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speyside's new 90 gallon reef build!

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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 25 2017 at 8:38am
Yes that is fine. The pump ought to be played with and adjusted to get the maximum flow without risking sump overflow. In the old days that turnover was often the only flow in the tank. These days we have the propeller driven in-tank pumps that revolutionized the hobby. I love em. They are much better and less trouble than the old Closed Loop systems.

Maybe I went on to much about elbows and piping. In retrospect though, I need to say that the volume of a powerful pump can simply be turned up to push water past the obstacles, but the drain is different. Drain efficiency can be severely compromised by fittings and changes in direction. The resulting drag can create flow and noise issues. Gravity and the pressure gradient of a display that is 5 feet above the sump is all the power we have to make water flow down. To avoid some of the problem, the drain line should be the straightest shot possible. I may be able to add a pic to show this. Watch for it.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 12:31am
I hadn't even thought about the flow being restricted in the overflow lines!  That's a good point.  I was completely focused on flow in the return line and never even considered flow being restricted in the overflows.  I'll keep that in mind for a future build.  As we all know, everyone wants to upgrade to a bigger tank someday, even if this one is brand new haha.



Anyway, I have a few more updates to add today. I've been continuing to work on the tank in all my free hours after work.  I received some exciting deliveries.  Pictures are below!

New Radion Pro Gen 4's

The mounting kits for the radions.

New ReefLink for the radions and an MP10

8 more filter socks (I've got 11 now, hoping this is enough so that I can make it a month or more without washing any).

A new reactor to run GFO and Carbon

2 of these wave makers (the tank will have 2 of these and 1 MP10)


Edited by speyside712 - July 27 2017 at 12:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 12:36am
Oh I can't forget the flipper! I read some really good reviews about this mag-float type glass cleaner.  So far i've liked it a lot, its really easy to flip.  1 side has a scrubber pad and the other has a metal blade.  I was worried I would scratch the glass when I flipped it, but the blade isn't sharp so it doesn't appear to scratch anything.

I'm hopeful it will remove coraline algae from the front and side glass, fingers crossed!



Edited by speyside712 - July 27 2017 at 12:36am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote theresawhite Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 7:21am
It's like Christmas in July for you :-)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 7:35am
Love the new toys. I personally would ditch the reeflink and get an Apex with a wxm to control the lights and WP10 but that's just me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 8:16am
I love my flipper! Best glass cleaner ever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 9:29am
I was originally planning on getting a new Apex with a wxm module to control the lights, but after reading all the reviews on BulkReefSupply I changed my mind.  Maybe you can talk me back into it?

These reviews of the new apex are pretty bad.  About half of them on BulkReefSupply are similar to this.  Do you have the new one or one of the previous versions like the classic?

I have heard great things about the apex junior.  Maybe I should go with one of the older models.  I was just having a really hard time getting the apex and extra modules for 800-1500 bucks (when you include a bunch of modules), when the ReefLink was only $100 and had great reviews.




Edited by speyside712 - July 27 2017 at 9:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 9:55am
The new model had a rough launch for sure. I have two classics and a new (2016) model. They have all been solid for me but I didn't buy the 2016 until a year after it was released.

There are quite a few people that have issues with the probes but I have had my apex long enough to know that when I get a new probe I put it in my sump and let it soak for a week before I try to work with them or calibrate them. There are lots of posts about this and ways to "fix" the calibration issues but they are on the Neptune forum.

I'd be happy to help you with the setup if you decide to go the Apex route. You could choose to go with a classic gold model instead of the new one if you were worried about it but the probe calibration methods are the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 10:07am
I have been using the Flipper for many years. Thumbs Up Thumbs Up
As you run it along you can feel it scrapping the algae. Minute spots of Coralline Algae that have just landed on the glass and started to grow are scrapped off before they are even visible. 

BTW, Two 45's used to make a turn is more drag than just one 90. Have you ever felt inside of a PVC joint? Where the pipe goes in it makes a ledge all the way around. That ledge creates drag. As you can probably tell, I have put a lot of thought into the mechanics of flow. As I said above, the drain line is where it really matters because we don't have the luxury of turning a knob or pushing a button to increase the flow. I agree, colored pipe and fittings looks really cool, but under the display tank is where things need to be completely functional.

