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08TRDOFFROAD's 45 Gallon Build

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08TRDOFFROAD View Drop Down
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    Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:16am
Updated: 4/15/2011
It's offical! It is time for another build thread!bananabanana

I am jumping back into the hobby again after a nearly two year absence!dance

I recently purchased a Aqueon 45 Gallon tank to fit an existing stand that I already had, I went with the biggest tank I could get with that right size footprint for my stand. The dimensions are 36"x13"x24"

The equipment list so far is very basic...

Current
~45 gallon tank
~30 lbs of Carib Sea Sugar Sized Aragonite Sand
~50 lbs of Key Largo Marco Rock
~Octopus BH-1000 HOB Skimmer (slightly modified)
~150 W Eheim Jager Heater
~2-150 W HQI Retrofit Kits with Pheonix 14k bulbs from hellolights.com

Planned
~2-3 Koralia Evolution 750 gph Powerheads
~2-39 W T5HO Sunlight Supply Tek retrofit kit for actinic supplementation

The tank has been running with water and sand for several weeks while I decided on rock.





I ordered 50 lbs of Marco rock that just arrived yesterday. I didn't have time to unbox it or look at it all, but I am very impressed with what I saw when I peaked at it breifly last night. It is very porous and clean! I don't think I will be able to fit all dry 50 lbs in the tank! I will rinse it in fresh water to get the dust off and then it will be going straight in the tank.

I will take pictures of the rock as I unbox it, as well as of the tank once it is aquascaped tonight.

I will pick up a few medium raw shrimp from the store tonight to toss in to get the cylce going also. I will only leave them in the tank until there is a registerable amount of ammonia and then remove them.

The plans for the tank to start out with are a FOWLR while I save for my lighting and protein skimmer. But, eventually my wife and I will be keeping LPS, Clams, and some type of anemone.

Planned Livestock list
~Pair of True Percula Clownfish
~Flame Angelfish

I will do my best to keep this thread updated with pictures as things progress...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:18am
As of 3/16/2011...
 
Over the weekend I was able to get a lot of progress made on the tank! I got my rock unpacked and put in the tank and I can't tell you how impressed I am with the rocks I received from Marcorocks! I was also able to get a background put on to hide all the equipment. I added two Koralia 4's that I had for circulation until I have the funds to purchase their smaller counter parts.

Here is some pictures of how the rock came packaged. Each piece was wrapped individually in bubble wrap.



There was very little rubble due to the way it was packed.


Here is all 50 lbs laid out after unpacking.




I rinsed the rock in a 5 gallon bucket and began placing in the tank. It was a lot of rock!!!!

Here is the final aquascaping. I am extremely happy with the way the tank has turned out so far!









I did have a little rock left over after aquascaping. I figure I have about 40 lbs of rock in the tank as it sits now. I will hang on to the left overs for another project or bigger tank down the road.



Last night I was able to get to the grocery store to pick up a couple raw shrimp to get the cycle started. The guy at the meat counter looked at me extremely funny when I asked him for just two of the 71-90 count raw shrimp. It cost me a whopping 11 cents... Then as I proceded to the check out and the cashier wanted to throw the bag away after scanning it until he realized that there was still shrimp in it! lol!

Now for the long wait as the cycle progresses....

I tested the water last night to get a baseline for the cycle.

SG: 1.024
PH: 7.9
Ammonia: 0
Nitrate: 0
Nitrite: 0
Temp: 78 degrees

And the waiting begins!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:21am
As of 3/30/2011...
 
I was able to get the skimmer put together and placed on the tank Monday night.





It has been on the tank about 36 hours and last night when I looked it had already produced some very light skimmate.

Now on to the questions for those of you that are familiar with this skimmer.

To say the manual/instructions that came with the skimmer were poor would be a HUGE understatement....Coralvue could really use a redo of their manual! I think I was able to assemble it correctly based on their diagram that makes up the majority of the instructions.

On the intake side, there are four places for the o-rings that hold the overflow box at your desired water level. It came with them in the lowest two. I slide the overflow box on as far as possible, but it is still an inche below my water level.













Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - April 15 2011 at 11:35am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:22am
to get the 'cycle' going faster see if someone here will give you some LS, LR, or some chaeto.
40 gal w/ 20 sump
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I am well past cycling, I am a new member and want to get involved in our local club, but the site won't let me post more than this for a minute, "spamming is not permitted" ha ha! My tank is already cycled and well on its way, I just haven't been able to post my further progress.

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As of 3/31/2011, modified the skimmer!
 
Ok...Last night I spent some time working on the tank.

Over the last two days the skimmer was able to pull out a small amount of urine colored liquid, which is kind of surprising as there is really nothing in the tank to be skimming!





I was able to "modify" my skimmer, which is a fancy way of saying I hacked off about two inches from the intake pipe to get the skimmer box at the appropriate level...lol I took a few before pictures, and some of the final product.













And of course a FTS to top it all off!





