Back in the Hobby after 15-20 yrs

travdixon

Active member
Hey everyone! Been a long time since my first reef tank (55 gal), and decided to dive back in. Ended up buying a used 100 gal low iron glass tank with stand and trigger sapphire 34 sump. Tank had not been running, just sitting with water (guy I bought it from was going to set up but got more interested in terrariums and frogs??‍♂️). Anyways, got it home, and being my naive self figured out this was probably a diy tank. Filled it up with water and some vinegar to clean it up. Let it sit for a few days, no leaks. Had some pvc hard plumbing, but I will probably redo all that. No equipment yet. Anyways, besides the first day of buyers remorse (what did I do? Why did I buy a used tank! And it appears diy!!) I have calmed down a bit. Tank seems solid. Let me know what everyone thinks
 

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travdixon

Active member
Taking my time on this one. Cleaned the tank last weekend and will clean the overflow and sump this weekend. Then set up area in the house. Gonna buy equipment slowly, then rock....looking at at least a 4-5 month cycle with no lights.
 

vlangel

Premium Member
The tank does not look like a diy to me with the black silicon and black rim. My tank has that and it's an Aqueon , which used to be All Glass Aquariums. I do not know if AGA had a line of low iron tanks so it may not be theirs. Since it was never used the glass is probably not scratched at all which is always my main concern with a used tank.

The overflow may have been diy but lots of folks have drilled their own overflows and I would not be nervous about that. The sump looks nice so I think maybe you got a good deal.

Good luck to you as you jump back in and get your feet (I mean tank) wet. There are lots more options with equipment but basically the science is still the same.
 

kfisc

Well-known member
Ditto on the tank looking good. Especially as you have no hurry and a good place to test how watertight it is, I'm sure today's anxiety will turn into next year's nostalgia as the project comes together. I really like the width in the tank, it looks about perfect for about any reefing style I can imagine.
 

travdixon

Active member
Thanks guys! I’ve calmed down more as I’ve scoured over the tank haha. I believe you are right that the overflow is probably diy, and not a concern. With the tank full there are no leaks into it so whoever sealed it did a good job. The stand is definitely diy, but solid. It was used prior to the person I bought it from. The overflow needs to be cleaned up as a result. There are two areas with a few small scratches up on the top sides towards the back which I equate to probably light mounts, but they are superficial. I’m a little bummed that it only has one drain, so I can’t plumb an emergency drain unless I convert the return hole to one and plumb the return over the back of the overflow. Still thinking about that. I’m thinking of running a skimmer and algae scrubber....maybe seeing if I can run a rollermat as well. So many decisions at this point. Like I said, no rush though. 15 years between tanks, I can definitely chill on this build. Again, thank you so much for helping put my mind at ease.
 

travdixon

Active member
Man, looking at lighting options these days is giving me a headache!! It was funny, I looked back on a lot of posts I did here 15-18 years ago, and sooo much has changed
 

travdixon

Active member
I guess I’m old school now?. I like just having to buy one thing of lights, but a lot of the current options call for 2-3 for a four foot tank. I’m always shifting, do I go with Philips, GHL, reefbuilder....? Neptune Sky? Kessil? Radion? ?
 

travdixon

Active member
I remember back in the day I would be very impulsive, and that would be detrimental to the animals. I’m much more cautious now. I want as little death as possible
 

travdixon

Active member
Soooo, I’m thinking of a Philips coral care or ATI Straton over the tank for lighting. I know I’ll eventually need probably two, but I think I’ll start out with just one as corals won’t go in for awhile. What does everyone think? I know plumbing obviously will happen first, but lights are a major component. Also, I am also thinking of an algae scrubber, most likely Santa Monica. Will that strip too much out of a new tank? Should I wait on it, or would having one help right off the bat? Any ideas are more than welcome
 

travdixon

Active member
Aaannndd, maybe I changed my mind with lighting??‍♂️. Possibly 2 Radion xr15’s? AI Hydra 32’s? Uggh, this is twisting my brain.
 

vlangel

Premium Member
I understand what you mean about all the lighting options causing a headache. I used fluorescent bulbs, first VHO and then T5s. They were so simple compared to LEDs.

I watched BRS videos comparing a lot of different LEDs with one another, not just par ratings but price, spread, hanging height, how easy to set up and other characteristics of each light. It was extremely helpful for me. I settled on ReefBreeders Photon V-24+ and I am happy with it for my reef. Maybe that video series would help you know what is best for your tank. It is called BRS LED reef lighting showdown.
 

travdixon

Active member
Haha thanks man, I’ve been watching probably more than I need to!!!(no YouTube 20 yrs ago). Hence my mind changing day to day or even video to video. Trying not to get too caught up in it since I don’t immediately need lights, but it sucks you in! I should really be focused on plumbing and return pump at the moment as well as whether to convert my overflow to have an emergency drain and plumb the return over the back. Without getting all that figured out lighting is a mute point!.......but still?
 

travdixon

Active member
Kinda crazy, but I went to the LFS to get a cheap pump and hose to drain the sump I have soaking in water/vinegar, and I was SHOCKED at how quiet it was...I wasn’t even sure it was on, but it was sucking that water out. Man, I really was shocked. I’m used to tanks and pumps being loud, especially when the equipment is cheap, but WOW....things have changed
 

travdixon

Active member
Going up to LAX Aquariums today to talk with their resident plumbing expert about the tank. May even have him do it for me. Just don’t want to have any mistakes with the lifeline of the system.
 

travdixon

Active member
Spoke with Kris, the owner of LAX Aquariums. Said my plumbing looked solid. Said no need to try and replumb it. The one drain will be fine. Said they could get a ClariSea in the sump with a few modifications. I tried getting the sump out this weekend, and the previous owner built it into the stand! So I will need to remove the center brace in the back to get it out. Tried sitting it up on one end, and it’s about 1/4 inch wider than the opening in back??‍♂️. Talked what I need for the tank to get going, and he suggested a Vectra M2 return, and a Nyos Skimmer. Can wait on lights at the moment since I’m going to do a long cycle, but I’m still looking at dropping some good $$, with 50-70 pound of rock as well. Kind of getting cold feet, but also just need to calm myself down and take it slow.
 

travdixon

Active member
Not much to say at the moment. Going to work on getting the sump out tomorrow and finish cleaning everything. Also going to paint the stand in marine quality paint to waterproof. Then it’s back to reviewing my equipment options. I like the Vectra M2 and Nyos suggested by LAX aquarium, as well as working on getting a rollermat as well. Then it’s rock and Powerheads to get going cycling. I stopped into Reef Factory US on my way to work today...super clean store that sells captive bred fish. They had a cool aquascape rock set up that piqued my interest....may go to them instead of trying to do it myself....coming along slowly
 
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