Jessezm's 150g DT + 90g FT + 60g WCT

jessezm

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So I've finally transferred my corals into my 150g DT yesterday and I thought it was finally time to throw up a build thread.

I started a "planning" thread HERE back in May but I wanted to make a separate build thread for all those impatient people like me who don't want to subscribe to a thread and then have to wait for weeks and weeks between updates... That thread has some pictures and details of my system before it was set up in its current form. but A LOT has changed, so I wanted to document the updates here, and use this thread to track progress moving forward.

I'll start off with a full tank shot from yesterday after transferring all my corals to the display from the frag tank in the basement (I'm really limited in my photo skills and using my iPhone 6s, sorry...):

upload_2018-11-19_15-24-12.png


System Overview:

Tanks:


Display -
--150g (60" x 24" x 24") SCA low iron glass aquarium (purchased used from a local member with custom cabinet)
--Lighting: 60" Giesemann Aroura (4x80w T5 + 4x75w LED panels), reefbrite XHO 50/50 strip (and adding one more RB XHO Actinic strip to balance the fixture)
--Filtration: Reef Octopus Regal 250 SSS, Dual BRS media reactor with only GAC at the moment, lots of live rock in the system too
--Sump(s): the system utilizes 2 sumps - an Eshopps 300-ADV and an emerald 34 by Trigger
--Cal/Alk maintenance: Vertex RX-C 6D with Aquarium Plants carbon doser electronic regulator; deltec kalk stirrer fed by Auto-aqua ATO from fresh RO/DI tank
--Flow: 2 x MP40's + 2 x Gyre xf250's (still figuring them all out!)
--Return pump(s): 2 x Sicce SDC 9.0 dc pumps running in tandem from the basement to the main floor.
--control: Apex 2016 model, 2 EB8s, WXM, PM1 and PM2 that I'm not really utilizing yet

Frag Tank -
--90g acrylic custom tank (60" x 12" x 18" I think?) with built in overflow box on the back
--lighting: ATI 6 x 24" with supplemental RB actinic strip, and 2 x reefbreeders blak box LEDs (ancient but they work)
--flow: 2 x MP40's, 2 x eflux wave maker powerheads, and an icecap gyre 150 (i.e., TONS)
--return: the frag tank is plumbed into the system but runs off it's own return from the Emerald 34 sump with a Neptune Cor20

Water change Tank (WCT) -
--60g glass cube and stand, drilled
--Flow: tee'd off the main DT drain from upstairs into the tank, then overflows via a large durso into the Eshopps 300-ADV sump.
--other: drain is at the bottom of the tank and plumbed through the foundation wall to a storm drain outside. I can turn a ball valve and drain all 60 gallons in a few minutes. Currently the WCT also houses extra live rock I didn't need for my display, so it serves as a great refugium.

Water change station -
2 x 65g water tanks from the storage tank depot. Connected to my 6-stage RO/DI and booster pump with a solenoid controlled by my apex that only opens once per day for an hour to make up for top off. One tank keeps fresh and the other is also fresh until time to mix salt. I can switch on a pump to mix and then fill the 60g WCT. I can do a 60 gal water change in about 5 minutes the way I have it set up.

Set up:

So it took me a long time to get to this point mainly because I kept wanting to do more. At first the "fish room" was just a room in my unfinished basement (concrete floors but no insulation/drywall/HVAC). However, I want to use that space eventually for more living space, so while I temporarily set up my filtration room and frag tank there and started growing corals, I also finished out a completely unfinished, dirt floor 10' x 10' room I literally discovered behind a plywood board...

The other thing that increased my build time is the simultaneous home renovation I'm doing on my 100 year old bungalow... Including removal of the house's central load bearing wall and installation of a manufactured beam (contracted that out!), and new floors in the kitchen among other things...

But working around those things, what I ended up with is a finished 10' x 10' fish room that houses my water mixing station, 90g frag tank, 2 sumps, and 60g water change tank.

Flow is as follows:

Main tank has three holes drilled for 1" bulkheads, so I plumbed it Herbie style with one full siphon, one emergency standpipe, and one return (split into two directional nozzles). The full siphon has a gate valve to tune the flow, then it drops through the floor to a wye, where it splits off to feed the 60g WCT and the rest dumps into the main sump where the skimmer is. When I want to do a water change, I close this wye via a ball valve on the 60g side, and all the water from upstairs gets re-directed to the main sump. The beauty of this system is that I don't have to take the system offline at all while I do a water change! I just close the valve and nothing else changes. That lets me drain that tank via one valve, then fill it back up with a pump from the storage tank and then open the valve again from upstairs and it's back online!

The main sump is plumbed via 1.5" PVC to the secondary sump where all my probes and heaters are. This sump has one internal return pump (COR20) for the 90g frag tank, which drains back into it, and then two Sicce 9.0 DC pumps that are externally plumbed with their own 1" bulkhead each. These come back together in a wye and push through a 1" wye check valve (medical grade Greg Fisher), then back through my floor to the main display tank return upstairs.

