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ScooterTDI

ScooterTDI's 12g Long Peninsula

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I'm in the process of converting my TruAqua 12g long from a freshwater planted tank to a reef. The planted tank was a nice change of pace after maintaining a reef for many years, but reefs keep luring me back. After raising a couple hundred German blue rams and finally selling them off (most were actually donated), I decided to put the proceeds toward the conversion. Hopefully, I'll have enough water made by tonight to get it wet. I'm still waiting on the Icecap k2-50 which I ordered on Black Friday but I'm not totally sure that I'll be able to fit it in the cabinet..
 
Tank: TruAqua 12 gallon long
Stand: Petco metal stand with custom top/cabinet
Light: Current IC Orbit 36"
Return pump: MJ1200 (or maybe quiet one 1200)
Flow: Current eflux 660gph (another maybe added later)
Skimmer: Icecap k2-50 (backordered)
Ato: Icecap ATO
 
Freshwater setup:

IMG 20170311 181714

 
Custom distressed oak top I made from some reclaimed wood:

IMG 20160719 192212

 
Cabinet before finishing:

IMG 20171119 211011

 
Cabinet after finishing:

IMG 20171209 195534

 
Tank & stand with cabinet:

IMG 20180107 230258

 
Inside cabinet (still some cleaning up to do)

IMG 20180107 230335

:
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 

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Fantastic!

 

I'm running a Mr. Aqua 22 Long peninsulla style as well, so I'm looking forward to seeing what you do with this. Nice to see more nanos, and locals.

 

Any stocking plans? The tank looked great as a freshwater planted, eager to see what you turn it into as a saltwater. Stand looks really nice as well. 

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Thanks! I looked through your build and it is pretty similar to what I had in mind for my tank. I just filled it up and it's a little noisier than I had hoped. First, the return pump (mj1200) is emitting a hum that is pretty audible even though the cabinet. It doesn't seem to be vibrating against anything, but it is suction cup mounted to the side. What return pump did you end up using?

 

I am also using the eshopps small overflow. I have it set up as a Herbie, but the water overflowing into the inner black box is still pretty noisy. Any ideas how to raise the water level in the box to reduce the splashing sound?

Edited by ScooterTDI

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Thanks! I looked through your build and it is pretty similar to what I had in mind for my tank. I just filled it up and it's a little noisier than I had hoped. First, the return pump (mj1200) is emitting a hum that is pretty audible even though the cabinet. It doesn't seem to be vibrating against anything, but it is suction cup mounted to the side. What return pump did you end up using?

 

1" drains and a 3/4" return? I'm using a mag 5, which is overkill, but what I had laying about. 

 

I am also using the eshopps small overflow. I have it set up as a Herbie, but the water overflowing into the inner black box is still pretty noisy. Any ideas how to raise the water level in the box to reduce the splashing sound?

 

Did you put a gate valve on the full siphon drain (the one without the pvc in the bulkhead?) Your emergency drain should be on a trickle (the one with the pvc in it) and you should be able to adjust the water that way. The water flowing from the internal box to the external should be super quiet. It took a bit of tweaking, but my system is so quiet I can hear the ATI fans and the skimmer pump, but no water. 

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Just saw your pictures, sorry. Is that a gate valve, or a ball valve? Also, put the PVC about an inch below the water line on the full drain. Adjusting that should toggle the level of water in your external box. 

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Yea, I have the gate valve on the full siphon drain and the herbie itself is dead silent. The noise is coming from the water splashing into the inner black box. I had added a piece of acrylic inside the inner black box to partially block the slotted teeth in order to raise the water level. I think I can rig something up with a second piece of acrylic to guide the water down and reduce the splashing. As a test, I draped a piece of Saran wrap over the inside of the black box and it quieter significantly.

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Yea, I have the gate valve on the full siphon drain and the herbie itself is dead silent. The noise is coming from the water splashing into the inner black box. I had added a piece of acrylic inside the inner black box to partially block the slotted teeth in order to raise the water level. I think I can rig something up with a second piece of acrylic to guide the water down and reduce the splashing. As a test, I draped a piece of Saran wrap over the inside of the black box and it quieter significantly.

