45 Gallon Shallow Reef Build

CBonito

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Hello All...

My name is Carmine. I'm new here.

I've been playing with this stuff on and off for over 25 years. My last tank was about 5 years ago though. I had a bad crash on the wrong day and ended up taking it all down. I think they call it rage quitting. hehe

But I have been thinking a lot about it lately and I know a lot of my past failures were my own fault...so there's that.
There were lots of areas that needed improvement and I know that by just doing it all right from scratch with all good equipment, I won't have the problems I've had in the past.

So today, I bought one of these tanks from Advanced Acrylics and most of the equipment I will be using along with it.
It's 36"x24"x12"h. Like 45 gallons I guess which is nice and manageable.

I love the rimless open top design and the fact the overflow doesn't take up any tank real estate.. It makes it so easy to deal with and it's so clean. It's 3/4" acrylic so I know there will never be any turrible episodes. Yeah, I'm aware I may be hit in the head with the occasional jumper. I can live with that. It happens regardless... Anyway, it's got 2 half inch returns and a 1 inch drain. I'm putting some ductors on the return outputs to increase the flow a bit.

I don't know anything about Advanced Acrylics, I've been out of the game for 5 years and I don't know anything in general about what's going on in the hobby. But when I saw this tank I knew it was the one, so I am just trusting and hoping I am happy with it. We'll see what happens. I think it's going to be awesome.
77002872_2746418325420340_2189588436468367360_n_1296x.jpg



Anyway, I also bought the following stuff today...
Lighting is two Kessel A360x Tuna Blues with the solid brackets, extensions (so I can go as high or low as I want) and the controller.
Remember, this is going to be about 11 inches of real water depth so this is a pretty good amount of light to start with and can be increased in potency with different lenses. Lots of room to play here. These cover 24x24 each, so 2 of them on this tank ought to be pretty good. If the tank was deeper I would have gone with the a500, but I think that light would be too much of a bomber for this. We'll see. I love them because they are small and minimalistic and they are the closest thing to a legit point light source that I've seen...similar
to metal halide.
Sump is a Reef Octopus Octo Reef 36A Sump. It's got a 6 gallon top-off compartment (one of my previous screwups I am not revisiting) so I can just add RO to the reservoir with ATO and let it eat. This is a pretty decent sized sump that is well thought out and I love the way they look too. I ain't playing around this time man...

Skimmer is a Reef Octopus Elite 150 Internal. Yeah, it's a bit big but I like to feed often and again and the tank will end up heavily stocked...everyone says they won't, but they do and I'm tellin ya, it will end up stocked. lol But again, I'm not playing around this time. ;)

Return Pump is a Reef Octopus Varios 4. I think this will do nicely and it's cool that I can turn it up or down as needed. Notice all this stuff is controller compatible...mmmm....yep! This is just for the return so it's probably overkill, but that's cool. Overkill is fine. I bought a check valve to stop the tank from siphoning back through the returns when the pump is paused. ;)

All of the plumbing is red and gray PVC, so it will look cool. I purchased all the proper unions so everything will come apart/ go back together easily for maintenance.

I also bought a brand new 4 stage 75gpd RO which should be more than adequate for this system. It was the right thing to do.

I plan to Keep SPS, Clams, some LPS and zooanthids. I'll have a few fish in there too. Not sure what. But this kind of tank is a great way to create little territories for everyone with lots of hiding spaces. I will definitely have a pair of clowns too.

I am still debating what I am going to do for a controller or what my means of calcium/alk management will be. It's not a huge tank really so I could probably dose 2 part. I am unsure if a kalk reactor or calcium reactor would be practical or smart. But I'm open if anyone has a take on that. I have an older reef keeper that I can use to control stuff, but not sure if there's anything newer and better. Probably. I want to get the tank up and running, get it cycled and then one by one I will get everything dialed in and ultimately automated.

