FitCoral's 64 Gallon Build...LET'S GO!!

FitCoral09

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Hey ya'll! Wanted to do my first tank build post just to share the fun! I've been in the hobby for a while in an out due to my job and now that I'm settled here for a while I'm starting one up again! This one will hopefully be for quite a while. My goal here is a mixed reef. In the past I've had to cut corners because of budget and other factors. This time my goal is to invest in all the right equipment and take my time. Additionally, a requirement of this tank was automation. Work has me travel a lot and I didn't want to ask my wife to try to care for the tank while I'm out of town unless really necessary.



My setup is as follows:

Tank: Seapora 64 gallon rimless crystal series

- Dimensions: 48x18x18

- Originally got a Aqueon 75 gallon from Petco on their 50% off sale. It didn't seem right to me to go higher end on all the parts and not get a nice tank as well. I returned it and got this one from NOVA Tropicals.



Stand: DIY

- My other main hobby and passion is woodworking. I've been doing it for a few years now. What actually first got me into woodworking was building a tank stand years ago. I decided to do it again. It was originally constructed for the Aqueon 75g I returned but the footprint of my new tank is similar.

- I modeled mine off of the videos of the Aquarium Stand Build from the YouTube channel "EKGWoodworks." His was great, but I wanted to make a few changes.

- Since I would not be able to maneuver the sump out from underneath to deep clean if I wanted or replace it, I made a removable side panel held on by strong rare earth magnets. Turned out super cool.

- If you ever think making something higher end DIY is gonna be cheaper than buying, you're wrong lol. But I love modeling things up and building stuff, so it was worth it to me.



Overflow: Eshopps Prodigy - Large, external overflow

- This thing is super slick. Very low profile and great quality. Came with a great template that made it super easy to drill on a rimless. I had never drilled a tank before and after spending good money on this one I was very nervous lol. With a drill guide and the template/diamond coated bit that came with the overflow it made it easy. Just took my time and had my wife keep water on it. Would drill for 3-5 seconds and then bring up the bit and let water lubricate and cool the area. Took a while on the thick glass, but came out clean.

- Just want to give a shout out to Bulk Reef Supply (BRS). This item came cracked in shipping and they didn't bat an eye. I took a picture and sent it to them while on the phone. Before they even got the picture of the damage, they had another one shipped out and expedited. I've been using them for over a decade and this is why (along with their amazing videos).



Sump: Trigger Systems Emerald 26

- I've been wanting a Trigger Systems sump for years. Had a couple of their ATO reservoirs and the quality is excellent. This is the first one I've had. I'm pumped. I wish I could have gotten one with two return ports, but I couldn't pass up this deal.

- The deal was I got a 65 gallon reef ready tank, stand, this sump, the skimmer below, and a bunch of other gear. I got it all for $250 and then I sold the tank, stand, and all the extra gear for $200. The tank and stand was worth at least that much, but what a deal! I got this sump and skimmer in great shape for $50! Crazy!



Return Pump: Sicce Syncra Silent 4.0

- I debated getting the Sicce DC pump this time around, but I've been using the Sicce Syncra Silent line for so long and it was on sale. I jumped on it and I'm gonna plump in a way that makes it very easy to switch out for a DC pump down the road if I want to.



Lights: Ecotech Marine Gen 6 Radeon XR15 Pro (x2)

- I've been wanting Radeons for years. I've used T5s, AI Sols, AI Hydras, AI Primes, Kessil A360s, but never Radeons. I loved my Kessil lights, but I've always wanted these. Got a heck of a deal on them.

- Got these lights with the Ecotech Marine RMS mounts for $400 each off eBay. They are basically brand new. Came looking new in box. The lights retail for $530 a piece and the RMS mounts are $130 a piece. Getting these, not including tax, I saved a total of $520!



Wavemakers: Ecotech Marine Vortech MP40w (x2)

- I got one new from BRS on sale for $350 (great deal)! But the better deal was the one that I got from Facebook Marketplace for $100 plus shipping! Pumped about these. I've never had more than an couple MP10s before and I am excited about the flow possibilities for SPS down the road.



ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155

- My favorite ATO on the market. Just missed out on the new pump and sensor version that just came out, but I don't really care. This thing is bullet proof and has been tested over time.



ATO Reservoir: Trigger Systems Crystal 10 Gallon

- Simple, high quality reservoir.



