So much has happened since I set this tank up. I'm going to keep it all in order though. I decided that the bare stand looked like crap so I went ahead and finished up the stand myself. It was the fastest and cheapest route to take.
I encased the stand in wood and attached an outlet to the end that just ran straight to an outlet on the wall with an extension cord. this has since been removed though.
After a short while, I switched out my cheap LED lights with 4 Kessil 360s and added a Neptunes systems Apex to the tank. I built a housing kit out of wood for the lights that just rests on either side of the tank.
Everything was going good for a while until.... it wasnt.... I got a new job working out in cape coral and I really slacked on the tank for a while. I still replaced the gfo, cleaned the skimmer every now and added food to the auto feeder. But for the most part of about 9 months, the tank really got neglected. Towards the end of this 9-month period, I started to get this nasty thick alga in the tank. I've never seen it before. Once this crazy thick algae popped up, the fish and corals all started dying so I immediately started doing an extreme tank overhaul. After doing some research on the algae, some people were saying that It could be caused by carbon dosing while others say it could be caused by chemicals in air fresheners. Both of those sources could have caused it in my tank. so I ripped everything out of the tank, sprayed all the fuzzy growth off of the live rock with RODI water and did an 80% water change.
I used this experience as an excuse to redo my rock work like any normal reefer. After putting all the rock back in the tank I used 2x4s and string to make arches and used Maco reef rock cement to lock it all in place.
After the great tank overhaul, I decided to evaluate things that I could be doing better and learn from them. So I decided to remove the refugium (SInce i couldn't seem to grow chaeto that well anyway) and add a ZEOvit reactor. At the same time, I bought two 4 foot T5 fixtures and added another DOS to conduct continuous water changes.
All this was done about 3 months ago and its been doing amazing. I have lost a few anthias because they seem to like sitting inside my powerheads when they are off. so ive lost 2 so far to getting chopped up in the powerhead. Hopefully, the others will learn from their fallen sisters. lol
Now the only other venture that I have is growing Phytoplankton and pods. I bought this system from Poseidon's reef systems and its working pretty well. Eventually, id like to get into trading pods and phytoplankton for corals and such but well see how it goes.
Here's a random shot from when the wife didn't want to go out to dinner for her birthday so I brought the restaurant to her. lol