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Bobcat's 75gal First Reef Build


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In Jan 2015 I was gifted a 75gal tank, sump and refugium. I've spent the last year acquiring and planning and today I drilled the hole for the bulkhead, so I think I've officially started the build.

Here's my current tank: www.austinreefclub.com/topic/35471-greetings-arc-new-reef-build-first-reef-build

What I got to work with:

75gal tank

Aquatic Life 48" T5 HO lights

Bubble Magus Curve 5 skimmer

Sicce Syncra Silent 3.5 Pump (660 GPH)

Hydor Koralia 3rd Gen Powerhead, w/ controller

BRS GFO & Carbon dual reactor

Plan for tank:

Dual HOB overflows: one for sump, one for fuge, hopefully tuned 2:1

3" of sand, which sounds like 40# this and 20# this

50#(65#?) of live rock from my current tank, 15# Pukani dry rock from BRS

Refugium w/ sand from my current tank, rubble, cheato, pods

2gal ATO tank

Aquahub DIY Top Off Kit (which I'm a little intimidated by)

Big props to Breed & Co in Westlake for having 90% of the plumbing fixtures I've needed, and putting up w/ me showing up every couple of days for something else. I've actually enjoyed the Lego-esque nature of pvc plumbing.

This will be my first reef tank and I'm nervous as hell about it. My plan is to focus on easier/hardier corals, with the goal of not killing them. Here's a tank w/ corals I really like and plan to pattern mine after: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJk-fASKh33tB4O7kVjcmxA

Goal is build complete, fish in NLT 3/15

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Don't have to worry about a wife not being cool w/ the takeover, but the casa is definitely not chick friendly for the next couple of months. My "office" downstairs has all the plumbing and parts strewn everywhere. I've also got another project going on that's taking up half the garage and office - bought myself a king sized mattress for Xmas and built the frame, but it's waiting on the headboard (commissioned from a friend) so that's all over the place. I think that's going to morph into a full master bedroom makeover as soon as the tank is done.

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Got the refugium bulkheads in and the wall facing the sump painted. Probably overkill, but painted the wall facing the sump black. Can't see it real well, but I scuffed the plexi w/ 220 grit so the "paint" would stick better. Used RustOleum FlexiDip so I could pull it off it it sucked. Should have used a razor to score before removing the tape, but it doesn't tear too bad. Seems like it will hold up.





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It's so weirdly quiet in here right now. My tank is [was] fairly loud, and I always thought of it as my babbling brook.


Fun twist of the day #1: Tank is about 1/2" wider than the stand

Fun twist of the day #2: Stand is definitely warped

Don't think I'm going to worry about the warping - the weight of the tank will take care of that. Need to add a piece of plywood to match the width of the tank though.mad.gif:mad:mad.gif

Anyone have a nice tablesaw and wants to help me get the exact size right?

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There will be two of those, and I think I'm going to drill them like the pipe in the fuge. Hopefully that will allow most bubbles to exit near the surface. Thought about running those across into the skimmer section, but it was just too much piping in a confined space. Plus, I don't want to skim up the pods.

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Got the new platform/trim built today, at the expense of making the meeting at Ty's. Relatively few hiccups and nothing we couldn't overcome. Pretty pleased w/ the result - turned out exactly as I had it in my head. I'll let it set overnight and start sanding tomorrow, as well as hitting up HD for the stain and polyurethane.




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Got everything dry fit tonight. I screwed up by not writing down a key measurement by about 1/4" and it's pretty much the only thing off about the piece. Have to come up w/ a better answer on the return plumbing, but other than that, ready to break down for paint/stain.






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My pukani leached a lot of phosphate while it was curing. You might want to test for that and do water changes or even run gfo if you see really high phosphate ...

Don't have a phosphate test kit just yet, but it's next on the list. Planning on 2 water changes over the next 10 days or so, then build the scape and into the tank, sand, water, & monitor until ready for fish. Does it need to be covered? It gets ambient light but very little as i've closed the shades. Run a skimmer? I had mine in there for a while, but it was more to run the skimmer and break it in. Wasn't really pulling much out after a day or so.

Nitrates in the motel tank are around 20-50? (I'm so bad at matching the colors). Need to give it a little love here in the next couple of days.

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Maybe nasty worms don't dig phosphate? Got ready to do a water change tonight and came upon this creepy scene:







Got at least a dozen 10"+

This one lost about 6" trying to fight extradition and that's at least 10" left over.


I did steal the pump and heater over the last 24 hours to make a new batch of water, so I'm going to try that again in a few days and see if letting the temp drop for a day or so flushes any more out.

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