Full Steam Ahead 75 Gallon Build

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by siggy, May 21, 2017.

  1. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Welcome Aboard,
    Thanks For joining me. This build thread is being done while the tank is already full and the upgrades ( corrections ) are being planned and squeezed into a already busy work and maintenance
    schedule.

    While shopping online during the Black Friday madness I stumbled into the Pet Smart site only to see a 125 Gallon aquarium and stand for $250 ( some crazy price ? ) and I seen 50% OFF ALL AQUARIUMS !......and I bit hook line and sinking, ( no not a typo ) so i started shopping and spending thinking "I did this before, I can do it on the cheap! " WRONG! and all this is after a 10 plus years hiatus from reefkeeping .
    Its been a fast ride to catch-up with the equipment, suppliers, and the new techniques and practices, or example a wet/dry was a must when I last had a tank, refugiums were gaining but still
    radical or a novelty, now it seems the norm and lighting is an entirely different MONSTER altogether. So for 2 months while i waited for my tank to come in I researched the hobby, materials & equipment.

    For several years I have seen the counter type bio-cubes and all in ones and told myself "that's the ticket" I even once pointed them out to my wife and she said "OK BUT THAT TYPE!" honest she did!

    I have made a ton of rookie mistakes and I may point them out but most of you won't need the help.
     
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  2. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    While researching all in one tanks during the Black Friday and cyber Monday weekend I came across the Uniquarium line of acrylic. From my previous foray with reefing, acrylic was seen as a premium and offered a stunning view into the home reef, so I ordered a 40 gallon all in one and started searching online for various Reef supply sites ordering the necessary equipment. I knew and used The Doctors years ago and knew their had to be more. I seen several, some flashy some plain and took note of prices, brands, shipping as well the vast array of options. What I noticed was the Salt & Reef specific sites, the improved hardware,
    a ton of new brands and a boatload of technology, not forgetting the cute videos on how to use it.
    The Mountainous stores had ALL the inexpensive fresh but were limited on reef gear, the reef only stores carried a couple of brands and offerings, and others carried only the best and costly offerings the industry has to offer. Then I found a site that had it all, large selection of brands, products and every price under the sea for fresh, salt and reef with videos to boot. So I chose the following.

    Orbit Marine E-Flux lighting system with power head and display in a promotional kit
    RO/DI economy system
    Matrix Filter media and some others necessitates.

    During Christmas holiday I had a great idea, build the stand with my son as a project to spend time and get him off the game-system, well that went well, not!
    I bought the nice Maple plywood a pocket hole jig system, biscuit joiner, then broke out the curly maple lumber I had for a special occasion. It turned out nice, well my son and I thought it did, but the wife said "NOT IN MY LIVING ROOM" so i made the call to the "PROFESSIONAL" as she put it. FB_IMG_1491609043880[1].jpg
    Moving day getting ready to start on the 75 Gallon upgrade
     
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  3. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    20170502_210422.jpg
    How about a sneak peek at the current 75, like i said i'm still learning the ropes and finding out about the available tech available, speaking of. i am looking for the good frag racks, it seems there are standard and metric ? or 1/2" & 5/8" maybe 3/4" ..... a little help please, anyway the ones with the plastic ring or flaps to hold different sizes. I also have an orange filter coming for my canon digital can't seem to find one of the clip on phone filters everyone is talking about, i see the graduated but not full orange. Speaking on the tech of reefing and learning the various in's and out's, how about this sites posting editor, now i have to learn more coding ? having trouble editing during proofreading and cannot insert text, blue coercer eats the space...... Too much caffeine ? you'll get over it.

    Notice anything missing in the first pic of the 40???? Well that was mistake #5 the lighting System, not that it didn't work it did, but it was flimsy and not a serious reef light, the power heads and the controller are cool and do all kinds of things and the e-flux return pump is nice, a dc with adjustable output,
    the first pump stopped on me after 1 week or i should say the control pot. stuck on low, took about a month to get a replacement along with calls and emails.

    That light on the 40 is a Maxspect lazer, nice light, the blue leds are awesome and made the corals POP but watch the white, too much and you'll get a bloom
    .
    Some other things you don't see, I chose a Cobalt Neo-Therm heater the flat design and the electronic thermostat was a no brainer for an all in one, and fits nicely in the back out of sight.

    I upgraded the standard RIO return pump with a Sicce because the Video Hippy told me to, na the RIO was a large frame pump and i would get a vibration noise when it came into contact with the aquarium. But he did say they were quiet.

