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Discussion Starter · #41 ·
The ATO reservoir I just finished:



It measures approximately 35 cm x 35 cm x 30 cm, it holds 8 gallons comfortably and takes up less room in my closet than the previous 4 gallon bucket did.
 

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Discussion Starter · #43 ·
I was told this piece is called a blueberry tenuis. (I call it my pretty blue acro) it's the most expensive coral in my tank at 45 dollars.





You can see what the green Acropora from the previous photos looks like during mid day here as well (hasn't had much polyp extension for a few days now as you can probably see; not sure if I should be worried but I'm keeping a close eye on it.)

You can also see the reddish purple unidentified frag which has several growing tips, which seem somewhat acropora like with a terminal polyp. Now I'm really not sure what to call it, I'm just going to let it grow and see what sort of growth form it takes on.
 

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Discussion Starter · #46 ·
Ok so I've been fighting vermatid snails and some sort of red flatworms that I can't quite tell if they are bugging corals or not. I also hated my aquascape as well as the blue background I had.

I also was sick of the gurgle noise from my single drain from my overflow box, I had it tuned to be fairly quiet but it was still a bit much being in my bedroom.

So I decided to tear down the tank and mod my eshopps overflow for a custom herbie drain. I decided while its down I might as well paint the background black and re aquascape the tank since I've had about 25 pounds of pukani dry rock from BRS cooking for approximately 2 months.

Oh yeah, me and my step dad built a new stand as well.

So over the course of the last few days I have torn down the tank and set up a spare Fluval 29 gallon tank I had sitting around in my moms room to house the corals, snails, and clown fish.



I then proceeded to take the tank outside to clean it up and prepare it for plumbing and painting.





I ordered my plumbing stuff from BRS, I ordered blue 1 inch pvc for my drains, and schedule 80 fittings, unions, and gate valve since they just look nicer with the coloured pvc.



Draining the tank while Masking off the front, sides, top, and bottom:



Finished painting:


Stand moved inside, tank in final resting position, ready for water:


Another shot:


Another:


Here the aquascape is finished; it's partially secured with TLF 2 part epoxy and partially secured with copious amounts of BRS thick gel cyanoacrylate:



Close up of tunnel/cave, and left overhang:



Close up of right overhang:



FTS:


Shot from above showing coral real estate:


Finished, and filled with water:


Showing tank position in the room:


Clowns happy in their new home:
 

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Discussion Starter · #48 ·
So I've clipped a few branches off a couple of corals from the other tank and secured them to see how the tank does with some corals.

If they do well I'll start moving the corals back into this tank over the next few weeks, and if not its no big deal I'll just let the tank mature a bit longer.

The rock seems much cleaner than my old rock. after letting it cook in a brute trash can for 2 months the rock has literally zero odor. My old rock was starting to become an algae mess and had a bit of an odor when I moved it into the other tank. Definitely a sign of excess gross things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #52 ·
Thanks a bunch! I do what I can. I am really happy I decided to take the tank down and re-do the plumbing and stand and everything. I'll be much happier with it in the long run.

I have corals in and growing nicely now, I guess its time for an update. I'll do that shortly.
 

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Thanks a bunch! I do what I can. I am really happy I decided to take the tank down and re-do the plumbing and stand and everything. I'll be much happier with it in the long run.

I have corals in and growing nicely now, I guess its time for an update. I'll do that shortly.
Yes update, I was wandering where those were (coral).
EDIT:
Tank looks really swell! The w must have been goofing off when I hit it.

With the Herbie, have you noticed it fluctuating with the barometric pressure?
You have the best set up for Herb straight and vertical.

Did you do the siphon break you mentioned earlier on?
 

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Discussion Starter · #54 ·
Time for an update:

This photo is from about a month ago:


From today:




Nicely encrusting acro, this one hasn't been in the tank long, just a few weeks, maybe two.


Red planet acropora:


Green stylo from above:


Red Montipora frontosa, surrounded by various Stylophora:


Front Tank Shot:


Front shot of the red frontosa:


Seriatopora hyacinth I'm told, perched nicely on its ledge:


Long exposure with low flow shot of the green Stylo:


Same, but with the purple and green stylo (green is hidden unless polyps are retracted, it just looks purple here.):


So that is what the tank looks like as of today. The rocks are somewhat green but are getting better every day; they just have a light green fuzz that the snails are munching down. Diatoms are not present, nor are any nasty pest algaes or really any noticeable pests at all. I did remove a vermatid snail from one of the rocks earlier today though so I guess I should mention that.

