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Leopardshark
08/21/2017, 02:24 PM
Dear all,

I started in this hobby aprox. in 1998, with a 30 gal tank which was a monumental disaster due to my lack of knowledge, after that I moved to an 80 gal tank which did much better and then by year 2000 I bought a 300 gal tank which did very good thanks to reading many books and for the advice I received in here.

Unfortunately in 2007 I had to move to another city so I had to tear my tank appart and I swore I would never buy another one (yeah right)... until now.

To be honest, I was very, very tired of cleaning the tank, skimmer, calc. reactor, pumps, etc. I also got red flatworms which I treated with flatworm exit, red bugs which I treated with Interceptor and then AEFW which I didn´t treat at all.

I also was tired of having a Red Sea wavemaker fail in one channel, 2 turbelles failing on me (almost brand new), replacing the mag pump on my Lifereef calc reactor every 4 months (go figure why) and its leaks since new, Red Sea ozone reactor failing to produce ozone after 1 year, the power cable that fed the house exploded once (I think due to overcharge by my 4 x 400w radiums and more), the bottom glass of the tank broke once, a flooding caused by my ro/di filter (that was my fault as I installed it improperly), dealing with a mag 18 pump which was insufficent for my Aqua C 400 skimmer (which I replaced for an Iwaki pump), testing with 10, 14 and 20k MH´s and ballasts, tank temp was generally 88 degrees so in summer I had to sleep elsewhere (the tank was in my bedroom) so I could keep the windows open to lower the tem., etc.

So after putting down the tank I was relieved... but I couldn´t overcome the fact that I like this f... hobby so much! so since then and as of this day, in my sleep I dream that I´m scuba diving, or that I have a reef tank, or whatever insanity you can imagine related to corals and reef fishes.

So after 10 years I decided to give it a new try, but now things are different, as I live in my own apartment now so I will hardly move, I have a small room that will be the "tank room" which has solid floor (not carpet as before) and LED´s fixtures use so much less power than MH´s and there is no need to replace them (apart for changing new and improved models), DC pumps are more efficent than AC, the temp in my apartment is much lower than my previous house, so I will not struggle with lowering the temperature, etc.

It seems it´s the correct time now to start things over. So I ordered the following equipment:

- 110 gal. AGA with extraclear glass,
- 40 gal sump
- 3 x Radion 30 G4 PRO
- 2 x Vortech MP40 pumps
- 1 x Vectra M pump
- Korallin calcium reactor
- Elite Reef Octopus 200-int

And my next aquisition will be an Neptune´s APEX controller and ozone generator.

This time I went to a much smaller tank and I think it´s size will easen its maintainance, of course it will be a SPS´s tank

Wish me luck and I will keep you posted about the progress.

Pictures to come very soon.

Regards

Marco:thumbsup:

reefmutt
08/21/2017, 06:27 PM
hey Marco, looks like you will be riding in STYLE! :)
Very nice equipment list

Wrangy
08/22/2017, 04:06 AM
I love seeing an old hand coming back into the hobby!! I'll definitely be tagging along for your ride and off to a rocking start!

Leopardshark
08/22/2017, 10:36 AM
Thanks for your comments and I think this time it will be better/simpler to get back on track, avoiding the mistakes I made in the past.

Here are two pics, one of the overflow of the tank and return line and the second of the sump, with the skimmer in place and I´m waiting for the calc reactor and Vectra pump.
I know it looks very simple, with no fancy/complicated/great looking plumbing, but that´s the way I like it now :spin1:

Leopardshark
08/29/2017, 11:31 AM
Hello all,
Well, I have been working on the tank on a slow pace to avoid exhausting myself with so many things that need to be put in place (ATO system, RO/DI connection, plumbing, etc.) to correctly start the tank.

First, I made a very simple PVC/hose connections for the drain and return pump. I´ve seen super ultra nice looking instalations but in my opinion, apart of the aesthetics they perform just as good as a flexible hose and with less adaptability and in my opinion (just my opinion with no scientific support) a hose will provide less friction/resistance than 45°/90° pvc elbows.

