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  #1  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:14 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Location: Georgetown, TX
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Preacha's Paradise (225 Gallon Tank Lots of Pics)

Finally decided it was time to start my tank thread. I have been in the hobby for 17 years off and on. Up until a couple of months ago I was running four (4) tanks. A 75 Gallon mixed, a 45 gallon Scorpion/Leaffish, a 30 gallon predator, and a 20 Gallon long Goby tank were keeping me plenty busy. I had a horrible battle with bryopsis in the 75 and 45 gallon tanks (be careful moving frags from one tank to another!!) and lost a lot of corals. I was bummed and considering taking a break.

One night while searching Ebay for a pic of a dwarf eel the site had several “similar” listings and one was a 225 Gallon tank for only $499. Needless to say, my interest was peaked and for kicks I clicked on the link. I was stoked as it turned out to be an Oceanic Brick 225 (I think it is really 215) with Dual Overflows and a custom stand and canopy!! The listing was actually in the wrong category and the description was only a couple of sentences. Key words were lacking in the description and I figured very few people would see the listing.

I showed the listing to my wife and we came to an accord. I had to sell all the tanks that were setup and those that were not (I had a total of 6 setups). I quickly agreed, took pictures and began selling my stuff. I moved all my livestock that I could and live rock to a couple of tanks and got rid of the rest. Here is a picture of the listing as I saw it.





The stand and canopy were in need of refinishing and I am not exactly the best handyman. I had refinished a stand once before and that was all.

So, the auction was scheduled to end around midnight and I had two laptops ready. No one had even placed a bid for the opening of $499 until around 5 minutes left in the auction. I had previously agreed with my wife to only spend around $600 on the setup even though a bit more would still have been a great deal. With 15 seconds left I submitted a bid of $617.83 and won with a bid of $610. I was stoked. I woke the wife and told her and she was very excited for me.
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  #2  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:20 PM
bkelley02 bkelley02 is offline
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Looks great! Best of luck to you!
  #3  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:25 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Location: Georgetown, TX
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Equipment and Plans

Well, I arranged to have two friends go with me to pick it up and that sucker was heavy. I rented a trailer and off we went. When we arrived the owner had a sump and skimmer with waste collector (both made my Marine Life Aquatics) that went with the deal! However, I later decided to have a new sump made and bought a used Euro-Reef Skimmer. I will sell the sump and skimmer later.

I was heavily influenced in what I wanted for my tank by Melev’s, Weatherson’s, and Invinceable’s setups. I have been following threads on cryptic fuges, rock pillars, and canopies. One think I hate about canopies is mounting Halide Pendants to the top and then lifting the lid so that you have no light to work in the tank and you are blinded when you do open the top. I began work on refinishing the cabinet and stand.

I had always wanted a Tunze Wavebox so after selling one of my setups I found a great deal here on RC. I wanted my plumbing to be clean and easy to follow, remove for cleaning or maintenance. I wanted to use as much Flex PVC as possible for plumbing as well.

I began looking for equipment on local reef club sites and RC.

Here is the listing of my equipment:

The stand was a very unpleasing orange color (sort of an ugly burnt orange - sorry that is the Sooner in me). I have redone the stand and canopy in a golden oak (will post pictures soon but camera battery is dead). I have been buying lots of equipment. Here is the plan:

Lighting:
(2) Reefoptix III Pendant with Sunlight Supply Dual 250 Watt Ballast (Ebay a while back)
(1) 250 Watt AquaMedic Oceanlight Pendant (Ebay recently)

Bubs:
(3) Phoenix 14K 250 Watt Bulb (Ebay)

Circulation:
(1) Tunze Wavebox (RC)
(1) Tunze 6080 (Aquatek)
(1) Koralia #4 (The Dr's)
(1) Koralia #2 (The Dr's)



Return Pump:
Panworld ()

Sump:
Custom made by local reefers
(3) Sections - Skimmer Chamber, Frag Grow Out (Light will be 150 Watt MH Pendant), and Return with probe holders, and top off holder



Protein Skimmer:
Euroreef 180 with Sedra 9000 (Kingfish) with Gate Valve Mod

Plumbing:
(2) 1" Drains
(2) 3/4" Returns with dual Loc-Line outlets
(2) CJ Standpipes
Mostly using SpaFlex for plumbing

TopOff:
JBJ Auto TopOff with MaxiJet 600 (Bracket holder built into Sump)

Controller:
Neptune Aquacontroller Jr. with Serial Port, Temp Probe, PH Probe, and DC 8 Module (The Geeks)

Heating:
(2) Ebo Jaeger TS Heaters 250 Watts

Cooling:
(2) IceCap Fans controlled by Aquacontroller JR

Cryptic Refugium:
20 Gallon Tall Tank with two 1/2" drains into sump.

