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zachtos
07/29/2016, 06:10 PM
The tank partition/stand build progress

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160629_204509851_zps0uu1tbkd.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160622_205241526_zpsz0226g14.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160626_200646753_zpsznbz3lb4.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160626_235056395%201_zpse5unbxos.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160622_205324995%201_zps7mreceut.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160626_235122189_zpsleuxzxmy.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160626_235128190_zpskx6pjokt.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160628_210131500_zps8ibjqpx4.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160622_205341720%201_zpspaxrykw8.jpg
The family room/finished basement is the chosen room.


Introduction:
I'm an Electrical Engineer living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, living out my dream job designing laser tag gear for a living! Basically get paid to go in every day and build cool stuff, show said stuff to my boss, watch him lose his mind, then figure out when we can find the time/funds to add it to the production line. We are designing the world's first high end outdoor laser tag gun (http://lasertagpro.com/the-brx/) aimed at the consumer market, it pairs with your smart phone to play high end games, similar to airsoft/paintball but better. I'm also married with a wife, 3 year old daughter and another kid on the way in January.

History:
Zachtos 240G reef (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=1097194) - my old SPS reef that I ran 2007-2014 (google 'zachtos reef')

http://www.captivereefs.com/forum/attachments/featured-reef-aquariums/zachtos-sps-forest-corals2-jpg-4198
I've had a 240G reef before, so I'm a veteran (and the wife has already dealt with the addiction). I had to tear it down 2 years back to accept this job in another state, but I feel stable enough now to start again. In general, I like to DIY and experiment with many of the new trends in the hobby. I also work hard to keep costs down through energy consumption, full product life cycle analysis and bulk purchasing research. Such as buying carbon in 50 pound bags from a water purifcation plant, using driveway salts to supplement water chemistry, building my own LEDs to keep energy/heat/build costs low, heating with natural gas to keep energy costs low, insulating tanks to keep heat contained and fighting the ongoing battle with humidity control. I enjoy the system design phase more than the coral trimming phase. I am partial to SPS coral, tangs and some angel fish. I like running low nutrient for bright colors and planning for the future.

Plans:
This time I will improve the design to be more energy efficient, quieter and easier for maintenance. I will try my best to quarantine and have a proper frag system. I am spending money on certain items when I need high quality engineering, and am willing to DIY in other areas where I see room for improvement based on market products. I am still buying some items used to meet the budget of $12,500 (which is already kreeping to $14,000 to date, working to reduce)

Tank

300G deep dimension marineland glass tank (used - starphire sides $1000)
DIY tank stand (2x8 top, and 2x4 for remainder, based on DIY stand thread on RC)
Barebottom HDPE sheets (no sand/nutrients)
DIY foam background (great stuff pond foam, egg crate and pieces of rock)
Mesh or glass covers undecided (light loss vs humidity control still a debate)


Filtration

400-500lbs of live rock in display
50G rubbermaid sump
Super Reef Octopus SRO-5000INT 10 In Sump Protein Skimmer (bought for $500 with auto neck cleaner, and use with my old 5000 Bubble Blaster pump)
Algae Turf Scrubber DIY (24"x18"), rated for about 35 cubes of frozen food per day
Carbon in a 2 little fishes reactor (2-4 cups/month, I buy 50 lbs per year for $140)
10-15% bi-weekly water changes


Flow

Two(2) Vortech MP-60 (used - upgrading to quiet drives)
One(1) or Two(2) Tunze wave box - new (will decide if need second unit later)


Lighting

LED DIY fixture for display tank (royal blue, blue, cool white, violet, deep red - still planning density and ratios)
LED DIY fixture for both sides of turf scrubber (660nm x 24 per side, 420nm x6 per side)
Existing DIY LED fixture for frag tank (36LED of 2:1 royal blue to neutral white)
moonlight (royal blue LED for Display x 6-12)
Sliding light rail for LED fixture?


Controllers

3 part solution doser (Jebao v2) - will dose according to Randy's old recipe - No Ca Reactor this time
DIY microcontroller - undecided what I want desgin yet (lights, feed timer, auto feeder, PH, water sensor, bluetooth/WIFI, etc)
ATO float switches and relays connected to dual aqualufters fed from 55G barrel of water
Ranco temperature controller for gas water heater closed PEX loop
battery backup for return pump x 1


Heating/Cooling

-PEX coil connected to water heater with TACO hotwater recirculation pump and Ranco temperature controller (NO RESISTIVE HEATERS)
-Cooling not usually needed in basement setup w/ LED in northern USA, but we shall see.


Plumbing

Two(2) - DCS-9000 Jebao v3 return pumps - cheap, energy efficient, unreliable though, so am wiring in parallel with 1 unit on battery backup
Four(4) - 1" durso standpipes to sump which will all drain feed the algae turf scrubber waterfall (bean/herbie are not easy to use for a drain fed device)
One(1) - 1" durso standpipe from frag tank to sump
Water change station = Two(2) 55 gallon barrels, 1 for ATO, 1 for SE
returns = flexible and rigid PVC,
drains = flexible pool hose


Quarantine

40G breeder glass tank
CPR bakpack skimmer and mag3 pump
automatic feeder
PVC pipe hiding places
Dim LED light if any?
small resistive heater if needed (not sure I need though?)
*unknown what chemicals I need yet


Tank Room

-300G sealed in wall
-skimmer/ATS/returns/carbon in sump under main tank
-Frag tank plumbed to DT sump
-two circuits (20A with GFI outlets for DT lights, nonGFI for pumps) and other 15A circuit for frag/QT/dehumidifier
-QT tank is independent system
-WC station using two 55G barrels and valves, mag9 for mix pump
-Water changes with a dip/depth gauge and pool hose to drain/refill via gravity
-storage of salts/carbon underneath WC station
-dehumidifer under frag tank stand
-extra stand by wash basin for extra QT tank if need
-stands coated with epoxy resin
-floor coated with new epoxy paint
-seams filled with silicone and/or rubber trim
-new 5.0cf deep freezer for fish food (and eventually an automated feeder system to DT)


Livestock plans:

Tangs, Angels, SPS (monti and millipora) , nothing solid yet.


Summary
The theme of the build is to minimize the tank room this time. Less open bodies of water so I won't have humidity issues. Powerful skimmer this time, instead of a DIY one that I always wondered about. Algae turf scrubber to pickup remaining nitrate/phosphate with natrual nutrient export technique. No expensive chemical filtration like GFO, just carbon in bulk for cheap water clarity. Energy efficiency with LED and gas water heating. I really wanted to try a bean/herbie silent overflow this time, but It's not compatible with drain feeding a turf scrubber because of level inconsistency. I have a feeling the skimmer will be fairly loud anyway, so why bother? The return pumps and flow pumps are all quiet, so should only hear the trickle from the durso and skimmer suck/hissing. I am hoping gravity can do my water changes via ball valve in bottom of sump and then refill via valve from an elevated 55G barrel full of SW, just run out a 25' pool hose as needed. I want to avoid a calcium reactor this time, and try for pure 3 part dosing. I got tired of changing CaReactor media, O-rings, pumps, PH probes/controllers, solenoids, CO2 refills... I think the overall cost for 3 part will be cheaper, and more reliable, but I will find out, and I arleady got 50 lbs of MagFlake - deadsea, Epsom Salt, SodaAsh/pool, CaCl prestone driveway heat.

zachtos
07/29/2016, 06:19 PM
////////////////


Tank Move
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160627_173033455%201_zpstyvcu37f.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160627_175438173_zps5jkmi5zy.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160627_180105391_zpstfkhxo5n.jpg

Barebotton starboard/HDPE

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_122926462_zpsk2j9eze3.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_124420625_zps9wtsqc6u.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_130953193_zpsfyvr8nks.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_130948610_zpsvecrotvx.jpg

Frag/Quarantine, Wash Basin, Water Change dual barrel stands
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_214514550_zpsvniv5mrg.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160729_015026932_zpsvpuktmsq.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160729_015105645_zpsfmlwcari.jpg

zachtos
07/29/2016, 06:21 PM
Leftovers from my old 240G reef
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160622_205427795_zps5jkiivio.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160622_205438370_zpsmbvuqmys.jpg
Liverock purchased waiting for a tank.


Tank room floor

Before epoxy:
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160722_232904746_zpsgm9dqfqm.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160722_232847565%201_zpsxt8jry96.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160722_232840897%201_zps0f3bwitj.jpg

After expoxy:
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_131309673_HDR_zps752upebr.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_131301962%201_zpspsxccuwn.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_151619323_zps9cskc4rl.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_131325571_zpszegco5jd.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_131256674_zpsva5blcwj.jpg

zachtos
07/29/2016, 06:22 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160724_131245145_zpsankttyuk.jpg

Preliminary Sump
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160720_204101673_zpsunhi7xoq.jpg

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/300gDDholes_zpsygteogyx.jpg
300G DD marineland bulkhead hole schematic. Planning to use all 4 holes for 1 inch durso stand pipes, and 2 returns over the top of the tank

hawaiianwargod
07/29/2016, 08:03 PM
I like your planning/ preparation on this build. This is going to be awesome for sure.

zachtos
08/01/2016, 05:35 PM
This weekend I completed all of the electrical installation. I also painted the stands for the quarantine/frag and water change station.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_180033506_zpspa5dmqr2.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_180033506_zpspa5dmqr2.jpg.html)
Wiring of the new panel additions. 20A circuit for main tank (10 AWG feeding 3 strings of #14, I know not to code, but safe if not overload, which I'm not). 15A (#14 AWG) for frag/QT/dehumidifer. 15A for utility room lights and mix tank. 15A for furnace and freezer. I balanced the load out a bit better on the phases too, and tested all connections of course. It's hard with only 100A to do this, but I purposely used gas for water heater, dryer, range, furnace to free up space, and I will heat the tank with gas water heater loop as well.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_174954616_HDR_zpshbbr3jbz.jpg
outlets above the water change station on the utility room circuit. I have a toggle switch for mix pump which will use portable GFCI plug if needed. Other plugs are for auto top off.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160730_174019815_zpspkbdspei.jpg
Display tank outlets ready for termination

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224323007_HDR_zpsjjnmsqgh.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224323007_HDR_zpsjjnmsqgh.jpg.html)
Done with terminations, these are all GFCI outlet fed above tank (splashes) Main tank 20A circuit.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160730_174009359_zpsuvjxziwd.jpg
Frag tank outlets ready for terminations

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224219176_zpsw23tu5wv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224219176_zpsw23tu5wv.jpg.html)
Frag tank wired, one GFCI for light above frag tank, rest are non GFCI for pumps, less safety risk there with submerisble power heads usually. These are on their own 15A circuit, bottom four are Main tank 20A circuit.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224227793_HDR_zpsl3896in7.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224227793_HDR_zpsl3896in7.jpg.html)
Side tank outlets, the one closest is GFCI, others are not (can't have nuisance trip and lose recirculation) Main tank 20A circuit.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224205303_zpslngme1ux.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224205303_zpslngme1ux.jpg.html)
Frag tank below, quarantine tank above. Can barely net any fish out due to low clearances, but it will work. Dehumidifer fits under, and the drain is right next to it. All water slopes right to the drain for spills. It is BRIGHT in this room now, I have total of 7 LED daylight bulbs through the room, I hate working in dim lit utlity rooms. I want this to feel more like a labratory.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_175007288_HDR_zps9u6ejibj.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_175007288_HDR_zps9u6ejibj.jpg.html)
circuit for the test station and below for the hot water recirculator to display tank. Also what appears to be a belly up dead frog.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224130661_zpsor9rzzq3.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224130661_zpsor9rzzq3.jpg.html)
Cleaning station and room for extra tank if needed, GFCI washer circuit. Also my RO/DI system in background, new DI membrane 98% rejection I think, DOW brand.

zachtos
08/01/2016, 05:36 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_175931615_zpsxggd06cb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_175931615_zpsxggd06cb.jpg.html)
close up of water maker.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224120943_zpsbf3qpldg.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224120943_zpsbf3qpldg.jpg.html)
Water change station, not plumbed yet, but all nice and neat. Also a new 5.0cf deep freezer for fish/wife food. The desk will be cleared for test station later after I move the frag tank.

Here are photos of my 3 part dosing chemcials and bulk granular carbon. I placed them into 5 gallon pails for moisture control and ease of storage.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212303972_zpsqt9ze0z4.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212303972_zpsqt9ze0z4.jpg.html)
carbon is cheap this way, $140 for 55 pounds!

