My 65 gal tank was setup on March 1, 2006 when I moved into a house in Takoma Park, MD. I moved everything from the old 29 gal over a period of about a week. The move went really well.
The tank is a 65 gal acrylic tank (48x18x17) from GlassCages.com. It has a built in overflow with 2 1" bulkheads and 1 3/4" inch bulkhead. The big bulkheads are for the drains, the smaller one for the return. I use a durso standpipe on one drain, and just a standard standpipe on the other. The standard standpipe is slightly higher than the water line and is used only if the durso fails.
I have a custom-built acrylic sump in the basement. In the sump, I have a Euroreef CS6-1, a fludized bed filter for carbon or phosphate remover, an auto-top off system, 2 heaters controlled by a Ranco single stage controller. I have a rubbermaid tub hooked up to the sump for easy water changes. I siimply close the valve connecting the tub to the sump, empty the tub, fill it back up with SW and open the valve when the sw is ready.
Water gets pumped back up by an Iwaki MD-70RLT. The water gets pumped up through the small bulkhead in the overflow, then it's directed through a sqwd and out a series of nozzles plumbed above the tank.
Lighting is 5 65w PC 50/50 lights and some moonlights hooked up to a lunar simulator thingy.
I have mostly softies in the tank... too many to list. Lots of zoes, some shrooms, gsp, sinularia, rics... I also have a crocea clam, a few blastos, feather dusters, cleaner shrimp, coral banded shrimp, several hermits, about 50 snails of different types (nassarius, turbo, nerite...).
Fish are a Royal Gramma, a 6-line wrasse, 2 ocellaris clowns and a yellow tang. I feed them every 3 days, a mixture of Mysis, garlic liquid stuff, and dry food. The tang gets some nori, although he also loves the Mysis.
I use only RO/DI water for top offs and WCs. I try to do WC every 2-3 weeks, although, sometimes a month will go by.
I estimate that my tank costs about $50/month in power costs and water.
I lost my Six-line wrasse. I have no idea what happened. I've never lost a fish before (unless it fell into the overflow). There is nothing in the overflow... I'm very sad, I loved that fish. It's the only fish with a name. Maybe the anemone got it? I saw it go too-close-for-comfort quite a few times.
I am crying, and putting my salty tears into the tank to save on salt... haha jk. Some comic relief during a tough moment for a reefkeep.
I'm gonna get another one for sure. The six-line wrasse is an awesome fish to have. It was my newest fish.
We're watching TV last night. Bugs, a pretty cool documentary about -bugs- is on Discovery HD. Below the flat screen TV mounted on the wall of the living room, our reef tank bustles with activity. I notice that the large brown button polyps seem a little bit more *plush* than usual.
My wife gets up to get some water from the kitchen. She returns with a tall glass. "It's tapwater," she says. "Why did you get tapwater?" I ask. She looks at me, thinking I am playing dumb, and says "Because there's no more good water." I am supposed to be all-knowing about the water in the house.
The "good water" faucet in the kitchen is hooked up to a 3 gallon water tank in the basement, which is filled up by the RO unit. This tank also feeds the auto-top off reservoir with RO water, which goes through 2 more DIs before getting to the reservoir, where it waits to be slowly pumped into the sump when needed.
There is no more water coming out of the kitchen faucet. The water tank must be empty. The only possibility is that there is a leak somewhere. I go downstairs. The sump is overflowing. The float switch that controls the FW top off pump has stuck. I jiggle it with my hand. The small stream of FW pissing into the sump stops. I notice the FW reservoir is almost empty. It is being replenished only as fast as the RO/DI/DI can produce water (100GPD).
I grab my refractometer and read the water. 1.020. I am way below my 1.025 target. I wonder how gradual the salinity change had been. I know that this is crucial. I also know that dropping the salinity too fast can be tough on corals and inverts, but that raising the salinity is much more stressful.
I go upstairs to check out the tank. Everything still looks fine. I decide to do nothing and wait it out. The water will evaporate and the salinity will rise slowly. Slowly is what I want. I will add a little bit of salt from time to time to make up for the salt that overflowed.
I tell my wife she saved the tank. She modestly says it was nothing. I slip on a marble and hit the back my head on the hardwood floor.