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Kaos

A New, More Enlightened Aquarium from the Greater Seattle Area

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Hello, all! I'm posting my answers to the 'win some corals' questions, and they're some pretty good introduction questions.

'Enlightened' refers to my new system, as compared to what I've done before. I'm here because of a new system I'm building. Most of you probably have similar systems, but it's all new to me; I've always gone very simple. It's my first sump, my first refugium and the first time I've ever built anything like an aquarium stand. I'll throw in some pictures at the end!

Pnwmas New Members Introduction Questions

How did you hear about Pnwmas?
Someone posted about this Corals drawing on one of the reef pages I follow on Facebook.

How long have you been in the hobby?
Reefing, about five years. Aquariums in general, maybe eightish years.

Who inspired you start up a tank?
A beautiful frog happened into my home one day, and I decided to make him a terrarium/aquarium combination tank - I'd never done either before but had always wanted to try an aquarium. It actually worked out really well, he had this whole habitat on floating platforms above a 55 gallon aquarium with lots of fish, but frogs are very messy creatures and the thing was a nightmare to keep clean. Eventually I converted the tank into a dedicated aquarium and build him a separate terrarium, but I have had at least one aquarium at any given time ever since.

What size aquarium or aquariums do you have?
I have a 15 gallon tall planted aquarium, and had a 36 gallon reef aquarium until recently. I've broken that down and I'm currently working on my first system with a sump. It'll be attached to a 45 bowfront. I've built the stand and entire system - my first such project - and it's very close to being ready to add water.

What livestock do you have?
My planted tank is home to a betta, some tetras and rasboras, a whiptail catfish and various shrimp and snails. 
From my reef tank, all I have left is a long-spine urchin, who is currently waiting in a temporary setup for his new home. He's massive and ornery and I'm not looking forward to moving him again! I'm excited to grow copepods in my sump so that I can get a Mandarin goby, among other things.

What is your dream fish?
Aforementioned Mandarin goby. It's half the reason I'm building a new system.

What is your dream coral?
I'm not sure I have a dream coral. I would say instead that my dream is to find a combination of beautiful corals that thrive well together, that I can enjoy as a healthy miniature reef.

Anything else you would like to add?
This latest project has gotten me far more involved than I've ever been in the hobby, and I've lurked many forums for information. I truly appreciate all the active posters out there, anyone who's posted a question or an answer. These forums and all the active members willing to share their successes are what keep this hobby going.

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Edited by Kaos
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Welcome!  Nice work on the stand - not a simple thing to make with the curved front... will be curious to see how the doors turned out.  Good luck getting it wet and cycling.  Hope you post some updates as you get things going.

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My first tank was “pre-enlightenment” as well. More of a Dark Ages style tank that ended with a nasty Spanish Inquisition type situation. 

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Welcome! Good to have you on board! I will put you in the new member drawing for the end of the month.

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Thanks, everyone! I'm also curious how the doors will turn out! Eh, I have most of a plan.

I will definitely add more live rock before it's all done!

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It's complete! Well, except for the door and siding. I'll finish that this week. But, I've brought in the sand and bioblocks from my last aquarium, and the longspine urchin and a piece of coral (it's not doing so hot, hopefully it'll do better in the new system). I've gotten a couple of clownfish and a firefish, and it's looking great! I'll probably leave the door off for a while to keep an eye on the sump until I trust how everything's running a bit more.

It's a Fluval 45 gallon bowfront with an IceCap Gyre 1K wavemaker. The tank is drilled for an X-Aqua low-profile overflow. Knowing what I know now, I could have achieved similar plumbing without buying the X-Aqua, but I'm committed now! It drains into a 20-long converted into a sump, where it hits a Bubble Magus Curve 5 Skimmer, then a refugium with a whole bunch of bioblock and (eventually) chaeto, and get's back into the tank via a Jebao DCS3000 845 GPH Return pump. This is definitely too powerful, even on its lowest setting, but I have it bleeding back into the return pump chamber because there was a lot of stagnant water in there - eventually it may hook into a reactor of some kind. The chamber includes an optical sensor to prevent an overflow of the of the sump. The system is heated with two Fluval 200W heaters hooked into an Inkbird controller.

I hope this runs as well as I think it will!

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On 11/6/2019 at 9:53 AM, albertareef said:

Welcome!  Nice work on the stand - not a simple thing to make with the curved front... will be curious to see how the doors turned out.  Good luck getting it wet and cycling.  Hope you post some updates as you get things going.

Got the door! It's needs some stain, attachments and maybe decoration, but it turned out pretty well! Going to finish it after Thanksgiving.

Nitrates dropped from 40ppm to about 2 since I added Chaeto, and the urchin is pulling calcium like mad (I assume it's the urchin). He lost most of his spines in the temporary setup, but is fortunately now growing them back. In case anyone's curious, an urchin that flings itself when removed from water is best removed with a ladle!

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