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fairy's jump into the big leagues

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fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Sun 22 Jan, 2017 7:40 pm

Introduction: See more below

System Objectives: To have a healthy and happy reef tank that is as relaxing as possible and still allows for easy maintanence when traveling or being away in hospital with daughter.

System Type: Mixed reef & fish.
Display System:
Strike up Date: Hopefully July 2009.
Display Tank: 10 to 12 L x 2.5W x 2.5H
Display Lighting: At this stage i have 2 eco tech radions G3pro
Stand: 10L x 2.5W x ??H
Hood: No hood planned at this stage,
Sump: At this stage will be 8’L x 2”W x 1.5’H
Refugium & Refugium Lighting: yet to be determined.

Ok so we got the contracts signed and finalised for our dream house to be built when the block titles in March (hopefully) :cheers: so goodbye renting hello owning my own home again. With that sorted i am beginning to think about and plan my first full reef tank.

So a little bit about me first. my passion all began back in September 2000 when my husband and i moved from SA to Wollongong NSW. As we moved away from everyone and i had no friends or family i was allowed to purchase a standard 3ft tank with canister filter. It was run with just 2 fluro's and last me well (after a really bumpy set up due to dodgy advice from the LFS, its fine to only have a fish in after a week starting with tap water and salt right :konk: :nono: ) into 2005 when i upgraded to a 4 x 2 x 2. both tanks were fish only. In 2017 the heater on the 3fter died, sending the temp spoaring and crashed the tank so the tank went into retirement leaving only the 4fter.

In 2011 we moved to Melbourne with hubbys and i tried to dabble with soft corals. Things started well until i tried to fix things that weren't broken by trying to automate the tank with hubby building various devices (it helps that hes in IT sometimes but this was really one of them) the more i tried to fix the worse it got :wall: . There were only a few losses of some dominos (kids fav looking fish :baby:) Then in 2014 i had my 5th child who was born with a heart defect and ended up spending 6 months in hospital with my my father in law watching the kids and tank for me. This resulted in him trying to help top up the tanks using salt water and salt poured straight into the tank (and into my frog tank :( losing 5 green trees) and a crash that i was never able to recover from. Even the new equipment purchased didn't help. So after 2 years of trying to fix it and a house move, the end result is a dry tank from July 2016.

So now with a new house hopefully built by the end of 2017, the plans for a big feature tank are beginning even though im currently out of my depth and will need all the help i can get to plan it and get it right the first time. Ive spent the last 3 weeks reading various journals and have been inspired my Kan and Jen's 12ft dream tank. Hopefully i can do something similar build wise but with my own twist to make it mine.

I will be taking kens idea of lining the stand with acrylic to try and make it water proof while also trying to make it some what automated so that if and when my youngest cherub get sick and goes to hospital i can still look after the tank while avoiding the mishaps of the past.

SO the house design is the Queenscliff from fairhaven. Image But the idea is to place in on the wall at the back of the dining room (meals) adjoining the kitchen so it looks like the cabinetry flows from the kitchen to tank the entire length of the wall. The tank is going to be about 3400 long 2.5 foot wide and possibly 3 ft tall, but ill have to wait until the house if built for final measurement to see just how much wall i have to cover. Ill be putting 5 power point on the end wall of the tank on a separate circuit for the powering of the tank. Im thinking 4 down low for everything in the sump and one or two up high for lights at this stage. The sump i think will be 8 to 9 foot by 2ft by 2ft. How it will be laid out i have no idea.

I already have 2 eco tech radions so those will be the lights i use, ive got a small reef octopus skimmer and biopellet reactor which i hope to be able to use as well are an MP40 and an MP10. The idea is to use an apex controller for monitoring the tank. I was laos thinking of using the eco tech vectra as the return pump. I have no idea on what type of skimmer to get and how or what ill need to dose once its set up and running but thats ok as i have a long time to work out the nuts and bolts of it all over the next year.

