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thomas_neil

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Hey Everyone,

My names Thomas and I want to start this build thread to get input on my current plans for my dream tank (that I can afford). I think for 28 though what I have planned is going to be everything I have ever wanted and more. No more wish I had more space (will discuss below) and no more looking at other tanks and wishing I could do something like that. I spend a lot of time looking at others build threads and just saying to myself one day I will get there. @blaxsun and @vetteguy53081 have given me a lot of ideas off there build threads and just general posts and comments on other questions.

So, my wife and I are in the process of moving from Detroit MI to Grand Rapids MI area. We are currently in an 800sf home with no basement. Needless to say, we were cramped on space. My wife works from home so one of the bedrooms was her office/our closet/storage. We moved our 20-gallon nano in there as well. Our living room was our dining room/living room/and my fish room. I have a 75 gallon in there currently that I'll have to find a temporary/maybe not temporary spot in the new place.

We are very excited and fortunate to have found a house we consider a dream house for now. 1600sf main floor with a full basement on an acre of property. We don't even know what we're going to do with all the space. (Kids will probably take a lot of it when we have them). My wife still wants to keep the 20 gallon in her office so she can look at it throughout the day. Temporarily I'll probably keep my 75 in the dining room (living room is carpet).

I'm looking at the basement as a blank slate and I'm going to gut it to make rooms for storage, workout room, and most importantly the center piece of the basement, my fish tank and fish room. I'll have to post some pictures after we move in this weekend.

I wanted to start this thread early (tank is probably a year away) to get ideas and input on what I have planned (tank location, fish room layout and size, equipment, etc.) There is a lot of knowledge on here and I want to do this tank right with input of others success/what they found works for them. I've had a lot of failures in the hobby and had a lot of losses and just about any issue you could think of. I'm stubborn though and look at those failures as learning points on what not to do next time. (Almost everything could have been avoided with QT and taking my time with everything)

So far all I really have planned is I know I want a fish room, the general location of the tank, and I'm thinking about the IM EXT170 or EXT200 or possibly even custom through glass cages.

I'm excited to see where this journey will take me and everything that's going to change from this original post to when the tank is wet.
 

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Hey Everyone,

My names Thomas and I want to start this build thread to get input on my current plans for my dream tank (that I can afford). I think for 28 though what I have planned is going to be everything I have ever wanted and more. No more wish I had more space (will discuss below) and no more looking at other tanks and wishing I could do something like that. I spend a lot of time looking at others build threads and just saying to myself one day I will get there. @blaxsun and @vetteguy53081 have given me a lot of ideas off there build threads and just general posts and comments on other questions.

So, my wife and I are in the process of moving from Detroit MI to Grand Rapids MI area. We are currently in an 800sf home with no basement. Needless to say, we were cramped on space. My wife works from home so one of the bedrooms was her office/our closet/storage. We moved our 20-gallon nano in there as well. Our living room was our dining room/living room/and my fish room. I have a 75 gallon in there currently that I'll have to find a temporary/maybe not temporary spot in the new place.

We are very excited and fortunate to have found a house we consider a dream house for now. 1600sf main floor with a full basement on an acre of property. We don't even know what we're going to do with all the space. (Kids will probably take a lot of it when we have them). My wife still wants to keep the 20 gallon in her office so she can look at it throughout the day. Temporarily I'll probably keep my 75 in the dining room (living room is carpet).

I'm looking at the basement as a blank slate and I'm going to gut it to make rooms for storage, workout room, and most importantly the center piece of the basement, my fish tank and fish room. I'll have to post some pictures after we move in this weekend.

I wanted to start this thread early (tank is probably a year away) to get ideas and input on what I have planned (tank location, fish room layout and size, equipment, etc.) There is a lot of knowledge on here and I want to do this tank right with input of others success/what they found works for them. I've had a lot of failures in the hobby and had a lot of losses and just about any issue you could think of. I'm stubborn though and look at those failures as learning points on what not to do next time. (Almost everything could have been avoided with QT and taking my time with everything)

So far all I really have planned is I know I want a fish room, the general location of the tank, and I'm thinking about the IM EXT170 or EXT200 or possibly even custom through glass cages.

