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Old 08/23/2016, 10:46 PM   #76
Pivitol
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Love the setup! Tank looks AMAZING. How are you liking the Lifereef skimmer? I'm thinking about getting one I'm looking at the vs3-30 external. My wife is from Stewart FL.


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Old 08/23/2016, 11:38 PM   #77
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Love the setup! Tank looks AMAZING. How are you liking the Lifereef skimmer? I'm thinking about getting one I'm looking at the vs3-30 external. My wife is from Stewart FL.


Hey Pivitol! Thanks for the kind words and looking through my thread. I LOVE my lifereef skimmer. It has been so easy to dial in, essentially "set it and forget it" with the large collection cup- which I definitely recommend. Maintenance is a breeze! I also feel as though Jeff builds his skimmers to stand the test of time. I purchased the lifereef sump/skimmer with the intent to keep the products a loooong time.

Are you replacing an existing skimmer or purchasing for a new set-up?


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Old 08/24/2016, 09:05 AM   #78
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Hey Pivitol! Thanks for the kind words and looking through my thread. I LOVE my lifereef skimmer. It has been so easy to dial in, essentially "set it and forget it" with the large collection cup- which I definitely recommend. Maintenance is a breeze! I also feel as though Jeff builds his skimmers to stand the test of time. I purchased the lifereef sump/skimmer with the intent to keep the products a loooong time.

Are you replacing an existing skimmer or purchasing for a new set-up?


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It will be for a new set-up. I've been doing quite a bit of research on skimmers and for the most part everyone seems to love his products, one plus for me is that he is local


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Old 08/24/2016, 10:01 AM   #79
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Awesome, Jeff is happy to help answer any questions. If you can save on the shipping cost that is definitely a plus! Good luck with your research, I'll be looking forward to seeing your new build!


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Old 08/24/2016, 12:04 PM   #80
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Well I just jumped on a used Geo 618 Calcium Reactor w/ reef-fanatic regulator and solenoid and C02 tank included for $300. Pretty excited to get it dialed in and also finish my apex configs/redundancies since my extra float switches arrived. I also am getting a nice birthday frag package next week with some sweet ricordias and acros. Will post new pictures once things settle in!


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Old 10/05/2016, 11:00 AM   #81
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Hey ReefCentral! It’s been a bit since my last post so I just wanted to re-cap my build and let you know where things sit today. First and foremost- my baby boy came into the world on August 23rd so my life has been turned upside down in the best way possible. Pretty awesome experience that I know other parents out there can relate to. The one thing I am still trying to get a grip on is my time… but I guess that is just how life goes from here on out. HAH!

Here is an update of all of my equipment that is being used in this set-up:
• SCAquariums 150 gallon tank and stand (60 x 24 x 24) 12mm starfire glass on front and side panels
• LifeReef LF1-300S custom sump w/ Blueline100HD return pump (basement sump)
• LifeReef SVS3-24 in sump Protein Skimmer w/ 8” collection cup and powered by Mag9 pump
• LifeReef return manifold (currently tied to refugium flow only)
• 24” LifeReefugium attached to sump and housing copepods and amphipods, a variety of macroalgae/chaeto/red mangrove propagules.
• LifeReef filter cylinders for carbon, GFO, and other media
• Neptune Apex Classic Controller w/ PH, ORP, Temp, Salinity, PM2, Leak detection module, EB8, EB4, B/O box
• Eheim 150-200W heaters x3 (only using two at the moment)
• Chinese black box full spectrum 165w LED units x 4
• BRS 6 stage 150GPD RODI system w/ TDS meter
• Tunze 3155 ATO
• Tunze 6095 wavemaker x 2
• Tunze 7096 Multicontroller
• Geo 618 CaRx w/ Milwaukee PH controller and reef fanatic regulator on a 20lb C02 tank
• 30 gallon QT tank

Livestock List (tank is fully stocked):
• Blue/Green Chromis x3 / Chromis viridis
• Black and White Ocellaris clownfish pair (bonded and spawning frequently) / Amphiprion ocellaris
• P. Fridmani Pseudochromis / Pseudochromis fridmani
• Melanurus Wrasse / Halichoeres melanurus
• McCosker Flasher Wrasse / Paracheilinus mccoskeri
• Trio of Sunset Anthias / Pseudanthias parvirostris
• Powder Blue Tang / Acanthurus leucosternon
• Yellow Tang / Zebrasoma flavescens
• Flame Angelfish / Centropyge loricula
• Midas Blenny / Ecsenius midas
• Diamond Goby / Valenciennea puellaris
• Randalls Goby / Amblyeleotris randalli
• Rose Bubble Tip Anemone x 2 since it split
Coral List:
• Too many types of zoa/paly to list
• Various Montipora, Acropora, SPS species including and not limited to tenuis, tortuosa, valida, stylophora, cerealis, staghorn, capicornis, loripes, caroliniana, nasuta.
• Various LPS species including branching frogspawn, branching hammer, acan lordhowensis, fungia, etc.
• The only leather in the tank is a neon toadstool
• The only shrooms are a lava lamp mushroom, Jawbreaker mushroom (Poletti lineage), and WWC bounce mushroom baby the size of a nickel.