Thats as far as i've gotten at this stage because im not sure if it will work or if i need to change everything. I definitely need advice on skimmers, dosing and everything that comes with a reef tank, especially plumbing as ive never used a ball joint thing or whatever they are called, for me it was a check valve and plastic tubing all the way with the 4 footer so ive got a lot to learn and im hoping you guys will help me get it right.

Ive just applied to join the MASOVso thats a start of my educational experience as ive never been a member of any before. :book:


Support systems:
System Water:
Display Water circulation: 1 x VorTech MP40W and 1 x VorTech MP10W already owned more to come
Return Pump:
Skimmer:
Evaporation Top Up: Auto top up to be decided

Chemical Support: N/A at present.
Calcium Addition:
Magnesium Addition:
Alkilinity Addition:
Other Chemical Maintenance:

Current Water Chemistry: N/A at present.
Nitrates:
Phosphates:
Alkalinity:
Calcium:
Salinity / Specific Gravity:
Magnesuim:

Images:
Last edited by fairymary58 on Sat 28 Jan, 2017 11:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby wayne2.0 » Sun 22 Jan, 2017 9:37 pm

Goof luck
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby swazzle » Sun 22 Jan, 2017 10:21 pm

Good luck X 2. One thing I offer as advice is the 3 feet deep. It looks great but lighting penetration and basically day to day maintenance can be difficult something to consider


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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Wed 25 Jan, 2017 10:03 pm

thanks guys for the encouragement.
I spent last night at Williamstown aquarium talking to Jack.
After discussing what i want from my tank and the possible hurdles i may get with maintenance and just things in my life in general. We have come to the agreement that the tank will be 2.5foot wide by 2.5 foot tall with the final length to be determined when the house if finished and i can get a true measurement of the space rather than paper space if that makes sense.

At the moment I'm researching skimmers and was thinking of going with the Nyos Quantum 300 Protein Skimmer. has anyone else used this brand before?? Otherwise im thinking maybe a reef octopus. Give me some ideas on what you think is the best skimmer also what does everyone attach to the skimmer for water collection??
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby new nano » Thu 26 Jan, 2017 7:43 am

I had a reef octopus hurricane skimmer on my 5x2x2 and it worked great although a little bit noisy but that would be expected with it having an external pump. I'm running another reef octopus skimmer in my new set up but this one is internal so guess I'll get to hear the difference in noise when it's up and running.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Fri 27 Jan, 2017 12:57 pm

SO the next items im thinking about are an auto top up unit and what type of pumps for the return
I want an apex so im considering using the Neptune COR or the eco tech vortec L1

Has anyone else used either of these??
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby wayne2.0 » Fri 27 Jan, 2017 1:30 pm

2.5 will make things easier.

Both are good pumps.

Without being rude, does ur hubby know how much you spending lol

I miss my big thank, very jealous.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Fri 27 Jan, 2017 11:56 pm

wayne2.0 wrote:2.5 will make things easier.

Both are good pumps.

Without being rude, does ur hubby know how much you spending lol

I miss my big thank, very jealous.


Yes hubby does know how much I'm spending and thankfully he's ok with. :cheers:
2 years ago he got a brand new Ducati panegale 899 so it's about time I got something for me.

We have agreed that it won't happen straight away. It a matter of buying things over the next year and when I have what I want then I can order the tank and stand. I plan to buy thing based on a 12 footer and then if I get something smaller I've got it covered equipment wise.

I'm learning new things everyday and adding things to my list of ideas.
I've never run filter socks before so done a brief bit of research on them and believe that should be the way to go.
I need to do much more research on what needs to go into my sump. It was only 4 years ago I upgraded from a sump full of bio balls and a spinning arm lol :roflmao: but I'm sure with everyone's help I'll get there. :crossfingers: :-s
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby new nano » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 7:33 am

fairymary58 wrote:
wayne2.0 wrote:2.5 will make things easier.

