RedStickReefer

RedStickReefer's Dream Build

242 posts in this topic

I would not do a large water change. I would get parameters back in line by dosing. A large water change is gonna decrease nutrients, like nitrates down to zero. Unless you have a big fish load.

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Thanks for your input Joe.  I'm only going to do the large water change as a last resort.  I've done it once already and it didn't help, so I'm going with dosing at least throughout the rest of this week.  Come Sunday though, if I'm not seeing any significant rise in alk after all this dosing, I'm going to try it again.  At least I saw a bit of an increase today for the first time, so I'm hoping it will continue to rise from here.

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I debated starting a new thread, but since the 180g I picked up today will replace the original 240g I had in mind for my dream build, this is where I felt it should go.  The 30g reef in my office will become the quarantine/grow out tank for any corals going into the 180g reef.  The tank is 6'x2'x2', not too far off from the original 8'x2'x2' dimensions I wanted.  I'm super pumped to get this build going!  I'm not a fan of the stand that came with the tank, so I plan on modifying it to better suit my needs.  I plan on removing the cabinet doors and cutting the two center braces on the front to completely open it up; elevating it at least 6" with a platform; skinning it with some luan plywood; adding a ledge; trimming it out with base trim and crown moulding (similar to my 30g); and adding a magnetic door panel for easy on/off access to the sump area.  The tank is not perfect.  It has a couple chips in the glass and scratches galore, but I think if I keep the glass clean you won't even really notice they're there.  Especially once I pack this tank with SPS😀  This is going to be a long build process, so please stick with me guys! The tank will be set up as a normal reef tank with a sump until I can afford to enclose the courtyard area adjacent to my master bathroom and make it a fish room, and it'll be FOWLR for a while until I can save up enough for all of the associated equipment.  I will be using 3 Radions over this reef and I would like to add the apex monitoring system.  Other than that, I'm still deciding on the equipment list.  Anyway, with all that said above here's the new reef tank!

 

31213015697_089e155e34_k.jpg2018-12-02_05-59-59 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

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On 12/4/2018 at 1:11 PM, Grey Ghost said:

Wow what an upgrade! That looks like Chad’s setup that I saw in person awhile back. Glad you were able to pick it up!


.

 

Yes, it was Chad's tank.  I'm definitely looking forward to putting some livestock back in it.

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Quick update on the 30g.  After a solid week of dosing anywhere from 100 to 150mL of alk per day and a 50% water change my Ca is at 579 and Alk is at 6.2.  Water change water was at 465/9.5.  I'm just going to continue this routine for another week and see what happens.  Once my parameters are back in check I'm going to get the CaRx online.  I'm definitely going to take it slow with the reactor, so I don't spike alk and nuke everything (famous last words...lol).  Surprisingly, all my corals still look fine and the SPS I recently glued in place on the rock work are beginning to encrust...

Edited by RedStickReefer

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I made some progress on the stand for the 180g today.  I built a platform to raise the stand 4" to a total height of almost 38".  Should be plenty high enough for me.

 

31340439097_d94a3fa46b_k.jpg2018-12-11_04-41-34 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

 

I also got the cabinet doors off and removed the front vertical "bracing" between the panels to completely open up the stand.  I say "bracing" because the 2x6s behind the 1x6 skin had 1/4" gaps at the top and bottom, so the horizontal 2x4 bracing was not actually resting on the 2x6s.  The 2x6s were screwed into the 2x4s at the top and bottom, but it was pretty pointless.  The 1x6 skin and 7 screws were the only things supporting the horizontal span of the 2x4s across the front of the tank.  It was pretty easy to remove the vertical bracing in the front.  Once I removed the screws, a few light taps with a hammer was all it took and they just fell out onto the floor.  The stand does have 3/4" plywood on top, which I'm sure helped spread the load throughout the stand.  I will be adding additional skin and an additional 3/4" piece of plywood on top, so I don't have any doubt the 2x4s will support the weight of the tank across the front without the vertical support once I'm done.

