My Frugal 55g

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by ashburn2k, May 9, 2017.

  1. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    So I started doing reef after seeing a giant reef display at a east coast LFS, and from that point on, I went salty from freshwater and there's no returning since then ( and that was 15 years ago )

    I've pretty much had tanks from 20g to 120g ( not reef ready ). and after a tank crash in the office ( i was away for a 3 week trip in tibet, my co-worker forgot to add water to my topoff reservoir ) I pretty much got depressed and stayed away for a while.

    so fast forward 10 years, and a wife later, I wanted to start a tank again, but the wife knows how expensive it is, she just veto the idea, so I told her that I can keep the cost to minimal or free, with that, I began to look for free tanks on Craiglists and a long time friend pointed me to here and joining the BAR community and boy I was so happy that I found you guys. so fast foward a year later, I have my 55g long with customized hood and diy lights, 30g long sump and mostly free or cheap. I will get to my frugal gears soon.

    here's the oveall shot of my tank ( im going to add the photo on iphone through tapatalk, somehow the desktop site wont let me add photos )

    • Tank : 55g glass reef ready [ from boun11 -> travis ]
    • Sump: 30g long glass [ from xcaret ]
    • Rock + sand [ craigslist free ]
    • Hood [ craigslist free wood + diy ]
    • Light: 4x30w LED Flood Light, 5x10w SMD LED [ used 2 from my old terrarium and got 2 from amazon reward + aliexpress for the LED chip ]
    • Skimmer: EuroReef RS80 [ from xcaret]
    • Return pump: Jebao DCS-9000 [ amazon reward points ]
    • Wavemaker: Jebao PP-20 [ amazon reward points ]
    • diy ATO with TOM lifter pump [ amazon reward points for TOM, and aliexpress for the float switch ]
    • 20g bucket with RO/DI reservoir, with shutoff valve once water is full ( ATO gets water from here, so I never have to worry about filling it up ) [ from Cymen ]
    • 15g salt mix bucket [ ericflynnster ]

    • green palys [ spurgeon.eric ]
    • Blue Clues Zoa
    • Rasta Zoa
    • Alien eyes BPE Zoa
    • Blue Tubs Zoa
    • Indonesian toadstool
    • Rose BTA [ Newjack ] [ committed suicide in my circulation pump after a tank move ]
    • Rose BTA [ Zach S ]
    • Green Leather toadstool [ Zach S ]
    • Palau Nephthea [ RandyC ]
    • Vamp in Drag [ RandyC ]
    • Mohawk [ RandyC ]
    • Coco's Pink Paly
    • Blue Clues Zoa

    Live stocks:
    • Single OC clown [ boun11 ]

    In the beginning before there were sand ( cycle ) and never get that POS powerhead, it's cheap but it breaks faster than you can image ( returned to amazon )


    And the a lot of LRs/sands later


    After lights change


    and once again, thanks goes to those who gave out free frags and equipment !! without you, I wont have a tank this nice today.
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2017
    SamHa, Gablami, jepoy and 1 other person like this.
  2. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yanno, if I didn't have tangs I would very seriously consider a smaller tank in this range. You can really do a lot to keeping it healthy, aquascaping it like you want, heck being able to do a 50% water change without much headache alone would keep you going well. The only downside would be fish limitations.
  3. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    Coming from a 120g, i know that i want to keep a smaller tank this time around.

    I will add more photo later with my other setup. and just got a smaller 12g ( or 8? it's 24x12x8) shallow frag tank.
  4. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Hahaha. Cheap or free? She bought that line? Did you meet her online and say you looked like a male model? Must be gulible!
    Now just tell her that your tank is only 20 gal and you want to have a 75 and you can get like a 225 and she will never know!
    Baykes and tankguy like this.
  5. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I believe him in regards to him being able to get stuff cheap or free. Every time something pops up for free I see him sending pm's.

    Great work.
    Newjack and L/B Block like this.
  6. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    L/B Block likes this.
  7. Gablami

    Gablami Supporting Member

    Yeah with this club and some time, a completely cost free tank besides water and electricity costs is definitely possible. But yeah, it would be hard for me not to sneak stuff in here and there. Your patience must be boundless dear sir!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    ashburn2k likes this.
  8. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    I've updated my post with sources for my tank, so you can see 'free' tank does happen if you work for it. and which shows how awesome this club is.
  9. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    Looking great! I can't wait for our toadstool to grow! Great to meet you today.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  10. L/B Block

    L/B Block Supporting Member

    It was a blast to get a frag knowing we contributed some free parts. Such great folks in the club!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  11. Chromis

    Chromis Supporting Member

    I think that's the trade off. Nanofish vs large water changes. I would love to keep a variety of tangs (yellow, hippo and Achilles just to start!) but I have a 40g. But water changes aren't a huge production and you can redo the aquascape in a day if you want.
  12. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    New Additions
    • Palau Nephthea [ RandyC ]
    • Vamp in Drag [ RandyC ]
    • Mohawk [ RandyC ]
  13. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster

    Decided not to do another frag tank, instead I cleaned up my sump area and added a crate above cheato.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  14. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster


    As of today

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  15. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    That's a good way.

    You can run the frag lights on reverse cycle from the main lights.
  16. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Not sure how well the chaeto will grow, what light is that? Chaeto and corals likely want different spectrums... good use of space for sure tho
  17. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    This is true. I think it's been noted before that the chaeto like more the red spectrum where the corals like the blue. You may be able to get away with a more white color light that has both the blue and red. With your chaeto being under the frag rack (that is how it's working right) it might not be able to get enough light with all the shadowing. Let us know how it works.
  18. ashburn2k

    ashburn2k Webmaster


    A better look at the sump

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  19. Mr. Ugly

    Mr. Ugly Past President

    Use light from above for frags and a different light from the side for chaeto.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  20. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I was thinking that may be a good possibility too. I think @roostertech does this.

Share This Page