Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Bosch » Mon May 06, 2013 7:50 pm

This is what the reef special grade looks like if you are still looking.

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Mon May 06, 2013 11:13 pm

Thanks. Looks good. But I just placed an order with Reef Rocks. I might be breaking the cardinal rule of reefing but I went the extreme cheap route. I got 100 lbs of dry rock and 160 lbs of "free" sand all for $229 shipped.

I'll let you know in a few business days if I am regretting this decision.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Bosch » Tue May 07, 2013 1:19 pm

I'll be curious how you like it.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Korrine » Wed May 08, 2013 3:59 pm

You've been busy. It's looking great and I agree that the family shots are priceless :)
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Wed May 15, 2013 10:16 pm

Here is the 100 lbs of rock from reefrocks.net. I am actually very pleased. It is exactly what I was looking for and very economical. The sand is going to be shipped separately at a later date. The rock was packaged in two 50 lb boxes. Very porous and perfect size pieces to create my two seamless islands with. Should mix nicely with my old rock. So hopefully it won't look like a pile of rocks.

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Here are 3 pieces stacked together to look like one, exactly as per plan. Should be easy to create any look I want.

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Wed May 15, 2013 10:33 pm

I guess my plan with this rock is to place it in RO water and test for phosphates. Then decide how treat from there. Or is it better to place in salt water for a phosphate test/treatment with LC?
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Dakota Reef » Wed May 15, 2013 11:23 pm

Since its dry rock it shouldn't make a big difference between curing in RO water or saltwater. According to the chemistry experts on RC you may disolve a little bit of your live rock in RO water but probably not enough to be noticeable unless you used a very large volume of RO water to rock.

Soaking in RO is obviously cheaper than using saltwater.

Of course the other advantage to using saltwater is you could begin to cycle your rock at the same time.

Hopefully you'll get lucky and find that your rocks don't leach much phosphate to begin with.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Kodvenom » Thu May 16, 2013 1:03 pm

that looks epic great job i cant wait to see a finished picture :)
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Bosch » Fri May 17, 2013 5:15 pm

If you are going to test for phosphates, I would do the initial soak in ro. Phosphates will leach quicker in RO if they are going to leach at all.

Rock looks nice by the way. Good size.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Wed May 22, 2013 11:41 pm

Got some good news and bad news.

Good news is I soaked my new dry rock from reefrocks.net in RO/DI water for the last 48 hours with a mag 9.5 circulating the water. Just tested Nitrates at 0 and Phosphates at 0 using the Hanna checker. Checked the RO water which started at 0 TDS and is now 56 TDS. So this rock is pretty clean and and probably doesn't need any treatment.

Bad news is I tested my old rock that I have been keeping "alive". That came back off the charts

phosphate at 1.37 ppm
nitrate at 4-5 ppm

I noticed a lot less life in the container as well. Just a few asterinas, couple dead pods, and no more brittle stars. Even that yellow sponge is noticeably receding. I guess that would explain elevated levels if that stuff has been dying off more recently.

So I am not sure what to do with this old live rock. My options are to kill it, treat it, and start over with all dry rock and get a couple of good live pieces to seed everything....

or

Put it all in the same container with new saltwater. Start cycling new rock while saving the life on the old rock, treat with seakleer to reduce phosphates in old rock.

Any suggestions would be appreciated
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby hoover86 » Thu May 23, 2013 9:14 am

I'm in the same boat. Phosphates in my rock seem a little high as well. I had mainly dry rock and added some live to seed in a Brute and when I last checked was at .79 with my checker...
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Bosch » Thu May 23, 2013 12:51 pm

If it was me I would keep the rock separate for now. I wouldnt want to leach any phosphates into the new rock. I'm not sure you need to nook the old stuff just yet. Try some large water changes to see if it brings the nutrients to a more acceptable level. Not sure if you have been changing the water, but my guess is that the rock is purging itself and that's a good thing. Keep removing the phosphates with water changes and you might be ready to combine the two and still have some good life to spread around. Edit- I'm sure you know all this. Just giving my 2 cents.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Wed May 29, 2013 11:18 pm

Thanks for sharing, its always good to have another opinion. I am probably going to go that route.

I got the new dry rock out of the ro water and "dry" again. I have my old live rock in the tub with fresh saltwater for the last couple days and phosphates at 0.42 ppm and nitrates at 0.2 ppm. I got some of the seakleer and plan on treating this old rock for phosphates. Change water a couple times and then eventually combine it in the tank or in the tub before going in the tank.

That is the plan for now. My sand came as well, so things are coming together
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Thu May 30, 2013 10:40 pm

These might be boring pictures but here is the dry rock next to the old "live" rock. This rock in the tub is going to get the first dose of seaklear tonight. I also put a small amount of left over frozen Mysis in there to help start things off. I did get a couple pieces of additional live rock to help make sure I have plenty of biodiversity in there.

Image




Here is the sand

4 boxes (160 lbs of "free" sand). Actually, had to pay $15 shipping per box so not free, but not bad. Looks like it will work great and seems very clean and rinsed.

