View Full Version : GBs 210gal Reef

10-22-2011, 10:28 AM
Tank arrived last night. I did 3 hours of work on it last night... and I've got lots to do today. I'll post some pictures later that will somewhat document the progress.

10-22-2011, 11:50 AM
Tank need lots of cleaning Brad?


10-22-2011, 12:43 PM
Not too bad actually Dave. Since most of what is in there is just left-over coralline from the previous reef setup, I'm not going to worry about that too much. If the tank had come from some random person on CL, I'd clean it really well, but since I know the people, and I know the previous setup I'm not going to worry too much.

Here's what it looked like last night right after we got it in place. At this point, I hadn't done anything to it.

10-22-2011, 12:51 PM
I love the stand and canopy combo. That's going to be a great looking set-up

I'm looking forward to seeing this set-up come together

10-22-2011, 05:46 PM

A couple of really large tanks seem to be populating this board lately. :)

10-22-2011, 07:36 PM
Here's an update on today's work.

Have to replace one more bulkhead and it will be all good to go. Filling it to just below the overflows to get the water mixing.

10-22-2011, 07:49 PM
With the door back on it looks even better. Can't wait to see it as you start to stock.

10-22-2011, 09:57 PM
Yup, now I'm really jealous

That is one beautiful looking stand and canopy

10-22-2011, 10:00 PM
Gorgeous tank. Im stealing that design.

10-22-2011, 10:12 PM
Tank is filled to just below the overflows now. Will wait to start mixing the salt until after I get the new bulkhead installed, I don't want to have to drain it at all. Draining FW is no big deal, SW is a bit more of a waste. I'll be getting the new bulkhead at my local reef club meeting tonight. I'll also post a better picture of the tank tonight as well. Right now there is a reflection from the window.

10-22-2011, 11:05 PM
THAT is one SWEET set up. Can't wait to see it live!

10-23-2011, 09:00 AM
Beautiful..... gunna cost a bomb to stock with LR

10-23-2011, 11:27 AM
OMGosh - now that is one beautiful set up you have there...this is going to be amazing!!

10-23-2011, 12:09 PM
Beautiful..... gunna cost a bomb to stock with LRNot going to cost a penny. I already have all I need. ;)

Here's the update from last night

10-23-2011, 03:29 PM
That is one hell of a nice tank setup...it is going to look fantastic stocked. Going with larger predatory marines?

10-23-2011, 04:52 PM
No, no preds in this tank. The only planned fish in there that is not technically reef safe is an Emperor Angel, and I say technically because they do work with SPS. If we decide against the Emperor, we may do some soft corals, but that is doubtful. There will more than likely be an Emperor or some other large angel from either the Holocanthus or Pomacanthus genus.

10-24-2011, 02:01 AM
Here's a shot of today's progress:

Still no water flowing through the sump yet. I had to silicone one bulkhead so I'll need to let it sit for a couple of days. Should start running water through the sump on Tuesday evening.

10-24-2011, 04:22 AM
Awesome tank. Can't wait to see it stocked. That's about the size we want for a reef when we finally move into a house

10-24-2011, 06:52 AM
Wow. Very Nice setup! lot's of cuboard space as well. 220G sounds like a nice home for a Dragon Moray! Look forward to seein what you end up doing fish wise, Emperor or not, i'm sure it'll be swell...


Wild Turkey
10-24-2011, 02:08 PM
Love that setup. +1 cant wait to see it when youre finished.

10-24-2011, 04:05 PM
What a nice looking tank... you might as well sell your tv... never going to take your eyes off that tank!

10-24-2011, 10:47 PM
What a nice looking tank... you might as well sell your tv... never going to take your eyes off that tank!

lol I agree with ragey! So many awesome options for a tank this size! The set up looks incredible I can't wait to see it come to life! And I'm actually really pumped to see that angel haha they look so cool but I'd be so torn because I love my softies too haha o well

10-25-2011, 01:46 AM
well hockeyhead, you'll be waiting a while to see that angel. That fish will be the last one in the tank. lol Stocking will be done nice and slow. It could be as much as 18-24 months before the Emperor is in there.

10-26-2011, 12:25 AM
Got some aquascaping done tonight. Very pleased with the results. I really wanted an open look to the tank and to the rockscape as well. While it didn't turn out quite like I envisioned it, I am far happier with this than I was with my original plan.

10-26-2011, 12:18 PM
Looks nice and uniform...:22:

10-26-2011, 02:10 PM
I am jelous! That is a gorgeous tank! One of my goals is to one day set up tank like that. Where did you get it again? Craigslist?

10-26-2011, 03:53 PM
Hurray for all your wonderful pictures... that's what make all kinds of work in progress threads so darn interesting!

10-27-2011, 12:52 AM
I am jelous! That is a gorgeous tank! One of my goals is to one day set up tank like that. Where did you get it again? Craigslist?

I purchased it from a couple in my reef club. They upgraded to a 300gal tank and sold this one. I got one heck of a deal too.

10-27-2011, 11:49 PM
Got all my bulkheads and fittings leak free and the sump fully operational. Here are some pics of what it looks like.

Here is the right side of the stand. This is where all the electrical outlets are. There are 3 GFCI outlets all wired together to handle all the electrical needs of the tank.

