Peter's Garage Tank

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by daddio, May 27, 2017.

  1. daddio

    daddio Guest

    Figured I would start a journal of my son Peter's garage tank. It will be fun to look at down the road. After setting up his 25 gallon reef tank in his room, I knew we would need another tank for overflow of corals and room for him to grow into the hobby. We are trying to do all of this on a "shoestring" budget. We picked up the glass 60 gallon Lifetech tank and stand for free on Craigslist. The tank used to house a turtle and the center support was melted away and needed a repair. We repaired the center support with a couple of plastic rods,aquarium adhesive and nylon bolts (not pretty but this tank is only temporary).
    For the rest of the equipment, we scoured Craigslist and went though all of the old freshwater stuff that we had. We did need lighting so we purchased a t5 high output fixture that holds 4 bulbs and we have a Marineland LED fixture. For the t5s we are running:
    1- PowerChrome aquablue+ 15,000k
    2- PowerChrome aquablue coral ultralife
    3- Actinic
    4- ATI Blue Plus
    and we are currently running the t5s 8 inches above the water
    As for light timing,
    the blue LEDS come on at 9am
    all lights come on at 10 am
    only blue LEDs at 8pm
    all off at 10 pm
  2. Peter B

    Peter B Guest


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  3. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Way to start the journal! Is this going to turn into a 100 gal soon?
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  4. Peter B

    Peter B Guest

    Yes. We are going to put everything in there into a 100 gallon tank, then take a smaller (20-30 gallon) tank, cut it and plumb it into the hundred as a frag tank. But we probably won't start the project for a few months. Until then, we are searching for rocks and other materials so that we will be able to house enough bacteria to handle that much of a bio-load.

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  5. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    This is such a great hobby for a teenager. I've learned so much practical stuff since starting this hobby. Electrical, woodworking, lighting, fluid dynamics, chemistry, biology, networking...some more practical than others.

    I hope the nem does well in your tank!

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  6. daddio

    daddio Guest

    Yup, Peter is right. Towards the end of June, I should have cleared enough crap out of the garage to set up his 100 gallon tank with a sump and a smaller frag tank mounted above the main tank that will have sump water pumped in and overflow into the 100. Then our plan is to begin prepping our 2nd 100 gallon tank with sump and refugium to go into his new bigger bedroom next year when his sister leaves for college.
    100 gallon tank for garage. It has overflows on both ends. We will re-purpose the canopy to our 100 gallon freshwater tank that has a turtle, south American cichlids and a handful of very large plecos.

    frag tank.png
    This 30 gallon will have the top half cut off to become the frag tank.

    The 100 gallon for Peter's room next year

    A completely empty 30 gallon bow front tank ready to set up for keeping live rock alive til the 100 is set up.
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  7. daddio

    daddio Guest

    I agree! His nem is looking good - Thank You!
  8. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster Staff Member

    Dang... my wife will throw all those tanks out if those where mine :/

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  9. daddio

    daddio Guest

    Well, no new tanks in the main house is my wife's "line in the sand" On top of Peter's 60g garage tank, he has a 25g reef and 55g freshwater in his room, and we have a 100 gallon and a 45g corner tank in the living room. We have to resort to keeping the new ones in the garage (for now)
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  10. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster Staff Member

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  11. daddio

    daddio Guest

    One idea that I am having trouble grasping as we move into reef tanks is that foam filter media is frowned upon. The current garage set up moves approx. 885 gph or 14.75 times tank volume. Being that it was/is a low budget setup, we adapted a lot of freshwater equipment (including a Fluval 204 canister that we run foam, ceramic media, and carbon) and left the foam filters in place. We are really good about maint. and we clean the filters once a week when we do a water change, and there is a lot of crap that comes out of the foam. Today's nitrate test was 5ppm (not too bad?) I guess I am wondering if we are good with maint. do we really have to worry about the foam becoming "nitrate factories"? Isn't it better to get the crap out of the tank?
  12. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    I think if you clean/replace things regularly they won't become nitrate factories. 5ppm for nitrate is not bad, and for some it is their target. Do you test for phosphate?

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  13. daddio

    daddio Guest

    Yes, Peter ran tests on Wed. before we added 20# more live rock. His results were:
    Phosphate - .25
    PH - 8.4
    Calcium - 530
    KH - 8
    Nitrates - 10
    Salinity - .026
  14. Wlachnit

    Wlachnit BOD

    I think it is mostly about removing the nutrients out of the tank regularly. BRS just did a test on filter socks which have also received the same bad rap. They showed that if you change out the sock 1-2 x pre week, then it does help. So, may be the same is true for foam filters.
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  15. daddio

    daddio Guest

    We are also running a homemade protein skimmer that is pulling about 4 cups a day of tea colored skimmate
  16. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Everything seems acceptable except that calcium. Did you mean 430? Also that phosphate is on the high side, which may be fine on its own if you're not have algae issues. But as you add more livestock (like LTA and fish) warrants keeping an eye on.

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  17. tankguy

    tankguy Supporting Member

    Should be fun
  18. daddio

    daddio Guest

    I re-tested and the calcium is over 500
  19. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    Hmm, how did it get that way? Are you dosing calcium? Maybe next time you buy your water, test the calcium level.

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  20. dswong01

    dswong01 Supporting Member

    How your temperature in garage in summer?
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