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I tried to continue my 1 year mark thread but the board wouldn't let me... too bad.. the comparison pictures are awesome...I typed a whole description only to have a message tell me to start over GRRRRRR...

in review .. I started a 65 gallon mixed reef 2 years ago this month... the 65 began leaking a few months in and I upgraded to a 75.... I've tried many things... made all my own filtration gone through much trial and error... the first year I was trying to "find myself" in a whirlwind of learning ... trial and error.. and with a lot of good advise and encouragement from this site.. badxgillen to be specific... I've arrived at something I absolutely love... the tank is mature... things grow daily... I've reached a balance between what I am wiling to spend .... inhabitants I want to keep and the amount of time I want to spend maintaining ( I do have 4 tanks in total now)... there is no longer a lot of exposed rock work... turf wars happen and it's fun to watch...my Singularia is no longer twiggy and has grown to touch the front and rear of the tank...it has dropped many branches.. some have reattached in the main tank..others have been given to fellow refers and traded at the LFS..my mushroom leather has reached the surface of the tank and the polyps sway in the surface current...my duncans that started as 2 heads now contain over 30...my candy cane colonies have tripled in size...sadly I cant keep any open brain corals.. my flame angel just attack constantly... I have my water changed almost fully automated ... by simply switching valves and starting or stopping pumps I can drain and refill up to 30 gallons with little effort full blown water change takes less than 30 minutes... the only issues ( and IMHO they are not really and issue) is a little turf algae and GHA that grow on the sand in the back and under and around some of the rock... I "harvest" so,me of it about once a month... IMHO I adds to that tank and is not at all unsightly...
 

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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
here is a close up of the singularia... I need to take some pictures with my camera instead of my phone..Note the daughter colonies of the mushroom leather....these were my first attempt at fragging...they were the size of a dime... now are about the size of a table spoon
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I went back to my original post and pulled back these pictures... OMG!... I don't know if I should be ashamed ...or proud... I thought it looked so good back then....:oops:
 

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Looks Great!
It is a full blown Reef!
That Sinularia is a Beast!
It is such a good feeling when all you can do is harvest form an aquarium, instead of put into it, because it is doing so well. One of the true signs of a reefs success, happy fish and growing corals.

It is always a work in progress, every time you setup a new tank or upgrade you tend to do things better from all he accumulated experience and knowledge of the previous en devours. Would love to see some more pics of the corals in there, thats my passion.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Looks Great!
It is a full blown Reef!
That Sinularia is a Beast!
It is such a good feeling when all you can do is harvest form an aquarium, instead of put into it, because it is doing so well. One of the true signs of a reefs success, happy fish and growing corals.

It is always a work in progress, every time you setup a new tank or upgrade you tend to do things better from all he accumulated experience and knowledge of the previous en devours. Would love to see some more pics of the corals in there, thats my passion.
I'll take some pictures with my "real " camera... some close ups... I need to take some of the other tanks as well. Maybe I'll do a portfolio thread... my 20 G with the scallop is doing great...although the bubble ( which is a beast and twice the size it was when I got it) and the frog spawn do not like each other...the bubble sends out nasty stingers and attach to the frog spawn...it has killed one head.. I'm just going to let nature take it's coarse... because I did have an aptasia problem come in on the bubble.. the peppermint shrimp have kept them in check but I don't want to transfer any of them for fear of maybe infecting my reef or sea horse tank... that 20 G is kind of a unique tank on it's own...it houses the scallop... frog spawn, bubble.. a rose bubble anemone .. 3 peppermints.. 1 emerald crab a nassauris snail .. 1 turbo snail and 2 purple fire fish..lots of macro algae... it's small but a pleasure to watch...

the sea horse tank is nice.. a little bland but lot's of interesting personalities. I love the pipe fish I added...
 

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Well look at all that coral!!!

I may have asked before but I cannot remember, do you have a reefer club in your area or state? I have a rather large one here in the Pacific North West, in fact its abbreviation is PNWMAS as it is the Pacific North West Marine Aquarium Society.
If you do I would recommend contacting a few members, work out some trades, and go to one of the meets. Meeting like minded people and talking about things of similar interests is nothing but enjoyable. It is a great way to network and learn from other experiences first hand.

And it looks like you have alot of potential trade.

