40g Seagrass Patch Reef Build

Reefkeeping, Coral, Fish and Invertebrates.

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Amphiprion
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40g Seagrass Patch Reef Build

Post by Amphiprion » Fri Jan 18, 2013 2:49 pm

So, I'm piecing together a new system after breaking down my 25g a while ago. It will be my old 40g breeder and a sort of modular sump design, composed of a couple of polypropylene containers (spanning a small stand and the primary one) and an acrylic sump. It will be set up as a reef that skirts the edge of a seagrass bed and I will aquascape and shape the reef structure accordingly to reflect the transition you usually see in these areas. For filtration, the tank will be filtered exclusively by an algal scrubber. This is one thing I omitted from my 25g that probably would've helped out tremendously in keeping water quality appropriately high. An algal scrubber worked quite well when I last set up this 40g, almost too well, as it stripped the nutrients from the water and required me to feed very heavily. I'm planning for primarily "sps" corals on the primary structure, with seagrass and sand-dwelling corals/invertebrates on the other side. I intend for the structure to be about 1/3 of the tank, with other strategically placed rocks. I'll have to draw up some plans a bit later to give a better idea.

Okay, so now for some specifics:

Equipment (updated 8/3/2014):
40g breeder (36" x 18" x 17" lwh) w/corner overflow
2 x 250w XM 10000K metal halides
1 Vortech MP40w ES
1 Vortech MP10w ES
1 Tunze Silence return pump (700 gph)
1 Bubble Magus Curve 7 skimmer
3 LiterMeter III, comprising one master pump and 2 remote modules for calcium, alkalinity, and top-off (magnesium in top-off water)

So, it's coming together pretty slowly, but surely. Luckily, I already have most of the equipment I need, so much of that is done. I'll be setting up a bit of a timeline with pics:

Today 1/18/2013 - water test
Image
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Amphiprion
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:42 pm

So today I found that my plan for 2 different polypropylene containers won't work, due to height restrictions. Not a big setback, as I still get one to act as a refugium, which should pick up the scrubber's slack during cleanings, etc.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Kresnahw22
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Kresnahw22 » Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:12 pm

Working close gonna be a great build.

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Wed Jan 23, 2013 6:00 pm

Okay, quick update. Got most of the plumbing done, including both the main and emergency drains, as well as the return plumbing. I've yet to assemble the scrubber's plumbing, but will as time permits (plus, it's difficult to do, since I don't have the sump for it yet). I did get one of the halides placed and got sand/rock in. Pics:

Image
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40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Kresnahw22 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 2:34 am

Im watching closely and cant wait to see your algae scrubber design i wanna try it out. Looks good so far.

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Thu Jan 24, 2013 6:43 pm

Well, started filling up.

Image

Couldn't resist firing up the DE halide fixture (the rather heterogeneous SE fixture is awaiting a new XM 10000K lamp). Nice and bright if you ask me, though the shallow depth created by the deep sand helps there, too:

Image

Still no sump, yet, as I have to build another one with similar dimensions to my old one. That means the scrubber will have to wait a while until I can get the sump in place. I am working on the scrubber layout now, which will be pretty simple. It will be similar to my last one, but maybe a bit more sophisticated. I'm hoping to have complete acrylic splash guards if all works out according to plan. I'll be getting the rock and live sand in shortly, giving things a little while before I add anything. My old clowns which are being held for me will likely go in first, followed by a cleanup crew as algae starts to manifest in the display. Hopefully the scrubber should catch up quickly and prevent too much from growing in the display initially.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by strout2 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:05 pm

Tank is looking great :) I am working on getting one of these for my system

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4HeDErpUZg

Pretty much had the money saved up till car problems came up, but the Scrubber is the next thing I am buy for my system.

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Thu Jan 24, 2013 7:48 pm

Thanks, just not much to look at yet, lol.

I know the guy who makes those (not personally, but through forums), but I don't care for the price. Mine won't be in an acrylic housing like that, but will be freestanding. It won't be quite as crude as the last one, but it won't be leaps and bounds more complicated, either. I spent about $30 on all the materials in total, not counting the acrylic I already have. It would probably be closer to $70 if you count that.
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40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by strout2 » Thu Jan 24, 2013 10:59 pm

Looking foward to see how you build it :) Space is at a premium for me, I like how his is real compact.

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:01 pm

Setback #1: So, I got my live rock earlier today and was excited that I may actually be able to get my fish back sometime in the near future. Well, I was wrong. I noticed when I was putting my rock in that there was something that looked like an isopod. I then realized shortly thereafter that this thing was a cirolanid isopod--a fish eater. I then proceeded to trap them. I have already gotten about 50 out of only 10 lbs of rock!!! I will get some pics of a few of them later if I have the opportunity. These guys have gotta go. Thankfully I don't have anything in the tank they can attack.

Here's a pic of the tank with halide on and a nice view of the first draft of my aquascape:

Image

That is, of course, until I had to tear it apart because of these buggers:

Image

Image

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40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Kresnahw22 » Sat Jan 26, 2013 2:30 am

Dang sorry about the setback.

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:04 pm

Nobody's more sorry than me, trust me. It's going to set me back for weeks to months, unfortunately. I have to make sure these damn things are eradicated before I add any fish.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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Amphiprion
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:35 pm

Well, got the sump running. Scrubber is still a work in progress, as is eradication of the cirolanids. I've caught about a dozen more over the last few nights. It is absolutely astonishing to me that there could be this many (70+)in less than 10 lbs of rock. To say that the population densities within the rocks was high is a severe understatement. I'd probably call it quits completely if I had gotten more significant amounts of rock, given the amount of work and grief involved.
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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Kresnahw22 » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:03 pm

Couldnt do quick fw dips to get them out or hyposalinity it?

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Re: Re-imagined 40g build

Post by Amphiprion » Mon Jan 28, 2013 9:42 pm

I could do that and that would certainly smoke most of them out, if not all of them, and be much easier. However, it would do the same to the animals in my live rock, which is what I'm desperately trying to avoid. I want all that life and diversity in the rock and to retain as much of it as possible, so that, unfortunately, rules out hyposalinity or freshwater dips.

What I'm thinking I may do is to get a couple of extra large breeder nets and put the 3 fish I have in those. The only fish I had to begin with were my clownfish pair and my black blenny ("tribal" blenny), both to be put in 2 separate breeder nets. I don't want to impose on my cousin for terribly much longer by him having a separate tank to keep my fish, which is why I'm thinking of this. Even the baby isopods couldn't get into the breeder nets, so I don't see why I couldn't at least get the fish transferred and in the tank that way.
Andrew

40 breeder seagrass patch reef

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