How to put way to much money in a mid sized SPS system!

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Okay everyone!!!! This has been a while coming and I’ve been saying I was gonna get this build thread started for far to long and haven’t started it. So hear goes nothing! The tank is a used custom 125 (103 actual water volume lol) Advanced Acrylics, with an external overflow. The tank was in good shape with less than the normal expected scratches in a used acrylic tank. There was some heavy coralline growth in the tank and sump but nothing some vinegar couldn’t handle. The sump is a Trigger Triton 44 gen 1. For foam fractionation we are looking at the maxspect AD600, but there are a few others we are considering. The sump may be replaced with a Trigger Platinum 44 but that hasn’t been decided as of yet. It came on a nice white stand that matched just about nothing in our house lol. Instead of sanding, refinishing and a little refurbishing the stand that came with it we decided we would build a stand to our liking that would work where we wanted it with the amenities we wanted. The plan for this system is SPS! ALL THE SPS! Lol. As such we have been batting around all sorts of ideas for light and flow. The tanks dimensions are 60”L x 24”W x 20”T opting for more square footage than head space. This gives us ample options for lighting and even more for flow characteristics. So far we’ve put together what we think is a good option list for power heads. Right now the plan is 4 mp40s, two on each side wall however needed for best turbulent flow after aquascaping. Along with 2 Gyre style powerheads up high on the sides for heavy push and undertow duties to keep the bare bottom free of detritus and in suspension. We were tossing the idea around for 2 mp60s instead of 4 mp40s but that limits our mounting and flow characteristic options. As far as lighting we are looking at orphek or Radion g5 blues. If we take the Radion route we haven’t decided if we are going to do a grid of 15s or a few 30s perpendicular to the tank. Being what will be a dedicated SPS tank either way t5 supplementation will most likely be included at some point. All that said, a properly spaced grid of diffused 15s would probably not need supplementation. So any advice on lighting or flow for this 5’ x 2’ box is more than welcome! And would be greatly appreciated!!! The plan for the return pumps is already pretty set in stone. We will be doing twin cor 15s each with their own Y check valve, running to an actual Y after those check valves, from the Y it will run through a manifold, from this manifold two separate outlets will be hard plumed directly to their own return in the tank, while another will be hard plumbed to a uv sterilizer most likely mounted to the back center support beam of the stand. The last 2 outlets on the manifold will be barbed for any media reactors we may want or need to run. Oh! And true unions and true union ball valves EVERYWHERE! Lol. I realize the water passing through the uv and media reactors will end up with a small recirculation amount, but especially if we choose to keep the Trigger Triton 44, that sump is designed to operate at a high rate of turnover, so it’s a bit of a nonissue. This entire idea is based on redundancy of total tank filtration. If for any reason one cor 15 should go down the opposite can be cranked up remotely(if we aren’t present)to 100%, while the downed pumps Y check valve stops or at least mitigates backflow. This will allow one pump to operate the entire system while the downed pump is maintenanced or replaced. We may not get the same flow we would be with both pumps running but will ultimately stave off disaster. I realize running twin cor 20s would be optimal here but the fact a cor 15 doesn’t need a power supply was the deciding factor. There may also be a Hydros used to save from all 4 of those mp40s power supplies and controllers! Heck! Maybe 2 of them to drive the gyres if we do choose to run those as well! The chiller will however be on its own dedicated pump to simplify temperature stability. Moving back to the stand, the carcass was built with a mix of 2x4 and 2x6 and sheer walled with 3/4 ply. This was all done to maintain strength and integrity while allowing for no front center brace to be needed. My husband and our next door neighbor (studio finish carpenter, cheating I know lol) built a simple yet elegant and sturdy stand my husband likes to say “you could park the nose of the space shuttle on that thing and it wouldn’t budge” lol. It will be getting some finishing touches here and there but the following post will contain some before and after pictures of the tank and sump on the original stand while it was cleaned along with some pictures of the stands build progress. We have no projected finish date of this build as it’s not going to be a very inexpensive endeavor for a smaller system, but I think the ends justify the means for a potentially stellar SPS system! Any advice, ideas, pointers, constructive criticism, or feedback at all is all greatly appreciated!!!
 
