120 Pirate Mixed Reef Build!

T-J

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For those of you that haven't seen me around, here's a brief history:
I've been in the hobby for 20+ years. Started with small tanks, went big, then smaller now back to bigger. My old tanks were all mixed reef, as are my current ones. Been around long enough to remember when LED's were starting to be talked about. Not just talked about, but laughed at! A lot of us in the reefing community thought that LED's with their low power consumption could never replace our 30 pound metal halide ballasts. I love it when we're wrong!!

Anyway, fast forward to today. I currently have a 40g cube that just hasn't satisfied me after tearing down my previous 125g. So, on to the 120 build!
In addition to documenting things here, I'll also be documenting everything my reefing channel: T.J.'s Reef
Please check out the channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBUxSJme8dK3uxg-guB3H2Q/

With this build I wanted to do it right, but also as budget friendly as I could. At my age, and with my experience, I've learned that the newest and most expensive thing isn't always the best in this hobby. Don't get me wrong, I'm a gadget and tech nerd. But some things just aren't worth it.

So here we go!

The tank I bought used off of a fellow member in the local Arizona Reef group. I was about to pull the pin and buy the exact same tank new, only to find that the manufacturer (Aqueon) sometimes uses tempered glass on their tanks. I wanted to drill for a ghost overflow box, so tempered glass isn't an option. Well, low and behold, the previous owner got one without tempered glass and already has an Eshopps ghost overflow installed!
IMG_9760.jpg

The tank is an Aqueon 120. Dimensions are approx 48x24x24. Managed to get this bad boy for $200, including a sump!
IMG_9769.jpg

So, where am I in the build? Well, I've been doing a lot of research on different equipment. Again, best bang for the buck (isn't what we all want??).

Here's the gear list so far:
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 150SSS - Purchased
Media Reactor: BRS Dual GFO/Carbon Reactor with Syncra 1.5 pump - Purchased
Return Pump: Reef Octopus VarioS-4 - Purchased
Heater: BRS Titanium with Inkbird controller - Purchased
Lighting: ReefBreeders Photon 50 V2+ - Purchased
Supplemental: 2 x ReefBreeders 48" LumenBars (HO UV & Royal Ice) - Purchased
Auto Top Off: Apex ATK - Purchased
Dosing Equip
: TBD
Refugium Light: Kessil H80 - Purchased
UV Sterilizer
: TBD
Wavemakers/Powerhead: 2 x ReefBreeders Reef Power RP-M - Purchased

Feel free to comment on the equipment list, and anything else! Thanks for stopping by!
 
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Champion Lighting & Supply

PBnJOnWheat

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For those of you that haven't seen me around, here's a brief history:
I've been in the hobby for 20+ years. Started with small tanks, went big, then smaller now back to bigger. My old tanks were all mixed reef, as are my current ones. Been around long enough to remember when LED's were starting to be talked about. Not just talked about, but laughed at! A lot of us in the reefing community thought that LED's with their low power consumption could never replace our 30 pound metal halide ballasts. I love it when we're wrong!!

Anyway, fast forward to today. I currently have a 40g cube that just hasn't satisfied me after tearing down my previous 125g. So, on to the 120 build!
In addition to documenting things here, I'll also be documenting everything my reefing channel: T.J.'s Reef
Please check out the channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBUxSJme8dK3uxg-guB3H2Q/

With this build I wanted to do it right, but also as budget friendly as I could. At my age, and with my experience, I've learned that the newest and most expensive thing isn't always the best in this hobby. Don't get me wrong, I'm a gadget and tech nerd. But some things just aren't worth it.

So here we go!

The tank I bought used off of a fellow member in the local Arizona Reef group. I was about to pull the pin and buy the exact same tank new, only to find that the manufacturer (Aqueon) sometimes uses tempered glass on their tanks. I wanted to drill for a ghost overflow box, so tempered glass isn't an option. Well, low and behold, the previous owner got one without tempered glass and already has an Eshopps ghost overflow installed!
IMG_9760.jpg

The tank is an Aqueon 120. Dimensions are approx 48x24x24. Managed to get this bad boy for $200, including a sump!
IMG_9769.jpg

So, where am I in the build? Well, I've been doing a lot of research on different equipment. Again, best bang for the buck (isn't what we all want??).
Here's the gear list so far:
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 150SSS - Purchased
Media Reactor: BRS Dual GFO/Carbon Reactor with Syncra 1.5 pump - Purchased
Return Pump: Reef Octopus VarioS-4 - Purchased
Heater: BRS Titanium with Inkbird controller - Purchased
Lighting: EcoTech Marine Radion XR15 G5 Pro - To Buy
Auto Top Off: Tunze Osmolator 3155 - To Buy
Dosing Equip: TBD
Refugium Light: TBD
UV Sterilizer: TBD
Wavemakers/Powerhead: Reefbreeders Reef Power RP-M - To Buy

Feel free to comment on the equipment list, and anything else! Thanks for stopping by!
What a steal $200 for tank and sump,?? Pretty sweet hope it goes well!! :) bigger is better!!
 
