Jeff's 120

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by zambavi, Oct 8, 2008.

  1. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Sunday (9-14-08)... going ahead and set-up my 75 gallon tank/55 gallon sump/fuge as a holding tank. (Moved from coast to coast 8 months ago and had to take this system down). I hit Craiglist hard in search of some established LR and LS. Just two days and $120 later the 75 gallon tank is filled with a 2-3 inch bed of coralline encrusted, life filled, live sand and about 160 pounds of coralline encrusted, life filled, beautiful live rock (lucked out… capitalized on someone who saw his cost mounting and needed out ASAP). His tank had been set up for over two years and I was able to get all of the sand, rock and water he had in his 180 into my tank same day. Had several hitch-hikers in this rock included a Snowflake Eel (not keeping), Urchins, both hairy and striped bright green mushrooms, large brown and white feather duster, assorted sponges, snails, crabs and tons of other life that makes the live rock just crawl in a well established tank; Copepods galore! Of other note, we had a very large 14" toadstool/Leather that was thrown in with some of the rock and in the week following I have discovered 5 very nice bright green heads of candycane coral that I originally mistook as rubble. Just this week I discovered a rock with seven 1/2" to 2" tree corals coming off of it and a few different colors of sponges are starting to come up around the tank.

    Very excited to have so much life literally overnight. All live rock, sand, critters etc. were kept submerged and went from well established home to new home in less than two hours. The tank has been up and running for nearly a month now and the levels have been great and steady since week 2; had a very small cycle but it was over quickly. I am very closely monitoring the tank levels and doing consistent 10% water changes every week.

    I have had a standalone refugium tank that has been up for 8 months that I am transplanting into a 30 gallon section of the tanks 55 gallon Sumpfuge. With it comes tons of microalgae a thick live sand bed that is squirming with life and enough copepods to keep a pack of mandarins filled for months. Here it is are a month later and I have a variety of pods and pod sizes from very small to very large all over the refugium and display tank area. They act like they own the joint...

    Before moving forward with this tank build any further I have decided to upgrade the tank itself. The current tank is Plate Glass and nearly 8 years old. I am wanting better color, a better hidden overflow, more gallons and a tank that is not so scratched up by many years of use. In another thread here I am on the hunt for a 30" tall 110ish gallon that will sit on the same 18" by 48" footprint of my current set up.
    I am currently trying to find a home for the Snowflake Eel and an aggressive purple serpent starfish that I have removed from my 29g softy tank. Once I get the new tank installed I've got some Aquascaping work to do. I plan on drilling all of my rock and arranging the rock on and through 1/2" PVC to keep everything firm and in place the way I want it.

    The plan for this tank once I get the aquascaping nailed is to have a nice selection of under 3" max growth size reefsafe and hardy, peaceful fish; all. Once that is done and I'm confident I can keep my levels at optimum I plan on doing a nice variety of SPS frags thoughout. I will also be doing a handful of small clams as the tank is ready.
    This will be my third and largest tank. Up to this point I have had a 20g Frag tank, a 29g softy/LPS tank and a 20g refugium set-up for just over 8 months. Again, the refugium I will be looping in with this new tank.
    Pics to follow...
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Word of advice, that brute filled with water on those casters very easily can make divots in your wood floor with the pressure from all that weight.
  3. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    [quote author=sfsuphysics link=topic=4762.msg57946#msg57946 date=1223500478]
    Word of advice, that brute filled with water on those casters very easily can make divots in your wood floor with the pressure from all that weight.


    Thanks... I'll keep an eye out for that. Luckily the floors have a impact resistant finish that has kept the Brute and my rough and tough 3 and 6 year old boys from making dents and divots. Still... I'll keep an eye out just in case... Thanks...
  4. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    An update on my tank build...

    The tank has been running great with no spikes or out of control levels since we set it up just over 2 months ago. Keeping Salinity steady at 1.025, Temp steady at 80-81, PH steady at 8 - 8.1 and Nitrates staying below 5 (All measured via Pin Point Monitors). Using C-Balance part A & B by Little Fishies on a weekly basis. I have a nice variety of reef safe, peaceful, hardy, small max growth size fish that are schooling nicely and eating like crazy. My Refugium is having crazy micro algae growth and i've got a considerable pod population running around. I have not added any corals yet to the tank and for now am just running it as a fish only with an ASM-3 Skimmer.

    The good news... I ordered my new tank today that I've been looking for. I will be switching out my current tank, which is a scratched up glass 75G with 10 yr old seals with a new TruVu 112G Acrylic I ordered this afternoon. I'm supposed to get it in about a week and a half so I am very excited to get it set up. The base on the TruVu 112 is 48" by 18", the same as the 75G tank; the difference is that this one is 30" tall which I think will give this tank a great viewing window. This also inables me to continue to use my current stand, canopy, etc. which is all very nice and in excellent condition.

