Wasabiroot's 50g SCA Build

Wasabiroot

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Hey everyone!

After being in the aquarium hobby for over 20 years, I finally decided this summer it was time to dip my toes into the reefing world. This forum has a wealth of information, and between reading countless threads of advice here, watching BRStv and other prominent reefers on YouTube, reading as many books as I can, and researching non-stop, I think I'm ready to go.
I ordered a 50g PNP system from SCA as I had heard good things about the quality of product for the price paid. I had a slightly rocky experience with Steve (communication issues) but the tank has arrived, has been set up, and there's no going back! The system is of high quality, and while it doesn't seem to match the fit and finish of higher end systems, it's very suitable as a first reef tank for me. It doesn't help that I have a 240g planted rainbowfish and barb tank in the basement - I figured I might overwhelm myself if I started extremely large or small while trying to maintain the other tank. But, since I have experience tweaking CO2 and ferts, I think I should have a slight head start with the complexities of reefing.
Here is a list of the equipment I'm running so far:

SCA 50g PNP system, plumbed for a weird durso/herbie hybrid (durso standpipe emergency drain, with main drain approx 6 inches lower)
Eshopps Medium Cube sump (not sold on this so far, but plenty of space). Large refugium for the size of sump, and the one shipped initially didn't fit under the stand
Ecotech Radion XR-15 Blue
Reef octopus VaRios 2 DC return pump
ReefBreeders RP-M Powerhead
2 X 100W TItanium Heaters w/Inkbird controller
Reef Octopus 110SS Protein Skimmer
Approximately 40-50 lbs Marco rocks
Ye olde generic special grade aragonite sand (I didn't feel confident enough to try bare bottom yet)
ReefBreeders Exo-Auto topoff (w/15 gallon DIY plastic tote)
Red Sea Salt (may switch to Coral Pro as I am not aiming for SPS dominated system or ULN)


My thought process was to go with slightly more expensive, but proven technology (start with better equipment so that I can transfer it to another build if needed). I am planning a mixed reef down the line, with predominantly uncommon LPS corals like Leptoseris, as well as some hobby favorites like torches, acans, zoas, and favia. Eventually I plan on getting a few easier SPS corals like cyphastrea, monti caps, stylophora, or birds nest. I may decide to upgrade or supplement my lighting at that point.

I will use this thread for any potential issues that pop up, as well as to document my progress. I'm at work at the moment, but I'll post plenty of pics of what I have so far. Hope you all enjoy! Looking forward to hearing from you guys.
 
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Wasabiroot

Wasabiroot

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The tank is set up near my front door but is sheltered from excessive sunlight. It ended up being perfectly level with the room divider so that I see it when I get home and when I take my keys in the morning.
I have the sump on low right now to prevent any bacterial population from ending up in the foam cup. Down the line, I have some electrical cable channels I plan on hiding some of the wiring with to reduce the clutter. I am happy with the plumbing, though I should have gone with a gate valve, but it's swappable down the line WHEN it gets stuck. Had to redo from a different arrangement due to a small leak.
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Wasabiroot

Wasabiroot

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One thing I did not anticipate is how little space I would have to do maintenance under the stand. I built my basement 240g stand to my liking and I can get inside and sit in that thing, so it was a bit of a learning curve!
 
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Wasabiroot

Wasabiroot

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I purchased my first set of corals, hoping to pick them up in the next week or two. The tank appears to be cycled with ~10 ppm nitrates and undetectable phosphates (used Hannah colorimetric). I plan on checking my parameters leading up to the pickup daily to ensure the tank conditions are relatively stable. I was also planning on installing a 2 part peristaltic pump to supply alk a few days before getting corals (to see usage of frags). They are all lower light, encrusting or easier (zoas, Favia, stylocoeniella, acan, cyphastrea, hammer). I wanted to avoid SPS purely because I lack the experience and from what I see repeatedly they are best advised at a point where your tank is lived in and very stable.
Some of the pieces were on my want list, so I'm stoked. Have pics of my selections, anyone keeping these corals is welcome to share advice about their interactions or care.
 
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Wasabiroot

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New corals from the Cherry Corals live sale!
Everything appears to be doing ok!
20210327_124742.jpg

Aussie highlighter hammer is nice and puffy.
20210327_124730.jpg

Harlequin war coral
20210327_124751.jpg


Aussie micromussa
IMG_20210326_171123_082.jpg

Space cakes favia (love the pastel colors)
IMG_20210326_171123_019.jpg

South Beach cyphastrea
20210327_124722.jpg


Goldeneye chalice
20210327_124709.jpg


Alien ooze platygyra

20210327_124704.jpg

Utter chaos
 
Fritz

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Hey everyone!