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I’ma tempermental coral
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Alright pictures with a little explanation as promised.
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Tank, sump, and stand as purchased. I gotta say, at this point I truly wasn’t seeing my husband’s vision of an awesome SPS system... hahaha
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It was at this point I started to see what he had seen all along!
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The start of something? Lol. This was the basic carcass that would become the stand. 2x4 base and internal uprights with a 2x6 top frame. Gotta say, when I first saw this I was just a lot skeptical about how it was gonna hold up lol.
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After most of the external 2x6 uprights were added I was much more comfortable with the situation. All of this was done with stainless steel screws as well.
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Hey! Don’t judge! And never tell your wife she can pick any color she desires for the inside of a stand! Hahaha
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3/4 sheer wall. It’s all starting to come together now!!! This is the front of the stand by the way. Look at all the room for activities!!! I feel now is a good time to mention my husband is an ogre at 6’6 and wanted plenty of room between himself and the sump should he need to get in there lol.
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Front door mounted. I was a little skeptical about a door that opens down at first but the hinges we used are actually really cool! With only two clips it can be completed removed and put aside for absolute clearance! And then snapped back on just as quickly and easily! Plus, if need be, was can add some chains so the door can lean forward and vent heat upwards and out!
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Front, back, and side of the stained and cleared stand! If you look closely on the first picture you can see the small clips for the hinges on the bottom rail of the front. That is what the rest of the hinge on the door snaps to. Also, it was my first ever time staining anything intentionally... be nice! Lol
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This is the underside of the top panel and bar top of the stand! Yes I said bar top! Lol.
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And the top of the same panel. These were both taken pre clear coat.
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This is the almost completed product! The tank will go on soon and some trim will be cut and shaped around the tank itself, then pulled off and stained and cleared to blend everything together nicely. This is only the second step in I don’t know how many! Lol. There will be some other furniture made to hide other equipment and blend the tank into the corner it will eventually take up residence in. If anyone wants better pictures of the hinges let me know and I’ll post them up! They really are a game changer for simplicity and access! I will try to maintain some forward progress on this build but as I said we really have no finish date planned out. Any critiques, advice, questions, or anything else are always welcome!
 

SMSREEF

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The stand looks amazing! And I’m looking forward to the tank being set up as well. I bet you both are gonna have an amazing reef!

If anyone wants better pictures of the hinges let me know and I’ll post them up! They really are a game changer for simplicity and access!
I really am interested in those hinges. My stand still does not have an access panel yet because I don’t like the normal door hinges. Would you post closeup pics and let me know where to buy?
 
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I really am interested in those hinges. My stand still does not have an access panel yet because I don’t like the normal door hinges. Would you post closeup pics and let me know where to buy?
Absolutely! As the hinges came from my neighbor the carpenter I’d have to ask him where to buy though. He kinda had boxes upon boxes of them all different sizes lol.
 
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The stand looks amazing! And I’m looking forward to the tank being set up as well. I bet you both are gonna have an amazing reef!
Thank you!!! I am too!!! Trying to be patient and not rush things! It’s soooo hard!!! But I want all the equipment ready to go before hand so power can be ran, cords can be managed and hidden, and it will be as simple as letting the RO do its thing and then add salt! Lol. As easy as that sounds I know it’s a ways off lol.
 

h2so4hurts

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Thank you!!! But I can’t take all the credit! My husband and our neighbor did most of the work. I just stained it and played the management. Lol.
Not sure where you work, but management takes credit for things they didn't do all of the time ;)
 
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Not sure where you work, but management takes credit for things they didn't do all of the time ;)
Hahaha well in that case! The tank was my idea the stand was my idea the plumbing and operation.... hahaha
 
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So as this is going to most likely be a very long and drawn out build thread I’d like to get a little input from anyone watching this or even just scrolling through. As this system comes together we also have one maybe two other smaller systems in the works. One is a biocube 32 led. It came used and as this is an after thought the tank has already been cleaned and the homemade stand it came with partially sanded. It’s my daughters first tank! The other is an old seaclear aio(I think lol) it’s one of those narrow but longer tanks. It too has already been cleaned. The plans for these two AIOs will actually be pretty cool! So if you are one of those watching this thread leave a reply and let me know if you want me to include these mini builds to keep this thread moving. And maybe any questions you have about these two side builds. If you don’t wanna take the time to do that just leave a like on this post. At any rate I’ll start documenting the progress of these from here on out lol.
 
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Stand looks great, following. :)
Thank you! It was a lot more work than I thought it would be. We’ve made huge stands in the past but they were mostly just skeleton stands made from 2x4, 2x6, and 4x4. They didn’t need to look presentable lol.
 
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Looks great I will be following
Thank you! This definitely isn’t our “dream tank” but we are treating it as our “wet run” for what will be! Think of this as our dream tanks little sister. A lot of what we learn here will be applied to a MUCH larger system when we finally have room for it!
 
