BPB’s 150 gallon

Bpb

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In what has to be the longest wait for a tank setup in hobby history (or so it seems), I have criminally under-documented the preparation and setup of this 150 gallon sps tank. I have a tendency to get way too wordy, so I’ll attempt to keep my thoughts brief as to not make this single post one that requires 28 scrolls of the thumb or mouse wheel.

Some of you may know/remember me from my previous build thread seen here

My family has had the goal to get into a bigger home. We have been interviewing builders and viewing homes in the area for 3-4 years now. My intention was always to upgrade tanks whenever the move took place as to avoid the complication of moving a running tank. We were fortunate enough to be in a situation where we did not have to be out immediately when we moved, so I could keep my tank running while setting up the new one. I acquired an SCA 150 gallon PNP system from a friend who was getting out of the hobby. I am a disaster of a person and broke the sump within a month of storing it (slipped off a moving dolly)

So, in an attempt to make the move goes smoothly as possible I started doing all of my prep work years before the actual move occurred. I wanted to take it extra slow and do things as correctly as I possibly could. For rock work I have always been kind of sloppy but this time I wanted to create a lot of well secured lateral space and avoid excessive height. I also wanted to have significant amounts of opens in bed and plenty of hiding spaces. It took me a while and a lot of cement but I finally simple something I was happy with.
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Once the rock work was assembled I began the curing process. Knowing the challenges of a fresh tank, especially with sps, I wanted as much maturity as possible. All the rock work was crammed in a 40b and filled with saltwater, prodibio, mb7, a Turbo’s Aquatics L4 turf scrubber, and a bunch of media. There it has sat for around 2 years. Being ghost fed fish food with a heavy hand. Scrubber harvested every few weeks.
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And so the tank sat in my garage acting as a storage box of junk for years while waiting to figure out our move. I didn’t want to set up a tank this size only to have to move it when it starts getting happy
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I rebuilt the stand for the tank to be more robust, and to have externally separated media panels to keep controllers and power bars away from water and humidity. Looking back, I’d have made it taller as its real right now under the stand. Stand coated with 4 coats of oil based kilz primer and 3 coats of white krylon fusion
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Panels were made from tongue and groove pine. Most of the ends were capped off to look somewhat finished. I king of winged the whole process. The interior surfaces of the canopy and stand panels were coated with several coats of rustoleum white appliance epoxy. Goal is to have the stand and panels as water resistant as possible. Initial stain was dark walnut....but I hate it and want a gray wash looking sort of weathered finish. Eventually the panels will be sanded back down and refinished. When I have time.
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Fast forward a few years, and we finally get the house built and I’m ready to get the tank moved over. I cleaned up and leak tested it. Good to go
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Moved the stand over to the new house. At my wife’s request it was placed half on this rug. I shimmed the back of it to make it level. I realize how bad of an idea it was so it was quickly scrapped and the room rearranged to get the stand flat on the tile.
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The day came to move the tank over and disaster hit. We managed to chip the corner of the tank loading it in the truck. So back to the garage floor it went. I was dejected. Wasn’t prepared to buy a new tank but I hopped on the computer and ordered a new sca150 since I had the stand to fit it already. I actually feel better having something brand new rather than something that sat in a dry garage for 3 years
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New tank arrived and has been placed on the stand. I’ve been spending the last week working on plumbing and rinsing sand. Turns out it only took two bags to get the depth I wanted. It’s been actively filling for 3 days now. I’m about 80% as of today. I’ll start mixing salt this evening and get the rocks moved over this week. I’ll likely elaborate more in coming posts
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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

JCOLE

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Awesome! Sorry to hear about the crack in the other tank. Can't wait to see what you do with this tank. Following along!!
 
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No work on the stand just yet. That’s not really priority just yet. If the tank were in a main living area I’d probably be a lot more diligent about finishing the exterior of the stand to make it match the house. But...it’s in the office so aesthetics aren’t QUITE as essential. It’ll get there though.

Finished up the manifold this week mostly. I goofed and glued one of my unions without the nut on it. So I had to scrap that fitting and order another. It was the union fitting on the ball valve supplying the algae turf scrubber so that has been offline thus far. I was going to do a complicated arrangement of elbows to make it fit at such the goofy angle it has to sit...but ultimately decided to just do barbed fittings and silicone tubing for simplicity.

