850csmith

56 Gallon Redo

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I started in this hobby about 6 months ago. i found a 56 gallon tall on Craigslist with a stand a HOB filter and a single t8 light for 50 bucks and decided to set up saltwater this time (like everyone else ive had freshwater since i was a kid)

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a month in with a few fish and soft corals

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i drained the tank to drill it and installed a sump and refugium

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after a few more months and lots of trial by fire i start having a massive hair algae and dino outbreak i dont have a picture of it but lookup bad algae outbreak and mine was as bad or worse lol and worse than that the Bulkhead i installed was leaking and because im a noob i had a plastic background and the water dripped behind it were i could not see it and down on the stand which was made of particleboard and was warping so i decided to take everything apart again clean everything and redo the whole system

First the supplies standard 2x4s and 1/4 plywood i used the stand calculator from this site

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Testing the space

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Then staning the plywood

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Put it all together and tested trim then stained it as well

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Then started putting it all together

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Finally moved it to its final resting place and i have most everything put in its place including fish and coral

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I have a few things left to do a.

custom ato container will replace the 5 gallon bucket

Finish the wiring im going to add switches built on the stand for return pump powerheads(2) and protine skimmer 4 total switches

Clean up wiring

Add doesing pump and containers

Water changeing station theres a closet under the stairs were the sump was located but after moving everything i will repurpose that room so no more 5 gallon buckets for me

I know its not perfect but this is my 2 year learning plan after the 2 year mark im going to upgrade to a 150 or larger tank so for now i would love to hear any thoughts suggestions ect.. thanks everyone

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drauka   

How are temps holding?  A small desk fan mounted in the stand has served me well for keeping the tank temp cool.

 

Refratometer - swing arm hydrometers for measuring salinity are not only a pain to use but can be inaccurate.

 

All in all its a nice system,  good luck and keep us updated 

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Temp is holding around 80 - 80.7 for the fan should i just mount it in the stand or cut a hole in the plywood and mount the fan to pull air out of the stand?

Yea swing arms suck i havent ordered my refractometer but i checked my swing arm against to of them and its off by + .003 roughly

And thank you its a work in progress

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drauka   

Mine is just mounted in the stand facing the water.  One on the end of the stand like you describe wouldn't do much, you want evaporative cooling  with air blowing across or on the surface of the water you are cooling.  

 

There is nothing wrong with the temp you currently have the tank either though.  I just try to minimize swings to a degree or so.  that was tougher to do before pumps got so energy efficient and halides were king of lighting

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So time for some updates

First water change station

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When i was putting it together i over tightened the pvc and broke the impeller cover off so the replacement part showed up today and its filling now

Next got a switch board installed and anything i need no/off for feeding, water change, maintenance ect..

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I also built a ato container its roughly 4.25 gallons but i assembled it incorrectly and it wont fit in mystand so i have to make a new one

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And finally i was battling algae when i tore down the tank and im still battling it now i tryed everything i could think of cleaner water, less food, more food, less light, better husbandry, gfo nothing worked then it dawned on me. my freshwater tank went a month with out a cuc and started looking terrible so i added a new cuc and it looked perfect in days so i counted my saltwater cuc and im down to 1 turbo snail and 1 sand starfish thats it.

At one point i had

6 turbo

12 hermits

1 Lettuce Nudibranch

1 emerald crab

2 sand stars

And 50+ bristle worms brittle stars and the other small white stars

But i think most of my cuc died when i re-did the tank or soon after so i contacted John Maloney at reefcleaners.org and have a new 80 piece cuc coming in tomorrow ill update in a week or so and hopefully things will be heading in the right direction

Hears a tank shot for reference if things go well

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Comments questions concerns are always welcome thanks everyone

Sent from my SM-J320P using Tapatalk

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TrentN   

CUC is very important. There is only one problem I have with Reef Cleaners, now don't get me wrong I love their product and prices, the packages. I did this my first time and will never do it again. I have a 65g I ordered the 65g crew and over half died. Did a little reading and research looking for why. Well in a new tank you don't have the algae and detritus to support a full crew. My first crew should have been for something like a 20 long, then in a few months gotten the 65g crew. Another thing about Reef Cleaners is the the critters are spot on. I've come across a few sites selling a "CUC" and look what they have in it and are going "are you kidding me" a Babylon snail, a tiger cowrie? So they are selling things as a CUC that will eat your CUC.

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Well everything showed up alive today ill try to recount in a few days but thats a lot to count lol hopefully theres enough for them to eat for several months then ill start over feeding for them but tanks been up a little over 9 months and not much of a clean up crew for at least 3 so theres plenty of algae and detritus for the time being and wow some of the CUCs you can find on those sites deserve a species only tank lol not mixed reef

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Update 11-13-16

Most of my cuc is alive and well except two limpets and my lettuce Nudibranch there dead or MIA so cuc is roughly 70 pieces still battling dinos and GHA but im winning

Before

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After

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So good news bad news algae diying good ammonia spike bad and i lost my anemone, fixed the ammonia with water changes and a half bottle of bacteria then bought a dosing pump and all parameters are very stable now and then i found a 5 $ frag of red montipora and its doing good going on 5 days now

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And lastly with the advice of a couple of people on here im add t5s to my LEDs and building a canopy frame is 1x2s and i will update as it goes

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O yea, except my star Polyp ive never had much growth out of it so i fraged it down to the size of a dollar piece so it would be more manageable and hopefully stimulate some growth but its been mad for couple days now but thank you

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Got some work done on the canopy im forcing my self to take it slow so i can have it the way i want it instead of rushing it so here it is so far

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It opens in the front for everyday access and the top opens for heavy maintenance/cleaning i will stain it to match the stand in the next few days also got some t5 ho ballasts and bulbs for supplemental light ill update again when completed

Algae update

1st. i have it

2nd. I HATE IT

3rd. After cuting feeding to every 3 days, changing filter socks every day after blasting rock, adding carbon and gfo, and cutting lights to five hours a day and siphoning a little bit everyday its about 60% clear.

Has anyone used algaefix and does any one have an opinion on it thanks everyone

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Canopy finished

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Everything starting to look much better with the algae almost gone and there's almost no trace of dinos finally

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Thanks trentN its not perfect but this is my learning experience and thanks to you all and google the tank is coming up on it one year mark and after that im gonna start buying parts for my upgrade so hopefully August or September ill start a new thread and hopefully it will be much more detailed and professional looking. im hoping to have a display tank to compete with you big dogs with my own little twist

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Dino's are a pain for sure. I fought them for months when my tank was very young. Sounds like you are slowly winning and that's good. Avoid the quick fixes and beat it slowly because less likely to come back. Stand and hood look great and tank is coming along nicely.

Richard


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