Here is the middle where the 40gal breeder sump is located. This sump is set up for 4 filter socks. I will be running those as soon as I get them. The skimmer is a temp. It is currently an old Red Sea Berlin skimmer rated for 250gal. It isn't a bad skimmer, and will handle the needs of the tank until I get the new skimmer. I will be going with the Super Reef Octopus 3000. This is what the previous owner had running on the tank, and it was serious overkill for his stocking, but will be just right for mine.

I wanted to include this picture of part of the return line. This setup is already plumbed for any reactors I may wish to run. I will be employing one of those lines with a feeding tube. If anyone watched all the episodes of Tanked this past season, you saw one of these built. When I add it to the tank, I'll include a detailed description of the build.

10-27-2011, 11:59 PM
I love seeing how tanks with sumps get plumbed

I like how you added three extra "t"s on your return line, just in case you want to any extra media reactors. I now wish I would have left myself more than one extra.

I'd love to see the feeding line set-up. I missed that one on tanked

10-28-2011, 12:29 AM
I actually didn't add those, the previous owner had them in case he added reactors. lol

Cliff, the feeding tube is very easy. Basically, you add a piece of PVC with a 90 degree elbow at the end, and a screw in cap. You drop the food in the tube, screw the cap on good, and then open the valve. The food is sucked into the water stream and into the tank. It's a bit of overkill for this size setup (really useful for those monster tanks that you need a step ladder to reach the top) but it is a nice option for frozen foods. It distributes the food really nicely so that all the tank inhabitants have an equal chance at the food.

10-28-2011, 01:22 AM
That's cool plumbing man! and that feeding idea is pretty cool too!

Love watching tanks come together looks like you've got things pretty figured out ILMGB!

10-28-2011, 01:46 AM
In case anyone is wondering, the return lines on this tank were setup to be able to handle 2 return pumps, however my Ocean Runner 6500 is plenty pump for the system.

10-28-2011, 10:58 PM
Tonight is substrate night. I have 80lbs of crushed coral to start with, and I have another 60lbs coming tomorrow. I'll post pictures tomorrow when it clears.

10-30-2011, 05:08 PM
Ok, so substrate is in and water is clear as can be. Here's what I ended up with.

Small portion of the left side to give a better idea:

Finally, here's an up-close shot of the substrate:

I did go with a very course substrate. It is a bit more work to keep it up as stuff can fall between it, but there is a huge benefit to it. Since it is a course crushed coral, it is a porous material thus it acts similar to live rock. I used 80lbs and it was very much like adding 80lbs of dry rock to the tank. Is is definitely a different look, but a look I very much like. If the tank was going to be a reef tank, I likely would not have used this material, but since it is going to be FOWLR it's not a major problem. Because of my planned stocking with multiple herbivorous Tangs, I will actually welcome some additional algae growth.

10-30-2011, 07:06 PM
Very nice, I like it!

10-30-2011, 08:34 PM
Its starting to look like a future fish home ^-^b

10-30-2011, 08:52 PM
And the future starts in roughly 3 weeks with a pair of Tomato Clowns. :D

10-30-2011, 08:56 PM
very cool man definitely a different substrate choice lol looks cool though! Can't wait to see some life in there

10-30-2011, 09:58 PM
That is an awesome tank! I don't think I would be able to avoid adding corals to that tank!lol

11-04-2011, 01:37 AM
Well, thanks to the fact that I was able to keep my live rock live, the tank is now cycled and ready to go. The pair of Tomato Clowns and the aggregation of 7 Royal Grammas are on order. :)

11-04-2011, 10:05 PM
wow 7 grammas that's a lot! that'll be cool... make sure you take pics... lots and lots of pics!

11-04-2011, 10:51 PM
Yup, 7 is a larger number for the average home aquarium, however, with the large tank it is possible. In the wild they normally live in larger aggregations. Finding them in large groups under overhangs and around columns is quite normal. Part of the reason I aquascaped the the tank the way I did was to help stimulate some of the natural behavior of the Grammas. One thing they are well known for is that they orient themselves to the harder surface, so that means when they are under an outcropping of rock, they orient themselves to the rock, not the sandy bottom.

11-04-2011, 11:46 PM
Could do nine to 11 Grammas if you want, Brad, since they get along better if their are more of their kind.


11-04-2011, 11:51 PM
wow, that will be so cool to see them in something other than singles...odd too that leleupi's also orient like that too...come to think of it, they kinda look somewhat similar as well...

11-04-2011, 11:51 PM
Gotta keep some room for the rest of my stock. lol With the load of tangs, Solar Wrasse, Flame Angel, and potential Emperor Angel I don't want to push it too much. ;)

11-06-2011, 07:19 PM
that's awesome... would definitely be really cool to see that behavior!

11-06-2011, 07:39 PM
Quick update. My supplier has the Clowns and the Grammas in and in QT. The Grammas are already eating pellets, and the Clowns immediately hosted in a Bubble Tip. LOL. Now I'm torn as to weather or not to get the Bubble Tip. I really wasn't planning on any photosynthetic inverts in this tank.

11-06-2011, 09:40 PM
LOL - well, how long would that non-plan have lasted, anyway?

11-07-2011, 01:23 AM
With an Emperor Angel in the tank... it would have lasted for it's lifetime. I'm probably not going to get the nem though. The tank is too young.