 

44462389290_e4f76da981_k.jpg2018-12-11_04-42-08 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

 

31340445957_f28e90f551_k.jpg2018-12-11_04-42-36 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

 

The plan for tomorrow if I can get some help is to remove the tank from the stand, put the stand on the new platform, use strong ties to strap the platform to the stand, put the new skin on, and router out the opening to the inside of the stand.

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I HATE the build process, but thanks Greg!  I just want to get past all this crap and start growing some sticks. :lol:  I made slightly more progress today.  Will stopped by after work and helped me take the tank off the stand and put the stand on the platform. Then I nailed in all the strong ties to tie the platform to the stand.

 

46293129761_d0d9acf733_k.jpg2018-12-12_06-08-52 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

 

I made not one, but TWO rookie mistakes while cutting the skin for the stand.  I didn't want to waste any of Will's time, so in a rush to cut the skin (I needed Wills help to hold the thin plywood skin while I cut) I used the original measurements I took of the stand and didn't account for the height of the newly added platform. :banghead:  ALSO, I didn't keep the grain of the wood going in the same horizontal direction when I cut the side panels....DOUBLE :banghead:  It is frustrating, but truthfully it doesn't really matter in the end.  The base trim and crown moulding I'll be adding will cover the gaps.  I'm also painting the stand, and the skin is so smooth I highly doubt you'll be able to see any grain through the paint when I'm done.  Every time I look over at the stand now I can't help but to shake my head and laugh.  :D

 

31354307317_4915efec8d_k.jpg2018-12-12_06-09-26 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

 

That's all the progress on the 180g for now.  Next, I plan on borrowing a router (mine got ruined in the flood) and cutting out the opening for the stand, adding the 3/4" plywood to the top to add the ledge, and trimming out the rest of the stand. Oh, I also plan on adding a cabinet to the left of the stand to keep all of the Apex equipment and controllers in, with a gimble mounted touch pad on top to show me all of my parameters in real time and to use as the main controller for the tank.  Should look pretty sweet when I'm done!  Hopefully...B)

 

Quick update on the 30g...I've done a 50% water change two days in a row.  My Ca has finally dropped to 479, but my Alk is still hovering around 6.0.  I gave the tank an alk boost of 60mL today and I'll test to see if it had any effect tomorrow.  I mixed up some more saltwater today and plan on doing a third 50% water change this week.  Hopefully the 30g parameters will be good to go afterward. Corals are still looking good with the exception of the PC Rainbow.  It's just looking a little faded.

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I debated starting a new thread to discuss this, but I figured I'd reward anyone else having trouble and following this thread if what I've just discovered thanks to BRS is correct.  So I've been having parameter issues with the 30g and didn't know why until BRS released a recent dosing video on YouTube.  In the past Ive used Soda Ash to dose in equal parts with Calcium Chloride into my reef with no issues.  Well, I bought Sodium Bicarbonate from BRS for this reef this go round.  Go figure....I knew S. Bicarbonate was a little weaker than Soda Ash, but what I didn't realize was Soda Ash was almost TWICE as strong as S. bicarbonate....This TOTALLY explains why Ive had the issues I've had with dosing.  Completely explains why my calcium skyrockets while alk steadily drops.  It has taken 3 weeks, dosing over a gallon of just S. bicarbonate and three 50% water changes last week to finally get my parameters back to somewhat normal.  My Ca is at 410 and Alk is at 7.4.  I dosed 10mL of Ca and 20ml of s. bicarbonate and I'll test again tomorrow to see where I'm at.  Thank god I got some healthy SPS from reputable dealers because they've weathered this storm like champs with the exception of the PC Rainbow.  Everything is encrusting and looking happy with the exception of the PC Rainbow. It is faded and some polyps are retracted, but it is still encrusting like a mofo, so I think it'll be alright.

