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Old 07/23/2017, 05:11 PM   #101
benbarfield
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The picture below shows the holes that were drilled in the refugium section of the tank stand. I just finished painting them with RedGard to waterproof the edges. The second picture shows the UV sterilizer frame that I attached staineless stell brackets to add more strength. I painted the brackets with RedGard.

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The next two pictures show the edges of the frames painted with the epoxy paint that the tank stand top was painted. This will waterproof the edges, and I did this instead of RedGard to ensure the RedGard doesn’t peel if I scratch it while maintaining the tank. I can almost smell the ocean water…

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IMG_1970


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Old 07/25/2017, 07:02 PM   #102
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I got home from work and decided to do some painting. I put a second coat of the epoxy paint around the tank cabinet frames. I then took the soundboard inserts and painted a final coat of RedGard around the edges. Once it was dry I stained the wood panel fronts. I am extremely happy with the color match stain. It matches the existing cabinet colors almost perfectly. The bottom right of the photo has the skinny piece of the current bar cabinetry that I color matched the stain for the tank. Tomorrow I will get a gallon of stain color matched and will stain the tank cabinetry.

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IMG_1977


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Old 07/26/2017, 04:56 PM   #103
benbarfield
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Stain day has finally arrived. I put the first coat of stain on and it turned out pretty good. I think one more coat and it will match the bar color very close. After the second coat, I will put a coat of polyurethane on and let it cure for a week. After that it’s time to finally get this tank up and running. Hopefully the polyurethane will be finished this weekend.

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Old 07/27/2017, 09:42 AM   #104
Pelagic_e36
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Can't wait till it gets wet.


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Old 07/30/2017, 03:59 PM   #105
benbarfield
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Today, I sealed the tank cabinetry with clear polyurethane. I will let this cure for a week and then get this thing filled with water. I created a sealed off area so the whole house didn’t stink. I sealed off the air intake in the basement and opened all vent fans and windows. I also sealed off the top of the stairs leading into the basement. The dogs were not pleased they were not allowed.

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Old 08/01/2017, 08:37 PM   #106
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Well, I just tried to fit the panels into the tank openings and they were all too tight. I guess the 2 coats of RedGard and the 2 coats of epoxy were just enough to make them not fit. Back to the saw to shave off some of the edges and reseal with RedGard. Stay tuned. Still planning on water this weekend... hopefully

Anyone got any good beginner coral ideas for me?


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Old 08/02/2017, 12:46 AM   #107
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I love the cabinet / built in look! Will look great!


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Old 08/03/2017, 09:51 PM   #108
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I just finished trimming down the edges of the cabinet inserts and put on a coat of RedGard around the edges. Tomorrow will be a final coat of RedGard around the edges and plumbing the last pieces before filling the tank with water.


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Old 08/05/2017, 07:36 AM   #109
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water filling time and pictures to follow. Here we go...


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Old 08/05/2017, 07:40 AM   #110
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Woooooohooooooo!!!


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Old 08/05/2017, 09:45 PM   #111
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Well it finally happened. We have water in the tank, kinda. It’s still filling up. I started the day off by screwing composite shims to secure the light rod across the top of the tank. I did this to prevent the stainless steel rod from slipping out of place.



Next was taking the inserts outside and cutting out an insert for the new handles. I got sunken handles for these inserts so I can pull them out when I need to work in the tank but they will not stick out when the cabinet doors are in place.



Next, I hooked up the water line to the RODI unit and started it up.





The next picture shows the waste line from the RODI unit. I ran the yellow waste tubing into the drain in my utility room. I am going to eventually run the waste line out to my garden but that project is for another day.



The next picture is the water line in the sump under the display tank. The blue tubing is coming from the RODI unit. I put a t-piece on the line so I can control the flow to the trash can or the tank for refilling top off water. I took a piece of acrylic and secure it to the tank stand frame and attached the water inlet hosing to it. The float valve is just above the protein skimmer intake and will still allow me enough space in the sump to handle the main tank draining down to the siphon level.



Next was getting the Kessil lights into place. I hung 3 Kessil Tuna Blue lights off of the stainless steel rod above the tank. I attached them with carabiners and zip ties. This will allow me to slide them from side to side while I am working in the tank.







I was getting thirsty so I had to crack open an Even More Coco Jesus by Evil Twin Brewing company. If you live in Colorado you need to try this beer out. It’s delicious. Ok, back to work…


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Old 08/05/2017, 09:51 PM   #112
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Sand is going in the tank.



The next two pictures show the water inlet into the sump. I made a PVC holder to catch the inlet water. It has a plastic bin with mesh in the bottom to allow for the filter to sit in the bin and water to drain through. This will eventually be moved into the second sump tank and then will drain into the main sump tank to make cleanup easier and expand my total water volume. That will be a few months down the road. The flexible reinforced tubing is coming from the outflow of the UV sterilizer back into the sump.





