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Dave's AquaReef 400

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Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sat 04 Feb, 2012 12:12 am

Introduction:
Well,

Ordered my new system today from Aquarium Artists Australia in Perth - an Aqua One AquaReef 400 - so figure this time around I (might) keep a journal to (1) help me track changes; (2) possibly help others through my own experiences; and, (3) give me something to do. Whether or not I actually keep this thing up to date remains to be seen, but hey .. the thought is there!

If you haven't seen the system check http://thereefshop.com.au/index.php?mai ... ts_id=2042. The overall build quality and finish is pretty top notch - wife likes the cabinet, which made the ministerial approval for finance much easier to get ;)

Picking up an IBC tomorrow morning.. tank hopefully getting delivered tomorrow afternoon.. IBC filled Sunday afternoon.. hopefully tank filled Sunday night and then I'm on a plane and out of town for 5 weeks as of Monday! -- for those that don't know me, I work FIFO so am away from the tank 3 weeks at a time - so don't expect a lot of movement in this journal :)

So, here goes :)
System Objectives: A healthy, thriving reef tank to act as center piece of our living/dining area

System Type: Mixed reef - primarily LPS with some softies and perhaps a few SPS down the track(maybe!)

Display System:

Strike up Date: 05/02/2012

Display Tank: Aqua One Aqua Reef 400: ~ 132 x 52 x 58cm

Display Lighting: 4 x 54W T5 with whatever globes Aqua One chuck in there initially, but I have an Aqua Medic Aquasunlight NG 2x250w + 4x54W + LED Moonlights unit to put over it once I start stocking.

Stand: Black cabinet supplied as part of package

Hood: Will most likely just keep the stock black plastic rim to match cabinet

Sump: Stock sump modified a little to replace bioballs with 'fuge.. had a quick look around but couldn't find dimensions/specs - will update once i have the tank

Refugium: Yup! Not sure of dimensions atm

Refugium Lighting: Will be one standard CFL clip-on lamp, 10 or 20W


Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water all the way baby :)

Display Water circulation: Initially 15,000L/hr provided by 2x Sicce Voyager 3 & 1x Sicce Voyager 4. Intending to add a Sicce Voyager 10HP for an extra 15,000L/hr in a few weeks.

Return Pump: Whatever is included with the package.. will update when it arrives.

Skimmer: Initially using the Aqua One G220 that is included with the package, but will definitely be upgrading in the nearish future - open to suggestions here (and no, I'm not buying Royal Exclusiv or anything in that bracket ;) )

Evaporation Top Up: Fish-street ATO - hasn't missed a beat in the past year or so, will keep using it on the new tank.


Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: Dosing pumps with Randy's Recipe once I start getting a bit of stock

Alkilinity Addition: As above

Other Chemical Maintenance: As above for mag, and will see how other parameters go as to what (if anything) else gets used..

Current Water Chemistry: If applicable
Nitrates: n/a
Phosphates: n/a
Alkalinity: n/a
Calcium: n/a
Salinity / Specific Gravity: n/a
Magnesuim: n/a


Images:
None yet ;)
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby chromus » Sat 04 Feb, 2012 12:19 am

Yay
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sat 04 Feb, 2012 1:52 pm

Well .. first thing is in place! Went and picked up an IBC this morning, has been used by another ex-reefer to hold salt water for some time so shouldn't be any issues doing the same for me ;)

Now just need to get some plumbing for it & enough hose to reach where my tank will sit (I never want to lift a damned 25L drum of salt water again haha)... Dennis from Freo Ocean Farms coming out to fill it up tomorrow arvo :)

-Dave
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby chromus » Sat 04 Feb, 2012 9:28 pm

Pics?
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sun 05 Feb, 2012 11:01 am

Tank is here! A big thanks to Paul from AAA for delivering it on a Saturday afternoon :-)

I have started setting things up.. pulled the bioballs out and pushed the sump over to one side to gain more useful space, which meant the stock plumbing no longer works .. off to Bunnings shortly for some bits and pieces and hopefully have it filled with freshwater to test for leaks later this morning.

