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wet_rocks_reef

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Hi Everyone,

I am starting my build thread for my new Innovative Marine 100 gallon INT reef aquarium.

As part of my kitchen remodel my wife was lovely and understanding enough to agree to a upgraded aquarium! I highly recommend including reef aquarium budgets into your home remodel budget! it takes the pressure off of how expensive this hobby is.

So first let me give you a background of my existing Reef. I currently run an Innovative Marine 50 gallon Nuvo with an APS stand. I started this tank 2 1/2 years ago right before the pandemic. it was an upgrade from My 29 gallon biocube that I was running since 2006. (Funny story, on the Biocube I was running leds only whites and royal blues.)
F47B2196-4E30-45C0-BD4F-4D6C825BEB1E.jpeg 1DAD52C3-1184-4858-A170-FF589DB727D1.jpeg
My lighting currently is an eco-tech marine XR 30 Gen 4 Pro running a custom lighting schedule (so I can see my reef in the AM and at Night) at 50%

Some other highlights… 1BF4C4EB-F50A-4E80-B68D-40F2B9E01773.jpeg

2 BRS dosers for B-Ionic two part
Auto aqua micro ATO
One 4K gyre pump
IM midsize DC Protein skimmer
Kasa smart power strips
InkbirdSmart WiFi heater controller

Livestock.
Sunrise Dottyback
Flame angel
Purple Tang
Mocha clown
Wyoming white clown
Blotchy Anthias
2 Anthias
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Here are some pics

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One of the exciting things about an upgraded build is you don’t have to go through the ugly cycle of a new tank. I’m really excited about getting some new live stock as well… adding some old with the new.

Here is the equipment I’m keeping from my old build.

ATO
BRS dosers
Inkbird heater controller and heaters
4K gyre pump (going to add a second pump)
Kasa Smart Powerstrips

Here are the new things that I’m buying as far as equipment

-Two eco-tech marine Exar 30 pro G5 Leds
-Trigger systems platinum 30 for some with integrated filter roller
-Nyos 160 skimmer
-Ecotech vectra m2 Return pump
-White a Adaptive Reef controller board
-Advanced acrylics slim ATO Reservoir
-Blue and yellow hard plumbing to sump
- 18x18x18 arch formation of live rock

Here is the new live stock on my wishlist
Sailfin Tang
4 to 5 Anthias
Square Anthias
some more Sps
OG bounce
 
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wet_rocks_reef

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In early May we were 99% complete with a kitchen remodel so I figured it was time to start the new project. I had a little extra time this week and started building the stand. I really do love the innovative Marine APS stands the fact that their aluminum and that they’re not MDF or plywood. Since I built one before it was pretty straightforward. However I had like three different instructions two from YouTube and one from a manual online. Not 100% correct but I was able to figure everything out.

I used a square To help me square everything up prior to tightening. I took my time and it was like playing with big Legos!

For the most part the tank area is fairly level I did have to put an extra shim In the front right corner. I will make some adjustments once the Aquarium is in place. With the extra weight it should pretty much be settled into how it will be when I get it wet.

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And on Mother’s Day I was able to celebrate with my whole family including my mother-in-law my wife and my mom and my brothers and sister. After making them a fabulous meal I thought would be a great idea for them to help me place my reef tank on my stand! I figured that would be a fair deal. Luckily with four people total and four suction cup handles. We made short work of the aquarium placement.

I have to say Innovative Marine does an excellent job crating their aquariums and preparing them for shipping.

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Very nice setup - I really enjoyed reading about your entire remodel/upgrade process. More anthias, heh? You must really love those guys (that blotch anthias is a fairly rare and expensive fish!) A small sailfin or desjardini tang would love the new tank!
 
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wet_rocks_reef

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Throughout May, I started accumulating equipment. Lots of purchases at Aqua Cave and BRS..

As I started buying all the equipment I noticed that there was a common theme. One size bigger for everything!

From a Vectra S2 to a M2
From a Nyos 120 to 160
From a Platinum 26 to Platinum 34

I am also looking at how I am going to plumb my tank. I plan on doing a hard plumb and making it look really nice.

Here’s a draft I made on how envision the plumbing. In 20 years are receiving this will be my first time plumbing A sump wish me luck!

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My APS Stand came with a shelf.. I know I wanted and need to use the shelf as the trigger systems platinum 34 sump is going to take up a lot of the real estate under the aquarium. I plan to use the shelf for power bricks fish food and testing kits. I also plan to put the dosers on the shelf as well so they are out of the way. In order to use the shelf for the hundred gallon INT I’m going to have to cut some space to fit the plumbingAs well as cut some slots for electronic cords.

