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gallantly streaming
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
My 90G Gorgonian and Softie Reef Tank

So, it has been many years since I have had a display tank to call my own.

My last tank was with me for a number of years, but it met its end in the most spectacular fashion - silicone failure (note to self: never buy big box crap again). And while the tank itself was spectacular and very successful, I now look upon it as the critical stepping stone I needed to prepare myself for this reef.

This new tank is not that much larger than my previous tank, but it is leaps and bounds more complicated and challenging. However, I have made efforts to keep it as 'low-tech' as possible - you are not going to see any pimpin' 6-channel doser or superfluous dawn/dusk/thunderstorm effects on this tank.

This will be a mixed reef, with all types of coral incorporated into the aquascape. Specific emphasis will be placed on rarer and uncommon softies and LPS, with a few key branching and encrusting SPS species. The tank is essentially custom-built from the ground-up. Most of the design/building/testing was done by me over long days and nights and countless episodes of ST:TNG re-runs. Never mind the 3+ boxes of band-aids I went through and the weekly floods over my hardwood floors...grr!

I call it 'The Mountain' because it will feature a unique rockscape that will protrude out of the water - in the same way coral atolls do in nature.

Display Aquarium: 90g rimless glass (~80g usable volume)
  • 30" x 28.5" x 23.5" ID - with internal durso overflow
  • 0.5" glass thickness
  • Completely reused/recycled from a damaged 180gal (ie. glass would have otherwise gone to a landfill)
  • Tank expertly crafted by Sonny from Aquatic Kingdom

Stand & Skin: DIY w/ 2x4s and plywood
  • Maple veneer paneling, stained and triple-sealed
  • With back-lit red acrylic insert

Sump: 46 gal acrylic DIY (~25gal usable volume)
  • 26.5" x 26.5" x 15" ID
  • Divided into 3 sections (1-skimmer, 2-bubble trap/macro, 3-fuge/live-rock)

Skimmer: Deltec AP701 (DIY clone) w/ Eheim 1263 needlewheel, rated for 400gal normal stocking
  • DIY air silencer
  • Air bubble diffuser plate
  • Base recirculation section w/ input/output ports
  • DIY'ed by some uber-skilled guy from the US - I bought it from him about 6 years ago and only got around to using it now

Filtration
  • Biological - 100lbs of liverock, 3" oolithic sand
  • Mechanical - 100 micron filter socks on overflow (cleaned weekly) and skimmer output (cleaned monthly)

Return Pump: Danner Mag 12
  • T'd into reactor(s)
  • output plumbed to SCWD unit

Flow: Panworld 100PX-X and Oceans Motions 4-way closed-loop
  • Four outlets into tank (two on rear pane, two on bottom pane)
  • All four outlets use flow accelerators (ie. modified eductors)

Main Lighting: Kessil A350W Tuna Blue LED Pendant
  • Supplemental Lighting: x3 PAR38 LEDs
  • PAR38 LEDs will be used to spotlight specific corals/areas of the tank (Japanese style)

Reactors: 2 Little Fishies Reactor
  • Alternating between GFO and carbon

ATO: Tunze Osmolator
  • With 4gal DIY freshwater reservoir
  • RO/DI: Aquasafe 5 Stage (SED, GAC, CCB, RO, DI)

Temperature Control:
  • None - I keep my home at a decent level
  • Ebo-Jager 200W heater (winter months)

Frag Tank: 85 gallon DIY acrylic
  • (to be decommissioned later this year)

 

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I am excited to see this develop as my next tank will be a 60-70g cube :)

I am especially interested in the lighting method selected. Have you decided how you will mount/hang the par38's?
 

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gallantly streaming
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644 Posts
Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
nice choice on a cube :)

I've yet to decide on the actual fixture for placing the PAR38s. I've seen some of the ones commonly available, but they don't appeal to me too much. Mind you, I haven't spent much time looking for different options yet. I've just seen some from local shops here in the GTA....they work, but lack the design I have in mind for a fixture.

I'm trying to take on a more 'modern' twist with this tank.....especially with the lighting and how they're utilized - I want a good mix of industrial and modern....I may be asking for too much, but hey, the interwebs is full of options, you just have to sift through it all to find the right one! ;)

...some examples




z
 

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Nice start! I'll be following.

As for low tech, it never stays that way. lol I guess it depends on how much free time you have.

As for the light rail. Find a piece of stainless steel or aluminum stock 1/2"x 2" and have it customer bent. I was planning something like this, but my budget just got slashed lol.

Good luck.

-dan
 

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nice choice on a cube :)

I've yet to decide on the actual fixture for placing the PAR38s. I've seen some of the ones commonly available, but they don't appeal to me too much. Mind you, I haven't spent much time looking for different options yet. I've just seen some from local shops here in the GTA....they work, but lack the design I have in mind for a fixture.

I'm trying to take on a more 'modern' twist with this tank.....especially with the lighting and how they're utilized - I want a good mix of industrial and modern....I may be asking for too much, but hey, the interwebs is full of options, you just have to sift through it all to find the right one! ;)

...some examples




z
Just yesterday I purchased a goose neck 30cm long, to go on the glass, and it was 30 bucks and it does look weird. but cool weird. lol

but before that, I spent over a week looking online, looking for builds, seeing what some stores are doing, and if it isnt a goose neck, or a floor lamp, its track fixtures. I was actually going to build one, but I didnt want to hang stuff, and it would cost me more than a goose neck, excluding the tools I would possibly be missing. so after a week or so of looking and gas wasted driving to different cities, I raged quit. lol

so , good luck to you my friend, as it wasnt successful for me. The goose neck was worth it in the end, 30 bucks cant go wrong, or 40 for the double head one. Its real sturdy , plus the guy at fragbox was real nice.
 

