tagging along. this is an awesome build. i am in the hobby for about 22 years myself. May I ask what you do for a living? just curious. That 3d printer is CRAZZZY. something I would love to get into.

Thanks! I do animation and design for Movie/Game Trailers and various commercials. (Motion Graphics.)

I never used that printer much and ended up selling it. But I recently got an Ender5 and, since I'm in the process of a new build, have been using it a lot. They are a lot of fun to play around with.
 
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smartwater101

smartwater101

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So the tank had been up and running for less than a couple months and the upgrade bug is still there. So I decide to build a 70g cube to go along with it lol

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This one is meant to be an agro tank. Eels, Lionfish, frogfish ect.



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This tank was up for less than a year. I realized that the electricity costs (and maintenance for that matter) was just too much for me. Running two tanks is costly/time consuming. I also live in an apartment that hold heat like a pizza oven. Heat builds up even on cooler days and it drives me nuts. This of course creates the issues of chillers running too often.


On top of that. The tank became overrun with Aptaia. I didn't realize just how out of control this pest could become. It was absolutely everywhere. Booo hissss
 
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coralcruze

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Thanks! I do animation and design for Movie/Game Trailers and various commercials. (Motion Graphics.)

I never used that printer much and ended up selling it. But I recently got an Ender5 and, since I'm in the process of a new build, have been using it a lot. They are a lot of fun to play around with.
I would love to see how you use the 3d printer for your build. Just looked at some vids on your tube on it and am thorughly impressed. looking forward to seeing your builds progression.
 
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smartwater101

smartwater101

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2015/2016

I lost all my photos from 2015/2016. (Stay away from Drobo lol)

If I manage to find any of them, I’ll update this comment. For now though, here's more doggie:


Why roll in the grass when you can have your human do the work for you?
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Playing with one of his work buddies:
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EDIT:

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Woud you rather start a tank with dry rock or live rock from the ocean?

  • Dry Rock

    Votes: 180 40.7%
  • Live Rock

    Votes: 151 34.2%
  • Combo of both

    Votes: 102 23.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 2.0%

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