My Build Thread

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rhostam

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I ordered the caribsea rock as well and way too much of it. Also some Real Reef. Using about half lol's. My new tank won't be here until September! Can't wait to see yours with water
It’s funny how new tanks excite people. There could be cheaper hobbies, but this one is just so fun and fascinating. Watching your existing build thread, excited to see your adventure with the new tank!

I’ll probably offer the rock and extra ordered stuff for discount to local reefers maybe I can make some new friends. I don’t have any I’m Denver! LOL
 

Susan Edwards

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It’s funny how new tanks excite people. There could be cheaper hobbies, but this one is just so fun and fascinating. Watching your existing build thread, excited to see your adventure with the new tank!

I’ll probably offer the rock and extra ordered stuff for discount to local reefers maybe I can make some new friends. I don’t have any I’m Denver! LOL
I'll have to see if there is a local reefers club. Trouble is, they are 1 to 2 hrs away! But I was thinking of trying to sell the excess once I know what I want for the sump.

Be fun to share your excitement!
 
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Alrighty, finally added sand and filling with first batch of water!

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Click to watch best scape method in 5 easy steps!
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rhostam

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Finally completed rock work after waiting out my fing back issues!

The tank is also now filled. I stopped short of filling for sump since I am still missing the right fittings for COR20 > 1” hose > 1” barb :( I’ll need to break those items in anyway, so it’s fine.

My order for plumbing of the mix station was cancelled due to an item issue. So rather than bother with that, I had LFS come out to quote building that for me. I’m afraid I just don’t have the time for that nor the equipment to drill through my floors into the garage where the mix station will reside.
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What do you think of the rock scape? I took into consideration feedback from my local Facebook reef keeping group as well. I had to rotate the larger structure and then reform the second structure since the shelf rock was a little trickier to find good locking points. This did allow me to securely connect the structure via an arch to the larger structure supported by the “tree.”

360 view of rock scape
 
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So my tiny plumbing job for the COR20 return pump to the 1” barbed hose came in and I tried my hand at cutting and glueing myself. I wish I was neater because it isn’t attractive I’ve. But I have to say I had fun.

I also received a quote for a LFS to build my mixing station. I was blown away by the numbers.

ServiceEstimate
Mixing station:
  • Tank stand
  • Storage tanks
  • Pump
  • Pump
  • Plumbing
3,000$
Labor
  • Several days
  • 4-6 hours per day
1,500-2,000$

They didn’t listen to the fact that I already have storage vats. So that reduced the station parts quote down by about 800$.

Needless to say, while I have certainly spent a lot of money for this build I am trying not to be stupid about it. I know that this part of the project doesn’t require that amount of effort or expense [for me].

So that will be an adventure I’ll get to use to hone my plumbing skills! LOL

3,500$ to 5,000$ what the heck. I planned out the system before reaching out to LFS and order from BRA came up to about 700$ with a more costly mixing pump and schedule 80 just for giggles. The quote didn’t include an itemized breakdown so really I’m not sure what was being marked up. From their demo builds, I recall seeing schedule 40, but I may be mistaken.

Okay, now that shock has subsided…

After a period of testing and letting my sad looking adaptor I created circulate water in test tank, I’m finally filling the sump!

I’ve also started the cycle and am going to give fishless a try. We’ll see how that goes. Once sump is filled I can see about accelerating that by by bringing some rock from my existing tank. The biggest hurdle is that the rock is glued. I also have media I can use, so I might try that.

It’s also time to start cleaning up work space (dining room) and focus on cabinet/ controller board. So that will be fun.

I was still hung up on lighting. I like what I hear and see about the Neptune Sky, but it’s availability is going to be a problem I think. That and the costs… just not sure where I’m at with that. I’m already a LED user so other concerns don’t bother me. I’ve been using AI Hydra 32 on my existing tank and everything definitely seems happy. I might just go for an array of AI 32s. I’m happy to entertain suggestions!

A few pictures of what things looking like now…

99D1A808-935B-467A-8F3B-C3D25B069298.jpeg


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0AE781C3-88F7-4212-A5E7-B9CCF6132E1E.jpeg

image.jpg
 

Jeffcb

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So my tiny plumbing job for the COR20 return pump to the 1” barbed hose came in and I tried my hand at cutting and glueing myself. I wish I was neater because it isn’t attractive I’ve. But I have to say I had fun.

