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Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef (shutdown aug 2013)

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Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef (shutdown aug 2013)

Postby ssscuz » Mon 30 Apr, 2012 10:47 pm

Introduction:
Hi all,
This is my first marine setup, I have had a 4ft running with freshies for around 6 years. Had a lot of lake Malawi cichlids, which bred frequently. This was a great start and I learnt a lot along the way. Tried a lot of DIY stuff and it all seemed to work well.

System Objectives: To learn the basics and then move onto the harder corals in a few years.

System Type: Mixed Reef

Display System:

Strike up Date: 28/4/12

Display Tank: 4ft x 18” x 24” centre weir with 2 corner returns

Display Lighting: DIY 100xBridgelux 3w LEDs from aquastyle online, 6 maxwellan dimmable drivers. LED strips for moonlighting
4 x 54w t5

Stand: 4ft cabinet from the old setup

Hood: 4ft hood, with the DIY led rails built into it. 2 x computer fans for flow thru.

Sump: 2.5ft x 14” x 18”, 3 sections (skimmer and return, return section and refugium section)

Refugium: approx 1ft x 1ft cube section in sump

Refugium Lighting: DIY 12 x Crea LEDs. 6 royal blues and 6 10k whites with meanwell driver (purchased from forum member)


Support systems:

System Water: NSW

Display Water circulation: Vortech MP40W and MP40WES operating anti sync reef crest, mp10wes back wall

Return Pump: EHEIM compact 5000

Skimmer: Royal exclusive bubble king mini 160

Evaporation Top Up: cheapo chinese auto top up with 2 float switches

Chiller: Hailea hc250a


Chemical Support:
Kamoer Dosing pump 3 channel and 4ch expansion

Calcium Addition: Calcium Chloride

Alkilinity Addition: Sodium Carbonate

Other Chemical Maintenance:
Magnesium sulphate and magnesium chloride
Rowaphos in fb150 phosban reactor
Carbon in reactor

Current Water Chemistry:
Salinity / Specific Gravity: 1.026
pH: 8.1 (api)
Phosphates: 0.00ppm (hanna)
Alkalinity: 7.6dkh (red sea test kit)
Calcium: 430ppm (salifert)
Magnesuim: 1200ppm (salifert)
Nitrates: 2.00 (red sea kit)
Nitrite: 0.00ppm (api test kit)
Ammonia: 0.00ppm (api test kit)

Current fish list
"the" purple tang
Yellow tang
Mandarin gobie
Flame angel
2 x occy clowns
5 x lyretail anthias
5 x dispar anthias
2 x yellow coral gobies
Collector urchin


Images:
Current FTS
23/7/13
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23/6/13
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15/6/13
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28/4/13
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22/3/13
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4/3/13
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1/1/13
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2/12/12
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22/11/12
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16/10/2012
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20/09/2012
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6/09/2012
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22/07/2012
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20/06/2012
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16/05/2012
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5/5/12
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Last edited by ssscuz on Sat 12 Oct, 2013 4:11 pm, edited 42 times in total.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby ssscuz » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:09 pm

This is my sump setup, first time it saw water.
First section will be tank drains into filter sock, skimmer is housed in there also and the eheim heater.
Centre section is the return section, with the devil pump and manifold connected. The manifold feeds the fuge, chiller, dt and the phosphate reactor.
Third section is the fuge, i made the acrylic weir plate to try stop some light getting on all the other stuff in the sump.

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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby pazz » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:30 pm

looks good mate , marine is the way to go ....
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby ssscuz » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:32 pm

yeah its definately a big step but its been good doing alot myself
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby ssscuz » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:38 pm

Sorry about the iphone photos
I wanted to keep my lights all in a hood, so i went the LED route. Purchased a 90 led kit from aquastyle online, plus 10 extra leds.
I chose 54 x 10k whites, 8 x cyan, 30 x rb, 4 red and 4 actinic violet, the drivers are 5 maxwellan 12-20 led drivers and 1 maxwellan 8-12 led driver.
This is what i started with
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I purchased some c channel from a local store as i didnt want to pay postage for all the heat sinks that i would have needed. I read on another forum that alot of ppl in the states have been using c channel with some good results. The c channel is 30mm x 25mm x 3mm thick and with the LEDs on full it seems to stay very cool.
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The channels are all bolted together with 8mm bolts, this took a while to get them all the line up but I think the end result is good.

