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Discussion Starter #1
The time has arrived. Last night I began the set up of my 58 bowfront, which for the next 6 months or so will be a reef aquarium. After my 180 is mature and the reef is moved, my eventual plans are to use this as a FOWLR tank, perhaps as a species tank for a Pelewensis or Pearscale Butterfly.

Here is a full shot of the 58 bowfront.
58WithWater.jpg

Here is the sump that my brother made. Great design, but there is one big problem. It doesn't fit.
58SumpScott.jpg

Given that I am up against the clock and have to get my 38 reef moved into this 58 bowfront within 3 weeks, I decided to use a 10 gallon tank as a sump until my brother can build another. Here is a sump pic:
58Sump2.jpg

I would strongly suggest that anyone planning a reef tank not buy a 58 bowfront. The inside of the sand is ridiculously small. The only option I have for additional sump size is to make a triangle shaped sump, which most people do not have the skills or free glass to design.

Here is my overflow with a Durso:
58Durso.jpg

Here is the skimmer system I am using currently.
58CPR.jpg

A point of clarification. The skimmer you see is a CPR double skimmer, with biomedia left inside. This goes against everything I normally recommend. Here is the distinction... in this skimmer design ALL WATER first passes thru the skimmers BEFORE entering the biomedia. In effect, the biomedia serves as an effective bubble trap and very little biological processing of organic waste will occur.

On the plus side, eventually I will remove a large portion of live rock from this 58 to place into my 180. At that time, the biological capability of the biomedia chamber will serve as "insurance", in the event that some organic acids are not skimmed out upon the skimmer pass.

Bottom line, if this was going to be a permanent reef system, then I would not have the biomedia. But because this will eventually be a FOWLR and have a limited supply of live rock at that time, I decided to leave the biomedia in place, under the condition that no water enters the biomedia without first being skimmed.

I plan to add sand and live rock today. More pics to come tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Sorry guys... more pics will come when this water clears up. Every time I move the live rock around the aquarium gets so cloudy you can't see anything.

I will NEVER use this sand again, I can tell you that. I'm glad I learned this lesson on the 58 and not the 180.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I used CaribSea, which is extremely common in the pet shops. I normally use aragonite, rather than aragonite sand, and trust me when I tell you my 180 will not have CaribSea substrate.

By my count this is the 22nd marine aquarium I have had in my personal fishkeeping career, and I have never had any experience as horrible as this substrate. I will be having a discussion with the LFS owner and with the manufacturer. The directions and claims on the bag are completely misleading.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
FINALLY! The water has cleared up enough to post some pics. I am still struggling with the camera... having a hard time getting the depth to show up in the pictures. Here is my best work:

58FullShot.jpg

58WideShot.jpg

58Close1.jpg

58Close2.jpg

I think some of the cloudiness may have been a bacterial bloom. I tripled the amount of live rock in the tank last night and the cloudiness was gone this morning.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
The diatom bloom hit overnight Thursday. Here is a pic for anyone wondering what this looks like:

Aquarium 001.jpg

The top rock on the left is covered with a brown diatom. The other rocks has a light coating. To me, I consider the diatom bloom to be a very important step in determining the maturity of an aquarium. When this diatom bloom goes away, within a couple of weeks I should begin to see some coraline algae growth.

Remember, this tank will be an upgrade from my 38 reef. I need to have all the livestocke moved in 8 days! I may move a few corals today for observation.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I have to be out of my apartment this weekend. My 38 gallon reef is there, fully stocked. I think it is less risky to move the reef into a larger aquarium that to try to move the reef and set it back up same day. I plan to add some of the live rock from the 38 into the 58, removing some of the rock in the picture above and placing it into the 180.

I took off work tomorrow to accomplish this task. I have been testing the 58 daily and it should be ready. Remember, the live rock in my 58 has been curing for almost 60 days total.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
the morning after...

So, it turns out that moving a reef tank is not a fun experience, despite the rumors you might have heard. I did make a pit stop at my local Hooters, but otherwise yesterday was a lot of work.

I took a quick picture of my moving buckets. I highly recommend that you do something similar should you have to move an aquarium. I purchased some "movers plastic", which is the plastic that movers wrap your furniture in on a rainy day. This plastic is awesome because it stretches and is somewhat sticky, making it very easy to tie around a bucket.
MovingBUckets.jpg

I am a couple of hours away from the white lights coming on, but here is a picture under the moons:
58Moon.jpg
I love the moons. If your light fixture does not have moonlights, you need to get some. You get an entirely different viewing experience late at night when the fish don't know you are there.

A close up under the blues:
58BlueClose.jpg

A full shot under the blues:
58BlueFar.jpg
 

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wow!
you certainly hav e had your hands full.
i totally love the rock work,it's awsome.
the moons look cool,i really look forward to seeing the next set of pictures.
well done you.:thumbsup:
 

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i simply love it,i really do.
i hope i will be able to achieve something as beautiful.
 

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