View Full Version : Asonitez's 180ish I think Dream Build

03/08/2017, 10:25 PM
Some Back Story.

This was my First Successful tank.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8107/8583326267_aff050369b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/e5tMRV)IMG_0611 (https://flic.kr/p/e5tMRV) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8475/8416039783_8b1f2779e4_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/dPGpqc)DSC_0686 (https://flic.kr/p/dPGpqc) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

Within 2 years I moved and setup this tank

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8677/16569862248_9f16639f60_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/rfdSL9)Frag Farmers Market (https://flic.kr/p/rfdSL9) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/8/7648/16756258731_703fae516e_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/rwGcWB)Frag Farmers Market (https://flic.kr/p/rwGcWB) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

This is my Collection
https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8187/8372464143_b6ae1e5e0b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/dKR4U4)IMG_0214 (Medium) (https://flic.kr/p/dKR4U4) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8352/8403924902_37ebaaa99b_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/dNCj5W)IMG_0307 (https://flic.kr/p/dNCj5W) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8188/8401227883_6f481db8f6_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/dNoumB)IMG_0285 (Medium) (https://flic.kr/p/dNoumB) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

This guy was born

https://c1.staticflickr.com/9/8470/8427447208_4437a514e5_c.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/dQGSrW)IMG_0348 (https://flic.kr/p/dQGSrW) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

Then My life took a HUGE turn and I moved 800 Miles South
Since I had lived in an Apartment my entire life. I bought one of these


In the move I Sold my Tank, Light , Skimmer, Sump, The majority of my corals. At one point I took a week off work as friends and Local Fish Shops visited my apartment to basically piece out my entire collection. Its been 3 years and now that we are settled in. Its TIME.

New Tank Specs

Built by SCAquariums

60 X 30 X 26
3 Sided Starphire Eurobraced with 1 Internal overflow centered.
36" High Stand w/ Matching Canopy made out of Brazilian Maple Wood - Painted White.


90 Gallon Glass custom with internal Frag Tank (24X24) where the " Refugium would be"


I'm trying to decide which size NYOS, ReefOctopus, Skimz would be best.

Water Movement

4x Tunze 6095 Wide Flow - Might sell and switch to WAV


Custom Painted ATI 8x 60" T5 with 2 bulbs removed and replaced with 8 NanoBox LED Clusters (5 Channel Controllable w/ all the features you can think of)


I'm trying to decide between MarcoRocks and BRS Pukani (100 Lbs)
Marine Pure Ceramic Blocks
80lbs of Tropic Eden Reeflakes
Controlled by Neptune Apex

03/11/2017, 11:43 PM
First things First! - Floors where the tank is going to go!

that carpet is so sexy and absorbent!


Hello Brazil!


Now I must paint the wall where the tank's going on. Builders white FLAT paint is quite the shiet! Not sure what color to go with buy I have until the first of April lol.

03/11/2017, 11:44 PM
Update Time!

So. Live rock. I have been stressing for the last few days. With my tank and custom stand ordered, and my light also ordered I am right on track. The tank should be delivered around the middle of April (April 15th to be exact) this is right after I come back from vacation in Florida.

Still quite a few things to do!

Paint the wall the tank is going on.
Purchase Live Rock and start the curing process.
I need a skimmer and return pump.

Today I knocked 2 items off that list
I took a trip to Aquatica in Charlotte, NC and met Ihab one of the owners. At first I was pretty turned off by the lack help. I mean its Saturday prime time and no ones walking the floor. Its my first time here and I don't know where anything else. Eventually I track him down and we start talking reef.

It seemed like they carried all of the nice things that make you go OOoOOooO and at mat Pricing. No huge upcharge here.

They even had a SHARK Tank!


I decided to check out their Live rock section and that's where I had to make a life decision.

03/11/2017, 11:47 PM
The rock.

Up until this very moment I had always intended on using the Marco Rock or BRS Pukani. From the recent videos they had and the explanation and testing of the different types of live rock
I knew that I wanted Pukani of some type. The problem was cycling.

Marco rocks is not exactly 100% Phosphate Free and neither is Pukani. In fact the pukani would require over 3 months to fully cure naturally with water changes and the like to remove nutrients.
The Marco rock in my experience would take approximately 2 years to color up 50%. I dunno about anyone else but Marco Rock can be hit or miss and I was once In a situation where I had corals
growing like CRAZY and my rock was still bone white! It looked like this for like 2 years. It got some algae on it but pretty much THIS


Don't believe me? This was my tank for like 2 years.


I have seen and heard of Real Reef Rock since it has been introduced. I wasn't impressed by the first batch but after going into research and checking it out I came to the
conclusion that this was probably the next best thing. One barrier... THE COST. WTFF 12.00 A POUND? and I needed 180/200 lbs. After mentioning the other items I needed
I was able to grab 3 boxes blind off the truck at a better than internet price. It made up for the first impression. I was also able to grab a few other items. Vectra L1 (sold out most places online), and my Reef Octopus 200SSS (Had to be Ordered).

At home I was able to unbox the rock. It was packed very well and had very little rubble. It was also wet and covered with sponges and other signs of life including feather dusters and stuff.
I was completely un-equipped to deal with 200lbs of live rock. I ended up with little over 200lbs because although each box was quoted to have 60lbs they were all 68/70 lbs not including the packing material.
I ended up buying one of his spare 100g rubbermaid things for 25bux. I only had to find a way to patch the 2" hole in the side where the bulkhead fit. No problem he threw in the old bulkhead that needed some TLC and a bottle of silicone.
I imagine this rock was meant to be added to his vats to be sold at 12 bucks a pound because they were not in what I would expect to be retail packaging. I dunno.

All Loaded up! + I didn't have salt either so he discounted a bucket of RC.


I couldn't help playing around with the aquascape and see how the rocks stack.

These guys were wrapped individually in wet news paper and very wet. No smell though



03/11/2017, 11:47 PM
I was able to patch my rock holding container and after some heavy silicon I left it to cure over night. Tomorrow I will finish cleaning it out fill it up and start my rock cooking.


03/12/2017, 05:21 AM
Not sure why it took so long for your Pukani to cure, but I've used a lot of Pukani, and cured a lot of pukani, It's never taken more than three weeks for me to get even nasty rock, clean.
I personally love pukani rock for it's light weight, crevices, beautiful shapes, and easy to work and break to build incredible structures. Add some Apoxie sculpt to the mess and you can build anything with the stuff.

Looking forward to seeing more of your new build. Beautiful new house, btw! Where in NC did you wind up living?