11-07-2011, 04:24 AM
yea I'd stay away from the nem, i know you know what you're doing and everything but I'd try and stick with your original plan... plus a nem in a young tank is tough but you know that already haaha

11-09-2011, 02:10 AM
So, I discovered something really cool tonight. When I broke down my 75gal tank there were a couple of pieces of Monti Cap that we couldn't get off the rocks, so it just stayed. Well, those rocks spent about a month in the darkness of a Rubbermaid trashcan of SW to keep them cured. Well... tonight I discovered that both are still alive, and are making a come back under even the low level of lighting I have. They were purple rims and are rather brown looking, but that's more than I even expected. so it appears that this tank will have a couple of corals in it. LOL

11-09-2011, 02:24 AM
SW is always full of surprises!

11-11-2011, 11:45 PM
I have 2 Tomato Clowns and 7 Royal Grammas floating in my sump. :) Acclimation has started.

11-12-2011, 01:34 AM
...and they are all happily swimming around. :) Pics to follow later.

11-12-2011, 02:28 PM
Ok, here's a quick low quality pic to give you an idea of what a group of Grammas looks like in the tank. :)


11-12-2011, 03:12 PM
Very impressive! :thumb:

11-12-2011, 04:39 PM
So colorful!

11-12-2011, 11:09 PM
So many fish =)

11-13-2011, 12:12 AM
very cool man! and yea corals survive in some weird spots sometimes haha

11-13-2011, 01:02 AM
Wow, my female Tomato Clown is an absolute pig! I just fed the tank with NLS Thera +A and she ate evey pellet I threw in there before anyone else could get any. lol The male have gotten 1 or 2, the grammas didn't get any.

11-13-2011, 02:27 PM
Are those sinking or floating pellets? I am going to switch to sinking because of that same problem in my tank. One swimming pig and the others are lucky to get one or two. I am hoping with sinking pellets the pig won't have time to get from one end of the tank to the other to scarf them up.

11-13-2011, 02:39 PM
I have the 1mm sinking pellets. I have a good amount of flow in my tank and the pellets stay suspended in the water column for quite a while so everyone gets a chance to eat them. The Grammas have not yet adapted to the pellets. For right now, they are still spitting them out. That will change, but it takes time.

11-13-2011, 08:33 PM
Well, the inevitable has happened. LOL I was looking to sell or trade some misc. pieces of equipment that I have around the house... and I got rid of a brand new pair of glass lids for an Aqueon 75gal tank. What did I get for them?

...soft corals.(blush)

11-13-2011, 08:47 PM
I saw your trade thread over on the reef tank and laughed when I saw you looking for softies. Everyone knew it was only a matter of time until it happened :11: LOL

11-13-2011, 08:58 PM
Well, thanks to Triska, we are getting some. She talked me into it. LOL My wife was supportive of it as well. I'm probably going to add a Koralia Smartwave to the system with the soft corals. I really like the design, and the fact that they are designed to work with the older Koralia pumps.

11-13-2011, 09:10 PM
I watched a video about that system, It looks like it should be a great addition especially for the price when compared to some other similar systems.

11-13-2011, 09:30 PM
$70 isn't bad at all. The nice thing is, I have 4 Koralia 3's on the system, so I will have 3 running at all times. I will likely leave the 2 inside pumps running full time, and let the 2 outside ones alternate.

11-15-2011, 01:16 AM
haha it was only a matter of time softies are fun though so colorful and so easy haha

11-15-2011, 02:23 AM
Yeah, so obviously the Emperor Angel is now officially out of the picture. lol But, on the bright side, that means I'll be changing the stocking just slightly to include a couple of my favorite Tangs.

11-15-2011, 03:48 AM
Wow!! Love it. Those little guys are pretty!

11-15-2011, 03:50 AM
Yes they are. It's nice to actually be able to look into the tank and see more than one too. LOL Not the normal way things work with these guys. Most people only house 1 due to tank size and conspecific aggression.

11-21-2011, 03:08 AM
...and this is now officially a reef tank. LOL

11-21-2011, 03:18 AM
...and this is now officially a reef tank. LOL

Yay!!! :19:

...but it wasn't before? lol

11-21-2011, 03:57 AM
nope. it was a FOWLR tank. Decided to add soft corals to the mix. lol

11-21-2011, 06:34 AM
Looks like its time to change the title:hmm3grin2orange:

11-21-2011, 10:43 PM
Aaah, I finally found out what FOWLR means!! Found out kind of accidentally, but it makes sense! :) Congrats!! Any pictures?!

11-21-2011, 10:48 PM
I'll get some pics later. The biggest of them is still a little mad. lol

11-21-2011, 10:59 PM
That's something that intrigues me about saltwater...the "plants" (I think of them like plants... :14: ...but I guess they're more than that) can move and are more like animals than plants. So weird, but cool!!!

11-21-2011, 11:26 PM
That's because they are animals. ;) lol

11-21-2011, 11:33 PM
That's because they are animals. ;) lol

Oh. lol I guess they just look like plants to me!

11-21-2011, 11:41 PM
Corals are actually animals, and many have photosynthetic algae living in them in a symbiotic relationship. Not all corals have the xoozanthalae algae in them and must be fed.

11-22-2011, 01:39 AM
Very interesting!!

