150 Gallon SPS Build

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Like the title says the tank will be 150 gallons. This will be an ikea style tank, some assembly required, and a slow build. I have said that in the past but this time I truly think it will be a slow steady race, especially when it comes time to seed the rock.

Winter of 2018/2019 I had something in my tank that slowly killed all of my SPS. It was like STN but took months to go. A bunch of local hobbyists got it as well as a few of the larger coral guys importers here in Canada. Noone really figured it out but we were thinking a bacterial infection. Either way I watched my prizes collection of acros melt away from january to June one colony at a time. Nothing I did worked and it was pretty heart breaking. I took the summer and fall off, mostly just feeding the fish and keeping the glass clean. December rolled around, it was time to restart and get my hands wet again.

So I used this overhaul as an oppritunity to get a new and larger tank. I ordered glass from Concept Aquariums in Calgary Alberta. Big shout out to Ashley there for helping with some designs, answering a ton of questions, and making the transaction super smooth!

Dimensions: 48"L x 30"D x 24"H
Specifications:
- 10mm Float Glass on the side walls and Euro Brace
- Bracing is 3" wide all around the tank.
- 2x 3/4" Returns will come over the top through the Euro Brace
- Weir style overflow through the back panel of glass.
- Black Acrylic on the entire back wall with slots cut out for the overflow.
- At this time I am trying to decide if I want to use a Starboard bottom or go bare glass.
- Drains will be 4x 1" pipes and I am thinking a Herbie style but may do a Durso as it's what I usually do. One of the drains will have a gate valve to control flow to the refugium.

Sump Specifications: 30"L x 24"D x 16"H
- Sump is a shrunk down version of the Melevs Ref design.has a refugium that runs the length of the sump and will be 6" wide.
- 3 baffles will separate the skimmer section from the return. The idea behind this was sumper simple.
- At this time no socks or fleece rollers will be used on this tank. Heavy skimming, refugium, and Chaeto reactor will be employed to control nutrients.

Equipment:
- Return Pump will be an Ehiem 1262
- Skimmer is a Vertex Alpha 160
- Water Movement will be handled by a Jebao PP-8 across the back wall and 2x MP40's on either side wall. Gyres or another pair of MP40s will be added when corals start to grow in.
- A 48" Tek 8 bulb fixture will light the tank. ATI bulbs will be used but am unsure of which I will use. Most likely a mix of Blue Plus, Coral Plus, and maybe a couple ABS or True Actinic.
- Heater will be 2x 250w Ehiem Jager submersibles.
 
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The build started last week when a local hobbyist and Carpenter stopped by to lay tile where the tank was going. One thing that worried me was water under the stand in the carpet if there was ever a spill or a bucket tipped over.

So shout out to Chad for getting this build under way. Now its onto getting the transition pieces put down, nail the trim back on the wall, and it will be onto building the stand next weekend.

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A little update. I picked up the lumber needed to get the stand started and the weather blew in. Temps went from plus 10C, no wind, sunny, and beautiful; to -10C, blowing 30mph, windchill down to -20C, and snowing. Sure makes it tough to be out on the porch with the Mitre Saw.

One thing I was able to do was upgrade my skimmer. I wasnt planning on upgrading but I came across the skimmer I was wanting to upgrade to and couldn't resist. I am not much of a skimmer aficionado but I am excited to get this bad boy running!!

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AbusiveSpinach

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So sorry to hear about your difficulties. I would have to take a long break after something so slow burning like that. That being said, still really excited to see what you come up with this time around! Something beautiful will rise up out of the ashes, I'm sure of it. Very nice Reef Octopus btw, that's my favorite brand of skimmers by far.
 
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So sorry to hear about your difficulties. I would have to take a long break after something so slow burning like that. That being said, still really excited to see what you come up with this time around! Something beautiful will rise up out of the ashes, I'm sure of it. Very nice Reef Octopus btw, that's my favorite brand of skimmers by far.
I took a 6 month hiatus I guess, from June to the end of September all I really did was feed fish. Beginning of december I moved fish to a small holding tank in my office and even now all I am doing is making sure the skimmer is clean and the fish are fed every couple days.