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T-J

T-J

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The tank is going into a room in the home, previously known as the "Teen Room".
We sold the furniture that was in the room, giving me a full wall to build out. Here's a drawing of how it's going to look:
1605132115027.png

On either side of the tank, there will be countertop/cabinets that stick out about 1 foot from the wall. This is due to a bump out on the wall (not in the pic). The idea is to make it look a bit more "built in", and also give us storage space.
The stand will have the sump inside of it, with a doorless front held on by magnets. I wanted full access to the sump, so I decided to make the entire front removable.

Here's the latest on the stand. I have the main stand finished. I'm currently waiting for the wife to decide where she wants it on the wall. Once that is decided, I can frame out the cabinets on the left/right and finish it.
The top of the stand will be covered in plywood, along with foam on top for leveling. The inside will also have plywood for the sump to sit on.
IMG_9924.JPEG
 

PBnJOnWheat

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Here's a video showcasing the tank stand build:
Very well put together wow!! That’s so sick!! I literally just estimated square feet of wood then cut and hoped it would work then just plopped everything on there lol!! Lemme know how the carpentry goes when finishing and framing the stand, I need to do that still and some ideas from a pro go a long way :) looks great is far
 
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T-J

T-J

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In addition to the Radions, I’m thinking of adding these. I don’t think they add much PAR, but might help with pop since I plan on running the AB+ schedule.
 
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T-J

T-J

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After much debate, I’m having a hard time justifying the $2k for lighting with Radions. I’m currently running a ReefBreeders on my 40, and it has performed flawlessly.
I think I’ll be going with the 48” ReefBreeders and adding on two of their LumenBars. For under $1k, this makes sense.
 
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T-J

T-J

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Thanks to the Black Friday sale, I managed to scratch off the last few major pieces of gear today! Looking forward to getting this monster light above the tank!
I currently have a ReefBreeders on my 40g, and it's performed flawlessly. I love that you never hear the light, the fans are so quiet. And the remote, while not the easiest to program, allows for smooth ramping up/down for your lighting schedule.
What I'm really looking forward to are the LumenBars! With the color combo I bought, it should make colors really glow. Since I'll be running this tank more blue than the 40g, I wanted something to help with that POP, and the HO UV and Royal Ice bars should do just that.
While I'm familiar with their lights and ATO, this is the first wavemaker I've purchased from ReefBreeders. Everyone that has them says they move a TON of water in a nice wide path, and two of them on my 120 should be plenty of flow.
More updates to follow!
1606150510053.png
 
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T-J

T-J

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Sorry for the lack of updates, but wanted to get a little information out there about the tank status.
Currently, it appears that the cycle is coming to an end. I used Dr. Tim's bacteria and Ammonia to cycle the tank. I'm at the phase where the ammonia is on it's way out, and Nitrites and Nitrates are peaking. Hopefully in the next few days they will be on the downward slope of the curve, meaning the end of cycling!

Lights are installed (but off). Wavemakers are installed. Skimmer is skimming. Everything seems to be looking good as I finish up the cabinetry on the stand.

I just ordered an Apex, so I'll be building a controller box to make everything nice and neat looking. Lots of pics and more video updates (on my YouTube channels) to come.
 
Zoanthids

Sleeping Giant

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For those of you that haven't seen me around, here's a brief history:
I've been in the hobby for 20+ years. Started with small tanks, went big, then smaller now back to bigger. My old tanks were all mixed reef, as are my current ones. Been around long enough to remember when LED's were starting to be talked about. Not just talked about, but laughed at! A lot of us in the reefing community thought that LED's with their low power consumption could never replace our 30 pound metal halide ballasts. I love it when we're wrong!!

