Planet Aquariums Custom 280 Gallon Office SPS Dominant Build

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robby2782

robby2782

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I finally had a chance to get all my established live rock moved over this weekend, and I am very happy with how it turned out. The photos don't capture the caves between all the rocks as well as they really look, and but the 4" gap off the back panel was intentional, as was the valley between the two islands to allow for water flow and open space for fish and branching coral. One big caveat with using seasoned live rock is using acrylic dowels or epoxy to create the structure is far more difficult, so I built this underwater to preserve as much existing life as possible.

I mounted at least 40 remaining Acropora fragments/mini colonies of the 150+ that I had at my prime several years ago, and as you can see I have ample space for dozens more pieces. I really miss all of Wet Thumbs pieces I lost over the years, and will be looking for several of these pieces to add back to the collection. I also moved the odantanthias fuscipinnis, Dejongi basslet, squirei fairy wrasse, hooded fairy wrasse, and candy basslet over to the display today, and the conspicuous is staying in quarantine for the time being until the coral stabilizes and resumes growing again. I also plan to add a personatus angel that is about 1/3 the size, and would prefer to add this first.

I also swapped out the newer Apex head unit with built in wifi with my older unit from 2010, and have the calcium reactor running independent of the controller as I get it dialed in.
 

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Lazys Coral House

ShepherdReefer

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So this will be the first actual build I've ever done on this forum, but wanted to document this build to hopefully help/inspire newcomers getting into this hobby. Like most hobbyists, I've suffered excruciating losses over the years that has made me want to quit the hobby more than once, and this build is essentially a manifestation of everything I've learned so far from my mistakes over the years.

Planet Aquariums built my first custom 180 gallon tank in 2011 when I upgraded from my 140 gallon Oceanic tank, and I've had 2 other systems since that one going into this build. I actually used to have an office next door to them before I split from my previous business partners and starting my own company about a year and a half ago, so I had the pleasure of touring their facility to see how they are able to build high quality tanks at a high volume that allows them to keep their costs down. I also chose the custom dimensions to manageable enough for me to relocate in a couple years since I am already starting to outgrow my current facility, and may actually have a 360-400 gallon built to move everything into once that happens. Most of my equipment is oversized for this reason with exception to my sump, and upgrading will be relatively simple.

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Nice, thanks for sharing.
 
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robby2782

robby2782

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Here are some older pictures before mounting all of the coral, including a top down photo of the maxima that I moved over, and some of the sponge covered rubble rock I moved into the cryptic zone
 

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robby2782

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So I finally got the Reef Brite Supra fixtures in to supplement my lights with 6500k bulbs, and they did not disappoint! I love the crisp white light, and brings a tremendous boost to overall par ranging from 450 at the top of the rocks, and 150 par along the bottom.
 

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BRS
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robby2782

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It hasn't even been 2 weeks since mounting all of my coral, and I'm already seeing growth on several the acropora pieces, and the coloration is phenomenal. I also added 2 tunze 6085 streams behind the rock islands with to alternate waves, while keeping the 2 gyre xf280's on anti sync random mode to maintain indirect, alternating flow patterns to eliminate any and all dead spots in the tank. I recently purchased the Apex cable to connect both drivers to set up multiple patters. The only thing visible with those pumps are the cables coming up from behind the rock.

Here are some addition photos of the current fish in the tank, and I'm leaving the conspicuous angel out until I can add the personatus angel beforehand to prevent any aggression.
 

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