Chris's 75 Gallon Reef Tank Build

Chris H Reef

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Hey Everybody,

I have set up my first reef tank build and am excited to document its progression and life here! I have a little catching up to do in my first post here since it's been running for almost a month now.

1/14/2023:
So after a few months of researching I finally decided to pull the trigger on buying a 75 gallon Aqueon fish tank and a 20 gal Aqueon for my sump.

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I was planning on DIYing a lot of my setup to save some cash and also because I thought it would be fun.

1/30/2023:
I started building the stand a little after getting the fish tank. I have access to free 2x4's at work so I build a sturdy frame with those and them attached plywood and trim to the outside. I realized I made a little mistake when attaching the trim which makes the tank look a little off level BUT it is actually fine.

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I used a router and sanded to make a reeded pattern on the front door panel which turned out pretty sick.

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2/4/2023:

I was then ready to drill my tank. I planned on setting up a herbie overflow with a single return. Unfortunately, I found out the hard way that my tank was tempered....

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2/11/2023:
I bought a new tank, this time Topfin. I used the sunglasses trick to make sure it was non tempered glass and had success this time drilling. I also painted the back black.

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2/12/2023:
I was also building a small bookshelf to sit next to the tank. I had to make this a separate piece what was movable because my furnace filter is behind it.

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2/23/2023:
I finally finished up the stand with a couple of coats of paint and got everything set up!

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3/2/2023:
I smashed my rocks into a thousand pieces and glued them back together to get a pretty nice scape with plenty of spots for the fish to hang out and swim around. Some of the rocks fell off when I was hosing them down, but I'm just happy they didn't fall in the tank.

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3/21/2023:
Here's where I know I'll get some hate and I made a mistake. I let me salt and RODI water mix for about 3 days and then went to the fish store. I bought turbo start and 2 tangerine clowns. Looking back I wish I would have just cycled without fish but at the time did not realize it could cause stress on the fish to cycle with them in there.

Lesson learned, but I am happy that I picked this pair because they are beautiful fish and are now getting along very well and settling in to a spot in the tank.

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4/9/2023:
I have been running my tank with no lights at the moment to keep algae down. My cycle is still not quite complete but my ammonia has been steadily decreasing and is almost gone.

I purposely waited until now to build my canopy so I wouldn't have the temptation to turn the lights on.

Over the weekend I just started working on the canopy until I ran out of wood. I'll have to put some trim pieces on it and paint but I'm happy with how its starting to look.

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That's it for now! I cannot wait to add some more fish in the near-ish future and post all of my updates here!
 
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Chris H Reef

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4/26/2024:
I added in 2 banggai cardinalfish who have been acclimating to the tank for the past week. They’re getting along with the clowns and slowly becoming less timid during feeding time. I should have my canopy done soon so I’ll be able to get the lights on for some better pictures.

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setup is looking good. having drilled dozens of tanks over the years I'm surprised the 75 was tempered. thats a first for me seeing that. i know some suppliers had to go to tempered glass due to shortages from a couple of years ago but figured that would be about done with. look forward to seeing it growing and filling with coral.
 
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Chris H Reef

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5/8/2024:
I wrapped up the canopy work and got it into place and finally got my lights on! Woah is it so much cooler once I turned on the lights. The fish are more lively and exploring too. I still have to dial in the color balance and get my controller attached.
 

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Reefing_addiction

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5/8/2024:
I wrapped up the canopy work and got it into place and finally got my lights on! Woah is it so much cooler once I turned on the lights. The fish are more lively and exploring too. I still have to dial in the color balance and get my controller attached.
What kinda of lights did you go with? Watch out for overheating due to them being in a canopy. I believe many people find a way to vent the canopy with a fan to help circulate the air.

I have a reef ready Aqueon tank that I bought used ….. yeah for no drilling!
I went with a 40 breader for my sump….

Welcome to reefing……
IMG_9795.jpeg

And a full tank shot of my tank :) because that’s what Fridays are for
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Chris H Reef

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What kinda of lights did you go with? Watch out for overheating due to them being in a canopy. I believe many people find a way to vent the canopy with a fan to help circulate the air.

I have a reef ready Aqueon tank that I bought used ….. yeah for no drilling!
I went with a 40 breader for my sump….

Welcome to reefing……
IMG_9795.jpeg

And a full tank shot of my tank :) because that’s what Fridays are for
IMG_9846.jpeg
I have 2 Nicrew HyperReef 150’s for lighting. I was worries about them overheating as well so I cut holes through the canopy and they’re just sitting on top.

Love your tank, so many corals! I’m planning to let mine run with the lights on for about a week and then look into adding a few hardy corals. I’m going to add them to some island rocks since I’ve heard the “beginner” corals can get out of control fast.
 
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Chris H Reef

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this is WILD! You have done such a great job so far and I'm looking forward to following along with this AWESOME build!
Thank you! I’ve been really enjoying the process of not only setting up the tank but building everything too! It is definitely taking me a lot of time to set up but I figure that will work to my benefit in the long run!
 

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I have 2 Nicrew HyperReef 150’s for lighting. I was worries about them overheating as well so I cut holes through the canopy and they’re just sitting on top.

Love your tank, so many corals! I’m planning to let mine run with the lights on for about a week and then look into adding a few hardy corals. I’m going to add them to some island rocks since I’ve heard the “beginner” corals can get out of control fast.
Another thing to consider is your PH. With the canopy and no air circulation it makes the gas exchange of the water more difficult.

What type of corals were you thinking.

Some soft corals can take over

Even zoas.

Always a good idea to determine what you like and where you want it.
 

Making aqua concoctions: Have you ever tried the Reef Moonshiner Method?

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