Controller: Neptune Systems Apex A3

- I thought I was getting this off of Facebook marketplace. The guy advertised it as the A3. Sent me the older version. He had character so he refunded me $50. I got the Apex A2, the Dos (doser), and the magnetic probe holder for $500. I turned around and sold the Apex A2 for $400, so got the Dos and the probe holder for $50!

- I'm gonna order the Apex A3 next time its on sale (hopefully on Black Friday/Cyber Monday).



Doser: Neptune Systems Dos

- Won't need to use it for a while but the deal was too good to pass up. Deal explained above.



Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 150SSS 6"

- This deal (explained above) was way too good to pass up. Probably would have chosen a different skimmer myself, but it works perfect with the space I have in the sump. And I respect Reef Octopus quality.



Heaters: Bulk Reef Supply Titanium Heating Element - 300 Watt (x2)

- Paired with the Inkbird Heater Controller by suggestion from BRS.



Heater Controller: Inkbird WiFi Heater Controller

- One heater will be controlled by the Inkbird. The other controlled by the Apex for redundancy, because heaters are often the first thing to fail.



Refugium Light: Innovative Marine ChaetoMax

- This is a leftover light from my last tank build. I'll use it for a bit, but I'm gonna get the Kessil H80 or the Neptune Systems Gro when I decide I need it. Prolly won't need a refugium for a bit though anyways.



Auto Feeder: Neptune Systems AFS

- Part of the tank automation requirement. Never used an automatic feeder before. Almost went with the Avast Marine one, but since I'm using an Apex this made sense.



Need To Get:

- Ecotech Marine Battery Backups (x2)

- Neptune Systems Apex A3

- Upgraded Refugium Light





Something cool that I'm doing is I am 3D printing holders for all the equipment. It is so much cheaper (especially with the price of 3D printers now) to print your own stuff. And with resources like Thingiverse, a lot of the brackets/mounts/etc are already modeled up. I am having to create some myself, but I like modeling. I love the Adaptive Reef controller board for the Apex, but not many people want to or can pay $380 for that.



Inside the tank I am gonna use Caribsea Special Grade Arag-Alive live sand and the Caribsea Life Rock. I have about 20 lbs of the rock from my last build left over that is dead, but I got 40 lbs new that just came in. I'm gonna cycle the tank with Dr. Tim's and a pair of clownfish. I've done this for my last couple tanks and it has worked excellent. For salt, I've always used Instant Ocean Reef Crystals, but this time due to the testing BRS did I am switching to Tropic Marin Pro-Reef. The thing I didn't like about Instant Ocean was how dirty the mix seemed to be. It was fine, but I wanna do better if I can. And for cost you actually get basically the same money per gallon, but it is higher quality. For food I'm gonna try the Neptune Systems CD Crossover food. I wanna see if it can work for everything in the tank like it is advertised to do.



So far I've built the stand, collected most of the equipment, leak tested the tank, drilled the tank, started plumbing, and started 3D printing the accessories. Just waiting on the replacement overflow to come in early this next week to finish plumbing and get water in the tank. Hoping to have the tank in place and water in it by mid next week. Told the kids we would shoot to go get the fish this next weekend! Love this hobby!



I'm sure there is more I'm not thinking of right now, but I'll keep updating! Love to hear others' thoughts. I've been at it for a while and have done tons of research over the years, but I'm always open to learning and hearing other perspectives! I just wanna have fun and learn!

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Peace River

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So much to like here - nice work on putting this all together! Good luck with your adventure!!!
 
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FitCoral09

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It's happening!!!

Had to plug in the lights and see how they looked. Super happy about the look so far. Gonna aquascape the rock tomorrow night!

Return pump line is plumbed. The replacement overflow from BRS will be here Tuesday and I'll finish all the plumbing. Gonna let the plumbing cure overnight and throughout the day Wednesday. We will move it upstairs on Wednesday and put the live sand and water in it.

I should have gotten some clear primer for the plumbing. I tried being neat but with only two hands to work it would drip down the pipe and got messy. I almost did the colored pipe from BRS, but it was just a lot more money than the white. It doesn't make a difference in function, it just bothers me a bit. I'll get over it lol. I will replace it down the road possibly with the colored one. I'm putting unions everywhere, so I would be relatively easy.