The drain line I see in this pic has at least 18 (eighteen) of those ledges, 
makes four 90 degree turns and
flow is futher impeded by a foot of horizontal travel.

Originally posted by speyside712 speyside712 wrote:

Go ahead Mark, let me have it! My goal here is to build a reef with as many redundancies as possible so as to not flood my house or kill the inhabitants. I'd love to hear your recommendations, even if they involve tearing it down and starting over  

I recommend removing that "Rube Goldberg" contraption and replacing it with this:



This drain line comes straight out of the bulkhead almost straight in to the Refugium.  Only two ledges and zero turns. The emergency drain beside it does the same thing. 

Something else. Remember in a previous post where I said it would be unnecessary to wait the 3 months you said you would wait before stocking this tank?  And you were so pleased to show off a pic of filter bags that were going to need washing. In the pic above, is there a filter bag? That's because this tank which has been running more than 10 years has no filter bags, in fact no messy mechanical filtration whatsoever. Would you like to see a pic of that tank and to learn how it's done?

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 10:08am
in reply to Krazie4Acans -

Oh ok thats good to know. I think I would like to upgrade here pretty soon.  I have a number of other pieces of equipment that are all apex ready that I would like to be able to control.

I like the idea of the controller being more of a backup to add additional redundancy to the system.  I'm a programmer by day, so I have a ton of If/Else-Statements in my head that I would like to be able to use on the tank... "If auto-top off runs for more than 30 seconds, kill the power to it","If the temperature goes above 80.0, kill the heaters", "if it goes above 81, kill the lights and turn on the fans and send a warning text to my phone"

I assume you can do this type of thing with the controller right?

I also love the idea of the leak detectors, and being able to monitor things without using the old fashioned test kits.

What types of probes do they make other than the standard r that come with it? ORP, temp, salinity, PH

Are there probes out there for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate or any of the other things we commonly test for?


Edited by speyside712 - July 27 2017 at 10:11am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 10:26am
Mark -

I would agree with you that your overflows are much less restricted and probably have more flow through the same diameter pipe.

My question then becomes, is my flow really being restricted enough to consider re-designing it, or would opening up my gate valve a little farther than you open yours make ours equal?  I'm not sure if you are running a full siphon on the example above or if you are using more of a durso type design, that would also affect the speed the water is moving (is it being sucked in like a vacuum, or falling gracefully LOL).

At the moment I have the gate valve restricted a decent amount, in order to tune the system to stay perfectly level in the overflow box.  If I wanted more flow, I could turn my return pump up from setting 3 (where it currently is) to 4 or 5 and open the gate valve a bit more.

I guess what I'm thinking here is that I'm already not running my return pump at full power on purpose, and making this type of change would require me to run it at a higher setting.  I do this to mainly to reduce the total amount of water in the system.  As i'm sure you know, running a pump at a higher speed, even with more flow coming through the overflow, still requires more water in the system because more of it ends up in the display tank waiting to go through the overflow box teeth.  As you mentioned before, the limiting factor becomes the teeth at the top of the overflow box.  They only allow so much through at a time.  The teeth in my overflow box currently rise about an inch above the water's surface, so I have some room to go before its technically full.  However I really like having less water in the system for the unlikely scenario that a team of turbo snails decides to clog all the overflows at the same time.  When this happens its nice to have as much extra room in the display as possible (especially considering I have an auto-top off that will kick on for 15 seconds or so in this scenario) so that your return pump will run out of water (and shut off in my setup due to a float switch) before the display overflows.

The wave makers in the display also make this situation a little scary, as the water is rocking back and worth in the tank, so it doesn't have to be completely full to spill out.

I guess what I'm saying is that I am ok with running my return pump at half power and having my overflow pull water more slowly out of the tank if it means I can keep less water in the system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 27 2017 at 10:30am
Oh I almost forgot.
Mark - To answer your filter sock question.

What exactly is the goal of running a system without using filter socks or any type of mechanical filtration?  All I am trying to use them for is to polish the water and make it more visibly appealing to the human eye.  I would agree that they are not necessary for coral or fish to thrive, but I feel like the water looks cleaner and clearer to me when using them.

They can become nitrate factories and restrict flow if not cleaned/replaced regularly.  But if they are properly maintained I think they provide a nice visual enhancement to the reef.

