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Neil H

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Hi Guys….

After months of surfing this site and gathering vast amounts of invaluable information from all the guru’s out there I thought I would share my experiences with all…. Hopefully some good suggestions will come out of this and in addition it may help someone who is starting out….. so here goes.:thumbup:

The tank is 120L x 60W X75H ….. made in 10mm glass with a double base. I bought the tank 2nd hand but never used. It is an awesome tank but thank goodness I am a tall bugger, cause that depth is maar difficult to work in at the best of times…

The stand I had built out of 50mm square steel tubing, which some may argue is an overkill… but I didn’t feel like facing the missus if something were to go wrong and the house was flooded ….

The tank had a 32mm hole drilled in the back left bottom corner, but had no overflow box, so after much searching I managed to locate some 10mm glass sheets to construct the overflow box out of.

And here is where the DIY started.

The cabinet I built around the tank out of pine, took me ages with the limited tools at my disposal, but in the end came out not too bad at all! Once the cabinet was made and stand and tank were in their final positions, I begun work on the plumbing etc.

For the sump I used a standard 3ft tank and siliconed in the dividers myself. The first chamber houses my reeftek TS2, then there is a bubble trap, then my DSB and finally the return chamber. I battled for ages to get the TS2 to skim properly, the problem turned out to be the fluctuating water level in the sump, when I measured it, I realized I was loosing in the order of 8L of water a day …… The admin of filling up the sump with RO water daily irritated me, so I decided to build myself an Auto top up unit….. armed with a small pump a float switch and a 10L container I went into some R&D …… once the proto type was working I built a long thin tank (115cm x 12cm x 42cm) which now sits behind the sump and acts as a RO reservoir holding about 45L Other goodies housed in the sump compartment include a digital thermometer and a water level alarm. There is a light in the sump area which should help with the Chaeto growth when I can source some chaeto. This light is on a timer in opposite sequence to the main display’s lighting (both run for bout 12 hours a day ! )


The canopy also provided its fair share of fun and games ….. the wiring of the T5’s proved troublesome….. including being shocked several times, much to my ladies horror and humor …..:whistling: The canopy appears to be a closed one from the outside, the height of the tank hides its open top design. The canopy houses 4 T5’s, (3 white and 1 blue) and there is space to put in 2 x metal halides when finance and SPS dictate that this is required.

The display tank itself….

As a substarte I used reggies playsand, washed at least 20 times, it came out really white. I have about 60KG of base rock…. This rock came from an old system, and although nothing close to live rock, it was able to help start the system with a lot of bacteria. In terms of live rock I have about 6KG of Kenyan, and about 15KG of mixed Fiji and Malaysian with some Indo on its way hopefully. My philosophy here is to buy little pieces as and when it is available in order to have as much diversity in the tank as possible.

Once the tank had cycled …. 4 to 6 weeks I started adding various inmates…. Some leathers, tube worms and a hermit were the first lads in. over the last week I have added a few fish including a Foxface, a coral beauty, I also added couple of softies, a pincushion and a type of Kenyan tree although the exact type eludes me at the moment !

In terms of current problems, I have had a bit of a problem with cyno bacteria in the last 2 weeks or so, after much research I put this down to two possible causes, lack of oxygen or lack of flow. I was running an M530 and an M820 seio, after reading up on flow, it became apparent that this was insufficient, and I upgraded to an M1500 which now give me in the order of 35X water turnover in the display tank (with the M1500 and M820 together) I then took the 530 and added a venture to it and put it in the sump, in the hope that this would increase the oxygen content of the water column. Over the last 2 days running the new seio system, I have noticed a drastic decrease in the cyno growth, so it seems to be working.

The other problem at this stage is my pincushion, in the beginning polop extention was not an issue, but for the last 10 days or so, there has only been PE on about 20% of the pincushions surface…. I live in hope that the new flow regime and reduction of cyno will help it recover !

and here are some pics.... :)

91148b67b2bd8746.jpg


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Nice Going :thumbup:

Your only a true reefer once you have been shocked a few times ;)
I've learnt to always wear thick soled shoes when working on my tank...
 

lindsay pollard

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Howzit Niel ive just baught myself a Rolux Magnum v8 (lawnmower blennie ) and he is doing a wonderful job with the algae in my tank,get one its well worth it and thy are cheap:biggrin:
 

Neil H

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thanks for the info Lindsay, been thinking about getting one for a while !
 
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Looking good, one suggestion, get the rock off the glass. It impedes flow and can cause other problems as your reef gets heavier ;)
 

Neil H

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thanks for the compliments guys ....

I managed to get a few nice zoo's over the weekend, will update with pics soon !

Midasblenny, thanks mate i will call you and make a plan !
 

Neil H

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an update,

the increased flow has done wonders for the cyno, and it's growth has been severly reduced..... not quite gone yet, but i dont think it will be long until it is all gone, here is holding thumbs.

I got a whole bunch of Zoo's over the weekend and will post pics hopefully in the next day or so !
 

leslie hempel

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looking good dude...
 

Neil H

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My new and hopefully vastly improved aquascaping .... No rock leaning on any of the glass......what you guys think?

91148cfe318e29db.jpg
 

Neil H

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when i remove those covers, the blue propeller is exposed, is this ok???
 
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