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Its been a long time - my AR300 build

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Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Fri 09 Feb, 2018 2:20 pm

Hi Guys

I've been out of the hobby for approx 10 years since selling my tank and moving house all that time ago (and 3 kids later)

I thought it would be a good learning experience for kids, as well as something I have wanted to get back into but avoided for a long time due to time constraints.

Well this AR300 came up on Gumtree recently, a full setup, unused for $550 and I jumped at the chance. So here is my journey......

Equipment so far:
Tank - AR300 (minus the hideous shroud on top)
Sump - modded AR300 (located under my house)
Skimmer - Skimz SK181 with CoralBox DC pump
Return Pump - Laguna Max-Flow (9000L p/hour)
Lighting - Hydra52 w/Director & D&D bracket
Internal Flow - CoralBox QP-9 x 2
Substrate - 20KG of 2mm coral sand
Rock - ~31KG Caribsea
Top up - 30ltr tank with float valve to start with

I live on the surfcoast (Torquay, VIC) so will be using locally collected NSW.

Its a slow journey so far, taken me 2.5 months to get this far.......but hey whats the rush.......(I can't fill it until after August as we have a 6 week trip planned)
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Last edited by primus95 on Wed 18 Apr, 2018 9:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Mon 12 Feb, 2018 9:41 am

......................................
Last edited by primus95 on Fri 23 Feb, 2018 5:14 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby gotti » Wed 21 Feb, 2018 2:40 pm

what did you use to remove the hood?
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 1:59 pm

gotti wrote:what did you use to remove the hood?


Cut one corner with a hacksaw as far as I could (without hitting glass), then used a stanley knife with new blade to cut away the silicone. That allowed me to eventually snap one of the sides off, and the rest came off pretty easy after that.

You either love the hood or hate it, I didn't dig it :) - I much prefer the clean lines of the V2 Aqua One tanks.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 2:56 pm

Got the plumbing connected to bulkheads
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Plumbing under house (might need to insulate this in winter I think)
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Pipes to Sump
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Sump with baffles cut out, overly complex design (still tossing up removing more)
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Pretty sure I'm going to have to raise the baffle in between the Skimmer and return to raise water level. I'm a sump newbie.
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Return in, slight rock change.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby colg » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 3:44 pm

Looking good..

Have you worked out what volume of water the pipes running under the house will hold? Hard to tell from your pics but it would be good to work out so that you don't overflow the sump when the return pump stops.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Fri 23 Feb, 2018 4:07 pm

colg wrote:Looking good..

Have you worked out what volume of water the pipes running under the house will hold? Hard to tell from your pics but it would be good to work out so that you don't overflow the sump when the return pump stops.


Hi Mate

The overflow is 40mm, and the return is mostly 15mm pressure pipe.

Aqua One uses funny sized piping / bulkheads and the holes in the tank are too small to fit any decent sized bulkheads. Best I could do to adapt it was siliconing 40mm pressure pipe to the overflow bulkhead.

Fingers crossed the sump doesn't overflow. to me the sump is quite cramped so I'm thinking at some stage, given I have the space under the house, that I'll acquire a cheap 3 or 4ft tank and build another sump.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Sun 18 Mar, 2018 3:24 pm

Fresh water test went A OK (thank goodness)
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My gurgle buster seems to work well also
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby sparker » Mon 19 Mar, 2018 8:53 am

Sensational work! Love the remote sump, but I must admit - if I had the luxury of a remote sump I'd be going much much larger. (although hard to see what room you have to work with there).

Great to have another reefer in Geelong. Yell out if I can help out with anything, I'm just in Grovedale. I have 6 tanks, but this is my main display:
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I pop up to DeerPark aquarium every Thursday night straight after work and can always bring you back anything you need.
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby spicyburrito » Fri 23 Mar, 2018 11:21 pm

Tanks looking good, Sump system downstairs out of the way also looks like it will be nice to work with

Sparker - Really liking the amount of green corals you have in there, a lot of tanks tend to get a bit too pink...
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Fri 06 Apr, 2018 11:10 am

sparker wrote:Sensational work! Love the remote sump, but I must admit - if I had the luxury of a remote sump I'd be going much much larger. (although hard to see what room you have to work with there).

Great to have another reefer in Geelong. Yell out if I can help out with anything, I'm just in Grovedale. I have 6 tanks, but this is my main display:

I pop up to DeerPark aquarium every Thursday night straight after work and can always bring you back anything you need.
Sam


thanks for the offer of help Sam, your tank looks AMAZING (to say the least)!

Plan is to get rid of the stock AquaOne sump at some stage (your right it is small @ roughly 2ft) and build a new one out of a 3-4ft tank, but for now I've spent enough money on the build ;)

I'm taking this one slow, getting everything setup before I start (although its killing me having it empty).

I'm a bit disappointed with the flow from sump to display tank, its only turning over 1.5x per/hour max. The pump is rated to 9000+ ltrs per hour (at 4ft head) but the restrictive hole size (15mm) in the tank and head height certainly has reduced that to next to nothing. I was tossing up re-drilling the tank, but its no small task to get done, and I'm scared I'll just stuff it all up (not to mention I don't know if the tank base is tempered or not).
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Fri 06 Apr, 2018 4:21 pm

Drained my tank (300ltrs) via 25mm pipe under cabinet that runs straight outside the house into storm water! Saved so much time

I broke one of my rock scapes putting the sand and rock back in, and in the process I think the scape turned out much better so it was meant to be!
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Tue 17 Apr, 2018 11:07 pm

Decided it was time to fill it so I got 22kg of Aqua Forest Sea Salt, made 350ltrs of RODI water, and now the fun stuff really begins!
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Here's the sump, and skimmer foaming off its head as it breaks in and the tank settles:
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby primus95 » Sat 28 Jul, 2018 3:51 pm

Well 98 days later :( my tank is cycled.

My comments on fishless cycling - Dr Tim's Ammonia & Baterica in a bottle is a load of expensive bullshit.

I followed the Dr Tims fishless cycling method, and with Ammonia not having reduced one single bit @ day 45, I collected snails from my local beach & crushed them up to get the tank cycling organically. 15 days later (with a load of large snails also in the tank also), Ammonia 0, another 30 days later & its finally cycled.

I knew the process would be longer due to using base rock / Caribsea Real rock, but this process was down right frustrating 98 days total).
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby PranK » Mon 17 Sep, 2018 2:11 pm

Any updates? Tank looks nice so far!
My 6' Journal

My 5x28x24 in-wall experience


My tank uses 4.3 tonnes of carbon every year (1275 KW/h per 115 days). I have offset its carbon emissions, you should consider doing the same. (This was my 4 footer too!)
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby Harry1122 » Sat 29 Sep, 2018 11:53 pm

Hey question I'm at day nine ammonia is at 2 and tanks going brown is this normal? Sorry new to this all
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby monta777 » Mon 03 Dec, 2018 8:23 pm

Looking good mate how did you mount the coral box dc pump in that skimmer any photos
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Re: Its been a long time - my AR300 build

Postby Combatants » Wed 29 May, 2019 10:34 am

Any updates on this build? Looked like a great but frustrating start
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