Ken's 215G SPS Build (TANK IS HERE!)

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
Skip to the fun stuff :cool:...

I have the bug. Again. After staying away for ten years. Can my marriage survive? My wallet won't.

I started in the reef hobby in 1992 when I was in high school. I got really into it, and even got a job at the grocery store to pay for it. I jumped in the deep end and bought a 135G Oceanic reef-ready. Being 1992, I had a sump with a wet/dry filter, bio-balls, a skimmer with a wooden airstone, metal halides and some VHO actinics. This tank was the most fun I had being a miserable failure. The first couple of years were rough, especially because we were using tap water and I had briopsis like crazy. I made every mistake in the book several times, but eventually I ended up keeping a smaller but successful SPS-dominated tank. Until my house air conditioner died and I lost everything. That was ten years ago.

So now I'm in my 40's and it's time to build my dream tank. This will be entirely SPS. My new system will employ a mix of new and old (maybe ancient?) methodologies that have worked for me. So you will see me do weird things like hang a huge T5 fixture over this tank and use LED for shimmer. Sorry in advance!

The build will probably go slowly since I need to replace a rotten staircase just to get this thing in the door. I also have to pour footings and add structural support under my house for it. Oh yeah, I also have no idea how I will get the tank in the house yet. Anyone in the New Orleans area that wants to help, let me know!
System:
  • Tank: 215G Planet Aquariums MATRIX (72"x24"x29"), Low-iron glass, external overflow, black silicone
  • Sump: Synergy Reef custom CL-34
  • Skimmer: Deltec 1000ix
  • Return Pump: Reef Octopus Varios 6
  • Stand/Canopy: DIY furniture-quality, face-frame construction with inset doors
  • Insurance: 22kwh whole-house generator with 500G in-ground propane tank
  • Methodology: SPS, barebottom, high bioload
  • Rock: 150 pounds of Tampa Bay Saltwater rock
Lighting:
  • ATI 60" 8x80W Sunpower T5
  • 4x Kessil A360X (supplemental, shimmer)
Flow:
  • 3x Vortech MP40WQD
  • 2x Sicce Xstream-E Wave Pump (2250GPH)
  • 2x Tunze 6055 (1450GPH)
  • Tunze 7095 Multicontroller
  • Tunze 6215 Wavebox (have one, will try it out)
Monitoring & Dosing:
  • Neptune Apex (full)
  • Alkatronic
  • GEO CR618 Calcium Reactor
  • Deltec KM150 Kalk Stirrer
Other Stuff:
  • Puratek Deluxe 100GPD RO/DI
  • Avast Plank Feeder
  • SPS only
  • Tangs (as many as will fit without jail time)
  • Bluethroat triggerfish (pair)
  • Anthias school
  • Whatever random reef-safe fish the kids want

Stand done, waiting on tank!

65A42D89-9DF1-405D-9ADC-ACE0A6A2CE6D.jpeg
AF8876CA-B43B-4642-AD84-448F965D1573.jpeg
 
Last edited:
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
This is my current work-in-progress for the structural component of the stand. The top is 2x6 and the rest is 2x4. Will be assembled with Titebond III and Grabber #8, 3" deck screws. These screws have a coating that is tested against saltwater exposure. The frame will be painted all white before it is skinned to protect against moisture.

Screenshot_46.png


Design Sketches
I will keep these updated as I make changes. This will have a full canopy. Both pieces will be fully skinned with cabinet-grade construction. I am planning on face-frame construction and inset doors. It has to look nice since it will be in the living room.

F20EEEA3-3CF6-4F0F-AD07-27CA91AB7577.png 47BAB21C-39C1-4FBC-AA15-E87C72B65264.png
 
Last edited:
Top Shelf Aquatics
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
that's awesome to see an old schooler get back into it!!! those kessils might almost be emough on their own but the t5 will for surely tie it together!

Yeah it’s a lot of light for sure. I’m planning to build a light rack in the canopy that can be raised/lowered. I’ve done this before on a freshwater planted tank (using a counterweight) and it was great.
 