I got a box from middys for the drivers and bought some plugs and sockets from jaycar. Wanted to keep it as water tight as possible to keep moisture out.
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this is the end result
4 x plugs outs (1 for all whites, 1 for all blues, 1 for multis and some whites and the smaller driver to run a concentrated area(thinking maybe stag rock))
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby ssscuz » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:43 pm

All the LEDs onto the c channel and some wired up.
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this is an iphone shot with them all on.
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The bands are just 15mm strap that i bent around and riveted on. i wanted to keep a bit of a gap between the hood and the channel to get better air flow. The fans that are on the hood i already had there from my last setup to help with heat under the hood from lighting. Hopefully this setup will stay cool enough, if not ill have ot add a few more fans.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby ssscuz » Wed 02 May, 2012 9:50 pm

I had originally thought that i would drill my tank myself. i orded the drill bits online, before they came i changed my mind and got a bloke out to come and drill 5 holes for me to fit 25mm bulkheads. was $50 and he did it in about 30 mins, money well spent i recon.
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Bought all the plumbing fittings from bunnings. Had heaps in stock, bought all the bends and pipe from a plumbing store as they were slightly cheaper.
Went for a Beananimal overflow setup. I liked what i had read about it being pretty silent, was fairly easy to plumb up and the emergency overflow is a nice reassurance.

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Borrowed a router off a cabinet maker mate to cut some slots into some acryllic. Bought a big sheet of acrylic for $50 which had enough to do my sump bits, the divider and my overflow. Cutting the slots was fairly simple, just made a jig with 2 bits of wood and just moved it over 20mm each time. If anyone is keen on making this just make sure u take your time and clamp the acrylic to something firm. If u have any movement in it then it can chip easily.

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I looked all over here and people were saying that glass is easy to cut. This is kind of true. If you are cutting 6mm in big sheets as in for sump partitions etc. it is fairly easy to cut. Once i got down to making the overflow box, it became a whole other nightmare. It seemed to splinter off easily, cuts were not easily made straight. i got it done in the end but about 8 square cuts later. Next time i will be getting a glass cutter to cut out my smaller shapes.

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This is the false panel i made in the back of the cabinet to house the electricals, the atc 800+ has gone in there with 2 double gpo on either side (1 for heat and 1 for chill). I also had my mate wire up 8 other double gpos in there to power the whole tank.
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Last edited by ssscuz on Mon 21 May, 2012 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit

Postby ssscuz » Sun 06 May, 2012 6:23 pm

Got my live rock on thursday night, very happy with the pieces that i got (40kg). Around 5kg went into the sump including some rubble. Found a few crabs so put them in the sump aswell. Thursday night just chucked the rock in anywhere but i couldnt handle the look of the chaos so saturday afternoon decided to change it round a bit. Had a mate come over this afternoon with his SLR and take some shots for me coz iphone photos dont seem to be cutting it.
First attempt at aquascaping, was alot harder than i thought it would be to get certain rocks to sit into others. this is with no glueing or anything as i had no luck at that
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LHS will hopefully one day have heaps of acros living off it. Was a really heavy piece that i got in my first box which im pretty happy with. i dont think i could have made anything that would like like it. its just standing on its own but im sure ill have ot work out some support system once it gets some things hanging off it.
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Does this count as my first acro death? (before someone flames me and says im an idiot for putting acro in there whilst cycling, it was on the rock, and dead long ago by the looks of it)
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end shot
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Leds (half of them) these are on about 20% power
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Engine room. pretty full up, just waiting on my dosing pump to return and it will be all in there and done
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close ups
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more...
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anyone know what this little thing is? seems to come out a bit more when the lights go off.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby pazz » Sun 06 May, 2012 7:04 pm

scape looks good mate , point a couple of those power heads to the surface to help with gas exchange and you wont have an oily looking surface , and run sump light when display light is off will help to keep ph stable
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby uglyman » Sun 06 May, 2012 8:17 pm

Nice setup :thumbsup:

Looks like you are off to a good start, nice LED build you have setup and you will have to give your opinion on the RDC850 once you have run it for a few months, I have not heard much on them yet.
Uglyman's 4ft LED lit mixed reef

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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby ssscuz » Sun 06 May, 2012 9:33 pm

thanks guys, yeah its finally running. The leds have been amazing but i dont think ill ever be turning them up full bright.

ph is staying stable about 8.1, had a bit of an alk hitch the other day and overdosed so once i get that under control hoping it will be better. the surface seems to have alot of movement but i think your right i might have to face the power heads up for a bit until i get the cycle done.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby ssscuz » Mon 21 May, 2012 12:54 pm

All has been running well, added 2 very small tank bred occy clowns. A purple tang and a branching hammer to start with.
This is the branching hammer, reverse coloured.
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heres the tang that i got for an absolute steal. was very lucky to be there when this guy came in

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and these are the little occy clowns i got, wife has named them Bred and Butter, butter being the larger one.