I am currently using IO salt, BRS ROX carbon, and BRS GFO. The carbon and GFO are turned on and off as needed. I am performing weekly water changes at about 25-30 gallons. The tank has been set-up since the beginning of June and is just now starting to settle in with the new base rock I added (caused for some diatom outbreak). I neglected it for a bit while the newborn event took place and ended up getting RTN and lost a good 4 or 5 of my acro frags which bummed me out especially since they were some of my favorites (red dragon, Oregon tort, red planet). Nothing more painful than watching your coral babies fade away. I have since started using more GFO to help get the phosphates under control and got my new Calcium reactor tuned in to help replenish my low Ca/Alk levels. I was also finally able to get my Neptune Apex controller dialed in- I ordered four float switches (Slief redundancy recommendation) and set them up with my breakout box. I calibrated the temp, PH, and salinity probes. I created some code for alarms and redundancies, as well as custom feed cycles and maintenance cycle. Now I will get alerted if my temp is off, if my ATO bin is low on water, if the sump high level or low level and main display tank high level float switches trigger, alerted when there is a loss of power, etc. I never knew you could do so much with this controller, and I love it! I was battling some high tank temperatures over the middle of summer (display tank was getting up to 82-83 degrees) and I wanted to get it under control without the use of a chiller. I added two clip-on fans above the sump in the basement to battle the submerged pumps/heat dispersion and MAN what a difference a fan can make. Now I am steady between 79-80 degrees and haven’t looked back since. I have my heaters dialed in for the winter months and I am feeling confident about traveling/leaving the tank for days at a time. I was able to go back and fix my emergency drain per Soulpatch advice and modified it with two 45 degree elbows so that I could work around the return T. This allowed me to get my water level .25” below the euro brace of the tank and right where I wanted it. This project also allowed me to clean up the internal overflow box and reminded me that I need to DYI a “lid” to keep the light from getting in there and promoting algae growth. I want to lower my canopy so that I am covering the gap between where the water surface ends and the canopy begins but I reaaaallly don’t want to get my lights any closer to the water’s surface… so I am still thinking this one through. Some of that thinking involves the possibility of purchasing three Radions and going canopy-less… at this point though I need to focus on diapers and continue to save for a better lighting solution. I discovered the “flipper scraper” magnet cleaner and this thing is awesome. The blade side scares me but for use in the bottom 1” of the glass where it meets the substrate this thing does wonders and I highly recommend it. I am in serious need of getting out the nice camera and taking a BUNCH of photos since I have re-aquascaped the entire right side of the tank and moved a bunch of coral around. So stay tuned and pictures will follow in the coming week or so! I hope this build-thread has helped many of you learn/visualize and apply to your own projects as much as other threads I have read through have helped me. I am excited to see the growth of my SPS over the coming months since the addition of the Geo CaRx and my constant goal of keeping rock solid parameters. Happy reefing!


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Old 10/05/2016, 03:01 PM   #82
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Quote:
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This project also allowed me to clean up the internal overflow box and reminded me that I need to DYI a “lid” to keep the light from getting in there and promoting algae growth.
SC Sells a cover for $25. I have it but need to change my return plumbing to fit it.

Quote:
I want to lower my canopy so that I am covering the gap between where the water surface ends and the canopy begins but I reaaaallly don’t want to get my lights any closer to the water’s surface… so I am still thinking this one through.
I have mine covering my gap so my T5 are perhaps 6 inches fromt he water. Only concern I have is that I have to wipe splash shield a bit more.

Quote:
Some of that thinking involves the possibility of purchasing three Radions and going canopy-less… at this point though I need to focus on diapers and continue to save for a better lighting solution.
The money needs of the little one never ends. Daycare, diapers, toys, clothes, activities.... I am at age 3 now and spending more a month then I did when she was new.

Quote:
I discovered the “flipper scraper” magnet cleaner and this thing is awesome. The blade side scares me but for use in the bottom 1” of the glass where it meets the substrate this thing does wonders and I highly recommend it.
Look into the tunze care magnet. You can go right down into the sand should you wish the way it is designed.


Congrats on the little one.


