Hey Joe! I don't have any drawn up plans, I kinda just measured as I was building for the heights I wanted. I can take some more pics, get some measurements and count plumbing pieces for you if you like.
[So I have decided to grow my own phytoplankton culture so that I can dose it to my reef and have as food for future rotifer culture to feed fish fry.][Thought I would share some details of my setup and what I did.][So for containers, I am using the same setup as my reef dosing containers, two of the 2.5 Qt. OXO glass FlipLock Storage Containers.][I drilled a hole in the top to add a 1/4" Push Connect Bulkhead Tank Adapter into the lid with rigid tubing inside, to the bottom and a stem/barbed elbow on top. I also drilled a very small hole in the top for venting.][I wanted something self-contained, secure and portable in case I need to move it anywhere. (Running out of room in my house for fish stuff )][So I bought a tote from Walmart to house my containers and equipment as well as conceal most of the lighting. Luckily the tote was a perfect fit for this project. There was a perfect groove in the bottom for me to make and fit a small 2x4 wood frame to keep the bottom of the containers secure and close together. I also screwed another piece of 1x4 to the frame to act as a mount for the light to slip over. ][View attachment 1491]View attachment 1492View attachment 1493[The light I am using is a “Warmoon Outdoor LED Flood Light, 10W Daylight White 6500K Waterproof Security Light” on Amazon. I cut a small hole in the back of the tote, close to the bottom, for the cord to come out. ][Then I marked and cut out the tote lid so the containers could also stick out the top and also secure the tops. So now the containers do not move inside the tote and are secure.][View attachment 1494][I then measured, marked and labeled my containers at the 1 and 2 liter mark. Using a cheap dual outlet pump from Walmart, I hooked up some tubing, filled with water and tested. It worked great! The tubing I am using is just expired, still sterile in the package, IV tubing with roller clamp. They just get thrown away so I have a huge bag full of them ][J][…I don’t like the gang valves and this tubing is very small. ][View attachment 1495][After testing, I put about a cup of rubbing alcohol in each one and shook real well, emptied and set to air dry to sterilize. ][I ordered the algae culture disks from Florida Aqua Farms for this culture. I did the recommended instructions and put a little sterile RODI water on the disk and let set for 24 hrs. Then I used the sterile swab provided and rubbed the swab all around to remove the algae from the disk and mix with water on the disk giving me just a little green “soup”. Next I filled one of my containers with 2 liters of 1.019 saltwater, added the green algae soup from the disk and added 5 ml of Miracle Grow. I put the container in the tote with the light running for 16 hours and connected the air to bubble at max 24/7. ][I stir the container every night and so far the results are looking good! Here are the results so far.][View attachment 1496]After about 7-9 days I will split the culture in half between the 2 containers, fill both back to the 2 liter mark with saltwater and add 5 ml of Miracle Grow to each and keep stirring every day and just keep on with the cycle.
Well my ATS seems to be starting to grow now. I will probably start cleaning/harvesting in a week or 2. Another plus is that pods have made a new home as well in the new safe haven.View attachment 1690
Just another update. Things are going good an everything is growing.Think I am already starting to run out of room for corals though...how do you stop the addiction? lolHere is a current FTS:View attachment 1980Also added a yellow tang to the tank.View attachment 1981Also installed a UV sterilizer after my carbon reactor just to help clarify water and help with any parasites that might happen to slip in. I also bought the Neptune FMM and have (2) optical sensors to monitor high water lever in tank and sump and (1) 1/2" flow sensor to monitor UV flow and turn off UV when flow is too low, like when the return pump shuts off or when I turn off the valve for the carbon reactor to replace carbon. Just turns off automatically The ATS is producing well and I harvest every week.View attachment 1982My phyto culture is still going strong and dose it to the tank a couple times a week.Hoping to add more fish and a clam soon as the tank seems to be handling everything well and nutrients are staying in check.
Well been awhile but better late than never. Going to add some updates!July Update:Tried to add my first clam but after 2 days in the tank the the crabs/snails were eating it. :-(Got a Sailfin tang and is in quarantine. Beautiful fish!View attachment 3850
August Update:I found out I had a bad nitrate test kit. The kit was reading 1 ppm when in fact is was more like 80 ppm. I found out because I thought I might need to start dosing nitrates because they stayed so low. So I ordered a different brand test kit just to be sure and sure enough, sky high! I did many water changes every week and added biopellets with MB7 weekly to start getting it down. Also added the sailfin tang to main display.August Sump pic:View attachment 3853
September update:Well this is when everything started going down hill for me. I quickly developed psoriatic arthritis and every daily task including tank maintenance became horribly painful. I started having Alk swings, long periods between water changes and other weekly tank maintenance and could only get stuff done on the days I felt OK. It is quite a terrible feeling of helplessness and had to enlist the help of a few family members to help with maintenance so things didn't totally crash. Also, my snow flake eel found its way outside the tank one morning (even with a lid and canopy) and I didn't find it till late that evening, ended up behind the tank and died. :-( I was so sad because it was doing so well, growing and leaving everyone alone, great tank mate. I will probably get another one one day, but for now I will probably just get some more small fish that I wouldn't normally be able to have with a predator in the tank.September FTS:View attachment 3852
October Update:Well allot of my SPS corals took a turn for the worse and looks like they are dying and some lps don’t look too good. The biopellets don’t seem to be doing much so I switched over to Zeovit media and continue adding MB7 weekly. October FTS:View attachment 3854
November Update:Well I lost 90% of my SPS and my LPS are still not looking good. I got a reactor for the Zeovit media, was tired of shaking and flipping media bags daily. Reactor made it allot quicker and easier. Nitrates are down to about 50 ppm so hoping they will keep going down. I did get a scooter blenny added to the quarantine tank, very neat fish.