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Thu May 30, 2013 10:44 pm

Overall, I am very pleased with reefrocks. I would highly recommend them. I got exactly what I was looking for at a very economical price. I had to wait a while on the sand, but I have learned to be patient with this hobby.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Saltwater Saloon » Fri May 31, 2013 12:18 am

Patients is what it takes to make a beautiful saltwater aquarium. Wish I had more of them....
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Sun Jun 02, 2013 12:12 am

This seaklear stuff is awesome. I dosed 5ml on day one, 5ml on day two, tested tonight and phosphates have gone from 0.42 to 0.09. I might dose a little more one more time and then probably going to swish off the rocks, change the water, and check again.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:08 pm

Progress!!!! Rock and sand is all in, but still have a about 100 gallons of water to go yet that is mixing right now. 300 gallons of saltwater just doesn't magically appear I found out.

Here is the two island aquascaping first go around. Pretty satisfied with this and probably won't change much at all.

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Sun Jul 28, 2013 11:17 pm

The sand appears to be rather fine, but extremely clean and well rinsed. It did not cloud water at all even with stirring it. And with my two mp40's running full speed it is not blowing around at all. Couldn't be happier with that. I guess I need more or bigger pumps now.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby DIZZER » Mon Jul 29, 2013 10:43 am

How many pounds of rock in the DT total? I'm trying to estimate what I will want/need for the 165.
"Good things happen to those who wait" so I'm gonna continue to kick back, put my feet up and wait. Should I happen to get the urge to do otherwise I'll close my eyes and wait for the feeling to pass. :)
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Mon Jul 29, 2013 1:00 pm

There Is Probably 175 Lbs Of Rock In There
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Korrine » Mon Jul 29, 2013 2:27 pm

Looking great Dustin. The final product will be amazing.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby DIZZER » Mon Jul 29, 2013 7:33 pm

Looks good. Always did like the island/pillar look. Maybe I'll see where 100lbs will get me then. I think I'll try reef rocks as well.
"Good things happen to those who wait" so I'm gonna continue to kick back, put my feet up and wait. Should I happen to get the urge to do otherwise I'll close my eyes and wait for the feeling to pass. :)
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Thu Aug 01, 2013 12:08 am

I have been looking at skimmers, because I need one. I have up to $900 set aside.

Narrowed it down to the

Super Reef Octopus xp5000 internal for $800
http://www.coralvue.com/reef-octopus-sr ... immer.html

Octopus Diablo DCS-250 int for $586
http://www.coralvue.com/diablo-dcs-250- ... immer.html

Octopus POV DC3 for $900
http://www.coralvue.com/pov-dc3-space-s ... immer.html

I would consider the regular super reef octopus 5000 but it does not appear to have a removable bubble plate. I have the SRO 2000 and it does not have a removable bubble plate. On several occasions I wish it had. The above three skimmers do. Now the POV DC3 it appears you have to take the whole skimmer out and apart to clean out the air intake from salt creep and such. Not a fan of this. I am leaning toward the Diablo right now. Any thoughts?
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby shifty51008 » Thu Aug 01, 2013 2:49 am

I would look into the rlss skimmers also, they are getting great reviews
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby wichers » Thu Aug 01, 2013 11:05 am

RLSS really seam to be great products. When it comes to customer service it is lacking I believe. They are just in the phase of releasing new DC pumps and skimmers and no one knew when for sure. I think they might be getting out of that phase soon. Since the new 4000 and 6000 pumps are now available which are going into there new skimmers. I'm waiting for the 12000 to be release and hope to see these down at MACNA. They are in the raffle so I believe a few tickets will be in there. Skimmer r8-i should be great for you. Let me know if you would like me to order anything.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby wichers » Thu Aug 01, 2013 3:49 pm

Whoops R10-I skimmer I meant. The 8 was what many others were asking about.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Tue Aug 06, 2013 2:20 pm

I looked at the RLSS skimmers. Look nice indeed, however I noticed a couple things in which I perfer the octopus design better. After dwelling on it for a few days I think I am going to try the diablo dcs 250 internal. Reasonably priced at $585

Unless i get convinced otherwise.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby black hills tj » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:54 pm

Stopped by and saw this the other day. Its honestly probably one of the nicest, cleanest setups Ive seen.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby shifty51008 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:20 pm

black hills tj wrote:Stopped by and saw this the other day. Its honestly probably one of the nicest, cleanest setups Ive seen.


I agree, it was well planned out.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby black hills tj » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:44 pm

And it is totally silent. You can not hear this tank at all! From the front or back.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Tue Aug 06, 2013 10:04 pm

Thanks guys, it has been a lot of planning and work. Been taking my time and then got derailed this spring and summer with life events, but getting back into the swing of things.

