Custom Build - Rethinking everything I think I know....

CMMorgan

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So, I'll kick this off by saying that I have learned so much in the last few days on these forums that I'm now doubting every choice that I have made so far on this build. o_O

There are a few controls that will not change:
Tank by American Aquariums - Acrylic 72" wide x 19" tall x 24" deep (1/2" sides, 3/4" bottom)
Aqueon Modular Flex Sump Model 4 - see attached photo - Currently set up with a center refugium and the Reef Octo in the return chamber.
Reef Octopus Skimmer with PSK600 pump (replacing with new due to an intermittent electrical current running through the tank - ZAP!)
AI Hydra light fixtures x 2 - older models which I am completely inept at programming correctly
Also have a 36" Current light fixture
Currently have 1 Hydor wave maker and several Current Loop Wavemakers - which frustrate me to no end
All of this gear is currently in use on a 90 gallon tank that I will break down upon set up of this new build.

My initial thought was to run the new tank with two internal overflows and two return pumps. One area that I want to improve on in the new build is improved gas exchange and balanced flow. IMHO, one overflow, as I have left justified in the existing tank, does not provide enough surface area to skim the water. It may be my imagination but I feel like one side of the tank is just cleaner than the other. The water just looks like it has a sheen to it that isn't as well circulated as I'd like. ;Happy

So, I was exchanging emails with Adam at AA in regards to where the two internal overflows would be and started to research plumbing plans by those who have gone before me. I had never heard of a ghost, coast to coast, a "herbie" or a "bean". (Mind blown) I also came across a thread regarding a reefer in the process of moving his tank to a new home. All of these things have me thinking that I have not been thinking enough! ;Wacky

I hope to move to a smaller home in 5 years. (Hubby thinks we will be here forever.) We have discussed designing the stand so it can be raised to place dollies underneath and rolled to a moving truck later. With that in mind, maybe plumbing from the bottom of the tank is a big, long term mistake (HUGE)? I am picturing lifting and moving a tank that has holes (bulkheads) on the bottom and what a potential nightmare that can be - in addition to the obvious residual water leaking all over a moving truck. ;Lurking Plan B?

With the new build, I will not have access from the back of the tank. It is going up against a wall in a family room and it will be visible from the front and the sides. Drain lines from the ACO will go through the wall to the vanity drain on the other side of the wall. RO water will fill the holding tank and top off tanks, which will be under the stand. The RO will come from under the vanity on the other side of the wall. I think I can overcome this by building a deeper stand with clearance behind for the pipes to come down. I'll post pictures soon of our woodshop - we've got that part down.

Option #1 would be to install some sort of external overflow. High Chief did a beautiful tank with an external from AA. Spectacular tank... I do wonder about those weir holes clogging and being accessible with eurobracing. I'm leaning towards this option, unless someone has an alternate suggestion. We'd basically have the same tank, but mine would be the regular meal and his was supersized.
Option #2 order some sort of ghost overflow... although most of these seem pretty small overall. Breaking surface tension is a big deal from my POV.

So begins my build ... and my build thread. The journey begins.




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AI Hydra.jpg
 
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CMMorgan

CMMorgan

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Hitting some hiccups with the existing 90 gallon. Since Chernobyl the Sleeper Goby knocked everything over, I have let it sit and give the fish some peace. I know going into that, my nitrates were bonkers and my skimmer was sending intermittent electrical currents into my tank. I took down the skimmer for a week while I ordered a new pump. In the meantime, I have algae on top of algae. I think my weekend is going to be scrubbing algae off of rock, and glass and lockline.... water testing... water changing and chemiclean.
Is this some sort of curse, like the old tank knows that it is going to be replaced so it's punishing me?
 
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CMMorgan

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Sounds good!
Thank you, Jeff... it is a slow process. Adam at American Aquariums is modifying my quote to a coast to coast with dual returns. It feels like it is so far away but honestly ... I'm grateful for the posters here for challenging what I thought I knew and making me dig deeper. They say what got you here won't get you there.... so true.
 
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CMMorgan

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Holy smokes... my timeline just got accelerated. I heard from American Aquariums that they expect delivery in mid-December. Zoinks. I have been so focused on fixing the issues in my existing that time just flew by. We have not even drew the plans for the cabinet yet. That tank may be sitting empty for a month or two, while I hash it all out... Rome wasn't built in a day.
I do have a few bucket list items I can use some help with.
I intend to replace the return pump and add to the lighting.
I have been doing lots of reading on threads but I'm open to suggestions.
The new tank will be dual return and coast to coast overflow. Would you do one return pump or two?
I was looking heavily into this:
As you can see from the photo above... I have two AI fixtures. They are older, so not HD. I also have a 36" Current fixture.
These are over a 48" tank now, the new will be 24" wider and 6" deeper front to back but 6" shallower. My thought is to move the AI to the left and right, keep the current in the center front but add another spot in the center. I was thinking of adding a Kessil to infuse some shimmer to the tank. Is there a better option to even out the shadows and add shimmer without breaking the bank? This was the unit I was looking at:
 