03/12/2017, 05:23 AM
Looked up where Aquatica was to get an idea where you are. Make sure you check out Nero's reef. They have the best prices I have ever seen and will meet/beat anyone, including online stores.

03/12/2017, 01:36 PM
I think THIS is the video link (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_oA_WaRfsPU) you meant to put up.

You should have put in a few cheapo kiddies' wading pools from Walmart to hold the new live rock in salt water. If you had been better prepared you could have had all that reef life in your display tank when it was ready. You would have ended up with a real triving reef instead of the typical pseudo-reefs we see so often here on RC; full of all manner of living things from so many phyla. Now that would have been something to see!


03/12/2017, 03:25 PM

Nice set up. Also nice car. What year is it? I thought maybe you are a lucky owner of a 350 due to the vent near the front of wheel but I don't recall them displaying a 5.0 badge.

Really like the tank also.

03/12/2017, 06:13 PM

Another day and some more work. (For those that asked I'm in Charlotte NC) - and to address the questions about why my marco and pukani took long to cure.

Marco Rock - did not take long to cure. On the contrary it was the cleanest and fastest curing that I did RIGHT in the tank. What took ages was for it to gain ANY color at all. I literally dumped it in with some established rock scraped a ton of coraline into the tank. It got a little brown and while I had 1" nuggets grow into 6 X 6" colonies the rock was still freaking white!

Pukani I feel is hit or miss. According to the study by BRS (Marine Pure, Pukani, Fiji, Florida Rock) all absorb different amount of water making each one differently equipped for filtering tanks. After emails with real/reef rock and marine pure i was assured that the process to create real reef rock is strikingly similar to marine pure with more focus on look and presentation that pure filtering power. However the network of passages in the rock are very similar. Seen under a microscope a slice of real reef rock bears striking resemblance to fiji and pukani. A slice of marine pure looks like something formed with perfect parameters to create.

That said from what I heard pukani is mostly clean but as the rock ages water penetrates deeper and more and more dissolved organics are processed. There may be a period when the tests read zero but they may creep back up as the rock "cures and ages". I didn't want to start a reef fighting nutrients.

I was fortunate to get that giant vat because for the next 6 to 8 weeks as I wait for my tank and light I will be ordering copepods and placing a few GROW lights over the rock with some balls of chaeto. I hope to artifically introduce the critters from bristle worms down to feather dusters and mysis shrimp to the vat. I'll probably place an order from reefcleaners for some chaeto and stuff later this week.

Salt Water!


It snowed in Charlotte last night... like 3 Sprinkles. By noon I took a walk lol


I love this place.. Plants don't seem to care about the snow sprinkle. My Peach blossoms are in full swing lol

03/12/2017, 06:23 PM
Oh and the car is a 2016 Mustang GT Premium - Those pieces are some sponsor pieces that I test fitted with a paint match primer. The car is going to be wrapped Red Aluminum this summer. I'm reno my garage into a nice little hang out space so that's why I've been packing everything and getting ready to move it into a shed. First I gotta build or buy a shed. Dang man I gotta lot of shiet to do!





03/15/2017, 02:31 PM
Update Time!: First off the tank update.

Initially I was planning to do a tank that was drilled for a synergy overflow. Not knocking the Synergy overflow but due to my room dimensions choice of lighting and flow going with a external center overflow did not seem like such a good idea. Once against the wall troubleshooting that thing would be a issue in itself. Not to mention trying to deal with leaks.

My first renderings from Steve looked like this


My Sump looked like this


I changed my mind and decided to go with an internal drain and 2 1" returns. I will be using a Maggie Muffler on the single drain to eliminate the drain noise and will be splitting my returns. I hope to use 1" Pipe all the way to the top and then reduce to 3/4" Locline. Doing this means I can remove my returns and my drain pipe for regular cleanings. This also means that its possible to grab fish that find their way into my overflow.

I received some progress photos of my tank today. The SCA drains and overflow's are very tight. They are primarily designed for what seems like bean animal or herbie type setups. I'm happy about this because as you can see the actual overflow is NOT as imposing as it would normally be for a mass produced tank.


My new sump Is also made from Starphire with polished edges. I opted to have a skimmer section
12" X 24

Frag Section

15" X 24"

And a built in ATO part. This will basically ensure that the tank can be run solo-dolo for a week or 2 without having to do anything. Its also HUGE!. I might end up placing my chaeto in that first section. More than likely I'll put left over live rock and more than likely my Marine ceramic blocks/PreFilter crap.


To assist with my Dosing and Stuff I was able to snag these awesome looking containers for my doser which happens to be the Jebao DP4. (4 Containers Total Cal,Alk,Mag,Acro Power PreMix)




I also picked up a heater for my Live Rock curing bin. Not sure how much heat live rock needs to start cooking but its been like 2 days or so and no smell. I have not started testing water or anything.

03/15/2017, 03:48 PM
Looks nice. Source of containers?

Side note - sending a PM on the car ;)

03/15/2017, 03:50 PM
Looks nice. Source of containers?

Side note - sending a PM on the car ;)

I got them on Amazon! just search Marine Color like 55 bux shipped and holds 1500ml Each.. seems to be constructed real well.

03/15/2017, 05:10 PM
I actually just pick up a used tank with the same dimensions. Can't wait to plan my build but it will be a while till then I will live vicariously through yours.

03/15/2017, 06:15 PM
I hope I'm keeping it interesting enough haven't really had much feedback

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

03/16/2017, 05:10 PM
im liking it, sounds like it is going to be a nice build

03/16/2017, 10:03 PM
Update Time:

Well I have been at it again. This time around I finally got the measurements of my sump. It will help with creating and planning the plumbing. Right now imagining the plumbing has got me frazzled. I might just need to wait until the tank and stand are here before I start building parts of the plumbing. I'm struggling to decide between hard plumbed or soft. I'm thinking of doing a hybrid plumbing setup.

In the mean time some new equipment showed up. First up is the Jebao doser. This thing looks pretty amazing for the cost.


Then of course the sump drawings.


The Render


Right now I'm looking for a custom acrylic manufacturer to build me a tower for my filter sock and a custom frag rack for my frag section. Synergy Reef turned me down. I even offered to accept what they did the first time and leave the creative design up to them. I only needed it to be clear and red laminated.

Malign Reefer
03/17/2017, 07:48 AM
I like the sump and tank, off to an awesome start.

03/19/2017, 11:19 PM

My Light construction is well underway. I can't wait to see more progress pictures!
Here is what I have so far of the build process. Dave @ nanoboxreef.com has kept me in the loop the entire time. Talk about customer service. (Its probably because I bug him so much.)

