Kessil

Making Lemonade - Mike's Lagoon

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
So my 200 gallon tank leaked from a bottom seam, I'm not even going to attempt to repair it either just not worth my time to attempt to do so, just hoping Spectrum will through a few c-notes my way as compensation for it, but the reality is that's not even what really upset me, if I just tossed it on a stand and then it leaked I'd be mildly irritated but the amount of work I put into making a space for this tank. Basically redid the entire room, which was going to be done tank or not, but I pulled dedicated breakers just to the tank, pulled plumbing through the walls so that I had both salt and ro/di water from a simple twist of a hose right at the tank, build a sink including all the plumbing, running of drains and vents, put in ventilation to deal with pulling out humid air, picked a wonderfully awesome paint for the wall, oh yeah and I build a stand specifically to fit this tank, with overhang surround as a "bar type" and while I didn't put all the lipstick and mascara on it quite yet, the heavy lifting (pun intended) work a LOT of god damn work. All of this can be chronicled in the thread "Mike's Last Build" and right now, there is serious emphasis on the ending 2 words.

So I did what any crazy reefer would do, instead of hucking a sledgehammer through the tank and screaming at the sky, I decided to try and save everything whether or not I decided to keep it is still up in the air, but this whole shelter-in-place bit is giving me time to think about options, even though others have offered to hold, or even buy some of my livestock, thank you for the offer btw (the former of course :D). But ultimately when I'm upset and scrambling and things continue to go wrong that really puts you on the edge, two temporary tanks had leaks too (so much for acrylic being better :D), which eventually got me to pull out something I did not want to do... my 300 gallon Rubbermaid tub, THE LAGOON IS BACK! Now I wish I set this up as the first option, as it would have allowed me to move rock structures and keep them mostly intact restacking in the tub, the reality is I thought the leaking came from the holes on the bottom of the tank so thought this was a fixable solution, but it wasn't there, which meant the seams.

So my first run with the tub came from breaking down another tank, but that other tank had aiptasia and bubble algae issues which had me give up on it, it would have been a nice tank to keep otherwise, it was big 5' wide and 6' long. but it was acrylic... trust me I know I spend weeks buffing it out before hand. But enough of memory lane, out came the tub, things got moved over. And the other day I made the call to empty even my 40 gallon tank and toss that all in one tank, really didn't want to try and keep two tanks going, hopefully I don't regret it.

So I took some pictures, but unfortunately the reflection of the lights off the surface really limits what I can do unless I shoot underwater, and I don't really want to do that now. Now I'm used to going on and on and on typing a paragraph for every bulkhead I install, I mean just look at this thread so far. So I'll let the pictures speak for themselves... I reduced the overall size by 35% of the original photo, if they're too big, use a computer to view them not your phone :D





















So was that officially Mike's Last Build... only time will tell now. I will reexamine after a while, I don't want to settle for a tank again, which is kind of what I did with the 200g tank as it was glass and a "I can't pass it up" price, but after having a local store trying to charge me $500 more than the price a tank was advertised at, and it had a big old chip in the corner, and another tank builder quoting me a price nearly twice what another local paid for the same size but a few months earlier I think getting what I want might be harder than I think.

Special thanks to Mario and Mike for helping me out in my time of need, even though I didnt make physical contact with them, having stuff left out to get a bulkhead piece, or get some salt mix, helped greatly.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
So a suggestion:
Keep the tub permanently.
Install a couple of remote controlled waterproof cameras in it.

You can watch it from the top like now.
Or you can get a fish-perspective on your iPhone or your TV at any time.

Mostly kidding, but not entirely.
:)
 

IOnceWasLegend

Supporting Member
On the one hand, that sucks and I'm really sorry about your tank springing a leak.

On the other hand, that is a *REALLY* cool setup and I like @rygh 's suggestion of installing waterproof cameras in it. :)
 

capescuba

Supporting Member
That sucks Mike I remember back in, 2005 or so when I set up a 210 glass, running for ~ 2 months then decided to leak whilst I was on vacation. I ended up switching to acrylic after that.
 

