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Weekly Rambling Video – Differences between The Old 125 And New 300 Gallon

By Fish of Hex on

What's up guys welcome back to Fisher Hex today we're going to be doing my weekly rambling video. Now if you're new to the channel this is where I give you some one-on-one time share with some personal stuff what's been on my mind throughout the week as well as some mini updates. Now in this video we're going to be talking about the differences between the 125 gallon which was the tank that I started the channel on two and a half years ago and the new 300 gallon build which I just put up about five months ago. We're going to talk about the differences the pros the cons all that stuff so let's go and get into it.

All right, so where to start I guess we can go in and talk about the quality of the two builds and the differences they have regarding that. Now the 125 gallon was just a tank that I picked up at a local fish store in Massachusetts probably 10 or 12 years ago, it's been a really long time, it was a freshwater African cichlid tank and then a south African cichlid tank for a longest time then I went ahead and transition it over to a saltwater tank by drilling it and adding a sump which was a custom 55-gallon with a refugium skimmer section and the return section there. Now during that whole life of the tank which is about one and a half years until I actually took it completely down and you guys can see that before and after growth in such a short period of time and to think that I started fragging that tank only six months and just to make money for salt which really built everything that I have now and to think all the things that I actually did to that tank in such a short period of time for the sake of the channel.

Adding the refrigerator, having an automatically dose, foods from the refrigerator into the return pump, adding a display refugium as well as a frag tank, a bio pellet reactor testing KZ coral program as well as the red sea coral program or color program better yet and just crazy the amount of stuff that I did on that tank and how successful it was. Now I will talk about the differences in coral between the 125 gallon and the 300 in a little bit but I really think that that has a big play on where my 300 is sitting now opposed to what the 125 was. All right, now moving over to the 300 and the first thing I want to mention here is this is my dream build this has everything that I've ever wanted in a reef tank and that's why I went above and beyond it I'm still not done with it I still have to add at least four to six more XR 15's for this lighting setup here.

I still have to add them, I could at pretty much anytime but I just don't feel like spending any more money on this tank, the sheer amount of money that I having into it so far the thought of adding another 15 to $1,8,0 worth of lighting just hurts my head and I'll probably wait until after refit Palooza in June and then I'll go ahead and add the rest of the lighting so we can really get the growth going on in this tank. If you guys are not aware of this the tank and stand are sponsored by and the sump calcium reactor in ATO container sponsored by Geo's reef.

Now coming together with these two companies to build this tank was amazing, I just talked to them back and forth figuring out the dimensions of the stand particularly just to make sure that the sample is going to fit perfectly being the 96 inches wide by I believe it was 22 inches inside the tank stand there because we had a taken consideration for the piping and all that stuff for the stand. Everything just worked out great. I pretty much got everything between the tank and the stand and the sump and all that stuff they were delivered within a month of each other and it just worked out great putting the system together.

Now I will say the most stressful part about the build is the sheer amount of money that I've invested into it and the whole like, "Well, what if I did something wrong or what if I miscalculated a measurement or something and it just didn't work out?" It was pretty nerve-wracking until everything showed up and I could finally start putting it together and even then it was pretty stressful because you get one shot and if you mess it up and you got to cut the piping and you had to add a coupling or something just doesn't work out and the tank looks-- it doesn't look the way it should.

A lot of time stress and planning went into this build and it finally came together and now we're five months in and we're going to go to move on and talk about some of the differences between the 125 and the 300 when it comes to the internal components and some of the things that I've noticed with the livestock. Now when it comes to the internal components of both systems I do have some similarities like for example the return pump is the exact same return pump, the DCS 12,000 it is a newer one but it is the exact same pump through Jaybo.

Then when it comes to power heads I was using the W 40s and the PP8s and the 125 and here for the 300 I'm using WP60s for them for that tank and I might be adding some more flow later on. Those are pretty much the only two similarities that I have on the entire systems, everything else is completely different, lighting wise on the 125 I used T5s with SP reef lights and Aqua Mars sheet box lights. I went ahead and use those and of course I grew a ton of coral and now here for the 300 I'm using a T5 so I'm using AT5 bulbs for blue plus 4 and then right now I have four XR 15s and I will be adding 4 or 5 or 4 to 6 more on that setup once I get through refill Palooza.