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CMMorgan

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Ordered a Kessil 360X from Opguy22 today. I think that will fill in the extra lighting and shimmer on the new build. Still woefully undecided on the return pump or pumps... homework for the weekend...
On a positive note... I received my shipment of macros, etc from liveplants.com today. The jury is still out on the 50 snails but I'm otherwise tickled that the red macros look so nice.
I still need to ID everything, as this was a red macro sample pack but I've attached pictures. Also in the order were:
4 ricordia mushrooms @$8 each - and they really pop under the blues.
1 purple gorgonian (which I did not photograph yet.)
2 pieces rigid coralline algae - just because I wanted to seed some new strains

Everything is in the tank acclimating.... looks lovely. I'll post in tank pics soon.

PXL_20201111_200300544.jpg PXL_20201111_200304861.jpg PXL_20201111_200252334.jpg PXL_20201111_200127299.jpg PXL_20201111_193300334.jpg PXL_20201111_193303891.jpg PXL_20201111_193200741.jpg PXL_20201111_200258121.jpg PXL_20201111_200302770.jpg PXL_20201111_192400286.jpg
 

RichtheReefer21

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Here for the ride.

Hows the update with the delivery schedule? I got here just before it arrives i hope.

Coast to coast is the best option, imho. How is the pverflowed gonna be plumbed? Did you decide on Bean Animal?
 
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CMMorgan

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Here for the ride.
Hows the update with the delivery schedule? I got here just before it arrives i hope.

Coast to coast is the best option, imho. How is the pverflowed gonna be plumbed? Did you decide on Bean Animal?
Great timing actually. I have a phone meeting with Adam @ American Aquariums tomorrow.
The plan going in to final specs is
  • Bean Animal - 1" pipes.
  • 1" return - split dual running off of the Sicce Syncra SDC 9.0 return pump
  • I just ordered two Sicce XStream DC Wifi Wavemakers. I put one in two days ago when the Hydor started clacking.
  • Not fun fact... the temperature sensor only reports in Celsius. It is also off putting .6-.9 volts into the tank. I get 0 from the Eflux pump I've been running for two years. I sent an email to BRS on this, as Sicce did not respond.
  • I'll reuse the 36" Current LED and remount the two existing AI LED's towards the two sides. I'll mount the new Kessil 360X dead center.
  • I have an order pending with Tampa Bay Saltwater for live sand, CUC, and possibly a new "live rock" to supplement and seed the new tank.
  • So far, macros are doing well. I haven't killed anything yet. I've got the nitrates down to 20, with a very low amount of phosphate. I also started dosing calcium and alk. (not with pumps - just measuring and dropping every couple of days.
The biggest hiccup at the moment is the random 2 volts in my tank with intermittent zaps.... most of which is sourced from the existing return pump (which will be gone soon.) Secondarily ... the dinos are back. So until the new build arrives, I'll keep fighting the battle.

I appreciate the support.... I'll keep you posted.
 

RichtheReefer21

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Great timing actually. I have a phone meeting with Adam @ American Aquariums tomorrow.
The plan going in to final specs is
  • Bean Animal - 1" pipes.
  • 1" return - split dual running off of the Sicce Syncra SDC 9.0 return pump
  • I just ordered two Sicce XStream DC Wifi Wavemakers. I put one in two days ago when the Hydor started clacking.
  • Not fun fact... the temperature sensor only reports in Celsius. It is also off putting .6-.9 volts into the tank. I get 0 from the Eflux pump I've been running for two years. I sent an email to BRS on this, as Sicce did not respond.
  • I'll reuse the 36" Current LED and remount the two existing AI LED's towards the two sides. I'll mount the new Kessil 360X dead center.
  • I have an order pending with Tampa Bay Saltwater for live sand, CUC, and possibly a new "live rock" to supplement and seed the new tank.
  • So far, macros are doing well. I haven't killed anything yet. I've got the nitrates down to 20, with a very low amount of phosphate. I also started dosing calcium and alk. (not with pumps - just measuring and dropping every couple of days.
The biggest hiccup at the moment is the random 2 volts in my tank with intermittent zaps.... most of which is sourced from the existing return pump (which will be gone soon.) Secondarily ... the dinos are back. So until the new build arrives, I'll keep fighting the battle.

I appreciate the support.... I'll keep you posted.
Great update. U will love the b.a. OF.

fill a bucket with water, drop it in the tub, drop the potentially faulty pump in the bucket, and fire it up, test the bucket water. Should give u a for sure on the current leaks. And for the clacking, are you sure its not just a snail shell that got stuck or possible rubble of sorts? Just saying its possibly an easy fix and u could have a backup return that way. Just spammin thoughts.

