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This madness is happening


marka83

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So my roommate has a 24 gallon nano reef and fish tank, and he decided to start this massive 100 gallon tank.

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We bought the tank off CL. It was in bad shape. It housed maybe two dozen Cichlids, two turtles, and yes... a crawfish! Local stores took the inhabitants. We first cleaned it, removed the upper tank trim, and then resealed the tank. The stand was un-sealed and assembled with finishing nails and staples, so we had to put in wood screws, stain it, and poly seal it. We cut and installed the side panels and installed magnets so we could rip away the panels to access the sump. The sump is a 40 gallon long tank that used to house a lizard we bought from CL. We sealed it and installed baffles.

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We designed the sump... we basically argued and debated every point till we reached agreements, but it's my rommates build and his money so obviously he has final say and veto power lol. The sump will have a pvc tube stuffed the something for mechanical filtration, then it will go through a pro skimmers, after baffling we made a bio ball section, the more baffling and the refugium, then the return compartment. We drilled the tank ourselves, installed a surface skimmer, have two outflow and two backup pipes, with two return pipes at each end of the tank with check valves. The main outflows have ball valves. The backups simply dump into the sump. We also have a closed loop circulation for laminar flow. We are still working out how to get the best surge and turbulence flows in the tank.

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We just received the rocks. These are dry rocks, not live rocks. Live rock is pricey, so my roommate decided the build the hardscape with dry rock, some live rock, and just take the extra time to seed the dry rock. The dry rock was on sale for like $2 a pound.

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We have alot of work to do. Hardscape, sand, finish circulation scheme, lighting, cycling, choosing livestock, build a equipment cabinet that will house equipment, top-off water, salt water, and a QT tank... the list goes on. I am new to reef tanks and I wouldn't personally invest in one. I am freshwater planted tank through and through. But I love learning new things, designing stuff, watching things grow through our care and preparation, so I am all for this tank! If you have advice or stories you want to share please post them! We already have some regrets lol on the design. We didn't need such a redundant system and the backup drains were drilled to close in height to the mains... but you learn right?!

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My roommate is severely impatient. We built the rock formation before getting sand in the tank. I thought we would then partially disassemble the wall and lay the sand bed, but he started making saltwater for the tank... We have a RO system permanently installed under the kitchen sink, but it takes about five hours to make 20 gallons of water. Additionally we only have a 20 gallon tub to store water, so the process takes a few days to get 100+ gallons of water. Because of that, he starts putting water in the tank before we get sand, then adds 40 pounds of sand after the water was in... not the end of the world, but just funny to watch! We have more sand coming but just delayed. The water is still cloudy but here are a few shots. We are pretty satisfied with the amount of hiding places for various sized fish. Our return pump is way too loud though.

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You've got a follower! This project looks so exciting. I wish I just had the courage and money to start a reef tank. Great idea on the magnetic doors for the stand. That would make it so much easier to clean.

Some suggestions though, learned from my father who is an avid reef keeper. I see you have some rock in your refugium. In that same compartment you could also have a deep sand bed which would handle some denitrification. Since there are no fish down there to disturb the sand, you won't get any toxic gas released. I know that marine fish have low tolerance to nitrates so this option would definitely be easier than doing a bunch of water changes. Especially with your R/O only giving 20 gallons every 5 hours. You could also add macroalgae too. This link might help for some explanation on that.

Return pump too loud. I wouldn't know how to help there.

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You've got a follower! This project looks so exciting. I wish I just had the courage and money to start a reef tank. Great idea on the magnetic doors for the stand. That would make it so much easier to clean.

Some suggestions though, learned from my father who is an avid reef keeper. I see you have some rock in your refugium. In that same compartment you could also have a deep sand bed which would handle some denitrification. Since there are no fish down there to disturb the sand, you won't get any toxic gas released. I know that marine fish have low tolerance to nitrates so this option would definitely be easier than doing a bunch of water changes. Especially with your R/O only giving 20 gallons every 5 hours. You could also add macroalgae too. This link might help for some explanation on that.

Return pump too loud. I wouldn't know how to help there.

Thanks! We are going to do the deep sand bed using the old sand from the established tank. We heard a few ideas about getting the pump more quiet, but we were kinda hoping that it would break in and quiet down. Please follow the thread and drop some knowledge if you can, I'm new to reef tanks. I usually do a bunch of research when a problem comes up, but it'd be nice if the problems can be prevented lol.
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You've got a follower! This project looks so exciting. I wish I just had the courage and money to start a reef tank. Great idea on the magnetic doors for the stand. That would make it so much easier to clean.

Some suggestions though, learned from my father who is an avid reef keeper. I see you have some rock in your refugium. In that same compartment you could also have a deep sand bed which would handle some denitrification. Since there are no fish down there to disturb the sand, you won't get any toxic gas released. I know that marine fish have low tolerance to nitrates so this option would definitely be easier than doing a bunch of water changes. Especially with your R/O only giving 20 gallons every 5 hours. You could also add macroalgae too. This link might help for some explanation on that.