I also received a quote for a LFS to build my mixing station. I was blown away by the numbers.

ServiceEstimate
Mixing station:
  • Tank stand
  • Storage tanks
  • Pump
  • Pump
  • Plumbing
3,000$
Labor
  • Several days
  • 4-6 hours per day
1,500-2,000$

They didn’t listen to the fact that I already have storage vats. So that reduced the station parts quote down by about 800$.

Needless to say, while I have certainly spent a lot of money for this build I am trying not to be stupid about it. I know that this part of the project doesn’t require that amount of effort or expense [for me].

So that will be an adventure I’ll get to use to hone my plumbing skills! LOL

3,500$ to 5,000$ what the heck. I planned out the system before reaching out to LFS and order from BRA came up to about 700$ with a more costly mixing pump and schedule 80 just for giggles. The quote didn’t include an itemized breakdown so really I’m not sure what was being marked up. From their demo builds, I recall seeing schedule 40, but I may be mistaken.

Okay, now that shock has subsided…

After a period of testing and letting my sad looking adaptor I created circulate water in test tank, I’m finally filling the sump!

I’ve also started the cycle and am going to give fishless a try. We’ll see how that goes. Once sump is filled I can see about accelerating that by by bringing some rock from my existing tank. The biggest hurdle is that the rock is glued. I also have media I can use, so I might try that.

It’s also time to start cleaning up work space (dining room) and focus on cabinet/ controller board. So that will be fun.

I was still hung up on lighting. I like what I hear and see about the Neptune Sky, but it’s availability is going to be a problem I think. That and the costs… just not sure where I’m at with that. I’m already a LED user so other concerns don’t bother me. I’ve been using AI Hydra 32 on my existing tank and everything definitely seems happy. I might just go for an array of AI 32s. I’m happy to entertain suggestions!

A few pictures of what things looking like now…

99D1A808-935B-467A-8F3B-C3D25B069298.jpeg


5A912575-DAC0-4AB2-84A9-9C17C7CEF6FF.jpeg


59FBC748-29B7-4968-99E9-E336E4A87603.jpeg


0AE781C3-88F7-4212-A5E7-B9CCF6132E1E.jpeg

image.jpg
Looking good.

I would build it your self. Save lots of money. Its not hard BRS has everything including diff colored pvc if you want.
Easy to do. Look at my 900 build thread, all BRS except Pan World pump.
 
Fritz
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rhostam

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Looking good.

I would build it your self. Save lots of money. Its not hard BRS has everything including diff colored pvc if you want.
Easy to do. Look at my 900 build thread, all BRS except Pan World pump.
Oh, right on! Thanks for the feedback. I’ll take a look at your build. I will most certainly go down that path.
 
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rhostam

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Had my first scare yesterday as I opened the cabinet:

DEAC011F-7D9B-4B19-BD62-18F6B67D69CA.jpeg


I did a leak test of the tank in the garage. But I didn’t do one for the overflow area once it was assembled and “quick” plumbed.

Throughout the day I spent time trying to get my bloody hand to the union furthest from the door (where the leak appeared to originate). So hard to reach already and my hands while not large a they are also not tiny. Every time I managed to get a slight turn I’d let it sit for a few hours. I didn’t want to somehow over tighten (if you can with hand tightening) and make things worse.

Each time… drip. Slower, for sure. But… drip nonetheless.

Finally, I managed to grasp just enough to get another slight movement in the tight direction.

So far, since that last one last night… no more drips.

Let’s hope that is the end of that!
 
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Brief update:
  • Fishless cycle is still underway. It’s making good progress. I’ll share timeline and measurements at its conclusion.
  • I decided on lights. I went with what I have on my existing AIO. I really wanted to explore the new Neptune Skys, but I couldn’t justify the costs for an LPS tank and my AI Hydras have been performing well for my LPS and they operate at only 66% max on the highest channel.
  • Now that they have arrived (with a small savings of about 35$/each on Amazon versus any other retailer) I just installed them.
Can’t wait for the cycle to complete! Time to start reviewing the fish list so that I can get first occupants in including the transfers from the existing AIO.

Here are a few pictures of the work today. Getting the danged cables for the lights inside the track was not fun. I used a little vegetable oil to slightly lubricate the track to make this easier.

Also, I really loath that the 72” track or any other length didnt come with cable guides with the correct number of cable slots. In this case, typical installations for a 73.5” track appear to be four Hydras. Why then not offer cable clips that could easily secure four cables? I made it work. But again, the tightness and the clips are definitely missed opportunities.