Right now I use Black & Decker 20 V cordless tools however the kit I bought doesn’t have a jigsaw. So I guess it’s time to buy a jigsaw! Of course Amazon had what I need and the price for the jigsaw and battery was only $10 more than a jigsaw without the battery and charger. I think I could basically sell the extra battery and charger for 50 bucks and only pay zero for thejigsaw. The global supply chain mud still have issues.
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Anyways here is the new shelf I created!!! I cut a 15 inch x 3.5 inch notch on the shelf under the plumbing and another 6.5 x 2.5 inch wiring access area on the right side of the shelf.
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Here are some picks of the finished product. A shout of thanks the innovative marine Facebook group for suggesting that I paint the exposed areas that I cut. The shelf looks like plywood however it is MDF. I was able to find some black spray paint to paint the exposed cut areas. I have to say it looks pretty good!

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To paint, I simply used a PVC cement applicator I had laying around and spray painted black paint into the spray paint cap and then just brushed the paint onto the shelf.

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Hi this post is about plumbing! This is the first time I have ever plumb the fish tank so wish me luck. Innovative Marine has done a great job on providing me some information, the bulkheads that they include are PVC so that should make it actually really easy to cement their PVC bulkheads to PVC pipe. If they were ABS it would be a little more complicated I think.

Here is my first draft of my plumbing layout. I found that some of the fittings I wanted were out of stock at BRS. Luckily I found Formufit.com PVC Furniture grade elbows that had the additional pieces I needed to get started.
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I really like the colored elbows in connectors to match the plumbing colors I wanted.

Some rules or guidelines I plan to think about when I plug my tank.

1.Only use PVC cement and not use primer sounds like it’s about a 50-50 proposition between refers on which application process to use

2.Minimize the number of elbows to keep it looking clean and simple

3.I will not cement in the stand pipes in the tank. I will only snuggly dry fit them

4. I plan to add a few to a couple unions in each area so that as I do maintenance on the tank or reconfigure any plumbing in the future I can just go ahead and remove sections of plumbing if need be ( more cementing up front)

5. Since the Vectra pump is ABS material I plan to use a barbed fitting with a short nylon hose to another barb fitting connected to the pvc hard plumbing for the return.

6. I don’t plan on using a manifold as I have a separate UV sterilizer with the pump connected. If I ever need to add a manifold I will be able to in the future with the unions I have.

With the shelf in the APS Stand being used, it will be a pretty tight fit for the plumbing elbows unions and valves.

Here is my initial plumbing purchase list.

Lets hope I don’t have to buy any extra of anything.

TypeQty
1 inch x 24 inchSchedule 40 (Blue)8
¾ inch x 24 inchSchedule 40 (Blue)3
3/4” Spears Gate Valve Slip x Slip
SKU: 202405
1
1” Spears Gate Valve Slip x Slip
SKU: 202406
1
1 inch Blue Furniture Grade 45° Elbow Fitting Slip X Slip12
¾ inch Blue Furniture Grade 45° Elbow Fitting Slip X Slip4
3/4” Schedule 80 Union Slip x Slip
SKU: 202520
5
1” Schedule 80 Union Slip x Slip
SKU: 202521

11
 
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In preparation for the plumbing I decided to open up the trigger systems Platinum 30 force him to take a look at it. It’s an awesome looking sump with a lot of bells and whistle’s. I’ve heard mixed reviews on the filter please roll but from what I’ve seen it just looks a little temperamental and I will have to keep an eye on it. I’m hopeful it will do what it supposed to do.

for the sump I plan to have the following equipment connected to it.

1. skimmer
2. Refugium
3. Heaters
4. UV filter
5 dosing pumps
6. Return pump
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with the sump in the stand I have about 9 inches to play with For a ATO reservoir and a controller board. Not much room, But I’m lucky I have the shelf in place that could hold power bricks for the electronics to save some space next to the sump
 
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Plumbing weekend is here!

I was able to get all of my plumbing parts unions and elbows From BRS and Formufit the four orders I made took about two weeks. After getting all of the 45 degree elbows, I realized that the unions, piping, and valves won’t fit with 45 degree fittings, so I had to order the 90 degree fittings, good I got the Vectra M2 pump. I am prepared for any head pressure loss.
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After taking a look and eyeballing the unions, I had to cut back the number of unions I would use as space again was an issue.
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I dry fitted the plumbing but found that my pipes where so short and small I wouldn’t be able to pull out the pipes to cement. So to solve this I just measured the pipes with the right about of fitting overlap and just went with it. It worked great, I always saved the last connection and triple measure to get the right fit
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I followed many guides on how to cement PVC so I feel I just needed to get started.