Ballasts exposed and getting ready to be wired

Shell off the unit and getting ready to get painted

My extra parts will come back to me.

On the flip side of things. Instead of building a shed like I was going to do I found a great deal on a shed from Leonards.
The shed is 8 X 10 which should give me more than enough space to store my reefing equipment and garage stuff. The goal
is to make my garage into a livable space (in the summer at least) until I install a gas heating system in there.

After my garage is fixed up Tank Build 2.0 Will start. I plan on putting a Fish Only tank in the garage to complete my cave. I also have plans to perhaps get a custom 48 X 12 rimless to setup a frag system.

A call to aquatica today yeilded no results. They still have not got my ReefOctopus 200SSS in the store. I ordered a week ago. They told me that it would take about a week to get in but I guess im impatient. I also done like spending like 500 dollars on a skimmer and it not being in my possession. The rock is still not smelling - Wonder how long before it starts smelling like farts in the garage.

In the mean time I think I have decided on 2 more pieces of equipment....

I'm going with a custom ClearTides.com ozone reactor. I have always ran ozone in my tanks and I want to continue doing so. I was using the AVAST marine DIY ozone reactor but tbh it did not survive 6 months. Within that time the Dwyer airmeter got screwed up from moisture and the stupid "spray" screw kept getting clogged every other day.

I'll be using a ozotech ozone reactor and my apex will control the ozone in the tank.

Shed life


Not a Badsize

I have also decided that I am going to need to run a new circuit to the room where I have my fish tank. I don't want to dray on the houses power and in the future If I end up going solar I want to make sure that my tank can be run off its own circuit. I don't know WHAT kind of circuits I need to run though. I know its GFCI but how many amps? I'm thinking 2 15 AMP Circuits.

I'm probably going to end up running a ethernet cable to the tank area as well. I have 2 Net Cams and my Apex that I will want to add to my network.

So 2 Questions

How do I calculate how many Amps I need?

Any one have a link to a calculator?

03/20/2017, 01:19 PM
For example this is about what I anticipate running


6 X T5 80w Bulbs = 480w
6 X LED Clusters = 198w


4X Tunze 6095 (21w Each) = 84w
Return Pump Vectra L1 = 130w
Ozone Generator = 12VDC


Apex EB8X2

- Total Watts: approx = 892w

03/20/2017, 04:56 PM
Looked up where Aquatica was to get an idea where you are. Make sure you check out Nero's reef. They have the best prices I have ever seen and will meet/beat anyone, including online stores.

That was supposed to be NeMo's reef.

03/20/2017, 04:57 PM
I hope I'm keeping it interesting enough haven't really had much feedback

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

For me, I'm just in awe, and waiting for more photos ;).

03/20/2017, 09:21 PM
Update Time:

Well the tank delivery so far is on time. ETA April 15th or there about's in the mean time my focus has turned to the wall that the tank will go on. As you guys know I have been doing some DIY renovation of my garage space to make it into a nice little stylish cave. It will also house my Fish Only and Probably my Frag Tanks when I get all up and running. I was thinking of doing a nice wall like this one for where the tank will go against the wall. It's either I do this in the house for the tank or in the Garage where the mustang is. Either way i'm looking for the most economical way of accomplishing it!

The wall behind the mustang is where I was thinking of doing the "wood panel wall" along with some additional track lighting


This is the wall style I'm shooting for



What thinks the peanut gallery? :)

03/24/2017, 01:16 PM
Update Time!:

So I almost had a shed dropped on me while going down a hill. Fun right?

So this 150lb guy showed up and dropped this bad boy off.



Right about when it was tipping over and I put 4 years of college football to the test, dug in and held it up while it slid down the hill and I thought about my life choices.

Tucked it in and Leveled it off


Now I have to add some shelves and move some reefing equipment into it. Oh and also the crap in my garage. Gotta move that stuff too to make room for the Fish Only Tank later this summer.

In the mean time - I need some help

I got a Jebao DOSER which will be used to dose trace elements from my RedSea Colorup program. It will not (initially) be used to dose Calcium/Mag/Alk like many people asked. This will be handled by a calcium reactor. I kind of set my budget for the calcium reactor at 400 Bucks (not including a regulator.) The CHOICES though are stumping me. I used to use a GEO 618 reactor that did the job pretty well. I sold that a long time ago when I had to move.

Here are my Options

Vertex - $499 (Rating 120 Gallons)

Skimz CM153 - $250!!!! BARGIN Rated 300G

Reef Octo - 299 - 200Gal


Reef Octo - DUAL - 409 - 225 Gal


Do I need the second chamber? - Is there a Brand I don't know of that I should consider?

03/27/2017, 09:47 AM
Updates & Hiccups

First Off;

Finally got the shelves installed in the ReefShed. Now I have storage space for all my reef goodness and other stuff.



Some decisions have been made!

Originally I was thinking of getting one of these

Now that has become


The reason for the change is that this one now has a 8" Body diameter and the Varios Pump. The problem is that its out of stock almost everywhere. So My supplier is looking for one for me ASAP.

Aquatica has been completely unable to find me a Regal 200SSS - They offered to eat some of the cost in other equipment and offered to get me the 250SSS instead. So my skimmer has grown.

Next up is my Ozone Reactor. I run ozone on my display tanks and to date I used to run it through a Avast Marine ozone reactor. While it worked "OK" it was NEVER the best ozone reactor and certainly I hated having to open and clean the spray bar numerous times a month to stop the gunk build up. After looking at some of the available reactors in the USA and even contacting SIAM-Ocean about shipping one here. I got to them through Facebook of all places. - Ultimately I ended up ordering one through ClearTides. I'm awaiting the delivery of this bad boy.


Last but not least - Water Movement -

The fight between Tunze and Ecotech will be fought forever. What works for some doesn't work for others. My Tunzes 6095 worked great and I love them dearly. They have served, and continue to serve me well. This time around I feel like trying the vortech route. I love that they shrunk the dry side and for the first time in years my tank will be against the wall. I will try a few configurations of back wall and side wall mounting to figure out the best flow patterns.


There will be (4) - but guess what - these are ALSO out of stock and back ordered.

Tank - ??? Waiting on Update
4X Vortechs - Backordered (shipping 31st)
Light - Clearcoat is drying construction continues
Calcium Reactor - Backordered (no eta)
Ozone Reactor - Waiting for shipping details

I have like 10 days till I will be gone on vacation to Florida for the continuation of my build thread. Activities planned

Wild Sea Shell Collecting from the beach for the tank
Mangrove Tree Collecting for the sump/fuge/houseplant :)
Tampa Bay Saltwater - I will be picking up part 2 of (The Package) in person - I'm not using their rock but I love their Sponges and stuff)
WWC Visit and maybe pickup some frags.
Fishing - Lots of Fishing
Wild fish collecting in Daytona Beach (Gonna try to collect some shrooms or ricordea)
There may be some drone footage as well :)

03/31/2017, 08:20 PM
looks good! location of the mp40s will juat depend on the flow pattern u want. I liked have them on the side in my 120. but i also used an mp10 on the back wall. they have some diagrams in the user manual for recommended placement.

