200 gallon heavy sps mixed reef system build thread

AJ192

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Hello all, first off I want to thank you all for your advice and reading my thread in advance. I am currently in the process of setting up my first reef tank, the tank itself is a water box clear pro 6025 (it’s a 5x2x2 about 150 gallons, the size on waterbox’s website recently changed) with a custom built 75 gallon sump which is about 50 gallons filled.

As some of you might have read in past threads of mine; I had a lot of problems receiving my display tank. At first the tank was delayed a few weeks due to covid, it took about 9 weeks in total for the tank to arrive. But once the tank finally arrived the crate was dropped about 1-2 feet when it was being lowered from the truck. Luckily the tank turned out to be in perfect condition (tank arrived with no visible damage and I did a multi day leak test) waterbox customer support was very helpful through this experience.

After solving all the tank issues my dad and I started working on the stand, which had to be custom built due to how uneven my floors are. My dad over engineered the stand so it took a while to complete; but this also removed the need for a center brace giving me more access to sump and area under the tank.

We then drilled the tank for a exotic marine systems 20 inch overflow and two 3/4 inch returns. In hindsight I wish I went with 1 inch. But hindsight is always 20/20. Drilling tanks is surprisingly easy to do.

After getting the tank drilled we moved both the tank and the stand into the house. For anyone planning to move a tank or stand in the future, I heavily recommend getting suction cups and those carpet sliders. They are extremely helpful, I am still using the sliders for moving water barrels and other heavy items.

After moving the tank and stand inside we picked up an old 75 gallon from my grandparents. Which we resealed the tank and cut baffles for it (cutting glass is a pain but doable (would have had the store do it but they were two weeks out)). It is a fairly simple sump design with 2 4” filter socks, a protein skimmer and possibly a reactor chamber in the future, a 25 gallon fuge, a bubble trap, and a return chamber.

Since getting everything moved in the house we have started plumbing the tank. My dad is currently working on that while I am aqua scaping. Im kinda copying Chris Kriens scape.

For the equipment I am using on the build here is the list.
Flow:
2 ai Nero 5s
1 maxspect gyre (still trying to decide which version)
Return pump:
Current Eflux 1900
Protein skimmer:
Eshopps x-160 (on smaller side but fuge will hopefully make up for it)
Lighting:
5 ai prime 16 HD’s with mounting arm
Fuge light:
Cf grow 200 watt
“Controller:”
Inkbird temp controller
2 6 plug tp links
Salt:
Red Sea (haven’t decided between coral pro vs the normal) have another brand left over from a freind which I’m going to use cycling
Ato:
Tunze osmolator 3155
Everything else is fairly trivial to add

Fish list:
1x firefish
1x leopard wrasse
1x (some other sort of wrasse so many great options to choose from possibly possum)
1x hawk fish of some sort
1x powder blue tang
1x yellow tang
2x royal gramma pair
1x ocellaris clownfish
1x diamond goby (maybe blue spotted )
1x orange spotted filefish (when colony’s start to form)

Then the rest will be many different species of anthias probably around 12 and maybe a fish I find that I like and will research before adding at my lfs.

Questions, I have a few I would like answers to if any of you have time. With many more to come.
1. What size ato container should I design to last a week, I keep reading different suggestions and sizes?
2. Anyone have suggestions for a reasonably priced 5 or more stage rodi?
3. I am planning to add copepods to my system when after cycling is a good time to do so?
4. Any suggestions for good cuc members?
5. I know there are a few articles on this but I could never find a good awnser, when should you add cheato?
6. Should you run lights while cycling?
7. What are your thoughts on frozen food auto feeders?
8. Why is this hobby so expensive and addictive?

Many more updates and questions for the the build to come in the future. Photos coming in a few hours hopefully.
 
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Max_nano

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Sounds like the foundations for a nice build. I’m looking forward to following along!

3. I’m not sure when is best, but I seeded my tank 1 month after setting up the tank and have a healthy population of pods. But I do not have any predators for them.
4. Trochus, self replacing CUC
8. Because those dang little polyps are just so interesting to look at!

