SCA 150g Build - First Saltwater Tank - Come Watch Me Learn!

Adam_M

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Please excuse the mess while I try to figure out how to correctly use this forum.

I grew up with freshwater tanks (my favorite growing up was a smallish Discus tank with aproximately 8 fish), and decided now that I have a stable income and some extra time and money that it was time to start a mixed reef tank.

I decided to put it at my office, since that's where I spend the majority of my waking time (and I also want to show it off to everyone that is unlucky enough to come into my office).

With all that being said, I decided to go with the 150 SC Aquarium full setup. Here's some pictures of what was sent to me:

IMG_1795.jpg

IMG_1799.JPG



More pictures of the tank going up in my office:

IMG_1800.JPG



This was my first attempt at plumbing anything, and I decided to make a few modifications to what came with the setup to include a ball valve (I have no idea how the Herbie system that came with the tank was supposed to work without a valve, but I digress):

IMG_1819.jpg



Rocks and water going into the tank:

IMG_1847.jpg


My basic temperature controller. I mis-measured the heaters, I did not intend to put them in the first chamber, and I may switch this up later:

IMG_1855.jpg


Added Dr. Tim's One and Only + Ammonia Mix as of October 5 -- Let the cycle begin!

IMG_1852.JPG
 
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Adam_M

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Thanks!


Here's the brainstorming I've done on potential fish, inverts, and coral:

Clown Fish
Yellow Watchman Goby
Lawnmower Blenny
Mandarin Goby (no earlier than a year from now)
Firefish Goby / Paired (or Exquisite)
Orchid Dottyback
Yellow Tangs
Foxface
Flame Angelfish
Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse
Chromi

Inverts

Pistol Shrimp
Banded Coral Shrimp
Banded Trochus Snail
Tiger Snapping Shrimp
Harlequin Shrimp (Undecided, but they look awesome)
Cleaner Shrimp
Maxima Clam (Much Later)
Dwarf Blue Leg Hermit Crab


Coral - Ignore any SPS currently on this list, no plan on adding those yet:

Blastomussa
Pom Pom Xenia
Hammer
Red Rainbow florida Ricordea
Galaxea
Scolymia
Acan Lord
Favia
Cyphastrea
Trachyphyllia (brain)
Leather Coral
Montipora



Obviously not adding everything all at once. I think I'm going to add the Firefish Gobys + maybe the Lawnmower first. Chromi are also a potential candidate.


For the lighting I'm going with the Reef Breeders Photon 50 v2.


Other random thoughts:

The glass on this tank is stunning, just as I'd hoped.
I need to get an ATO system--It's amazing how much water evaporates in a single day.
 

Devaji

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nice! I have been checking out the SCA 150 for a few years now. I had there 90 a while back.

you will like the photon V2+ nice lights I recommend hanging them from the ceiling ,looks sharp that way.

enjoy the tank and have fun!
 

Devaji

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i suggest a gate valve over the ball valve. that way you can dial in the overflow better that way, you can get in almost silent.
ball valves are for turning water off/on
gate valves regulate flow.
trust us you will be happy you changed it up!

love the stand BTW. what color is that?

oh when you get a chance and you share some tank pis of the top so we can check out the euro bracing.
:D
 
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Adam_M

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i suggest a gate valve over the ball valve. that way you can dial in the overflow better that way, you can get in almost silent.
ball valves are for turning water off/on
gate valves regulate flow.
trust us you will be happy you changed it up!

love the stand BTW. what color is that?

oh when you get a chance and you share some tank pis of the top so we can check out the euro bracing.
:D

I actually managed to get the ball valve open just enough to get a perfectly silent siphon, but you're right that the gate valve would have been a better idea. It's cemented in place so no way I'm getting it out at this point without completely tearing down the bulkhead.

My next task is to figure out how to put in some filter socks. Here's a picture of the first chamber in my overflow:
file.jpeg


The bevels are so close to the top of the sump (design flaw IMO), which seems to limit my space to work. Any suggestions?

Here's a couple pictures of the euro brace as requested!

file.jpeg
file1.jpeg



Edit: I think the stand is "American Grey"
 

Streetdoc77

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i suggest a gate valve over the ball valve. that way you can dial in the overflow better that way, you can get in almost silent.
ball valves are for turning water off/on
gate valves regulate flow.
trust us you will be happy you changed it up!

love the stand BTW. what color is that?

oh when you get a chance and you share some tank pis of the top so we can check out the euro bracing.
:D
I agree with Devaji on the gate valves! Mine runs almost silent .

