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Angry Ang Mo's 125 Gallons of Pure Reefing Pleasure


brent
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Hey Bros & Sis

I'm back and this time I have a new tank.

This is just a placeholder / reminder for me that I need to get off my duff and get started on my build thread. My new 125 gallon mixed reef tank was built over one month ago and I haven't even started my thread. It's a sad, sad story. I know… I'm even disappointed in myself.

In any case, I’ll start with a photo from today before I go back to its inception back in March.

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This baby BTA was suffering from shipping stress when I bought it last month. In the last couple of days, it split and now it’s become a big baby and a little baby. As you can see, the porcelain crab that normally hangs out on my Magnificent Anemone has decided to try something different.

Here are some specs from my new tank:

Size: 48" x30" x20" rimless

Volume: 125 gallons

Materials: 12mm low iron glass (3 sides)

Overflow: External 2/3rds Coast to Coast with Bean Animal 1.5" Overflows (3 pipes). Overflow box is 36”x5”x6”

Bulkheads: Schedule 80 from BRS

Primary Overflow Valve: Spears Gate Valve

Returns: Dual 1" returns

Tank Builder: CRA (Coral Reef Aquarium)

Sump: Same as with my last tank (This turned out to be a bad idea because it forced me to cut over to the new tank too quickly without time for a proper cycle)

Bulkhead

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Overflow Valve

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To be continued.....

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Cool, will camping to see your new tank build. :yahoo:

Display Tank : 36" x 20" x 20" Herbie overflow box design, Sump : 36" x 21" x 17", Frag Tank : 16” x 20” x 16”, custom built by Tank Culture.

Lightings : Ecotech  Radion XR15 Pro x 2 for Main Display Tank, Inled R80 x 1 for Frag Tank.

Chiller : Dalkin 1hp compressor with build-in drop coil.

Skimmer : Skimz Octa SC205i Protein Skimmer.

FR : H2Ocean FMR75 Fluidised Media Reactor with Hailea HX-2500 (Feeder Pump) running Rowaphos.

CR : Skimz Monzter E Series CM122 Calcium Reactor.

BPR: Marine Source Biopellet  Reactor with Continuum Reef Biopellet Fuel. 

Main Return Pump : SICCE Syncra ADV 9.0 & Jebao ACQ-10000 Water Pump.

Wavemaker : Jebao MOW-9 x2 for Main Display Tank & Jebao SLW-20M  Sine Wave Pump for  Frag Tank.

Water Top Up: AutoAqua Smart ATO Lite.

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Thanks everyone for your support

Overflow Box:

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Here is a photo of the external overflow. It normally has an acrylic cover but I removed the cover so you can see the workings of it.

For those of you are who have not heard of the Bean Animal overflow, it actually features 3 separate overflow pipes. The primary full siphon overflow is controlled by a gate valve to tweak the flow, which eliminates noise and results in a extremely fast return.(This is the return closest to me in the photo)

There is a 2nd overflow called an open channel overflow and it has a little bit of water trickling down it. It also has a tube that comes out of the cap which will automatically transform it into a siphon if the water level rises because of a blockage on the full siphon overflow.

The 3rd overflow is just for emergencies and so it doesn't have a cap. (Furthest from the camera in the photo).

For more info about the design, check out Bean's website : http://www.beananimal.com/projects/silent-and-fail-safe-aquarium-overflow-system.aspx

So far, I'm extremely happy with the overflow. It doesn't make any noise and it has absolutely no problem handling the output of my returns. It's definitely over engineered, which in this case is good.

Substrate:

For now, I’ve decided to go for bare bottom. I got tired of my power heads blowing sugar fine sand everywhere and so I finally ditched the sand. The major problem with bb is of course that it requires lots of siphoning if you want it to look nice.

We’ll see if I can maintain regular maintenance. If I get sick and tired of siphoning, I’ll probably go with Calcium reactor media since it can’t be blown around. Another option would be to try placing zoas over much of the bottom in hopes the tank bottom will become a zoa carpet.

Parameters:

In the past, I spent a lot of time playing with the parameters in order to tweak the CA and dKH up for enhanced growth. Given that I had smaller tanks, which are especially difficult to dial in, I was quite frustrating by the ups and downs of the tank parameters.

For this tank, I've decided to simplify my approach. I use DD Salt and so I’ve decided to just stick with its standard parameters, which are approximately:

pH 8.3

dKH 9.4

CA 440

MG 1340

I figure that whatever gains I previously made from boosting CA and dKH, I probably lost more from lack of stability. By striving to maintain stock salt parameters, it will also reduce my workload when doing water changes since I don’t need to tweak the parameters of the new water. By keeping it simple, I also hope to do water changes more often.

