Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 40

Thread: turbojoe's budget 55 gallon

  1. #1
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like

    turbojoe's budget 55 gallon

    Hello Everyone,

    This thread will server as my introduction and tank thread. I'm mostly putting this up to document my progress, but also welcome your comments, advice, and scathing criticism. I'm very new to the hobby and probably jumped the gun in purchasing my setup, but so far I'm having what I believe is great success and excited to get started.

    I've been interested in reef aquariums for many years, but was always under the impression that I could not afford to get started. I heard the initial startup costs were thousands of dollars and the failure rate was very high. It never dawned on me that I could purchase an established tank for a fraction of the cost until my friend purchased a setup from a member of this form a couple of weeks ago. I immediately began watching the form and craigslist for a deal that was within my budget. I considered a cube, but knew that I would want to go bigger quickly. I also thought about a relatively large tank, such as a 90-130 gallon, but plan on moving in the next year or so and didn't want to go too big. I finally found a 55 gallon complete setup for what I thought was a good price, but it was covered in green hair algae. I figured I would take a gamble and attempt to rescue the tank and that's where I'm at now.

    Here is a picture from Monday when we picked up the tank.

    IMG_20141103_165411 copy.jpg

    Here it is today after I've been cleaning it up.
    IMG_20141106_110917 copy.jpg

    I'll post more pictures later.

    The livestock includes a bunch of coral that I haven't really identified yet (I think it's mostly long hair mushroom coral) a leather coral of some sort, a Skarlet Skunk Claner Shrimp, a Yellowtail Damselfish, a Tracey's Damselfish, 2 Pajama Cardinalfish, and a Clown Fish.

    Nothing too incredibly exciting, but I got the entire setup for $200, which I'm guessing was pretty good. It has a 55 gallon tank with stand, 48" dual t5 hood, hang-on overflow, sump, protein skimmer, 2 powerheads, 8 5 gallon water containers, a few weeks of fish food, and various supplies. I do understand the risks involved with running a hang-on overflow and one day I'll upgrade to a tank with an upgraded overflow. The guy said he initially set it up around 2004 and took care of it for many years before letting some other folks care for it while they were renting his house... All in all everything seems pretty happy. The Leather Coral seems to be shedding, so I hope it picks up soon. All fish are eating well. I added a few snails to hopefully help with the remaining algae. We tested the water yesterday and everything seems good.

    Let me know what you think. If you have any ideas, such as moving my powerheads, or moving some of the other corals away from the Leather Coral, I would love to hear them.

  2. #2
    Senior Member TheMadReefer's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    241
    Post Thanks / Like
    Welcome! Nice tank!

  3. #3
    Site Administrator
    Murfman's Avatar
    Diamond Mine Champion!
    Fruit Twirls Champion!
    Queen Jewel Champion!

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Old Farm
    Posts
    13,218
    Post Thanks / Like
    Holy hair algae batman!!! is that how it is now or was before you got it? Try using photobucket.com to host your pictures. Use the "get links" button and use the [img] tab at the bottom of the 4 links.
    The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Cousteau


    Wine is for wisdom, beer is for strength, but bourbon is the water of life.


    The New glass 300 build
    http://www.thescmas.com/forums/showt...ighlight=ghost

  4. #4
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    Those are before and after pics. I'll get some more pictures later, I just threw this up at lunch as was in a hurry.

    Thanks for checking it out.

  5. #5
    Senior Member charleshardy5's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2,671
    Post Thanks / Like
    Welcome welcome. Seems you've put considerable time into battling the hair algae, looks great compared to what it was. Keep the pictures rolling in

    We The Sheeple
    Last time I checked my watch this was America!

  6. #6
    Site Administrator
    Murfman's Avatar
    Diamond Mine Champion!
    Fruit Twirls Champion!
    Queen Jewel Champion!

    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Old Farm
    Posts
    13,218
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by turbojoe View Post
    Those are before and after pics. I'll get some more pictures later, I just threw this up at lunch as was in a hurry.

    Thanks for checking it out.
    Tell us how you have been battling the HA?
    The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. - Jacques Cousteau


    Wine is for wisdom, beer is for strength, but bourbon is the water of life.


    The New glass 300 build
    http://www.thescmas.com/forums/showt...ighlight=ghost

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Manchestercity's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Very nice looking setup. I don't know if it matters to you but I always prefer to have the power heads pointing upward. It creates a more turbulent surface which means more shimmer. I'd highly recommend buying new bulbs as they stop being effective after six months and who knows how old they already are

  8. #8
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Murfman View Post
    Tell us how you have been battling the HA?
    Well, the tank was setup next to a picture window in its old location. So, now it's in the basement at my house away from the natural light. We did an 85% water change, scrubbed off as much algae as possible by hand, added a few snails, and I use this guy as I get time...