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212337844_zpswgcwtye0.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212337844_zpswgcwtye0.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212331313_zpsmf98llcb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212331313_zpsmf98llcb.jpg.html)


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212321245_zpskqgjw7j5.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212321245_zpskqgjw7j5.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212318508_zpseld3rjcq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212318508_zpseld3rjcq.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212309642_zpsngir3l5h.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_212309642_zpsngir3l5h.jpg.html)
Soda ash will be new for me, only ever used baking soda, and this is pool grade, but supposedly safe.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160731_224345252_zpszhigiwfd.jpg
Sump under tank with 3 part top off container (will partition 10G into 3 section). The sump will house skimmer/returns/carbon/turf scrubber. Frag tank will drain into here.

zachtos
08/19/2016, 02:09 PM
DIY foam background build

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_120657212_zpsqkrtqfzv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_120657212_zpsqkrtqfzv.jpg.html)

Some shots of the build.
-10 cans of 'great stuff pond and stone'
-4 tubes of DAP window and door 100% silicone
-wax paper (under foam)
-seran wrap (between edges)
-4 pieces of light diffuser/egg crate
-hot glue (to hold egg crate in shape before foam)
-200 lbs of dry base rock
-2 part epoxy (1/8 of gallon)
-6 brushes for epoxy (disposable)
-argonite sand
-knife
-foam shaver / rasp
-hammer/chisel
-angle grinder (shaping rocks/foam)
-2x4's for bracing
*overall project cost w/o rock = $150, + 200 lbs of base rock (for 2 feet x 7 feet)


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_130217802_zpsxnh02yzd.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_130217802_zpsxnh02yzd.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_130231018_zpsanfeb3xp.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_130231018_zpsanfeb3xp.jpg.html)

Basically I just cut egg crate to the shape of the tank areas I wanted to cover. I used hot glue to hold the overflow sections together in shape, no zip ties. I left 1" above egg crate for overflow and braces. Cut the egg crate in a zig zag to hide the seems. Put seran wrap between the edges and wax paper behind the egg crate. I used box tape on the curved overflow sections. Then lay down rocks in the general jig saw pattern I wanted. I chiseled some rocks to make flat on the back to stick out as ledges for coral mounting. I could not go TOO BIG on the rock or I would not be able to lift up the final product w/o breaking it, I suggest no more than 18" x 24" segments to avoid this problem. Lift up rock, lace a generous amount of foam down under the rock, then put the rock back into the wet foam. I added rocksalt to the foam while wet to create pock marks, this is a waste, just shave the foam when you are done and add epoxy and sand (looks OK even w/o sand). Let cure overnight.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_191652381_HDR_zps4qnl2mgq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_191652381_HDR_zps4qnl2mgq.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_203956120_zpstkbjcbok.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_203956120_zpstkbjcbok.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_204004721_zpsxauvyorn.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_204004721_zpsxauvyorn.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_204014199_zpsmeqa0pmk.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_204014199_zpsmeqa0pmk.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_205327651%201_zpsuzq38vl0.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_205327651%201_zpsuzq38vl0.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_205334183%201_zpsb4e338lw.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_205334183%201_zpsb4e338lw.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_214248300_zpsfcigwmlo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_214248300_zpsfcigwmlo.jpg.html)

zachtos
08/19/2016, 02:10 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_214543746_zpstqhkwq1v.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_214543746_zpstqhkwq1v.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_214551825_zpssf0zgjb0.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160806_214551825_zpssf0zgjb0.jpg.html)

Zip ties are not needed, the rocks held very well, but you could pry a rock out if you try hard enough. I then added extra foam between all the seems that did not quite have enough coverage. You need 2 spare cans, 1 to fill extra holes on day 2, and another for the seem in the tank after install. I then started the day long process of shaving excess foam with a rasp and knife. Removing the wax paper and tape was easy. The back needed shaving with knife to make flat again. Some rocks needed encouragement to fit back together and flat based with the angle grinder (not hard).

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_113054053_zps7tsnajjj.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_113054053_zps7tsnajjj.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_113121054_zpsa5kffcwe.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_113121054_zpsa5kffcwe.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_130148176_zpsy6z0r4tc.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_130148176_zpsy6z0r4tc.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_155348379_zpsnhhe1bv8.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_155348379_zpsnhhe1bv8.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_210634074%201_zpsc1o6t77b.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_210634074%201_zpsc1o6t77b.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_210641006%201_zpsjx9v9ert.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_210641006%201_zpsjx9v9ert.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_210655525_zpsws29thve.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_210655525_zpsws29thve.jpg.html)


Once all the pieces were back together in a good configuration, I mixed up 2 part epoxy (I also had red and blue dye to make it purple, but that was a wasted effort overall). I painted all the exposed foam on the front sides and then sprinkled generous amounts of fine argonite sand. Let sit overnight. It worked very well. Vacuum up the mess.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_220511460_zpshszghvil.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160807_220511460_zpshszghvil.jpg.html)

zachtos
08/19/2016, 02:10 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_183316355_zpsxrcug4vr.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_183316355_zpsxrcug4vr.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_183335956%201_zpstgjjhelm.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_183335956%201_zpstgjjhelm.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_183345611_zpszv6pz63z.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_183345611_zpszv6pz63z.jpg.html)


Next was installation into the actual tank itself. Very heavy pieces, maybe 50lbs each, and not easy to lift into the tank w/o breaking any of the egg crate. Test fit, then apply zig zag silicone. I found I needed huge dabs in each corner of the background pieces to make sure it made good contact, as some warpage occured during the foam curing process, which made it not perfectly flat anymore. This was a hard part of the job, running back and forth cutting 2x4's to make perfect sized braces to keep the background pieces smushed against the glass.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_193819100%201_zps3ta3ccvm.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_193819100%201_zps3ta3ccvm.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_202649481%201_zpsqvv7zzzt.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160808_202649481%201_zpsqvv7zzzt.jpg.html)

Easy to confirm as you can see throught the back glass if the silicone is expanded flat or not good contact. Next day I removed the bracing and added foam to the exposed seems. Next day I shaved that foam down again and added more epoxy and sand. Now that everything is siliconed and foamed together, it is very stable. It will be a nightmare to remove one day if the tank leaks, I move or have to sell it. Final day I let the daughter vacuum up the excess sand. Looks great to me so far.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205600571_zpshdvblxvq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205600571_zpshdvblxvq.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205625723_zpshykbroly.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205625723_zpshykbroly.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205619052_zps09wupsxb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205619052_zps09wupsxb.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205650597_zps6dcafrpe.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205650597_zps6dcafrpe.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_204207535_zpsw2zyohxu.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_204207535_zpsw2zyohxu.jpg.html)

The only mistakes I made where on the seem where the side panel meets the overflow, had a bit of a gap and had to fill w/ extra foam, but you can't tell. The side wall is mostly for the MP60 pump and tunze wavemaker, so I did not totally cover the wall so I could move as needed. I added some purple paint to exterior glass to make opaque wall for now. Only want visible from the left side and front panel.

zachtos
08/19/2016, 02:11 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205717170_zpshtef6b0r.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160810_205717170_zpshtef6b0r.jpg.html)

Overall, I am very pleased with the project. This is my 3rd and by far, best foam background. 90% rock coverage makes it look amazing, and offers great places for coral shelving. Epoxy/sand are not needed but will fill in while corraline takes over. My tank is probably too heavy to lift now I bet, but I hope that I won't be changing jobs or experiencing a tank failure in the next 5-10 years (PLEASE). Next project I have not posted photos of yet is the plumbing (done but no time to document yet).

zachtos
08/25/2016, 03:31 PM
Salt water mix station plumbing is almost done, more photos of full setup soon.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110129863_zpsev0ee7rc.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110129863_zpsev0ee7rc.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160814_205858428_zpsr5ebhixo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160814_205858428_zpsr5ebhixo.jpg.html)

Natural gas hot water heater closed loop complete. This heats my aquarium with a Ranco controller and a hot water recirculation pump. Typical installation cost is around $250 with all parts/plumbing. It should save someone with a tank like mine (LED lighting), about $10-20 per month in electric heating. Gas is cheaper per BTU vs electric in most areas, especially with the advent of fracking. Plus, no more heaters that fail and shock you or leak stray voltage. Heats much faster than electric heaters based on the coil size.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105903408_zpsfn60u7aj.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105903408_zpsfn60u7aj.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105838228_HDR_zps96efelgb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105838228_HDR_zps96efelgb.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105822130_zpsjklwkx4j.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105822130_zpsjklwkx4j.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105811958_zpspjah8rfi.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105811958_zpspjah8rfi.jpg.html)

20G Frag tank is drilled and plumbed into the main tank off the return line. I will use the LED light fixture off my existing anemone tank for now in near future. The top tank is a 40G quarantine tank in progress.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110115502_zpsm3mmzzaf.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110115502_zpsm3mmzzaf.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110041400_zps4gwecqmq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110041400_zps4gwecqmq.jpg.html)

I plumbed basic durso stand pipes for now. I may tinker with herbie overflows later based on how loud it ends up being, I was fine with the last tank though honestly.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110014838_zpsf25cdybv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_110014838_zpsf25cdybv.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105957004_zpsz17loyn0.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105957004_zpsz17loyn0.jpg.html)

zachtos
08/25/2016, 03:32 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105946428_zpssxohport.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105946428_zpssxohport.jpg.html)

I rigged up the auto top off controller (I built one years ago), and set the depth to about 6-7" for according to the skimmer manual ideal depth.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_161754999_zpsxplpltf2.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_161754999_zpsxplpltf2.jpg.html)

The dual DCS-9000 jebao returns are rigged up, these are a bit of a gamble, I can switch to something better if they fail. I wanted quiet pumps, not reeflo pumps if I can avoid this time around. I used 1.5" tru unions with some flex PVC, to rigid 1.5" PVC then to 1.5" wye, then reduce down to two 1" spouts into the display (4 total). I also cut a 1.5" bulkhead to drain the sump, not shown, maybe will use for water changes.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160816_233757953_zpshijlp5l1.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160816_233757953_zpshijlp5l1.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105918243_zpsmeihcvap.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105918243_zpsmeihcvap.jpg.html)

I also got preliminary plumbing setup for the algal turf scrubber. I am feeding it off 2 of the 4 stand pipes, and estimate it's flow based off pump curves should be around 900-1200gph. The slot will be 18" long, hopefully giving 50+ gph per inch, above the 35gph minimum recommendation.

3 part doser storage container. Cut some acrylic, siliconed into a 10G tank and water tested OK. will use the jebao doser pump and controller to dose the salts into my tank instead of CaReactor.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160821_202718510_zpsaipj1jos.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160821_202718510_zpsaipj1jos.jpg.html)

I cut the screen to be about 18" x 10" exposed area and roughed it up. It's supposed to be rated for (18"x10" / 12) = 15 'cubes per day. Or in my plans, 3 sheets of 4"x8" nori, 2-3 auto feeder dry pellet feedings and 4 frozen cubes of food. I hope when combined with skimmer, high flow and barebottom, that I will be good to go. I still need to buy parts to build some kind of LED light. I know what I want, but not sure on enclosure and water/splash protection. Also a bit of confusion on LED density and optics.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_190831079_zpst4zpuuuw.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_190831079_zpst4zpuuuw.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105931889_zpssg6ibveu.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_105931889_zpssg6ibveu.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_183852663_zpst3styp0a.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160820_183852663_zpst3styp0a.jpg.html)

sfsuphysics
08/25/2016, 04:47 PM
Looking good !

Missed a couple weeks with wife, then baby and now me catching a nasty bug, but looking back man that is a helluva lot of breakers for a 100 amp panel, looks more like a 200 amp panel in size

darmar7812
08/25/2016, 05:56 PM
Wow everything looks good coming together, can't wait to see the end result. Keep up the great work!

zachtos
08/25/2016, 06:08 PM
Looking good !

Missed a couple weeks with wife, then baby and now me catching a nasty bug, but looking back man that is a helluva lot of breakers for a 100 amp panel, looks more like a 200 amp panel in size

Yep, all the houses out here for some reason were 100A breakers, annoying. Too expensive to upgrade it, but I did free a ton of breaker space by using GAS for water heater, stove/range, furnace, dryer. The only real loads are 2 TV entertainment centers/PCs, dryer/washer/furnace motor, 1 fridge, LED lights each room (9W each), bath exhaust x 2, AC (think it's 2 or 3 ton), misc. tools/load as needed. Really I think my load is quite small. I think the tank will draw maybe 20-25A peak load. I should buy a meter to measure the loading on the main wire though, but thermal scan is very low, but I have not added the tank load of course.

sfsuphysics
08/25/2016, 06:29 PM
Man I cant imagine electri water heater, stove, heat, dryer on a 100 amp panel, you would really need to watch how many of those are used at once, then a tank on top of that, whew... good job switching those gas

iced98lx
08/26/2016, 07:58 AM
Yep, all the houses out here for some reason were 100A breakers, annoying. Too expensive to upgrade it, but I did free a ton of breaker space by using GAS for water heater, stove/range, furnace, dryer. The only real loads are 2 TV entertainment centers/PCs, dryer/washer/furnace motor, 1 fridge, LED lights each room (9W each), bath exhaust x 2, AC (think it's 2 or 3 ton), misc. tools/load as needed. Really I think my load is quite small. I think the tank will draw maybe 20-25A peak load. I should buy a meter to measure the loading on the main wire though, but thermal scan is very low, but I have not added the tank load of course.