I would love to hear about your setup that doesn't use them though.  Do you have a link to another post?

My sump also has some filter floss type blocks that sit in the bubble trap.  I find they work more for reducing bubbles rather than catching detritus, but they do a little of both.

Speaking of bubble traps, does any one else find they actually make more bubbles then they trap.... I've had this issue with my last two tank setups.  I assume the problem is that I am not keeping the water level high enough in the return pump section of the sump, however I want that section as low as possible, to reduce the water volume in the tank and prevent a display overflow in the event of clogged overflows.

When water flows over the first section of the bubble trap it splashes into the final section, creating bubbles.  A few of those get sucked up the return pump and into the display.


Edited by speyside712 - July 27 2017 at 10:34am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2017 at 2:30pm
The pic I posted above is of an aquarium using a Herbie style drain. Durso Style drains do not use a gate valve nor do they typically use an emergency drain. Below I will address other points of our discussion.

You are right that drain flow restrictions, such as in that convoluted piping, will work in conjunction with the gate valve. Why remove it?  
My answer:
To reduce unnecessary weight on the delicate bulkhead Shocked , to save space, to maximize flow and to reduce risk of failure. The added weight of pipe and backed up water and a few bumps, the bulkhead is bound to leak. I have worked on more tanks than I can count and I've seen a lot of crazy cluttered plumbing. These Rube Goldberg Contraptions reduced efficiency and sometimes were an accident just waiting to happen. Exclamation

Both the Herbie and the Durso style drains suck water like a vacuum. The Durso device, operating at the water surface, also sucks air fairly violently. The little air port at the top of a Durso leads into a chamber of air which acts like a muffler to quiet the sound of the water-air mixture as it gets sucked down the pipe. The Herbie is quiet because it sucks only water. Both drain styles suck water at the same speed. My Modified Durso style drain is less bulky and is typically quieter than the standard Durso.

The use of mechanical filtration to catch fine particles is a method peculiar to tanks operated without a Refugium. Also, very mature tanks without a Refugium don't usually have too much trouble with fine particles, making mechanical filtration unnecessary. This means the hobbyist is freed of the arduous task of replacing and washing filter socks. Then the accompanying pollution problem caused by dirty socks disappears. One of the major drawbacks with filter socks is that they trap the sorts of living organisms which are essential for higher levels of operation of the entire ecosystem. At night a plethora of life comes out and floats in the system. Filter socks trap that life. A tank without filter socks actually matures much faster. My final thought on this topic; the uneaten food that gets trapped in a filter sock /sponge filter is food which helps the animals living in the Refugium to thrive, or, if there is no Refugium, that food cannot be returned to the micro invertebrate animals in the display.

Noisy waterfalls over baffles cause bubbles. Skimmers cause bubbles. Think of the sump as a river. Removing waterfalls, slowing the speed of swift flowing rapids and expanding the water channel are some of the ways to allow bubbles time to rise and pop. Alternatively, a forest of Algae or a clump of loose stringy plastic media create surfaces where the bubbles adhere, combine, rise and pop. A very inexpensive yet very effective, no bubbles, sump-Refugium is discussed here: http://utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=36396

Hope this helps a little.
Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2017 at 12:30am
I promised to post a pic of the tank that uses the straight shot drain described and pictured above. Look here and drool:   Humongous Coral discovered in Local Reef
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2017 at 1:22am
LOL Mark I get a kick out of your responses.  "Convoluted piping" and "Rube Goldberg contraption" LOL

I agree that my overflow doesn't follow the "keep it simple stupid" concept LOL  But I promise there is a method to my madness.

The main drainline that includes 2 unions, a gate valve, multiple 90 degree elbows, and a variety of fittings was all planned out.  Literally every thing I have read and every reefer I have talked to (with the exception of you lol) has told me "put as many unions as you can possibly fit on your plumbing, you will be thankful you did in the future when you need to take it apart or reconfigure to add equipment!"

I visited a number of reef aquariums to get an idea of what I wanted to do, and asked for a lot of advice from each of them.  I figured out what I liked and what I didn't.  I visited Teknik777's tank when he lived in centerville, BillyC's tanks both in provo and again after he moved to centerville, and FatMan's 3 tanks in south weber.  All three of these guys are pretty experienced in the hobby and have beautiful tanks, I'm sure I drove them crazy with questions, but they were all happy to help.

