What is one thing before or during your build you wish you had gotten.

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james2662

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So I am in the process of a new build and was trying to think of things I might later wish I had gotten during the build process.
It made me wonder what are some of the equipment things or build related items others have wished they had gotten or done at the start vs after the fact that could help me or someone else later. I know on my last tank it was a long list, from plumbing things to an ATO solution.
 

RocketEngineer

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Make maintenance easy. My last few tanks were not well maintained because doing water changes were a major hassle so this time around I’m starting with building a mixing station. My last tank sat up so it was easy to look into but that meant it required a stool to work in so I would let things go too long so this time my display is short enough for me to stand next to and reach in. My last tank had wires over the sump, making it hard to remove and clean equipment as well as corrosion issues so this time I have a separate cabinet next to the stand for all electrical devices and plugs.

Lesson learned: if it’s a pain to do, you’re less likely to do it so make those chores as easy as possible.
 
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james2662

james2662

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Make maintenance easy. My last few tanks were not well maintained because doing water changes were a major hassle so this time around I’m starting with building a mixing station. My last tank sat up so it was easy to look into but that meant it required a stool to work in so I would let things go too long so this time my display is short enough for me to stand next to and reach in. My last tank had wires over the sump, making it hard to remove and clean equipment as well as corrosion issues so this time I have a separate cabinet next to the stand for all electrical devices and plugs.

Lesson learned: if it’s a pain to do, you’re less likely to do it so make those chores as easy as possible.
I agree, learning where your personal line is for what will become chores vs enjoyable parts of the hobby so that you can make it easier to maintain. And that you will keep doing it is a big one. I am doing auto water changes and am trying to get wire management in at least a manageable place.

1st for me was not planning for room under the tank to fit more than a sump. 2nd ATO lugging a gallon a day was a pain.
I had both of these issues on my last one as well. Bought a big sump and left no room for anything else. This time I am doing ATO reservoir that auto fills.

Great input so far.
 

windemerejack

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When i started my tank i thought about putting a fleece roller in the sump but decided to stick with socks, not much later i wished i had put the fleece roller in as the socks was annoying me and would be a massive pita to put a fleece roller in now everything was up and running.
 
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attiland

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So I am in the process of a new build and was trying to think of things I might later wish I had gotten during the build process.
It made me wonder what are some of the equipment things or build related items others have wished they had gotten or done at the start vs after the fact that could help me or someone else later. I know on my last tank it was a long list, from plumbing things to an ATO solution.
ATO
microscope
Correctly plumbed UV (DT to DT)
At least some live rock peace’s for better seeding of bacteria
Mod in sump from day one. Same reason
 

MattW33

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I have a long list, mostly specific to the limitations of a built in style tank. Main things:
Dual return - I run two pumps in parallel in case one fails but its less efficient that way.
External overflow box - looks cleaner imo
Leaving space for extra electronics
Making cable runs easy to change
Slightly shollower tank, 75 cm is just a little too tall
Room for a bigger refugium
 
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Joe31415

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Also a bigger tank. I had a 40 gallon breeder and stand so I'm using that. The tank is on the small side, but certainly workable. However, a 20L sump in the cabinet makes for a pretty tight space. There's virtually no room for any kind of storage or extra equipment.
I'm lucky that I could put my ATO reservoir/water mixing station in the basement directly below the tank and run some lines up through the floor. However, any other major additions, even something like an Apex will likely mean punching a hole through the wall and putting either the electronics or the entire sump in the next room over.
If I could start over (and technically I could, the tank is still cycling, no livestock), I'd move up to at least a 50g, if for no other reason, just for the extra cabinet space underneath.
 

Joe31415

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Another thing I wish I had done is spent some time considering buying a pre-built system/kit. When you walk through your LFS and you see a tank, stand, sump, lights, pumps, skimmer etc with a $2500 price tag on it...one of those. I always ignored them partially because I like picking out my own stuff and setting everything up on my own and researching everything about everything and also because I assumed it wasn't a good deal. And maybe it *is* the case, since I never worked out the numbers, you'd spend more money that way. Like you were paying a premium for the convenience of being able to walk into the store and walk out 10 minutes later with the majority of what you need to be up and running very quickly. And, FWIW, I think that's probably the only way to get a lot of people into this hobby. Lets be honest, no matter how much you want a reef tank, a lot of people are going to be intimidated (and rightly so) about all the gadgets and wiring and a sump and even if they're okay with that, then there's all the plumbing you have to do.

But, ya know what, I've already spent something in the neighborhood of $2500 (without any livestock yet) and that's not counting the tank and stand I already had.

Now, just to be clear, I'm not saying I would have or should have gone that route, I'm saying I should have taken a closer look at some of those deals. They may have been worthwhile.
 
Tommy's Phyto

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I purchased all my equipment including tank over a period of 1 year, so I got everything I needed before startup.
2 things, a 120 fills up fast in 1.5 years so bigger tank.
#1, I wish I would have turned the tank and made a peninsula instead of the typical against the wall mode.
I could have added another 20+ corals, lol.
 

Peace River

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Some things can be added (like more flow or a bigger skimmer), but others are a lot more work (like moving a big tank that is already aquascaped and filled with livestock or drilling larger drain holes). I rarely hear people saying that they have too much room under their tank or too big of a drain.
 

landlubber

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Patience. I'm sure most can relate that when your first build is coming together that even filling the display with RODI is a pleasure. That excitement led to me to running the lights as if it had fish and coral. Little did i know i was setting myself up for a battle with algae for over a year and could have all been avoided had i knew.
 
Fritz
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