The 6 foot Shallow Reef project

I absolutely love my fusion 30L reef, however it has quickly become packed due to my slight coral addiction…    Now i could just sell some frags but thats just not as fun.. so what to do?

Current Tank:

fusion30l
Well im in the process of planning a 6′ long shallow reef.  The tank will work out to 90-110 ish Gallons.  IM looking at 5.5-6′  x 18″ x 18″.      Still lots to plan and figure out but I will update this as i go and plan.

My new concept tank (so far)

 

customtank1

The lights will hopefully be 3x Ecotech XR15 Pros. (as i already have 2 and would just need 1 more)

I’m hoping to have an L shape bar to mount it all.  Im still trying to work out the pipe size to support the weight and prevent sag. I belive 1″ aluminum bar would work..however i may need to add a little support bar at the 90 degree corner.

The overflow will be at one far end as this will be a peninsula style tank.  For now it will be against a wall but later on I may move it upstairs to replace the banister at the top of the stairs so im trying to design the tank to work in both places. (planning for the future)

 

customtank2

 

The back section will be a removable U shaped black plastic or glass to hide allthe over flow and still allow easy access.

customtank3

 

Bean style overflow

sump-v3 overflow-area

I will likely have a Mp40 on the side wall for flow (and probably an MP10 since i already have one!

 

For the overflow im debating between just adding one onto the tank when its built or going with the synergy.  The synergy overflow looks very sleek.. The only possible issue is the overflow is 16″ wide leaving 2″ ish inside on the edges with likely isnt enough space for the bulkhead for the return line.. I may need to but the width up to 20″ or just get an overflow made with the tank..

 

synergy1synergy2

synergy3

 

 

For the return pump im going to use one of the new Ecotech Vectra

vectra

Update:  With the bean Animal overflow you want a constant flow rate… so as lovely a vectra is I would not be able to take advantage of most of the features.. I will likely go with a Jabeo DC pump for now.

 

Potential Sump design (many revisions later)
sump-v3

 

 

On Boxing Day I ordered 80lbs of marco premium key largo rock. after many revisions of the aquascape i think i have the first structure for the most part worked out

 

 

Something amazing finally happened… My tank has arrived!!!!!!!!!!

 Take me To Part two!!!!!

DIY Arduino Apex aquarium controller

currently i’m working on building a wifi controllable/programmable sprinkler controller… and started thinking why not turn this into a tank controller! Once this project is done ill likely start my own version of a  reef controller. I’m on the fence on using arduino or raspberryPi.. but im sure it will be one of the two..

Arduino is alot easier to interface with sensors .. and raspberryPi is easier to work with wifi/webpages to interface it.. so its a trade off. (or maybe use both?!)

Stay tuned for more awesome projects and check out the quick demo below.

 

 

Update dec 2 2015

So I found an excellent project based fully with arduino by doughboy. rather than reinventing the wheel i will be using his project as a bse to build off of.. the origional project can be found here.
I started building my arduino based controller from the same project.
So far it runs tiny web server for the web interface. Logs sensor data to an SD card

Controls an 8 channel relay board

Displays info on a LCD screen

Uses a SR04 sonar sensor for ATO water level.

Next will be adding. Temp sensor

 

 

Dec 2nd!  More progress

Today I hacked a cheap auto-feeder and integrated it with the Arduino… I now have own DIY Apex feeder for only $15 🙂

I also got the temperature sensors installed and logging! wooo 🙂

 

Radion Schedule

As you may know from my recent tank update, I now have 2 ecotech Radion XR15w Pros on my tank. I have had a number of requests for my lighting schedule so figured why not make a new post about it!

It can be a daunting task to know what to set your light at… to low and you are not getting the benefits.. to high and you risk bleaching your corals.

On my shallow reef (13″ deep) I set the radion to a max % of 45%. I also set a 4 week acclimation period which also starts at 50% (of my overall 45% intensity) this will ease corals into the new light. I had a 120w led fixutre over the tank previously so this likely isnt required in my case, however after spending a small fortune in corals i would rather be safe than sorry.

If you love the look of my tank, click here to download my Radion Schedule
You will have to unzip the file and import via ecotechsmart in the Right “schedule options”

ecotech_radion

IM Fusion 30L – 9 week update

This week i decided to make a video update for the tank log. In the past few weeks i have made a few big upgrades to the tank. I recently added a MP10QD, 2 Ecotech Radion XR15W Pro’s and a reef link. In addition to the hardware goods i have acquired 2 new chalices, pink birds nest, 3 sexy shrimp and a beautiful ruby red dragnet. I have noticed my hot pink bowerbanki turning more red with pink/light orangy highlights which leads me to believe it was bleached when i go tit an is obtaining its original colors. I have also had some good zoanthid growth with new heads popping up around the tank. Sit back, crack a cold one.. and enjoy 🙂

Curios how it all started? Check out the start of the Innovative Marine Fusion 30L tank log

 

Want the newst update?  Check out the 5 Month reef update!

MP10 VS RW-4 comparison

Ecotech MP10’s and Jabeo RW-4’s are both great pumps and both have their pro’s and cons.  The Jabeo RW-4 is very tiny compared to most powerheads and packs a big punch.  The entire powerhead resides in tank.  The controller has many options including wave modes, Else mode (random) and can wirless sync with another pump.  you can control the time of the wave and the strength of the pulse.  The only down full with the controller is it does not let you set a maximum level for else mode.

The MP10 uses magnets to spin the propeller and therefor the motor is outside the tank.  Overall the unit is bigger than the RW-4, but the portion in tank is much smaller. The MP10 only points straight out where the rw-4 can be adjusted and pointed anywhere you like. One of my favorite modes is reef crest which is essentially equivalent to the RW-4 else mode with the added bonus of letting you set the maximum output.