The net picture shows the start of the brains of the operation. The Apex system is hung on the uppermost wall. Everything will be connected to this and to the electrical I ran above the tank. Tomorrow I will be programing and setting up the Apex system.



I am about to head to bed and here is where we stand. The tank is filling up nicely with some water. I am running water directly into the tank and have siphoned off the top layer of film on the water. I have stirred up the sand a few times and siphoned the film and particles off the surface of the water. I will turn off the RO unit tonight and turn it back on in the morning. Once the tank is full I will add the other two bags of finer sand and siphoned off the top film again before starting up all the pumps. I can’t say how excited I am to see water in the tank. This process started last October when we decided to get a tank and start this process.




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Old 08/06/2017, 07:21 PM   #113
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I think we're all pretty excited for you too! Looking good


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Old 08/07/2017, 09:09 AM   #114
benbarfield
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I started off yesterday by adding the finer sand to the tank. I let it settle and then mixed it around to get any particulate matter out and up to the surface. I then skimmed the surface to remove all the debris.


I then cleaned out the sump tank and found some good floaters. Mainly pastic and plumbing glue that has dropped into the 1” layer of water I put in there to collect such items. It was all vaccumed out with my wet/dry vac.



The next two pictures show the clear tubing running from the protein skimmer. This is my waste line from the protein skimmer to the waste p-trap that I installed in the wall that connects to the house sewer line plumbing.





The next two pictures show the plumbing running from one of my sump pumps that is feeding the UV sterilizer.





Below is the trashcan collecting RO water as I mix salt into the bucket. I am using a pondmaster pump to mix around the salt.


The next picture is water being transferred from the trash can in the utility room to the tank. And the one below is the Kessil lighting up and running with the tank full. Off to work this morning…






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Old 08/07/2017, 03:47 PM   #115
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Feet build. Was following before the whole photo bucket fiasco. Glad you found another site. I've been using Dropbox for my pictures.

Have you decided on type of livestock?


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Old 08/07/2017, 04:43 PM   #116
benbarfield
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Livestock is still being decided on. I definitely want a yellow tang, kole tang, and convict tang. Want to recreate a Hawaiian reef with the addition of a pair of clownfish even though not a Hawaiian fish. Any recommendations?


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Old 08/13/2017, 05:39 PM   #117
benbarfield
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Last few weeks have been productive. I found a small leak on the inlet plumbing into the tank. Luckily is was very slow and easy to fix. The pipe just needed to little more tightening and no more leak. We have our first inhabitants in the tank now. This first picture is the live/base rock that I picked up from a friend’s tank. His tank crashed 6-8 months ago and he has been holding his rock in livestock tanks as he rebuilds his tank. He is ordering a new shipment of rock so I lucked out with his old rock. The rock went in the tank a few days ago. I have been checking for ammonia and nitrate changes and nothing so far.



The Neptune probes are in place in the back corner of the tank away from direct flow from the inlet lines. I started inspecting the rock and found some welcomed guests. The next three pictures are a few feather dusters that survived the crash and transport over.









Our first unwanted guest. I discovered this morning that I had one small aiptasia that found it’s way on one of the rocks. I removed the rock and took off the aiptasia.



Purchased a skunk cleaner shrimp, peppermint shrimp, a Trochus snail, 3 Cerith and Astraea snails from the store today. Slowly acclimated them and added them to the tank.



This last picture is where we currently stand. I will check the nitrates and ammonia again tomorrow to see if there is any change with the addition of the new inhabitants. After that I plan on just watching everything for a week or two before moving on to adding a few zoas and mushrooms to the tank. My wife likes the zoas so those will be her pick and first addition to the tank. Stay tuned.




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Old 08/15/2017, 09:01 AM   #118
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Leaking inlet pipes

Both inlets from the return pumps have small leaks. I am going to retape the threads with plumbers tape and see if this works. I'm thinking the other side of the attachment has come loose in the return flow reservoir so I will try tightening those down further after I get home from work tonight. On the bright side, the 4 hermit crabs that came with the rock are alive and well, as well as the shrimp and snails.


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Old 08/18/2017, 06:20 PM   #119
benbarfield
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the leaks are no more...

The plumbing leaks are fixed. Some elbow grease and a lot of new Teflon taping took care of the leaks. With the pumps back up and running, I decided to aqua-scape to allow for better flow. The original had too many dead spaces after watching flow and sand shifting for a week. The first picture is the new aqua-scape. I tried to build around the overflows bu I don’t like the look of a lot of rock up to the surface. I wanted to leave plenty of room for the tangs to swing and coral growth.



This picture is looking at the tank through the side. The auto top-off system is set up with a float valve in the sump tank. The water line comes from the utility room, through the ceiling, and down into the sump. Working perfectly at the moment. I am getting about a gallon of evaporation per day so far. Living in Colorado, I imagine the evaporation will get worse in the winter months when the heat is used more.