Second ball valve will supply the carbon reactor. If I’ve noticed one side effect of an algae scrubber, it is intense yellowing of the water so I will begin running carbon regularly. If the carbon reactor and scrubber maintenance prove to be too much effort for me, I’ll pull them and just run vodka on a dosing pump. I’ve been happy with that in the past but wanted to try something new this time simply due to how powerful a scrubber can be and I intend to be fairly heavy stocked with fish

Lights are just sitting on top of the tank now, That will change as the canopy will allow them to be 3-4” more off the water for better blending and spread.

Very happy with how the rock work turned out. The mismatched color is not a big deal. It’ll all be the same color within a few months so I’m not worried about it. Flow is terrific. I can see it shooting behind and under/through the rocks.

Have the control board unboxed now, Still need to set up the apex controller and skimmer. Lots of work to be done, technology wise, Biology wise I’m sitting in a comfortable spot. Probably order an army of anthias and cardinals before bringing my old fish back over. I’ll continue ghost feeding the tank to keep the bacteria healthy and dense

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JCOLE

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Looks awesome! That is going to be one sexy tank! Love the aquascape.

How do you like the Reefbreeders diodes and lens? I just order the Blue/UV Lumenbar(thanks for the push :D) and curious on the even distribution.
 
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Looks awesome! That is going to be one sexy tank! Love the aquascape.

How do you like the Reefbreeders diodes and lens? I just order the Blue/UV Lumenbar(thanks for the push :D) and curious on the even distribution.

Thank you sir! Thst optics are pretty tight I will be honest. This is one brand that needs to be hung high to maximize effectiveness. Not saying they’re useless under 12” off the water, but they just do better higher up. As far as the BRS video on them they nailed it. 16-18” is the ideal mounting height for the photon panels. To get the best color blending and spread. Or higher if possible. The legs only bring them to 12”. My canopy is 15”
High and water level is 1” below so that brings me at about 16” over the water. I’ll be running two of them. I have some sbreef blue/violet bars that are a very similar product to the reef breeders which I’ll probably use as well just haven’t decided how I’ll mount those yet
 
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Well if it’s not one thing it’s another. Stupid skimmer pump won’t power all the way up. Just a little trickle. Taken it apart 5 times and put back together. Power keeps cycling between 30-40% or so on the controller. I give up. Not sure I want to invest in another skimmer pump. Since I have the big scrubber and carbon reactor I may attempt to go skimmerless
 

JCOLE

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Thank you sir! Thst optics are pretty tight I will be honest. This is one brand that needs to be hung high to maximize effectiveness. Not saying they’re useless under 12” off the water, but they just do better higher up. As far as the BRS video on them they nailed it. 16-18” is the ideal mounting height for the photon panels. To get the best color blending and spread. Or higher if possible. The legs only bring them to 12”. My canopy is 15”
High and water level is 1” below so that brings me at about 16” over the water. I’ll be running two of them. I have some sbreef blue/violet bars that are a very similar product to the reef breeders which I’ll probably use as well just haven’t decided how I’ll mount those yet

Thank you! The Lumenbar will be mounted around 10-11" off the waterline. The only purpose of this bar would be to give the POP I lack from the T5's and most likely, I will run them before and after the T5's. Really not looking for any growth advantages from the light. Just hoping it will be an even distribution of light. I also bought the Apex module to go with it for dimming. Hopefully, I could lower the intensity to help with a better visual distribution if need be.

Also, that is no Bueno on the Skimmer. Sorry to hear that. I say go Skimmerless and see how it goes. That is basically what I am doing now at this point. I don't run my skimmer until I see a little white foam in my sump. Kick it on for 12-24 hours which clears the foam and water up and then back off again for about a week. My refugium and UV seem to handle the rest.
 
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Thank you! The Lumenbar will be mounted around 10-11" off the waterline. The only purpose of this bar would be to give the POP I lack from the T5's and most likely, I will run them before and after the T5's. Really not looking for any growth advantages from the light. Just hoping it will be an even distribution of light. I also bought the Apex module to go with it for dimming. Hopefully, I could lower the intensity to help with a better visual distribution if need be.

