Beginnings of the GHL reef --- The home office build

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The time has come to begin the journey with my next tank.
I'm calling it the GHL home office build...

Why?

Well because it's in the GHL home office, of course!
Here is where I will be running all GHL products.
That includes the controller, lights, dosing pumps, automated test stations, temperature management devices, notification systems, etc. With these products and on-going field tests, I will continue providing the dev team with valuable data which will help in further developing upcoming products. Best of all, this will be the tank where you may see a sneak peek at what's around the corner!

How does this compare of my last tank?
This new one will be bigger, sleeker and more high-tech. ;)
More monitoring. More control. More technology. More insight.

For those who are interested, my last setup was an acro dominant 67 gallon rimless tank which was running for about 6 years. During that time, it had gone through one planned reboot. By year 4, that tank had become too overgrown and there wasn't much else keeping the excitement of the hobby alive. Instead of tearing it down, I decided to overhaul the setup and go for a new rock layout and coral selection. I kept a few pieces, but gave most away to a few local buddies. This time around, I went for a more minimalist look.

Here's a video of what it looked like during the initial phase:

Here's what it looked like after the reboot:


OK. Enough about the old tank, let's talk about the new one!
Like the previous tank, this one will also be acro dominant.
The tank will be a Red Sea Reefer 425XL in Black w/ stock stand and sump.
1593290862869.png


Plumbing?
Modified.
The stock design did not allow me to add a manifold so I decided to pick-up a few fittings from Red Sea so I can do the plumbing myself.
The manifold will supply water to one or two media reactors and the GHL ProfiLux Temperature Control 2. For those who are curious on what that is, click here.
20200619_185403.jpg


Return pump?
Abyzz a100.
It should be plenty strong enough to feed the tank and 3-way manifold.
Abyzz a100.JPG


Skimmer?
Royal Exclusiv Bubble King Double Cone 150.
These skimmers are workhorses. It did very well on my last tank and I have no doubt it will do just as well on this tank.
BK DC150 skimmer.jpg


Lights?
GHL Mitras LX 72xx.
This tank will have a combination of two Mitras LX7 models. It will have two LX7206 (6-cluster) and one LX7204 (4-cluster). Acros do love their light afterall...
MItras LX7 black.jpg
LX7204 (Pre release).png


In-tank flow?
2x Vortech MP 40 QD. These will be kept on the back wall of the tank so they're not too noticeable.
Vortech MP40 QD.jpg


Controller?
GHL ProfiLux 4. This will be the heart of the tank which will monitor and control the reef.
ProfiLux4_b-1024x410.png


Dosing pump?
GHL Doser 2.1
and Doser Maxi. These will automate supplemental dosing and ATO control.
GHL-Doser-2_1_2-1024x542.png
Doser 2.1 Maxi.jpg


Alkalinity testing & control?
GHL KH Director.
Once the tank get stocked with coral, I'll put this online and start with testing only until stocking levels are high enough for fine-tuned control.
KH-Director_b_850x850 (cropped).jpg


Rockscape?
Marco Rocks. This will be a combination of foundation, shelf and reef saver pieces. I've had great results with their stuff in the past and was able to create some cool shapes with the sizes they offer. In terms of rock layout, I'm still debating between the minimalist look or more full look...I'll have to play around with the rocks and see if I get a moment of inspiration.
MarcoRocks foundation.JPG


Future add-ons
When the time is right for the tank, these will be added to the system...
Automated testing: GHL ION Director (Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium, Nitrate and Sodium)
Temperature regulation: GHL ProfiLux Temperature Control 2
Failsafe notification system: GHL SMS Module 3


That's it for now!
Stay tuned for the next update...Plumbing!
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Build update: Modified plumbing. Done.
The plumbing was already done several days ahead of this build thread getting started, so I'm just catching it up. :)

After much planning, I put together a drawing of how I wanted to layout the plumbing and thought I had everything I needed, but no. Of course, there is always one or two pieces that get overlooked and end up delaying the process. ;Facepalm

In the end, everything else came-in and I went right to work...Fast forward a couple hours and...viola!
The plumbing is done.
20200627_144406.jpg


I put together a parts list for those who would like to do this kind of plumbing layout on their Reefer 425XL.
*** All parts are sch 80 PVC ***