This is my first Reef Octopus skimmer. I have a couple friends running the Regal 300s and both seem to like the skimmers. I was surprised to see the 6 - 6.5 inches of water depth recommended; I will have to build or buy a skimmer stand as the water level in my sump chamber is about 10 inches I believe.

Tonight the weather was beautiful (for a Canadian), plus 6C and the wind finally quit!! So I was able to cut the frame for the stand.

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Ran into problems pretty quick. I didnt double check the depth of the top and floor boards, I cut the frame 1/2 inch too long. I also cut one of the front/back frame boards 1/8 inch too long. Of course I find this out after it gets dark and I pack the saw away; so I will recut the pieces tomorrow.

In the mean time my helper and I got the assembly started as far as we could.

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We made more more progress tonight! We were able to get top and bottoms finished. The top is a single layer of 3/4 inch plywood and the bottom is 2 layers of 3/4 inch plywood. I doubled up the bottom because the sump will be sitting in there and the bottom is only attached to the frame with screws. I will have to raise the right side 1/16 or 1/8 inch so I wanted to make sure it would hold and not flex.

We also got the legs screwed onto the bottom frame and I set the top in place. I want to put a piece of plywood on the inside of the stand on the back. This will allow me to secure my drain pipes, allow for easier cord management and give the stand some rigidity. Hopefully I can get that cut and in place tomorrow then secure the top in place.

I also need to decide how I am going to seal the bottom. The frame will be stained white and I dont want black pond liner in there. A friend suggested to laminate the bottom and bottom frame then seal with silicone. Still not sure what way to go, suggestions would be appreciated.
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Some big changes have been made in regards to the stand since my last post. I hauled the base of my stand over to Chad's place on saturday. He was going to give me a hand laying in some sheets of laminate to make the bottom water tight. Chad was quick to find the crown of the 2x4s was going to cause issues. Chad was gracious enough to offer doing a stand overhaul using plywood. What I got back is unbelieveable, he made an area on the one side for controllers and shelving, plus he laminated the whole thing!! I'm not sure how I'm every going to repay him for super stand. So a huge thank you Chad, now it needs to be skinned and figure out how to do the trim.

I just love this thing!

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I am starting to get the glass laid out, hopefully the sump can get assembled friday night once the helper goes to bed. I need to pick up some masking tape, silicone, and isopropyl alcohol to clean the glass.

I also ordered an LED light kit for under the stand. I was thinking of using a switch on the door to automatically turn on the lights when the front doors open, but in the meantime these lights will sync to my phone or Alexa. So I maybe have to do some research into one of those Amazon hubs downstairs where the tank is.

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Well after spending my saturday stripping silicone and cleaning glass the sump has been resealed. Having the bottom inset within the walls is a new design to me. I am glad I worked the kinks out on the sump before I built the tank.

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And thank god the SRO-3000 fit with room to spare for the drain lines. I wish I had left more room for the drain lines in the skimmer section but this leaves more room in the return section for water when the return pump turns off as well as any reactors I want to run in there. I may also have to run the heaters in the return section as well but I am hoping I can get a couple that will fit in the baffles.

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Next on the list is to pick up some foam for the sump to sit on and decide if I like the height or if I want to build a small riser for the sump to sit on. This will make for easier viewing of the fuge area and less displacement in the stand for water should an overflow happen.
 
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I got a little restless with today being a holiday. I moved the sump into the stand and got the skimmers put in. The left is the Reef Octopus SRO-3000 and the rest is a Vertex Alpha 170. I will be using the SRO on this build and selling the Alpha 170.

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I also got the light kit installed. It's a cool little kit that works with Alexa and Google Home; for now I will be using it on my phone to control. Its temporarily plugged in for the photos, eventually there will be an electrical box there providing power to the stand lights and light fixture over the tank.

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twerdine92

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I got a little restless with today being a holiday. I moved the sump into the stand and got the skimmers put in. The left is the Reef Octopus SRO-3000 and the rest is a Vertex Alpha 170. I will be using the SRO on this build and selling the Alpha 170.

