Gulf Live Rock Instant build (sorta)

alpenreef

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First Post, my big tank is in the mail :) I am excited and overwhelmed beyond belief. I have been running a 60 gal cube for a month, without prior research. After buying all kinds of HOB contraptions my wife said why don’t you just get a proper tank. Yay!!!!

Prospective equipment list:

IM 170 gallons
Nuvo RFS50 aump (75 gallon)
2 x XR30 on RMS track. Possibly add another one later.
Hydros X4 controller
2 x Vortech MP40
Maybe add 2 gyre cloud later

Unsure about which skimmer and filter roller. I hope I can make one fit into the filtersock compartment




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alpenreef

alpenreef

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Tracking my big tank delivery, it’s been loaded onto a truck and is 10 days from delivery. I couldn’t just sit around so I started building a QT / observation tank. 29 gallon main, 20 sump. Not sure what I am doing, learning on the fly. I bought the main tank at petco today and added a fiji cube overflow. Drilling a hole for the bulkhead was straight forward. Anxious to finish the plumbing but Menards is closed now.
 

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JM302

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EXT or INT? I have an EXT 170 and love it. I talk a lot about the plumbing for that particular tank in my build thread. It's worth checking out if you are looking to maximize return flow. Looking forward to seeing what you do!
 
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EXT like you. OMG I read your thread earlier and actually took screenshots of your gear list :) And read all about your gorilla crab hunt. I am also considering Florida live rock, but maybe I shouldn’t hmmm. Tampa Bay is out of stock until mid April, looking at Gulf Live Rock, they are also in Tampa.
 

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EXT like you. OMG I read your thread earlier and actually took screenshots of your gear list :) And read all about your gorilla crab hunt. I am also considering Florida live rock, but maybe I shouldn’t hmmm. Tampa Bay is out of stock until mid April, looking at Gulf Live Rock, they are also in Tampa.

Awesome! I highly recommend live rock - it's worth the wait. If you go slow, you can catch the majority of your gorilla crabs before you ever put a fish or coral in that tank. I'd actually recommend that. The trap I used worked great too.

The live rock will likely give your tank a smoother and simpler start. I've been reefing since about 2000 - I've done one dry rock tank and it was a complete nightmare. DInos, Cyano, DInos again, massive GHA outbreak..... it took me 2 years to get some level of stability in that tank. It was so bad I almost broke the tank down to start over.

When I went to the 170 - yes, I took all of that 3 year old mature rock and used it, but the majority was new TBS rock. The tank looked and acted mature on day 1.

I'll update my gear list - I've changed quite a bit. Feel free to tag me with any questions - I've got my tank dialed in. You're going to love it.
 
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Awesome! I highly recommend live rock - it's worth the wait. If you go slow, you can catch the majority of your gorilla crabs before you ever put a fish or coral in that tank. I'd actually recommend that. The trap I used worked great too.

The live rock will likely give your tank a smoother and simpler start. I've been reefing since about 2000 - I've done one dry rock tank and it was a complete nightmare. DInos, Cyano, DInos again, massive GHA outbreak..... it took me 2 years to get some level of stability in that tank. It was so bad I almost broke the tank down to start over.

When I went to the 170 - yes, I took all of that 3 year old mature rock and used it, but the majority was new TBS rock. The tank looked and acted mature on day 1.

I'll update my gear list - I've changed quite a bit. Feel free to tag me with any questions - I've got my tank dialed in. You're going to love it.
Did you use any kind of wet cure epoxy to shape your live rock aquascape or just pile it?
 

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Did you use any kind of wet cure epoxy to shape your live rock aquascape or just pile it?
So I went hybrid - which worked out very well IMO.

I used the TBS base rock to build a foundation and left it loose. Then I sat glued structures on the base rock. Gave me the best of both worlds. So my mix is 100lbs of TBS base rock and about 50-70 lbs of glued dry rock.

I'd do it the same exact way if I was to do it again. I truly love the depth of my scape. The 30" tank gives you so much freedom.

With the TBS rock seeding, you'll begin growing coralline so quickly that dry white rock will look mature and be covered in 60 days.
 
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The big day is finally here! My 170g IM tank arrived from California - I dropped everything and started building right away.
First impressions: this thing is big. Bigger than I envisioned it - the 30 inch width is incredible, but also - what was I thinking? :)
The build quality is great - all aluminium, and it came together quite quickly. Harry, my Welsh terrier is always a big help.
That’s as far as I can take it tonight, I should have planned ahead and organized some strong hands to help me lift the tank.
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It looks like your move was uneventful, which is a good thing! How many people did you end up using to do the final lift onto the stand? Looking great!
 
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It looks like your move was uneventful, which is a good thing! How many people did you end up using to do the final lift onto the stand? Looking great!
Thank you. Yes it was easy peasy. I had 4 friends help me, one of them brought a cart which made it easy to roll it to the front door. Turns out there is like 2 milimeter play to fit thru a 36 inch door.
They helped me hook up the plumbing to the sump as well, so all I have to do now is make 200+ gallons of water and 50 bucket trips from the basement.
 

