d2mini's "Essential Focus" Mixed Reef Build

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by d2mini, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Annnnnnd.... we're back. :D


    After a few months haitus (not counting the office nano), d2mini is back in the game!
    A little background for those that do not know me, or a refresher for those that do...

    My first real build (after getting my feet wet in reef keeping on a couple newbie disaster tanks) was a 135g cube that ended up being nicknamed "The Ecotech Cube" due to it being a bit of a Radion poster child in their marketing.
    This tank went very well for a few years but life changes and we decided to move to a larger home, out in suburbia.

    The new home afforded much more space for a build, including a full blown fish room in the garage.
    Then after some unfortunate scratches to the tank and some changes I wanted to make to the fishroom, Part II of this build was spawned.
    https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/d2minis-200g-reeftastic-reef-part-deux.178519/

    But alas, life continues to change, and we decided that suburbia wasn't the best thing for our family. So after almost 4 years, it was time for this build to come to a close and start a new chapter both in ever day life and reefing. About 4 months since tearing down the 200g and selling off most of it, it's time to begin again!

    So here we are. :)
    Where to start.... hmmmm....
    Well, let's start with the title of this build!
    The move back into town required two things. A little belt tightening, and the loss of a lot of space! We went from a brand new 3500 sq ft home with 3 car attached garage to a 1960's (but completely remodeled) 2500 sq ft home with detached garage. So right off the bat, 1000 sq ft LESS. Second, no garage fish room being that it is not only detached, but also has no water supply or drain system. And the third little snag is that when the house was gutted and remodeled, they created a very open floor plan. Nice to live in, but this leaves very little wall space for a large aquarium! What were they thinking?! :p;) So not only is space a limitation in more than one way, but the location of the tank also needed a couple other considerations. One, I wanted it to be in a decent spot for enjoyment. The previous build was great, but it was outside of the main living space tucked away in the dining room. You had to go into that room to enjoy it. Second, I wanted to be able to run ATO and possibly AWC water lines from a water mixing station directly to the sump.

    So with limited space, I'm forced to downsize. Not only will the tank be smaller, but no separate fish room. I'm back to "roughing it" with all equipment being shoved inside the stand. Oh the hardships some of us must face. :p The title of this thread is a bit of a play on words, combining the need to really pair down and focus on what is essential to my little reef, and my love of photography which is always a big part of my builds. I can compare it to my Leica M camera system, which is the ultimate in design and function, paired down to the bare essentials of photography.

    With this in mind as I design this build, I'm making careful choices in equipment with specific attributes in mind:
    It has to be necessary. Maybe not necessary to run a reef, but necessary to run it the way I want to run it.
    It has to be high quality. Buy quality once, not junk several times.
    It has to be proven. Either by my own past experience or by the experience of others.
    It has to make my life easier.
    It has to be beautifully designed if out in the open (e.g., the tank, stand, etc)

    One other important aspect of the design is that I've decided this tank will be run using the "Triton Method". Mainly because the whole concept behind it, including running a large refugium for natural filtration, aligns with my own personal reef keeping mantra. So my sump will be custom built with certain design considerations for Triton.

    Now let's look at the space!
    Here's a few pics of the house from the real estate listing which should give you somewhat of a 360 degree view of what I'm working with and the location I've chosen...

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    Now one of the reasons I haven't been able to start the build yet is because we had some other projects to take care of first. The big one being a complete home office build-out. The space you see in the pics with the chandelier was supposed to be the dining room, and I don't know what the space in front of the bay window was supposed to be. A second sitting area??? We needed a home office and didn't have the extra bedroom for it, so we moved the dining room to the bay window, put up a dividing wall between the two areas, built-in desks/cabinetry, and extended the kitchen cabinetry next to the refrigerator! That's all being finished up tomorrow I believe so pics coming later this week of all that.

    So by now, if you've even read all of the above (I'm sure many of you have skimmed), you are probably wondering what exactly I'm doing for a tank!
    Good question.
    And since I don't have it yet, I'm not going to answer that! :eek:
    And if I've talked to you locally, I ask that you please keep your filthy mouth shut. :D
    What I am going to do is drop two important hints.
    First, you can get an idea of the size with the following pic (and the one above).
    My first piece of equipment arrived! Literally the heart of the whole system. An Ecotech Vectra L1.
    And I mapped out the dimensions of the stand with some tape.