Anyway, fast forward to today. I currently have a 40g cube that just hasn't satisfied me after tearing down my previous 125g. So, on to the 120 build!
In addition to documenting things here, I'll also be documenting everything my reefing channel: T.J.'s Reef
Please check out the channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBUxSJme8dK3uxg-guB3H2Q/

With this build I wanted to do it right, but also as budget friendly as I could. At my age, and with my experience, I've learned that the newest and most expensive thing isn't always the best in this hobby. Don't get me wrong, I'm a gadget and tech nerd. But some things just aren't worth it.

So here we go!

The tank I bought used off of a fellow member in the local Arizona Reef group. I was about to pull the pin and buy the exact same tank new, only to find that the manufacturer (Aqueon) sometimes uses tempered glass on their tanks. I wanted to drill for a ghost overflow box, so tempered glass isn't an option. Well, low and behold, the previous owner got one without tempered glass and already has an Eshopps ghost overflow installed!
IMG_9760.jpg

The tank is an Aqueon 120. Dimensions are approx 48x24x24. Managed to get this bad boy for $200, including a sump!
IMG_9769.jpg

So, where am I in the build? Well, I've been doing a lot of research on different equipment. Again, best bang for the buck (isn't what we all want??).

Here's the gear list so far:
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 150SSS - Purchased
Media Reactor: BRS Dual GFO/Carbon Reactor with Syncra 1.5 pump - Purchased
Return Pump: Reef Octopus VarioS-4 - Purchased
Heater: BRS Titanium with Inkbird controller - Purchased
Lighting: ReefBreeders Photon 50 V2+ - Purchased
Supplemental: 2 x ReefBreeders 48" LumenBars (HO UV & Royal Ice) - Purchased
Auto Top Off: Tunze Osmolator 3155 - To Buy
Dosing Equip: TBD
Refugium Light: TBD
UV Sterilizer: TBD
Wavemakers/Powerhead: 2 x ReefBreeders Reef Power RP-M - Purchased

Feel free to comment on the equipment list, and anything else! Thanks for stopping by!

For those of you that haven't seen me around, here's a brief history:
I've been in the hobby for 20+ years. Started with small tanks, went big, then smaller now back to bigger. My old tanks were all mixed reef, as are my current ones. Been around long enough to remember when LED's were starting to be talked about. Not just talked about, but laughed at! A lot of us in the reefing community thought that LED's with their low power consumption could never replace our 30 pound metal halide ballasts. I love it when we're wrong!!

Anyway, fast forward to today. I currently have a 40g cube that just hasn't satisfied me after tearing down my previous 125g. So, on to the 120 build!
In addition to documenting things here, I'll also be documenting everything my reefing channel: T.J.'s Reef
Please check out the channel! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBUxSJme8dK3uxg-guB3H2Q/

With this build I wanted to do it right, but also as budget friendly as I could. At my age, and with my experience, I've learned that the newest and most expensive thing isn't always the best in this hobby. Don't get me wrong, I'm a gadget and tech nerd. But some things just aren't worth it.

So here we go!

The tank I bought used off of a fellow member in the local Arizona Reef group. I was about to pull the pin and buy the exact same tank new, only to find that the manufacturer (Aqueon) sometimes uses tempered glass on their tanks. I wanted to drill for a ghost overflow box, so tempered glass isn't an option. Well, low and behold, the previous owner got one without tempered glass and already has an Eshopps ghost overflow installed!
IMG_9760.jpg

The tank is an Aqueon 120. Dimensions are approx 48x24x24. Managed to get this bad boy for $200, including a sump!
IMG_9769.jpg

So, where am I in the build? Well, I've been doing a lot of research on different equipment. Again, best bang for the buck (isn't what we all want??).

Here's the gear list so far:
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 150SSS - Purchased
Media Reactor: BRS Dual GFO/Carbon Reactor with Syncra 1.5 pump - Purchased
Return Pump: Reef Octopus VarioS-4 - Purchased
Heater: BRS Titanium with Inkbird controller - Purchased
Lighting: ReefBreeders Photon 50 V2+ - Purchased
Supplemental: 2 x ReefBreeders 48" LumenBars (HO UV & Royal Ice) - Purchased
Auto Top Off: Tunze Osmolator 3155 - To Buy
Dosing Equip: TBD
Refugium Light: TBD
UV Sterilizer: TBD
Wavemakers/Powerhead: 2 x ReefBreeders Reef Power RP-M - Purchased

Feel free to comment on the equipment list, and anything else! Thanks for stopping by!
Been watching your build video, great job, and great information. Keep up the great work
 

