1st Build Bare Bottom 55 gal Frag Tank w/ Elite Ruby Sump 30


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Hello reefers!
First off Thank You for reading. Fairly new to RC. Ive been a freshwater aquarium owner for about 10 years. Ranging mainly from tropical fish to cichlids, Finally decided to jump into the saltwater game after some research. I plan on making my 55 gal into 2/3 frag racks and 1/3 personal live rock/coral area. Reason being i live in an area where there is not much of a selection of LFS or quality corals, i wish to aid my friends w tanks by growing frags and hopefully sell/trade w other local reefers.

I was able to get a couple reef octupus skimmers and some pumps that i will be using.

Items I have (used otherwise stated also not using all the pumps just listing for any suggestions):
DIY Stand (WIP)

55 Gal tank 48''x12''21''

2 New Mars Aqua 165w Full Spectrum LED (Chinese black boxes that i decided to give a whirl to see what they can do for my setup. Read lots of good reviews here on forum) https://goo.gl/images/bDzkcy

Trigger Systems Elite Ruby Sump 30 (https://goo.gl/images/2HP8h1)

Reef Octupus Extreme 160 Skimmer (https://goo.gl/images/JDgUDF)

Eshopps PF-800 Overflow (https://www.amazon.com/Eshopps-AEO1...d=1499044926&sr=1-1&keywords=overflow+box+800)

New Jebao DCS3000 Return Pump 794 GPH (https://www.amazon.com/Jebao-DC-3000-Return-Pump-Aquarium/dp/B00INTDJM6)

2 - Syncra 3.0 submersible pumps 714 GPH
will use as backups

Koralia 1400 gph Circulation Pump (https://goo.gl/images/id3cb3)

Marineland 400 GPH Circulation Pump

Maxijet 1200 Powerhead (https://goo.gl/images/1ndkBC)

Maxijet 900 Powerhead

Cobalt MJ 1200 Powerhead (https://goo.gl/images/f1XBNn)

25 lbs of Marco Rocks (similar to this https://goo.gl/images/PtFC1P)

2'x2' of black Egg crate

RODI system for up to 100 GPD (checked and fluctuates from 000-001 ppm)

Reef Crystals

Near future purchase Jebao SW8 Wavemaker (https://www.amazon.com/Jebao-Propel...=1499046504&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=saw+8+jebao)

Sorry for all the links but im sure a lot of yall like pictures.:reading:

I plan on making this tank bare bottom with most of live rock in DT and some of the rock in refugium area with some Cheato. I plan on having a few fish (less than 5). I mainly want to focus on corals all types, Zoas and SPS especially.

I plan on having water go thru overflow then split into refugium and skimmer area. I am thinking of using the marineland 400 in refugium to rotate chaeto in refugium. The skimmer is rated for 160 gal so that will help a lot. The Jebao return pump will then bring it back up into a 3/4 U Tube return. At the moment i will use the Koralia Circulation pump (1400 GPH) to rotate while cycling. I want to purchase a wave maker soon but will probably go the Jebao SW8 2000 GPH route since other pumps are way too expensive for me at the moment.

I know circulation is key with corals do you all think the Hydor 1400 and Jebao SW 8 2000 GPH would be enough? Im sure ill have waaay more questions so thanks for stopping by and i will update is ASAP hopefully all set by this week!


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I will be using about 1/3 of a frozen shrimp to start the cycle. I will also buy fritzzyme Turbostart 900 to help aid with cycle. I plan on adding chaeto in a week or so after I begin cycle so it could aid w the chemical imbalances.

Anyone have any experience w Frtizyme turbostart 900?

How early should I start using chaeto?


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preview of how it will look. Still need to sand it and add a plywood on bottom for sump. Then it's go time


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Quick update! Finally after countless trips to hardware stores it's set up and running. I filled it up with approximately 55-60 gallons of RODI water mixed w Reef Crystals.
PPM is at 427
PH 7.9
Specific Grav 1.021
Placed a piece of raw shrimp to start cycle. It can be seen it green net.
Here are some pics. I placed one light see how it looks. I'm digging the colors of these Mars Aqua. Here it is w blue/white

Here are just the blues

Just the whites

The sump and skimmer


I am in the works of getting some tubing to mount my LEDs so that will be coming soon.
The plumbing is a bit rough still needs some finishing touches. Same with stand.

Now some questions that hopefully someone can chime in on.
Is the skimmer supposed to produce this many micro bubbles?

