Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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BarbH 03-09-2012 01:25 AM

72 gallon build log
Finally after months of planning I am just a couple of steps away from starting my first saltwater tank. Originally in October I was planning on starting with a 29 gallon setup. Then I decided that I would convert my 50 gallon over. After visiting one of the local reefing forams for Michigan I came across a 72 gallon bow front with stand for less than what it would cost me to get a stand for my 50 which on right now is sitting on a metal stand. Along with the tank and stand I will be getting about 90 pounds of rock which I will need to reestablish since it is mostly dried out and also 80 pounds of sand. Hopefully I will be able to get it this weekend. I also have a protein skimmer lined up a bubble magus.

I will be running this system without a sump the tank is not drilled and at this point I feel that a sump is a little out of my league. My plans are to start this tank as a fowlr and after a year or so after getting a handle on doing salt I will start thinking about adding corals. The lighting that I am looking at doing is the marineland double bright Leds. I have seen that they now have leds for reefs, but I figure I will wait and when I am ready to advance I will see what is available than. I will also have to get something to cover it with since the previous owner ran it opened top, which for me is not an option since some of the fish I am considering are known jumpers. Also not only do I have to worry about a fish jumping out but I also now have a young curious kitten who already likes to sit on top of my other tanks and I would probably end up finding him swimming with the fishes if I left the top open.

I am also looking at getting an ro/di unit right now I am looking at what is available at bulk reef supply. I am thinking that I am leaning towards their build your own which price wise seems to be the best I have come across so far. For powerheads I am thinking two koralias, I am thinking the 750's. Would that be enough flow?

I am sure that I have probably missed something, I will be getting a refractometer from ebay and also a tds meter. I also already have a heater that will work for this tank.

As for fish I am still working that out especially now that I am working with quite a bit more space than originally planned. I do know that I want to get a pair of clowns a goby of some type. I am also thinking about either a lemon peel angel or a coral beauty angel, I do know that coral beautys are not considered to be reef safe although not sure about the lemon peels. Still lots of research to do but I figure it is going to take some time to get things setup and than more time before the tank is ready for fish to be ready to go in. I will be able to add pictures in about a week waiting for internet to get hooked up. Right now using my phone and when it comes to trying to add pictures on here my phone and the site do not see eye to eye :roll:

onefish2fish 03-09-2012 10:03 AM

this all sounds good to me. def. do a top with a cat. even non-known jumpers can def. jump too. might not hurt to also check out Air Water Ice RO/DIs. personally i think i would go with larger hydors esp. if i knew i was going to turn this into a reef. 1050s or prob. even better 1400s. this way it would only cost an extra $5-10 to purchase them and you wont have to re-buy them in a year from now. dont worry, the fish can def. handle the flow.
the coral beauty can work in a reef but there are chances of coral nipping. this brings up another good point to maybe stock all reef friendly fish from the start so transfering to a reef is easier down the road. catching a fish in a saltwater tank with a net is an entire new ball game, esp. in a grown out reef. not to mention having to catch it, re-homing it can be a process too. just things to think about. im excited to see more progress.

jeffnsa 03-09-2012 11:57 AM

Just get your reef lights now and be done with it. Be sides in a month or two you will be given or find a great deal on a small soft coral frag that you will put into the tank and then the addiction will be on. The number one thing i recomend first is to get good lights so you wont be buying a couple of other sets later on.

onefish2fish 03-09-2012 07:17 PM

i disagree jeff, yes get good lights but i wouldnt rush them esp if it was going to be kept as a FOWLR at first. any light for viewing pleasure should do for the time being. personally i would keep an eye out on used light fixtures at local reefing clubs and/or craigslist while your tank is setup FOWLR. this will give you plenty of time to find the right deal on the right light fixture for you and your tank.

BarbH 03-09-2012 11:10 PM

I agree with onefish2fish about the lights especially since if possible I would like to keep the lights as leds, cost less to run and does not give off as much heat which will hopefully keep me from having to get a chiller. Also I from when I first started pricing things out the price of leds had dropped a little. I expect that the price along with what is available in led lighting will improve over the next year or so. I also have a fairly strong reefing community around me so who knows what I may be able to find available from local reefers.

