LVReef's CDA 225 gal 72x30x24 tank upgrade!

kingjoe

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 1, 2019
Messages
131
Reaction score
138
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Los Alamos, New Mexico
I wish I had an interesting update but CDA is still building the aquarium. Wood shortage, then "rim" shortage, etc...
They told me they are one week from shipping a week ago.
I was quoted a lead time of 3 months early Dec. 2020. I wonder if all their builds have been taking 9+ months or if I should've been bothering them more (the squeaky wheel gets the grease).
I got the 3 month lead time for my 180, too. Turned out to be closer to 6 months. Well worth the wait, though. I ordered my lights, sump, skimmer, etc. through CDA as well, so delivery day was... memorable.
 
REEFTIDE
OP
LVReef

LVReef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
52
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Livermore, CA
I got photos!!!
They were not satisfied with the quality of the doors and decided to fix them. I'm happy to hear that they do thorough quality control despite being overwhelmed.
It was supposed to ship on 8/11 but I haven't heard from them yet.
 

Attachments

  • 20210812_202810.jpg
    20210812_202810.jpg
    131.4 KB · Views: 83
  • 20210812_202631.jpg
    20210812_202631.jpg
    91.6 KB · Views: 68
  • 20210812_202649.jpg
    20210812_202649.jpg
    86.2 KB · Views: 63
  • 20210812_202644.jpg
    20210812_202644.jpg
    93.7 KB · Views: 58
OP
LVReef

LVReef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
52
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Livermore, CA
The tank has been delivered! CDA had some issues with the shipper and told me they'd update me when the tank ship. They forgot to let me know and the freight forgot to call me so it just showed up at random at 1pm yesterday.
The tank (in its box) weighs a nice 620lbs and the stand (crated) was 470lbs.

So I have a few questions
  • Some people recommended furniture pads under the stand so I can build it far from the wall, then push it closer to the wall before I fill it. The stand doesn't have legs but 2x4 that run all around the bottom. I assume this is done for weight distribution and adding 6 furniture pads would create 6 pressure points. What do people do to be able to move an empty 1,000lbs setup on hardwood?
  • Similar to the question above, if I can't do the furniture/moving pads, should I put something to protect the hardwood under the stand? I heard ideas ranging from a yoga mat to putting a silicone bead around the stand (Like a toilet)
  • How many people to lift the tank on the stand? The shelf is 36" off the ground and the tank is 24" tall. I thought 6 people with a total of 12 suction cups?

IMG_4314.jpg
IMG_4316.jpg
IMG_4315.jpg
 
Printed Reef - Custom Reef Accessories

Kershaw

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
2,342
Reaction score
1,405
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
sacramento, ca
I wish I had an interesting update but CDA is still building the aquarium. Wood shortage, then "rim" shortage, etc...
They told me they are one week from shipping a week ago.
I was quoted a lead time of 3 months early Dec. 2020. I wonder if all their builds have been taking 9+ months or if I should've been bothering them more (the squeaky wheel gets the grease).
Mine took 7 months. When it arrived It was loaded back up on the truck and returned. They are now rebuilding it. Same reasons for delays as yours.
 
Tidal Gardens

Kershaw

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Nov 11, 2015
Messages
2,342
Reaction score
1,405
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
sacramento, ca
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

HeyLookItsCaps

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 1, 2017
Messages
887
Reaction score
1,264
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fort Worth
I was reading somewhere about UV sterilizers killing the beneficial bacteria in saltwater aquaria, have you experienced anything like that? I have a massive 80w unit for my koi pond and it’s been very helpful in off season and I loved it, but I was researching about them in a reef and read some conflicting thought. Would love your opinion
 
OP
LVReef

LVReef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
52
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Livermore, CA
I was reading somewhere about UV sterilizers killing the beneficial bacteria in saltwater aquaria, have you experienced anything like that?
This will be my first time running a UV sterilizer. I don't have experience but from what I understand, the good bacteria usually live in rocks and other areas with a huge surface area (Bio balls, ceramic plates, etc). I can see that any bacteria in the water column would get caught by the UV. I think the bad stuff we want to kill mostly lives in the water column. Cyano seems to disappear at night because they move to the water column. I think one stage of ich is mainly in the water column as well.
 

