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speyside's new 90 gallon reef build!

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Corey Price View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Corey Price Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2017 at 11:15pm
Looking good!

I would have to disagree with Mark. Your plumbing is not bad.

In the future, you could consider what I did on my 120g tank a LONG time ago: drill the back of the tank at the overflow, about half way up. It allowed me to put three pipes in the tank. I'll see if I can find a picture. I would have suggested it a while ago but it's only been in the last few weeks that I've really been back at this stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2017 at 10:47pm
Made some more progress on the tank this week. I installed 2 BRS dosing pumps inside the cabinet, ran the lines through the wall to my "fish closet" and mixed up my first batch of 2 part. I haven't actually dosed any yet, planning to measure my calcium and alk tomorrow to gauge how much I should dose. I bought a digital timer to run the pumps the right amount of time.

Next I followed some of Mark's advice. I was regretting not painting the back of the tank black before installing it. Mark suggested hanging something black behind the tank to solve this. I ended up using a black garbage bag, the thick contractor type. I taped it to the back edge of the tank and taped the bottom corners in place. It was a little tricky to snake it in front of all the wires and plumbing, but it came out looking pretty good in the end. You can see a crease or two where the bag was folded, but I'm hoping the creases will go away with some time.

I also added a little bit of life to the tank. Jeff down at The Fish Tank hooked me up with some chaeto for my refugium and a bottle of tigger pods. I got some pods in the mail from algaebarn.com too along with some live phyto plankton. Algaebarn seemed pretty expensive to me but they had a buy 1 get 1 free going for first time users so I ended up with 2 of everything.

Since I didn't start with any live rock at all I'm having to specifically buy each of the "critters" I want in the tank. Luckily the chaeto I got from Jeff had some amphipods running around in it. I will probably buy some calerpa too in hopes of getting a little more bio diversity going.

Edited by speyside712 - October 22 2017 at 10:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2017 at 11:25pm
I bought a couple zoa frags at The Fish Tank, making the first corals in this tank. My plan is to buy mostly frags and wait for the grow out.

My anemone decided to make the wrong side of the tank his home, where neither he nor the clown fish can be seen from the front. I've been trying to encourage him to move to a more visible spot with some flow adjustments, I think I am finally making progress. I aimed a small power head right at him. Not enough to damage it, but just enough to piss it off so it would go looking for a new home. I think it worked because he was starting to move tonight as the tank lights were going off for the night. Fingers crossed he is front and center in the morning.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dion Richins Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2017 at 4:48pm
Just found this thread ;) Looking awesome!!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evan127 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2017 at 4:52pm
Very nice build! I love the aquascape!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 11:23am
Hey thanks guys. I've done some more work the last couple nights, a bit more progress.

I have another thread going in the General Discussion section about the trouble i'm having with my apex probes.  But last night I got 4 of 5 probes working as intended.  The 2 ph probes and 2 temperature probes are now working well.  two are in the filter sock/skimmer section, and two are in the return pump section.  I've got the temperature set to bounce between 77.7 and 77.8, it never seems to be more than .1 degree off, and the ph probes are currently fluctuating between 8.1 in the day time and 7.9 at night.

The PH had previously been a lot lower, but I think that was due to the cycle finishing.  The 2-part i've started dosing daily has helped too.  I'm dosing a small amount of 2-part daily until I can get my Calcium to 450 and my Alk to 9.  I was at 400 and 7 when i checked 4 days ago.

Once I get them up to this point I have a feeling I won't have to dose hardly anything since I have almost no coral at this point, and no stony corals.  Once i start adding corals i'll keep checking my parameters and adjust the 2part as necessary.


I was given a big piece of chaeto from a fellow reefer in Kaysville.  I already had a little bit in my tank but was really after the amphipods and all the live that comes along with it.

I inspected the 2 zoa frags I got from The Fish Tank last week, making sure I didnt get any pests I didn't want.  After using no live rock to start it and all the hassle that comes with, I should probably be pretty careful what I put in there.  The frags had a little dark red coraline algae and two tiny feather duster worms.  The kind that everyone has in their tank that grow on everything.  I don't particularly mind the worms so I left em on there.

I'm still toying with the idea of throwing my "dry rock only, no pests" idea out the window and buying a piece or two of live rock to seed it with more life.  I feel like i'm missing out on some of the good stuff.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shaggydoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 11:37am
I would seed the rock with some LR from an established system. Maybe see if someone on here that has a relatively pest free (no aiptasia, bubble algae, etc.) system would be willing to seed some rock in a sump for you for a few months. Then you can get some of the beneficial critters without worrying much about unknown pests tagging along.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 11:47am
Ya that's kind of what i was thinking.  I have an established tank with plenty of rock that i'm taking down, but its full of flat worms, tiny white starfish, and millions of pyramid snails.  So i'm being careful to not transfer any of that to the new one.

