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Old 01-02-2011, 10:49 AM   #1
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Patrick's 55-Gal Reef Build

I had my tank set up in my living room so I could get a feel of the positioning before I started the tank, and while I saved money. With my birthday money I decided to just shop around at some LFS, but with no intentions of purchasing anything on a whim. Anyway, long story short, I left with 50lb-bag of salt, hydrometer, ~27lbs of Fiji LR, 40lbs of Caribbean LS, and 20lbs Aragonite sand... all of this without a drop of water in my tank .

Immediately I rushed home, hooked up my Python and started the fill.
(Nov 30, 2010)



Meanwhile, I rinsed the dry sand and added the salt so the Python could mix it all together.
(Nov 30, 2010)




Finally, after checking the salinity, I put the LR into the tank, before anything had a chance to settle (this was about 2 hours after the LR was taken from the LFS tank). Pictures with lights off/on.
(Nov 30, 2010)





After almost 2 weeks, the parameters checked out and I started noticing hitchikers (so fascinating when seeing life appear!)
(Dec 11, 2010)



Here are some pictures of the Fiji LR (~15; 7 pounds respectively... ~5lb rock not shown because of picture limit and not as appealing)
(Dec 11, 2010)

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Old 01-02-2011, 11:32 AM   #2
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What are you plans for this tank?
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:35 AM   #3
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I'm going to start with a fish or two after the parameters settle while I save up for a 6 Lamp Current Nova Extreme. Then I'll add a few inverts and LPS corals over several months.

In the end I'd like to have a full reef setup with SPS corals and stronger current up top, and have LPS corals deeper in the tank, all of this with a CUC, 2 clowns, 1 goby, and possibly 1 more fish.
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Old 01-03-2011, 02:32 AM   #4
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So far so good. Keep it up. And more pics!
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:28 AM   #5
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Here's a tip:

Anyone who plans on using sand/crushed coral as their substrate... put in the eggcrate first! I'm learning the hard way.


(Dec 29, 2010)



Also, the LR on the left side of the tank I bought off craigslist for $35! Way cheaper than my LFS... and look at the size!

(Dec 29, 2010)
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Old 01-03-2011, 05:45 AM   #6
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I had been looking at LR on LiveAquaria.com for a while and decided to get a 30lb box of Vanuatu and a 30lb box of Fancy Fused. I ordered the shipment at about 5:30am on Dec 28 and paid for FedEx 2-Day Air so I could spend my "Saturday" (Dec 29) prepping my tanks for the LR arrival.

So I'm tracking my shipment and it shows that it's on the truck for delivery at 7:47am on the 29th... a whole day earlier than expected! Considering this was my Christmas present to myself, I felt that THIS was Christmas morning.

Sure enough, at about 11:45am, I hear the truck and get both boxes of LR!

(Dec 29, 2010)
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Old 01-03-2011, 06:45 AM   #7
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Fancy Fused on the left and Vanuatu on the right (I'll take better pictures after the rocks are cured)

(Dec 29, 2010)


This dead oyster smelled horrendous! Nice piece of rock though.



Here's a really cool piece of brain coral, it's about the size of my hand.
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Old 01-03-2011, 10:49 AM   #8
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patrick, you didn't need to put eggcrate under your sand bed. i don't know why people make suggestions like that. the sand itself will stop a falling rock from breaking the glass.
i would take a coarse brush and try to get as much of that debris off of that rock before putting it in the tank, or at the end of the cycle, all of that stuff is going to be all over your sand bed, not to mention, the cycle is going to be long.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:18 PM   #9
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Well the only reason I want the eggcrate is because when I was moving the rocks around to scrub them they kept hitting the bottom, and I felt any contact would be disaster. I'm going to add another 40lbs of LS for my own piece of mind. How deep of a bed would I need to keep the eggcrate obsolete?

I keep forgetting to pick up a good pot-scrubber brush, but when I do, I will give them a good rubdown a few times to make sure all those algae hairs are gone.
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Old 01-03-2011, 01:45 PM   #10
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Fancy fused??? The names they have. Looks like tonga branch to me.
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