    Now this is where the Hippy gets credit, during all my preparations I kept seeing these bricks, not knowing anything about them I chose to go with the matrix
    and charcoal along with the bio-balls in the back and of course live sand and rock (rock is a sore spot and a complete rant onto itself) then I seen THE VIDEO.
    "...natural progression of this bla bla Gallon reef tank" and he covered the product and Wow a new more better bio-ball and live rock substitute or at least an
    supplement, not needing the 2-3 pounds per gallon.
    So much for the matrix.
    The 40 only had an 11" depth to aquascape so I added 40 pounds of live rock and quickly ran out of space, but i swapped out the Bio Balls with 1.5 gallons
    of Marine-Pure media balls, that would half to pick up the slack
    I Filled the tank added 2 fish then corals and lots of Bio-spira, two water changes weekly about 20 percent and kept pushing the limits and the biological capacity, added a couple more fish more coral and different enzymes keeping the biomass (?) active and diverse, and i was working my tail off but i had a reef
    cooking in all its glory and all the testing was within limits, except CA, its always steady at 500 ppm using red sea and api kits, I have changed to a premium salt, tested before going into the tank etc. not shur but that first bucket of salt was way off and all the marine pur and rock and heavy water changes caused the media to absorb the Calcium is the only thing that comes to mind, the resident Doctor told me not to worry , but i will keep an eye in it.
     
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  4. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    ShowStopperAcroColony.jpg
     
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  5. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Another day of catch-up,and to start,that blue cursor is acting up again so pardon the spacing and i inserted the wrong pic, enjoy my new tank mate, ok back to the 40 gallon format.
    So ok the tank was off to a great start but i wanted a skimmer, Clear for life did not have much information about theirs other than it used an air stone so i ruled
    that out and others were a hang-on and not happening and of course i was worried they wouldn't fit or stood too high above the tank so i thought why not a
    sump with a refugium and everything, i would have a slow flow area with the bio-media,carbon in the overflow and a sump with a full sized skimmer, so off i went to the local shop, I chose a Trigger 26/12/15 , i had to go narrow because the tank is only 15" deep from front to back, the reason to have a custom stand built, did I mention I was going to do this on the cheap, anyway i acquired the necessary materials and drilled holes into this new tank with my family watching and now knowing that i was obsessed,(like you're not). Well it worked, somewhat, i had to dial down the flow going into the sump and the returns on both tank and sump. I quickly found myself adjusting the flows almost daily due to evaporation or hooking up the ro/di to get more fresh water, this lasted for about 2 weeks before i just put a cork it (you wish).
    By now i had six fish and about a dozen corals and cleaning and water changes were getting to be a chore, I was moving things around, that 11" depth with the LR was not working, i tried to stack rocks but i couldn't get the corals or rocks to stay put i would have to start from scratch and glue the rock to the back wall, that meant removing everything from the tank ( $#!+) then I thought NOT ENOUGH ROOM. Well if i have to remove everything why not not just go bigger. I have all the equipment for it, just the cost for the tank and stand, so off I went FULL STEAM AHEAD.
     
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  6. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I chose the Marineland 75 48"x 18" x 20" over the 90 gallon because the 90 was 24" deep. I like the look of the Shallow Reef style of tanks out there and I remember my previous tank. it was 3' long but was I think 28" tall and I would need scuba gear and a scaffold to work in it, but to make up for the shallow design I had a custom Cherry stand made at 36" tall from a cabinet shop that builds over 200 aquarium stands a month, and it's flawless! Cost was $400, cherry solids, panels, premium finish and a door on the side for a control system, Unbelievable! the tops start at $200 If you're interested he is located in south central Michigan, StingRay Bay in Eastpointe MI is a Dealer and were I get most of my gear.
    Less than 2 weeks I had my tank and stand, and while picking that up the owner was helping me to get everything I would need, well he just happened to have 2 40 lbs bags of Puka Shells and recommended that for a base, when he said "no sand blowing around" I said sold! but i still threw 40 lbs of LIVE sand on the bottom and put the shells on top.
    The tank has a single corner overflow that I filled with Marine-Pur Spheres @ 2 Gallons and from some of the news recently, I hope was not a mistake.
    the sump is a little small @ Trigger systems 28, 26″ long x 13″ wide x 15″ high with a 20 gallon capacity. I have a 500 watt titanium I bought for curing live rock, it barely fits, the top sticks up into a corner, the skimmer is a SKIMZ 123 Mini-Monster with an adjustable DC pump that works very well, the only gripe is the adjustable water intake stem is a acrylic rod turned down and threaded, it broke during assembly, so i leave it wide open and adjust the pump if needed, this must be a common defect because i have seen the replacement stems offered at THAT reef supply :p
    I used the Current E-Flux return pump and that's when i noticed the control potentiometer was defective and after a month of keeping on them they shipped a new one with a different color rubber jacket =revised 2.0 . Did I mention I am a controls guy? New products always have bugs and defects, they'll figure it out. I like the Pump and the price of 160? DC adjustable output, networked with my 2 power heads and a ir remote, now we'll see how long it lasts!
    The lighting was something i had to address quick I had the Razor and looked into slaving a second one then I thought about the limited and troublesome programming and adjustment and decided to look elsewhere. My goal was to find a $500 solution and i quickly learned a long term LED option @ 500 was a dream and decided to go with 2 Kessil 360's with the hard mounts to conceal the power and control cables. I had to purchase extension cables for both controller and fixture to fixture the standard 5 or 6 footers just not long enough they do offer 20' but i didn't want all that extra hanging around.
    P.S. My dealer said that the cables are standard Audio cables you can pick up at Radio Shack if you can find one of those.
    Geez did i say i had all the equipment to go BIGger?................... WHAT NEXT!
     
