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View Full Version : New Tank for the new year! Saxman7's Modified reefer tank


Saxman7
01/03/2016, 02:57 PM
Hey Everyone I've been waiting to get this one up an running for several months now and I'm excited to share one of my home tanks with you guys so here's what going on:

Backstory: My current setup is a 20 gallon that has been up for about a year and half now and has been through alot of changes. The out come has been a mixed reef of mainly lps and nps. considering all the various fish and inverts on top of this, it's getting alittle out of hand- BUT it is pretty cool to see multiple crinoids( most of which have multiple hosts) in a more reef like tank. The plan is to keep this tank running but theme it more like a muc bottom diving site. Minimal rock in the display with a mud like sand and the main focus being to display my medusa worms. I plan to add there host emperor shrimp along with multiple other small shrimp species and nano fish. Check out the documentary on youtube about the Lembeh Strait to get an idea of what i'm talking about!

So what's this have to do with my new tank?

Simple. make a seperate awesome Nps display. I'm going to move most of the nps corals and crinoids over along with hopeful plans of have a small school of a smaller species of anthias or (if I can find them!)a small group of Photoblepharon palpebratum. Now I can't say it's going to be full blown gorgs or full blown lps nps type corals like tubastreas but i'm planning to mainly have more filter feeders and gorgs. but will see! Here's the specs:

Tank:
I'm using the new Red Sea Reefer 28 as my starting point...but I did a few modifications.

Pump: Ecotech vectra m1
lighting: a little over kill but I currently it's a radion xr15. I like having the options to change colors to more reds and pink with nps because the color and pop you get is amazing.
Skimmer: not using on yet but will add soon
Reactors: Not added yet, but there are nice ones from beshea I use on my current tank that work well that work well.
wave makers: there isn't one yet.

The big idea here is that I took out the soft plumbing of the tank and made my own hard plumbing with a side 3 way manifold. being careful, I also drilled a small shelf inside the stand to make a shelf. The way this is planned to work so that the first two lines are for reactors. I plan on running GFO and Bio pellets with these (may need one or both, will see how things go as time goes). The third line is to run out the back to a fridge for foods(also seconds as a pressure release) which I plan to do a doser(inside the fridge) plumbed into a venturi valve that runs straight through the fridge. main question is how to run it back to the tank. if I was to put it back in the return it would just clog the reactors so i'm probably going to redo the manifold and the rest of the plumbing at some point.

The return is a little funky because I made a crazy 3-way lock line system. I really do not like wave makers cause my basket stars and medusa worms were always trying to get in them and the sponge coverings would clogs up quickly because of feeding. An Idea I have is to sync an mp 10 when the vectra shuts off for feeding and have a lower circulation to effectively feed( this way the mp10 doesn't get clogged fast either) but i'll keep messing with it. two of the locklines have rotating return nozzles to add some variation in flow while the main return has a flat spray nozzle with a valve so I can valve it back and push water out to the other side lines.

I did my own rock structure for this tank using a bonding martial my store developed to do custom rock structures and I plan to add a little something special later on too. Sand wise I've discovered that seachem Flourite sand for planted aquariums seem to not have any negative effects on the critters so I mix it with a white sand. the out come is a nice grey color sand that is all very fine and ideal for sand sifting species like cucumbers,medsua worms and SS gobies. Also I'm not noticing phosphates leaching like the caribb sea hawaiian black seems to do, which is also WAY to coarse to use for any of these organsims.

Hope y'all enjoy this and it's progression! if you have any questions on how I did these mods, i'll be happy to answer and help you.
Here's some pics: please excuse quality as android is letting me down currently...phone has also seen much better days.

Saxman7
01/03/2016, 03:09 PM
here's some pics of my current guys in the 20gallon that i'll be moving to this tank in a few weeks:

Saxman7
01/03/2016, 03:24 PM
Can't get any of my gorgs pic to upload but I currently have a swiftia, a Orange Diodogorgia and a menella. you can probably see them in the backgrounds of some of these pics but I'll try to get pics soon. Also here's a pic of one of my medusas when I first go them awhile back...they're alittle big.

