Finally showcasing my SPS monster... 1300 gallon display... 2000 gallon system... and many past displays

DanConnor

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So funny!! Every time I drive through Calacali I wonder about your coral, but had no idea you have that connection.
I have a house out in the cloud forest- further down the road near Nanegal, right across the street from Maquipucuna, if you have heard of that.
 
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ECreefer

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Awesome story and info John, can't wait to make it down there to see this beast once COVID is under control! Looking forward to some updated shots.
 

DxMarinefish

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Amazing writeup and very inspirational. I am currently designing my forever home and have plans for a 20k to 25k gallon system.
So I am always looking to learn from those who have designed large systems from scratch and follow their journey.

You are an inspiration John and a family man. Nothing better than Family and friends.
Well done.
 
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copps

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Awesome system and write up! Thank you for sharing so many details. I have some questions about your seemingly small flow design for such a large tank. Only 6 mp60, 3 running at a time to create a gyre effect? Are they on constant mode for ten minutes? 100% power? Is the gyre moving around the tank? Or top to bottom?
Thank you... yes that's correct... a large system does not need to be more complicated... I wanted to keep my electric bill down as best I could... and I love excellent companies with great products and great people working for them... I specifically had this tank built with walls no thicker than one inch so that I could use MP60s... three run for ten minutes at full blast (circled below in green), and then it switches to the other three (circled below in red)... two redundant return pumps (Ecotech Vectra L2) return to opposite corners of the tank that go through 1 1/2" Sea-Swirls that add some random flow in. In a 1300 gallon tank you really can't mess with all of those preprogrammed modes on the MP60s... you really have to get them working together in one direction as I've done to create a full gyre throughout the tank.

So funny!! Every time I drive through Calacali I wonder about your coral, but had no idea you have that connection.
I have a house out in the cloud forest- further down the road near Nanegal, right across the street from Maquipucuna, if you have heard of that.
Hah that is funny! What a small world... we regularly drive through Maquipucuna and Nanegalito when we are there... on our way to Mindo... it's incredible to think I first studied there, and met my wife, almost twenty three years ago in 1998... we did our Honeymoon further down the road at Arasha Rain Forest Resort and Spa... this April we will celebrate our twenty year wedding anniversary... before I met her I was like a Seinfeld episode... I could never settle down with someone... I met her... one of the most beautiful women I'd ever seen y con un cuerpazo!... and she was incredibly hard working and intelligent on top of so many other great attributes... speaks three languages... she was a full time student at a different university down there (Universidad Catolica, or Catholic University), and worked on the stock market down there (La Bolsa de Valores)... she was busy from 7 AM to 10 PM during the week. I went to Universidad San Francisco de Quito (Saint Francis University) just outside the city... while my American friends were hanging out with themselves I was hanging out with her and her friends and it did me well... we both studied and worked hard, and played hard... the clubs down there were insane! And all of the people seemingly knew how to dance... different dances to different songs and different movements... I was like most Americans and had one standard move I did... just changing how fast I did it according to the song...lol... my wife taught me different... I remember one of her friends telling me a joke... you speak three languages you're trilingual... you speak two languages you're bilingual... if you speak one language you're AMERICAN! Hah! After living there for two years I became fluent in Spanish, and thanks to Duolingo I'm making my four Italian grandparents proud and bringing back my Italian, so I'm trying to buck that trend! Anyway, your comment made me reminisce... here's my wife and I back in the day!

awesome tanks. i stumbled upon your build thread on RC a year or so ago and took a solid couple hours to get through, i love the attention to detail in everything
I love to hear attention to detail... my Dad would be proud... and I'm like that commercial that's on all the time... turning into my parents... lol... and drilling attention to detail into my kids!
Amazing writeup and very inspirational. I am currently designing my forever home and have plans for a 20k to 25k gallon system.
So I am always looking to learn from those who have designed large systems from scratch and follow their journey.

You are an inspiration John and a family man. Nothing better than Family and friends.
Well done.
Wow... my system intimidated me... and my father always told me when you're intimidated by something study it and learn it well.. work hard and analyze... think think think and then think and plan some more! Shoot me a link when things start to come together. And thank you for your kind comments... that means a lot... I am like Clark Griswold... a true family man... and like Clark, my family makes fun of me for it!
 

SaltwtrNewb

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Lol... that's awesome... my wife says eventually I'm moving into my reef tank... when I die she said she's going to use my 1300 as a coffin...

I started with fresh at about six years old... then with salt in middle school... then earlier this year after a 25 year hiatus I got back into freshwater... I've these COVID discus I'm growing out in two 40 gallon breeders... and a 360 gallon freshwater display cycling for them... :)




I got COVID discus, and the kids got a COVID puppy... for years they asked for a "real pet"... I said "you guys have hundreds of fish and thousands of coral polyps as pets!"... anyway... I got to name the dog... here is our six month old Aussiedoodle named Kona (for our love of Hawaii... and more specifically Kona... my love of Kona coffee... Kona means "lady" in Hawaiian... and she's sort of coffee colored)... and of course, while I never wanted the obligation of a dog... she's probably grown on me the most.


