Somebody gave us a "free" tank....... wonder how much this will cost? :-)

Discussion in 'New To The Hobby' started by jskeen, Oct 17, 2014.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. jskeen

    jskeen Plankton

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    Messages:
    8
    Greetings and salutations;

    Super quick Intro; Me, Wife, 3 kids, Big hairy dog, paranoid cat. Needed another pet like another hole in the head, but, you know how it goes sometimes. A "friend" of the wife's gave us a 55 long tank that was (sorta) set up for marine fish. She had gotten tired of the high maintenance and poor performance. Once you see how it was set up, you will understand why.

    Original as retrieved equipment from top to bottom. Hinged Canopy with about 3 inches clearance above lid. Stand alone fixture for single 48" T8 daylight bulb, burned way down into the yellow. Plastic lid with one glass strip for light. 55 long tank, undrilled, probably tempered, with one ocellaris clown, and one rather sad yellow tail damsel. Two or 3 pieces of LR and an inch of mixed white sand and black unidentified media. Fluval 305 canister and a med sized 2 line air pump with 2 airstones. And She wondered why it was hard to keep clean and the fish kept dying.

    Ok, so. What to do with it to make it work on a budget that makes a shoestring look substantial? After about 3 weeks of dedicated scrounging, DIY'ing, and trying to keep the kids from going crazy at the lfs, here is what I have so far.

    Kept the Canopy, but scrapped the fixture. Took an old t12 shop light, added a new t5ho electronic ballast with a coral sun 420 actinic and a reef sun 50/50 t8 bulbs. Mounted to inside of canopy. Replaced plastic lid with dual glass version and cut back to fit around fittings. About 30 or 40 pounds of LR. Dual 3/4 pvc overflows w/aqua lift priming pump, feeding down to a used (but cheap) 20 long sump (configuration data if interest). Current return pump recycled from long defunct koi pond, about 250 gph at 4' lift. return drilled with siphon break, Pair of 23w 6500k cfl's over the 'fuge which contains about 7 lbs of LR frag and crumble, one small ball chaeto and one very pugnatious bicolor dottyback that my 7 year old daughter refuses to trade in on something less abusive. Current inhabitants of the DT include 1 coral beauty angel, 1 firefish, 1 blue stripe goby, 1 serpent star, and about a dozen assorted crabs and snails to go along with the original denizens.

    I just got the sump up and running. Last water chem check showed no Am, no NI, but Nitrates were a little hot. I was able to transport and reuse most of the original water, but had to make up losses with well water. To install the sump, purchased 18g of RO DI buffered salt water from LFS. Haven't checked chem lately, but the diatom bloom engendered by the well water has tapered off and I'm not seeing a surge in green or maroon algae yet.

    So, what do you think? What would you do next, and if the budget won't allow that, how would you accomplish it on the cheap? Warnings? Condolences? All comments welcome.

    Link to pics;
    https://plus.google.com/photos/109807807259853709441/albums/6071282947184382625
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Click Here!

  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Hey and Welcome to a fantastic hobby.

    You should be checking ammonia and nitrates daily if the tank is freshly moved, have SW made up, have some Prime or equiv. if you really cleaned the sump. Your fish list is good, once the tank settles you might be able to add another fish.

    Looking pretty darn good for just jumping in. Consider a couple more pieces of live cured rock if you see some you like.
     
  4. RoloSaez

    RoloSaez Millepora

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2013
    Messages:
    929
    Location:
    Wesley Chapel Fl
    If Free really existed:confused: We'd all be happy LOL. My boss gave me a small Nano Tank for free. It's still in the garage till I find the funds to set it up. Welcome and great start on your 55
     
  5. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2000
    Messages:
    13,466
    Location:
    Berkeley, CA
    Nice work with the light upgrade and good move with the sump.
    Next... skimmer?
    Powerheads?
    IS your plan to keep it with fish or add coral?

    Welcome to 3reef!

    matt
     
  6. dienerman

    dienerman Corkscrew Tentacle Anemone

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2011
    Messages:
    719
    Location:
    West Chester, Pennsylvania
    Im impressed! More flow would be good. Koralia powerheads are fairly cheap and will do the job on a budget. Testing kits are very important and worth every penny. Keep us posted on your progress. Im sure you will have many changes over the next year or two....... its called addiction in case you start to wonder.
     
  7. bond300

    bond300 Plankton

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Messages:
    14
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. bond300

    bond300 Plankton

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2014
    Messages:
    14
    I have a 90G not drilled I have 3 HOB filters 2 HOT Magnums 250gph filled with crushed coral as my Bio filters 1 ML 350gph and a HOB Skimmer AquaC Remora 350 gph, 3 950gph power heads, 3-4" sand, 200lbs LR and 48" MarineLand LED Reef Capable. No sump needed.
     
  10. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2012
    Messages:
    7,660
    Location:
    Cincinnati
    welcome to the hobby but I don't think this is your first rodeo :) You've got a great start!
     
: newb, refurbish, DIY, cheap