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Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank (Scolly Garden)

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Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank (Scolly Garden)

Postby beck&marc » Tue 30 Apr, 2013 2:58 pm

Hi All,

This is the story of our 4x2x2 tank.

We have always owned fresh water tropical tanks which we loved and enjoyed, we always had an interest and love for marine tanks however always thought it would be too much work for us.
However one day our good friend purchased and set up his own marine tank. Seeing the awesome work he did with his tank and the kinds of fish, corals and colors he had we had to get in on the action.
Our mate found us a second hand full tank set up for sale which we purchased and set up at our home. We found a few parts needed replacing and we wanted to make a few upgrades to make the tank at a level we were happy with.

Here is a few photos of the tank as we initially set it up, our living room was looking like this for a week till we sorted out all the little issues:
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From here we needed more water (200+ lts) and a few new parts so a few trips to reeflections and a few parcels from Guppies and we were able to get the tank looking like this:
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We also added a bigger higher flowing pump as well as an RO auto top up:
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A few issues with high nitrates delayed putting our fish back into out tank, Thank god for our mate who was able to look after out fish in his QT tank. after a few weeks of water changes and water testing we finally got the nitrates to drop to a safe level to get our fish back into our tank:

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We then decided to change our lighting as we had a Twin 250 Watt MH system which we found was a little costly to run all day, we ended up removing the twin MH to install a lighting unit which contained 1x 150 Watt MH, 2x T5 and 2x LED moon lights. We are very happy with the current set up as its cheaper to run and we love the moon light effect. We will change the T5 globes down the track also as the current color has a green tinge to it. Any way a few more pics:

From this:
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To this:
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Lots more to do but this is where we are for now. The plan is to finalize this tank so it is ready for the introduction of more fish and corals. We are also converting our fresh water tank into a marine QT so we can bring in the new fishes :-)
Last edited by beck&marc on Fri 29 Nov, 2013 1:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby priscacara » Sat 04 May, 2013 4:12 pm

Great build and setup series! Looks like your winning with the cyano receding.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Tue 07 May, 2013 12:42 pm

Thank you for the positive comments.

Some good news: due to the change in our lights the algy has almost completely disappeared! This is great as we had a massive algy bloom initially and even with reduced lighting and some clean ups it just kept coming back. Now with our new lights it is reducing back to an acceptable level.

The new additions:
We installed yesterday some egg crates to lift our skimmer higher out of the sump to remove our DT micro bubble issue. So far it has reduced about 50-75% of the bubbles so we are very happy with the result. A bit of tweaking with the skimmer settings and hopefully we will have no more micro bubbles in our DT.

We also installed a nitrate reactor in the sump. Nitrates have been a little high for our liking (20-40) for quite some time and even with frequent water changes over time they just seem to keep coming back. We are planning to do a big gravel vac of all the sand, possibly cleaning all the live rock and a decent water change to help reduce the possibilities of the nitrates coming back. However the addition of the reactor I am hoping in time will stabilize the nitrates to zero!

Here is a photo of our sump as it stands so far. It's a little small and I wish we had a larger one but its doing a good job at the moment.

Image

More to come in the next few weeks :)
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Fri 10 May, 2013 12:06 pm

Hmm looks like the nitrate reactor will need to be re plumbed so the filtered water runs directly into the skimmer. We have developed a bit of a milky hazy DT and we believe the nutrients coming from the reactor are whats causing the issue. Anyway we will re do the pluming for the reactor in next few days and see if it clears up.

Some good news however is we have already seen a drop in nitrates so if defiantly works!!

FYI we are also selling our MH, please see the link below if you are interested
http://www.gumtree.com.au/s-ad/kew/fish/fish-tank-2x-250-watts-metal-halide-lights-with-reflectors-marine/1019266445
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby priscacara » Mon 13 May, 2013 12:09 pm

Never used a reactor so not really sure how they work as long as they work :-)
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Mon 13 May, 2013 1:48 pm

priscacara wrote:Never used a reactor so not really sure how they work as long as they work :-)


The milky-ness has died down, I think it was a bacterial bloom of some sort. Was safe as we tested water daily and nothing had changed. The fish are all swimming and the water is clear so we are happy.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby LittleJohhny » Mon 13 May, 2013 2:08 pm

Welcome to RTAW, you've found a good home for information and help!
Good luck with the new tank, it will be nice to watch it change and mature.
I'm 7 months in this time round and I'm amazed all over again about how much things are always changing.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby uglyman » Mon 13 May, 2013 9:22 pm

Looking good :thumbsup: you are on your way with this setup, once you start to get a handle on your water parameters your going to find things get easier. :thumbsup:
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Mon 13 May, 2013 10:09 pm

uglyman wrote:Looking good :thumbsup: you are on your way with this setup, once you start to get a handle on your water parameters your going to find things get easier. :thumbsup:


Thanks we can't wait to get the water all sorted out
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Sat 01 Jun, 2013 12:55 pm

A small update but a few things happening.

First off we have set up our old fresh water tank into a quarantine tank. It has been running for a few weeks as we wanted it to be ready for when we choose to introduce new fish.