12-05-2011, 02:52 AM
Good progress today. The Grammas are all finally taking NLS Pellets. :)

12-17-2011, 03:08 AM
There are some things in this hobby that are simply not worth the effort. For example: I will not be tearing apart my aquascape to locate the frag of Yellow Polyps that my wonderful snails decided to dislodge. @#&*! snails LOL

12-17-2011, 01:31 PM
haha And why not?

12-17-2011, 01:40 PM
Have you ever tried to work in a 30" deep tank and try to find a 1" frag? LOL It ain't happenin' LOL

12-17-2011, 05:08 PM
You can just do like they do in tanked and put on some scuba gear and get in there lol. :hmm3grin2orange:

12-17-2011, 05:21 PM
... and overflow my sump. LOL

12-17-2011, 05:38 PM
Im looking through this thread slowly GB. Very nice work,it is an awesome thing to have such a tank Ill bet.:22:

12-17-2011, 05:57 PM
Thanks smaug, it is really nice. It's more than I dreamed I'd ever own. It's the perfect dimensions for what I like to do... except when I lose a frag in the back. LOL

12-17-2011, 09:41 PM
I only have a 50gal tank, and I didn't go fishing for a frag that of COURSE fell in between two rocks where I can see it if I tilt my head just so, but don't have a hope in hell of getting it out without taking all the rock out. I couldn't have put it there if I tried for a week of Sundays, but it fell in there just fine.

They shouldn't be called snails but marine bulldozers.

12-17-2011, 10:15 PM
well, the one upside to the whole thing is that Yellow Polyps are pretty much bullet proof. lol I'll likely find a nice patch of them growing out of somewhere in the next few months.

12-18-2011, 08:39 PM
...and the Yellow Polyps have been found. They were closed up and I couldn't see them the other day. Today, they opened up and are on the substrate right at the base of their rock. Time to move them back. http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

12-19-2011, 12:08 AM
I've got a small frag of green star polyps growing behind the rocks in my 120 due to me knocking them over when I was moving a rock. If you look at the tank at the correct spot, you can see a reflection of them on the inside of the side pain. I'm guess they will grow out into the open

Glad to hear you found your frag in a accessable spot

12-19-2011, 12:29 AM
This is a very awesome tank. I can't wait to see what the final product looks like. Keep up the amazing work!

12-19-2011, 06:05 AM
Glad you found the frag and the tank is looking great.

I've lost 4 or 5 frags over the last few years due to them falling behind the rocks. Its not worth it to completely tear down the rocks to find them. Most of the time I find them months later, still alive

12-20-2011, 03:39 AM
I now have peace of mind when I go out of town... installed a JBJ ATO unit tonight on the tank and it works perfectly. :)

12-20-2011, 03:46 AM
I have one of those and it does work great.
A word of warning tho, if you didn't already know - its NOT snail proof!
I had to add a piece to the bottom of the frame to keep the snails out.

12-20-2011, 03:50 AM
Mine is in the sump and there are no snails there. ;)

01-06-2012, 12:47 AM
New Tomini Tang out of QT, and acclimating to the display. :)

01-06-2012, 12:59 AM
Nice addition. I really like the look of Tomini Tangs

01-06-2012, 02:58 AM
Not great quality but here it is:

01-06-2012, 03:46 AM
Yay more ILMGB pictures :1luvu:

01-07-2012, 04:56 PM
ok, made a quick change to the tank today. When I installed my ATO before Christmas, the hose on it was a little large but it worked. The problem was, it was always at risk of being forced off the pump buy the pressure of the pump, (something it did when I used it for water changes on old FW tanks) so I put the proper size tube on it today. Had to actually heat the tube with the hairdrier to make it fit. Now, no worries with it at all.

01-09-2012, 01:31 PM
cool tang man! and yea tubes that don't fit are the worst haha they can lead to all kinds of problems later, good to hear you got it straightened out

01-25-2012, 06:31 PM
Any updates on the tank man? Maybe a FTS? Any further plans for the stocking?

01-25-2012, 10:39 PM
Got my Orange Shoulder on order, and I'll be installing a DIY LED setup from Rapid LED in the next few weeks. Other than that, nothing really new. Haven't taken a FTS for a while.

01-25-2012, 10:54 PM
Very cool, LED fixtures are exploding in popularity as of late. If you could please take pictures and document the build as I'd like to have it just for reference

01-26-2012, 02:31 AM
LED fixtures are exploding in popularity as of late.That would be due to a decrease in price, advances in the technology, and greater control over the light levels at different times of the day. Not to mention they have a much higher lumens:watt ratio than anything on the market and they transfer little to no heat to your tank. :)

02-14-2012, 03:46 AM
New Skimmer will be here on Wednesday, will likely also order my LEDs then as well. :) Went with a Super Reef Octopus 3000 with the Bubble Blaster pump. IMO, there isn't a better skimmer for the money.

02-15-2012, 01:58 AM
ah, new pics coming up when those LEDs arrive!

02-15-2012, 02:12 AM
Yup. For sure.

02-16-2012, 11:20 AM
New skimmer is in and running. Man this thing is a beast.

02-16-2012, 11:46 AM
Beast is good, skimmer-wise. What tank size is that skimmer rated for?


02-16-2012, 02:34 PM
Beastly skimmers are awesome lol can we get a pic of the monster?

