After having kept freshwater tanks I decided to start a saltwater tank. Back in October I started really doing my research and started planning out a 29 gallon fowlr. Plans got put on hold after moving and with space limitations there really wasn't room to add another tank. A couple of months ago I started thinking about taking my 50 gallon fw and converting it into a sw, so the planning began again. While visiting a local reefing site I came across a tank and stand that I could get for less than I was going to have to pay for the stand that I needed to get for the 50 along with rock and sand which would help to lower my setup cost. So the plans have changed some more and I am now working with a tank that is 40 some gallons more than originally planned.
The tank is a 72 gallon bowfront which is not drilled. I will not be running a sump on this tank. My protein skimmer is a bubble magus nac5 hob which I got from another local reefer. I also have about 90 lbs of rock which is dried right now and 80 lbs of sand. I was also able to find a great deal on a typhoon rodi unit.
For equipment that I still need to purchase I am planning on two korilia 1050's for my powerheads. For lighting I am thinking leds, still have a lot of research to do on what is available. Until than I am thinking of using some T8 fixtures that I have around to provide light for viewing since I will be starting this tank as a fowlr and later down the road might start exploring corals. Would rather hold off on spending money on lighting to replace the fixture again down the road. I am also planning on getting a couple of brute containers one for storing my rodi water in and the other for mixing and storing my saltwater.
As with anything in life I have had a few hiccups that I have already ran into with this build. The first problem that I had was that when I got my skimmer home and went to hang it off of the back of the tank, I found out that the inner lip of the rim was about an eighth of an inch too wide to allow the skimmer to sit on the back of the tank properly. So a trip to Home Depot to see what type of tools where available to grind down some of that rim. My collection of tools in my tool box are minimal I ended up getting a metal file set for much less than what a dremmel would cost me, which was what had been suggested on a local site. About 10 minutes later with the file and my skimmer now sits on the tank like it should.
Of course one trip to Home Depot in a week is just not enough Later that week my rodi unit came in, when I got home from work that night I opened the box and unpacked everything. Came across my second problem. The elbow fitting that the hose connects into for the water supply was ****tered. Sent an email to air water and ice explaining the situation. I had bought the unit from someone else who had not used it at all, and their warranty only covers the original purchaser. Got a reply back the next morning and after sending a picture of the piece that was broken was told by Marissa the part that I needed. So back to Home Depot with the broken fitting. Shortly after was back home and the process of hooking up the unit began. After hooking everything up and checking connections the leak test began. Of course had some leaks pushed the tubing in to the fittings more, those leaks fixed, of course new ones appeared. Fixed those and everything seemed to be good. Now all I have left is to arrange all my lines so that things look a little neater. With being in an apartment I am not able to do a hard install, and the hoses under the sink look old that I don't want to try messing with them.
I also have a friend who will be installing a gfci for me when I am ready. That will be my next planned trip to Home Depot along with hopefully picking up at least one of my brute containers
Last edited by jimsflies; 04-09-2012 at 07:52 AM.
Reason: attached photo for display purposes you can edit and change :)
Last week my salt had arrived at the beginning of the week, at the end of the week my powerheads had come in. After that I had to wait for a week before I had help to move the new tank and stand into the living room so that I could start setting things up. On Wednesday I tore down my 50 gallon fw tank, a bit of a process but not as bad as I thought it would be. Later that night with the help of cardboard and a lot of caution I moved my tv and stand from the wall where it had been, the new location for my sw, to the wall where the 50 gallon tank had stood. After that I was at a stand still for what I was able to possibly be able to do on my own.
Last night in prepartion of today I sifted through my sand substrate and removed snail shells, bits of coral, small pieces of rock rubble and even a frag plug that had been in it. Created a bit of a dusty mess, but that was the least of the messes that I would deal with. I started going through my pieces of rock and determined which pieces I wanted to use and a general setup for my rock. On some of the pieces of rock was dried organic material, with the opinions of others some of it I am sure was hair algae, and the others some type of algae. So I decided the easiest way to soak and clean some of this rock was to soak it in the bathtub and scub it down with a nylon brush. Before filling the tub and placing the rock in it I filled the tub with regular water a few times and using paper towels wiped down the sides to make sure that no soap residue was in the tub. After that I filled the tub and placed some of the rock into it, here is a picture
Soaked scrubed rinsed and repeated on the next batch. At the end this was what I had remaining in my tub
As I was letting the tub drain was sitting in the livingroom I heard a crash from the bathroom, headed towards the door and was met by my youngest cat who had a bit of a disgruntled look on his face. An inspection of his paws showed that he ended taking a bit of a dunk in the tub.
