The Reef Tank banner
1 - 20 of 28 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well sometime mid December I broke my 24 gallon aquapod and replaced it with a Solana. I meant to setup a a detailed build thread, but things got a little crazy around here so that never really happened. There have been plenty of threads posted about the Solana and it seems many people have questions. I intend to use this thread to have a record of what I have done and my thoughts on the Solana so that others may learn from my mistakes.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Lets start with some pictures! The tank has been running for about a month in its current configuration.

FTS


Left side


Right side


Rear Chamber (factory except for ATO)


Entire setup for now


Please excuse the floating food in the tank (not sure why I did not take pictures before I feed), and my poor pictures. I need a lot of work in the photography department.

As you may have noticed I am currently battling some bryopsis. I have raised my mg levels to approx 1600ppm. Time will tell how this treatment works.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The equipment is as follows.

Tank: Unmodified 34g Solana
Lighting: Current USA 20" Nova Extreme Pro
Flow: Vortech mp40w
ATO: JBJ ATO with a Mag 2
Skimmer: Unmodified Solana skimmer

Livestock

~Inverts
1 Cleaner Shrimp
1 Sexy Shrimp
1 Emerald Crab
3 Hermits
Numerous Black Turbo and Astraea Snails
1 Maxima Clam
Blue Sponge

~Coral
Hydnophora sp.
Turbinaria sp.
Montipora sp. (Red Cap)
Montipora sp. (Purple Rim Cap)
Duncanopsammia axifuga (Duncan)
Seriatopora sp. (Birdsnest)
Blastomussa sp.
Acropora sp. (Tri-Color)
Acropora sp.
Briareum sp. (Green Star Polyps)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Please also ignore the bleached frags in the tank. Long story short they were DOA arrivals from www.pacificeastaquaculture.com Luckily for me they shipped during the only decent snow NC has seen in the last 5 or so years. They arrived a day late and virtually frozen. New frags are on the way, but I am going to leave these in the tank for a while to see if any polyps decide to make a come back.

I will also say that www.pacificeastaquacutlure.com has top notch customer service. I will definatly continue to shop with them as they were extremely helpful getting shipping refunded and actually contacted to keep me updated on the status of my order and make sure shipping went well and that everything arrived and that I was satisfied.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
So today my new skimmer cup finally came in so I have upgraded my skimmer from the stock unit which performed inconsitantly for me to a Tunze 9002 Nano Skimmer. It is yet to be determined if this skimmer will even truly be an upgrade. I used the same model of skimmer on a previous setup and was not pleased with it. I was lucky enough to recieve this skimmer for free so we with only a couple bucks put in the new collection cup we will see if it is truly worth the $38 I paid or even the $200ish it would cost most people to get the skimmer and cup.

I know the skimmer is very water level dependent/sensative, and the first chamber of the solana is the perfect place because it keeps a constant water level.

Pictures


New square collection cup



Installed in the first chamber with no modifications other than the new cup


I purchased the cup from http://shop.mediabaskets.com/main.sc
The skimmer is still breaking in and I will let you know how it works with the new cup.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
New Additions!

Well after some less than cooperative weather my new additions from www.pacificeastaquaculture.com finally arrived healthy. They still appear to be a little upset, but are coming around. Here are a few pictures.

Pink Lemonade Tabling Acropora

I am a little dissappointed with the color of this, but I am still optimistic that it will color up with some time.

Rainbow Montipora


Sunset Montipora


Sorry about the poor pictures.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The Tunze Nano 9002 skimmer so far has preformed as expected. The new skimmer cup does not appear to effect its performance. If anything I would actually say it appears to be skimming slightly better, but my comparision is from a completely different tank so it is not entirely fair. Getting it dialed in took a little patience, but now I have the ability to skim either wet or dry. I will give a better long term opinion after some more time has gone by. If nothing else I am at least extremely happy that I have not had to modify the tank itself in any way as I am a littel hesitant to mod things in an irreversible fashion.

On a side note I would really like to get my hands on a Deltec mce 300 to compare to the Tunze. I have heard this is by far the best HOB for the Solana. It also appears to fit with a slight modification to the skimmer return. I, however, am not willing to pay the bill to get one. If anyone has any experience with this skimmer please do share.

Also wouldn't mind getting my hands on a Warner Marine H2 or a EuroReef NS2.5-3LC
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Well today I traded some gsp for an Echinophyllia frag. By no means the nicest, but I was more interested to in seeing how this species will fare in my tank than anything. This is my first chalice experience so any advice would be appriciated. It is in a somewhat shaded spot with a good bit of flow, and it sitting horizontaly.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Any updates about the skimmer? I ordered the same model for my 29 cube. Dont scare me bro!
It seems to do a somewhat decent job. It is certainly much better than the stock skimmer that came with this tank. However, I would honestly say if its not too late to return yours and go with either a Warner HOB or the Deltec MCE300. They are a bit more expensive, but from the reports I have seen they are well worth it. If you want to check them out I know www.aquacave.com has the Warner and www.marinedepot.com has the Deltec.

I do think that my upgraded skimmer cup has helped the skimmer perform better than the stock cup. I also know that the same company makes a skimmer cup that allows you to run the Tunze on a Biocube 29 without modifying anything and still close the lid. I would recommend you check them out. http://shop.mediabaskets.com/main.sc
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
812 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Looking good chris, like the new frags, hope they color up and grow for you.
Thanks! The pink lemonade acro seems to be taking a step in the right direction. I am also starting to question my lighting setup. I am thinking I do not have enough light for acros at the bottom of my tank. I am debating upgrading to a 250w mh, but I know that will cause me heat problems in the summer. I really wish I had access to a par meter.
 
1 - 20 of 28 Posts
Top