Tom Takes on a Tank Build Thread

TDDredge

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Okay I think this is the right place, I'm working on a tank build! I'm at the very beginning here, below is the table of equipment I'm going to use. I'm totally new to this, so definitely open to criticism, but I think I've done the appropriate research. And let me tell you have I GRILLED the people I know who do this.

PartModel/Manuf.
Tank: (50 gallon, 36.875 x 19 x 19.625)Red Sea Reefer 250
StandRed Sea Reefer 250
SumpRed Sea Reefer 250
LightingHydra 26 (2x)
Powerhead (10-20x tank vol/hr)(2x)Jebao OW-10, 132-1056 GPH (price includes 2 of them)
Return PumpSicce Syncra Silent 3.5 660 GPH
Heater/ThermometerNeo Therm? Aqueon Pro?
ATORed Sea Reefer 250 (to start at least)
RefractometerAcquired!
SkimmerReef Octopus 110 INT? Coralife Super? BM Curve 5?
Aquarium Net CoverRed Sea R42081, 36" x 24"
Power StripKill A Watt PS-10
RODI systemhttps://www.bulkreefsupply.com/4-stage-value-ro-di-system-bulk-reef-supply.html

Going out to work on getting the red sea reefer 250 ordered today, and I'll get some rock and sand! There are a couple other smaller components not listed above, like salt, buckets and jugs, etc. Tank occupants:

FishTemp RangesalinityphalkalinityCa
pistol shrimp75-801.024-1.0268.1-8.48-9.5420-440
YWG75-821.02-1.0258.1-8.48-12
Ocellaris Clown72-781.02-1.0258.1-8.48-12
Lawnmower/Starry blenny72-781.02-1.0258.1-8.48-12
Royal Gramma72-781.02-1.0258.1-8.48-12
Firefish72-781.02-1.0258.1-8.48-12
Cleanup Crew
Hermits
Nassarius Snails
Cerith Snails
Turbo Snails?
Long Term Plans
Cleaner Shrimp72-781.023-1.0258.1-8.48-12
Blue MandarinNo details because seriously, long term.
AnemoneNo details because seriously, long term.

That is all for now I think, I'll keep replying to this as I get things in and start assembling things! I already have a test kit, refractometer, and the king of the aquarium, tongs. Feeding? Tongs. Grabbing pests? Tongs. Invoking the thunder god? Tongs.
 
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Flippers4pups

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I hear that you can get pre-quarantined fish? If my local supplier is trustworthy, is that an acceptable way to go?

Me personally would still have a observation/quarantine tank and place any fish I would get in it to observe them. Just because a fish was quarantined by someone else, doesn't mean it's free of parasites or disease, even with a guarantee.

It's always better to have control than trust and have no control.

I learned that as a hard lesson before and would never add anything to my system without quarantine. The hobby is just to expensive to roll the dice. Jmtcw.
 
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TDDredge

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Me personally would still have a observation/quarantine tank and place any fish I would get in it to observe them. Just because a fish was quarantined by someone else, doesn't mean it's free of parasites or disease, even with a guarantee.

It's always better to have control than trust and have no control.

I learned that as a hard lesson before and would never add anything to my system without quarantine. The hobby is just to expensive to roll the dice. Jmtcw.

Noted. Do you have any recommendations on a small quarantine tank? Maybe a little all in one setup that's fairly inexpensive? Also how long do you quarantine the new occupant? I very much appreciate your experience, so thank you for it!
 
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Flippers4pups

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Noted. Do you have any recommendations on a small quarantine tank? Maybe a little all in one setup that's fairly inexpensive? Also how long do you quarantine the new occupant? I very much appreciate your experience, so thank you for it!

I use a twenty gallon long from Petco when they have had their dollar for gallon sales and use a HOB filter with a small heater. Some large PVC pieces for hiding spots. It's as about as cheap as you can get. I also built a screen top, as I like wrasses and they do jump from time to time.
IMG_20190830_202920.jpg


Fresh saltwater up to temp and a bottle of bacteria to cycle.
 

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Looks like a solid plan to me. +1 on the QT setup, even if you only end up needing it for a hospital or frag tank. Having one available comes in handy for other reasons as well like acclimation, separating aggressive fish, etc.

