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Red Sea Peninsula 500! DIY projects galore


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Hey SRC, its been a really long while since I've posted here. My last project was the 8g cube under $400 which did really well, but had to tear that down for an overseas deployment. 

 

I've since upgraded to a 50G cube tank which I purchased 2nd hand, and finally, recently received a brand new Red Sea Peninsula 500!

 

Follow this thread if you're interested in DIY projects like saltwater mixing stations, 3d printing parts, hard plumbing, negative space aqua sculptures, QT processes, coral QT, holding tanks and more. Most of my inspiration comes from posters in reef2reef and youtube, but it has been a really challenging journey to convert all of that into a localised context. Lots of lessons I've had to learn the hard way so I'm hoping this thread can help fellow reefers who are like me, basic DIY skills, oh-god-pls-don't-leak kinda guy. 

 

So for all my posts, I'll be sharing what I used, where I got it and how much it costs. I'll try and keep updates weekly, as well as share my plans and timelines for what to do when you're waiting for the tank to arrive. Like and follow!

 

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Chapter 1

Laopor, we need a new tank. 

6 weeks ago was when I finally got the go ahead to purchase this 4 feet upgrade. I had already made grand plans, like a matching Ikea cabinet to store the controllers, a salt mixing station to at least do 30% emergency water changes and AWCs, the full works. Now it was time to put all of that into action. 

 

So why Red sea? And why the Peninsula 500? I really like the clean minimalistic lines the reefer series has, was comparing this to the waterbox as well as custom options, but I've always get drawn back to the clean lines. So why the 500? Because there are many reported cases of larger red sea tanks buckling and seams failing, so it seemed (pun) sensible at that time to avoid any models larger than 500. 

 

hOICgYmKQ2GwV1YhDH47nj-1AmYuwOL0W8aOIu5c4AV_Vex50mii65Fhi6nw_w8JuSZOlpXq7uWRYGGQA_2CDQQevtzE4j-L6iFFXyaC_xP6dX5jutI3Vcad-HBEdx26YSIbG6XzjXOVQSanzp3o04vMVOPeUWm9P14XMhg6ksGU-nj1olpxTB-KRnbxMS0ZiRzKOTOSawwLAk4q10SS42H1U0al9D1982oZrLr9o3T9yKRr-Jzje__qEs-q9-M9lQ-rATIaLlS2tMFCMU6AlZVGyLb0xC_JZxnvNNa8hUeUZ-oVWxdNI0tSf2etUfvKLxuwtIreo-Ke0NU3vVlAAXS6f6Vh8MBWmdyuhHmE8GckcBnrZtLo7dIIXcuIc1xdHYUMGugHO6o3h7nUKzA8S0WowvkcBcRjonYY6asZpLOB4aITUO5srurPy_iXf5G8zfN5xxTugEAwX422LZKYZnlidQ1oEYhdH6G0JFK0szcFich0Prrkesp18z_Itxh2p32tqE5Y0l2-IvoT8xpOAFmxOZmzzTlkmCmeCZMT0ld32vIJouS6Pz-1kZ6Wy8dhB_gkRSw2MxmqHzId9lGAHQ9_Ef7TDMSEY0ToZgNLET6jLPqbaOiCq0ZwNKxP1f-hvK_f9L9qLfb36tym7kvJRBTmFenYYpsn8_BEL-N3ylOdv-LbY9Y_PKCgDOhmlYUfBi3UHAqMnvyZGoS0kgOGRFS8oQ=w1247-h935-no?authuser=2

 

I'll outline the things I did over the last 6 weeks and hopefully by then, I've gotten a lot more things to update with regard to the current progress of the tank. Over the next few weeks I'll cover the following, some more exciting than others. 

 

1) Install a dedicated 20amp circuit 

The total amp draw of a typical fish tank is around 5 to 6 amps MAX. And that's with an oversized 500w chiller running and say... 1000w worth of MH lights. That's well within the standard speced 13A circuits we have in most homes. 

So why a dedicated 20amp circuit? So we're future proofed for 2 more tanks with room to spare :yahoo:

2) Build a matching cabinet to house all wires, controllers, test kits etc. 

3) Build a salt water mixing station with AWC capability

4) Create a negative space aquascape

5) Choose a QT protocol and execute it. 

6) Create a fallow gameplan for current holding tank. 

 

Pic of current holding tank. 

