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Rob's Really Rad 180 Reef Rally

Rob.bucek

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Hello all!

Hopefully the title is catchy, unlike this build thread... I promise this won't start out all that rad :)

So where do I start? I usually approach things with the end in mind as that's a recipe for success in my job, but this is for fun so we'll pitch that book in the trash to begin with. So let's start at the beginning. I was going to wait a while to start a build thread until i did the maths. My tank will be here in ten weeks and i realized I'm starting out with NOTHING! My last tank was 15 years ago and it was a 40g breeder and the only items I have left from that adventure is a bunch of testing equipment, more on that later. So caving in to that urge that never really goes away I thought why not jump back into the pool with both feet and get a 180? You're going to more likely witness a complete belly flop but that could be fun too.

So Monday I ordered my tank from Miracles, a 180 gallon starfire front, euro-braced and drilled for a Modular Marine 3,000gph unit along with said overflow from said vendor! Derek said 10 weeks... commoooon Derek!!

Where were we? Oh yeah the beginning! a new acquaintance here pointed out it might be a good idea to get my rock cooking before my tank gets here and I found that to be good advice. Need a saltwater mixing station I thought! better get right on that.

BAM!
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Ok, some of you more observant people might point out that's not exactly a mixing station but it's a start! Ordering my RODI unit and plumbing from BRS tonight. Got a bit of work to do to get the area prepped however as i just moved into the house I'm in a few months ago, and at that time getting back into reefing was far from my focus. I pontificated for weeks on where I'd put my tank and finally came to the conclusion it couldn't be anywhere that resulted in a secondary hobby of home remodeling. I'd had my fill of that the past few years.

So i have a 7' section of wall in my basement with a mechanical room behind it! There's no where upstairs I would consider locating it without violating the secondary hobby rule. I know what many say about tanks in the basement but I have a compelling argument to refute that in this case.

view from future tank location
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It's where I keep all the booze, nough said.

In keeping a good journal I think its good to see where you've been as much as it is about where you're going, even if I haven't figured that all out just yet.

This is where the tank will ultimately be set with the mechanical room on the other side.
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I'll be locating my sump under the stand and everything else in the mechanical room, cuz reasons...




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A view from a bit further back shows the space is usable for a few things but I have to keep access to the furnace in mind as I go. I'll be finishing the walls around it as i hate clutter and the unfinished look of things. We're finally settled and it'll get me to put those last few things away in their place to tidy up the area make it more serviceable.

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I want this project to be a mix of ready to use equipment and some DYI as I really do enjoy that aspect. After wrangling with vendors for a tank/stand combo I realized the type of stand I'm looking to achieve was either too expensive from that vendor or they bowed out completely. So thanks to two super helpful and friendly people I met on here already I asked their feedback and experience on extruded aluminum frames for tank stand and they were extremely helpful. Thank you @Reef370 and @Reefer Reboot !

I started out designing the stand with sketchup and while it worked I found it to be a bit of a steaming pile compared to the CAD/CAM tools I was used to. I discovered that AutoDesk had a free for personal use version of Fusion360 and that was amazing! Very AutoCAD Inventor like :). I'll be posting that design once I pull the trigger on it very soon. Another one of those handy things to have when your tank shows up. Also currently working on a custom design for my sump as well, well see how that goes. If it gets real I'll post that here also.

So throughout the next few weeks I'll post my progress on spiffin the joint up as well as do a detailed post or two on my mixing station (hurry up BRS will you?) and my efforts to make a stand come to life. Thinking a time lapse video there of the assembly process, worthwhile idea?? Anyhoo... I'm super excited to finally being able to get back into the hobby and start this project and learn and unlearn me some things along the way, not the least of it from you fine people of this community, you guys rock! I'm not sure how these formats are supposed to run as I've never done a build thread before but I welcome your feedback and please know it's ok to laugh at my efforts, I know I will be.

Rob
 
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Rob.bucek

Rob.bucek

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Hello all!

Ok, finally things are really moving here, almost feel like I'm getting traction in direct proportion to how much more poorer I'm getting lol. Talked with Anthony over at FramingTech.com and he didn't shoot too many holes in the design I submitted to him, gave some great suggestions and even tips on how to save cash when ordering. Now that's great customer service! Going to dust off the CAD model and I'll post here over the weekend of the frame I'm ordering from them. Frame box is nearly checked.