EC28E8DC-8144-44A6-94FC-B706615C1E53.jpeg
 

ryshark

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I actually managed to get the ball valve open just enough to get a perfectly silent siphon, but you're right that the gate valve would have been a better idea. It's cemented in place so no way I'm getting it out at this point without completely tearing down the bulkhead.

My next task is to figure out how to put in some filter socks. Here's a picture of the first chamber in my overflow:
file.jpeg


The bevels are so close to the top of the sump (design flaw IMO), which seems to limit my space to work. Any suggestions?

Here's a couple pictures of the euro brace as requested!

file.jpeg
file1.jpeg



Edit: I think the stand is "American Grey"
I don’t think you’re using the sump properly. That first chamber you have your return dumping into looks like a ATO chamber for RODI. The way you have it looks noisy and scary close to top, in that chamber.
 
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ryshark

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I don’t think you’re using the sump properly. That first chamber you have your return dumping into looks like a ATO chamber for RODI. The way you have it looks noisy and scary close to top, in that chamber.
If it’s like my SCA sump; I think if you put the green hose and the heater in the next chamber over you will be using it properly. Then drain the saltwater out of that first chamber and use it for ATO. We can tell for sure when we see the picture.
 

Devaji

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I don’t think you’re using the sump properly. That first chamber you have your return dumping into looks like a ATO chamber for RODI. The way you have it looks noisy and scary close to top, in that chamber.
can you post a photo of the entire sump? im pretty sure thats the ato section you have the drain running to, i think the drain section may be on the other side?
I was wondering the same thing, as that was my 1st thought but I did not get there sump on the old SCA 90 I had.

not a big deal to change it. as far as filter socks go I like filter cups with filter floss so much easier. a bag is like $5 or so and you just toss it after. life it to busy to wash socks. the filter floss works great too!

there also sock/cups holders out there easy way to get that on you sump.
 
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Adam_M

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can you post a photo of the entire sump? im pretty sure thats the ato section you have the drain running to, i think the drain section may be on the other side?

Well, if I'm using it wrong that would explain things! Of course, the heaters I bought won't fit in the other sections, so I'd have to buy new ones... any suggestions?

I've attached three photos, first is left side, second is right, third is an overhead of the whole thing. Water is going right to left.

file.jpeg
file1.jpeg
file2.jpeg


It is extremely frustrating that SCA doesn't have a single video or guide on the correct installation of their system, but oh well.
 

ryshark

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Well, if I'm using it wrong that would explain things! Of course, the heaters I bought won't fit in the other sections, so I'd have to buy new ones... any suggestions?

I've attached three photos, first is left side, second is right, third is an overhead of the whole thing. Water is going right to left.

file.jpeg
file1.jpeg
file2.jpeg


It is extremely frustrating that SCA doesn't have a single video or guide on the correct installation of their system, but oh well.
It looks like all you have to do is what I mentioned above. Put the green drain in the next chamber over and move your heater.
 
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Adam_M

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It looks like all you have to do is what I mentioned above. Put the green drain in the next chamber over and move your heater.
Thanks! Any suggestions on a heater that'll fit in the sump?

I love the size/shape of the SCA 150. What astonishes me is the HUGE price increase to go from the 60" long 150 ($999) to the 72" long 180 ($1999?) .
Maybe they'll go on sale at some point? I think I saw the tank-only for 1,600 at one point.
 

ryshark

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Thanks! Any suggestions on a heater that'll fit in the sump?



Maybe they'll go on sale at some point? I think I saw the tank-only for 1,600 at one point.
I lay my heater flat on the bottom of the sump. Does anyone know if it is ok or not to lay eheim heater horizontal? If not ok, why?
 

Devaji

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yup that is the ATO section, I hear ya been nice if they put some effort in to explaining it eh? oh well I guess that is what forums are for.

I have used Ehim heater flat for years no problem.

I have heard some ppl take out the baffles that came with the sump and build it to there liking to. that is an option if you need.
with what you have I would do return with filter cups in to skimmer in to fuge in to return pump with the ATO on the far right.
 

APX90

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Well, if I'm using it wrong that would explain things! Of course, the heaters I bought won't fit in the other sections, so I'd have to buy new ones... any suggestions?

I've attached three photos, first is left side, second is right, third is an overhead of the whole thing. Water is going right to left.

file.jpeg
file1.jpeg
file2.jpeg


It is extremely frustrating that SCA doesn't have a single video or guide on the correct installation of their system, but oh well.
Looks like other folks beat me to the punch but yes move the heaters and the drain lines over one chamber to the left, drain that chamber and fill it with rodi for top offs! Good looking build !
 
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