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Old 10/06/2016, 06:34 AM   #83
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Congrats on the little one.[/QUOTE]

Thanks Soulpatch


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Old 10/09/2016, 11:28 AM   #84
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Right side of the tank


Left side of the tank


Middle of the tank


Looking longways down the tank



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Old 10/09/2016, 08:09 PM   #85
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looking good blink. I wish I had as much existing livestock (especially corals) to bring over to my 150. I am still lookin at nubs over here...


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Old 10/11/2016, 04:37 PM   #86
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nubs are cool @Soulpatch. I've got a true addiction to frags... I should have slowed down on buying frags so I could get a better lighting solution. Oh well... i'll crack open the piggy bank on new lights when the right time comes.


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Old 10/11/2016, 07:08 PM   #87
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Organized a bit...



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Old 10/12/2016, 07:57 AM   #88
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Geo 618 CaRx


Regulator/20lb tank



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Old 10/17/2016, 09:22 AM   #89
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So... i'm having a real tough time trying to decide between T5, T5/LED hybrid and Ecotech Radion lighting solutions. I'm not ready to spend the money, so I have just been doing research. I wanted to open up the "endless" debate a bit and see what others opinions are. I have questions like:

-what ATI fixture do you find to be the best value for a 60x24x24 tank, what bulbs do you use? What is the cost associated with the light fixture on a monthly basis? I understand the ongoing cost of the bulb replacement.

-Why would you NOT go with a T5 lighting solution?

-Why would you NOT go with a 100% LED lighting solution?

-LED's don't last forever so it is unfair to say you can spend the $2,000+ on 3 radions and not have to worry about future lighting costs.

-Is it a fair assumption to think the SPS growth rate provided by a T5/LED hybrid solution is faster than the radion LED solution? If so, do you think the additional cost that comes with T5 lighting can be offset by selling frags due to this faster growth?

Just some thing I've been mulling around in my head... open to hear others thoughts and opinions on their builds and the ultimate lighting solution that you decided on.


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Old 10/17/2016, 09:49 AM   #90
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blink2824 View Post
-what ATI fixture do you find to be the best value for a 60x24x24 tank, what bulbs do you use? What is the cost associated with the light fixture on a monthly basis? I understand the ongoing cost of the bulb replacement.
I run T5 mainly but do have 2 Kessils installed in the canopy though I have not had them on recently. (Turned off AC and since it is fall the house can warm up a bit so front of canopy is currently open which my kessils are mounted to.) I miss the shimmer to a degree but my tank doesn't seem to notice at all. I couldnt tell you the energy cost as when moving up the tank I upgraded size on everything. But to put it in perspective...

My house when running my nano tank was costing me about 200-250 a month in electricity depending on temps and such (I am electric everything). Moving to the 150 with larger pumps, more powerheads, lighting upgrades, bigger heaters, and larger mixing station with additionall pumps and my power usage is perhaps 225-275 a month. So with everything upgraded I am perhaps an extra $25 in power. With all the new things on power I count that as a wash. Bulbs I replace every 10 months or so and cost me 120 so add in 12 a month in bulbs. Out of everything these costs are nothing compared to my AWC...

Quote:
-Why would you NOT go with a T5 lighting solution?
I wouldnt go for one if I went open top and could handle a chiller to run MH/LED combo. Replacing the bulbs is something I need to remember as well as the ability to have sunrise/sunset, storms, and such is neat on LEDs.

Quote:
-Why would you NOT go with a 100% LED lighting solution?
Couple of reasons. Cost is a large one. I would have needed 6 Kessil A360 to properly cover my tank. Or 2 AP700 at a minimum. You are talking 2K in lighting. Since I am going SPS the other issue is that LED doesnt seem to bounce under the corals the same as MH or T5 leaving the undersides a bit bleached looking. Sure the features are great in LED and you save some power but I am doing this all to have my tank look awesome and grow corals. And YES people are highly successful with LED only but for less money to go T5 seemed worthwhile to me. And also there are those who say long term cost benefits LED. Sure if you keep the fixture 10+ years but with all the advancements and such they are being replaced in 2-3 years if they last that long which drives up their "cost" by immense portions.

Quote:
-LED's don't last forever so it is unfair to say you can spend the $2,000+ on 3 radions and not have to worry about future lighting costs.
I dont think we know enough yet on life cycle of the fixtures. Not to mention with tech advancing like it is you will be replacing the fixtures more frequently then a basic T5 or MH fixture...

Quote:
-Is it a fair assumption to think the SPS growth rate provided by a T5/LED hybrid solution is faster than the radion LED solution? If so, do you think the additional cost that comes with T5 lighting can be offset by selling frags due to this faster growth?
Really isnt an additional cost. Think about it. If you go primary Radion then you will do T5 retrofit which for 4 bulb would set you back $300 and 80 or so in bulbs a year. But you get better coverage and would save yourself from needing 3-4 radions in the same tank. So those radions would have cost you 1K+ but you spent 380 in year one and 80 following years. Even with say $100 a year in higher electric (insane amount but just for the math).

