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View Full Version : MrSandman's 90G build thread


MrSandman
01/29/2008, 09:39 PM
So here it is. After being away from the hobby for almost 3 years having a baby, traveling, etc. i just couldn't keep myself tankless anymore. Before leaving, i had a 150G tank that i ran for a couple years before selling it. Here it is:

http://mrsandman.smugmug.com/photos/248938945-X3-1.jpg

And before the 150G tank, (2001 to be exact) i had a 60G tank that was previously Tank of the Month (http://www.reefcentral.com/totm/2001-06/index.php) which would now be put to shame today. Oh how the times have changed! :lol:

http://www.reefcentral.com/totm/2001-06/frontpic.jpg

So here i am, on my 3rd tank and i'm hoping this one will be an improvement over my previous ones.

Here are the specs:

Approximately 90 gallons 36"x24"x22" tall Starphire on 3 panels and rimless LeeMar tank. The tank was purchased through an LFS Amazing Aquariums and Reefs (http://www.amazingaquariumsandreefs.com/) that is owned and run by a fellow RC member/buddy Ali (aka Project Reef). He was actually the 1st guy i ever sold a frag to! :lol:

Here is the tank when i 1st got it doing a test fill:

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/242244944-M.jpg

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/242245235-M.jpg

The stand was something i debated heavily about. While i have the tools and knowledge to build it myself (since i did it on my last tank) i just didn't have the time. Plus, another LFS Pacific Reef (http://www.pacificreefstores.com/) custom made them at a price that i just couldn't resist. So i had them build it to my specs, which included wide doors on all 3 sides and i stained and sealed it myself.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/242246005-M.jpg

More pics to follow....

Shekki
01/29/2008, 10:08 PM
Sweet tank. I have two Lee Mars but they're not rimless. What are you doing for lights?

STsONpERs
01/29/2008, 10:13 PM
Defiantly following this one, i am planning a 36*24*22

looking good thus far

MrSandman
01/30/2008, 07:28 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11720859#post11720859 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Shekki
Sweet tank. I have two Lee Mars but they're not rimless. What are you doing for lights?

Thanks. Lights will be 2 x 250W DE HQI's in Reef Optix III pendants. The DE lamps will be the Megachrome Marines on PFO HQI ballasts. I'll be supplementing with 2 x 36" long VHO's with an IceCap 660 ballast.

Everything will be mounted in a suspended canopy which i had the stand maker build for me to match. I hope to have that mounted by this weekend if i have time.

Shekki
01/30/2008, 07:33 PM
Suspended canopy? Why didn't I think of that! Looking forward to seeing that.

MrSandman
01/30/2008, 07:39 PM
Got the skimmer and sump last week. The skimmer is an Octopus recirculating skimmer gravity fed from the overflow. I have no clue what model this is as i haven't seen it anywhere before. If anyone knows, please let me know. I got it from Ali as well.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249013148-M.jpg

The sump was custom made. Ali hooked me up with this too. This sump came out awesome. White baffles, flame polished edges. I'm happy.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249013272-M.jpg

Here is the drawing i sent to the sump builder. It came out exactly as i had planned.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/237325081-L.jpg

MrSandman
01/30/2008, 07:59 PM
Oh yeah, forgot about the live rock. I got that about 7 weeks ago through a buddy of mine. I got 2 types of rock.

The 1st type is the Walt Smith Pukani rock. This stuff was awesome. Extremely porous with tons of holes, voids, nooks and crannies.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/231074409-M.jpg

Pretty much all of the rock looked like this. The sizes ranged from a small watermelon to grapefruit sized pieces.
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/231074818-M.jpg

The 2nd box of rock came from Tonga. Not sure exactly the type of rock, but all i know is that it came from Tonga. Nice shaped pieces too. although not as porous as the Pukani stuff.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/231078446-M.jpg

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/231080714-M.jpg

So i ended up throwing all the rock in a Brute trashcan and its been sitting in there for the last 7 weeks doing what i call a semi-cooked state. Add some rock, throw in a couple pumps and a heater and let it simmer.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/231086426-M.jpg

For more photos of the rock and the cycling process i've got it documented on my website here: http://www.smugmug.com/gallery/3975669/1

Reeftanks6
01/30/2008, 08:04 PM
Looks great keep it up.

msobon
01/30/2008, 08:41 PM
Looking good!
I'm having a similar tank built 24"x30"X24" with external coast to coast overflow and 3 sides starphire also rimless

Will be nice to see how you'rs turns out so I can follow :P Right now I'm having a problem finding someone to build me a decent stand, everyone I contact vanishes into thin air, I think my demands are too stringent and they chicken out...

MrSandman
01/30/2008, 09:33 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11727348#post11727348 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by msobon
Looking good!
I'm having a similar tank built 24"x30"X24" with external coast to coast overflow and 3 sides starphire also rimless

Will be nice to see how you'rs turns out so I can follow :P Right now I'm having a problem finding someone to build me a decent stand, everyone I contact vanishes into thin air, I think my demands are too stringent and they chicken out...

At the rate i'm going I may end up following your build thread. :)

The best way to find a stand builder is to go into your LFS and ask them who builds their stands. Most of the time its just some guy in a garage building them as a side job. In the case of my stand, it wasn't built as sturdy as i had hoped so when i brought it home, i added some internal reinforcement myself with some 2x4's, 1x2's, etc. But at least the hard part was done which was the outer facing and doors. Plus, i thought the price was pretty decent.

kfisc
01/30/2008, 09:55 PM
Any ideas about what you'll use for circulation? Are you a fan at all of Vortechs?

