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  #1  
Old 10-21-2016, 09:30 AM
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Default McPuff's new 300DD

HI everyone! I'm finally making a post for the tank transfer I've been mentioning for the past 3 months +. Well, it has finally happened. I have had a 120 in-wall for the past 3.5 years and it was doing quite well. Had it pretty well packed with SPS colonies but had the opportunity to move into a 300DD which is quite literally the biggest tank I could possibly fit down my basement stairs.

The whole preparation took about 3 months from start to finish and here's what had to be done:

-Sold off the majority of my SPS colonies to help finance the new build
-5 hour round trip drive to pick up the tank and equipment
-2 weeks out of country for work almost right after this... slowed the whole process!
-Had to clean and prep all the equipment
-Hired a moving company to help me get the 520# tank into the basement... that was not an easy move on a hot day!
-Re-built the stand as it had to be cut in half upon purchase... no way to get it out of the existing house... and no other way to get it into my basement.
-Bleach and acid bath old live rock
-Build new rock scape with aforementioned rock using e-Marco 400... Had to envision how to incorporate my existing live rock into the structure at the same time. This was not an easy task!
-Cleaned the tank, painted the background
-leveled the stand, shimmed the tank
-fill test with tap water
-fill tank with RO/DI water; took 3 days ( ~200 gal) and added 1 box of RC salt
-Made a sand rinsing tool, rinsed 120# of special grade sand; added to the tank using a special "sand-addition tool" (i.e., PVC pipe with a funnel) to minimize the dust storm... still happened but I know it was not as bad as it could have been.
-Turned on circulation pumps (PP-20 x 2), added titanium 800W heater and linked to Apex (tank NOT yet connected to sump)
-siphoned a few gallons of nasty water and a few # of sand from the 120 and dumped into the 300 to establish the bacterial community. Added a couple small live rocks with mushrooms. Also took the marine pure block (8x8x4) out of existing sump and placed into 300 gal. Left the tank like this for a week.
-plumbed the tank through a wall to utilize the existing sump and equipment already in use for the 120; used 1.5" for the twin drains, running as Herbie. Built a 1.5" manifold (4 ports) and have 1" return line going back through wall to the far side of the tank.

At this point I created a video to explain what needed to be done and where I was in that progress... I also used it as an Intro to my new YouTube channel, "McPuff's Laboratory." :0)


The actual tank transfer:
-Tested the water in each tank (salinity, alk, ca, mg) to ensure the parameters were equal (or close enough) the day before transfer. Didn't actually have to tweak any parameters!
-pumped about 70 gal of water from the 120 directly into the 300 to fill it remaining amount
-Moved live rock out of 120 and into 300, trying to remember where I had envisioned them. A bit nerve-racking but kind of fun. Brought out the scape I had in my mind which was nice to actually see in reality. Corals were placed wherever they could go and not yet mounted (unless they were already attached to rocks).
-Captured the fish as I was unable... of course, the solar wrasse hitch-hiked in a rock and ended up flopping around on a rubbermaid lid a bit before I could throw it into the 300. It is totally fine!
-Captured and transferred the remaining fish with very little stress. All fish made the transition very well. I gave them lights-out for about 36 hours and they were all out and about before I even added the daylights again... I did, however, have moon lights ON for day 2.

In this video I explain more about the transfer process and how it went... also show you how the new system looks.


The aftermath of the livestock transfer:
The transfer of livestock was the easy part in this whole process. At this point I'm only about 2 hours in and everybody is settling in to their new home. Now I needed to do the following:
-completely empty the 120 of water and sand
-Remove the bulkheads and plumbing... yes, this was a total pain!
-Get a buddy to help me remove the 120 from the stand and out of the fish/utility room
-Complete the plumbing for the return line (drains were pretty much done already) and manifold; this took a lot longer than I had anticipated!
-hang the Onyx fixtures in the canopy frame on the 300
-Remove macro-algae from the sump and place into remove fuge, which now sits where the 120 sat (40 gal "Tuff Stuff" tub)
-Plumb the new fuge and hang the grow light
-Plumb the calcium reactor (DIY - repurposed a GFO reactor and a Knop C reactor)
-plumb the GFO reactor (not shown in video)
-FIX THE HOLE IN THE DRYWALL... I mention this in the video... it is NOW complete but not shown as such. This was an adventure that I am not totally happy with... I'll have to do some touch-ups.
-re-mount a few corals and rocks... Not yet posted to video but I will do another update when I feel it is "complete." Will be soon.

This final video shows the support system for the 300 and provides a bit of explanation.