PS that favia with the blue is pretty pretty, wish I could get a piece, but I will have to live with what I have here.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well look at all that coral!!!

I may have asked before but I cannot remember, do you have a reefer club in your area or state? I have a rather large one here in the Pacific North West, in fact its abbreviation is PNWMAS as it is the Pacific North West Marine Aquarium Society.
If you do I would recommend contacting a few members, work out some trades, and go to one of the meets. Meeting like minded people and talking about things of similar interests is nothing but enjoyable. It is a great way to network and learn from other experiences first hand.

And it looks like you have alot of potential trade.

PS that favia with the blue is pretty pretty, wish I could get a piece, but I will have to live with what I have here.
I do have a club...Boston Reefers society... I go on line with them a little... most of those guy's are big into SPS...they think that softies are for...well.. softies.. I love them.. I love the action as they sway in the current..I love watching the fish swim in and out of them... that favia bleached out ( some of it even perished) when I had 3 the current USA lights on.. I switched back to 2 and the whole tank exploded with growth.. it might have just been the timing with maturity but with 2 everything seems happy.. I took this shot from the top.. I love standing on the stair well looking down...I need to rescreen it... my original clownfish jumped to her death..and remember that bubble I had in the 20G with the funny protrusion "up periscope".. well that disappeared and this thing has grown like crazy..to the point where I have to remove the frog spawn before if finishes killing it...I took my picture at feeding time.. or else it would have had sweepers stinging the frog spawn
 

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This is beautiful.. someday when I start that reef tank....I hope I get it to look this nice!
 

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I was asking about the reef club as they tend to be a great way to slim down the existing colonies and recruit new frags. I must say i do know what the other guys are talking about, I love my stony as well as my softs so I have to keep em separated for the most part. I love the growth structure of many of the stony corals and the colors are quite nice too. It also assists in satisfying the unsatisfyable craving of next level husbandry.

Maybe if you change the flow up a little you could persuade the bubbles sweepers to go the other way and leave the frog spawn alone...Maybe not. You can always break it p and trade some in for new genetics.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I was asking about the reef club as they tend to be a great way to slim down the existing colonies and recruit new frags. I must say i do know what the other guys are talking about, I love my stony as well as my softs so I have to keep em separated for the most part. I love the growth structure of many of the stony corals and the colors are quite nice too. It also assists in satisfying the unsatisfyable craving of next level husbandry.

Maybe if you change the flow up a little you could persuade the bubbles sweepers to go the other way and leave the frog spawn alone...Maybe not. You can always break it p and trade some in for new genetics.
I monkey around with the flow a little but if I allow too much neither the bubble or the frog spawn with inflate fully...that what I get for putting then in a tank that is really too small for them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Up grades

well it's that time of year when it's too cold or wet to go work outside on the lawn or garden.... ice fishing is over... open water fishing season hasn't quite started and I'm bored..

upgrade # 1... all three tanks got new skimmers...
the sea horse tank ( 29 bio cube) formerly had a CPR industries in sump skimmer.. I installed it when I set up the tank because it seemed to be the best option for the tank... I have found something better... after a pump failure last week I did some "leg" work reading hundreds of reviews and settled on Aquamax and found nothing bad disclosed about any of their products and decided on an Aquamax WS 1 skimmer... it is powered by a shark 1.0 ( sicce ) needle wheel pump.. this unit is smaller than the CPR skimmer but has a greater skimming capacity and can be totally disassembled for cleaning.. it has a capacity for 75 gal. light load.. 30 gal. heavy load... I washed it in hot water ( no soap) and put it to work at 6PM last night... this morning the neck was full of real fine foam and the skimmer cup had 3/4" of thick nasty skimmate...I'm impressed..