Man I cant imagine electri water heater, stove, heat, dryer on a 100 amp panel, you would really need to watch how many of those are used at once, then a tank on top of that, whew... good job switching those gas

We had Stove/Water Heater/Dryer/AC/Hot Tub on a 100 amp panel when we moved in. Couldn't believe the PO left it that way. It was fine as long as you didn't run the dryer and the hot tub full bore at the same time.

Luckily it's affordable to put in bigger service out here.

You can buy a pretty cheap and decent amp clamp (https://www.amazon.com/Klein-Tools-CL200-Clamp-Temperature/dp/B003LDFVBG/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1472219773&sr=8-4&keywords=amp+clamp) you can slap around individual circuits or the mains coming into check out your load if you want.

Remember though, 100A breakers are only rated for continuous draw of around 80A most of the time with spikes tossed in.



Good looking build so far, looks like you've got a good plan!

prop-frags
08/26/2016, 07:50 PM
Really great build. Thoughtful and original design. Thorough execution. Nice work!!
I'd be paranoid about the vertical rock work being held only with silicone, but I know that stuff is incredibly strong; I would probably fashion some kind of brackets across the top anyway just to help me sleep better. Did you use ball valves for the feeds over to the frag tank? You'll want those to be able to take those things offline when needed.

Hd818
08/26/2016, 10:07 PM
can't wait to see the finished product

zachtos
08/27/2016, 01:51 AM
Really great build. Thoughtful and original design. Thorough execution. Nice work!!
I'd be paranoid about the vertical rock work being held only with silicone, but I know that stuff is incredibly strong; I would probably fashion some kind of brackets across the top anyway just to help me sleep better. Did you use ball valves for the feeds over to the frag tank? You'll want those to be able to take those things offline when needed.

Yes a 3/4" tru union feeds from one of the returns.

I think the rock work should be fine, others have done the same. It will take a crowbar to get that back off. The entire background is connected together so in that case, it sits like a U on the bottom, so would not fall over anyway. Though maybe a few rocks may fall out in the future if foam does not hold, but I do have the plastic bottom now.

zachtos
08/31/2016, 01:41 PM
Lot of work this last week.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_152416813_HDR_zpsuxwabqqi.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_152416813_HDR_zpsuxwabqqi.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_143249400_HDR_zpsagageftr.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_143249400_HDR_zpsagageftr.jpg.html)

Yes, it's filling, FW only for testing phase. The HDPE sheet on the bottom floated right up, the silicone did not work, or maybe I did something wrong? oils on surface perhaps? 10lbs of weight held it down no problem, so I'm sure 300lbs of rock will nullify the issue, not worth tearing it all apart for minor issue, I know it may slightly warp anyway, and I worried about the glass feeling pressure from warp/expansion.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_210124871_zpsmlewktuo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_210124871_zpsmlewktuo.jpg.html)

I finished the drywalling around the tank. Mud/sand/texture/paint. I still need to add baseboard and trim, and my parents will help with building an oak front access panel.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_143227324_HDR_zpsnc7sfk6l.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_143227324_HDR_zpsnc7sfk6l.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200629089_zps8xjz2ude.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200629089_zps8xjz2ude.jpg.html)

Lighting is temporary until I build my DIY LED fixtures in a few months.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_214232929_zpsgqlxrxki.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_214232929_zpsgqlxrxki.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_214219239_zpsusbr7rif.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_214219239_zpsusbr7rif.jpg.html)

I had to lower the water level in the tank so the wave maker would stop sloshing onto the floor. Now I have about 1.5" to work with from top, just below the plastic lip on the exterior. This was a LOT of work. I had to cut with a angle grinder through rock/foam/plastic to make a nice U in each corner. Then I drilled small holes and added gutter mesh (not pictured) to block fish from the overflows. I am having trouble with the overflows still, trying to keep them quiet and get the main water level down, because my sump floods a few gallons when I cut power.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_015833329_zpsu4rujfaz.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_015833329_zpsu4rujfaz.jpg.html)

I'm working on getting the flow in the dursos figured out. There is always way more flow in one vs the other, with adjustable air holes.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_015809716_zpsy6hopo3x.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_015809716_zpsy6hopo3x.jpg.html)

I made my own type of herbie overflow, using a durso and herbie. It is just a pipe with a coupling and cap. The coupling has 1/2" holes drilled around it through coupling/pipe. If you twist the coupling, you can adjust the flow, similar to a ballvalve on the end (which I can no longer add w/o heavy mod). It works pretty well so far, seems reliable, not seeing a drawback here.

zachtos
08/31/2016, 01:42 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150033849_HDR_zpsx96kp7cs.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150033849_HDR_zpsx96kp7cs.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_015437433_zpsogp3yzif.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160830_015437433_zpsogp3yzif.jpg.html)

Algae turf scrubber setup on one of the overflows. This is a pain in the ***. I can't get the flow figured out to keep it even sheet of water. It also sounds like a bath tub filling up. The tank is nearly silent without this. I am not sure what I will do anymore, I do not like the noise.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200643532_zpssjwwprzf.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200643532_zpssjwwprzf.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234858565_zpsssbhqenb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234858565_zpsssbhqenb.jpg.html)

Frag tank online, tied to main sump, the top tank is QT only. Skimmer dumps into that bucket excess waste. The white is the return and the grey line is the drain from frag to sump. I love the pool hose w/ 1" adapters from aquacave.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200624554_HDR_zps0q5kfpdy.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200624554_HDR_zps0q5kfpdy.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_183350635_HDR_zpsbcubglw5.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_183350635_HDR_zpsbcubglw5.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200634153_zpskokxjl5y.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_200634153_zpskokxjl5y.jpg.html)

Denim insulation for noise reduction, not showing black plastic stapled over it to waterproof, though it is supposed to be mold/water resistant (it's shredded pants!) Seems to help on the noise, but I really need that 3/4" oak lid to really know the final sound levels, it is OK for now, but the ATS is not making me happy.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_180044087_zpsnfauvu9y.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_180044087_zpsnfauvu9y.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_175937835_zpsbpexbfza.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160828_175937835_zpsbpexbfza.jpg.html)

LEAKS, I had 3 leaks, one in spaflex return, easy fix but needed a trip to store. Other two were bulkheads in slightly rounded sump and barrel. I had a feeling they would leak, uniseals I think are for more curved, but these were very slight. I opened them up and added silicone and let dry. Seems OK, and they are not under pressure, so hopefully will stand the test of time.

zachtos
08/31/2016, 01:43 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150108090_zpsm1lj5r52.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150108090_zpsm1lj5r52.jpg.html)

pumps and heater coil in place. Also tempertaure probe for the ranco to control pump to the hot water heater. I love the DCS pumps so far, so quiet you literally can't hear them, so powerful too, the flow curve was too conservative! Can only run them at 60% each or it's madness.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150054324_zps1lc6nxkb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150054324_zps1lc6nxkb.jpg.html)

My skimmer, the int5000 reef octopus. Quiet with my HY5000 pump. I like it so far. I also bought the auto neck cleaner, pretty neat. I hated cleaning skimmer neck everyday, worth the $200!!!

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234912016_zpsifvgru0f.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234912016_zpsifvgru0f.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_145933638_HDR_zpszbbuzzyo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_145933638_HDR_zpszbbuzzyo.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150002423_HDR_zps1hd2h0tn.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160827_150002423_HDR_zps1hd2h0tn.jpg.html)

All the wiring done. Lot of work. Vortech MP60's, waiting for new Quiet drive controllers to RMA, had issue where press mode button they did not work, cycled power instead. Not sure if a used pump hurt them somehow? Also mp60's are a bit loud w/ old controller to me, had to let the used one break in, it was rattling for a reason? Item on bottom is a float charger, the bottom surge strip is a custom uninteruptible power supply I built, attached to 1 of the returns for now. Also hooked up the 3 part doser, but not tried yet. Wave maker is nice, but need 1 more, 1 not enough for my taste, too weak 1/2" wave, not too loud though really.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234724602_zpsdavycjgs.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234724602_zpsdavycjgs.jpg.html)

3 part doser container in place, but not tested

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234700839_zpsineldk1o.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234700839_zpsineldk1o.jpg.html)

Drain for sump, or future use for external return pump if need.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234500928_zpsgoog2llf.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234500928_zpsgoog2llf.jpg.html)

zachtos
08/31/2016, 01:43 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234522571_zpskhez2c8f.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234522571_zpskhez2c8f.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234541884_zpsnc69irbz.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234541884_zpsnc69irbz.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234926499_zpsyy4ghtai.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234926499_zpsyy4ghtai.jpg.html)

The auto top off, I have it dump into the overflow from above rafters, could not figure out how to stop siphon after engaging the top off pump. It's 4' high from ground, so not really a way to stop it flowing into ground level sump. I must dump from above. This was a HUGE pain in *** too, probably 12 hours of labor for just getting the ATO online. Ended up scrapping the 1/4" water line w/ luftpumps, going 1/2" with a maxijet1200 did the trick. Ended up 3' of head with 12' horizontal = 4 to 5' of head loss maybe, but it works OK, comes out good flow. DIY Dual float switch w/ 12V relay setup in the sump, AC cord goes up and over to the return maxijet 12' away.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234820934_zpsrf5prz6v.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234820934_zpsrf5prz6v.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234839376_zpsombyykh8.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234839376_zpsombyykh8.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234802407_zpsywodn9id.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160825_234802407_zpsywodn9id.jpg.html)

Oh the custom DIY UPS. This is an older project I did, but basically just a deepcycle battery, true sine wave inverter, float charger and AC power cord w/ relay. Charger and inverter connect to battery always. The inverter has AC out, to a cord which has hot wire broke by NO on relay. Relay has AC input for the switch activated so when power on, keeps relay in closed position, once lose power, it snaps shut, lets power flow on the NO normal open pins, which makes inverter power the AC ouput. So basically this will toggle AC power when power returns to the outlet, or use battery when the outlet loses power. I can plug any device into this under 400 watt total (pumps, maxijets, skimmer, laptop, WIFI, phone charger, whatever). More batteries mean more capacity. No generator planned, I live in the city, so no expectation of natural disaster in Wisconsin pas 8-24 hour tops, which this can keep returns online, and gas water heater keeps tank hot if need, no electric for that one.

McPuff
09/02/2016, 08:30 AM
Following along intently as I'm building the same tank now. I won't have the frag system but otherwise we're pretty similar.

For the ATS, you might just consider growing some chaeto and adding a marine pure block or two. I think the combo there works quite well actually. For my system, I'll have a 60 gal sump to house the heaters, skimmer (Reef Dynamics INS300), and return pump (dct 15000 which will have manifold). Return will feed the display and a remote fuge/dsb to be placed above the sump in a 75 gal rubbermaid. I may also move the marine pure blocks up there and add whatever leftover liverock I have.

I still need to devise a water change system and I like what you've created. I think two 50 gal barrels is probably the minimum... I may even try to get a 100 gal for the RODI reservoir. For my ATO, I use a 7 gal container with a float switch... then connected directly to RODI reservoir. Reduces the need for a large ATO reservoir and works very well.

Anyway, great build so far!!

JoeTSI
09/02/2016, 12:28 PM
I noticed what I appear to be firearms on the wall in your family room. Any info on those?

Great build and some serious DIY skills.

zachtos
09/02/2016, 01:04 PM
... I won't have the frag system but otherwise we're pretty similar.

For the ATS, you might just consider growing some chaeto and adding a marine pure block or two.


I would suggest planning for a frag tank pre-plumb at least. I had none last tank, and left a TON of money sitting on table, as people would visit all the time wanting to buy stuff and taking too long to cut then and there. Plus a great way to backup your system in a way, or be able to quickly get ready for a frag swap (trades or exhibit) without having fresh vulnerable frags.

Yeah, not super happy with how I setup my ATO, but whatever you do make redundancy so if a switch fails you don't flood anything, but 7 gallons is low risk if that is max you ever drop assuming it's not auto filled, then it is 75 gallon/day if stuck. I have parallel switches and 50 gallon max that could ever dump (not auto refilled). Though am vulnerable to a maxijet failing, we shall see.

For the ATS, I am leaving the center of the sump pretty open, so if I change my mind, I can try anything. For now will try heavy lighted growing algae and see how it goes. Seems like a good supplement to a skimmer (remove nutrient skimmer misses). Though sounds like ATS can be a pain to clean each week. I don't mind a bit of maintenance every weekend, but daily maintenance is a problem for me.

zachtos
09/02/2016, 01:13 PM
I noticed what I appear to be firearms on the wall in your family room. Any info on those?