Then there's the sump... I'm trying to get all this stuff moving in parallel in order to have it all arrive in roughly the same time frame. I know we all like what we do for various reasons, and Bashea has definitely caught my eye. I've been working directly with a gentleman from Bashea and we've been doing a lot of back and forth and he's also been super helpful in boxing out the custom build I want with form, fit, function as well as style and cost suggestions.

We've arrived at a winner I think and Premium Aquatics has finalized the quote and I'm pulling the trigger tomorrow on a custom sump from Bashea which is a larger configuration of my own design based off their SS-60 model with a return specially built for two return pumps and with the Klir filter system in mind and matching reactor. He said they're out 3-5 weeks as of right now. Giggity :D

Last week I posted on the location of my tank and the partial fish room behind it. I needed some dedicated 20 amp lines run for this tank and of course I had only one spot available in my panel (stupid safety ***** light loads on everything). This lil guy solved that problem tho.

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I was kinda skeered at first since it's a finished basement as well as a garage but the damage was minimized by the good fortune of an access hole in the garage ceiling and then coming down the outside wall of the house inside the garage. This will be a gravy repair that I won't mind since I'll be dry walling anyhow as you'll soon see.

1590631668480.png


Finally the locations of both lines, one in the fish room and one behind the tank. Saved a few nickels by running a GFC breaker in a master/slave configuration in both cases.

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Then I got really excited today as my first shipment in 15 years for tank gear showed up! Well, some of it, asking BRS why I only got 20% of a 5 stage RODI. Maybe they know, maybe UPS knows, but I certainly don't. Bunch of stuff for my mixing station as well. I may dive into that this weekend depending on progress with the walls.

1590632103589.png


Reef Octopus Various 2 pump for the mixer. Yes it's small but who cares, it's like hurry up for what when mixing salt or transferring between tanks? It's not going to my DT at all from that pump so I saved a few bucks and still got the nice and quite and the control-ability of the DC pump with the future Netpune etc. No reason to put a big pump here, not gonna stand there and watch it mix salt water haha, it can do that on a schedule.

Today I ordered a few more accouterments for plumbing and mounting my RODI unit as well as 75 lbs of dry rock from BRS. I'm going to be getting another 75 from Tampa Bay Saltwater in the next week or two pending completion of the mixing station along with the acquisition of two brute cans to get the rock cooking. I'll split the dead rock/live rock between the two and cycle them for the next couple months while i wait for the tank.

Time flies when you're having fun at work all day and researching and spending that $$ by night haha. Hope this isn't too much detail. Last weekend I did a practice LED project to familiarize myself with the workings of WS2811 lights and LED WiFi controllers before I do it on my future tank stand. A special thank you to my bar for being a good sport and the proverbial punching bag for this experiment.


That's all I have for now, stay tuned this weekend (or not) for an update on fish room improvements and work on the mixing station.

Chow!
 

ReefChef19

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Food for thought on the electrical, you can also switch out your breakers for half inch breakers. Their rated for the same amount of apps and everything but you can put two in the place of one. Just an idea if you need more dedicated runs. That's what I did on the bottom right corner.

20190619_110839.jpg
 
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Rob.bucek

Rob.bucek

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Food for thought on the electrical, you can also switch out your breakers for half inch breakers. Their rated for the same amount of apps and everything but you can put two in the place of one. Just an idea if you need more dedicated runs. That's what I did on the bottom right corner.

20190619_110839.jpg
Excellent thought! I can only hope at some point

2fa15bc25a0fe5259827fdade230232f.png
 

Reefer Reboot

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Never a more truthful quote, "almost feel like I'm getting traction in direct proportion to how much more poorer I'm getting lol.". If a boat is just a hole in the water you throw your money into then a reef tank is just a box that holds that water, and it's just as greedy!;Greedy
 
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Rob.bucek

Rob.bucek

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Ordered my Bashea sump yesterday thru Premium Aquatics! Below is the generalized concept for the layout, they'll be filling in the blanks for style etc. It will be done in a Gray/Green combo, something they've never done before and they seem excited over the project. Not shown are also two matching reactors for use in carbon or GFO should i ever need them for use in the skimmer section. Excited to see this come together.

1590763344810.png
 

Reef370

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Looks like I’ll be needing more pieces to the puzzle before I can start. Hopefully It won’t be long though.. I’m just waiting for a couple of things to be back in stock..
 

Do you have a iPad or similar type screen mounted somewhere near your tank for control or display?

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