I remember my former tank used to have many manifolds and I seldom if ever, used them so this time I went for a simpler design.

So, after leveling the tank, letting the silicone dry for 3 weeks and with the pumps in here, I started filling the tank.

Leopardshark
08/29/2017, 11:36 AM
In the meantime, I installed a long pipe from the kitchen´s ro/di unit under the sink to fill the water reservoir and also I drilled a hole in the wall of the "fish room" to take the water from the reservoir to the sump.

The Vectra and Vortechs came in on Friday and I installed them while the tank was getting filled. I used Carib Sea´s fiji pink, 80 lbs to have a 1" - 1 1/2" of sand bed and it made the water look like milk.

Yesterday I installed the Radions and I placed some rock and stirred the sump so all the sediments could be trapped by the filter sock and skimmer.

This is how it looked yesterday after installing the Radions

Leopardshark
08/29/2017, 11:39 AM
And this is how it looked this morning. If you look carefully, you will see an eggcrate/pvc structure behind the rock, this will support the rock structure and will avoid dead spots in the sand while providing some caves to the fishes.

BTW, I know everything in this tank will flourish as "the force is with me" :)

Leopardshark
08/29/2017, 11:41 AM
BTW do you think the Radions are too high? they are at 12" above the tank.

Leopardshark
08/29/2017, 11:54 AM
Oh and this used to be my former tank 11 years ago.

reefmutt
08/31/2017, 03:33 PM
I'm not an led user so I can't comment on the height of the lights but it certainly seems like a good start. They are powerful lights.
Nice scape. Coming along very nicely.

Wrangy
08/31/2017, 04:36 PM
Starting to come together nicely mate :) (incredibly jealous of the poster you've got next to the tank :inlove: )

I'm with Matt on the led's, no harm on starting them higher as they can blow the socks off most things and if you find they're not quite enough you can always lower them :)

Your former tank was gorgeous!! :D

Leopardshark
09/01/2017, 12:58 PM
Starting to come together nicely mate :) (incredibly jealous of the poster you've got next to the tank :inlove: )



:spin1: and if you take a close look, you will see it is autographed by 13 actors/director of the movies, such as Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, John Williams, etc. (just to make you more jealous lol)

Leopardshark
09/01/2017, 05:39 PM
Rockwork is done. Hope you like it and critics are welcome.
I like the middle cave and the floating rock on the right.

reefmutt
09/02/2017, 02:03 PM
It's tough for me to see the pics on my phone since they don't enlarge that much but honestly, I find the final rockwork kind of dense.. may restrict water flow somewhat.
I actually liked it a lot better in the previous shots..
Just seems too massive in the photos.. maybe in real life, it is more open and it just doesn't come across in the photos...

Wrangy
09/02/2017, 09:50 PM
:spin1: and if you take a close look, you will see it is autographed by 13 actors/director of the movies, such as Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, John Williams, etc. (just to make you more jealous lol)
Oh I saw those autographs!! You're an absolutely amazingly luck bugger!! Thanks for rubbing it in though :debi:

Rockscape is cracking mate!!

Leopardshark
09/03/2017, 06:25 AM
It's tough for me to see the pics on my phone since they don't enlarge that much but honestly, I find the final rockwork kind of dense.. may restrict water flow somewhat.
I actually liked it a lot better in the previous shots..
Just seems too massive in the photos.. maybe in real life, it is more open and it just doesn't come across in the photos...

Thanks for you comments. What is actually curious is that the structure is completly hollow! I will upload more pics (just couldn't with my iphone) and you will see many holes and caves. I made it that way so it could support as many acros as possible.

Leopardshark
09/03/2017, 06:26 AM
Oh I saw those autographs!! You're an absolutely amazingly luck bugger!! Thanks for rubbing it in though :debi:

Rockscape is cracking mate!!