Great build and some serious DIY skills.

http://lasertagpro.com/the-brx/ - I design laser tag equipment for a living. Those are some of my personal collection from the past. We are actually making a high end laser tag gun that is for the consumer, connects to your phone, download games etc. It's a high end outdoor sport like airsoft/paintball, not a cheap toy. Loud powerful speaker, 600 feet range, simulated explosives on an on I can go.

https://www.facebook.com/ircombat1/photos - some photos of my old gear in action

video of IR combat (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztlJBtOzj-s)

CrazyDiamond
09/03/2016, 07:17 PM
Nice build u have going - This tank is gonna be great !

skanderson
09/05/2016, 04:55 PM
enjoying watching another Wisconsin build. also think the new laser tag gear looks like a cool training item for small group tactics training. it would be more realistic than paintball and a lot neater.

McPuff
09/06/2016, 07:37 AM
I would suggest planning for a frag tank pre-plumb at least. I had none last tank, and left a TON of money sitting on table, as people would visit all the time wanting to buy stuff and taking too long to cut then and there. Plus a great way to backup your system in a way, or be able to quickly get ready for a frag swap (trades or exhibit) without having fresh vulnerable frags.

I'll be doing minimal SPS actually. I sold off almost all of my colonies in my current 120 and am keeping just about 6-8 colonies. These are relatively easy to keep and will get huge... and that is really my goal. If I do sell frags, they'll be more like small colonies. It shouldn't be necessary very often.

zachtos
09/06/2016, 05:29 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191622988_HDR_zpsucp5thsc.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191622988_HDR_zpsucp5thsc.jpg.html)
Full tank shot to date. I know I am not the most creative with aquascaping, but the background kicks ***. The rocks are mostly just 3 mounds with some shelves. There are plenty of flat surfaces for SPS colonies to take off, and I have several areas where I want montipora caps for some shelf overhangs. Maybe some encrusters on the lower portions. I really want green star polyps again, but it's hard to keep them isolated, they look amazing with wavemaker though.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191704719_zpsr8bbpbqa.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191704719_zpsr8bbpbqa.jpg.html)
Side tank view, fish can swim around the entire perimeter of the rock, glass and back wall with around 4-6" clearances.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191643181_HDR_zps5gq8ynhd.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191643181_HDR_zps5gq8ynhd.jpg.html)
Right side (2 wavemakers shown, they get a pretty good double wave going, 1 tunze was not enough)
A petri dish of established ruble rock with critters shown in the bottom corner.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191638451_zpsetnslt65.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191638451_zpsetnslt65.jpg.html)
Center pile.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191633960_HDR_zpseoqbg1sn.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191633960_HDR_zpseoqbg1sn.jpg.html)
Left side.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191424701_HDR_zpsz8mdyb1w.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191424701_HDR_zpsz8mdyb1w.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191412794_HDR_zpses8kyeji.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191412794_HDR_zpses8kyeji.jpg.html)

Frag tank transferred and lighting setup. Small MP10 vortech for extra flow in the frag tank. For now this houses 2 ocelaris clown fish and about 9-10 rose bubble tip anemones. I plan to sell those all off. The top shelf I may use for general storage, a future small tank w/ shared sump, or just a quarantine for frags.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191435912_HDR_zpshytvb5rn.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191435912_HDR_zpshytvb5rn.jpg.html)
Quarantine tank moved from the shelf and setup. I put excess live rock in there for now, and the small skimmer. I need to do research on how to quarantine, thread suggestions welcome.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191516408_zps8cz2ew1z.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160905_191516408_zps8cz2ew1z.jpg.html)
I quieted the turf scrubber down by installing a bypass T for the excess flow. I am not sure if I am getting exactly 35gph/inch though, but I suppose I could cut the slot a bit bigger if I need more. I think it's about 1/8", but it's pure gravity feed at this point. The T is required, or it siphons, as mentioned, and no flow goes to the scrubber. I do hear a constant gurgle in the pipe though, not that loud though.

I ordered turf scrubber LEDs yesterday (11"x19" screen 2X sided), planning a 6x20" heatsink w/ T slots, and 42 LED per side (84 total), 72 - 660nm LED and 12 - 410-420nm LED. No lenses, will try to just keep as close as possible. Will be using dimming functions. My bioload will start at 2 cubes/day and slowly ramp up to 15+ cubes/day over the next 2 years as fish are added/grow.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160904_155725823_HDR_zpspvkfx5nm.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160904_155725823_HDR_zpspvkfx5nm.jpg.html)

The drain system I am using, in both corner, using a durso standpipe for excess flow, and nearly full siphon for main flow, so basically a herbie without a valve. I just twist the coupling to lower the flow using holes I drilled. Works fine, seems reliable. I raised them up more to keep the sump from overflowing when power out.

//I need a new deepcycle battery, the old one apparently is dead/ruined, won't hold charge. Quiet drives for vortechs on the way. I also ordered parts for ATS LED x2, QT LED x1 and 6x corona fixtures from RapidLED. I need to perform research about how to quarantine coral and fish properly next, then research/decide on fish in budget. At least tank is cycling and the fish room is cleaned up nice.

zachtos
09/06/2016, 05:30 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160904_155831381_zpsyxawldxt.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160904_155831381_zpsyxawldxt.jpg.html)

OK, this is only cool for engineers. Basically a simple code I wrote, with a cluser of relays. It's a feed timer. Push the button, tank stops moving so much water, so food stays in the tank. Then it turns it back on later when done. Why is this special?
-1 button will turn off many devices, and reboot, while lowering flow on others
-it will auto turn back on after 12 minutes
-it shuts off skimmer for longer period of time so it doesn't overflow tank when skimmer comes back online with too high of level still in the sump, so I can have skimmer in non compartmentalized area.
-it also has a timer that when goes off, will toggle feeder A or feeder B (pellets or Nori) automatically, as many times as I want.

*press button
-turn off skimmer
-enable feed mode on vortechs, tunzes and return pumps (6 devices)
-end of 10 minute feed modes devices back on
-+2 minutes at end of feed, skimmer turns back on
-press button to cancel feed mode operation

*digital timer input turn on
-same as a button press
-30 seconds after shutdown, turn on auto feeder A 6 seconds
-on opposite cycles toggle auto feeder A or B (such as pellets, flakes or nori)

Of course I can do more with this, but I have no plans at the moment. Simple to feed, and keeps system safe and automatic while I'm away from home.

McPuff
09/07/2016, 06:59 AM
Have you been getting any warnings about your tank failing? It's got me a bit nervous but for hopefully no reason. The tank I bought was filled for about 18 months with no issues. And I see NO mistakes in the seams. I'll still be using the ALD module for apex though. :0)

zachtos
09/07/2016, 08:11 PM
Have you been getting any warnings about your tank failing? It's got me a bit nervous but for hopefully no reason. The tank I bought was filled for about 18 months with no issues. And I see NO mistakes in the seams. I'll still be using the ALD module for apex though. :0)

I have read a bit about failures of marineland deep dimension tanks, but they are popular tanks, so that does not really mean a lot. I don't see any bow in my front panel nor my stand. I built it to the DIY stand calculator thread's recommendation, works great. If the tank were to fail, I would lose the DIY background, which was a lot of work, aside from whatever else I could lose. Let's hope they are built tough. I think mine is a few years old from someone else already.

McPuff
09/08/2016, 06:48 AM
I have read a bit about failures of marineland deep dimension tanks, but they are popular tanks, so that does not really mean a lot. I don't see any bow in my front panel nor my stand. I built it to the DIY stand calculator thread's recommendation, works great. If the tank were to fail, I would lose the DIY background, which was a lot of work, aside from whatever else I could lose. Let's hope they are built tough. I think mine is a few years old from someone else already.

Well I like to hear other people's success stories... and the popularity is sure to be the reason for so many failure stories. But there are failures with all tank manufacturers. Still, it has me worries so I'm doing everything I can to make sure this stand (which has already held the tank for over 18 mo) will not be the source of any issues. I really like how your tank is coming along!

zachtos
09/15/2016, 10:03 AM
So over the last few weeks I've been working on minor things. The build phase is coming to an end soon, then on to small projects and livestock. Coral probably won't be until I find a worthy frag swap in Michigan this coming January (4-5 months yet).

I installed the quiet drive motors for the vortechs and connected them to the push button feeder. They are dead silent, worthy of an upgrade PCB.

Ordered all of my test kits and chemicals for quarantine. (photo pending)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244737520_zpssex5sxud.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244737520_zpssex5sxud.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244809052_zpsfu3n4mhc.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244809052_zpsfu3n4mhc.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244822916_HDR_zps5lbgpszu.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244822916_HDR_zps5lbgpszu.jpg.html)

I setup 3 quarantine tanks (40G, 20G, 10G) (photos pending). Each has live rock to help them cycle. Sponge filters and temperature controllers for them are in the mail. Probably still 2 weeks until I start buying fish anyways. I also have 3 auto feeders in the mail, and some other secret projects pending.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244452378_zpsbw1pylnq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244452378_zpsbw1pylnq.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244509359_zpszegxhmeb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244509359_zpszegxhmeb.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244719012_zps9qmwae0f.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244719012_zps9qmwae0f.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244546447_zpsdv5kczif.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160912_244546447_zpsdv5kczif.jpg.html)

Built the algae turf scrubber LED fixtures, very bright, extremely high PAR readings and good coverage at short range. I still have to figure out how to hang them under the tank.

The LED fixtures for the display are still on backorder, maybe another week, then I hang those and post photos and PAR readings.

Decided on a fish stock list based on feedback from another thread I made.
Final Order List (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2598876)

REGAL angel x 2 (mate pair)
powder blue tang x 1
Hippo Tang x 1
pyramid butterfly x 4
coral beauty dwarf x 3-4 (harem)
Lyratail Anthias x 6
royal grammas x 6+
Harlequin Tusk Wrasse x 1
Exquisitte Fairy Wrasse x 1
Solar/Red Head Solomon Fairy Wrasse x 1
Fine Spotted Fairy Wrasse x 1
Pink Margin Wrasse x 1
Blue Head Wrasse x 1
Perculla Clown x 2 (I own 2 of these now with 9 RBTA)
Clown Goby x 2 (in a year)
Mandarin Dragonette x 2 (in a year)
cleaner goby x 2 (in 6 months)


Maybe in a 6-12 months based on how it goes:

+anemone (bubble tip or Magnifica or gigantea)
+kole tang and/or convict tang

+anthias (dispar, bartlett)
or
+1-2 flame or cherub or potter dwarf angels (no more than 2 each)

fishguy306
09/15/2016, 04:19 PM
Very cool build so far! I love all of your planning and thought put into everything.

Any chance at seeing a bit more of how you plumbed the heating coils to the hot water heater? I want to do the same with my system and I'm trying to get an idea of how different people have done it. Most I've seen have the water returned through the drain in the bottom but yours appears to exit the HWH there? Do you return it into the cold water line?

zachtos
09/15/2016, 05:31 PM
Very cool build so far! I love all of your planning and thought put into everything.

Any chance at seeing a bit more of how you plumbed the heating coils to the hot water heater? I want to do the same with my system and I'm trying to get an idea of how different people have done it. Most I've seen have the water returned through the drain in the bottom but yours appears to exit the HWH there? Do you return it into the cold water line?

try this link for heater (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1561871) info from a past thread when I did this on my last tank.

I pull from the bottom valve and return to the top of the hot water to the house. It does cause a problem if you are in the shower and it kicks on, temperature will change a bit (not ice cold but warm then hot). I can reverse the direction of the pump, but I can't recall if that really fixed the problem or not honestly. I can't remember what direction is correct, but it's a closed loop, so not sure it matters.

fishguy306
09/15/2016, 05:40 PM
Thanks for the details! I'll take a look at your other thread tonight. I'm curious if the heat issue for the rest of the house would be better if it returned to the cold or into the bottom. Honestly I don't know enough about hot water heaters to know. That said my system will have a controller watching temps, would it be as simple as just telling it not to run between certain times? Anyway thanks for the info!

zachtos
09/15/2016, 06:25 PM
Thanks for the details! I'll take a look at your other thread tonight. I'm curious if the heat issue for the rest of the house would be better if it returned to the cold or into the bottom. Honestly I don't know enough about hot water heaters to know. That said my system will have a controller watching temps, would it be as simple as just telling it not to run between certain times? Anyway thanks for the info!

Yes, you could put a wall timer on the pump if you want to block access during morning shower, should not be much drop in temperature for a few hours a day denial. Could even make electric take place if you wanted, but eliminates the purpose for me, keeping EL load down.

saf1
09/15/2016, 06:29 PM
enjoying watching another Wisconsin build. also think the new laser tag gear looks like a cool training item for small group tactics training. it would be more realistic than paintball and a lot neater.

Oddly enough lasers while fine do not have noise nor does it have an impact. Not like a slug to a vest but it is something that you will still feel which could distract. Not a fan. Sort of like that gas mask test, right? Oder passing under vs. actual tear gas or pepper spray.

Regardless, looks great :)

fishguy306
09/15/2016, 06:55 PM
Yes, you could put a wall timer on the pump if you want to block access during morning shower, should not be much drop in temperature for a few hours a day denial. Could even make electric take place if you wanted, but eliminates the purpose for me, keeping EL load down.