 

A3ifJa0vGDCoHQQaShCgrb-Yjc9AcdF-F1Pdrw46RzIu4u4oKisOQu13RH71zoEyjpBi54DQZgVecunSXEgp3VbD-JXeDdU7TKTfkMh3hICpHnaJa4F2Jur1ubYKQDgpcv02KNJpIXbT42W-24-GvEKDaJ5numELio1cVp1__U5G4BG37MHf73MZcieC4GskXXXVGrT8a_wltty31IRAbGwV6mCipS358W8prvGbjmEGueXrZiZlWAMB7W3BPoUrZpiBmR9Nw1ZpcwaaGnEXAMZiJR5AH3sBCNKfvOMMuuCb1qnNKzhv7Ju5K55Ol9OEJASg_fZ7ALN5CHfWYl0fBg6yaEbBDUjV7qQblqBhtKURdieUc1P6txi2VDooSraPhSWOcCehceO2euKlJZsT7OOaUyBhKljlAUG6lpL0KsLa3-vdRqQdOYBvfwDCs8tcqToNTvTllLzvzar4mJHgT9mIWC-RitSQvvDD5Qtm79cNBFKjT6Fcbn59fKugZ0r3Pi0sbJz7stMHfcgJXBpt-I0_k6Ek310tuVqkC5J1NTvK3Mc2db1BCo3EsUxeJaj5rW2okIL4hvOvGNiH9A4_-H7KxUrTLLryIvWhVmv05pNsP-lrbTz8yTKiB717OjsnGemy3u_8CAE71yzkHgY9gA6IsRO4BGeb9Urgk7eRFckuj3MV9JHCEn_qCLji-5YbT5w93fZ3N9opY8H0Z1Wf4ta7GQ=w1247-h935-no?authuser=2

 

Let's start chronologically, so the next update will be about all things NSAs (Negative Space Aquascapes)

 

I'll go into the rocks I used, tools and where to get em, plus, the mistakes I made along the way so hopefully you'll be able to avoid them. 

 

One last note, NSAs are really very doable!

 

nGwOYNgMHESLKc9Ixz35PUQOUZec-0_YoloYMV_sVQ0-oENwPRV5mKMe03stVW4nxGeorRXf6OUjjUqZCpwItRoOSi0vAPN_rOV8JWNOAPwxHYOlNGvW5E03yt60xaNzqFPhNLWOpxL3-pf4gL3q2kIKUjz8YN2gQvJYfZsHhOf3W0QVUQ5a1uf3zH1lC_lhULydgRX9OROlGU5BKa6SokPxt3GvouWWdQjcXVS5Cifx52ojMh1Lni-k3AJFNe-66Fc1sbolGjYDr_UZijPFxLbKxFPRqXsLaZW7W-k7SGL45vpX9-cFnngiWhgbw-MHatLcJ1OYj--QiYOsW8uA2GHmiWAcD_nzYTDeKWkD1tZNSXccgpDQ79z608bhrpicJKHtXI4uT0l6NkYma9N_yXwHraugpDsIidHhKGkpryfeaf0HHshHFobkwiTMoVHo-W6DUtqXzfob7hoZoMGbFagyHPiddAzhJ7b4j1z2zfZev4hE-dGhaxtXcRaJ3luYyYxHQ5PHBtgWQJQsxbn1JOVCJejvN9cVk6w1Pyrpi72DNLH5S9PoHMSiIh345dnIwD43fKtyoMoc4nGA8D8HSqPYqUi31TIa69TuM6EH5Uz5Or3KIihDvzGxGWBFCP2iXB4RjjsYCzpt6yhtV1RKOj9kd222ObhRfmgowcwyMNzvcnnjXK61kk2s_xNO4VQANKD--DSKX6VMAvsvDZ1kUFyqeQ=w1247-h935-no?authuser=2

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hi SRC, 

 

Late on this week's update. Got a little excited and fed the coral heavy for the entire week. PH4 in the holding tank spiked to 0.28 and has the beginnings of a ostreopsis dinoflagellates outbreak. 

dinos.jpg.bfae277cc8b436237a379327ae0eb8d7.jpg

Don't want to jinx it but it looks like i've managed to catch it early and intervene. I'll post what i did in a subsequent post so be sure to follow along!

 

OK now on to the main show

Rockoverview.jpg.32f00f6268d72fde4852bd5f082cbff8.jpg

Negative Space Aquascape. Lets start with debunking some myths. I personally think its easy to do, anyone can do it. Key here is right tools for the right job and there are so many tutorials on youtube that can help. 

 

I won't cover the topics covered in whats already available online, but more on the local stuff, like where to get the tools etc. 

 

 

Type of rocks and BONDING

 

I chose Marco rocks, bought from Suprem5. Really friendly outfit.

So from the pic you can spot the IC gel and a glass spray bottle. That bottle contains BSI -152 INSTASET that i got from shopee. Its an online store within shopee that caters to the model making hobby. 

 

So there's really 2 common ways to bond the rocks. 1 is a thick gel superglue with instaset, or another way is to use super thin superglue and some powdered rock. I went with the first way because IC GEl was easy to find. apparently if you get a glue thats not thin enough, it won't work for method 2 (a video by tidal gardens covered this). 