JVU

BOD
Staff member
I like the tub lagoon. I’ve always thought pond-style reef tanks are neat in their own way. Coral and clams usually have more vibrant color from the top anyway. The livestock seems happy. You certainly have good access everywhere for maintenance despite the big footprint because of the low height. If you like it, I don’t see any reason not to clean it up and keep it this way, for the near future at least.

If you are going to keep it, maybe come up with a way to avoid surface agitation. You have a ton of surface area, and if you also run a sump with skimmer I think you’d have enough gas exchange without pointing pumps at the surface. Might be very calming to look down and see everything clearly without having to turn off pumps.
 

Corallus

Supporting Member
If you make/buy/find a large version of a top down coral viewer, that could be a cool way to see inside, without turning anything off and on.
 

rygh

Webmaster
Staff member
With a pond with high walls like that, you could make a fun dump-bucket wave machine also.

And make a giant top down viewer, on a pully.

Ideal lighting would be the DIY Lumia LEDs. They have big adjustable lenses, so you can raise the lights way up.

We are so helpful. :)
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Yeah my kid's first "dad's crazy obsessions" moment came when this tank was up the last time, he could walk up to it and at the time just barely peak over the edge of it often needing to stand on something. But I feel if I "clean it up", i.e. make the outer area a little less janky looking, then I'll just be making the foot print bigger... but yeah.. I can see spiffing it up a little... maybe when things start to die down... or I get one of those antibody tests and it says I already have antibodies for COVID19.
 

Wlachnit

BOD
Staff member
Wow...so sorry to hear that about your tank. I feel for you. You had been working on that for a long time. Anyway, glad to see you are making lemonade!
 

NelsonCh

Guest
good thing nobody picked up the rubbermaid! but dang sorry about the leak. What a pain.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

IOnceWasLegend

Supporting Member
Yeah my kid's first "dad's crazy obsessions" moment came when this tank was up the last time, he could walk up to it and at the time just barely peak over the edge of it often needing to stand on something. But I feel if I "clean it up", i.e. make the outer area a little less janky looking, then I'll just be making the foot print bigger... but yeah.. I can see spiffing it up a little... maybe when things start to die down... or I get one of those antibody tests and it says I already have antibodies for COVID19.
Just a heads up: even if you have the antibodies, there's still no proof of immunity just yet. I'd say it's reasonable there would be, just that it's not carte blanche "I got it, I'm good now".
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Ok, starting to go all in on the lagoon, at least as a some what long term temporary solution. first step gluing random frags to the sides of the tub, now I don't necessarily want to just throw light right at the edges but I'm seeing enough light spill, and algae is growing on the sides so perhaps there's sufficient light there. I'll find out when the PAR meter comes back round here, but in the mean time had a couple larger pieces of orange monti cap, and some idaho grape monti that I glued just to see if it can actually encrust onto that plasticy shell.


A couple coral pics, this is my Tricolor back in the 200g, it really look like it took a beating (bleaching) possibly being too high in the tank, too much light, although the thing did grow quite well regardless.


Here it is after 3 weeks in the lagoon, lights are quite a bit higher, and I think the placement of it definitely puts it in a bit lower light, seems to be coloring back up.


And here's Maureen, the classroom acro, got some green, got some maybe purple tips, and polyps extended like a mofo
 

Kensington Reefer

Supporting Member
go full tub!!
Houser went full tub in a 150
his corals got huge and you don't need to clean the algae off the sides of the tank!

very sorry to hear of the leak
hope there is a warranty
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
Yeah, I'm going to see how bad PG&E spanks me over the next few months first, evaporation is a mother on this much surface area, although it will be hard to tell as sheltering in place alone has caused a much higher increase in electrical usage, plus as summer months near my solar production peaks.

And yup, algae on the sides gave me the idea of gluing corals there, hell maybe even low light stuff depending on how bright it is there.

