Sri Lankan 50g DIY Tank

Reesj

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Hi all.;Stop
I posted a while back about stocking choice but not a build thread so here it is.
I'm quite sure this is going to be a tank like no other that you might have seen. Weather it works or not lets see in time! I'll Come to the dooms day senario next post:eek: :)

I have quite a bit of experince in freshwater with normal and planted tank and growing discus from babies to a large size in a planted setup.
I was always facinated by the next big challenge and the amazing colour of saltwater fish. So here I'm.

What I'm starting with is a display tank water volume of 50gallons 39x13.5x23 (LxWxH) ) and about 15 gallon sump. Casue its right on the living room I need a clean sleek looking tank.
It a prebuilt tank with everything you want: with plumbing ,filter media, pumps and hood from SUNSUN. Thats about the only expencive thing thats going to be on this build (about $350).
There are LOADS of changes and DIY stuff i'm doing from tank it self to all the addonscoming up.
IMG_20190810_133913758 small.jpg
IMG_20190810_133927780 small.jpg


To start with I had to modify the drilled whole used for both return and drain. its acctualy 3 seperete lines(water flow down, up, emergency drain) all using single drilled hole. The tank was built for a bare bottom version. When I tried to put sand in it cloged the emergency out and i had to improvice. I made an modification by inserting anotehr pippe above the drain pipe that had a bottom opening. Then I inserted a some sponge cut to the write size around the boom opening for it to still have some flow and avoide sand geting sucked in.( You can observe this on picture below on blue drain pipe)
IMG_20190814_115718593.jpg


Here is a pick after I cycled the tank and put in the dry rocks with 1 circulation pump runing.
IMG_20190812_201628275.jpg


I cycled the tank with store bought bacteria.
Also the lights that came for the tank were a LED strip that I can not use. Sepcially if I want to put any Corals in it. So I was lucky enough to be able to remove the lights from the plastic casing with it in tact.
IMG_20190814_120037694.jpg


SO YES DIY LED strip that I have to custom build to go on a very small space COMING UP! With a DIY Algae Scrubber as main cleaning source ? ;Facepalm
Stay tuned...
 
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Reesj

Reesj

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For the schoker news, I have never owned any tester kits while doing this thing for freshwater over a decade. But I think saltwater is going to be a bit harder to do without them. So far I havent got any as most lfs dont have them. But I will try to import the most nessary tests from Aliexpress I guess.

Moving on to lights,
I have to put the lights on the exsisting hood thats already there. This means lights only about 2-3 inches from water coloum. On top of that they have to be on the already exsisting hood.
So I removed the exsisting LED strip and I found out that I can barely fit in Custom LED lights as the spae is 1 inchx 28 inches with thickness of about 1/2 inches.

The lights Seems too bright way too close to the water surface after installing also . So after Seraching high and low soo hard found very cheap methode to diffuse them. $1 sand blaster paper.!!;Woot

So the idea, 2 diffrent Lights.
1. Hang on the roof LED light strip with low wattage.
So far i went for 6 blue and 6 cool white; small light strips. There are 3 small lights in each strip and there is a small heatsink on back of them. They come with one side glued to the lights and others side to be glued. SO i glued them in to the hood. The blue lights were a bit better quality and emit a bit stronger light so only diffued them to reduce the light and get better disribution and spealing colur.
IMG_20190831_104324815_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

This is goign to be my start off and end of the day lights for the tank. Puting it on a timer.

2. 1W 24 LED lights to fit the plastic case of hood. (10 cool white, 2 warm white, 9 royal blue, 3 blue, 1 Red)
This was a tight fit with lots of challengers. But in the end I imannage to put put the lights on pcb board heat sinks and mount them on 2 thin sheets of alumium. I put heat condcutive material on the 2 thin sheets and glued them together. Then the lights went on top of it. All of this is encased inside a small plastic frame. Lets hope LEDs wont over heat too much. (Reason I went for 1W LED not any 3W).
As the ligth seems too high and too close to the surface, I put sand blast paper on top of it to diffuse and I'm quite happy with the output. It has around 16000lux by the water surface.
IMG_20190831_104345647_BURST000_COVER_TOP.jpg

This is the main light source . I will put it for about 7 hours on a timer with 15 min break to cool off on midle. (Other set comes up during this time.)