Finished the screen top. Gonna get a custom Clearview one or Kraken Reef one down the road when I can, but this BRS DIY screen one will definitely work for a while. BRS sells these cool corner rimless corners for the screen tops now by Neat Aquatics. They are pretty slick. They didn't have nose last time I had a tank and so you had to have brackets on the glass. This is much cleaner. Small touches make such a difference. I am also almost done 3D printing all the mounting brackets for everything and it is very clean so far.

I put the MP40s on there later to see how it all looked and it was awesome. As a guy that has never had more than two MP10s before I'm excited about the possibilities of this tank...that is if my kids will leave the MP40 not against the wall alone lol. The family is excited about getting this things up and running this week. The kids can't wait to get the clownfish this weekend. Now to decide what kind to get! I am partial to snowflake, but there is a mated pair of maroon clowns near my house. Never had a maroon clown before.

More to follow!
 
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FitCoral09

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I guess the tank build should include everything. I set up a better RODI system this time. I wanted it to be a fixture rather than something I pulled out whenever I needed it. This way I can keep reserve salt water heated and mixed. This is also why I went with the Tropic Marin Pro as a result of BRS's testing. It stays stable the longest once mixed.

I "Y-ed" the line off of my washer line. This Y has a cut off. The line to the RODI unit also has a second cut off cuz it was already on the system. It has a TDS meter testing the line into the unit from the wall and out of the unit to the container. The line goes over the laundry room door (lol) and to the brute mixing container (aka trashcan). I have a BRS float valve in there to shut off the water, so I don't flood the room (Who would ever do that?! I've obviously never forgot I had it on before when I went to bed. lol).

I don't have the ability to have a dedicated fish room so this will have to do!
 

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FitCoral09

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The replacement overflow from BRS came in yesterday and so....the plumbing finished last night! Letting it set overnight and today. Not the neatest job, but for my first hard plumbing adventure I'll call it a win. I put unions in multiple places, so if there is a problem, something I want to change, or I need to add something I can. The purple everywhere hurts the perfectionist in me, but I'll get over it or change it lol!



This Eshopps Prodigy L overflow is so clean and high quality!



I 3D modeled and printed a bunch of things that I'm gonna do a specific post on later. Super easy and makes everything so clean!



I also spend a while organizing cords. I put cable mounts everywhere and tried to hide the cords the best I could, but it was 1am when I was finished so I'm sure I will change stuff later.



This is my first time using a sump with any knowledge. My first tank had a sump back in 2010 or so, but I had no idea what I was doing and it didn't last long. Wasn't the amount of resources there are today back then! Other than that I've always had hang on the back stuff or AIO tanks from Biocubes, to Innovative Marine Nuvos, etc. I'm trying to decide the best place for the heater. Right now I have it in the skimmer section. I think this is where it will live and I'll have the temp probe in the probe holder in the refugium section.



I also put in a nice LED strip around the top of the inside of the stand. It is remote controlled. Down the road I may put in a sensor so it comes on automatically when I open the cabinet doors. I'll put pics of this when the tank is upstairs (hopefully tonight) and all set up.



Switching the outlet to a GFCI, moving the tank upstairs, and putting water in it tonight! Salt water is mixing in the Brute container!



Tell me what I'm not thinking of before we move it!
 

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FitCoral09

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FEEL GOOD FRIDAY!!!



Moved the tank upstairs! The wife and I did it up two sets of stairs (split level). She was a champ! Forgot to change out the outlet to a GFCI outlet, so had to pull the tank from the wall and do that, but it is done.



Put a game on the TV and went to work organizing the equipment! Spent a couple hours organizing the crazy amount of cords in the back. Got everything organized and then saw the BRS sale on my Neptune Apex.... lol. That will be here next week and I'll do some reorganizing, but it'll be fun! First time using an aquarium controller, but necessary for my travel schedule. Everything needs to be automated and I need notifications if things go wrong, so I can prep easy fixes for my wife to do when I'm gone if necessary. Gonna set up all the equipment (lights, heater, return pump, vortech, level sensors, leak detectors, etc.) on the Apex. Won't need the Mobius accessory for a bit since the lights will be off for a couple months at least. I did have to turn them on just for a second. Water clarity still settling after the sand and filling the tank. Return pump isn't going yet, because I still need about 5 more gallons of water to get the system going. Put my water mixing container heater in the display last night to get the temp up until my tank heater is going in the sump today. Then it will come out.



