Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Alex

8x3x2' Reef Tank Journal

Recommended Posts

Hi 

 
After along lay off from having a reef tank, I made the hard to decision to sell all of my freshwater stingrays and set up a new reef tank!
 
The tank is in our front lounge room that backs onto our double car garage. I picked this room of the house, as it was easy to drill through the brick wall and turn half the garage into my 'equipment' room. 
 
The tank itself is a 8x3x2' (LxWxH) glass, black silicone and starfire/low iron front and sides. The stand I had professionally welded by a local fabricator, and powder coated 'satin' black. I picked a Satin finish (low gloss) as it gives a bit more of a 3D feel rather than matt black that very much looks 2D.
 
9338AE14-F110-40BC-B218-FE89A1231C7A_zps
 
The stand is all open and won't be cladded with anything. I think the height and sleekness of the stand being open gives the tank an illusion of being taller than it is at only 60cm/24". Also having a bracket made and finished the same as the stand that will go over the tank for the lighting to hang from.
 
3865EFD4-6FAC-4A3C-8301-53B10536774A_zps
 
ABC69B12-6EF6-46B8-96D5-2D73E63D3D4D_zps
 
2EC03A3D-1107-4449-89E8-958B191630EE_zps
 
The tank was also drilled for a Synergy Ghost Overflow, and has been plumbed as a bean animal system to reduce noise as much as possible. 
 
C763B7BF-696A-4ECF-8880-250F1CAEA479_zps
 
The idea is that no plumbing will be seen from the front when viewing the tank and the pipe work will go through the wall and all that will be seen is an open stand with the wall and back of the tank also painted black. The idea is to black everything out; back glass, stand and wall and try get as much focus on the colours of the fish and corals.
 
E5565268-E439-4B50-B15A-96DFD278F571_zps
 
The quarantine tank also sits in the garage in the equipment room. The QT tank is bigger than what most people would use, but I had it from one of my FW set ups and the tank was pretty much brand new. QT is 4'x2.5'x1.5' approx' 400L/100Gal - and will be filters by an Aqua One Nautilus 2700. I also like the idea of being able to quarantine decent amounts of fish at a time. The rock in the display is Carib Sea Life Rock, a combination of 'shelf' and 'shapes'. Ordered online to try it out and see if I'd use it on the display. 
 
5807E90E-3D1A-4F95-A0F3-8C2648ED5C99_zps
 
Sump - 4'x2.5'x1.5' and is approx' 400L/100Gal. I have already bought my skimmer, ended up going with the Nyos Quantum 300. I got this skimmer as it had some very good reviews, came recommended and seemed to be reasonable value for money. 
 
 
I will keep this thread updated as things, change and things should come along pretty quickly. Next up is to get the back of the tank painted and the wall drilled and painted to get the tank moved back onto the wall!
 
Cheers, 
 
Alex
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Attached the RODI system to the wall. This RODI system has a duel inbuilt TDS meter (TDS of pretreated and treated water), actually surprised to see the TDS of my tap water around the 400ppm mark. The treated water coming out is at 0ppm, so working nicely. Still need to fix the tubing to the wall to make it a bit neater. I have started filling the QT tank with RODI, then it's time to add salt and start the cycle. 

I am quite impressed with how the Carib Sea Life Rock looks when wet under lights. Some nice purple/pink without being over powering, I think Carib Sea have done a great job with the finish of this rock. 

C6B1B0C8-D6A1-4088-87CA-7ABA62B1436F_zps

66E8CE1D-E3CF-4C19-8226-D590050F85AD_zps

65F134BD-CC7D-4F83-BC15-44DF75EB49BE_zps

 

E5515495-EC16-460A-85A2-49186D1C8CCA_zps

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like every week there are multiple packages arriving in the mail, which is like the adults version of Christmas!

The postman brought me a new Red Sea Refractometer and another Ecotech MP40.

tank2_zpsxvma5fhl.jpg

Did get some bad news today though, the ETA on my skimmer has been pushed back to the 18th of June which is a bit of a bummer, but it does give me a chance to really pull my finger out and get all the odd jobs done. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fake/real rock looks the goods. I did a bit of a search for it and seems to get good reviews. I also seen its about half the price of the real thing. Are you going to use it as a base then add live rock or just use this rock as is?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Josh - I agree that it does look the part. The Carib Sea Life Rock i got for the quarantine was just a sample to see if I liked it, and I do for the most part. 

I have used live rock in the past and as good as live rock is for your system, it also comes with its fair share of nasty hitchhikers, have dealt with large growing crabs and mantis shrimp in the past. The plan was to use the Carib Sea Life Rock (I'll use the term 'fake rock' from here) as a total replacement to avoid live rock altogether (and all the hitch hikers that come with it). For me it is either use all live rock  (and deal with the hitch hikers) or none at all. Using some of both is kind of counter intuitive as to why people use the fake rock to begin with (not that people don't do that). At worst, I would do the tank with fake rock and just add a scraping of coraline algae off some live rock without actually putting the rock into my tank to seed it.

In terms of price - its about the same. Most retailers of the fake rock go for ~$8kg for the base rock and around the $16-18kg mark for the 'shapes and shelf' variety. Quality live rock in Perth is usually $15-16kg! So going down to fake rock alternative doesn't really make it any cheaper! as crazy as that is.  