I'm excited to see where this journey will take me and everything that's going to change from this original post to when the tank is wet.
Best of luck to your tank! Following along for sure!
 

vetteguy53081

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Hey Everyone,

My names Thomas and I want to start this build thread to get input on my current plans for my dream tank (that I can afford). I think for 28 though what I have planned is going to be everything I have ever wanted and more. No more wish I had more space (will discuss below) and no more looking at other tanks and wishing I could do something like that. I spend a lot of time looking at others build threads and just saying to myself one day I will get there. @blaxsun and @vetteguy53081 have given me a lot of ideas off there build threads and just general posts and comments on other questions.

So, my wife and I are in the process of moving from Detroit MI to Grand Rapids MI area. We are currently in an 800sf home with no basement. Needless to say, we were cramped on space. My wife works from home so one of the bedrooms was her office/our closet/storage. We moved our 20-gallon nano in there as well. Our living room was our dining room/living room/and my fish room. I have a 75 gallon in there currently that I'll have to find a temporary/maybe not temporary spot in the new place.

We are very excited and fortunate to have found a house we consider a dream house for now. 1600sf main floor with a full basement on an acre of property. We don't even know what we're going to do with all the space. (Kids will probably take a lot of it when we have them). My wife still wants to keep the 20 gallon in her office so she can look at it throughout the day. Temporarily I'll probably keep my 75 in the dining room (living room is carpet).

I'm looking at the basement as a blank slate and I'm going to gut it to make rooms for storage, workout room, and most importantly the center piece of the basement, my fish tank and fish room. I'll have to post some pictures after we move in this weekend.

I wanted to start this thread early (tank is probably a year away) to get ideas and input on what I have planned (tank location, fish room layout and size, equipment, etc.) There is a lot of knowledge on here and I want to do this tank right with input of others success/what they found works for them. I've had a lot of failures in the hobby and had a lot of losses and just about any issue you could think of. I'm stubborn though and look at those failures as learning points on what not to do next time. (Almost everything could have been avoided with QT and taking my time with everything)

So far all I really have planned is I know I want a fish room, the general location of the tank, and I'm thinking about the IM EXT170 or EXT200 or possibly even custom through glass cages.

I'm excited to see where this journey will take me and everything that's going to change from this original post to when the tank is wet.
Always exciting and adventurous and planning makes a difference. Assure tanks and stands are level and that tanks preferably not at or near a window and in a location that provided nearby outlets.
 
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thomas_neil

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Following, I was born in Grand Rapids and will be up there next month for my cousin’s son’s wedding. My parents were from Cadillac.
We love it over there. Moved to Detroit for better jobs but decided to move back the GR. Couldn’t handle Detroit drivers and all the traffic
 

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We love it over there. Moved to Detroit for better jobs but decided to move back the GR. Couldn’t handle Detroit drivers and all the traffic
I hear you, my Father and I went to Lake St. Clair to do some smallmouth bass fishing and driving around there I felt like I was in a NASCAR race! White knuckling it. People around there drive crazy!
 

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Sounds exciting - best of luck with your new home/build! Things I wish I'd been able to incorporate with my tank: dedicated fish room with closer proximity to the sink, water lines, drain and RODI system.
 
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thomas_neil

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Sounds exciting - best of luck with your new home/build! Things I wish I'd been able to incorporate with my tank: dedicated fish room with closer proximity to the sink, water lines, drain and RODI system.
That’s stuff I haven’t quite figured out yet. The water lines isn’t a big deal to move but I have no sanitary lines in my basement so I’d have to get an ejection pump installed. I’m hesitant to do so because I’m not sure how saltwater will affect the longevity of the pump. Pretty pricy to have to replace a $650 pump every year.
 