 

No more progress at this time with the stand for the 120g. I need to go ahead and buy a router with the correct bit, but i'm waiting until after Christmas to pick that up.  I thought I could borrow a friend's router and bit, but his house is under renovation and finding his router right now is like finding a needle in a haystack...I did order some polyp booster and the prodibio bio kit recently, so I'll be starting that on the 30th.  I'll keep y'all posted on how that goes.

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How's the revamped dosing going?

 

Let's see some updates man.  :)

 

You going to do a ghost overflow in the 120?

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The dosing is going well so far.  It seems 30ml of Calcium Chloride and 50ml of Sodium Bicarbonate is keeping things pretty stable.  Another Jebao powerhead crapped out on me.  The propeller seized up on me and when I went to pull the PH out of the tank I got an electrical shock when I grabbed it.  I'll never buy another Jebao product again...The ceramic ring piece and the shaft of the propeller were basically fused together.  I soaked the propeller for 48hrs in vinegar and used channel locks to try and twist them apart.  I didn't work, so I threw away the PH.  I didn't really want to put it back in my tank if it was discharging electricity anyway.  I've got quite the collection of Jebao PH magnets on my fridge now. LOL.  Going to save up for a few weeks and just buy an Ecotech MP10.

 

Still no additional progress on my 180g.  I need a router and bit to cut out the front of the stand for the magnetic door panel.  The overflow I'm going to use is the overflow that came with the tank.  It is an Eshopps Eclipse L, which is a ghost style overflow.

 

http://www.eshopps.com/products/overflowboxes/eclipse-l/

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Good to hear that the parameters are stabilizing for you man.  Sucks to hear about the Jaebo's.  I bought a couple for my system and one of them started leaking voltage while I was doing the water tests early on.  Magnet swelled up on that one too.  Tossed it.  The 2nd one is still running, but I'm only using it in my SW mixing tank.  I fully expect it to fail soon.

 

Looking forward to future updates man.

 

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I made some minor progress on the 180g today.  The "company" bought a router and flush cut bit today...😉 So I cut out the opening for the stand.  Pretty nice clean-cut opening but I had one lil screw up where I started with the router.  I had the bit set too deep and it took out a small notch.  The door panel will hide it when it's on, so nothing major.  Next I'm going to put the new piece of plywood on top, add the crown molding, and make the magnetic door panel.  I plan on reusing the original cabinet doors to give it a three panel look across the front, but it'll only be a single panel.  Still haven't decided on the depth of my ledge around the tank.  I'd like to do 8"-10", but it depends on how much room we have between the ledge and the backs of our couches/recliners in the Livingroom.

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Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but there hasn't been anything to update.  Now that I got my two part dosing correct the 30g has just been chugging along.  The SPS are still just SLOWLY encrusting and look like they're doing fine.  I've been dosing the prodibio bio kit reef pack for a month now and havent really noticed any major changes to speak of.

 

Sadly, the 180g build is in a holding pattern for the next  few months until I can pay my taxes for 2018.  I was a 1099 employee for the last two years so I just pay taxes at the end of the year.  Things you have to deal with when you're working for a brand new company I guess... We started payroll this year so next year should work out great for me.  I do plan on doing some easy/inexpensive work on the stand and such in the meantime, maybe this weekend.  I'll report back with some updated pics of the stand when I can get around to working on it.

 

I am looking forward very much to Fragniappe this year.  I'd like to pick up a few SPS frags to hold in the 30g for the 180g when it's ready.

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Minor progress made on the stand yesterday afternoon and this morning.  Got the top put on the stand, caulked and used up a quart of kilz to seal/cover the top and inside of the stand.  I cut the top of the stand to give a 10" ledge all the way around the tank.  I added a ledge for my 30g tank and I'll never have another tank without a ledge.  It has come in super handy for testing and whatever else I might need it for.  I wanted to add the crown moulding yesterday too, but of course Home Depot didn't have any cove mould in stock...

 

33176278378_6e03a2509b_k.jpg2019-02-10_12-29-16 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

 

46327645294_34786096ae_k.jpg2019-02-10_12-29-57 by Jensen Esneault, on Flickr

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