There are some good folks providing QT'ed fish for sale that you find on this site if you search. Seems to be custom order tho from what I can tell.
 
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TDDredge

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I use a twenty gallon long from Petco when they have had their dollar for gallon sales and use a HOB filter with a small heater. Some large PVC pieces for hiding spots. It's as about as cheap as you can get. I also built a screen top, as I like wrasses and they do jump from time to time.
IMG_20190830_202920.jpg


Fresh saltwater up to temp and a bottle of bacteria to cycle.

I'll quarantine for 2 weeks then! Do you prophylactically treat, or just observe them? My concern with it was that it'll be a bit stressful for the fish, and then it'll have to be caught again and go through another drip acclimation before going into the display tank. I assume you've not seen too many issues with this in your experience? I'll need a screen, if a firefish goes into it, it'll be a risk for jumping.

New topic of questioning. Setting up the heater: It looks like the smart way to go is an aqualogic controller, and then plug something simple like an aqueon pro into it. Then I'd aim to replace the heater element annually, but let the aqualogic controller actually do the work as far as controlling temperature (I'd assume you kick the temperature dial all the way up on the heater element, and let the controller shut it off when it is the proper temperature). I'm going to go with 300 watts, though that's at the higher end for a tank this size.
 
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TDDredge

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Update to it, I've got the tank on order, 60lbs of caribsea sand that the shop owner told me he has used with sifting gobies, and 52 lbs of dry rock. As I get more things, I'll update with more pictures. Going to try and get a little quarantine tank setup this weekend probably, and order some more components in as well. Tank will likely be here in a week or two, then it's on to setting it up. If I get the quarantine tank together, maybe I can start thinking about getting some hermits to start quarantining while I get the main setup together!

2020-5-1 Aquascaping Plan.jpg 2020-5-1 Stuff Acquired.jpg
 

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Really good article here on quarantine procedures from our own resident @Humblefish
 
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Looks like a good equiptment list! For the heater don't turn it all the way up. You want the heater and temp controller both set within your desired temp range. That way if the controller fails then the heater doesn't cook the tank and vice versa.

Oh and don't overdo it on snails and crabs if you don't have any algae yet!
 
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I think I'm going to use 2 BRS
Looks like a good equiptment list! For the heater don't turn it all the way up. You want the heater and temp controller both set within your desired temp range. That way if the controller fails then the heater doesn't cook the tank and vice versa.

Oh and don't overdo it on snails and crabs if you don't have any algae yet!

I'm probably going to use BRS titanium heater elements which don't have any thermostat on them, then inkbird controllers. Going to use 2 300W heaters, one set to 78 and the other to 76. The 76 shouldn't come on unless the other fails to off. The brs controller seems to have very poor reviews, so I'm definitely leaning inkbird, but the heater elements have a very nice 3 year warranty, though I'll probably replace them around 1.5-2 years. Might also just have an alarm in case a controller fails, but none of the heaters with built in temp control really seem like great options.
 
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TDDredge

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Really good article here on quarantine procedures from our own resident @Humblefish

Okay this article is great, but it left we with a couple questions. I will only be able to have one QT tank, at least to start. Only way around that is if I could use a 5 gallon AIO tank for CUC, like a little AIO betta fish tank? I won't be able to do the tank transfer method, so unless you have some different method for prophylactic treatment (I have a very hectic schedule), it's a 6 week QT. if a 5 gallon AIO will not work, what treatments can inverts not handle? Should I do a 100% water change before putting inverts/CUC into the QT tank if it's had fish in it before them? I assume nassarius snails will need sand, that's not a problem. Also, do you do anything to the PVC before putting it into your QT tank to clean it?

My initial group to go into anything will be 6-8 hermit crabs. I'm leaning towards 8 now, get them QT'd while the DT cycles, but when there are less than 6 weeks left of their 75 day QT, they can go into the DT, because it'll still be 75 days in a fallow tank with no fish. Then I'd wait to get more cleanup crew until I had maybe 3 fish in the tank.

To summarize, my questions are below:

Can CUC be quarantined in something as small as a 5 gallon AIO tank, or would that be too small and risking rapid changes in water quality that might kill them?

Are any of the treatments for prophylactic treatment toxic to inverts/CUC, and how should this be dealt with when going between QT'ing fish versus inverts?

