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Old 07/26/2020, 12:28 AM   #1
Registered Member
Join Date: May 2020
Location: San Ramon
Posts: 5
The *** have I got myself into build

Hello everyone,

I'm new here but I've been keeping FW fish and planted tanks for nigh on 20 years now. Yet I've never ventured into SW or reef keeping. Until Covid at least. I decided to convert my 22g long tank over to a mixed reef tank kinda of on a whim. I suppose a bad bout of duckweed was part of that decision, as well as just tired of trimming plants for so many years.

The 22g build has gone fantastic. I had quite a bit of help from a fellow SFBAAPS member with mentoring and beginner coral frags. I'm at the point where a beginner Monti and and some easy SPS sticks are growing well in there at about the 4 month mark. One month in i began planning the conversion of my 68g UNS90U rimless planted tank over to a reef. (I had a budget somewhere...)

This build thread isn't really about the 22g. It's all about the 68g. Mid May I filled it with salt, created a scape, and started the cycle with my old 17g tank as the sump. Ordered up a custom sized Lifereef build to fit the stand and away I've went to what we in the planted tank hobby call "The dark side". Don't worry SFBAAPS I still love ya'll and have an 11.5g planted cube to keep things somewhat green vs blue!

I'll start off with a few pics of this same tank (2.5 yrs old) in FW planted iterations and then hit the blue pics I think you'd rather see :-)

The last pic is where things stand after today's plumbing job. Had to reroute the drains for the skimmer cup to fit and DIY a hanging solution for the refugium light. Transferred a bit of macro algae from the 22g's fuge to get that started while I wait 3 more months for the BRS/WWC cycle to complete. I think I'm going to learn a lot of patience this go around.

Going to add some chaeto and pods, feed the tank with some frozen shrimp, wait some more, then a month and a half from now I'll add a pair of clowns. While I wait I'll be looking for coraline scrapings to hopefully start seeing that before I add the first corals at the 4 month mark. I'll also create a cord management power board to tidy up the electrical mess.

Quick equipment rundown -

Aquatic Life 36" hybrid fixture. I'll add 3 Orphek bars in a few months to provide SPS light levels.

Lifereef CL1 Custom sized sump & refugium to maximize use of the stand space. 20"'x20"14" & 9.5"x20"x18"

Lifereef VS3-24, 22 1/2" tall venturi driven skimmer

2x Icecap 2k gyre's

2x DC-2100 pumps. Skimmer & return.

Magdrive 9.5 for the media reactors

250W Eheim heater with heater controller

AI Prime FW refugium light

Milwaukee PH controller hooked up for the future Calcium reactor

Please comment and critique. I'm in my infancy as a reefer but it's exciting and I've learned quite a bit so far. Looking forward to continue expanding my knowledge and creating something special.

Apologies for the weirdly large pictures, Imgur is not resizing them properly.

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Old 08/01/2020, 04:02 PM   #2
asmodeus's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Fredericton, NB, Canada
Posts: 1,563
well look at you go well done my friend

Doesn't matter how much you have been reading, until you take the plunge. You don't know as much as you think.
Moved from the WEST to the EAST
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Old 08/02/2020, 10:21 AM   #3
Michael Hoaster
Registered Seaweedist
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Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 4,930
Looks like you are on a path to success! Really nice planted tank, by the way.

I have a kind of similar story. I have a 180 that started out as a reef tank. I never did as well as I had hoped. Eventually, I broke it down and converted it to a fresh water planted tank. Armed with reef-capable lighting and CO2, I had a gorgeous planted tank. Then I got the idea to combine what I learned from BOTH sides of the hobby. Now I have a pretty cool marine planted tank with seagrasses and macro algae.

Good luck with your setup and welcome to RC!

As many naturalists and environmentalists have suggested, we should set aside our arrogance,
our desire to conquer and control everything, and walk hand in hand with Mother Nature. -Walter Adey

Current Tank Info: 180g Seagrass Sandbar Lagoon, START DATE November 28, 2018
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