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How Old Is The 300 Gallon Reef Tank? – Your Question My Answer

By Fish of Hex on

Travis: What's up everyone. Welcome back to FishOfHex. My name is Travis. Today we're going to answer the question how old is the 300-gallon reef. Now, I get this question in the comment section at least once per week.

I try to get in there to answer it if I can and a lot of you guys have put your own answers in of like three, four, five years old. Which is surprising considering the fact all the videos are in my 300-gallon playlist and you can easily match up the dates.

With that said, I'm going to go ahead and give you guys the short answer and then I'm going to give you the long answer where we break down I show you everything piece by piece and you guys can get a really good idea of how the tank has progressed during its lifespan. Let's go ahead and get started. For the short answer, it's been exactly two years since I've added my very first coral frag to the 300-gallon. Now, of course, we've done a lot of things. We've added a 40-gallon shallow reef. A couple of grow-out tanks. We've made a bunch of changes. Tried some DIY projects.

There's been a whole bunch of stuff that we've done to this tank but it's been exactly two years actually to the week since I've added my very first frag. It's just crazy how this tank has progressed over that time. Now with that said, let's ahead and move on to the longer version where I break down how I cured the rock and went through the whole process. You guys can actually visually see how the tank has grown over that time. Now, it all began back in August of 2017 when I started curing the 200 pounds of pukani in 55-gallon drums which I performed a 50% water change every two weeks for about three months. Now just a heads up, everything that you see in this update video clipwise, I pulled from the 300-gallon playlist here on YouTube.

You guys can check out all these videos individually and you can see how I went about setting up this tank. With that said, the rock cured for about three months. Of course, during that time we did some other things. Now one of those things was actually having the tank and stand delivered from This happened around mid-November of 2017. Now, this tank is tin is massive. You just don't really realize how heavy it was. I had a whole bunch of buddies come over and help and get it around the townhome and into the basement. Which was a lot of fun. We had a good day. They helped set it up and get it up on the stand, level it.

It was an awesome time and I really appreciate all the help from all those guys. Now, the next thing I did is I drove about four hours into Ohio to pick up my custom red, white and blue geo sump ETO and custom racker. This thing looked amazing when I first opened it up. Now it's just full of sponges and has detritus all over the place. I probably will have to get in there and clean it soon. I'll make a video of doing that. Other than that I really love the sump. It's completely a custom and has everything that I'll ever need when it comes to this particular set up.

When it comes the aquascape, I went ahead and took all 200 pounds of that pukani. Dumped it in the middle of my fish room and went ham on it with a hammer. Now, I'd had a general idea of what I wanted the tank to look like and I knew it was going to look weird in the beginning. It just looks like four little chodes sticking up in the middle of this tank. knew it was going to look weird. I knew I was going to get shit but in the back of my mind had a vision of what the tank would look like when it would grow in. That's what I focused on.

My goal was to have these individual pillars where there was room for the corals to hang out and hopefully cut down on some of the shading. Unfortunately, it didn't actually work out that way. Some corals got a lot bigger than others and still shaded out and I lost a lot of colonies. Hence the reason why I've added other tanks over the time to keep growing those colonies. Either way, I want to head and I aquascaped the tank dry and this was in the middle of December. I went through and super glued put the dowels in there and made sure everything was good and sturdy. It was good to go. I let it dry for a couple of days and then I filled it up with tap water and it was ready to go in and add salt.

I did start this tank with tap water. I was totally fine with that. Not a big issue. I didn't plan on putting coral on it for at least another month or so. Give it plenty of time for anything that could have been harmful to be removed via the carbon or skimmers and stuff like that. Another thing that I did in December of 2017 is finished the DIY canopy build. Definitely one of my better canopies and I had it built around the two AquaticLife 48 inch T5 hybrid fixtures. These are really cool. I have two blue plus and two actinic bulbs in each of these fixtures. It allows me to hold four Xr-15s which you guys will see later on.

This is a pretty cool canopy. It has big fans in the back to move air through. Some doors that swing down to keep the evaporation, to keep mollusk in the tanks as well. It worked out really well. You guys will see that I actually have in this video, I only have the retrofit kits with the T5 bolts because at this point I didn't buy any of the Xr-15s. I just didn't have the money. I actually bought my first four of them so I can have one over each rock structure in January of 2018. Honestly, I mentioned this before I just didn't have the budget to buy all eight of them at one time. That's a lot of money given how much they actually cost.

With that said, I ended up running the tank for the first seven months with only one Xr-15 over each rock structure. Basically half the light that I currently have and we'll talk about that later in here in a second. Let's go ahead and fast forward to March of 2018. Now, this is two months after adding my very first coral frags. You guys can see that the growth is pretty decent. It's not that bad given that there's only one Xr-15 per rock structure and some T5 lighting. It's what you expect of a 30-inch tall tank. Overall it's pretty good. The LPS seemed to be happy. The SPS are definitely growing and starting to encrust.

I pretty much dealt with that lighting up until July of 2018. It's just one of those things. When I got some extra money or basically an extra $400 or so. I went ahead and bought another light. Totaling out a grand total of 8 Xr-15s for the entire tanks. It did take me a little while and I mentioned this before. That I really regret waiting but at the end of the day it is what it is. We live and learn and move forward for our future builds.

