View Full Version : Build Thread for 50 Gallon display

06/24/2008, 03:22 AM
OK, I've been ordering stuff, building stuff, and waiting on stuff in the mail for about five weeks now, and I've decided it's time to start posting about it! This system wil consist of a 50 gallon main display tank, with a sump / refugium of the same size. I am running the following hardware, some of which has not yet arrived.

Reef Octopus NW-150 Skimmer, Mesh wheel and venturi modified.
Two 250 Watt DE Phoenix 14K bulbs in PFO style reflectors, driven by Icecap Ballasts.
Eheim 500 series canister running Seachem De-Nitrate and Matrix, as well as chemi pure elite.
Phosban 150 reactor running Phosban ( of course!) and possibly high quality granular carbon.
Two Maxi-Jet 1200's with the Algae Free sureflow upgrades, both of which are using the 2100gph props.
DIY Kalk reactor, Maxi-Jet 400 for kalk stirring.
CPR CS90 Overflow
Mag 5 return pump, might move up to a Mag 7.
75GPD RO/DI From Bulkreefsupply.com

The chemi pure elite contains granular ferric oxide, as well as high quality carbon. I am going to experiment with running the chemi pure as well as the phosban reactor. Also, depending on how the Phoenix 14K bulbs work out, I may go with the Icecap 10K bulbs, and use two 36'' URI Actinic VHO's for supplementation.

I am going to use Kalk and TLF C-Balance for calcium supplementation, and the Prodibio products for all other elements. I want to see if I can drastically improve the coloration of corals collected locally, using a low nutrient system similar to zeovit.

Don't worry, pictures will be forthcoming :-)


06/25/2008, 03:09 AM
Looking forward to seeing the setup. Good Luck

06/25/2008, 09:38 AM
what kind of color are you going to run? Also what color, if you are going to run mailnly green, blue, and dark purple the phoenix will show if not then you might want to think about adding some t-5's. From my study they will show especially dark purple and green. I have been running the phoenix's for 6 months I am bout to run the reeflux 12k on sps. I am tryin to stablilize the salinity in my tank. Other than that I am runnin close to sws. Everything else is pretty balanced. I have had a rash of coral bleaching the last 24 hrs. I don't know if it is due to the high salinity. I have abeen running it for a while. Good luck. I have been running close to a zeovit system the last week and still things seem to be dying faster. If you arent dosing potassium then you need to and also some of the others on the zeovit sys like sponge power.

06/25/2008, 07:16 PM
hey lionel, do you have a pic of you kalk reactor, what did you use to make it/ where did you get the stuff to build? Interested b/c i am tired of manually doing it myself! It is getting old. I am about ready to start automating the whole tank so I can just enjoy it!!!!! See what the wife says about it. I got her to bend on getting a custom 12 ft long tank when I get to the states, well not when we get back but.....you get what I am saying? So how is the family? Interested in seeing your tank. I have a couple new pics of my tank.

06/25/2008, 08:31 PM
I just posted a reply about your RO unit on your thread. I've got some hookup stuff you can have if you need it, just give me a call or stop by the house after 1700. my number is 090-8290-6443 if you need it.

The Kalk reactor I put together was actually really simple to make, I used the grey PVC pipe to build the body, then just basically copied the design of a Precision Marine reactor. I am using a MJ 400 to stir the kalk. I'll get a pic and show you what I mean. We can build you one in just a couple hours, If you are interested. We'll need to get a couple things from makeman, but I've still got some pvc left over so all we need are some fittings.

06/25/2008, 08:53 PM
This thing was really simple to make, it only took a few hours really, and that includes letting some pieces dry.

