Eventually getting started!

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Hi fellow reefers!
After lurking and researching for the better part of 10 years on this and many other forums, I am eventually getting started. I was introduced to marines about 10 years ago by DragonReef here on MASA, and learnt alot from him when we setup a 2m reef tank at the office.
My Nano reef with be largely DIY and will take a lot of time to actually get going! So far I have built the stand and built the tank (400mmX400mmX400mm cube).
At the moment I am busy finalising the design of my DIY LED unit, which is based on the Radion XR15Pro Gen 4. looking forward to the adventure!
 
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Thanks SFlow, I am sure it will be filled with "learning opportunities", that may test my patience! But I'm certain I will get great advice here that will help alot!
 
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After reading @brentch 's Nano thread I have decided to scrap the DIY LED build and just get a Zetlight, that Nano is just spectacular!
 
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After reading @brentch 's Nano thread I have decided to scrap the DIY LED build and just get a Zetlight, that Nano is just spectacular!
Hi @Peter12! Thanks for the kind words. If I may have my 2c worth though... I think the process of reef keeping is deeply personal, and the reason there is so much success using different methods is because of each person's unique abilities. I think this process needs to be enjoyable and stimulating. If making your own LED makes you happy, then I would say go for it. I have a severe lack of electronic DIY skill, so I went with a plug and play option. I chose the ZE1201 because I am poor. If I had the money I would have maybe gone with a better light at the time, and if I had the skill like you, I think I would have done a DIY option. So don't let me change your ideas. Make the journey your own, you'll enjoy it more and probably have far better success...

I designed my tank around the ZE1201wifi light out of necessity. It was the only light I could afford at that time. The dimensions of the tank ensured that I got the highest PAR rating per unit volume of the tank. Just be careful if you choose to go with a bigger tank or use different dimensions. I think my lighting is just about maxed out in terms of what it can do for my SPS and the BTA. I am also running my midday hours for longer and with more reds and yellows etc, to try to get a higher PAR. A better light would be able to run the "sexier" colours with less of the "warmer" algae promoting colour while achieving the same PAR.

Having said the above I am currently looking to upgrade my light, due to four reasons...
1. The PAR issue mentioned above. I should get better growth, and have healthier coral.
2. I have far too much shadowing. My light does not do this well and the colour blending is poor.
3. I need another light for a second set up I am planning. I can use the ZE1201 on the frag/mangrove setup.
4. I am hoping that with better PAR, I can get better colouring out of my coral.

I know you didn't ask for my advice, apologies. I hope this post doesn't come across as pretentious.
 
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Thanks @brentch I take all input and advice with open arms! Its sounds a little bit like the Zetlight has become a limiting factor in your setup? I have already built my tank and stand, so those dims won't be changing at all, in fact the tank is very similar to yours, 400x400x400 with acrylic back and 3 compartments for filtration etc... The LED project is something that I have been researching and planning planning for a long time (more than 3 years) and will basically be a less glamorous clone of the XR15G4Pro...Costs more than the Zetlight to build though.
 
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Thanks @brentch I take all input and advice with open arms! Its sounds a little bit like the Zetlight has become a limiting factor in your setup? I have already built my tank and stand, so those dims won't be changing at all, in fact the tank is very similar to yours, 400x400x400 with acrylic back and 3 compartments for filtration etc... The LED project is something that I have been researching and planning planning for a long time (more than 3 years) and will basically be a less glamorous clone of the XR15G4Pro...Costs more than the Zetlight to build though.
Yes, I think the 1201 is starting to be a limiting factor. The corals are growing and seem to be happy, but I just think I could be getting better colouration, spread, and less shading (dark spots).
Currently, I am thinking that maybe the UFO would be a better option in our case? I am looking at either the AI prime HD, or the UFO8600... They both look like they might solve the current issues...
 
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Yeah, UFO is a nice light. but I feel that for the price you can get a lot more by DIY'ing it. AFAIK the UFO doesnt have anything in the UV or Violet spectrum... and the mixing is also a bit weird, with cool white being the predominant colour instead of the blue tones... but then again I'm definately no Expert! And the unit itself sure does look sleek!
Think I will just continue down the DIY rabbit hole and see where I finnish up!
 
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Any suggestions on Subrate? Was looking at the Seachem meridian, seems like a cost effective option?
 

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That is a nice substrate to use. You have a few options available to you, I suppose ultimately it is budget that defines the type of substrate used. Some people use playsand but that requires a lot elbow grease, lol.
 
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That is a nice substrate to use. You have a few options available to you, I suppose ultimately it is budget that defines the type of substrate used. Some people use playsand but that requires a lot elbow grease, lol.
Playsand in a saltwater tank?? Haven't heard that before. Differently cost effective though
 
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That is a nice substrate to use. You have a few options available to you, I suppose ultimately it is budget that defines the type of substrate used. Some people use playsand but that requires a lot elbow grease, lol.
Didn't know that was an option.... But I think I'll stick to purpose made stuff.
 
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Can you use Oasis Ro3 water to make saltwater? And for fresh water topups...

Or anything else? Or do I HAVE to get an RO unit?
 
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And is the standard Red Sea Salt ok? The others are quite pricy, like coral pro...
 
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Well, I'm almost done designing the PCB for my DIY LED unit, I think I will start a new thread for that build. It's definately the most detailed board I have designed, and will probably be problematic to etch... But hey, I'm gonna try anyway!

23 leds, same wavelengths and wattages as XR15G4 pro... Unfortunately only 5 channels (I am steeling PWM signals from a TC-420), so I have to double up on some channels.

Ch1- Royal Blue 4x5w
Ch2- Cool white 4x5w
Ch3- UV 4x3w & Violet 2x3w
Ch4- Blue 4x5w
Ch5- Deep red 2x3w, Green 2x3w & warm white 1x5wView attachment 211466
 
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Can you use Oasis Ro3 water to make saltwater? And for fresh water topups...

Or anything else? Or do I HAVE to get an RO unit?
I may be mistaken, but RO drinking water is not deionized. If it does go through a deionizer they would have to remineralize the water to be safe to drink. Ask them if they do that. If so tell them to divert to the water so it doesn't go through the ionizing block.
 
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Well, I'm almost done designing the PCB for my DIY LED unit, I think I will start a new thread for that build. It's definately the most detailed board I have designed, and will probably be problematic to etch... But hey, I'm gonna try anyway!

23 leds, same wavelengths and wattages as XR15G4 pro... Unfortunately only 5 channels (I am steeling PWM signals from a TC-420), so I have to double up on some channels.

Ch1- Royal Blue 4x5w
Ch2- Cool white 4x5w
Ch3- UV 4x3w & Violet 2x3w
Ch4- Blue 4x5w
Ch5- Deep red 2x3w, Green 2x3w & warm white 1x5wView attachment 211466
Yeeeeoh, that is awesome!
 
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Didn't know that was an option.... But I think I'll stick to purpose made stuff.
Agree. Play sand is full of silicates. It does leach and can fuel diatom growth (diatom make their tests out of silica), and silica is taken up readily by your phosphate removers, so you will end up spending GFO on taking up silicate. Aragonite buffers the water and only (generally) leaches things that corals grow on. Plus it looks faaaar better IMO.
 
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Imo just get a ro unit. It will save you many headaches. I use to buy water from petshops. Until one day I took white buckets with me. Was the last time I supported them. Quickly got myself a ro unit. Now I know exactly what I get.
 
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