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WheatToast

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This loaf is about to set out on an adventure...

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I guess it's time for me to begin my first build thread. After suffering way too long with my previous (first) build (a temperate system with freshwater rocks and sand as well as a HOB filter that never left the diatom phase), I decided to start all over again, tear down the nightmare, and start a tropical tank. However, I will continue to use the same DT as before (an Aqueon 40-gallon Breeder), though with the addition of an Aqueon 20-gallon High as a sump. I always thought the vibrant colors and deep blue lighting of typical reef aquariums were a little overwhelming (just my opinion), so I have decided to build a macroalgae/seagrass garden with a DSB and Live rock (love the 'flowy' nature and plant-like appearance). Get it? Anti-Reef?

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UGHHH! BLASTED DIATOMS! (from original system)

Anyways, today, after many hours of preparation, I have finally commenced my second build's cycle!

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Tropic Eden DeepSea AragaSnow

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Nature's Ocean Aragonite Sand #0 (I think, it was just labeled as "#0")

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That Nature's Ocean sand (the gray band) is so dark

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The impenetrable fog (I didn't wash the sand enough)

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The sump... it's pretty empty right now

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Back of the DT (Lifereef Standard Prefilter Box and CPR Return Jet)

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So long, shrimp!

Here is a (basically complete) list of products I have used on this build as of 8/14/2021:

Aqueon 40-gallon Breeder
Accompanying stand from the LFS
Aqueon 20-gallon High
jax.racks REFUGIUM KIT for 24"x12"x16" 20 GAL high aquarium
Mr. Aqua 36" x 18" Placement Mat

Innovative Marine DIY Self Leveling Mat (24" x 24")
Red Sea Salt (Not Coral Pro)
API Stress Coat
Bio-Spira
Aqueon Aquarium Silicone Sealant
Nature's Ocean Aragonite Sand #0 (10 pound)
Tropic Eden DeepSea AragaSnow (30 pound)
Carib Sea South Sea Base Rock (10 pound) (No, I'm not using it for my aquascape)
Finnex Planted+ 24/7
Jebao RW-8
Lifereef Standard Prefilter Box
Lifereef Prefilter Silencer
Eshopps 3 Foot X 1 Inch Id Flex Hose
Eshopps 4 Foot X 1 Inch Id Flex Hose (Cut in half)

Bulk Reef Supply Schedule 80 Union Thread x Thread 1"
Oatey Cement and 4-Ounce Purple Primer Handy Pack
Aquarium Filter Pad Aquatic Experts Store (Being used to physically support the HOB equipment)
South Ocean Five Nylon Filter Bag
MarinePure 1.5-Inch Sphere
Eheim Jager Thermostat Heater (100 watts)
Eheim Jager Thermostat Heater (50 watts)
Zacro LCD Digital Aquarium Thermometer
VarioS-4 DC Pump
Spears 474 1"Barbed x 1" Socket
Kuri-Tec Ratchet Clamp 1"
Kuri-Tec Black Vinyl
CPR Return Jet
API Saltwater Aquarium Master Test Kit
Agriculture Solutions Store Salinity Refractometer
Fluval Sea Hydrometer
Python Siphon
Ace 5 Gallon Bucket
Cheap Amazon Powerheads (for saltwater mixing)
A Plastic Bin
And... of course...

Waterfront BISTRO Jumbo Raw Shrimp

Stay tuned for updates and please give livestock suggestions! Thanks for reading!
 
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reddevilant

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Excited to see how your macro tank develops! I know its only been a couple days but how are you liking the HOB overflow? I've been think about connecting a 30 gal to my 90 gal macro DT to act as a grow out tank. I wanted to connect the two so that they'd be on a opposite light schedule to keep the pH stable. But, I am soooo inexperienced with anything remotely related to plumbing and I'm so scared of coming home to a flooded house.
 
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WheatToast

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Excited to see how your macro tank develops! I know its only been a couple days but how are you liking the HOB overflow? I've been think about connecting a 30 gal to my 90 gal macro DT to act as a grow out tank. I wanted to connect the two so that they'd be on a opposite light schedule to keep the pH stable. But, I am soooo inexperienced with anything remotely related to plumbing and I'm so scared of coming home to a flooded house.
Hello again! The Lifereef Overflow has been working very well for me! There has been no loss of siphon, nor has it clogged so far. However, because I have placed the Jebao RW-8 right in front of it, the flow of water into the inner box is constantly changing, generating some noise (it is not too bothersome, however). I’ll probably look into some modifications I could make to reduce noise or move the wavemaker though. As for plumbing, I probably did not do the best job with gluing the Eshopps hoses, but they have remained leak free so far. Just have two people around for the job, wear goggles and gloves, and watch BRS’s videos on plumbing ( and ). It’s much easier than it sounds :).

Also, I am curious to know if you have reached out to Gulf Specimen Marine Lab yet about the macroalgae.
 

reddevilant

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Hello again! The Lifereef Overflow has been working very well for me! There has been no loss of siphon, nor has it clogged so far. However, because I have placed the Jebao RW-8 right in front of it, the flow of water into the inner box is constantly changing, generating some noise (it is not too bothersome, however). I’ll probably look into some modifications I could make to reduce noise or move the wavemaker though. As for plumbing, I probably did not do the best job with gluing the Eshopps hoses, but they have remained leak free so far. Just have two people around for the job, wear goggles and gloves, and watch BRS’s videos on plumbing ( and ). It’s much easier than it sounds :).

Also, I am curious to know if you have reached out to Gulf Specimen Marine Lab yet about the macroalgae.
Awesome! Thanks for the videos. I haven't yet, meant to send email last week but I've been busy with work and it slipped my mind. I'll try contacting them tomorrow and let ya know!
 
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WheatToast

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I just added 15 pounds of Gulf Live Sand from Gulf Live Rock. I must say, this is the highest quality live sand I have ever laid my eyes upon!

8B199905-6AC6-49C6-9EF8-608E016E2E4B.jpeg

The “puck”

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In the aquarium

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There were quite a few gravel pieces and shell fragments (which I don’t mind)


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Side view (note the oolitic, orb-like grains) (upper half of sand bed is live sand while the old sand is present in the lower half)

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Dead crabs


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Red grape algae

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Brittle star


I was absolutely blown away by the incredible amount of biodiversity I received! However, there was quite a bit of die-off, so I added some MicroBacter7.
 
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