The input for the loop is just 1/2'' PVC. It's a straight piece that sticks about halfway into the reactor. The output comes in and has a 90 d egree elbow that points down to the bottom of the reactor. I have it sitting about half an inch from the bottom. When the pump comes on, it mixes all of the kalk powder that has settled to the bottom of the reactor. The input / output for the RO / Kalkwasser liquid is standard airline size tubing. I drilled two small holes in the screw on lid, and pushed the fittings through. I had to silicone around one of them because it was a bit loose. I am going to use an aqua lifter pump to dose through this thing. I've tested it, and it works great. When the aqua lifter starts pushing fresh RO water into the reactor, the kalk mix comes right out of the other tube, it dosent take much pressure at all. I have the input and output airline tubing set to different lengths so that it wont just pull RO in one side, and out the other. The RO input tube reaches almost to the bottom of the reactor, while the kalk output is about one third down.

EDIT: I forgot to mention something about the pump. You need to use a powerhead that completely seals up, like a Maxi-Jet. The MJ pumps have an O-Ring seal that prevents any water from leaking outside of the unit. I tried one of the penguin 660's from the PX, but the damn things arent sealed at all. If you dont want to wait to get one in the mail, upper river sells MJ powerheads, although they are a little bit pricey.


06/25/2008, 08:54 PM
looking forward to seeing the progression of your build

06/26/2008, 06:15 AM
heck yea I need one of those man! Job well done! Sorry I didn't call ya tonight I passed out man. My daughter was going nuts laughing so i had to enjoy that time playing with her! Dude you got to see her! Oh tell your wife my wife says hi!

06/26/2008, 06:30 AM
hey what pump would you suggest for dosing, I haven;t seen the aqualift like you said you have? Any suggestions?

06/26/2008, 07:32 AM
are you talking about using the tom aqautics aqualifter? How are you planning on controlling the rate of kalk and when you have reached your top off line? Are you running some kind of solenoid to cut it power?

06/27/2008, 07:26 PM
I am going to use one of these:

Also, do you have any old 250W bulbs? I should have received my premium aquatics order already, so I gave them a call. It seems someone dropped the ball and my order never got shipped out on the 17th like it should have. So I am now waiting for bulbs (and some other non essential goodies) in order to finish this and get the tank up and running.

06/29/2008, 08:43 PM
I just got a pretty nice deal on a broken MRC CR-6 Reactor. Gonna hafta do some miracle work with Weld-On to get it up to par, but it should be nearly good as new.

I think it's a bit too big for my tank though :-)

06/29/2008, 08:58 PM
If you need any ideas, click my little red house... I'm currently building a 56 gallon in-wall tank. Can't wait to see your build get going.


06/29/2008, 09:34 PM
My order from Premium Aquatics, that was placed on the 17th of this month, never shipped. Something was out of stock, so I received a call the evening I placed the order, asking me if i wanted to wait and ship it all at once, or just go ahead and ship what they have, then ship the backordered stuff when it comes in. I told them to go ahead and ship what they had, since it contained my phoenix 14k bulbs... well guess what happened?

Someone dropped the ball. The order never shipped out. The chemi pure elite that was out of stock came in a few days after i placed the order, and it still never shipped. ten days later when I call asking whats up, I get all of this info. What can they do? My shipping only cost $15, so they refund that... but now I'm waiting another week before I'll get the last package I need to get up and running.

06/30/2008, 08:32 PM
I just had the same problwem with them. It took almost two months for them to get my skimmer out ...I just got it in last week. I use to order from them because of their excellent mailing time...I thought I was the only one having problems...Seems their speed-of-service has deteriorated...

07/01/2008, 01:54 AM
If Jason @ PA dosent do something to make up for the screwup, I'm not shopping there again.

07/01/2008, 06:29 AM
I feel the same way. I don't mind peoplebeing honest from the get-go...hey man we dropped the ball or something like that, but all I got excuses and still it was postponed...sigh...

07/03/2008, 02:17 AM
Well, I just finished rebuilding the sump I got from Luis (thanks again man!) I cracked the glass pretty bad when I was moving it, so I decided to just go ahead and redo the whole thing, since I had a tank the same size sitting around. I pulled all the baffles out and cleaned them up, then re-siliconed everything into place. I also went ahead and got the tank running, I am using a power compact light setup from my old FW planted tank to light everything untill my MH bulbs get here (damn you premium aquatics.)

