Figured I would start a build thread.
In this thread I am going to share with everyone my full journey of what has brought me to this point. I got into the hobby years ago and started a 75g planted tank at first I was just going to do a few plants but then got intrerested in it and did high tech planted tank. I loved that tank however as my knowledge in it grew I natrually found myself intrested in saltwater. I got into the salt water hobby and really loved it. I had plenty of free time on my hands because I was going to school full time and working part time. I enjoyed the break from things by testing my water doing water changes and growing frags. I then graduated college, got married and bought my first home. when moving in my wife and I talked about upgrading my 75g into a larger reef tank. I wanted to do a 36x36x24 cube hover with the cost of the custom tank I decided to do a 220g tank.
The tank was great and I loved it. I had tons of corals great fish and it was what I always pictured in my mind of what I wanted a reef tank to be. The struggles I ran into however caused the once dream into a nightmare. After about 6-8 months doser killed almost all my coral when they got stock on and dumped a full container of calcium and magnesium into the tank. I lost almost everything. thousands of dollars worth of coral gone all because one thing failed. So I picked myself up and implemented a bunch of redundant safety measures such as PH monitors and back up heaters and a controller to monitors the water temp. This worked however I wasnt ever confident enough to start poring my money into coral again. so I decided I would grow out my own frags that way it was cheaper and I didnt mind waiting for the results this time around.
I then set up a 30g rimless cube that was plumbed into the 220g so that I had the water volume and I could grow the frags out in a safe environment without large fish knocking them over. I did this for a few months and then the brace on my year and a half old tank broke and I had to file a warrenty. Dealing with the manufacture was a nightmare. The tank was drained and I had to wait for 2 months to get my new tank because of fighting with them for 3 weeks about replacing it then them "forgetting" to ship it every week for the next 5 weeks. I finally get it and by this time I had lost almost all my coral again and many fish.
I set it back up and started at it again but I just found that with a full time job, being married, traveling, and going out to have fun with our friends just didnt leave me enough time to really focus on keeping up with the maitence a saltwater tank needs. I could have a decent tank and just keep some easy corals and not have to worry much about it but thats just not the way I am. I want it to be amazing or I dont even care for it.
The other week my wife said to me when I was venting about my frustration with my tank why not go back to freshwater. I thought well maybe I could do this. and she told me how much she loved my planted tank so I thought maybe I could do that. Then I realized theres no way I can do a 220g as a planted tank because I cant even reach the bottom of it in the front and no place near the back of it. And keeping up with the trimming of a 220g tank isnt something I have time for probably.
I started thinking what could I do then it hit me. What if I did a South American Biotope with some cool big fish and then do my 30g cube as a planted tank with a pair of german blue rams and a group of cardinal tetras. I loved the idea and so that is what I will do.
Here are some pictures of the tanks along the way.
Here is my original planted tank 75g
This is my reef tank in what I think was its best point.
30g Cube I set up that is connected to the 220g, It will stay that way.
220g when I was rebuilding it after replacing the broken one
Now lets go to the plans for the new tank.
220g SA Biotope
Tank will be have drift wood and sand with a few larger plants to give it some color such as Amazon swords but everything in the tank other then the wood will be native to SA
Fish List So Far:
1x Silver Arowana
6x Geophagus Altifrons
5x Silver Dollars (maybe still researching)
4x Electric Blue Acara
1x Royal Pleco
30g Rimeless Cube
For this tank I am going to do the whole super clean planted tank with a solid hardscape with elephant skin rock and spider web driftwood.
2x German Blue Ram Pair
8x Cardinal Tetras
1x Pleco unsure on what kind something small but with color/design
This should be a fun road and I think it will get me by for the next few years until I get sick of it and go back to saltwater.