Let the journey begin.

Discussion in 'Tank Showcase Comments' started by Barch, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    Okay, so after a couple of months researching on various websites and forums I have decided to jump into the salt water hobby. I thought it would be good to document my experience just for the fun of it. I have really enjoyed this site, reading everyone's threads trying to learn more about this deal. I'm not new to aquarium keeping, I have had a fresh water tank for several years...currently a 75 bow front. I found a 90 gl acrylic on craig's list with a stand that came pretty cheap...not in the best of shape but I figured I could work with it.

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    not much to look at but it's a project remember.
    First off prepping it for paint and because it had no doors I decided to build new ones for it.
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    The tank as I said was a little rough with some pretty good scratches in it so I wet sanded it all down and re-polished it out and now it looks pretty good. It didn't have a canopy for it so I built a new one.
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    Next step was to give it the leak test. So I set it up in my warehouse and filled it full.
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    it passed!
    Next step I moved it into my office where it will go and now I'm waiting for all the stuff I ordered to get here so I can get everything plumbed and working. more to come soon.
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    Last edited: Jan 11, 2013
    Barch, Jan 11, 2013
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  2. Barch

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    Looking good...I love new builds...
     
    Ted, Jan 11, 2013
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  3. Barch

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    Welcome aboard! I can't wait to see what you do in there! Nice work!
     
    chichimom79, Jan 11, 2013
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  4. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    My next project was building the refugium filtration system. Many hours of research on this one as you can imagine there are many ideas and designs out there so I did what I thought would work best for me. I had an old 55 that I had a 14" Oscar in...sadly Oscar passed not to long ago so I decided to make the tank into my filtration system for the new salt water tank.
    Laying out the tank.
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    I didn't want the sump in the bottom of the stand, I'm fortunate to have a storage room next to my office so the plumping went through the wall and now I'm setting up the sump and all the rest of the life support in there.
    New stand built for the 55
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    Water supply: rebuilt 5 stage R/O
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    from there it runs to a DI filter. This is an old r/o filter that I modified. It has 3 filter housings but I left the first one empty and put DI filters in the last two stages, tested my water today and have 0 TDS.
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    The two bigger tanks are old salt brine tanks from some old water conditioning systems that I had kicking around the shop. One is set up for the RO/DI water and the other is the one used to mix the salt water in. I guess I should tell you that I am in the bottled water/ water treatment business. That is why I have this stuff laying around.
     
    Barch, Jan 11, 2013
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  5. Barch

    Smitty

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    Looking good so far.
     
    Smitty, Jan 12, 2013
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  6. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    Well I have been busy so I had to take a break from the tank. Here is the latest update. The rock arrived so I got that all set in place.
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    I was pretty happy with how it came together
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    Still doing a little work on the refugium placing the equipment etc.
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    Sand is going to be here soon and then I can get it filled with water and start the cycle.
     
    Barch, Jan 16, 2013
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  7. Barch

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    It looks great so far! Can't wait to see this come along, so much fun :) What kind of rock did you get? I really like the look of it!
     
    FishyReef, Jan 16, 2013
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  8. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    Got the rock from John @ Reef Cleaners....I was very happy with it, easy to work with.I put 100 lbs in my tank
    another pic
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    Barch, Jan 16, 2013
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  9. Barch

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    Looking good...get her wet....Hmmm that didnt sound right....but ya know what I mean..
     
    Ted, Jan 16, 2013
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  10. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    made some more progress the last couple of days.

