Seanislav's New 300 Gal Build

Seanislav

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We moved in June and sold off the 300 gallon DD reef system we had, and its inhabitants.

We're largely settled into our new abode, and as one might expect, the itch has begun. I kept my equipment, as it's all higher end stuff, so I don't expect any large scale procurement to be necessary, save for the new tank, stand, and canopy.

The tank was ordered Thursday last week, and I don't yet have an ETA for completion...which is okay, since I am also building two greenhouses for my side business, and the materials for those arrived today.

As it stands, the new system will be going into the "office" in the basement. A utility sink has been professionally plumbed into the closet of this room, and my RO/DI system is plumbed in. We also had an electrician run two dedicated circuits to the spot where the stand will be set. I will be setting up a mixing station next to the sink, and the plan is to plumb a line from the sump to the sink for water changes, and a line from a mix/heat tank to the sump, enabling water changes to be carried out via throwing of a couple valves, ending bucket lugging and sloshing.

I will post updates as progress is made. I have 6 Gen 4 XR15 Radions and an Apex 2016 waiting to be broken in, and am eager to have a system running again, as it's been much better for my well-being than anything on the airwaves of late. We'll see how this goes...and how quickly!

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Daddy-o

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Greetings! I like the sink set up! I have to ask about the electric though. It appears you have one romex running to the 2 gang box with Gfcis.. Why 2 gfcis when you can just wire 1 gfci and then wire a standard outlet to the gfci and they will both be protected? Also, might be a good idea to pop a gfci into the outlet to the right of your sink.
Cheers! Mark
 
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Seanislav

Seanislav

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Greetings! I like the sink set up! I have to ask about the electric though. It appears you have one romex running to the 2 gang box with Gfcis.. Why 2 gfcis when you can just wire 1 gfci and then wire a standard outlet to the gfci and they will both be protected? Also, might be a good idea to pop a gfci into the outlet to the right of your sink.
Cheers! Mark
One Romex, but two physical breakers in the main circuit box (so possibly 4 wires?), so should one be tripped by a light or something, the other with pumps would continue running, so I don't lose the whole tank at one time (I also would hope the Apex would catch it before a GFI was tripped, but we're building redundancy into this system on as many levels as I can manage. Each GFI runs independently of the other (I tested them upon returning home after he finished the install).

And yes, I will be adding a GFI to the existing outlet in the corner (Good eye!).
 

Daddy-o

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One Romex, but two physical breakers in the main circuit box (so possibly 4 wires?), so should one be tripped by a light or something, the other with pumps would continue running, so I don't lose the whole tank at one time (I also would hope the Apex would catch it before a GFI was tripped, but we're building redundancy into this system on as many levels as I can manage. Each GFI runs independently of the other (I tested them upon returning home after he finished the install).

And yes, I will be adding a GFI to the existing outlet in the corner (Good eye!).
Nice! 2 separate circuits. My tank is right next to the panel perhaps I should be less lazy and add a couple of outlets like you did. Thanks for the inspiration!
 
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Seanislav

Seanislav

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Well, I wasn't certain that this thread was still accessible, it's been so long (over two years now). Thankfully, it still is. Much has happened since I posted the above. Reader's Digest version follows...

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Seanislav

Seanislav

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The tank is a custom built 72" X 20" X 24" peninsula with external overflow. 3/4" acrylic, because the 300 gallon DD Marineland it replaced when we moved was un-Godly heavy. A custom stand and canopy were built. The framing was constructed from square steel stock expertly built by someone the owner of my LFS knows. The frame is then skinned with wood panels held to the frame with magnets. The interior clearance of the old stand was lacking, so one request was more vertical clearance in the new stand. Done.

The intent was to put the new tank in the office that I had the electrical outlets and new sink installed. The stand was made an inch longer and wider than the tank...and didn't fit through the three doors it needed to pass through from the garage to the office. After fighting with logistical issues, we decided to put it in the family room, also in the basement. Not the first choice, but at least doable, and it's still on a concrete floor.

I channeled cables from the office, where the new outlets are and passed them through the wall into a cabinet I hung on the wall adjacent to the tank for all of the electronics, since I hate having electricity underneath something that can leak on it.

I plumbed everything in (this was in October of 2017), located the tank where I wanted it, and began filling it. I was not willing to pull the tank away from the wall enough to fir a pipe wrench on the bulkheads from the overflow. It has 4 holes...one channels light cables to the cabinet, 2 are 1.5" drains to the sump, and the last is another 1.5" emergency drain. There are gate valves on the two primary drains to quiet the operation a bit more. There's no regulation on the emergency drain--i want to hear if something's amiss.
Well, I tightened the nuts on the bulkheads as tightly as I could, sans pipe wrench. Filling commenced with RODI water coming in from the other room...and the moment the water hit the overflow, it leaked like a seive.

Tank emptied, moved, wrench used on nuts...no more leaks. Sigh...mop up floor...recommence filling.

The canopy was the last thing completed...about 2 months after the system was started. It was two months before I could install my Radions.

I started with dry rock...in retrospect, I believe that I should've just sprung for wet live rock. Coraline and cycling came exceptionally slowly.

Canopy arrived, lights installed, Apex configured, ATO and calcium reactor set up and plumbed, and the Vectra M1 started as the return pump. Turns out the added height of the stand added head pressure on the return line, and made things rather underwhelming in the flow through the sump department.

Redesign and addition of a Vectra L1 with check valve as primary return pump, with M1 running two UV sterilizers and the calcium reactor, and the choice of either returning the water back to the sump, or flipping a ball valve and directing it into the main return line.

I added two DOS pumps, since I have the Apex. I wanted to go Triton, but BRS couldn't keep the base elements in stock long enough for me to actually buy them, so I went with ATI instead.

I added fish and inverts and got stuff cycling. Black Friday came and the LFS had their annual insanity weekend. I got a nice selection of tangs, wrasses, and anthias...and ich...and brook...AND velvet. I attempted to save as many fish as I could and quarantine them, and treat them. Lost all but the Melanurus wrasse. Tank went fallow for 3 months...corals and inverts only.

Fallow period passed, and all but sand sleeping wrasses get quarantined. I've never had one make it through the process...but then, I can't seem to keep a Naso tang alive either, but I digress.

Stocking since my learning experience was slow, successful overall, with some minor failures as far as far as fish go.

That is how things started in the new 300-ish gallon system too years ago. Now, the issue is getting coraline and some other tough brown/green algae off the acrylic. Note to self: never again with the acrylic. Should've just gone with glass. At least I can use a heavier duty scraper on it without scratching the tank walls all to Hades, and not aggravating the arthritis by having to use one of those plastic Kent scrapers (I've broken 3). Oh well, it's not going to change anytime soon--I can't afford to do it again right now.

Current livestock includes the following:
1 male Dispar Anthias
1 male Lyretail Anthias
3 Stout Anthias
1 Desjardinii tang
1 Yellow tang
1 half black Mimic tang
1 Orange Shoulder tang
1 Blue tang
1 Melanurus wrasse
1 Checkerboard wrasse
1 Timor wrasse
1 Red Tail Tamarin wrasse
1 Rose Margin Fairy wrasse
1 Coral Beauty angel
And supposedly a gold dwarf eel, who's been seen a total of twice.

I'm using the phone to post, and most of my pics are on the computer downstairs. Now that I have the meat of the post done, I'll assemble a photographic journey of sorts soon. 'Till then, here are a few shots from today...

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