-Thanks

MrSandman
01/30/2008, 10:10 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11728041#post11728041 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by kfisc
Any ideas about what you'll use for circulation? Are you a fan at all of Vortechs?

-Thanks

Funny you ask. My last tank ran an Ampmaster closed loop. Not only was plumbing it under the stand a pain, but it also consumed alot of electricity. One of my goals with this tank is to make it as energy efficient as possible. I debated between Tunze and Vortech. The downside for the Tunze for me was their size. They were just too big and obtrusive. I want a simple tank and the Vortechs fit that bill. My only concerns were the sound and whether or not they would stick to the back of my tank. My tank back was painted with a black textured coating and i really was skeptical about them working. Needless to say, when i picked up my sump and skimmer last week, i also picked up a couple Vortechs with a backup battery. I hooked em up and i was just blown away by their looks, their performance and how silent they were. Its been almost a week now and they haven't given me any problems and they are amazingly silent. They kind of remind me what those Sony Playstation Dual Shock controllers sound like when they would vibrate in your hands. Hardly audible and easily drowned out by the slight soft trickle coming from my overflows.

Here it is on the back of the tank. Note the odd coating on the tank back.

http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249298624-M.jpg

MrSandman
01/30/2008, 10:52 PM
Finished up the plumbing last week. In keeping with my goal of energy efficiency, i am attempting to run as few pumps as possible. As a result my return pump will be used not only as a return, but also as a skimmer feed, a chiller feed, and a reactor feed. With 2 Vortechs in the tank, my return pump did not need to provide any internal water movement.

I started out with an Ocean Runner 6500 pump. After reading numerous threads on here about how silent and reliable they were i got one from Premium Aquatics. Sadly enough, upon firing it up there was a very audible low frequency hum resonating throughout the living room. Having hardwood floors and a raised foundation definitely do not help. Running it externally probably doesn't help either. I tried everything to reduce the humming. I ran a short section of flex tubing on the output and flex pvc on the inlet and it still didn't help. I removed the suction cup base and used some mouse pads and some foam padding and still nothing. So i threw on my old Poseidon PS3 pump from my last tank and wow what a difference. It should work for now considering that its winter. However, it may not be so great in the summer since these pumps are notorious for running hot. I do have a Pan World PX pump from my old tank as well. That could be my summer pump, but i'd have to do the fan mod to it first. I might also try getting an Eheim 1260.

Anyways, here are some shots of the plumbing:

Front shot:
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249297924-M.jpg

Side shot w/ my little helper insisting on being in the photo. Notice the wye fittings which will feed the reactor (lower one) and the chiller (upper one). The chiller return will tee back into the return line upstream just before entering the bottom of the tank to the loclines. Hopefully this will work. See plumbing diagram below.
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249297933-M.jpg

1.5" Durso standpipe in the overflow with 2 x 3/4" locline returns going out to the sides:
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249298365-M.jpg

Plumbing layout:
http://www.smugmug.com/photos/249309704-X3.jpg

One thing i haven't done yet is glue the drain fittings as i'm still rearranging things in an effort to dial out every bit of noise. They are all in place by friction and i really jammed them together.

MMM33732
01/31/2008, 10:35 AM
With your plumbing like that, I don't think your chiller will get any flow and if it does, it will prob be a trickle. You need the output to be at a lower pressure (no pressure is best) than the input. The way you have it, both the input and output should be about the same since they are both from the return pump. The only reason I think it may flow that tiny trickle is from the extremely slight difference in head loss in that 12-18" section from the input and output. Personally I don't think it will flow though. You'd be much better off not teeing back into the same line and rather have it flow into the sump or the tank itself.

jrpdriver
01/31/2008, 10:55 AM
I think it will work just fine as long as you restrict some of the flow off of the main return with that gate valve you have there to force water to travel through the chiller plumbing

MrSandman
01/31/2008, 11:50 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11731237#post11731237 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jrpdriver
I think it will work just fine as long as you restrict some of the flow off of the main return with that gate valve you have there to force water to travel through the chiller plumbing

Yep, that's exactly what i did. There is a gate valve up high that goes between the 2 ball valves (input and output). In theory i believe it should work to redirect flow through the chiller. I created a thread about this a while back in the Equipment forum but no one responded. Figured i'd be the guinea pig. If anyone else has done this, please chime in!

kar93
01/31/2008, 11:56 AM
Looks Good so far, what are your plans for fish and corals? That 150g looks amazing.

MrSandman
01/31/2008, 02:48 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11731768#post11731768 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by kar93
Looks Good so far, what are your plans for fish and corals? That 150g looks amazing.

This is going to be an SPS dominated tank. For fish, i definitely want a pair of true percs and an anemone. True percs because they are the least aggressive, less likely to attack my fingers, and my daughter loves Finding Nemo. No GSM's, Maroon's and/or Tomatoes. Not sure of the anemone species yet. Maybe a carpet. For the rest of the fish i'm not sure. I'm planning on starting out barebottom so that will probably dictate alot of what goes in.

kar93
01/31/2008, 02:51 PM
Will be tagging along, I think this will look great when its finished.

MMM33732
02/01/2008, 10:19 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11731237#post11731237 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jrpdriver
I think it will work just fine as long as you restrict some of the flow off of the main return with that gate valve you have there to force water to travel through the chiller plumbing
I didn't notice that valve between the input and output on the return pumps line. If thats closed a little, then yes it would work just fine. ;)