Tomorrow I get to work on the controller cabinet and start tidying up cables. It’s a rats nest right now!


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CMMorgan

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Hi there,

My name is Ray. I’ve been reading Reef2Reef since summer 2020, at least, and mostly a result of search results linking back to this site as well as mentions by the BRS team in their five minute and other guides.

Once Upon a Time
My desire for a saltwater aquarium dates back to when I was in high school. My AP chemistry teacher had one in her home. We would all get together at her home and have study sessions. I remember the fascination and serenity I felt watching the fish and the sea urchins navigate around the tank. So cool.

Recent Bio
2020 was a crazy year of change for me just as coronavirus started ravaging the world. In 2019, I sold my home to move to Austin to complete what was supposed to be a long term project. I was sick for like half of my time there with some unidentifiable coughing for that would lead to me passing out. I think it was laryngial spasms. Then there was the hellacious heat and the torturous allergies made life so difficult. I didn’t get to spend time with friends as a result of much of this. 2019 was not a great year for us, but at least the world was normal.

Mid 2019 I found out that the business had miscommunicated requirements for the project and also residency requirements. As soon as we found out, we started planning our move back to Denver. With the hospitality job market in Austin being so uncompetitive, I sent my partner ahead of me to start looking for homes and also accept a great job opportunity.

We eventually found a builder, a location, and a floor plan with a completion timeframe that aligned with ours. A year later, 2021 our home was ready and we started our move.

Six or so months into 2020 coronavirus was in full swing. My employer (a restaurant SaaS vertical tech company) kicked off a round of RIFs and anxiety, coronavirus restrictions, and lockdowns were driving me crazy.

Many people I knew were using this time constructively by indulging their hobbies and labors of love and so I started thinking about what I could do. I’m a gamer, but not hard core. I play MMOs like WoW, SWTOR, GW2, and ESO. But grinding beyond reaching the end game or story arcs wasn’t good enough for me. I worked on finishing some of the garage. I did plenty of yard work. But being a new home and a garage still partially in chaos from the move, there wasn’t much more I could do at the time.

While I have always kept fish and planted aquariums, I restricted myself to only freshwater because I moved frequently, didn’t have the money, or time. New home, just moved back to town, why not jump back into the hobby and finally going saltwater?

Eventually at summers end I came across a good deal for a tank to get me started. I knew I wanted something larger, but i just couldn’t settle on just how large and where I would place it. I was also weary of the commitment. I also wasn’t part of this community then or I probably would have just gone big from the get go.

In the meantime, I had an office that I could use to place this tank and a closet I could hide equipment in. I even had easily accessible plumbing. Who knows maybe this tank would satisfy my desire to start and care for a saltwater aquarium? Though I took some pictures here and there, I didn’t get to document the process or the journey.

Now
8 months later my “starter” tank (built using the BRS five minute guides) is maturing with each passing day. My home is settled and the other major projects are complete until the weather is more regularly agreeable.

After much consideration for the costs, time, the satisfaction and serenity this hobby provides me, and the fact that the main floor of the home was ready for the main attraction we decided to pull the trigger and get a larger tank. Top contenders were Red Sea, Cade, and Waterbox. The space demanded a peninsula style.

Today I ordered a Waterbox Peninsula 6025.

Cool Kids Club?
Though this thread will include some details of the existing “starter” tank that will be used to seed (as well as be replaced by) the new tank, it will primarily host details of the build for the new Waterbox. I’ll admit, it won’t be much of a ”build.” I already have a tank that is already on its journey and I have equipment and livestock that will be transferred over. The aquarium itself is new, comes with a cabinet, is pre-plumbed with easy connections, and includes a sump. Waiting for its own cycle to complete will allow me time to explore potential new lighting that may hit the market (*cough* Neptune’s Sky) as well as time to purchase the remaining equipment.

Any questions or feedback along the way are welcome.

Cheers folk,

P.S. According to the by-laws of the community, this thread now makes me a member of the “cool kids club,” right? Let it be known that deep inside this honor has me squealing like a “Belieber” that meets the Biebs IRL for the first time.
I Belieber you are on your way to a great adventure! Welcome!!
 
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rhostam

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So cycling is progressing. Ammonia reached zero, but nitrites remain off the charts. Since this is fishless and therefore not a gradual introduction of ammonia by fish, I’m guessing this will take longer even with some media taken from my existing tank.