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Thank you. Yes it was easy peasy. I had 4 friends help me, one of them brought a cart which made it easy to roll it to the front door. Turns out there is like 2 milimeter play to fit thru a 36 inch door.
They helped me hook up the plumbing to the sump as well, so all I have to do now is make 200+ gallons of water and 50 bucket trips from the basement.
For others moving a large tank.
I used a small hydrolic dolly. 2 people to lift it onto the dolly.
Pump it up to tank height and slide it over.
I will be following this thread.
 
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For others moving a large tank.
I used a small hydrolic dolly. 2 people to lift it onto the dolly.
Pump it up to tank height and slide it over.
I will be following this thread.
That’s a great idea. But my approach was cheaper, 2 large pizzas.
 
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alpenreef

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Ok, now I need to pick some lights. How do you cover a 5ft x 30 inch tank adequately?
I am considering everything from 6 hd primes, 3 xr15, 2 xr30, or maybe 2 x ati straton 102. Somebody just told me I should get reefbreeders v2.
Mounting options are a concern. I prefer hanging to mounting anything to the euro brace. Ugg, decisions when I don’t know anything.
 

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Ok, now I need to pick some lights. How do you cover a 5ft x 30 inch tank adequately?
I am considering everything from 6 hd primes, 3 xr15, 2 xr30, or maybe 2 x ati straton 102. Somebody just told me I should get reefbreeders v2.
Mounting options are a concern. I prefer hanging to mounting anything to the euro brace. Ugg, decisions when I don’t know anything.
I posted this in your thread as I was going to do 5xr15's in a t5 hybrid but went with the breeders instead. I just did not want to run anything but leds.
20231106_115127.jpg
 

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Ok, now I need to pick some lights. How do you cover a 5ft x 30 inch tank adequately?
I am considering everything from 6 hd primes, 3 xr15, 2 xr30, or maybe 2 x ati straton 102. Somebody just told me I should get reefbreeders v2.
Mounting options are a concern. I prefer hanging to mounting anything to the euro brace. Ugg, decisions when I don’t know anything.
I know I said this on my thread - I'll expand on it a bit.

The only reason I went with XR15's on the 170 is because I had them from my old tank. If I were starting from scratch, I'd have 4 blades and no XR15's. If you ran softies / lps - 3 blades would be ample. The light blanket with the blades is second to none, very reminiscent of T5's. The PAR output is pretty incredible. I run mine at 75% - 9" off the water and I can get an easy 200 PAR to the bottom of the tank.

I am not a fan of the rest of the AI's - as far as color and pop goes.

Trust me when I say that two XR30's will be insufficient for the tank. It would take 3. The 5ft tank is not the concern, the 30" depth is. Now you could start with two XR30's and eventually add one. My tank was noticeably dark with 3 XR15's. It was almost instant regret because I knew I had to spend more $$ to get proper coverage.

If I was limited to the choices you listed above, I'd go with 6 HD Primes because it would provide enough light coverage.

Alternatively - Check out the Reefi Uno 2.0 Pro's. I have no experience with them, but they seem to be well liked by the community. They'll be on my short list as I further remove myself from the ecotech / ai / bertram conglomerate.
 
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alpenreef

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I know I said this on my thread - I'll expand on it a bit.

The only reason I went with XR15's on the 170 is because I had them from my old tank. If I were starting from scratch, I'd have 4 blades and no XR15's. If you ran softies / lps - 3 blades would be ample. The light blanket with the blades is second to none, very reminiscent of T5's. The PAR output is pretty incredible. I run mine at 75% - 9" off the water and I can get an easy 200 PAR to the bottom of the tank.

I am not a fan of the rest of the AI's - as far as color and pop goes.

Trust me when I say that two XR30's will be insufficient for the tank. It would take 3. The 5ft tank is not the concern, the 30" depth is. Now you could start with two XR30's and eventually add one. My tank was noticeably dark with 3 XR15's. It was almost instant regret because I knew I had to spend more $$ to get proper coverage.

If I was limited to the choices you listed above, I'd go with 6 HD Primes because it would provide enough light coverage.

Alternatively - Check out the Reefi Uno 2.0 Pro's. I have no experience with them, but they seem to be well liked by the community. They'll be on my short list as I further remove myself from the ecotech / ai / bertram conglomerate.
So, 2 x blade glows and 2 x grows?
 
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alpenreef

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I finished my QT today, about to make water and fill it. It’s a 29 gallon aqueon with a 20 gallon sump. Drilled it and put a 400gph fijicube overflow on it. My return pump is a Jebao MDP DC pump. Max flow of 924gph - way to overpowered but I can dial it down to 7%. If it’s still too much flow I put a ball valve in the return line to dial it in further. I also added 2 stackable filter trays to hold floss and carbon.
This was a fun build while I wait for my live rock order for the big tank. Will order some fish soon to quarantine for a month at least.

Not sure I can call that a QT. More like a cycled observation tank.

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