My Big Beautiful Budget Breeder Build

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Retro Reefer

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Lisaz

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Well maybe not so big... :D

My goal is to set up the best reef possible for the least amount of money and effort, I want something that will be easy to maintain and that checks all my boxes while staying within my budget, I’ll be sourcing the cheapest possible equipment while simultaneously not completely sacrificing quality or functionality and I will also try to incorporate some of the newer technologies where possible and I’ll also be doing a few DIY components as well..


I have been planning this build for over a year and have considered every possible tank, stand, filtration system, lighting and other potential equipment choices, their cost and how everything would work together.. because of limited budget and room I decided on a tank somewhere around 50 gallons and after much thought I’m going with a 40 breeder because of its perfect dimensions and super low cost, for lighting I’m Going with a t5 / LED hybrid, I have been very happy with my nano box LED’s on my current tanks but I miss my old t5’s so I decided this tank will have the best of both worlds in lighting and for filtration I’m going with a simple Berlin style sump, skimmer ..


Some of my methods or outdated equipment choices may raise some eye brows but for the most part my choices will revolve around cost, ease of set up and maintenance or because it’s just what I have become comfortable with over the last 35 years of reefing..


One of the great benefits of extended planning is that I’ve been catching sales and discounts on equipment and in some cases I have been able to substantially upgrade from my original plans, so far just about everything I have purchased has been on sale or discounted, some of it ridiculously!


Tank 40 gallon breeder < petco sale $50

Steel im Stand < sale price $49

eshopps rs-75 sump < sale price $138

eshopps pf-300 overflow < sale price $48

Coral Box d300 dc skimmer < sale price $135 + they sent me the new upgraded $250 plus model :)

aquatic life 36” t5 fixture with Coral Box LED supplement < sale price of everything including bulbs $480

Power strip < $20

wave makers 2 Jebao ow-25’s < discounted price $110

AUQA Gadget MightyJet 538 gph DC Return pump < $99

ATO.. Hydrofill Ti < sale price $48 = $21 off $69 retail!

150W ehiem heater $27

Used Reef Keeper Lite controller < $200 total with new probes, float switch’s and mounting system.

DIY 12v dc cooling fan < $6

DIY ATO container < $8

Black Paint for back wall of tank and black silicon for sealing stand. < $10

Substrate < $15

Plumbing supplies < sale price $20

Dosing container < sale price $45

DIY Control center components < $25


APPROXIMATE TOTAL COST (not including livestock) $1,523

**** current tank photo August 2019 ****

View attachment 1159930
That’s amazing
 
OP
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Retro Reefer

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Bummer about the SD Venom...

The corralites look to be extending quite a bit on those sticks. Good stuff.
Yeah I was bummed doing it and I could have gave it more time but it appeared that the spot was getting a little larger so thought I would cut my losses.. no pun intended;) lol. Snipped the crown which you can see remounted in its original spot in the above pic and the side branch is in the lower right side of pic.
 
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RichtheReefer21

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Yeah I was bummed doing it and I could have gave it more time but it appeared that the spot was getting a little larger so thought I would cut my losses.. no pun intended;) lol. Sniped the crown which you can see remounted in its original spot in the above pic and the side branch is in the lower right side of pic.
It looks like it didnt skip a beat. Nice work.
 
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Best reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
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Retro Reefer

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@NY_Caveman got me thinking about my favorite little frag ;) 31 years later she has grown into a beautiful colony :)

Retro picture.. First day of school mid 90’s

525A6924-CBDC-47E0-9E7B-27F0A3DA8C26.jpeg
 

RichtheReefer21

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@NY_Caveman got me thinking about my favorite little frag ;) 31 years later she has grown into a beautiful colony :)

Retro picture.. First day of school mid 90’s

525A6924-CBDC-47E0-9E7B-27F0A3DA8C26.jpeg
Thata a beautiful photo.. wheres the grow out pics? She has her own frags now right? Lineage goes for big bucks pal!
 

spyder813

!!! Happy Wife....Happy Reefing !!!
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Updated FTS.. been lazy lately but I did manage to clean my glass and take a picture today ;)

Edit: front glass anyway.. lol;Hilarious

0C02A8A4-E79B-4A59-A837-3EACF9BDE956.jpeg
Beautiful tank..
 
OP
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Thata a beautiful photo.. wheres the grow out pics? She has her own frags now right? Lineage goes for big bucks pal!
Thanks man.. unfortunately no little frags from her yet, she has been battling medical disabilities her entire adult life so kids probably not in the cards. Our son does have 3 little frags but they live in New Mexico so visits are rare.
 
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