lobster tank temperate reef

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lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 9:24 pm

i was lead here by stu, who thought you guys would like it if i shared my current new tank. i have been working on this tank for a couple of months, so i will fill you in on the building part first...

at the beginning of april, i lucked into this marineland lobster tank for $20, so i thought i would try to make it into a temperate tank.







middle of april: the first bit of progress i made was making it more pleasing to look at







and here it is in the house



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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 9:31 pm

the next step was to plumb in the new return pump, a sicce syncr 3.0 and the closed loop pump, a sicce syncra 5.0





i also made some toothed guards for the overflows



and then worked on the reverse flow under gravel filter

modified the bottom grating to accommodate the closed loop intake







and here it is with the rock and substrate added





view from the end of the tank



from the top, you can also see the 1/2" acrylic panels i cut to form a lid and help keep the heat out of the tank

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 9:42 pm

after insulating all of the plumbing, it was time to fill it up with water and give the chiller a real test



the chiller performed well, but it was just too much heat and noise added to the living room. so, i picked up another chiller to run as the primary and kept the built in as a backup.

to plumb in the new chiller i had to redo the closed loop plumbing and send the water out of the house to where the chiller is located.





then, to make sure there was minimal heat gain, i built insulated boxes around the plumbing and an insulated cover to protect the chiller from the elements





i also built a cover for the chiller controller



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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 9:49 pm

i made an insulated panel to cover the access opening for the sump to further decrease heat gain



as well as insulating the door to reduce noise



even with the foam insulation on the pipes, there was quite a bit of condensation. there was also some condensation on the bottom of the tank. to fix that, i further insulated with cotton/foil duct insulation. that did the trick.



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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 9:59 pm

i added manifolds to the drains in the sump to make them less noisy and you can also see the tunze skimmer i am using instead of the stock skimmer. i had to make a small acrylic section to add into the sump fed by a maxijet to get the skimmer to work correctly.



on april 21st, i added salt to the tank. and brought the temperature back up to 65 F so it wouldnt take as long to cycle.

the cycle progressed quickly with ammonia spiking and then nitrite. i was planning on waiting much to let the nitrates decrease before adding anything. Then, on may 1st, one of the local shops here got a waratah anemone in on a shipment. i just couldnt pass it up.

this is under a temporary compact fluorescent lamp - led lights had not arrived yet

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 10:06 pm

finally, the current update:

my led lights arrived yesterday, so i installed them into the light box that i had already built



here are the lights i am using





here they are installed in the box



the moonlight strip



dawn/dusk



daylight



here is what the tank looks like with the lights

moonlight



dawn/dusk



daylight

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 10th 2012, 10:09 pm

now the fun part, research to decide on stocking plans Smile
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by J-P on May 11th 2012, 1:18 pm

I tried one... 6 lobsters didn't fair so well in my 30 gal. A newbi mistake. It looks like you are a little more prepared than I was Wink
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 11th 2012, 2:38 pm

i am not planning on stocking lobsters, that is just what the tank was made to house.
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by AquaticEngineer on May 18th 2012, 5:35 pm

I love this build so much because I soooooo badly wanted to have my first marineland lobster tank hooked up in the house and my wife told me no way, lol. I will just live vicariously through you I guess, then show my wife pics of your tank when its all stocked up and tell her how cool mine could have been Smile
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by aquamans on May 23rd 2012, 8:18 am

I cant see any pics?
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 23rd 2012, 2:24 pm

that is strange, they are not there when i first open the thread, but show up soon after. maybe it is just taking a while for them to load for you - there are lots of pics.
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on May 24th 2012, 8:59 am

had a moment of panic yesterday - christy called me over to the tank and asked "is all of this water on the floor from condensation?"

a quick taste test (this will be even more gross in a minute) and i immediately knew it was salt water...

searched everywhere and found no leak, then i heard a strange bubbling noise from inside the sump. yep, the skimmer was set to skim very wet for initial breakin. now, a few weeks later and food being added to the tank daily for the anemone, the skimmer is going crazy and overflowing. it is in the sump, so that is no big deal, except the skimmer slid a tad forward and the collection cup is touching the insulated panel that covers the sump. this is allowing the overflowing skimmate to run down the panel, then down the front of the origial stand inside the skin and out the bottom of the tank on to the floor (remember the taste test?) yuk!

all fixed now and waiting for my first shipment of critters soon Very Happy
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by aquamans on May 29th 2012, 8:30 pm

That looks like a great setup heaps of work but well worth it. As for the taste test what does anenome waste taste like lol. Yuk


Last edited by aquamans on May 29th 2012, 8:32 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : spelling)
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on June 9th 2012, 7:55 am

thanks, it wasnt too bad since there is only one small anemone in the tank atm.

the tank is still chugging along. i have a nice diatom bloom going, so i
am really looking forward to my order coming in since i got some snails
and a sea star. hopefully it will be in this week. in the mean time, i
decided that it was too blue. i ordered some green and some red led
strips just like the others i used. i will be adding a few in with the
blue leds to reduce the intense blueness and more in as another stage in
the lights. off to solder now...
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on June 10th 2012, 7:45 am

finished the lights yesterday morning, but had a very busy day
afterward, so had to wait to post pics. i am very pleased with the
results Smile

moonlight (didnt change)





dawn/dusk (lost ones group already - bad resistor. i may replace it later)





mid morning/evening





full daylight



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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by AquaticEngineer on June 17th 2012, 12:09 pm

Looking good!! How did all the Livestock fair on arrival?
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on June 17th 2012, 5:01 pm

everything has settled in nicely and eating. the snails have really started clearing out the diatoms. thanks again for the great stuff!

there are two fish, but they have been in hiding since i let them go in the tank, so pics of them will have to come later.

here is the waratah anemone i already had



here is a painted anemone and the limpet that came in



a little closer on the nem



baby green surf anemone



jewel anemones



strawberry anemones



i also got some snails and a blood star, but it is in an area where i can get a pic atm.

here is a quick fts - notice the area up front that the snails have cleaned Smile

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by Hero on June 21st 2012, 11:35 am

I think that anemone is one of my favorite temperate species.


Last edited by Hero on August 29th 2012, 3:39 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on July 24th 2012, 12:33 pm

thanks,

this tank is just chugging along. i dont think the two fish made it, as
i haven't seen them since the week they were added. the starfish was
also mia (and presumed dead) until a few days ago. the snails did a
great job cleaning up the algal bloom, now i need to get some swimmers
in there

these pics are with all of the blue, green and red led strips on - no whites









and these are with all of the leds on, including the white strips









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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by mrblobby666 on July 26th 2012, 11:28 pm

Looking good mate. Any particular reason you chose rocks for the substrate?

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on August 1st 2012, 10:20 pm

thanks. yep, there are a couple of reasons. first, i wanted to emulate the northern pacific coast of the us. also, i could not use sand because of the reverse flow under gravel filter.
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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by Hero on August 7th 2012, 2:51 am

Nice pics. I like where you're going with the biotope.

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by hobogato on August 25th 2012, 10:14 pm

thanks

since the two fish i added seem to have disappeared, i am considering a different direction for livestock. until that decision is made, the tank will stay in a bit of a holding pattern. all of the anemones, snails, and the starfish are doing great. here are a few pics from today.







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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

Post by Hero on August 29th 2012, 3:40 am

The fish might very well be in hiding. What kind where they again?

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Re: lobster tank temperate reef

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