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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby ssscuz » Mon 21 May, 2012 6:59 pm

Got my dosing pump back from guppies to which now works great. Have to work on the dosing amounts but i set it all up and calibrated it so hopefully wont take to long to get right.
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This is the dosing tube that i bought from bunnings, exactly the same as what comes in the kit with the kamoer, and was really cheap compared to their stuff. only time will tell if it is good stuff but seems to be working well and is tight onto the pump fittings.
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Thought i would post a picture of my latest helper. Oscar our 1 year old cavalier x lahsa apso, he is always very interested in testing the tank.
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Had a few of the fingers off my rock come in the box with the main rock and i never found a place for them, so i decided to glue them back onto the main piece. used some acrylic rock, drilled the holes and stuffed the rod in then used some coral putty i bought from guppies. the coral putty doesnt seem to work to well but the rock pieces are staying so ill just leave it
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby pazz » Mon 21 May, 2012 8:56 pm

nice hammer coral and new fish i see you have been to reeflections .
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby ssscuz » Tue 22 May, 2012 3:40 pm

Yeah was down seeing Ernie on the weekend.
Very happy with what I got from there.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (aquascaped 4/5/12)

Postby ssscuz » Tue 29 May, 2012 10:40 pm

alot has happened in the last couple of weeks. Im still trying to get my dosing all good as its only been a week but im sure ill have that under control soon.
I gave in and bought a second hand vortech mp40. Had a bit of a problem on startup, switched the powerpoint off and it all went into error mode. Got that all sorted out last night and setup night mode with it.

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Went with my wife on the weekend and found this bubble tip. Its meant to be a rose tip BTA, looked really small and unhappy under 1 t8 tube at the aquarium. once it got into my tank it seemed to double in size. Then yesterday it decided to move around on me and went to the back of the tank. Thinking it was to much flow being directly in the open part of the tank. Tonight got home and shot it with a powerhead came off pretty easily and now put it in this spot with a really deep hole in the rockwork. its wedged its foot right down into it which i think was what it was searching for. Also could anyone tell me if its ok for the BTA to have a greenish bubbles with orange tipped ends>? im just hoping i didnt end up with a std green.

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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Tue 29 May, 2012 10:46 pm

Went to a MASOV meet sat afternoon, Big thanks to Scott and Shane for these
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Green Monti from Redliner
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This was my mantis trap which didnt really work but he was very interested in it. Got the rock out with him in it and then got rid of him.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby scotto » Wed 06 Jun, 2012 1:13 am

All looks like it's coming along nice Nath.
I'm digging the thought you put in to the cabinet - and the work in the LEDs :pirate:

Looking forward to watching it grow.

Scott :thumbsup:
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Wed 06 Jun, 2012 10:44 am

Thanks mate, it's coming along well, just gotta leave it alone now and let it grow
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby The Alchemist » Wed 06 Jun, 2012 10:49 am

Great build mate ... I've just finished a build of my own and know how much work it is .... And I like the led build too nice work.

will be watching where you take this.
:cheers:
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But than again I may simply be right

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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Wed 06 Jun, 2012 4:59 pm

Cheers mate, I won't be rushing into doing an led build any time soon, you really understand why good units cost so much. The time to build your own probably works out to be a better deal
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Wed 20 Jun, 2012 8:07 pm

Time for an update.
Have got a fair few items off masov members lately and they have been going well in the tank. Added a Yellow tang to go with the purple. They fought it out for about 3 days and now are all good.

Took the opportunity to get a great deal off acro al last night.Purchased 10 frags and recieved 4 free plus a free brain coral. Heres a few photos of the new frags.
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Wed 20 Jun, 2012 8:20 pm

few more
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby pazz » Wed 20 Jun, 2012 8:52 pm

looking good mate need some corals to go on the sand bed
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby coral1 » Wed 20 Jun, 2012 8:56 pm

looking really good :cheers:
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssbk23 » Wed 20 Jun, 2012 9:02 pm

Nice looking frags :)
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby Jim_Jim » Wed 20 Jun, 2012 9:08 pm

An empty sandbed makes the tank look more open and larger. soon as you fill the sand bed up it looks alot more full
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Thu 21 Jun, 2012 8:09 am

Thanks for the comments everyone. I like the look of the open sand bed, not alot of room on rock work anymore
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (Vortech and BTA 27/05/2

Postby ssscuz » Sun 22 Jul, 2012 7:46 pm

thought i would put up a few updated photos.
having some trouble with calcium going thru the roof. hitting 550 at the moment so im stopping dosing all together.
I think im having a p04 trouble or some sort of nutrient issues as some of my acros have started to bleach from the bottom up. Not totally killing them at the moment but to prevent it going any further im going ot change over to ASW. getting an RO filter and making my own RO so i know what im getting. Hopefully this will help with stabilizing my parameters a bit more also.
have noticed a massive outbreak of copepods in my sump so i dont know if thats really a good or bad thing.
I have another MP40WES coming in the mail so hopefully that will give me a more consistant flow.
heres a few photos from today.
Since last photos i have added flame angel and a few corals i got from VPreef. Thanks mate
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Re: Nathan's 4ft Mixed Reef LED lit (New pics 22/07/12)

Postby parrdog » Sun 22 Jul, 2012 9:31 pm

Well done on a great setup :).
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