Also, that is no Bueno on the Skimmer. Sorry to hear that. I say go Skimmerless and see how it goes. That is basically what I am doing now at this point. I don't run my skimmer until I see a little white foam in my sump. Kick it on for 12-24 hours which clears the foam and water up and then back off again for about a week. My refugium and UV seem to handle the rest.

Solid plan with the lumen bars!

I’m not too upset about the skimmer. Sure I’d like to have it all. But at the end of the day I’m confident the scrubber plus carbon reactor will take care of everything and then some. Pvc glue is curing right now. Will fire up the scrubber in mere minutes!!
 
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Welcome back! What a long wait! Seems like it took forever to get the house done. Did all your corals do well during your wait? Can't wait to see the setup with livestock.

It was a lengthy build. Ended up being about a 7-8 month process from the day the lot was cleared. I’ve been fighting battles on many fronts. Kids still have school and extracurriculars. Had to put flooring in the attic, update my home network, tend to the yard, replaced 90% of our furniture which had to mostly be assembled. Built shelving for the garage. Hung tv’s on walls (that was a new one for me). It’s been a process. All while getting the tank going. Corals are all still doing well. Only one loss in a friends tank which is great. I have a fish order coming in this week. I’ll start with them before I bring over the older ones.

Today: Scrubber and carbon going online. Huge pod order went in

Kudos to Josh at Pod Your Reef. Very happy with the density and robustness of the cultures. Won’t link the website as he’s not a sponsor. But he’s a local and a long time friend who is an absolute guru in the world of plankton.

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Few more images of the completed sump. I’ll be completely honest...I’ll spend what is necessary on the hobby to have thriving livestock...but one area that extra cost is not only unnecessary, but often counter productive, is in a fancy sump.

Now...this is NOT an insult to anyone who has invested in a nice sump. They’re very pretty and I can see the allure. My biggest wishes in a sump are ease of use, and hold all the ugly stuff. In which case this one does the job and does it for less than $200.

We have an aqueon 40b and the return baffles from a Fiji cube diy sump kit. I like the ability to move things around in a big main chamber. Running a sock drain and all that just restricts space. Using a full siphon means no drain bubbles, and my return baffle sponges will keep any critters out of the return chamber. In 8 years I’ve never run socks nor do I intend to start.

In the sump:
Eheim 300 watt heater (rarely turns on).
Turbos Aquatics L4 algae scrubber
Apex probes
Siporax and seachem pond matrix
BRS standard reactor for carbon
Skimz L90 return pump.
Trigger systems 5 gallon crystal ato container with JBJ ato (been in service since 2012)

The return pump handles flow for everything. So that is one improvement over past tanks. One single pump to
handle it all. I still need a backup. It’s on my to do list.

Tank is in a small room and the reef breeders leds are HOT. I have to keep the door open and fans on or the room gets stuffy and smelly. I may get a dehumidifer eventually if it becomes a problem. The lights and return pump keep the tank at a toasty 81 degrees. I’m hesitant to use a fan and create even more heat in the room through Increased humidity. I’ve always run warm tanks in the low 80’s so this is not new territory.

Still have to find a way to cram a kalkwasser reactor and calcium reactor in here. They’ll likely go on the floor next to the tank. A decorative equipment cabinet may be in my future

This is also my first time gluing any pvc!! My last tank everything was just dry fitted and left! Taking some getting used to not having drips and salt creep coming from every fitting

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Butcher333

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Awesome. Clean. I’ve been running between 79-82 and was curios about my temps, so glad to hear I’m good there. Your last build thread is what inspired me to keep at the SPS, and I’m finally doing it so I’m following.
 
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Awesome. Clean. I’ve been running between 79-82 and was curios about my temps, so glad to hear I’m good there. Your last build thread is what inspired me to keep at the SPS, and I’m finally doing it so I’m following.

Genuinely flattered to have had a hand in yours or ANYONES foray into sps. Thank you for the kind words. Received from the boss today that the wiring laying around has gotta go ASAP lol. I guess I know what my next goal will be
 

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It’s a real tank. Fresh sand giving off those diatoms though

Love the colors. What a great selection of fish!!
 
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