I mentioned to my wife that May 28th would be cement day and that I would be spending most my day smelling cement and cementing pipe and plumbing the reef tank.

I was reminded and learned a few things on the process of cementing. And I did run into just a few problems and learnings during the plumbing process…

  1. kept it simple and worked to keep as much plumbing on one plane. Down, left and down to the primary drain, secondary drain and E-drain.
  2. I used some of the extra 45 degree elbows to kick out the return piping so it is not in the way of the secondary and E-drain
  3. Placed Unions close to elbows to make fine adjustment for easy fitting
  4. I had to cement a union to the plumbing under the tank this was the most difficult! , no way around Getting under the stand and the aquarium and Cementing a union to the bottom of the bulkhead piping. It was so difficult to push the cemented fitting to the piping that was hanging down from the tank! I was worried about to much pressure on the aquarium and wasn’t quite able to push the fittings all the way into the pipes under the tank. Let’s hope it doesn’t leak
  5. I started getting the hang of measuring the piping and fitting depth to cut PVC pipe length. I had a lot of little pieces between 2 to 3 inches that I had to cement
  6. I made a couple of errors cementing, but I was able to re purpose an elbow and an union in a different part of my plumbing plan.
  7. Lucky I had a brand new Lowe’s PVC cutter and it worked like a charm. Super clean cuts with no need for sanding
All in all I was able to complete my plumbing job without a post cementing purchase! I was so close to buying another union but remembered I purchased 10 vs 9 one inch unions. I was glad I did!
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I ended up making 4 online purchases, and I did have a bunch of extra plumbing that included..
  1. Three yellow 3/4 inch two foot pipes
  2. Three blue 1 inch two foot pipes
  3. One 3/4 gate valve
  4. Three 3/4 inch unions
  5. Eight 1 inch 45 degree elbows
  6. Two 3/4 inch 45 degree elbows
Perhaps I will save it for the next project.

Here is the finished product… I will be leak testing soon…I am pretty happy with how this turned out!

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Well, Celebrating my plumbing job on my new reef tank was very short-lived. As I was admiring my plumbing job and thinking about how I would approach adding water to test for leaks, I realized it would probably be a good idea to install the automatic filter fleece roller on the trigger sump. The mechanism for The filter rolller sits directly in front of the primary and secondary drain.
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With the 90 degree elbow behind the secondary drain the automatic fleece roller would not fit.:(:smiling-face-with-tear::frowning-face:

I did luck out with a couple of items with my plumbing job that helped me with my fix
  1. I did not cement the plumbing to the sump
  2. I cemented unions in drain two so I can move things around a bit
  3. I had plenty of elbows and pipe to plan my new Strategy to fit plumbing around the automatic filter roller

After a lot of thinking and looking at my mistakes, It came to me that I could just connect a 45° elbow right above the connection to the sump and then connect the elbow to the 90 degree elbow and union and use the unions to adjust the angles to work with the 45 degree elbow.:smiling-face-with-smiling-eyes:
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All in all a simple fix that required only a couple of cuts and a couple of cements
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ok NOW here is the final product

I went ahead and taped plastic to the stand that would funnel any water and leaks into the sump let’s hope everything stays dry..
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Did I mention we just completed a remodel with thousands of dollars worth of brand new hardwood floors?

Wish me luck on no leaks!
 
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So as I mentioned with the Trigger 34 Platinum Sump I only have about 9-10 inched to work with for an ATO and Controller Board. I was able to find this ATO reservoir from Advanced Acrylics. it is a 4x20x20 in size and holds 6.75 gallons. I am hoping, based on my 50 gallon evaporation rate that this 6.75 gallons of fresh water will last a week of evaporation. Anyone know how much evaporation i can expect for this 100 gallon build?

It is so cool that they have so many sizes. And if I hand one more inch to spare ! could get another 1.75 gallons.


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It’s getting really close to filling the tank up with water I had a few items on the checklist to make sure I was ready to get the reef wet!

1. Check all the valves and unions to make sure they are turned tight
2. Double check bulkheads and standing pipes as well
3. Connect return pump to plumbing
4.Download Mobius app for the Vectra pump
5. Line the back of the plumbing with plastic that will funnel into the sump in case of leaks
6. Set up my new RODI unit in the garage sink.

I just bought a new RODI unit from bulk reef supply.

My previous routine every month was to bring out my old RODI unit and fill it up outside in my driveway at our hose outlet on the side of the house. My routine was to do this once a month for a months worth of filtered water for both top off and 5 gallon saltwater changes. Here is my Son using the waste water to fill our fountain.
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Naturally I always dread doing this every month and every so often with overfill my containers.