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  7. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Well I will tell you, with the return pump issue resolved and 2 power heads moving water I am seeing a lot of evaporation, and as a matter of fact, just now my
    13 year old son called to tell me the return was blowing bubbles and HE TOOK CARE OF IT! SUCCESS! He is looking at something other than electronic stimuli and learning the complex mechanical, electrical as well as the science and responsibility of the hobby. That honestly is was what got me back into this madness in the first place, forcing him to help with water changes, and it's his job to turn on the lights before he goes to school then turning them up when he gets home and feeding them, next is getting him to clean the tank and in time the water change itself, hopefully.
    So I recently purchased a Auto Top Off and was preparing to install it this weekend and lo and behold Apex Builds a better mouse trap. Well as a controls guy i'm going there, so I call and get a return started and ordered the Apex ATO, I Have to get that done and get the tank cleaned and ready for the ................

    TOP SHELF AQUATICS ONCE IN A LIFETIME HOME WRECKER PLUS 3 SIGNATURE CORALS GIVEAWAY!
    tsa-homewrecker.jpg
    OH YA UHU .... I Hit. Well it turns out that FOUR people hit, on one prize, OOPS! the texting service mistook the 4 frag prize to mean four 1-frag PRIZES. So TSA was on the hook for 8K IN FRAGS! that's ridiculous and a tax right off if the IRS auditor is a reefer. So anyway I have been $h!+ing trying to get all this together before they get here.
    I knew I had to install a top off and I had to do more to keep a stable environment for acro's in general and my sump didn't have the space or capacity to implement a Refugium with added bio-filtering or reactors its just too narrow and short to handle more than 1 process other than the skimmer so off I go....
    Ya you know!
    Well I know what I want and I know who makes the best and the factory is 5 miles from my work, ( never knew what that fish skeleton was about )
    None other than BASHSEA Aquatics so I sent an email. They emailed me back and recommend a Signature Series SS-30 but that was not going to work, it only had 1 large skimmer chamber and a large 7" filter sock and return. They make one sweet sump, ( I can't be-leave that works ) so another email later, Mr B. says "we can make anything!"
    Did I mention I was a controls designer ? So I fired up the Auto Cad and got to work, working out all of my equipment and got it to fit in a SS-30 that
    would handle my needs and maybe yours too. Take a look.
    ss30-jpeg.jpg
    So what do you think ? It's what I think will handle most needs , a fuge or multiple reactors , I did screw up the return pump section, it will accommodate my
    Current pump, but down the road I may have trouble when replacing it and should have stayed with the standard 6". Well its too late now the order has been
    placed we'll see when its gets here. Just to clarify Bashsea does not sell to the public, so any custom work has to go thru a dealer.
    By the way it's $470+tax for a custom and I am local , can't say what your cost will be. At first I paused and looked at a Trigger with a similar arrangement, it was four inches longer and with the top off container may have complicate the controls cabinet I plan to install in the future. The more I looked at all the options once again I realized that the cost was actually reasonable for a custom build and to be honest I wanted that Ferrari in the garage.
    My APEX top off will be here today and I plan to install install it hopefully, so I am going to watch the video apprentice again and the Apex dude install theirs. I will try to snap some pics now we are caught up.
    Hey thanks to All that have gotten this far along with me, I hope it gets better.
     