I will add some sand to the quarantine tank shortly as I want the star of the show in the display tank to be a small group 2-3 Lennardi Wrasse - that do better with sand (somewhere to sleep and forage) and I want to get the Lennardi into quarantine soon. It's a funny one, as the Lennardi are super rare overseas, which is a nice change to have something readily available in Aus and have keepers in the US froth! and also people telling me they are so expensive in Aus at ~$250ea after being a long term FW stingray/exotics keeper in Aus, $250 is a 'cheap fish'!

qt2_zpsgrs380by.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Fine - I'll be the first to say it then...  Boooo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once in a generation a FW keeper will have the guts to go to the dark side! :clap

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey mate

looking awesome, love the setup 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ray - Thanks mate. 

 

E343CD03-5E35-4EBE-B0C3-1B9C1340F1EC_zps


Tank painted by the boss, 33 weeks pregnant and done a really good job!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice one.  We are a few weeks behind you with number 2 :thumb

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

Congrats to yourself too.

This is our first. Like everyone’s been telling me, our lives are going to get pretty hectic when bubs comes along. So in the meantime I’m trying to knock off as much of this tank as possible. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's a piece of cake mate, just enjoy it and let the good times roll. hahaha

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are like every other couple expecting a kid, we will wing it! First kid is always a bit of a trial run anyway isn’t it? :confused:

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very interested to watch this one play out....

I have no doubt this will end up being a beautiful tank 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Slipshodman - Thanks for the kind words. Have a busy weekend this weekend, finishing off whatever plumbing I can on the display, and potentially leak testing. Will also be plumbing the mixing station, doesn't sound like much, but there are a heap of taps and other plumbing pieces involved. 

Will definitely keep this thread updated as things progress. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Update - got the mixing station mostly plumbed. All dry fitted then glued. Only a couple very minor leaks which I have since rectified. Pretty happy with it and seems to be working a treat so far. The left barrel is SW and the right RODI. I like the 'closed loop' on the left as I can turn the pump on and really churn the water to either mix salt or get the water full of oxygen before a water change. Each drum holds 220L (~60gal). All that is left to do is clamp a flexible hose on the reducer and install drill a hole for the float switch to plumb the RODI line into so I don't flood my garage. 

mixing%20station_zps0cbqogtg.jpg

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Finally some more progress - getting the wall drilled was a major headache, with my usual avenues unable to help me for the foreseeable future. Ended up getting one of my dads mates to help out, and must say he did a fantastic job with the 4 holes through a double brick wall - nice and straight and hardly a chip out of the plaster or the garage brick wall! really neat job. This was really holding me up. 

The electrician is also at my house as I type this doing some jobs including doing all the wiring of the powerboards in the garage for all the equipment for the QT tank and sump/display! So some jobs are getting done. Wall will finally be painted this week also. 

Once that's done things will start coming together very quickly!

On a side note my algae reactor arrived today, got an ITC ALR 3 - I must say it is bigger than I was expecting. Seems to be well made too. Also got a call from the delivery company my skimmer will finally be delivered today too! So things are starting to move quickly now!

holes_zpsd2hpngnp.jpg

reactor_zpsrbfejl2p.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My skimmer finally arrived yesterday, after a very long wait. Ended up going with a Nyos Quantum 300 - beast of a skimmer, first thing I noticed was the sheer size and had me second guessing if i measured incorrectly and have it not fit in the sump! (full size lighter on top of the cup for a size reference) I must say, putting it together it feels very well made, solid and precise construction with no play in the pieces once put together. Really easy to assemble, took me all of 5 minutes with a flat head screw driver. Fits in the sump nicely, and looks the part next to the algae reactor. I turned the light on the algae reactor for a pic for no other reason than it looked awesome!

I'm still undecided whether I will run the algae reactor in the sump or having it external as it does take up a lot of room in the sump.

skimmer2_zpsu52utu97.jpg

skimmer_zpsoznpfye7.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tank5_zpskaqzxiwu.jpg

Wall has now been painted black, and I must say it really pops already with the black stand and the rest of the house being painted 'ivory white'. The light brackets are currently at the powder coaters, getting finished in 'satin black' like the stand. Should look pretty spectacular once the tank gets pushed back on the wall, putting a real focus on the tanks inhabitants.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The long wait is now over - the lights have now been suspended!

 

I have to say I'm very happy with the results, definitely hitting the look I was going for with the 'sleek industrial' look. Looks amazing with the 'satin' finish on the stand and the hanging brackets as well as the black wall. 

 

Now I need to figure out how to best hide the electrical chords from the lights, weather i run them up and into the ceiling or back and run them down the wall and hide the bulk of it behind the tank. Once that is done, the tank can be pushed back onto the wall and just some minor plumbing done and she is ready for water!

 

Been a long slog, but I am almost there. Please excuse the mess.

 

66E8A30A-A923-4913-BBBA-540E36F9BC84_zps

 

A5312D86-C5F2-4D1D-9FF3-25055FC8F0E6_zps

 

E0C221AB-E56F-4CF5-BE51-D74AE3AE8A95_zps

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×