I decided to split my water line from my garage sink
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and Find a space in my garage to make and store my water D1DBA1A8-6108-4DEA-B513-D296F2D0B626.jpeg .

I installed a float valve switch in one of my Costco black plastic containers.

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With the faucet attachment and auto turn off switch on the filter with the float switch no more worrying about flooding the garage or wasting water! My plan for the new reef is to now use both of these black containers to store RODI water and always have 50 gallons ready and to make 5-10 gallons of saltwater every week.

I ran the waste water into the drain for the washer its pretty cool how the water just stops when my containers are full!

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On May 31st I decided to do my leak test!

I decided to go with RODI water to fill the Aquarium. For the last week and a half I had about 5 inches of water sitting in the overflow covering the bulkheads To make sure they didn’t leak.

With that passing the test I started filling her up!! It only took about a day and a half to have enough water ready. It seems like the water pressure at my home is really good and that the 75 gallon per day filter is working as stated.
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I just decided to do the bucket brigade to fill the aquarium (sometimes brute force is better than over engineering for a simple task + i needed the workout)
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Before getting water into the overflow I made sure my sump was ready to receive water, The main thing I did was set up my protein skimmer. And set up the auto filter roller. The filter roller was a little tedious to set up, but i am hopeful it work great when its turn it on and filtering the reef
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So far so good no leaks in the tank and I started filling it up or water was going into the overflow and down the drain into the sump...no leaks there as well.
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As I started hearing water go down the drain and getting to the stump I was really excited! I checked all the drain 3EE414CE-B5BE-4D85-9090-4229ED7A3CD7.jpeg

plumbing and hurray no leaks!!!

I made sure to test all three of the drains and once the tank and sump was filled, I connect the M2 Vectra. With a reading of the M2 I am thinking I am going running this roughly at 50%

Here are my head pressure calculations

Vectra running at 50% is 1000 GPH
2 - 90 degree elbows =2 ft
2- 45 degree elbows = 1ft
Pump to return nosels = 4ft
10 inch horizontal distance = 1inch (will not include in calc)
3/4 return vs 1 inch return = 65% of Stated flow rate
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So for 7ft of head pressure is 1400 GPH * 50% (power) 65% (3/4 return)= 455 GPH or 4.5 x turn over for my aquarium to sump. Should I run my return at a higher rate?

Is my logic correct here?

The Vectra was easy to setup, and members here suggested to Connect the vector pump to a flexible hose then to a PVC barb to reduce vibration. So I did that and he made it actually a lot easier to install. I was stressing out about connecting PVC to the ABS plastic on the Vectra so I’m glad I was able to avoid that.
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After some minor adjustments on the drain valve and setting my Vectra to run at 50% I got everything tuned up everything is leak free and running silent!

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The next step for me is to aqua scape the reef tank and add salt. For the aquascaping I decided to use Art Reef Rocks for my build. For now I only need to cover half the tank with new rock I plan to migrate over my 50 gallon rock which has about 65 pounds of life rock that has been wet from 2008. The majority of the rock I have is FiJi live rock from back in the day when they harvested the reef.. great biodiversity but by no means sustainable.

Still have some really cool critters in the reef that include small stat fish, sponges, worms, tone of pods, etc.

I was really fortunate to connect with Cris at Art Reef Rocks several months ago. I reached out to him to ask where would be some good places to buy Art Reef Rocks. He said he actually had a small inventory of samples in his garage and was happy to share with me what he had and let me pick the rock formation I wanted for my tank.

Cris sent me some pics of over 40 Different scapes to choose from. All of the rock scapes are modular and takes less than 5 mins to assemble. I settled on ISR 02. That had exactly what I was looking for… a single base with a long outcropping on one side.

Cris was about a 45 minute drive from me so decided to meet up with him. Super nice guy with a great story on how he started.

It took us a while to find our box.
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I lay down some black plastic opened up the box and was able to follow the instructions in quickly put together my rockscape in five minutes I have to say it looks very similar to the pictures.
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I like how this one is one of a kind based in the small variation they bake into production.
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Cris was super nice and even gave me a small cave to add to my scape.
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Here it is in the reef, granted I only have fresh water in the tank… also good to soak and rinse this sincere reef have RODI in it.
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Before I salt my reef, I will be removing all the water and refill it just to get the TDS back to 0
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AquaCave

Let’s talk about stuffing: How full is your tank?

  • My tank is overcrowded.

    Votes: 73 14.1%
  • My tank is nearly full/full but not overcrowded.

    Votes: 173 33.5%
  • My tank is just getting started and growing.

    Votes: 239 46.2%
  • I take a minimalist approach with my tank.

    Votes: 32 6.2%
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