Both are good pumps.

Without being rude, does ur hubby know how much you spending lol

I miss my big thank, very jealous.


Yes hubby does know how much I'm spending and thankfully he's ok with. :cheers:
2 years ago he got a brand new Ducati panegale 899 so it's about time I got something for me.



Damn.. I dont know what I would want more. Wouldnt surprise me if the tank turned out to be more expensive though.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby swazzle » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 1:34 pm

Very excited to see this progress with the quality of equipment your talking about and the size of the tank it's gonna end up something amazing


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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 3:41 pm

swazzle wrote:Very excited to see this progress with the quality of equipment your talking about and the size of the tank it's gonna end up something amazing


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thanks for following.
i'm hoping it will be pretty spectacular but i have realised there is a lot a don't know about reef tanks compared to just fish only tanks.
i seems to have a lot of research to go on just how exactly to set up so i can get the most from both the tank and the livestock in it.

There seems to be a huge variation on the way people set up their systems and what should be included.
Some say no skimmer and other say skimmer, some use metal stands and others wood so ive got a long way to go and want to make sure i get it right the first time so i dont waste money and end up having to get things twice because i didn't do it right the first time.

previously ive only had fish with live rock and my venture into corals went terribly so i don't want that to happen again. Thankfully Jack :bow: at Williamstown aquarium is happy to chat with me and help me with the steep learning curve i'm on. i've also had a fellow reefer :bow: :wavey: :cheers: reach out and welcome me to their home for a chat and look at their monster tank so i'm super excited to sit down and have a cuppa and learn everything i can from them. :book: :bow:
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Cherub 5, the tanks major constraint

Postby fairymary58 » Sat 28 Jan, 2017 11:48 pm

So i wanted to give a brief introduction to Cherub 5 and the main constraint i have with this tank.

Cherub 5 as born in August 2014 with a congenital heart defect called hypoplastic left heart syndrome. Basically the left side of her heart did grow to normal size and can never be "fixed". She has had 3 open heart surgeries and 8 other surgeries/procedures over the first 6 months of her life. She still has at least another 2 open heart surgeries planned as well as 4 plastic surgeries for an injury to her foot that resulted in the loss of 3 toes on her right foot. She is on blood thinners and at present 2 other medications just to keep her heart functioning well enough to keep her alive. At any point she can go into heart failure and require a heart transplant. Small viruses like gastro can put her in hospital for over a week at a time, so can dehydration or a cold.

As you can imagine life in our house is often up, down and sideways all in the same day. A simple fall can end up with us spending multiple hours/days in hospital away from any tank without notice. So i need to make sure that this tanked is planned in a way that i can allow for this and monitor it then give exact instructions to any tank sitter when needed. Hopefully this will avoid the issues i had with the father in law during 2014 when he was helping out.

TO this end i was to use a tank controller system which at this stage looks to be the Neptune Apex
i do have a eco tech reef link but not sure it can do everything i want and need it to.

Again i dont have much experience with controllers and this is the only one ive seen
The bonus is that Cherub 5 loves the fishes thanks to the huge fish tank at Melbournes royal children's and nothing makes her happier than seeing the fishey swimming, the brighter the colours the better.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Sun 29 Jan, 2017 9:07 pm

So I'm getting pretty excited about this tank.

Im going to get a RO/DI unit to put in the laundry for my water supply.

But what i have to work on is the plumbing. I originally thought that i would have a centre weir for the tank but now im wondering if i should have 2 wiers so that the overflow is and one end and the return is at the other or just extra long weir with the overflow in the middle and 2 returns one at each end. If anyone has any thoughts let me know.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby wayne2.0 » Sun 29 Jan, 2017 9:53 pm

Sad story.

With a long tank you need to consider surface action, otherwise you can end up with areas that become almost still, with reflect light and look crap.

