Reef nutrition

The *** have I got myself into build

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
Hello everyone,

I'm new here but I've been keeping FW fish and planted tanks for nigh on 20 years now. Yet I've never ventured into SW or reef keeping. Until Covid at least. I decided to convert my 22g long tank over to a mixed reef tank kinda of on a whim. I suppose a bad bout of duckweed was part of that decision, as well as just tired of trimming plants for so many years.

The 22g build has gone fantastic. I had quite a bit of help from a fellow SFBAAPS member with mentoring and beginner coral frags. I'm at the point where a beginner Monti and and some easy SPS sticks are growing well in there at about the 4 month mark. One month in i began planning the conversion of my 68g UNS90U rimless planted tank over to a reef. (I had a budget somewhere...)

This build thread isn't really about the 22g. It's all about the 68g. Mid May I filled it with salt, created a scape, and started the cycle with my old 17g tank as the sump. Ordered up a custom sized Lifereef build to fit the stand and away I've went to what we in the planted tank hobby call "The dark side". Don't worry SFBAAPS I still love ya'll and have an 11.5g planted cube to keep things somewhat green vs blue!

I'll start off with a few pics of this same tank (2.5 yrs old) in FW planted iterations and then hit the blue pics I think you'd rather see :)

The last pic is where things stand after today's plumbing job. Had to reroute the drains for the skimmer cup to fit and DIY a hanging solution for the refugium light. Transferred a bit of macro algae from the 22g's fuge to get that started while I wait 3 more months for the BRS/WWC cycle to complete. I think I'm going to learn a lot of patience this go around.

Going to add some chaeto and pods, feed the tank with some frozen shrimp, wait some more, then a month and a half from now I'll add a pair of clowns. While I wait I'll be looking for coraline scrapings to hopefully start seeing that before I add the first corals at the 4 month mark. I'll also create a cord management power board to tidy up the electrical mess.

Quick equipment rundown -

Aquatic Life 36" hybrid fixture. I'll add 3 Orphek bars in a few months to provide SPS light levels.

Lifereef CL1 Custom sized sump & refugium to maximize use of the stand space. 20"'x20"14" & 9.5"x20"x18"

Lifereef VS3-24, 22 1/2" tall venturi driven skimmer

2x Icecap 2k gyre's

2x DC-2100 pumps. Skimmer & return.

Magdrive 9.5 for the media reactors

250W Eheim heater with heater controller

AI Prime FW refugium light

Milwaukee PH controller hooked up for the future Calcium reactor


Please comment and critique. I'm in my infancy as a reefer but it's exciting and I've learned quite a bit so far. Looking forward to continue expanding my knowledge and creating something special.

Apologies for the weirdly large pictures, Imgur is not resizing them properly.
















 

sfsuphysics

BOD
Staff member
I don't know anything about the Aquatic life light you got on it, but the overall feel of the tank I'm digging. That big blue sponge in the sump maybe not so much as it will just collect crap ontop of crap and prevent it from moving around and getting sucked up by the skimmer or other filter media, but overall though looks like you're off to a good start.
 

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
I don't know anything about the Aquatic life light you got on it, but the overall feel of the tank I'm digging. That big blue sponge in the sump maybe not so much as it will just collect crap ontop of crap and prevent it from moving around and getting sucked up by the skimmer or other filter media, but overall though looks like you're off to a good start.
Thank you!

Water flow drains into the skimmer chamber -> front left chamber w/blue sponge for mechanical filtration -> center chamber where the return pump, heater, media reactors are. The refugium flow is a secondary feed from the return pump back into the center chamber.

I opted against a filter sock solution as cleaning is messy and they're expensive long term. My housemates would not appreciate cleaning them in the washing machine either :) Foam pads or other filter media are a bit more economical and I can easily change media for different situations or needs.
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
Btw, you can go nuts and have the missing link between FW planted and SW

Do a display fuge. Been on my list like forever but would be couuld if i could live vicariously through someone here. Heh
 

Baykes

Supporting Member
Right on, looking good! Also like you’re repping the sfbaaps sticker. Your planted tanks look gorgeous, I’m sure your reef will look amazing. Welcome to the dark side lol
 

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
Btw, you can go nuts and have the missing link between FW planted and SW

Do a display fuge. Been on my list like forever but would be couuld if i could live vicariously through someone here. Heh
I've been contemplating doing something interesting with it since it looks so nice. Multiple types of macro algae, crabs or other non reef safe critters. I need ideas!
 

