Our Dream Tank

Ditto

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Everything must come to an end and this is the final new tank tank build my wife and I will ever do again. As we approach retirement, we wanted to use everything we learned throughout our years and build that final dream tank replacing one of the 4 we have with this new build.

I been waiting a while to post this, as we been working with our local LFS who will assisting on the swap out along with contractors and vendors. The plan is we are replacing a 120 Gallon tank with a 310 Gallon tank in the same location. The tank being replaced is 7 years old, full of coral and life. The LFS will be taking the tank, all equipment supporting the tank along with the live rock and coral, but all inhabitants of the tank will remain with us.

With that all said let's go down the equipment list, with a full swap out of the tank we budgeted this tank setup for $25,000 not accounting for engineering cost and contractor cost.

Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
TankPlanet Aquarium96x30x25
CabinetPlanet Aquarium
We went with a Planet Aquarium setup for this tank because it was what our LFS primary manufacturer they use for tanks. We are doing an external overflow (Tideline 20) with two returns lines. We wanted an external overflow on the tank as all our other tanks are internal overflows and we have learned it much easier to do flow on a tank when your overflows are not protruding off the back walls. This new tank will be Starfire front glass, and black background.

I need to stress that I believe that size does matter and a wider tank over the length is a better option. All of our tanks are the standard 18" wide and even thou we love the tanks and the initial rock scaping where we left room for us to clean them in the beginning as taught us it only a matter of time it will not. I understand I will have the same issue with 30" but I feel I will have more time to allow the coral to grow out and provide the occupants of the tank more room to move.

Last, we are not going with a canopy on this setup. Even thou I could add actuators to the canopy like I have done on other tanks we have decided on a open concept over the tank for cleaning and picture taking. We are working with a local acrylic shop who is working on shades for the lights for the tank, and a local metal fabrication shop who working on the flip away custom light rail that I provided the design on.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
SumpRoyal Exclusiv Fleece Dreambox60x23x15
Return PumpRed Dragon® 5 ECO 130 WattQty 2
SkimmerBubbleking Double Cone 200 + RD3We went with a lower skimmer size per Royal Exclusiv recommendation due to fleece roller.
Media ReactorPatronenfilter 125mm 3.0 Double
We did an exhaustive look at multiple sumps manufactures, and fleece roller products and we landed on these three as our final choices. MRC, Synergy Reef Systems with Dual ClariSea SK-5000, and the Royal Exclusive Dreambox.

We were heavily leaning with the Synergy Reef Sump with the SK-5000 but started to see videos and reports of users on how to change the fleece and we started to get concerned. Most of the time is looked like you needed to remove the unit from the sump. Even thou not a big deal or deal breaker because of the integration with the Synergy reef sump we decided to pass.

MRC design was excellent, but what concerned me was that the Ifilter seemed to be an addon and the final size would made it difficult for me to keep the unit under the tank.

Advance Acrylics was contacted for a custom sump but after posts here on Reef2Reef and Facebook reviews they were removed from our selection list as the quality of the product seems to be lacking.

We finally decided to go with Royal Exclusiv because we have had great success on there pumps, and skimmers which are on our existing tanks. We also liked how it was all integrated together and not piece’s part. We also liked the overall construction and reviews of users who owned the DreamBox. It is true you are paying for that, and some may argue it just PVC but we felt your getting what you pay for.

I know some are going to ask why not filter socks. It is true we have them installed on the other tanks, but it is about convenience of not having to pull the socks out every 3-4 days and the dirty looks from the wife when I use the washer machine. I also was also not pulling them out every 3-4 days but once a week, which as we know can cause spikes in No3 with the breakdown of detritus in the socks. Our global plan is the other 3 tanks will have the filter socks removed and replaced with filter rollers in the near future.

We also went with dual return pumps due to the size of the tank. This allowed for additional redundancy in the event one pump fails and to have the ability to lower the flow of both return pumps for not just noise but support even a lower flow for the UV.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
Flow
MP60QDEcoTechQty 3
MP40QDEcoTechQty 2
We will have specifics on where we plan to place these within the tank, but it was an obvious decision. Some will ask why we did not go with a closed loop loop, and we thought about it, but were concerned that it could introduce another area for a potential leak down the road.

We have had great success with the EcoTech and use them on all of our tanks, the low-profile great flow and flexibility in programing made it an obvious choice for us.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
UVAqua Ultraviolet80 Watt
UV was a must on the tank and we UV on all of our tanks. We used quite a few different UV manufacturers but have had great success with Aqua. We went with the non-wiper version as we have had problems with the wiper one leaking after some time. This is going to be installed on the back of the tank stand and be utilized by one of the return pumps. The flow will be low enough to sterilize anything that passes through it.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
ControllerGHLProfilux 4
Since moving to GHL nearly 5 years ago I have not looked back. And this tank will be no exception in the use of GHL. I have zero issues connecting to it remotely while away. It is true I will need a windows desktop to upgrade the firmware but I knew this going in when I did my initial switch out so it no surprise for me. The stability and reliability I have had with the controllers since the swap out has been excellent and want to continue the track record on this tank. I plan to do YouTube videos on the entire setup and installation of the controller including how to upgrade.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
LightingGHLQty 4 LX7206
PLM-PWCGHLExpansion Card to Control the lights by the P4 Controller.
We have had great success growing coral with the LX7206 so doing it on this tank was an easy choice. We will pull the lighting schedule off the existing tank and use it for this one. We are working on a custom flip rail system and custom hoods for the lights. This will be our first time controlling the lights thought the P4 as all our other systems we left the light control be done by the Master light. It been a set and forget on the lights and we plan to do the same this time around unless acclimating coral in the tank.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
Water Changing/ATO
Maxi DoserGHLQty 2 Maxi 2.0
I have 2 Spare Maxi and will use these both for Water Changes, and ATO for this tank. We have these running on all of our other tanks and they are great work horse doser. They will be stand alone configuration with the sensors plugged directly into them as they will be in the basement of the house. When the new Maxi 2.1 comes out I will replace the Maxi 2.0 when they no longer work or when I can not get replacement parts.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
Alkalinity TestingGHLKH Director + Doser 2.1
Ca, Mg, K, and NO testingGHLION Director + Doser 2.1
I have had great success with both units, and I still have the Trident and Apex running on another tank side by side with the ION and KH director. Due to this success, I have had using them on the other tanks I plan to continue to use them on the new tank. They kept the existing tanks stable by automatically adjusting the dosing based on the needs of the tank. This will be the first time thou we install and configure them on a new tank, so it will be interesting to see what they record as the tank matures over the years.


Equipment DescriptionManufactureAdditional Info
DoserGHLDoser 2.1
ATI Essential ProATI
ATI NutritionATI
This was a toughest decision, as I am a big AquaForest user. I love the product but have had a hard time getting it in the recent year to the point of utter frustration. It either out of stock, or delayed and when it is in stock, I have to order in bulk and store it. I have also had a heck of a time getting the salt. I really do not want to have to deal with this on the new tank which is larger and will consume even more of the product. So we decided to go in a different direction on this tank and I hope not to regret this decision.

This tank will also have an Avast Marine Ozone Reactor added to it, a CO2 Scrubber and tablet which will be connected to the controller for control and tank display of current readings.

Plan to see a lot of pictures, video’s and most of all the actual swap out . I am expecting to make a few mistakes, water on the floor and a big mess but the wife said you can do it, which is ½ the battle
 
AquaSD
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Ditto

Ditto

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Over the course of three months waiting for the new Tank and Sump we been ordering the necessary equipment to support the new tank. Needless to say our living room has become a storage area. The cat's are playing within the boxes but it better but we tell friends and family no worries it will be cleaned out before Christmas :)

The canister filter will be used as a temporary filtration for the livestock of the tank while we do the tank swap out.
 

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Ditto

Ditto

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Royal Exclusiv provided an update yesterday that the sump is shipping out next week, and attached a few pictures of the sump before it is crated up and shipped out. I can not wait to see it when it arrives.

It took about 2 Weeks to work with them on the final features and the price and 8 weeks to build which was within the 8-10 week estimate they provided.
Sump 4.jpg


Sump 1.jpg Sump 2.jpg Sump 3.jpg Sump 5.jpg
 
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Ditto

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Good morning,

Sorry for the lack of updates, my wife diagnoses of cancer came back and we have been doing all the necessary doctor appointments, blood work and consulting on what the next stages are. We really thought when they removed it the last time and therapy 3 years ago, we were done with this, but we are not.

The good news it been caught at the very early stages, and they are going to go with Immunotherapy because of the location and size of the cells as removal is not an option, and radiation to the area is not recommended. Her PET scan came back negative for spread so it is only in one location. Fingers crossed the Immunotherapy works. She had her port installed and is going for her first treatment today.

She still very excited for the new tank as it takes her mind off the therapy, and I am trying to have her coordinate with the shippers which is good so thing.

With that said Royal Exclusiv has secured a spot for the sump and will arrive in the US the week June 25th. Fingers crossed, we plan to track the ship as it crosses over .

They also provided us pictures of the SUMP as it now been crated and ready for delivery to the port.

Picture of the SUMP before Crating:

Sump_Ship3.jpeg



All Boxed Up. (I ordered extra Rolls and the Silent Matt for the Sump as it will be in the Dining Room under the tank.
Sump_Ship2.jpeg


Crated up and Ready to be picked up for shipping: Looks so big with the crate
Sump_Ship1.jpg


Last, we received a call from our local LFS, the Tank from Planet Aquarium arrived and is at the Terminal and they plan to pick it up this week for delivery. We will be storing it in our garage as we wait for the sump.
 

ripcord

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Looking forward to your build, interested in your thoughts on the quality of the tank from planet aquarium, and royal exclusiv sump with fleece roller. I’ve got a synergy reef sump and plan to upgrade to new sump with fleece roller. Thoughts and prayers to your wife!
 
Printed Reef - Custom Reef Accessories
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Ditto

Ditto

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@ripcord - Thank you, and I will for sure let you know on both the Sump and Tank and will do Video's on both so you can see the quality of both. And thank you for the kind words also :)

@Sean Clark - Thanks for the Followings

With a sad heart at 3:22pm 5/21/2022 my mom passed away with her family at her side. I can not express in words the loss I feel, even thou expected due to a long illness, a part of me which I can not explain hurts in a way I never expected. She use to always come over for hours and look at the tanks amazed at what was in them. Always smiling and even at our last Christmas Dinner which I have always hosted she was so happy, and cheerful hiding the constant pain she was in.

In the last year my wife lost both of her parents and now my Mom. My dad passed 10 years earlier and what I have learned throughout all this is it not the time you miss with them but the time you spend with them that needs to be remembered and cherished. Many wish they had more time, and I do also, but I have no regrets in the time I have had with my parents, or my wife parents.

The first 20 years of our lives our parents watch us, guide us and help us. In the next 30 in bliss as we are living our lives and our parents are doing ok, as we continue to think nothing happens to them. And in the last 20 we begin to watch them and protect them. I cherish them, their guidance and love they gave. They were not perfect, but no parent is but it made me who I am. Rest in peace Mom I hope you and Dad, Grandma and Grandpa, along with my Wife parents are playing cards tonight. As I drive into work tomorrow the sinking feeling is coming over me as I realize the friend I call every morning to talk about politics, to the weather to work will not be their to answer the phone the pain she had will be felt in me with time being the only thing that will heal it.

They say it happens in three's my Wife Dad, Wife Mom, and now my Mom. I hope pray for a better year because the last one (And the main reason why you have not seen my on as much) has been just that all Family. I look forward to what going to happen next as we enter the chapter of retirement because the last year was really .....
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss! Praying for you and your family during this time!
 
Coral Mania
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Ditto

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The Tank and Stand have arrived from Planet Aquarium. Eddie's Aquarium, out of Latham is going to assist on the swap out. When I first saw them arrive I went wait that is much bigger then I thought, but after it was uncrated I was like ok that better.

Del_Tank2.jpg


The Stand is just simply Goregous
Del_Tank1.jpg


In the Garage as we wait now for the Sump to arrive

Del_Tank3.jpg


Del_Tank4.jpg
 
OP
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Now that all the equipment is here, and the tank and stand I can begin to layout the final plumbing design for this tank. Below is how I plan to plumb the back of the tank. The UV light can not fit inside the stand due to it size and the size of the sump, hence it will be placed on the back of the tank. Which is ok because I already have the tank 6” away from the wall to account for the Tideline Overflow box. If you think I should change anything back here please let me know :)

Back_Diagram_1.jpg


Equipment Specifics Below:

Tideline 20” Overflow Box:

http://www.dfwaquarium.com/s.nl/it.A/id.15273/.f?sc=37&category=238024

Tideline 20” Overflow Retgurn Kit:
http://www.dfwaquarium.com/Products/Tideline-Overflow-Kits-/Tideline-20-Overflow-Kit_2.html

AquaUV Classic Series UV:
No Wiper as I have had issues with them leaking with the wiper

Check Valves:
https://www.bulkreefsupply.com/swing-check-valve-true-union.html

GHL Flow Sensor with Unions:
https://www.aquariumcomputer.com/usa/product/flow-sensor-9000-lh/
https://www.aquariumcomputer.com/usa/product/pvc-fittings-imperial-for-flow-sensor-9000l-h/

The Planet Aquarium Stand is simple a work of heart. They did an excellent job in the construction of the stand. Soft closed hinge doors, excellent staining, and poly of the stand.
Stand_0.jpeg

Stand_1.jpeg

Stand_2.jpeg


1 Side Panel Door (Equipment Access)
Stand_3.jpeg


The Blue Tape you see inside is the length of the sump, I needed to determine this so I could begin building the PVC shelfing unit for the equipment that is going into be placed underneath
Stand_4.jpeg


Dog loves working with me :)
 
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Ditto

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@Freddy0144 - Thank you for the comment. My plan is to start it Day 1. Since I am moving the livestock from the original tank over to the new tank and water and it already has UV I will just carry that same methodology which is UV can start as soon as it filled with water. :)
 

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@Freddy0144 - Thank you for the comment. My plan is to start it Day 1. Since I am moving the livestock from the original tank over to the new tank and water and it already has UV I will just carry that same methodology which is UV can start as soon as it filled with water. :)
I figured you would be started with already seeded rock from another system, that really makes life easy. Good Stuff looking forward to tagging along with the progression.
 

kevgib67

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Following, great start! So sorry about your wife and mother. Just over 3 years since competing chemo, I just had a scare, PET scan was negative. Praying for you and your wife. I can’t wait to see your tank finished!
 
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@Sean Clark - Thank you for the advice, I will remove the one from the second overflow.

@Kevib67 - Thank you for the kind words. And glad your pet scan came back negative!!! And yes we can not wait till it done getting excited seeing it all starting to come together!!
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

  • IT'S PERFECT NOW

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