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That’s stuff I haven’t quite figured out yet. The water lines isn’t a big deal to move but I have no sanitary lines in my basement so I’d have to get an ejection pump installed. I’m hesitant to do so because I’m not sure how saltwater will affect the longevity of the pump. Pretty pricy to have to replace a $650 pump every year.
Even having a fish room and having your tank close to the water supply is a huge plus.
 
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So little update with photos. So the first one is where I’m thinking about putting my fish room. Thinking sump under the stairs on the wall that will be behind the tank. The rest of the room will be for water and salt water and qt.

The wall in the basement is kind of where I’m thinking about putting the tank. Only obstacle is one tight turn at the top of the stairs.
 

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What do you guys think about a 4'x4'x2' cube tank with a center island style over flow. I'm thinking this could be more managable to make the tight turn at the top of my stairs if I turn it on its side and give me 3 good viewing panels with plenty of swiming space around the perimeter of the tank if I build my scape around the center over flow.
 
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What do you guys think about a 4'x4'x2' cube tank with a center island style over flow. I'm thinking this could be more managable to make the tight turn at the top of my stairs if I turn it on its side and give me 3 good viewing panels with plenty of swiming space around the perimeter of the tank if I build my scape around the center over flow.
I'm also thinking this to help with some of the costs, with a more central island type rock scape, I could get fewer lights for the sps in the center of the tank and the light spill from the center would be adequate for lps and softies around the perimeter. Maybe 2 XR30s for the center and 2 light bars for the perimeter? Get 2 gyers for the top to blast the sps with flow and a couple mp40s for the sides.

I'm also trying to decide between a synergy reef triton method sump or one with a roller mat. Any suggests, pros/cons on a roller mat vs triton method?
 
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I think I’ve made my decision, I’m thinking the 4’x4’ will be the way I go. The tank isn’t crazy expensive, it’s actually cheaper than IM made to order I was looking at, it will still get me the water volume I’m looking for, have enough space for free swimming fish, and I’ll be able to transfer a lot of the stuff currently on my 75(IE light bars).

I taped everything out when I got home and I think it will fill the space nicely. Next step before the order is to mock up the tank with pvc or 2x4s and make sure it can make the turn down the stair and talk to class cages to make sure the tank will be okay to be turned on it’s side during the move down the stairs.
 

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thomas_neil

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Already changed my mind, doing a 5'x4'x2' tank. Have a LFS pricing up an acrylic tank for me now.

I'm trying to decide on the sump. I'm looking at the synergy reef sumps and the geo sumps. Does anyone have any recommendations on sumps that don't cost more than my entire first setup? I either want to go with a roller mat or the triton method. I'm leaning more triton method with no mechanical filtration at all and doing everything as naturally as I can.

Any suggestions?
 
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thomas_neil

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Planning out an equipment list, still trying to decide on the sump but I think I’ve decided on everything else:

Sump: geo or synergy
Roller mat: 1 or 2 reefmat 1200s
Protein skimmer: aqua max cones Q-5
Return: two vectra m2
Manifold: vectra s2
Controller: Neptune apex pro with trident and 2 eb8 energy bars
Dosing: Neptune dose for alk and calcium and my current Red Sea for magnesium and kalwasser? Might get a cheap BRS one to dose AB+, I bought a mini fridge with a freezer to keep in the fish room for food and phyto, so could drill a small hole for a dosing tube.
Lighting: kinda mix matching what I have found deals on, so far I have 3 radion XR15 blues and a kessil A360, planning on getting another kessil. Also have 2 quanta pro light bars and plan on getting 2 more for supplemental lighting. My main scape for sps will be in the center of the tank so I’m planning on putting the 3 radions and 2 kessils in the center with 2 light bars on each side for the lps/softies.
Power heads: 2 max spect xf350 gyres and 4 MP40s. I’m going to mount the gyers on each side of the over flow and the mp40 on the sides. I’ll probably get a Tunze stream pushing along the back as well to try and avoid a big dead spot. I think this should be decent flow. Planning on doing a minimalist scape for 1. Lots of coral growth and 2. I like active swimming fish and want them to have room to swim around in circles.
ATO: Tunze osmolator 3155 and my current 35 gallon brute trash can I’m using as a mixing station as the reservoir.
Mixing station: 2 55 gallon brute trash cans and some sort of pump to mix and transfer water.
RODI: Have a BRS 6 stage 75gpd with a rodi buddy booster pump.