02-16-2012, 11:04 PM
Beast is good, skimmer-wise. What tank size is that skimmer rated for?


Rated for up to 300gal and definitely more than enough for my setup.

02-16-2012, 11:11 PM
Good purchase on the reef octopus skimmer. We have a reef octopus 150 on our 75 (rated for 150 gallons and without the bubble blaster) and it works awesome

02-16-2012, 11:17 PM
My personal opinion on the Bubble Blaster pump is that I wouldn't get a skimmer without one. LOL With those pumps, the skimmer is good for exactly what they rate it for.

02-19-2012, 01:00 PM
Got the contorller for my LED's paid for today. It is a boostLED LED controller with a Arduino board. Can't wait to get this and start playing with it. The beauty of the Arduino board is that is open source and thus it can be programmed at home. :) Looks like I'm going to have fun programming some sunrise and sunset settings. I may even play around and get some cloud cover, moon phases. :) Once the LEDs are installed, the coral stock in this tank is going to completely change.

02-19-2012, 02:12 PM
wow, we're going to need more than pics of that when it is set up, we'll need video!

02-19-2012, 02:41 PM
Definitely. Currently I am only growing softies in the tank, however those will be going away once I get the LEDs in place. I will be changing my corals over to all Monti Caps. It has always been one of my favorite species of coral so I decided to do a whole tank with it. As a result, I will be adding one fish back onto my stocking list that I had taken off when I added softies. :)

02-19-2012, 04:24 PM
I really like the baseline controller that came with my LEDs.

Yours sounds great.

I'm really looking forward to some pics of this new set-up

02-19-2012, 04:42 PM
What controller did you get? What LEDs did you get?

02-19-2012, 04:54 PM
I got the SOL model made by AI. I just got a baseline controller they sell.

I'll likely be adding more equipment as time goes on (like a Cal reactor and/or dosing pumps) so I want to wait a while longer before getting a good controller that will be able to interface with everything.

02-19-2012, 05:06 PM
ok. cool. I avoided the baseline controller from RapidLED due to lack of functions. It is limited to 3 daylight programs (8,10, and 12 hours) with minimal sunrise and sunset functions. I wanted to be able to control my blues and whites independently, and to extend the ramps to simulate daylight better. As for everything else, well, I already have an ATO. I may eventually get into something a bit nicer, but the ones worth buying are rather expensive. I won't touch an Apex.

02-19-2012, 05:16 PM
You should be able to find a mid range price point controller for that. The one I got form AI will do almost all of the functions that you just mentioned and it was only around $75 if I'm remembering correctly

And I know what you mean about the Apex controller, they must be lined with gold at those prices. :hmm3grin2orange:

02-19-2012, 05:34 PM
Lined with gold and are nothing but junk. lol

The controller I have coming is an Arduino based controller which is an open source controller so it has the potential to do almost everything the Ecotech controllers do for the Radions. All that capability for $60 shipped. :)

02-23-2012, 03:42 PM
Just found out earlier this week that a friend of mine is quite proficient in programming in C++. This is a great bonus since that is what Arduino controllers are programmed in. :) He's going to loan me a book on programing Arduino's and also going to help me with it to make sure I don't have any memory leaks (can make your controller stop working)

02-23-2012, 04:52 PM
And I now have the controller in hand. :)

02-23-2012, 08:09 PM
that's definitely the way I should have gone but I think a dedicated reef controller is nice also haha if you don't have any problem with programming and getting compiler errors you'll be fine haha... even when you do get errors I doubt you'll be doing anything more than if loops with possibly some nested stuff (alas I think I'm getting a little to technical haha)

Anyways post up some code when you get started! C++ is pretty simple IME so I'm sure you'll be fine

02-23-2012, 10:49 PM
Simple to get something functioning, but with C++ you have to do your own cleanup to avoid memory leaks. Memory leaks will eventually cause your controller to stop working.

I already have a sketch ready to go to try, just gotta get the rest of the parts now.

02-24-2012, 01:10 PM
Nice good luck man! And definitely be careful with those mem leaks haha best to have somebody else to look over it before you implement it.

02-25-2012, 02:21 AM
Actually, it's a sketch I got over at RC from some experienced guys. It is the sketches they are currently running on their setups. :)

02-27-2012, 10:24 PM
Orange Shoulder Tang has settled in nicely. Swimming around happily, eating frozen food and pellets. The Tomini finally decided it wasn't worth bothering him. http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif They "tussled" a little for the first few hours but now 24 hours later they get along fine. The Blood Shrimp is quite happy too. :)

02-28-2012, 03:50 AM
Can we see some pictures please? thumbs2:

02-28-2012, 10:41 AM
yup... as soon as I find the USB cable for my camera. lol For some reason, my dumb computer won't read the CF card.:cussingwhite:

03-05-2012, 11:20 PM
The Aluminum for frame for the LEDs shipped today. Can't wait to get these up and going. Tank is going to look amazing

03-05-2012, 11:27 PM
Here's a FTS. Not great quality but it showed the most fish.


03-05-2012, 11:34 PM

I was just about to diss you for not posting a pic too!

03-06-2012, 01:16 AM
Looks great! Wish I had one that big!!

