Lemar & Kevin's tank of joy,excitement,frustrations, and in the end hoping...success

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So I’ve decided to drop my laziness, and start a proper thread on our tank. It all started out as a dream of one day maybe investing in a marine tank (I’ve kept tropical and fresh water fish for approximately 8 years)

So about 6 months ago I walked into a LFS and my eye caught their marine DT at the entrance. I was awestruck, and just couldn’t get away. I stood there for 3 hours, and couldn’t move. I was right there and then that I decided the time was right. I went home and for 3 weeks of persuasion, manipulation and sweet talk I convinced my husband (Kevin) that I NEEDED and wanted a marine tank. And so our quest started…….

We realized that it was going to be a challenge and that’s when I started surfing the net and stumbled upon MASA. I’m now so addicted to MASA, it’s my homepage and spent at least a few hours a day reading through the threads.

Main Display Tank

We got the tank custom build by a glass shop in Lichtenburg. (at this stage my knowledge was still very limited). One of our first mistakes was not to drill a hole for the outlet pipes. So after a few nights of racking our brains, we siliconed a piece of glass in the corner to act as the "overflow". Our idea was to use a pump to get the water from the display tank to the sump.... We could not think of anything else, and I was still to shy to ask the question on MASA. (To date it is still working, but I have since bought an overflow box, just still need to install it)

Main display dimensions: 1600mm (L) X450mm (W) X700mm (H) = 500 liters
We used 10mm glass

The tank was delivered on a Friday, and I could not contain my excitement. We had friends over for a braai, so filling her up was postponed until Saturday morning. And so we did…..


All filled up, we relaxed with our drinks for the rugby game… and the next moment a waterfall…..The silicon could not hold the pressure (the glass shop forgot the metal strip at the bottom of the tank – and with our excitement we missed it too)

500 liters of water was all over our wooden floors in 2 minutes (luckily the insurance paid out for the floors and the glass didn’t crack) So back to the glass shop it was again.

MISHAP # 1!! :(




 
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1) Filling up...

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2) Top of overflow (glass corner)
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Bottom of overflow (pump)
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SUMP DESIGN

Kevin started drawing pictures on how he thinks the sump must operate. After watching many You tube video’s, posting threads on MASA we adjusted the drawings and so we started siliconing the baffles

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First Chamber: Skimmer
Second Chamber: DSB
Third Chamber: Return Pump


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I spent about R300 on bio-balls, as per advice from LFS, and were later informed on MASA it's a big no-no for various reasons (collection point for ditrus ect), so I chucked the bio-balls
"MENTAL NOTE TO SELF" - Don't trust LFS, unless you know they have a good reliable reputation.
 

Mike

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Sorry to hear about the flood, glad to hear that you too are an addict, admission is the first step:lol:
 
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A Very warm welcome to the Forum Lemar and Kevin. Reading your first post I get the idea you read up quite a lot as you are using true "reefkeeping" words. Your sump looks simple, yet perfectly practical, a big plus point. Keep us updated, really nice to have new members joining on a daily basis
 
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After 150Megs of reading up on MASA, I realised that I will have to go for the DSB option. Now to break it to Kevin, that i think the sump size is going to be inadequate... but we left it at that and kept the sump. I organised play sand to be delivered to lichtenburg and voila, had my DSB

Buying of the equipment

So I started requesting a million qoutes and this is when I realised my "SECOND MISHAP" with LFS. I was told everything, including any equipment will not cost me more than R7000..... Yes, well we all know that R7000 does not even cover a proper light fitting....

But yes, i was already i this thing, no turning back now. counted my pennies, re-budgeted (no more sushi and salmon from woolies ect)
Luckily I found happiness in buying of all my equipment from one of the sponsers, 2 days and everything was delivered by the couriers.

And so the circulating started....
 
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A Very warm welcome to the Forum Lemar and Kevin. Reading your first post I get the idea you read up quite a lot as you are using true "reefkeeping" words. Your sump looks simple, yet perfectly practical, a big plus point. Keep us updated, really nice to have new members joining on a daily basis
thanks sean, i've actually been a member for 4 months, have been posting. Just never had the time to do a proper thread on our tank.... Everything i know I learned from this excellent forum
 
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Me bad, but I don't think I properly welcomed you guys, so heres me welcoming you in the most embarressed way :blushing::sorry:
 
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I invested in 21kg's of quality LR. fiji, indonesian, kenian, malaysian. Since then added approximatly another 10kg of LR and 5 kg's of base rock to seed...
 
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Me bad, but I don't think I properly welcomed you guys, so heres me welcoming you in the most embarressed way :blushing::sorry:
No problem, when I joined youre thread was the first one I read through... I read from 19:00pm until 1:00am.... needless to say i was dreaming sumps, marines, ect the entire night....
 
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This is the sump after about 6 weeks....
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We went to sheffield beach at the end of september and of course neither myself or my husband could let the chance go by..... we had to collect some specimans. (although i knew my tank was not matured enough) ammonia was still a bit high but at least the nitrites/nitrates was 0.

Kevin got up every morning at 5, to try a get a catch of the day with his net.
In the end, we got a bunch of snails, 2 hermits, zoa's, 2 false eye damsels (which I know now was maybe not such a good catch, but at least they are not causing to much havoc in the tank), 4 sea urchins and 2 rock skippers

they made it back all the way from sheffield to lichtenburg (900km's) and into the tank they went

To my dismay when i walked into the house, my tank had it's first brown-out. I thought it was the end, but later learned on MASA it's normal, and part of the maturing process.

to date all my specimans we caught at sheffield survived and are doing fantastic.. Unbelievable....
 
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The open stand was a bit of an annoyance and so Kevin decided to build a cupboard. This took most of a Saturday, but looks great. Now everything is nicely hidden away..

Now some photos or our operation. ...

1. The new doors added to the stand...
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2. R/O unit and saltwater drums
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3. Kevin installed a Solenoid and garden computer to automatically fill up the R/O drum. it works on a timer.

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4) R/O Unit

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My tank was heating up from about 3 weeks ago, and from advice from jacquesb I installed a fan behind the sump. I'm still considering investing in a chiller, but the prices have sky rocketed.. maybe in the new year...

I was also not really happy with the performance of the sump, so we sort of redesigned it, and had the glass shop build us a new one. the concept is still the same, just increase the space of the dsb and adjusted the height of the baffels to design out possible failures...

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Trunking above the tank that hides the pipes for the auto top-up and the waterchange drum
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Some pictures of the main DT, about 2 weeks ago...

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With the new sump, i was able to move the UV-filter and the heater down (they did not fit in my previous sump)

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Electrics and auto top-up
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Tank inhabitants

1) Rock skipper and sea urchin
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2) Anemone and clown fish
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3) Star pollyps
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4) Yellowtail damsel and tube anemone
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5) Sea hair and sleeper blue dot goby (in his hole)
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6) Radiant Wrasse, false eye damsel, yellowtail damsel, flameback angelfish
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7) Zoa's and featherduster worm
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Ok well i'm off to bed, will do some posts again tomorrow.
I will appreciate any advice, or things i should change based on above pictures. I'm still learning and all help is appreciated. Thanks guys, cheers for now
 

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