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
Right on, looking good! Also like you’re repping the sfbaaps sticker. Your planted tanks look gorgeous, I’m sure your reef will look amazing. Welcome to the dark side lol

Thank you! I've been in SFBAAPS since it formed so I'd have a hard time not repping them. My plan is rather basic at this point so I'm looking forward to seeing the direction this tank heads over the next year plus.
 

dochou

Supporting Member
Thank you! I've been in SFBAAPS since it formed so I'd have a hard time not repping them. My plan is rather basic at this point so I'm looking forward to seeing the direction this tank heads over the next year plus.
You need a BAR sticker too!
I love your FW tanks. I'm sure you'll do a great job on this side of the hobby.
 

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
I'm at the 5 week wet mark now and the tank is cycled with no Ammonia or Nitrites. Started up a testing log and did the first full run through of tests on 8/1. Looking pretty good so far.

Temperature​
78​
KH​
8.1​
PH​
7.8-7.9​
Calcium​
460​
Magnesium​
1400​
Nitrate​
60​
Phosphate​
0.2​
Salinity​
1.024​

Still following the BRS/WWC cycle so no fish or corals for awhile yet. Some things I've been doing while I learn more patience...

Got 2 bottles of pods in from a reef2reef guy and have some dragons breath + chaeto coming tomorrow to add to the calerpa in the fuge.
Feeding the tank bacteria with a jumbo shrimp in the fuge and carbon dosing a bit here and there to keep the nitrates down. The macro algae is taking off so I'll cut that back based off my next testing run.
Hooked up the heater controller (set to 76) and ordered a GHL tank mounted fan array to help keep it cooler as it been running 80 degrees last couple days
Hooked up the new Kasa 6 plug wifi power strip
Set the Aquatic Life hybrid T5's to run 5 hrs a day. 2x Blue plus, 1x Actinic, 1x Coral plus
Added coraline scrapings to seed the tank a few days ago. Seriously! Hurry up you guys!
Ordered a Kessil AP9X to drop into the hybrid fixture. This light will fit like a glove and give me some nice SPS zones
Added some carbon to a media reactor to clean up anything residual in there from plumbing, new pumps, etc. I'll run it for a week maybe

Comments and feedback is always welcome! Thanks for looking.
 

Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
Excited like a kid with a whole bday cake to themselves! Picked up the Kessill AP9X I ordered last week and installed it in the Aquaticlife T5 hybrid fixture. It was so easy it's like they were made for each other. The AP9X protrudes from the bottom of the hybrid fixture about 3-4mm's and is basically invisible once connected up with the flat attachment bars. I may have to raise the hanging fixture to get the appropriate spread on the Kessill but right now it will be OK at 7.5" off the water.

I think I'm going to need a PAR meter sooner than later....









 

Coral reefer

BOD
Staff member
Add yourself to the par meter borrowing list.
If you haven’t been a member for two months when your turn comes up maybe another member can swing by with one and help you out depending on where you are located.
 
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Da_Neefer

Supporting Member
Hi all,

I'm hoping folks here can help with some stocking suggestions for the 68g as I'm 6 weeks into the 4 month cycle plan. There's lots of fish I'd like but the lack of a good database as to what fish are suitable for my size tank seems to be nonexistent. I'd love to be able to search by tank size or dimensions. Does anyone know of a good, comprehensive place to do that? I'm also still new to SW and probably haven't seen half of what's available.

Thanks for looking, i hope to hear from a bunch of you!

Recap of tank size 36x22x22 with total water volume of +/- 100g. Fuge is 9.5Wx20Dx18H

A bit of what I know I'm doing or not doing -

Mixed reef with sps, lps, and softies

Yes***
I'd like a nem and clown pair combo (yes i know they may walkabout)
A fighting conch or 2 once the algae starts kicking in
couple hermits or other algae grazing crab in the refugium, not in DT
Serpent star
Peppermint, Sexy, cleaner Shrimp
Highly interested in a basslet of some kind. Like the chalk
I like fish that also perform natural pest cleanup


No***
Mandarin or Dragonets. Maybe someday when I know I have a tank mature enough. SIGH that red dragon dragonet is sooooo sexy....
Super duper bulldozing gobies or shrimp
Trying to stay away from fish I'd have to upgrade tank size to keep as they get too big
Non photosynthetic corals
No dottybacks unless i'm finished adding other fish
 
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