04/01/2017, 01:46 PM
You certainly have done your research, and equipment choices are superb congrats on that...but the hassle folks go through after spending many thousands of dollars on equipment....then go thorough the crazy process of using imported/dry rock and all the grief and months of curing....when you can go from an empty tank to this in just seven days....

post 1776


Richard TBS

Updates & Hiccups

First Off;

Finally got the shelves installed in the ReefShed. Now I have storage space for all my reef goodness and other stuff.



Some decisions have been made!

Originally I was thinking of getting one of these

Now that has become


The reason for the change is that this one now has a 8" Body diameter and the Varios Pump. The problem is that its out of stock almost everywhere. So My supplier is looking for one for me ASAP.

Aquatica has been completely unable to find me a Regal 200SSS - They offered to eat some of the cost in other equipment and offered to get me the 250SSS instead. So my skimmer has grown.

Next up is my Ozone Reactor. I run ozone on my display tanks and to date I used to run it through a Avast Marine ozone reactor. While it worked "OK" it was NEVER the best ozone reactor and certainly I hated having to open and clean the spray bar numerous times a month to stop the gunk build up. After looking at some of the available reactors in the USA and even contacting SIAM-Ocean about shipping one here. I got to them through Facebook of all places. - Ultimately I ended up ordering one through ClearTides. I'm awaiting the delivery of this bad boy.


Last but not least - Water Movement -

The fight between Tunze and Ecotech will be fought forever. What works for some doesn't work for others. My Tunzes 6095 worked great and I love them dearly. They have served, and continue to serve me well. This time around I feel like trying the vortech route. I love that they shrunk the dry side and for the first time in years my tank will be against the wall. I will try a few configurations of back wall and side wall mounting to figure out the best flow patterns.


There will be (4) - but guess what - these are ALSO out of stock and back ordered.

Tank - ??? Waiting on Update
4X Vortechs - Backordered (shipping 31st)
Light - Clearcoat is drying construction continues
Calcium Reactor - Backordered (no eta)
Ozone Reactor - Waiting for shipping details

I have like 10 days till I will be gone on vacation to Florida for the continuation of my build thread. Activities planned

Wild Sea Shell Collecting from the beach for the tank
Mangrove Tree Collecting for the sump/fuge/houseplant :)
Tampa Bay Saltwater - I will be picking up part 2 of (The Package) in person - I'm not using their rock but I love their Sponges and stuff)
WWC Visit and maybe pickup some frags.
Fishing - Lots of Fishing
Wild fish collecting in Daytona Beach (Gonna try to collect some shrooms or ricordea)
There may be some drone footage as well :)

04/04/2017, 09:59 PM
Update Time:

So it has been a few days. My vacation to Florida is looming and its been quite the reefing adventure. I don't know whats better than coming back from vacation to your tank being delivered and finishing up with all the equipment purchasing. So!

Today's adventure started with the UPS MAN!
The UPS man delivered my new vortechs!


Then it was off to Aquatica to pickup the next integral part of my build. The freakin skimmer!


The box was big and heavy!


Packed Really well - I didn't build it because of time and because I just wanted to check and make sure that nothing was broken.

Build Quality was great

I also picked up one of these - With the Vortech's I now have 5 ecotech marine items. I remember trying to set the vortechs when the original ones were launched and I hated the process. With the Reeflink I can do all my settings without having to get a WXM module or anything to control them with my APEX. I still might get a WXM but with them being able to control my Vectra and the Mp40's I think the reeflink was a great purchase.


04/04/2017, 10:06 PM
Hey Richard,
Thanks for checking out my thread. I thought a lot about if I should go with TBS rock or one of the man made rocks. Ultimately while I LOVE What you are doing I really wanted to start fresh with a rock I know was 100% clean. I know that ultimately I will need to add some life and I have been doing that by adding in some live copepods and even some chaeto to the curing tub to introduce some critters. I have started seeing some of the live critters in the tub although I have not been testing at all. To date I have performed 2 30 gallon water changes on my curing vat but since the rock I used has already been cured I don't think I will actually have much of a CYCLE.

Also - my choice of sand would not have went well with your sand. I like what you are doing with your sand but all the particulates, mud, grit, and stuff that comes with it was not top on my list. I plan on using tropic eden reeflakes for my substrate. I might default and used carib-sea if the Tropic Eden is cost-prohibitive but I have used that sand before and it was wonderful.

I still hope to visit your facility one afternoon to say hi and check out the operation. I'm sure the thread followers would like to see some more cool stuff going on at tbs!

You certainly have done your research, and equipment choices are superb congrats on that...but the hassle folks go through after spending many thousands of dollars on equipment....then go thorough the crazy process of using imported/dry rock and all the grief and months of curing....when you can go from an empty tank to this in just seven days....

post 1776


Richard TBS

04/23/2017, 10:32 PM

When I write these posts I feel like doogie howser at the end of a long day. Its usually late at night and I'm in bed just gathering my thoughts.

First off the vacation:

The vacation was amazing. I caught almost 200lbs of game fish - filleted and flash frozen to bring back home between my cousin and I. Funny enough with a sabiki right i was able to catch a ton of aquarium fish as well. I didn't keep them but maaaaaaaaaaaan was it tempting to catch some live stock. I never made it over to tampa. It will have to wait for a trip later on this year in the summer.

One of the most magical and awe inspiring things I have ever done was fish at 3 AM in the middle of the Halifax River During a full moon.


Next up was World Wide Corals - I guess I can keep my review of the store short and sweet.

The displays were amazing and easily the best of any fish store I have ever been in. They had more variety (in their show tanks) than multiple stores combined. Their prices were at a steep markup from my area in the carolinas(limited knowledge) and much higher than in new jersey.

Their fish looked to be in fantastic shape and Try as I might I could only find a few fish that looked like they had ich period. As with every other store quarantine is your friend. I got to take some great footage with my gopro that I still need to edit and upload to youtoob.