Excited for pics :)
 

HighChiefKC

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Hey just found your thread! As for the coast to coast overflow getting clogged and not being able to clean:
Yea some stuff builds up there, but I wouldn’t say anything gets clogged. Also the euro bracing doesn’t hinder clean up at all. I can get my hand or a scraper about anywhere.
 
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CMMorgan

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Hey just found your thread! As for the coast to coast overflow getting clogged and not being able to clean:
Yea some stuff builds up there, but I wouldn’t say anything gets clogged. Also the euro bracing doesn’t hinder clean up at all. I can get my hand or a scraper about anywhere.
Thanks! Just spoke to Adam today to do a last final review. Turned out that he owes me a credit because I'll provide my own plumbing and I skipped the lids. That's a bonus, given how expenses snowball in this hobby. He said the tank should be here in 4 weeks.
I've ordered the salt mix - Syn-Biotic by Tropic Marin.
I'll be ordering two more Kessil 360 X this week. Time to retire the original AI fixtures.
We've also settled on leveling casters by Footmaster for the stand. They are rated @ 1100 pounds each and we're going with 6.
I was soooo hoping that Tampa Bay Saltwater would come back online so I could get my sand and add an actual live rock. Not sure what we're going to do to address that at this very moment.
For today... I'm happy that we have a countdown to delivery. We've got a stand to build!
 
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Have not had an update in a minute, so here goes...
got a great deal on the forum for two used A360X plus one New in Box A360X. Once you figured in tax, etc on the cost of two new ones from BRS or LFS... I basically got 3 for the price of 2. So - now we'll have 2 new and 2 used A 360X on the new build.
Salty Bottom is looking to get the boat out next week, so all is not lost on the goal of live sand. I'm going to play this by ear.... if we can get it, awesome. If not, we'll have to just bag it and call it done.
I just want to go on record to say that I have the best, most amazing husband ever. When I try to save a few bucks, he steps in and declares this as an investment and in need of doing properly. He has not once tried to talk me out of something. It is a gift to do something with your spouse.
To that end, he came home with the idea of making a stand out of "this cool stuff they use in the plant at work". It's 8020 from 8020.net. I did not even dare let my brain go there but he is insisting we look into it. We have a quote from Anthony at Frame Tech. He is amazing. Because they are already my husbands vendor, we will still get one from 8020 but it is looking positive that we may actually follow through with a mobile 8020 stand.... stay tuned.
It's all starting to happen!
BONUS: I just discovered that I won $100 gift certificate from @Living Reef Orlando in the Toy Drive Raffle. I was going to punk out and use it to supplement the CUC but I decided to give it to my husband to pick whatever her wants once we are set up. Now that we have added a 4th Kessil.... I'm confident that we are lit well enough for anything. Thanks to @Living Reef Orlando for the sponsorship.
 
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CMMorgan

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So... update on the lighting front. I received 3 more A360X by @Kessil yesterday. So, that is 4 on a 72 x 24 x 19 tank. I have the wifi dongle but I think I still need to get the cables to daisy chain them together.
I have to research the settings. Given that I have macro in my DT, is it worth adjusting the lighting to have any red spectrum or will that be counterproductive? I don't want to spawn GHA, etc.
 

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So... update on the lighting front. I received 3 more A360X by @Kessil yesterday. So, that is 4 on a 72 x 24 x 19 tank. I have the wifi dongle but I think I still need to get the cables to daisy chain them together.
I have to research the settings. Given that I have macro in my DT, is it worth adjusting the lighting to have any red spectrum or will that be counterproductive? I don't want to spawn GHA, etc.
You would need 3 of the K-Link cables to connect the units together.

The core tuna blue spectrum will do great to keep your macro algae growing and flourishing. The red and green spectrums are really mostly for aesthetics. Dial those to highlight pigments in your fish, corals, and macro.
 
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CMMorgan

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You would need 3 of the K-Link cables to connect the units together.

The core tuna blue spectrum will do great to keep your macro algae growing and flourishing. The red and green spectrums are really mostly for aesthetics. Dial those to highlight pigments in your fish, corals, and macro.
AWESOME! Thanks for the feedback. We actually chose these lights because the AI fixtures (very old) that came with my 90 gallon required too much experimentation on my part. Reviews on the Kessil Tuna Blue spectrum gave me confidence that I could not screw it up if I left it alone. LOL
Thanks, Kessil!! Looking forward to the new tank and my shiny new lights! (pun intended)
 

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AWESOME! Thanks for the feedback. We actually chose these lights because the AI fixtures (very old) that came with my 90 gallon required too much experimentation on my part. Reviews on the Kessil Tuna Blue spectrum gave me confidence that I could not screw it up if I left it alone. LOL
Thanks, Kessil!! Looking forward to the new tank and my shiny new lights! (pun intended)
We're here to help! Reach out here or directly via email or call if there's anything we can help with in the setup process!
 

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