Devaji108
01/04/2016, 12:04 PM
wow very nice! what the hell is the big orange thing? in all my reefing and diving I have yet to see it!! it fricking amazing!
ha another tank....yeah it happens right. :)
plz to keep us posted on the new setup. i feel your excitement. :D

Saxman7
01/04/2016, 02:37 PM
wow very nice! what the hell is the big orange thing? in all my reefing and diving I have yet to see it!! it fricking amazing!
ha another tank....yeah it happens right. :)
plz to keep us posted on the new setup. i feel your excitement. :D

I'm assuming you're asking about the "long orange thing"? that's one of the medusa worms they're crazy! thanks for checking out my build, Keep an eye on this thread and i'm sure you'll see some cool things that interest you Devaji!

Saxman7
01/06/2016, 12:17 AM
Managed to get my hands on a fridge sooner than I expected (my co-worker Chris, you rock!) this one is fairly large too, about the same size as the stand for the tank so hopefully I can use it effectively for both systems and still have room for some normal human foods too.
definitely have my work cut out for tomorrow- stay tuned!

calk me Q
01/06/2016, 02:36 AM
really nice!!

Would like to see your new tank after moving.

noy
01/06/2016, 07:16 AM
This is a very nice setup. Keep posting your progress!

You should get a flickr account and post the photos so that they are embedded in your post.

Saxman7
01/07/2016, 02:59 AM
This is a very nice setup. Keep posting your progress!

You should get a flickr account and post the photos so that they are embedded in your post.

Thanks guys and Noy THANKYOU for the suggestion. I couldn't figure out why they weren't embedding. was such a shame when I realized I was looking at the thread logged out and couldn't see anything. i'll ave to get an account going soon.

One thing that is currently going though is the fridge!
i'm running it on my current tank right now until I start transferring some live stock over. unfortunately my venturi didn't work as planned so I just had to attach the doser asap while water was spewing out the line. I'm just going to try and find a 1/4" check valve and continue on for now.
Using my main magic mix of foods in a reef nutrition bottle that I popped the top off of to make a snug fit for the line... i'll be picking up a 12 pack of Barq's and or A&w too, gotta make good use of all the extra space :hammer:

herring_fish
01/07/2016, 02:39 PM
Did you go without the venturi because of installation issues or did you get it running and didn't like the results or have other problems?

Saxman7
01/09/2016, 01:45 AM
Did you go without the venturi because of installation issues or did you get it running and didn't like the results or have other problems?

it's still in "effect" but the problem was it wasn't creating a siphon, it just acted as another exit for the water to pass through. which it did very well, almost soaked my floor-(this is what I get for doing a DYI lol). i'm pretty sure gravity had something had something to do with it being the tank is elevated significantly higher than the venturi so I just plugged my dosing pump and let it run. It which was working fine but I didn't want the water to be forcing up and causing pressure on the line or pump. I got a check valve and re-did the line to incorporate it and it seems to be working better.
here's a pic, i'll need to trim the line and mount the doser when I get some time next week.

Saxman7
01/09/2016, 01:57 AM
On another the note, I was excited to see this today- it's only been a couple days since I've had the pump running but the constant food in the water is certainly enticing my Gracilis colony! i've never seen them this extended yet and they've been in my 20 for a while. the crinoids are loving it too. looks like I can finally put alittle time towards other things in the tank besides keeping them fat. I'm still feeding the FM powder foods manually about 4 times a day.

chucked a bangaii as a tester for the new tank since I transferred a lot of LR when I set the tank up to help speed things up. he's rock in it good.

satoshi
01/09/2016, 02:40 AM
Are anemones photosynthetic ?

Samian
01/10/2016, 12:53 PM
Good job man....
Keep us informed.

teemee
01/10/2016, 03:13 PM
Wow - you're brave to put a medusa worm in your tank.
I had the option several years ago to get one with a pair of Emperor shrimp.
After substantial research, I decided I wasn't going to risk nuking my tank.
Tagging along :)

Saxman7
01/11/2016, 02:31 AM
Are anemones photosynthetic ?

Satoshi, many of your common species need some shape or form of light, but nutrients is always beneficial to nems. On the other hand, species like tube anemones(better suited for an nps tank if that is your question)from what I know Are not photosynthetic and I have never seen any benefit of light as they usually come from lower light areas and are more focused on capturing small foods.
Check out the anemones area of the forums for some more info.