03-06-2012, 02:12 AM
Looking good thumbs2:

03-06-2012, 02:20 AM
Thanks all. Hopefully it will start looking a lot better once I get the LEDs on it. :) Then I can fill it up with Caps.

03-06-2012, 02:35 AM
LEDs have definitely made my aquarium nice. My lobophyllia looks better than it did under the petstores halides. Almost glows.

03-06-2012, 03:13 AM
My lobophyllia looks better than it did under the petstores halides.They'd pop even more if your fixture actually included some Royal Blue diodes as well. :) My LEDs will actually be a mixture of 4 colors. Royal Blue, Blue, Cool White, and Warm White.

03-14-2012, 10:24 PM
Just landed a beautiful big Blue Hippo. :)

03-14-2012, 10:28 PM
That is one huge tank but it is just lovely..... Cant' wait to see it all done with fish.

03-15-2012, 01:09 AM
They'd pop even more if your fixture actually included some Royal Blue diodes as well. :) My LEDs will actually be a mixture of 4 colors. Royal Blue, Blue, Cool White, and Warm White.

+1 to that

Royal blue brought out a lot of great colors in my tank

03-15-2012, 10:13 PM
Ok, here he is. :)


03-15-2012, 10:16 PM
nice looking tang

He looks to be pretty big already as well

03-15-2012, 10:17 PM
Roughly 8" :D

04-10-2012, 02:10 AM
Discovered a bunch of baby Margarita snails in the tank. http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif Gotta love free CUC.

05-10-2012, 10:45 AM
LEDs arrive today! :D

...plus a little surprise. :D

05-10-2012, 02:28 PM
What's the surprise?!

Also... new lighting means new pictures soon right? :hmm3grin2orange:

05-10-2012, 07:17 PM
Also... new lighting means new pictures soon right? :hmm3grin2orange:

+1 to the above comment :hmm3grin2orange:

05-10-2012, 10:05 PM
Well, it will take a little while... it's a DIY project. Since I'm not exactly adept at soldering, I'll be getting some help with that part. Pics should be forthcoming in about a week. :)

05-11-2012, 01:47 AM
So the "surprise" shows up on Wednesday. :) What is it? Neptune Apex controller. :D

05-12-2012, 01:38 AM
Attaching diodes to heatsinks... fun! lol

05-17-2012, 10:29 PM
LEDs installed. :) Hooking up the Apex tonight. Still have to adjust the amperage on the drivers.

Here's what the LEDs look like above the tank.

BTW, the T5's are gone.

05-18-2012, 12:11 AM
Yup, I'm jealous

05-18-2012, 03:16 AM
You should see it now. :D As soon as my buddy from the reef club comes over, I'll have the amperage set on the drivers and the light should blow you away. LOL

05-18-2012, 04:44 PM
Please post pics asap... a very impressive looking setup GB. Seems very well thought out

05-18-2012, 09:25 PM
For sure. Once my buddy gets here tonight I'll have things set and I'll snap some pics. Going to put up a DIY thread for the LEDs too.

05-20-2012, 06:36 PM
Ok, so I finally got some pics to share. :)

Here's what makes this whole thing tick. :) Neptune Apex Controller

And here's a FTS

05-20-2012, 06:40 PM
It's a bit difficult to get a good FTS with the current light cycle I am running. Thanks to the combined abilities of the Apex and the LEDs I have them programed to follow a natural daylight cycle, and have that daylight cycle controlled by the seasonal table that is integrated into the Apex. This means my lighting schedule follows the natural daylight cycle of a reef located at 15 degrees north of the equator.

Because am attempting to simulate as natural an environment as possible, I also added the code to my lighting outlet to include "random" weather events. The weather event may simply be a cloud, but there is also a 75% chance of lightening. The storms are not a necessity and don't really benefit the setup but rather are there simply for a more natural simulation of a natural reef setting.

05-20-2012, 07:25 PM
That. Is. Just. SO! SWEET!!!

05-20-2012, 07:50 PM
Now I can see the sort of thing Chris is Talking about in his latest build thread. Isn't technology wonderful the things that can be done now a days

05-20-2012, 08:10 PM
LOL, the pics only made me more jealous

05-20-2012, 08:11 PM
That is a sweet set up!

05-20-2012, 08:19 PM
Thanks for the comments. I've already started stocking my corals. lol All the corals on the rocks will be Montis, with a few substrate dwelling LPS and possible a tridacnid. :) Hosted the local reef club meeting here last night and managed to aquire 3 orange monti caps, a green monti cap, 2 unidentified encrusting montis and a "Christmas" Monti (encrusting monti) So I can't wait to see how these look as they grow out.

05-20-2012, 08:36 PM
Nice tank thumbs2:

05-28-2012, 01:29 PM
Just thought I'd go into a little more detail on the Apex and what I am doing with it and it's benefits.

First application was for control of my LED lights. Due to the presence of 4 Variable speed ports I was able to hook up all 4 colors individually. So here's what the tank does in the run of a day.

12 Blue diodes stay at 20% all night for moon light. This is a bit much for a normal moon phase, however it is about perfect for a full moon, just not quite the right color. I would be using the Royal Blues for this but the ELN-60-48P does not dim below 18%. I will likely be switching my drivers out for the ELN-60-48D drivers to allow me to dim down to 10%. At that point I will probably switch my moon lighting to the Royal Blues.

