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AquaOne Reef 400

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AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Fri 01 Jan, 2016 1:51 pm

I am starting a build with an Aqua One Reef 400 (400L). I haven't set it up yet as I'm still waiting for my RO to arrive and a bunch of other stuff but I've built what I can so far.
This is like starting from scratch again!

I've attached a couple of power boards to the side with outdoor heavy duty double sided tape. Hopefully that holds. I've also taken all the bio balls out as I'm going to have that section of the sump as a refugium. I've added a 5 watt LED lamp onto that and have timers set up for that and the display tank lights. The return pump had a broken bracket at the base when it arrived but I just took that off and have rested it on some filter sponge. I also attached some black backing to the far end of the tank as it's against the wall and I would prefer not to see the wall and any powerhead cables or anything.

The plan is to start slow. Let the tank cycle for a long while and then start off with something easy. Long, long, long term plan is that I'd love an SPS or two.

My two main concerns so far is if I need a chiller and will the floor hold the weight. I've had a 350L full of rocks (and water of course) there before but this is a bit heavier.

I got a bit carried away yesterday and spent far too much on additions in terms of equipment.
Trying to research and figure out what I'm missing/what I need.
On the way:
  • RO setup with various plumbing, pressure regulator, taps, t-pieces etc
  • e-Fins ATO
  • Refractometer
  • API Reef Master Test Kit
  • API Saltwater Master Test
  • NYOS Reefer Magnesium Test Kit
  • Flipper scraper
  • 2x Tunze 6055
  • Tunze 7092
  • CaribSea Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand
  • Acrylic rods & 10mm masonry drill bit

Here are some pics: http://imgur.com/a/HI6yg
My Tank Journal: AquaOne Reef 400
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Sat 09 Jan, 2016 1:49 pm

Spent a little time working on the setup today.

Plumbing for the ATO:
7527

Cheap 5 watt LED from Bunnings for the refugium:
7528

I think the clearance of the skimmer on this power strip is going to be a problem:
7529

Knocked up a bit of a controller holder/shelf/cable tidy:
7530

Cable tied the Tunze 6055s power supplies to keep them out of any spills:
7531
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Sat 09 Jan, 2016 2:29 pm

I need to somehow tidy up these cables:
Image

Those Tunzes push out some flow:
Image
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View from the end of the tank. The line is from the RO for the first fill/leak test.
Image

The RO system which is balanced on the kitchen bench while I fill the tank so I can put the drain tube down the drain:
Image

What a mess:
Image

Storage container for salt mixing:
Image

CaribSea Aragonite. I hope this is enough for the tank. Around 18.5kg:
Image

Old tank I had lying around in storage that I've set up as quaranteen:
Image

Made a trip to Ikea to buy the drawers as a stand for it which work well for test kit storage and other bits and pieces:
Image
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Thu 28 Jan, 2016 12:18 am

A few weeks ago I did some aquascaping. Hard to see from this angle but the rocks go back toward the wall on an angle hopefully giving me a bit of room for coral on different levels.

Image

I've also had a lot of what looks like cyanobacteria for the last week or two:
Image

And a hitch-hiker that looks like he might be a mexican turbo snail? We named him Hercules because if he survives the tanks initial temperatures and ammonia of 0.5 ppm he's a hero. He's been an absolute machine on the algae though.
Image
Image
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Gats » Thu 28 Jan, 2016 2:07 am

Nice scape there mate. Good luck with it!


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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby saltymike » Thu 28 Jan, 2016 7:05 pm

Hi mate,

Welcome to the AR-400 owners club lol

Good start so far and a positive choice to be prepared to take your time.

Wouldn't worry to much about the brownish algae as that's more than likely just Algae (diatoms) from part of the cycle. Very normal.

One thing I would suggest is to look to keep the power boards outside the sump area if possible as salt creep could become a problem. Also if budget can be stretched look to replace the G-220 skimmer if possible as many users have long term reliability issues with them and continual overflowing.

Are you running the stock T5's lights? Might think about an upgrade down the track if SPS is an end goal.

Mike
Mike and Tina's AR400 Tank Journal link below

http://masa.asn.au/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=148&t=243993
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Thu 28 Jan, 2016 8:05 pm

That's a good point about the powerboards that I hadn't considered. Where do you have yours? I was worried about keeping them away from any water spills. I've already lost one auto timer from having it dangling/unplugged when I had a massive plumbing mishap for the chiller lines.

Certainly would love to upgrade the skimmer. I've already had a morning greeting of waking up and finding the 1 litre waste bottle overflowing onto the floor! It seems so hard to dial in, it always seems to be either overflowing or not working at all. I currently have it in a working state but it's pulling out maybe 150 to 200 ml of water a day. Is that too much? I was wondering if that would lead to reduced salinity.

Funny thing about the lights... when I was aquascaping I thought I'd be super careful and remove the lights from the tank and place them safely on the floor behind. Trouble with this is that I stepped down off the ladder directly onto the tubes and smashed two of them. So I've upgraded those tubes which will hopefully improve things for any coral I do get while I save up for some decent LEDs.