 

Ah. I had considered doing that, and then I saw somebody who had the eshopps on the 22, and the water level was perfect without modifications. Any higher and I think I'd be in trouble. Seems like there has got to be an easier fix.

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What is your water level from the top rim? I assumed that I wouldn't push enough flow through the overflow to keep the water level high enough. On a tank that is only 9" high, water being 1" from the top looks kind of low. I think I need to drop it about a 1/4".

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What is your water level from the top rim? I assumed that I wouldn't push enough flow through the overflow to keep the water level high enough. On a tank that is only 9" high, water being 1" from the top looks kind of low. I think I need to drop it about a 1/4".

That was my initial thought. I'd keep messing with the water level until you find the sweet spot. 

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So, apparently the Marineland MJ1200 (that I am using as a return) is significantly louder than the MJ1200 made by other manufacturers when under any sort of back-pressure. I figured they would all be about the same. I'll swap it out with a quiet one 1200 tonight and hopefully it will be quieter.

According to BRS:

"This pump is not intended for use with a reactor or other back pressure situations as it will be significantly louder than in other operations. For reactors or other situations, BRS recommends the Cobalt Aquatics MJ1200."

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Well, the Quiet One 1200 wasn't any quieter than the MJ1200. I'll just have to settle with that for now.  I quieted down the overflow by installing a wide weir with a curved edge to raise the water level in the tank while creating a more laminar flow into the internal overflow box. I then took a small strip of acrylic and attached it loosely to the inside of the overflow so that it rested on the curved edge of the weir. Water exits between the acrylic strip and the weir in a smooth film that is silent.  I didn't take pictures before installing but this is what it looks like (looking down into the internal overflow box):

IMG 20180111 210302

The white piece is the 3/4" wide weir made from PVC board and the acrylic sits loosely on top of it.
 
I also found the perfect ATO reservoir for my space:

IMG 20180111 210912

 
Finally, the initial scape. A big Thanks goes out to Minamiee for the rock!

IMG 20180111 183122

IMG 20180111 183103

 

 

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Well, the Icecap k2-50 that has been back-ordered since Black Friday was supposed to be shipped out in January. I reached out to the retailer to get a more precise shipping date and they then told me it wouldn't ship until 2/14 at the earliest now.  I just cancelled my order and bought it through Amazon (fulfilled by champion lighting) and had it on my doorstep 1 day later. It hasn't really pulled much, but all I have is a CUC right now. My biggest complaints with it are that 1) the gate valve port isn't glued to the body so it tends to want to pull out of the body when you adjust it, and 2) it was missing a screw to attach the silencer to the lid.

 

I toyed around with the overflow some more and solved most of my noise problems by removing the loose acrylic "guide" held on by zipties, leaving the white sloping weir, and putting a taller open drain in the external box. I didn't like having the acrylic piece in the overflow because I worried about it blocking the drain if it ever came loose somehow. I can hear a very quiet trickle now, but it isn't obnoxious and kind of masks the hum from the return and skimmer pumps anyway.

 

I also started to encounter problems with moisture in the cabinet.  I knew it would be humid in there, but didn't realize how much condensation would form.  I added a small 80 mm muffin fan to blow dry air into the cabinet and it seems to have solved the problem.

 

Does anyone have any good ideas on how to clean up the tons of wire bundles that are basically just hanging around behind the powerstrip now? Space is pretty tight in there.

 

IMG 20180116 210145

 

IMG 20180116 210211

 

IMG 20180116 210225

Edited by ScooterTDI

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What light do you have on it right now?

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I am using a Current Orbit IC. I really just wanted a fixture with minimal light spill because I usually sit on the couch right behind the tank. For such a shallow tank, I think it will be more than powerful enough. The Loop controller is pretty nice. Not as much programming flexibility as a Radion or AI fixture, but you can have sunset/sunrise/daytime/moonlight intervals with adjustable durations and color balances and it does integrate with pumps.

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Updates:

 

The skimmer has broken in and seems to do a great job. Definitely works better than a Tunze 9002 I used to run on my old 27 gallon cube. The skimmate is even smellier than from my old MRC beckett skimmer. 

 

IMG 20180125 184951

 
I added a RBTA and  pair of clowns I bought from a local breeder.  So far, the clowns refuse to leave the top corner of the aquarium. I added some easy sps frags (stylo and pocci) and a few heads of hammer euphyllia (Thanks Treesprite!).
 