How’s the prime and Nero setup? That must be nice having it all in one app. I have two neros and enjoy the app, I just wish there were more flow modes.
 
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AJ192

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Sounds like the foundations for a nice build. I’m looking forward to following along!

3. I’m not sure when is best, but I seeded my tank 1 month after setting up the tank and have a healthy population of pods. But I do not have any predators for them.
4. Trochus, self replacing CUC
8. Because those dang little polyps are just so interesting to look at!

How’s the prime and Nero setup? That must be nice having it all in one app. I have two neros and enjoy the app, I just wish there were more flow modes.

Thank you for the answers. For your question the jury is still out but from the little messing around with the app that I have done I really like it. It is nice to have it all in one place, and I wish their were more flow modes too. Crossing my fingers for more to be added in the future. But for the lights the app is fairly well done allowing easy modifications. I’m going to have a few lower light sps on one rock and I think you can individually change each light but I’m not sure. But I’ll let you know what I think in practice hopefully early in the new year. I’m gone over Christmas and I don’t have a rodi cause I let my old one sit and it’s all moldy so I can’t cycle the tank but it’ll be completely ready to fill when I get back.
 
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AJ192

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So i was able to find and take the photos sooner than thought

Inspiration for this tank
88B53FB4-AE5B-49B0-B2CB-D95CFC68EC27.jpeg

My mom wants the shower back(I’ve been storing all my equipment in the shower to get it out of the way but my mom wants it out.)
14961A74-6F3D-4AF1-A48D-7D4628F87A02.jpeg

Leak test
87B1FC77-CE45-4AF3-B51E-28ACDFF0BA51.jpeg

We had to pull the tank back down to continue plumbing
CCBB8929-0F82-4C82-BFEE-36826B655418.jpeg

The tank and sump in the stand
07FB9F2F-97C9-43D5-B55C-2C4C827F9AF5.jpeg

Where we are currently in plumbing hoping to get fully plumbed tonight and leak test it tomorrow evening but that goal is a long shot. The entire back of the tank is plumbed in but still have to plumb the lower section of both returns, each has an anti siphon and a ball valve to be added.
BC2AAB78-2C27-4701-B9B1-0397F7967D5D.jpeg

Rock for aqua scaping still have to order the live. Hoping to scape tomorrow I have a general idea how everything will go together but it’s still to wet from rinsing it all off earlier. Reminder to all; rinse rock off in the summer, it was 30 degrees outside when I was doing it I was soaked and freezing cold.
84041F4F-77D5-4B53-ABE2-0A59625A260B.jpeg
 
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AJ192

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The aquascape is slowly coming together. I have also had a few issues with plumbing since the last update. The 2 union ball valves I got from marine depot had a defect in the part of the union which caused a pressure point causing the valve to break. At least it broke and I caught it before I had water in the system.
 

zatch

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The aquascape is slowly coming together. I have also had a few issues with plumbing since the last update. The 2 union ball valves I got from marine depot had a defect in the part of the union which caused a pressure point causing the valve to break. At least it broke and I caught it before I had water in the system.
Ball valves suck IME, switch to gate valves. I have used these ones from Amazon and they work great:

 

Macbalacano

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Very cool. Following! Regarding your questions:

1. What size ato container should I design to last a week, I keep reading different suggestions and sizes?

Not sure as I imagine this will depend on your house's humidity level etc.. I tend to find my water evaporation is higher in winter because my house's air is much dryer. I think maybe just test it out with a cheap rubber container first so you can see a trend before building a custom container? Thats an option.

2. Anyone have suggestions for a reasonably priced 5 or more stage rodi?

I bought the one from BRS when on sale.

4. Any suggestions for good cuc members?

I think conch's are awesome, they really keep your sand super clean and they're fun to watch.

I love trochus snails as they're very efficient and can right themselves.

I find nassarius snails also great for scavenging dead items in the tank.

I think blood/fire shrimp are the better than cleaners (I've had both) in terms of behaviour and aesthetics.