I absolutely love the ridiculous touch of the LED strip light in the tank stand lol. I'm gonna set up a motion detector so it comes on when I open the doors soon.



I think I might have to update one of the vortech controllers. I bought one of the MP40s new and one used. The used one is in great condition (especially for $100!), but it doesn't automatically connect to Mobius like the new one. I am wondering if I need to upgrade for $100 or can I just make the old one slave to the new one that does connect to Mobius???



This is by far turning into the best tank I've ever done. I've tried investing the time and resources into making this one turn out great. At minimum it has been super fun so far! Hopefully the results will mimic the effort in the future!



Gonna do a fish cycle with two clowns and Dr. Tim's nitrifying bacteria. It'll be just them for a while and then I'll start slowly adding more livestock. Corals will be a while. Gonna go super slow (which of course is the hardest part of this hobby lol)!
 

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FitCoral09

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Timmy and Jelly Bean are in the tank! Each of our daughters got to name one lol. Put in a large Dr. Tim's and a Bio Spira with them. Did eat tonight, but that is probably because they just went through a lot.



Everyone is pumped to get the tank started!



Also, prolly will switch to a DC return pump down the road cuz this one is a little loader than we want in the living room. Not bad, but a little more than we want.



Anyone have ideas to lessen the noise vibrations of an AC return pump?
 

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FitCoral09

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I just decided to return the Sicce Syncra Silent 4.0 and upgrade to the Sicce SDC 6.0 since it is 30% off today on saltwateraquarium.com. I was going to get the 3.0 but after some research it seems that is a great AIO or nano option, but for my sump I’ll need to 6.0 for head pressure and flow. I was having to dial back the Syncra 4.0 so much that for noise reduction and controllability I just wanted to go to the SDC. Price wasn’t all that different in the grand scheme of things. I almost did this from the start and should have.

The pump and my Apex will be here next week! Let’s go!!!
 
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FitCoral09

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I decided to stay up all night and rework the plumbing due to your suggestion of a reefer from my local area on the WAMAS.org forum. Sucked to have to redo a ton, but it is always the right answer to do it right. Thanks for the help @WheresTheReef!!

It’s running almost silent almost now. Tuning plumbing can be annoying. I’m probably missing something though! Any thoughts? Need to tune it some more. Not gonna waste too much time yet since my new Sicce SDC 6.0 is coming in this week! I’ll dial it in then.


Another shout out to BRS again! Sent them a video of the pump noise after putting in for a refund and they gave me a full refund without having to send it back. They just said to donate it to a LFS or something if I wanted. They are excellent!



Also this is here!



Let’s Go!!!!
 
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FitCoral09

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So update…had some family situation come up that’s good and requires me to downgrade. I have a nano tank that is a great Lifeguard Aquatics 10g AIO I’m gonna set back up. I’m gonna be breaking down this tank and selling it. It’s a good thing for us but sad for how fun this tank has been. I’ll be keeping the Apex, one XR15, the ATO, and the ATO reservoir to use on the new tank. Hit me up if interested!

Otherwise see y’all on the nano build! Still super pumped to do that one and it’s gonna be an epic nano!

Moderators can take this thread down if need be!
 

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So update…had some family situation come up that’s good and requires me to downgrade. I have a nano tank that is a great Lifeguard Aquatics 10g AIO I’m gonna set back up. I’m gonna be breaking down this tank and selling it. It’s a good thing for us but sad for how fun this tank has been. I’ll be keeping the Apex, one XR15, the ATO, and the ATO reservoir to use on the new tank. Hit me up if interested!

Otherwise see y’all on the nano build! Still super pumped to do that one and it’s gonna be an epic nano!

Moderators can take this thread down if need b

So update…had some family situation come up that’s good and requires me to downgrade. I have a nano tank that is a great Lifeguard Aquatics 10g AIO I’m gonna set back up. I’m gonna be breaking down this tank and selling it. It’s a good thing for us but sad for how fun this tank has been. I’ll be keeping the Apex, one XR15, the ATO, and the ATO reservoir to use on the new tank. Hit me up if interested!

Otherwise see y’all on the nano build! Still super pumped to do that one and it’s gonna be an epic nano!

Moderators can take this thread down if need be!
Still available?
 

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