Jimbo's 210g Build


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Feb 27, 2016
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Hey everyone, this will be a build thread for my 210g tank with a remote basement sump. This is definitely my (realistic) dream tank and I'd really like to get everything right. Since my wife and I are expecting the goal for this tank is to automate wherever possible and anything remaining should be as easy as possible. At this point in the hobby I'm really looking to spend more time just enjoying the tank than fiddling with everything and constantly having a to-do list.

210g Display
40g Breeder Frag Tank

2x ReefBreeders Photon V2+ 36"

2x IceCap 4K Gyres
2x Jebao RW-8's
Reeflo Barracuda

Coral Box Cloud C9 Skimmer

Apex Controller

To start, here's what I'm thinking for the aquascape, any feedback is welcome! I'm planning on doing a lot of sticks and thinks so I'm leaning towards keeping the scape pretty minimal and low to allow some grow out room.


And then to the biggest thing for me at the moment, the plumbing. I'd say I have everything about 85-90% done and dry fit and figured it would be good to post it and see if anyone had feedback, thoughts or changes. I've never done a remote sump so I'm definitely a little out of my wheelhouse on some of this.

I'm planning on running both overflows with Herbies, and bringing the return line up behind the tank. I don't have the flexline cut to size and dry fit quite yet because the bend in the hose puts a lot of pressure on the bulkheads. When I do the final cut to length, I'm planning on soaking all the lines in hot water since that seems to help reform the memory on them. All drains are 1" and the return pressure line is 1.5" up to this point, and then reduces to 1" to go up above the tank.

In order to make things easy, and because my wife hates me hauling buckets around, I want to build in a siphon I can open to clean the tank and have it drain into the house sump. The majority of the actual water changes I'm going to handle in the basement with the Apex, but want to be able to manually clean sand or suck out detritus up top when needed.

Flexline comes down into standard hard line under the floor, all double 45's to help in whatever small amount for throughput.

So I'm super fortunate to have a very large finished furnace room which has ample space to build out my sump area. I painted the walls around the sump in extra high gloss to prevent the wood from becoming damaged and causing issues. Someday we'd like to remodel the basement to get rid of the super 90's wood paneling, but inside the furnace room I'm okay keeping it as long as it doesn't get ruined, hence the protection. The space around the supplyhouse box I'm planning on putting a 20g quarantine tank in the future.

So here you can see my plan to use the one emergency line (red) with its secondary function of cleaning siphon. I could open the ball valve under the tank, close the one to the fish sump and then open the one that leads to the house sump. I did the funky T off of the 45 hoping that if I were to suck up anything like gravel or a snail shell it would be caught in the lower area and eventually go into the fish sump rather than going into my house sump and causing issues with that. I'm planning on having both lines end with a filter sock to be double safe, but figured this could help as well. The two main lines will drain into my upper bin with the skimmer and then into the larger 100g rubbermaid.

Here you can see I'm planning on running a 4 port manifold off of the barracuda. My plan is for one port to run the frag tank, one port to run a DIY Algae Turf Scrubber, and then have two left over for future expansions of reactors/sterilizers/etc.

And here is the plan for getting the water into the tank, I forgot to get the T's for this so for now its just a bar. I have 3 Y sections of locline for 6 total ports I can attach and angle for lots of flow.

So thats where I'm at for now! If anyone has any suggestions, comments or helpful tips on the plumbing that would be great. I'm hoping to finalize and start the glue up over the next few days. For now the next project will be to run some copper lines to the utility sink and get the RODI unit down there.


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Feb 27, 2016
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I've been looking for some examples of how other people have done it. I think I'll just punch a 1.5" bulkhead through the side and run a free draining pipe down from there?

Took some time today to rethink the return line manifold, realized I had enough space behind the tank to hide everything. Also I was repurposing some LocLine from an old tank and soaked it in a 1:10 bleach solution to clean...I apparently left it a bit too long. Not sure if I'll need to replace that yet or not.


I also wasn't super happy with the height difference between the sump bulkhead and the pump. I had some 4" PVC left over from another project that I cut to make 8 risers for the sump. Now there is a several inch drop to the pump which hopefully prevents cavitation or any issues there. I put a few dots of silicone down to keep them in place and cut small tick marks on the table saw to ever prevent water from sitting in there.



Have to hook the silicone side of the pump up to the rest of the hard tubing and then I'm pretty much ready to start gluing everything up when I get some time later this week. Any feedback on the setup is still welcome till then!


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Feb 27, 2016
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well its been a minute, I've been switching between reef tank projects and nursery projects so not a lot of time to update.
Short update: tank is cycled and I'm waiting on the ATS to ramp up to take some nitrates out.
Long update:

Finalized all the plumbing and starting filling everything up. Took about 4 days to fill the display and sump.


Jan 29th - Salt added, ammonia in, bacteria added.


I've been running as dark of a cycle as I can, my partner was less than thrilled at the "Pardon our construction" vibe so I decided to decorate to help.

ATS Build:
I decided to make an extended waterfall style ATS which held two LED grow lights from amazon. I designed and 3D printed the parts and cut some thin acrylic to make a housing. The lights are supposed to be water proof, but I figured some extra protection couldn't hurt.

I designed it to sit on 3/4" PVC rails because its the first idea I had and I'm running with it. I also figured that I can use these rails to hang my Apex sensor mounts and ATO floats with other 3D printed parts down the road. For now everything is pretty much hanging in waiting to be mounted.

Next problem was hanging the screen. I wanted to make something that could be clipped on and off fairly easily to clean the screen. I found a well designed chip clip on thingiverse and leveraged the design to fit my needs.

Screen with hanging holes cut:

Screen halfway in to give an idea of how it works:

Screen loaded:

Everything assembled and running:

I think it turned out well. I think I might end up taking the sides out at some point and either hitting them with black or some of that fancy rustoleum mirror paint to help with the light spill since they are insanely bright. I'm running them for 20on/4off to start and get something growing but I'm imagining I'll be able to reduce that considerably once its going. I'm also thinking about a V2 design which has a top and possibly some kind of bottom to help catch any algae tufts that might loosen between scrapings.
Power of the suns:

So thats where I'm at! Ammonia and Nitrite are 0, I added a very small amount of ammonia tonight to "feed" and verify the cycle tomorrow. Nitrate is off the chain charts so I'm hoping to see some screen growth quickly. I'm hoping to let the ATS run for a few weeks to see how much of the nitrate I can lower naturally rather than doing the standard large water change after a cycle. I've got plenty of projects to do while I wait...

Still on the list:
Get the brute can structure built so they can stack
Plumb/Wire up ATO
Plumb/Wire up AWC
Plumb utility sink drain
Build/Assemble/Paint cabinet wrap for display
Build work desk / storage next to sump
Clean the massive mess


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