DangerDave’s 160 gallon reef in wall build

DangerDave

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Hello R2R! After a few posts and a lot of reading I began putting together my build, and this is the thread I’ll use to document it.

I already had a 120 gallon tank that was set up as a saltwater estuary. It was a 60x18x26 tank from one of the big box pet stores. It started as a freshwater tank, and I changed to the estuary after about 4 years. I went with this set up to mimic the environment I live in. It was successful for about 6 years. After a major mishap with that tank, it sat uninhabited (aside from a few hermits from the bay beach down the road)for almost a year.

I recently decided I wanted to try my hands at a reef tank. I’ve always admired them, and I have a couple friends with reef experience to lean on (and R2R of course!). I was originally going to use the tank I had, but I wanted to stop using the diy overflow system I made. Although it ran for years without an issue, I hated relying on an aqualifter to maintain the syphon on it. It was always a failure waiting to happen. I couldn’t drill the tank either since it was tempered glass.

I decided on a new tank, and had it built by Coast to Coast. I’m using my original stand that my father and I built in my garage that’s shows the tank in my family room. I had space unused on the stand, and went a little bigger on the new tank to have more space and fill out the stand. The new tanks measurement is 60x24x25.5. It uses a 18x5x12 scupper box for an overflow. The tank is drilled for 2 1” return lines, and 2 1.5” drains.

I initially asked for an overflow box in the tank, and I’m really happy I listened to the guys at C2C about the scupper. The scupper box frees up tank space, really gives it a nice clean look. The fellas at Coast to Coast really took care of me, and I have nothing but good things to say about them. Probably the best thing I can say about them is I would definitely spend my money with them again!

This is the first time I’ve ever taken the time to document a project before, so sorry if I jump around a bit. Ask me questions, I’m really excited to talk about it!

Dave (the dangerous kind [emoji23])
 
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DangerDave

DangerDave

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I’ve had the dry rock I purchased in a 100gallon container for a few weeks. I’m running a large canister filter, a circulation pump, and a bag of purigen. I recently added a skimz algae reactor a few days ago. I’m not reading any ammonia or nitrite in the water. The phosphates are there, but not too bad, but that’s what I started the algae reactor. I ran a diy algae scrubber in my last set up, this is going to be waaaay easier to maintain.


 
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DangerDave

DangerDave

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I wanted to check in the Skimz algae reactor, see if there was much growth (I’m just anxious) and I found the light bar full of water.



Upon closer inspection I found a tiny hairline crack at the base. I inspected the light at before I used it. I’m not sure if I missed it, or if it cracked while it was running. it was really small, around a 1/4 long, and I could only see it by a certain angle. Maybe without the funk in there I couldn’t see it anyway.

I bought from BRS, so I’ll reach out to them first to see how to get a replacement.

Dave
 
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DangerDave

DangerDave

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For my sump I went with a Leviathan Reef 45 by Windrider creations. It’s very nice, it’s pretty, I got almost exactly what I wanted, it’s pretty, and I didn’t have to build it. Did I mention it’s pretty?



It wasn’t exactly what was expected though. They did not include the heater holder or refugium lid as described on their website, but it did include a couple LEDs (which I don’t need). When I reached out to them, they told me “it was a product in development, and is constantly changing”. Kinda lame if you ask me, but its a nice unit still. The handles are on the lids aren’t sturdy, and have already broken off, which is fine. I can reattach, but I don’t think I will. They are not necessary.
 
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DangerDave

DangerDave

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I spoke to Bulk Reef Supply today about the light bar. I didn’t even have a chance to finish giving him my version of what I thought happened, and he already had a replacement order placed. Solid support, thank you BRS!
 

Crimsonvice

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Awesome build so far. Bummer on the sump handles breaking, and no heater holder or refugium lid. You would think they would alter their description if it doesn't include it. Glad your still happy with it though. It does look pretty.
 
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DangerDave

DangerDave

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Awesome build so far. Bummer on the sump handles breaking, and no heater holder or refugium lid. You would think they would alter their description if it doesn't include it. Glad your still happy with it though. It does look pretty.
Thanks! Disappointed on the heater holder, the rest is no biggie.

I started hanging the water filter and apex stuff. I have a few parts coming in this weekend so I should have the water making set up, still need the tanks. I hope they make it here next week....

Dave
 

Crabs McJones

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Awesome set up, I have one potentially stupid question though...And forgive me as I am unfamiliar with tanks that are in wall mounted. But with the back and sides both painted/covered, how are you able to see what you're doing in the tank during maintenence ect.. with only just looking top down? This may be a stupid question but I know when i'm doing maintenence I'm always looking through the glass into the tank to see what i'm doing.

Thank you
 
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DangerDave

DangerDave

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Awesome set up, I have one potentially stupid question though...And forgive me as I am unfamiliar with tanks that are in wall mounted. But with the back and sides both painted/covered, how are you able to see what you're doing in the tank during maintenence ect.. with only just looking top down? This may be a stupid question but I know when i'm doing maintenence I'm always looking through the glass into the tank to see what i'm doing.

Thank you
It’s a good question. It’s an issue I’ve had to deal with for years with my old tank. My wife (aka my shift manager [emoji23]) doesn’t want to see the garage. I deal with it just like you mentioned, only looking down. If I’ve needed help, I grab my wife or one of my boys. Either they yell to me, or we FaceTime so I can see what I’m doing through the phone screen. With my last tank I had a black background taped to it, the idea being that I could take it off for maintenance. Only did that once, since it was such a pain, which is why I went painted on this one.

The real pain is going to be the rock set up. I have a general idea of what I want it to look like, and it’s going to be a lot of back and forth as I place each one.
 

Crabs McJones

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It’s a good question. It’s an issue I’ve had to deal with for years with my old tank. My wife (aka my shift manager [emoji23]) doesn’t want to see the garage. I deal with it just like you mentioned, only looking down. If I’ve needed help, I grab my wife or one of my boys. Either they yell to me, or we FaceTime so I can see what I’m doing through the phone screen. With my last tank I had a black background taped to it, the idea being that I could take it off for maintenance. Only did that once, since it was such a pain, which is why I went painted on this one.

The real pain is going to be the rock set up. I have a general idea of what I want it to look like, and it’s going to be a lot of back and forth as I place each one.
Thank you for answering my question :)
 

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