I'll post pics this evening when I get back from poker tourney.

07/03/2008, 06:16 PM
Here's a picture of the sump with baffles newly installed


07/03/2008, 06:38 PM
Does anybody have some Chaeto to spare? I've got everything up and running, now i need greenery!

07/04/2008, 01:42 AM
Here's some pics from today, I'm almost done! Now i just need that last shipment that includes my MH bulbs, and I'll be good to go.






07/04/2008, 03:52 AM
tank looks really good

07/04/2008, 09:17 AM
Thanks, It's been a ton of work getting it ready. I'm just happy to finally have it all setup. Now if those bulbs would just arrive...


07/06/2008, 08:45 PM
I got my last order!
bulbs, phosban, prodibio, and kalkwasser

07/29/2008, 06:15 AM
Any updated pics?

08/18/2008, 04:53 PM
I just got back to okinawa, gotta do a water change and clean some glass, then pics to follow! I've been gone for 30 days, so it might be a few days before i get around to posting again.. :D

08/18/2008, 05:56 PM
well if you need any more coral.. let me know. :D

08/18/2008, 06:19 PM
Departed, you still have livestock on your tank?

08/18/2008, 06:46 PM
yes.. and im spamming every thread trying to get rid of it.. lol you need some?

08/18/2008, 08:47 PM
Actually, I very much need coral for my tank. What do you have left? any chance I can come take a look or you can send me some pics? my tank is all ready to rock, been up for about six weeks now, only two corals in it, a fungia plte and some sorta acro :D

08/19/2008, 01:57 AM
OK gents...I moved from out in town back on base; had to teach sumer scool, get my family boat fixed; finish advance open water certification and sign mup for a masters program. JUST got done putting the closed loop together so I will be posting back on my thread soon...Might need livestock but Lionel seems to be ready so I vote he take it all... just my 2 cents worth.

08/19/2008, 02:17 AM
I am on the hunt for frags starting today, if anyone has stuff available send me a PM or give me a call


08/19/2008, 03:51 AM
Lionel.. you are more then welcome to come look at the coral and take anything you want. i'll PM you my number..

09/01/2008, 08:49 PM


09/02/2008, 06:26 AM
I just cleaned and did a water change... pictures tomorrow

... maybe

09/02/2008, 10:04 PM



09/02/2008, 10:05 PM



09/02/2008, 10:05 PM



09/03/2008, 05:05 AM
nice frags. Well when my new tattoo's heal we need to get together and head out before I go on my next det in Oct.

09/03/2008, 06:48 AM
sounds like a plan to me

09/03/2008, 07:49 AM
how long has the frags been in the tank? have they lost any color?

09/03/2008, 07:58 PM
about three weeks. they have actually colored up slightly.

09/03/2008, 11:38 PM
alot of mine held their color for a month or so but then alot I have lost to stn and rtn. I have some that are just growing at a awesome rate right now. I have some slow growing ones too. I fragged a couple large pieces what I could save but waiting for them to get some color back, still sitting at brown.

09/04/2008, 01:22 AM
the first piece i put in, actually has gone to a pale brown color.. I've been thinking about getting rid of it. it's got some signs of necrosis on the undersides. the polyps still extend like mad at night though. When do you want to get together and go find some more pieces?

09/04/2008, 05:03 AM
well i have to wait til next weekend, where do u get ur frags?

09/04/2008, 05:08 AM
what bulb are u using in ur fuge? where did u get it?

09/04/2008, 05:47 AM
I bought it at the PX.. flourescent spotlight bulb in a simple bulb holder

09/05/2008, 12:16 AM
i sent you a PM about frags

09/07/2008, 12:10 AM
sorry i didn't respond sooner but my cousin just got here on friday so we were hangin out all weekend. Well I couldn't go anyways my tattoos are still not healed just yet.

