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Sunny's RSR250

Sunny Goold

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Update May2020: I have given up on the 120 and got a 2nd hand Red Sea Reefer 250 (I am sick of waiting to see if I move back to Australia and so I just decided to get moving with something).

Plan is for it to be SPS at the top and LPS+ at the bottom. I am going to get frags of coral that I REALLY love and I have a plan for many pieces and where they will go based primarily on shape and color....

The 2 pages of this thread is my old build....

As always friendly comments and constructive feedback are always welcome.

I'm building my first reefer. I have a super tight budget - $1000 to start and then $100 per month. This is already 2x what I originally told my wife but hopefully it won't blow out any more.

I got a 450L tank second hand that's 150cm x 50cm x 60cm deep. So it's about 5' long. I will build it as a peninsula design to divide my 2 boys bedroom. The back 1' I will make into a sump creating a 4' display.
 
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Sunny Goold

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I've arrived home and unpacked after my flight. Everything looks ok. Will pick up my tank this week - then I need to find some Pukani and maybe a piece of shelf and start curing that. So far I have my Apex Jr, lights, heaters a filter with UV for my QT and my wavemakers. It's going slowly but as I'm on a budget I would rather sacrifice speed and convenience to get a good price and as much quality as I can afford.
 
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Sunny Goold

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After a 5 days skiing on a glacier with perfect weather I am back. No progress to report but I have decided I am going to bite the bullet and drill my tank and build a sump below. The biggest issue I have with this is drilling the glass - I am not that handy. Almost as bigger issue is designing a Bean Animal Style Overflow that fits with having my Gyre on the same end on the peninsula style tank (I guess I may have to put the Gyre on the opposite end). It adds to the cost which means a few more months till I am up and running but that is outweighed by the benefits of having a longer (and larger) tank so it's big enough for fish that like more swimming space (like a Hippo tang).
 

Luno

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I'm curious if it will decide your boys bedrooms how you will deal with noise being an AIO? Couple questions and this may help you too if you haven't thought of it or if you have.

Do you plan a skimmer? Will you have the skimmer only working during certain hours on a timer?

What about water movement noise and pump noise?

Basically have you considered noise in general being a divider? To me making a proper sump below cladded in may be a better noise reducing idea?
 
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Sunny Goold

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Thanks Luno - yeap - in the last weekI decided I am going to do the sump underneath. I am 90% sure I am going to get a skimmer - maybe not initially - and not running it during the night makes a lot of sense so that's a great point. As I have a Gyre the noise from that is my biggest concern and I was going to run it really low during the night and probably get another powerhead to supplement the flow. Insulating the sump is a really smart idea also - thanks. I'm going to get 2 DC return pumps (in case 1 fails) and they should total well over 10X the display in turnover - they should be super quiet and I am thinking that should mean I don't need to rely on the gyre so much overnight.

This will mean extra costs and take me longer to get it off the ground but I would rather take longer to get the essentials and do it right. I just gotta plan out what I am going to have so I can add it all in later. Like I'm not going to utilise any reactors but I am still going to plumb it so I can add a manifold later if I change my mind. My biggest concern is drilling the tank and plumbing it right so I don't get any leaks.

Also having a sump below gives me a bigger display and will allow me to run the fuge at night - I think the essential of my system will be the fuge - I want it to be 15-20% of the volume (using Triton as a guide). The skimmer should support that. I want to incorporate the ATO into the Sump tank so I can't overflow it onto the floor.

Anyhow thanks for the insight mate ;) Those are really great ideas and will help keep my wife happy ;)
 
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Sunny Goold

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Update: The first thing I killed. Last night I decided to plug my Apex Jr (US) in - in EU - yeap so I fried it (probably).

Thank goodness it wasn't a living thing and thank goodness it was an old one I bought on eBay (so not so costly). After initially being a bit sad I thought about it and realised I need more than 4 plugs anyhow plus there should be some deals with (if) the new Vertex Controller really does launch soon.

So the Apex Jr was going to get small quickly so I will be searching for a used Apex classic that works on 220V ;)
 
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Sunny Goold

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Now that I have had the tank for a few days I'm starting to feel a bit down. I'm happy with the tank and it's not that the budget is blowing out. It's that the complexity of building a tank is so difficult.