Overall I am very happy with the tank and package as a whole so far :-)

Not much to see yet:
Image

Image

Pics taken with tablet, so sorry about the quality :-)
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sun 05 Feb, 2012 6:11 pm

Image

getting salty!!
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Mon 06 Feb, 2012 4:56 pm

Picked up some more rock and got it quickly escaped... away for the next 5 weeks so it has plenty of time to start cycling (: will get wife to take a couple more pics later in the week once it has cleared up a bit..

Image
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Fri 10 Feb, 2012 3:17 pm

Water has cleared up :)

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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Fri 10 Feb, 2012 3:24 pm

hrmm.. looking at that last pic I really don't think I'm happy with that scape ... going home on Tuesday so I think first task will be changing scape up! ... I liek

Contemplating what to do about lighting and would like other people's input ... I have the aquamedic 2x250w + 4x54w + LED moonlight unit sitting at home, but the "neatness" of this whole setup is very appealing and I'm becoming a little reluctant to pull the stock covers off and put the halide unit over it. What are people's thoughts on installing an extra 2 or 4 bulbs into the stock lighting setup? Would 6x54w be sufficient for a mixed reef in this tank?

The other option is perhaps going over to LEDs, but I would definitely not be spending thousands of dollars on the top of the range gear and there seem to be quite a few people moving away from the cheaper LEDs of late..

I don't mean to start yet another halide vs t5 vs LED debate, but I would really like some help with this :)

-Dave
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby chromus » Fri 10 Feb, 2012 3:27 pm

When u drop off my IBC fitting you can borrow 1 of my BSLEDs and see if u like the look.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Fri 10 Feb, 2012 5:17 pm

Sounds good man will give that a go..
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby belandjay » Fri 10 Feb, 2012 9:29 pm

Got the 300 so tagging along to c ur progress :)
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby wal » Fri 10 Feb, 2012 11:20 pm

I have the aqua one monarch tank and it has the same black plastic hood. I removed the standard lighting and hung a metal halide unit over the top like you are suggesting and over the past 3 years the salt has deteriorated the black paint off of the trimming around the top of the tank and now looks rather daggy. If I had it over again or would probably try to keep the top sealed like the standard one and maybe have a cut out section for an led unit or something similar.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sat 11 Feb, 2012 10:35 am

Thanks for that feedback wal.. will keep that in mind (:
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sun 12 Feb, 2012 9:52 pm

Current plan for fish:
1x Yellow tang i know this tank wont be suitable long term, but this is something i told my daughter she could have in the next tank and I intend to keep my word. If down the track it needs to be moved on then so be it.
2x orchid dottyback hoping to get as a pair
1x bicolour blenny
1x flame angel
1x bicolour or watanabe angel
2x flame hawk hoping to get as a pair
3x flasher wrasse havent decided on species yet -- open to suggestions

Any thoughts on the above? I am aiming for a colourful mixed reef with plenty of movement throughout the tank.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby chromus » Mon 13 Feb, 2012 1:46 am

Stick to just 1 pair of angels.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Mon 13 Feb, 2012 7:46 am

Whys that phil? Is there increased chance of aggression between the different species?

(note I was only planning on one of each of those angels, not a pair of each)
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby chromus » Mon 13 Feb, 2012 9:45 am

check with n0rk, but aggression was my concern.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Wed 15 Feb, 2012 1:51 pm

Image
Image

Scape v2... thoughts?
Last edited by WarbyD on Wed 15 Feb, 2012 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby PeneJane » Wed 15 Feb, 2012 2:58 pm

I prefer this one personally over the previous one. You staying barebottom??
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Wed 15 Feb, 2012 4:40 pm

yeah for now... i like sand when its nice and clean, but it always seems to end up covered in crap tho :-/
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby chromus » Wed 15 Feb, 2012 5:17 pm

Looking better IMO Dave.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Wed 15 Feb, 2012 9:30 pm

Image

Bit of a size difference!!!
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Thu 16 Feb, 2012 12:52 pm

ok, I know im not the only person on RTAW with an aquareef tank so i thought it might be worthwhile posting up pics of a few of the mods ive made so far. Theyre all just simple little changes, but theyve all helped in some way...