☁️ yey!

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Last edited:
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Made some time to get some of the cabinets sorted. This is the space on the right side of the tank under the overflow. Most of the stuff will get routed here.

20210728_213202824_iOS.jpg


I'm still deciding on what type of concealer/tracks I should install for all of the cord that is still visible. I want to be able to easily remove the controller board and need the slack to do so. I've also decided I'd try mounting the lighting transformers on the hidden side of the tank to help free up space in this chamber.

I do have a second board I plan on setting up on the opposite end of the tank where the ATO reservoir presently resides. Once I build the mixing station and can source ATO and WC from the tanks downstairs, I can remove this reservoir and reclaim this chamber for accessory use. This space would house the DOSes, KW reactor, and any FMMs I require that don't fit on the board in chamber one.

Side note: I was always bothered by the lack of a cover for the included WB reservoir. It gets humid in that chamber enough so I can see condensation on the door. Hopefully not for much longer.

Also update on the display tank side of things: still cycling. Ammonia is at zero. Nitrites are no longer off the charts, but still high enough that I won't bother with a nitrate test just yet. Tank is still cloudy, but it is improving as these readings slowly lower.
 
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Cycle has completed! It took longer than I expected. I did take a large chunk of live rock from my existing tank and moved into the sump of my new tank about half way in. I wish I wasn’t so worried about breaking up the rockwork in the existing tank, or I would have moved a chunk sooner. Still, a few weeks is still shorter than my original dry rock cycle, so I’ll take it.

I’ve been moving inhabitants a few at a time.

Excited!

Also, I just ordered the plumbing to build the mix station which I hope to get to next week.

After that, I just need to build a stand and figure out how I’ll run the plumbing from the mix station in the garage to the aquarium on the floor immediately above.

I’m post better (daytime) pictures once things settle in a few days.

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This weekend I added a few corals to the roster of the new tank and also completed transfer of the remaining corals and fish from the existing AIO.

The transfer from the existing tank was a little nerve wracking. I really didn’t want to stress these creatures any more than I needed to, but if I was this concerned I can’t imagine what these guys were thinking.

I’ve also received shipment of the remaining plumbing I need to build the mixing station. The fires and smoke is delaying the arrival of the stand I purchased to hold the tanks. So I guess I’ll just mock layout stuff and work on that this week.

My family visited from Austin, TX last week. It was fun hanging out with my nephew explaining to him various aspects of the aquarium. My mother and aunt were also amazed and had a lot of questions. They had no idea corals were animals and my aunt was creeped out by videos of my cynarina chowing down on a shrimp.

All I need to do is to add some zoa frags for my zoa garden arch, and keep an eye for a few more mushrooms and of course LPS. I also need to work on breaking down the old tank and moving sensors and other Apex equipment that would be useful to this build.

Oh dang, I forgot about the mini carpet. I tried ice, redirecting flow… for an anemone that hid in complete darkness for months he sure seems to want to live and hold on to his spot on the rock work in the old tank. Since he came back out he looks amazing and I’m sure has at least doubled in size since he emerged. I suppose I’ll just have to find another way to coax him off. Sigh.

The next update will show mixing station. Hopefully, I’ll have it hooked up as well so that I can retire the included WB ATO reservoir. Though pH in the new tank has been stable, it is a bit about 0.2 lower than the AIO which had a KW reactor hooked up. For now, I’ve been dosing manually to slowly raise pH. I’m not in a rush as all of the inhabitants have been reacting quite favorably to the transition and don’t seem stressed or worse for wear after acclimation and transfer.

I think the only concern I have is the flow. I have the return (COR20) at 55%. I’m not sure if that is too much as I have the WAVs dialed back enough to create turbulence and flow to the overflow, but not so much that the corals look like they’re being blown away. But it took a lot of effort to find the right spot to protect some of them.

I might try dialing the return pump back a little bit to see if I can create a better environment for the cynarina, catalaphyllias, and plerogyra. Any suggestions for this type of setup would be welcome.

Here are a few pictures…
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BRS
BRS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 44 6.2%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 493 69.8%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 5 0.7%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 68 9.6%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 66 9.3%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 69 9.8%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 18 2.5%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 10 1.4%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 4 0.6%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 67 9.5%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 14 2.0%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 37 5.2%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 12 1.7%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 204 28.9%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 266 37.7%
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