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Old 09/14/2018, 08:43 PM   #1
pco1988
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PCO1988's Custom 11gal Reef Tank Build

This will be an interesting build, a little back story about myself. I started the in the saltwater tank hobby back when I was 14 years old after 9 years in freshwater. I had at one time, 7 saltwater tanks going at once ranging from 1 5.5 AGA to a 210gal reef ready AGA. I had to get out of the hobby when I left for Marine Corps boot camp. I shut all the tanks down and gave away all my fish.

My Old 210gal:


I had built this setup back in 2009, a year before I left. It was more of a project to say I could do it. I ran a month long freshwater test and then it just sat until now.

It is a 12" Cube tank with a overflow box and the returns come from the bottom with the theory that the entire tank is self contained. The returns are pointed towards the rock and the top of the tank which gives it great flow!

Tank and Setup:
- 12" Custom Made Acrylic Cube Aquarium
- 2gal Custom Made Acrylic Sump with Built In Filter Sock
- Eheim Return Pump
- Deltec MCE300 Hang On Protein Skimmer
- Giesemann Nova II White 150 watt MH Pendant Fixture

I started this tank with a completely dead sand bed and completely dead rock. Both of them came from my 210gal reef tank and were completely cleaned and sat for all these years. I added 10 gallons tank water from a friends reef tank to seed this tank, and topped it off with RODI freshwater. I also used Prodibio BioDigest to also jump start the bacteria in the tank.

Starting Parameters:
pH: 8.0
Salinity: 1.024
Ammonia: 0.25ppm
Nitrites: 0ppm
Nitrates: 10ppm











Let me know what you think! I will keep this updated on a semi regular basis.


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/14/2018, 08:59 PM   #2
pco1988
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Two things I forgot in my original post:

1. This will be a SPS dominated reef tank with mainly inverts, the only planned fish for the tank is a Helfrichi Firefish.

2. A picture of my Giesemann Light Fixture:



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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/14/2018, 11:03 PM   #3
murphreef
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Very cool welcome back Looks like a fun little set up!

Only thing that might be awkward are those returns... how you plan on hiding those?


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Current Tank Info: 25G cube (finally back in the hobby in a small way)
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Old 09/15/2018, 05:40 AM   #4
pco1988
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Thank you Justin!

I did remove two of the return nozzles before the final setup. The two reasons for that were:

1. They didnít look that great.
2. They didnít produce the amount of flow where I wanted it or needed it.

I donít plan on hiding them at all though to answer your question.

Here is a few pictures of it running:






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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/15/2018, 06:13 AM   #5
sde1500
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Very nice looking set up. Love that stand! One question, when power goes out, donít those returns drain most of the tank.


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My build thread:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2548422

Current Tank Info: 65 gallon mixed reef, Eshopps sump and HOB overflow, RO-110int skimmer, Reefbreeder 32" photons V1.
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Old 09/15/2018, 09:49 AM   #6
pco1988
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Thank you, I appreciate the kind words! To answer your question I have a water check valve to prevent the water from draining back into the tank. As soon as the pump dies the valve closes.

Here I have circled the check valve in the photo:



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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/15/2018, 04:04 PM   #7
BeachVacationer
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I would test that check valve once a month just to make sure it closes completely. I don't think I can sleep at night worrying about valve failure... I would install 2 LOL.


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Old 09/15/2018, 09:47 PM   #8
pco1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachVacationer View Post
I would test that check valve once a month just to make sure it closes completely. I don't think I can sleep at night worrying about valve failure... I would install 2 LOL.
HAHA I will get to test the check valve every two weeks when I do my water changes


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/17/2018, 09:16 PM   #9
pco1988
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So I love the concept, but the execution is not up to my standards. Itís safe and secure, so I will redo it later on down the road. This setup has been all trial and error, this is the third concept Iíve done and only one Iím happy with.

Enjoy!






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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/18/2018, 05:05 PM   #10
pco1988
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Just as an update, the tank is cycling nicely so far! With how the numbers are going I think it will complete the first cycle in 2-3 weeks. We shall see, here is the first 5 days worth of logs:

9/14/18 - Day 1: pH:8.0 Ammonia: 0.25ppm Nitrites: 0.00ppm Nitrates: 10ppm Salinity: 1.024
9/15/18 - Day 2: pH:8.0 Ammonia: 1.00ppm Nitrites: 0.50ppm Nitrates: 20ppm Salinity: 1.023
9/16/18 - Day 3: pH:8.0 Ammonia: 2.00ppm Nitrites: 1.00ppm Nitrates: 20ppm Salinity: 1.026
9/17/18 - Day 4: pH:7.8 Ammonia: 4.00ppm Nitrites: 1.00ppm Nitrates: 20ppm Salinity: 1.025
9/18/18 - Day 5: pH:8.0 Ammonia: 2.00ppm Nitrites: 5.00ppm Nitrates: 20ppm Salinity: 1.025 KH: 17.9ppm Calcium: 520ppm Phosphates: 0.25ppm


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef

Last edited by pco1988; 09/18/2018 at 05:16 PM.
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Old 09/18/2018, 06:20 PM   #11
Jay Ellul
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This will be an awesome little tank!

