The Thin Blue Reef Build Thread

AquaCave

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Hi! My name is Lane and this is my little build thread. I got into reef tanks 8 years ago when as a jr cop I was ambushed and stabbed in the neck on duty, later diagnosed with ptsd. l, like many other front line public servants pretended all was good and went back to work. A wise man on my shift saw something was off and told me he knew I didn’t want to talk about it but that he thought I could benefit from a hobby that wasn’t weightlifting. I was reluctant until he literally brought a 55 gallon tank and sump into work and told me I had to take it home. He now laughs at the monster he has created. I love this hobby, this community and all of your tanks tanks and knowledge has gotten me through some dark days and now I’ve set up a reef tank at work for other cops to chill out to. Nuff words let’s get to it.

I moved into my forever house with my hubby and it had the perfect spot in our living room that was a floor above a basement bedroom. Nobody is going to sleep in a basement bedroom so my dream of having a fish room was going to happen.

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I wanted to go as big as possible but still be symmetrical with the room. I also wanted to be able to be view it from three sides so I went 96 wide, 36 depth and 28 high. Only one guy I trust to build this tank as a leak would almost certainly mean I could forget this hobby. I should also mention I live in western Canada so a few options but certainly one I trusted and that was Out of the Blue Creations and Chris Lewis. The cardboard cutout above is what I stared at until it was built.
 
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While waiting for the glass I tacked the fish room.
 

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This was going to be expensive. I already told you what I did for a living so not rich but happy to work overtime to fund my addiction. I had read enough threads on here to know you should buy the good quality stuff at the beginning even if it costs more because the old adage of you get what you pay for was not said by a dumb person. So I contacted Geos Reef for my sump and he created this beaut.
 

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I got a 200 gpd rodi unit from BRS and had the plumber come hook up the sink. My display tank is 420 gallons and I planned on using every inch of space in that fish room so my total water volume was going to be around 700 gallons.
 

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Next up the water station.
I got these food grade water containers, 135 gallons each at an earthquake supply store. Took off the brass fittings and used some fun pipe from Bulk Reef Supply to make it pretty.
 

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BaghdadBean

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Female combat veteran here (U.S. Army). Also rebuilding substantial parts of my home for the reef tank build of my dreams, although mine is about a third the size of yours. I just wanted to pop in to say that I look forward to following this build, and sister, you are seen, appreciated, and honored. PTSD is not a weakness, it’s a response to parts of the world that are far too dark for most people to survive. Reef aquariums are amazing for those of us who need a little controlled chaos where we can actually change a world for the better, regardless of what’s going on outside. Your water room looks amazing, I’m seeking ideas for building my own water station, although mine is going to have to be outdoors on my back porch. I’ve thought about making an extended little insulated room around it so that I can plumb the RO/DI through the laundry room wall, and keep my mixing containers outside. Had not considered elevated platforms, I’m a shorty and I forget to think vertical sometimes. Now, after seeing yours, I’m realizing I could probably use a couple water cubes for RO/DI and salt mixing. They’d be about the perfect size even if elevated, and they’re super cheap if I blow one out. They also come with PVC fittings already, and ag grade connectors. I run a ranch, so I’ve got a pretty good portion of my set up built out of random ag products already.

Thank you for sharing!
 
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Female combat veteran here (U.S. Army). Also rebuilding substantial parts of my home for the reef tank build of my dreams, although mine is about a third the size of yours. I just wanted to pop in to say that I look forward to following this build, and sister, you are seen, appreciated, and honored. PTSD is not a weakness, it’s a response to parts of the world that are far too dark for most people to survive. Reef aquariums are amazing for those of us who need a little controlled chaos where we can actually change a world for the better, regardless of what’s going on outside. Your water room looks amazing, I’m seeking ideas for building my own water station, although mine is going to have to be outdoors on my back porch. I’ve thought about making an extended little insulated room around it so that I can plumb the RO/DI through the laundry room wall, and keep my mixing containers outside. Had not considered elevated platforms, I’m a shorty and I forget to think vertical sometimes. Now, after seeing yours, I’m realizing I could probably use a couple water cubes for RO/DI and salt mixing. They’d be about the perfect size even if elevated, and they’re super cheap if I blow one out. They also come with PVC fittings already, and ag grade connectors. I run a ranch, so I’ve got a pretty good portion of my set up built out of random ag products already.

Thank you for sharing!
Very well said. Thank you for the support and even more so for your service.
The elevated platforms are nice for being able to put buckets under. The only thing to watch out for is the siphon line to your sump or tank if you put your ato line into it. It’s nice to have the big mixing stations in case of emergencies!
Thanks again for your thoughtful post. I will look out for your build !!
 
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The stand was made by a local welder. It’s 36 inches tall with pull out drawers strong enough to stand on for maintenance and beverages ;) Giving it a matte black finish then the plan is to build cabinetry around it. Super happy with it.
 

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