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We were lucky enough to acquired a few fish and corals as a fellow member has decided to sell up their tank. The fish are now in the QT and the corals have been coral dipped and placed into the DT.

To the best of my knowledge we have acquired a blue tang, 2 clowns, 1 blue damsel and 1 white/clear damsel (Please correct me if im wrong with fish names)

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We also scored a Hammer head glass cleaner for a good price and was surprised just how good they are!! Cant believe we used anything else in the past. Just had to share what it cleaned in 2 min what our other cleaner couldnt do.

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photos of corals will be uploaded once they have settled in a bit better.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Sat 01 Jun, 2013 4:15 pm

Corals are looking much better and in time im sure will fit right in within our tank. So far we placed them all on the sand just to let them adjust to our tank and then will place them in the best spots (for each individual coral) within the tank.

Any thoughts please share

I think this is a torch coral
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Hammerhead coral
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Elegance coral
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Last edited by beck&marc on Sat 01 Jun, 2013 10:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby obsessed1 » Sat 01 Jun, 2013 5:55 pm

Hi,
the coral in the second pic is a branching hammer.

The tank is coming along great. :clap:
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Sat 01 Jun, 2013 10:54 pm

obsessed1 wrote:Hi,
the coral in the second pic is a branching hammer.

The tank is coming along great. :clap:


Thanks I have amended :)
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby priscacara » Thu 06 Jun, 2013 3:13 pm

Some nice corals and fish to kick start everything :-)
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Thu 06 Jun, 2013 6:22 pm

priscacara wrote:Some nice corals and fish to kick start everything :-)


Thanks! We are looking forward to transferring the fish from QT into our DT, few more weeks and they will be ready :)
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Fri 07 Jun, 2013 4:34 pm

Forgot to add me added some SICCE wavemakers with controller. Working well and creating a lot more flow which the fish seem to be enjoying.
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Also added a new toxic hammer head yesterday, it is settling in really well!! We love the colours!
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Also a few better shots of all the corals as they have really adjusted well coming into our tank. Also found out we dont have a torch coral its actually a Hammer.....sorry for the noob mistake.
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And a front shot of the tank as it currently stands
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby priscacara » Sat 08 Jun, 2013 11:38 am

Looks great, the fish will be having a ball in there! I have the sicce pumps and controllers too, bit noisy now and then but not loud enough to be a problem and usually means a wingnut needs a bit of a tighten or a snail is a bit too close to them and vibrates (get that with most pumps I would think :-) ).
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Tue 18 Jun, 2013 10:32 am

So the time has come to move the new fish from QT to the DT. They have all adjusted fine with the stand out being the blue tang! He was always hiding in the QT but now in the DT he is always out and about!! He is so happy in the DT!

A small video of feeding time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c2WaJO6zKWQ

New fish added to the DT after a few weeks in QT.
1 x Blue Tang
2 x Clowns
2 x Damsels

Also our existing fish
1 x Sailfin Tang
1 x Royal Dotty Back
2 x Damsels

We have had to remove our big maroon clown as we didnt want any fights with the new pair of clowns going in. She has now been placed in the QT till we can re home her.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Wed 19 Jun, 2013 3:27 pm

It's a sad day for us today as we sold our maroon clown fish. She was a great fish but it was time to part with her.

On the plus side we bought a sinularia coral and bubble anemone :) photos to come once settled in.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Sat 17 Aug, 2013 10:35 pm

Lots has happened from the last post. The bubble tip nem took a walk right into our power head and is now hiding in the tank somewhere.

We purchased a yellow tang and had it in the QT but when I was away interstate it died.

We have also added a few more corals to the tank being a Green Favia, a Leather and a small green Sinularia frag.

We also purchased a few fish which are now in the QT. we have a cleaner wrasse, banana wrasse, cardinal and a flame angle. Can't wait to get them into the DT!!

Also have another bubble tip nem on the way so will have to keep an eye on it so it doesn't walk into a nem again.....
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Not a great shot but this is how the tank looks now with a purple plus T5. We love the color it generates :)
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Lots more excitement to come in the next few months :)
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Sun 18 Aug, 2013 10:33 am

Oh and we also have a star fish :) who is on a mission right now and walking all around the tank Image
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Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Wed 21 Aug, 2013 6:24 pm

Oh man what a tough lesson to learn today... Lost the starfish a day after we introduced him, he was walking all over the tank and the started to fall apart..... He then died.

The nem came in yesterday and after acclimating for 75 min and successfully introducing him in the tank he quickly found a spot he liked. He was there for 5 hours before we went to bed. We woke up in the morning to find the nem is gone and there is jelly all over the tank and its really cloudy...... The nem took a walk into a power head!

After loosing too invertabets quickly after introducing them into the DT we knew something was not right. We took some water to our lfs for testing, we where shocked to find out that our salinity was too high! We were using a hydrometer to check salinity but have now switched over to a refractometer and were shocked at how out the hydrometer was.... It is now in the bin!!!

We are now working on slowly bringing the salinity down to 1.025 - 1.026 and are hoping that the fish and corals respond well to it. We will then work on maintaining the salinity level and in a months time will introduce our new fish from the QT to the DT.