On another note got my refractometer and also my tds meter off of ebay today, they should be arriving in the mail sometime around the middle of the week. Also on Sunday will be getting my tank, stand, rock, sand and protein skimmer. Still pricing out other equipment at various places online. Would like to support my local stores but can not justify spending $30 dollars or more on the same equipment. I figure I will be spending plenty of money with them when I am ready to start stocking.

BarbH 03-10-2012 01:56 AM

Well I now have one more piece of equipment checked off my list. Found a Typhoon 5 stage rodi unit on amazon for $100 brand new and it comes with the faucet adaptor that I will need to run the unit. Now to find a storage container for my ro water.

BarbH 03-11-2012 06:24 PM

Big day today :-) Got my tank, stand, sand, rock and protein skimmer today. Have some cleaning to do on the tank and the protein skimmer will need to pick up some white vinegar. I also got some great pieces of rock and plan on getting a couple more pieces of live rock when I get ready to set up to help with the cycling and seeding of the rock that I just got. I am also suppose to be hearing back from the local store tomorrow how much it will be for them to order me in a hood. I will hopefully be putting some pictures up next week once I have internet service at the house. Now to see about finding directions online for my stop that once I install it I make sure that I do it right.

BarbH 03-14-2012 03:00 PM

Well some more has been done on the build. Sunday afternoon after I got the tank I headed out to another refers place to get my protein skimmer. When I got home I found out that I needed to modify the inner lip of the rim of the tank to allow the skimmer to sit on the tank properly. It was suggested by several people that I use a dremmel to grind down the area that I needed to modify. I don't have one at home and don't have easy access to borrowing one. So today I went to home depot and explained what I was doing I only needed to remove an eighth of an inch along about a six inch span. I ended up getting a chisel set for $10 a lot less than I would spend on a dremmel. Less than 10 minutes later with the file and the skimmer now fits on the back of the tank.

I also picked up some white vinegar to use on cleaning the tank and the skimmer. Also I will need to clean my rock some it have what I believe to be dried algea on it. I am thinking a nylon brush, new so don't have to worry about if used with any chemicals and water. Would tap water be okay to use for just cleaning. The rock needs to be seeded again so I will be picking up some live rock when I am closer to getting ready to set things up.

Also another question, I am starting to think about how I am going to arrange my rock. I have read that some people use the smaller pieces on the bottom as a base and place their larger pieces on top to make things more secure. Is this a method most people use our are there other techniques to making sure things are secure and will not tumble down?

Pictures will be coming next week along with hopefully my items that I have ordered do far.

BarbH 03-16-2012 12:26 AM

Today my rodi unit arrived... after I got home from work this evening I unpacked everything. The unit is a Typhoon 3. Along with the unit I also got a full set of filter replacements that came with it a float valve the unit has an asov valve a tds meter so now I will have two, which I figure can't hurt. The only problem that I found was that my connection for my water in was broken major hiccup in getting the unit to function. So I have sent an email to air water and ice explaining my issue and waiting for a reply back. It looks like it would be an easy fix and I am hopeful that will be able to work something out with them.

I am continuing to do my research and at this time working on planning my cuc. It will still be awhile before I am ready for them, but now is the time to start planning what I want. I figure right now that my cuc will consist of an assortment of snails and probably some cleaner shrimp. I have no plans for doing hermit crabs don't need them going after my snails. Was thinking about an emerald crab, but have read so many mixed reviews on them so right now that is iffy. Also I am planning on introducing my cuc in stages, some of the snails that I have read about are recommended to add after the system has been running for s few months. I am also planning on adding no more than half of my planned cuc to start off with and over time increasing them to my target numbers.

onefish2fish 03-16-2012 10:16 AM

good plans for the CUC.

as for connecting your RO/DI, if you can slightly modify your plumbing look into, what i want to say is a screw punch or punch tap but that doesnt sound right. anyways its usually at hardware stores in the RO filter parts section and usually used when hooking up a fridge with filtered water. it clamps onto your pipe by screwing on and then pierces it creating a small hole.

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