    Switching out the tanks is going to be a sun up to sun down project for me but I'm looking forward to the opportunity to reaquascape in mind for an SPS/Clam focus. I'm going to move all the fish into a large rubbermaid stock tank during this process that will be plumbed into the current sump/refugium for this system. I couldn't think of another less stressful way to do it for the fish. I plan on drilling and securing every piece of live rock (180 pounds worth) for a thin based rock wall at the back of the tank for a nearly 30" tall 44" long 8" wide base display of live rock with lots of shelfs and branches sticking straight out for Coral placement. I will also be integrating my Tunze 6060 and two Tunze 6055's into the rock on the back wall for a clean look in the tank. With the relatively small dimmensions of the tank this amount of flow does a great job of keeping deitritus suspended and good flow throughout the tank. With my return pump (considering head loss) this will give me just over a 50 times turn rate of flow in this tank. I spent some time experimenting this weekend with an old 90 gallon tank, my PH's and some base rock to test flow, placement, etc. so that I could get a grasp on what I wanted to do that would keep the tank healthy and as low maintenance as possible. So... I've got a new tank coming and a plan. I'm sure I'll have lots of updates and new pictures over the next few weeks as we switch out the tank and get it moving along.
  5. tapmorf

    tapmorf Guest

    Congrats on the new tank. :)
  6. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Thanks! I'm very excited. I've kept many tanks over the years from 20 to 75 gallons but this is the first time above 75 for me. I'm looking forward to doing some fun things with this one. I'm particuarly looking forward to the aquascaping. I will be using 1/2" PVC for my frame work with a mix of drilling the rock and zip ties to create a solid aquascape. My plan for this tank is to be a SPS/Clam tank while I keep my 29 Nano as a Softy/LPS tank. I'm lucky to have 9 days off straight over the holidays to work on getting everything set up. I will post lots of pics and updates along the way.
  7. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    So my 75g has been up for 3 months today. This weekend I will be transplanting the sand, rock and most the water into my new 120G. I guess I'm looking at these first three months as a solid cycling of the rock and sand that I will be using. I did finally have a fatality in this tank. One of three extra large Tongan Turbo snails bit the dust this week and was shortly after eaten by my white, purple spine urchin (never seen one eat a dead snail before).
    My 10 month old refugium will also be linked in to this new tank. The couple small fish that I have will move into my 20g QT and a maze of PVC Pipe until everything settles. The snowflake eel will be surrendered to the LFS authorities. It is not something I would of purchased but was discovered hiding in a large porous live rock in a batch of rock I purchased from a newB to the hobby that saw his cost mounting and needed out. Since then it has been eating and growing like crazy on a diet of large krill and silversides. It has grown almost 2" in three months; Kind of frightening actually.
    I have about 180 pounds of live rock with a mix of Figi and Tongan branch that I have to work with. The coralline on it is great; thick and purple. Don't know if I will use all of it or not. I’ll try to use all the best pieces and may bust up a few less attractive ones for rubble to use in my refugium and as coral frag mounts.
    I’ve got all my supplies gathered with the only thing holding me up being the return and drain holes on the bottom of the tank needing cleaned up and re-sized. I’m pretty confident that I can clean up the 1 7/8” roughly cut drain with my dremel and will probably go ahead and re-cut the 1 5/8” return with a router and hole guide. I’m comfortable working with acrylic… just a little aggravated after spending so much money that they were not done correctly in the first place.
    My Refugium is starting to bust at the seams with large amounts of Caulerpa (feather) and Chaeto. I’m at a point now where I will probably need to throw out a couple handfuls this weekend at least. I can probably bring about 8-10 ziplock bags of it to the Feb Fragswap if anyone is interested. Loads of pods in it. Will bring up again in the correct forum when we get closer.
  8. badbread

    badbread Guest

    Very nice!!!!

    I wish I had the space for a setup like that so I could make a cool diagram... I'm jealous.
  9. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Thanks… it took some finagling but I was able to get a major concession recently on space to put the tank. It will now sit on a 10’ by 2’ foot-print on the longest wall of our living room where our couch currently sits; rearranging the Leather couch, loveseat and chair to focus on the tank.
  10. For some reason when I look at tanks I seems to add up the cost of electricity. So when I saw your layout and the lighiting for all the tanks it adds up! But awesome layout never seen another layout like that. Two questions

    1. Are the cubes lighitng going to stay stock?

    2. And what lighitng are you going to use for the frag tanks?
  11. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Very true on the lighting... one small benefit to the lighting on the two frag tanks (since they are inside the cabinetry) is that you are less inclined to extend the lighting cycle for viewing pleasure and can keep it to a shorter cycle that meets there needs and no more.

    The lighting in both cubes are standard right now with the exception of the addition of 2 IceCap LED's added to each. I do plan on doing a MOD on one before spring addding a 150w MH.

    For both of the frag tanks I have 24"L lighting systems I picked up pretty cheap on ebay that include a 150w MH, 2 super Blue LED's (extremely bright) and dual built in fans. I have one of these sitting over my refugium right now that i'm about to take off because it is making my Chaeto and Calerpa grow at a stupid pace. I'm having to throw out a big handful every week just to keep it from smothering out the rest.

