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  #1  
Old 03-29-2017, 12:11 PM
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Default Mike's New Tank (My Wife is Pissed)

Well I figured I'd start up a thread to document this new tank. I was into reefing in my teens and early 20's but got out of it when I moved for college. Ten years later and I'm getting back into it, although I'm realizing I forgot A LOT about the hobby plus all the new technology that has come along since I left. I've always had saltwater, started with a little 30 gal and ended up with a 55 for several years. I mostly just learned on the fly and that created a lot of problems, so with this tank I'm trying to take it slow and mitigate what I can (although that still isn't preventing some dumb mistakes and oversights). So without further delay, the new tank.....

The new tank is a 75 gal AGA display with a 30 gal sump underneath. I picked up the tank from a guy in Canada a couple years ago and finally got the itch to set it up in our new house. I bought his entire setup, although I've had to purchase some new items that I found out weren't working anymore. It's located in our basement so spills and temperature spikes hopefully will be kept at a minimum.

Tank Specs:

Tank: 75g display w/dual corner overflows, 30g sump (in wall)
Skimmer: Reef Octopus classic
Lighting: Coralife 250q AQI metal halide fixture
Media Reactor: setup for carbon
Media Reactor: setup for other filtration
Water Flow: 1 1250gph Koralia PH & Tunze wavemaker
2-250w heaters

Tank Inhabitants:

No fish yet
80 lbs live sand
20lbs dried live rock from an established aquarium


I'm going to start with FOWLR, although I suspect it'll become a reef eventually housing softies, so I'm going to be sticking with reef safe fish I believe. Probably a clown, a dwarf angel or two, a gobie or two to start. I need to hammer out a list but there's too much to do before I really get into that.

Current projects I'm working on is building a automatic top off system, which I should have finished this weekend. I'm going to use the gravity fed method, no electricity. Also just finished re-piping the overflow discharge pipes, as I was getting a ton of microbubbles in the display with how the skimmer is situated. I'm also going to build some sort of electrical board to organize all of the wiring and monitors. I'm planning on adding a bio pellet reactor possible in the future, as well automating the system as much as I can with an Apex controller eventually. For now that is about it. I just started cycling the tank a little less than 2 weeks ago (I opted to toss in the shrimp method) and I'm just checking parameters, trying to dial things in. I'll try to provide updates and pictures as this starts rolling along. If you guys have any comments or tips, I'm always willing to listen to seasoned reefers. Thanks everyone!
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  #2  
Old 03-30-2017, 05:33 AM
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Nice setup!

Just out of curiousity if your running a apex why are you choosing a gravity fed ato?

You can make a system for under $50 with the breakout box and pretty much failsafe.
  #3  
Old 03-30-2017, 08:02 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwabie33 View Post
Nice setup!

Just out of curiousity if your running a apex why are you choosing a gravity fed ato?

You can make a system for under $50 with the breakout box and pretty much failsafe.
I do not have an Apex running currently. Eventually I'd like to purchase one and automate my system, but until then I'm going with gravity feed. Also, I had everything laying around my basement to make one, just had to buy the float valve. I should have it up and running this weekend. I've noticed I'm losing a lot more water than I had initially thought to evaporation.
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-2017, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperband86 View Post
I do not have an Apex running currently. Eventually I'd like to purchase one and automate my system, but until then I'm going with gravity feed. Also, I had everything laying around my basement to make one, just had to buy the float valve. I should have it up and running this weekend. I've noticed I'm losing a lot more water than I had initially thought to evaporation.
Ah okay sorry I missed in the future. Aprox how much are you using? I run tops on my sump which seemed to help a lot.
  #5  
Old 03-30-2017, 08:35 AM
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Did you have any issues with the overflow setup? Typically with a herbie type setup you'll see one overflow and emergency drain
  #6  
Old 03-30-2017, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwabie33 View Post
Did you have any issues with the overflow setup? Typically with a herbie type setup you'll see one overflow and emergency drain
I agree, if you can change your setup to Herbie that would work really well. If you have a drain and return in each overflow box it's possible. You just change it so your two return lines becomes emergency drains, and you bring your new return line over the back.
  #7  
Old 03-30-2017, 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by McPuff View Post
I agree, if you can change your setup to Herbie that would work really well. If you have a drain and return in each overflow box it's possible. You just change it so your two return lines becomes emergency drains, and you bring your new return line over the back.
Exactly my thoughts.

You can redo the drain also to come up alittle higher in the tank just make sure your emergency is a tad higher then the drain, also fwiw I would put some ball valves in line with all 3, you will be happy you did when it comes to fine tuning it.

