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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

Wanted to share my new aquarium build. This is my first saltwater aquarium, so any advice is greatly appreciated. I built the stand and hood from scratch. The stand has a 2X4 frame and is skinned in 1/2 in mdf. Here are the specifics.

75 gallon tank /w built-in overflow
20 gallon long sump/refugium (DIY)
4 48in t-5 lights /w icecap electronic ballast /w 2 10000k, 1 460 actinic ,
1 50/50 bulbs
90lbs of live rock (Figi)
3in deep sand bed
2 koralia pumps (3,4)
Ecoplus 633 return pump
Aqualine 130 needle wheel skimmer
Theo 300 heater
3in sand bed in refugium
spaghetti algae in refugium
sock filter
1 gallon bioballs

I'm currently cycling the tank. It has been up and running for three weeks. The live rock wasn't producing enough ammonia, so I began dosing with pure ammonia. It is currently breaking down 5ppm of ammonia in 3 days. Nitrites are still present so I think I have a couple more weeks before adding fish and other goodies. Thanks for looking, and comments are welcome.
 

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I have a similar set-up that I just finished. I have a question. Do you get a lot of gurgling/agitation in the sock as the tube goes into it? Mine does, and I can't figure out why??
 

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agreed get rid of the bioballs and if your going to run a filter sock be sure to clean it every couple of days, to be honest i only use my filter sock for a day when i do water changes to catch any debri from blowing of the live rock.
 

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I have a similar set-up that I just finished. I have a question. Do you get a lot of gurgling/agitation in the sock as the tube goes into it? Mine does, and I can't figure out why??
is the drain tube a straight run or do you have bends in it?
does the drain extend past the water line in your sump or is it above it?
 

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It is a flexible tube, and it has bends in it. The tube is below the water line. I thought this was the problem, but it is indeed underwater.
 

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It is a flexible tube, and it has bends in it. The tube is below the water line. I thought this was the problem, but it is indeed underwater.
the bends in the tubing may be your problem it will trap air and cause a loud gurgle noise, you want to try and make the drain tube a straight run in to the sump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for the comments - so the consensus is get rid of the bioballs. Is everything that I have setup adequate for a saltwater tank of this size? I'm a noob when it comes to lights. Is 4 48in T-5 running on a icecap 660 enough for corals? I heard that the icecap can push the 54w bulbs to 85w. Is this true? Any help is always appreciated. Thanks.

Ericgreg - I get the same gurgling in the sock as well, but I threw some bioballs in the sock and it has made it a lot quieter, plus my stand is really solid and dampers most of the noise.
 

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Thanks for the comments - so the consensus is get rid of the bioballs. Is everything that I have setup adequate for a saltwater tank of this size? I'm a noob when it comes to lights. Is 4 48in T-5 running on a icecap 660 enough for corals? I heard that the icecap can push the 54w bulbs to 85w. Is this true? Any help is always appreciated. Thanks.

Ericgreg - I get the same gurgling in the sock as well, but I threw some bioballs in the sock and it has made it a lot quieter, plus my stand is really solid and dampers most of the noise.
you wont have any problems with keeping anything you want under that lighting
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have added 30 snails, 30 hermit crabs, skunk cleaner, feather duster, Sally Lightfoot crab, lawnmower blenny, lettuce nudibranch, and an extra 50 shells for the hermits (first creatures added to the tank). I want to add 2 juvenile clown fish on Sunday. The clean up crew was added on Tuesday the 23rd. Is Sunday the 28th too soon to add two clown fish?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My Lawnmower Blenny died. I took him out to inspect him and nothing. No signs of predatory attack (Sally Light Foot crab), no signs of red swollen gills (ammonia poisoning), and my water quality is excellent. I got him on Feb 25 and he was dead by Sun Feb 28. I don't know maybe stress. I had a sheet of Nori in the tank, but I don't know if it was the crabs or him who ate it. Maybe a sick Blenny from the store.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I want to rant a little. I hate Hydor products. I have had two Hydor pumps malfunction and 3 Hydor heaters malfunction. A word of caution to anyone buying Hydor products.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I was running my Hydor pumps off a wave-maker. They aren't designed for that type of use. I later figured it out after 2 died (but they should be wave-maker compatible). My Hydor heaters are CRAP. Bad experiences with Hydor. I was giving my Blenny Nori, but I guess my tank isn't established with enough algae. I do have a problem with hair and bryopsis in the tank, so I thought he would take out the hair algae. I have phosphate reading between .25 and .5. I use a RO/DI system and frozen mysis and marine pellets for the tank. I mixed some caribsea aragonite and Petco fine marine sand together. Maybe the phosphates are coming from the sand or the live rock I got from the LFS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I bought and have been using a Rena SmartHeater 300w for the last week, and it is great (stupid crap Hydor heaters). The water stays 77 degrees at night and raises to 80 during the day.

I also added 2 Ocellaris clown fish. One is 2.5in and the other 1.75in. They have been in the tank for a week now, and they are so cool. The big one plays in the current, and it's funny to watch. She will swim against and then let her body go and is whipped across the tank, then she'll do it all over again. I know she is playing, because she has no problem swimming all over the tank when she wants to. The male is a little more cautious.

I just ordered 3 orange, 4 blue Ricordea, and 4 green stripped mushrooms. When they open I'll post some pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just purchased a pink spotted gobby and a clown fairy wrasse. The 4 green stripped mushrooms have opened beautifully (purple with green stripes). The ricordea are taking longer to acclimate. I received them and they were very small polyps. Maybe in time they will become what I expected. More pics coming soon.
 
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