 

So my plan was to IC GEL, instaset, followed by AF stonefix. 

 

BREAKING ROCKS

 

I tried using a small chisel or even drilled multiple holes with a drill. Please don't. Its really the wrong way when you realise 10 minutes in that you're still going at it. 

drill.jpg.7fe182bfbcdcbd4d9cc36e8d3db54222.jpg

Go to MY DIY and get a large hammer, largest you can find, and a cold chisel. 

 

chisel.png.49e28319414cc7afcc656b2da7897c3b.png

Sorry i didn't log the prices, but its under $10 per tool. With this combi, its just a firm positioning of the chisel and a good solid wack and you'll be able to create the small boulders to make up the structures. 

boudler.jpg.a6f6166b6831d63b55823d0ae8a6af8c.jpg

If you look at the structures above you can see where to connections are. Take you time with it, just wack and make smaller pieces, i know there a worry and you're wacking into quite costly rock. But trust that you can put it back together and it will surely work out. So JUST WACK FIRST. 

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OK so other pointers like marking out the outline of your tank space as well as the top. note the blue tape i used plus the white cardboard "Flap" when prop up perpendicularly indicates the top of the WATERLINE. yes waterline and not the tank. The idea is to apply the rule of thirds like in photography but for me, i cater spaces where i think coral will be placed and allowed to grow into full colonies. 

 

So the end result is a shorter, flatter scape that allows for more grow out space and many many caves. 

caves.jpg.59a11c3967c34d84a64dfa4612d4bd56.jpg

and also steps to get different par levels at each "step"

steps.jpg.98874a61ea4ec6aa7b8bb6f7320f0388.jpg

 

It'll be good at this stage where you already start planning where what type of coral you wish to keep goes where. I know its a little early, but imagine, if you had a dream sps you wanted, you can create its special pedestal now, or a prized LPS, you can create nooks to shield it from too much flow. 

Also make sure you check how its looks from a top down perspective. Don't create shadows and utilise as much open space as possible to maximise your lights. 

I honestly thought i had a top down shot on my scape. I'll take 1 tmr. 

 

So on to lessons. For the NSA, only 1 major lesson. If i had to do another scape, i won't use AF stonefix. The final result you see here is just me going back in to redo all joints with copious amounts of super glue and instaset. you want the bonds to be so good that you can pick it up with 1 hand and it behaves like a single piece of rock. 

Now AF stonefix was a let down. Regardless of what consistency i tried, super thick to watery glob, when it dried there would be cracks that form and it would not do anything to bond the rock together. I tried to look online to find answers but found users with the same problem. 

So if I would have to do this again, i would just use a lot of glue from the start, or i'd want to thy method 2 above, using the super thin superglue and powdered rock.   

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And what to do with the leftover super tiny pieces?

 

FRAG ROCK!

 

 

2048723517_fragplugs.jpg.dd6fbc05d8743600a77d7966059e9975.jpg

 

 

Total cost ~ $400. Rock, tools, glue and instaset. so around $100 per foot of tank to cover. Which i think is not bad. 

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924537262_nodino.jpg.824ed2159cafa567624d620acf4c2116.jpg

 

Hey guys, update on the holding tank dino situation. Its day 7 since i've actively started battling dinos in the tank. Don't want to jinx it, but there was no sign of them today minus some dusting on the UV intake pump in the background. i'll keep observing and prolly post what i did for the benefit of anyone else who is probably fighting ostreopsis dinoflagellates too. 

 

1672336654_topview.jpg.bb25389e446ea06d8afe49f13ef9f59b.jpg

 

 On to today's topic, saltwater mixing station

 

720381478_2drums.jpg.53b11cf88492964ff84f96339052aa6f.jpg

 

Picked up these 2 drums used from carousell for $70 each. They're 250litres. Initially wanted to just get the standard 120 litre size, but figured it'll be good to have the capability to almost do 100% water change on the peninsula if there's ever a need for it. 

 

I sanded the left 1 down as i wanted to paint it a different colour. Much harder than i thought, took about 4 coats and still not very smooth finish. 

 

1916521803_drumhole.jpg.495d1fb7492701f898868c436cf547ff.jpg

 

I opted to use standard bulkheads from Hai Cheong plastics (google them) and use silicon to seal it up. The "correct" way is to use uniseals (can find on shopee and aliexpress) that go over the hole and the pipe is just pushed and sealed into place by friction alone. 

2027956117_drumdone.jpg.ec7966ad6a0061f05d03ac65b0ad867e.jpg

Used a Jebao 8000 as its rated to also work wet or dry. Not going to cover the plumbing much as you can find a ton of examples on youtube. 

