Lawrence's first (90g) salt water tank

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by L/B Block, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    From Betsy aka the wife: For Lawrence's 40th birthday and my dowry, I decided to buy him his first ever salt water tank. After doing a bit of homework, I found this forum hoping to glean a few things about what to buy him and where... And luckily stumbled upon a comment about thr 90 gallon tank and setup that Miss Goldielock76 aka Brandie was selling as she sets up her 210. I contacted her, and over the course of several weeks, learned about her tank and agreed to buy it. Lawrence will really be the one learning the finer ins and outs of managing the tank, but we both hope to take advantage of everyone's expertise and maybe even give back one day!

    If I understand the lingo correctly, Lawrence is working up to a nice LPS tank. We've been diving in Honduras and Tahiti, and are particularly drawn to the fish in those parts. We expect glimpsing into our tank will take us back a little bit to those romantic getaways!

    Here's what we know, and I'm sure Brandie will correct if we get something wrong. We don't even have the tank yet! Feedback and questions are welcome, this will definitely be a learning adventure.

    The following is from Brandie's original emails to me:

    "The tank is just a year old. Everything was bought new at the beginning of last year, and it sat empty probably until about June. It went thru a dark cycle, and set empty until September. Everything but the canopy was bought new, ie the tank, stand, sump, rock, substrate. The canopy was bought off a fellow BAR member, but we refinished the whole thing, put bigger fans on it, and replaced all the hardware with stainless steel, and just cleaned it up in general. It has reinforced vinyl tubing, so nothing's hard piped. "

    For our exchanges and my limited reefer-speak, I understand our setup will include:
    • Sump/Refugium:Aqueon Proflex. filter socks removed and has live rock from LiveAquaria
    • Plumbing: Spa flex and reinforced vinyl tubing
    • Heater
    • Lighting (metal halides, actinic strip by ecoxotic)
    • Sump (including the chaeto and mysis in it)
    • Return pump: Mag 9.5
    • Skimmer
    • aquacontroller with probes
    • BRS single reactor
    • Substrate: Tropic Eden's Aragasnow, There's about 2.5 inches of sand in the display, and about 5 inches in the fuge.
    • Corals: she's leaving behind a few softies. A blue mushroom, a green mushroom and a blasto. There also might be a frag of a purple hammer in the rock somewhere.
    • Rockscaping: designed by fellow BFAR member Johnny (jestersix), with some of Brandie's additions
    • Possibly a few blue leg hermits or my peppermit shrimp and ochtodes (a purple macro algae). Latest count: three emeralds and about twenty hermits
    We still need to get a mag float, I think, but she may have decided to include that and I lost track?
    ...and, of course, the fish!

    I'll attach photos when I get on my laptop, as well as a diagram I worked up.

    A bit on the set-up, again from Brandie's emails...
    "The 90 is drilled, which means it has an overflow that drains the water into the sump/fuge. The aqueon proflex (which I linked you in an earlier reply) is basically a hybrid of a refugium/sum. My overflows drain into a chamber that has space for two filter socks, but because of detritus build up, I removed them and added more live rock. The water then flows into the 'fuge, where I have my macro algae and more live rock, then into the sump portion, where I have my skimmer and return pump. The pump returns the water back in to the tank in the same corner that the overflow is in, thru a different pipe, back into the tank. The Danner Mag 9.5 pump cycles the water about 6-7 times an hour, so that's why I went with that particular pump. "

    And her suggestions on the rock...
    "If you're looking for what I would do, I would rethink the rock work and let it dry out [...] that will also give you the option to get more dry rock from somewhere like Marco rocks (they have awesome prices on man made dry rock) and you can add more, and change things up a bit so your hubby can make it "his" tank. Just make sure you let the tank cycle for a while if you do do it this way.... you can add some Dr Tims and be in business with in a week or two. The "live" sand will help a great deal when it comes to cycling. "

    And one last word to the wise from Brandie:
    "In addition, there is aptasia in the sump, but only one or two have ever moved to the main display, but we're pretty quick to zap those with aptasia x, so we've never had a problem. There is also a copperband butterfly who eats the smaller ones. All part of the maintenance "to do's" "

    We can't wait to get started...

    image.jpg image.jpg lawrences tank2.jpg
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
    neuro and denzil like this.
  2. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Welcome Betsy and Lawrence.