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    Second, since I sold off everything from the previous build and had a nice reserve in my paypal account... and had to downsize a bit... i'd figured I'd splurge a little on the tank. Keeping in mind the quality and beauty I mentioned earlier.

    Well, I think that is as good a start as any for a build thread. :)
    I've got more equipment arriving this week so I will post that as it comes in.
    And this afternoon I will post the first big project I completed for this build... the water changing station! Which had it's own challenges. Some of you have seen it already in my nano build thread but it was really built for this system. Stay tuned!
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
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  2. reefwiser

    reefwiser LMAS R2R Supporter Reef Squad R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Well glad to see you are able to start a new system again. :)
     
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  3. hybridazn

    hybridazn Acro killer..... Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter 3RMAS Member R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Glad to see the new build is underway!
     
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  4. Jimbo662

    Jimbo662 Valuable Member Partner Member 2018

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    WOW, what a great space!
     
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  5. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    I agree, what a gorgeous living area, especially that color grey is bonkers. Cant wait to see this tank progress along with some sweet pics!!
     
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  6. poomba

    poomba Well-Known Member

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    Why did you choose not to go with the walk around design from your cube?
     
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  7. mmw64

    mmw64 Well-Known Member

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    Stopped feeling sad about your down size when I saw your gorgeous home. Following thread.
     
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  8. Jimbo662

    Jimbo662 Valuable Member Partner Member 2018

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    I just noticed a perfect spot...I would have done a peninsula tank. 2nd pic, centered on the wall plug at the center of the picture then set up and office in the alcove it creates. There's lots of other room in there to put the dining table. :cool:
     
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  9. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you both! And me too. lol

    Thanks. :)

    Thanks! It's a lot of gray. Luckily the wife and I are very find of gray. haha

    It would have had to be so far away from a wall that I wouldn't have been able to get water lines and electricity to it. At least not without major construction which I was not willing to do for a couple reasons. :)

    LOL! Thanks.

    Good eye sir. This exact thought crossed my mind, as a divider between office and dining.
    But after the last build, I decided I didnt want to do anything that would permanently alter the home in case we had to move again.
    I decided for that space, the office build should take priority.
    Also, same as the suggestion above, it would have been too difficult for me to get water to that area of the house.
    So basically design and logistics quickly put a stop to that idea.
    Good suggestion, though! :)
     
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  10. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Beautiful home! Protect those floors! :D
     
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  11. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    WATER MIXING STATION

    I needed to figure out where I could put some tanks, and how I could get water to them.
    Since my garage is detached from the house and doesn't have a water supply, that was out.
    I have a hose bib on the back corner of the house so I decided that's where I would tap in for my water source. Since i have a ground level back deck that is near the only location I can really put the new tank, i figured that would be a good spot for the storage tanks. I decided the easiest way to create shelter for them is to purchase one of those plastic tool sheds at home depot. This ended up working out great size-wise. I built a wood platform so they would be elevated and keep the plumbing raised off the ground. I'm able to do all the filling/mixing with the turn of various valves and I also have barbed spigots for filling my water jugs from either the fresh or saltwater tanks. The pump is an Iwaki that was feeding my chiller on my previous build. I've always stored water in my garage before, but temps in there would "only" get to the high 90's. This location gets the afternoon sun so I have a feeling I'm going to be dealing with even warmer temps. Not much I can really do about that though so hopefully it doesn't create a problem. At least the tanks themselves won't be getting any direct sunlight. Some of you might be concerned about the weight of the water on the deck but one good thing is that the tanks are sitting directly over one of the main support beams, which I'm not 100% sure of, but should be sitting on the ground. We've had a few days with temps in the mid 80's and the water stayed surprisingly cool.