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gallantly streaming
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644 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
Just yesterday I purchased a goose neck 30cm long, to go on the glass, and it was 30 bucks and it does look weird. but cool weird. lol

but before that, I spent over a week looking online, looking for builds, seeing what some stores are doing, and if it isnt a goose neck, or a floor lamp, its track fixtures. I was actually going to build one, but I didnt want to hang stuff, and it would cost me more than a goose neck, excluding the tools I would possibly be missing. so after a week or so of looking and gas wasted driving to different cities, I raged quit. lol

so , good luck to you my friend, as it wasnt successful for me. The goose neck was worth it in the end, 30 bucks cant go wrong, or 40 for the double head one. Its real sturdy , plus the guy at fragbox was real nice.
yeah, i've seen the fragbox ones. They're nice - well designed and practical. However, since I haven't really spent any time looking for different options as yet, i'll do that first and then decide what to do. I may indeed have to go with the ones you mentioned, but we'll see! thanks for the input :)

ok, time for more pics on this build!

so, after setting up and testing the closed-loop, I ran it at full power and noticed there was a very decent amount of flow! ...my goal with this tank is not to have *any* powerheads or any such pumps IN the tank.....looks like I can stick to that statement (for now;))


but setting this up didn't come without any issues. When I bought the OM (used) I quickly found there was some rusted/broken parts.


but after a quick call to Paul at OM, a few pints and some chicken wings, I had the replacement parts I needed. Time to set it up!


I used the "Version 2" drum, but widened the opening about 25% more on each side with my dremel. I also had to sand the entire drum down a bit as it was sticking during my tests


Here's the whole closed-loop setup, with Panworld 100PX-X pump (1270GPH)
 

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gallantly streaming
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644 Posts
Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
I finally have an update - apologies for taking so long......summer was pretty hectic, and honestly, I still had (and have) a bunch of work to do on the tank/stand before I can say it's 100% done.

I did enter a photo contest......you can say it's essentially the first-ever photo of my tank (or at least the first one I like and want to show publicly! :))

5 months old....frags, frags, and more frags......can't wait for the next 12 months to pass so I can see these beauties grow!


I've had to deal with moderate algae issues, minor bleaching on some LPS and an alk issue that resulted in most of my zoas shrinking...so yes, one busy, eventful summer.

Oh, I also decided to go with the goosenecks for my three PAR38 LEDs....thanks to Fragbox!
 

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Coral Porn Connoiseur
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1,618 Posts
Dude! congrats! I didn't even know you had a thread in here hehe. I only look at the headlines. now let me go and read the whole thing.
 

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Coral Porn Connoiseur
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sweet story. Question - how did your old tank fail? the silicone thing? that's FREAKIN me OUT man. I've been hearing so many stories of reef tanks failing, hearing another one freaks me out. Did you use a wave maker?

I'm setting up a regular 90G atm. Got it second hand, it doesn't have a maker on it, but I assume it's a miracles tank as it looks to be one of the older standard 90G and stand setup from BA.
 

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Very nice I can only image when the frag frag frags become colonies;)..
thanks for sharing and keep the pictures coming!
 

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gallantly streaming
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644 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
Quite a journey but with awesome results so far !
The best is yet to come
Thanks for sharing !
thanks!

sweet story. Question - how did your old tank fail? the silicone thing? that's FREAKIN me OUT man. I've been hearing so many stories of reef tanks failing, hearing another one freaks me out. Did you use a wave maker?

I'm setting up a regular 90G atm. Got it second hand, it doesn't have a maker on it, but I assume it's a miracles tank as it looks to be one of the older standard 90G and stand setup from BA.
yeah it failed...never buying mass-produced stuff again

see the entire bottom seam...so many areas where the silicone lifted....no other seam had any lift



i'd say give your new one a good inspection...and re-seal it just in case...but im no pro. I know this cube I have is siliconed really well and good.

Your tank looks trippy with the lights you got. Nice stuff. Next time give us a close up tour of your corals :).
still just mostly tiny frags, but ill get to the photos soon lol

Very nice I can only image when the frag frag frags become colonies;)..
thanks for sharing and keep the pictures coming!
thanks man :)
 

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gallantly streaming
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644 Posts
Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Oh boy, what a day. It's amazing how smelly one gets after playing in the dirt...and who would have thought i'd hear from my special guy, y4zhuang!? good to know he hasn't forgotten about me lol

hopefully this'll clear my head; i'll get back to what i'm good at: more pics, less fight.

a. bowerbanki from Canada Corals


Tahitian maxima clam from AK (trade in)....this guy is huuuuge! brighter blue than an Aussie maxima I had years ago, by far


Pulsing Sinularia from Coral Reef Shop


top part of my rockwork that breaks the surface and rises about 5" above the water line


Japanese softie from RR via Flavio (ARA).....under strong flow it has a much tighter, almost capnella-like polyp/branch structure, but in this form (low flow) it looks nothing like capnella...more like a colt (klyxum sp.)


toxic green a. lordhowensis from NAFB...showing the true colours. No LED actinic flashlight was use in the capture of this pic
 

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gallantly streaming
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Discussion Starter #18
I posted a FTS on the other page but i'd admit it's already way out of date. I've added and moved around lots of corals since that one was taken.

Will try and get an updated one soon :) I just wanted to post my corals for the people who've been asking me over and over to show my stuff.
 
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