How long do you all suggest leaving the shrimp to decompose?

I plan on buying Fritz Zyme Turbo Start 900. (http://www.fritzzyme.com/index.php?...e. I know patience is key. Thanks in advance


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Going to add some of this to aid the cycle. Let see how too this bacteria is. The piece of dead shrimp is slowly decomposing...maybe the bacteria will speed that up


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Looks good. I am doing a 55gal with a 30 sump as well. Luckily I was able to drill my tank. I am about to order rock, sand and RO/DI unit.


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Small update: Day 13 of cycle
I got some chaetomorpha to help w nitrate and phosphate reduction along the line.
This stuff is really messy or at least mine is. Gets everywhere. I have it running w a 40w 5000k LED bulb that's the closest to 6500k I could find locally.

I also have purchased 1" square tubing that I will get welded then spray paint black. They will basically be two upside down "L" that will hold up my lights. I will post pics of finished product hopefully within a week.

One more thing I am going to turn on my skimmer and in a couple of days I will get my water tested at LFS to see how far along the cycle is.

Any suggestions/tips are strongly encouraged:reading:

Thanks for stopping by

Ps. What's up w the quality on photo bucket pics now?


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Took a little long for the update because of this whole PB debacle. Don't think I'll try and post the pics again so they won't be lost.

I took my water to get tested. Seems to be finishing up the cycle. Zero ammonia zero nitrites. 0.5 ppm nitrate
8.18 PH. I raised the salinity today to about 1.025

I am awaiting for some tools to install the light racks but hopefully today or tommorow they will be installed.
I will run lights see if i will get any algae blooms. Then start stocking

One more thing I came across someone who did all the PAR measurements for these lights at all intensities.

The forum will not let me post a link...but if you search on Google for "par meter 165w reddit" it should be the first link. It has a Google doc that is like a pdf where he listed all par measurements for different intensities of blue/white

Very useful info for Mars Aqua 165w LEDs owners


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Finally was able to get the lights up. Here are some pics w 100% blue/white. One with 100% white only and one with 100% blues only. I am very impressed by the spread of these lights. Towards middle I have a bit of shadowing due to the support bar that 55 gal aquariums come with. I will start stocking up in the next few weeks w some frags.

I would like to stock with
2 clowns
1 yellow tang
1 regal tang
1 flame angelfish
Maybe a mandarin goby later on

Any thoughts or suggestions on the stock?
Don't plan on keeping more than that.


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Still practicing with picture sizes so hope these are good.
I decided to do some aquascaping.

Also due to a hard to pass by sale of BOGO frags at LFS I purchased four corals and a yellow tang.
Here are some pics w white/blue and some w blue only.

By no means am i an LED expert but I am genuinely impressed w the color these Mars Aqua LEDs put out. I am running at about 40% blue from 2pm-11pm and 15% white from 3-10pm. I will increase intensity weekly depending on how corals are reacting. I wish I had a better camera. For now my Galaxy S8 camera will have to suffice.

I bought from my understanding
Mystic Montipora

Currently acclimating them to the light ans will move them later. Hope these lil guys can thrive.






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Thinking of making an acrylix lid for my sump to reduce evaporation. Anyone have experience w this subject?

Or thinking about purchasing an ATO system in the future. Anyone have any suggestions?


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So I had a little fun at the LFS today for my bday and got a few zoa colonies. My brother insisted on buying some frags for me so I couldn't say no haha his ulterior motive is to actually get some frags from me for his future setup.

There's quite a bit of different types on these colonies and some were even loose or easy to frag so I went ahead and did that.

Here are the frags not all are open when picture was taken but are opening up now


I got two blastos and a beautiful frogspawn. Frogspawn needs a little more opening up but they all seem to be happy thus far.



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Glad my experience could help mummra. I'm getting some frags in the mail soon so I will give some updated pictures after that


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Quick update. I fragged some zoas and found this guy. Felt bad afterwards because I think it's a bristleworm but id rather get rid of the big hitchhiker. I am also having a bit of trouble with some finniky eagle eye zoas. Not sure what's up with them. Some open but most dont...rest of the corals are doing great though. I'll do a 20% water change and hope for the best.

I have also caught my yellow tang nipping at my zoas. Usually heads that are dying or closed (haven't seen em mess with open zoas) nonetheless it upsets me.

On another note I got some gel filters so here is a shot under actinics and an orange gel filter.

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