Screen Cover:

White Window Frame (HD) with 1/4" white nylon mesh netting (from the Big Reef Site) to keep those expensive but jumpy fish in (will be in (3) 2' X 2' sections for easy removal).

Some pics:



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  #4  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:29 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Stand and Canopy

Well, I had measured for my custom sump and like a moron, forgot to take into account getting it in. The sump fit but wouldn't slide into the stand with the center brace. Fortunately, a man in my church is an amazing woodworker and made me a removable end panel (I know what a dork). He then added some bracing to that end for support.

Here are shots of my stand and canopy after refinishing. I painted the inside of both with Kilz and used a Golden Oak stain. It looks much better than the orange color it had before:









I added some cool starfish knobs:



I started adding RO/DI water and was getting very excited.

Lee
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  #5  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:36 PM
reefergeorge reefergeorge is offline
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Look like a great start. Good find on the tank.
  #6  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:46 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Plumbing

I was more than ready to get started plumbing as the stand and canopy took a while (lots of sanding in all those cracks and crevices)!! My finger were raw and I was ready to deal with some water for a change.

I set myself up a gluing area.



The cryptic fuge is fed by a "T" from the left drain. It then has (2) gravity fed 1/2" durso drains with an inner elbow turned sideways to drain off the top in the fuge. These feed directly in the sump.



Shot of Left Side Drain and Return with "T" for Fuge:



Right drain and return:


I used lots of unions to make disconnecting easy no matter what need to be taken apart. I had used slip bulkheads before and glued pipe in. After taking down my 75 gallon I vowed to NEVER do that again!



I had bought a used Iwaki off of RC and after plumbing everything tried to fire it up. NOTHING! I was very bummed as I was having a Christmas open house in two days and wanted the tank up and going. I couldn't believe it but a LFS had a Panworld 150PS and because it was an emergency they gave me online pricing!!

Here is a pic of the new Panworld:



In the pics you can see my poor boy's Skimmer Waste Collector for now! ; )
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  #7  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:49 PM
bkelley02 bkelley02 is offline
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Definate improvement with the new choice of color for the stand. Star fish knobs are great!
  #8  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:56 PM
Jeremy Blaze Jeremy Blaze is offline
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Looking good!

What are the demensions of the tank? 72"x24"x30"?
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  #9  
Old 01/01/2008, 01:58 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Location: Georgetown, TX
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Cryptic Fuge

After having read the RDSB thread and threads on Cryptic Fuges I was intrigued. I have done the whole Chaeto lit refugium and frankly just hate the harvesting, etc. I am not about to argue how effective a Cryptic Fuge is or is not, but I love the thought of one.

Here is the eggcrate support for the live rock.



You can see one of the residents, a black brittle star to eat detritus. There is also a blue Coral Banded Shrimp so that I might at least have a chance of seeing him in there versus the display!


Circulation is provided by a Tunze 6025 to keep detritus from settling on the sand bed. Here are shots of the fuge (in some you can see the sandstorm from when I added sand to the tank):

I had also not yet added the live rock support:




Drains (notice the difference in the top of the water before and after I rotated the drains sideways):





Close up of "T" from Drain.

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  #10  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:03 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Bkelleyo2 - Thanks, I was actually very proud of how it turned it since I am not a natural handyman. Lots of hours and trips to HD to get it looking like that!!

Jeremy Blaze - Yea, tank is that on a dime!! Not nearly as long as your tank!!

Thanks for nice comments guys!
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  #11  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:06 PM
Kannin Kannin is offline
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Very nice. I like your sump.
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  #12  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:14 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Canopy

Alright, well I have already mentioned what I hate about canopies and that is trying to mount halide pendants without being blinded and having some light shining down in the tank when you are working with the canopy open.

So, I began trying to figure out how to mount my pendants so they would "rotate" and always be pointing down. This is the ONLY original idea I had related to the tank and I must admit I am pretty stoked by how it turned it. Now, don't get me wrong, it took MANY trips to various supply stores and several "redreaming" to get it right. But, once I got it built, it worked perfectly.

I ended up using (4) brackets for farm fencing, (4) carbine clips, a 6' piece of 3/4" square aluminum tubing, and (4) 7/16 cotter pins.

