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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I'm currently in the process of putting together a 40 gallon breeder reef. I've been building the stand and amassing equipment. I'm going totally old school on this tank. Under gravel filter with a 250gph power head on the uplift tube. I'm also adding a 528 jvp wave maker power head for circulation. I have a 200w heater and I'll be adding an inkbird heater controller at some point. I'm going to use 40lbs of dry crushed coral and 40lbs of dry rock.I plan to seed the tank with 10lbs of live sand from Tropicorium and a nice chunk of Coraline covered live rock. Some pics of my stand and doors thus far. (excuse the messy garage, it's winter).
 

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...I'm going totally old school on this tank. Under gravel filter with a 250gph power head on the uplift tube. I'm also adding a 528 jvp wave maker power head for circulation. I have a 200w heater and I'll be adding an inkbird heater controller at some point. I'm going to use 40lbs of dry crushed coral and 40lbs of dry rock...
Old skool and prop pump do not go together! :nono:

:)

that bit of nonsense out of the way I gots to know "why"? because you can sure, but why? sand and a sea turd is old enough skool. IMO

stand looks good - nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There are newer and more efficient alternatives to filtration, of course. I don't like a lot of tank equipment. Sumps tend to be noisy and can flood, not to mention the added maintenance and cost associated with setting one up. I've talked to many experts in the reefing business and the general consensus is that one could spend a small fortune to run a reefing tank or one could spend next to nothing and be just as successful. So this is a bit of an experiment. I'll have a bit of maintenance with gravel vacuuming and water changes. But I don't think it will be any more maintence than anyone else. I'll keep you all posted. I just finished painting the tank stand this morning and the Rock and substrate I ordered should be in soon. Just Rock, sand, and water to be added the comes the fun part of waiting for the cycle to end.
 

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There are newer and more efficient alternatives...
technically omitting the under gravel and using sand is older skool than the filter plate. millennia of success.

I've talked to many experts in the reefing business and the general consensus is that one could spend a small fortune to run a reefing tank or one could spend next to nothing and be just as successful...
I think your "experts" are in a vacuum and silly.
 

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There are newer and more efficient alternatives to filtration, of course. I don't like a lot of tank equipment. Sumps tend to be noisy and can flood, not to mention the added maintenance and cost associated with setting one up. I've talked to many experts in the reefing business and the general consensus is that one could spend a small fortune to run a reefing tank or one could spend next to nothing and be just as successful. So this is a bit of an experiment. I'll have a bit of maintenance with gravel vacuuming and water changes. But I don't think it will be any more maintence than anyone else. I'll keep you all posted. I just finished painting the tank stand this morning and the Rock and substrate I ordered should be in soon. Just Rock, sand, and water to be added the comes the fun part of waiting for the cycle to end.
This method will work for you but I don't think you'll need gravel vacuuming. I used this method on a reef tank and it worked fine.

Check this link out and scroll down to the "Jaubert" method.

Reef Filtration Methods, Marine Aquariums and Coral Reef Aquarium Tank, Stand, Canopy, and Aquarium Filter System

Dennis
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the feedback everyone. Here's a pic of the completed stand. I ended up using a yoga mat I doubled up and cut to size for the mat under the aquarium. considering doing a YouTube series on the whole process of setting the reef up and weekly updates as to how things are going. Thanks all!
 

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Just keep in mind that there are reasons people don't use undergravel filters. They tend to clog and become nitrate factories. I also think the tubes, heaters, skimmers etc. in the tank are a distraction, whereas a reef-ready tank hides nearly all of the equipment. My sump was pretty quiet too, I disagree with the fact that they are noisy. Also, if set up properly, the cannot flood. The intake tube has to be below water to drain, so they can only drain an inch or so of water, and sumps are designed to allow that much water to drain into the sump. If the sump floods its because of poor design.

And really, if you're going old skool a wavemaker is hardly old school. But hey, there are youtube videos of people's tanks full of algae that claim you never need to do a water change too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Feeling kind of bad.. All (with the exception of the tank) of the equipment I've purchased including the rock and sand have been online. I want to support the LFS in the area but **** if they aren't way more expensive. I'm comparing the exact same things, not just similar products. I guess I'll spend more money with them once I get to stocking the tank. Just a thought I wanted to share.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
And so it begins! Got the substrate, rock, and water in. Everything is running fine. Took an entire day for the cloudiness to settle. Doing a fishless cycle. Added only 2lbs of actual live rock and added pure ammonia until I got a reading of 2ppm. Now I sit and wait. My initial water tests were as follows:
Ammonia: 0 (before I added ammonia)
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate:0
pH: 8 (hopeing this comes up a little)
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Yes it is a crushed coral substrate. I'm looking at softies and lps, maybe a Max of five fish plus a decent clean up crew. Seems like the cycle is moving along well (I think). My ammonia was 2ppm for two days and my nitrite was around .5ppm. I redosed ammonia yesterday because it dropped. Nitrite went up to about 2ppm and Nitrates are now 40ppm. Hopefully they will start dropping soon. I won't add any more ammonia. I'm not sure if I should do a water change yet or how high I should let the Nitrate go. Thanks
 

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Don't do a water change for a few weeks. If you do, it'll defeat the purpose of the cycle, which is to build the bacteria colonies that will eventually fuel the nitrogen cycle. When you start seeing those numbers drop you'll know the colonies are getting established.
 
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