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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Thought i'd place the progress of my tank on here so people can learn from my mistakes as and when I find them. I have kept freshwater for a long time but now progressing to marine!

I am currently decorating my living room and thought I would build this small alcove into a storage/marine tank. Rather than have the wibbly wobbly walls plastered!

I started by ordering a 48*18*18 inch tank drilled on the base towards the rear right hand side. I then got to work on the supports for the tank to sit.

Would appreciate critics and help by people that know when I am doing something wrong! Flame away!
 
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
I bought a 30*12*15 tank to use as a sump and siliconed in some baffles. At this point i wasn't really sure of what was going in it. Deep Sand Bed or not, but it looks like now it will be just to replace rock water displacement and hide my equiptment!
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
Shortly after that my tank arrived. I painted the back and sides using a pool blue gloss paint from B&Q ( British hardware store!), it took a fair few coats and is actually a little lighter in colour than what would have been ideal.

Quite annoyingly they stuck a sticker on the inside saying not to fill with water till a certain date. Fair enough the silicone needs to cure but why stick it inside the tank. Proved a right arse to get off again!
 
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The tank I ordered came with glass sliding lids, i'm not sure whether to put them back on again or not. I would like to stop jumping fish most but with all the wires about to come out and restricting lighting from T5's i'm not sure!

I then bought a load of pvc pipes and made myself a sort of standpipe. Not a full "Durso" but it some respects pretty similar. It starts off at the top as inch and a half then reduces to one inch for the bulkhead. The plumbing under the tank is then all one inch pipe, leading to the sump.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Next job was to make myself a corner weir out of acrylic and glass. I went and got 10mm glass cut and then went to buy some acrylic ( trade name plexiglass ). I couldn't find the same colour and ended up having to buy a full sheet when all I needed was a very small amount. This cost me like £50 which pissed me off, thats about $100 I think! I then used a router to make a sort of comb effect at the top, cut the acrylic to size and siliconed it to the glass! The colour now annoys me because it sticks out like a sore thumb!

It was then siliconed into the corner around the drilled hole. I have made the weir big enough to remove the standpipe and clean it out every now and again. It will skim a good amount of the surface but takes up a fair bit of tank room!
 

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looks good so far. good luck drilling the tank. the extra work on the overflow/sump really pays off because you can hide the overflow with rocks and corals
 
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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
It was then time to do some serious spending.

I bought an

Aquamedic Turboflotor 1000 Multi SL skimmer
Arcadia 4*54w 4ft T-5 Luminaire
Tunze 6060 stream pump 6000 l/h
2 * AC 402
Eheim 1260 (return pump from sump)
75 gallon a day 4 stage RO unit
Bucket of Kent salt.

I bought the cradles that you ca get for the AC powerheads that contain the sponges. To be used as a sponge filter, I then removed the sponges. I just thought the plastic cradle may save a fish's life one day! Or a shrimp.

I ran the ro unit for a few days mixing Kent sea salt as I went till the tank was full.

After setting all this up I ordered 30kg of Fiji cured live rock. It shocks me how much I spent on rock! It is still just loosely piled in. To the right where the weir is the rock is covering the 2 AC 402's, not fully but will probably work on that. The Tunze is just hung on at present because the magnetic holders are out of stock in the UK and i'm waiting. I will then hide this pump with rock on the left hand side.

The rock was reasonably purple ( coralline ) but have yet to see any form of life. It has only been in 4 days now though!
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Kohan Bros. said:
looks good so far. good luck drilling the tank. the extra work on the overflow/sump really pays off because you can hide the overflow with rocks and corals
[snapback]941301[/snapback]​
I ordered the tank drilled, I wouldn't dare do it myself


That way if it broke I haven't recieved it so wouldn't have to pay


I had it drilled to an inch and a quarter for an inch pipe.
 
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The first annoying thing was the Ocean runner pump on the skimmer kept cutting off. Overheating and shutting down, I believe this pump is a Rio in America. The one with the pinwheel. After modding it slightly and restricting the air intake it seems to be staying on.

Then the fact that the tank running through overflow and sump sounds like Niagra falls was a concern, especially to the gf! I have now crimped the bottom of the pipe before it gets to the sump. To restrict flow a bit and force the water level in the pipe higher. It sounds quieter now but I still have quite a gurgle from the stand pipe. Should have done a Durso, I know! Mind you 600 GPH is quite some flow I suppose it would be a little noisy!
 
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
My water chemistry starting from LR entry.

Day 1

PH = 7.8
Ammonia = 0.5
Nitrite = 0.25
Nitrate = 0

Day 2

PH = 8.4
Ammonia = 0.5
Nitrite = 0.5
Nitrate = 10

Day 3

PH = 8.4
Ammonia = 0.5
Nitrite = 2
Nitrate = 10

These were all tested at the same time of day 7.30 at night!
 
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have the start of the Cyano I was expecting.

But the lime green stuff that appears I have no clue about, help!?