I’m sure I’m missing some random stuff like the refugium light-will come later, plumbing- haven’t planned it out yet until I get the tank(still waiting on wife go ahead, I think once I finish the basement and we get through taxes I’ll be in the clear) and UV- still undecided on what I want.

I’m planning on ordering most of the equipment when BRS does there Black Friday sale- or at least the stuff I’ll need for fish only since I’m going to go Fowler for a while to get the tank stable-skimmer, roller mats, return pumps, gyers, but depending on the sales I’ll potentially get it all so the tank is ready for coral when I eventually want some color on the rock.

Any suggestions on different equipment or setups I could run with?
 
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thomas_neil

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Little update - Probably won't have another one until I start working on the basement.

Ordering my sump tomorrow. Decided to go with the bashsea Pro 60. I really liked this sump because I have the option to run socks/or upgrade to a roller. The skimmer and fuge sections are decent dimensions 17x17 for both and will fit everything I want in them. The return section is big enough to fit the 2 L2 pumps in it as well. Bashsea is also local to me, so I was able to order from a LFS for a discounted price from online and no shipping.

I didn't order from this website; I went local just posting for reference. Going with white so I can hopefully see when junk builds up.

https://www.saltwateraquarium.com/p...EyM0CQ_fJ22_rr0W7ZphJWYkOYTSd0PUaAgS9EALw_wcB

Tank is only a 6-week lead time, decided to go with Midwest custom aquariums. For the lowest price, I'm getting 3/4" side panels and 1/2" bottom and euro bracing panels. Going to wait until December to place the order so I have time to get the basement ready.
 

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I have a Bashsea sump. Quality is top notch. You will be happy with it. If I was local I would of gotten the 60" but shipping is significantly higher once you go past 48'

Tank sounds good too
 
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thomas_neil

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I have a Bashsea sump. Quality is top notch. You will be happy with it. If I was local I would of gotten the 60" but shipping is significantly higher once you go past 48'

Tank sounds good too
I was going to go with the 48, but wants something bigger I could add a frag tank to in the future
 
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thomas_neil

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Small update from the weekend. Got my sump over the weekend. Ended up with the Bashsea 60” pro.

Also did some used shopping and got a reactor, Red Sea 900ss skimmer, another kessil light, and should be getting 2 MP60s todays. Also have 3 eco tech XR 15 blues, another kessil, and 2 48” light bars.

Might also change the dimensions of the tank to 7’x30”x30” to make it more manageable to get down the stairs and be able to reach the center of the tank without getting half my body wet.

Need to start building the fish room soon to store all the equipment. Hopefully work starts to slow down so I can have some weekends back.
 

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I think I have everything except the tank now, got some more used equipment from my LFS.

Lights ✅ 3 XR 15 2 kessil 2 light bars
Flow ✅ 2 MP60
Sump ✅ Bashsea 60” Pro
Skimmer ✅ Red Sea 900SS
Return pump ✅ vectra L2
ATO ✅ Neptune ATO

Wasn’t going to run UV right away but got a 25 watt UV as well.

Now to pay off the credit cards and potentially order the tank next month to get here around Christmas.
 

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Seafood exploration: Do you feed any unusual items to your fish or corals?

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