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Java's 150G Comeback

Javamahn

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I am moving up from my 90 gallon acrylic to a 150 gallon eurobraced starfire tank that I picked up used. Much of what I have now will be moved as I usually bought items oversized for durability and flexibility. I am in no rush as the current mixed 90 is doing fine and I want to use the experience to correct mistakes I have made in the past. Here is the list of materials I have so far.

  • 150 gallon Eurobraced 1/2" Starfire back-drilled for bean animal.
  • A custom fabricated Exotic Marine Systems 24" slimline overflow to fit the existing hole pattern. Taylor Stanley has been amazing to work with and I will promote his excellent customer service to anyone who asks. https://www.exoticmarinesystems.com/
  • Eshopps R-200 Gen 2 Refugium Sump (I am considering converting the refugium into a small frag section and making an external Macro Reactor)
  • Reef Octo Various6 Return Pump
  • 3 Radion XR30w Gen 3 that will be fitted into a 60" Geismann Infinity Shell and supplemented midday with 4 dimmable 54w T5s
  • Phosban 150 GFO (Possibly replacing with Aquamaxx hard plumbed into a manifold)
  • Bubble Magus Curve 9 Skimmer
  • Toms Aqualifter Pump tied to APEX BoB for ATO
  • APEX Classic with WXM
  • APEX DOS/DDR dosing Aquaforest 2 part balling
  • APEX FMK
  • Neptune WAV Starter Kit
  • Coralife Turbotwist 12 UV sterlizer
  • JbJ 1/4 HP Chiller
It has a painted wood stand that looks like a charcoal grey metallic. I will have to redo the stand and I am going without the canopy which was hideous. I have looked at and like CDA,Cadlights, Red Sea systems and like the modern design of the stands but that will likely not go with the current decor in the house and the wife is sick of everything wood and would like some color. Anyone has ideas your examples are welcome. I will keep looking and hopefully be able to rework the current stand. I will post a few pics of the start and thanks for following.

Here is the 90 gallon which has the PITA trapazoid overflow.
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Here is the 150 Eurobraced starfire tank. Check out the hideous canopy.
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Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

fergusk

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Looks good. Let us know how you find the starfire vs acrylic when you’ve got some corals in [emoji16]
 
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Javamahn

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So here is the old glass overflow which is over an 1-1/2" below the brace.
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And here is the template that Exotic Marine Systems sent me to test the pattern for the holes needed to pass through. Normally he would manufacture with 2x1.5" bulkheads but he is making a one off for this tank. None of the other manufacturers I emailed would touch this so my hats off to Exotic Marine Systems in Texas. Attention to detail is outstanding. He even placed the overflow water level where I asked at just 1" below the bracing and a 1/8" gap from the brace to the top of the inside bix so I could install with minimal wasted space.
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Here are the overflow boxes. Outside box is smoked and ready for bean animal drains. Exotic Marine even has a video on recommended plumbing setup in the outer box using standard PVC fittings.
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And the final install which fit like a glove.
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Javamahn