I maintain these parameters using a Bubble Magus Dosing Pump, which allows me to dose a small amount every hour. I consider this an absolute necessity and would only give it up if I decided to switch over to CA reactor.

(On a side note, since I’m selling my extra Dosing Pump and I mentioned replacing one of the tubes, a number of people have reached out to me about getting replacement tubes. Razali aka Dr Evil from Delightings should now have them in stock.)

While I enjoyed the integrated approach of the dosing compartments in the sump on my last tank, I didn't enjoy refilling them every 5 days. So, now that I have some cabinet space, I decided to just use 25L containers to minimize the hassle of mixing and add some stability.

Lighting

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I am currently using my previous lighting arrangement plus another T5 DE unit (2 x 54W)

Here is the current setup:

1. 48” DE T5 retrofit with ATI bulbs (Blue + / Blue +)

2. 1M DIY CREE LED (described in my previous thread)

3. 48” DE T5 retrofit with ATI bulbs (Coral + / Blue +)

I’m using the Mazarra stand to mount all three on two DIY aluminum bars.

As part of the move to the new tank, I lost a number of corals. :cry: Also, many of the corals that survived browned out due to poor water quality & reduced lighting. Now that my water quality is good and my light is finally set up, I’m hoping that they will color up quickly. I’ve had to maintain a lot of restraint since my natural inclination is blast them with as much light as possible to eliminate the brown. However, as we all know, this is not a very smart idea and would most likely lead to significant bleaching.

Using this light set up has lead to one significant of issue:

Since the light is high up and not especially focused, I’m getting a lot of light spillage. Of course, this hasn’t made me very popular at home since the tank is in our dining room. For now, I’ve fabricated a removable light shield out of acrylic but this destroys much of the benefits of going rimless and it looks quite unsightly.

In order to permanently resolve this, I’m thinking of two options:

1. Buy the ATI Sunpower Dimmable Unit 54W (8 bulbs). While I would love to get this unit, it is quite expensive and to be honest I can’t justify spending so much money right after purchasing a new tank & cabinet. Most likely I would just use 6 out of the 8 bulbs and leave 2 for later when the tank becomes more densely packed. I would hope that since it can be mounted right above the water light spillage would be minimized. However, there are no guarantees that this would fix the problem and I would be very unpopular at home if I spent so much on a new light and didn’t fix the underlying problem.

2. Give up on the rimless look and ask CRA to make me a canopy that matches the cabinet. While I love the rimless look, once you clutter it with cables and light shields, it doesn’t have the same impact. One very positive side effect of this solution is that I wouldn’t need to worry about suicidal flying fish. On my previous tank I lost a Helfichi, a Basslet, and a Barlett. Without some type of cover, I will always run the risk of losing more fish. I can always fashion a screen cover using ¼” mesh but that would add further clutter. (I know that BRS sells ¼” mesh but does anyone know if it’s available locally?)

I would be interested to hear people’s opinions about two of these different options. Is it really worthwhile to upgrade to the ATI fixture? How have other people with rimless tanks addressed the issue of light spillage?

Flow

I went a bit crazy in the flow department since my Eheim 1242 didn’t have enough punch last time to power my return and manifold.

For the new super tankie, I upgraded to a RO Water Blaster HY10000. This 10,000 LPH pump is a real beast. I attached it to both returns and the manifold, which powers the FR, Chiller, biopellet reactor, refugium, and UV sterilizer. I also had CRA plumb in a 2nd return pump (my old Eheim 1242) into the secondary return. I only plan to turn on my 2nd return pump when I’m out of the country for the purposes of redundancy. It’s a bit confusing to describe and so I’ll post a drawing that clearly explains the design since there are multiple valves that allow me to run everything off of the main pump while I’m in SG but isolates the main pump from backup pump & backup chiller while I’m away. While I love the new pump, it does vibrate my sump a bit and so I’m looking for a while to quite it down.

In terms of in tank flow, I have an MP40 and 2 x MP10s that are all controlled wirelessly through my Apex controller. One of the MP10s is opposite the MP40 and the other is on the back running in Ecoback mode. I split the day between Nutrient mode and Tidal mode. I also have a WP40 that I periodically run manually to clear out the detritus behind the rocks. However, it’s a bit bulky and so I might get rid of it since I don’t really need it since I have the other 3 powerheads.

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  • SRC Member

I wanted to do a coast to coast overflow with bean style for my 60" rimless tank prev but was advised by tankmaker here to stick with other common methods. In the end just stick to their plan. I would love to adopt your style when I change tanks.