    Sand and Water!
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    I got this done yesterday so it has been up and running for 24hrs now. Everything seems to be working well. I made a few adjustments on the down flow to make it quiet. Much better now. Today was spent installing the ATO float switch and pump.
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    you can see the ATO pump on top of the DI filter housing. Then I spent some time tackling the cord octopus! tidying up the cords and labeling everything. I set this all up so that it would take little time to do water changes, mix salt water, transfer water etc. There are pumps in both the DI tank and Salt water tank as well as a power head to mix with in the salt water tank. So I can just through switches to do all this taking less time and not moving pumps around etc.
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    Then spent most of the day programming the Reef Keeper!! holy cow I thought I was of reasonable intellect until I started wrapping my head around the Reef Keeper programming. After some considerable time it started to gell and I was able to get the ATO programmed, the refugium light, the temp and ph sensors, Skimmer. Tomorrow will be the circulation pumps in the DT.
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    cleaning up the electrical
    So the parameters are starting to come together by late today so the shrimp went into the refugium to start the cycle. We will see what everything looks like tomorrow.
    Couple of pics of my 75 fresh tank. It's about 8 years old now.
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    more to come....
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
    Barch, Jan 17, 2013
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  11. Barch

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    You are doing a fabulous job! I need to make an ATO... I'm still doing it several times a day manually.
     
    chichimom79, Jan 17, 2013
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  12. Barch

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    So am I.....
     
    Ted, Jan 17, 2013
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  13. Barch

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Yeah me to, and it sucks couse i have to do about 2 gl a day
     
    Civicdemon, Jan 17, 2013
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  14. Barch

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    I top off about a gallon a day...not that bad right now in the summer with the fans on was more...like 3 gallons a day.
     
    Ted, Jan 17, 2013
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  15. Barch

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    Yeah mine useto be alot less when i was still using the canister filter but ones i switched over to a sump thats when it doubled.
     
    Civicdemon, Jan 17, 2013
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  16. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    that's interesting, having never done this before I don't know what to expect as far as how much water it will take in a day to keep the system topped off. I can hear the switch click every time it turns on the ATO pump. I have heard it come on 3 times in the last 45 min. so I can understand that it could use quite a bit of water in a day. Mine is set up so it pumps from the 35 gal. RO/DI tank. so there is plenty of water for it to draw from. Its 0 degrees outside here right now....whats it going to do when it's 100 degrees outside this summer? So a couple of questions, I put a piece of shrimp in my sump last night as I was leaving the office. How fast will the ammonia start to build? I planned on testing in a couple of days but will this cycle happen fairly quickly? Also I have some Nitrifying Bacteria to add to the tank and thought I would wait a few days, maybe when I see the ammonia really start to build and then add it. What do you guys recommend? Also I have read that it is okay to add some easy to keep corals at this point to help build the life support for the tank....any thoughts on this? Thanks
     
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2013
    Barch, Jan 17, 2013
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  17. Barch

    one800nak

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    im in the process right now of starting a 65 gallon tank. i filled it 8 days ago and added a shrimp 5 days ago. still no spike in ammonia. i check every morning. hoping any day now.
     
    one800nak, Jan 17, 2013
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  18. Barch

    Ted Living one day at a time

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    I would not add corals until after the cycle. The tank I have now cycled fast, I used live rock that I had for several years also used the tank water I had plus about 15 gallons of new. I think how fast you cycle really depends on how much live rock you have compared to dead rock. My cycle with all established live rock took maybe 4 days. Never got ammoinia above the lowest reading on my test kit, same with nitrite. I had the added benefit of having chateo in my fuge from day one as well.
     
    Ted, Jan 17, 2013
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  19. Barch

    Civicdemon Go Big Or Go Home !

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    I think you should go and get a couple pieces of live rock and add them in your dt that way you can seed the rock you have already. And. The little bit of die off you get from taking the live rock from the lfs to your dt will help kick off the cycle.
     
    Civicdemon, Jan 18, 2013
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  20. Barch

    Barch VIP Member

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    Well I went to the LFS and got a couple of pieces of live rock. Put one in the DT and one in the refugium. Tested my water this morning and still have 0's on everything so nothing happening yet. Will check everything again on Monday. I got my circulation pumps put in the DT. I have 4- 750 gph pumps they seem to be working well, I thought with having such a tall tank that it would be good to have plenty of water moving in the tank. It is starting to settle pretty good now.
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    my live rock
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    Barch, Jan 18, 2013
    #20
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