Lol :wavehand:

mhucasey
09/03/2017, 11:49 PM
:spin1: and if you take a close look, you will see it is autographed by 13 actors/director of the movies, such as Mark Hamil, Harrison Ford, Billy Dee Williams, George Lucas, John Williams, etc. (just to make you more jealous lol)

Pffft! If it was a REVENGE of the Jedi poster i'd be impressed....:strooper:

Who am I kidding, I am impressed:lmao:

Leopardshark
09/04/2017, 02:10 PM
Ok, more pics of the rockwork. It is hollow, since I made a pvc/eggcrate stucture to support the rocks, allowing to have an open/hiding space underneath the rocks and allowing water to flow, since in my old tank, I made the structure rock solid and whenever I had to modify the rockwork, it would be a complete mess in there.

reefmutt
09/04/2017, 03:03 PM
Ok I see what you mean, that first shot shows how open it is underneath.
Fish will be happy

Wrangy
09/04/2017, 04:39 PM
Very groovy :) The fish will definitely love that!

Leopardshark
09/06/2017, 10:59 AM
This is a shot below the branch rock in the middle that made the bridge. Underneath the rock work it is hollow. Only if you try, you will see the eggcrate so I think it is very good to avoid stagnant water and rottening sandbed.

James404
09/07/2017, 11:29 AM
Tank looks great! How do you like the skimmer so far? I'm looking at getting the external version for my build.

Leopardshark
09/07/2017, 12:07 PM
Tank looks great! How do you like the skimmer so far? I'm looking at getting the external version for my build.

So far I REALLY like it.

To give you a little bit of context, my first skimmer was a Top Fathom 300, which was a "decent" skimmer but not one I would buy again.
Then I bought an AquaC EV400 which was a very good skimmer but due to its design, it needed a very big pump to run it properly, so I bought first a Mag18 and it was a crap, then, I upgraded to an Iwaki and it worked great, but Iwaki´s are known to be big power consumers.

So after being out of the hobby for 11 years and with my not-so-good previous experience, this skimmer is in another league for me.

So with this skimmer, the design is really cool, the pump is awesome and you can dial it in regards of how much water flow you want it to deliver (not by restraining it with a gate valve) and you can put it in pause for 15 or 60 minutes. Also it is very, VERY silent.
It didn´t take not 1 single minute to break in and start producing foam and their support service is top notch.

I´m now looking for a calcium reactor and based on the performance/build of the skimmer/pump I´m seriously considering Reef Octopus CA200. The other option is GEO´s calc reactor which I´ve hear very good things also.

So I would say, go for it!.

James404
09/07/2017, 12:23 PM
So far I REALLY like it.

To give you a little bit of context, my first skimmer was a Top Fathom 300, which was a "decent" skimmer but not one I would buy again.
Then I bought an AquaC EV400 which was a very good skimmer but due to its design, it needed a very big pump to run it properly, so I bought first a Mag18 and it was a crap, then, I upgraded to an Iwaki and it worked great, but Iwaki´s are known to be big power consumers.

So after being out of the hobby for 11 years and with my not-so-good previous experience, this skimmer is in another league for me.

So with this skimmer, the design is really cool, the pump is awesome and you can dial it in regards of how much water flow you want it to deliver (not by restraining it with a gate valve) and you can put it in pause for 15 or 60 minutes. Also it is very, VERY silent.
It didn´t take not 1 single minute to break in and start producing foam and their support service is top notch.

I´m now looking for a calcium reactor and based on the performance/build of the skimmer/pump I´m seriously considering Reef Octopus CA200. The other option is GEO´s calc reactor which I´ve hear very good things also.

So I would say, go for it!.

Thats great! I'm a huge Coralvue/Reef Octopus fan, I ran their XP-3000 skimmer on my old 225g SPS tank and was super impressed. I'm sure you won't be disappointed with their cal reactor. I know GEO makes really high quality reactors too.