For me , its extra long weir every time. My big tank was more square then yours.

Mind you the wave makers these days are so much better it might not matter which way you go.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby Brett240 » Sun 29 Jan, 2017 11:27 pm

double post
Last edited by Brett240 on Sun 29 Jan, 2017 11:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby Brett240 » Sun 29 Jan, 2017 11:27 pm

tough to hear about the kid Mary, I have one a similar age, couldn't bare what your handling.

as long as the overflow is wide ( the full 2.5 of you width ) its not super critical if its in the middle or the end. base it on how your overflow and return will need to be handled with the room and sump setup below. a 3 foot external overflow would be nice, longer the better as wayne said as long as you maintain strong structural rigidity in the tank itself
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby Vilante » Mon 30 Jan, 2017 10:12 am

:(

Hopefully your tank brings you much joy.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 1:00 am

Thanks for the thoughts and comments guys. Wasn't looking for sympathy just trying to ad perspective to what I want and why and the hurdles I need to prepare for to ensure success. Cherub 5 is doing really well, if you didn't know better and didn't see her scars you would have no idea she was sick to be honest.

So that's why I need to plan this tank right and take the next 12 months to fully understand how to get the best outcome for both fisheys and me.

As far as weirs go, is there anyone who I could chat with to understand the structural integrity u of a tank and what it's constraints are. My previous tanks were just standard ones available in the shop not custom or special order. I just picked one I liked and went with that so didn't have to worry if it would be ok.

Im sure there are things like glass thickness that determine how big tanks can be, and I've also noticed there are different bracings as well. I haven't quite gotten my head around each of the different types to fully understand them yet but I'm sure more journal reading will help along with google lol.

Bonus is I've received an email telling me of the first masv meet for the year. I'm hoping I can fit in time to go and then I can learn a lot from everyone there. Can't wait :)


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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby Vilante » Tue 31 Jan, 2017 8:26 am

fairymary58 wrote:Thanks for the thoughts and comments guys. Wasn't looking for sympathy just trying to ad perspective to what I want and why and the hurdles I need to prepare for to ensure success. Cherub 5 is doing really well, if you didn't know better and didn't see her scars you would have no idea she was sick to be honest.


I have a 4 month old (our first) so any stories of sick children gets me :)

I have a friend with a heart surgery baby too so just wanted to send good vibes :cheers:
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Sat 04 Feb, 2017 5:08 pm

Vilante wrote:
fairymary58 wrote:Thanks for the thoughts and comments guys. Wasn't looking for sympathy just trying to ad perspective to what I want and why and the hurdles I need to prepare for to ensure success. Cherub 5 is doing really well, if you didn't know better and didn't see her scars you would have no idea she was sick to be honest.


I have a 4 month old (our first) so any stories of sick children gets me :)

I have a friend with a heart surgery baby too so just wanted to send good vibes :cheers:


thanks for the good vibes :cheers:
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Wed 08 Feb, 2017 8:39 pm

So i have been thinking about what to put in my sump and i think i would like to have a seahorse section in the tank.
In my head I'm thinking that i would have a few sections open not closed in so that they are view-able from the room.
Kinda like having mini tanks under the stand showing off the seahorses and a frag area, while the rest of the stand if covered.

Has anyone done something similar?
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby reefaddiction » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 1:43 pm

fairymary58 wrote:So i have been thinking about what to put in my sump and i think i would like to have a seahorse section in the tank.
In my head I'm thinking that i would have a few sections open not closed in so that they are view-able from the room.
Kinda like having mini tanks under the stand showing off the seahorses and a frag area, while the rest of the stand if covered.

Has anyone done something similar?


Cool Idea. I wanted to do the same with my sump for clowns and a nem.

I'm not experienced with them but I do know Seahorses like certain parameters. From memory high flow is an issue for them too and they don't like air bubbles.

