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Old 12-04-2011, 03:27 PM   #1
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Finally - 40 Breeder Reef Journal/Build Thread

After saying I wanted a reef tank for about a year now, I've finally decided to go with it. I started planning it in my head about 6 months ago. Originally, I was going to set one up a few months back... but I went through a rough spell where me and the hobby weren't getting along all that great. That's behind me now, and I am 100% dedicated to this thing. I started a 'planning' thread recently, where I discussed the future of this tank. Now that I'm well on my way, I'll be documenting the build here. For reference the 'planning' thread can be found here - Planning a Reef

With that said, here's what I have, and what I still have to get.

-40 breeder tank and stand

-15 gallon sump - I also have supplies to make a 20 long sump down the road. I'll make sure to leave the plumbing with the ability to upgrade to the 20 long sump... or I might get a chance to set up the 20 long before I start the build. Don't know yet.

-2x Tunze 6045 powerheads.

-ATO unit with aqualifter pump

-4x39w T5HO fixture. May add another 2x39w unit later, though the inital plan seems to indicate that 4x is sufficient.

-50lbs base rock - ordered. Not sure if this is enough or not, so we'll just play that out. If not, I can easily order some more.

-40lbs sand - ordered. Again, not sure if it's enough, but we'll see. Easy enough to pick up a 20lb bag if needed. It was free with the rock, so why not?

-100gph 4 stage RO/DI unit - ordered. May upgrade to a better unit down the road, but for all intensive purposes, this should be sufficient.

-700gph Glass-holes overflow - ordered


What I plan to get, but haven't purchased:

-Refractometer
-Salt
-Return Pump (either quiet one or mag drive.... somewhere around 800gph)
-Plumbing supplies (for the overflow)
-Loc-Line (questions about this later in this post)
-Anything else I'm missing?


So, here's the plan. I am initially going to try and lay out a 'cove' look to the tank. The middle should be tallest, yet have more room from the rock to the front of the tank than any other spot. I also plan on having a shaded area underneath, with an almost bridge-like appearance. As it stands right now, I only plan on keeping zoas, maybe some palys, and possibly a duncan or two. I assume I'll probably end up doing the same thing as I did with plants. Initially want one look, then start to warm up to other things. At this point, I don't really like the look of the 'cactus' looking corals, though who knows what the future holds.

I did have some questions about the loc-line. I plan on splitting the return and having the loc-line running to add flow to any areas that may need it. I've looked online and it appears that you have to have special pliars to assemble the loc-line? If so, are there any pre-fabbed kits you can buy that have a split return? I'll be plumbing the return with 1/2" PVC (that I already have) as well as adding a ball valve (which I already have) and drilling a hole somewhere to prevent a siphon in the event of a power outage.

I don't plan on adding corals for the first couple months. While I have a good grasp on how water chemistry works, I want to have some experience with testing, water changes, and just get the tank to a point where I'm comfortable with adding corals. Because of this, I won't be adding a skimmer right away. I also won't be buying my bulbs yet, unless the BRS group discount is pretty good. Eventually, I'll have some chaeto in the refugium as well running on the opposite schedule as the DT.

For now, is there anything obvious that I'm missing? I don't have pictures of anything other than the ~15g sump that I borrowed from the guy I traded with. The tank is the same tank I had planted, and has some nasty brown water in it right now from removing my planted substrate. I plan on documenting the drilling process, provided I have plenty of sedatives (joke btw).

As it stands right now, my initial stocking plan is a pair of clowns (occelaris probably), a firefish, and a dottyback. I'll also be ordering a clean-up crew from one of our sponsors once the tank gets started, cycled, and ready for one. Since I have no desire to seed with LR, that might be a while.

With everything said, I do want to add that I am very excited about getting this set up. It's been a long planning process, and I'm confident that it will be as rewarding as I've hoped. I welcome any advice or constructive criticism.




Here's the sump. It's 24" long, so I may just go ahead with the 20 long to get that extra 6" for a skimmer.

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Old 12-04-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Sweet man. I used locline and didn't use special tools.
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Old 12-04-2011, 07:43 PM   #3
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Oh nice. I've never seen it in person. Does it just snap together or something? I'm thinking I'll just put a 'tee' at the top of the PVC and run the PVC over to each side of the tank, then hook in a piece of loc line.
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Old 12-04-2011, 09:50 PM   #4
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Tagging in to watch this one come together. I've also heard you need pliers for the locline, but I've never actually put any together myself, so can't say for sure. Maybe it depends on the size of the locline?
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Old 12-04-2011, 10:58 PM   #5
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Sounds like my current build. And since nobody seems to wanna chime in on my build, I will definately be following
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Old 12-05-2011, 12:10 AM   #6
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The loc line is so expensive. I have my return plumbed with one Y and then 6 straights to the out put heads ( with narrow mouth). Those 9 pieces were 36 bucks. They just snap together. The tool is suppose to make it easier but I don't see any adult having problems with it.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:18 AM   #7
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Tagging along for the ride !
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Old 12-05-2011, 11:58 AM   #8
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Yea the lockline pieces fit tight but just snap togethet thats what i used with a y and two of the flatter flow cones
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:27 PM   #9
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If you go to grainger.com you can actually get the loc line in a complete kits. I paid 24 bucks for 2 segments of 1/2 inch line 2 pipe adapter and 3 nozzles.
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Old 12-05-2011, 05:41 PM   #10
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I dont know how wise my response is but from my 40 gallon bowfront + 15 gallon sump, I think my reef octopus skimmer is the thing that is saving my tank. Might be the best piece of equipment I have. Even when I don't feed a lot it catches some serious stuff, and days when you feed more its ridiculous how much it takes out. Im pretty sure my corals and hobby would be over if it wasnt for the skimmer. (I also do weekly water changes very regularly)
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