It seems to be either my coralline turning green or some other algae with the same looks/consistency as coralline algae. Bubbly the same.

The picture came out crap but this is what I mean. Its slowly starting to take over a little.

Do you think I should wait for tabnk to cycle before adding substrate. I will be buying live sand and having a shallow sand bed?

Any ideas on this green stuff?
 
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Is it normal that my skimmer took out loads first few days but not much now? With only LR in! Only pulled this out today!
 

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Truffle shuffle!!!!!!!
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why no subsrate?

and i think you arent sopossed to turn on the skimmer till after the tank already cycled
 

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Death is fair to everyone.
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Looking great! Looks like you did alot of studing, and picked out some real winners.
Ok first thing that i hear that the ocean runner will out perform euro reef skimmers sedra pump, and there are euroreef skimmer users that are making that mod, and are happy with it. I wouldent want to restrict flow it will compromise effiiency.
Second the green stuff is probably hair algae taking off. Kill the lights till its cycled, your liverock does not need it to stay alive, and coraline will come back. You are having dieoff which is normal from your liverock, and its stocking the water with phosphates and nitrates which will fuel the hair algae's fire. Keep the lights off till all the lr is fully cured in 1 to 2 mos. Thats why you skimmer is pulling junk out already. I get 6-8 oz a day from my skimmer. Keep the cup and neck clean on the skimmer. At least every 2-3 days clean it up.
You can add your sand now it will get seeded by the lr. It will help out your pod population. Just dont get any sand critters for a few mos.
I like shallow sand beds, and it will help if any rock topples over, You dont want it cracking your glass.
 

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o sorry i missed that. it looks good and a very nice job on the overflows. rock looks great making some excellent progress
 
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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Dr. Green said:
why no subsrate?

and i think you arent sopossed to turn on the skimmer till after the tank already cycled
[snapback]941421[/snapback]​
Not sure on this Death, figured to put skimmer on when I had some sort of organic load. The tank is clearly cycling anyway going by the water chemistry. The main reason I haven't got any sand is because the place I'd get 20% off have been failing to get it in stock. I am also considering more for a DSB in the sump but my skimmers pump would be a little too close to it for comfort.

Raptor said:
Looking great! Looks like you did alot of studing, and picked out some real winners.
Ok first thing that i hear that the ocean runner will out perform euro reef skimmers sedra pump, and there are euroreef skimmer users that are making that mod, and are happy with it. I wouldent want to restrict flow it will compromise effiiency.
Second the green stuff is probably hair algae taking off. Kill the lights till its cycled, your liverock does not need it to stay alive, and coraline will come back. You are having dieoff which is normal from your liverock, and its stocking the water with phosphates and nitrates which will fuel the hair algae's fire. Keep the lights off till all the lr is fully cured in 1 to 2 mos. Thats why you skimmer is pulling junk out already. I get 6-8 oz a day from my skimmer. Keep the cup and neck clean on the skimmer. At least every 2-3 days clean it up.
You can add your sand now it will get seeded by the lr. It will help out your pod population. Just dont get any sand critters for a few mos.
I like shallow sand beds, and it will help if any rock topples over, You dont want it cracking your glass.
[snapback]941423[/snapback]​
Thanks Raptor, yeah I studied a fair bit. Still trying to take it all in though!

I had to restrict air flow to stop the pump shutting down. It stays on 24/7 now and the foam is still reaching the desired height. I had to shorten the tube from the pump to skimmer to nothing. Then I have gently clamped the airline around the silencer. I think the combination of very aerated water coming from the water feed to the sump combined with full air intake, created too much air to water and made the pumps automatic heat shut off cut in!

I will go and get some sand today I think, thanks for the tip. I am a bit worried about my expensive pumps sucking in sand. I want to keep them quite low and hidden. I may just lay the sand up to the rock and not behind. Most of the rocks are quite small, I ordered mostly small bits so I could make caves etc.. Bought a load of plastic cable ties too but never used them. I guess eventually coralline will grow over the ties but they stuck out to begin with! It seems quite secure, if I give it a bit of a tap!

Thanks everyone for their comments. I may come back tonight with pictures of sand in also!
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have now added some live aragonite sand to the tank! I bought 40lbs of the stuff and my tank is back to a cloudy mess again!

I have now sorted out the electrics a bit. If I get much more equipment I will have to plug direcly into the national grid!


I have also been chopping down return pipes and trying to make it fairly flood safe. The whole sump and bottom of cabinet is sat on pond liner stuff. When the face of the cabinet is finished it will make a big pond liner bowl in the base. Should hold around 30 gallons in case of flood.

If the tank emptied over the new oak floor my gf would castrate me!
 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
To quieten down the overflow system I have crimped the end of the pipe just before water enters the sump. I heated it up with a blow lamp and then squidged it into shape. It has really made a difference less air enters the sump now! It raises the water level within the pipe so the gurgle is dampened a little too!
 

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Looking good! Thats a nice power station.
 
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