Dildafex's glass box

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Thought it was time to share my experience with you guys. I've been in the fish keeping hobby for around 26 years, mainly bathwater and more specifically cichlids. At a time I had around 15 tanks spread around my parents house. When I moved out and got married my goal was to have two monster biotope tanks and one medium mixed reef tank. I setup a 1000l south american tank which was my pride and joy, along with a 250l african setup and 250l fowlr tank. After cracks, leaks and many floods my wife decided to put her foot down and subdued my obsession to one tank. Since I had spent the most time and resources on my saltwater, that's the one I decided to stick with.

I'm a diy fanatic and I always try something once before I get the pros to do it. That being said I learnt a lot with my first tank, the do's and dont's. The tank was not drilled so I built one of those pvc overflow jobs I eventually called Satan's suck hole. I still cry sometimes at night with the number of chromis I lost to that thing. I topped off with tap water, so always struggled with algae, nitrates and phos. Eventually we planned on building a new house and with that came plans for a new tank. I promised myself I would do my best at creating the coolest environment for my critters creatures and minions.

So onto the setup. It's a standard shop bought 250l. Drilled it myself with a 40mm overflow that branches out to two sumps. Main sump is a 100l tank, sock, Skimmer curve 5, to live rock from the previous tank with heater, sediment sponge in the last baffle, then return and ato (which is diy from a 10l drum gravity fed to a toilet valve). Second sump is media first (carbon, purigen, sponges) to a planned refugium. Last compartment is a hospital/quarintine setup. My return goes up into a diy return box, built out of odds and ends at home. A square pvc gutter with end caps, drilled two holes and attached old cannister filter elbow valves on, can move them around to where I want flow. My display has diy built rock (Portland, agronite, calcium carbonate, pool filter sand, rock salt, sea salt, crushed shells), I really enjoyed doing this and I think it came out looking great. My old lights were diy leds but moved over to two zetlight za1201l. I have a dual t5 unit but hanging it looks a bit unsightly so I'm sticking with the zetlights so long.
Live stock includes some hermits, some shrimps, my two clowns, fire goby, a Sgt major (who I've had for 3 years with no issues so far) and as of this weekend somehow got two tiny fish that hitchiked on a water change. Also added my first coral, sold as a hammer but I'm pretty sure it's a frogspawn. My plan is to gradually add some more livestock and lps, it will be strickly lps coral for now while I gain more experience. And also to get the refugium going by the end of the month. Sorry for the long winded intro, but man I love a good backstory.

Old tank and build pics
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I can’t believe the difference between the first pic and the last one! Very impressive!
 

RiaanP

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Last picture looks good. :thumbup1:

Access to the middle tank is a bit awkward. But that is a great use of normally unused space.

A wooden stand is not something we see around here often. Were are you based if I may ask?
 
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Thanks guys.

I went wooden because I can add and adjust as needed. I waterproofed it quite well but only time will tell if it handles.

Based in East London.
 
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So evaporation has taken its toll. Normally I would go through 10 liters of RO every 2 weeks, but we looking at 5 days now. So I decided to replace my mesh cover with optical glass we get at work. As my local what'sapp group pointed out, salt creep would be a problem, but I tend to keep good husbandry on my tank, so I've been cleaning the sheets every evening when I feed. Looks like it's helped a lot, still got over 5 liters from Sunday. Refugium is still empty, can't source cheato yet.
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Nice build dude, got some great DIY skills there! You can pop passed me any time, have loads of chaeto for you!
 

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