I painted the tubing with the black paint used for appliances. I drilled holes to hold (4) Current USA Lunar Lights (blue) but these will be replaced by the Neptune Lunar Simulator LED's when I can afford it.

Here are various pictures of how it turned out. I also got (2) gas springs off of Ebay to help hold the canopy open.







Canopy with fans mounted and brackets screwed down:





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  #13  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:15 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Canopy cont.

Close up of Carbine Clip and light rack:




Close up of Fan mounted:


It worked!!!







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  #14  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:27 PM
chem-e chem-e is offline
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That's a great idea with the lighting setup. Very creative work there.
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  #15  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:28 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Location: Georgetown, TX
Posts: 271
Live Rock Pillars

Well, I have always had that "rock wall along the back look" despite my best efforts. I vowed to not let that happen. I read many posts about pillars here and elsewhere. I went to my local acrylic shop and bought 3/8" acrylic rod and sheet. I went to HD and bought a long 3/8" masonry bit. Later I realized the store had given me 1/2" rod so I exchanged the bit and went with the thicker rod. I am glad I did.

I bought three large pieces of live rock. While in San Antonio one day I bought two Fiji pieces with lots of holes and great bottom level rocks since they were over 20lbs each. While in a store in Austin they had a nice 20lb piece that would make a great shelf. It had been base rock but had been in someone's tank for years so was basically live rock. I got it for $1.99 lb and the other two pieces for $3.25 a lb since he was moving out of his store to his home!! I already had a lot of live rock and some was cooking in storage and some was in another tank with my existing corals and livestock.

So, I screwed up and put my sand in before my rock (another dumb move) and was ready to drill my rock. Now some already zoa's etc on it and I didn't have the luxury of taking forever.

I began drilling rock and it was MUCH easier than I expected. I did get lazy and didn't dry my hands well enough. While making the second pillar some water dripped into the back of my drill and shocked the crap out of me (my cordless wasn't powerful enough). I tasted metallic for two hours and two figures hurt at the end. After a healthy butt chewing from my wife I took much better precautions.

Here are pics of the acrylic supports and final pillars. I cut some pieces of 1/2" rod with a saw at various lengths and angles to help "bite" into the bottom rock to hold in place.:





Left Pillar (the very top of the rock sticks out of water bit - very cool)



Center Pillars:









Right Pillar:



If you look closely you can see the rod in places, but hopefully over time will be covered by corals and coralline algae!

Obviously, I could never have stacked the rock to achieve this nice open look. I wanted two taller pillars on the end and lower pillars in the middle with the one shelf. I highly recommend this technique but put rock and pillars in BEFORE sand. Oh, sand bed is shallow as I am not a fan of BB, just personal preference.
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  #16  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:29 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Chem-e - Thank you very much. You can't imagine how many "brackets" and bolts that I returned to HD that I didn't use!!

Lee
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  #17  
Old 01/01/2008, 02:59 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Misc. Equipment and Wiring

Well, since I wanted to make this take as enjoyable as possible on a budget, I wanted to use an existing JBJ ATO for topoff and a bought an AC JR to control other items. I compared the JR to the AC III and just didn't see myself needing the much more expensive III for what I planned to do. So, I noticed the geeks were having a sale on the Neptune products and ordered an AC JR with serial port, DC8, temperature and PH probes. I have to say I love the JR. I haven't even hooked up to a computer yet, but will in the near future.

I also wanted to have as much of my electrical wiring and products out of the stand as possible. So back to HD it was and I bought a bathroom cabinet, a counter top and went to work on fixing the electrical.

I also bought (2) American DJ Power Centers off of Ebay to control those items that don't need to be run through the AC Jr.

Here are my pics.

Mounted the AC JR. on the side of the tank with velcro (An extremely generous local reefer gave me the Tiger Shark float to clean the tank's glass!):


Shot of the cabinet and top to hold electrical:


I mounted a thermometer to give me outside temperature and room temperature to track tank temperature fluctuations to better control AC/Heat because I don't want to have to get a chiller. Tank stays between 79 and 81 degrees which is where I like.



Shot of DJ's only using one at the moment:


29 Gallon Freshwater top off storage (painted sides black to help avoid algae growth from windows - I will make an acrylic top to block lit from top as well.) A MaxiJet 1200 pumps the freshwater to the sump.



