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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Reg and I have been planning to put together a 40 breeder system for months. A few weeks ago, I finally found a new job (working in the aquarium industry no less!). This means we finally have the means to do what we first envisioned for this project. First, we both work full time, go to school, and do humanitarian work so the system has to be reliable and easy to maintain. Second, it has to have the "tech" look to it that makes European systems look so clean. I really love the combination of minimal technological design framing the vibrant beauty of a reef. The Yin and Yang of chaos and form are beautiful to me. Third, the system must look professional and clean. Reg says that she doesn't want the usual mess of cords and clutter that seem to go hand in hand with the hobby. Fourth, we want to use this build as a learning experience for perhaps a large system in 3 or so years.

So, Why a 40 breeder? (Reg just joked that it's because she's sooo short). Really, it is because it is a great mid sized system. The 36" x 18" footprint makes the tank look so much larger than it is. The depth is great for aquascaping. The height means we can light the tank with T5's and grow sps. Finally, it fit in the small space we had available for a system. The reef tank must share the front room with the other child, our bearded dragon Paikea.

A few months ago, I sold some stuff to come up with money for a system. A month or so ago, I found a system for sale about 2 hrs away. We made the trip and just barely managed to fit the stand, tank and sump in my little wagon. I measured beforehand and figured the 1" clearance would be plenty :) We also picked up a 36" 4 bulb tek light. Then we ran out of money... until now.

Currently, these are the plans for the system:
40g breeder tank (check)
*2 drilled holes in the back for 1" bulkheads
*2' fly guy overflow (check)
-this is going to allow us to use the entire footprint of the tank
*back glass painted black
*custom made pvc rock lifts with ph's to circulate (check)
*Koralia pumps for flow (have one, need more)
-May become Tunze's depending on funds

36" 4 bulb Tek light fixture (check)
* still need brackets for this

Custom tall stand to fit extra equipment and sit higher (check)

30g acrylic sump (check)
*Mag drive 7 return (check)
-this may become an Eheim
*refugium with Chaeto (check)
*Coralife 2x 18w fuge light (check)

Still to be purchased:
Aqua C EV 120 with Mag Drive pump (buying this week)
various plumbing (ball valves, unions, flex pvc, external durso. etc.)
Media reactor



stocking ideas:
mixed reef with softies, LPS, and a few SPS


Fish and inverts that we have:
Randall's goby
Occelaris clown
Cleaner shrimp
Crocea clam
hermits, astrea snails, and nassarius snails
tonga fighting conch

That we want:
Flame angel
Orchid dottyback
six line wrasse
flame hawk
pistol shrimp
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So, we've been busy the past two weekends with the build. We built the rock lifts and cut the fly guy overflow. Here is the tank sitting in the garage, after being filled with fw and vinegar and getting a serious scrubbing. You can see the cardboard I used as a template for the rock lifts:




Here is the template for the rock lifts. We got the aquascaping idea from Fenners book. It will have a lagoon look with a rock wall on the left hand side:



And here is Pandora overseeing the build, ensuring the calculations are correct:



And here is the nearly finished rock lift base. I still need to attach the 13 1" tall pieces of tubing I cut for it that will make it about 2" tall. I also need to drill a bunch of small holes for it and come up with a way to insert the powerheads into the open T's:

 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Looking forward to seeing this project come together for you both.

Good luck with it. :thumbup:
Thanks Aquawolf. We're pretty excited about it too. I can't explain how great it is to have a wife that is learning to appreciate the hobby as well. It is going to be great doing this as a team! The only problem is that we both have an artistic side. Hopefully we won't get different creative visions part way through and butt heads!
 

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I understand completely. My wife thought I was crazy at first and now she is into it as well and we currently have 3 saltwater tanks in the house. The problems come when she wants to go shopping in my reef tank for things to add to her seahorse tank.