04/23/2017, 10:32 PM
Update Part 2:

So now on to the Tank things. -

Tank Status - Out for Delivery !?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

SCA has told me that the delivery of my tank should happen between Friday the 21st and Monday the 24th. So with anticipation I headed out straight to lowes and picked up paint and stuff to prepare the area where the tank will sit. Friday no tank arrived so I was able to spackle, paint and prep the entire room for the tank. Saturday - I went back and touched up all the areas I missed (lol.) - Lets just say that a 5 gal bucket of sherwin williams paint in the best finish is $$$$$$. It looks great though. (Pics to come tomorrow)

Of course its Sunday night and no damn tank showed up. So I'm hoping monday it will show up.

Calcium Reactor and Ozone reactor

Well the ozone reactor arrived from the UK packed extremely well and with no discernable damage. I still have not assembled it but it seems rough around the edges. (Full review to come soon.) The package was damn near destroyed and for the record I didn't think it had survived.



The calcium reactor arrived in great shape and packaging. Turns out that Coralvue has recently started shipping these bad boys to I'm excited to be on the cutting edge of things.
It is freaking massive. It will cost a fortune to fill with media. Its almost as big as my skimmer. The controllable pump should be a nice feature and I'm hoping with a bit of creative tubing I should be able to get this thing setup relatively easy.

Any advice for a decent regulator? I'll be using a apex to control CO2 so it does not have to be full featured.


My light will be delivered by the creator tomorrow (Monday). It's raining cats and dogs here in charlotte. I'm hoping monday the tank delivery (if it ever comes) will be easy. I'm hoping to round up some muscle from my neighbors to help me bring it in. I'll be pooping little bricks all day long.

04/25/2017, 02:16 PM
Everything looks great

Thanks dude!

Rooms painted and Ethernet run for Apex and reeflink.


Rocks all cooked and since I added some dr tims and a bag of a healthy tanks sand it's been keeping the nutrients down. Without light zero algae is growing but I see all kinds of life in the rock. I think it's safe to say the rock is finished cooking. I dropped in a bag of carbon to remove the yellow from the water and overnight it was crystal clear.


In the mean time my wife filled and stocked her tank as well so now I got more than fish to look forward to! Gods good folks.


04/25/2017, 02:21 PM
Good going body and congrats for the new comer [emoji322]. Keep going...

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

04/25/2017, 08:02 PM
Update Time:

So I got this update from Dave @ Nanoboxreef today. There was flooding all over NC/SC so Monday/Tuesday was a bust but tomorrow is the day. I'll have some awesome closeups tomorrow when its in hand!

Let there be LIGHT!





I'll be taking some requests for any upclose shots anyone wants. Currently I'm thinking I will end up with the following bulb Combo

ATI Blue +
ATI Coral Plus
ATI Blue Plus
ATI Purple Plus
KZ Fiji Pink
ATI Blue Plus

I like a 20K look but I will probably let Dave influence some of my decisions.

After water column and rock work my tank will only be about 24" Deep So the amount of bulbs is mostly for spread. The Fixture itself will be hung about 12" off the water surface.

My new tank comes with a canopy so I might try to do something cool with that.

04/26/2017, 10:20 AM
For example this is about what I anticipate running


6 X T5 80w Bulbs = 480w
6 X LED Clusters = 198w


4X Tunze 6095 (21w Each) = 84w
Return Pump Vectra L1 = 130w
Ozone Generator = 12VDC


Apex EB8X2

- Total Watts: approx = 892w

The watts don't matter, you want to check the max amp draw for each item and add those up. If you're having the circuits added I would go with 2x20 amp and you should have plenty of extra space, even if you switch to halides or get a chiller.

05/03/2017, 09:05 PM
Tank was supposed to get here April 25th - Apparently there was some miscommunication and SCA thought I wanted a modern stand instead of the classic stand and refused delivery by the cabinet maker. After no shipping details and no stand details I contacted SCA and told them that we did in fact decide to go with the white oak furniture grade custom stand with 3 doors etc etc. I was told that It would be shipped Monday May 1st with delivery window to be Friday/Saturday. Well its obviously Wednesday and no shipping details or anything. Finally got in contact with the company and was told that there were some issues with the stand internally and that my stuff would be shipped Friday May 5th. Supposedly with an expected delivery date of Friday May 12th .

Well I'm going to be out of town May 13th-18th. If an attempt is made It will be refused I guess because not a single friggin person will be home. So. Curbside free Tank and Stand -_-;;

I finally got some pictures of the boxed finished products. I give you THE TANK and Sump. It looks beautiful. Now if it can only get to me before I freakin leave!


Starphire 80ish Gal Sump!





06/06/2017, 11:47 AM

Just read the whole thread, great going bud.

Congrats on your house purchase and new family additions.

Great equipment choices! Will follow your build to get ideas for a build 3.0 of my own.

Keep updating with lots of pics.

06/06/2017, 11:59 AM
Well guys it's finally here. It took a case of beer and buttering up some neighborhood muscle but I finally got the tank delivered.

The tank was about a month late. The build quality of the tank is impeccable 10/10.

The build quality of the stand is is not. It could be way better.

Tank on the truck - it was definitely a 2 man job. Of course one guy came but thank god for working from home.


Guy had a pallet jack that made moving it to the garage very easy.

Please pleas have a sharp knife and help ready to examine the tank. I was able to open every package and inspect the tank before the guy left.

My cousin and I were able to lift and move the stand and sump into place. Extremely close fit under the tank.

The sump is freaking huge which unfortunately means nothing else can go under the tank. I'm kinda glad because at least device failure will be kept to a minimum.



You might see I had to remove supports from the front to get the sump in. This also means that it will be hard to put the screws back. So I'm going to buy a flexible screwdriver head to make it a little easier.


I wish I had a structural engineer to tell me if I need those supports in front.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/06/2017, 12:05 PM
A year can be a long time without a tank and I had to find something to hold myself over. After battling the legality of various green substances I decided to use my green thumb for something else. Leading up to my tank I took up gardening with these results







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/06/2017, 12:07 PM



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/06/2017, 12:48 PM
just read your thread and will be following along..nice looking equipment and green thumb..lol

and congrats on the new one coming. Nothing compares

06/06/2017, 01:06 PM
I wish we had the space for a garden like that here in NYC, great results.

06/09/2017, 06:12 PM
The Entire Build is on HOLD

First Off Let me Preface this With What I KNOW for FACT.

SCA Used to have their stands build in China. When the tank would ship the stand and the canopy would ship as well. This allowed the teams to A) mass produce the stand and B) Test that the stand works well.
SCA's attention to details are excellent and this shows in the FLAWNESS tank I received.

My Cabinet was built by a custom shop in California due to my tank dimensions being 60 X 30 X 24. A Standard 150 tank stand would not work. (2) Cabinets were shipped from the Custom Shop in California. 1 (Regular 150) and My custom tank.