1000 for extra radions would get you:
first year of T5 at 480
THREE MORE YEARS of t5 at 180

That math is assuming you dont swap out those Radions for a newer model later on costing you some incremental money.

The cost is more staggering if you consider T5 only vs LED only. IE For my setup I would have needed 6 Kessil A360 which amounts to roughly 2300 bucks (6 lights and 6 mounts)

To go T5 only I needed a 48" ATI fixture which was 500 plus another 50 perhaps for my custom mount in canopy and 120 in bulbs for total of 670. Even if I assume an extra 100 a year in electric my first year would be 770. That savings nets me an additional 7 years of bulbs and electric...


Quote:
Just some thing I've been mulling around in my head... open to hear others thoughts and opinions on their builds and the ultimate lighting solution that you decided on.
I did not go with it due to heat but my perfect would be MH/LED/T5 mix. Something like the Cebu Sun. Other then that I am actually looking to go to my next best setup of T5 and LED accent strip similar to the BML strips.

I will likely sell my Kessils and use those to fund the light strip to give me back my shimmer and since it will be actinic will give my corals the pop that I love.


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Old 10/17/2016, 03:00 PM   #91
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Awesome input Soulpatch, good to hear your opinion as usual. Would a 6 bulb 48" fixture be overkill for our 60x24x24 footprint tanks? Or do you find the 4 bulb to provide sufficient coverage? My heart is telling me to remember the root cause of this lighting quest. I want my SPS to thrive and have amazing color... historically it seems T5 with a touch of LED is the best bet. The research will continue, we will see what kind of specials/deals present themselves over the next two months.


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Old 10/17/2016, 03:06 PM   #92
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I have a 6 bulb unit and would not go smaller. I am going to add on a reef brite XHO strip as well. Been spending the day pinging some on which strips to use now that BML is done. Premium Aquatics has em and I just need to sell my Kessils first (or at least one to afford the swap).

This way I get all the benefits of T5, shimmer of LED, and a bit of actinic pop via the strip allowing me to swap out an actinic bulb should I desire for say a coral plus or such.

If I were to do it all over again I would either do what I am now or spend WAY more but get the cadillac and something like the Giesemann Aurora. Sure any potential savings of T5 vs. LED goes out the window with that fixture but you get both in one sexy unit.


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Old 10/28/2016, 04:32 PM   #93
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One of my favorite things to do is look longways down the 60" length of reef. Here's a quick video of each perspective. Happy Friday!






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Old 11/04/2016, 07:46 PM   #94
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Happy Friday!




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Old 11/05/2016, 02:49 PM   #95
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So having a child has been amazing and also a great challenge. He is now 2 months old and I'm not sure where the time went. Since I've been thinking about time I started thinking about my coral growth, or lack thereof. The Chinese LED's have served their purpose but I have decided to go with the ATI 48" 6x54w sun power fixture. I want better growth... I'm really impatient. Just waiting to see what deals pop up in the coming weeks. Any bulb combo recommendations?

I've also had a healthy Cyanobacteria outbreak in my refugium. The basement has a storm window and I realized a lot of natural light was beaming through. Going to cover the window and go lights out in the fuge for a bit. Also going to clean the power heads and get a water change in. I found out my flame angel has an appetite for my fungia corals so I moved the plate's to the fuge and will most likely sell or trade them. Bummer because I liked them...


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Old 11/16/2016, 06:55 PM   #96
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Flynn says what's up reef central! I just sold my only leather... the toadstool. Sticking to SPS/LPS and some of my fav zoas. Going to put the money towards the new light


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Old 11/18/2016, 08:51 AM   #97
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Just placed my order with BRS:

ATI T5 Sunpower 48" 6x54w
3 coral+ and 3 Blue+ bulbs - going to give this combo a try.
2 boxes of HW salt
Hannah Phosphate checker
NLS pellet food
Aquaforest amino acids and vitality

ALL FOR $750.... i'm stoked. Thanks for a great deal BRS


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Old 12/04/2016, 09:37 PM   #98
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ATI T5 light is installed. Used drawer sliders similar to Soulpatch. Now saving for reefbrite xho...


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Old 12/05/2016, 08:46 AM   #99
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I charge for my ideas.... LOL.

Looking good. Put the reef brite on the hinged door so it can get out of your way when you want to swap bulbs.


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Old 12/05/2016, 11:18 AM   #100
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Very nice set up. Following along as I am doing a 150 also.


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