 

What works locally, 32mm diameter all around. total set can be found in Hai Cheong for around 50 to 60 bucks. Measure twice, cut once. 

 

Here's the saltwater side getting filled by the RO side. 

59271385_drumoworking.jpg.ea8cdec626a31d59426da4e804cfa936.jpg

The wire you see goes down to a used jebao wavemaker. That white RO line is connected to the top of the barrel for future AWC capability. Same on the RO side for the ATO.

 

Yes, the ATO reservoir for the peninsula is a 250L barrel. 

1556542293_ROside.jpg.9b29a84157e50910f04e83ae1bf3cd91.jpg

The end is simply tied off to an elbow to help anchor the end of the RO tube near the bottom of the tank. (learned from youtube also)

The power to the Jebao pump and wavemaker is controlled by wifi switches so i can turn them on or off via my smartphone or google assistant. 

Works like a charm. Did a 90% waterchange (i'll cover why i had to do such a large WC in a later post) in under an hour? Seriously, i cannot imagine doing a WC with buckets of RO, mix in stalk, then change,  ever again. 

 

 

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924537262_nodino.jpg.824ed2159cafa567624d620acf4c2116.jpg
 
Hey guys, update on the holding tank dino situation. Its day 7 since i've actively started battling dinos in the tank. Don't want to jinx it, but there was no sign of them today minus some dusting on the UV intake pump in the background. i'll keep observing and prolly post what i did for the benefit of anyone else who is probably fighting ostreopsis dinoflagellates too. 
 
1672336654_topview.jpg.bb25389e446ea06d8afe49f13ef9f59b.jpg
 
 On to today's topic, saltwater mixing station
 
720381478_2drums.jpg.53b11cf88492964ff84f96339052aa6f.jpg
 
Picked up these 2 drums used from carousell for $70 each. They're 250litres. Initially wanted to just get the standard 120 litre size, but figured it'll be good to have the capability to almost do 100% water change on the peninsula if there's ever a need for it. 
 
I sanded the left 1 down as i wanted to paint it a different colour. Much harder than i thought, took about 4 coats and still not very smooth finish. 
 
1916521803_drumhole.jpg.495d1fb7492701f898868c436cf547ff.jpg
 
I opted to use standard bulkheads from Hai Cheong plastics (google them) and use silicon to seal it up. The "correct" way is to use uniseals (can find on shopee and aliexpress) that go over the hole and the pipe is just pushed and sealed into place by friction alone. 
2027956117_drumdone.jpg.ec7966ad6a0061f05d03ac65b0ad867e.jpg
Used a Jebao 8000 as its rated to also work wet or dry. Not going to cover the plumbing much as you can find a ton of examples on youtube. 
 
What works locally, 32mm diameter all around. total set can be found in Hai Cheong for around 50 to 60 bucks. Measure twice, cut once. 
 
Here's the saltwater side getting filled by the RO side. 
59271385_drumoworking.jpg.ea8cdec626a31d59426da4e804cfa936.jpg
The wire you see goes down to a used jebao wavemaker. That white RO line is connected to the top of the barrel for future AWC capability. Same on the RO side for the ATO.
 
Yes, the ATO reservoir for the peninsula is a 250L barrel. 
1556542293_ROside.jpg.9b29a84157e50910f04e83ae1bf3cd91.jpg
The end is simply tied off to an elbow to help anchor the end of the RO tube near the bottom of the tank. (learned from youtube also)
The power to the Jebao pump and wavemaker is controlled by wifi switches so i can turn them on or off via my smartphone or google assistant. 
Works like a charm. Did a 90% waterchange (i'll cover why i had to do such a large WC in a later post) in under an hour? Seriously, i cannot imagine doing a WC with buckets of RO, mix in stalk, then change,  ever again. 
 
 

It’s a cool diy mixing station! Nice read :)

Can share the final shot of the drums and pipes?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Follow Alex's Reefing Journey @ 

 

 


 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Keen to understand what are your strategies battling dinos…by right if your nitrate & phos above 0, dino should not thrive? I got hit with dino from my first tank but thats probably due to my double zeros…

I tried vibrant etc but with no help but I was luckly as I upgraded to another tank.

and for the peninsula, it is really looking good. Are you going bare bottom and what are the chiller options?

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Great write up on aqua scape! 

I totally agree with you that the scape should provide ample space for coral to grow,  and show case the corals as much as possible. 

I also a firm believer of designing the scape based on how it will look after the corals have grown. 

 

My thought on the shading though, is to actually purposefully create areas of shades. So that less light tolerant corals can thrive as well in the same tank. 

 

Another lesson I learnt is that we often underestimate how big corals can grow,  and generally leave too little space during planning. 

 

Keep the updates coming! 

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