At first glance and measurement I could only check that the tank was the right size shape and dimensions. I also checked that the stand was the right dimensions as best I could due to the rounded corners. The Canopy Also looked ok but as
I did not plan to use the canopy initially I left it wrapped for its own protection.

After waiting a week for some help to place the tank on the stand we rounded up enough people to do the job. I was immediately heart broken and dropped what I was doing and walked away from the fish tank. I went outside for a long walk and had a few drinks before coming
back home and deciding how I was going to deal with this situation.

The Stand was Too small

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4245/34395676703_e4340e6f37_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UpqQmF)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/UpqQmF) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4260/34818855370_137127c7a3_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/V3PJCA)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/V3PJCA) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

As you guys can see once centered on the actual stand the edges hang over the sides of the stand.

It Gets worse

It was discovered also that the structural integrity of the tank may have been compromised by the stupid builder cutting the middle center brace in order to make space for the overflow plumbing

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4268/34395676793_79c660be23_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UpqQoe)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/UpqQoe) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

SCA announced that they were making all the tank stands 36" high now which is great. However the builder clearly does not understand aquariums and decided to simply build a BASE elevating the tank stand 3" higher to make 36" Rendering the open
area small as the base raises the sump up very high rendering people unable to place equipment into the sump. My Sump is 18" tall for reference

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4254/35040103972_db0ceda92e_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/VonG8E)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/VonG8E) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

The Genius builder then decided to reinforce the stand by adding numerous supports inside the stand pushing the sump almost 6" to the front of the stand rendering you unable to REPLACE The braces after putting in the sump.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4249/35205170235_f3d9052f54_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/VCXGzH)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/VCXGzH) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

After going outside and repeatedly firing a mossberg at a target while playing death metal and wondering how much tickets to California are I decided to test the canopy.

What I thought was paint on much of the stand and canopy turned out to be little more than dust. The Canopy is not finished inside at all. Neither is the stand after wiping it down. Either this is marine grade ply or I'm looking at a disaster waiting to happen.

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4249/35205170235_f3d9052f54_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/VCXGzH)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/VCXGzH) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

The canopy does not fit. It is 1/2" too small

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4229/34395862923_a4099cd68f_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UprMHn)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/UprMHn) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

If the Canopy WERE To fit it would cover approximately 6" or more of the available viewing area

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4233/34395676733_80467225fe_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UpqQnc)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/UpqQnc) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

https://c1.staticflickr.com/5/4255/34360830844_db0b2ea4bf_z.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/UmmeU1)Untitled (https://flic.kr/p/UmmeU1) by Tristian Allicock (https://www.flickr.com/photos/asonitez/), on Flickr

The builder has agreed to Refund me the FULL COST of the ENTIRE STAND and CANOPY.

The builder is also not doing any custom stands for any tanks until basically July. We were told online (Facebook) that the builder has secured an ONSITE building facility attached to the Warehouse that they will be doing their own custom woodworking.
I spent the greater part of the last few days contacting various furniture makers in Charlotte, NC - I have not contracted anyone yet but have sent plans to numerous people and have called quite a few of them. I should have something by the weekend or
early next week.

If I am unable to find a builder I will build the tank stand myself using rocketengineers and DIY King Joey's plans online in the upcoming week. I figure it will take me a day to build the frame and maybe 2 days to Skin another 2/3 days to Prime/Seal/Paint.

I am Extremely Bummed about this situation. I have been depressed for days and I'm sorry to the community for not updating.

On a slightly brighter side.

I have decided to build a completely oversized stand to house my tank. I am planning on a Tank stand 9 Feet Wide 30" Deep 36" high. The tank will sit in the center of the stand and the sump directly below it. This will free up Space on either side of the cabinet
that can be isolated from the rest of the stand to house my electronics, controller, calcium reactor and any other items I need. The top of the stand can be used in the future to hold a small frag tank maybe. I will probably use this POS stand I have right now to
build another system in the garage for frags or Fish Only.

06/10/2017, 07:14 AM
Sorry to hear of all the troubles. That all sucks..

06/11/2017, 09:39 PM
Well bad news and good news.

1. SCA has of course gone radio silent on my refund. I'm giving them until Monday afternoon then filing a charge back on my Discover Card via PayPal.

2. To date I have contact (stand builders in 4 states and about 10 handy men and cabinet makers in charlotte and surrounding areas.)

I have got projected dates between 5 to 8 weeks.
1 quote for 850 painted and 550 I paint.
1 quote for over 1150 shipped flat packed with instructions on how to assemble the stand.
1 guy and I have been texting and finally went radio silent 2 guys have gone on vacation for a week or more and Craigslist was a bust.

The Good News

Still no lead on a stand. Today on a whim while working I decided to measure out some things do some research and with 1 hour before most shops started closing:







My new stand will be

96 X 30 X 38

I'm using rocket-engineers post to build the stand the reinforce the area of the stand where the tank will sit with braces.

I will sand, kilz and wrap the entire stand with 1/2" smooth sanded ply and simple doors. With ventilation built in


The stand will be lit inside with waterproof RGB LED and a section of the Stand will house the calcium reactor and the other part all of the electronics.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/12/2017, 07:17 AM
Following along for your build. The tank and sump look awesome and it sucks they didn't get your stand right. I think this is going to be your best option as far as your stand goes. Now you can make a stand exactly how you want and need with no limitation except your carpentry skills.

06/12/2017, 08:23 AM
Following along for your build. The tank and sump look awesome and it sucks they didn't get your stand right. I think this is going to be your best option as far as your stand goes. Now you can make a stand exactly how you want and need with no limitation except your carpentry skills.

Deep down I kind of knew that I would end up in this situation and having to do it myself. I received a few more quotes today and one was depending on the size of the tank the stands are going somewhere betwen 2 and 25K and the person is 4 months backlogged.

I feel like I'm going to be in the same situation no matter who or where I look and ultimately decided to take matters into my own hands.

After a Quick trip to lowes for a countersink drill bit and some garden stuff I'm going to start making my cuts and assembling the frame today.

One thing I was very worried about was that the Rocketengineer stand would cause the holes for my OVERFLOW to be blocked. After Examining the 2X6 and the overflow holes where they are positioned I don't think this will be a problem at all.

The other potential problem was USABLE space after all of the internal reinforcements under the stand.

I don't think this will be an issue either becuase the Sump is 55 X 24 X 18 so unless I take up 6" of extra space inside the stand the sump should slip in without an issue.

I am Anticipating a Cabinet approximately

36" Long X 30 Wide X 38" High to hold my electrical any my calcium reactor.

