- Jan 22, 2020
- Reaction score
Build Thread Index
This thread will be my complete journey from planning, to building, to starting up my first Reef Tank. Being new to R2R I thought it would be too early to start a build thread, but I have been encouraged by other members to start my build thread to document my planning and decision making process all the way through hopefully establishing a successful tank. Up to this point, I have been watching countless hours of videos on Youtube (especially BRS 5 minute guide and 52 weeks of reefing), reading a number of articles, visiting my LFS to discuss plans with them, and of course reading R2R. I feel like I have learned a ton, but still have plenty more to go to successfully own my personalized piece of the ocean.
I first got the itch to own an aquarium 1.5-2 years ago after learning about the hobby from a friend. Approximately 1 year ago I decided to start with a 38 gallon freshwater aquarium to prove to myself I enjoy the hobby and can stick with the maintenance schedule of a basic setup before making the financial and time commitment to the saltwater world. After learning the basics from this aquarium and taking a vacation to the Caribbean where I snorkeled and scuba dove some amazing reef, I was sold that a Reef Tank was in my future. As a result, the last few months of research commenced.
1.) My motivation behind having a Reef Tank is to have a colorful, active focal point in the center of my home. Sleek and visually appealing setup with all of the equipment and cords hidden out of sight.
2.) Having a variety of interesting, beautiful fish that can't be rivaled with my current freshwater aquarium along with a combination of corals that create an aquascape resembling the ocean is my focus versus keeping the most unique, rare, and tough corals around. With that in mind, I plan on having a tank well stocked with fish and mainly "easy to care for" softies/LPS corals.
3.) Lighting will have to be mounted from tank because suspending from ceiling is not an option. Most likely looking to use 2x LED fixtures.
4.) Tank equipment and setup will focus on being user-friendly and convenience (need to be able to go on 1-2 week trips with none to minimal check-ins by individuals with no experience)
This is where I currently am in the planning process. Choosing which components are best to fully design my system prior to starting the actual build process, as well as outlining the steps and timeframe of initial setup.
The following is a list of components I am considering as well as any of my initial thoughts. Any feedback or missing components is greatly appreciated.
Tank: Red Sea Reefer 350 w/ sump (73 gallon display tank / 91 gallon total - 47"x21"x20")
Was also considering the Reefer 250 and XL425, but think the Reefer 350 is a good compromise on size and price
Lighting (x2 LEDs mounted from tank): Undecided
AI Prime 16
AI Hydra 32
Ecotech Radion XR15 (might be out of price range unless I find a deal)
ATO: Tunze Osmolator universal 3155
Return Pump: Sicce Syncra Silent 3.5 multifunction pump (660 GPH)
Skimmer: Reef Octopus Classic 110 Int 4" internal
Red Sea RSK 300 Reefer Internal
Reef Octopus Essence S-130 Internal
Powerheads (x2): Undecided
AI Nero 5
Ecotech Vortech MP10
Ecotech Vortech MP40
Heater (x2 for redundancy): Jaeger True Temp 125W
Controller: Neptune APEX
Media Reactor: BRS GFO & Carbon Reactor w/ SIcce Syncra pump
RODI: BRS 4 stage value plus (75 GPD) + x2 Brute garbage cans
Confirmed with LFS no chloramines in area
Battery Backup: Undecided, depends on other components
Substrate: ~50-80 lbs dry rock + CaribSea live sand
Red Sea Mixed Reef Recipe
Quarantine Tank: Undecided on setup, but something basic and inexpensive
1.) Have electrician wire "Reef Tank" outlet to its own breaker switch
2.) Have electrician add outlet in basement at RODI station
3.) Purchase ~80 pounds of dry rock, RODI system + Brute garbage cans + float switch, heater, and bacteria starter to cure dry rock for weeks/months
I will post some pictures in the near future of the locations I have picked out for my tank and RODI station. I'm looking forward to beginning my journey to the Reef and moving through the planning to build stages with everybody's feedback and help!