First large tank build! 240g 8'x2'x2' acrylic mixed reef w/ DIY stand and canopy

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i_declare_bankruptcy

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Well looks like I’m having the UV issues mentioned in other Atlantik reviews. Look at the UV diodes at each of the fixtures. Somethings clearly wrong with one of them. I really don’t have the energy to solder a bunch of LEDs together right now. I thought they fixed this issue; I don’t want to be climbing into my canopy every few months like other people to fix these lights. Maybe I’m jumping the gun but ugh!

$2200 for the Orpheks and plenty of light for the tank Vs $3k+ for a bunch of XR15s. Not a fan of AI products (or really eco tech either but their lights seem nice). MH will be too much power and heat. T5s maybe, but old tech and not a fan of the sterile look. Hmm send the Orpheks back and pony up for a more reliable product or fix them and potentially deal with repeated problems?

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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

fishguy242

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i was thinking 4 165 viper spectra's ,was holding out don't care to use the $$$$$lights, ime,people buy them the sell them 1/2 price for something "better",not familiar with,have used the vipers are powerful ,durable ;) and of course the old t-12 vho's;Woot;Woot
 
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I would send them back, @garbled use some (a different model I think) on his 800g to provide spectrum or something and it died after a year.

Have you considered building some LED pucks? That's prob the most cost effective way to light a big tank, that or black box LEDs.

I have considered making my own but I just don't have the time. I have waaaaaay too many hobbies, a full time job, and a moonlight reef-oriented passion project that are all taking up my time so it would be too much. This is also why I'm considering ditching the Orphek -- I just don't have time to take the unit apart and solder LED's. It's either that or feeding the fish, water changes, tests, etc. I'm gonna choose something that leaves me with time to care for the livestock!

I'm strongly considering 2 48" 6-bulb T5 fixtures + Kessil A160's for shimmer. I'm not sure I'll like the flat look though. I'm also worried about the longevity of T5 bulbs -- you won't find them installed in any new building so I'm wondering when factories are going to phase this stuff out. It would suck to buy T5 fixtures and be out of bulbs in a few years!

At this point I just want to stick more MH fixtures over it. I have 2 150W DE fixtures but the problem is 1) the heat and 2) dwindling bulb options so I'll just have to get over that.

i was thinking 4 165 viper spectra's ,was holding out don't care to use the $$$$$lights, ime,people buy them the sell them 1/2 price for something "better",not familiar with,have used the vipers are powerful ,durable ;) and of course the old t-12 vho's;Woot;Woot

I just can't do the black box lights. They worry me from a regulatory/compliance perspective; I'd be worried my homeowners insurance wouldn't cover me if they found out a fire was caused from aquarium lights that aren't UL listed or whatever. Maybe that's irrational. Trust me I would go for cheap lights if they felt safer -- I'm not a fan of supporting EcoTech or some other $$$$ brands.


*** rant warning ***

Preface: I'm not a pro at reefing. Not even close. I don't have a long track record of experience either. I've made my corals grow and kept my fish alive and I'm trying to improve every day.

I want to talk for a second about how low the bar is in our hobby. I've defended warranty periods and prices before, and I still will, but my points below are more oriented towards product design and manufacturing flaws.

Speaking of EcoTech, I'm so disappointed. I have 2 MP40's running 100% on my tank that has 1/2" glass and I'm using the correct spacers. The room temperature is 65-68F. They are overheating and constantly adjusting power to stay cool. One has a new wet side (original failed in under 6 months) and the other is pretty much brand new. Both loud despite centering them as suggested in the manual. New one sounds like a weed whacker just like the MP10 I had. I can't believe I paid $365 each for those. Did I really pay $365 for a product I cannot use to the fullest extent? I'll admit though, the lights look really nice and tempting.

Now to AI. I've owned a couple iterations of the Prime HDs and Hydra 32's. The old tank mounting systems were such a joke -- how could they release such a poorly designed product? The new Primes have awfully noisy fans, one of mine had bearing issues after a few months. The app wasn't bad like Orphek's borderline unusable app but it was still awkward to use and, you know, Bluetooth. Nuff said.

On to Trigger. I purchased the Triton 44 sump for this build. I like the layout. That's it. The quality of materials and workmanship is pretty bad. Some of the screws for the brackets and baffles don't thread properly. I have cut myself several times on the inside of the sump bracing since it's not chamfered in any way. I'm sure they're aware of this from testing their own products -- but they release it anyways. Why?