I may see how the tank is doing without seeding it for a few more months and then make my decision.  Maybe i can pluck a few bristle worms out of my old tank for the new ones. I would like a few of those to keep the sand free of detritus.  Some people hate those, but i've never found them to be a problem.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shaggydoo Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 1:33pm
I've never had an issue with bristleworms either, and I've always had a ton.  Currently, I have several very big ones that are not bashful about coming out every time I feed. I consider them a part of my CUC and they help me when I overfeed (which is often). I can harvest them easily with a trap I made out of a plastic bottle if I ever feel the need to remove any. 

Not a bad idea to give it some time, and if you don't see the feather dusters, various harmless worms, and/or sponges that we mostly like, you can always carefully seed at a later time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 2:33pm
I HATE bristleworms!!! I'm tired of my fish getting stung by them, I'm tired of me getting stung by them, and I'm tired of there uncontrollable ability to show up everywhere! I'd put every last one of them in a bath of vinegar and watch them squirm if I could.
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Edited by Hogie - October 27 2017 at 2:34pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 3:22pm
Lol this is what i mean by "i know some people hate them" HAHA

We must have a different type of bristle worm.  mine never seem to get longer than 2 inches, occasionally youll see a big one thats 3 inches long, but thats about the max.  Mine dont hurt me, fish, coral.  They really just eat anything that dies in the tank, or i've seen them dine on my tangs... well... excrement... to put it nicely.  Either way, they seem useful to me.  Further speeding up the nitrogen cycle and reducing waste.

I have heard of big ones that eat coral though, maybe you ended up with the bad kind....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote backwards32 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 8:46pm
I am glad you came by and got some macro algae. Looks like the tank is doing well. If you need a little bit of live sand come on over again
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speyside712 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote speyside712 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2017 at 9:21pm
Hey thanks! And thanks again for the algae, it was full of pods, I can see them running all over the sump now!

Live sand might not be a bad idea. You've got a good looking build going. I'm jealous of how much room you have for the sump and all that extra water volume. I bet you have nearly double your display tanks size in total water volume with those 2 extra tanks plumbed into the system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2017 at 12:32am
Originally posted by speyside712 speyside712 wrote:

I'm still toying with the idea of throwing my "dry rock only, no pests" idea out the window and buying a piece or two of live rock to seed it with more life.  I feel like i'm missing out on some of the good stuff.
Yep. The ocean is so full of both cool and weird, yet amazing animals and algae. The few that can be "pests" are not that big of deal and we(I) know how to deal with them, to add animals that eat them and to create conditions that keep them under control and gradually eliminated. The things that come with mature LR are well worth getting an occasional unwanted thing, that with careful attention, can be eliminated.

I once worked at a place where LR was transshipped in. It came direct from the ocean without going through a distributor. As it was placed in the "curing vats" (no light, huge skimmer) to "clean it up". I would sort through to find the most unique fist size or double fist sized pieces that had tons of sponge, algae and any other animals. The company didn't mind me buying the small pieces that couldn't be used or would have been considered rubble in a client aquarium. Sure, this LR had stuff on it that was dead and decomposing, but when placed in a mature aquarium the mature biofiltration handled the dead stuff while providing excellent water conditions for recovery of anything still alive. Every couple of months I would take a few pieces home and place them into my established reef. I cannot describe all the cool things that began to grow in my system from that uncured LR straight from the ocean. New things often emerged many months after introduction.

Why do distributors "cure" LR? My take on it is that aquarium maintenance companies don't have the time to carefully watch the aquariums they maintain and most hobbyists don't have the experience. desire or time to deal with new creatures, or don't have experienced fishy friends like here in the WMAS to help them understand and deal with strange new creatures.

Why this current trend among hobbyists to use dry, dead LR? It's a bit of a mystery to me.

That said, When getting LR from a fellow hobbyist or advertised here or on ksl.com, I'm still very choosy about what I take. I pass up a lot more LR than I accept.

Just today I was moving some rock around and felt a large soft and squishy something on what had been a small piece of LR. The rock had basically grown into a ball of live Sponge. Big smile This is the kind of animals I give away, yes give away, to people that come to me for LR to help start their new tank. Smile

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