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Thread: Reefing and learning.

  1. #1

    Reefing and learning.

    Evening all.

    My names chris. Originally started in Australia and moved to the states. Always had aquatic life and eco systems.
    A little over 4 years ago I started down the saltwater path inspired by a small local fish store in the mid west where I was currently living. I started a 36 gallon second hand bow front aquarium where we got 10lbs of rock some sand and hob filter....oh boy did it look bleh but was so exciting.
    With multiple weeks kick starting the cycle we got our first inhabitants (pair of clowns) with the addition of 40lbs more rock. Also an upgrade to a canister filter. (Ha ha I know multiple people are shaking their heads at this point. Young dumb and full get the idea)
    After having the tank for just shy of 1 year I made the leap into coral. (Note: live stock additions = 1 Randall's goby and a royal gramma with 2 cleaner shrimp)
    After just taking the leap into corals for about 6 months (at the time i had 2 pieces both soft) I had a family matter come up where we had to break down the tank to move back to PA (Altoona to be exact)
    Drove 12 hours+ with live stock in a bucket, heat in car at 79 all the way, water in a brute container and rock in another. What an experience. No casualties. Got in at 5 am to set the tank up and be done by 8 am with water heating up and re acclimating everything. Still no casualties thank goodness.
    As the months went on and settling back at the house in altoona I started to gather more pieces of coral. (LPS) mainly with a few leather pieces) also added a hob skimmer to my already canister filter setup.
    Yes all this time still used canister filter. (P.s All corals i got were small frags since i had fear of killing)

    Just of October last year I made the game plan to upgrade by first purchasing a 150 gallon tall tank. (I know pain in the ass but I had a vision of a furniture style tank to fit into my household)
    Then came the part which my skills are what make my living. The cabinet. I never have built a stand before so I probably went over kill. I started with 2x6 skeleton then skinned with 3/4 plywood to which all solid hard maple was applied to make multiple points of bracing in the form of trim which in then structurally created support. (Base alone solid 1inch maple)
    I started the stand build in January and spent only lunch breaks at work and evenings at home to which I could construct my piece of furniture I would say.
    After 2months I finally got it done. What a task but totally worth it.
    At the beginning of April I started plumbing and electrical to have it running by the end of april.
    I discovered after going away for a week what happens when you create a air tight canopy with no vents at was just about a complete canopy rebuild.
    The tank was cycled fishless for almost 2months. Ghost feedings skimming and water testing weekly. With a 30% water change on initial tank transfer (old tank to new tank)

    The tank is now running for 2 months and everything is doing great. (FYI I did do a sump no more canister filter...totally loving the less maintenance ha ha)

    Now as far as packing it with coral i understand i should be waiting for about a year which is why i have only but a few LPS and softies. The ones i have in the tank now are best put it as legacies from the old tank. But my levels are doing good and being maintained at a proper level for the demand in the tank as we speak with no casualties in the whole transfer of systems.
    All rock + matrix media from old tank.
    sand was thrown out and all original 36 gallon tank water drained.

    These are pictures of the journey my experience has taken me....

  2. #2
    Welcome to the club. Your tank stand and built in look awesome. We probably donít admit it, but most of us have a canister filter that gets used now and then.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  3. #3
    Thanks for the welcome. My old tank when it was up and was asked how i filtered it...everyone was optimistic and always said the line "More then one way to skin a cat". Its do-able just had a lot more hands on work with it. 10 gallon water changes every week with constant upkeep of the canister itself. When i first started the tank i didn't have a RODI unit and bought water at 60 cents a gallon. After 1.5 years i got my own unit....6$ for 2 buckets of water didn't seem so bad until you add it up in the long run. That and the hob protein skimmer probably best things i ever did on that small tank.
    glad to see that there is some activity here in the central PA portion. still quite a drive for most fish stores. we do have a small one here in Altoona that isn't Pet co that has very nice clean systems and a 4 x 8 frag system center of the store but besides that it still 1 hour + anywhere else.

  4. #4
    Reef-O-Potamus HgrReefs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Hagerstown, Md
    Great looking setup!!! Welcome aboard!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by HgrReefs View Post
    Great looking setup!!! Welcome aboard!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    Wow, what he said. You are a talented trim carpenter too.

  6. #6
    Vice President nkicks1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2015
    Thats an awesome setup!!

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