Leopardshark
09/08/2017, 10:01 AM
Hello all,
Well yesterday, at 11:50 pm I suddenly woke up, go figure why and then, 1 minute later the ground started to move. As in many other times I just wait for it to pass and then I continue sleeping, I´ve done that many times.
But this time was different, the quake wouldn´t stop and in fact it was getting worse, much worse.
So after realizing this was turning into something really worse I got up and went to the fish tank room (where else would I go? :spin1:) only to realize that water was coming from the tank and the quake wouldn´t stop!
Fortunately the GFCI tripped so there was no risk of electrocution and I could walk over the water.
By the time I could place a wood board on top of the tank, the quake had passed.
After drying floor and equipment for 2 hours, everything went back to normal.
Hope this never happens again.
Regards

James404
09/08/2017, 11:15 AM
Wow, sorry to hear that! So the water loss was from the top of the tank sloshing around? Sounds like you got lucky!

reefmutt
09/08/2017, 11:23 AM
Wow. I heard about that quake in Mexico 8.1 or 8.2. And many aftershocks.
I hope everything does ok and I hope the damage isn't too severe.
Good luck!

Leopardshark
09/08/2017, 01:28 PM
Wow, sorry to hear that! So the water loss was from the top of the tank sloshing around? Sounds like you got lucky!

Exactly! the water was exiting the tank from the top even with the eurobrace!

Leopardshark
09/08/2017, 01:29 PM
Wow. I heard about that quake in Mexico 8.1 or 8.2. And many aftershocks.
I hope everything does ok and I hope the damage isn't too severe.
Good luck!

Thank you, 8.4 more precisely. What is going on with our planet? :fun5: but it´s our fault for poisoning it.

premilove
09/08/2017, 09:35 PM
Nice! What are the dimensions of the tank?

Leopardshark
09/11/2017, 03:11 PM
It is 150 x 50 x 55 cms (60x20x22 inches). I would have gne bigger if it could onlu fit in the room it's in :)

Leopardshark
09/27/2017, 12:23 PM
As you probably know, on September 19, exactly 32 years after September 19 1985 when an earthquake devastated Mexico City... we had another huge earthquake which destroyed many buildings and damaged hundreds more, and 4 days after we had another one but this last one was a medium one.

So for the one of Sept 19th, I was at the office so I came home as fast as I could to find that aprox 10 gallons went out of the tank, and instead of going to the drain located 9 feet from the tank, the water went into the wood floor of the living room (damn engineers who build my building! :worried2:)

Anyway, after moping the wood floor for more than one hour, I went to the tank room to continue cleaning. To my surprise, all 3 Radions, 12" above the tank were dripping water! I cannot imagine how strong the earthquake was to push the water upwards!

Result: 3 Radions after being cleaned and dryed with a fan, worked to perfection the next day. Also Vortechs were working like a charm, skimmer OK... but APEX dead.

After cleaning the APEX and drying the 832 Module, it was dead and main unit couldn´t be calibrated and disconnected from wifi.

So the APEX is on its way to Neptune to get fixed and the tank is doing great.

Lesson learned, I´m taking out all electrical devices from below the tank, including the APEX and pumps controllers.

Attached some pics of the calcium reactor, a GEO 618 which was very easy to install.

Kind regards to all

Leopardshark
09/27/2017, 12:24 PM
And some acros. BTW for those with LED lighting, how do you manage to make pics represent the real colour?I hate all my pics look purple even at 10K

James404
09/27/2017, 12:38 PM
Usually people shoot the images in "RAW" format and then adjust the white balance in photoshop (or similar) after the fact. Some cameras come with pre-sets that you may be able to get better color out of though.

Wrangy
09/27/2017, 05:07 PM
What a sh!t run of luck with earthquakes! I hope all your family and friends and safe and healthy mate :)

I think moving your equipment is an excellent idea and it's good to hear you only lost the apex and everything else was fine :) Also, solid choice on the Geo! I don't think you'll regret it at all!!

Are you taking your picture with a camera or your phone?? If it's your phone get the app called Snapseed, it's fantastic! And if you're using a camera there's a program called "paint.net" that is a basic photoshop and it's what I use for all my pictures! :)

Leopardshark
09/28/2017, 12:46 PM
Ok, thank you for your info, I will try to take better pics from now on.

About the Geo reactor, my previous one was a Lifereef and this one is so much better built and you can see that it exudes quality. Lifereef was good but too much trouble to keep it working.

Regards!

Leopardshark
09/29/2017, 04:46 PM
I just wanted to share a pic of the tank.
It´s doing very good.