Thank you for the kind words! For anyone that wants goodies from my tank I posted this frag sale thread here at R2R...
amazing story of reefing, and I would like to say up to a certain point my journey has been similar, started with freshwater in 1st grade when I was six, and just a few months ago got into saltwater, in middle school! Now all I can hope is that I will end up with a tank so amazing as yours one day :)
 

NautiTang

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Thank you for sharing your story on R2R, I read your TOTM back in the day when I lived with my uncle who had a 300G display, 175G display and sump all connected together in the basement and I was hooked. He showed me RC and I read through all the TOTMs eventually and much more. I have since joined the navy as a nuclear mechanic on a submarine and am now on shore duty at Pearl Harbor Naval Shipyard. I have found it impractical to have an aquarumium while on the boat and don't want anything less than a full reef so I wait until I settle down somewhere and until then plan how I will have the system of my dreams. Your system is truly inspirational on many levels and I thank you for allowing all of us to live vicariously through you and learn from your ingenuity.
P.S. which systems do you design simulators for?
 

NautiTang

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After reading through the thread again because your tanks are absolutely stunning, I'm left with a couple questions of the construction of your 1300g:
1.) How thick it the fiberglass?
2.) Are the 2 braces on top aluminum?
3.) Are the braces just bolted into the fiberglass, it looks like there's some sort of bracket that they're mounted to could you describe/show a closer picture of that if you don't mind please and thank you?
4.) Would you show a pic of the inside of the overflow box and another pic of the overflow from inside the tank if possible?

Sorry to be a nag with all the questions I just really love your setup!
 

Robertellis30

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Looking forward to seeing your discus display! I have a minimal planted 55g discus and roseline sharks. I find them to be perfect tank makes.
 
Lazys Coral House

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@copps hope all is well with your amazing reefs! Definitely share updates with us when you have them!
 

mgelb16

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So it’s time to move onto my SPS monster… I wanted to do this thread as close to chronologically as possible, but it’s like drinking from a firehose. I apologize in advance. There is just too much to discuss… so I will probably bounce around… After being in our first house for a few years, we began planning our forever home, and of course, I started putting my plans for my forever reef into action. I knew I wanted a big tank… and a WIDE tank… I was inspired by so many systems through the years… many of them at public aquariums like friend Joe Yaiullo’s Long Island Aquarium, and some from homes, like Steve Weast’s tank found at oregonreef back in the day. I always loved the “side view” of some tanks… whether it was my 10 gallon, 180 gallon, or some of these larger tanks. I also loved the expansive front view of systems that were wide, that made it feel like you were looking not at a tank, but at a piece of reef. As my plans came together I knew I wanted a tank in the eight to ten foot range… and again WIDE… which turned into the six foot wide range. The size crept up and up as I looked at the gallons, and I’ve always been a glass guy. Acrylic is just a pain to deal with the way I grow coralline. With the size of my tank, I knew to be made of glass it would have to be built on site. With all of the public aquariums I had visited and public aquarists I had befriended through the years, I pretty much knew I would be going with a fiberglass tank, with glass insert viewing windows. After mulling it over with public aquarium friends like Matt Wandell and Joe Yaiullo, and realizing I wanted 30” high viewing windows, the tank was to be 42” deep. I got quotes from two prominent fiberglass aquarium manufacturers… Waterdog in California, and Fiberglass Specialties in Massachusetts. Both had similar pricing, but I went with Fiberglass Specialties in Mass as they were closer to me, and had done many tanks for Joe Yaiullo up in Long Island. The tank was a fully custom build… they made a mold just for this tank, as I was very specific with what I wanted. Final dimensions ended up being 8.5’ x 6’ x 42” high… over 1300 gallons and two sides viewable… with an external overflow with four 2” drains… I cannot explain the amount of planning that went into this build! This was one of the photos I got during fabrication before the glass was put in…

That looks amazing! Thats exactly what my dream tank looks like. maybe one day...
 

Sleeping Giant

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One of the things I’ve always appreciated about public aquariums is how relaxing they are… you are able to enjoy aquariums without seeing or hearing pumps or plumbing. At the same time, you are able to go behind the scenes and not worry about getting water on the floor, and do all of the things us reefers do unencumbered. So, with that said I went about drawing up plans for my fish room. We built the house from scratch, and so it was tough to visualize things when our home site was just a pile of dirt. Here are the plans I drew up for the fish room, outlined in blue… I included a fish quarantine area, storage, a coral QT, a couple of sinks, a couple of sumps, a couple of frag tanks, and a couple of displays.

While I’m an SPS guy, I’ve always also loved anemones… namely magnifica and gigantea anemones. As we know keeping certain anemones with SPS could eventually cause problems, but I knew that magnifica anemones would stay in one place if isolated on an island. In each of my homes I’ve always kept mixed reefs also, and so I decided to have a second display in addition to the 1300 that was a mixed reef that would display gigantea anemones. As the years have gone on I’ve realized that gigantea do not eat nearly the fish that haddoni do, so I now have two gigantea in the 1300 also. This second display was to be just five feet long, but I made it three feet wide… also with an external overflow. So… here were the plans I drew up for the fish room…

Sooooo when do I move in? lol great looking plans and amazing tank...I want, I want, lol
 
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