Mark I even checked out one of your tanks believe it or not.  Although, it was set up at Mountain Wesdt ReefFest at the Red Lion.  Its been a few years I think it was 2013 or 2014?  I pestered your with a few questions too back then!

The shape I created was specifically designed to fit a gate valve between two unions so that I could remove the whole section if needed.  The top section above the first union was designed to allow me to use slip-to-slip bulkheads but still be able to remove them without cutting anything.  I hate cutting PVC and will avoid it at all costs.  It leads to gluing right under your tank to fix the cut sections, dripping messy PVC glue all over the place, and just an overall hassle.  And If the fittings are already closer than an inch to eachother, you are SOL and get to start over.  Basically its a task I would really like to avoid.

I needed more room in order to fit unions and a gate valve on my main overflow.  The length I had available was simply not long enough to fit the unions and gate valve if I went directly from the tank to the sump.  My elbows didn't fit, the pipe was passing by the sump entry point once I had all my fittings in place.  The second issue I ran into when planning this out was that the second overflow line was too close to the first one.  This prevented me from doing the same shape for both overflows. Basically the pipes ended up bumping into each other.  I had to divert the main line away from the backup to give me enough room.  After trying a number of configurations, I ended up with this one.  It kept the plumbing out of the way so that I could fit my skimmer in the first sump compartment.  The gate valve was easily accessible even with the skimmer in place; and it met all of my requirements regarding the multiple unions, easy removal of the entire thing, and easy removal of the bulkhead.

As for the weight issue.  I will admit that is not something I have ever thought of.  This is the first time I've ever even considered weight on the bulkhead being a problem.  I'm glad you brought that up to expand my horizons a bit.  However, now that I'm thinking about it, I don't think there is much weight on the bulkhead at all.  The overflow is attached to the sump.  When I attached this thing in the first place I was being held up completely by the sump.  If I unscrew the top union, the pipe doesn't move at all (although It was not full of water in this test, its not a significant amount of water in 2 feet or so of pipe).  I think the weight of the overflow could rest on either the bulkhead or the sump without breaking or causing a leak, however it is attached to both, splitting the weight between the two and keeping it perfectly upright.  I would hope this would be enough to prevent the bulkhead from bending and eventually leaking.  The pipe is pretty far out of the way so I don't foresee bumping it when trying to work in the sump.  It is up high and in the back corner.  I'll just have to be careful when changing filter socks or cleaning the skimmer not to bump it.

I do bump the return line all the time, however, this one is free floating and not attached to anything so that one isn't a problem.  I used the industrial strength velcro to attach the return line to the back of the tank in a few places.  This way I didn't have to drill into my fancy new stand.  I stuck the velcro right to the glass on the back of the tank, behind the overflow compartment so you can't see it from the front.  It does a really good job of holding the return line in place.  You couldn't get this stuff off without using both hands, its pretty tough.

Back to the overflow though - 
I do agree with you that my creation is not a simple design and has more spots where it could fail (all the unions...) but there was a lot of thought put into it.  And I think those unions will help more than they will hurt.

I might not have mentioned, but I'm planning on moving in about 2 years or so.  So I tried to build the tank in a way that it can be taken down and taken apart without too much effort.  It will still be an entire day of work to move it, but at least now its possible without cutting pipe and re-gluing it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2017 at 1:54am
Mark - to address your filter sock comments.

I agree with you that having a filter sock on the overflow will remove some of the "good stuff."  However, I am ok with that.  I have the expectation that this tank will have less of the "good stuff" than most tanks we see in the hobby due to the way I'm starting this tank.

I started this reef with all dry rock.  I didn't use any live rock, live sand, or anything from another tank.  I have been very careful not to use any tools or equipment on this tank that have been in contact with my other tank.

Basically, this thing is sterile at the moment, with the exception of the bacteria I'm working on growing during the cycling period.  I had a pest problem in my last tank: the small brown flatworms that kill your LPS and sit on your softies stealing all their light, tons of tiny white pest starfish, a variety of pest snails including box snails, limpets, and pyramid snails) and I'm trying very hard to avoid that this time around.  In my previous tank I did not have a quarantine system set up for fish, nor did I fresh water dip or treat corals prior to putting them in my tank.  I am lucky I have never killed any fish when I brought home new ones that could have been infected with a variety of problems, however, I wasn't so lucky in the coral pest department when buying frags.

The new tank I'm setting up will have no "good stuff" that usually comes from buying live rock.  I plan to dip all my corals and quarantine things extensively prior to letting them enter my new tank.  So if all goes to plan, the only life in my tank should be that which I introduce on purpose.

Now I know we all try to keep pests out of our tank, but that doesn't always happen.  I'm sure its possible bad or good creatures other than the one i'm paying for could possible tag along for the ride and enter the tank.  However, I do think my startup method will drastically reduce the level of life in my tank, especially in the early months.

I may consider removing the filter socks once the tank is more established and the refugium is up and fully functioning.  But at the moment they have been very useful.  I chose not to rinse my sand before putting it in.  The filter socks cleaned up that mess in a matter of hours.

Your method of an as-natural-as-can-be reef is pretty cool and does support lots of tank life, I just don't think its my cup of tea.



Back to the bubble trap question I had.  You mention "avoid waterfalls in the sump."  I agree 100% that this waterfall is creating the bubbles.  However, the only way to avoid a waterfall to your return pump is to put more water in the system..... I want to have the least water possible..... Hmmm, there has got to be a way to get the best of both worlds here.  I am going to try putting some more filter floss in the bubble trap to lessen the distance the water has to fall before it hits something.  My goal here being to have the return pump only barely submerged by maybe an inch of water above the intake (which forces a waterfall), but still no bubbles.  I think I can make this work...


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2017 at 7:32pm
Awesome. You've put a lot of good analytical reasoning into this and have come up with solid, logical solutions. I'm extremely impressed. Thumbs Up

As I was reading that last paragraph, I was thinking of the solution... and then you came up with it. ClapRaising the pump, by setting it on a pedestal, hanging it or raising the intake with an elbow facing up, is something I have done with many tanks.

You've thought this out very well. I'll bet this tank will be a lot of fun for you as it grows and matures. Sounds like it has already been very satisfying and fun. 

I can see that you are more patient than me, but the pests you mentioned are easy to deal with and to eliminate if wanted. Let me know if you want advice on getting rid of any pests that accidentally get past you. Wink

Aloha,
Mark  Hug

P.S.
Thank you for finding humor in my responses. Are you familiar with the old cartoon of the OSHA Horse?
Where you picked my brain, was that the MWRF where, for the Aquascaping Contest, I did the Avatar Tank? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 09 2017 at 12:43am
I wasn't familiar with that cartoon but I looked it up - describes my method here to a T! LOL

I have been to MWRF twice, once in fall 2011 and once in 2013 if my memory serves me right. I do remember there being an aquascaping contest when I talked to you, so that was probably it. Your tank had some hanging rocks like the floating mountains of pandora right?

Anyway, for an update on the tank - I bought a new protein skimmer from another WMAS member, gave it a vinegar bath, and installed it. It is the Bubble Magus Curve 7. I already had an ASM G4, but the G4 doesnt fit in my sump very well and I had heard good things about the bubble magus. I like that it has the pump inside the cylinder so it takes up a lot less space and makes changing filter socks a bit easier.  Its also easier to remove and clean it when needed.  I can't speak to how much skimmate it produces, as I haven't used it yet.  I'm letting the tank get as grimy as possible during the cycling phase before I turn on any equipment (other than the return pump and heaters of course).

The tank is just cycling right now so I've been taking my time and setting up all the equipment. I still have quite a bit left to install.

I ordered two test kits, one to monitor the cycling process and the other to monitor the tank post cycle. I'll have ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, ph, calcium, alkalinity, and phosphate covered.  Those should arrive today or tomorrow I think.  Gotta love amazon prime.

The equipment I have yet to install includes:
two brs dosing pumps
The 2-part dosing containers
A tunze osmilator ATO
Brs dual reactor for gfo and carbon

I also just bought a used apex classic from a WMAS member. I need to calibrate the probes, mount the controller and get my fusion account setup. It came with a ph, temperature, orp probe, as well as the leak detector module with 1 ALD probe and an energy bar 8.

I have a long list of upgrades to buy for the apex but i plan to wait until everything else is hooked up and running before spending more.