Now let's go ahead and fast forward to that completion day. This is a video of July 3rd of 2018 when I finally finished all the lighting. This is the very first video that I uploaded. You can see the growth is pretty decent for the subpar lighting that I had for the first seven months of the tank's life. I'm definitely happy with it. The colorations look good. Unfortunately, some of these corals don't look as good as they did before. It's just because they're getting shaded out at this point. I'm really happy with the coloration and the growth up to this point. Look at the Monos. I used to have those and the tank filled in with the coral and they killed themselves.

It sucks to see them not in the tank anymore but again another lesson learned as we progress through the hobby. I know that I'm never going to put Monos in a tank that's going to be completely full of sticks and SPS coral because they're just going to kill the coral and kill themselves during the process. With that said, this is again July 3rd of 2018. Let's go ahead and move over to January of 2018. You guys can see the growth that we had during that time.

This is January of 2019 and you guys can see that the growth in the tank has definitely picked up since we finished the lighting just about six months previously. You guys can also see that I'm starting to frag coral. This is really where it began. I officially started fragging this tank in January of 2019 and been consistent every single week since then. Of course, that's where the business started from. Everything has evolved from this very day when I started fragging corals. That's just crazy and unbelievable how things have progressed over such a short period of time.

With that said, let's go ahead and fast forward to January of 2020. Here we go, guys. This is what the tank looks like as of today. What a difference? It's crazy to see how things progress and just the amount of coral and colonies that I've lost because they just want to kill each other. It's just nature does its own thing and I'm just here to trim it along the way and provide room for my fish to grow. That's something I'm actually running into now is there's not enough room for the fish. There's not enough room to clean the glass and the fount without breaking off colonies and the fish are starting to fight more. Now that it's just squeezing in with all the corals.

When you look at side shots of this tank, that's when you really appreciate how much coral is in here. Some of these colonies like the one in the middle left rock structure that green with the purple tips stag. That's a foot wide that colony. It's insane how much it's grown. To think that I've sold thousands and thousands of frags from this tank over the last year. By the way with your guidance and support. Without you guys, this wouldn't even be possible. I'm blown away on how the tank has progressed. Of course, I always see its flaws. I see things that I don't like. I see corals that have STN and died.

Of course, I've got to go in there and remove a couple of colonies this week just because they're getting shaded out and they're going to die. I want to save them and put them into the grow-out system. Other than that, I'm really happy with the tank. I couldn't really ask for more. I'm just really happy with it. When it comes to the future of this tank, I plan on keeping it up for at least another year and a half to two before I end up tearing it down and upgrading to bigger and better things. I'll give you guys a quick rundown on that.

We're looking to move to a bigger house here in the next couple of years. At that point, this 300-gallon is going to go up on the first floor. It will be plumbed down to the basement to a bigger display. I'm looking at getting a 10 foot long by 4 foot wide by 3 foot tall, roughly 900-gallon display tank. Of course, a bigger sump and I'm going to be attaching multiple 8 foot grow out tanks. They'll be frag tanks. They'll be about a foot tall but they'll be the same dimensions of the 300. Just many of them scattered around the fish room all connected to one system.

My goal is to continue to grow the types of corals that I have. Get more out-grows in and spikes running around in the background scratching and it look like he's hungry. We're going to be growing a bunch of different outgrows and just move the business in that direction. Now, when it comes to the business and how things have progressed, I look at life like this. If I'm meant to sell coral, I'm meant to have this reef tank and I'm meant to do this YouTube stuff it's going to happen. I'm not going to fight it and if it's meant to be, it's going to be.

Maybe I'll wake up tomorrow and the entire tank will be dead. If it is then I'll take it for what's it's worth and move forward and maybe do something else. It's just one of those things. Now, I am confident to say that I am extremely thankful and blessed for what I have and what I'm able to do for a living. You guys know that I have turned this into a full-time job. Between YouTube and between the coral sales I'm able to pay all of my bills and I'm able to take care of everything that I need to take care of and of course have some extra.

Now, when it comes to the business, I got rid of the imported system. Yes, I took a little bit of a hit on that but nothing crazy. I'm definitely not suffering and I feel a thousand times better. Now that I don't have to deal with PES. I don't have to worry about you guys getting anything. It's just awesome to have everything inhouse. I'm really looking forward to seeing how things progress. With that said guys, that's about it for the video. I hope you enjoyed it and I hope you guys liked this update.

You guys can really see how the tank has evolved over the last couple of years. Hopefully, for those of you who have been asking this question in the comment section, you will find this video and you'll get the correct answer that you're looking for. With all that said guys, I hope you enjoy the video and don't forget to give it a thumbs up and don't forget to subscribe. I'll see you later. Peace.

About Fish of Hex

Travis’ main reef display tank featuring many small-polyp stony coral (SPS) is a 300-gallon custom glass aquarium setting on a welded iron stand, both from Custom Aquariums.

"Here you will find everything you need to know to be successful in the saltwater aquarium hobby. I have several video series such as "Beginner Guide to Saltwater Aquariums", "300 Gallon Build" and "How to & Diy". I will teach you how to avoid common mistakes and prevent tank disasters. With thirteen years of experience in the hobby, I plan on sharing all of it with my subscribers. I take great pride in helping others and seeing their tanks grow into amazing works of art makes the time I put into making these videos worth it. Follow me and you will have an amazing reef tank in no time!"

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