A man in my church who works at HD ran a 20 amp circuit and a 30 amp GFCI circuit for me for the tank. I don't have to worry about overloading a circuit on the existing system!!

Shot of a LOT of wiring:


Tried to make everything flow as well as possible given I don't have a lot of room behind the tank.

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  #18  
Old 01/01/2008, 03:05 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Some full tank shots

Given the room in which the tank is located, it is very hard to get a FTS from directlly in front but here are some various shots:











Views down the back of tank:


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  #19  
Old 01/01/2008, 03:31 PM
smmscott smmscott is offline
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Very nice looking. What does the plaque say?
  #20  
Old 01/01/2008, 03:35 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Livestock - Fish

Well, all liverock had been in my system or someone else's for months or years. The only new addition was sand so I expected a bit of a diatom and then some algae. Well, one day when returning home from Christmas vacation the Topoff pump stopped working so when I got home (someone was checking on tank nad the previous night it was fine) the algae had taken off and the pump was almost running dry. I topoffed quickly and began to do a 25 gallon water change. Within two days the algae has receded significantly and the diatoms are gone. Glad we came home when we did!! I added a new MaxiJet 1200 to the ATO and everything is good.

So almost all corals I already had (except Green Slimer) and the rest of the livestock was already existing but added a few new items in past few days.

Fish I had but did not keep included all my scorpion/leaf fish, an ORA Neon Psuedochromis (wasn't really that aggressive but I didn't want to chance it - huge!!), and a Blue Devil (Have to guess why?).


A lot of the water also came from the tanks that was holding my liverock and livestock as well so it wasn't really a new tank start.

Here are some of my livestock and I haven't played with white balance on my digital camera so the quality is lacking right now:

Current Fish List:

Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens) - Had for one year and very fat and healthy!



Leopard Wrasse (Macropharyngodon meleagris) - stayed hidden for a week but eating like a pig and doing very well (believe this is a female is that correct?)



There are some red planaria (flatworms) but not too worried as they are in a couple of areas of low flow. I don't want to do any chemical treatments so I suck some out at the water changes and will be getting some Haliocheres later on that should help with them as well.





Couple of my newer fish:

Vlamingii Unicornfish (Naso vlamingi) - How cute is this dude, will enjoy until time to go to a HUGE tank. About 2" long and nobody has intimidated him at all.





Pink--tailed Trigger (Does it get any cuter than this? He is waiting for the Peppermint Shrimp to come do his thing.)





Hi-Fin Shrimp Goby (Stonogobiops nematodes) - No photos yet, just got the other day and still hiding under the Favia.

Next are inverts (some of my favorite!)
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  #21  
Old 01/01/2008, 03:44 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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smmschott - I had told my wife for the last ten years if I ever had a big tank I wanted a plaque on the tank of Genesis 1:21 which says, "So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds . . . And God saw that it was good.

She had the plaque made for me for Christmas. Flash killed me on trying to get a good picture the other day:



If anyone is offended, I apologize in advance. I only posted after asked. I am here to share my reefkeeping enthusiasm, not my pastoring or beliefs!! ; )
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  #22  
Old 01/01/2008, 04:01 PM
oceancube78 oceancube78 is offline
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wow very nice setup, now post a pic of my carpet anemone you got from me...
  #23  
Old 01/01/2008, 04:07 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Stay tuned, that is coming!! He is doing well.

Lee
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  #24  
Old 01/01/2008, 04:42 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Livestock - Inverts

I LOVE inverts and one of the biggest difficulties for me are loving some fish that will probably eat shrimp. If they are pretty likely to do so they won't be bought because I love inverts! I love the hermits, the porcelin crabs,

CBS:





Black Sand Sifting Cuke:



Halloween Hermit Crab (Hawaiian) - been nothing but a model citizen! These guys only use Cone Shells.



Here is a photo of him from a different setup:



Blue-Banded Hermit (This is not a great photo but a Peanut Worm was living on the shell unfortunately he just swapped shells the other day but the worm is alive and well on the shell.)



Here is a shot of the shell where you can see the worm:



Here is my new Green Carpet Anemone (not the best pics but at least get a feel for what it looks like). Just got it yesterday so he is still getting settled in and not fully expanded.



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  #25  
Old 01/01/2008, 04:53 PM
lhoy lhoy is offline
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Livestock - Corals

Love my lobo!! This is a unique color combination:



This Cynarina was a steal at $60!!



Zoa's and Poly's:










Diploastrea:



Green Slimer Acro:



ORA Dustin's Deepwater Acro:

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