So with this I will be able to get 3 light setting puting these 2 on timers.
Small LED, Big LED, Both at same time mid day.
 
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Reesj

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I setup the tank and put the starter fish: 3 Similar damsels to the tank about two weeks ago. They seems peaceful enough for now at least.
I wanted to put a few more fish last weekend but couldn't source them. I also put another 6000lph sunsun wavemaker.
IMG_20190831_104559204.jpg

Will add video when back home.
 
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As one of the primary filterations I'm using a DIY HOG algae scrubber.
I have modeled it with the inspiration from King of Diy super charged algae scrubber but with a few modifications.
I have added a aluminum sheet to the back of the outside plastic container. This does a great job of reflecting the light and providing a heating sink for my 1.5W LEDs.
IMG_20190814_120016988.jpg


The LED are water profe once it seem with a small diffuser inbuilt to them. I put in 6W red and 1.5W coolwhite LED.
IMG_20190820_133836489_BURST001.jpg

Then installed it on to my sumps 1st compartment. Hopefully it will be fine with water spilling from top.
IMG_20190831_104840184.jpg
 
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Here is a tank shot today.
Got a bit more to write. i'll do it afterwards.
For stocking I got (except the 3 similar damsel i already have)
1 lyretail Anthias
2 Clarkii clownfish
1 longfin fairy wrase
1 hermit crab (red colour)
And 1 dark green bubbletip anemon
IMG_20190904_174326466.jpg
 
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I have added 2 anemons so far and both seems to be doing great. The first one moved behind the rock structure and staying put but I decided to let it be there. Other one so far staying put after first night moving around.
Tank is going through a diatom bloom. The 2 turbo snails I put in though seems to be making short work of it in 2 days so far.
IMG_20190915_165942656.jpg

 
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Tank is going great. Finally gave in and bought a chiller for about $350. I have set the temperature to 27C. Had to upgrade the water pump to a 2500 lph pump as the 1400lph was not cutting it with the addition of nearly 3m of small size tubing.
IMG_20191010_132948734.jpg


The algae scrubber is doing great it seems and finally making hair or turf algae. I can't tell the difference. Well at least 5he slimy normal algae seems to be slowing down inside of it.
IMG_20191010_131002417.jpg

Decided to add a 1.5W of blue LED strip also to algae scrubber light set. Now it's 6W of red, 1.5W cool white and the 1.5W of blue there.
 
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Reesj

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A historical day today for me. ;Woot In over 15 years of fish keeping, I have never done any water testing. But I decided to check how my tank might be doing and ordered in a no3 test kit( only 3 tests).
IMG_20191010_130831727.jpg

Seems like the no3 reading is below 12.5 also? Well it's lighter colour than 12.5-25 range.

I removed the dooms day part from the thread title also because It seems the tank if doing great :) , and I also placed an order for an under power protein skimmer. Mind you this rated Maxx for 150l and my system is 180+ sump. But I don't know if it is of any use with an Algae scrubber and heavy mechanical filtering.
 
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Update on the new fish and CUC.

3 Similar damsels. (They really like to shift the sand and make caves for themselfs. I have to keep taking sand off of my brain corals and they seems tto think they are sand shifting blenys or something )
2 Clarkii Clownfish
1 Lyretail Anthias female
1 Ruby Longfin Fairy Wrasse
. (Looks great whe nthey decide to flair their fins)
1 Small Powder blue tang.
5 trochus snail
. (I can't find any other snails here in Sri Lanka:confused:. So nothing for sand or deutrius job).
1. Red legged Hermit Crab

On the coral and anemones front
2. Large Brain corals (1 of them I got real bad shape as my 1st coral. It is still alive but no idea if it it will pull through)
1. Light green Hammer colony (Beautiful luminous green one than normal green)
1. Perple Goniopora Colony
1. Small frag of zoas
(Dull colour but only thing except palythoas I can find)
1. Small frag of Green star polyp (I didn't handle it gently when adding and it still won't come out properly)
2. Green Bubbletip Anemones

I'll post an update picture and video later...
 
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