If you plan on pointing the RW-4 at the front glass rather than across the the tank, then row’s profile is much similar in size to the mp10s head.

 

Now which one should you get? well that dends on how high rolling you feel, the mp10 costs about 3 times more than the RW-4.

 

If you spend an extra $100 you can get a reeflink which is web interface/communication box to program your MP10 to do what ever modes when ever you want.  Now its defiantly a nice toy if you have money to burn and too lazy to turn the dial one in a while.(keep in mind this only works with the MP10W versions).  RF chips can be purchased after the fact if you ever decide to upgrade to the wireless version.

 

EcoTech MP10 Pros
– Takes up minimal tank space
– no wires insdie the tank
– tons of controllability
– pushes a ton of water for its size
– you can purchase the wireless RF module after if you want to upgrade to reeflink

 

EcoTech MP10 cons
– ES models can be a little loud
– Motor sticking out of the side of the tank may look funny to some
– expensive
– you cant point the power head – only straight away form the glass
– wireless version of the controller costs extra

 

Jabeo RW-4 Pros
– Cheap
– lots of features for its price
– budget version of a mp10
– Can wirelessly link 2 units.
– Output can pivot and point to where you want it.
– audiable but pretty quiet

Jabeo RW-4 cons
– Else mode doesn’t let you set a max output
– extra wire in the tank

 

rw4-sideways vs mp10

mp10 vs rw-4 size comparion

rw-4 controller vs ecotech

I should be receiving a MP10QD in a week or two which is octets new quiet drive version. Ill post more pics and comparisons once i receive it!

UV Coral glow

One of my favorite times to view tank is at night when the whites fade down and the blue/UV lights are on.  The corals have an amazing florescent glow and become extremely vibrant (who called for the black light party?!). I absolutely love it!  One of these days I will have to go on a UV night dive.

There are a few theories of why corals glow under UV, the first being a layer that act as a sunblock protecting the zooxanthalle within the coral.  The other theory is that the colors are used the ward off predators (after all most vibrant colored animals are poisonous right?)  Either way it makes for an amazing aquatic display!.

 

Here is a quick cell phone video of my Nuvo 30L tank under the blue lights.

 

 

Diving in the Galapagos Islands

If you are into saltwater aquariums then there is a good chance you are into scuba diving and exploring that giant tank mother earth seems to house. For those of you who don’t know, the Galapagos is one of the most diverse places for wildlife in the world. Almost every species on the island has evolved to fit the islands and exist no where else in the world. This is where Charles Darwin’s theory of evaluation was born.

 

This spring i was lucky enough to go to Ecuador and visit the Galapagos islands and do two amazing dives.   I finally got around to editing a short video of some clips from our trip.  We saw countless fish, moray and garden eels, sting rays, eagle rays, white tip, back tip and hammer head sharks, sea turtles and so much more.  I even snuck in a shark selfie!

I hope you enjoy the video of my little excursion!

 

Innovative marine fusion 30l build – Part 1

after weeks of waiting my IM fusion 30l has finally arrived.  This tank is a warranty replant to my nuvo24 which sadly cracked around the bent glass corner. As traumatic of an experience as that was I’m happy to have the new tank

The 30l is a very sleak looking all in one. The glass is Much thicker than the nuvo24 and is is very high in clarity (low iron). I splurged for the stand as well which wasn’t cheap.. But matches the tank perfectly.
Loading up the goods!


 The stand in its freshly unboxed state. Every panels is a thick what looks to be MDF covered In veneer
Mid way through the stand busing I decided to leak test the tank.. All was well except a small leak from the bottom of the second baffle to the center on One side.. It was a small leak relative to the 99% that would spill over the top..so I choose to ignore it and continue my build

Well deciding to be proper and do things right I swapped out the power receptacle for a GFCI


And level the stand. Luckily it was perfect right off the bat!

Once the stand was build I wanted to have an easy power center to turn things on and off and prevent trying to find pump or heater cords during a water change. I settled on a DJ light controller.. Unfortunately it was a little to wide and nasty to cut!! The hacksaw barely put a dent in it… I Ended up resorting to a circular saw with a metal grinding blade to get the jon done


  Next I needed to make a groove for the cabinet latch to slide it in


This take is in my living room and mode of a show piece… I wanted it pretty inside and out so I added a wall board to mount my controllers and hide the wires, plugs and UPS.


The end result worked out great!

And I do say this is one of the cleanest my reef supplies have been in ages. My next few projects will be a dosing pump stand and an acrylic dosing reservoir

Next steps will be building a doser stand and an acrylic dosing container

With the stand level and my master power center setup it was time to start transferring the goods the temporary tank to their new home.


Let’s just say the rock was cooperating and I was up until 2am arranging it until I found something I liked.

I still need to place all the sand bed corals, slowly but surely.


For filtration I’m using chemo pure blue, stock return pump connected to 2x soon steams.

Tomorrow I’m going to try connecting 1 pump to each nozzle to double the flow. The mail man is slated to bring me gifts of ball vaves so I can dial it down a tad 🙂

 

Click here to go to Part 2!

Finnex Planed+ 24/7 unboxing and review

My Finnex Planed+ 24/7 just showed up in the mail so i figured i would do a quick unboxing and review. The light it self is very astetically pleasting. Is very thing and has a low profile. the cord is much longer on this model compared to previous finnex lights i have owned. The light has 2 outer strips of 7000k white leds with a row of RGB leds down the center. The remote lets you adjust the intensity of the white/red/green/blue.. which is nice to fine to to your desired hue.

The light has a IR sensor wire out the side of the light with seems to be a bit of a waste and takes away from the sleekness of the light. i would have preferred to have it built into the light or atleast to have the wires on the same side as the power wire rather than having to run wires on both sides of the light.


    

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