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gt44ever

Hello Buckeyes!

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Hello all! I'm not actually in Ohio, but have always lived pretty close by and have spent plenty of time across the state line. Also noticed a lot of presence in the Toledo and Cincy areas, which are both highly accessible for me. To be completely honest, found this place while looking for people selling rock and equipment fairly locally.

Tanks:

650g FOwLR - mostly predator (with sharks!). Zetlight lighting, DIY skimmer, homebuilt sump w/refugium (not my work though), working on new aquascape with a lot more rock.

75g "grow up" tank for those guys that need to grow out of the shark food stage. Also has some mushroom corals. Octo HOB skimmer, Canister filter, LED and T5 lighting, soon to have HOB fuge growing feeding macro

Loads of QT space, including a 35g that's tabbed as the "kids tank" for the nieces once my CUC moves out, plus 5 more tanks of varying size. Walking into our basement kinda feels like walking into a small fish store at this point.

I'll plan on uploading some pics when I'm on a device that has them available (aka, not this computer)

 

Background: I'm originally from SE Indiana and keep working my way north. Currently reside just outside Ann Arbor (Not a U of M fan, so no need to worry about that :D). Engineer by trade and also into cars, photography, and 3d printing. Very into DIY as well, even made my own skimmer that mostly works (due to be replaced this weekend when my nice new-to-me skimmer arrives)

 

Experience:

Not a whole lot tbh. bought a house almost 3 years ago now, came with the monster tank already stocked. Prior to that, my aquarium experience was a 2.5g hex tank with a pair of goldfish won at a carnival when I was like 6. Talk about being thrown in the deep end. I've been steadily trying to improve the situation and remedy some less than great decisions made for the tank (like a 4' long DIY undergravel filter in the sump). Fortunately, I'm an engineer and an obsessive researcher so the tank seems to be coming along relatively quickly (note: nothing actually happens quickly with this much water). 

I'm also on R2R (often) and Michigan Reefers (pretty rarely). Places like this have worked wonders for me in learning how to properly setup and care for the amount of aquarium that was kinda dropped in my lap.

 

 

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2 minutes ago, crimsonvice said:

OMG I LOVE IT!!! What is your maintenance schedule look like on the 650? I just got so gitty lol

I'm still working on getting that sorted. The tank has pretty much always had any high nitrates and phosphates are elevated too so nutrient export has been a major challenge.

Been doing relatively small water changes (44g ish) weekly trying to work my nutrient levels down. I'd do more but there's only so much room for barrels of water in the house. Running a refugium and trying carbon dosing to help reduce my need for constant water changes. Usually gravel vac an area whenever I do a water change too. I do have some plans for am auto water change setup that runs off the Apex but havent had time to put it together just yet.

Mostly it's feed the big guys every 2-3 days, smaller ones a few times a day and clean the glass when I have time. I mostly feed human grade frozen seafood from the local Asian market. That gets thawed, rinsed thoroughly, left to drain, patted dry with paper towel then soaked in a bit of vitamins. I've found this heavy rinse and dry has helped a ton with getting my phosphates down from sky high (80ppm) to just a little high (2-5ppm)

I probably could harvest chaeto every week or two, still trying to dial that in. Only other thing there is dosing chaetogro twice a week to ensure plenty of trace for the chaeto to grow. Finally saw success with this and a light upgrade about a month ago

Change filter socks about once a week and dump the skimmer bucket prolly about the same. My DIY skimmer doesnt run the most consistently so it can vary from barely pulling with a super dry foam to running over without warning and causing an unplanned water change overnight. I also usually give my NO3 bricks a quick shake whenever I do filter socks to clear any settled debris. Also running BIO plates that could likely stand to be cleaned but theyre not as accessible. May have a slight update to skimmer maintenance with the new model I'll be installing over the weekend if all goes well.

I do water tests about once a week and monitor general parameters via Apex.

Thats about it. I'm sure I'm past due for some pump maintenance but haven't figured a schedule for that just yet and everything appears to be running just fine. I havent noticed much buildup on anything since its just FOwLR, aside from some detritus which is why I invested in a CUC.

I'm slowly moving the system towards less reliance on water changes because really they're not very efficient for this much water, they take a lot of time and it gets expensive running through a box of salt every month. It'll likely progress towards a pseudo triton method (wont really be dosing their products since it's not a reef) with some possible help with nutrient export (sharks are very messy eaters and major waste producers, and I have plans to replace the puffer I lost a while back) as needed.

It's a lot of work for sure, but keeps me out of trouble... Least until I flood the basement with one of my "unplanned water changes". Then I get in trouble with the wife.

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Really it isnt much different than some of our smaller tanks, just on a larger scale. I have to say I am quite jealous. They say size dosen't matter, but... 

Cant wait to see the new skimmer, and how that might help with some of your water issues. Keep us posted!

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1 minute ago, crimsonvice said:

Really it isnt much different than some of our smaller tanks, just on a larger scale. I have to say I am quite jealous. They say size dosen't matter, but... 

Cant wait to see the new skimmer, and how that might help with some of your water issues. Keep us posted!

Ya mostly pretty similar. Seems like some things dont scale up especially well though. For example, I'm pretty much out of luck if I meeded to do a 50% or larger water change. Just nowhere to put that much water to mix. A lot of various filtration products don't quite work either (ex. Some of the filter pads that absorb variois things. I'd need a giant stack to make it work). Otherwise, ya it's the same just more.

Funny thing is the new skimmer is actually likely to be less imposing than my DIY. It's a Deltec SC 2561 that's coming over from the UK, so something like 12" diameter and 24" tall. This is what I'm running now:

0219191853b.thumb.jpg.8b5f4454a355f24dc6feda093a361911.jpg

Note the water heater for scale. It's a 6" diameter lifereef copy. Stands almost 8' tall with the collection bucket on top. Works jist not the most consistent (likely an issue with how it moves internally and/or an issue with the diameters I used). It's leaking a bit much now which spurred the replacement.

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