*** DRAIN ***
  • 2x Red Sea Return connectors for connecting to your drain; RS part #R42222 (Compatible w/ 450/425XL/525)
  • 2x 3/4" x 1" male adapter S x MPT (Connects to drains)
  • 5x 1" Elbow slip (Drains)
  • 1x 1" Spears gate valve (Primary drain)
  • 2x 5ft pieces of 1" PVC pipe (Drains)
*** RETURN / 3-WAY MANIFOLD ***
  • 1x Red Sea Return connector for connecting to your return; RS part #R42222 (Compatible w/ 450/425XL/525)
  • 1x 3/4" male adapter S x MPT (Connects to return)
  • 1x 3/4" Spears gate valve
  • 3x 3/4" Tee slip
  • 2x 3/4" Street 90 elbow slip
  • 2x 3/4" Elbow slip
  • 3x 3/4" x 1/2" bushing
  • 3x 1/2" True union Ball valve (Red Flag brand)
  • 1x 3/4" Single union Ball valve (Red Flag brand)
  • 1x 3/4" PVC barbed male adapter MIPT x Insert

That's it for now!
Stay tuned for the next update...Custom light mounting rail!
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Build update: Custom light mounting rail. Done.

After taking measurements and doing some drawings, I ordered some parts from 8020inc so I could build the light mounts out of aluminum extrusion. The idea is to mount 3x GHL Mitras LX7 LEDs from a single arm. The back pieces and arm have 4-way grooves which allow me to cleanly hide the power cables.

Big thanks to Deven from ReefDudes for the idea!

Here's a list of parts that were used to build the light mount:
These parts can be ordered from 8020 directly or on 8020's eBay store...
1593649115382.png


Put it all together and you get this...
Lightmount 3.jpg
20200627_161808.jpg
20200627_161633.jpg


That's it for now!
Stay tuned for the next update...Adding sand and rocks!
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Build update: Add sand and rocks. Done.

It's official. The sand and rocks are now in the tank!

For the sand, I decided to go with Tropic Eden Mesoflakes. I picked up 3x 30LB bags of this sand, but only ended up using 2 bags. Still undecided if I want to add more sand or not...
(Photo for illustration)
1593730588100.png


For the rocks, I worked with about 80 pounds of MarcoRocks to build my scape. The goal here was to maximize coral real estate while providing large enough openings between the rocks for medium sized fishes to swim through. With a little bit of E-Marco 400 aquascaping cement I was able to create what I had originally envisioned.
1593730980856.png



Add sand, rocks, and some aquascaping cement...and this is the result...
20200630_171214.jpg


That's it for now!
Stay tuned for the next update...
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Build update: GHL goods have arrived. 3rd Mitras LX7 installed.

Yesterday, three boxes full of GHL goods arrived at my doorstep. Despite the shipping boxes themselves coming in a little roughed up, I'm happy to say the products themselves were unharmed. :)
20200702_172649.jpg


Here's a list of parts that are in the photo above:
  • ProfiLux 4 Mega Set 6E (Controller)
  • Mitras LX 7204 (3rd LED light for display)
  • KH Director Slave set (Automated Alk testing and control)
  • Doser 2.1 Slave, 4 pump (For 2-part / ATO management)
  • 2x Flow sensor 5000 (For the manifold)
  • 2x Flow sensor 5000 imperial fittings (For FS 5000)
  • PLM-4Level expansion card (For adding more float / flow/ optical / leak sensors to P4)
  • Sensorholder1 (For my level sensor assembly rod)
  • 1000ml KHD reagent (Extra reagent for KHD)
  • 1000ml KHD reference fluid (For KHD fine tuning)
  • S-port & L-port breakout box (Undecided)

That same day, I finished my lighting install by mounting the last Mitras LX7.
The lighting aspect of the build is officially complete!
20200703_091734.jpg
20200703_092000.jpg
20200703_091941.jpg


So what's next?
At the moment, I'm waiting on a special delivery from Adaptive Reef. They've designed some of our GHL displays for past trade shows and their work is nothing short of exceptional. Since this is a GHL tank build, I figured why not do something special for this tank. In the next couple weeks, I'll be receiving a custom GHL display to house the products.

On the meantime...it's time to do the freshwater leak test and get this tank filled!
20200703_093409.jpg
 
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saf1

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Great updates. Question on the lighting. Not about par or numbers but about position and spread. Did you notice, or already know, if it makes a difference how you position the lights in relationship to the display or does it change the spread?

Nice and clean. Really great work.
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Build update: Delivery from Fauna Marin!

While I waited much of Friday and part of Saturday for the tank to fill, another set of boxes arrived.
This time it was the goods from Fauna Marin.
@Fauna Marin

20200704_111943.jpg

I've decided to use Fauna Marin products on this setup because of my past experiences with them. Dating back to the early 2000s, when they were just getting into the US market, I came across their company at a local reef club event. In talking with the owner (Claude), I became curious about their product line up. What they offered at the time was unlike anything else. It all sounded very interesting. Enough that, I jumped right in with their Zeolith system not knowing what to expect. I just followed their directions and to my surprise, it really didn't take long to see the results. It was nothing short of phenomenal. The growth rate and colors of the coral where better than ever. From that point on, I was sold on the brand.