I added an MP10 quiet drive to the right side for a bit of wave action. corals responded very positively to the randomization of flow and back and forth of the waves. Larger chunks of detritus than before can now be seen making their way into the overflow and the tank has been staying cleaner. After I turkey baste the rocks I feel like the detritus is actually making it to the skimmer now rather than just circulating in the tank and breaking down.

Today I cleaned my skimmer with a vinegar bath quite thoroughly, It started skimming nasty dry foam about 5 minutes after I was done. I realized I accidentally knocked the rubber feet off after I realized it wasn't sitting level in the sump. After tracking the feet down Iw CA glued them back on. before that it was overflowing because the skimmer was about a half inch deeper and the wedge pipe wasn't quite dialed in yet.

I've adjusted it for a nice wet skim with nothing collecting on the inside of the neck and its skimming like a champ.

I also bought a little fluval dual temperature lcd thermometer thing that sticks on the glass and has a metal sensor that touches the glass and tells you the tank temperature, as well as the room temperature. I stuck it on my sump. It seems to work fairly well. It is indicating my temperature swings between about 76.6-77.8 during the course of the day; depending on how open my window is, and how cold it is outside. May not be the most precise instrument but I like the addition.

Everything in the tank is doing as well as I could hope for, which is quite good. The one exception is one reddish purple acro thats sort of behind the red planet and to the left which has been through a lot and is bleaching in some parts. Considering everything else is doing beyond well I'm not worrying too much but I did notice the Iodine was a bit low so I bumped it back up to 0.06 which seems to have slowed (potentially stopped) the bleaching.
 

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Discussion Starter · #55 ·
Yes update, I was wandering where those were (coral).
EDIT:
Tank looks really swell! The w must have been goofing off when I hit it.

With the Herbie, have you noticed it fluctuating with the barometric pressure?
You have the best set up for Herb straight and vertical.

Did you do the siphon break you mentioned earlier on?
Yeah I figured you meant swell lol.

I haven't noticed huge fluctuation no, From what I can tell how high you place the backup drain plays a part in how consistent it will run, if its too low it will be difficult finding the sweet spot where it runs full siphon with no air bubbles, but doesn't go down the back up more than a trickle. if its too high it may not function adequately as a back up.

I was lucky to have used the HOB overflow prior so there was a nice line of coralline algae where I knew the water level could safely sit as that's where I had it with the HGB or stockman or whatever its called. I placed the bottom of the bulkhead hole on this line so that the hole in the bulkhead was slightly higher than this line, so I have about an inch to play with water level wise, if it goes below it introduces air bubbles into the main, if it goes too high above it makes noise in the back up. If I could do it again I would raise the backup about a quarter inch so that it's very slightly higher, but it works very well as is.

The only thing that's difficult to quiet down is the weir with the new MP10, every time it goes from surge to wave it takes a couple of minutes before the water level in the inner box stabilizes and you stop getting that falling water noise over the weir.

Yeah I did the siphon break, I drilled 2 roughly 7 mm holes in the return, they sit in plain view just under the water when the waves put the water level at that end of the tank at its lowest. I considered putting them around the back side of the pipe so that the holes weren't visible but I figured they aren't exactly obtrusive and this way I can keep an eye on them easily to make sure they aren't clogged with anything.

It works great, only about a gallon drains to the sump when I shut off the return or when the power fails. Sure makes a check valve seem like a dumb idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #56 · (Edited)
Oh and one more thing to add; I was able to bump up the flow through the sump slightly with the drain running full siphon. before I had it slowed slightly so the noise wasn't ridiculous. I like it better this way.

I personally am not of the opinion you should match sump flow to skimmer processing rate unless you are running a skimmer such as a lifereef or a recirculating design. It isn't a bad idea for sure but I prefer the idea of trying to keep the water quality in the sump and the display as similar as possible (via increased flow) so that it is as close as possible to having the skimmer sitting directly in the display. When you reduce the flow through the sump to match a skimmer that processes say 150 gallons per hour you end up not having the flow through to actually get stuff from the tank down to the sump, and the display ends up holding the vast majority of the detritus. This also means you can run enough flow down to the sump that the larger detritus makes it down there without needing a skimmer that processes hundreds of gallons per hour to match that flow; as very few do that will fit in a 10 gallon sump and are in my price range.

