Rookie's first attempt at reefing

Discussion in 'Medium Tanks' started by Rookie, 2 Jul 2012.

  1. Rookie

    Rookie

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    Hi All,

    I joined the forum about a year ago, I think. It may be more. I have never posted anything except in the for sale forum. I know that's rude seeing that I never introduced myself. I just read and took in all of the advice from the experienced reefers. I must say that without this site I would have most certainly have not had successfully started up my system.

    A brief history of my reefing experience:

    In March of 2010 I wanted to convert my 5ft freshwater tank into a marine. So I started off purchasing lights and a skimmer. Then after calculating what I would still need in terms of substrate, live rock, flow pumps, salt etc. I decided to put a hold on my plans. The bug never left though, so I converted a one foot tank into a little +/- 55l nano with a built in sump.

    The nano was going well but due to the fact that I had ceramics in the filter initially led to GHA issues. I removed this slowly and replaced it with good quality liverock. The GHA cleared up significantly and the nano was doing well.

    My cash flow improved and thus slowly bought all my goodies I needed. I then took my 5ft apart and cut the glass smaller to a 4 ft. During December 2011 I started assembling the tank with black silicone. It was a major learning curve as I have never built a tank. After numerous rolls of masking tape and thinners to clean the excess silicone off the tank was ready. In the meanwhile I had a stand built for me which I painted with a coat of red oxide primer and three coats of hammerite.

    I basically only have a cleanup crew in for now with a few softies in the form of frags which I bought off the for sale forum. I will most probably start stocking from the end of this month as work is a bit hectic at the moment.

    Enough babbling, below is a list of my equipment:

    Tank: 1200 x 450 x 600 with overflow box in top lefthand corner;
    Sump: 1000 x 330 x 400 with three compartments (skimmer, DSB with macro algae, return with liverock);
    Stand: 25 x 25 tubing 900 high (I think);
    Skimmer: Reef Octo NW 150;
    Lights: Oddyssea 54w quad unit;
    Flow: 1 x 1500 Seio prop and 1 x 320 Seio prop;
    Return pump: LifeTech AP3500.
    Substrate: Caribsea Fiji pink +/- 30 kgs;
    +/- 35 kg's of live rock.

    Stocking thus far:

    1 x blue legged hermit;
    1 x red legged hermit;
    4 x turbo snails;
    Zoas;
    Green striped mushrooms;
    Brown mushrooms;
    Red mushroom;
    A few polyps;
    Frogspawn.

    Parameters:

    Ammonia: < 0.25 ppm;
    Nitrite: 0 ppm;
    Nitrate: 0 ppm;
    PH: 7.7 <> 8 ppm;
    Phosphate: 0,03 <> 0,1 ppm

    These readings are as per the Salifert test kits.

    I do not have a lot of pics but please have a look below and please do comment on any areas/ things which I could improve. Please also excuse the poor quality as it was taken with my phone.

    Just a random pic of the half complete tank before the tank was painted, overflow and braced installed.

    [​IMG]

    Just after start up:

    [​IMG]

    My first scaping attempt:

    [​IMG]

    Full tank shot:

    [​IMG]

    Sump:

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Looking good! :thumbup:
     
  4. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    looking good dude. @RiaanP correct me if Im wrong but you should place the macro algae on some egg crate or something as you want to keep the surface of the dsb clean
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  5. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Hi guys,

    Thanks for your response. @Tremayn, I think it should be, we will wait for RiaanP's response. I cannot seem to find eggcrate anywhere near me in PTA.

    Just a quick question, I want to keep softies and some LPS for now. Will adding the second 1500 Seio be too much flow? I removed it as both together resulted in my substrate being blown away in the centre. Should I add it and just live with the gap in the substrate?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  6. CocaColaza

    CocaColaza

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    No such thing as too much flow :) If you have ever dived you would realize the ocean does 500 times what we can do with our measly powerheads. As long as you have high flow and low flow areas in your display for corals that don't like flow that much you should be fine.
     
  7. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Cheato breaks off small pieces, as it tumble and move around in the sump. Mine is in a lot deeper water than yours. Lately my cheato is dying off, after years of giving pieces away. Recently I made a little egg crate basket, to keep the remaining piece closer to the lights and to prevent it from tumbling, breaking off small pieces. I just have to turn it at least once a week. Egg-crate is a problem. I found a sheet at Animal Kingdom but at almost R300 its not cheap. Sure somebody must have another contact.

    Same on my 1.2. And learned to live with it.
     
  8. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    I want to make room in my return chamber for some matrix and phosguard. I therefore want to build an eggcrate stand the full size of the dsb in order to put the liverock and chaeto on top of it. I do not wsnt to put the rock straight on the dsb as it will cause dead spots. Will the stand with the liverock covering the entire surface of the dsb affects its funcionality in any way?

    Thanks in advance for your input!
     
  9. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Nope, it will not affect DSB function.

    Cheato needs to be turned over at least once a week, to "rinse" it. Ideally it should slowly tumble away. But in your design it will be stuck to the rocks and will break little pieces off. so just do it by hand.
     
  10. theoholder346

    theoholder346

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    How is your skimmer working for you? I am looking at upgrading my TS2 skimmer to the NW 150 Octo.
    Currently my tank is the same size as yours.
     
  11. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Thanks RiaanP. I built the stand and moved all the rock. Will post a pic just now.
    @theoholder346 my system is not stocked yet. i have one chromis swimming around. Was away with work for long periods at a time last year so didin't want to take the chance at stocking the tank and not being there to observe how they were doing. Anyhow, the skimmer is not pulling a lot of waste out at the moment but when I started the tank up and the cycle process was underway it was skimming like crazy.

    Im stilll new at this game but the nw150 works perfectly for me on this system.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  12. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Can you post a later pic of your sump, See now in your original picture posted 07/12 that the light is very far from the cheato. Is it still like that? Will get a lot better growth if you move it closer to the cheato.
     
    Last edited: 24 Jan 2013
  13. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Here is a pic of my sump after I have moved the liverock. I hope the image will upload.

    The light is still the same. I think I will move the light lower as I am getting slow growth on it.

    20130122_180817.jpg
     
  14. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    I also changed my scaping a bit as I was struggling with flow. This is how it looks now. Any tips and comments will be greatly appreciated.

    There are some corals in front of the right island which I still have to place this weekend.

    Sorry for the poor quality pics, they were taken with my phone.

    IMG-20130122-00399.jpg
     
  15. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Is it your RO container on the right?

    If yes, be sure that the end of the hose never goes under the water level in your return chamber. Else you end up with a siphon either way - depending on how full the container is.
     
  16. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    I made a small hole in the clear tube. If you look closely you will see a small grey piece of plastic protruding from the clear tubing just below the upper edge of the sump. The piece of plastic is almost like a T connector. It breaks the siphon immediatly after the float switch has killed the current to the pump in the RO container.
     
  17. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    I wanna add an algae scrubber to the system. I just have one or two questions:

    1 - Will it work if I feed the scrubber with water from the return pump or should the water be from the over flow?

    2 - Can the water from the scrubber the run on to the liverok over the DSB?

    Once again thanks for all the assistance!
     
  18. malan seun

    malan seun

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    Looking good
     
  19. malan seun

    malan seun

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    Looking good ek se
     
  20. Rookie

    Rookie Thread Starter

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    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  21. RiaanP

    RiaanP Moderator

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    Does not matter

    Yes, as long as it does not cause sand storms. Move the sand.
     
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