*OH!!! I don't yet have a stand. I really don't want to have all this new stuff and then hack together a 2x4 stand. But I want something that's quality. Anyone know where I could get one for the above measurements? If you had the cash burning a hole what would you do? What's cool out there for a tank like this? I like something modern.*

What kind of water flow/wave maker getup will successfully attach through 3/4" acrylic? I know this will be an issue as time goes on. It always is. I dont want to do closed loops.

I will keep updating as things come in and go together...

Feel free to critique and/or share ideas.

I'm pretty excited to be back in the game.
 

Gumbies R Us

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Hello All...

My name is Carmine. I'm new here.

I've been playing with this stuff on and off for over 25 years. My last tank was about 5 years ago though. I had a bad crash on the wrong day and ended up taking it all down. I think they call it rage quitting. hehe

But I have been thinking a lot about it lately and I know a lot of my past failures were my own fault...so there's that.
There were lots of areas that needed improvement and I know that by just doing it all right from scratch with all good equipment, I won't have the problems I've had in the past.

So today, I bought one of these tanks from Advanced Acrylics and most of the equipment I will be using along with it.
It's 36"x24"x12"h. Like 45 gallons I guess which is nice and manageable.

I love the rimless open top design and the fact the overflow doesn't take up any tank real estate.. It makes it so easy to deal with and it's so clean. It's 3/4" acrylic so I know there will never be any turrible episodes. Yeah, I'm aware I may be hit in the head with the occasional jumper. I can live with that. It happens regardless... Anyway, it's got 2 half inch returns and a 1 inch drain. I'm putting some ductors on the return outputs to increase the flow a bit.

I don't know anything about Advanced Acrylics, I've been out of the game for 5 years and I don't know anything in general about what's going on in the hobby. But when I saw this tank I knew it was the one, so I am just trusting and hoping I am happy with it. We'll see what happens. I think it's going to be awesome.
77002872_2746418325420340_2189588436468367360_n_1296x.jpg



Anyway, I also bought the following stuff today...
Lighting is two Kessel A360x Tuna Blues with the solid brackets, extensions (so I can go as high or low as I want) and the controller.
Remember, this is going to be about 11 inches of real water depth so this is a pretty good amount of light to start with and can be increased in potency with different lenses. Lots of room to play here. These cover 24x24 each, so 2 of them on this tank ought to be pretty good. If the tank was deeper I would have gone with the a500, but I think that light would be too much of a bomber for this. We'll see. I love them because they are small and minimalistic and they are the closest thing to a legit point light source that I've seen...similar
to metal halide.
Sump is a Reef Octopus Octo Reef 36A Sump. It's got a 6 gallon top-off compartment (one of my previous screwups I am not revisiting) so I can just add RO to the reservoir with ATO and let it eat. This is a pretty decent sized sump that is well thought out and I love the way they look too. I ain't playing around this time man...

Skimmer is a Reef Octopus Elite 150 Internal. Yeah, it's a bit big but I like to feed often and again and the tank will end up heavily stocked...everyone says they won't, but they do and I'm tellin ya, it will end up stocked. lol But again, I'm not playing around this time. ;)

Return Pump is a Reef Octopus Varios 4. I think this will do nicely and it's cool that I can turn it up or down as needed. Notice all this stuff is controller compatible...mmmm....yep! This is just for the return so it's probably overkill, but that's cool. Overkill is fine. I bought a check valve to stop the tank from siphoning back through the returns when the pump is paused. ;)

All of the plumbing is red and gray PVC, so it will look cool. I purchased all the proper unions so everything will come apart/ go back together easily for maintenance.

I also bought a brand new 4 stage 75gpd RO which should be more than adequate for this system. It was the right thing to do.

I plan to Keep SPS, Clams, some LPS and zooanthids. I'll have a few fish in there too. Not sure what. But this kind of tank is a great way to create little territories for everyone with lots of hiding spaces. I will definitely have a pair of clowns too.

I am still debating what I am going to do for a controller or what my means of calcium/alk management will be. It's not a huge tank really so I could probably dose 2 part. I am unsure if a kalk reactor or calcium reactor would be practical or smart. But I'm open if anyone has a take on that. I have an older reef keeper that I can use to control stuff, but not sure if there's anything newer and better. Probably. I want to get the tank up and running, get it cycled and then one by one I will get everything dialed in and ultimately automated.

*OH!!! I don't yet have a stand. I really don't want to have all this new stuff and then hack together a 2x4 stand. But I want something that's quality. Anyone know where I could get one for the above measurements? If you had the cash burning a hole what would you do? What's cool out there for a tank like this? I like something modern.*

What kind of water flow/wave maker getup will successfully attach through 3/4" acrylic? I know this will be an issue as time goes on. It always is. I dont want to do closed loops.

I will keep updating as things come in and go together...

Feel free to critique and/or share ideas.

I'm pretty excited to be back in the game.
Welcome to Reef2Reef and best of luck to the tank!
 

BanZI29

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Welcome to our little piece of the reef.
For your stand, it's always fun to build your own. you can customize the way you want. That's what I did.
make sure you start a build thread too so we can all play voyeur and watch your progress

Welcome!!!

f127426c616cd57d67c79dfda815c596.gif
 
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CBonito

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Welcome to our little piece of the reef.
For your stand, it's always fun to build your own. you can customize the way you want. That's what I did.
make sure you start a build thread too so we can all play voyeur and watch your progress

Welcome!!!

f127426c616cd57d67c79dfda815c596.gif
I guess I'm going to have to see what others have done. I really want to try one of those profile aluminum stands with all the external panels that attach. I want this one to look as modern and high tech as possible. I think Tenecor makes them and someone else that eludes me now. They're not cheap, but the only reason I'm doing this is to make everything easier by NOT being cheap. Not to say that building your own stand is substandard because it's not, but I've ran into problems in the past not because I didnt have the money, but because I was cheap with it.

I'm not even sure I want to put any equipment below the stand. I think I want it all part of the display.
 
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CBonito

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This stand keeps calling my name...it sure is a pricey devil though.

 
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CBonito

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Update:

Tank is all paid for and being built. Again, it's 36"x24"x12"high with external overflow, black back wall and floor and all edges polished and bullnosed. Rad!

Just paid Michael Nimmo at Alufab for my stand. I got the full getup with the removable panels and shelves and everything in black. So happy with this purchase. I can't wait! Now I'm not jealous of all the other alufab stands I've seen on here. lol

Today, I received a few grand worth of stuff from Bulk Reef. I have to say they have their stuff together. You open a box and there is a sticker inside of the lid telling you everything in the box. Everything is packed well and there. I dont know how many times orders have been messed up on me in the past, but they did good. Thanks Guys!

I am playing with my kessel a360X lights right now and dang!!! This thing will probably grow back my bald spot!!! I'm glad I didnt get an a-500. That would have been too much. 2 a360x lights and I dont need anything else. Take it from me and get the controller. For 100 bucks, you can fully control everything and it's super easy with no bull! These are really good! And nothing is cheap or shady. Totally happy. The internal fan keeps these lights very cool so I wouldnt expect them to add any heat to anything. I think these are going to do very nicely for me.

I got the extension brackets so I can mount them to my stand and Michael Nimmo is throwing me in some stuff to facilitate that.

368401683_778448587404503_8782558505534756363_n.jpg


And I got a Reef Octopus Elite 150 internal Skimmer which I think will also kick some butt in this system. It will be heavily stocked so yeah, overkill.

Put my skimmer together in anticipation of sump and stand being here soon...

368610526_640361174865636_4833812777924253161_n.jpg


Not much to see just yet, but it's all coming in so there's that...
 
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CBonito

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Just checking out my return pump. This is the Varios 4 and is rated at "1050 gph", but I'm going to shoot for about 600 through my 2 half inch returns with ductors on them for more flow. That's all this pump is handling right now, so it should do fine. I need lots of flow because this is an SPS tank.