    Particularly on the Pump and PH side of things I've tried to pick up ones that are more energy efficient.
  12. 70Cuda

    70Cuda Guest

    So when i moved my tank we used the same sand and some members said this is a very bad idea. Cant remember the ins and outs but are you going to use the same sand?
  13. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Over the years I have always used sand from existing tanks to at least partially kick start a new tank. If my sand bed was a DSB that had been around for awhile I would probably go with mostly fresh sand and then just seed it with some from the existing bed. Since this sand bed is only 3 months old and relatively shallow I feel pretty comfortable just bringing it all over. Once I get it over I will have a sock on my drain line and an extra robust skimmer hooked up to the system for a week or so to really clean it up. Will also be running a carbon reactor during this time to help zap any impurties.
  14. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Another thought. The best refugium I've ever started was started with a 6" deep sand bed using sand from a tank that was set up for over 2 years. The refugium just exploded with life... In only about 6 months thousands upon thousands of tiny feather dusters covered all the glass. Pods of all sizes and kinds were thick. My Chaeto and Calerpa growth was ridiculous and it helped me keep a very stable system for almost two years before I had to take it down to move accross the country.

    Obviously exposing your fish and corals to a DSB that has been all stirred up can create a disaster. But if you do it right and take your time through the process I believe you can avoid the disaster and accelerate the progress of your tank.
  15. Dyngoe

    Dyngoe Guest

    I moved my sand three times in six months. First from my main tank to a temporary fuge. Then from the temp fuge to a temp display tank. And, finally from the temp display tank to my new tank. Only the last move caused problems and that was due to the rocks drying (dying) and the resulting nitrates. I've heard horror stories about sand moves, but I have simply never experienced it myself. Now, an old DSB probably is a different story all together. But with caution and proactive measures (tons of carbon/nitrate removers) I think anyone can successfully move a DSB. Just think about it, what if you soaked and stirred it in a tube with enough chemical cleaners? It can't be worse than the bleach I used on my rocks and that came out fine. ;)
  16. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    right on dyngoe... my thoughts exactly. Here's a scary story for you.

    A few years back I had to make a move and ended up not using all of my sand from my tank when I set it back up. It was about 40 pounds of sand that sat in a cooler in my garage for about 4 weeks. 4 weeks later I decided to set up a 20g "atlantic catch" tank and used this sand with no washing or anything; just put it right in and filled the rest of the tank up with fresh saltwater. I put a big skimmer and carbon reactor on the tank for about a week and then threw in a bunch of crabs and a Unidentifiable fish I had caught while visiting a South Carolina Beach. Everything did great. No fatalities for almost a year. All I ever did for this tank was run a skimmer and heater bar and did a 1 gallon water change once a week. I never tested the perameters a single time but also don't recall ever having to clean the glass but once every couple of months. It stayed clean and algae free. My unidentifiable fish grew from a 1" meno looking cross between a catfish and a sucker fish to nearly 5" before I donated it to a LFS to put in their large FOWLR display tank.
  17. Dyngoe

    Dyngoe Guest

    BTW, I like the tank(s) idea. I only have two suggestions:
    1. Why not do 1 frag tank instead of two? You could then offset your sump so you have a straight drain pipe (bends make noise) and you'll have a better frag setup. A 20G tank is not the optimal frag setup in my mind. I'd do a 30G long and be done with it. Get a little more space in your stand, make cleaning easier and lower your costs.
    2. A nano isn't a great home for seahorses; to shallow. Try a 20G tall or something similar instead.

    But, we all have a "vision" in mind and far be it from me to step on yours. I hope it all comes together easily.
  18. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Thanks for the feedback...

    The main reason I'm going with two 20 gallon frag tanks is because I already have two 20 gallon tanks with lighting. Have had both sets for the last year and a half and figured I'd use them instead of spending doe on another new tank. I do like the idea of the 30 long but will probably need to just go with what I already have. I also like the idea that I can have different methodologies on lighting and flow in each tank.

    Having the seahorses in the softy/LPS tank is certainly not set in stone. I've kept seahorses before successfully in a 34G Cube. They breed like rabbits and were a lot of fun. Still... the two cubes I have now are both 29G and it is a reduction in size that has been nawing at me. My plan b here is to go with a pair of Catalina Gobies in the tank and then take the tank temp down about 5 degrees with a mini chiller (higher elec. bill) I am wanting to do something somewhat unique with this one. No rush though; has no impact on my current tank build; just part of the overall "vision". For now it's running smoothly as a softy tank.
  19. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    Picked up the following hole saw bits from Home Depot this week. They are supposed to be top notch in cutting metal, wood and plastic. They will be good bits to make these cuts. I have a drill press that I will be using. Will likely go ahead and do this evening. Will post some step by step pictures of it tonight.
  20. zambavi

    zambavi Guest

    These Rigid Bi-Metal hole saw bits worked fantastic. No heat whatsoever and the cut was smooth as butter. Took about 60-90 seconds to cut each hole. Let me know if anyone needs to borrow them. I'd be happy to lend them out.

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