Snowhite's friendofafriend aquired 90g rebuild

snowhite

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Hi all. This will be my wife and I's 5th saltwater tank ranging from a 32 biocube, 55 corner, 29g coral frag, 75g fowler, and finally this 90g.
The story of this tank finding me is that my daughter in law found out about a guy wanting to "get rid of" a 90g with cabinet, sump, light, skimmer, return pump, etc... for $200 !?!?!?!? I was skeptical, but made contact and sure enough, it was a Oceanic saltwater tank that had been shut down 4 months ago due to his moving ( divorce/house ) a year and a half after he previously moved ( divorce/house ). Guy either makes some seriously bad decisions, or is impossible to live with.

Made the deal for it and picked it up a week and a half ago.
Goal of this thread is to document what I encountered, how it progressed, and my plan/progress for the tank overall.

So lets get going in the upcoming posts...
 
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snowhite

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When we got to the "2nd divorce in a year and a half" guys house the tank was in the garage. A garage that has obviuosly been inhabited by some LARGE out of sight dog. The smell was a bit eye opening. The tank still had gravel in it and about 2" of water... from 4 months ago, and the tank appeared to have previously been running without any maintenance for who knows how long. A ton of growth everywhere... everywhere... in everything... and the cherry cabinet appears to have some water damage inside it. Not a problem for me as this will be in my home office and outside appearance is the main goal.

Oh, and the tank and cabinet brought along the "ode de LARGE dog". My Explorer, and wifes Terrain inherited a bit of that essence... she really appreciates it... has reminded me several times.

Got it home and started taking account of what I may or may not have acquired. LoL.


- Oceanic 90g saltwater bottom drilled tank with off-set overflow. Single out and in. Center brace, not rimless :-(
- Unknown large skimmer (now know its a Coralife 300g skimmer (reallllly dirty)
- DeepBlue Triton 5 return pump 1350gph (seems high gph to me) I'm going to go with a Hydor Seltz D 750 Dc as I'd like the water to spend more time in the sump for skimmer and eventual refugium.
- Current Orbit Marine 48" light and Loop controller/remote
- 20g long aquarium sump with selfmade dividers and calk coming loose
- Jebao wavemaker controller but no wavemaker pumps
- Cherry Aquarium stand with 2 doors ( has inside water damage on left side veneer and inside door)

So I'm still thinking... yup... fantastic deal.

Here's a shot of the skimmer condition which also shows some of the 20g sump and veneer inside door.

Screen Shot 2020-02-19 at 8.42.53 AM.jpg


I set into scraping the coraline algae off the inside of the tank front, sides and back, which went fine. Then started cleaning the skimmer, sump, return pump, all piping, etc. and everything cleaned up great.

- Skimmer runs fine and creates bubbles well in fresh water. (salt test will have to wait for sump rebuild, more on that soon)

- DeepBlue Triton 5 pump runs, but the impeller blades are half eaten away. I suspect the sump ran dry and it ate itself. (new impeller ordered... last one I could find anywhere)

- Current Orbit light works fine, and I've been instructed by wife it will be relocated to her 75g fowler tank doubling her existing identical light. (my thinking is for this to be an anemone focused tank, so the Current Orbit light wouldn't be enough light anyhow, so good opportunity for wifey to get something out of the deal)

- Inside of the return is SKANKY with probably a couple of years of tubes and coraline grown and now dried in it. The tanks gonna have to be taken back outside for some water spraying and scraping to get that crap out of the 1/2" or so wide slotted inlet areas of the overflow box.