Sent from my Android using Tapatalk2

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My first FTS: img3636bg.jpg It's definitely not finished but it's getting there. I also need to work on my photography technique...
Luv your 2 islands, one big one small look! Thumbs up for your scape!!

Display Tank : 36" x 20" x 20" Herbie overflow box design, Sump : 36" x 21" x 17", Frag Tank : 16” x 20” x 16”, custom built by Tank Culture.

Lightings : Ecotech  Radion XR15 Pro x 2 for Main Display Tank, Inled R80 x 1 for Frag Tank.

Chiller : Dalkin 1hp compressor with build-in drop coil.

Skimmer : Skimz Octa SC205i Protein Skimmer.

FR : H2Ocean FMR75 Fluidised Media Reactor with Hailea HX-2500 (Feeder Pump) running Rowaphos.

CR : Skimz Monzter E Series CM122 Calcium Reactor.

BPR: Marine Source Biopellet  Reactor with Continuum Reef Biopellet Fuel. 

Main Return Pump : SICCE Syncra ADV 9.0 & Jebao ACQ-10000 Water Pump.

Wavemaker : Jebao MOW-9 x2 for Main Display Tank & Jebao SLW-20M  Sine Wave Pump for  Frag Tank.

Water Top Up: AutoAqua Smart ATO Lite.

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Thanks all for the support.

I wanted to do a coast to coast overflow with bean style for my 60" rimless tank prev but was advised by tankmaker here to stick with other common methods. In the end just stick to their plan. I would love to adopt your style when I change tanks.

I'm really happy with the C2C bean overflow. I understand from the perspective of the tankmaker it can be difficult and time consuming to build something new. One thing I really like about CRA is that every time I proposed something different or complicated, they embraced it as a challenge.

On a side note, the overflow comb isn't glued to the tank. It actually fits into a slot. This is ideal for maintenance or replacement. I also requested this arrangement because I've heard that using a flat combless overflow provides much better surface skimming than using the comb. This gives me the flexibility for swapping out the comb for a piece of flat acrylic. It also allows me to adjust the height of the water level by 1-2 inches. I haven't tried this yet since I still need to devise a solution to ensure my fish don't end up in taking a ride down into the sump and end up as skimmer chop

Luv your 2 islands, one big one small look! Thumbs up for your scape!!

Thanks bro. I'm liking the two island look but the small island needs a bit of tweaking. I would like some additional color on the small island that helps balance the large island. It also needs some additional depth. So far I'm satisfied with it but aquascaping is a never ending process.

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Hi brent. Sweet. So was the pipes using the bean style in the overflow set up by them according to your plan?

Yes, I provided CRA my recommendations as well as photos from the bean animal site and the glassreef.com site, which uses a similar pipe & overflow configuration as I wanted. I also sourced the bulkheads and some of the valves myself. CRA already had experience making a Herbie overflow on my previous tank and so they understood how everything should work.

The main issue I had with the Herbie overflow on my shallow tank was that the overflow pipe went too deep into the sump. Originally it was over 6 inches under water and this made it extremely difficult to get the siphon started. When I designed the 125G tank, I came across some threads where people were having similar problems getting a siphon started. The solution in most cases was to shorten the overflow pipes going into the sump so that they were only barely under the water. So I shortened the overflow pipes on the Herbie so that they only went 1" below the normal water line. This drastically reduced the amount of time required to get the siphon started.

Also, if you are planning to use bulkheads, make sure the tank maker leaves plenty of space between the holes. Since almost no one uses bulkheads in Singapore, they are not accustomed with the large holes required. If you are going to use bulkheads, I suggest you go for the threaded versions since the slip type do not seem to match the pipe sizes used in Singapore.

Lastly, I don't think I was prepared for how big a 1.5" gate valve would be. I'm sure it's overkill and in retrospect I probably didn't need so much overflow capacity.

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My corals are starting to color up again :) PE has also significantly improved in the new tank.

Here are a couple of current photos. A majority grew from frags that I got from Cedric around Xmas time. The 2nd one is a Walt Smith colony I bought from Iwarna a few months ago.

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This weekend I picked up some more frags and so stay tuned for updates.

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Kudos to you Brent, your tank thread is one fine example of a detail sharing of tank set up and many will benefit from it.

I enjoy reading it :thumbsup:

Thanks bro. Hopefully, by sharing others can avoid some of the mistakes that I have made and vice versa.

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Great looking sps you got there :thumbsup:

Hi Brent, u write well and I enjoyed reading your thread. Needless to say very nice sps. Keep the updates coming

Colourful tank and nice sps too care to share how you maintance the sps and make it open up thank.

Thanks guys! I appreciate the feedback. For a while, I was wondering if I was talking to myself :look:

Although I'm just a beginner, I'll try to put together a post with my maintenance and philosophy. Since I tend to be a bit verbose, it might be a few days.

