My first reef tank ever...Trying to do this the right way...

JonCherba

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This will be my first ever reef tank, I've been doing tons of research the past 4-6 months. I've been gathering equipment and supplies to get everything setup. My plan is as followed below:

-40 Breeder - Display
-40 Breeder - Sump (planning on recycling old glass from aquariums to build baffles inside sump)
-Refugium in sump (approx 12-15 gallons with chaeto)
-Cobalt Neo-Therm 200W heater (dual for redundancy)
-Eschopps - Eclipse L Overflow (chosen mainly because I want to use the bean animal style plumbing)
-Lowes steel shelving for stand skeleton, this will be wrapped in 3/4" plywood (painted inside & out)
-Planning on full hood to keep cats out, and to help keep light in the tank instead of in the room.
-Remote RODI & Pre-mixed saltwater storage (building next to my house, trying to use gravity to move the water but I may incorporate a pump)
-Tropic Marin pro reef salt mix (based on all the testing videos from BRS and other reviews)
-No skimmer (for now)
-Dual Jebao return pumps (flow will be monitored, to initiate the secondary pump if primary slows or stops)
-Jebao gyre style flow pump in tank
-Dual Sicce voyager nano's (530gph models, additional flow in tank if needed)
-40 Breeder - Quarantine Tank split into 3 sections (keep fish separate or keeping fish at different stages of quarantine)
-Debating if multiple 10 gallon tanks on shelving would be more ideal? these tanks would overhang by 1" on each end if 3 were placed on shelving...
-Quarantine tank/s will have a sponge filter big enough for a 20 gallon for additional filtration during quarantine. PVC pieces will be added for hiding / security...
-Quarantine procedure will be as described on this forum.
-I have a refractometer, a digital salinity meter, and I'm planning on purchasing the Tropic Marin high precision hydrometer (I want multiple options to compare readings)
-I have the Tropic Marin compact lab for testing.
-I have the Brightwell Aquatics - Microbacter dry rock bacteria starter kit I plan on using to cycle the system
-Marco Rocks dry rock - approximately 80lbs worth
-CaribSea - Aragonite Special Grade dry sand 40lbs
-Lighting will be (2-3x) AI Prime 16HD reef's for the display, (1x) AI Prime 16HD Fuge for the refugium
-Marine Pure - 8x8x1" plate in the bottom of the refugium (I may add some additional chunks (from a broken plate))
-DIY screen lid from BRS
-I have an RODI system from AquaticLife the twist version

I'm sure I'm missing something but this is a pretty good run down of everything I have. If anybody has questions or suggestions please feel free. I will update as I make progress, hopefully I will be able to make some progress on the actual build very soon. I will probably work on getting the sump built first, then drill display tank for the overflow and return lines. Thanks!

~EDIT~
-Fish List:
-Black-Axil Chromis - 4-6
-Six Line Wrasse - 1
-Royal Gramma Basslet -1
-Pajama Cardinal - 4-6
-Ocellaris Clown - 2 (LFS has a paired up set of clowns, been paired over a year) (for sure first fish I'll purchase)
-Green Mandarin - 1 (maybe a pair if the first works out, I would love to breed them, or try)
-Yellow Watchmen Goby - 1 - (or another paired with a shrimp)

Invert List:
-Rock Flower Anemone (probably several, eventually)
-Something for the clowns to host
-Clean up crew of course, not 100% sure what I want yet (something coral safe & utilitarian)

Coral List:
-Definitely going to start with some easier stuff
-Zoas
-Some Shrooms (not sure which yet)
-Eventually I'll try SPS after I add the 3rd AI Prime and everything is stable for 9+ months first at least.

I have wanted a reef tank since I was a teen, I was always fascinated with the abundance of color in saltwater tanks, I got bored of freshwater after all these years.
 
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KingTideCorals

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I think you just mapping things out and thinking about the equipment you are far more ready for this tank then most people that hop into this hobby! Loved the write up! Whats the plan with the system? Coral wise? Fish wise?

Looking forward to seeing updates on this thread! Welcome to the hobby! My PMs and my channel on YouTube are open to any questions feel free to check it out!

I also use tropic marin pro reef, can check out my build thread to see my tank. I think it works great and mixes extremely clean!
 
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JonCherba

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I think you just mapping things out and thinking about the equipment you are far more ready for this tank then most people that hop into this hobby! Loved the write up! Whats the plan with the system? Coral wise? Fish wise?

Looking forward to seeing updates on this thread! Welcome to the hobby! My PMs and my channel on YouTube are open to any questions feel free to check it out!

I also use tropic marin pro reef, can check out my build thread to see my tank. I think it works great and mixes extremely clean!
Thats exactly why I chose that salt mix. I was able to get a store use big bag since I have an exotics company. I will check out your Youtube channel. I've been thinking about starting a channel just for this build and future projects. I'll probably use my phone for filming since I'm not dropping a bunch on camera equipment. I'd rather spend it on my reef tank.

As far as fish and coral, I'll update the first post with a rough list of what I've been thinking about.
 
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JonCherba

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As far as the remote RODI storage and Pre-Mixed salt water storage...I plan on using 2 food grade IBS Totes (275g ea), on stands about 4' above the floor which should be 4+' above where the water will enter the sump. I plan on running PEX from the tanks underground to the underside of my house then coming above ground through the floor and behind the sump. I live in a trailer house so this wont be much of an issue. there's 2' of space under the house that I have to work in. I was planning 1/2" PEX because I have a 100' roll of red and blue that I have no other plans for. I was told on another forum that the 1/2" would not be enough to move water by gravity alone, I guess I could check that by unrolling the roll and putting both ends about where they would be to test it. if it doesn't flow I have no issue either installing pumps or getting bigger PEX, or maybe just go with PVC, I like PEX because it is one piece, just eliminates leak points or possible leak points.

The reason I want to have the RODI and Pre-Mixed salt water remote is my house is not the biggest, I'm getting older and already have issues as far as strength and my hands are pretty messed up from some unknown condition that makes it painful to carry buckets of water or haul a big trash can up stairs to get into the house. This just makes it easier for me to continue to be able to maintain my tank/s. It also doesn't take up space in my house, and if I have an emergency I will have plenty of water on hand if need be.

I'm also working on a DIY controller / monitor for my system. I've already got the 3/4" flow sensors for both return pumps, temp sensors, relay boards, current monitoring boards, ESP32 boards. I want to have 16 outlets on my system that will have current monitoring on each plus a relay on each. Monitoring power usage on equipment tells you when something isn't working properly, so that you can either manually turn on it's backup or just have it automatically come on. I recently had a heater break in the 100% on position, thankfully we caught it before the water got too hot, it was a cichlid tank, the water got up to 92 before we caught it, added ice, and did a huge water change immediatly just to cool the tank which we got it down without loosing anybody. my wife walked by and put her hand on the tank and said is this tank supposed to be hot, i said uh no, unplugged the heater and fixed it. so for this tank I'm going with the heaters listed above due to the testing and reviews regarding them holding temp very good for long periods of time, and each heater will have a temp probe attached directly to it to monitor it, plus temp probe in the overflow and return pump area, I may even add one directly to each return pump to monitor those temps as well. if the primary heater goes wonky it will get shut off and the secondary will kick in, of course I'll get a notification as well. I plan on having a battery backup for the tank system as well as the controller by itself, along with cellular communication as well just in case my house power goes out and my router is down i still get notifications and control.

I'm trying to future proof this as much as I can.
 

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