  9. #9
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks for the advice! I'll move the powerheads. I'm planning on getting some LEDs and adding some different corals within the next few weeks, but need to do some more research first.

  10. #10
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    OK, taking the time to do the pictures right...

    Day I got it... This is in it's original location before we broke everything down.



    Day 1 after water settled...




    End of day 1 after we found a bucket of live rock we forgot about!


    Today (day 3)


    Livestock





  11. #11
    Senior Member charleshardy5's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2013
    Posts
    2,671
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Manchestercity View Post
    Very nice looking setup. I don't know if it matters to you but I always prefer to have the power heads pointing upward. It creates a more turbulent surface which means more shimmer. I'd highly recommend buying new bulbs as they stop being effective after six months and who knows how old they already are
    Speculative at best. Granted t5 and halide bulbs degrade over time the point it happens is not necessarily a 6 month mark. Depends on how often they are run during a day yadda yadda. I'm fairly certain the bulbs in my halides are over 2 years old and I have no algae problems rhat most people say arise from bulb degradation. I say roll with it till they splode

    We The Sheeple
    Last time I checked my watch this was America!

  12. #12
    Senior Member
    Manchestercity's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2014
    Posts
    499
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by charleshardy5 View Post
    Speculative at best. Granted t5 and halide bulbs degrade over time the point it happens is not necessarily a 6 month mark. Depends on how often they are run during a day yadda yadda. I'm fairly certain the bulbs in my halides are over 2 years old and I have no algae problems rhat most people say arise from bulb degradation. I say roll with it till they splode

    We The Sheeple
    I've never used metal halides so I have no idea about them. But all florescent bulbs use gases to create light and UVB light will no longer be transmitted as the gases degrade. It will still light up but an important wave spectrum will not be produced. LEDs of course don't have this problem so it's a good choice

  13. #13
    Registered User Levi's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    Lima, OH
    Posts
    7,957
    Post Thanks / Like
    Welcome! Have you checked out MyReefToYours.com? He is local to your area and has an awesome selection! A must visit in my opinion!

  14. #14
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    Thanks Levi. I have seen their website, but haven't been down there in person yet. I'll have to check it out soon.

  15. #15
    SCMAS President

    hooked's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Colorado Springs, CO.
    Posts
    7,212
    Post Thanks / Like
    Welcome. You have a good project going there. Just don't get discouraged with the hair algae. You may have a bit of a fight on your hands. Looks great and you are doing everything right. Cudos to you for rescuing a failing system.
    Doyle

    "It's better to be silent and thought the fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt."



    90g sps Reef, DIY LED Lighting.
    180g Reef - rebirth started Jan 2013
    260g Coral Propagation System.


    Go dtí go bhfilleann sé abhaile!

  16. #16
    Public Relations Liasion

    static reef's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Location
    colorado
    Posts
    3,793
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by hooked View Post
    Welcome. You have a good project going there. Just don't get discouraged with the hair algae. You may have a bit of a fight on your hands. Looks great and you are doing everything right. Cudos to you for rescuing a failing system.
    Well said. Welcome. looks a hundred times better

  17. #17
    Senior Member


    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Colorado Springs
    Posts
    2,823
    Post Thanks / Like
    All that livestock is so lucky you picked up this tank! Great job on some tough work! How do you mount the toothbrush on that stick?

  18. #18
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    Quote Originally Posted by Joe View Post
    All that livestock is so lucky you picked up this tank! Great job on some tough work! How do you mount the toothbrush on that stick?
    Thanks Joe. Your 480 build is inspiring! The toothbrush stick was just luck of the draw. It's a metal curtain rod and a a cheap Walgreens toothrbrush. I just shoved the toothbrush in the end of the rod until it wouldn't budge anymore.

  19. #19
    New User tech87's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Posts
    13
    Post Thanks / Like
    Looking good! Now if we can identify some of the corals/life/hitchhikers that was hidden under all the gunk. I saw the tank in person today and noticed a "fan worm" or some type of filter feeder hiding in the live rock.

  20. #20
    Registered User turbojoe's Avatar

    Join Date
    Oct 2014
    Location
    Pueblo, CO
    Posts
    185
    Post Thanks / Like
    Just a couple of photo updates.

    The leather coral is done shedding and looking better.


    I added a Lawnmower Blenny and he's been helping with the algae a little. The corals, although ugly, seem to be pretty happy.


    Still trying to decide on lights. I'm leaning towards 2 x 24" dimmable full spectrum 165W chinese LEDs from ebay. Do you guys think that's overkill for a 55 gallon? I figure I can always turn them way down and then I've got enough power if I want to move up to a 90 gallon at some point.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •