Albertan's 180 Gallon Reef Build

Albertan22

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I might be jumping the gun a little bit on this build thread since I don't yet have everything I need to actually start building this setup; but the tank is finally in the house after a few months on order so I figured I'd start this up to document the build and progression of this tank. I had build threads on Canreef and Reef Central for my 120 gallon mixed reef back in the day, but this forum seems much more active than either of those so I'm moving over here for the new build. As a bit of background, I set up my first saltwater tank 10 years ago. It was a 120G mixed reef and was fairly successful. That tank was restarted about 5 years ago when we moved homes and the tank suffered a bad crash when a heater cracked wiping out nearly everything in a mater of days. I also lost my T5 fixture around then and converted over to an LED fixture. I haven't really been able to keep SPS successfully since then. I never could quite get that light dialed in properly and then started to get lazy with the tank as a result. The stand has started to show signs of rot recently and we decided to take the opportunity to move the tank off of our main floor and into the basement. This will make tank maintenance easier, and not require me to hijack the main floor bathroom to make RODI water and the kitchen sink for water changes. It was my wife that actually suggested upgrading to a bigger tank so that we could house more tangs, so we measured up the space and decided on a 6 foot 180G tank.

The build started by clearing a space and getting a flooring contractor to come in and remove the carpet and replace with a commercial grade vinyl tile. We were very happy with how it turned out!
IMG_1373.JPG


IMG_1375.JPG


After the floor was done, we ordered the tank, steel stand, and sump. All were custom and were built in Calgary, Alberta. The tank is euro braced and drilled for a Ghost Overflow. It will be plumbed using a bean animal configuration. There are holes for two 3/4 inch bulkheads for the returns in each corner. I'm really happy with how it turned out and quite excited not to have a big overflow box in the aquarium.

IMG_1449.JPG

The sump is 75 gallons (actual water volume will be less) and has two 7 inch filter sock holders, an 18 gallon refugium, a skimmer section and return section.

I will be using the rock in my 120g tank, and I have another 40lbs of rock that has been curing in a rubbermaid trash can for about 3 months.

IMG_1443.JPG


I also had to replace my old quarantine tank, as when I pulled it out of storage all the trim broke off! Here is the new setup, which is strangely enough located inside the basement bathroom.
IMG_1446.JPG


I have been gathering gear since Black Friday. One of our goals with this new tank was to be able to get back into SPS, be able to have more fish, and to set ourselves up for success by automating things where we can since we are away quite a bit in the summers. With that in mind, here is a list of the gear I'm putting together to run the tank:

Lighting: Aquatic Life T5 Hybrid with 3 Kessil A360X Tuna Blue LEDs with a wifi dongle (will probably bump this up to 4 eventually)
Flow: 2 MP40ES models from my 120g (will adjust as necessary once I see what they do in the tank)
Return pump: Neptune COR20
Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve 7 from my 120g (this tank is at the upper end of what this skimmer is rated for so I may upgrade it once the bioload becomes heavier but I'm deferring that for now)
Controller: Neptune APEX EL with an autofeeder and a WXM Module to control the MP40s
Dosing: Kamoer F4 wifi 4 head dosing pump
ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155
Heaters: TBD but I'm guessing I'll need about 500-600 Watts worth
Refugium lighting : TBD but looking at the AI Fuge light. I have time to make this decision as it will be awhile before there are enough nutrients to really need the fuge running.

I also purchased a couple Brute 44 gallon trash cans and will be building a proper saltwater mixing station in my basement. I have an old Quiet One 3000 pump that was my first return pump on the 120g but I quickly removed it as I found it didn't restart reliably when power was interrupted. That doesn't really matter for a saltwater mixing station though so I figured I'd save some cash and use it. I am strongly considering running some RO lines up the wall and through the ceiling between the tank and the saltwater mixing station before I hang my lighting or put water into the 180g so that I'm set up for for an AWC system. Eventually I plan to purchase a Neptune DOS for this purpose but figured I'd spend that money on getting livestock into the tank right now and implement the AWC later in the summer before camping season starts.

As it stands right now, I am still waiting on my ghost overflow to show up along with my ATO and some of the valves for the plumbing. It will probably be at least 2 weeks before I can start plumbing this thing. Now I need to start thinking about how I might skin this stand, and at a bare minimum what wood (and paint) I might want to add in the back and right side so that I can secure my plumbing and mount my electrical stuff. I plan to magnet mount plywood to the inside frame for these purposes, and will magnet mount something more finished to the outside, I'm just not sure what yet and whether it might have doors built in or just have 3 removable 2 foot panels across the front.
 

CasaReefer

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Thanks! We're pretty excited about it. The alcove in the basement wall seems purpose built for this doesn't it?
Sure Does.... I would be telling everyone... Yeah we planned it .... Good to look really good there. I can all ready see the new couch and coffee table sitting right in front of it... Watching true " Live TV "
 
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Albertan22

Albertan22

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Ok R2R, looking for some input on skinning the stand. I’m planning on cutting some 1/2 inch plywood panels and spray painting them a matte black with a clear coat. Will do 3 across the front, one on each end and probably leave the back open for air exchange, plumbing and wiring. Am also planning on a white plywood panel on the inside of the frame on each end to be able to mount electrical, secure plumbing, etc. I’m looking at countersinking magnets into the plywood and I’ve seen several threads referencing this. My question is, what strength magnets to get for the task? As a reminder, this is what I’m working with:
74094798-BAC5-4D9A-BD11-6E1A7D3A9F39.jpeg
 
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Albertan22

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Ok, tank is plumbed and ran a water test today. Only had one leak on the return line, turned out I forgot to glue an elbow in place. I just finished gluing the piece together and will fire it back up in an hour or two to verify that I'm leak free.

IMG_0017.jpg


The plumbing is a bean animal and one thing I'm a little concerned with is some air noise coming from behind the gate valve. you can't see it in the photo but it's on the left on the pipe behind the white horizontal one you can see in the image. I glued the valve into the horizontal run of pipe with the valve stem facing upwards. This gives me easy access to turn it while I look into the side of the external Synergy Reef Overflow.
IMG_0021.jpg


I'm worried that putting it on the horizontal run, with the gate going upwards, is trapping air behind it and not letting it escape. Now the debate is to cut it out and re-position it on the vertical run right above the sump, which will make tuning difficult, or try it with salt water and see if the denser water does a better job of quieting it down. I think I'll leave run for a lot longer once my leaky return is ready for a re-test to see if it clears itself out.

I have also built my mixing station and started to make up water to fill the tank properly. It is two 55 gallon Brute trash cans running an old return pump I found in a box somewhere. The pump is a bit leaky but it's a slow leak that I think I'm going to tolerate for awhile.

IMG_0018.jpg

I initially tried to use uniseals for the plumbing but they leaked immediately. I switched them out for bulkeads and haven't had any more trouble.

The QT has also been set up and I'm mixing salt in it now. I hope to move my 4 fish from my 120G into it tomorrow and will run them through a proper QT while giving my rock a 45 day fallow period. I haven't seen signs of disease in that tank, but there have been non-QT'd fish go into it in the past and I figure I may as well start fresh with this build.
 
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Albertan22

Albertan22

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It was a long day but rock and sand in the tank, aquascape version 1 complete. Old 120G tank is powered down but not drained, nothing but sand, the refugium and some equipment left in it. The new tank is too cloudy to photograph still. I’m making up the last bit of water I need to fill it enough to run the return pump.
 
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Albertan22

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The old tank is down up for sale. Got the lights put up on the new tank today, might move the few corals I saved into the tank tomorrow. Had a minor issue with one of my new T5 bulbs being dead out of the box but the vendor is going to replace it free of charge so should have that running in a couple days. On with the pics!

Full system view
IMG_0043[1995].jpg


Aquascape
IMG_0048[1991].jpg


Sump
IMG_0044[1993].jpg


I still need to tidy up the cords and move my cheato into the refugium but I'm trying to build some nutrients in the tank first. You might notice that I'm not running my skimmer yet for the same reason. My next major task is to skin the stand.