All right now that we're on the topic of lighting let me just go ahead and give you the differences in par between both tanks, now if you guys remember I did the par readings on the 125 and I was up in like 7-800 par at the top of some of those birds nests colonies and I was rocking a ton of light in that tank which the tank grew really fast, it did well and I guess it worked out great for that tank. Now I don't know if I'm actually going to go that high on the 300 I guess we'll see what par I can get with the six other XR-15s on there but right now I'm running about 350 down to 250 for the majority of the rock structures and to think that's just T5 bulbs with one XR15 and I'm growing AcroPower throughout all four rock structures.

It's pretty cool and I'm really interested to see what it will be like with the more lighting on there and yes that's where I'm at on par it's a basically the exact opposite when I was rolling on the 125 and I guess the only reason why I don't have a ton of par over this tank is because I can't go any higher with what I currently have for my light setup. I guess at some point I might try to approach around the 400-450 range because that's where I like, that's my happy medium between being too high and being too low. It's a personal preference on that and we'll see what happens once we get the new lighting.

Now speaking of AcroPower let's go ahead and talk about the differences in coral between the two tanks, the 125 was primarily montipora cabs stylophora with the green bird nest, the purple  all that stuff that very easy fast growing corals and to think that I only have a very small frag of the stylophora in this tank and it's growing bigger and better than any other frag that I have in the tank. It just goes to show that those types of corals grow really fast and if you're looking to fill out a tank very quickly AcroPower might not be the way you want to go, the stlyophora, the montipora they grow extremely fast and that's what I have the entire tank full of so that's why it grew like it did.

Now I did have a montipora rock on the right-hand side of that tank for the last few month that it was up and the AcroPower grew great, they grew big enough to frag out and make some money on it down the road, but it definitely would have took several more months for them to get nearly as big as the rest of the tank. All right, moving over to the 300 you guys have probably noticed that it's pretty much all AcroPower and that is the direction I really wanted to go. Don't get me wrong I love Monti stylos and all that stuff over there but I really just want to go the AcroPower route.

I just have this thing about them I can't explain it I just really like it I like the fact that they can grow just as fast once you get your parameters and everything's stable but I really like the colorations of the acros much more than I do the stylos and the Monte's it's just where I'm at on that. I still have bird's nest in here, I still have cat's paw in here and a green purple red mata caps but they're in particular areas that allow them to grow out and they won't take over like they did in the other tank, they still look nice, but they're not going to just start crushing AcroPower once they grow and all that stuff like they did in the old tank.

Now the next thing I want to talk about is the coloration in the coral, for the 125 it seemed to be perfect for the exception of a few corals here and there that just didn't get enough light they seemed to darken up and just disappear and that's really how it works out when you have that much coral in the tank something's going to suffer. Either way I did attempt to remove a lot of coral before it got shaded out and fragging in hopes of selling and finding in a better home but that didn't always work out. Now for this 300-gallon I have such a unique rock structure this is probably the best rock structure I've ever built in any system that I've had or even set up.

The amount of time it took in planning it took to actually get this rock to look the way it is and to balance perfectly and what's really cool about but when I go to Aquascape it's because it is such a big tank I can twist the rock any way I want Aquascape it and then twist it back the way it was originally was and that really makes it easier for Aquascaping so I'm glad I can do that. It is sad that I have to use a grabber to get anything off the bottom of the tank or if I want to put a frag towards the bottom of rock structure I got to use the grabber.

Anyways back to- see that's what happens I start going off in the tangent this is why I should probably make an outline so I can keep organized but anyways the coloration of the two tanks the 125 was good too go there wasn't really anything I did like the Red Sea color program and I really wish I could use it on the 300 but because I use a calcium reactor on the 300 there's not a formula with the calcium reactor to allow you to use the Red Sea color program so I'd be dosing and guessing and I mentally can't function that way. I can't just throw something in the tank and hope that is the right amount, my brain just doesn't work that way so that's why I'm using the Reef Plus and the Accra Power from two little fishies those are the two main things that I'm dosing the tank for coloration.

Of course we're doing the ICP test and making adjustments on potassium iodine all that stuff which I just ordered another ICP test, it'll be here probably in a few days and then I'll send it out and when it comes back in we'll go through and see if my changes from the original ICP test as impacted and affected this tank. Now when it comes to coloration on the 300, the AcroPower were fading in color very early on and I know what it is there's actually a couple things, the lack of nutrients which we saw or the lack of phosphates which we saw on the ICP test there just wasn't any phosphates in the tank or just a very small amount and that was because I was feeding every day but I guess I wasn't feeding enough. Also, I had GFO on there but the GFO, I was only using a half a cup of GFO on a 300-gallon which is virtually nothing. I removed the GFO at the beginning of April and it's been almost a month now and I will say that the macro-algae is starting to be green again which is awesome.