I'll leave Orphek out of this since my interactions so far with them have been positive and it's quite possible I got unlucky with my unit.

I know people have had good experiences with these brands, and some of my complaints might be trivial, but they still irk me.

*** positivity ***

I'd like to commend a few brands for their quality, reliability, customer support, and actually well thought out products:

Kessil: I've used A160, A360, A360x, A160 Refugium all without issue. Every unit I received worked perfectly. I dropped 2 A360's in the water while running, took them apart, cleaned them, and they still worked. I've never heard the fans, I've never had issues programming them. They just work and they're simple!

ATI: The T5 fixtures are a little pricey I admit but they're made well and feel solid. Another brand I've literally never had a problem with -- they just work and they're simple.

Tunze: I've owned their ATOs and powerheads. Both just work. One of the ATO pumps I had died but a $20 replacement was easily obtained. It's nice that Tunze parts are easy to find! I haven't spoken with their CS but I've heard it's incredible.



I do have 2 A360x's that I've been meaning to sell.... maybe instead I'll pick up 2 more, then get 2 36" hybrid T5 fixtures and put my money where my mouth is. Hmmmmmm
 
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count krunk

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Yeah I would never buy ecotech. They are way too expensive for their build quality. I see issues with their stuff ALLLLL the time here but people still buy them.

I wouldn't touch an MP pump with a 40' pole. Again wayyyy too expensive and the wetsides are always failing. Give me a $ jebao any day.

I'm pretty sure vipar spectra is UL certified. Mars aqua may be as well.
 

garbled

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As count krunk mentioned, I got a pair of Orphek OR-2's with all UV bulbs, and basically every single diode is crispyfried. On 2 units. That's insane. I don't have a good alternative solution for you, but basically, I will never use an Orphek product again in my life.

And by crispyfried, I mean, many diodes are simply blown out and don't work. Of the ones that do work, the lens (on-diode, not the add-on-lens in the housing) turned to dust exposing the diode to air. Every single one.
 
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The fans are loud too which is a no-go for me. The tank is in my office and it can't be so loud that people on conference calls hear it. I'll be sending the fixtures back. I'm pretty bummed about this. I sent a PM to a guy who has a couple ATI 8x36" 2x75W LED powermodules... maybe I can pick those up.
 
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Big progress today. Rocks in the tank. Plumbing working, no leaks (yet), overflow working, valve is tuned, shutoff doesn’t overflow... second Loop pump ordered (was going to use my simplicity but I want to have 2 of the same pumps).
Oh and.... I bought some used 8 bulb 36” power modules ;) (thanks @juicemanatx)

the aquascape looks bad in the photos but pretty cool in person. Holding off on changing it too much since I’ll have another 80lb of rock incoming from the current tank.
 
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You know, I was able to find some openscad models on thingiverse of various thread sizes. That's how I designed my COR20 filter. I just found one that let me do a BSPP thread, and then pasted a cage onto the thread. Worked perfectly. Then at least you don't have to glue it.
I ended up revising my design to make use of the tabs on the collar and everything worked out. I like the idea of making it all one piece though maybe I"ll try that too.


Water is finally starting to clear up. Lights should also come in today. I still need to install the second return too. Wohoo!
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garbled

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Basically I just found the thread SCAD, and printed a few of just the thread until I massaged it to fit perfectly. FDM prints big threads like that really well. If it's not something wacky like BSPP, just NPT, then you can probably find pre-generated models that have the right threading. Then just load them up in tinkercad and cut and slice them until they work.

Oh. And welcome to big tanks go over budget by like 1000% hell. :)


Thats a link to the BSPP thread OpenScad model, if your pump is BSPP. Basically I took that model, generated a thread, then loaded it into tinkercad and went at it with an axe.
 
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LBReefer

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And now that I'm significantly over budget, I'm sitting here wondering how I'm going to afford corals and fish for this thing.... oops.
The good news is that you have plenty of time to stock the tank.

It's better to spend the money on a solid build up front.
 

Tamberav

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Wonderful build! I have some Orphek bars and hope they do not have the same fate. That would really bum me out.

I love Tunze and ATI :)

How do you like the acrylic tank? I am tempted to get one with an upgrade because of how lite they are. Also it feels like a safer option around small children.
 
AS

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

    Votes: 16 2.6%
  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 386 63.0%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 155 25.3%
  • Mostly White

    Votes: 46 7.5%
  • All White

    Votes: 1 0.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 1.5%
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