AJsReef

Valuable Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 19, 2017
Messages
1,032
Reaction score
990
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
North Florida
Nice set up so far, any pictures of the Sump? Considering an SK60 myself. I’d also encourage considering MP60s vs MP40s. Ended up with 4x MP40s on my 72” build but they don’t really move flow across the entire length

This will be my first time running a UV sterilizer. I don't have experience but from what I understand, the good bacteria usually live in rocks and other areas with a huge surface area (Bio balls, ceramic plates, etc). I can see that any bacteria in the water column would get caught by the UV. I think the bad stuff we want to kill mostly lives in the water column. Cyano seems to disappear at night because they move to the water column. I think one stage of ich is mainly in the water column as well.
Technically, Bacteria and Protozoan parasites need very different flow rates to control. You’ll likely need to pick what you’re trying to prevent and match flow accordingly. That said, I ran mine at a slower GPH needed to beat Dinos and never increased GPH since. Luckily, haven’t seen any cyano either :)
 
BRS
OP
LVReef

LVReef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
52
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Livermore, CA
Update time!

Plumbing Question
The tank has been mounted on its stand (Thanks Bay Area Reefers club!) and I'm going to start the plumbing soon.
I'm seriously considering not using Wye valves on the returns since it has a loud hammer and often fails. I didn't use them on my 40 and the sump was able to contain the water. Hoping to have a similar situation here since my sump is an SK-60 with 74G total water volume. I should be able to add them later if they are required since I will "Wet test" the tank with freshwater. I will also run 2 pumps (one per return) so I could technically add one once the system is running if I cut the flow in half while the PVC glue sets.
I have 46" length of pipes, which isn't quite long enough for one return so I'm trying to find a way to make it work without ordering and waiting for a 60" pipe. A 2 pack is $60 (Shipped 3-5 business days) from the formufit website, while Home Depot will ship a 2 pack to my local store for $28.32 but will arrive between Nov. 8th and Nov. 11th. I could also use a coupler and get it done ASAP and I doubt it will affect head pressure that much. Searching around, it seems like it would only add 0.14 feet of head. Thoughts?

Crystal Dynamics Aquarium (CDA) build and review
The tank was formally ordered on 12/9 with a delivery estimate of end of March/early April. It was delivered 9/22.
The tank from CDA feels solid but the finish wasn't up to what I was expecting from a boutique builder in the US. When I was initially shopping for a tank and discussed with CDA, I was wondering why they were so much more expensive than RedSea and they boasted about their quality and craftsmanship. It turns out they are really good at making strong tanks but there was not much effort put into the cosmetic aspect of the tank. Because some other members on this forum posted about their CDA tank and it helped me inspect my tank, I figured I'd do the same. Some of the main issues:
  • Eurobrace isn't polished correctly. There's a wavy pattern in it that is quite visible. I asked CDA and they mentioned that since the piece of glass is too small, their machine can't polish it correctly and they are still looking for a solution.
  • Black silicone between the tank eurobrace and the top eurobrace is very bubbly at the edge. It doesn't affect the tank structure but using a finishing tool to have a smooth surface would've been really appreciated.... They did send a tube of silicone so I can do it myself but I'm surprised someone looked at the tank and went "Yup, ship it"
  • Missing silicone in the back of the tank between the top and tank eurobrace. Again, this is not structural but seems like an easy mistake to avoid.
  • The bottom reinforcement braces have pocket of air covered in silicone. It's not structural since they are also glued at the bottom and sand will cover it but again, this seems like an easy thing to do.
  • Small chip in the top eurobrace. I was told I can fill it with clear silicone or resin.
  • The stand isn't 100% straight, resulting in a 1/8" gap at the front edge.
  • Doors are not straight either so the bottom isn't aligned while the top is (So nothing I can do with the hinges)
CDA offered me a 10% refund and I accepted. I don't have enough experience with other boutique tank makers to determine if this is standard or not. My 40B was from Aqueon and purchased during the Dollar per Gallon sale and it was bad, as expected :) The stand issue was somehow out of their control due to the wood shortage and the lack of very dry plywood (I'm told).
 