The coloration in the coral is starting to come back and I can contribute that to the AcroPower or the extra phosphates, probably a mixture of both. I've also been feeding heavily every single day with that food that I make that you guys saw. I'll put a link to that in the description below if I remember. Anyways, I'm getting a lot more basically coloration in polyp extension out of all my corals.

I really think that removing that GFO definitely helped of course increase in the feeding. For the first time in five months, I have algae in the tank and I know that's not something to brag about but I'm actually really happy to see it on the bottom glass just this little brown furry algae. I'm glad it's there because it's actually in the cool area where the power heads blow a lot of flow so the tangs have to kind of swim really fast to try to eat it.

It's like a little treadmill of food which I think is kind of funny to watch them do. They probably won't do it on camera somehow I'm going to try. Anyways, seeing some algae in the tank for the first time in five months, I'm happy to see it. My macro-algae is turning greener which means the phosphates are elevating. We'll do the ICP test and see what the tank is actually sitting at and make any other adjustments that we need to regarding our other dosing.

Now, I do want to mention why I think I have the lack of nutrients in this tank. Not only is it just a new tank with new rock, all that kind of stuff that's been cured and all that good stuff, but the skimmer itself is overpowered. Without a doubt, this Nyos Quantum 300 not only is it rated for a 500 to a 1,000-gallon tank. I'm only sitting at 380 gallons so I am way over-skimming this tank.

I could tell that it was the skimmer because when I used to have that skimmer on my frag tank, the frag tank was doing great up until the point that I removed that skimmer, replaced it with a Curve 7 and then that's when it started going downhill. I was like, okay. I kind of put two and two together between what I'm dealing with now as well as what I was dealing with the frag tank.

It's definitely the skimmer is just overpowering. With that being said I actually decided to pass on the skimmer swabbie just to allow the skimmer neck to get a little bit dirtier throughout the week. I only changed the cup every Sunday. It's usually at least the minimum of three-quarters of a cup full of dark, dark skimmy. It's definitely doing its job. When I do any kind of dosing with this tank I turn off the skimmer for at least six hours because I know it's just going to suck everything out of the water.

All right. The last thing I want to cover here is the stocking differences between the two tanks. The 125, of course, had Reggie, the snowflake eel. He was much smaller than he is now. He's around three foot now. He's a pretty big boy and he's definitely become a lot more aggressive since he got into this tank. We'll talk about that in another video. Anyways, so I had about 15 tangs at one point in that 125.

They were small tangs so a tang police got off my nuts. It's not a big deal. They were doing great, they were really happy and I had virtually no aggression in that tank. A lot of people keep asking me what do I do to cut down on the tank aggression or how do I deal with it? I really believe it has to do with your aquascape more than anything. When you have a place or an aquascape where they can hide behind through and under the rock and kind of get away from other fish it really helps with that aggression.

Now, with the 125 I had pretty much the same type of aquascape. There was nothing touching the walls, just the bottom glass in that tank but for the 300 it's much more I guess I would say different. It's many more places for them to hide and there's virtually no aggression. I know when I added the yellow tang a few weeks ago or was it two weeks ago, I don't know, he was in there.

For the first couple of days, there was a little bit of tail slapping between him and ZeaZea the sailfin but they got over it within a couple of days and now they're best buds. Every once in a while they have a pissing match but it's virtually nothing. My plan or my grand plan for this powder blue tang that I'm picking up from Scott because of his history of killing other fish and beating up other tangs and being very aggressive, that's why I purchased the flame fin and the scopas tang. I can go ahead and add all three of them at the same time.

Hopefully, the aggression will be spread out. He'll be much happier in a 300-gallon tank and he won't feel like he needs to bully any other fish. I'll give him some time. I will kind of reset his clock saying, "You get a clean slate with me. Even though I know you killed your other tank mates I'm basically going to give you a clean slate. Hopefully, you'll make good decisions while you're in this tank because if you don't you're not going to be in the tank."

That's pretty much what my thought process is on that and that's how my thought process is on any fish that I had to tank. You're going to be a model citizen or you're going to be removed one way or another. It's kind of how it works out. I don't want to jeopardize an entire tank full of fish just because I like one because he's pretty. That's just not going to work out.

Anyway, guys, time flies. We're about 15 minutes in. Time flies when I'm rambling I suppose. If you liked this video go ahead give it a thumbs up. Don't forget to subscribe. If you want to support this channel check out for coral sales. I will be at the Williamsport Frag Swap tomorrow. Yes, sure tomorrow. I better get my frags together today. Either way guys I love you and I will see you in the next video. 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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