And that's basically that! I have had the system operating for a couple months now and am really happy with everything so far. But because of the home renovation upstairs, I had the tank covered with a tarp to keep dust and debris out, so all the corals have been thriving in my frag tank until yesterday when I aquascaped and turned on the lights.

Pictures of various stages of the process in the following several posts. Thanks for looking, and I welcome your questions and feedback!
 
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jessezm

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Here are some shots of the "secret" room I discovered. It must have been sandwiched between two additions and was walled off on all 4 sides except for a hole knocked into the wall to pull HVAC stuff through to the addition:

upload_2018-11-19_16-24-51.png


there was several hundred pounds of rock and rubble I had to remove to get to a clean dirt floor I could work with. It was a dirty, dirty job...

upload_2018-11-19_16-26-44.png


After raking it even, I dumped 2000 lbs of pea gravel in preparation for pouring concrete

upload_2018-11-19_16-27-46.png



Then I laid some wire mesh and went to town with the concrete. This is literally the WORST job in the world. I personally mixed up, wheelbarrowed and shoveled out 5000 lbs of concrete, 2 80lb bags at a time over a period of two days. It was grueling and dirty work, and I'd never tried it before. I hope to never again...

upload_2018-11-19_16-30-10.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-31-27.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-31-45.png


After I water cured it for a week, I let it cure for another 30 days and then painted the walls with waterproofing foundation paint and the floors with something that was recommended (don't remember what, but it could be a little more robust)

upload_2018-11-19_16-32-17.png


Finally, I insralled a separate 20-amp circuit dedicated to the fish room and wired up the room with a GFCI receptacle. I also installed a humidity activated ventilation fan that vents via a 4" pipe through the foundation wall.

All in all, I was very pleased with how it all came out, except the fact that it's only 6' from the floor to the bottom of the floor joists and with all the ventilation from my central HVAC you have to duck your head and hunch when working in the room a lot.

Oh, I also installed a utility sink, and reinforced the floor directly above where the tank sits.
 
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Next I started setting up the fish room:

Here's the frag tank plumbing
upload_2018-11-19_16-39-13.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-40-11.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-40-27.png


Drain from my 60g water change tank through the foundation:

upload_2018-11-19_16-41-7.png


Water mixing station:


upload_2018-11-19_16-42-15.png
 
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jessezm

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And here's some of the renovation happening upstairs:

Tank is under the tarp while they took out this wall and re-did the floors:
upload_2018-11-19_16-43-57.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-44-35.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-44-50.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-45-3.png


And here is the semi-finished room!

upload_2018-11-19_16-45-41.png
 
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jessezm

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Yesterday I decided to finally move all my corals into the main tank and do my aquascaping. Really happy with how things are turning out so far!

Frag tank:

upload_2018-11-19_16-47-45.png


step one:
upload_2018-11-19_16-48-49.png


Two:

upload_2018-11-19_16-49-9.png


Three: I made a bonsai tree with branch rock and Jurassic Bond! That stuff ROCKS!!! but you have to use the glue accelerator

upload_2018-11-19_16-49-57.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-50-13.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-50-26.png


upload_2018-11-19_16-50-44.png


And that pretty much gets you all caught up!

I did a big water change and cleaned up the frag tank and 60g WCT, and installed my two large frag racks in the frag tank so I can start propagating right away :)

upload_2018-11-19_16-53-29.png


Side shot of the DT:
upload_2018-11-19_16-54-22.png
 
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jessezm

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So I didn't mention this part in the thread yet but you might notice there are no fish in the tank... Unfortunately I brought home a fish from an LFS that must have had some pernicious form of ich or combo of ich and velvet, and it took out about 6 fish. The rest I have in QT now, running copper and treated for a fungal infection too. It's been over thirty days and all remaining fish survived and are doing great, but I am trying to let the main system lie fallow for a whole 76 days to prevent re-infection. I'm holding out ok so far, but definitely having to dose the system to keep the corals happy. I'm using reef energy A and B, reef colors, and reef-roids among a few other supplements here and there.

The day after Xmas marks the 76 days. I am really dying to dump them back in now but I've come this far!

current residents include:

Male and female watanabe angels
pyramid butterfly
4 clowns (2 will say in frag tank I think)
orchid dotyback
6-line wrasse

Stocking plan will include a few more additions:
other fairy and/or flasher wrasses
3 sunburst anthias
another genocanthus angel pair (bellus or swallowtail)
2 more pyramid butterflies

At least that's my plan!

Oh, and pretty obvious, but I'm going SPS-dominant with a few LPS and zoas I inherited. But focus is high-end acros.
 
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jessezm

jessezm

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Haven't updated this thread for a long long time! I just took a few shots last night and felt like posting them somewhere...
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