Mark's 4ft Tank

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A little background...

When I took down my last marine tank, just over 2 years ago, I thought "thats it I'm done for good this time!". I put marines behind me and started a new adventure in fresh water planted tank keeping...it was great and as with marines I started out with a little 100L tank which landed up becoming 4 tank in under a year which then became a single 4ft tank.

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Tank before discus

Plants were great for a few months, but then I decided to try my hand at something else...Discus...in a planted tank! For almost a year things went well...but keeping discus was becoming a major chore and involved more work than I had even put into my marine tanks in previous years so again I thought time to change it up again and removed the discus and went back to just keeping plants and an array of smaller fish.

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Tank with discus

Shortly after this while trying to convince a friend of mine, who was keeping a planted tank, to rather stick with it and stay away from marines, which he was thinking of dabbling in, I managed to land up talking myself back into setting up a little marine pico tank for my office.

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Tank after discus and a rescape

I swore this would be it...something tiny with maybe a clown fish and a couple sexy shrimp...the tank got filled up in about a month :y13:

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20L office Pico

With spending more and more time tinkering with the pico, adding more corals, more equipment, more everything really...I started to lose more and more interest in my planted 4ft at home. Everyone I knew in town said it would only be a matter of time before I setup a marine tank again...I laughed this off!

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The end of the fresh water adventure

A couple of weeks later the planted tank was down and plans were in full swing for a marine conversion. :001_huh:
 
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So this is where we are now...

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Tank cleaned and ready to go after fresh water was taken down.


With the sale of my fresh water livestock and hardscape and equipment I have funded the purchase of a majority of the items needed to get the marine project off the ground.

I have gone with Caribsea base rock for the tank...usually always go completely with liverock in my builds, but with quality liverock being almost non existent in town these days and no set time frame for the tank to go up it made the most sense.
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I replaced the plant friendly T5's in my Quad 54w light unit with ATI's...after loaning a few different bulbs from my LFS I finally settled on a combo of
1x Actinic+
2x Blue+
1x Coral+

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I went with Seachem Pearl Beach aragonite for the substrate and am pretty happy with the look of it so far

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The back of the tank has been done in a Deep Ocean Blue Vinyl...kind of fitting colour name I must say. :)

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Rock work has been held together with Aqua Forest Stone Fix...this stuff is an amazing product and I would recommend it going forward to anyone looking to build intricate structures with their rockwork.

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Still waiting on a sump, this should hopefully be arriving in the coming week. It will be a Powerlab sump which was designed to go with this tank. Skimmer is sitting in the cabinet so long...was lucky to get a second hand Bubble Magus Curve 5 at a great price. :D

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System Summery

Tank Size: 1200x450x450
Sump size: 400x400x400
Total Volume: 300L+

Lighting: Quad Odyssea 54w unit running ATI Bulbs

Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve 5

Internal Flow: 2x Tunze 6040's synced

Overflow/Return: Powerlab Slow Return bulkhead method

Filtration: Canister filter running Seachem Matrix Stones, Carbon and Phos Remover

Livestock: Mixed Reef
 
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Just be careful with the bm as it needs to have height in sump or it iverflows
Thanks. I've seen a lot of guys have them on egg crate stands, will probably do this as well as the sump is going to be quite deep. Always have run Reef Octo skimmers on big tanks and Tunze on smaller tanks so this is a new brand for me...may take some getting used to.
 

tekkengal

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Welcome back! I guess once you got salt in your blood it never leaves you :)
 
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leslie hempel

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chop... you make me spend when you get back into the game.. flip!

but glad to have you back
 
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Welcome back - Luv ur scaping - Happy days to follow
 
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Well Done Mark. Scaping is spot on except if it was me , I would remove the top rock on the RHS pinnacle ....
 

Baz

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Welcome back. Great tank and off to a good start. The BM skimmer is really good. You defenitely won't regret purchasing it. Will be following.

You had a great FW setup. The myths surrounding FW being easier certainly isn't allways true. But marines is just so damn interesting and rewarding. I guess that is what keeps us coming back for more.

Have you considered connecting another sump to that one? The size of your fuge is a bit small to be really effective.
 
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chop... you make me spend when you get back into the game.. flip!

but glad to have you back
Haha someone has to push you to get your tank looking as it should! ;)

Well Done Mark. Scaping is spot on except if it was me , I would remove the top rock on the RHS pinnacle ....
Thanks Afsal. My plan with that RHS pinnacle is to hopefully get a nice Radianthus to perch on top of the pinnacle...lol well thats the plan, not sure if the anemone will be a willing participant, that remains to be seen. :p

Welcome back. Great tank and off to a good start. The BM skimmer is really good. You defenitely won't regret purchasing it. Will be following.

You had a great FW setup. The myths surrounding FW being easier certainly isn't allways true. But marines is just so damn interesting and rewarding. I guess that is what keeps us coming back for more.

Have you considered connecting another sump to that one? The size of your fuge is a bit small to be really effective.
Thanks Baz, ya I have heard a lot of good things about BM skimmers since I have started up again so hopefully they dont disappoint. FW Plants are fun, and you can create a lot more interesting scapes than with marines...but the lure of the bright colours of marine corals and fish was just too hard to resist for long.

With regards to the sump...that plan was my initial idea, but have got a sump coming now from Powerlab in Cape Town...which only has 2 compartments in it, once its here I will plan how to run a refugium...hoping the first compartment will be large enough to sort of get something going. The cabinet cupboards are not very large - 400x400 square so sump space is limited. I toyed with the idea of two sumps, but I have a canister filter I have been running on this tank for FW which I plan to keep in the second cupboard as a reactor for matrix stones etc so threw the 2 sump idea out. :)
 
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RiaanP

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Welcome back @Kunhardt.

Are you going to get the tank drilled and overflow fitted?
 
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Welcome back @Kunhardt.

Are you going to get the tank drilled and overflow fitted?
It is already drilled...the holes were just covered when it was run as fresh water...you can see in the last FTS the holes opened up. Wont be fitting an overflow box as such...going with the Powerlab bulkhead system.

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Inside the tank

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outside of tank
 
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Got some frags from @Hails that arrived yesterday and are now being housed with a friend until the tank is up.

Thanks again Hails, really happy with them from what I can see from my daily update pics from Wes...I’m sure he will take good care of them until the tank is up and ready for livestock.
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hahaha Mark! I told you that the pico was going to get an upgrade soon. I see the coral hunt has already begun even before the cycling. (nothing has changed)

AWESOME news about the new marine tank and keen to pop in and its progress!
 
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hahaha Mark! I told you that the pico was going to get an upgrade soon. I see the coral hunt has already begun even before the cycling. (nothing has changed)

AWESOME news about the new marine tank and keen to pop in and its progress!
Thanks Grant...lol yup, the pico idea didnt last long did it :rolleyes: Corals and fish all over town and country waiting for the tank to be ready for them to move into :m85:
 
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