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lReef lKeeper

Custom 50g SPS and LPS

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i have taken the "main" posts from my build thread, and combined them by date for use in the new blog feature of the site.

as many of you know, i took a break from the hobby due to reasons that i would rather not get into details about. lets just say that things were not going great in my life at the time and i could not take care of my tank the way that i was accustomed to, so i had to let it go. sure, it broke my heart, but it had to be done.

WELL, ITS COMEBACK TIME !! this tank will be ALL exotic SPS (ok, maybe a few Aussie Acans or Zoanthids, but you already knew that). the tank is up and running as a bare bottom at my buddies house, and is a one of a kind custom built by Glass Cages 50g with measurements of 36"x18"x18". it will be a little while until i can get it to my place (i dont have one yet, but i am working on it), and it wont be very long now).

BTW ... it is drilled with a coast to coast overflow and returns, and a closed loop with a 6 outlet return manifold. this is gonna be one sweet SPS tank !!

GUESS WHAT I PICKED UP ?? got it from a local reefer buddy for a VERY good price.

well, i got the tank to its temporary home today (at least it is in my possession now) !! i guess that this makes it OFFICIAL !!

here is some of the plumbing that is going through the back glass (this is why the tank was so expensive) !! 2 returns, 4 drains, and a 2" closed loop drain.

well ... the time has come !! here are the pic !!

got the 20K reeflux halides ordered, got some 460nm PC actinics on hand, moon lights are fired up now, all thats left is to fix a small leak where i forgot to add the teflon tape at the closed loop pumps intake. it has a very small leak in it, but i need to get it fixed ASAP because of the REAL hardwood floors in the livingroom.

YES ... that is the skimmer from my last system !! a little overkill ?? probably, considering that it is rated for over a 300g system !! better to overskim than not to skim at all i guess, lmao.

the return pump is a mag 9.5, the real flow is going to be coming from the 3 outlet closed loop, powered by an Iwaki 40XRT at 1200gph (may upgrade that later to a Dart).

well, i was TALKED INTO hosting this months LMAS club meeting at my house, sooooo i had to get the closed loop going. it had a small leak at the pump intake, so i had to cut it free from the return plumbing and get that fixed. while i was at it ... i switched out the PVC pipe with spa flex on the return side of the plumbing (anyone ever noticed how Iwaki pumps outlets are turned just enough that you cant run a pipe straight up ??) i also wrapped a few old towels around ALL of the plumbing in the back to keep the noise level down some. flowing water is relaxing, but at 1700 GPH ... its a little to loud when trying to watch TV !!

my reeflux 20k MH bulbs should be any day now, and the actinicblue PC bulbs are fired up as we speak. i have a yellow watchman and pistol shrimp combo waiting for me in a friends tank.

i got my 20k reeflux bulbs today !! the color is SOOOOO freakin sweet !!

i have to say ... i made a very nice choice with the 20k reeflux bulbs !! the color of the tank with them on is amazing !! BRO ... get reeflux bulbs next time !!

got the aquascaping pretty much done, but if you remember my last tank ... it will change as i keep adding stuff !! lol

also ... i will be getting my first coral tomorrow !! of course they have to stay with a friend for a while, but if i dont get them ... they will be sold very quick. ALL AUSSIE acans ... a lordhowinsis, a maxima, and a Rotundaflora (almost impossible to get).

Pics are not the greatest ... had to take them with my phone to get even decent ones !!

Tyree Alien Eye Chalice
Purple Death Palys
Aussie Acan
Tyree Sunset Monti
Bali Safecracker Zoas
ORA Blue Tort
Aussie Acan
Rainwater Chalice
Aussie Acan
Tyree Rainbow Monti
Nuclear Green Palys
Tyree Pokerstar Monti

i have added some fish between updates here ...

i added a candy hog/wrasse (hybrid [looks more like a wrasse]), of course the yellow watchman goby, and my niece had to have a "nemo", so i got a true onyx percula for her. i havent set up a QT yet, but they have been in the LFS that i work at for at least a month and i have been taking care of them all while im there.

here are the latest additions ... ill come back and label them when i get some extra time ...
ORA Borrealis
ORA Hawkins Blue Echinata
ORA Cali. Tort
ORA Pearlberry
ORA Red Planet
Garf Purple Bonsai
ORA Purple Plasma
ORA Blue Voodoo
Firefly Chalice

here are the fish ...

Candy Hog/Wrasse
True Onyx Percula
Yellow Watchman
Sargassum Trigger (had to return)
Mystery Wrasse
Equisite Wrasse
Rainfords Goby
Yellow Clown Goby
Flaming Prawn Goby


I added 15 DIY moon lights over the last couple of nights. The tank is more lit up than it looks, but they look really good ... like the moon.

well, i made some good deals this weekend, have some updates for the thread ...

i needed some filler corals for the lower portion of the tank. it looked a little bare towards the bottom, sooooo ... my buddy FishHeadFred came through for me again !!

Orange cap
Idaho Grape cap
Green w/ purple rim cap

AND my new pride and joy of the tank ... he is a little bigger than i would have prefered, but considering my insanely oversized skimmer, and the amount of live rock and sand in the display and rock tank ... i think i can handle him. if need be, i will remove all of the other fish and put some rock from the display in the rock tank (attached to DT), to give him more room, but for now ... he has plenty ...

he is a really beautiful fish !!

BTW ... to finish the update, i sold all three of the acans this weekend and upgraded my ATO to the premium aquatics premium version. i MUCH prefer the DUAL float switches over the pressure switch. it really makes a big difference in sump water level consistency. the pressure switch had to let the water drop 1/2" to activate the pump, the new one is 1/8" to activate the pump !! that makes for some VERY stable water !!

Top-it-Off Kit Premium - DIY kit: Premium Aquatics

once i get the acans out of the way ... it will be SPS time !!

well, between posts today, i decided to make the trigger a lot more roaming room ... i redid some rock work (its all still in the system though), and remounted some frags.

well, i have some bad news ...

if he doesnt stop in the couple of days, im gonna have to lose the trigger.
he is picking on the clown and wrasse ... i cant have that. if nothing else he can go back to where i got him, but honestly, i hope he calms down. i think he just needs more room to establish a territory. i have already placed a replacement order with my buddy though (and he is taking back the Trigger tomorrow) ... Leopard Wrasse, Exquisite Wrasse, and Lineatus Wrasse. after these 3 im done with my fish list.

the Trigger was an impulse buy ... i had a feeling this might happen when i saw how big he was, so its been in the back of my mind for a little while. no biggie ... live and learn. you never KNOW how a fish is going to react to a new tank with new tank mates.

got a few of the replacement fish this week ...

i also re acquired my Sebae Anemone from my buddy. the clown fish was hosting within 24 hours.

i noticed a lack of polyp extension from my Acros today, water tests out perfect and has for the past month or so. i am wondering if i just dont have enough flow for them right now ?? gonna try to add another Seio 620 ad see if that helps any.

between working on the site upgrade and testing all of the new fuctions here, i have not had a lot of time to update ...

since the last update, i have taken ALL of my SPS and LPS to Chris's (FishHeadFred) house. they all started turning brown and STN was setting in. they are almost all recovering with FishHead and should make a complete recovery. the Chalices looked fine, but its better safe than sorry. when the sites upgrade is finished, i am adding a Dart powered closed loop running about 3200 gph at 3' of head pressure. that should have happened by my next update.

not really a lot to update on, but i did get the closed loop added, and the dart is running wide open with no real sandbed issues. the only small issue is that the check valve i installed on the closed loop return line has a tiny leak (maybe a drip every 10 seconds or so), but i think rather than tearing it apart ... i am going to let the salt creep take care of it for me. so now i am running about 60x turnover through the tank, not including the drains to the sump, and with NO powerheads in the tank. i dont think flow will ever be an issue again.

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Updated 01-24-2010 at 08:21 PM by lReef lKeeper

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  1. V's Avatar
    nice bobby. interesting about the pressure sensor. Do you stagger your current float switches in the system?

    Hows your coral holiday going?
  2. lReef lKeeper's Avatar
    hey V, yes the lower float switch activates the the top off pump, and the higher one disables it if the first one fails. so the water level can only get so high in the sump before the ATO is disabled by its design. i am really digging this design ... stickybeak. lmao
  3. V's Avatar