Johnny's New-Old 55gal saltwater tank

Thanks. I am working on a remedy to the light situation.
I just have to make sure not too many boxes arrive at the house in a short time span :)

I was just having a conversation with my wife during breakfast regarding how much new stuff I have been getting to upgrade my equipment *uh oh*. I told her I'm almost done and just waiting on a couple more deliveries and it's back to cruise control from there.

Just then a big pallet delivery truck (complete with forklift) parked in front of our house.
I ran to the front door saying "Awesome! Its here!".
My wife gave me a nasty glare and seemed like she was ready to rip me apart with the butter knife.

"What the hell did you just get?!!!" she asked.

I tried to hard to restrain my laughter as the delivery guy started to unload pallets of concrete mix and construction supplies to the neighbor across the street for his backyard project.

After that episode, I think she will be OK with me buying a couple of mid-priced reef LED kits :) Those do not need a forklift...
I have updated the lights.

**Note** The kits are unbranded, and I know they will never be able to compete with the Radion and AI kits but these meet my needs for my size tank and for the critters I plan to keep. They also cost less than 1/3rd of the best brands.
On paper, this kit appears to be one of the "better" unbranded kits. But still, a good mutt is still a mutt so I'll be your guinea pig for this one. :)
I also know enough about electronics that should this unit fail, I will not be bothering with warranty service and all that. I will just fix this thing myself or replace the bad parts with DIY kits from reputable LED kit vendors.

I went with 2 sets of 55-bulb LED (30 blue/25 white).
White bulbs are 15,000k and blue are 460nm. Bridgelux brand.

White and blue sets have their own power lines and dimmers, allowing me to set them up on separate timers and also play with the illumination combos between white and blue.
Bulbs are 3 watts max each, but the entire fixture only has 120watts max so at maximum output for both colors none of the bulbs will actually hit 3 watts - they will actually be around 2.1watts max.
It is a design limitation, I know, but it is more than enough for soft corals that I am going to grow. I doubt that I will even set these up to go past 60%.
For SPS growers, this kit might be on the low end of your selection.

Additional mods to the tank canopy. I added a center brace and beefed up the horizontal frames.
Shipping info states that each kit has 8 pounds shipping weight. I know they weigh less than that when unpacked but I wanted to make sure my frame is strong enough to hold that much weight. So while waiting for the lights to arrive, I tested the frame by hanging two 10 pound dumbbells on the spots where the lights would go. Of course the frame was NOT on top of the aquarium when I was doing the weight test :)


Making sure the horizontal spacing is how I want it:

Acclimating corals at 25% white and 25% blue. Even at 25% it is already much brighter than my old 4x36watt PC kit.

Here's are before and after shots of the same palythoa colony.
Taking pictures under the LED lights is tricky and my camera focus gets messed up so these are not the best quality pics.

Old fixture (4x36watt PC)

New fixture (LEDs at 25% illumination for both white and blue)

The LEDS show colors that were never visible under the 50/50 PC bulbs.
I'm diggn' the new lights man!

I think I just need two more powerheads in there and I should be "all done" with the hardware.
I am planning on getting two Hydor Koralia 1050's (one on each end) and move the existing Koralia 550's to the middle of the tank for some cross-current.
I just put in the new Koralia 1050's and removed the old surface agitators.

I think having 2x 1050'ss + 2x 550's was a bit much. (That's 58x turnover for a 55gal!)
No matter how I orient the powerheads I would see sand tornadoes everywhere. And one of my gorgonians got blown out of it's superglue mount :shock:
On the bright side, it looks like all traces of cyano got stripped off the rocks :Cheers:.
I will play with the powerhead orientation again tomorrow and see if I can set it up better.
If it does not work out I'll remove one 1050 and keep it as a spare.

Also just to see what would happen, I placed the two 1050's on each end of the tank directly facing each other about 4 inches beneath the water surface. The entire surface of the tank looked like it was getting half-inch harmonics lol.
It would be cool for a science project, but I bet it was very uncomfortable for the fish.
Just some photo updates.
I might not be making any significant changes after this and will just see how the setup works out for the next few weeks.
I have now bumped up the lights to around 40%, and will keep it that way for week.

At this time I am researching what additional zoa frags I can add to the mix.

FTS with blue lights only.

FTS with both white and blue.

FTS with tank top equipment shown.

Unknown palythoa 1 - I rearranged the rock so more heads are exposed to the top light.

Unknown palythoa 2 - the polyps on this one are smaller than #1 but are showing more pronounced face colors.

Fire and Ice Zoanthid frag.

Candy Apple Zoanthid frag. These guys are forming a conga line?

Orange Bam Bam Zoanthid frag.

Melon Zoanthid frag.

My amphiprion ocellaris is still king of the hill.

Scooter Dragonet on the prowl.

Yellow gorgonian starting to grow branches (crossing fingers) :)
that scooter in the video looks chunky like hes well fed and those melons are sick prally will get some for my tank very nice set up bro look awesome
Some photo updates and some progression shots:


I am still moving a rock here and there to try and get the optimal water flow. I also relocated a couple of the zoa frags because they were getting battered by the powerheads.
You can barely see the frags. In time, they will grow :)
Cyano is also starting to fade (crossing fingers that they go away for good).

Here's one of the unidentified zoa colonies throughout the tank's progression.
Just after tank rebuild, under 4x64watt PC bulbs:

After switching to the LED fixture, after acclimating for a week at 25% Blue and White:

After one week of 40% Blue and White LED:

So far the zoas seem happy with the LED lights.

Here's the yellow gorgonian that was growing a new branch. I believe this variety is non-photosynthetic so the lights should not have affected this one.

This was last week:

This is today. It kinda looks like the gorgonian is giving me the middle finger.

These gorgonians are not growing any branches yet, but just seem to be getting fatter.

Orange Gorgonian - this one is growing some lumps, but no branches yet.

Purple Gorgonian - this one just wants to reach the sky.

Hopefully in a couple of weeks I can start adding some new corals.
With cyano starting to take a back seat, and purple coralline algae starting to infest my glass, I decided to start putting in some new additions to the tank.

A green Pocillopora

Duncan coral

Toadstool leather - the clown has already claimed it as his own.

Another toadstool leather that is still acclimating - this is supposed to be all green. We will find out once it opens up.


Some funky mushrooms with bubble warts.

Here's a video update of the tank.

The only significant change I made since the last update was to add another TLF Phosban reactor that is filled with BRS ROX 0.8 Carbon, inline with the first Phosban reactor running BRS High Capacity GFO.

55gallon reef tank - YouTube
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