That is my thought as well. I've got a couple of massive heaters for the system I'm setting up but for the cost to run them I'm thinking gas as well. For the couple hours a day it wouldn't run I'm not worried about my volume dropping too much. Anyway, thanks again! I don't want to derail your post too much lol

jduck
09/15/2016, 08:54 PM
You know I have a tank of corals for you to pick from when your ready.

Did you put a selnoid valve on your hot water loop?

zachtos
09/15/2016, 09:53 PM
You know I have a tank of corals for you to pick from when your ready.

Did you put a selnoid valve on your hot water loop?

No solenoid valve again, it works pretty good, heated my water change unheated water to 80F in 20 minutes.

I will definitely take you up on the coral offer. I am not impressed with the upcoming swaps in WI yet compared to MI. I am seeking out some of my old 'must have' corals again:

Palmer Blue Millipora
ORA red planet
Peach/Green millipora
rose milli
ORA blue millipora
Red/Green/Purple montipora
Pink lemonade
yellow humilis


I could trade you back 9 rose bubble tips if you wish to try and sell them, otherwise I can try my LFS. Not sure if I can find a safe way to keep anemone in the SPS tank honestly, high flow, barebottom, super high light, but the wave maker is nice.

I am also debating what type of coral for the bottom of the bare HDPE tank. Maybe a green star polyp carpet would be funny with the wave maker, but not sure it would grow flat. Otherwise I loved the Copps reef ricordia carpet. I can't have zoas and most LPS because of angels. Avoiding mushrooms like plague this time (not that hairy green shrooms were ever on purpose).

zachtos
09/26/2016, 03:25 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_112851482_HDR_zpsmzdtnu9u.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_112851482_HDR_zpsmzdtnu9u.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160917_233103416_zps3x585d1p.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160917_233103416_zps3x585d1p.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_113710239_zpsa3jlx8ab.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_113710239_zpsa3jlx8ab.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160920_180602256_zps8ty34h5z.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160920_180602256_zps8ty34h5z.jpg.html)

decided my tunze wavemakers were ugly, now they are pretty.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160920_185243554_HDR_zpspmbfj69o.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160920_185243554_HDR_zpspmbfj69o.jpg.html)
Yes, lights are on, forgot to take a good front photo. The phone camera is crap for this light, need to get out my SLR for this heavy blue LED, it does not look that blue at all! You can see I covered my wavemakers in foam/rock.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160920_185254753_zpsrlley1lm.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160920_185254753_zpsrlley1lm.jpg.html)
Side view, you can see the rock covered wavemakers.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_182138900_zpszrceu0nl.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_182138900_zpszrceu0nl.jpg.html)
This is how I hung my lights, thought it was worth a share. Layed plastic wrap right on the water, like a water bed. Then made cardboard cut outs of the lights with markings for the mount screw to ceiling. Then I shuffled the lights around until happy with the layout. Then hung a screw from fishing line and marked the dot on the ceiling for each spot. Was very easy and fast. No re-drilling or rails to make adjustments needed.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_190121702_HDR_zpsh0rklmun.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_190121702_HDR_zpsh0rklmun.jpg.html)
Rapid LED Corona lights are up. I got lazy and gave up on a rail system after I saw the lights, so small, not really a need to move them out of way, so I just tossed up another piece of drywall/paint and some anchors. Did have to RMA one light, and had a problem logging in, but good enough, and half the price of other units. WAY WAY better than DIY, what a pain in the *** after I soldered 2 RED LED together, not worth the extra savings (only would have saved $300-$400 DIY total on 240qty LEDs, but no warranty, no app, no resale, and ugly wires).

I did eary measurements of PAR (was VERY high, like 150 on sandbed, and 400 to 900 PAR on rockwork on mid/back wall). I should spend time lifting the lights to spread better, and maybe angle them a bit toward the front bottom. I don't want any light on the front glass if I can avoid (algae), one of the benefits of directional LED.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_190054054_zps8bfnn0gq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_190054054_zps8bfnn0gq.jpg.html)
Electrical shown for the ATS, coated the PCB with silicone conformal coating

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_153011282_zpswl0iguax.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_153011282_zpswl0iguax.jpg.html)

zachtos
09/26/2016, 03:25 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_152953645_zpsvyltywiy.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_152953645_zpsvyltywiy.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_205258831_HDR_zpslkaymvik.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_205258831_HDR_zpslkaymvik.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_205250354_zpsc5jtr23n.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_205250354_zpsc5jtr23n.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_205241566_zpsugb94x4x.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160918_205241566_zpsugb94x4x.jpg.html)

Turf scrubber hung up.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160922_210900864_zpswtwbc4a7.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160922_210900864_zpswtwbc4a7.jpg.html)
Algae turf scrubber 3 day growth. Fallow tank, just rotting meat and anemones in the frag tank.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_192235987_zpsa8ctfufv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_192235987_zpsa8ctfufv.jpg.html)
Test kits. I also am very glad I bought a new salinity refractometer with calibration fluid. I was WAY off on the old meter that had a rusted calibration screw (5ppt too low!) KH salifert kit got wet so no box, I like the API kit, but not sure if I will trust it this time w/ 3 part dosing.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_192302260_zpsxmw16tof.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_192302260_zpsxmw16tof.jpg.html)
Extra water filter RO/DI parts

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_192247009_zpsxqvaureh.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_192247009_zpsxqvaureh.jpg.html)
Auto feeder and timer parts

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_190021149_HDR_zpskqqnz0ea.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_190021149_HDR_zpskqqnz0ea.jpg.html)
QT tank light, was going to use if I need to QT any corals, but maybe just try bayer dip if it is safe, still pending research there. Corals are a few months out anyways.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_191532262_zps91oqnmm7.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20160921_191532262_zps91oqnmm7.jpg.html)

McPuff
09/27/2016, 06:22 AM
I'll be interested to see how you like those Coronas... I've got the onyx and will transfer those over to my 300 (which I finally started to fill with RODI last night!!!). Having done some DIY LEDs myself, I think you made the right choice by buying a pre-built solution. It's worth it for the time savings and warranty (not to mentioned aesthetics!). Also great idea on the wave box covers! Looking really good!

zachtos
09/27/2016, 12:53 PM
I'll be interested to see how you like those Coronas... I've got the onyx ..!

Onyx DIY kit looks similar the kit I used for my turf scrubber, but with lenses. I would dread building 6 of those fixtures by hand. Maybe a 3 would be tolerable, but such a wire bundle mess. I need to get access to wire harness connectors, or they should sell them.

zachtos
09/27/2016, 07:46 PM
A few photos that are a bit more representative of the true color of the LED using the nice SLR camera. Maybe in 3-4 weeks there will be some fish in there then maybe some coral. Some more minor projects coming, and a top secret patent that I am working on.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0754_zpsor9ywmql.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0754_zpsor9ywmql.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0756_zpsezfue0ks.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0756_zpsezfue0ks.jpg.html)

McPuff
09/28/2016, 05:57 AM
Onyx DIY kit looks similar the kit I used for my turf scrubber, but with lenses. I would dread building 6 of those fixtures by hand. Maybe a 3 would be tolerable, but such a wire bundle mess. I need to get access to wire harness connectors, or they should sell them.

You mean to connect the units together? They do sell them. They come with the harness itself. I didn't get the DIY version though. I bought the refurbished dimmable units. Same warranty as new and they've been awesome. I love rapidled, especially for their customer service.

Are the small containers of rubble for pod production? I'm planning to do the same thing in my fuge. Also thinking of putting one in the display with fine sand... for the melanurus wrasse. Since I'll have special grade sand (larger grain) and not a ton of it, I want to give the fish a nice place to burrow (as it currently has).

zachtos
09/28/2016, 07:09 PM
Are the small containers of rubble for pod production?

Yes, actually they were temporary to help seed my tank. They were the rubble rock from my prior anemone tank, loaded with pods, but I think the ammonia in the nitrogen cycle maybe killed them all. I will remove them probably later, as I'm told my turf scrubber will help with pod population, but my backwall will be amazing for pods (they can hide all over and behind glass). MAYBE I'll put the dishes in the sump near the turf scrubber, see if they get pod loaded, then on vacations, move them up to the display as natural feeding (stuff a piece of rotting meat in the pile), but I think with angels they will dig it all up.

I probably won't do wrasse anymore except maybe try a harlequin tusk, the lack of a sandbed, and I don't want a mess of sand in a tray in there either. I'm starting to lean towards only big fish (angels, tangs, butterflies, rabbit fish), and maybe a 'school' of 10+ royal gramma as an experiment. Maybe a single cleaner wrasse.

zachtos
09/28/2016, 07:25 PM
Current QT Plan:
*sponge filters x 2 w/ air pumps, powerhead, temp controller, PVC parts, and 'stability' bacteria added every day week#1
-formalin dip
-1 day of observation/adjustment
-2 weeks of cupramine and prazipro x1 treatment
-50% WC and carbon 1 day - 'stability bacteria' add
-1 week of prazipro
-1 final week of observation and possible maracyn 2 (bacteria) if needed

I'm also already changing my mind on some things, chlorique phosphate (sp.) is another option vs. cupramine, but not researched enough yet.
Probably changing my mind on fish stocking already, giving up on small fish all together (partly because of budget loss)
-regal angel x 1
-lamaracks angel x1
-flame dwarf angel x1
-pygmy or potter dwarf angel x1
-coral beauty dwarf angel x 4
-pyramid butterfly fish x 4-6 (depends on cost/size)
-hippo tang x1
-powder blue tang x1
-kole tang x1
-scopas tang x1 (so majestic and beautiful... or just $20)
-foxface rabit fish x1
-harlequin tusk wrasse x1
-cleaner wrasse x1
-royal gramma x 10-12 (maybe as experiment)
*MAYBE a big angel x1 (emperor, zebra, flagfin, passer) //would be LAST and small, need SPS established first and only if tank is peaceful and not seem too crowded, which probably is w/ above. seems so empty, but I keep forgetting SPS will fill it way up over 4 years. Can always sell/trade fish if it does get too crowded.

McPuff
09/29/2016, 06:20 AM
Why not skip the cupramine and do TTM instead? Based on my readings, it seems that chemical treatment can fail due to eggs, etc. Less stressful on the fish too.

I like the fish list a lot. So many pygmy angels will look terrific. How do you aim to quell aggression among those little guys? Add them all at once? Keep in mind they may also show aggression to other species and therefore it may make sense to add them later in the progression.

asting
09/29/2016, 01:52 PM
Are you not concerned about cycling the large tank with anemones?

Mishri
09/29/2016, 02:56 PM
I'm still debating on what kind of QT to do too...

If I do TTM though I want a new tank for each transfer... then I don't have to worry if I'm busy setting up/tearing down tanks... Just have them all up and ready. and if I leave them fallow for 90 days then I don't even need to drain the tanks ;)

I'm thinking 5 10 gallon aquariums should do it.. or is a 20L better choice? Hmm.. I don't want them to be too small... they'll have to live in them for 12 days.. I figure I'll just hit up the $1/gal sale..

McPuff
09/30/2016, 06:36 AM
I'm still debating on what kind of QT to do too...

If I do TTM though I want a new tank for each transfer... then I don't have to worry if I'm busy setting up/tearing down tanks... Just have them all up and ready. and if I leave them fallow for 90 days then I don't even need to drain the tanks ;)

I'm thinking 5 10 gallon aquariums should do it.. or is a 20L better choice? Hmm.. I don't want them to be too small... they'll have to live in them for 12 days.. I figure I'll just hit up the $1/gal sale..

You'd be fine with 10 gal tanks. The only thing you'd want to consider is how big are the fish, and how many will you have in the TTM procedure at one time.

I will be using 20 gal standard tanks for my TTM for 4 small tangs. I've already got two of them so I figured it makes sense. I think it'll be more work and money for you to have 5 tanks all ready to go, especially if you want to leave them for 90 days fallow. What would be the point? The only thing that becomes disposable is the actual salt. The rest just needs a relatively quick bleach/water cleaning and then dry. So once each 4 days you'd have to do this. I've seen a lot of people question the TTM method and I understand that many people are looking for a more efficient way... but I really don't think any changes make the technique any more efficient (and I'm always looking to improve efficiency).

Mishri
09/30/2016, 04:36 PM
because I always look for ways to save money(I do spend it if I see a good reason to).. that's a bag of salt I'd be throwing away :D

zachtos
10/02/2016, 10:07 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0758%20-%20Copy_zpspz6evbrz.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0758%20-%20Copy_zpspz6evbrz.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0754%20-%20Copy_zpsrldb5zs5.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0754%20-%20Copy_zpsrldb5zs5.jpg.html)

Exciting stuff, all lights up and spent a few hours perfecting placement for best spread vs. highest PAR. The compromise was 9.25" from water surface to fixture lens tip. A few inches down gives more power, but numbers start to get very patchy, especially near the top 6" and under the crossbeams. So up a bit gives better spread near the higher levels as coral grow up, and allows me to keep more coral under the cross beams and on the bottom. Mostly see 300-500 PAR everywhere in the tank, with some 600-800 PAR hot spots, and 150+ PAR along the bottom. Tons of great places for coral on the back wall and even on the tunze wavebox if I so desire.