I think the cleaner shrimp likes the new rock formation. He is much more active and moving all over since redoing the rocks. I plan on getting some flake food to place in the tank tomorrow for him and the peppermint shrimp. The second picture shows the cave that the peppermint shrimp is hiding in currently. I also found a second small aiptasia on one of the rocks so out it came. I chiseled off the aiptasia and placed the rock back in place.





This last picture is a fantastic hitch hiker I just found when aqua-scaping. Two different types of sponges are growing. I have the “n” shaped white sponge and a small circular green sponge just to the right of the white one. A few pieces of live rock will be delivered on Monday and placed in the tank to finish up all the rock work. I plan on letting that sit for a week and will check if there is any die off from it. It the water parameters are good after that then in go the clownfish.




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Old 08/23/2017, 08:57 AM   #120
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Cyanobacteria

Well here we go. My wife was looking at the tank last night and pointed out some nice coralline algae growth we were getting. She then noticed the cyanobacteria that we also have growing. I don’t have a phosphate test kit but I am going to assume that it is higher than I want since all my other parameters are normal. I have been having my ORP reading to continually climb over the past few days and I guess this algae growth explains that increase. Last night I turned on the skimmer, turned off my lighting program to allow for 24-48 hours of dark in the tank. I don’t have to worry about natural lighting because the tank is not positioned near any windows. I am going to have to rethink my tank flow to prevent these dead spots. I am debating picking up a Scarlet Reef hermit crab to combat the algae, but I have ChemiClean that I will use if this doesn’t work out. Stay tuned.






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Old 08/25/2017, 03:03 PM   #121
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a much needed day off from work

After 2 days of dark and the protein skimmer up and running my cyanobacteria is basically gone. I had an old powerhead that I put into the tank for some additional flow until my EcoTech Marine VorTech MP40 arrives. I finished the bracing in the sump area so I was able to put up the soundboard piece. That piece will be hidden behind the cabinet doors when I finish building those. Last pictures show my cleaner shrimp and peppermint shrimp out and about looking for food.











The remainder of my cleanup crew should arrive this weekend as well as the rest of my live rock. I will add that to the tank and monitor for any potential die off or hitchhikers. Hopefully my bacteria is built up enough that the live rock doesn't cause any issues and we can add some fish here shortly.


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Old 08/26/2017, 03:31 PM   #122
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Nitrate and Ammonia was tested today and read 0. Lights have been turned back on and some of the cyanobacteria came back. So, I have been using a turkey baster to blow it off the rock and suck it up. We went to look at some corals to get an idea of what me and the wife want, and this is happened... A black Snowflake and a DaVinci clownfish…










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Old 09/06/2017, 05:06 PM   #123
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Water parameters has been rock solid for me the past 2 weeks after adding the clownfish. I added 20 hermit crabs, snails, and another emerald crab to the tank this past weekend and all are happy. I also added 25 lbs of live rock that was run in a separate system to get most of the die off out. I added a EcoTech MP-40wQD to the system as well. My only parameter that was out of range was my alkalinity at 6. I am going to add a buffer solution to the tank tonight to try and get this value back up to around 10. Below are current pictures. This weekend I will finish the braces for the soundboard pieces for the upper access points and the side access point. The plan is to add another fish to quarantine this weekend (a goby or blenny of some kind – whatever the wife wants). Cabinet doors will be coming soon as I find some more wood to match. Feel free to leave any thoughts, comments, criticisms, I’m new and learning…

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Old 09/10/2017, 08:56 PM   #124
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We have Corals

You have to love when you go to the store to get one coral, and you come home with 5 corals and a new fish (Pearly Jawfish). He came from the same tank as we got the clowns from a few weeks ago. The first picture shows my first water change in the tank. It's been through a cycle and parameters have stayed steady.

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The picture below is of CoralRx Coral Dip with the new corals soaking. I was able to pull off a small starfish and some green worm looking things off the frags. After a 10-15 min dip and me using a turkey baster to blow off the hitchhikers, into the tank they went.

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The next two pictures are of the torch coral. It was closed up when I first placed it in the tank and the next morning it is wide open. I put it in the corner where the clownfish are hanging out to see if they take a liking to it.

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These next two pictures are of the orange ricordea frag. I decided to not trim off any of the plug. I will just let the ricordea grow all around it.

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These are of the orange zoa frag that my wife picked out.

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This last picture is another ricordea. It is a blue and green ricordea and was already starting to grow over the plug so I decided to leave it whole. The frags were adhered using Loctight super glue.

IMG_2172


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Old 09/10/2017, 08:59 PM   #125
benbarfield
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A few more pictures of the Fire and Ice zoa frag my wife picked out. She loves zoas so she got to pick those out. The last picture shows the new jawfish being camera shy. The plan is to get a yellow tang, kole tang, and either an achilles or powder blue and start the quarantine process. The emerald crab has already started to take a liking to the torch coral and after watching for 30 minutes or so i decided he was picking off too much of the coral and I relocated him to my sump.

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