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Months before I had even purchased this tank, a local reefer (thank you Ian) posted a thread in the Arizona Club forum (FRAG) that he had a few items he was getting rid of and one of them included a Geisemann Infinity that had shorted out and parts were no where to be found. He had replaced the 72" light with a new Spectra and was just donating the Infinity. Knowing the value of the light I jumped at the chance and initially thought I could rebuild it. Opening it up revealed that the damage was extensive but i knew it was still usable. The purchase of the 60" tank was all the motivation I needed. 1st step was gutting out the center Metal Halide fixtures and all of the 240v wiring and ballasts. Using a 4" angle grinder I proceeded to cut the fixture down to 60". For me this is the sexiest looking fixture made and even juts sitting on the tank I could see the potential.
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Next step was replacing the 240v wiring and ballasts and I decided to go with a single Icecap 660 which could drive 4 T5 54W bulbs. As my primary lighting would be the 3 Ecotech Radions and the T5 bulbs the supplement, I did not need dimmable ballasts and would use the Apex to time the T5s on and off at peak hours. We have an excellent Local fish store that sells used equipment and so I picked up the ballast at a fraction of the cost. The wire harness had not even been used
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The size of the ballast posed a bit of a fit problem and I ended up mounting it in the center of the fixture between 2 of the Radion modules. After getting the harness wired up and zip-tied in we had light!! This was a milestone
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The last bit was deciding how to wire the Radions. I could just pass the 3 cables from the 3 light modules down to the "White Transformer box" can call it a day but wanted to make things a bit cleaner and so I decided to break down the white box and ended up mounting the 36v step down directly under the light module on the sliding mount plate that was previously used by the MH lamps. 4 stainless steel flathead metric bolts allowed me to run through the mount plate into the existing Radion mounts and standoff the lamp so that the transformer mounted right under the lamps. This meant I only needed a single 120V cord into the fixture and direct wiring to the 3 36v transformers. An APEX WXM module would continue to be used to run the light schedule.
And Walla!
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Javamahn

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My initial build sheet included the existing Eshopps R-200 sump which would have likely fit the bill but those last few months on my 90 gallon tank, the sump showed some of the flow and space limitations that I was trying to overlook. There were often bacterial blooms in the refugium area and I could not get Chaeto to grow correctly after the 1st few months.

I decided to upgrade the sump and with 60" x 24" x 36" of space in the stand, I could look at some of the 48" sumps available. At the same time a thorough inspection of the stand shows some initial construction flaws that gave me concern. It appeared as if the stand had been built using only the 3/4" plywood skin but then the builder added internal wood braces screwed to the inside of the skin. Completely opposite of the typical build with frame first then skin over. There were even 1/8" gaps between the headers and the corner studs.

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Javamahn

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Initial fill of the tank showed all of the seams were water tight. I decided however to cut out and redo the clear silicone which was frayed and looked a bit ragged. I was careful not to cut into the black seam seal View attachment 966291 I used ASI clear silicone which is aquarium specific.

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Javamahn

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So i eventually decided to save money and redo the existing stand. I bolted in 2" angle iron across the front and back headers and had to hammer them into the corners so there was no more gap and I was confident the weight was being carried down the corner posts as it should be.
I then proceeded to strip off the black automotive paint on the stand and take it back to bare wood. and make some basic shaker style doors to keep a clean simple look.
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Javamahn

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So with the money I saved by redoing the existing stand I was able to purchase the new sump. My local fish store was able to source the product from his suppliers and at a slightly better price then online. I am a huge supporter of local stores over online whenever possible. I rely on the store owner to help me with knowledge and guidance and thank Keith from The Coral Life for sourcing the Bashsea sump for me.
I also caulked the inside and sealed it with multiple coats of Killz paint. I made quick 1/2" plywood panels for the back as well.
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instantaquatics

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So with the money I saved by redoing the existing stand I was able to purchase the new sump. My local fish store was able to source the product from his suppliers and at a slightly better price then online. I am a huge supporter of local stores over online whenever possible. I rely on the store owner to help me with knowledge and guidance and thank Keith from The Coral Life for sourcing the Bashsea sump for me.
I also caulked the inside and sealed it with multiple coats of Killz paint. I made quick 1/2" plywood panels for the back as well.
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That sump looks awesome. Following along!
 
