View Full Version : Chris O's 430 build

chris o
09/16/2016, 02:22 AM
My name is Chris and I live in Magnolia Texas which is just north of Houston. I meant to start my build thread several months ago but have been busy with work and getting ready for the new tank. I have had aquariums for over 20 years and switched to a reef aquarium 2.5 years ago when I swapped out my 15 year old 180 that is built into the wall between my study and great room for a 220. I have learned a great deal with that tank and earlier this year decided that I needed (yes needed) to go bigger given the limitations I was running into with a 24 inch wide tank. I have spent countless hours on Reef Central and it has been invaluable. I greatly appreciate the feedback I have received on my questions and wanted to share my journey so I can continue to get great advice and maybe others might learn with me as I go along. The new tank will be a 430 gallon mixed reef.

I will start with a pic of my current setup.

chris o
09/16/2016, 02:41 AM
Additional pics of my current setup.

Under the 220 and the cabinet that I built for my apex.

chris o
09/16/2016, 05:42 AM
Ok so here is the current equipment that I have for the new build and the general layout.

AGE 430 gallon - 72 X 45 X 30 with all sides starphire. 29 inch internal overflow (Grey part) with 3 - 1.5 inch holes for bean animal overflow. I wish I could have gone 96 long but that would have been a step to far for the wife as it would have required installing a new load bearing beam in a 20 ft. high wall in our great room.

Sump – 125 gallon DIY

Apex controller

4 - cyberpower ups’s (2 for display 2 for fish room)

8 - Ecotech radion xr30w pro gen 3 (6 for display and 2 for quarantine tanks)

30 inch Firgelli slide linear actuator to move light rack up and down

Skimmer – Supermarin 200

GAC - Nextreef MR1 XL

GFO - Nextreef MR1 XL

200 pounds of dry Pukani rock

200 pounds of dry Tonga shelf rock with base

100 pounds branch dry rock

2 - Jebao DC 1200 returns (I know people hate jebao but I have had zero I
issues in 2.5 years with the 6 that are on my current tank so figured I can buy 4 to 1 and still be ahead if I start having issue)

4 – Jebao WP 40’s

3 - Heaters

Way to much spent on schedule 40/80 and John Guest fittings

Fish room – 14 X 10 with dedicated Slim split AC
In the fish room:
• 600 gallon per day RO/DI
• 400 gallons of water storage
• 2 - 50 gallon SCA quarantine tanks
• 2 - Eshopps gen 3 sumps
• 2 – Eshopps PSK 75 skimmers
• 2 UV sterilizers
• 2 BRS duel chamber reactors for GFO?GAC
• 4 - Stenner pumps for water changes and top off container top off
• Storage for all my stuff

chris o
09/16/2016, 06:32 AM
So I need to order my substrate and am torn between CaribSea Seaflor Special Grade Reef Sand (What I have now) and Tropic Eden Reefflakes or maybe a mix of the 2. I am happy with the Seaflor but have heard good things about the reefflakes.


chris o
09/16/2016, 04:32 PM
Any opinions on the sand choice?

chris o
02/04/2017, 06:30 AM
It has been a while since I have provided an update to figured I better get on it. They delivered the tank a couple of months ago but have been busy with work and the holidays. I wanted to get everything done over the holidays but decided it would be best to just take my time. I have been fine tuning the fish room as well as working on the rock structures. Putting the rock together took a good amount of time but I am happy with how it turned out. With that said I would appreciate any feedback on my aquascape.


chris o
02/04/2017, 07:03 AM
Ok so the picture thing didn't work so here is the dropbox link. Need to figure out how people post pictures that aren't postage stamp size. Let me know what you think of it.



chris o
02/04/2017, 07:06 AM
And another one.


02/04/2017, 08:52 AM
If your image server (Photobucket, Flickr, Imgr, etc.) provides a Direct URL, copy this. In RC's Editor you will see a yellow mountain icon. Click on this. A pop-up box will appear. Paste your image's Direct URL into this box.


King Jason
02/04/2017, 10:13 AM
Looking good! Love the big overhangs.

jimmy n
02/04/2017, 09:03 PM
Wow, clean. Impressed

02/05/2017, 04:11 PM
Fantastic! Keep the info coming.

chris o
03/01/2017, 11:35 AM
Ok guys it's been a while and will be getting some new photo's up soon but I have a question. I am thinking through whether I need different ventilation for my new build. With my 220 I had small fans that moved air in and out on the bottom and top but did not take it to the attic or outside. With doubling the size I was wondering about what I should do for this tank. The Tank is in the wall between 2 rooms. One of the rooms is a 26X28 great room with 18 foot ceilings and the other a 20X18 study with 14 foot ceilings. I could run something up and out and cover with stained wood which matches the woodwork in the study but will look a little out of place. We keep our house at 72 and have not had any issue with the prior tank but this one is twice as big. What do you think.


03/01/2017, 11:52 AM
That would be impossible to say without knowing the humidity in your area and how that changes during the course of a year. If you have a lot of humidity you will definitely want to get rid of any addition from the tank by venting to the outside.

Why would anyone vent to the attic? That's insane. You want to prevent mold and mildew issues within the house. Spores from these in the air can have major health consequences to those living in the house.


chris o
03/01/2017, 12:00 PM
The humidity outside is high here most of the year but inside my house it is around 55% and that is with no tank. The reason I said the attic is because down here we have ridge vents and soffit vents which create a flow from down low in the attic to the top ridge and out so was wondering if that would carry it out or if I need to vent directly outside.


03/02/2017, 09:29 PM
I would recommend venting it to the outside. Placing the higher humidity and cooler air in there will be a problem all the time.

I understand the ridge vents and soffit vents but once it gets in there it will start to settle as humid air is heavier than dry. There may not be enough flow in the attic to handle it.

You know you house better than we do. But I would air on the side of caution.

03/03/2017, 02:30 AM
+1 with worm5406. You do not want to vent into your attic, that's a recipe for black mold. Vent to the outside or get a dehumidifier.

03/03/2017, 06:09 AM
Agreed with all the above, always vent to outside. Make sure the vent outside or the exhaust fan for this has a dackdraft damper so outside air can't come back into the house. Good luck!