Here are some more photos:

New frags from last weekend

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Old Frags / Small Colonies

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After remaining stagnant for more than 6 months, the fiber optic is finally starting to glow.

The last one is a rainbow stylo that I'm hoping to color up since it darkened quite a bit.

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Here are some more updates regarding my build out:

Temperature Control

I’m using the same 1/5hp Artica that I bought for my last tank. I know, I know. I should have listened to the helpful advice from others and upsized to a 1/4hp in the beginning.

While I initially thought it would be underpowered, it seems to be doing fine. I have a 1/10hp Artica for my reserve chiller that woefully underpowered. CRA constructed an external chiller box that matches my cabinet. For now I have the reserve chiller in there, but it would make more sense to put my primary in the external chiller box and my reserve in the main cabinet so that heat from my primary chiller doesn’t output into the cabinet and heat the water in the sump.

My plan is to configure the Apex to automatically turn on the reserve chiller if the tank temperature goes above 28.5C since I normally set the main chiller to 26.3C.

At my request, the CRA guys installed two 120mm computer fans in rear of the cabinet to help with air flow. There are also ventilation slots in the front of the cabinet on the side where the chiller in positioned.

In order to help save some energy, I bought a cooling fan that blows air across my sump to help cool it off. It seems like after I installed the fan the chiller doesn’t turn on as often. I definitely noticed a difference in the amount of freshwater evaporation. When running this fan, my 4G ATO reservoir needs to be topped up twice a week instead of once every two weeks. While I like the idea of the fan, it runs at 220V and to be honest I’m not so comfortable running 220V AC in my cabinet over water. So, for now I have removed this fan and I will replace it with DC fans running 12V. Most likely I will use the same model of 120mm 12V computer fans that I currently use to ventilate my cabinet. I would also like to set up a float valve so that the fans only run if the ATO reservoir is at least half full.

Filtration

Skimmer - I’m still running the Reef Octopus SRO 1000 LSS that I bought for my previous tank. I added an automatic neck cleaner which is in on a timer to run 10 minutes 3X per day. While I like the neck cleaner, it takes a lot more space and so I have to remove the egg crate box I was using to elevate the skimmer. This has resulted in the skimmer being positioned towards the lower end of the recommended range. I just built a shorter egg crate box to see if I can at least hit the middle of the range.

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(My very crowded cabinet with the skimmer & neck cleaner)

I would also like to install a drain tube and container for the skimmer output. I’ve been waiting to get the float valves hooked up to the Apex since I would want it to automatically stop the skimmer if it starts overflowing. I was thinking of installing two valves: 1. The 1st float valve would be about half way up the waste container and it would send an email to me so I know that it is time to empty the container. The 2nd float valve would automatically shut off the skimmer to prevent the overflowing the container.

Filter wool - I occasionally use filter wool for a couple of days before it gets clogged up and starts slowing the flow between the chambers of the sump. In retrospect, I would have installed a filter sock on the main overflow since there is so much redundancy with the Bean overflow.

Biopellets - I have been running NP Biopellets with a biopellet reactor. Seems to work fine and so far I like having to not worry about tweaking my vinegar dosing. I just bought some Reef Octopus Biospheres and I will give them a try next. In order to enhance their effectiveness, I also occasionally dose MB7. My nitrates never seem to go past 1 PPM and in most cases they are completely undetectable. This is the same as when I dosed vinegar and vodka.

GFO - My standard setup includes Rowaphos since it’s the only way I can manage to keep my phosphates under control without daily water changes or starving my fish. Before I started running Rowaphos, it was very difficult for me to get decent SPS growth or coloration. Personally I think it is the most underutilized technique when beginners transition to SPS. The Rowaphos is run in a Phosban reactor and replace it when my phosphates start creeping up. To test phosphates, I use the Hanna UL checker. None of the other test kits seemed to go low enough. I try to keep my phosphates below .03 PPM or 30 PPB. Ideally they are between 10 and 20 PPB.

Fuge

I used chaeto in my sump on my last tank and it seemed to grow quite well. Unfortunately, it died when I was switching tanks. I recently managed to get some replacement chaeto plus green grapes. Hopefully, they will also thrive.

Live Rock

According to most guidelines, I am supposed to be using somewhere between 65 to 130 KG of live rock in my 150G tank & sump. There is no way I have anywhere close to this much live rock. I would guess that I use approximately 35 kgs. For this tank, I tried out using Sea Chem Matrix (the biomedia. Not the carbon) since I don’t have enough live rock. It seems to be working since I never really saw a significant nutrient spike as part of the tank cycle.

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