Once I get my skimmer ordered here, I will work on mounting lights and getting those fired up. Any ideas on how to setup an easy raise and lower system for my metal halide pendants? Any examples I could study?
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby shifty51008 » Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:33 pm

It deff was very silent when i was there, it wasnt running yet :lol:

As for lights you can look up light movers in the diy form on rc i seen a few neat ways, the one i liked best used a wench, wasnt silent but you only hear it when moving them up or down
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Railcar79 » Wed Aug 07, 2013 8:07 am

Depends on how high tech you want to go on the light movers. I have some pneumatic cylnders at home, add a compressed gas source, some valving and a regulator.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby wichers » Wed Aug 07, 2013 9:27 am

Check out SunLift Yo-Yo. I have a few at my house you can check out. Holds 22lbs a pair.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:36 am

Railcar79 wrote:Depends on how high tech you want to go on the light movers. I have some pneumatic cylnders at home, add a compressed gas source, some valving and a regulator.


That sounds like overkill. I think I would like to keep it more simple than that.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Wed Aug 07, 2013 10:37 am

wichers wrote:Check out SunLift Yo-Yo. I have a few at my house you can check out. Holds 22lbs a pair.


Can I check these out when I come pick up that stuff? Sounds like they are plastic cables, would like to see how heavy they are.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Sun Aug 11, 2013 12:26 am

Well, this is what I came up with for my retractable lights. I bought a 110volt electric hoist from northern tool for $110. It is rated up to 440 lbs. That was the only money spent on this system. And the better part of a day in my labor. The hoist came with hooks and a pulley and a up down controller. I did all the rest with left over lumber/chain/parts. If I ever tear down I can put the hoist in the garage.

So the hoist was a significant cost but not too bad in the grand scheme of things. I wanted this to be accessible from both sides and fast and handy, so I don't skimp on maintenance. Good thing I put an outlet up in the ceiling. I was going to use this for something else but, hey it worked out.

Here is a shot or two and a couple of crappy videos.

Image

Image

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby cichlidman » Sun Aug 11, 2013 1:50 am

Very nice work.h
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Railcar79 » Mon Aug 12, 2013 9:00 am

Added benefit, you can pull the lights off and do a motor swap. I don't beleive in overkill, I love the idea
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby lil-reefer991 » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:59 pm

Let's see some pictures of the skimmer!!


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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Thu Aug 15, 2013 11:54 pm

Ok here it is. I put my old sro2000 in the picture for comparison. I would have fired this up but I need to build a stand to raise the skimmer up about 2 inches in the sump. I wasn't sure what skimmer I was going to be running so I made sure my skimmer compartment was deep enough for any skimmer.

Overall the build quality seems equal to the Super Reef line. The pump seems physically small for the skimmer but hopefully it performs.

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Bosch » Fri Aug 16, 2013 11:27 am

It will perform and I think you'll like it. I've been pulling out many cups of wet but dirty skimmate daily.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Sun Aug 18, 2013 11:22 pm

Bosch wrote:It will perform and I think you'll like it. I've been pulling out many cups of wet but dirty skimmate daily.



What setting do you have the pump at? I just got mine fired up and have it on 4 for the time being. 6 is overkill seeing as there is no livestock in the tank. But even at 6, I can't hear the pump at all. It sure moves some water too.
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Korrine » Mon Aug 19, 2013 6:52 am

That looks like a nice skimmer!

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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby Bosch » Mon Aug 19, 2013 10:21 am

I keep mine on 6, but I have a huge body. I don't think I could run below 6 without choking the exit valve quite a bit. I do really enjoy the feed button for when I clean the cup.

Is your pump a 5500?
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Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Mon Aug 19, 2013 5:37 pm

Bosch wrote:I keep mine on 6, but I have a huge body. I don't think I could run below 6 without choking the exit valve quite a bit. I do really enjoy the feed button for when I clean the cup.

Is your pump a 5500?



Yes, it is the same pump 5500. I noticed as well running mine at 4 that you have to choke it back pretty far to make foam properly, but I just fired it up last night and needs a little more time to see what is really going on. Probably will end up running at 5 long term, until I am overstocked.

I am releasing lots of microbubbles too but hopefully that improves.
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Tank Overview: 90 gallon planted, 270 gallon reef in the works

Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:32 am

Here are some action shots of the skimmer and lighting

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Dustin
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nature boy
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:23 am
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Tank Overview: 90 gallon planted, 270 gallon reef in the works

Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby nature boy » Thu Aug 22, 2013 1:45 am

So basically my tank was filled and put into operation August 1st. I have 75 lbs of well cured and cycled live rock, and 100 lbs of dry rock. How long would you wait to introduce any livestock and what would you add first?

I am not factoring in any cycling seeing as it has already been three weeks and will probably be another three before anything gets added. I am adding a little reef chili every now and then to feed the rock.
Dustin
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nature boy
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Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:23 am
Location: Sioux Falls, SD
Tank Overview: 90 gallon planted, 270 gallon reef in the works

Re: Nature Boy's 270 Gallon Reef

Postby DIZZER » Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:22 pm

Looks awesome! Am so envious of your wide open access to your sump!
"Good things happen to those who wait" so I'm gonna continue to kick back, put my feet up and wait. Should I happen to get the urge to do otherwise I'll close my eyes and wait for the feeling to pass. :)
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