So, at 6am the Blue Lights start a ramp from 20% intensity to 100% over a 2.5 hour period so they reach full intensity at 8:30am. All colors follow the same 2.5 hour ramp time period but their start times are staggered. The start times for the ramps are as follows:
Blue: 6am
Royal Blue: 8am
Cool White: 10am
Warm White: 10:30am

so, by noon all lights are at full intensity and remain there until 5:30pm when the Warm Whites start their ramp down. The Ramp down profiles follow the 2.5 hour schedule as well and start at the following times in reverse order:
Warm White: 5:30pm
Cool White: 6:00pm
Royal Blue: 8:00pm
Blue: 8:00pm

The end of each ramp down process results in the lights going off complete with the exception of the Blues which remain at 18% all night until they start their ramp up again at 6am.

This light schedule may change if I find my corals are reacting negatively to the amount of light. That is the odd thing about LEDs; they don't necessarily look bright, but they produce a lot of PAR. But that is the beauty, they can be dimmed to produce less par, or the lighting schedule of each color can be controlled to run for longer or shorter time periods.

next, the Neptune Apex also comes with a temperature probe and one outlet on the EB8 (Energy Bar 8) preset for heater control. This outlet has my heater plugged in. The outlet can then be programmed to turn the heater on or off based on a given temperature range. The sensitivity of the Apex Temperature probe allows for fine tuning to 0.1 degrees. The preset the Apex comes with is to turn the heater on a 77 degrees and off at 78 degrees. This is a much finer adjustment then the thermostat built into your heater. So, what is the advantage of this over just letting your heater do it's own thing. Well, first, it allows for much finer adjustment, and a more stable temperature in the environment. Second, and most important, it is more reliable than the thermostat in you heater. Even if the thermostat in your heater malfunctions, you would likely never know because the heater is not being controlled by it. So, even if your heater sticks in the ON position, because of how the Apex works, if the programing conditions are met for the high temperature, power cut to the heater. The on and off settings are no longer controlled internally, rather they are controlled by turning the power on and off to the heater. A "stuck" heater can easily raise the temperature in the tank to a much too high level causing your cycle to be broken, and corals and fish to die. The Apex can easily protect your livestock from this kind of mishap.

Next, I have the addition of a Breakout Box to which I have a series of 3 float switches wired. There are 2 float switches in the sump, and 1 in the auto top-off reservoir. The first switch in the sump is the low water level switch. When switch 1 activates, the pump comes on to add water until the switch deactivates. Switch 2 is an emergency backup. If switch is the high water level in the sump. This switch is only there in case the low level switch malfunctions and gets stuck (usually a result of dirt or a snail). If this switch is activated, the pump will get turned off. The 3rd switch is the low water level in the reservoir. If this switch is activated, then no matter what the condition of switch 1, the pump will not turn on.

Finally, I have the Return Pump and Skimmer hooked in as well. The reason for this may not be quite as obvious. This is setup so that in the event of a power failure the return pump will be restarted immediately, but the skimmer is delayed for 1 minute. This will allow the water level in your sump to return to a normal level and will prevent you skimmer from going nuts and removing too much water too fast. Also, this setup is there to allow for a "Feed mode" to be activated. When feed mode is activated, the Return pump and Skimmer are both turned off for a set amount of time. Once that time has elapsed, the feed mode ends and the return pump comes on. Because of the way the skimmer outlet is programed, it will always be delayed by 1 minute after the start of the return pump. The Apex has 4 possible Feed Modes that can be set individually. The whole purpose of the Feed Mode is to allow you to feed the tank without the food being sucked into the overflow before your fish have a chance to get to it. Also, you can program them to last longer to allow you to perform a water change. With the addition of the Iphone/Ipad app. these can easily be controlled with the touch of a button. They can also be controlled by simply logging into the Apex on your web browser.

The Apex does have more capabilities then I am currently using. I could also plug my power heads in to oscillate them for a wave action. Reactors, dosing pumps, and even an automatic water change system can all be controlled from the Apex. I may eventually add these, but that will be a while.

06-24-2012, 07:40 PM
The process has started...

...the tank is moving towards bare bottom.

06-24-2012, 09:27 PM
I'm jealous. It wasn't for my anemones, I would have a bear bottom tank as well.

I really like how you have the three switches on your sump. I think I'm going to look into something along those lines for my 180.

I am impressed at what you are doing with your apex.

06-24-2012, 09:31 PM
Thanks Cliff. I finally got my Koralias hooked up to the EB8. At first I was actually using it like a wave maker, but I couldn't handle hearing those things come on every 10 min. The older Koralias just don't handle start-up well. lol So, now I just have them on there for my feed programs, and for control if I want to be able to shut them off.

07-01-2012, 09:03 PM
Wow, the more substrate I remove, the less algae I have. lol I will never go back to a substrate tank again. Algae growth has slowed to an amazing degree. 2 weeks ago, before I started removing the substrate, I was running the mag-float over the glass on a daily basis. Now, after removing roughly half of the substrate, I haven't had to wipe it in 2 days. I sure that using the feed program on my Apex is helping as well. http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/images/smilies/smile.gif

07-02-2012, 02:30 AM
Glad to hear its work well for you Goldbarb

I think once the bottom pain of glass gets covered in coraline, it will look 100Xs better than any substrate. I can hardly wait to see pics of that

07-02-2012, 05:16 AM
Are you going to be using any structural support for your rock once you remove all the sand? I found when I sat my 50G up it was very difficult to get a stable structure without any sand. I wound up chucking in 20lbs of TMS...just to feel confident about stability.