Saxman7
01/11/2016, 02:56 AM
Wow - you're brave to put a medusa worm in your tank.
I had the option several years ago to get one with a pair of Emperor shrimp.
After substantial research, I decided I wasn't going to risk nuking my tank.
Tagging along :)

Samian and Teemee, welcome and Thank you for the comments and checking out the Build!
In general the main problem with medusa worms is that they get sucked up in pumps...and VERY easily. I've had to make the 20 gal safe proof since I got them because I knew (from having a small hitchhiker one before) I did not want to chop them up. Other then that, I don't really see how they could so called "nuke" your tank. In general, all of the cucumbers out there-regardless of the family- I find very hardy and very hard to get to explode as long as they have what thy need. There are just way to many warning signs of a cuc dying and so many simple things that can done so it's never of question.
a classic example that I explain to people why there is always this stigmatism of them being a dangerous thing is a video I saw of a tank on youtube of a tank that "recovered" several months after a sea apple explosion. It was a fowlr tank with nothing but large angles and clearly not a tank that would be fed what a apple would need to survive...too many things wrong there.

Mine are still going strong. Although the Mp10 is a little hard to safe proof even with the sponge cover, it does work well. I'm currently planning on getting a couple emperor shrimp once the 20 gal is upgraded. probably 4 at least because i've got two medusas and a tiger tail in there already but I'm also going to bring a sea apple from my work tank. i'm curious to see how they take to having different host echinoderms.

Saxman7
01/11/2016, 03:04 AM
Been a busy week but the tanks are running well, a water change is calling my name but everyone is loving the automated feeding-(the Gracilis is stretching out alittle more and more each day!). i'm going to test parameters here shortly and begin to move a few critters over. Picked up a colony of T. faulkneri friday along with a little sun burst anthias we've had at my work for a bit and eating like a champ. he's been fairly active since introduced and I can't wait to display him in the new tank.

Saxman7
01/15/2016, 11:49 PM
First wave was moved over a couple days ago, they are loving it so far. The transition will begin! Prepping new fish in the 20 gallon as we speak and fridge feeding is still working well... thinking about a syringe pump....

Samian
01/16/2016, 05:45 AM
Tell us about your feeding procedure.
Are you using the dosing pump only or do you target feeding.
How often ??

Saxman7
01/20/2016, 01:19 AM
Tell us about your feeding procedure.
Are you using the dosing pump only or do you target feeding.
How often ??

Sorry for a late response Samian, here's what i've been doing:

For the dosing pump it does a rate of about 1ml per minute. Every time it comes on it's timed for 5 minutes- with a few being 10 mins in the more heavy fed evening times.

If I remember correctly the dosing pump comes on at these times daily:
6:00 am
8:00 am
10:00 am
12:00 pm
2:00 pm
4:00 pm
6:00 pm
7:00 pm
7:30 pm
8:00 pm (10 mins)
9:00 pm
9:30 pm
10:00 pm(10 mins)
11:00 pm(10 mins)
12:00 pm(10 mins)

I also will use reef boom and some Fm powder foods usually atleast once a day (depending on my schedule and I will target feed most of the corals (main focus on the tubastreas) with some mysis, live brine and or Fm Lps pellets almost every day. getting pretty much the same results with frozen foods versus the pellets on the suns.

mark54321
01/20/2016, 09:54 PM
I've been following this from the beginning, what a great concept and tank !!! I will be borrowing few ideas from you to incorporate it in my new build .

Saxman7
01/23/2016, 01:25 AM
Thanks Mark! glad you're diggin the build! it's been alittle slow latley since everything is really happening in the 20 but I have several critters that will be moved over soon! the sunburst is doing great and i've got a really nice large purple queen that's joined him and they are doing well.

Saxman7
01/23/2016, 01:33 AM
I may be doing away with the lockline concept for a bit unfortunately but I promise it will be for the better. My co-worker and I have been coming up with some crazy concepts lately... will be making a trip over to his college to use the lazer cutter soon.

meanwhile... I kind of got an idea of something to do in this tank it's really hard to resist the concept. here's a peak, stay posted.

mark54321
01/23/2016, 03:06 PM
I may be doing away with the lockline concept for a bit unfortunately but I promise it will be for the better. My co-worker and I have been coming up with some crazy concepts lately... will be making a trip over to his college to use the lazer cutter soon.

meanwhile... I kind of got an idea of something to do in this tank it's really hard to resist the concept. here's a peak, stay posted.

Can't wait to see more !

Saxman7
06/30/2016, 05:41 PM
I don't even know where to start, since I last posted it's been heaven and h#ll with my tanks. My "Medusa proof" 20gallon failed me back in (I want to say) late February as one of my guards I for my vortec came un-done one day and I lost every fish including all my anthias that I was conditioning for the nps tank all in about 20 minutes all at the lovely hour of 3 A.M. All the corals and inverts lived. Although after the whole issue and drastic amounts of large water changes, two of my four crinoids at the time never fully recovered.

