150g Mixed Reef Build Thread

kitpoon0315

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Hi everyone!

My name is Kit and I'm from Edmonton, Alberta Canada. I've never done a build thread before but am so inspired by everyone else's thread that I thought I'd try my hand at one too!

Prior to the new tank, I had a 120g mixed reef which looks like this:
Original Tank.jpg


Wife said that was my final final tank upgrade ever. It was beautiful and I was content, but then came an exceptional heavy rain day in Edmonton and my basement got flooded in early August and we had to rip out a large amount of our carpet. Thank goodness for insurance! This was the resulting damage to the basement:

Basement Damage.jpg


Nearly half of my basement was damaged from the flood. It was sad...BUT it gave me an in with the wife/boss to replace my existing tank as we had to replace ALL of the carpet in the basement and the only way we can do that is to move the fish tank...which means new tank! I always imagined a fish tank would look better embedded right into the wall coming down the stairs so I started planning. This picture kinda sucks (the damaged bookshelves are in the way!) but is the spot that I have been thinking about for a while. It used to be a bar, then a walled it up so I could use it as a fish stuff storage space, and now I could finally turn it into a proper fish room.


Basement Damage 2.jpg


Of course, out comes the Sketchup (www.sketchup.com - free to use and easy to learn! Watch a 10 minute video and you can be an expert in no time!) to help me visualize the space (as well as hire a company to bring this together)

Tank concept 1.JPG


Tank concept 3.JPG


Tank concept 2.JPG


I imagined I would do:
150 gallon main display tank (5 x 2 x 2)
60 gallon sump (48" x 18" x 16")
Bean Animal Overflow
Return from Overflow box
Vortech Vectra M1 Pump (from my existing tank)
Vortech MP40 Quiet Drive (from my existing tank)
2 x Kessil AP9X + hanging kit
Vertex Omega 180 protein skimmer (from my existing tank)
3 x Kessil Tuna Blue A360WE for backup (from my existing tank)

Went to my LFS and discussed the plan, and they sent a guy over to look at the space and took some time to get a quote. Then I had to work with a contractor to build the fish room, all the while trying to manage the contractors from the insurance company. Essentially, I had to deal with a fish team, a fish room team, and a basement team and ensure they weren't stepping all over one another and staying socially distant. The tank took 9 weeks to arrive, but in the mean time, we demolished the space rebuilt the flooring to ensure it can handle a tank that size in addition to ensuring it's 100% level. 8 weeks after the flood, in the middle of October, we finally made some progress:

Tank room oct 16 1.jpg


The plastic is there to protect the existing fish tank. The remainder of the basement is also getting renovated (I thought might as well since everything is getting ripped out anyways!). Here's another picture:

Tank room oct 16 2.jpg


I went with a different product than tile because tiles are hard to level apparently and may be fragile (according to the fish room team). The laminate product is durable and easy to level. I thought about exposed concrete but was told saltwater would really flake off the concrete over time.

The tank finally arrives at the end of October! The fish room team immediately starts building the wall around the tank as soon as it arrives:

Tank room oct 26 1.jpg


Tank room oct 26 3.jpg
 
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kitpoon0315

kitpoon0315

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More progress as we inch towards end of October:
Tank room oct 26 4.jpg


and we start seeing that "porthole" look come together:

Tank room oct 26 6.jpg


The porthole would have the reflective mirror type of effect as seen in suntubes or solar lights.

Tank room oct 26 7.jpg


It would be a bit more time before we made more progress as the wall needs mudding and sanding a number of times, but we get there eventually:

Tank room oct 27 1.jpg


I finally send the fish team in to do the plumbing and we discover an error. Looks like the fish tank was build for a herbie overflow, and somehow the return has been set on the porthole side! Oh well, roll with the punches and plumb it anyways, I'm sure I can manage. Sucks though.

Tank room oct 30 1.jpg


Tank room oct 30 2.jpg


There's a gate valve on both the main return as well as the emergency drain. The water fills up and flows through socks before ending up in the protein skimmer chamber. There's a refugium build in as well before it goes through the return pump back to the display tank.
 
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kitpoon0315

kitpoon0315

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It's early November.....time to fill the tank with water! I put in the 10 lbs or so of dead rock that I had hanging around just to get a sense of where things should be.

Tank room Nov 2.jpg


ANOTHER ERROR: looks like whoever designed the sump thought we would pipe some water back from the return to the refugium and then from the refugium the water would flow back to the protein skimmer chamber? LFS said "Whoops! We'll make it right and give you a pump to pump water to your refugium from your protein skimmer chamber." Sure why not! I hooked it up to my existing two little fishies reactor chamber.

()


Tank room Nov 6 1.jpg


I changed my mind on the protein skimmer. Initially, I wanted to use my existing Vertex Omega 180 but wanted something slightly bigger instead. I ended up purchasing the Red Sea Reefer Skimmer 600.

Red Sea Protein Skimmer Received Nov 6.jpg


Putting this together was easy, but ONLY because I watched this video first (thanks BRS! It taught me what each component of the skimmer actually does!):


TIP: twist this part in.....otherwise it's really hard to push in straight.

Red Sea Protein Skimmer Nov 6.jpg
 
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kitpoon0315

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Finally two days ago, the tank is totally filled with water and there's some sand added. Went to Kijiji and found a local hobbyist selling 50lbs of liverocks for $40. Sweet deal! Bought myself a work platform from home depot to help me reach deep into the tank.


Tank room Nov 6 2.jpg


Tank room Nov 6 3.jpg


Crossing my fingers and moved EVERYTHING in yesterday. One of the reasons I was relatively confident was because prior to all this, I had purchased 4 x containers of Brightwell Aquatics Xport BIO cubes and had it in my existing tank for weeks. It ensured that when I moved everything over, in addition to all the live rock, that there would be plenty of ability for the tank to manage the bio load.


Also changed my plan from 2 x AP9X to just one AP9x master to one of my A360WE tuna blues from my existing tank. (It's difficult to find AP9X here in Canada as they're not released yet)

Tank room Nov 7.jpg


Sacrifices were made though. Not everything from the existing tank made it over. Couldn't find a conch. Also sacrificed a bunch of mushrooms and zoas but saved all of my favourite corals.
 
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kitpoon0315

kitpoon0315

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This false percula (left)has been with me for 10 years, from my very first 90gallon build. Was a male at first and turned into a female when the bigger female died a few years back.

20201109_155152.jpg


My bullet proof leopard wrasse from nearly 4 years ago. Survived multiple tank apocalypse haha

20201109_155134.jpg


And finally "Lizzy" the green psychedelic mandarin. It has outlived the LFS I purchased it from 5 years ago. Couldn't get a great picture of her but she's really quite chubified.

20201109_221026.jpg
 
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kitpoon0315

kitpoon0315

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That looks great, kitpoon0315!
The inclusion of the porthole is such a neat idea.
Your fish look great, also, and it must be great to have kept some of them for so long.
Thanks Soren! Definitely nice to have had them for so long. I've been lucky with a few fish!!
 
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