55g corner bowfront, very picture heavy
I am now primarily posting on RC's forum, but I'll show some love to my TFK brothers. Here's the original thread, which will be updated moreso than this one.
Glenn's 55g Corner Bowfront build thread, pictures! - Reef Central Online Community
I bought the tank and stand off a guy who had been out of the hobby for about a year, and had it rotting in his basement. He said he had offers to part up the deal, but wanted to sell it bulk. 300 dollars netted me quite the deal.
55g Corner Bowfront + Stand, coralife 36" dual 10k white dual 420nm 96w actinic, RemoraC hob w/rio800, dual hagen402/50's, extra power heads heaters test kits supplements and more stuff than I could imagine. I had a trunk full of random items. The supplements he had given me needed to be tossed, but after cleaning everything was great in working order. This was a great deal. My father has been out of the hobby for about 6 years, and had all his stuff in the garage. He went ahead and hooked me up with a ton of supplies as well. I purchased a BRS 5-Stage RO/DI from a member here on the C.T.A.R.S. forum. Picked up my supplements on Amazon (I had a 100 dollar gift card, that went really quick!) including ESV B-Ionic 2, Kent Tech M, SeaChem Reef Plus. I'm using Tropic Marin Reef Salt.
Basically I have everything I need for my reef setup, I'm in 500 dollars and some manual labor. Quite worth it considering what we all know we can spend starting with all new equipment. I've got so much extra equipment, pumps, powerheads, heaters, etc that I don't even need to replace anything if it breaks. And I've got spare tanks (20L, 30High, 10) for quarantines and whatnot laying around too.
I spent about 3 hours sanding down the stand (it had a plain clear coat over the wood) and three coats of stain, which each took about fifteen minutes. Spraypainting the plastic rim only took me the better part of an hour. I did a DIY foam/rock wall using Marco Rocks (amazing product, will buy again). Used eggcrate and zipties to make small shelves on a wall, then used Tetra Pond Foam (which is aquarium safe - I checked several threads on this website and saw previous usage from other posters for several years without issue) to put it all together. I trimmed and sanded down the back so it's a nice even finish, and I purchased safe GE Silicone I to put it into the tank when I'm ready this weekend. I didn't drill this tank because the stand is very awkwardly shaped and really only allowed for a 10g sump, which I didn't think was worth the effort of drilling because I already had my HOB skimmer and did not feel up to plumbing. Any future build I do, regardless of size, will include a sump though.
I have a ton of pictures to share my process from start to finish within the last two days. Thanks for reading this thread. I've been keeping freshwater fish, from Cichlids to Danios for a while now. I've been wanting to Reef for a long while but only after reading several books and an extensive amount of time online did I feel comfortable. Now I feel rather confident I'll be alright. Now that I've moved out of my parents house and lease my own house, I can do what I want and as big as I want. This is just the beginning.
So my two powerheads, fluval hagens, have the sweet function of being a powerhead or reversing flow down under and becoming filters. So I cranked those two for an hour and it's already become twice as clear. Within another hour or two we'll be in business.
I'd like to thank Captainfester and his friend, Mike. Mike was kind enough to let me into his home and show me his awesome setup tucked into the basement. His 4 chamber refugium was awesome. The amount of live rock he gave me for what little I paid him was astounding and has a ton of life on it. Visible pods, worms, small dusters, tons of snails, sponges, etc. One piece is more than a 1.5 feet x 1 foot and has to weigh nearly 20lbs - the size of live rock you'd expect to pay 75 dollars for in a LFS with that much life on it. So thanks again guys, I really appreciate the help. It'll be excellent base pieces to my aquascape once I get some smaller pieces.
Found about five bristleworms ranging from two to six inches in length. Grabbed these two contemplating whether or not I wanted to let them in my tank (they are debated to be good or bad, depending on who you are). Well I put them in the little in-tank refugium / captivity thing and they started going at each other. They ball up together, extend their bristles, and go nuts. Probably fighting.
This is immediately after firing up the pump. I thought the cup was too low, so I wedged it higher. Still collecting foam. It's white, but that'll change. This morning I woke up to about 5 ML of green skim, which means it's working. I'll begin testing my parameters tonight when I get home.
Overall, I'm very happy with this so far. It's exactly as I wanted it. It's not totally clear yet, but it should be perfect by tomorrow. This is six months of daily reading, learning, asking questions, google'ing my heart out....all culminating into the day my tank is set up and takes life. I'd like to thank CTARS for helping me out this far, my local reef club (connecticut area reef society) and the reef central forum.
Oh, and this is what I'm running:
55g Corner Bowfront, coralife 36" dual 10k white dual 420nm 96w actinic, RemoraC hob w/maxi-jet1200, dual hagen402/50's, BRS 5-Stage RO/DI, ready to supplement ESV B-Ionic 2, Kent Tech M, SeaChem Reef Plus
Tank has been up/running so far. It fully cycled in 7 days (amazing, thank god for overseeding with mature live rock - used about 80lbs). The rock wall that was pure white is indistinguishable from some of the other rocks already - fully seeded in coraline algae. Tank looks gorgeous.
Here's a picture from three weeks ago, it's the only one I have at the moment. I've got SO much more coral in there now:
I added a CPR 5g HOB refugium w/chaeto and various macro algaes + a DSB. I have two nice frogspawn colonies. One is splitting into two heads, the other is splitting into three heads and both have new baby heads budding on the stony part. I have a hammer coral that's budding several heads, and my kenya just budded off. My Xenia has tripled in size. My golden frogspawn hasn't grown much lately. My mushrooms are absolutely huge and I have new red mushrooms growing too.
Inhabitants: Two tomato clowns, one snowflake eel roughly 16". I have a green wolf eel that was knocking over corals and killed two acan frags, so I put him in my 10 nano for the week until I can get him into the LFS for store credit.
I've had great success. No problems. Growing coraline like a champ, tons of pods, and my sandbed is doing the denitrifcation process (got the pockets of nitrogen gas already). No cyano, no dinos...I had a small diatom outbreak that quickly became coraline algae. My peppermint shrimp have kept the tank clean of any aiptasia (I had a few hitchhikers on my LR).
I love this hobby. I want to go to a shallow reef tank next. My only complaint is that lighting a corner tank sucks, and I wish I had the money to go to LEDs so I could do more SPS.
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