Yesterday my wife said "you watch Youtube aquarium for 10 hours a day" and that may even be an understatement. The latest frustration is what plumbing size to use. I think I will go with 1 " and because I can't find decent gate valves over here I am just going to buy the fittings off @Bulk Reef Supply - but based on what the Neptune says about bigger pipes being more efficient in their vid on their COR20 pump now I am worried. I'd like to get the COR20 but then I will have to plug it into a step down transformer. I have a much cheaper option here (made in Poland). My other option is the Ecotech M1 - then I can get a backup battery. The battery backup thing is seriously weighing on my mind because it's probably the best option to protect the tank.

I feel like I am going round in circles. I know IceCap make a battery that "probably should" go with any pump I use and there are DIY options but those seem super sketchy and I don't want to blow up the house.

I can see why this hobby is so difficult to get into and why there is this huge industry around people that setup people's tanks. Why can't manufacturers make things fit - like why isn't there a battery option that works with any pump and automatically turns it down when the power goes out? There'd be 10X the number of reefers if things could easily be connected.

I'm sure I will eventually bite the bullet on one option and pay heaps more than I can afford because I need something I know will work and be solid long term.

There's heaps of good stuff happening. At Church turns out there is another reefer - wow that is super cool especially as I had just expected I would be on my own here.

The stand is also in 3 sections and I can't put one big sump under it - but I will just do 2 tanks on each side and connect them. It actually feels like an elegant solution to me. I will need to polish out some scratches on the tank also - all good ;)

With everything going on I feel more and more committed. I am glad I have time. I am sure that once I get this thing up I am really going to be proud and always put effort into making it an incredible tank. I am sure the fish, inverts and corals will be grateful setting this up takes me 1 year instead of the 3 months I thought after the first few BRSTV vids I watched ;)
 
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Sunny Goold

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Today is a good day. I created my aquascape - which was much easier than I thought and I am REALLY happy with it (I thought I'd have to buy lots more rocks (a got old ones with the tank and miraculously they work). I just need to get some flat rock shelf pieces (3 I think).

I also worked out my sump and I have an option that works (though it will be tight and I don't know how I am going to the skimmer (I think I will get in and out in 1 piece). All good.

Finally I assembled the lighting and sat with the boys on the bed and they loved it.

Here's some pictures of the 2 towers (I will put 2 pieces of shelf where the board is in the first 1 so they create 2 overhangs).

I feel like today I made progress - really good progress ;)

28530350-D281-4398-9364-FC41C73BF4E6.JPG
 
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Sunny Goold

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So last weekend I went and bought my plumbing supplies from BRS - totally stoked. Then Friday it still hadn't been delivered and I eventually worked out BRS had cancelled my order... because I live overseas. Apparently they have agreements with suppliers not to send stuff that may go overseas. Doesn't say much for the industry because I am sure that BRS would love to sell stuff internationally. Unfortunately I don't think I will be able to boycott all the products BRS sells though I am sure it's not the smaller companies.
Anyhow I have discovered a heap of information and I'm really happy with where I am at - plus it's kinda good that I have those funds back in my account. I'm just a little bit upset after all of this that the Apex I ordered has been delivered - after this weekend I was thinking it is not my preferred solution ;)
 

samnaz

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that's a bummer. BRS is my go-to for plumbing supplies. did you end up ordering them elsewhere?

lol at your wife giving you a hard time for watching 10 hours of reefing vids a day. this site often makes me thankful I don't have a wife giving me a hard time about all the time (and money!) I spend on this hobby, haha :)
 
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Sunny Goold

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that's a bummer. BRS is my go-to for plumbing supplies. did you end up ordering them elsewhere?

lol at your wife giving you a hard time for watching 10 hours of reefing vids a day. this site often makes me thankful I don't have a wife giving me a hard time about all the time (and money!) I spend on this hobby, haha :)
Well thanks to you I found Modular Marine - they have been AMAZING - so I feel much better about it all.

That's the main part I need. I can get a Gate Valve from the UK and then it's between valves, joints etc. from Germany or the US. I can't find colored pipe here but I found a cheap way to color them - so I may try that and do purple over gray pipe (although I won't do the ends - only stuff out of the tank).

I will update my build over the weekend with some plans etc - by then I should have worked it all out. The closer I get the more complicated it all seems ;)
 
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Sunny Goold

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Just a quick Update on my build - I've decided on the overflow (Modular Marine of course) and have some ordered some plumbing - excited ;) I will probably confirm my order with Modular next week - exciting but slow process when you don't have the money ;) I also think I will go with the Coral Box D500 Plus skimmer - want a DC pump for the noise and so I can dial it in. Have read good things on it by other Aussies and I think I can run it on either 220V or 110V - whatever version I decide to do with the controller.
 