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I really am interested in those hinges. My stand still does not have an access panel yet because I don’t like the normal door hinges. Would you post closeup pics and let me know where to buy?
Alright so my daughter and my husband were doing some work on her stand today so I had him snap some pictures of the hinges for you. My neighbor said any good cabinetry supply shop should have them. They are made by a company named Blum. A quick search for Blum hinges will allow to just order some though lol. Here’s some pictures of how they work though.
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This is from the inside of the stand looking to the front when the door is closed. Like I said, the door is hinged at the bottom and and opens and closes from the top. The door is held by magnets at the top. Don’t mind the unfinished edge. That will be painted black to give some contrast to the bright orange lol
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Same orientation, just now with the door open.
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That little tab at the bottom, the one my husband’s sausage finger is trying to point at is the release for the hinge. This disconnects the hinge assembly attached to the door from the base attached to the stand.
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Disconnected from the base that stays attached to the stand while the hinge assembly stays with the door.
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The base mounted to the stand floor, to which the hinge clips to. This is the anchor point for the hinge assembly.
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This is another hinge similar to the one used in the stand build. It’s basically the same hinge but with a smaller cup size. These are also made with a soft close mechanism, but that would be pointless for a door that hinges at the bottom. If you have any more questions about these please feel free to let me know and I will try to get any information I can!
 
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Also I decided I was just gonna go ahead and post the progress of our daughters mini build here just for fun! Here she is finishing up the rough sanding on the stand that came with her biocube 32 led. A little background on this tank is in order I think! One of my husband friends owns the lfs this was in. The previous owner had upgraded and used it as a credit toward the upgrade. He gave our daughter her first bartering experience that was wildly entertaining to watch along with giving her a killer deal. She got the tank, stand, all the original equipment, plus the protein skimmer, the inline uv sterilizer, an aftermarket media rack, and a decent powerhead for $120!!!! That’s a better deal then he would have given us and my husband has known him for 15 years! Hahaha Anyway the stand was black and everything in our daughter room is that washed white. She doesn’t want it to be white like everything else though. She wants it to be colorful! We were thinking some fluorescent paints maybe?
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Here she is toiling away at it lol. She burnt through the finish layer of the ply lol. Hubby said it wouldn’t matter much because we aren’t hoping to see the wood grain anyway and it’s going to get a heavy primer before it’s painted.
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Finished rough sanding! She wanted to keep the inside black, and since she decided to go bare bottom, where the tank sits will stay black as well. It will get a finish sanding to get the rest of the black up and some coats of primer next!
 
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Okay so my husband and I have been doing a little thinking and I’d like any input anyone watching this or just passing through is willing to hand out. As stated and shown above the sump that came with this system is a very nice and very complete Trigger Triton 44 gen 1.

Pros.
-Looks great
-Proven design
-MASSIVE fuge
-And most of all... we already own it! Lol

Cons.
-Gen 1 has no sock holder or any other built in means of pre sump mechanical filtration. Something a little DIY could fix, but the main reason we are discussing all this.
-Triton sumps are built and designed to have a really high turnover rate. And as such are not the quietest design.

Now, being quiet isn’t the highest priority but it’s always nice to be able to hear yourself think over your system. Which brings us to the meat and potatoes of the issue. The lack of mechanical filtration. By design these sumps technically aren’t supposed to build up much detritus, but I can’t see a sump at any flow rate that won’t collect detritus without some form of mechanical. Like I said in the pros and cons hubby has some ideas for some form of mechanical but that means modifying a perfectly good sump. So any ideas pitched by anyone he’d very much appreciate.

All this debate and discussion boils down to whether or not we want to sell this sump and custom order the Trigger Platinum 44. At a bit over a grand it would definitely tie hand in hand with the name of this build but is it necessary? We both hate socks! A lot! So if we were to get anything new it would be sump with a built in filter roller. Our current system runs mechanical free but the sump drives hubby nuts. Which also means the modifications to the sump we have would definitely not include filter socks. The main drawback of the of the Trigger Platinum 44 is the smaller fuge. As this is going to be a dedicated SPS system that will also probably be over stocked the largest fuge possible may be a huge benefit.

So this all boils down to anyone willing to share their input with us! Let’s get some thoughts flowing here! Does anyone have any experience with the Trigger Platinum series? Of any size, not just the custom 44. How about the Trigger Triton? Once again of any size, not just the 44. Pros, cons, gripes, anything? Or maybe just some input on our thoughts? Even if you’ve never owned either series.
 
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Any input on the above post would be amazing ladies and gentlemen, please and thank you!!! Thoughts? Ideas? Heck! Even criticisms!! With all the work going into our current system lately work has slowed a little on this build I apologize. But as I said above I’m looking for a little input or support for everyone here.

With that, my daughter did get a bit of work done on her stand and has even decided how she wants to paint it! This should be fun! She wants it tie-dye! Hahaha. Wish me luck! Hahaha. Here she is finishing up finish sanding!
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