Later on this afternoon the boyfriend came over, first job that I had for him was installing my gfci that I had picked up. I had already located the breaker for the outlet, and had even taken things apart to look at it, but once I had seen that I had six cables running to the outlet and couldn't figure how to get the wires detached from the outlet I decided that this was a job for him to do In about 10 minutes my new outlet was installed and we were ready to move the tank and stand into place. I had picked up a level and some shims from Home Depot yesterday incase things where not level. We got the tank in place and placed the level on it. Surprisingly everything was perfectly in level. Will be continue to check the level as I fill the tank but hopefully everything will work out.
For the back of the tank the previous owner had painted a piece of plexi glass that fits onto the back of the tank. With small pieces of double sided duct tape I got the plexi glass back into place. Next started working on placing my rock into the tank. I have made a few minor adjustments but I am thinking that I have come up with something that I like.
My next step was adding my sand in and starting to put in my rodi water that I had already had made up. I only had about 20 gallons of water made, so now I am in the process of making more. I have a feeling that I will be spending most of the rest of my weekend making up water One more picture, my young cat Taz decided to try out his dexterity and balance skills earlier today when the tank was still in the other room, I am hoping that with the fact that there is nothing by the tank or stand that he will not figure a way to get onto the top of the tank. But I will not know for sure until after I am able to add fish and have something in there that will catch his interest.
Today I have spent the entire day making water and slowly filling the tank, almost filled now. I also decided to rearrange my rock work a little bit, since I was not completly happy with the way it was. Here is a picture of what it is looking like at the moment.
Tommorrow I will test to make sure that my skimmer is working, and I will be ready to start the cycle on my tank. Because my rock that I am using is dried I will be using the raw shrimp method for jump starting my cycle. I am planning on putting the piece of shrimp into a piece of cheese cloth so that when it is time to remove the shrimp it will hopefully be easy to remove.
Hi Barb! Welcome to CR! Sweet setup you got going on! Any ideas on what your going to be keeping? Got a favorite fish yet?
Thank you MizTanks I do like the look of the Mandarian Dragonet, but I doubt with my setup that I will be doing that I will be able to provide for this fish well, so it will be a fish that I will have on my wish list for the future. As for this tank I have been working on figuring out what I would like to keep. Since it is going to be some time before I can afford to do the lighting that I am thinking of for this tank I will be starting it off as a fowlr but I will be basing my fish selections upon those that are reef safe. For fish I am definitly planning on a pair of clowns either percula or ocellarus, a royal gramma. I am also thinking of either a foxface lo or a one spot foxface. I have also been thinking about a kole tang, depending on where I look I see different suggestions for minimum tank size requirements. Also thinking of doing a few wrasses either fairy or flasher. Still have a lot of research to do on fish, but I figure with the amount of time it is going to take my tank to cycle I probably have a couple of months to do my research. As for my cuc I am planning on keeping it as snails only and probably a cleaner shrimp or two.
Looks like a real good start. The t-8s will be fine while it is only FOWLR, but you will definitely want something better when you switch to adding coral. T'5s aren't bad, but if I had it to do all over again I would have just started with LEDs as I am in the process of switching over myself.
Goodluck, and welcome to CR!
Hi Chris, thank you. Yes I will be holding off on corals until I am able to afford to do better lighting. My plans are to go with LEDs. I have been doing a lot of research on them, and how they have been working for others on different forums. At this point I am thinking about doing a diy rapidleds, using their plug and play kit since I have no soldering skills, of course will be going with dimmables.
Tank is looking good! I like the rock placement that you chose. Had a good giggle over bathtub kitty!
Looking forward to more updates!
Thank you Becky, took a little rearranging from when I first placed the rock in, but I do think that I am happy with the way it looks now. My youngest cat is a bit of a trouble maker and gets a little too curouis for his own good at times. So far he has not tried to get on the top of the tank since I have moved it out to the living room, but when I put my piece of shrimp in to help start the cycle the movement of the cheese cloth did get his attention for a moment. The real test will come when I am finally able to start actually adding my cuc and fish to the tank. My hopes are that the tank will sit too high up for him to be able to get on top of and I will be able to devise some type of screen top instead of having to keep with a glass top for the tank. Although changing the top will have to wait until I am able to upgrade my lighting since for now I need something for the t8s to sit on.
Originally Posted by chort55
Definitely a great idea there! Those kits seem pretty straightforward and user friendly!
Have watched some youtube videos on putting these together and they fit in with my diy skills. Still will not be cheap to do these but definitly more in my budget than what I would need to pay for nice already built units. Will also have control over my ratios of different colors. Still a lot of research to do in this area. Since it will probably end up being one of the biggest investments in my setup I want to make sure that I do it right.
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