    "Wife buys husband reef tank" Film at 11! Such a rare event it needs to be covered by the local news!! :)

    Have either of you kept aquariums before?

    Hope to meet you both at one of our monthly get-togethers - like this Saturday!
    DeeAnnMG and denzil like this.
  3. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Um....................WIFE OF THE YEAR!!!!!!

    Way cool of you to do that as a gift. Congrats to Brandie and Denzil for finding a new home for the 90. I think that is a good first tank for you. Welcome to BAR!
    DeeAnnMG and denzil like this.
  4. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Very cool! Welcome to the forum! Hope both of you can make it out to BAP this weekend. It's one of our bigger events of the year and an event I'm sure you can appreciate. Many BAR members will be there as well as some folks from fellow nearby clubs and potential new hobbyists such as yourselves.
  5. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    Lawrence's dad used to keep fresh water tanks, but this is his first venture into keeping an aquarium of any kind. Brave, right? And did we mention we just had a baby and adopted two rambunctious beagles? We will have our hands full.

    Wife of the year? Maybe!

    Given the aforementioned baby, I'm not sure we'll make it to BAP, but you never know.

    What an adventure we have ahead. Glad to know there are such great folks to help us along the way.

    - Betsy
    denzil and neuro like this.
  6. DeeAnnMG

    DeeAnnMG Guest

    It looks like you guys are getting a great setup. Looking forward to seeing it grow.
  7. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    Once Brandie is set up w/ her tank, we will moving up the 90g to our place! I look forward to it.
    denzil likes this.
  8. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    It's hard to believe how long it has been since Brandie sold us her tank and all the gears! Sunday, we are getting 'scaped and will start to get water into the tank. We have lots of homework to do! We are piecing together what we need to buy to compete our setup (probes, phosbane reactor and something to get water into that tank). And learning... Lots of learning.

    Pics, and more stories to come!
  9. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Almost 14 months between posts. Tank still dry.

    Well you have the first requirement of a reef keeper - patience! :D
    denzil likes this.
  10. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    Hahaha! More like our attention and our wallets being totally distracted by a baby. Who is now a toddler!

    Our big discussion now is how to fill and top the tank with zero waste. We're total novices at salt water so we are definitely looking forward to community guidance.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    denzil likes this.
  11. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    On zero water waste.... We get the idea from a few BAR members that one possible setup for us (depending on water quality) is a Kold Ster-Il with or without Kati/Ani. Where is the best place to post questions about setting this up? Sounds like we need to do some kind of initial TDS test to see if the ppm is low enough to start - but what is a good test kit for this? And what is "low enough"?

    And who among BAR members would be willing to talk is through the setup? We found a video from one of you - but don't think we'll be so efficiently plumbed.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    34 ppm!!!!! That is what comes from our garden hose. After the water sat for an hour it went up to 40 ppm. Oh well - in either case, we are feeling very confident about going Kold Ster-il.

    - Betsy & Lawrence.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2015
  13. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Hey @L/B Block, glad to see you two active again. :)

    As for the Kold Steril stuff, I would ask @gimmito as he has one of those setups. I bet he'd be willing to help you guys out on that as I'm not a expert on that system myself... never used it but thought of it!
  14. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    No one is happier that our tank is going active than me/Betsy!

    I reached out to Gimmito and KensingtonReefer last week about the Kold Ster-Il setup. AND managed to find someone selling theirs on eBay for a song.

    I suspect it will take a week to get here, and then we will start cycling. Now to figure out the stock plan. :)

    - Betsy & Lawrence

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    denzil likes this.
  15. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

  16. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    LMK if you need any other help Betsy and Lawrence. 34 ppm out of your garden hose is pretty good.:)
  17. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Yeah, seriously. I wish I got that down here. My filters would probably last longer.
  18. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    You are all great! I'm trying to talk Lawrence into a couple of field trips while we are cycling so we can get a better sense of where we are heading. Johnny was an awesome resource, too.

    Denzil - we need to come see you soon!!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    denzil likes this.
  19. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    We can't believe it's been a year, but Lawrence and I are at it again! We have our live rock (JesterSix!) ready. Sand in. We have all the parts laid out, and will (hopefully) start getting things assembled. Our new year's resolution (our only one) was to get this hooked up! At least 15 minutes a day. We may have to trade some home cooked meals for help figuring out the setup.
    denzil likes this.
  20. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Glad to hear you guys are still at it! I'm sure anyone here would be willing to help. :)

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