5. I know there are a few articles on this but I could never find a good awnser, when should you add cheato?

I think once you are actually detecting some nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) in the system.

8. Why is this hobby so expensive and addictive?

LOL let me know once you find out the answer!
 
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AJ192

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Ball valves suck IME, switch to gate valves. I have used these ones from Amazon and they work great:

Ok good to know for the future, thx. I already replaced the ones which broke with ball valves from Home Depot cause I wanted to keep the build on progress.
 
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AJ192

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Very cool. Following! Regarding your questions:

1. What size ato container should I design to last a week, I keep reading different suggestions and sizes?

Not sure as I imagine this will depend on your house's humidity level etc.. I tend to find my water evaporation is higher in winter because my house's air is much dryer. I think maybe just test it out with a cheap rubber container first so you can see a trend before building a custom container? Thats an option.

2. Anyone have suggestions for a reasonably priced 5 or more stage rodi?

I bought the one from BRS when on sale.

4. Any suggestions for good cuc members?

I think conch's are awesome, they really keep your sand super clean and they're fun to watch.

I love trochus snails as they're very efficient and can right themselves.

I find nassarius snails also great for scavenging dead items in the tank.

I think blood/fire shrimp are the better than cleaners (I've had both) in terms of behaviour and aesthetics.

5. I know there are a few articles on this but I could never find a good awnser, when should you add cheato?

I think once you are actually detecting some nutrients (nitrates and phosphates) in the system.

8. Why is this hobby so expensive and addictive?

LOL let me know once you find out the answer!
thank you for all the awnsers they are all extremely helpful.
 
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AJ192

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Might as well post an update tonight. It’s been a rough few days for progress since my last update.

I’ve been extremely worried about my tank setup being delayed a month cause I just want it filled. I know it impatient but Ive been ready since June and June was when I hit the 2 year mark of research. The setup has taken longer after a ton of delays due to covid than expected. I have almost finished plumbing and I’m moving the sump back into the stand tomorrow. I will then be leak testing everything for a day and once that is cleared I should hopefully be filling the tank with salt water.

If all the plumbing is good which I’m suspecting it will be cause my dad who has been helping me plumb has a lot of experience from when he was younger (also plumbed most of our basement). I will start filling the tank with rodi salt water hopefully Monday. I ended up going with the spectrapure 5 stage 90 gpd so it will take a few days.

(Background; I will be cycling a little different than most people do since I don’t have space to finish my aquascape since we had to move a ton of things to access the plumbing.) Once I start filling my tank I will order about 20-30 pounds of live rock from kp aquatics. I will use this and about 400 gallons worth of marine pure blocks to cycle using ammonia chloride while I wait to finish my aquascape and add it along with the sand to my tank.

Now onto the 29 gallon quarantine system, i am setting up and filling it tomorrow. I will be using a quick cycle bacteria. (it’s a fritz product but I can’t remember what version) I will also being calling my fish store tomorrow and ordering a royal gramma, an ocellaris clownfish, a white banded possum wrasse or a Tanakas possum wrasse (hard to get in so whichever they can get) and a firefish. These will take a few days to get in and I will have checked the cycle before picking them up from the store.

I will update with photos once things start coming together.

Questions
Only one in this update

Should I have my live rock shipped with wet newspaper or in water?
 
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AJ192

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Another update. The plumbing was all good so I’m currently filling my tank with rodi water. I decided to change up my stocking list a little. I have purchased two swallowtail angelfish and I have a swissgaurd (I’m kinda regretting this one but what can I do hopefully i like it) along with a royal gramma coming in Tuesday.
8558186A-D28D-4715-BEF8-06B8E042E13E.jpeg

Here is my planned qt for all fish. Is this a good qt protocol I just want to make sure. raise copper over 4-5 days and keep at therapeutic levels for 2 weeks maybe longer but o would like to drop copper levels before my trip so I don’t have to worry about it. Then use metro and praziquantel bound to food. (Can I do this during copper?)
 

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