Leopardshark
09/29/2017, 04:47 PM
BTW I added a deep water (I guess) acro and with 40% of light intensity on the AB+ program on the Radions... it got fried :(

James404
09/30/2017, 08:21 PM
BTW I added a deep water (I guess) acro and with 40% of light intensity on the AB+ program on the Radions... it got fried :(Sorry to hear that!

Sent from my Nexus 6 using Tapatalk

Leopardshark
10/10/2017, 01:59 PM
Hello all, just to share a pic of the tank, which is doing great, except for 2 milleporas, which for some reason have necrosis on the base. Do you know if milleporas are high light/flow acros? because I´ve that idea and they seem not doing ok with those conditions.
regards

Leopardshark
10/10/2017, 02:01 PM
Another 2 more.

Leopardshark
10/19/2017, 10:11 AM
Today is one month after the earthquake and so many things have occured with the tank, so here I go:

1. AEFW: Yes, I got them. In my previous post I was wondering why a pair of milleporas were "suffering", and I thought it was the flow or lights. Well I decided to dip them in Coral Dip rx and AEFW came out.
I have no idea how they survived the Rx and Bayer dip when I bought them!
So even I fragged both of them, only the frags of one of the milles survived. I´m also dipping another colony which had evidence of more AEFW. sigh, well at least all other acros look ok.

2. Fish/ich. I have a yellow tang with ich problems since day 1, also a majestic angel which seems to do fine for some days and not so for others. They eat like champs but I hope with ozone (which I installed yesterday) those problems will go away. I bought a powder blue tang, which died of ich :(

The funny thing is the quarintine tank, in which I have a purple tang, a blue face angel and a regal tang, the fishes are incredible, so I´m not transfering them to the main tank until the ich is gone.


3. After the earthquake actions:

a. Apex. So I sent the Apex base unit and 832 module back to Neptune for repair. Due to the water spill, several components on both units were blown, they were very very very good with their customer service, but given they can´t ship internationally, they sent it to the online vendor, which sent it to me. The only problem was that the online vendor included an invoice for the APEX as if it was sold to me as brand new (rather than stating it was a repair), so I had to pay import duties for the second time for this APEX. ($100 to send it to Neptune + $100 to get it sent to Mexico once again + $200 of import duties= $400 bucks! :fun5::hmm2:).
But it is with me at least and it is working ok, except for the conductivity probe which I need to recalibrate once again :debi:

b. Tank. The fact that caused all the problems in the tank (apart from the earthquake of course) was that 10 gallons of water came out of the tank even do it has eurobracing. So I installed a 5" tall crystal rim on top of the tank, which will prvent that in the event of another earthquake, water coming out of the tank, falling into the equipment/floor. Attached is a picture of the final result and it is sealed with silicone to the tank.

Equipment. I installed now the APEX, ozone generator next to the tank, not below it and I fixed to the wall all power lines of the Radions and pumps. I will also cover with plastic all power outlets and cables running behind the sump.

Ok, this is it for now.

Have a good day.

PD. Oh, I have an algae outbreak, which I hope will diminish with some PO4 adsorbing balls (don´t recall the brand but the same manufacturer of the NO3 bricks) and ozone which decomposes the organics.

James404
10/19/2017, 06:37 PM
So sorry to hear about your AEFW. I battled them fiercely on one of my last tanks. I ended up losing everything and starting over. Usually they don't go after millies from my experience, so that's kind of odd.

Just an FYI but the ozone isn't going to cure your ich, the only guaranteed way is to pull all the fish and leave the tank empty for a minimum of 72 days, while treating the fish in either Hyposalinity, Copper or using the Tank Transfer Method.

Leopardshark
10/20/2017, 12:25 PM
Just an FYI but the ozone isn't going to cure your ich, the only guaranteed way is to pull all the fish and leave the tank empty for a minimum of 72 days, while treating the fish in either Hyposalinity, Copper or using the Tank Transfer Method.

I already have a 60 gal tank set up as qt tank, will start medicating today :(
I´m starting to remember why I quit this hobby 10 years ago :hmm1: