New Reefer DiscGolfRob's 50G SCA Build Thread

DiscGolfRob

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I'll have to do the time-travel thing, here, since I started acquiring equipment in early February. I have always wanted a saltwater aquarium. In fact, when I bought my first house almost twenty years ago, I bought several books on the subject. After learning more about what was actually involved, I regretfully decided I was not at the right point in my life to jump in. I started ramping up research at the end of the year, and decided it was time to purchase a tank after the holidays. Initially, I wanted a BioCube16, but after considering the difficulties of smaller tanks and the space I have available, I moved onto the BioCube32. Unfortunately, I had no luck finding one. In the end, I went with an all-in-one 50G SCA Cube and stand. I'm really happy with the way things worked out, as the tank is beautiful, and I am already thinking about the upgrade I want to do in a few years (I even think my wife is already resigning herself to the fact this will happen).

My tank was delivered on February 8, 2019. It had been delayed due to weather in the Midwest, but timeline was still reasonable, and everything was well-packaged:
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DiscGolfRob

DiscGolfRob

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I plan on taking everything slowly. I'm probably over-the-top in my need to research, so eventually I'll have to jump in and be comfortable with the fact I am going to make mistakes. I am out of town for a huge disc golf tournament at the end of April, and then vacation at the end of June, so I will likely not even get this wet until the beginning of July.

Still, I am human, and I have definitely been excited. So, the tank was moved to its location, and unpackaged, that same day. The location is in my finished basement. There will be no direct sunlight, and the foot traffic will be such that the viewing is good, but I shouldn't be in danger of having fish scared. There is a huge storage on the other side of the wall, and a laundry room across from the tank, so I have multiple options for my water mixing station. I did notice that the tank is sloped forward VERY slightly. This is probably due to the floor slope, since it is a basement. It is only 1/8th of an inch higher in the back, but I still plan on shimming.

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DiscGolfRob

DiscGolfRob

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What’s your main brand of discs in your bag? I’m split 50/50 in nova and discraft. welcome to the reefing fun
I am currently almost all Trilogy, although a buddy of mine is discraft-sponsored, so a few of those have been sneaking into my bag, lately. Thanks for the welcome!
 
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DiscGolfRob

DiscGolfRob

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Welcome to R2R! A new tank offers so many possibilities. Enjoy the build. Keep posting as you put it together. We like pics :)
Thank you! I've been reading the forum for quite awhile, just need to keep in the routine of updating my own stuff.
 
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DiscGolfRob

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On February 12, 2019, I started dry-fitting my plumbing. Like many others with the same setup, I am not using most of the plumbing that came with the tank. I ordered all of my PVC, connections, and valves from BRS. I did plenty of reading on the Herbie overflow setup for which the tank was drilled. Being new to this, I still had plenty of questions. Barret's 50 G SCA Build Thread was a huge help, and then he was gracious enough to answer the questions that I had.
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This setup will likely still be tweaked, and I still did not have the appropriate elbows to connect by gate valve on the main drain. This was very much just part of the planning/learning process.
 
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DiscGolfRob

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On February 24th, 2019, I received my 6-stage deluxe plus RO/DI system from BRS. I was a little overwhelmed when I first unpacked it, but it really ended up being very simple to set up.

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I also started figuring out some of my electrical setup, with a kill a watt power bar. I do plan on eventually having a controller, probably an Apex. However, since this is my first go at this, I decided to keep it simple, and learn how to use the equipment I have. This is the same reason I am keeping the stock return pump and skimmer, though I am sure both will be upgrade after I feel comfortable.

IMG_0744.JPG
 
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DiscGolfRob

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I also went ahead and cemented the pvc with unions to the bulkheads. Definitely easy to over-estimate the amount of cement, so I have some clean-up to do on the main drain side. I do a lot of tiny, intricate glue work. The castle in my avatar is one I made primarily from cardstock. Yet, somehow, putting a little cement on a piece of pvc was challenging ;Facepalm

IMG_0743.JPG
 
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DiscGolfRob

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On March 3, 2019, I installed my 6 stage RO/DI system. Originally, my plan was to stage brute trash cans in the laundry room where the system is located, and either wheel the brute to the tank, or carry water in buckets. However, between the crowding in the laundry room, spilling water on the carpets every day, and research on water mixing changes, I changed those plans.

The RO/DI system is located in a cabinet above the laundry room sink:
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The output will go up into the drop-ceiling, and across this part of the basement:
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It will then come back down in a part of a storage room on the other side of the wall behind the tank. This is where my mixing station will be. I will be able to easily pump water to the tank for water changes, and it also lend itself to set up automatic water changes in the future:
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DiscGolfRob

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I had planned on cementing my plumbing, today, but it got fairly cold, and I didn't want to leave the windows open. Next weekend looks good, and I have to stay fairly close to home, anyway. Some things I did do:
- Installed a work LED light in the cabinet
- Drilled holes in the cabinet that is housing the RO/DI system, to hide the hoses. Measured and ordered the extra hose length to run the product water across to the storage room that will be the location of my mixing station
- Installed my sock filter mount in the sump
- Purchased two brute trash cans w/lids, and drip trays, for my mixing station
- Replaced the nearest electrical outlet with a GFCI outlet

I'll take plenty of photos on my next aquarium work day. In the meantime, I continue to spend time watching the threads of other 50G cube owners (@Philipgonzales3 @Why-Me, as well as others). I'm also on my second time reading through the fish selection sticky thread. This time, I'm taking notes on possible selections for my own tank. @eatbreakfast is incredibly knowledgeable, and the time he takes to share that knowledge is awesome.
 
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DiscGolfRob

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Productive day, today! I finally cemented my pipes. I think I'll get the extra hose I need for my RO/DI this week, and do a leak test next weekend. I'm nervous :confused:
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I also got my light in the mail! I went with a NanoBox Reef Duo + M. I feel like this was the toughest decision I have made on the build, so far. I did research to the point I had doubts about every light there is, but I felt good about this one. Obviously, there's no water or rock in the tank, yet, but the light looks super clean. The control is also very easy to use. My tank is probably the largest size that one of these lights would work for, but I feel confident it will be good. If not, I always have the option of adding another.
 
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