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Sunny Goold

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So first I was building a 100G tank with an extra 20G internal sump from a 120G 2nd hand tank with stand.

Then I decided to just drill it - add an external overflow and it will sit a little out from the wall and connect 2 sumps underneath (as the stand is divided).

Then I realised the stand is way too short and it I have no confidence it won't collapse. So I spent the whole weekend trying to work out how to buy a budget stand and worked out a 40" high metal frame style stand like that they use in the store that I can just put some plastic panels on with magnets.

Then I thought what if I just got a 6' x 2' (W) x 20" tank made and had it made and drilled with an overflow and holes in the bottom for a bean animal - then it could go flush against the wall and I can use the 120G as a massive sump.

It's simpler, safer, much more practical, the tank size is better (and a better use of space) and it's actually what I want without compromises. Now I just have to find out how much it will cost.

Even if it's unaffordable I would rather just add an extra 6 months of saving I think. We will see but it shows how much I have learned from all the research. Key things like:
"Get an open stand you can actually work under"
"A tank that is wider than higher is better visually and for aquascaping"
"Drilling a tank is actually not difficult"

Thanks for all the help everyone here and all those people who put so much effort into creating content - like BRS, Reef News Network (an awesome podcast), Reef Dudes, Dutch Reefer and the people at Wet Web Media. I am learning heaps.
 

Luno

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Haha mate! It's a typical first build if I've ever seen one!

Couple of things, have you drilled the 120 yet? If not you can definitely still use it, and if you have you can definitely still use it! It would be a lot cheaper to use it aslong as you can clean it up nicely and are happy with the tank.

You can put the overflow on one end create a little extra cabinet on the side to hide it plus can house electronics on the side!

If you have drilled it you can make a cabinet frame at the back of the tank to make the tank an extra bit of feature.

Either way will be a lot cheaper and get you up and running sooner than getting a new tank.

Than you just find a cheap tank for a diy sump get some glass or acrylic make baffles you can still make your higher stand if you like. Also if your current 120 came second hand with the current stand why would you think it wouldn't support it when it must have already done it successfully?? Even if your worried you can reinforce it
 

NoWaiAma

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I'm building my first reefer. I have a super tight budget - $1000 to start and then $100 per month. This is already 2x what I originally told my wife but hopefully it won't blow out any more.

I got a 450L tank second hand that's 150cm x 50cm x 60cm deep. So it's about 5' long. I will build it as a peninsula design to divide my 2 boys bedroom. The back 1' I will make into a sump creating a 4' display.
God I spent that on a nano setup. I have a real issue.. excited to read this.
 
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Sunny Goold

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Haha mate! It's a typical first build if I've ever seen one!

Couple of things, have you drilled the 120 yet? If not you can definitely still use it, and if you have you can definitely still use it! It would be a lot cheaper to use it aslong as you can clean it up nicely and are happy with the tank.

You can put the overflow on one end create a little extra cabinet on the side to hide it plus can house electronics on the side!

If you have drilled it you can make a cabinet frame at the back of the tank to make the tank an extra bit of feature.'t

Either way will be a lot cheaper and get you up and running sooner than getting a new tank.

Than you just find a cheap tank for a diy sump get some glass or acrylic make baffles you can still make your higher stand if you like. Also if your current 120 came second hand with the current stand why would you think it wouldn't support it when it must have already done it successfully?? Even if your worried you can reinforce it
Yep - nah I haven't drilled it yet.

Thanks Luno! You are spot on - I am just taking too much time and overthinking it.

I thought of reinforcing it - and yes - it is the cheaper option. Thing is the stand is only 70cm high and it's divided into 3 sections. So I would basically be looking at gutting the whole stand and reinforcing it and then only having 70cm, which, seems low to me (also I am 6'3").

So at this point I could just build a new stand and it wouldn't cost that much more. But then I would prefer a metal stand. I just want to do it right and be happy long term.

So I am having a metal frame / stand priced. But at the same time I thought "what is the tank I REALLY want"? So I am going to get that priced too. Another point is the overflow. I feel like I want to maximise the length of the tank at 5ft so I would need a slim line overflow (which is expensive). If I go with the 6ft tank I can do a budget version and would be happy to give up a few inches of length.

Also if I use the 5ft as a sump I have more than enough room for a built in ATO reservoir and I am yet to see any need for equipment outside of the sump - like I don't want to do a calc reactor or anything like that. I can just keep it fairly simple

Here is a picture of my options and thanks again for your wise comments - plus I love this is giving you a laugh;)

IMG_2974.JPG
 
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