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Iowa...Beyond The Corn Fields

Posted 12/20/2011 at 11:58 PM by slovan

I just realized I am one week shy of being in the hobby for 8 years! I started my reefing adventure with 2 good friends of mine. Actually I was getting ready to set up a 90 gallon cichlid tank at the time and they were starting reef tanks. With zero knowledge of saltwater, I was hesitant to jump in with them. They finally talked me into it and introduced me to RC. As they say, the rest is history.

I can honestly say I have gone through more tanks than most people in the same time period. I originally started with a 120 gallon Oceanic tank that was pretty successful. I then made the natural progression to something bigger and set up a 210 gallon AGA tank. With that going on, I decided to set up a 14 gallon Oceanic Bio Cube since I got such a good deal on it. Then I upgraded the Bio Cube to a 17 gallon custom nano from Aquatic Systems Design to keep different types of corals.

After I got tired of doing water changes and maintenance on the 2 tanks, I decided to get rid of it all to buy an Elos 120XL. I remembered my first 120 was very manageable and easy to care for so I figured I would go back to a similar size. This setup was successful and I really enjoyed the rimless tank and the beauty of the Elos system.

Last year the Elos was becoming full of corals to where I had a bunch of frag racks set up to house corals. I then decided to set up a dedicated 43 gallon frag/display tank by Miracles Aquariums. This tank was great for showing frags because I made it short enough that you basically looked at the corals from top down.

About a month ago, I was approached by a friend of mine who decided to get out of the hobby all together. He was the February 2009 RC TOTM winner. He asked me to sell his tank 380 gallon tank and equipment for him since he didn't have time nor was he connected to the reefing world anymore. Since I am actively involved in the local club, I posted his tank for sale. During that time, he got offers and one guy promising to buy it but skipped out on him. So he made me a deal too good to refuse. I talked to my wife and nearly had to beg to buy it but she finally gave me the green light.

The only problem with the tank was a crack in the seam on the front right side of the tank. He didn't know when it happened nor how it happened because the tank was in wall and the seams couldn't be seen until the tank came out of the wall. We both figured it would be an easy fix with more acrylic reinforcement in the corners. Lo and behold, that was not the case. I had a local acrylic guy come over to look at it and he also got input from respected acrylic tank builders who said the tank was beyond repair.

This was a total blow to the both of us. I couldn't do anything with a bad tank and a new tank that size would put me WAY over my budget. He was nice enough and did the right thing by taking the tank back and gave me a good deal on the rest of the equipment.

I started looking at several manufacturers to build me a new tank. Since I was starting from scratch for a new display tank, I decided a little smaller was going to be OK. So I decided on a 300 gallon tank glass tank. I submitted request for quotes to Reef Savvy, Miracles Aquariums, Marineland and AGE.

AGE was hard to deal with since I had to go through their dealer network. I contacted one of their dealers and gave them the dimensions of the tank. They submitted it to AGE and never heard back.

It took several weeks to get a quote from Reef Savvy and they were quite high. Miracles gave me a decent quote but was also higher than what I wanted to pay. Then came Marineland. I got a price for a 300 gallon Deep Dimension tank with Starphire front that I could live with. This was going to be my next tank after I sell the 2 existing setups I have.

I found a good home for both tanks. The Elos went to my brother in-law who bought the tank and livestock. He is now enjoying the tank immensely so I am happy I didn't have to separate the tank and corals. The 43 gallon Miracles tank went to a local reefer in the state who likes cube tanks so he will enjoy this setup as well.

With both tanks out of the way, the new tank build begins!
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