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Banggai Mommy
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Yeah, yeah, I know. Long time, no see. But I'm back.

So we've had this 125 set up for about a year. Pretty nice tank, very deep. But we've been running very low on funds, and even lower on time. Tank ends up somewhat neglected. I can't for the life of me get the skimmer dialed in, and between the Florida summers and the MH, I can't seem to get a light cycle that allows things to grow AND keeps the energy bill below $400. I can't stand it anymore. Rather than throw in the towel, I'm going to blame the setup and start again.

I miss my bulletproof reef in Kansas City! It had a DSB, remote 'fuge, and was absolutely bulletproof. I even crashed the sandbed once. After 100 gallons of waterchanges, I only lost one coral. Oh, how I miss it!

To make a long story short, it was either give up the hobby altogether, or do something drastic. So something drastic it is.

I'm picking up a 72 bowfront this afternoon. Going to 4 x 96W PCs. Selling the old tank, the halides, and a bunch of rock. Will be a softie/LPS tank, as I am just not that into pretty sticks. (No offense, but it ain't me.) I prefer not too much flow, so that things aren't whipped up too much. (I still have my wavemaker, and it's definitely going back in, but I don't think my future euphyllias are going to want 10x turnover.

So... do I stick with comfort and do the DSB again? I like sand. I'm not opposed to going BB, though. I'm really quite ambivalent about this. As awful as it sounds, I like having the nutrient sink. I have always run really rich tanks, and think my softies have done well with it. Well, up until this last one, but that doesn't count.

Oh, and the whole "don't let the sandbed stay in for more than a few years" thing - not a problem. I haven't stayed in the same place for more than 4 years since I graduated high school, and anticipate another move in a year. And as icky as ripping out a DSB is, I've done it several times and it doesn't bother me.

I've been reading about BBs, and with the scattered softies/shrooms/polyps, I don't know how much rock I'd be able to cook anyway. I do have more time this year (I've already noticed a huge difference!), and hopefully with the profit from selling the halides and the tank, we can put that back into this reef.

Thoughts?

Danielle
 

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Premium Member
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10,625 Posts
Bingo, Dang Whiskey is so smart :D . Welcome back home Danielle!!!
Go DSB or SSB and you will have a killer softie tank. for cost savings and ease of use i would look at VHO instead though. you can get a workhorse ballast for cheap and it will last forever. plus you can sometimes get 8 months out of a VHO bulb. Lets see pictures and a build thread!!!
 

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Tang Lover
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7,326 Posts
First...very glad to see you back!

2nd...all good advice so far. For what you're planning...DSB sounds perfect.

And also ditto on the VHO's. I have both VHO's and another tank with PC's. I HATE changing out the bulbs every 6 mo's with the PC's. And the bulbs are more expensive!

Not to mention, VHO's look better, IMO.

Again, glad to see you getting back into it!

now...I dont' care HOW messed up that tank is...post a pic! ;)
 

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Banggai Mommy
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Alrighty. You wanna see Mrs Smith put together a tank, you got it.

First, the old tank. It's not a bad tank at all, but I'm not happy with it. And if momma ain't happy...

Next, the new tank!
As you can see, bowfront. The footprint isn't that much smaller than our current tank, but will decrease in gallonage from 125 to 72.

The canopy came with 4 x 96W PCs. I've had PCs before, and aside from one, up, crappy afternoon in which we accidentally broke $80 worth of bulbs, I liked them.

The sump/skimmer are SeaLife, which is a company out of Jacksonville. I don't know much about them, but the sump fits nicely, and the skimmer should work fine for me. (I go skimmerless intermittently, and often, actually.)

I'm going to have to sort through the rock, because I have a TON of it and get to sell off quite a bit. And for the record, most of the green stuff in the first pic is feather caulerpa. Yell all you want. I like it. (In limited amounts, mind you.)

And now, I need to muck out the old tank, scrape it and cleanse it of nastiness. Then, to Home Depot for some new plumbing (flexible pipe, methinks), and somewhere to find some sand. (I used the last bit of my Southdown stash on the last tank. :( )

Danielle
 

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Sailfin
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2,449 Posts
Awesome new tank, Danielle! And great to have you back (I should talk... I only just came back myself after a sporadic absence)

Our softies did great in the nutrient sink and 8-yr-old sand. Our LPS did not. But... there were more reasons I'm sure than the sand, if the sand was even one of them.

:dance: :dance:
 

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Banggai Mommy
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Hm... husband says you might have a point there... he just looked at them and says they're 55!! Oh no!!

AARG!! That's not enough!

Hm... so what now? I really don't have the cash (at the moment) to spring for a VHO system. Or do I? I think 4 4' VHO bulbs would do it. Time to scour the classifieds... We could rig up fittings, too.

I know that silica sand doesn't leach phosphates. I'd just like to hear from a quorum that it's ok. (Brain says yes, experience says "be careful.")
 

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Banggai Mommy
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That means I'm going to email Tom-knows-it-all-D-Wyatt and ask the chemist. :) Not that I don't believe you... part of me wants to make sure that all I went through to get my mitts on the real aragonite was worth it. (And part of me wants to use the sand money for new lights, so that'd be ok.)

Besides, I'm overdue for a chat with the man. ;)

Lemme sleep on the lights. We could always yank the VHOs from the current tank and rewire. PITA, but an option.
Tank is all scraped now - looks great! Empty, but great!
 

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Banggai Mommy
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2,395 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Over the last week, we've been gathering the necessary goods to get this up and running.

Sand-wise, we're going to go with a sugar-sized aragonite DSB. Husband is trying to procure the sand, but there is none anywhere in town, so we're waiting for a shipment.

Lighting-wise, we're looking into VHOs, probably 3 daylights, and 1 actinic. The PCs will go to his planted FW tank then.

Ion the cat has been helping a lot. Here he is inspecting the seams. We had to put the tank together to keep him out of it.

It's all plumbed, and looks great! Andy plumbed a durso standpipe, so it will be relatively quiet. We elected to install a refugium as well, and will be implementing our auto-topoff system, which has been collecting dust for some time.

So right now, we're in a holding pattern. If we can get sand and lights together, we're go for move-in possibly Sunday, possibly the week after. I'm in no rush, and have been tidying up the big tank, doing water changes and generally getting it cleaned up to sell.

Danielle
 

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Administrator
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46,883 Posts
Deep sand beds tend to nbecome nutrient sinks over time and in closed systems they aren't efficiant enough to keep up will all the waste reduction expected of them
There is no set timeframe on this happening as there are way too many variables involved, its one of the shortcomings of a DSB tank but it's also one of the reasons its pretty successful for softy coral dominated lagoonal tank
Check the old THink Tank threads for a ton of info re: sandbeds :)


Danielle, looks like you and Andy havea well thought ought plan B in the works, good job :D
 
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