- Cherry cabinet has seen neglect also. It's going to need some spot staining at the minimum, and inside the water damage has veneer on the left side of cabinet peeling in spots. Decided I'm just going to scrape the flaking veneer inside and coat it with some form of rubberized paint that's white to brighten up the sump area (ended up using a spray Plasti-Dip white paint that worked well, but was very strong smelling even though out in open garage)

- Return Pump - as mentioned already, the impeller on the DeepBlue pump is ruined. We'll see if the pump runs fine

- Sump - This was what I was initially most excited about as this will be my first tank with a sump, but I'm not in love with the 20g long and his self made baffles and calking. I have a 29 gallon sitting that I'm going to use and buy a baffle kit. (Went with a Fiji 29g baffle kit which will give me a rack area for bags, and more height for possible overflow than the 20g offered) I went this route because I was unsure how "taxes" were going to go this year... ended up all was fine and I'm now wishing I would have went with purchasing a complete sump rather than kit, but this will be more than fine. I'm not getting overly complicated. I'm still learning and gaining complexity as I go.
Fijisump.png


So I think that covers what I got, it's state, and what i'm doing with it. I'll add some shots of the cabinet now that it's had the stain touched up and the inside Plasti-Dip sprayed in white.
 
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snowhite

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Lighting wise - I'm currently planning to go with 2 AI Hydra 32HD units on the bracket that spans the width of the tank. I'd go with a bracket for each light on back of tank, but where the off-set overflow is on this tank it falls right where I'd want one of the brackets to center in each side. Cost of two brackets vs the mount bar that spans the entire width of tank is identical... which is surprising. I currently have an AI 26HD on my 55g corner tank, and a 32HD on a 29g frag tank and am very happy with them. Only running them around 40-50% max on either tank, so I'm sure cranking them up higher on the 90gallon will be fine for keeping anemone's happy.

Circulation Pumps - My current thinking is that I'm going to go with two Maxspect Gyre XF330 pumps for circulation. I've not had any Gyre style pumps before and think I'd like the different flow options in this anemone focused tank.

If the Sump baffle kit shows up tomorrow like planned I'll calk it in that night and hopefully do a tapwater test the following night. If there's no leaks or problems I plan to just add salt directly to that and remove any potential phosphates from the tapwater during the cycling. I'm not in a rush to get livestock into it so I'm not worried about needing to possibly tweak chemistry.

If everything goes as planned I'll pickup 45-50+ lbs of cycled base/live rock over the weekend and get the show on the road.
Until I bite the bullet and order the Hydra lights I'll just put a couple 48" freshwater lights on top of the tank for some light if wanted while cycling.


Am I missing anything in my master plan? Certainly I am... have to be...
 
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Following up...

I quickly found that a basic Durso return setup is way to noisy for my preference, so I switched the tank to a Herbie setup with the return going over the back. I didn't want to mess with drilling tank.

Bought the stuff I needed and initially put the over-the-back return together Friday night. Messed around with it and let it run overnight, tweaked it some Saturday morning and I'm happy with the outcome. I ended up taking the downward elbow off the Durso and am letting it emergency overflow into the large side hole in it. Seems to make less noise that way from a slight trickle than going up and over with the elbow on it.

Only noise is the faint sound of the pump. I'm sending the Hydor return pump back and went with a Simplicity 2100DC 2100gph that a LFS uses in the tanks they build. It's adjustable with 10 steps and pleasingly quiet for just a little over $100. I'm running it just a bit over 1/2 speed (6 blue lights).

The Sump baffles kit showed up Saturday as expected and... apparently my 29g tank that's supposed to be an Aqueon isn't an Aqueon. The baffles are to large for the tank so are being sent back. At this point the tank had been running with the old 20g long sump for about 14 hours with freshwater in it with no problems. I started waffling between waiting for appropriate sump baffles, or just buying a 30" sump on Sunday. I ended up coming to my senses and realised that "it's running fine" and I can swap out to an upgrade sump in 6 months if I decide I want to.

So... at about 10pm I added salt to the running tank and went to bed. Everything was fine in the morning. The salt mixture was a bit "hot" so I swapped out some saltwater for fresh and got it closer.

Went to LFS on Sunday and picked up Sand and 50lbs of cycled Live/Base rock and put it in.
Only Sand they had was Caribsea OceanDirect Carribean Live Sand which was a change/surprise for me. I've only used the coarser aragonite in our other tanks and this is waaaaay finer and really dusted up, but I think I'm actually going to really like it in the end.