Also if it's a option at all, I would personally consider adding some overflow boxes, unfortunately with the way it's set up now there won't be much of surface skimming going on from my experience.

If you need any diagrams or help with anything feel free to ask!
  #8  
Old 03-31-2017, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by schwabie33 View Post
Exactly my thoughts.

You can redo the drain also to come up alittle higher in the tank just make sure your emergency is a tad higher then the drain, also fwiw I would put some ball valves in line with all 3, you will be happy you did when it comes to fine tuning it.

Also if it's a option at all, I would personally consider adding some overflow boxes, unfortunately with the way it's set up now there won't be much of surface skimming going on from my experience.

If you need any diagrams or help with anything feel free to ask!
Actually yes, if you have any diagrams that might help. I looked up info on the Herbie setup and all I really see is the drilled tank method coming out of the bottom of the tank for the standpipe and emergency. I obviously can't go that route. Is there another method to utilize the Herbie without any kind of drilling?

Also, it looks like with the Herbie, if I went that route I would have to tear out the overflows in the tank and use overflow boxes instead, and I really don't want to go that route either. Right now as a safety I calculated how much water would drain back into my sump should a pump/electrical failure occur and have marked off a max fill line so there will not be an overflow of water into the sump.
  #9  
Old 04-03-2017, 12:43 PM
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I finished the ATO this weekend. Pretty simple to setup. I have a 32gal reservoir plumbed with a 1/4" bulkhead and waterline to the Eshopps float valve in my sump. Everything seems to be working well so far, as I tested it with the float positioned all the way down. Took about 15-20 minutes to fill it back up and shut off. The only thing I wish I could do is connect it to my RODI unit. Unfortunately that is hooked up to my utility tub on the other side of the basement. I'm planning on putting in a bathroom near my tank in the next year or two, so once I plumb that in I will add in access to move the RO unit close and have a fully automated ATO system.
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  #10  
Old 04-07-2017, 07:20 AM
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Tank update

I ran some initial water tests last night and the results are promising. I threw the raw shrimp in the tank on 3/18 so it's had a little more than 2 weeks soak time in there. It's broken down quite a bit. Water parameters were as follow:

Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0-5ppm

I'm using the ATI test kit and unfortunately for the Nitrate testing, the color coding moves from either 0ppm to 5ppm, so I can't tell 100% what it is at. Needless to say I'm happy with the results. I'm picking up more live rock from a friend this weekend to continue aquascaping and add more biological filtration to the tank. So I anticipate in the next week or 2 I should be ready to add my 1st fish. I'm most likely going to start off with a clown due to their hardiness and slowly add fish over the coming months. I'm thinking about a Potter or Flame Angel additionally.
  #11  
Old 04-13-2017, 08:35 AM
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I'm going to be adding live rock from my buddies sump this weekend to my tank. He has a well established 180 gal that's been running for probably a decade. If I put them into my tank, would I see any spikes in Nitrate, Nitrite, Ammonia? I would assume it wouldn't cause any levels to spike but I want to be sure. I've been testing for about 1 week now and my parameters have not wavered too much:

pH: 8.0
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0

Any thoughts?
  #12  
Old 04-13-2017, 08:41 AM
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Keep the rocks submerged during transfer and you should see no ill effects.
  #13  
Old 04-13-2017, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Copperband86 View Post
...(My Wife is Pissed)...

If you guys have any comments or tips, I'm always willing to listen to seasoned reefers. Thanks everyone!
Tip number one, don't do that.

Tip number two, don't throw her under the bus when you do.


but since you did and did, what is it that has her bladder inflamed? the idea of the fish tank, or the money you spent?


one you can fix, one you cant.

good luck
  #14  
Old 04-13-2017, 01:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by on the spot View Post
Tip number one, don't do that.

Tip number two, don't throw her under the bus when you do.


but since you did and did, what is it that has her bladder inflamed? the idea of the fish tank, or the money you spent?


one you can fix, one you cant.

good luck
A bit of both. She looks at it as a pet that you can't play with. Plus yea, the cost lol. But to be fair, I've tried to mitigate cost and DIY a lot of things I normally would have probably purchased. I do find it amazing how she thinks they are cool when at an aquarium or something of that nature. Mine is just "that stupid fish tank in the basement." We will see once it's actually got some fish in it and established. She might change her tune.
  #15  
Old 04-14-2017, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by Copperband86 View Post
She might change her tune.
Thinking she will change her mind after you've spent more money.

rookie.
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aga, apex, clown, controller, coralife, corner, dual, fish, fowlr, gph, halide, koralia, live, live rock, metal, metal halide, octopus, reactor, rock, saltwater, setup, sump, tank, temperature, tunze


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