Anyone own one of these little piggies? I've heard mixed experiences, but given most of the offerings out there, spec wise this one fit the bill. I'm basically "Octo Boy" at this point. Skimmer, sump, pumps...and eyeballing a calcium reactor too. I didnt choose the Octo life, the Octo life chose me.:cool:
I even have all the red plumbing to match. LOL

I have the Varios2 on my skimmer and this one for the return. I hope they serve me well because these puppies ain't cheap man. Heavy little suckers.

If I don't figure out something for in tank flow, I might put in a closed loop with another one. We'll see.

I LOVE that these can be controlled and that they are DC. No more noise. They have nice soft rubber feet that dampen everything and they come with a float switch, so when you remember that you never turned your ATO back on because you're an idiot, you wont lose the pump.

*I'm going to have to figure out where all these controllers and doodads are gonna go. I'm thinking I need to build a panel just for all this stuff so I can have a clean layout and know what's up at a glance, or turn stuff on/off or whatever. The days of crawling under the mess to find that one plug after finding where my moray eel went 2 months ago are OVER. I just want to walk up and hit buttons or be able to see what my parameters are without screwing around with anything.* - This is the whole point of this build. Doing everything as right as humanly possible.

And I'm already eyeballing who I'm gonna start bugging for frags...

368581575_2474659306038472_2638528178471620364_n.jpg
 
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CBonito

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Can anyone show me their Calcium reactor setups? And if you have all your gear wired up nice on a panel, I would love to see some of those so I can get an idea...
 
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CBonito

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Oh and this is the stand I have coming!
Cost me a good deal more than my tank! That's not how it's supposed to go, but we'll keep quiet about that one.
It's worth it.

Up until a few days ago, I didn't even know these existed. And when I saw them, I had to have one.
So now I do. Just waiting for it to get here.
alufab stand.png
 
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CBonito

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36" Octo Sump arrived this morning, so that doesn't suck. It's really nice and should look great in the black alufab stand. What DOES suck, it doesn't even come with the filter bags? That must be extra. Everything is extra! Soon getting wheels on your new car will be extra. :face-with-rolling-eyes:

Ok, I'm over it...

This will give me all the capacity I need. Now I have the room to automate everything too which I've never done before. Plenty of space for probes, dosing, and maybe even a zeolite reactor which I do have experience with...not even sure what my overall filtration gimmick will be yet. We'll have to see. I only know that whatever I do, it will be done to a high degree.

This is ALMOST as long as my tank so there isn't going to be a lot of room underneath for gizmos like you guys with longer tanks. I dont even know if I want electronics too close to salt water anyway. I think right off the bat I'm probably going to build a little "sidecar" or some type of panel that attaches to the stand where I can mount all my controllers and have them not only in view and neat to look at, but easily accessible. No crawling around on the floor for this dude.
Neatness and convenience is the name of the game.

My days of Manual Topoff are over too. And that to me is huge because I hate it..this is like moving from the ghetto to the golf course. That's almost 7 gallons of ATO too which is awesome. I can leave the house! :grinning-face-with-smiling-eyes:

I'm sure in the future I will get a larger ATO reservoir and have that top off the ATO (ridiculous, but perhaps not), but right now this is great having one built in.

Plenty of drainback capacity and room if I decide to go with 2 return pumps for redundancy which doesnt sound like a bad idea. I could even leave one off and have it there and ready to rock or rotate between the two periodically.

This enables a lot of great possibilities. You know, I could plumb in a refugium too...hmmm...oh boy...

370289851_311604031271128_8294618563346874657_n.jpg
 
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CBonito

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Stand and sump look great! Nice tank too. Good luck with it will follow,

Steve
Thanks! I hope people will follow and enjoy the thread.

I love this sump man...I mean, look at all the room around the skimmer! I used to have to do Yoga to get my skimmer out before. The pump chamber is huge. I can put another pump right next to that one. And I have almost 7 gallons of ATO capacity which i used to do manually before...the sump alone eliminates half of my complaints. Plus it looks so cool!
The white makes it easy to see what's going on in there.