    The pics below show how I hooked everything up. But first thing's first!
    When we moved in, the deck was rust red. Blechh.
    So we painted it a lovely shade of turquoise! The backyard GLOWS. :D

    I let it dry for a week. Now time to start hooking things up.
    I tapped into the outdoor faucet using a Y splitter with individual shut-offs and attached a quick-fitting adaptor for the 1/4" water line.
    I ran black line (more protection from sunlight) up the electrical conduit to the eve of the roof. Then ran it along the eve to the area of the shed.
    Under the eve by the shed location was an electrical outlet. So we tapped into that outlet and ran an extension down the wall with a new box. This will be my power for the pump, and probably a booster pump in the near future.
    I ran the water line down the outside of this conduit and then into a quick-fitting in the side of the shed.
    For the power cord, I cut hole large enough for a 3 prong plug to fit through and then used an white plastic escutcheon to hide hole, attached it with some silicone and filled the space around the cord with more silicone. Same with around the quick-fitting. So things should be pretty water tight. The walls of the shed are hollow so I don't want water getting in there and having no place to go.
    Inside the shed the water line connects to the other side of that quick-fitting and runs to the RO/DI which I mounted to the front of the stand. I originally wanted to mount it to the wall of shed up high but there wasn't really enough room and I would have had to fabricate some extra support. The stand is much more secure and it's easier to access this way.
    The fresh RO/DI water leaves the DI and then goes up to the top of the fresh water container and enters through a float valve. I should be able to get almost 55g worth.
    The waste water leaves the shed through another quick-fitting on the opposite side and goes under the deck, watering my foundation. :p
    The last couple pics just show the plumbing inside the saltwater tank. I figured I might as well spend an extra few minutes to split the line to help a little with mixing.

    The other good thing about this location of the water tanks, is that I have the option to eventually run both fresh and salt water lines out of the shed, further along the house, and then into the house to the new tank.

    That's about it. Enjoy the pics!

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  12. stunreefer

    stunreefer Reef Hugger R2R Supporter Platinum Sponsor Photo of the Month Award

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    Love it! Congrats on the new digs. That deck is awesome, well done :D

    I assume you don't have a sump pump? Leaving the RO/DI waste line would cause it to run quite a bit if so. Might consider extending it out into the yard away from the house some.
     
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  13. MCooper

    MCooper MCooper R2R Supporter

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    Wow!
     
  14. kschweer

    kschweer Zoas!!! Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Partner Member 2018 NJRC Member

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    Congrats on the new home, it's beautiful! Best of luck with the new build. I'm sure it will be amazing like your last systems!
     
  15. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Leader Build Thread Contributor

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    Lol is that a bichon frise? Looks like he/shes loving the new yard!!!
     
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  16. jwarren220

    jwarren220 Active Member

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    That Turquoise WOW. Great Job very clean!
     
  17. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thanks!
    We have issues around here with having to keep the concrete slab foundations moist, and since that area will never see any direct water from the sprinklers (that i have yet to have installed), my thinking was this might help a little?
    I dunno. Good intentions anyway. :D

    Thank you both!

    Ha, no but you are close. It's another annoying little white dog that poops and pees indoors called a Maltese. ;) That's Cosmo. And Wally, the insane Australian Labradoodle that eats everything that's not nailed down, (like two whole batches of chocolate chip cookies yesterday that were sealed in a tupperware container and stored on top of the toaster oven on top of the kitchen counter) in one of the other pics. :rolleyes:

    Thanks! We just painted the front door the same color, too. ;)
     
  18. gar732

    gar732 Valuable Member R2R Supporter CTARS Member

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    I really dig your builds, I'll definately be following along. I too moved to a home where wall space is limited. It meant I had to down grade from a 150DD to a 45g cube, though I haven't made the progress you have and the 45 is still dry. What skimmer will you be going with this time, lifereef again?
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2016
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  19. d2mini

    d2mini Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Thank you and yes that is the plan. I still have my 30". If it fits, good. If not, I may have to look at buying the 24".
     
  20. BrotherSheepDog

    BrotherSheepDog Member

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    Looking forward to your new build bud! I followed your builds on Marsh and I have been a fan of your builds for some time. Your tanks have always been gorgeous!

    I was in the same boat as you in 2012. We were living in Humble in a 3200 sq ft brand new home where I housed my 200 gallon.

    Then the wife wanted to move back into the city where we now reside in a 2600 sq ft home built in the 1940's that was remodeled with a detach garage. So now I have a 80 gallon with limited space. but good things come in small packages bro. =D Congrats on the new house.. What part of town are you?
     
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