We'll see about the warranty, they've already contacted me, but I'm fully expecting them to find some technicality with something that gets them off the hook. "Oh that's not an approved stand" or "nope there's a modification that negates it" "sorry that handwritten note that said how much you paid for it is not valid". I mean I did buy it from a guy, new mind you, who supposedly closed down his LFS somewhere in Nevada I think. Just need to see if I can go through the old pictures to see if I have any of it still on the pallet and wrapped to show it was new, as well as early pics of it on the stand, then maybe just make a document that looks like a bill of sale. Either way, I'm going to probably separate all the panels of the tank, and store them for future ideas.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
PG&E bill is surprising low... like really surprising, to the point that I think I want to shoot them an email to see if this is an actual usage or based off past usage because they're not sending around meter readers. It would not surprise me in the least that these are lower readings and they're getting ready to spank customers (and please stock holders) with massive bills from everyone who's stayed home and is probably using way more electricity than normal because they'll very quickly get you into higher priced tiers.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
But on the lighting front, used the PAR meter, getting 250-260 at the highest point in the dead center, which is perfectly fine. However I was getting 350-400 there before ... I think, I'm trying to find a post or something that mentions what I was getting before, only thing I could find is something about me saying I got 200 at the sand bed, now the "sand bed" can be anywhere from 70 to 150 depending upon how close to the center, rocks that are blocking, etc. Now this was expected as I have more or less the same lighting, over an area easily 2 times larger, where the other system had somewhat reflective glass walls, and now I have rather dark sides, I did add two more LEDs to try and get some extra coverage but it still is a large area.

Bottom line anemones are in 90-100 PAR, they probably would like better but they don't seem to mind. Corals seem happy where they are though, colors are nice in most (a couple are looking a bit pale), the rim inside the tank is only at 65-72 PAR which is kind of a downer as I really wanted to grow corals on the side, I think I still can, it just won't be nearly as good growth, and coloration might be .. meh like. I really don't know what corals want these days.

Either way, not sure what, if anything, I'm going to do, I really do not want to lower the lighting as that would kind of detract from the whole open top, "I can see into the tank" look, the only other option is maybe more lights, but I need to find out if my rack system can hold the weight, plus more lights means more expense :D
 

99sf

Guest
Yeah, I'm going to see how bad PG&E spanks me over the next few months first, evaporation is a mother on this much surface area, although it will be hard to tell as sheltering in place alone has caused a much higher increase in electrical usage, plus as summer months near my solar production peaks.

And yup, algae on the sides gave me the idea of gluing corals there, hell maybe even low light stuff depending on how bright it is there.

We'll see about the warranty, they've already contacted me, but I'm fully expecting them to find some technicality with something that gets them off the hook. "Oh that's not an approved stand" or "nope there's a modification that negates it" "sorry that handwritten note that said how much you paid for it is not valid". I mean I did buy it from a guy, new mind you, who supposedly closed down his LFS somewhere in Nevada I think. Just need to see if I can go through the old pictures to see if I have any of it still on the pallet and wrapped to show it was new, as well as early pics of it on the stand, then maybe just make a document that looks like a bill of sale. Either way, I'm going to probably separate all the panels of the tank, and store them for future ideas.
great way to deal with a difficult situation! I love shallow tanks. Just curious about the evaporation... can you estimate the number of gallons you have to replace each week? My 29 gallon tank (with no canopy and a 10 gallon sump) has a surprising amount of evaporation.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
PG&E bill is surprising low... like really surprising, to the point that I think I want to shoot them an email to see if this is an actual usage or based off past usage because they're not sending around meter readers. It would not surprise me in the least that these are lower readings and they're getting ready to spank customers (and please stock holders) with massive bills from everyone who's stayed home and is probably using way more electricity than normal because they'll very quickly get you into higher priced tiers.
And unfortunately they're doing it... PG&E is estimating bills if you don't have the "Smart meter" that dials home your electrical usage. I mean I don't blame them really, but seems like something they should have proactively dealt with, training on how to walk a block with a face mask? So I'm fully expecting a ginormous bill.
 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
great way to deal with a difficult situation! I love shallow tanks. Just curious about the evaporation... can you estimate the number of gallons you have to replace each week? My 29 gallon tank (with no canopy and a 10 gallon sump) has a surprising amount of evaporation.
Well the tank isn't particularly shallow, I mean ok the water level is maybe 22" so a bit short for a tank this size, the surface area is most likely the culprit. As to an estimate? eh.. it's going to vary based on temp/ambient humidity (due to weather and tank) etc... but I wouldn't be surprised if 20 gallons is the answer to that, it may be lower I haven't exactly paid attention to how often I fill up my RO tub, and to be honest during this time the days do seem to all merge together.
 
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