06/12/2017, 10:35 AM
Wow, very cool build. When I read these tank builds, with all the DIY elements, I almost feel an anxiety attack coming on. I don't have that DIY gene, or the time to put into something like that (I have 5 kids). So I love watching and tagging along on these big builds, but I could never do one. If I ever upgrade, it'll be something like a Red Sea - something all-inclusive and (generally) idiot proof.

But good luck! Excited to see how it all turns out. I got a quote once from SC Aquariums - very reasonable prices for what you get!

06/12/2017, 10:36 AM
Looked long and hard at this baby boy a few months ago actually:

06/13/2017, 02:50 PM
Well good news is that last night I made my first cuts of the top and bottom rails today i.e. I'll be cutting the legs side and other support. I haven't screwed anything together yet just dry fitting everything

The funny thing was that I had to literally build all of my tools to support my building of the tank lmao. The saw horses alone took like 1 hr for both lmao.







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/13/2017, 03:38 PM
Just so you know its easier to use the saws you bought to build the stand rather than the machete in these building materials and tools pictures LOL.

Keep up the good progress, can't wait to see what you come up with

06/14/2017, 08:04 PM
Well started the assembly tonight and things were going well before I ran out of light.

2 things about the rocket engineer stand and about wood in general.

8' 2x6 are not really 8 feet. I had to trim off some and will need to trim off the bottom as well.

My measurements are as follows and I cut using a miter saw. The only thing I may not have accounted for was the width of the blade. I cut ON my lines instead of on the outside edge of them leading to what I think added up to be a fraction of an inch all around.

At first I was incredibly ****ed because I cut all my End pieces.

The saving grace is that my 2x6 will have multiple cross braces at the top. After test fitting them they pushed it out the top rails a little bit and I got my 30". After I add in my ply wood wrapping and my top piece I'll have more than enough width and support.

Also the tanks glass is very wide meaning that the full surface of the glass will be supported on braces and the wide section of the 2x6.

Due to the width of the 2x6 I may need to cut the back rail to clear my bulk head holes. I will add vertical supports at the cuts and horizontal support as well.





Y'all think I should recut the end pieces to make it 30". I want to say it's maybe 1/8" or less

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/14/2017, 09:38 PM
Nope wood is cheap and I have extra

I recut the end pieces and got my 30" :)

I did this in the garage at like 10:30 lol. It would have seriously bothered the hell out of me. As I suspected cutting on the outside of the line worked wonders.

Good news is that the other pieces I cut can still work as cross braces for the sump!



I'm traveling for a few days so next update will be Monday. I should have the entire thing framed out and ready for some Kilz paint. Then the wrapping begins.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/19/2017, 11:24 AM
... so next update will be Monday.

:reading: :hmm4: :spin3:

06/19/2017, 11:54 AM
With all the stress of my build and stand issues the last few weeks I took some time to spend Father's Day with my dad. He's a carpenter but in jersey so he couldn't help me too much with my build. I did take the time to show him my plans and we tweaked a few things. We also murdered some porgies and sea bass in Massachusets.






Tonight I'll be back to the stand getting the rest of it framed out!

New update tonight

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/19/2017, 09:33 PM
Update !!!!

Got a lot of progress done tonight. I traded back my harbor freight table saw for a nice kobalt one from lowes. It was on sale and seemed to be better quality than the harbor freight one plus it came with a rolling stand!!!





and I also bought a Krieg pocket jig for when I place the uprights under the tank. Here I am testing it out.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/20/2017, 09:47 PM
So some more updates tonight!

I cut the uprights and supports for the tank which will allow it to be centered on the 8 foot stand and have adequate support. I was able to finesse the template out of the SCA tank and was pleasantly surprised to see that it should fit without having to cut the uprights to clear the bulkheads. If it does I can notch the uprights and add a cross bar and 2 additional supports to take the weight off.

I was also thinking if I need the bottom middle brace at all. I wanted to put a piece of plywood there seal it and use the flex rubber stuff to water proof it. If my sump leaks or something leaks the bottom would contain the leak without getting on the floor.




I also picked up a plane to smooth and even the frame. I was able to remove the majority of "lips" from the frame to even it out which should enable me to skin it more efficiently.

I have decided on 4 doors. I


Traded in my harbor freight table saw and stand for this sexy one from lowes for the same price after discount.


Pocket hole jig working wonders


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/22/2017, 10:53 PM

Sorry this has been slow going. I'm a new wood worker so I have to buy my tools as I go if I don't already have them lmao.

Tonight I was able to install my 1/2" floor and upright columns.



My thought process here is that my sump will sit INSiDE of the stand and directly on the floor of my stand. I am sealing and kilz the floor of the stand and using the rubberized flex seal item from lowes to make the bottom waterproof for the most part.

Also this allows me to have the maximum height of the stands interior to work with.

The rocket engineer plans if I'm not mistaken rely on weight being transferred to the bottom frame at the sides and along the length of the tank. Since my tank is going in the center of the stand I added vertical supports all 4 corners using 2x6. It should take the weight and then some.

(Please advise me if not lmao) tomorrow I cut my sides top and front.

I also build my table saw lmao.


Did a bit of gardening. This is today's harvest


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/25/2017, 11:21 AM
Good update. You are a person with many talents :) Like how you mixed in the fishing and gardening :D Side note - unless it is a primary hobby, wood working, you will always find yourself buying tools for it and/or home maintenance. I find myself in the same boat with some cases even upgrading. Sometimes if you plan it right you can catch some of the larger tools (Miter Saws one example) with great sales.

Side note - I just picked up and installed a GT350R steering wheel and Corsa Sport cat back exhaust for my Mustang.

06/25/2017, 12:59 PM
I definitely hear you on buying tools lol.

Update been skinning this thing all day almost done !!




Just picked up some trim from lowes

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/25/2017, 07:50 PM
stunning coloration and setup. amazing.

06/25/2017, 07:51 PM
love the 180 gallon dimensions. wow your acans are magnificent. woah intense color.

06/25/2017, 08:39 PM
Finally skinned OMFG this is a lot of work but I spent the day cutting and measuring and cutting some more and measuring and routering and planing.




Added more cross braces to the top of the stand



Trim ready to get mitered and installed


More tools lol harbor freight sales are awesome


Also the employees at my local lowes love me lmao. They have been following my build even hahah. They recommended some tools to me and the manager gave me a 30% discount on some stuff for being a loyal customer in the form of discounting some returned/open box stuff.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/27/2017, 02:02 PM
That is funny regarding the Lowes following. Honestly, I think some of the employees get a kick out of everyday normal (non advanced/professional) people buying and using their products.

