Mode Aquariums, Infinity Series 75G Build/Review Thread

S.Pepper

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It was time for an upgrade after 4 months with my Waterbox 60.2. It just wasn't big enough. I tried to hang on thinking i could be happy with it, but it wasn't happening. I really wanted to move to a 4' 100G tank, but not enough room. Decided on a 3' 75G tank.

For this tank, there were several things it had to have: a metal stand and external overflow. I never like the idea of a wood/mdf board stand with cam locks holding hundreds of pounds. I remember putting the stand together and wondering how it was going to hold all of this weight. I never had any problem and many others haven't either. But if i was going to do this again, the tank was going to have a metal stand. The external overflow was a no brainer. It allows for more real estate and you don't have to work your scape around something bulging out from the back glass. Everything flows better.

After researching for quite a while, and without going custom, I found 2 tanks that met this criteria: Innovative Marine 75G and Mode Aquariums Infinity Series 75G. IM has a bigger footprint in the hobby and is much more well known with a good reputation. Mode is less well known in the hobby and is associated with CAD Lights Aquariums. Not to delve too far into this, but CAD has a reputation of poor customer service; although, there are many satisfied customers.

With my decision, I knew what i was getting into if i bought the Mode. I bought the Mode.:) The Infinity 75G offered me several things that were really appealing to me. The anodized aluminum cabinet came with magnetic panels that allow you to have full access to the sump while working on it. It also offered the plumbing... all i had to do is glue it together. I know if you've been in this hobby for some time, the plumbing isn't a big deal. But I haven't. And i felt more comfortable having all of the parts supplied and cut to size.

The Mode was $100 more, but it supplied the sump. I can't say i was in luv with the sump, but with its size, it would allow me to do what i needed and wanted for my system. If i had gone with the IM, I would have probably gone with a Trigger Systems Sapphire 26" or 34". Really liked this sump set-up and made the decision harder to go with the Mode.

Here's a look at the Mode 75G.

List of equipment I'll be using. Fortunately, I'll be able to bring most of my equipment over from the current tank other than the return pump. I'll be upgrading from RO Varios 2 to a Varios 4. I currently have a RO Octopulse 2 wave pump and a AI 16hd prime that'll be adding one of each.

-RO Varios 4 return pump
-2 RO Octopulse 2 wave pumps
-Hydros WaveEngine. The Hydros will be awesome. I'll be able to run my wave pumps and return pump off the Hydros, which will allow me to ditch the 3 controllers and power bricks for this equipment.
-2 AI 16hd prime lights
-Inkbird controller running 2 Finnex heaters: 300 & 500watt
-Bubble Magus Curve Elite 5 protein skimmer
-Avast Marine Carbon Reactor, small
-Tunze oslomator 3155 ATO

Next post: Ordering and Delivery.
 
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S.Pepper

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Ordering and Delivery:

I called Mode before ordering and spoke with Eddie about the tank. He said he had one left.;) He agreed to have it sent by Friday--this was a Tues. And he would contact me with the tracking#. Unfortunately, the tank wasn't sent and he didn't contact me. We went thru this several times over the next 2 weeks without the tank being sent. I finally said either send the tank or refund my $$. He guaranteed my tank would be sent the next day and he would contact me with the tracking# or refund the $$. He sent the tank the next day and contacted me with the tracking#.

I'm not trashing Mode or Eddie with my review. I'm giving my experience with Mode and the ordering process to help and inform anyone interested in purchasing a tank from Mode. All of our conversations were cordial. Eddie is a really nice guy and i think he means well. It's more of an issue that the Infinity Series is almost a side business. Most of his sales (90% according to him) come from the rack systems that they sell to fish stores and the like. If i recall right, WWC has these installed in its stores.

It took 5 days to make it across the country. I have to laugh thinking about delivery day. I'm not sure how the tank and sump made it without being cracked. I have to give some luv to EDI Express. They did a heck of a job getting it here in one piece. The sump came packed inside the tank (which is normal) that was sitting on top of a pallet cushioned by 4 or 5 flattened cardboard boxes. This was wrapped with 4 pieces of mdf board that were held together by plastic strap. 3 boxes were stacked on top of the tank and sump that held the plumbing, side panels, and aluminum cabinet frame. And this was all held together with plastic wrap. I wish i could have gotten more/better pictures, but the delivery guy was pushing me to sign so he could get out of there.
mode13.jpg

mode14.jpg


Next up, unpacking and setup.
 