A couple of the corals I decided to keep and bring over that are sitting in a 10g holding tank
IMG_0049[1997].jpg


My 4 fish that are coming over.
IMG_0051[1999].jpg


The foxface really isn't enjoying his stay in this 29g QT. I was hoping to run them through hypo and do a 6 week fallow period for the rock in the new tank since I hadn't been QTing new additions to my last tank and the last 2 new additions died within a few weeks. The fox face hasn't eaten all week while he's been in the 29g though so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I haven't started dropping salinity yet as I wanted everyone happy and eating again before I started that process.
 

mcbdz

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The old tank is down up for sale. Got the lights put up on the new tank today, might move the few corals I saved into the tank tomorrow. Had a minor issue with one of my new T5 bulbs being dead out of the box but the vendor is going to replace it free of charge so should have that running in a couple days. On with the pics!

Full system view
IMG_0043[1995].jpg


Aquascape
IMG_0048[1991].jpg


Sump
IMG_0044[1993].jpg


I still need to tidy up the cords and move my cheato into the refugium but I'm trying to build some nutrients in the tank first. You might notice that I'm not running my skimmer yet for the same reason. My next major task is to skin the stand.

A couple of the corals I decided to keep and bring over that are sitting in a 10g holding tank
IMG_0049[1997].jpg


My 4 fish that are coming over.
IMG_0051[1999].jpg


The foxface really isn't enjoying his stay in this 29g QT. I was hoping to run them through hypo and do a 6 week fallow period for the rock in the new tank since I hadn't been QTing new additions to my last tank and the last 2 new additions died within a few weeks. The fox face hasn't eaten all week while he's been in the 29g though so I'm not sure what I'm going to do. I haven't started dropping salinity yet as I wanted everyone happy and eating again before I started that process.
What have you tried giving him? He want eat off algae clip? I know mine hated out 55gal qt but finally would eat like a pig. Just constantly paced. Hypo isn't stressful so you should be able to start dropping salinity anyway. Going down is easier then raising it back up.
 
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Albertan22

Albertan22

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What have you tried giving him? He want eat off algae clip? I know mine hated out 55gal qt but finally would eat like a pig. Just constantly paced. Hypo isn't stressful so you should be able to start dropping salinity anyway. Going down is easier then raising it back up.
He did start eating pellets yesterday thankfully so I started lowering salinity. I did initially put an algae clip in which he typically attacks but he didn’t touch it. It just started to disintegrate and polite the tank so I haven’t tried again yet. Might put a partial sheet of nori in tomorrow and see if he takes it.
 
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Albertan22

Albertan22

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How do you like the quality and customer service? I am thinking having one build by them as well!
Being in the Edmonton area I had to order through Aquarium Illusions and dealt exclusively through them. The tank came about a month later than promised and the stand took another several weeks. The tank itself is beautiful. There area few careless flaws in the silicone (drips mostly) that I could do without but they’re not noticeable unless you are looking for them. They did use black silicone when I had ordered clear. They offered to come to my home And rebuild the tank with the right silicone here but after waiting so long for it I didn’t want any more delays and just kept it as is.

Overall I’m very happy with the tank, especially after I got water in it and lights on it. I’m glad I opted to have it built instead of going with a brand name tank from Big Als or something.
 
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rastareefs

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Looks awesome so far!

I might be jumping the gun a little bit on this build thread since I don't yet have everything I need to actually start building this setup; but the tank is finally in the house after a few months on order so I figured I'd start this up to document the build and progression of this tank. I had build threads on Canreef and Reef Central for my 120 gallon mixed reef back in the day, but this forum seems much more active than either of those so I'm moving over here for the new build. As a bit of background, I set up my first saltwater tank 10 years ago. It was a 120G mixed reef and was fairly successful. That tank was restarted about 5 years ago when we moved homes and the tank suffered a bad crash when a heater cracked wiping out nearly everything in a mater of days. I also lost my T5 fixture around then and converted over to an LED fixture. I haven't really been able to keep SPS successfully since then. I never could quite get that light dialed in properly and then started to get lazy with the tank as a result. The stand has started to show signs of rot recently and we decided to take the opportunity to move the tank off of our main floor and into the basement. This will make tank maintenance easier, and not require me to hijack the main floor bathroom to make RODI water and the kitchen sink for water changes. It was my wife that actually suggested upgrading to a bigger tank so that we could house more tangs, so we measured up the space and decided on a 6 foot 180G tank.

The build started by clearing a space and getting a flooring contractor to come in and remove the carpet and replace with a commercial grade vinyl tile. We were very happy with how it turned out!
IMG_1373.JPG


IMG_1375.JPG


After the floor was done, we ordered the tank, steel stand, and sump. All were custom and were built in Calgary, Alberta. The tank is euro braced and drilled for a Ghost Overflow. It will be plumbed using a bean animal configuration. There are holes for two 3/4 inch bulkheads for the returns in each corner. I'm really happy with how it turned out and quite excited not to have a big overflow box in the aquarium.

IMG_1449.JPG

The sump is 75 gallons (actual water volume will be less) and has two 7 inch filter sock holders, an 18 gallon refugium, a skimmer section and return section.

I will be using the rock in my 120g tank, and I have another 40lbs of rock that has been curing in a rubbermaid trash can for about 3 months.

IMG_1443.JPG


I also had to replace my old quarantine tank, as when I pulled it out of storage all the trim broke off! Here is the new setup, which is strangely enough located inside the basement bathroom.
IMG_1446.JPG


I have been gathering gear since Black Friday. One of our goals with this new tank was to be able to get back into SPS, be able to have more fish, and to set ourselves up for success by automating things where we can since we are away quite a bit in the summers. With that in mind, here is a list of the gear I'm putting together to run the tank:

Lighting: Aquatic Life T5 Hybrid with 3 Kessil A360X Tuna Blue LEDs with a wifi dongle (will probably bump this up to 4 eventually)
Flow: 2 MP40ES models from my 120g (will adjust as necessary once I see what they do in the tank)
Return pump: Neptune COR20
Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve 7 from my 120g (this tank is at the upper end of what this skimmer is rated for so I may upgrade it once the bioload becomes heavier but I'm deferring that for now)
Controller: Neptune APEX EL with an autofeeder and a WXM Module to control the MP40s
Dosing: Kamoer F4 wifi 4 head dosing pump
ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155
Heaters: TBD but I'm guessing I'll need about 500-600 Watts worth
Refugium lighting : TBD but looking at the AI Fuge light. I have time to make this decision as it will be awhile before there are enough nutrients to really need the fuge running.

I also purchased a couple Brute 44 gallon trash cans and will be building a proper saltwater mixing station in my basement. I have an old Quiet One 3000 pump that was my first return pump on the 120g but I quickly removed it as I found it didn't restart reliably when power was interrupted. That doesn't really matter for a saltwater mixing station though so I figured I'd save some cash and use it. I am strongly considering running some RO lines up the wall and through the ceiling between the tank and the saltwater mixing station before I hang my lighting or put water into the 180g so that I'm set up for for an AWC system. Eventually I plan to purchase a Neptune DOS for this purpose but figured I'd spend that money on getting livestock into the tank right now and implement the AWC later in the summer before camping season starts.

As it stands right now, I am still waiting on my ghost overflow to show up along with my ATO and some of the valves for the plumbing. It will probably be at least 2 weeks before I can start plumbing this thing. Now I need to start thinking about how I might skin this stand, and at a bare minimum what wood (and paint) I might want to add in the back and right side so that I can secure my plumbing and mount my electrical stuff. I plan to magnet mount plywood to the inside frame for these purposes, and will magnet mount something more finished to the outside, I'm just not sure what yet and whether it might have doors built in or just have 3 removable 2 foot panels across the front.
I might be jumping the gun a little bit on this build thread since I don't yet have everything I need to actually start building this setup; but the tank is finally in the house after a few months on order so I figured I'd start this up to document the build and progression of this tank. I had build threads on Canreef and Reef Central for my 120 gallon mixed reef back in the day, but this forum seems much more active than either of those so I'm moving over here for the new build. As a bit of background, I set up my first saltwater tank 10 years ago. It was a 120G mixed reef and was fairly successful. That tank was restarted about 5 years ago when we moved homes and the tank suffered a bad crash when a heater cracked wiping out nearly everything in a mater of days. I also lost my T5 fixture around then and converted over to an LED fixture. I haven't really been able to keep SPS successfully since then. I never could quite get that light dialed in properly and then started to get lazy with the tank as a result. The stand has started to show signs of rot recently and we decided to take the opportunity to move the tank off of our main floor and into the basement. This will make tank maintenance easier, and not require me to hijack the main floor bathroom to make RODI water and the kitchen sink for water changes. It was my wife that actually suggested upgrading to a bigger tank so that we could house more tangs, so we measured up the space and decided on a 6 foot 180G tank.

The build started by clearing a space and getting a flooring contractor to come in and remove the carpet and replace with a commercial grade vinyl tile. We were very happy with how it turned out!
IMG_1373.JPG


IMG_1375.JPG


After the floor was done, we ordered the tank, steel stand, and sump. All were custom and were built in Calgary, Alberta. The tank is euro braced and drilled for a Ghost Overflow. It will be plumbed using a bean animal configuration. There are holes for two 3/4 inch bulkheads for the returns in each corner. I'm really happy with how it turned out and quite excited not to have a big overflow box in the aquarium.

IMG_1449.JPG

The sump is 75 gallons (actual water volume will be less) and has two 7 inch filter sock holders, an 18 gallon refugium, a skimmer section and return section.

I will be using the rock in my 120g tank, and I have another 40lbs of rock that has been curing in a rubbermaid trash can for about 3 months.

IMG_1443.JPG


I also had to replace my old quarantine tank, as when I pulled it out of storage all the trim broke off! Here is the new setup, which is strangely enough located inside the basement bathroom.
IMG_1446.JPG


I have been gathering gear since Black Friday. One of our goals with this new tank was to be able to get back into SPS, be able to have more fish, and to set ourselves up for success by automating things where we can since we are away quite a bit in the summers. With that in mind, here is a list of the gear I'm putting together to run the tank:

Lighting: Aquatic Life T5 Hybrid with 3 Kessil A360X Tuna Blue LEDs with a wifi dongle (will probably bump this up to 4 eventually)
Flow: 2 MP40ES models from my 120g (will adjust as necessary once I see what they do in the tank)
Return pump: Neptune COR20
Skimmer: Bubble Magus Curve 7 from my 120g (this tank is at the upper end of what this skimmer is rated for so I may upgrade it once the bioload becomes heavier but I'm deferring that for now)
Controller: Neptune APEX EL with an autofeeder and a WXM Module to control the MP40s
Dosing: Kamoer F4 wifi 4 head dosing pump
ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155
Heaters: TBD but I'm guessing I'll need about 500-600 Watts worth
Refugium lighting : TBD but looking at the AI Fuge light. I have time to make this decision as it will be awhile before there are enough nutrients to really need the fuge running.

I also purchased a couple Brute 44 gallon trash cans and will be building a proper saltwater mixing station in my basement. I have an old Quiet One 3000 pump that was my first return pump on the 120g but I quickly removed it as I found it didn't restart reliably when power was interrupted. That doesn't really matter for a saltwater mixing station though so I figured I'd save some cash and use it. I am strongly considering running some RO lines up the wall and through the ceiling between the tank and the saltwater mixing station before I hang my lighting or put water into the 180g so that I'm set up for for an AWC system. Eventually I plan to purchase a Neptune DOS for this purpose but figured I'd spend that money on getting livestock into the tank right now and implement the AWC later in the summer before camping season starts.

As it stands right now, I am still waiting on my ghost overflow to show up along with my ATO and some of the valves for the plumbing. It will probably be at least 2 weeks before I can start plumbing this thing. Now I need to start thinking about how I might skin this stand, and at a bare minimum what wood (and paint) I might want to add in the back and right side so that I can secure my plumbing and mount my electrical stuff. I plan to magnet mount plywood to the inside frame for these purposes, and will magnet mount something more finished to the outside, I'm just not sure what yet and whether it might have doors built in or just have 3 removable 2 foot panels across the front.
 

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