Oj's pride & joy

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Hi all here's my little peace of ocean. It will be 3 years old end of August. Unfortunately my laptop with all the photos from the start of the build crashed so I can only share photos of the last couple of months or so.

A little bit of background about the tank. I had someone run the tank for me previously, it was mostly a mixed reef setup leaning more towards the softy side of the hobby. When we did some renovations at home I had to shut the tank down. Work and life happened and 4 years later still no tank. Then with the birth of my daughter I thought it would be a good idea to start again and have my two babies grow up together, and so the tank was born again. Its an in wall build with the sump room at the back.

The tank is 1.8mtr x 800 x 800 Two overflows with each one running into a bubble magus filter roll and then into a 200 ltr refugium filled with macro algae and some liverock with a grow light over it. From there it flows into a 500 ltr plastic tub with some more liverock. I have 2 skimmers running on the system. There is also two 300W heaters in the tub connected to a stc temp controller. I have a 200ltr frag tank plumbed into the tub as well, but that is still a work in progress. From the tub the water flows into the sump below the display tank. The sump has 3 compartments, the 1st compartment acts as a bubble trap with some seachem matrix in it then flows to the 2nd compartment that has a deep sandbed with macro algae and 2 led flood lights over it and then into the 3rd compartment.

The 3rd compartment of the sump has a lot going on. It houses my return pump, a pump that feeds 2 media reactors, 1 for carbon and 1 for phosgaurd and then flows through the chiller. The chiller and another 300W heater is connected to a stc temp controller. There is another 2 big media reactors in this compartment, 1 filled with seachem matrix and the other filled with aquaforest life bio fill. I have an auto aqua water change unit that doubles as my top up also in this compartment. It automatically changes 21ltrs of water a day, roughly 10% of my total water vol per week. There is a 5 channel autodoser that doses aquaforest A, B, C and I have resently started dosing potassium nitrate. The last channel of the doser I'll use for dosing acropower soon. There's also a big reef octopus calcium reactor with a Kamoer peristaltic feed pump that takes care of my kh/calcium.

For lightning I have a ATI 80W 6 bulb t5 unit and in front of that a zetlight 6800 and a AI 52hd unit.The lightning setup is not ideal and hopefully in the not to distant future I'll have another two 52hds in place of the zetlight and the zetlight moving over to the frag tank. Flow is taken care of by 4 tunze powerheads on a multicontroller for lots of random flow. As mentioned earlier the previous tank was taken care of by someone else for me and was mostly leaning towards the softy and lps side of the hobby. This time around its a whole different ball game.I did about 90% of the build myself and its been an frustrating, humbling and rewarding experience.

From the get go everything I did, everything I bought was with sps in mind. That being said the first 2 years was a cluster @#&%;¥¢© of note. I did everything wrong. From starting the build with my old dead rock and sand to adding to much stock to soon. The 1st year was all excitement, I had no patience things would go ok and then bam overnight disaster.The 2nd year was the toughest, it felt like I was just throwing money into the ocean (pun intended) and after a semi tank crash because of a faulty top up unit I was ready to call it quits and get freakin guppies but good advice and a slower more methodical approach to solving 1 problem at a time saw a turnaround in the tank.The 1 good thing about making mistakes is that you learn from them and boy did I learn a lot.

The tank is now at a stage where its turning into something that I am proud of. My hard work is slowly but surely paying off. It's not close to some of the great builds on here or other similar platforms but maybe in a couple of years... For the 1st time I can truly say I'm enjoying this awesome hobby. I'm not a slave to maintenance any more, I do the basic stuff, check my water parameters and thats it, the tank has matured and settled and my liverock is not leaching PO4 anymore. The satisfaction of having livestock not just surviving in my tank but growing and thriving is 2nd to none and hugely rewarding. Im replicating nature in my living room... how cool is that

Here is a picture of my old display compared to this one.
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Some pics of before and after.. This is 2 and a half months growth since adding the birds nest and yes its the same colony. I have very low nutrients at the moment and there's a few corals that's pale, I have started dosing nitrates recently and acropower is in the mail.
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This is my purple milka that survived the crash. I added it the 15th of June 2018 and it was just sitting there.. Wouldn't die but also wouldn't grow till it just exploded in growth this last couple of months
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I dont know the name of this acro when I bought it it was brown. Here is some before and after pics. It went from brown to green with purple tips
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This is a encrusting monti I think. When I added it to the tank it was more orange in color than anything else. It has turned bright green with a blue body and orange polyps where its growing out

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My water parameters
Salinity =1025
Temp. =25*Celsius
Kh. =8 dkh (hanna checker)
Cal. =445 (aquaforest test kit)
Mag. =1250 (aquaforest test kit)
No3. =0 (salifert & Nyos test kit)
P04. =0.009 (hanna ultra low checker)
Ph. =8
Mag is a bit low and I am slowly raising it to 1350
 
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Some pics from today with blue filter lens on camera. Since last post I've added another 52hd so there's one each side of zetlight giving a much more uniformed lightning spectrum
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