After being in the aquarium hobby for over 20 years, I finally decided this summer it was time to dip my toes into the reefing world. This forum has a wealth of information, and between reading countless threads of advice here, watching BRStv and other prominent reefers on YouTube, reading as many books as I can, and researching non-stop, I think I'm ready to go.
I ordered a 50g PNP system from SCA as I had heard good things about the quality of product for the price paid. I had a slightly rocky experience with Steve (communication issues) but the tank has arrived, has been set up, and there's no going back! The system is of high quality, and while it doesn't seem to match the fit and finish of higher end systems, it's very suitable as a first reef tank for me. It doesn't help that I have a 240g planted rainbowfish and barb tank in the basement - I figured I might overwhelm myself if I started extremely large or small while trying to maintain the other tank. But, since I have experience tweaking CO2 and ferts, I think I should have a slight head start with the complexities of reefing.
Here is a list of the equipment I'm running so far:

SCA 50g PNP system, plumbed for a weird durso/herbie hybrid (durso standpipe emergency drain, with main drain approx 6 inches lower)
Eshopps Medium Cube sump (not sold on this so far, but plenty of space). Large refugium for the size of sump, and the one shipped initially didn't fit under the stand
Ecotech Radion XR-15 Blue
Reef octopus VaRios 2 DC return pump
ReefBreeders RP-M Powerhead
2 X 100W TItanium Heaters w/Inkbird controller
Reef Octopus 110SS Protein Skimmer
Approximately 40-50 lbs Marco rocks
Ye olde generic special grade aragonite sand (I didn't feel confident enough to try bare bottom yet)
ReefBreeders Exo-Auto topoff (w/15 gallon DIY plastic tote)
Red Sea Salt (may switch to Coral Pro as I am not aiming for SPS dominated system or ULN)


My thought process was to go with slightly more expensive, but proven technology (start with better equipment so that I can transfer it to another build if needed). I am planning a mixed reef down the line, with predominantly uncommon LPS corals like Leptoseris, as well as some hobby favorites like torches, acans, zoas, and favia. Eventually I plan on getting a few easier SPS corals like cyphastrea, monti caps, stylophora, or birds nest. I may decide to upgrade or supplement my lighting at that point.

I will use this thread for any potential issues that pop up, as well as to document my progress. I'm at work at the moment, but I'll post plenty of pics of what I have so far. Hope you all enjoy! Looking forward to hearing from you guys.
Very nice systems I went with a SCA 150 Rimless that I am getting ready to hard plumb!!
Your systems looks pretty awesome brother!
 

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Wasabiroot

Wasabiroot

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Well, my inexperience in reefing has unfortunately cost me. My hammer rapidly deteriorated over a two day period. Upon inspection in the tank, a snail had somehow flipped over and died (it was a Trochus, which made it weirder). The dying snail probably caused a nutrient spike in the tank, and my phosphates went up to .26.
I changed 40% of the water, replaced my activated carbon, and have been emptying my protein skimmer regularily for the last week. Everything seems to have stabilized and the rest of the corals are doing great, but the nutrient spike has caused an algae bloom, and I believe bryopsis has begun to sprout from the frag plugs I had. I'm not too worried yet. I want to see if it's actually bryopsis and let the tank parameters stabilize a bit more before I attempt to use flucanazole or elevate my magnesium levels.
 
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Wasabiroot

Wasabiroot

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It's been a while since the last update, and there have been several changes!

I added a chunk of live rock and it's been a great decision. It brought a large population of copepods to my tank, and my bangaii and gramma seem to enjoy picking them off the glass. I also picked up several corals from the JF live sale a few weeks ago.
I had a bicolor blenny, but unfortunately he ended up being a coral nipper and shaved most of my favia down to the skeleton. He's now happily in my refugium and has taken up residence in a bio block hole.
 
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Speaking of your latest coral purchase...

  • It was a GREAT deal

    Votes: 101 36.3%
  • It was a good deal

    Votes: 90 32.4%
  • It was nether good nor bad

    Votes: 65 23.4%
  • It was a bad deal

    Votes: 17 6.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 1.8%
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