Matt's 180G to 300G Mixed Reef - Time to upgrade!

mattrez80

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It's always interesting to hear how many of us got in the hobby. For me, it was 10 years ago when I inherited a 37gal freshwater tank - all guppies! It didn't take long to fall in love with the hobby. Water started out as freshwater, turned into Saltwater FOWLR and then an LPS/Softie tank, to now my current 180gal mixed reef SPS dominant tank. I promised myself (2 tanks ago @ 120gal) that I had my dream tank and would have no interest in upgrading. That didn't last long. And here we are today, my 180gal is fully stocked and I am enjoying watching everything grow!

Rewind a couple of weeks ago, one of my reefing friends decided that they were going to sell their house and move build their dream house. He wasn't sure what he was going to do with his 300gal tank. Well, obviously, I couldn't pass up on the friend deal. He is not out of the hobby, but is gearing up for his 1,000gal dream tank.

That being said, starting this Thursday night, we will be breaking down both his tank and mine and upgrading one last time - maybe.

Thanks for joining me on this upgrade journey over the next few months!

Old Tank Pic
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mattrez80

mattrez80

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New tank and equipment

96" x 30" x 24" Acrylic w/2 Reef Synergy Overflows
Reef Synergy TS-60 Custom Sump

(4) Orphek Atlantik V4s
Jebao DC18000 Return
Reef Octopus Regal 300INT 12" Skimmer
(2) Maxspect XF250 Gyres - for now
(2) Jebao SOW15s

Neptune Apex Controller (along with an array on add-ons)

Gravity-fed ATO off of a 120gal water mixing station

Ordered and on the way:
GeosReef 818 Calcium Reactor
Hydros WaveEngine Controller
 
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mattrez80

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The stand and the canopy are DIY. The setup did not come with the canopy, so I had to build one myself.
 

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mattrez80

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A lot has happened over the past 3 weeks. Mainly enjoying some much needed time off with the family during the holidays.

Since this build was going to be an upgrade from my previous 180gal, everything had to move fast.

It took a crew of 4 guys to move the 300g (acrylic) from my buddies house to mine, and then 6 guys to tear down the 180g (glass) and move that out to the garage (which was picked up the next day).

All 300+gal of water was ready to go. We were able to save about 200gal from the old tank (DT + Sump) along with the water in the mixing station and brute trash cans. I can't wait to see last month's water bill!! (it's just part of the hobby, right?).

The stand is a DIY which was painted white, but will be painted black.

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mattrez80

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The biggest challenge that I had to overcome was not losing any of my fish and corals during the transfer. Regretfully, I did end up losing a few acro colonies, a couple of chalices, and a couple of torches. All fish survived!

I honestly believe this was due to water params (temp included) not being 100% the same within each water container (completely user error).

I also ran out of my regular 2-Part (ESV B-Ionic) and started the switch to BRS' 2-Part, great product, but the amount needed is near 2-3x that of ESV, which also caused a large ALK swing - 9dkh to 7.2dkh. We are back to 9 now, but some of my coral losses was due to that, which I am sure (lesson learned).
 
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mattrez80

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Now that we are up to date, what has changed since the tank was installed on Dec 16th, Christmas, and New Years? I have cleaned and replaced both Gyre XF250 impellers, added 2 new Jebao SOW-20s (yes I use Jebao and I have never had an issue over the past 4 years with them - maintenance is key), and painted the outside of the stand.

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mattrez80

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So what's next? I am waiting on my Geos Reef CR818 to arrive. I have never had a calcium reactor, but at 300ml a day of 2-Part, this is going to get very expensive if I didn't make the change.

More to come on that...
 

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Wow! Really nice! Love the variety of corals that's gonna look awesome once it fills in. Nice clean setup too. Good luck!
 

What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

  • All Blue

    Votes: 19 2.8%
  • Mostly Blue

    Votes: 426 62.3%
  • Even Balance

    Votes: 178 26.0%
  • Mostly White

    Votes: 50 7.3%
  • All White

    Votes: 1 0.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 10 1.5%

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