Sleeping Giant

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Thanks to the Black Friday sale, I managed to scratch off the last few major pieces of gear today! Looking forward to getting this monster light above the tank!
I currently have a ReefBreeders on my 40g, and it's performed flawlessly. I love that you never hear the light, the fans are so quiet. And the remote, while not the easiest to program, allows for smooth ramping up/down for your lighting schedule.
What I'm really looking forward to are the LumenBars! With the color combo I bought, it should make colors really glow. Since I'll be running this tank more blue than the 40g, I wanted something to help with that POP, and the HO UV and Royal Ice bars should do just that.
While I'm familiar with their lights and ATO, this is the first wavemaker I've purchased from ReefBreeders. Everyone that has them says they move a TON of water in a nice wide path, and two of them on my 120 should be plenty of flow.
More updates to follow!
1606150510053.png
Loving the light setup, it's what I need
 
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T-J

T-J

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Here's the latest update on the 120!

So, I started the cycle on December 9 by using Dr. Tim's. So far, I'm not terribly impressed. While I do have my ammonia bacteria (zero ammonia), it seems my nitrifying bacteria is taking quite a long time to catch up. 25 days into the cycle, and I still have significant nitrites, even after two water changes. I verified the test kit with my other tank, and it shows no nitrites, so I do know that the test is working.

I also appear to be having a bacterial bloom, so I'm running a UV to see if that clears it up in the next day or so. I've never had a bloom during a cycle before, but I've never used Dr. Tim's before either. Not sure if it's due to that or something else.

The only light I currently have on is the Kessil refugium light, since I do have some chaeto in there, in an attempt to soak up some of the nitrates.

Skimmer is up and running, but not pulling anything out of the water. I'll keep an eye on it to see if it does pull any of the dead bacteria as the UV does its job. I do know that it's putting a lot of microbubbles into the tank/refugium, but I'm hoping once I have a bioload that the microbubbles will stop.

Apex is up and running, as are all the modules. I'm loving this thing so far! I press one button on my phone and everything goes in to waterchange mode! Fun stuff!

For the lights, I'm running the ReefBreeders Photon V2+, along with two of their LumenBars (HO UV & Royal Ice). Photo of the setup is below. I also added the Apex module in the Photon, so it's completely controlled by the Apex. This is great since the remotes for these lights will control all the lights. So in order for me to program these lights, I would have to unplug my other ReefBreeders on my other tank. Note: I only had them on for the picture. Leaving lights off during the cycle.
 

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T-J

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We are about 24 hours after installing the UV, and in this side by side, it does appear to be a bit more clear now.

Still waiting for nitrites to disappear...sigh...
 

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T-J

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Today appears to be the day! So an update before another update I guess.

First off, I wanted to show my Apex board that I made. I couldn't justify $150 for something that I could easily build out of scrap wood and a few plastic pieces for the holes. This box is mounted on the side of the tank stand and is easily opened up via a single screw. It keeps all of the extra cables inside and I haven't had any issues with interference. The items on top of the board are just temporarily sitting there. One is the CPU for the Seneye (for getting my PAR readings), and the other is for the temporary UV. Both will be removed in the next day or so. Still waiting on my cable for my ReefOctopus return so I can connect it to the Apex.

Also, I will be dropping in my first coral today. The tank has finally completed the cycle and I need to start moving some stuff from the 40g to the new 120g. Chetao in the sump appears to be doing just fine, no ammonia, no nitrites, so I'm going to move a GSP rock into the display today. Why you ask?

Well, the GSP will tell me a number of things. First of all, I won't be leaving it in the new tank permanently. Secondly, I have some nice GSP rocks that I can easily transfer from the current tank to the new one. And finally, if the GSP do well in the new tank, I know that it should be safe for me to move fish, then eventually corals.
 

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code4

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Very nice. I am still looking on how to plumb my 40 breeder. People who put out really great pictures and info have very complicated systems. I am looking for good information on a mid type build. Can't wait to see your updates.
 
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T-J

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Very nice. I am still looking on how to plumb my 40 breeder. People who put out really great pictures and info have very complicated systems. I am looking for good information on a mid type build. Can't wait to see your updates.
Perhaps this video I did on plumbing can help you?
 

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T.J. thanks for the ideas. I still need to purchase my overflow box. I plan on drilling my own and thinking on two return holes also. I will need to choose the dimensions first though. Have to get pen in hand and watch some more videos. I like your simple design.

Shelley
 
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