AI Hydra 32 lights show up today and will get installed tonight.
Wife leaves for a 5 day business trip Wednesday so I'll liesurely mess with setting up the RO/DI and Water Station in garage on Wednesday and rest of week.

I'll post some initial shots of boring bare running tank tonight.
 
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Oh, and the Coralife Cone 300g skimmer works well. It can be hesitant to start bubbling, but a puff into the air tube fires it up and it runs like a champ then. It went nuts with all the muck the OceanDirect Carribean Live Sand put into the water, but it was a good test. As the water cleared it settled down and eventually was producing nothing where there's nothing in the water to produce form, so I am keeping it off until needed. I wouldn't be surprised if the pump itself in the skimmer wasn't questionable where I'm pretty sure the sump had been run dry.

The return pump that was in it had pretty much eaten it's own impeller to a point that the magnet itself was cracked around the impeller. I got a new impeller and the pump pushes water well, but it quite a bit louder than I'd want running all the time.
I'll use it as a pump for my water change station I'll be building this week.
 
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I talked to Coralife about the 300g skimmer not firing up on it's own. They sent me out a replacement pump for it and it fixed the problem, so skimmer is now more than good enough.

My Hydra 32 lights arrived and were installed and running fine.
Bought some extra live rock and created a big rock arch using almost all my rock using ThermoMorph plastic pellets which worked surprisingly well. Some needed some extra glueing, but the majority are locked together. Built it as 3 pieces to make it easier to get out of tank if needed.

All readings were great over a week later so added my midnight oscellaris clownfish to the tank as well as a cleaner shrimp that was wreaking havoc to the small 30g coral growout tank it was in, and a couple test snails/hermits. Everything seems fine and now the boring trek through maturing and eventual anemone's.

Next step will be replacing the DIY 20g sump I went ahead and used for something sexier and taller. The 20g is shorter than I'd like it to be.
 
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Update on the 90g. It's been a while as this thread was unavailable for a while for some reason.
Photos/Video will be coming soon.

Came home from 4 days away from civilization to find one of my Rose Bubbletips split.
Also found out sunday I have a large colored Ritteri Magnifica anemone coming my way along with a pair of pink skunk clownfish to wallow around in it. May require some aggression training with the 3 existing clownfish, but i've managed through it before.
I decided to go Magnifica because I've always envisioned one up high front and center on the giant rock arch I built that spans the whole tank.

Current tally in 90g Anemone tank:

8 Bubbletips ( 3 Rose, 3 Rainbow, 2 Green)
2 Long Tentacle ( 1 purple, 1 green w/ purple foot )
8 +/- Rockflowers
"soon" the Ritteri Magnifica

Midnight Clown
Saddleback Clown
Gold Nugget Maroon Clown
Copperband Butterfly
Threadfin Butterfly
Black Vagaband Butterfly
Pearlscale Butterfly
(Klein's Butterfly in Sump because he's the devil to rockflower anemones)
Domino Damsel
Electric Blue Damsel
 
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I reconfigured the overflow box to be a Herbie style. The Durso pipe that came with it is the top emergency overflow set up high to keep things quiet from water not dropping far. The other hole is the full suction and is a pvc about 4" lower than the Durso. Then the return pump is routed over the back on the right side of tank and constructed out of 3/4 or 1" pvc.
Absolutely silent running that way.
 
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Everythings groovy when I got home. Skunks had moved up and are around it constantly but not lounging in it yet, but they definitely know where home is. THe other 3 clowns want nothing to do with it and are staying around their bubbletips. I changed around all the flow to give turbulent flow to the Ritteri so that ticked off the bubbletips and they're pouting, which ticks off the clowns that want to be in the bubbletips.
It's a constant rotation of something pouting because something else has changed.
 

How often do you "blow out" (with a pump, turkey baster, etc.) your rock work

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