Attachments

  • IMG_4356.jpg
    IMG_4356.jpg
    108.5 KB · Views: 55
  • IMG_4366.jpg
    IMG_4366.jpg
    103.4 KB · Views: 54
  • IMG_4367.jpg
    IMG_4367.jpg
    98.5 KB · Views: 53
  • IMG_4374.jpg
    IMG_4374.jpg
    107.2 KB · Views: 58

gatohoser

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
602
Reaction score
343
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Monterey, California
Thanks for the thorough review of CDA. I almost want to show Zoya the list and say please walk through this as a checklist and make sure I don’t have any of the following issues…. My lead time from my order last month was 5 months since it will have some custom stand work. Wonder if it will be ready in 2022 o_O At least I won’t be in a rush to finish planning and building the water mixing station lol
 
Koral King: Rare Corals for Sale
OP
LVReef

LVReef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
52
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Livermore, CA
at least I won’t be in a rush to finish planning and building the water mixing station lol
For sure, I purchased a lot of things during BRS's Black Friday in March and it sits unused for now. I don't have more recent pictures yet since I'm quite busy with kids and work. I'm hoping to tackle the basic plumbing this weekend.
 

Billldg

My Gem Tang Is Watching You
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
May 14, 2018
Messages
17,558
Reaction score
121,806
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Georgia
Update time!

Plumbing Question
The tank has been mounted on its stand (Thanks Bay Area Reefers club!) and I'm going to start the plumbing soon.
I'm seriously considering not using Wye valves on the returns since it has a loud hammer and often fails. I didn't use them on my 40 and the sump was able to contain the water. Hoping to have a similar situation here since my sump is an SK-60 with 74G total water volume. I should be able to add them later if they are required since I will "Wet test" the tank with freshwater. I will also run 2 pumps (one per return) so I could technically add one once the system is running if I cut the flow in half while the PVC glue sets.
I have 46" length of pipes, which isn't quite long enough for one return so I'm trying to find a way to make it work without ordering and waiting for a 60" pipe. A 2 pack is $60 (Shipped 3-5 business days) from the formufit website, while Home Depot will ship a 2 pack to my local store for $28.32 but will arrive between Nov. 8th and Nov. 11th. I could also use a coupler and get it done ASAP and I doubt it will affect head pressure that much. Searching around, it seems like it would only add 0.14 feet of head. Thoughts?

Crystal Dynamics Aquarium (CDA) build and review
The tank was formally ordered on 12/9 with a delivery estimate of end of March/early April. It was delivered 9/22.
The tank from CDA feels solid but the finish wasn't up to what I was expecting from a boutique builder in the US. When I was initially shopping for a tank and discussed with CDA, I was wondering why they were so much more expensive than RedSea and they boasted about their quality and craftsmanship. It turns out they are really good at making strong tanks but there was not much effort put into the cosmetic aspect of the tank. Because some other members on this forum posted about their CDA tank and it helped me inspect my tank, I figured I'd do the same. Some of the main issues:
  • Eurobrace isn't polished correctly. There's a wavy pattern in it that is quite visible. I asked CDA and they mentioned that since the piece of glass is too small, their machine can't polish it correctly and they are still looking for a solution.
  • Black silicone between the tank eurobrace and the top eurobrace is very bubbly at the edge. It doesn't affect the tank structure but using a finishing tool to have a smooth surface would've been really appreciated.... They did send a tube of silicone so I can do it myself but I'm surprised someone looked at the tank and went "Yup, ship it"
  • Missing silicone in the back of the tank between the top and tank eurobrace. Again, this is not structural but seems like an easy mistake to avoid.
  • The bottom reinforcement braces have pocket of air covered in silicone. It's not structural since they are also glued at the bottom and sand will cover it but again, this seems like an easy thing to do.
  • Small chip in the top eurobrace. I was told I can fill it with clear silicone or resin.
  • The stand isn't 100% straight, resulting in a 1/8" gap at the front edge.
  • Doors are not straight either so the bottom isn't aligned while the top is (So nothing I can do with the hinges)
CDA offered me a 10% refund and I accepted. I don't have enough experience with other boutique tank makers to determine if this is standard or not. My 40B was from Aqueon and purchased during the Dollar per Gallon sale and it was bad, as expected :) The stand issue was somehow out of their control due to the wood shortage and the lack of very dry plywood (I'm told).
I am totally redoing my returns and plan on using a single flapper check valve vs. 2 Wye check valves as before. I never had an issue with them, its the head pressure loss and not having 2 separate returns which caused me to not use the Wye check valve.
 