In the QT currently is a cleaner wrasse, banana wrasse, rainbow wrasse, cardinal and a fire tail goby. The flame angle we returned him as we found out they can nip at corals and we don't want that to happen :-p

Also have introduced a few corals into the DT being a toxic frogspawn, blue and red lobo and a toxic trachy. All corals seem to be doing fine.

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Also as we don't want to overload out DT we have removed the 4 damsels and will be trying our best to catch our royal dotty back and remove it also. We want reefsafe, calm fish that won't attack each other and the damsels and dotty back were annoying far too many fish.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Mon 26 Aug, 2013 3:28 pm

Ok caught the royal dotty back and off to the lfs he goes! salinity issues now sorted in the DT, QT and 200lt drum of mixed salt water for water changes. All are now at 1.026.

We have medicated the fish in the QT as the rainbow wrasse has been looking a little lifeless at the moment and our local lfs suggested medicating as it could have a parasite issue. We also will be setting up and auto top off system to our QT to make sure we don't have salinity issues from evaporation.

Also finally got a black backing to our DT, looks so much better! Really allows you to focus on the colors of the fish and corals. Will upload a photo soon.

We also did a full water test a couple of days ago to find we have a PO4 issue so a visit to the lfs and now a mesh bag full of rowaphos sits in the sump. Hopefully in a month or so PO4 high should be a thing of the past.

All is coming along nicely in the marine world at our place :) photos to come soon
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby priscacara » Tue 27 Aug, 2013 1:04 pm

Some nice new additions to the tank, will look good! Bummer about the starfish and nem though.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Tue 27 Aug, 2013 8:21 pm

priscacara wrote:Some nice new additions to the tank, will look good! Bummer about the starfish and nem though.


Yeh we are pretty upset that we lost them too, but happy to know why and that we have solved that issue. Will get another nem and starfish in a few months
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby Sunderland » Wed 28 Aug, 2013 6:35 pm

Hello! Looks like a nice tank you have up and running here! Interested in your QT setup and what you have to run it, (especially skimmer and lighting wise) Keep up the good work! Look forward to updates
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Thu 10 Oct, 2013 4:01 pm

Wow just realized we haven't updated our tank journal in a while, well a lot has happened :-)
including new fish, new corals, new equipment and a lovely donation of a xenia frag from our good mate.

We have added from the QT the fire tail goby, cardinal, cleaner wrasse and yellow tang to the DT, we lost the banana wrasse as he jumped out of the QT and when we found him he was as hard as a rock!! The rainbow wrasse also had an issue and died long ago in the QT. A shot of the new fish in our tank

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We also added 2 start fish, 1 pink/purple and 1 blue. We are really happy with the star fish and they are doing really well in the tank, the purple star moves so quick compared to the blue lol

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Then we couldnt resist a war paint scolly!! we love the scollys at the moment

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a few weeks later we went to our local LFS and picked up a big cat/elegance coral and 3 shirt fungia plate corals and 1 long plate coral. the small fungi are pretty cool and have managed to move over to the other side of the tank by themselves lol they must prefer it over there. long plate doing fine but the big cat is the standout so far and even getting lots of love from our clowns.... no need for nems we think.

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Our p04 issue is still too high for us so we decided to invest in a phosphate reactor. We got a hang on unit as our sump is small and already pretty full, I think we did ok with it as p04 is dropping every week so hopefully we will eliminate the cyno in the tank. Also added a small cooling unit of 6 computer fans. hopefully it will make a difference

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Took delivery of some nice corals too, here they are being dipped

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picked up 2 favia one toxic
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one rainbow and a bleeding apple scolly
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and purple and toxic lobo
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This is where we stand at the moment :-)
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Still working on the phosphates and nitrates with the use of rowaphos in a phosphate reactor and biopellets in a nitrate reactor. hopefully in time they will drop to very low levels so we can start looking at clams and maybe even some small SPS but I think the next purchase is going to have to be a chiller...............
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Sat 16 Nov, 2013 12:37 pm

So after a few mints we now have got the phosphates heading in the right direction. Down to 0.11 now and still on the decline. Added a few more corals. Some blue led lights and a chiller. The tank is looking awesome!!

Tank was looking like this
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Added
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As well as a few items I didn't individually get shots of. All looks like this now :)

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Our scolly pyramid :)
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Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 2:32 pm

Can't help it but I keep buying more scollys!! Picked up a beauty this week as well as a small Squamosa clam, gold hammer, fluffy morph and a pink button. All photos under MH. Will pop up blue photos later tonight :)

Clam settling in nicely
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Fluffy morph
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My gold hammer with other hammers and a frogspawn
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Front tank shot (forgive me it's iPhone photo)
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Our scolly collection which is ever growing. New red and grey scolly has not settled fully yet.
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Re: Beck & Marc's 4x2x2 tank

Postby beck&marc » Wed 20 Nov, 2013 6:46 pm

Photos under blues.

Burnt red
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Race track
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Bright orange with green stripes
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Fire and ice
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New pink and grey/purple
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War paint
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Toxic
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Superman
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Bleeding apple
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Clam
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FTS
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