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Here's a look at the tank.
mode16.jpg


After further inspection, instead of using colored glass for the back glass, they used a 3/16" sheet of plastic/acrylic on the inside of the back glass. From what i could tell, the plastic was bonded using the same silicone that holds the glass together. I don't know if that'll affect performance, but it's probably cheaper to do it this way.
mode20.jpg


Unfortunately, when they bonded the plastic sheet to the back wall, they didn't do a very good job of aligning it with the drilled return holes. Which made it impossible to put the return line hardware thru the back wall. As u can see in the picture.
mode17.jpg


What do ya do? hmmm
mode21.jpg


I decided to try a fine round file and see what would happen. It ended up not being that big of a deal. It took me about 5 minutes to file down both holes that would allow the return line hardware to fit.
mode19.jpg


This is only my 2nd tank, but it seems in this hobby you are always having to modify something to get it to fit or work for your particular system. Which isn't particularly bad in and of itself--it's part of the fun; however, in this case, it shows a lack of attention to detail... which i'm finding more and more with this tank.lol
 
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Besides the external overflow, the main reason i purchased this tank, as mentioned, was the anodized aluminum cabinet frame. It didn't disappoint. This is where Mode's attention to detail and execution shines thru. My first look at this frame was on Youtube. Antonio from Eat/Sleep/Reef is featuring this tank (50G) on his channel. It looked really good and it turns out it functions as well as it looks.

The feet on this frame are really beefy and made leveling the tank a breeze.
mode23.jpg


The legs fit into the posts on the bottom portion and the top portion. While there are screws to link the legs with the posts from the top and bottom portions of the frame, they really aren't necessary because once you bang them in with a rubber mallet, they aren't coming out.

(bottom)
mode24.jpg

(legs)
mode25.jpg


mode26.jpg


mode27.jpg


As u can see, each leg is matched up with the top by matching the letter. Structurally, you could put any leg where you want it. The reason to make sure you match them up is for the placement of the magnets. Without the magnets being in the right place, your doors wouldn't hold on.
mode28.jpg


And the top, which is made out of a hard but some what pliable plastic and screwed into the frame.
mode29.jpg


mode31.jpg


Here's a few pics of drilling and then screwing the leg to the post.
First you had to remove the magnetic mount, then drill, and then screw.
mode35.jpg
mode33.jpg
mode34.jpg


A picture of the completed cabinet frame with the sump in it (the sump is in backwards but u get the idea). You slide the sump in from either side. On a side note: the genius who decided it was a good idea to glue styrofoam on the bottom of this sump deserves 50 lashes--in Singapore fashion. I accidently ripped the styrofoam when installing on the magnet mounts--it hasn't stopped shedding to this day.:mad: And there is really no way of getting it off without making a huge mess. Come on man... couldn;t we have gone with a leveling pad or nothing?

mode29.jpg
mode30.jpg
mode31.jpg
 
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Another area Mode showed lack of attention to detail. They supplied the leveling pad but cut it off un- square. I was able to finagle the pad to where it would just fit and then have a helping to hold it into position and then glue.
mode36.jpg
mode37.jpg
 
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S.Pepper

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Got a neighbor to help me get the tank inside and on the stand to see what it looked like with panel doors on. Looks pretty sweet. The panel doors are finished mdf. Actually, they were finished very well and line up nicely.
mode38.jpg


Next, dry fit the plumbing and glue.
mode40.jpg


I used Oatey Single Step clear. So far so good. No leaks.:) As noted earlier, this was the first time i had done any real plumbing. A little intimidated to say the least. I did mark each fitting with a marker to make sure everything lined up as it did during the dry fit. I wrapped each fitting and pvc pipe with a piece of painter's tape not only to keep an excess glue off the pipe and fittings, but also not to leave any permanent marker, marks.
mode41.jpg
 
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Next up, Controller Cabinet. As one can see, there really is no where to affix any controllers or hold any equipment. I knew this going in and it was never an issue for me, as i planned to have a separate controller cabinet in my next build regardless if there was room in the cabinet or not.

I looked at some on the market and spending $400 was out of the question when I could do it myself for much less. And fortunately for me, my brother is a custom cabinet maker.:) But before having him make one for me, I wanted to do a prototype to see what i liked and needed. I figured 1 sheet of 4 x 8 birch plywood would be enough. And for roughly $50 and a few accessories, i could get it done.

I've gotten rid of almost all of my tools, which offered a little challenge. I found a guy in my neighborhood that had a old Craftsman table saw. He was kind enough to allow me to rip the plywood into sizes for the cabinet. That, some glue and screws, and paint, I got it done.

mode42.jpg

mode43.jpg


In these pictures, you'll see where i have my ATO 5 gallon jug. It works for me now, but I am going to rethink how i do this before the final rendering.
mode44.jpg
mode45.jpg


A must was to have a power strip with rocker switches built in. Now I can control each piece of equipment independently with a flick of a switch.
mode8.jpg
 
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S.Pepper

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Are you playing with rock yet? I have one structure that I just can't seem to get the way I want.
Yes, i have my rock structure done. And the funny thing is, I'm actually happy with it. Obviously, everything in my build thread is retrospect. I was so bz getting it all together for the last 1.5 months, i didn't have x to do an actual "build thread" while i was building it.
 
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