# 2 Main reef tank ( 75 G w/30 g sump total water total capacity is about 80 G in my estimation)... I am currently running a Reef Octopus 110 in sump... it is a good skimmer but IMHO is maxed out trying to keep up with my tank...it will be cleaned and kept for a spare... I am replacing it with a Aquamax Cones CO-1 in sump skimmer. Once again the unit can be totally disassembled for cleaning... (something that I cannot do with the Reef Octopus I am currently running)... It is a 3 hour project to clean this every 3 months... the Aquamax Cones CO-1 unit has the capacity or 170 gallons light load...90 heavy.. it is a 30 gallon per heavy load upgrade from my current unit.. it uses the same shark ( sicce) pump as the WS 1 so I can keep a spare pump and impeller in stock and never be in a bind.. .. I cleaned the skimmer in hot water last night and let it run in a tub of tank water overnight..it was foaming away (in a good way) when I left for work... I'll swap it out over the weekend
#3 my invert tank upstairs.. is a 20 G. bow front.. it's load is heavy because I feed the scallop heavily twice daily liquid food... clouding the water each feeding...
I was currently running a Remora C nano on the tank.. it skims light tea colored skimate..and cannot be adjusted to skim drier it is also is an unsightly part of the tank.. the pump hangs inside the tank and the return had to be housed in a bubble box to control the current.. did Mention it is a bear to clean...
It is being replaced by a Aquamax HOB -1 hang on back skimmer... once again easy take down for service.. and it runs that same shark 1.0 ( sicce) pump.. it has two 3/4" pipes and the return can be fitted with a flex line to divert the water where I need the current.. it's capacity mirrors the in sump SW 1 in the sea horse tank

Upgrade # 4...My R/O water And salt mixed water will now share one pump... bulk head fittings and shut offs will supply the hard piped pump that formerly was internal in the salt tank ...no more bailing buckets of water into the salt from the R/O water...the water is still piped to the upstairs as well...

#5... I currently run 2 little fishes phose ban and carbon reactors.on the main tank.. they were inexpensive and served the purpose... lately the top half with screen of each reactor has broken..it seems the plastic just got brittle... also.. the screw on tops can ( and do) cause problems leaking each time they are opened.. I may have to clean and reseal each reactor cover as much a 3 times before they stop... these have been replaced with Aquamax phose/carbon reactors... the 4 screws and 1/4 turn tops are a blessing ... I may actually look foreword to servicing them next month!...

this endeavor lightened my bank account by about a grand.. it is what it is. I'm in to far to back out now

pictures to follow...
 

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WOW, that is a HUGE upgrade in the systems. I wish I would take the time to optimize my maintenance procedures via pumps, plumbing, and holding containers but I am so used to the old fashioned way I forget and skip over those methods before I know it.
Now I have only tanks and no room for assisted automation...I have set myself up for more work.

I like to think that one day I will move and buy another house, when I finish paying this one off and the kids grow up, and then I will do things with a different mind set.
Sounds like some good work being done and I look forward to the pictures and or details.
 

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Wow.
I look at your stuff and am amazed. So beautiful. I am so tempted to try. But will stick with freshwater. My dream is to have 4 freshwater tanks. And that is probably stretching my patience and willingness to accept and overcome the likely failures in that.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow.
I look at your stuff and am amazed. So beautiful. I am so tempted to try. But will stick with freshwater. My dream is to have 4 freshwater tanks. And that is probably stretching my patience and willingness to accept and overcome the likely failures in that.
thanks for the kind words... you saw where it was at 2 years ago...it takes time dedication and study.. ( and money)...if you want it bad enough go for it..

Up grades are almost complete.. I've just got a little plumbing left on the R/O/D/I reservoir.. and the new pump for that should be here today..... hope to have the pictures up by Friday..
 

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Discussion Starter #16
here are pictures of the upgrades I have made... I love the new skimmers... the picture of the skimmer on the table is the Aquamax HOB 1...it is the same as the SW 1 in every way except they cleverly made it boxed in to hang on the back... the cup is fitted with a drain spout that can be put into a separate container or left to drain back into the supply should it overflow... the 75 G got the ConeS 1 in sump skimmer.. and the Sea horse tank got the SW 1 in sump... these skimmers were producing skimmate in 6 -10 hours ...all can be totally disassembled like you see on the table for cleaning...

