Hello from coastal New Hampshire!

Discussion in 'Say Hello!' started by Chris Howard, Jan 6, 2015.

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  1. Chris Howard

    Chris Howard Plankton

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
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    Location:
    North Hampton
    I'm back after being away from the obsession/hobby for ten years. I ran a successful 160g reef for 8 years in the '90s (out in California), but job changes and moving to New England forced me to sell off everything. In December I started building out a 7.2 g nano reef, spending a lot of time catching up the advances made over the last decade. I'm a software engineer, but also a writer and illustrator.

    Chris
     
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Hi and Welcome to 3reef Chris,

    Welcome back to the hobby too. Looking forward to seeing your build, what lighting did you go with?
     
  4. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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  5. chris adams

    chris adams Purple Tang

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    Location:
    Port Charlotte, FL
    Welcome to 3reef. North Hampton NH. I have some fond memories as a kid and teenager at Hampton Beach. I am sure it is a little cold but come summer it sure is a beautiful area.

    If only the North East winters were shorter I would have never moved.
     
  6. Chris Howard

    Chris Howard Plankton

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
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    Location:
    North Hampton
    Thanks! Lighting I went with a Kessil 150w. I will post pics of my progress.
     
  7. Chris Howard

    Chris Howard Plankton

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
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    Location:
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    Thanks! Oh yeah, I think it's 14F outside right now--with some snow blowing around. But I love being close to ocean!
     
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  9. Chris Howard

    Chris Howard Plankton

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
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    Location:
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    Thanks!
     
  10. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    welcome to 3reef and back to the hobby! we do love to see pics here :)
     
  11. Chris Howard

    Chris Howard Plankton

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
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    Location:
    North Hampton
    Thanks!
     
  12. Chris Howard

    Chris Howard Plankton

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2015
    Messages:
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    Location:
    North Hampton
    Okay, posting pics--old and new!

    [​IMG]
    My first really successful reef aquarium (started in 1989 and ran for ~8 years) was a 160g glass tank with Metal Halides, mixed reef inhabitants (soft and hard corals, mostly Gulf/Florida stock with some Pacific corals, fish, fairly large tridacna clam). This system evolved organically from smaller aquariums into a fairly complex system (for the time), with my original 15g tank acting as what today we would call a refugium (but back then it was a full lighted aquarium that ran off the sump in which I kept a couple kinds of algae, Bryopsis sp., etc). If I could characterize this

    system with one word it would be “experimentation”, or maybe even “unplanned”. Even so I was verydiligent with the maintenance, and after a while, with moderate water changes, it pretty much ran itself. I built several protein skimmers–one was five-feet tall. I was constantly moving stuff around, building filters, playing around with the secondary lighting–actinics, grow bulbs, etc. My primaries were two Coralife metal halide pendant lamps.
    [​IMG]
    Fast-forward to 2014 through today, and I have started building out a new reef aquarium, this time going with a “nano” or very small aquarium. And this time I’m planning carefully–I mean every step. I also have some pretty strict requirements.

    Requirements:
    1. Self-contained (no sump, AIO) system
    2. As much automation as I can build or buy
    3. Backup power (at least a couple hours for the pumps)
    4. Easy to maintain (rollable cabinet, small form factor)
    5. Fairly realtime view into the system’s chemistry from anywhere (e.g., web, phone).

    [​IMG]
    Here’s my cabinet, a “Luxor Mobile Steel Adjustable Height AV Cart with Storage Cabinet” I bought at Amazon:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002C5QBA4. I upgraded the bolts to something hefty and stainless steel. The whole cart is made of 20 gauge steel, and should easily be able to handle a 70+ pound load. I’ve also cut a nice piece of 3/4 inch birch plywood for the top, varnished, sealed, and drilled for power cables to run down into the cabinet below.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I originally planned for the very small (and cool) 4.3g tank, but I have changed my mind and now I’m going with the Micro-Reefs 7.2 gallon AIO Acrylic Temperate (Rimless design)http://micro-reefs.com/temperate-systems.html (I had toyed with the idea of going with a temperate tank, but I’m back to the tropics–still I love the micro-reefs tanks, and the 1/2 inch acrylic is sturdy as hell).

    Maintenance: I want the ability to roll the aquarium onto a plastic sheet to do maintenance, water changes, etc. The UPS also gives me the ability to unplug from the wall and roll the whole thing into the kitchen–right up to the sink if I need to.

    Water: I have an RO unit built into the house, but I’m a fan of real seawater, so I will probably go with that as the primary source (the Atlantic is only six or seven miles away). For supplemental changes I'll probably just go with Instant Ocean Reef Crystals
    http://www.instantocean.com/Products/Sea-Salt-Mixes/reef-crystals-sea-salt.aspx

    [​IMG]Here's my power backup, an APC BR1000G Back-UPS Pro 1000 Uninterruptible Power Supply
    http://www.apc.com/resource/include/techspec_index.cfm?base_sku=br1000g

    I bought a Digital Aquatics ReefKeeper Lite Base system (with ReefKeeper Lite Head Unit, PC4 (4 outlets), and Temperature probe), but after researching things a bit, I think I’m going to make my own Arduino-based controller instead–just ordered an Open Reefs Senseable board below, but still doing research on DIY controller details.
    http://www.digitalaquatics.com

    [​IMG]
    Open Reefs – Senseable pH + EC + ORP + DO
    https://www.openreefs.com/senseable/senseable?sku=SB014
    Supports up to 6 Atlas Scientific sensors on the board. My goal is to build a controller for the lights, pumps, heater, and chemistry, with the ability to continuously post data to an online service. A future option would be able to remotely control (e.g., iPhone app) lighting times, temperature, and other pieces of the system.

    [​IMG]
    I just ordered a small skimmer:
    Innovative Marine AUQA Gadget Ghost Protein Skimmer
    http://www.innovative-marine.com/auqa-gadget/ghost-skimmer.html
    I’ve never used anything from Innovative Marine before, so we’ll see how it goes.

    [​IMG]
    Lighting: to start out I’m going with the Kessil A150W Sky Blue, with gooseneck mounting.http://www.kessil.com/aquarium/A150.phpStill looking for secondary lighting.


    That’s it for now. I will post updates!