BANG 4 UR BUCK [NEW] 210G - The biggest tank I could fit in my office, oh, and they deliver for $50

Fish_Sticks

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My Wife's eyes filled with horror, You need a bigger fish tank?
No, I ordered a bigger fish tank.
You see, this is normally the part where somebody ends up getting slapped; however, through years of finesse and what some may define as, brain washing, I've managed to twist the odds into my favor. Flashbacks of wedding vows wizz through her mind. Was this all her fault? She knew that I liked fish when we got married. Maybe she could run away and find a normal man. A man with no hobbies. But she could not, for she remembered that she was the one that names all the fish, she too had become a reef junky; and I was in.

It's not all sunshine in rainbows though. I've gotta load this huge 500 pound thing into my house all by myself! At least I was going to, until contacting my local LFS and his hoard of college age workers. Upon delivery of the aquarium, a 50$ sum would guarantee the promise for good delivery in the spot of my choosing. The LFS owner got a tank sale and his workers would be the ones to deliver. He and I knew how to make a deal! As the three loaders grunt about in an attempt to squeeze the oversized glass box around the acute angles of the hallway, through a door, over a desk, onto the desk, off the desk, onto the floor, and again with the stand, my wife and I reside in comfort in our living room all but $50 more poorer, but all the more glad we have not broken backs. Atleast they have suction cups! As the grunting intensifies, we are assured that the aquarium is another step closer to being put into place. It took much encouragement to have the college age loaders continue their task. Their requests to leave the tank and stand in the front living room were denied and their biggest fear was confirmed; maybe $50 was a little bit of a low price. There was no backing out now. This tank was going into the office.

Fianlly, the tank was put into in place. With the quick shut of our door and a tank in position it was time to begin the build thread and begin the 210 gallon build thread on reef2reef.

Welcome to the biggest tank I could fit into my office, oh, and theyll bring it into the house for $50 thread.

In this build thread I will be documenting the journey of my new 210G Planet Aquariums tank with a 75G DIY sump and refugium. The entire process will be documented from soaking new rock, quarantining fish, tank drop off, sump construction, plumbing installation, equipment setup, aquascaping, merging my currently existing 75G into the 210G, expanding the new tank with new fish and corals, and follow up updates. This will be a no shortcuts no crap science experiment for success.
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The overall equipment strategy will be to find affordable, low energy consuming, bang for your buck equipment that any dedicated reef keeper can utilize in their aquarium to achieve good results. Products from the asian markets are a great value and can be reliable, if maintained often.
Tank:
210 Gallon Planet Aquariums Low Iron Glass Aquarium - 72x24x29
Tideline overflow (Switching to Exotic Marine)​
Maple Planet Aquariums Stand With Clear Varnish - 72x24x30
Glass Lids w Hinge​

Sump + Refugium:
DIY 75 Gallon Aqueon Glass Aquarium, 48x18x21 (Petco 50% off Sale)
Exotic Marine Systems 75G Sump Kit​

Skimmer:
Aquamaxx FC-280

Return:
Jebao DCP Sine Wave DCP-8000

Circulation:
2x Jebao OW-50 449-5283 GPH
2x Unbranded 800 GPH Powerheads

Lighting:
3x SB Reef 18" Basic

Heating:
2x Eheim Jager 250W Heaters

Controller:
Industrial Ranco ETC-111000 Digital Cold Temperature Controller

Sand:
80lbs Carib Sea Ocean Direct
40lbs Carib Sea Crushed Coral
40lbs Carib Sea Special Grade Reef
10lbs Natures Ocean 1mm-2.5mm
8lbs Natures Ocean Live Sand .1mm-.5mm

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Throughout the process, I will be following a rigorous quarantine procedure with an equipment list that grows upon demand. The strategy will be to induce hyposalinity upon arrival while slowly bringing salt levels up over an eight week period and using medical treatments only when signs of disease occur.

Quarantine:
20 Gallon High Aqueon Glass Aquarium

QT Filtration:
Instant Ocean Seaclone 100 HOB skimmer (removed during medical treatment)
Old 40G Aqueon HOB Filter Box Single Sided (no media, just a very porous foam pad)

My next post will be photos of the tank/stand... I've already ordered most of the equipment and will post photos of that later on.

Feel free to ask questions or like updates and I will do my best to keep the content coming.

Here are photos of my previous tank, in which I ran sumpless, simmerless, and performed 0 maintenance. I hope to reuse some of the strategies I learned from this project.

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So that was what I did with no skimmer, no sump, no interaction, no detritus removal, no rock blasting, or maintenance at all.

The tank didn't perform so well after I moved it to my new house, but its still chugging along.

Like my old 75G I will be growing out frags, rather than purchasing huge colonies.

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ngoodermuth

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Can’t wait to see it! Nice intro [emoji1303]
 
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The tank has been sitting dry for about a month in my office. I figured having the tank early would give me a better idea of scale for equipment, rocks, sump size, and plumbing layout.

My first reaction was how nice of a job Planet Aquariums did, and how happy I was that I went with the clear finish on the maple stand. It would be a sin to paint this thing and hide the beautiful wood.

The seams of the aquarium are very well done. The black paint on the back looks invincible and is lightyears better than any rustoleum diy project Ive scrapped together in the past. Its almost like its a solid black panel.

The tank came with a tideline/ghost overflow which I did not read up about until it arrived. This thing sucks, dont buy it: http://www.dfwaquarium.com/Products/Tideline-Overflow-Box/TIDE-OF-16S_2.html

Tideline 16 OF.jpg

With only one bulkhead gasket for the overflow drains, the tideline overflow is prone to leaks and requires a lot of troubleshooting to set up without leaking. @Jimbo662 also had these problems.

I ultimately decided to return this to my LFS and order a custom fit 18" Exotic Marine Overflow from @TaylorPilot. I also ordered a diy 75g sump baffle kit from him as well and will be adding photos of that project and the new overflow when they arrive.

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Three glass lids are waiting for me at the LFS. Ill be picking those up sometime this week when I return the overflow.

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Fish_Sticks

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I've had some rock hanging around for a year now from an old tear down. About a month ago I started soaking it in 20g tubs in the garage. When I first put it in, it was at 60 tds. Today the water was at 200 tds.

TimePhoto_20190127_151223.jpg


Wait till you see the sand. Im going for a 2" sandbed with a large variety of grain sizes.
80lbs Carib Sea Ocean Direct
40lbs Carib Sea Crushed Coral
40lbs Carib Sea Special Grade Reef
10lbs Natures Ocean 1mm-2.5mm
8lbs Natures Ocean Live Sand .1mm-.5mm


Rinsing the sand removed a load of silicates. I only rinsed the Caribsea because theyre not live sands, but now Im tempted to rinse out the live sand with some tank water before putting it in. The crushed coral was the worst and this photo does not do it justice. It was like dumping out 2% milk.

TimePhoto_20190209_135812.jpg


Each bag of sand was unique and Ive finally mixed them together. They look really nice as a mix. Ill post photos when I get to putting the sand into the tank.
 
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I picked up the 75G tank back in January at a petco 50% off sale. While waiting for my tank to arrive, I figured I'd go ahead and paint the sump white; or atleast thats where I thought I would go.

20190128_172132.jpg

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With the tank painted completely white, I could tell that this was not the best it could be. Chisel in hand, I took to scraping the white paint off the back panel. My idea was to paint a nice detailed background. After an hour of photoshop I turned this,

buck-island-reef-360-og.ngsversion.1484913606212.adapt.1900.1.jpg

into this,

Reefer Backdrop small.jpg

This is the same dimensions of the 75G's back panel. I would plot this out on a 48x20 sheet and trace it onto the back of the tank with rustoleum and some fine brushes. I decided to go with black/white/yellow to get a good contrast.

20190130_083643.jpg


It took three separate painting sessions and 6 hours, but there wasn't anything else for me to do while I was waiting on all the parts to get here. The yellow layer went on first, the black second, and the white third.
20190131_202903.jpg
20190131_210128.jpg

View attachment 983449

And here is what it looks like under my stand with the new equipment and some plumbing done.

TimePhoto_20190210_102648.jpg
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Once I get the baffles in the mail from exotic Marine Systems, Ill put it together and post some more updates.

20190131_202909.jpg


View attachment 983451

75_Isometric_Front_large.jpg
 
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Fish_Sticks

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Ive sorta run out of things to do until I get the sump kit and new overflow from Exotic Marine systems.

Then I remembered I have all this equipment to wire up. Started with this:

TimePhoto_20190216_113740.jpg
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I had a spare 8$ RGB led light strip laying around, and what a huge difference it makes. The cable management will do for now, but the top power strip will run all dry side electronics: Mainly just the lights. The bottom strip plugs into a GFCI converter to run all wet side electronics: jebao wavemakers, jebao return pump, skimmer, two eheim 250w jager heaters, any additional utlity pumps.

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Ill make the cables a lot more organized this week, but for now I think I've done an acceptable job. The sump looks killer though. Hopefully the baffles will look good.
 
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Being that this tank is all about bang for your buck, the plumbing setup has to be a solid design so as to not waste energy. Aiming for a 5x tank turnover rate, I would need somewhere in the ballpark of 1000 GPH. Going off of what I saw other's doing, I went with this, but felt that I was being limited by forcing myself to return to both bulkheads.
210G PLUMBING.PNG


My problem with this setup was that it would be extremely inefficient energy wise to send up water to both 3/4" return bulkheads. My strategy shifted to plugging up one of the 3/4" bulkheads and only using one return bulkhead. This ensures that water is being returned in straight shot back to the tank without all the long pointless runs. Flipping the sump run direction also allowed me to put the electrical components and control panels on the right side of the tank.

210G PLUMBING.PNG


As you can see, I wont be wasting any watts and can turn down my jebao return pump.

At this point, I was using the old tideline overflow. Hopefully I wont have to refit my plumbing to the Exotic Marine Overflow too much, but I had done the plumbing a few days before I made the decision to switch overflows.

You can read more about the development of this idea on my plumbing thread: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/plumbing-new-210-bean-animal-good-diagram-included-please-assist.550366/

Hard plumbing is a bit of a chore. The #1 tip I can recommend is to get a pair of pvc cutters. They made the entire process super easy for only $12. I spent about 2 days dry fitting my parts together, gluing them, and painting the above water parts yellow. I was gonna get a gate valve for my primary siphon, but they are so overpriced and this is the bang for your buck aquarium. PS, dont paint the handle of the ball valve, I ended up scraping it off.
TimePhoto_20190210_093332.jpg


I also used this thread sealant. I still have half a stick left after doing all my threads. After reading countless plumbing threads, I've found that tephlon tape is a joke when compared to this stuff: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B004MYFP8C/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o03__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1
 
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So I picked up the new Planet Aquariums glass lids from my LFS today. They are the best lids I've ever seen. Will post some images tomorrow when the room has nice daylight. I've also updated the main thread to show that I'll be using SBreef 18" basic led lights. I've spent the past two weeks reading up on light spectrums and diodes.

I got into the LED game around 2014 and started with a pair of Chinese galaxy hydro ebay black boxes. At the time, everyone was pushing the super expensive leds or using t5HO. Using these black boxes was pretty taboo. I was ensured that the lights would explode, burn my house down, and melt corals; however, I found incredible growth results after removing some lenses, and great reliability by performing routine maintenance on the fans and cleaning out the dust from the housing on a 6 month basis. Now black boxes are common practice. They may not have pointless lightning and cloud effects that scare the crap out of your fish, but at least they are only $140e and not $700e.

I've always had glass lids on my tank to cut down evaporation as much as possible, but something else the lids are good for is diffusing light and lowering the disco effect that most leds put out.
 
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Jason Miller

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I picked up the 75G tank back in January at a petco 50% off sale. While waiting for my tank to arrive, I figured I'd go ahead and paint the sump white; or atleast thats where I thought I would go.

That is so awesome Bro.! Nice work:)

20190128_172132.jpg

20190128_172157.jpg

With the tank painted completely white, I could tell that this was not the best it could be. Chisel in hand, I took to scraping the white paint off the back panel. My idea was to paint a nice detailed background. After an hour of photoshop I turned this,

buck-island-reef-360-og.ngsversion.1484913606212.adapt.1900.1.jpg

into this,

Reefer Backdrop small.jpg

This is the same dimensions of the 75G's back panel. I would plot this out on a 48x20 sheet and trace it onto the back of the tank with rustoleum and some fine brushes. I decided to go with black/white/yellow to get a good contrast.

20190130_083643.jpg


It took three separate painting sessions and 6 hours, but there wasn't anything else for me to do while I was waiting on all the parts to get here. The yellow layer went on first, the black second, and the white third.
20190131_202903.jpg
20190131_210128.jpg

View attachment 983449

And here is what it looks like under my stand with the new equipment and some plumbing done.

TimePhoto_20190210_102648.jpg
TimePhoto_20190210_102628.jpg


Once I get the baffles in the mail from exotic Marine Systems, Ill put it together and post some more updates.

20190131_202909.jpg


View attachment 983451

75_Isometric_Front_large.jpg
 
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Hopefully it doesnt all peel off in a few years. It was a lot of rustoluem ;Photogenic
 
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Planet Aquarium's glass lids are pretty awesome.

The little removable opener also doubles as a lid stand so that water doesnt slide back and onto the glass. I dont know if that was intentional, but I definitly consider it a huge plus. Theyre made to fit either a 180 or a 210 since the 210 is just a 6" taller 180.

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If you take a look at these old glass lids on the 75G, you can see the water just slides back. This leaves a bunch of salt when it evaporates. I have to clean them about once a week.

I just take them to the shower and rinse them off. Dont let your wife see you doing that unless youve gotten her to like reefs Lol.

20190221_181309.jpg



There is no way a wrasse is making it out of this tank.
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Jason Miller

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Hopefully it doesnt all peel off in a few years. It was a lot of rustoluem ;Photogenic
Never the less, it’s pretty freakin awesome. You definitely got my Hamster wheels turning on some design ideas for my sump.:)
 
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Never the less, it’s pretty freakin awesome. You definitely got my Hamster wheels turning on some design ideas for my sump.:)
Sweet! I think this would be an awesome planted tank background idea as well.
 
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Quick update:
The new overflow and 75g diy sump kit from Exotic Marine Systems is scheduled to arrive wednesday.
 

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Following! i have a 210 Oceanic being resealed and am in the planning stages.
 
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Ive aquascaped about a dozen tanks. Everything from your standard rock wall, big centerpeice, island, branches, the works.

This time I am going to take a different approach.

While honeymooning in the carribean this past May, my expectations of what a reef would be were massively changed. Being an architect, I've had to study scale, relationships, organic compositions, and obviously the rule of thirds, the golden ration, the silver ratio, blah blah blah.

While all these things are cool, I dont think applying them straight forwardly ever yeilds great results. A subliminal approach with these concepts in the back of your mind usually allows you to freestyle a bit more and get more oomph. Knowing rules is great, but following them gently and letting yourself drift away can allow you to trust your inner cool factor. Ill be taking this next week to focus solely on aquascape, in addition to the new overflow and sump kit that arrive today or tomorrow.

For now, Im really enjoying the 24 inches of deapth this tank has to offer. My focus will be to create a scape that really illustrates and magnifys the deapth and space in between rock structures. The most beautiful thing in the bahamas was the sand, and seeing how it divided the reef in peices.

Its all about scale and space inbetween, not how big of a rock pile you can shove into the tank :p

Since I plan on keeping lots of gobies, damsels, and ground dwellers, taking an approach of scattering about is going to really open up the tank and reveal so much deapth along the bottom.
 
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The custom fit 18" overflow arrived during my lunch break...

Fits nicely in the weird hole setup planet aquariums did. @TaylorPilot and I had to coordinate a few times to verify these weird hole dimensions from planet aquariums.

Still waiting on the 75G sump kit, but thats the last thing I need to finally kick off the sump and start making a huge push towards filling up the aquarium.
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Mastiffsrule

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That set up is awesome.

I agree with you on the lids. I like the hinge closer to the front. Gives a large pane of glass toward the back so light doesn’t get blocked. I just bought new lids for my 180 and it had the hinge almost center.

Keep those pics coming
 

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