next are some pictures of the new reactors.. they are Aquamax Standard...they are SO much easier to service than the 2 little fishies reactors they replaced.. I removed the old test station shelf ( I hit my head on it a dozen times) and relocated them there.. they tumble the media much better too..
I've included a picture of the re worked sump...it is still the same sump I have had since day one but again revised to accept a manifold for the bypass, reactors and ATO... this is replacing the hoses just hanging in the sump.....
Next is the water station and storage..it includes a section of counter top I installed in the racks for water testing and maintenance... the newly plumbed R/O water station and Salt mix station allows me to use the new Pan world 100 XP pump to fill the salt tank from the R/O and pump water to the 1st and second floor .. by using a series of ball valves I can use this system to drain the tanks as well... cross contamination is prevented by a series of ball valves and check valves...a quick disconnect at the top of the stairs allow for connection of a 50' hose ( with it's own shut off) to go anywhere I have a tank to service it... now if we can get some warm weather and I can stop spending money... 3 Skimmers... 2 reactors and a new pump and misc plumbing supplies has set me back about $1200...this hobby aint cheap... now I need to get my eye off that 120 gallon set up at the LFS !
 

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Once again I am jealous of your setup, forethought, and equipment. I bet all the local reefer club members want to come over and ogle your sump and salt water station.
I need some one like you around my area to just chat with and throw ideas around. There are so many right ways to do things it is always going to be a learning process no matter how long you are in the hobby.

I have been wanting to tryout one of those cone S skimmers on my systems but I recently went old school and bought a becket skimmer for my porch systems needs instead. Now I need a monster pumps for it.

Hmm is it a 6 footer 120 or a 4 foot deep one?...Just wondering, not important really.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Most of the local reef club guy's are into big tanks.. and buying everything... they are more into the "look what I have" than functionality.... not big on DIY....very clicky bunch not all that acceptable of "new" people...

defiantly wished we lived closer.. I could learn so much...

That ConeS is a delight to clean and maintain.. I use a bottle brush with a sponge on it to clean it... it is oversized for my tank but I have noticed in a week time a huge difference.. I didn't have to clean algae once all week of f the glass... I did a water change last Saturday and the tank ( all 3 of them) look like I just changed the water... it has to be the 3 new skimmers...these thing are made well.. the clear pvc tube is SCH 80 grade....all fittings are sch 80... quality abounds on these units...

when you look at pumps.. check out the pan world... execellent pump.. designed by a former head engineer from Iwaki... you can go on their web site and find the performance curve for each one.. then taylor the exact pump to your need... when I sized the Pan world 150 PS for the reef tank I checked the pump curve and expected volume it exceeded my expectations... I run the return... 2 reactors and bypass more than enough water for a chiller off of one pump... previously it took 3 pumps to do the same job... the Danner 2400 didn't hold a candle to it ... supposedly rated for 18' of head.. it couldn't handle 13'... it now runs the fountain in my goldfish pond.
 

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Really!? It put the Danner to shame!? That is impressive, maybe overkill, but it sure is nice to never have to upgrade again.

Interesting that the club is mostly oriented to the sleek new on the market hardware, I have always had an admiration and appreciation for the folks who can do things themselves. One of the first things I do is "look under the hood" when I see a new tank. I love seeing how people get their aquariums to "Tick" as it is ever evolving. All the principles are the same, just new attachments or electronics. I can't knock it too much as I understand the need to improve designs and to accommodate the person away from home or the aquarium inept. I have been in the aquarium service for over 10 years and have been serving as a V.P. for a non profit Marine Aquarium Society and I see ALL types. There will always be the "elitists "purchasing the best Vehicle" and then there will always be the "mechanic "creating the best vehicle"...Excuse the analogy.

There have been times I have been jealous of the elitists but I have always admired the mechanics...You sir, are a "mechanic".
 

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Discussion Starter #20
I had a Danner 1800 in my Salt supply tank that pumped up the water for my water changes.. It supplied less than 2 gallons a minute @ 15' of head ( first floor), but sufficed for water changes.... the new Pan world XP 100 took less than 2 minutes to fill a 5 gallon pail,,ON THE THIRD floor...it's rated for 20' max head but it's flow curve holds steady from about 15' till shut off...

I like your analogy... funny.. I've been a mechanic for close to 50 years..I started as a used car mechanic at a local Porsche Audi dealer... when I left there in '80.. I was their top Porsche mechanic.. I left to work on boats because I didn't want to work on cars I cold not afford... my lifes path wound through working on tractor trailer and owning my own small engine repair ( which I still do on the side).. I'm now a machine shop mechanic and run the waste treatment for our etch products group.. it's taught me a lot about pumps!
 
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