The tupperware containers of rubble rock will come out, maybe into the sump, but so much light in there I worry about negative growth now. They are helping seed the tank with pods. I plan to cover the HDPE bottom of the tank with some kind of coral (ricordia, green star polyps, montipora) depends on if 150 PAR is enough and if angels will allow the softer corals.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161001_161426897_zpsdasup0wz.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161001_161426897_zpsdasup0wz.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0754_zpsbim3lb0j.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0754_zpsbim3lb0j.jpg.html)

This weekend got some more minor projects done. Made mesh screens for the tank to keep fish from jumping out. I should have used 1/4" instead of 1/8", it blocks about 10% of PAR on the meter, but small price to pay I guess. I have too much light anyays. I used standard screening kits from Menards, and screen from Bulk reef supply. Total project cost for 3 lids was under $75.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_102900746_zpsrxovrqz3.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_102900746_zpsrxovrqz3.jpg.html)

I also cleaned the turf scrubber for the first time. So this is about 2 weeks of growth I guess. There is really not much of a bioload on here yet either. Just a few cubes per day (or less) since I only feed the anemone tank every now and then. But the tank is just finishing up it's cycle, so I suppose this could be normal?

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_122844759_zpspytrlsa6.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_122844759_zpspytrlsa6.jpg.html)

Sump kind of reminds me of a dance club.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_122807028_zpssyx4dmyo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_122807028_zpssyx4dmyo.jpg.html)

I also measured the ATS flow with the screen installed. On a 20" long 1/8" gap with screen inserted into slot, it filled a 2 gallon rubbermaid (to the mark), in 20 seconds on average. So this says only 360gph, or only 18gph per inch. I'm not getting the 35gph suggesion in this case... not sure if there is a problem here or not. Perhaps the slot is closing up a bit because of the length? Or screen inserted too far? This was after a cleaning session/groove scrubbed.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161001_124314526_HDR_zpsujnejoix.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161001_124314526_HDR_zpsujnejoix.jpg.html)

I made some DIY light blockers, paint is still drying. This will be for the ATS to keep light out of the groove.

I calibrated the 3 part dosers. Now need to start 3 part solution. No rush yet, KH is still 9. Corraline is already starting to grow, just barely seeing specs all over.

I ran the DIY UPS overnight, the battery died around 8 hours, so that's 8 hour power outage protection running 114W of 2 main recirculation pumps. I figure being in the city with no major catostrophes should be fine. Otherwise a rollaway generator is the next best thing, but I could pickup one of those in the future if I'm worried. Even so, those are not auto throw over (not for low cost options), but the UPS I built does switch over alone.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_121657198_zps2cuv0w8z.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161002_121657198_zps2cuv0w8z.jpg.html)

I took energy readings this weekend with the watt meter (I used to perform energy audits when I worked for the utility).
Corona lights @ 100% = 110W each
return pumps x 2 = 114W total at 60% flow
MP60 x 2 = 24W @50% to 60W if full
skimmer x 54W
heater (gas, but when pump cycles) 35W
wavemaker x 2 = 60W average total
Doser, PH meter, temp probes, Ranco = 1-2W each (idle)
airpumps QT x 3 = 15W total
mag5 QT1 = 35W
maxiject1200 QT2 = 20W
maxjet400 QT3 = 7W
Frag Tank light = 67W (109W if full intensity)
QT tank light #1 = 37W
QT tank light #2/3 = 4W ea

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0758_zpsckdvc9aj.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0758_zpsckdvc9aj.jpg.html)

Still no fish yet. 2 clown fish in QT from prior system and 1 last dying wrasse. Obviously was some kind of infection that I was not equipped to handle. All tanks have been running cupramine about a week now, and 2 doses of prazipro. Not sure when/if I'll release the clowns into the tank. Also no idea what I will do about buying fish. I can't decide on anything anymore.

zachtos
10/02/2016, 10:08 PM
Are you not concerned about cycling the large tank with anemones?

Nope, I could care less about the anemones. I have 12! I put the clowns in the QT tanks after the cycle. Was not much of a cycle that I saw since the rock was cooked already and feed during the cooking last month or so.

McPuff
10/03/2016, 07:05 AM
How do you take those screen tops off? It looks like the return lines go over the top and through the screen... but the frame is "trapped" by those returns. Am I seeing this wrong? Curious because I just made my screen tops as well and had to create notches in the tops for the sides. One to accommodate the return (I just have one) and the other for the overflow box access/cords from pumps. My tank is more like a peninsula though I am not running it as such. At some point I'll post some photos. :0)

zachtos
10/03/2016, 08:34 AM
How do you take those screen tops off? It looks like the return lines go over the top and through the screen... but the frame is "trapped" by those returns. Am I seeing this wrong? Curious because I just made my screen tops as well and had to create notches in the tops for the sides. One to accommodate the return (I just have one) and the other for the overflow box access/cords from pumps. My tank is more like a peninsula though I am not running it as such. At some point I'll post some photos. :0)


Yep, the left and right screen are 'trapped'. The PVC returns are not glued for the spout, so those can pull off (not easy). The tunze pump cords can be pulled through too. BUT, I can lift up like a hinged door on either side, and still have enough access to the tank. I may come up with something later, but I could not find enough people with covered tanks to provide ideas on how to get around over the top returns or cords. No way am I notching the plastic brace of the tank, not for the money it cost and I'm scared to upset the integrity. It's already at least a few years used, moved 2+ times and I'm putting a 1.5" wave into the tank all day. Probably unwise already.

McPuff
10/04/2016, 06:16 AM
No way am I notching the plastic brace of the tank, not for the money it cost and I'm scared to upset the integrity. It's already at least a few years used, moved 2+ times and I'm putting a 1.5" wave into the tank all day. Probably unwise already.

Ah, no no no... I strongly agree... do NOT notch the brace of the tank. Sorry, that's not what I meant. I created a screen frame that has a "notch" in it of sorts. Basically just using a few more frame connectors to make a gap in the screen frame itself. So instead of a rectangle, it's a rectangle minus a small square in the corner, or the middle of one side. It doesn't affect the rigidity of the frame much but it is harder to get the frame perfect. But if you can "hinge" it out of place then I think that will work pretty well too, provided you don't need full access on the regular. For those times you DO need full access you'll just have to pop off those over the back returns. Sounds like it'll work fine. I was just curious. FYI, I now have saltwater, sand, heat, and flow in mine. Planning to transition everything over this weekend.

zachtos
10/30/2016, 02:52 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0765_zpsqeotvbnl.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0765_zpsqeotvbnl.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0762_zpsiskvqqgi.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0762_zpsiskvqqgi.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0766_zpsjpxrhm8y.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0766_zpsjpxrhm8y.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0767_zpsgpeb2z3d.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0767_zpsgpeb2z3d.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0768_zpsscuul3ao.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0768_zpsscuul3ao.jpg.html)

I finished building the front cover for the tank. The build is pretty much complete now. The tank is much quieter with the access panels in place. All three doors swing up to provide plenty of access. It is kind of a pain to remove the screen covers, and the doors do not stay up by theirselves, but this can all be changed later if I wish.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135113376_zpsbbanbqsv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135113376_zpsbbanbqsv.jpg.html)

My parents built the doors offsite, and varnished the trim. We then cut the trim at my home, and had to come up with a mounting method for the doors. It took a few days to figure it all out, but I think we did OK. It does look like a nice piece of furnture built into the wall of my house now. I am very pleased with the results and how quiet the tank is, barely noticable.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135309637_zpshpoioycl.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135309637_zpshpoioycl.jpg.html)

The doors were coated with pond shield epoxy to prevent warping on the back/edges. Each door weighs about 8 lbs.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135141226_zpsaefpsigc.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135141226_zpsaefpsigc.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135445250_zpszjcsxyyc.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161021_135445250_zpszjcsxyyc.jpg.html)

Trim was air nailed onto the doors and around the tank. The trim around the tank has a 3/4"x1" piece of oak air nailed to the back to help fill the gap between the glass and the drywall. I then siliconed the rest of the gap so water drips would not make it behind the drywall. All of the trim is stained with minwax pecan and varnished with 3 coats of helman minwax. I touched up all the surrounding paint/drywall/baseboard after the doors were complete.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161016_134912222_zps3ekhxmmt.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161016_134912222_zps3ekhxmmt.jpg.html)

I added an overflow pipe to a bucket because my skimmer is very frustrating. Because the sump is not staying perfectly same level, the skimmer will go crazy sometimes, and dump water on the floor, now it will just put it back in the tank. It's because the overflows in the display need to be brushed of debris so the tank level stays consistent. OR I need to make a bucket or something that keeps the skimmer the same level, which will be a pain in the *** now that I'm done with the build.

zachtos
10/30/2016, 02:53 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161016_113326654_zpsn1g0ifih.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161016_113326654_zpsn1g0ifih.jpg.html)

Turf scrubber is still pulling out a lot of stuff, I suspect this is the liverock leaking nutrients, which is fine, I'd rather get it all out now than later. The tank is clearing up slowly, and I'm starting to see tiny flecks of corraline. Another 2 months I suspect before corraline starts to go crazy.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_120049091_zpsc67coqpj.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_120049091_zpsc67coqpj.jpg.html)

I also made DIY frozen fish food for some regal angel fish coming next week. I bought fresh clams, oysters and crabs. I also got frozen raw shrimp, krill, scallops, cuttlefish, squid and about 14 sheets of nori. I mixed them all in about even proportions. Maybe next time do fresh shrimp and increase ratio of crab, clam and oyster. Did not go as far as I hoped. I personally hate seafood, so this was a gross experience for me using fresh. The bonus was chasing the pregnant wife with a live crab.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_143746808_zpsm0vl29dk.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_143746808_zpsm0vl29dk.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_144135807_zpslgjlgc1g.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_144135807_zpslgjlgc1g.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_144731266_zpsgoaqyrj2.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161029_144731266_zpsgoaqyrj2.jpg.html)

I blended and poured about 2.5cups into 1 gallon bags x 2 with light diffuser to create cubes. The fish seem to like this so far, but we shall see if the coming regal angel will eat it.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0773_zpsrorsu38h.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0773_zpsrorsu38h.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0775_zpsyc1rgomg.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0775_zpsyc1rgomg.jpg.html)

I am approaching 2 weeks of quarantine now with good success. Prazipro x 2 treatments and about 0.5ppm of cupramine. I did a 1 hour pre-aerated bath of formaline on all fish for 50 minutes with no problem. I am treating the yellow tangs for finrot (1 seemed to have it?), using maracyn 2, nearly done now. I am very inexperienced with quarantine still, but have had good luck this time using live aquaria. I bought 5 yellow tangs, 2 flame angels, and 1 hippo tang. I lose a blonde naso after 11 days that was very finicky to eat, but no question refun from Live Aquaria. I hope to add fish to my tank maybe next week if all looking well (2-3 week mark for QT).

Stock Plans keep changing, but I'm going for larger fish instead now:

2 Regal Angel fish (trying for juvenile so they morph sex M/F)
5 yellow tangs (all adding same time)
1 achilles tang (or powder brown tang if not stock)
2 Hippo tang (both will be very small)
2 flame angel dwarf
6 coral beauty (hoping all juvenile to morph sex to a harem?)
1 blonde naso tang
1 harlequin tusk wrasse
*1 dsjerni sailfin tang (maybe)
*1 foxface rabbit fish (maybe)
*1 white tail bristle tooth tang or tomini tang (maybe)
2 percula clownfish
1 purple firefish
1 purple pseudochromis
1 cleaner wrasse
2 green clown goby
2 mandarin dragonette (6 months later)
**maybe 2-3 more very small fish for fun (anthias, royal gramma, blenny)
-- SPS corals (montipora, millipora, stags), green star polyps and/or ricordia. Maybe starting coral in January/February. I need to feel comfortable with the tank stability first.

zachtos
12/03/2016, 06:54 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161105_175337846_zpswoj1likh.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161105_175337846_zpswoj1likh.jpg.html)
made another batch of fish food. I bought a food processor this time, and pulsed it much less, so I have larger chunks of food. I ruined the first batch I think, it's like a milk shake, too fine, so using that for tiny fish in QT only.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161105_153505022_zpszrp98wz5.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161105_153505022_zpszrp98wz5.jpg.html)
plenty of live shrimp, crab, clam and oyster this batch. I estimate $30 for 4-6 month food supply for heavy feeding (not counting nori which is $70/year)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161203_102907192_zps8lxggssx.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161203_102907192_zps8lxggssx.jpg.html)
had to swap the direction of the hot water recirculation pump, it was affecting showers

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0764_zps2jjyozhi.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0764_zps2jjyozhi.jpg.html)
Chormis, foxface, kole tang and copperband butterfly in 40G QT

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0759_zps4ub9w6wf.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0759_zps4ub9w6wf.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0760_zpsx8lwvtkz.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0760_zpsx8lwvtkz.jpg.html)
coral beauty in 20G QT with cherub pygmy and potter's angel

zachtos
12/03/2016, 06:55 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161123_180236308_HDR_zpsumphquvy.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161123_180236308_HDR_zpsumphquvy.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0754_zpsdf3zca7j.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0754_zpsdf3zca7j.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0783_zpsayjy9cga.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0783_zpsayjy9cga.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0777_zpsnzzi8pwb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0777_zpsnzzi8pwb.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0770_zpsxyefaejv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0770_zpsxyefaejv.jpg.html)
So a bunch of fish have left quarantine. I'm on my 3rd QT rotation and should be done by the end of December with fish, then invertebrates then corals. The tank is doing a fine job of growing corraline algae on the glass and rocks now, so I think it's getting closer to maturity for corals. The water has a haze to it now though, I suspect it's very dirty. I register no nitrate/ite or ammonia. Ca untested, SG 35ppt and alkalinity around 8-9kh. The algae turf scrubber makes a ton of algae weekly. I have yet to figure out how to calibrate the skimmer, it either overflows with nearly clean water, or barely dribbles into the bucket, rarely able to get it just right, as it changes daily...