09/16/2008, 02:46 PM
do you have any new additions to your tank? any pics of your tank now?

09/16/2008, 09:03 PM
yeah actually, i went to ACO this past friday and got two huge colonies of zoo's.. they've since been fragged and attached to small pieces of live rock... pics to come

09/27/2008, 08:44 PM
anyone want to go collecting? low tide is at around 1pm

call me 090-8290-6443

09/29/2008, 05:39 PM
Lionel, Nice looking tank! I wish I were down in okinawa with you guys, seems like the reefers are MUCH more active down there than here on the mainland. I have a question about your DIY Kalk reactor. How did you attach/seal the 1/2 pvc input and output for the mixing pump to the large piece of pvc? I have been trying to figure this one out myself for a while. I was at the point of buying uniseals, which I did buy, but I don't think they will be leakproof. Lastly, the way that you DID attach it, however that was, can you also do it PVC to acrylic, or is it just pvc to pvc?

09/29/2008, 08:06 PM
It's just PVC to PVC. I drilled the hole so that the small piece of pipe would barely fit into the large body, then, with it being a tight squeeze, i put pvc glue on the small pipe before pushing it into the body. once the pvc glue dried, i went ahead and ran a bead of silicone around the inside and outside, just to be safe.

10/14/2008, 08:14 AM
Updated pictures!








01/04/2009, 08:28 PM
Looks great!

01/06/2009, 03:58 AM
Lionel, I see you are selling one of your skimmers. What are you planning to upgrade to? I am doing the same right now, decisions decisions...

01/06/2009, 04:12 AM
Vertex IN-100

Although I'll probably buy a vortech MP40w first.

01/06/2009, 04:37 AM
That's right, I remember you posting that before now. I love my MP40w, the one thing I don't like is if you max out the power there is a hum that gets annoying. I run mine at about 75% and can't notice it unless I am listening. I was/am strongly thinking about getting another, but I made the mistake of telling the wife how much the first one cost us...

01/06/2009, 04:47 AM
haha.. yeah the only reason my wife is letting me buy all this stuff is cause the camera she wants is like $2000.. lol

01/06/2009, 06:15 AM
Then you can use it to take awesome pics of your tank, sounds like a win win for you! (and us viewers of your tank)

01/06/2009, 06:40 AM
what kind of camera does your wife have lionel? What is her plans with it? Well I was just wondering b/c I am looking for a decent camera! She if she would part with it! lol. no but seriously I am being serious, oh yea I also wanted to ask you what kind of coral are that orange and yellow fuzzy looking things in your sand? I haven't seen anything like that before kinda cool looking! Hey did you get a timer for your reactor? Just thought I would ask. I forgot to order it when I made the order for the reactor and the basic 4. Well when I started to read into the zeovit method all the way instead of skipping around I ran across that pertinent piece of info. Let me know when you want to go snorkeling man. I am itching to get more stuff for the tank.

01/06/2009, 07:45 AM
I'm pretty sure those two pieces are dendronepthya. I found them underneath tengu (sp) pier.. on the east side of the island.

i sent you a pm jeremy..

01/08/2009, 04:20 PM
I will go out with you guys as well let me know if you are going to go.

01/08/2009, 08:32 PM
Yeah, let me know to, I'd like to go if the time/date is right....Day or night time???

01/09/2009, 12:01 AM
definitely daytime.. I dont have a wetsuit so dont expect me going till the water warms up.. haha

01/09/2009, 02:37 PM
yea, that water's coooolllldddd esp at night....

01/20/2009, 02:26 AM
Well my Zeovit shipment arrived today, along with the parts for my auto topoff system. I'll get some pics up sometime this week.

01/20/2009, 09:06 PM

01/22/2009, 03:44 AM
Where did you get that little hammer? After my brain turned south I'm a bit scare to try another LPS.

01/22/2009, 04:15 AM
Gimmie a call tomorrow Lionel if your not playing poker i will come over and give you a hand finishing things up.