There are simply too many other things that have happened to explain but the tanks are stable and basically, After the "medusa melt-down" in the 20, two out breaks of flukes in both systems, a bad attack of ich the reefer, a rogue leopard wrasse, and plenty of carpet surfing anthias and tilefish... I have learned (along with a few other important things) marine bettas are bullet proof and will always get my approval :fish1:

now to the good news, The reefer has finally gotten somwhere!
here's some updated pics:

Saxman7
06/30/2016, 05:49 PM
Currently fish wise there is only the marine betta, a female randall's, female purple queen anthias and a jann's pipefish. planning to have a small group of both anthias species but will see what the dice rolls me!

Best photo of the tank yet:

mark54321
06/30/2016, 09:33 PM
Sorry for all your troubles, but I am sure you learned a lot , your tank looks spectacular !!!
Your crinoids are looking very healthy , I am considering one of those for my tank, can you tell me more about what you feed them and how often? I am also considering sea apple, any experience with those?

Saxman7
07/01/2016, 01:47 AM
Sorry for all your troubles, but I am sure you learned a lot , your tank looks spectacular !!!
Your crinoids are looking very healthy , I am considering one of those for my tank, can you tell me more about what you feed them and how often? I am also considering sea apple, any experience with those?

It's been a long haul for sure, I really appreciate the support Mark!
As far as the crinoids go, at first I was feeding everything but as time has progressed I'm starting to fine tune. Each species is different and you really gotta just mix a bunch of foods together and then start selecting one or two at a time and see what they react to the best. Most of mine definitely love cyclops,calanus, and fauna marin foods but I recently discovered how ravenous they go for the marine snow- especially the red ones.
In general I find that the more "feathered" ones, especially the ones that like to "take off an fly" are much more finicky and tricky like the standard red ones. The species that crawl around more individuals tentecles as their pinules in replace of "feathers" generally seem to be easier and tend to be more open on food sources.
On top of that,keeping parameters consistent, whether its allways dirty, or more on the clean side. Pick and stick with it. With your system being larger, water changes will less likely be a issue as long as you keep your salanity consistent. Go read Aquabac's build thread if you haven't already...he's a genius with azoox corals and a true pioneer with the principles of keeping crinoids and was definitely my inspiration to dive in and go for them. It's been very rewarding.

As far as apples go, I have two! I have the standard Philippines variant and an australian which is my favorite- he's borderline patriotic :lolspin:
Both react best if you're adding phytoplankton in your mixes and other fine micron sized foods but my australian seems more open to different foods and I always see him producing more waste then the one from the Philippines. Both are very healthly though, I've found apples to be nearly indestructible. You've seriously gotta be messing up your tank big time to stress them out.
Take it to the next level and get a pair of emperor shrimp to live on the apple(s) of your choice. It's awesome to watch them interact and much safer than a medusa worm as we now know!
Both get my thumbs up and I think your tank would suit these organisms very well Mark!
I've got some footage of my australian one I'll post tomorrow, I think you'll like it's colors ;)

Saxman7
07/07/2016, 01:39 AM
Here's some footage of my different crinoids eating. It's hard to film this stuff so I have yet to film all of them but look at the difference between different species. considerably much more obvious closeup. In both Vids I was using fauna marin LPS grow and color pellets mushed into a more powdered form. Notice in the video of what seems to be a type of Himerometra, that it's very finicky on particle size. some pieces it pulls up it's food grooves very aggressively- others it grabs and slowly lets off. Probably one of the more common reasons these species are more tricky to sustain.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i18_Qza_gRM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ztBumCm4EY

Any tips on uploading videos?

mark54321
07/07/2016, 07:54 AM
Great videos, thanks for sharing!

Saxman7
07/11/2016, 01:18 AM
Lucky for me, a friend of mine had been checking out some other stores and came across some really nice gorgs imported from Fiji that I could simply not pass up. They're not what most of us are used to seeing. When I went in the store to get them, I also found a rock that was half zoas...and half what appears to be some various types of Phyllangia- Most likely americanas but I thought it was a really cool find. Some of them surprisingly have really nice fluorescent centers too. there was a stray frag of a odd gorg species from a shipment a few weeks back that seemed to be hanging on I grabbed as well.