So that's my big update for now. I'll try to post regular updates on the system progress. One of my biggest motivators for going with a larger tank is that I can now get some tangs and angels which I have missed for a few years. My current fish stock list came entirely from the 120 and is as follows:

-foxface lo
-scopas tang
-pink spot watchman goby (about 10-12 years old)
-pink spot Caribbean hawkfish
-pajama cardinal x2
-solarensis wrasse
-rudy head wrasse (aka blue-side wrasse)
-female Carpenter wrasse
-chromis (just 1!)
-Talbott's damsel
-melanurus wrasse

That's a pretty light fish list for a 300 though they do all seem quite happy to have the added space! :0) That said, I plan to add the following fish:

-Achilles tang
-chocolate/mimic tang (A. pyroferus)
-blonde naso tang
-Lieutenant tang -----The tangs (~3" each) will be quarantined together and added at the same time. Hoping I don't have to use acclimation box to minimize any aggression I would see from the scopas (it is not very big)...

After a few months I would also like to add:

-Blueface angel
-Annularis angel
-fireball or flameback angel ----- the angels will be small juveniles, allowing them to grow into their habitat and I'll just hope for the best with respect to the corals. As you can see in the videos, my goal is to have few colonies that get huge. They should therefore be able to handle some picking here and there.

Eventually I may also add a humu trigger (R. aculeatus) as this is probably my all-time favorite fish. It will live in the fuge at first and will likely be the final addition to the display.

Ok, that is officially the longest post I have ever made... and probably ever will. If you got through it all, congratulations!! :0)
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  #2  
Old 10-21-2016, 10:21 AM
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Nice new tank and video "McPuff's Laboratory"
  #3  
Old 10-21-2016, 12:55 PM
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You know my feelings dude, but I'll say it.. Excellent write up, and I look forward to future lab videos! And congrats on the new "big boy"system!

From note 5.. rip note 7
 
  #4  
Old 10-21-2016, 05:05 PM
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It looks like its coming across nicely. Very nice.
  #5  
Old 10-21-2016, 05:42 PM
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Very nice upgrade.
  #6  
Old 10-22-2016, 08:09 AM
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Very nice, I'm jealous. You mentioned a "marine pure block", what is this and what is it's proper name? I take that it helps with nutrient control, I'm interested in how it may help my reef. Can you give me input? thanks
  #7  
Old 10-22-2016, 09:15 AM
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Lol your display tank is over 8x the size of mine. Looks awesome dude, excellent write up and videos. I look forward to seeing more of this beast!


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  #8  
Old 10-22-2016, 10:28 AM
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Awesome tank and dimensions.
  #9  
Old 10-24-2016, 01:13 PM
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Nice upgrade man!
  #10  
Old 11-02-2016, 10:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dbp View Post
Very nice, I'm jealous. You mentioned a "marine pure block", what is this and what is it's proper name? I take that it helps with nutrient control, I'm interested in how it may help my reef. Can you give me input? thanks
Hi, it's basically just a block or super porous media that will house a lot of beneficial bacteria to help with denitrification. So far I have found it to work VERY well in my previous 120 and now it seems to be doing it's thing in the 300... though nutrients are likely quite low in there anyway. I only clean the glass less than once per week. The chaeto and dragon's breath do help with algae growth though. The blocks basically replace a large amount of liverock in their function. At this point, I highly recommend these for any reef keeper.

Hoping to add a new video update tonight... but there is one more change I want to make first.
  #11  
Old 11-09-2016, 12:16 PM
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Ok, I finally got the time to make a few changes I thought would improve the look of the tank (to me anyway). Take a look at my new video where I go through those changes and provide a few updates. It's coming around!

  #12  
Old 11-09-2016, 11:30 PM
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Really like the new scape


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  #13  
Old 11-10-2016, 07:53 AM
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Very nice. Maybe someday.......
  #14  
Old 11-10-2016, 08:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drs2140 View Post
Really like the new scape


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Thanks! There are still a few changes to make... add some putty to secure some of the rocks. Mount a few more corals in place. I may actually remove another rock or two though it won't be noticeable from the front. And I've got some new fish on the way tomorrow. They'll be TTM and quarantined appropriately so don't worry!! :0) But I'm excited to get these guys!!
  #15  
Old 11-10-2016, 12:51 PM
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Aquascapping looks great!
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algae, apex, blue, calcium reactor, clean, fish, foxface, fuge, heater, huge, lights, live, livestock, macro, pvc, reactor, reef, return, sand, stand, sump, tank, trigger, video, youtube


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