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_20161120_202134923_HDR_zpsipnvzqoo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_20161120_202134923_HDR_zpsipnvzqoo.jpg.html)
automatic feeders, I opened them up and soldered to the PCB a switch that turns them on with a remote microcontroller. Basically 3 times a day, the tank turns off all pumps and throttles back the MP60s, then 10 seconds later the drums of the auto feeders will rotate and drop food into the tank. After 10 minutes the pumps turn back on and no food is wasted down into the sump. I can manually press a button to turn off pumps and feed as well. The foods rotate channel A and B (pellets then flakes), so flakes 1 or 2 times a day and pellets 1 or 2 times a day.

Updated fish stock

5 yellow tang
1 blond naso tang
1 hippo tang
1 achilles tang
1 kole tang (in QT)
1 foxface rabbitfish (in QT)
1 copperband butterfly (in QT)
2 regal angelfish
1 flame dwarf angelfish (in QT)
1 coral beauty dwarf angelfish (in QT)
1 cherub dwarf angelfish (in QT)
1 potter's dwarf angelfish (in QT)
1 flameback dwarf angelfish (coming soon to QT)
9 green chromis damselfish (in QT)
6 lyretail anthias (coming soon to QT)
1 purple pseudochromis
1 purple firefish
1 cleaner wrasse
2 mandarin dragonette (at 6-12 month mark)


The pair of regal angelfish are still juvenile, and seem to get along quite well. They had to be seperated during QT, so did the achilles, but once in the tank, no fighting observed. The yellow tangs do fight a little bit, but seem ok. One yellow tang is VERY thin, seen him picking for food the other day, but unknown if he will survive if he does not eat like the rest, no one seems to show aggression towards him though. I did lose one flame angel after introduction to the DT, the smaller one was getting beat up though, so either he is well hidden, or disolved into oblivion. I am currently feeding flake/pellet 3 times daily (quite heavy), and one very large amount of frozen food (6 cubes?), and 8x11 sheet of nori, so I think already 12-14 cube bioload, which is about what the ATS was rated for, and I believe it. I don't think I will ever increase the feeding though, I'm just feeding heavy to get the tank used to it, and keep everyone healthy and fat to start. By the time coral rolls around, I hope to have the tank fairly clean. Coral trade shows are in January/February, and our new baby daughter is due in January, so that will be a busy month.

McPuff
12/05/2016, 07:13 AM
It looks great so far! You've done a great job getting those fish in the display... much faster than me I'd say. :0) I have yet to add a new fish, though I do have two of them in QT now (a blonde naso is one of them!).

zachtos
12/29/2016, 07:40 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0765_zpshbw2b7f9.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0765_zpshbw2b7f9.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0771_zps5fj867sg.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0771_zps5fj867sg.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0774_zpswdqln4fd.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0774_zpswdqln4fd.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0776_zpsrucwwgiu.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0776_zpsrucwwgiu.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0777_zpsoy1juamo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0777_zpsoy1juamo.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0781_zps7yelkr17.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0781_zps7yelkr17.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0783_zpsuii7ehqv.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0783_zpsuii7ehqv.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0800_zpsfu4myjis.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0800_zpsfu4myjis.jpg.html)

All the fish are finally out of quarantine. I also added invertebrates, but I only quarantined them for a few days, as they all looked very clean, not even algae on their shells. I did lose one yellow tang, he just refused to eat and hid for weeks until he died paper thin. Everyone else is eating like pigs and have grown quite a bit within a short few months.


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0801_zpsu1wfbkex.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0801_zpsu1wfbkex.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0802_zpsna4u81zo.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0802_zpsna4u81zo.jpg.html)

I am feeding very heavy, probably the equivalent of 6-8 frozen cubes per day, and 3qty 8"x6" sheets of nori per day. Also 4 feedings per day from the auto feeders of flakes and pellets. I still read 0 nitrates and the ATS gets very full each week.

zachtos
12/29/2016, 07:40 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0830_zpskh08mhdq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0830_zpskh08mhdq.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0837_zpsxddywpe1.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0837_zpsxddywpe1.jpg.html)

The water clarity is very bad right now, even though I see no nuisance algae or nitrates, it is just plain milky in color and a good amount of sand like debris floating in the water. I will try 100 micron filter socks soon to see if I can get the debris out that just won't break down. Water changes and vodka dosing 10ml/day seem to have no impact, so I think it's just debris from over feeding. Maybe it could get better with coral feeding on the micro debris? doubt it but I will find out next week with 100 micron filter socks over a few of the sump outlets.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0843_zpsvrqg7aok.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0843_zpsvrqg7aok.jpg.html)

All the fish are very active, and I attribute that to quarantine and the heavy frequent feedings. I shut the wave makers off during dark periods now, just 8 hours per day to save electricity and give some rest to the smaller fish. The achilles tang never stops swimming. The regal angels are hogs. I have seen little aggression in the tank aside from minor fighting after an additon, mostly just the yellow tangs chase each other now and then, but nothing fierce. The only fish I may add would be tiny things, like mandarin dragonettes after my pod population rises.

Final Livestock List
4 yellow tangs
1 hippo tang
1 achilles tang
1 blonde naso tang
1 kole bristletooth tang
1 foxface rabitfish spot
2 regal angelfish
1 flame dwarf angel
1 brazillian flameback dwarf angel
1 cherub dwarf angel
1 potters dwarf angel
1 coral beauty dwarf angel
9 green chromis
4 lyretail anthias (all Female for now)
1 cleaner wrasse
1 purple pseudochromis
1 purple firefish
2 ocellaris clownfish
--
50 cerith snail mexican
25 nassarius snail
25 trochus snail
10 mexican turbo snail
1 cleaner shrimp
3 peppermint shrimp (MIA)

*future add 2 green mandarin dragonette
++50-100 SPS frags coming February-May 2017



I left one 10 gallon tank up for quarantine/hopital just in case, it's only 10-20 watts to keep it alive, so I think worth it for those impulse buys.
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0760_zpsmgm3xymh.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%
20build/IMG_0760_zpsmgm3xymh.jpg.html)


http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0761_zpsbcl60s0a.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0761_zpsbcl60s0a.jpg.html)

I see alot of coraline algae now, and I know I'm ready for corals. I have prepared the 20G to become a frag tank. I can turn off the valve from the main tank, then it is self heated with a small power head and good light with decent live rock. I think that should keep corals OK while I observe. I will likely do bayer insect dip then glue to new plugs to minimize risk. QT for a week or so until I find time to add to tank. I think over next 3-4 months I will acquire 50-100 frags of SPS, mostly millipora, digis, montis, some stags... maybe green star polyp or ricordia for the HDPE starboard bottom.

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0762_zpsfd7wlc4e.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0762_zpsfd7wlc4e.jpg.html)

I am also starting a nanochloropsis phytoplankton culture with red LED light in a 2.5G tank to feed a 40G brine shrimp culture tank. I think it would be fun if I can get the brine shrimp huge then feed the fish a continuous culture supply of food. If it fails, no biggie, just fun to try something new. I would hope it could help lower waste food into the tank if it stays alive until eaten.

McPuff
12/30/2016, 10:11 AM
Just a great assemblage of fish... I can't say that enough. How are the pygmies all doing together??

Was it difficult to acclimate the Achilles? I have wanted one for a long time but I'm nervous about getting it to eat. Did you take any special steps? And where/how did you acquire it?

zachtos
12/30/2016, 11:11 AM
I have seen no fighting among the dwarf angels past day 2-3 of introduction. They mostly work their way in and out of all the caves/rockwork all day.

Achilles no problem. He was very aggressive in quarantine, but fine once in the big tank. He LOVES LOVES LOVES flow and wavemaker. I've owned one before, and it was the same story. He was acquired from live aquaria at a fairly good size. I kept in quarantine as above mentioned for 2 weeks with copper/prazipro and formalin dip. I fed a lot of nori and algae from my turf scrubber. I fed a bit of meat daily, but he mostly just ate hair algae. I would have done a powder brown if unable to get an achilles, but the achilles I think is a step down on aggression.

zachtos
01/22/2017, 03:42 PM
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http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0785_zpsjgyfhaqb.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0785_zpsjgyfhaqb.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0786_zpss5zjcopk.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0786_zpss5zjcopk.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0787_zpspq6eu6if.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0787_zpspq6eu6if.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0788_zpsjxorn4qu.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0788_zpsjxorn4qu.jpg.html)

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http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0796_zpsyx9reity.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0796_zpsyx9reity.jpg.html)

I picked up about 30 frags so far. I plan to get about 10-20 more frags in the next few weeks. The goal is about 40 vertical growth milli/stag type corals, 5 or so encrusters for the front of the tank, and 5 or so monti caps to make shelves near the bottom/back for fish to hide. I'm trying to keep 6 inches radius around each coral this time, and staying at least 8-10 inches from the front glass for mounting. I know what a pain it is when cleaning glass with coral too close, and the annoyance of corals growing into eachother. I may cram the tank more full in the future, but I'm trying to minimize cost if a coral crash happens.

I throttled main LEDs down to 65% which gives 200-350 PAR in most coral locations (90 on bottom). I'm afraid to kill the new corals with too much light right now, some are all getting kind of pale. Too soon to say anything about growth, barely 1-2 weeks old.

I took the advice of Quinn, a local reefkeeper, and throttled down the turf scrubber lights (16 hour day) to 115 of 255 light intensity. Now my nitrate is measurable, any higher on the lights and it goes to 0 pretty fast. Still running 4 cups or so carbon 2 x month refresh. The skimmer maybe makes 2 gallons/week dark skimmate. Feeding 15 cubes food daily (counting nori as 5 cubes, frozen 6 cubes and 4x daily auto dry feeders as 4 cubes).

I am still getting to know my tank and trying to figure out how the 3 part dosing works.
I am using Randy Holmes Farley 'An Improved Do-it-Yourself Two-Part Calcium and Alkalinity Supplement System' recipe #1. http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-02/rhf/
The current dosing rate is
-35ml Alk 4 times daily.
-25ml Ca 4 times daily
-25ml Mag once per 6 days
I calibrated The dosing pumps, 180 - 190 = 100ml per Jebao pump v2. I don't know why my alk drops faster than my calcium. I'm trying to keep 10-12 alk, 450ish calc, 1350ish mag.
NO3 = 1-2ppm (salifert)
KH = 10 (api)
Calc = 450 (salifert)
PO4 = 0.24 (hanna) //not super exerienced with these
mag untested

The RO maker seems to have trouble in winter, it slows to maybe only 10gpd while wasting a ton of water. I meausred the ratio and it's still 4:1 waste:product but only while it's warm, it slows down. I am buying a booster pump in hopes that it will fix the winter issue. I know the other fix is a pre-heater in a bucket, but that I think maybe more expensive overall, and a booster has other benefits. My old booster is rusted or broken I guess.

My experiment with growing brine shrimp failed. I got tired of dealing with it and nothing survived after a month past tiny eggs. The 40G stunk like sewer. I don't know how to raise brine to maturity in a dense culture. I did find one huge one in my phytoplankton culture, and it's almost lost all color in the culture because of it.

I added 3 final fish
-red, green, blue mandarin dragonettes. I got them at a swap for a good deal. I put them in quarantine only 7 days with cupramine and prazipro. I didn't go full 2 weeks because they were experiencing ammonia poisoning from baby brine shrimp I added. They ate like hogs, but something must have went wrong, because the tank stunk today and the fish were gasping. So I acclimated them, hoping there are no parasites.