Well thought out will return excellent results!


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Old 09/18/2018, 06:20 PM   #12
Jay Ellul
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PCO1988's Custom 11gal Reef Tank Build

As for hiding returns. Some sps will cover them nicely hahaha

It wouldíve been great to hide them amongst th scape also


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Old 09/18/2018, 09:39 PM   #13
BeachVacationer
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Looking good! My only thought is that there doesn't seem to be much room for SPS to grow into. Since you won't have much bioload, you'll be able to to cut back on live rock in the tank thus more room for SPS.


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Old 09/19/2018, 08:51 AM   #14
pco1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Ellul View Post
This will be an awesome little tank!

Well thought out will return excellent results!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Thank you for the kind words! I canít wait to see how it matures! This was the first system I had built on my own years ago, and never used it...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Ellul View Post
As for hiding returns. Some sps will cover them nicely hahaha

It wouldíve been great to hide them amongst th scape also


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah I donít know how or if Iím going to cover them up. They donít look horrible IMO so Iím not too worried about it honestly.


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/19/2018, 08:54 AM   #15
pco1988
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BeachVacationer View Post
Looking good! My only thought is that there doesn't seem to be much room for SPS to grow into. Since you won't have much bioload, you'll be able to to cut back on live rock in the tank thus more room for SPS.
Iím so torn with this idea as well. There isnít a lot of room to grow up for SPS, but at the same time I do like having the rock to allow for more hiding and for a more stable environment. Before I add any life to the tank Iíll make that decision.


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 09/20/2018, 11:14 PM   #16
pco1988
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The next addition to the setup, and definitely one of the most important for a nano reef is an ATO! This is a Fishbowl Innovations ATO and I have paired it up with a small Aqua Lifter which will be perfect for this little setup! I am loosing a lot of water into the air, and I suspect that is because I am running an open top and conventional style sump. Lots of water movement and lots of opportunity for water to evaporate.

Here is a few quick shots:










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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old 10/17/2018, 08:48 PM   #17
pco1988
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UPDATE!!!

I came home from vacation on Sunday, and when I came home I tested the water chemistry. It came back with Ammonia: 0ppm, Nitrite: 0ppm and Nitrate at 10ppm! It has completely cycled and I was shocked! I started this nano with completely dead rock and completely dead sand bed, and it cycled in 28 days. I was expecting 6-8 weeks to be honest. I rechecked all the water chemistry twice to make sure it was correct.

Photo from 10/14/18


So yesterday I added the tanks first inhabitant, a frag of SPS, Rainbow Granulosa. I slowly acclimated it to the tank, which wasn't far off from it's water. It came out of my friends tank that I used the water from to start this tank up.

Photo of Rainbow Granulosa 10/16/18


Photo of Rainbow Granulosa 10/17/18


As you can see the polyps are all out and extended nicely! I'm very excited to see how it does! I should have my snail clean up crew arriving tomorrow to help keep this algae under control!

I am trying to debate on switching out the MH bulb for a 18k or 20k, what do you think?


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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Old Yesterday, 09:28 PM   #18
pco1988
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So quick update, I ordered a few fish from online. A Helfrichi Firefish and two captive bred Black Onyx Percula Clownfish. Ordered them on Wednesday, and they shipped Thursday for FedEx Overnight Priority AM Delivery, and well that came and went... FedEx sent them to Tennessee instead of Maryland... So I contacted them and let them know what happened. Today came and I expected the worst and hoped for the best. They came in today and I went to get them and thankfully they were all alive! I started a very slow acclimation process because of how long they were in the box. The water was very cold as the heat pack was cold...

Here they are during acclimation:


I turned the light timer off so it wouldnít come on and let them relax from their crazy journey here. After a few hours with the light off I turned it on and see if they would eat, and they were all hungry and ate which is another awesome sign! Not quite out of the water yet, but itís looking food!

Quick shot before the lights went out. Yes I know, I need to clean the algae off the glass, I will before I take more pictures.


Slowly but surely itís coming together and canít wait to see where this tank goes!


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Philip

There are two types of people in this hobby:
"The ones who have had a tank crash, and the ones that are going to have a tank crash"

Current Tank Info: 11gal Nano Reef
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