I have the controller for all three powerheads and the return pump that need mounting too. 2 of these wont reach my "fish closet" behind the tank due to really short cords.... not sure what to do about that. I'm wondering if i can find some sort of extension cable online for the jabeo pumps.

Basically I have a decent amount of labor ahead of me that I would like to get finished here by the end of the month. The cycle started June 25th, so I imagine I have a good amount of bacteria in there now, but it doesn't hurt at all to wait little longer.

Hoping to get all this equipment installed asap. Ill post some more pictures of the equipment as it goes in so you can see the progress.

Edited by speyside712 - August 09 2017 at 11:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2017 at 4:44pm
Hey everyone, after taking a few weeks off from the forums I am back with some more updates on my 90 Gallon build.

The tank has been progressing slowly.  I have been adding equipment slowly (clearly I bought too much stuff!).  I mounted a BRS dual reactor in the cabinet and loaded it up with GFO and Carbon.  I bought a larger pump to run the reactor instead of the MaxiJet it came with.  I tried out the MaxiJet and it wasn't strong enough, even with the ball valve completely open the flow was really weak.  I couldnt get the GFO to tumble at all.  There was no visible movement in the GFO at all and I feared it would become a solid rock after a week of that.  The pump has to lift the water about 2.5 feet, so that must have just been too much head pressure for the original pump.

The new one didn't exactly fit the 1/2 bendable pvc that BRS supplied with the reactor.  To fix this I snipped 2 inches of rubber tubing off the end of a water change syphon kit.  This fit perfectly over both the pumps output and the 1/2 pvc and doesnt leak (it sits in the sump anyway, so a tiny leak wouldn't matter anyway).  The result worked out pretty well, the GFO is tumbling ever so slightly to prevent it from turning to stone.

At this point I was ready to build a mounting board.  I bought some wood at lowes and was able to put it together pretty quick.  I built the board to sit on a shelf in the closet behind the tank.  It has 4 legs, with the back 2 being longer than the front 2 so it sits slanted toward the front.  All the wires get concealed under the mounting board and on top of the shelf.  I mounted the following so far:

2 energy bar 8's
2 jabeo powerhead controllers
1 Tunze Osmilator controller
1 Reef Octopus return pump controller
1 Apex Classic
1 Apex Display module
1 Apex WXM module
1 Apex ALD Leak Detection module
1 Apex PM2 Salinity module


Here is a picture of the mounting board.


I was planning to use a spare Google Nexus 10 tablet as a full time tank controlling device and leave it on the shelf in the closet, but i'm finding that the Apex Fusion app doesn't work at all on android, the home screen doesn't have any buttons and is basically a frozen screenshot.  Due to this I have to navigate to the website and log in every time in order to control anything.  I might as well just use my phone to do this so i'm not standing in front of the closet for long periods of time.  Its much easier to control from the couch on my phone. LOL

I have yet to calibrate my probes and get those working, but I do have my fusion account set up and the energy bar 8's configured.  Since I dont have the probes working yet I have a few items set to "always on." That is the next item on my list to fix.


Now to the exciting stuff - As the whole project is being done to upgrade an existing tank, I have 5 fish waiting to move into their new home.  Now that the tank has been cycling for nearly 4 months it should be good and ready to start adding life slowly.

The fish waiting to be moved in are 1 orange/white ocellaris clown, 2 yellowtail blue damsels, 1 flame angel, and 1 yellow tang.  I have had all 5 fish for about 6 years, so they are at least that old (not sure how old they were when I bought them).

I am trying to put the fish in in the perfect order to reduce aggression.  Three days ago I added a new bubble tip anemone, a new juvenile black and white ocellaris clown, and my larger female orange and white ocellaris clown.  All went well and they are now both hosting in the same anemone together.  Here is a shot of them together.


I had one algae bloom of diatoms near the end of the cycle, when I first started turning on the lights.  It all died off after 3 days.  I don't have any coralline growth yet because I started with all dry rock and dry sand, so I'll need to introduce some into the tank at some point.

I've been monitoring my ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate levels and so far so good.  My bio-load is extremely small at the moment, so I don't forsee having any problems with that as long as I keep going slow and only add fish every few weeks.

Here is a FTS taken today.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MadReefer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 28 2017 at 9:11pm
Nice work.
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