gatohoser

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
602
Reaction score
343
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Monterey, California
Hey @LVReef any updates? My tank is up in the build queue (once all the builders are healthy again with covid ) and I’m trying to figure out moving the tank. You had BAR help you? Monterey is a bit far to ask them for help but darn that would be nice. Looking at buying suction cups etc myself right now and getting a bunch of friends together.
 
AquaSD
OP
LVReef

LVReef

Community Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Feb 13, 2021
Messages
54
Reaction score
52
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Livermore, CA
Updates are slow but I'm half-way through the plumbing. I needed some extra parts and had some shipping issues with pvcpartsonline.

2 bulkheads on the ModularMarine 24" overflow cracked. MM thought it might have been my blue PVC pipes being too big but I measured with a caliper and they are exactly 1.9000" in outside diameter. The new bulkheads look much better than the ones that CDA shipped so the current theory is improper storage. That's a bit unfortunate since I glued the unions before I glued the pipe the the overflow in order to minimize pressure on the overflow... So I need to buy 3 more 1.5" unions at $15/unit to replace all 3 bulkheads on the overflow (2 cracked, I don't trust the 3rd one).

BAR did help me and I was super happy. Are you a club member? I think you have to be a member for a certain amount of time before you can borrow equipment. I would still post in the help needed section since "Bay Area" tends to cover quite a large area. I'm personally in Livermore and I was surprised that many members lived around there. You might be surprised to see people living in Santa Cruz or even closer to you.

My tank is 72L 30W 24H and we moved it with 4 "large" suction cups. We were a total of 5 people I think. 2 people on each end with a suction cup each, and one guy in the middle just helping guide the tank.

Your build thread link goes to a 29G build so I assume you have something larger coming :) One thing I did I was pretty satisfied with was to put these felt pads under the stand: https://amzn.com/dp/B07RNMSFQT I'm able to move the empty tank on hardwood by myself. This is super helpful for plumbing the tank away from the wall. I was resigned to the idea that I'd need to remove the tank from its stand before I push it against the wall (and reconnect all the plumbing...) but I'm stoked that I'll be able to build everything, then move the tank. It's not a hard glide at all so I might even get so lucky that it would move with rocks and sand (but no water obviously). That would mean I could pull the tank after draining it even if the rockwork is all cemented in.
 

gatohoser

Well-Known Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Oct 11, 2018
Messages
602
Reaction score
343
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Monterey, California
Yeah my build thread hasn’t been started yet. It really is time. I just wasn’t sure where I wanted to start, with the home construction prep for the tank or with the tank actually arriving. Since it’s due in about a month it’s probably time.

I’ll look into joining BAR, thanks! Thanks for all the great tips.

if you were me would you just replace the bulkheads upon arrival? Any suggested ones?
 

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

    Votes: 13 4.3%
  • It's getting close

    Votes: 45 15.0%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 53 17.6%
  • It's slow but progressing

    Votes: 94 31.2%
  • It's not even close

    Votes: 88 29.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 8 2.7%
Top