IMG 20180127 105852

IMG 20180121 204320

 

My test kits arrived and I found my nutrients we a good bit higher than I had anticipated based purely off of algae growth.  I added a bioreactor filled with siporax (PVC tower on the left in the sump) to which I am vinegar dosing now to bring down nitrates.  I also added some GFO because the phosphates were disproportionately high.

 

IMG 20180203 205953

 
I think I've figured out my stocking plan. The end of the peninsula is somewhat low-flow, so I'll probably have 1-2 types of euphyllia.  In the middle, I want to grow out a small bush of Grube's gorgonian with a few types of zoanthids at it's base.  The rock closest to the overflow box is pretty high-flow so I am planning to grow out a few different colonies of easier sps. Between work, school, and kids, I have a lot on my plate and I'm not sure that I want to deal with some of the more delicate acros.
 
I might add a pair of bluestripe pipefish eventually, but I'll probably just stick with the clowns for now.

 

 

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Trust me, stay away from the sticks. My tanks almost on auto pilot, but the sticks are the headache. Zoas and everything else is exploding.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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The Icecap ATO broke last night after only about a month in operation. It appears the primary optical sensor no longer responds to the water level. The good news is that Coralvue support has been very helpful and are shipping a replacement sensor. The high-level safety sensor is interchangable with the primary sensor, so I can still use the ATO while awaiting the replacement.

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What's happening with the tank?! How goes progress? 

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Not much has changed. I've battled a little hair algae on the sand, but the tank is beginning to stabilize and I think I've got my carbon dosing figured out to keep nutrients where I want them. I bought a sea hare to cleanup the sand bed, but I'm having to feed it nori as there isn't really enough algae to sustain it now. With such a small aquarium, I've found it's more effective to just stir up portions of the sand every night with a turkey baster rather than rely on the sea hare. I'm having a couple glass pieces made for the top since I had a clownfish jump. The two glass strips will cover the top on either side of the light.

 

I added some new corals a couple days ago.

IMG 20180329 213314

 

Reef 20180329

 

 

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After receiving a couple of outrageous quotes for custom glass pieces to make a lid, I just decided to add an extra light to cover more of the aquarium and reduce the likelihood of jumpers.  I also wanted more even coverage of light as I was seeing my pink pocillopora lose its pink coloration near the edge of the tank where it wasn't getting a lot of light. As a bonus I got another free pump with the light.  I was running the one eflux 660 at 100% on stream mode and just barely getting enough flow at the other end of the tank, so the second pump allows me to pulse the flow more.

 

I've always disliked the thin bent rod mounts that came with the lights so I decided to make some flat aluminum plates for the tank mounts. I have an improved design for the light mounts in mind that would allow me to flip the lights up and out of the way more easily, but I need to order the parts for it. I made these temporary mounts to use in the meantime. I may eventually add a reefbrite LED strip to fill the gap in the middle.

 

New Canopy

 

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Yeah, I looked at custom glass, or even acrylic made lids, it's pretty crazy. 

 

I think the extra light was a great idea. Everything is looking good. 

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I picked up a pair of Biota mandarins (although I think it is two females) and a Biota Rainford's goby. The mandarins were very tiny which I had expected. One Mandarin was just skinny, the other was utterly emaciated. The Rainford's goby was gigantic which surprised me. The Rainford's goby burrowed under the rocks and hid out for several days before it felt comfortable enough to come out. I actually really appreciate him cleaning the sand under all the rocks. Pictures are forthcoming.

Edited by ScooterTDI

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Mandarins shortly after introduction (The one on the left is the very emaciated one):

 

IMG 20180510 221936

 

The less skinny of the two:

 

IMG 20180513 111709

 
The huge Rainford's goby:
 

IMG 20180513 081836

IMG 20180513 080959

 
And this guy finally found his home (for a few minutes before presumably deciding the anemone was too small after splitting)

IMG 20180511 054236

 

 

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Mandarins look great, do you think you have enough pods? Or are they eating frozen?

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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I'm culturing grindal worms and Tigriopus and I'm hatching artemia. They seem to be taking frozen calunus as well. I'm not too worried about the availability of food. They already seemed to be fattening up a bit.

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