Howdy from South Texas


Reef enthusiast
Hi all, been reading on here for a good while, trying to absorb as much as i can before i started setting up my first salt tank. I've had fresh tanks for years and years, allways wanted a salt tank, just never felt like i knew enought to be able to care for one, and thats just not fair to the tank residents. Well just under 2 weeks ago, i was willfully thrust into saltwater tank ownership. The short version is that a buddy of mine had to suddenly move cause of his job, and so he gave me a really sweet deal on his tank.

Its a 75gal(best i can figure by the measurements and by how much water i had to mix up to fill it) flat front curved corner tank, Georgeous by the way, and all the fish and filter and everything that he had, right down to the last few cups of salt he still had.

so, i got it all packed up, moved it the 2 hours to my house, got it all set up, and everyone survived. Inside the tank there was around 25lbs of LR(not nearly enough) about an inch of white sand, a clownfish, a 14 inch snowflake eel, yellow tang, a black and white one, and a gobi i think, he's tie-die'd lookn. (sorry the names escape me at the moment)

anyway, so I'm trying to learn as much as i can as fast as i can, getting the tank before i was comfortable in my knowledge was not my plan, but when a deal this good comes along, you kinda just cant pass it up.

I will say this, my buddy didnt have much in the canister filter, so i got all the stuff and filled it up last night, got some more salt, and some other stuff. I know i made a mistake, but when i set this tank up, i used tap water cause its all i had, and so now i'm replacing all the water with RO water as quickly as i can.

My wife is beginning to squak about the $$ i'm putting into the tank, and that i spend all my free time with my fishy friends, and not her, so i guess all is normal with the world.. :mrgreen:

My biggest issue as of right now is all the red/brown sruff thats taking over the tank, but i'm sure that a good portion of that is cause i was an idiot and used tap water..... oh well, no one died, and i'm fixing it as fast as i can...

Anyway, thats pretty much the short version of my story, I have a few pictures, so i'll try and post them....

oh, and the last one... is that whats called a feather duster worm? thoes are ok right? When its fully stretched out(the feathery part) its maybe the size of a dime, give or take.


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Welcome to the site. Yes, like most hobbies it takes money to get results. Hopefully you can pull your wife into the hobby and have something you can do together. Nice to have you here.
She likes to look at them, and watch them occasionally, but she's not interested in any of the chemestry or anything.. She will probably have something to say when i get more live rock, and where i should put it...

me, i have a stool right in front of the tank, and regularly just sit there with my soda and watch whats going on in there.. plus it gives the wife a chance to watch stuff on the tv that i dont care for.

Had my first flood last night, coincedentially last night was when i installed my overflow and baby refugium... it wasnt too bad, 3-4 gallons, and i dont actually think that it was the overflow that initally caused it, i think that it was the protine skimmer.. its the biggest PITA... the reason i suspect that is cause thats where the water was, not where the overflow or fuge is... fortunately we have tile on concrete floors, so no carpet or anything like that to deal with....

ofcourse somewhere in the process i did loose the syphon on the overflow, so i guess that could have been the start, i dunno, i just know when i went stumbeling into the laundry room to figure out what i was gonna wear to work today, i walked through a puddle, and i was very upset. so i got a couple towls turned off the skimmer and the fuge pump and came to work.. i'll have to figure it out tonight... yes, i do still have some flow, and the canister filter is still running...

we did simulate a power outage last night on the fuge, just to make sure that it wouldnt overflow or anything, worked out perfect, i did end up drilling a couple little holes on the fuge return line, just so it would suck air before it sucked a bunch of water out of the tank.. my LFS guy suggested it, and as soon as he said it the light went on in my head, and it made perfect sence... a syphon break..

now i just gotta figure out how to keep from loosing the syphon on the overflow... its right about now that i'm wishing i had drilled the back of the tank before i set it up.
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yea, i understood that was what was supposed to happen, but apparently it didnt, or perhaps there were some bubbles that were making it into the inside box and then getting sucked up into the u tube part and after enough of them got in there it broke the suction.. cause the water is almost up to the bottom of the top part.. does that make sence? the verticle parts of the tube are full of water, but the very top part has air in it...

here, i drew up a crappy little paint image so you can see what i'm trying to say...


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so last night i drilled a hole in the top of the u tube, and siliconed in an airline nipple, then tonight when i get home i'll plumb the nipple to a powerhead, that way if air does get trapped in there it can get sucked out...
The aqualifter pump was designed to address that problem. it sits outside the tank. You can find it at most any mail order outlet such as marine depot. etc. good luck keep us posted. welcome to the site
Interesting, I'll have to go and check that out...

So when i got home i checked out my silicone job and i wasnt happy. The lisicone stuck to the u tube wonderfully but it didnt stick to the nipple at all.. so i came up with a better idea.. I took the nipple out, scraped all the silicone off(that was tougher than i thought it would be!) drilled the hole a little bigger, and then fed the airline tube down into the hole and out one leg of the u tube, then i crammed the nipple in the tube, and then pulled the tube back throught the hole so that the nipple wedged the airline in the hole from the inside. It's stuck in there good and tight, and its air tight too...

so i hooked it up to the powerhead and turned on the power. The water started rising in the u tube! i was so excited, it looked like it was going to work perfectly. Then the rising water slowed, and stopped just short of the mark. The suction that the little powerhead was making just wasn't strong enough to lift the water all the way.

So i helped with the suction a little manually, and started the overflow pump..

That was last night, and this morning theres absolutely no air in the u tube. There is a little water and air bubbles in the airline tubing to the powerhead, so maybe its working....

i wish i had a stronger powerhead with a stronger suction.. maybe i'll get bored later and make my own venturi to attach to the output of the powerhead and see if that creates a stronger suction.. i'll post some pictures a little later in the day.
well i got all involved in other things(yea, there are other things than just the tanks) and never got back to making my own ventury for suction on the u bend.. But, i did take a good look at it a couple times throughout the day, and i never once say any air trapped in the tube, now there was some air bubbles in the airline headed toward the powerhead, so i guess any air that does get in there gets sucked up by the powerhead... so it looks like everything is working out...

one thing that i would change about the way i did this was if i had it to do over again i wouldnt drill the u bend, i would just stuff the airline up into the tube from the tank side and then feed that to the powerhead... drilling it just turned out to be more of a pain that it was worth... perhaps i'll pickup a new tube and do this, just so i dont have to worry about my "creative engineering" failing...