One of the female lyretail anthias is turning into a mail already. A very dark brownish red color now. I also lost one chromis, to be expected. Hopefully the last 8 chromis make it! I'm only running the wave maker at night now, for fear that it is too turbulent for the fish to sleep, and power savings.

McPuff
01/23/2017, 07:14 AM
How is your Potter's angel doing? Does it eat pretty much whatever you put in the tank or is it picky? I know they are constant grazers and some will eat only sponge. I thought about getting one but 1) the aforementioned difficulty, and 2) I don't want it to eat all my sponge. :0) I'll probably stick with a cherub or possibly a trio of them.

zachtos
01/23/2017, 09:08 AM
How is your Potter's angel doing? Does it eat pretty much whatever you put in the tank or is it picky? I know they are constant grazers and some will eat only sponge. I thought about getting one but 1) the aforementioned difficulty, and 2) I don't want it to eat all my sponge. :0) I'll probably stick with a cherub or possibly a trio of them.

Potter's seems fine. He still has that spot on his fin, but not sure what it is, been there through all quarantine treatments. He eats mostly just the meat and pellets I put in the tank. Not too interested in nori or hair algae. I do have a lot of sponge though for some reason, but I don't see him eat anything else. All the angels pretty much the same on diet so far. All fat and growing. I think I did see the flame angel nip at some of the new corals already though, so we shall see.

McPuff
01/24/2017, 07:29 AM
I think I did see the flame angel nip at some of the new corals already though, so we shall see.

This is my main concern over adding angels. I'm hoping that large colonies (upon the fish's entry) will be fine and can take the occasional nip. There are certainly many people that successfully keep large angels (and triggers even) in large reefs. Frags are another matter and I certainly had a rough time keeping pygmies in with smaller frags/mini colonies. Hopefully they stop picking for you... or at least pick infrequently enough.

Mishri
01/24/2017, 03:35 PM
I have the winter RO/DI problem as well, being in Montana.. water is too cold. I put about 50ft of line in between my faucet and the ro/di unit and put that in a garbage can full of warm water(warmed with aquarium heaters).. that fixes the problem for the most part.. however.. I need to up it.. I think 100ft and a few heaters are necessary to keep it warm enough.. I think Ideal temp for the ro/di unit is around 75 degrees i think, i can't remember.. but it's basically the same as our tanks. As long as you make RO/DI water in large batches you can turn off your heaters and save power that way. (Although the heaters shouldn't run much when you aren't making water if you choose to leave them on)

Nice job on the rapid progress.

zachtos
02/26/2017, 03:55 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0799_zpszljpno2w.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0799_zpszljpno2w.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0800_zps9uut3km7.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0800_zps9uut3km7.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0803_zpsyx9phwsr.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0803_zpsyx9phwsr.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0805_zpse9n5kg7m.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0805_zpse9n5kg7m.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0808_zps615hcemf.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0808_zps615hcemf.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0810_zpsq9goqxi3.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0810_zpsq9goqxi3.jpg.html)

KH - 9.5ppm
Calc - 450 ppm
Mg - 1380ppm
NO3 - 1.0-2.5ppm (all salifert tests)
SG - 35ppt
Temp - 79F
PO4 - untested

I've added a few fish, but mostly done with coral and fish for now. I picked up a lot of corals from Quinn, a local reefkeeper, as well as Dale (tech9) and the remainder from the annual Michigan frag swap and Madison, WI frag swap. I mostly am keeping Millis and montis. I won't bother naming off the corals, I'll just wait until they get big and color back up. Many lost color due to acclimation shock I think. I'm still trying to figure out the LEDs, but I've been raising the lighting from 65% to 100% slowly week by week, I'm at 80% so far. I have lost a few corals from light shock, but I think 45 of 50 or so frags are doing fine and starting to encrust.

I did add a few mandarin dragonettes, but lost one to a vortech pump. There are tons of pods, so they should do fine. Maybe someday I'll get around to taking nicer photos of everyone with the underwater camera, and spend some time getting good fish candids. I'm mostly in grow out phase now, just watching everything go and getting to know my 3 part doser. I'm at around 25ml/day so far on Alk/Calc/Mg using randy's advanced 3 part dosing type 1 recipe.

I can't say if 3 part dosing is better that a calcium reactor yet. It is very nice to not have to deal with paramaters getting out of balance like they did with the Ca reactor!

I've stopped dosing phytoplankton, mostly because the cultures kept crashing. I'm still keeping a few rose anemones until they **** me off. No aggression with the fish really, a bit of light fighting with the dwarf angels, but nothing past occassional nip/chase. No noticable coral nipping yet either. I do have green star polyps on the bottom/HDPE right now, but I plan to keep it isolated on the base.

McPuff
02/27/2017, 06:33 AM
You came all the over to MI for the frag swap?

zachtos
02/27/2017, 09:02 AM
You came all the over to MI for the frag swap?

I needed to come pickup a car, so I just scheduled to fall on the same weekend. The MI swap is FAR FAR BETTER than the ones I've seen in WI so far.

McPuff
02/28/2017, 06:18 AM
I needed to come pickup a car, so I just scheduled to fall on the same weekend. The MI swap is FAR FAR BETTER than the ones I've seen in WI so far.

I'm also surprised there aren't more fish stores in Wi, particularly Madison. There used to be a few good stores (e.g., Aquarius Pets in Monona) but it seems like now the only one is Pet World by the Beltline. Is it now necessary to drive to Milwaukee/Okonomowoc for quality livestock, etc.?

Drag Racer
02/28/2017, 09:01 AM
Fish store selection here In Wisconsin isn't good. Used to live in Illinois and far more places to choose from.

McPuff
06/09/2017, 08:44 AM
Zach, how's the tank doing? I'm curious how you like the Rapidled fixtures. As I've said before, I only have 4 over my tank (w/T5 supplement) but I think I'd like to go with 6 if I can find two more.

Fish and corals still getting along?

zachtos
06/11/2017, 12:14 PM
http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0887_zpsqs3s0fis.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0887_zpsqs3s0fis.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0886_zps53pjligq.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0886_zps53pjligq.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0885_zps6clzqruu.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0885_zps6clzqruu.jpg.html)

http://i135.photobucket.com/albums/q151/zachtos/300G%20build/IMG_0884_zps2esegdzn.jpg (http://s135.photobucket.com/user/zachtos/media/300G%20build/IMG_0884_zps2esegdzn.jpg.html)

Losses:
-About 40% of coral
-1 yellow tang
-1 purple pseudochromis
-3 green chromis
-1 turbo snail
-2 shrimp (cleaner and peppermint)

Additions:
-2 firefish in QT
-2 blue azure damsel in QT


Coral WAS DOING GREAT for about first few months, growing bases, but then all went to **** over next few months. I think it was because I was not careful with salinity, allowing it to rest at 35ppt, then drop to 30ppt for a month. Also moving alkalnity all over the place from 12kh to 7kh within a week, I'm sure had an impact. I don't think it was the lighting, as most corals became pale slowly over a month, not overnight. Though through this, many corals seem to be fine, such as the purple poccileporaa, most montiporas, 1 red millis, green star polyps and rose anemone. Everything else is mostly on deathwatch. This took a huge chunk from the budget, and has been very discouraging, but I am really not all about the coral so much nowadays. I really just want a decent showpiece with healthy fish and some coral nowadays. My days of obsessing over perfection are over. I would like to replace some of the lost coral when I see better stability and growth returning to the survivors.

This tank has so many new things vs. my old system that it has been hard to figure it out. I had Quinn from WR over to review, and mostly suggested 'stability' overall, especially KH/SG. I am still getting to know my system. I bought a milwaukee electronic refractometer to get more accuracy from my SG, since I blame some of it on bad refractometer. I do have a metric **** ton of corraline algae and copepods, so that overall should mean the system is quite healthy.

Stuff I did different vs. old system that cause me to question this minor crash:
-3 part dosing with bulk drieveway/pool salts
-algae turf scrubber
-LED light
-heavy fish load
-smaller sump
-no substrate
-coral dipping with bayer
-fish QT with copper/prazi

Most fish seem to be doing fine, though I did lose a yellow tang to I believe to be aggression from the other 3 yellow tangs. A few smaller chromis type fish have dissapeared, unkown reasons, but that just seemst to happen to those fish even in my old systems. I am still feeding 4 times a day with auto feeder pellet/flake, 1x day with dried red nori, and 1x day with about 6-8 cubes worth of DIY frozen fish food blend.

I am now dosing chelated iron, about 30ml a few times a week, from a DIY blend of dry iron chelate powder I had from an old planted tank. I have heard this can help if running an algal turf scrubber, that can possibly deplete all the iron. I have seen and improvement in turf growth, and darkening of color, but the algae actually seems softer/easier to clean off? I still grow a ton of algae every week, and it is quite a pain to clean (20 minutes), but being able to control your nitrates with the push of a button (PWM) is absolutely amazing. I now aim for 2.5-7.5ppm nitrates, and I seem to have no problem with this.

I try to keep KH at 8.0 +/- 0.5, using about 100ml dosed (10ml x 10/day) using the soda ash randy holmes farley recipe. (2cup/gal)

I keep the calc 450 +/- 25ppm using 80ml dosed (20ml x 4/day) using prestone driveway salt, CaCl, using same recipe. (2.5cup/gal)

I keep magnesium around 1250 +/- 100pm using 40ml dosed (every 3 days) using uncented epsom salts and magflake (dow), I forget recipe, but randy holmes again.

I am using about 6 cups of granular activated carbon from general carbon (55 lb bags / $130), in a nylon sock sitting in the sump.

I pull about 2.5 gallons +/- 1gallon every week from the skimmer bucket.

I am doing about 30 gallon water changes 2 or 3 times per month, so 20% on average per month overall.

Temperature 79-80F. (still using water heater closed loop, works great).

Utilities, around $50-$60/mo extra from what I have observed to date. Overall tank mainenance cost of $1800-$2500 / year. About where forecasted.

Near Future:
No major plans, just focus on stability. I may dump some more money into more fish (maybe some more tangs, blue damsels, firefish, dragonettes, royal grammas). If I can't keep coral successfully this time, then I want a stunning display of colorful active/health fish. I will try to add more SPS when stable. If I can't keep SPS happy, then I may just fill the tank with green star polyps and montipora caps. Kind of as a joke, but honestly they look cool to non reefkeepers, especially with a wavemaker. Zoanthids/softies/LPS are all almost out of question because of my angelfish, which is still a worth trade off so far.

I'll try and post a few photos and a video soon of the fish while they are awake and feeding.

McPuff
06/12/2017, 06:32 AM
Sorry to hear about the coral and fish losses. I think you're spot on with the fish... that just happens sometimes. Still unfortunate. You've probably identified the corals as well. Salinity and ALK are the two most important factors for SPS. You've got an ATO in there don't you? I don't understand why the salinity would have swung so much... unless you were not careful with water changes maybe? Your ALK is probably still varying too greatly. It's fine to change it by 0.5 in a day but you don't want to consistently swing it that much. I'd want to keep it closer to 0.1-ish. By dosing you should be able to maintain this tight range. Try soda ash instead and see how that goes instead. I know people like to save money using really cheap materials but I don't really see it being that expensive to use BRS or similar. Again, it may just be worth trying to see if you have better luck. And that all fails, I do think you have a great fallback plan. I would likely do the same.

zachtos
06/12/2017, 02:27 PM
Yes, was not very careful with waterchanges, and the refractometer seemed very sensitive to temperature.

I am using soda ash for topoff, but my ph seems to go from 7.8 in the AM, to 8.5 in the PM, if my meter is correct. Also, I have a very tough time right now with ALK because corals are still dying off, so the demand keeps changing... some are still growing (montipora), so they are using ALK, it's tough to keep consistent.

I may switch to BRS in future, but I have used chemicals like this in the old reef with no issue, but no the soda ash, just regular old baking soda. I used to only buff the system though, so not as heavy of a dose as a maintain version vs. calc reactor.

McPuff
06/13/2017, 06:53 AM
How are you running the turf scrubber? Maybe just run it at night to see if you can damped the pH swings?

zachtos
06/13/2017, 11:20 AM
I have been running turf scrubber during the day , 12 hour days, seems to coincide with a good size PH spike over the day.

The alk doser is 10ml every 2.5 hours of soda ash water mix.

McPuff
06/14/2017, 10:39 AM
I know you didn't really want a CA reactor, but consider it. I DIY'd one pretty easily and it works very well. There's just so little you need to do to it other than monitor and test weekly. Once you have stability with the coral health, it might be a good time to make the switch. Just my suggestion anyway. And if you decide against SPS at some point, it would still be useful for LPS.

zachtos
07/07/2017, 02:56 PM
LOL, photobucket is now garbage. Cant they just put ads on the photos? Where can I host photos now for free?

zachtos
09/17/2017, 05:10 PM
I have left this thread and started a new one because of **** *** photobucket.

New Thread 300G reef (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?p=25216857#post25216857)