As you can see, I am still tinkering with powerhead placement...I just need to get a couple of the Nano 425 gph to replace these 4's. They are just too big for this tank!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:26am
As of 4/6/2011...tank finished cycling, completed a 10 g water change and added my first inhabitants from Fish 4 U!
 
The tank is no longer just rock and water.... banana

On Monday my water tests were:

Salinity: 1.024
Temp: 79*
PH: 8.00

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0

Like I said before I don't have a nitrate test, but because my nitrite levels have fallen to zero I assumed my cycling is complete. I performed a roughly 10 gallon water change with freshly mixed SW to lower my nitrate levels and prepare the tank for it new inhabitants.

My wife and I then set out on our first trip in which we could seriously shop for new fish for the tank.

We ended up with two True Percula's as we had originally planned! These are some great looking little fish!

Here they are floating



And these were taken yesterday (Tuesday) morning after they had an afternoon and night to adjust to their new surroundings without the lights on.









They seem to be settling in just fine. They ate some mysis and some 1 mm sinking NLS Thera A yesterday!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:29am
I think this is the last post and my progress will be current!
 
As of 4/13/2011
 
A few updates!

I added 5 small red leg hermits from Marine Aquatics to clean up after my clownfish. They seem to be doing a great job taking care of the few rouge pellets my fish may miss.

Secondly, I got the lighing installed in my canopy. The quality of the kits from Hellolights is great!!

If you haven't noticed, I love pictures, so here are a bunch of the installation and final set up.

How they come packaged

Right out of the box, of course this is just one of the two kits I purchased.

Installed in the canopy



I am not sure that the way I mounted them will work because the eyelets get HOT! The lights were only on for an hour or so last night and the eyelets were too hot to touch, which worries me that they may melt through the rope.

The temporary ballast location, until I can round up screws to mount them to the side of the stand. I also need to do something to water proof my connections. I bought heat shrink, but it turned out to be not quite big enough to go over my crimp connectors, also once the ballasts are mounted I will tidy up the wiring.


A full tank shot


The only residents of the tank enjoying the new "sun."



 


So far the bulbs are pretty blue...I am hopeing that as they burn in they will get a bit more white light to them.


Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - April 15 2011 at 11:39am
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it looks good. I think you'll be real happy with your set up.
40 gal w/ 20 sump
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:31am
Thanks! It has been a process! Things will definitely be slowing down now, the cost of inital set up has drained my wallet...ha ha! I will be adding a few $5 frags and then it will be going on auto pilot for a while to give the "troops" time to regroup! ha ha!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:34am
you should add your city in 'location'. That way people around you can know where you are and offer help.
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Originally posted by Lewy Lewy wrote:

you should add your city in 'location'. That way people around you can know where you are and offer help.
 
Done! Smile
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jeremyw Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:45am
Looks great! Thanks for all the pictures! I enjoyed them! Also man those clowns look really really nice! Enjoy the ride once again! Glade to have you here and a part of this awesome group of people!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 11:48am
Originally posted by disneymania disneymania wrote:

Looks great! Thanks for all the pictures! I enjoyed them! Also man those clowns look really really nice! Enjoy the ride once again! Glade to have you here and a part of this awesome group of people!
 
Thanks! Glad to be back!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Kirklan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 15 2011 at 12:17pm
I'd definitely get some picture hanging wire or cable at home depot instead of that rope.  I'd also be worried about it melting and dropping your lights in the water.  You could always smear some silicone around the connections to make your wiring water proof.

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Originally posted by Kirklan Kirklan wrote:

I'd definitely get some picture hanging wire or cable at home depot instead of that rope.  I'd also be worried about it melting and dropping your lights in the water.  You could always smear some silicone around the connections to make your wiring water proof.

I did a bit of research on nylon/polyester rope this morning. The information I dug up shows that the rope has a melting point of 480 degrees. I don't think my eyelets are getting anywhere near that hot! My eyelets would have to be dang near "red hot" to be near that temp...at this point I am not to worried about it.

Edited by 08TRDOFFROAD - April 15 2011 at 1:01pm
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Spent part of the night last night getting my RO/DI unit partially hooked up. I got it to the point that I can atleast make water, but I haven't finished up my plans for the storage container.

I hooked the unit up with a Y-adapter off the cold water in my laundry room.





I used a brass garden hose to 1/4" tubing adapter that I picked up at Home Depot for around $5.



This is a temporary location for the filter set up. I will likely hang it on the wall behind/above my washer as the permanent location.



This is my temporary holding container.



The water pressure in my apartment is horrible. I will likely end up having to add a booster pump at some point to increase production. Right now, the best part is that my water bill is included in my rent! banana
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jwoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2011 at 10:02am
Looking good! I've got a 45 gallon as well and I like what you've done so far.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 08TRDOFFROAD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 16 2011 at 12:10pm
Originally posted by jwoo jwoo wrote:

Looking good! I've got a 45 gallon as well and I like what you've done so far.
Thanks! The hardest part so far has been deciding on the lighting! I couldn't decide between halide or T5, but after seeing the shimmer from the Halides I know I made the right decision!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kay181 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2011 at 9:55pm
great looking tank good job
day light scares me im going back under
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