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I also got the light kit installed. It's a cool little kit that works with Alexa and Google Home; for now I will be using it on my phone to control. Its temporarily plugged in for the photos, eventually there will be an electrical box there providing power to the stand lights and light fixture over the tank.

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the lights look great, I would recommend using hot glue to help hold them. I’ve noticed the glue on the back will give up over time.
 
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Not much to update this weekend. I have been trying to source some half inch thick puckboard (hdpe) to line the bottom of the display on the inside. I also want to take the left over and make a small stand for the sump to sit on. With the fuge across the front I would like to raise the sump to see better. This will also give the stand more water holding capability.

In the meantime I did a quick moch up of the electrical. I think I need to add another 2 gang box on the display shelf side. This will hold the timer for the fuge light. I'm not sure if I want to use plug in timers or use a wire in time on a couple outlets. Outlets are cleaner looking and more expensive but plug in timers are significantly cheaper.

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I also picked up a little encouragement to get this tank rolling. It's been a long time since I was this excited about getting a couple fish.

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I decided to silicone the acrylic sheet onto the back glass tonight. Here is the acrylic with some sand marks that concept put in. This was after a wipe down with a damp cloth and cleaned up with alcohol.
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I used 220 grit sand paper on a block to keep it flat. Circles first then cross sanded left to right then right to left. I made sure to keep an eye on the edges so they got some love from the sandpaper as well.
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After it was sanded I started a wipe down with water then alcohol again.
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The glass got the same treatment. There was something on the glass and took a little scrubbing with the water. Then a few passes over with the alcohol. One thing to note is I wore latex gloves to make sure any oils from my hands didnt end up on the acrylic or the glass. The silicone was then put on.....
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.... and the acrylic followed with some books piled on to squish them together.
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I also picked up some white Ty-Duct today as well. The helper figured it made a better drag race track than a channel for electrical cords.
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Lots happening today. I picked up the light timers; I will wire these so each will control their own recepticle and control the light.
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Then 2 of the original Apex came in the mail today as well. This is the analog version with noo fancy wifi, no need for a smart phone, no controlling it from anywhere in the world, and no monitoring on demand. Want a pump turned off? Simply walk up and flip the switch. These 2 power bars will be my main power distribution for everything, pumps, powerheads, heaters, ATO, and lights.
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The powerbars were mocked up and measured to have a hole cut through the side wall. I also need to think of a way to bring the powerbars out 4 inches. This will put the back of the powerbar nearly flush with the stand side of the side wall.
 
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It was a productive day for being behind schedule. I wanted to assemble the tank this weekend, however, sourcing the HDPE for the bottom of the tank took longer than expected. Luckily I was able to lean on Chad again to get the board cut and he put a nice edge on it with a router. Today I cleaned the bottom glass as well as the HDPE board, got the board prepped, recleaned, and had my fiance help me drop it in place (she is the best!). Some weight was added so the board doesnt move around and is squished down equally, now we wait. I plan on assembling the tank friday night so this should give the silicone 6 days to dry. I ran the silicone in strips this way there is no masses of silicone and air can get in there.

After that was complete I took to cutting the opening for the 2 ADJ power bars. I had it all traced out already so I got the appropriate size hole saw and started by boring a hole on each side of the trace out. Step 1 was to break through the laminate on one side, then break through on the other. This gave me a clean edge with no blow outs.
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5 holes later I had a bunch of holes punched through the wall. I then used my multi-tool to connect the tops of the circles and square off the edges.
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Over all I am pretty happy with it. Once the power bars are mounted I will find some small trim to go around the back wall to hide the edge and stop light from showing through.

I was also able to get my plugs and timers wired then installed.
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Tomorrow's tasks will be fabricating some sort of a mounting block for the ADJ power bars, getting them mounted where they need to be, deciding where the Ty-Duct will go, drilling a hole through the back wall for power, mounting the Ty-Duct, and begin running cables. Hopefully I can get a few of those things checked off.
 
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