As the company expanded their product line, I continued getting deeper into the brand. Much like the products already in-use, their new stuff was just as good.

That's why for the start of this tank, I'm starting with these products:
  • Professional Sea Salt (Extremely clean salt designed for an SPS tank)
  • Bacto Blend (Bacteria for kick starting the cycling phase)
  • Balling Light set (Calcium, Alkalinity, Magnesium and trace element supplements)
  • Color Elements (Trace elements for fine tuning coral colors...for later down the road)
  • Amin (Amino Acids for boosting coral health...for later down the road)
  • Min S (Highly concentrated liquid coral food...for later down the road)
  • LPS pellets (Food for LPS coral...if I choose to add any...you never know. :) )
  • Coral Sprint (Bacterioplankton food for coral)
  • Coral Dust (Powdered blend food for coral)
  • Coral Vitality (SPS health and color booster...new product. I'm excited to try this one out!)
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Build update: Water added. Leak tested. Salt added. And more...

This will be a slightly longer post. :)


Picking up from where we last left off, as the tank continued filling I went ahead and plumbed-in the Abyzz.
20200704_100851.jpg

Since the plumbing was already done, this connection was nothing more than installing the union to the pump and connecting it to the return line.

Next up...Initial setup of the ProfiLux 4 controller
While I wait for the custom GHL display, I went ahead and did some light setup on the controller.
Nothing too in-depth just yet, the goal was to just get the basics done and expansion cards installed.
20200704_173318.jpg


In terms of ProfiLux expansion cards, I installed 3 of them:
  • PLM-PWC (For wireless Mitras LX7 control from ProfiLux)
  • PLM- 4Level (Adds more ports for additional float, optical, leak and flow sensors)
  • PLM-ADIN (For my skimmer float switch / cabinet lighting)
PLM-ADIN.jpg

PLM-PWC.jpg

PLM-4Level.jpg


Next up...install the float switch in the skimmer cup
Since the plan is to have the ProfiLux 4 control as much as possible, it made sense to include a nice "mess" prevention measure for the skimmer. With parts from AquaDriver USA and Amazon, I was able to put this all together.
20200705_102125.jpg
20200705_104833.jpg

20200705_133045.jpg
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Here's a parts list for those who'd like to make this for their skimmer and ProfiLux 4:
All together this will connect to the PLM-ADIN expansion card which has been installed into the ProfiLux.

Next up...Install cabinet lighting
Having the cabinet lighting controlled by the ProfiLux makes things so much easier whenever I need to do some work in the sump or any of the equipment down there. With the same PLM-ADIN card and breakout board from Amazon, I connected magnetic contact switches and installed them to the cabinet doors.

After cutting, connecting, drilling and mounting, this was the near-end result:
The left side of the LED strip was intentionally left hanging because I'm waiting for some corner connectors to arrive. I'll be using those to make a 2nd row of LEDs for additional lighting.
20200705_223425.jpg


So where's the photo of the tank?!?!
After the long wait, the tank has been filled and leak tested. I'm happy to say that not a single leak was found!
With that, I went ahead and started adding the salt (Fauna Marin Professional Sea Salt).

And now for the tank:

20200705_202822.jpg


The next step will be to add the bacteria and ammonia to kick start the cycle...and now the wait begins.
 

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Great project Vinny! Any chance you can share your flow programming with the vortechs on the back? I currently have mine set up like a DJ with his headphones and curious how they do on the back wall.
 
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Vinny@GHLUSA

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Great updates. Question on the lighting. Not about par or numbers but about position and spread. Did you notice, or already know, if it makes a difference how you position the lights in relationship to the display or does it change the spread?

Nice and clean. Really great work.
Thank you!

Positioning of the 7206 (6-cluster) light makes a big difference. The way I have it placed gives me a coverage of about 36" front to back and 24" left to right. I chose to do it this way for two reasons; aesthetics and more space for additional lighting. By placing those fixtures perpendicular to the length of the tank, I was able to fit the 7204 model which gives me extra focused light towards the middle.

Since the overflow in the middle takes up about 4" of depth real estate, I thought this would be the ideal choice instead of going with 2x 7206 positioned parallel. Even though 2x 7206 is perfectly doable for this size tank, having that 3rd light in the middle will give me additional overlapping light, more even distribution and more fine-tuning control for spectrum and intensity. The tank is going to be 95% SPS so the extra light will only help maintain proper coloring on the undersides of the coral tissue.
 

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