What do you need to do to PVC elbows to make them safe before going into the QT tank?

CUC can be quarantined in the DT as long as no fish join them for 72 days? This is likely an alternative to the 5 gallon tank and I feel like it's preferable. I'd just spot feed them sinking pellets.

Thank you very much for your input and the article, you definitely have more experience than I, so it's appreciated! I want to do this right.
 
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Tank came in to the LFS! I was able to get the stand into my car, but the LFS will be delivering the tank and sump Tuesday. This however let me get the stand together and I'll have it leveled by the time the tank arrives. Quite easy to put together, it makes a lot of sense, and the parts were of much higher quality than cheap furniture of similar construction methods. The cam pins made it rather easy, I've got no complaints. The instructions don't have written instructions, just pictures so if you're thinking about getting one but need written out instructions, that's a caveat for you. But seriously. It was very easy, and it's a stout stand. Part way through a construction inspector did come by and inform me that things were not totally looking up to C4N1N3 standard. I hadn't heard of that before but it sounded serious. Fortunately with some treat bribery, production continued... Last picture is everything I've got together thus far. I'll use some of the biomedia balls to jump start the QT tanks once the main tank has been cycled. Don't have to worry about those for a while yet, the main tank will cycle with the CUC, and that will be their QT tank. So, 76 days once it's got CUC before anyone else can go in. I've got time. Next things will be getting the skimmer, return pump, another powerhead (someone is selling me a vortech MP10 for $50. I ain't no dummy, I'm taking that), and a RO/DI setup. I'll start getting water turned out and not too long after that I'll get heaters, finish setting things up, and away we'll go.

Edit: Oh, also, I'm going to replace the sump with a triton style sump before I even get water in it. Planning ahead. https://crystalreefaquatics.com/products/red-sea-replacement-sump-rsrs-250-reef-sump

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The LFS came by and put the tank up on the stand this past Tuesday! I go today to order in a powerhead (a coworker who had gotten out of it sold me a vortech mp10QD for only $50, so that was awesome), a RODI system, a return pump (Sicce Syncre Silent 3.5), and a sump. I'm not using the sump that came with the tank for this tank, it was going to force me to choose between a skimmer and fuge, and my choice was both. Instead I'm going to jerry rig it to a smaller tank, probably 20 gallons, for crustaceans. I'll run 2 20 gallon hex tanks for QT, one will house fish getting prophylactic treatments, the other will house crustaceans and corals for 76 day quarantines. Having a nice, stable tank with sump I think might be preferable for the inverts. Heaters and the skimmer will be at the next time I can go out and get stuff. Though actually, the skimmer I want is in stock right now... Yeah so we'll play it by ear. I'm guessing about a month or so, and I might just even have some water in the tank!

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Well I found out today as I went to put the main tank box into recycling (thanks to a handy little drawing on the side that elaborates on something that isn't really shown anywhere else in the literature), that this sump seems to be a newer version. From what I had gathered, the older versions of the sump did not have a dedicated fuge area. This one does. To that end, YAY I DON'T HAVE TO SPEND $350 ON A NEW SUMP RIGHT NOW, I CAN WAIT AND SEE IF I WANT TO REPLACE IT DOWN THE ROAD YEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHH!!!! I'm a little excited. End result of yesterday's trip to the LFS? I have the second powerhead, return pump, skimmer, and RODI system on the way. After these, it's just heaters and safety things for the heaters! Obviously there are a ton of smaller things too. Gonna need a siphon, net, and a myriad of other small parts and odds and ends. Oh, I looked like a hoarder nut today, checking out of the local WinCo with six 5-gallon carboys to use to store RODI water. But hey, I know it's for my saltwater tank so that's all that matters. Once the RODI system gets here, I'm going to hook it up to a shower we have in our basement that is just never used, and I'll rinse the carboys and everything else that needs a little rinse, leak test the sump, then plumb it up and start leak testing the DT! After that I'll mix salt into the DT, add rocks and sand to the DT, and then mix salt water in 5 gallon buckets to add to fill the sump as well. There's almost water in sight! Just gonna be a few more months until anything fun happens. But hey, patience and research will get me there. Gonna get a LOT of use out of that RODI system.
 
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