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
Work is killing me and haven't been able to work on the stand today. I did do some additional design work for the canopy and stand. This trim is just a rough mockup and it will look much better than this when I'm done. It's just too time consuming to do all the trim in SketchUp.

Screenshot_47.png
 
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
Also I should have a 60" ATI Sunpower T5 fixture on the way soon. I will be building a test box the same dimensions of the canopy (72x24x22H) so I can be sure I am able to vent the fixture adequately. I spoke with @ATI North America about this and, while putting these fixtures in a canopy is not advised, they were incredibly helpful in providing information on how the fixture operates. ATI has always been a great company to work with over the years.
 
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
This thing is stout for sure. I need to put the plywood top on, add the center braces, paint it all white... and then it’s time to skin it.

I will be ordering my tank in the next week or so. Still no idea how I’ll get it in the house.

83A71D5F-1956-42B3-A7ED-A96D39601EC3.jpeg
 

Gabe

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 18, 2009
Messages
204
Reaction score
242
Location
NYC
Following along.

Make a box mock-up and move it around the different paths into place. Not sure what's on the other side of that window, but its an option as well maybe?

I also stared at my box mock-up for way too long imagining the aquascape while waiting on the tank :p
 

Smarkow

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
965
Reaction score
1,678
Location
Toledo
There’s tons of great build threads on here using TBS. Don’t think about it as “buying sight unseen.” Think about it as “I’ve got a guy.” Haha

Cool thread, welcome back, the addiction is real :)
 
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
There’s tons of great build threads on here using TBS. Don’t think about it as “buying sight unseen.” Think about it as “I’ve got a guy.” Haha

That’s true, I’m sure it’ll be good stuff. I guess I’m mostly worried about the shapes. I don’t want round boulders or flat slabs!!

I really like some of these NSA aquascapes like the one BRS did but I guess you can’t really do those with wet rock. Anyone know?
 

Smarkow

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 3, 2018
Messages
965
Reaction score
1,678
Location
Toledo
That’s true, I’m sure it’ll be good stuff. I guess I’m mostly worried about the shapes. I don’t want round boulders or flat slabs!!

I really like some of these NSA aquascapes like the one BRS did but I guess you can’t really do those with wet rock. Anyone know?
I think you would have to drill it, use some acrylic rods, and lots of the wet working cement. Have not tried personally
 
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
I think you would have to drill it, use some acrylic rods, and lots of the wet working cement. Have not tried personally

Yeah that’s kinda what I was thinking. I would get some of that foundation Marco rock as the base and build of that. Might try it out.

I wonder if the super glue gel method works on damp rock. Seems like it would.
 
OP
kenchilada

kenchilada

Tang Accumulator
View Badges
Joined
Jun 27, 2018
Messages
219
Reaction score
314
Location
Mandeville
Time to break out the big boy toys!! The stand front is designed like kitchen cabinets would be, so construction is the same. Because I’m attempting inset doors, everything has to be very accurate. The gap around the doors will be 3/32” so any mistake will show badly.

Cutting the side panels, 3/4” birch.
D38EDE8B-6F5A-4F48-9614-374C22A5F622.jpeg


Cutting the face frame on my MFT3 table. These were ripped on the table saw and cut to rough length on the miter saw first. Poplar is so pretty!
B005CC90-5D94-4C23-9EB3-13EA46F37920.jpeg


Next all the face frame pieces are mortised with a Domino joiner. It’s basically a drill that cuts a special square hole that these little domino tenons fit into. The joint is super strong and requires no nails or screws.
539634CF-6D07-41B5-BE4F-3D79208E93E7.jpeg


Here’s the hole the Domino cuts...
D9A3A7D0-C51C-4CE9-A472-FE89D669F4B5.jpeg
 

How do you feel about showing off your tank to "non-reefing" guests?

  • I really enjoy it

    Votes: 73 29.8%
  • I like it if they are interested

    Votes: 126 51.4%
  • I really don't care either way

    Votes: 23 9.4%
  • I don't like showing my tank to people who don't understand it

    Votes: 13 5.3%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 4.1%

Online statistics

Members online
2,359
Guests online
6,377
Total visitors
8,736
Build a Better Aquarium at Marine Depot
Top