1. Foam under the return pump. In my quest for reducing noise from the tank as much as possible I have added a piece of packing foam under the return pump. This made a pretty big difference...
Image

2. Fuge. The first thing I did when I got the tank was pull all of the bioballs out with the intention of using this section as a fuge. I still need to put a light over it and get some macro, but im sure you get the idea. I am planning to run a rdsb in a bucket, so this section will just have those couple pieces of liverock and macro.
Image

3. Removed the lip in "fuge." One of the areas I was getting noise was from the water falling as it entered the fuge/bioball section. There is a glass lip in this section to hold the water spreader plate over the bioballs in the stock setup, which is where the water was falling from. I used a razor to cut the silicone and remove that lip - much quieter now!
Image

4. Skimmer outlet. The sound of water falling from the skimmer outlet was driving me crazy, so i removed the sponge & baskets. A piece of 3/4" pvc fitted nicely in their place (heated the end of the pvc a little to get a snug fit. Once that was done I realised that air being pulled in through the little ports on the outlet was making noise too, so i wrapped them with plumbers tape to stop that.
Image

5. Skimmer air intake. The noise of the skimmer air intake was more than i could accept, so I made this quick and easy diy silencer. Google for plans :-)
Image

Plans for the near future:
* Purchase a Sicce Voyager 10hp for more flow
* Plumb up the skimz fm150 (with carbon) and tlf 150 (with rowaphos) reactors.. hoping to tee off of the existing plumbing to avoid any more pumps, but will see how i go.
* Set up bucket RDSB
* Sort out lighting... still dont know which way im going to go with this
* Purchase dosing pumps and sort out dosing for cal/alk/mag
* Purchase quieter return pump!
* Purchase ro/di filter
* Put together temperature controller and install
Hoping to have most of the above done next time im home in a few weeks. Also hoping that the cycle will be about done by that time so I can start stocking :-)
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Fri 17 Feb, 2012 12:29 pm

Did a few tests just to see how things are tracking along...

SG: 1.024
Ph: 8.2
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 10-20 (reading chart off phone)

Surprised to see ammonia and nitrite both sitting on 0 already... Still wont be purchasing any stock until mid-March though :)
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Fri 17 Feb, 2012 8:47 pm

Advice needed!!

RDSB was a temporary fail ( couldnt find a suitable container to fit in my cabinet) ... could split my fuge section of the sump in half though and use that for a dsb, leaving me with a ~20x25x25cm dsb & the same for macro. Is it worthwhile doing this or just leave that whole section as fuge and do the rdsb when I find a suitable container?
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Sat 18 Feb, 2012 8:25 pm

Added a couple of little baskets to buy a little more space in cabinet... Ignore the reading on the temperature controller up top, need to get a couple of thermometers and calibrate it.
Image

Fuge now has macro, thanks phil!
Image
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 6:06 pm

Well, I've just been informed (by a very reliable source) that the glass on these tanks is in fact low iron (similar to starphire, just from a different manufacturer)... have to say that for under $2k this package is certainly great value for money! :)

This low iron situation though complicates one thing for me.. I had intended to purchase an Algae-Free Hammerhead magnet & scraper attachment, but knowing that the hammerhead is intended for 12mm+ glass and has one heck of a magnet, I'm concerned that this may lead to some dirty big nasty scratches in my shiny new low iron glass... Would I be better off just going for the Piranha instead?

Don't want to scratch my purdy new tank! :)

-Dave
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby hadrien » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 6:22 pm

Hi Dave.
Good news on the low iron glass. I didn't know myself. Can't give you any advice on the magnets :(

Quick question though, is that a DIY electrical socket panel (with the red lights a couple pictures up) or is that pre-installed in the sump of the AR 400?
If you did it yourself, would be great to get a bit more info about it. Looks like you've done a great job!
I'm still planning on getting this tank soon.. fingers crossed.
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Re: Dave's AquaReef 400

Postby WarbyD » Mon 20 Feb, 2012 10:39 pm

Hey mate,

That electrical panel was part of a lot I got custom made by a manufacturer in China.. Turned out really well and only cost around $35ea landed :-)

I would recommend the aquareef package, very well finished and work well "out of the box" - and even better with some real simple mods like ive done.
My OceanFree Nano Marine 96L (the new addiction!)

My AquaReef 400 (My old tank - long since shut down!)

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WarbyD
Old Sea Dog Reefer
 
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Joined: Fri 19 Feb, 2010 12:13 pm
Location: Mount Lawley, WA

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