It also means if you choose to use mechanical filtration at odd times (which I do, mostly just a filter sock after a water change which only stays on about an hour) you can reduce the amount of time needed to clarify the display (which reduces the amount of time that mechanical filtration is breaking down (rather than removing) detritus.

With the heaters in the sump this also makes for a more consistent display tank temperature as the heated water is being pumped back to the display more quickly. Though depending on set up this may be negligible.

I like the idea of matching skimmer processing rate to sump flow through when it means increasing the processing rate of the skimmer, but when it is achieved through reducing the sump flow through it seems like a potentially harmful recommendation. Especially since most skimmers are not designed to function in this way with the notable exception of recirculating and venturi designs.
 

Hydro-Dynamic
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Your tanks looking really nice Sean.

If I could do it again I would raise the backup about a quarter inch so that it's very slightly higher, but it works very well as is.

The only thing that's difficult to quiet down is the weir with the new MP10, every time it goes from surge to wave it takes a couple of minutes before the water level in the inner box stabilizes and you stop getting that falling water noise over the weir.

Sure makes a check valve seem like a dumb idea.
Not an issue. Just add an elbow inside.
If that's too high or too long to fit...
Snug the elbow into a length of PVC, slice off at least half of the would be otherwise cemented joint.
If you have to run both ends in a power saw, make the 1st cut the longest for purchase on the 2nd cut.
Now, is the bulkhead slip on the inside or threaded?
If threaded, 1st screw on a conduit nut that fits before cutting length down
and don't cut as much off since the threads are tapered I believe.
Then when you remove the nut, it fixes the screwed up threads somewhat
and a couple wraps of Teflon tape will facilitate a more smooth task.

You should try lowering the MP10 to accommodate your weirs operation or noise.

Check valves are dumb. They foul so they fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #58 ·
Wow, great idea with the elbow on the inside of the bulkhead; I'm going to try that and see how it runs. It's a slip on the inside not threaded. Thanks for the idea.

I guess you could just progressively slice off more of the elbow until the back up sits where you want it.

Thanks for the suggestion. Though it isn't a huge issue as it currently sits, I'm still going to try it.

I may try lowering the MP10 but other than the weir noise in time with the waves I really like how the flow is in the tank so I may just live with it; though it's worth a try. For comparison the weir noise is actually quieter than the marineland filter I have on my 5 gallon tank which sits right beside my bed. It isn't noisy whatsoever it just isn't silent. It's quiet enough I can hear my skimmer inside the cabinet with the door closed, and the skimmer is by no means loud.

On a semi related note; the MP10 was a bit noisy when I first purchased it and Ecotech Marine took very good care of the issue. They advised setting the pump to constant speed mode at minimum speed and gradually increase the speed over the next five days to max (I guess to seat and wear in the bearings on the wet side); they said if it wasn't quiet by the following monday they would send me a new part. The following monday I got in touch with them to tell them that it was much quieter but still a little bit noisy, so they sent me a new dry side (they payed shipping, as well as return shipping for the old dry side) free of charge. This corrected the issue.

Whats really nice is that they shipped the new part and had me ship the old one back after I got the replacement so that I wasn't without flow in the mean time. I imagine this return program would be a lifesaver if you ever had an issue with a radion since going without light while you are waiting for a replacement LED puck or whatever could be pretty bad for your tank. They were also very nice on the phone, and the guy who handled my warranty claim was pretty clearly a passionate reefer himself judging by talking to him. That sort of service alone is worth paying a bit extra for a product even without considering the fact that their products are also good products.
 

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Yeh if you can use a regular elbow it will allow more back up buffer
to the main drain if it's not a street elbow, though a street is plug n play ready
and you can remove some of the male end to tidy up and increase room if necessary.
A reg elbow in 1" would need about a 1-3/8" length of PVC for no cement
and no modifying of the elbow to fit.

Anyway your coral all look super. I be jealous bout now :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #60 ·
Yeah I would avoid the street elbow I think. I have plenty of spare pvc laying around to do it, I probably don't need to buy anything now that I think of it.

I'm sure once your set up has been running a few months it'll be equally awesome if not better. Are you cooking rocks in the mean time? I am really glad I started with dead, relatively clean rocks and cured them for ~2 months. That would be one way you could take advantage of any set backs time wise.

I spend probably an hour staring at the tank with my face an inch away from the glass most days I'm around. It's nice to finally have the tank set up in a way I'm happy with. Now I need to start thinking about cooking the old very dirty rocks from the previous set up; that's going to stink I'm sure.
 
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