If your creative geniuses get too big for each other, then you can always get one of those tank divider things and let her have "her half" so to speak. :funny:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I understand completely. My wife thought I was crazy at first and now she is into it as well and we currently have 3 saltwater tanks in the house. The problems come when she wants to go shopping in my reef tank for things to add to her seahorse tank.

If your creative geniuses get too big for each other, then you can always get one of those tank divider things and let her have "her half" so to speak. :funny:
Yeah, a few times she's started talking about how she wanted a frag from "our" tank for "her" tank.
 

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Is that structure going to go under the sand, or hows it gonna be set up? I see that restricting the flow under the rock, kinda eliminating the purpose of a lift, IMO. I may be wrong though.
 

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Also, you know what would be cool? If somehow you drilled holes in the structure. connector a powerhead, like a maxijet1200 or higher into it. So the tubing blows water out of it. Id imagine it woulda been more effective with smaller tubing though.

Kinda curious how this will be set up, wth those two openings. Im assuming theyre there for a reason...
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Also, you know what would be cool? If somehow you drilled holes in the structure. connector a powerhead, like a maxijet1200 or higher into it. So the tubing blows water out of it. Id imagine it woulda been more effective with smaller tubing though.

Kinda curious how this will be set up, wth those two openings. Im assuming theyre there for a reason...
Yes, they are going to house two powerheads. Originally they were going to be a foundation to build up with. I was going to use eggcrate to create a vertical lattice I could ziptie the rock to, making a wall. Now, I am either going to be using little JBJ's or Maxi Jets. I will be drilling small holes on the top sides of the lifts to get flow through the structure. I am not sure whether I will be sucking water through the lifts and aiming the powerheads at the open area in the rear or pushing water through them. Also, there are 13 1" pieces of grooved pvc that will sit under the lifts to create open spaces under the rock that the powerheads will circulate. I can't drill the holes until I epoxy the lifts and coat them with sand to help hide the lifts in case our Randall's goby exposes them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Ok I am excited! Lets get a move on:)
patient as ever Joanne ;). Right now we need to setup the 30g in our bedroom, since it is sitting where the 40 breeder will go. That should be fun. A few weeks ago I switched where I was buying my RO from, and we've got a full blown cyano, red hair, green hair, and caulerpa bloom going on. I guess their water isn't that pure. I don't want to start the new tank with that sand and rock, so we have to shift plans a little bit. I have about 20 lb of LR cooking in the garage, so we're gonna use that and some of the cleaner pieces of LR in the temporary 30g. One of my coworkers got a great deal on 150 lb. of premium cured keilini tonga rock which he's gonna pass on to me. I'm getting a 50 lb box for about $50. I'll use that mostly in the 40 breeder and take a bunch of the current live rock we have and cook it. Then, I guess I can use some of that for my office nano.

Oh, and another coworker is bringing me his diamond hole saw on Monday, so I can drill the tank probably Wednesday when Reg will be around to help.
 

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Wow! That is an awesome deal on the live rock, congratulations on that!

Sounds like your new RO water supplier needs to change their filters badly.
You think thats a deal..........about an hour ago Danyen happened to look on SoCali Reefs classified and found a guy that had just put 100lbs LR in his front yard for first come first serve.............

WE WERE FIRST :banana::ac15: FREE LIVE ROCK !!!!!!!

and beautiful looking LR at that. we didn't take all 100lbs only about 50-60lbs. I'll post some pics
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
No, Reg isn't a fan of the lottery. In my opinion, playing the lotto is like Ghetto charity. If I don't win some other poor sod is getting a much better life for my dollar. I was pretty amazed at the opportunity too. The rock is really nice too. We'll be dumping that rock into a barebottom 30g that will house our critters until the breeder is ready to run. It's gonna be a busy day for us!

Oh, Reg wants to say that it hasn't been all luck for us this week. We have an insane outbreak of cyano, and we lost our six line when he decided to try his hand at base jumping from the tank.
 
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