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Javamahn

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The stand is almost complete. I lowered the front and sides flush with the top platform and then added back a 3/4" high poplar crown along with the wrap around molding top and bottom. Some more sanding and it's ready for the outside finish. Still undecided if I should paint or stain. I also fit the ****** Bashsea sump inside just to see it. Next up is the apex mount on the side door and wire management. This week the tank will go back on and plumbing will start. I think I will run 2 pumps. one to each lock-line with one pump also supplying the manifold. Debating a matching Varios6 or upgrading to an 8 or possibly a Neptune COR 20 as the second pump
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Javamahn

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So the plumbing was next on the list. I ordered all my pipes and fittings online from Home Depot. They have all the colors and sizes and at the lowest price I could find. I am going to plumb the 3 1" drains first and then the 1-1/4" returns and in keeping with the sump I went red and black for the colors.
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I was also able to paint and mount the wiring management race to match. I decide to use the multi-color led strip tape for the work light in the sump. I even glued a strip of it inside the sump so I could see easier and hey who doesn't like accent lighting to make things look cool.
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I used some flex tube to run the return back and was able to do a water leak test on the drain plumbing. I had a small leak on the o-ring seal of the used gate valve but otherwise everything worked as advertised and I got to see the flow through the sump for the 1st time. Another milestone
 
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Javamahn

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Part of the promise I made to my wife is that we would redo the flooring in the house before I moved the tank inside from the patio. So after almost 3 months, 900 sq feet of tile which I laid with the help of a buddy, 1200 sq ft of carpet and 200 sq ft of vinyl plank, the project continued.
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Javamahn

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While I was messing with flooring I had decided that I wanted to plumb a hard pvc manifold into the the returns and "hang" the reactors rather then take up sump space. That being the case I ordered 2 Bashsea reactors at my local fish store and had them match the sump colors red and black.
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I am still not sure about the weight bearing on the 1/2" pipe but so far it is holding. I made sure to add 1-1/4" compression fittings on each end of the manifold so I could switch it out if I ever need to. The design is not mine but based on some other forum posts I found when I search "hard plumbed reactor manifold" I did not have room to put the 1/2" APEX FMM sensors on the input so I put them on the effluent dropping down into the sump. They are more so that I can rest the flow to the same GPH after cleaning and reloading media in the reactors. I'll be running pelletized carbon in one and either biopellets or Rhowaphos in the other depending on what the tank needs
 
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Javamahn

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Finally made the decision on the stain. Went with pecan and I like it. Warm tone.
I also had to replace the icecap ballast which burned out again. That was the second one so I decided to just use standard sylvania which I found on eBay for $12 ea. They will fit back in the side pockets of the fixture where the original ballasts were so no need to try to squeeze them into the middle spot. It has been storming out here fierce with the monsoons so I am glad the wood is sealed and protected figure I am about 3-6 weeks away from cycling the tank finally. I will be in Orlando next week on business and plan to go to WWC. Not sure if I will bring anything back with me but they have a new subscription club I may join. Here's some pics and I welcome any comments. Been a long road but I can see the exit sign now! 64eb91e8fd24ed4cf5cec55e10c38f92.jpg f9e87bad78a18a3390ed0f38e85a79ca.jpg
I had some grand vision of how to mount the light fixture using a spring loaded system on the tank similar to the task lighting that clamps to a desk. In the end a bent piece of 3/4" conduit and the hanging kit I had from the old tank was the solution. Still elegant.
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Javamahn

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Broke down the old 90 gallon and had it sold and out the door in 7 hours. All the livestock I am keeping has been transferred into Holding tanks while the new tank cycles. I learned a lot from this tank including all of it's quirks and limitations. The buyer was going freshwater and wanted the sump but not the live-rock so I sold them separately.
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Javamahn

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Been a while since I updated this thread. I have been collecting and trading and fragging. The tank is starting to stabilize using the Aquaforest method. The growth has been exceptional considering my past experiences. Here are some pics of the more recent corals I have added. Also I am considering adding a clown tang as the tank is somewhat aggressive and fish like chromis and anthias don't survive very long.
 

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Been a while since I updated this thread. I have been collecting and trading and fragging. The tank is starting to stabilize using the Aquaforest method. The growth has been exceptional considering my past experiences. Here are some pics of the more recent corals I have added. Also I am considering adding a clown tang as the tank is somewhat aggressive and fish like chromis and anthias don't survive very long.
Wow! Beautiful corals. Looks excellent.
 

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