The stand makes it possible to move the tank since it's on wheels and access any side underneath with removable panels. My last stand was a piece of crap...because DIY baby!!! :D

All I really need to figure out is what I am going to do to house my control equipment. It's not going in the stand because that's how a lot of equipment fails. I think I am going to have Alufab build me kind of a sidecar for my stand with a full control panel so I can wheel the entire tank around as a unit and turn anything on/off or whatever without one knee touching the floor. This way the equipment stays clean, dry and reliable and so do I.

I'm looking at controllers now. Definitely going with Apex for the Controller, but I am also looking into using the Alkatronic to do most of the water testing and run dosing to keep the alkalinity where it needs to be. I'm nerding out on this one BIGTIME. I'm going to network the tank to my desktop as well. So there is a pile of control/dosing equipment in my cart right now...pray for me. :zany-face:

I didn't set a budget because I don't want to work within any constraints, but dang...this stuff sure is cheap!
368626670_1152958755663330_8527840915595883323_n.jpg
371546855_824606089199328_4989664113169144153_n.jpg
 

WillpoleReefers

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It’s going to be a really impressive setup. Love the visual design effort, the red, sump looks like art . Like the no limits philosophy. I’m sure there is a lot that can be done using a PC as part of the system. My own interest is more in microprocessors so that will be the direction with my system for the time being. Going to be a few f those spread through my setup. Though I guess export of data to a PC might happen one day. Enjoy the process!

Steve
 
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CBonito

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It’s going to be a really impressive setup. Love the visual design effort, the red, sump looks like art . Like the no limits philosophy. I’m sure there is a lot that can be done using a PC as part of the system. My own interest is more in microprocessors so that will be the direction with my system for the time being. Going to be a few f those spread through my setup. Though I guess export of data to a PC might happen one day. Enjoy the process!

Steve
The only setup I had that I liked was my 90 gallon. It had the whole matching stand and hood and everything looked so nice in my living room. That was like 12 years ago now. Something happened. I dont remember what, but I ended up taking it down and selling it for a smaller setup which was kinda dumb. I had really big acro and monti colonies in that tank and I used to have people over all the time to give them pieces. And it was fun!

All the other tanks I've had after that were cool, but they were unstable, and things were just not correct.
And it started to become something that was more a thorn than enjoyable...and that's not good.

Anyway yeah, I want to look at everything in this system and say to myself "Yep, I'm proud of that"...instead of "man, I should be ashamed of myself." haha!

Aesthetics are important to me with this system. As important as function. It's mandatory.

And I can't make a nice acrylic tank, or a nice stand myself...trust me, my last stand sucked because I made it. It was solid, but I hated it. All it did was hold up my tank. It was useless for any other purpose. It was a tank table. Embarrassing.:face-with-tears-of-joy:

So if someone else makes something nice that will make me and my system happy, I'll pay the money...I'll do anything! :grinning-squinting-face:
 
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CBonito

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So today I ordered the following:

Apex a3 pro system - It's the best one.
Apex Display Module - I like being able to look quickly and see what's up.
1" flow sensor - So I can be disappointed with my pump. ;)
Lab Grade salinity probe - it is what it is.
Neptune Magnetic probe holder - mandatory.

Adaptive Reef Controller Cabinet - I'm gonna put this on legs so it sits taller and it can hold all my controls on the front panel next to the tank without anything getting gooched by salt water and also so I dont have to crawl around on the floor. Because that sucks. And all my power cords and power supplies can be mounted inside, so there will be none of that crap where stuff just piles up and becomes a mess under the stand. Screw that, not happening. I got 60 bucks off it, so it's not AS ridiculous as it usually is, but I have something that is ready to go and I don't have to make anything which I hate. All wiring will make its way from tank to cabinet in a wire loom and nothing will be visible.

AI Nero 3 powerhead - The "problem" I have with this tank is that the acrylic is 3/4" thick which will only work with the largest powerheads that my 36" tank will not handle. So when I get this I'm going to test the flow in my utility sink and if it works how I want, I am going to 3m automotive tape it right to the center back wall below the overflow and let it eat. That will be an open area so the entire tank will get indirect strong flow. I can still take it out of the tank to clean since it sits on the internal base with a magnet also, so we'll see how that goes. I can't really think of any other way to mount it...3m tape sticks really good, so that should work fine. If it croaks I'll just get another. They're not much money so it's not of any real consequence. I think "2000 gph" for all its worth and whatever that means ought to be enough. If it's like an mp-10, coolio then.

I got the narrow 55 degree reflectors for my 2 kessil a360x lights too. Just in case I want to eliminate any light spillover which I know will be an issue.

*I'm at about 8000-ish total for the entire setup at this point.*

The only thing I will be adding is a DOS Kit with the containers once I get a handle on what my manual 2 part dosing regimen will be. I'm lying and will probably add more stuff, but as it sits right now, I have a complete system ready to put together. The tank and stand are still on the way. I should hear something pretty soon here since I placed those orders maybe a week ago now and neither the tank or stand are huge projects.
 
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LilElroyJetson

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So today I ordered the following:

Apex a3 pro system - It's the best one.
Apex Display Module - I like being able to look quickly and see what's up.
1" flow sensor - So I can be disappointed with my pump. ;)
Lab Grade salinity probe - it is what it is.
Neptune Magnetic probe holder - mandatory.

Adaptive Reef Controller Cabinet - I'm gonna put this on legs so it sits taller and it can hold all my controls on the front panel next to the tank without anything getting gooched by salt water and also so I dont have to crawl around on the floor. Because that sucks. And all my power cords and power supplies can be mounted inside, so there will be none of that crap where stuff just piles up and becomes a mess under the stand. Screw that, not happening. I got 60 bucks off it, so it's not AS ridiculous as it usually is, but I have something that is ready to go and I don't have to make anything which I hate. All wiring will make its way from tank to cabinet in a wire loom and nothing will be visible.

AI Nero 3 powerhead - The "problem" I have with this tank is that the acrylic is 3/4" thick which will only work with the largest powerheads that my 36" tank will not handle. So when I get this I'm going to test the flow in my utility sink and if it works how I want, I am going to 3m automotive tape it right to the center back wall below the overflow and let it eat. That will be an open area so the entire tank will get indirect strong flow. I can still take it out of the tank to clean since it sits on the internal base with a magnet also, so we'll see how that goes. I can't really think of any other way to mount it...3m tape sticks really good, so that should work fine. If it croaks I'll just get another. They're not much money so it's not of any real consequence. I think "2000 gph" for all its worth and whatever that means ought to be enough. If it's like an mp-10, coolio then.

I got the narrow 55 degree reflectors for my 2 kessil a360x lights too. Just in case I want to eliminate any light spillover which I know will be an issue.

*I'm at about 8000-ish total for the entire setup at this point.*

The only thing I will be adding is a DOS Kit with the containers once I get a handle on what my manual 2 part dosing regimen will be. I'm lying and will probably add more stuff, but as it sits right now, I have a complete system ready to put together. The tank and stand are still on the way. I should hear something pretty soon here since I placed those orders maybe a week ago now and neither the tank or stand are huge projects.
Niiiice! I had the Nero 3 on my previous tank and was really pleased with how it moved water, I think you’ll like it. Not sure if this works with how you intend to set it up or if it’s compatible with the Nero 3, but here’s the upgraded magnet I was telling you about in my build thread.

 

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    Votes: 22 16.8%
  • 4-6 years

    Votes: 8 6.1%
  • 7-10 years

    Votes: 9 6.9%
  • 10-15 years

    Votes: 11 8.4%
  • 15-20 years

    Votes: 18 13.7%
  • Over 20 years

    Votes: 11 8.4%
  • Over 30 years

    Votes: 14 10.7%
  • Umm....Yeah, it's been a super long time. No comment.

    Votes: 2 1.5%
  • Other (Please explain!)

    Votes: 2 1.5%
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