07-02-2012, 10:47 AM
Yeah, I'll be using PVC or possible some short pieces of acrylic rod. Probably will end up using the PVC since I don't want to have to drill my rock.

07-04-2012, 09:08 PM
Getting closer to having all the substrate removed. The next step will probably be to syphon the remaining substrate out. Once that is accomplished, I'll move the rock around and take the egg crate out.

On another note, I started with vinegar dosing today. Wanting to get my system to be a very low nutrient system.

07-04-2012, 09:20 PM
tsk tsk tsk.

What's this? substrate removal, some corals added, and yet we've been a whole page without any update pics?

07-04-2012, 09:23 PM
Nothing to see right now. lol Mostly been avoiding pics due to the minor cyano outbreak. That's under control now though.

07-05-2012, 02:49 PM
Nothing to see right now. lol Mostly been avoiding pics due to the minor cyano outbreak. That's under control now though.

sooo that means pics now right?? RIGHT?!?!??!?!?!?

07-05-2012, 09:48 PM
lol, I'll try. lol

07-07-2012, 04:23 PM
Got my GFO reactor up and running today. I ended up with a Dual GFO/Carbon reactor from Bulk Reef Supply. The former owners of my tank had one for $35. :) I'll get a pic or 2 this afternoon of the tank.

07-19-2012, 10:50 AM
I should be able to finish with the substrate removal tonight. Tank actually has been re-aquascaped as a result of this project. The old scape was not really working on a BB tank simply because the rocks wanted to slide around, to rearranging them became necessary.

Yes, this is another pictureless teaser. LOL I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow once things clear up.

07-20-2012, 09:58 PM
Ok, got the substrate removal completed last night. I ended up rescaping the tank. Here's what I ended up with.


08-25-2012, 01:58 PM
Couple of upgrades lately. :) Added a pair of Koralia 4's to the system to bring the total flow to 6400gph. Also, within the next month or so, there will be Calcium reactor added. :)

As for livestock additions, well, there have been a few additions to the coral collection. Added a Hammer, Duncan, Acan, 2 different birdsnests, and a monti digitata.

Also picked up a 33 long to use as a frag tank.

08-25-2012, 02:58 PM
I really like Duncans and Hammers, they are amoung my favorite corals

Post a pic of the tank if you can, I would love to see how it is coming along

08-26-2012, 08:54 PM
Ok, so I shot a low quality FTS just so you could see how it looks. I'll get some better shots later.


08-26-2012, 09:40 PM
Ok, here are a few shots




Monti Cap

08-26-2012, 09:41 PM

This one was sold as an Acan, but I believe it is a Scolly, that single polyp is almost 2" in diameter.

08-26-2012, 10:12 PM
Nice looking additions

I can't wait to start stocking my tank

09-03-2012, 02:50 AM
Changed out the drivers on my LEDs today. Was running the ELN-60-48P drivers and switched to the ELN-60-48D drivers. The only reason for the switch is due to the D series drivers being completely compatible with the Apex controller.

09-09-2012, 06:06 PM
Added a Tri-color Acro frag yesterday. Next Saturday, I add my "Holy Grail" of fish. :D

09-15-2012, 11:16 AM
Last fish addition coming today... :D

09-15-2012, 11:33 AM
..ok, so it's going in QT today. lol

09-15-2012, 12:19 PM
LOL, so..... only a few more weeks before pics then ... :14:

09-15-2012, 07:43 PM
Weeks??? Usually takes me months! LOL

BTW, the addition... a 6" Purple Tang. :D It's a bit of a rescue. It has some fin damage so it's not the greatest looking specimen but it's a Purple Tang so it still looks great.

09-15-2012, 08:26 PM
Nice fish Goldbarb. I really like the look of purple tangs.

There was a full-grown (or close to it) one at our SW LFS a few months back and he looked outstanding. If I wasn't already pushing the stocking limits on my tank, I would been really temped to take him home

09-15-2012, 09:19 PM
Got it in a trade today. Actually added a nice Purple Serpent Star, Red Planet Acro, and a Pink Poci today as well. As great as all that was, the best part was getting to stand and talk to Bob Fenner for an hour. :)

09-16-2012, 07:30 PM
This is the pink Poci I added yesterday. However, I'm not convinced it's a Poci, I think it's more likely a Stylophora. Waiting on an ID from Fenner on it.

09-17-2012, 11:34 PM
Very cool looking coral either way though!

09-18-2012, 01:58 AM
Turns out it really is a Pocillopora.

11-03-2012, 12:45 AM
Just for the fun of it. Enjoy. It opens up to almost 10" in diameter. :)

11-03-2012, 02:22 AM
Very nice looking corals. Looking forward to seeing the purple tang

11-03-2012, 06:59 AM
That's a great looking brain coral

11-03-2012, 02:00 PM
Excellent, detailed, journal. I've really enjoyed going through this. My knowledge of marine set-ups is really very limited but one day I would love to set something up like this.

I look forward to reading more (and seeing more pics) soon! thumbs2: