Beginner's 150 Gallon Build

Brisk

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Hello everyone,

So a little brief introduction. I've only had freshwater aquariums on and off since I was a child with the last tank about 25 years ago. About 3 months ago, I got inspired again to start an aquarium from watching a YouTube video on cichlids. I started to research into it and was set on doing a planted cichlids but while doing my researching on what I'll need, I started looking into saltwater and got even more inspired watching other reefer's YouTube. After comparing the two, I've decided to start a reef tank and then we'll see what it'll evolve into. I'm very new to the reefing hobby, so please excuse me if something doesn't sound right. Since I'm still learning, please offer any advices, suggestions, opinions, and comments also.

Originally I was set on a 36" length tank due to the limited space I have. Once thing led to another and before I knew it, I ended up going bigger and spending more than I wanted to :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:. My tank is on order and I purchased most of the equipment I think I'll need (want) during Black Friday.

Here's my aquarium system so far:
  • Display Tank: 155g tank - 60" length x 24" width x 25" height (with 30" Modular Marine Overflow) built by @CDA Fish Tanks (expected delivery - middle of April)
  • Stand: Laguna style stand constructed out of steel and gloss white laminate panels
  • Canopy: This will be a DIY project and it'll be a floating canopy style using 80/20 aluminums.
  • Lighting: 2 x Orphek Atlantik iCon
  • Rock: Already purchased 60 lbs. of dry rock and will be adding the rest live rocks.
  • Sand: I'll probably do half Tropic Eden Reeflakes and Mesoflakes. I haven't decided if I'll add some live sand to the mix but considering it.
  • Sump: 48 x 18 x 16 designed by Yury over at Poseidon's Creations
  • ATO: 10 x 12 x 30 - 15 gallons designed by Yury over at Poseidon's Creations
  • Mechanical Filtration: I'll be using filter socks for now but the sump is built to house a Red Sea ReefMat 1200 which I may switch over to later.
  • Skimmer: Reef Octopus Elite 200-INT
  • Refugium: I won't be running a refugium but instead will use the Clear Water CW-100 Algae Scrubber V2
  • Pumps: 2 x Reef Octopus Varios-8 each to its own return line.
  • Heaters: 2 x 350 Watt Helio PTC Smart Heater
  • Wavemakers: 3 x Vortech MP40
  • UV: Lifegard 3" Pro-Max 55 Watts
  • System Control: Hydros X4 Pro Pack
I do not have any photos to offer now, but as soon as I can, I'll upload them.

This is what I have for now. I have not thought about what my stocking list will be but if you have any recommendations, let me hear it. Thank you.
 
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Brisk

Brisk

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Your build sounds awesome, can't wait to see it come together. Your going to love the Orpheks. I have one and you can do so many things to customize them. They are awesome.

Thank you. That's good to hear about the Orpheks. I spent so much time deciding which lighting I wanted to go with. They are still in their shipping boxes. Haven't got a chance to open them yet.
 

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I've seen a lit a good stuff about the other equipment you picked. I'm sure as you get going others will chime in. How did you find Posedion? I hadn't seen them until your post, but they have some cool looking stuff. Where are you thinking of getting your live rock/sand from?
 
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What are you planning to do for water testing?

I found Poseidon here on R2R. There was 1 post from someone here who recommended them. The owner was patient and helpful with my questions.

The live rock/sand I'm still not sure where to get them from. So far I think it's a toss up between KP and TBS. Do you have a preference?

As for water testing, I didn't do too much researching on it, but I think I'll probably get some of the recommended testers I've seen on here. So far I have a hydrometer to test salinity.
 

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So far I think it's a toss up between KP and TBS.
People really seem to like both. I haven't purchased from either yet, but when I do my upgrade I think I'd go with TBS. For rock and sand.

As for testers, I'd go with Hanna for Alkalinity, phosphate, Nitrate, and copper (if you are going to QT or treat fish at home). Also the salinity pen is useful to quickly check levels.

Salifert/ Red sea - calcium, ammonia, and nitrite.

I don't think you need the real fancy tests for nitrite and ammonia. You will likely only test at the beginning when cycling. Then once established, you won't need them unless you are setting up another tank.

Have you got an RODI system yet?
 
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People really seem to like both. I haven't purchased from either yet, but when I do my upgrade I think I'd go with TBS. For rock and sand.

As for testers, I'd go with Hanna for Alkalinity, phosphate, Nitrate, and copper (if you are going to QT or treat fish at home). Also the salinity pen is useful to quickly check levels.

Salifert/ Red sea - calcium, ammonia, and nitrite.

I don't think you need the real fancy tests for nitrite and ammonia. You will likely only test at the beginning when cycling. Then once established, you won't need them unless you are setting up another tank.

Have you got an RODI system yet?

Ah yes, I picked up the RODI too. Thanks for the suggestions on testers.
 
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I got around to take a photo of where I planned to put the new tank. I'll be using the cabinet on the left for the controllers and store all the equipment. I also got around to ordering extra plumbing in case what I ordered wasn't enough. When I looked at the total cost of just the plumbing alone, I was shocked by how much it racked up :(.

20231222_172022.jpg
 

cilyjr

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Wow, rarely do I see a first time build with as good choices as listed above. I will be interested in your building of stand and canopy.
I also prefer the floating canopy. Take into consideration how you will hide your electrical cables. Think on this with the vortech cables as well.
In my opinion, I see a great many builds that start out amazingly but the cables were obviously an afterthought and are usually just hanging off to the side.
 
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Wow, rarely do I see a first time build with as good choices as listed above. I will be interested in your building of stand and canopy.
I also prefer the floating canopy. Take into consideration how you will hide your electrical cables. Think on this with the vortech cables as well.
In my opinion, I see a great many builds that start out amazingly but the cables were obviously an afterthought and are usually just hanging off to the side.

I agree. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I'll run the cables, but it's hard to visualize it so I'll have to wait till I start the build. I looked into how others placed their Vortechs and I'm still juggling on deciding the placement. Ideally I would like to put it in the back since it'll be painted black. I'm not sure if that'll end up being enough flow (I'm guessing it won't). I might decide to pick up 2 gyres or 2 more Vortechs.
 

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I agree. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I'll run the cables, but it's hard to visualize it so I'll have to wait till I start the build. I looked into how others placed their Vortechs and I'm still juggling on deciding the placement. Ideally I would like to put it in the back since it'll be painted black. I'm not sure if that'll end up being enough flow (I'm guessing it won't). I might decide to pick up 2 gyres or 2 more Vortechs.
I have 4 on the back.
 

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I agree. I spent a lot of time trying to figure out how I'll run the cables, but it's hard to visualize it so I'll have to wait till I start the build. I looked into how others placed their Vortechs and I'm still juggling on deciding the placement. Ideally I would like to put it in the back since it'll be painted black. I'm not sure if that'll end up being enough flow (I'm guessing it won't). I might decide to pick up 2 gyres or 2 more Vortechs.
I'm not sure on whether 2 on the back will be enough.
They move a lot of water, but these days most pumps do.

I have 4 on the back but I have a much larger display.

Were it me, I think I'd try 2 on the back in the upper corners and as far to the left and right as possible . You can't go too high or they will pull a vortex from the surface and will suck air.

Another thing to consider is even with the tropic Eden sand, they will still blow out the corners eventually.

I solved this by making a new cover that had a good to deflect the water somewhat, but I 3D print and am relatively competent in a CAD program. Meaning I realize that's not an option for some people.

On a side note, I would not bother adding any of the" live sand" options to the tropic Eden it will be fine on its own.
 
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I'm not sure on whether 2 on the back will be enough.
They move a lot of water, but these days most pumps do.

I have 4 on the back but I have a much larger display.

Were it me, I think I'd try 2 on the back in the upper corners and as far to the left and right as possible . You can't go too high or they will pull a vortex from the surface and will suck air.

Another thing to consider is even with the tropic Eden sand, they will still blow out the corners eventually.

I solved this by making a new cover that had a good to deflect the water somewhat, but I 3D print and am relatively competent in a CAD program. Meaning I realize that's not an option for some people.

On a side note, I would not bother adding any of the" live sand" options to the tropic Eden it will be fine on its own.

Thank you for the advices! I thought I was going to be good with the sand but it's good to know about the corners and skipping the "live sand".
 

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I got around to take a photo of where I planned to put the new tank. I'll be using the cabinet on the left for the controllers and store all the equipment. I also got around to ordering extra plumbing in case what I ordered wasn't enough. When I looked at the total cost of just the plumbing alone, I was shocked by how much it racked up :(.

20231222_172022.jpg
I would give myself more space to work on the sides.
 

Rock solid aquascape: Does the weight of the rocks in your aquascape matter?

  • The weight of the rocks is a key factor.

    Votes: 10 8.1%
  • The weight of the rocks is one of many factors.

    Votes: 43 34.7%
  • The weight of the rocks is a minor factor.

    Votes: 39 31.5%
  • The weight of the rocks is not a factor.

    Votes: 31 25.0%
  • Other.

    Votes: 1 0.8%
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