Return pump too loud. I wouldn't know how to help there.

Thanks! We are going to do the deep sand bed using the old sand from the established tank. We heard a few ideas about getting the pump more quiet, but we were kinda hoping that it would break in and quiet down. Please follow the thread and drop some knowledge if you can, I'm new to reef tanks. I usually do a bunch of research when a problem comes up, but it'd be nice if the problems can be prevented lol.

Are you doing the deep sand bed in the tank or in the refugium?

All I do is keep researching. Anything I come across I will definitely share.

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You've got a follower! This project looks so exciting. I wish I just had the courage and money to start a reef tank. Great idea on the magnetic doors for the stand. That would make it so much easier to clean.

Some suggestions though, learned from my father who is an avid reef keeper. I see you have some rock in your refugium. In that same compartment you could also have a deep sand bed which would handle some denitrification. Since there are no fish down there to disturb the sand, you won't get any toxic gas released. I know that marine fish have low tolerance to nitrates so this option would definitely be easier than doing a bunch of water changes. Especially with your R/O only giving 20 gallons every 5 hours. You could also add macroalgae too. This link might help for some explanation on that.

Return pump too loud. I wouldn't know how to help there.

Thanks! We are going to do the deep sand bed using the old sand from the established tank. We heard a few ideas about getting the pump more quiet, but we were kinda hoping that it would break in and quiet down. Please follow the thread and drop some knowledge if you can, I'm new to reef tanks. I usually do a bunch of research when a problem comes up, but it'd be nice if the problems can be prevented lol.

Are you doing the deep sand bed in the tank or in the refugium?

All I do is keep researching. Anything I come across I will definitely share.

Refugium.
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  • 1 month later...
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Ok, so the tank has been cycling for what I think is a month but my roommate thinks it's been more like two. So here's the situation. We seeded the tank with some live rock from the old tank. We dosed ammonia. After a month of testing and adding ammonia we are getting some odd readings. It looks like nitrites are cycling out the system faster than the ammonia. When we dose the tank to 1ppm ammonia, the tank cycles down to .25 ppm ammonia and 0 nitrites. We've don't two wc to kind of reset the tank. Could something be inhibiting the ammonia eating bb?

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Yes, high nitrites will inhibit the consumption of ammonia, it depends how much ammonia you were dosing and how high the nitrites got.

There are lots of other factors too but without further information that is my best guess :)

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I love finding these threads because a saltwater tank is not something I think I'll ever do. But I shall live through you two! :D Keep the updates coming and I hope your cycling gets figured out!

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The setup looks awesome, but I'm a little worried that the top rim is removed. They usually put the top rim on for stability and it plays a large part in holding the tank together. Its such a nice tank, and I don't want you to end up with 100 gallons of fish and water on the floor .

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The setup looks awesome, but I'm a little worried that the top rim is removed. They usually put the top rim on for stability and it plays a large part in holding the tank together. Its such a nice tank, and I don't want you to end up with 100 gallons of fish and water on the floor .

I believe that this is actually a fairly common DIY project that people do as long as the center brace is not a part of the rim. As shown in the pictures, the center brace is connected to the glass itself and is still intact. Buying a rimless tank is more expensive then buying a used on with a rim and taking it off. The center brace keeps it from bowing ever so slightly which would cause stress of the silicon seals. If were connected to the rim I would be super worried for sure!

So I would say he's safe because the structure of the tank is sound and the rim on this seems to have been purely for aesthetics :) but I could be wrong. It's a good point to put out there.

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The setup looks awesome, but I'm a little worried that the top rim is removed. They usually put the top rim on for stability and it plays a large part in holding the tank together. Its such a nice tank, and I don't want you to end up with 100 gallons of fish and water on the floor .

I believe that this is actually a fairly common DIY project that people do as long as the center brace is not a part of the rim. As shown in the pictures, the center brace is connected to the glass itself and is still intact. Buying a rimless tank is more expensive then buying a used on with a rim and taking it off. The center brace keeps it from bowing ever so slightly which would cause stress of the silicon seals. If were connected to the rim I would be super worried for sure!

So I would say he's safe because the structure of the tank is sound and the rim on this seems to have been purely for aesthetics :) but I could be wrong. It's a good point to put out there.

Basically what you explained. The trim was glued to the rim, but it wasn't even connected to each other at the corners. The tank was in poor shape when we bought it, so one of the trim pieces nearly fell off with a slight upward pull. So we peeled off the trim and cleaned the excess silicone. We revealed the tank, water tested it, and it's been going for a month. But if there is a stress point somewhere, hopefully we get a sign of a leak first before the whole thing burst. That'd suck!
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  • 9 months later...

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