The great news is that this morning my ammonia dropped and finally registered a 0.25 ppm nitrite. Cycle is starting faster than I thought being only a month with dry rock but I did get a single piece of live rock as seed that I placed in the sump.
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby saltymike » Fri 29 Jan, 2016 10:44 pm

I bought some double sided Velcro sticky tape which I used to hang my powerboards on the outside of my right hand end panel. So one half is stuck to the cabinet and the other half on the back of the powerboard. This helps keep them elevated incase there's any floods and easier to access and the Velcro allows me to remove them.

Yeah the stock skimmer is a P.O.S! Everyone has overflowing issue and morning floods lol. There's some good skimmers that have internal pumps that will fit in the sump instead of being a hang on back (HOB) type skimmer. Deltec SC-1455 is a good skimmer and priced well. I have an ATB Elegance 200 which is in the upper quality and price range but I upgraded my sump so it's much bigger than the stock sump ( about 3 1/2 foot long). It sounds like you may be skimming quite wet, is it pulling out a lot of crap and like a dark tea colour? if your auto top up is top up evaporated water and what's lost in the skimmer it would slightly effect salinity but not dramatically

What LED's are you looking at?

Yeah your cycle is kicking along and will continue to do its thing. Have you thought of a clean up crew yet?

Mike
Mike and Tina's AR400 Tank Journal link below

http://masa.asn.au/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=148&t=243993
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Sat 30 Jan, 2016 10:16 am

Good idea on the velcro, I might have to buy some and see if I can hang them off the back or something. I stupidly set it up too close to the wall on one side and the other side is visible at all times in the room so I don't want to have powerboards all over it.

I turned down the skimmer slightly and it's still pulling stuff out but with a lot less water. The water it was taking out even before though was a very dark yellow and full of solids so at least it's pulling stuff out. That Deltec looks great, thanks for the suggestion. After dumping so much money on gear lately I need a bit of a financial breather though.

In terms of LEDs, I would love a pair of radions but who wouldn't I guess. That would be a possible 11 months from now when it would be time to replace the tubes on the T5s anyway but I'll see how it's going in the mean time. I really hate the T5s, with the heat, efficiency and lack of control in terms of things like colours or moonlights.

Clean up crew, I'm thinking some red legged hermits and some more snails (not sure which kind, maybe some more turbos). I'd also love to get a coral banded shrimp as I've always loved watching those guys.
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby saltymike » Mon 01 Feb, 2016 10:12 am

Keep an eye on the classifieds mate as good cheap 2nd hand gear always comes up.

Sounds like you may be getting there with the skimmer but keep an eye on the 'lil bastardio' lol

If you want try rotating the reflectors on the white tubes at night so only the blue shine into the tank. It's not perfect moonlights but is better than nothing.

Mike
Mike and Tina's AR400 Tank Journal link below

http://masa.asn.au/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=148&t=243993
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Wed 03 Feb, 2016 11:36 am

Will keep an eye on the classifieds for sure.

Small update: Nitrites are dropping off and ammonia has been zero for a couple of weeks so looks like the cycle is going well.

I've noticed I have a few brittle stars living in the sump, some mystery worms and a whole bunch of amphipods that have hatched little babies that are all over the sump and sump glass. It's so interesting finding all this life I didn't know was there.
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Sun 07 Feb, 2016 2:09 pm

Update: Picked up some clean up crew and three Chromis which I will sit in a separate quarantine tank for a while.

5x hermits which are absolute algae machines:
Image
Image

Coral banded shrimp hanging out in the cave I built specifically for him when designing the aqua scape:
Image

This guy was a hitchhiker which I'm guessing was in one of the spare shells I bought for the hermits. Any ideas on an ID? He seems like he could be a sailfin blenny but I've never seen this red colouring before on them:
Image
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Wed 17 Feb, 2016 9:17 pm

Haven't posted any photos in a while so here's my first colony of zoas. Took them a few days to adjust but they're really starting to get some colour in them now.
Image
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Re: AquaOne Reef 400

Postby Hunter555 » Sun 06 Mar, 2016 10:20 am

Quick update because it's been too long. I now have replaced most of my API test kits with Salifert, a hanna checker for phosphorous, and have to replace my refractometer. (Had a bad adventure with calibrating to RO water which then ended up with my tank being at 1.031!) Have recalibrated off several salt mixes from the wiki page and compared against two different LFS batches of water. Have since brought it down bit by bit over the past couple of weeks and it's now sitting at 1.026. Each water change will bring it down a bit. Got another cyno outbreak even though my nitrates are 0 on the salifert and phosphorous is 9 ppb on the hanna ultra low checker. Cutting feeding a little but I don't think that's the problem. I've also since bought an aquaray LED strip which fits nicely in between the T5 tubes to add additional light. I chose the reef blue colour which goes nicely with my existing colour choices of T5 tubes and have changed my timers so the LEDs come on at my usual times and then reduced the T5 window by 30 minutes each end.

I've also dug out my old monster eheim canister filter built for 1000 litre tanks to chuck on the quaranteen tank as the ammonia levels were not controllable even with massive daily water changes. It's filled with ceramic balls and a piece of sponge that I had sitting in the main sump for a few weeks and now is properly cycled.

Apart from my little disaster, everything is going strong and still alive. The zoas look like they've grown slightly or at least extended much more. I think I need some more snails at this point. (Currently only have 2 turbos and 2 trochus)
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