December Update:I added the scooter blenny to display and is doing well.One of my Gyre circulation pumps failed on me and stopped working. The magnet shaft in the driver broke open. Contacted Coralvue and they sent me a new driver and shaft ASAP. It is now back up and running!View attachment 3856December FTS:View attachment 3855Also happy to report after many doctor visits, testing, and trying different medications, I finally got on a medication that is working and doing much better! Feels so good to have strength and motivation to do things.
January Update:I am still dealing with high nitrates, around 40 ppm, but is going down. Now that I am personally back up and running and able to keep a closer eye on things, the corals seemed to have started on a recovery path. Still crossing my fingers I don’t loose any more coral, luckily no fish loss. I also decided to start the refugium back up again with some cheato and will be using a Kessil H80 tuna flora for lighting. I am hoping it will help with my high nutrients and also house more pods so the scooter blenny will have plenty to snack on. I ordered so more pods to seed the fuge and display and should be here this week.January FTS:View attachment 3857
Ouch! Sorry to hear things weren't going well. I'll fully admit to not reading the first 21 pages of this, but I think the fuge will do good things. I feel like I pour food in to my tank, but high nitrates are something I don't have an issue with, and I credit my macro as the reason.If you already have the kessil you might as well use it. As a reference for others I've found 'fuge lights to be very much not a picky thing. A screw in CFL works surprisingly well, and after that brighter/closer to the water has worked better for me (higher display lighting seemingly requiring higher lighting on the macro as well). Right now I have a cheap light pressed right against the side of my sump.
[State of the Reef Aquarium: Summary of current stock, setup and equipment ]The reef tank is now 1 year and 5 months old. It is a 110 Gallon Oceanic tank on a victorian style wooden stand with canopy. It has dual corner overflows, 2 Maxspect Gyre XF-230 pumps with controller and a shallow sand bed. It is lit with a LEDZEAL S400 fixture with lights on for 9 hours a day, then moon mode for 4 hours.Under the tank in the stand, is the sump, which is a 40 gallon breeder with glass baffles. The first chamber is the drain with a Nyos Quantum 160 skimmer. Second chamber is my cheato refugium, lit with a Kessil H80 Tuna Flora. It also houses a Santa Monica Surf2 algae turf scrubber, manifold fed Zeovit media reactor, marinepure blocks, Cobalt Neotherm heater and a Maxijet powerhead for circulation, to kick things up 30 seconds at a time throughout the day. The third chamber is my return chamber with an Octo Varios 8 DC return pump at 40%. It also houses the Smart ATO micro and a small Hydor powerhead, for circulation for everything that gets dosed to the tank in that last chamber. Also under the tank are my 4 IceCap dosing pumps, kalwasser reactor, 3 OXO flip lock glass dosing containers for Alk/Cal/Mag, 11 gallon Meleve’s Reef ATO reservoir and a manifold fed carbon reactor with a 9 watt Coralife Turbo Twist UV sterilizer after. The stand has cable management ducts throughout and is lit with LED strips lights that come on automatically when the doors open with a Apex breakout box.The whole system is run with a Neptune Apex system connected to fusion with 2 EB8s, temp/PH probe, FMM module with 1 flow sensor for carbon/UV and 2 optical sensors for high tank/sump level, breakout box for leak sensors and cabinet doors and AFS to feed lunch or feed while I am out of town. I normally feed pellets and nori every other day and frozen every other day. Also have FishKam on it 24/7 to view wherever I am at. All electronics and power connections are housed in a cabinet next to the tank.I have about 12 fish and some mixed corals that are appealing to me. I had a rough spot the last half of the year an lost some corals but things are getting better and hope to stock back up and watch the growth.View attachment 3950
Tank update:Well the tank is a little over 2 years and things are still looking good and growing.Not too many changes, but did replace my drilled pipe loc-line return with the Siphon Stopper returns and now everything is totally silent, no more water trickle noise.Only other thing that has really changed is that I am mainly using Red Sea NoPoX to control my nutrients and are pretty low now. So the refugium isn't growing chateo and just using the Santa Monica Surf2 algae turf scrubber. No more Zeovit media reactor or marinepure blocks. I have added an Anthias and Golden Head Goby.Here is the FTS at 2 years (8/11/18):View attachment 5988
Tank looks really nice. We need more pics just to be sure though.I discontinued GFO and started using Red Sea NoPoX and Seachem De*nitrate when I began having nitrate problems earlier this year. One or both of them worked for me, although I get a little tired of changing filter socks so often.