Have a read of this article, will give you an idea on how to design that section. http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2004/12/fish2
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby hanzelz » Thu 09 Feb, 2017 2:29 pm

Seahorses deserve better than being in your sump.
There are lots of issues around why this is not a good idea but for one they like temps 1-2 degress lower than 26 degrees.
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Fri 14 Apr, 2017 11:06 pm

So i haven't posted for a while as i've been very busy with uni and trying to finalise building contracts.

The bad news is i am no closer to my tanks than i was when i first started my journal.
Our land was due to title in March but has been pushed back to April and since we are now half way through April and still havent heard anything i figure it probably wont title until May now.

the good news is the kitchen lenght hasnt changed so i now have a 4.1m wall to have my tank on. I was considering extending the width to 3 foot instead of 2.5 but im wondering how i would reach the back being that its only gonna be accessible from the front of the tank.

On a positive note,after having cherubs appointments and check up she is doing great, her hearts function is as good as it ever could be and we dont have to go back for another 6 months WOOHOO
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby Autonomy » Fri 21 Apr, 2017 7:23 am

I've been silently following along and that is so great to hear. :clap: :clap:
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Sat 22 Apr, 2017 9:21 pm

WooHoo finally some movement at the station.

On Friday we received notice that land is registered and should be settled may 5th.

We went to the home show and habby has decided to get an rodi/ filter unit for the kitchen. and is willing to spend over $1000 on the set up because in his word "if we have to have it for your tank we might as well get filtered water to drink" LOL gotta love him.
So now just screwing around with what system to get, where and how to connect it, and most importantly ensure its gonna be good for the fish tank as well as drinking water.

We get building contracts on monday but have been advised that they have a 310 day building time frame, which put the keys being handed over around April next year, after giving them an extra month for getting soil samples and building plans approved.

Now i can really sense what its gonna be like having the tank.
I breifly measured out the length of the tank on my wall and realised just how big it will be.
It hasnt deterred me any but it will be a monster and definite statement piece.

im just wondering if there is any difference in the rodi units for tanks compared to the units for filtered drinking water. Honestly i haven'y really looked into but need to decide on whether or not to put a deposit down on a filtered drinking water system for my new house by tomorrow. I was told its a 7 stage rodi filtered water system that will remove all impurities that can be installed in my kitchen. Hubbys keen on filtered water and if it will fulfill both needs then its awesome. Better get off my bum and research something quickly
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby wayne2.0 » Tue 25 Apr, 2017 9:17 am

For a tank, the GPH is more of an issue.

7 stage is overkill and will just add to the running costs. 4 is plenty IMO
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby fairymary58 » Tue 02 May, 2017 11:52 am

Well, i had an awesome day on Sunday.
I set of at midday to Williamstown aquarium for the first stop in the MASOV scavenger hunt.
I took my youngest boy whos 8 with me. We had a great time together and got to see a lot of places i wouldn't normally go or didnt even know they existed.

After all of the shops we ended up back at deerpark at 5pm right at the end of the BBQ.
Lucky for us we got invited to Ken and Jens place and spent a few hours chatting.
I cant believe how awesome that tank is is person. I am even move excited about getting my tank now than i have been before.

I need to get stuck into some serious research and work out exactly how im gonna make this tank and more importantly what equipment will be going in it.
best thing is my little man has been bitten by the bug :clownfish: and whats to get a tank of his own :thumbsup: :clap:

So i had a great weekend and to top it off the best news today that Hubby should get his work bonus making life even better as it give me more money to spend sooner because his bonus will pay for the ovens for the house meaning tank purchases can be made sooner. :cheers:
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby hanzelz » Thu 04 May, 2017 9:16 am

I believe it's not safe to drink RO/DI water
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Re: fairy's jump into the big leagues

Postby aidanmary » Thu 04 May, 2017 10:46 am

It's just the DI section that makes it no good for drinking. you can install a tee off the system just before the di resin cartridge and have a drinking spout.
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