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  8. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yesterday and today I spent some time exploring this site looking for answers before having to ask and looking like the rookie that I am. I read several articles and viewed some build threads, Terance from Apex was Looong but detailed, it was encouraging to see a sales executive get in and dirty, let's face it he could have had one of his many contacts, knock it out, but did the work himself , KUDOS! I also looked at a couple tanks of the month and was literally HUMBLED and in awe. Then I read several Articles from Unique Corals and one of my favorite stores and came to realize that MY TANK SUCKS ! .....as Scott puts it.
    Well to him it does and for good reason, I have been pushing this build like I do every day building Automation or running a project. Although I take a methodical approach and knock it out ( completion ). This build will never be done or even close enough to relax, the long term commitment and hard work to detail those guys, YOU GUYS have invested and the understanding of cause and effect and how to manage effectively is what is required to not just have a living box but to have a thriving system.
    So it is back to the drawing board literally and figurally, Mr B just called the shop and said my sump won't work with my equipment. "It worked on paper"
    but he's the Master and I'm the apprentice once again and that SUCKS!
     
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  9. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    prize.jpg well they finally made it ...
     
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  10. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  11. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    To fuge or not, that is the Question.
     
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  12. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Well its the dog days of summer and and i lost some steam due to the cool waters of the lake St Clair. The atk I installed a month ago is proving to be troublesome especially after water changes, this morning it was faulted on a high level which is the most common fault and required a move.
    I have been watching others threads and picking up tips for my future projects, mixing station, apex controller, and power distribution panel. I am thinking about using a din rail mounted power supply @ 12vdc and eliminate all the power adaptors, the challenge to that is the apex power bar that these plug into.
    What i'm thinking is using all those leftover power cords from computers, monitors etc. to plug into the P.B. and drive a relay to deliver 12vdc to a device, so i am searching for a 12 point PCB to do this in a small form factor and will share this down the road.
    The mixing station or DI water sta. is first and foremost and i have mounted plywood on the wall in the basement and purchased a 65 gallon container off of Ebay, shipping was the cheapest, I spent several hours calling every farm and industrial supply in a 200 mile radius and getting freight quotes. I also have a little giant pump on order so when that comes in i'll get to building, been following @FLSharkvictim for this.
    One of the Biggest developments is that i am finally going to finish the basement, so you all know what that means.......FISH ROOM!!!!!!!!!!!
    Whats really up is my wife Tanked my tank in the living room and asked that I relocate into the den. The den has a southern exposure with a large bay
    window and would make maintenance even more troublesome so a finished basement is a win win for us both.
    056.jpg 040.jpg 011.jpg
    the controls cabinet will go in the right side door.
     
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  13. coseal

    coseal Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    dropped in to check out your build thread! did the bashea make it under the stand? how is the fish room coming along? got any more pics of that control cabinet?
     
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  14. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Hey @coseal, All good questions and I realized ADHD is a real Possibility, First My LFS had a Annual sale and I picked up a 80 Frag or shallow/reef tank thats in the basement Curing rock, my son thinks he can
    build the next BIG BLUE computer with his Coral enterprize :p HEY if your gonna dream...the Bashsea was purpused on that system. The controls cabinet pictured was a surplus can I had and have realized that its too small
    to accommodate everything, I Picked up a sheet of expanded PVC foam board and will be starting that in a week or two, then down in the basement to fire that system up. Autumn is always a crazy time for me, now that the holidays are over I can get some work done. I did do a soft boot of the system before Christmas, bubble algae outbreak forced a deep cleaning and removal of half the LR. FTS 20171228_202211.jpg
     
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  15. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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  16. coseal

    coseal Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    ill check that thread out!

    i know how you feel! i can definitely relate...
     
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  17. Clayton Jessup

    Clayton Jessup Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    What a nice looking build , I don’t know how I never saw this one especially with a Bashsea Custom sump.. how do you like tour sump choice ?
     
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  18. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    @Clayton Jessup I missed your post....Thank You. Bashsea makes some sharp equipment. Talking to the LFS Bashsea Uses a Laser plasma to cut his acrylic most use a router and can't compete with the crisp detail of a laser.
    The trigger sys sump is smart and well designed would not hesitate on either of the two.
     
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  19. Clayton Jessup

    Clayton Jessup Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award

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    Thanks @siggy I have looked a lot at Bashsea and Trigger Systems, but something keeps calling me back to Bashsea . Their works looks amazing, I have even gotten a quote for a Custom sump idea that I have in my head ! And i am kinda leaning that way towards a Custom sump ;)
     
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  20. siggy

    siggy Which way do I go R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    I have done alot and not enough, i touched on the bubble outbreak and have a LARGE emerald crab handling that. Installed a Apex and still don't trust that much, the temp sensor needs calibration and a few other things
    setup. I did a couple treads on hybrid modification. I'll just get to the pic's.......

    20180120_171959.jpg

    20180122_191704.jpg

    20180122_191943 (1).jpg
     
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