Coming along nicely.

06/27/2017, 08:30 PM

Last night I was able to get all the trim installed. I went with very simple trim.




This was a major accomplishment and I can't believe I'm so close to being finished.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/30/2017, 12:35 AM
Tonight I was able to triple kilz the interior of the stand. Arguably this was the hardest to get every crack, crevice and hole filled. The wood ate up the first coat and the second coat didn't give me the coverage I wanted either. I ended up with 3 light coats that really sealed the deal.

I put 2 light coats on the exterior of the stand as well. This coat will be lightly sanded with 220 grit sandpaper before I put on the exterior paint. I still have not figured out doors yet. Doors won't stop me from getting the tank up and running though.





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

06/30/2017, 01:20 PM
I would have probably filled all holes (pocket and otherwise) with paintable caulk but I guess it might be too late.

On my previous stand builds we had caulked inside perimeter of the stand before painting, it created almost like a 2" tub in the stand, it saved my floors when I had skimmate overflow on my last tank.

If you decide to do this do it now before final coats.

06/30/2017, 03:27 PM
there is also wood putty, you can get it in white.

06/30/2017, 08:05 PM
First coat is on!!!

Tank should be on the stand this weekend !!!!!!




I also ordered my doors they not arriving until next week though.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/01/2017, 06:15 AM
Looks great! For building something on the fly you did quite an amazing job! I like the extra room in the stand so you can house everything with ease. Soon the fun will begin

07/01/2017, 02:30 PM
Looking good. Great work so far. Can't wait to see more as this thread progresses.

07/02/2017, 04:20 PM
Nice job on the stand. What are you using for a finish coat and how are you applying it?

07/02/2017, 06:01 PM
Very nice!

07/02/2017, 08:11 PM
Looking great! Love the dimensions! I also have a 60x30! You'll love it.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/02/2017, 08:15 PM
Nice job on the stand. What are you using for a finish coat and how are you applying it?

I'm rolling it with a foam brush, sanding in between coats. I just finished it yesterday.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/03/2017, 11:16 PM
What a busy Monday!
My doors arrived unexpectedly


The tank made it into the stand after me and the guys moved the stand inside.


Then the doors got mounted up


But it was back to the garage to fabricate the center doorstop because the 3rd door from the door manufacturer wouldn't fit!! I plan to engrave and do a really nice raised emblem of the family crest.



Then it was off to my remote controlled waterproof led lighting





I have infinite and DIY colors as well. Very bright and easy to see what I'm doing inside. Tomorrow I'll be painting the doors and maybe test fit some plumbing.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/05/2017, 07:49 AM
Awesome progress o n the build , where did u order your leds for the stand look great

07/05/2017, 07:58 AM
I ordered my leds from Amazon. Basic waterproof led kit from wentop. They come with a controller. (1) 8ft strip was enough to light the stand like a Christmas tree lol.

I kind of did a hack job on cutting the foam for the stand. I'm using 1/2" thick foam from lowes. I'm afraid of it buckling at edge or something. I have never used foam before but with this tank I figured I'm taking every precaution possible to ensure success. What you guys think ? Should I have left a overhang past the edge of the tank?


This is my fave color for under the stand lol.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/19/2017, 08:07 AM
Massive update almost time for water!

So I have been having terrible luck with some aspects of this tank. Let's start with drains!

The SC Aquariums come drilled with 3 1" holes. This is great but traditional overflow plumbing won't work. It comes packaged with a. 1" Durso and a 1" return that gets reduced to 1/2" at the top.

We all know 1" Durso sucks because the tricks won't work with it to make it quiet 1 1/4" is needed.

So I built 2 and found out that they won't fit for shiet in the overflow. The eurobrace makes things very difficult to get my bear arms inside.


I went with the herbie! 2 cracked bulkheads later and it's plumbed.

During this plumbing and during a blackout my friends and I were able to fix the pad under the tank and give me some peace of mind that an edge of the pad won't buckle and destroy my house.

That blackout also taught me that charlotte
Has frequent blackouts and they typically last a few hours. During that blackout I started pricing out a generator for the house and although that's a next year project I was able to pickup 2 used ecotech battery backups.

They arrived like this!




They were packed well and it's no fault of the shipper usps sucks hard. These were obviously heavy and obviously thrown.

I worked it out with the seller and got to work since one battery was ratttling inside which meant possibly plates were broken or the battery was internally damaged I decided to replace both batteries and keep the other 2 as backups. I got out my hammer, grinder and Sandee and got to work salvaging the cases.




New batteries


All done


Prime day hit and I used points and the discount to grab one of these to run my apex and monitor the tank


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/19/2017, 08:14 AM
Remember those cracked bulkheads? Well a quick overflow water test revealed that 2 more cracked and you guessed it. I had to disassemble the overflow replace the 2 bulkheads and re assemble.

Since I was up there I decided might as well hang the light.

My ceiling drywall is 5/8" thick which meant handing my light from the drywall using the anchors was needed since of course not a single stud lined up with my tank.



Hung the lights and tested for deflection and saw none. I'll install the bulbs later on but right now it's time to get my stuff plugged in.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/19/2017, 06:35 PM
Watching the build. That homemade stand looks awesome!!! Well done!!

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro

07/21/2017, 11:54 PM
Update time !

Got my herbie installed. Waiting on a gate valve. Light is up and I've been playing with settings. This light is amazing!!!!





So much wiring cleanup! Waiting for my cable organizers.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/24/2017, 07:33 AM
@Husker I actually went with the Nanoboxreef hybrid. It's frickin awesome !!!!!!

I bought a leak froggie!


She's fillin Boys n girls!!!




She's setup my new rodi filters and did the necessary plumbing in the laundry room



Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/24/2017, 07:52 AM
Almost there!!! Will def be full by tonight. And I can turn on the pumps and test out my herbie. Or spend the evening ****ed off because it didn't work at which point I'll make 2 Durso's and say fcukit


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/28/2017, 12:22 PM
Update time:

So I swear I have not been idle lol.

So I was able to get the tank full of RODI and salt


3 40lb bags of caribsea ocean direct later and I have a completely cloudy mess


So I figured I would put my skimmer in and crank that summabish up. Remember my sump area?


Not good. My skimmer could not fit due to the elbow!!! Earlier in my build thread I found out the 200sss was unavailable for weeks from my retailer and instead got the 250sss. Well it's to big.

85lb braided Fishing line later and I was able to cut out the first baffle.

Look ma it fits!!!


Finally set this bad boy up.


Threw a bunch of this in

About ready for rock I say !


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/28/2017, 12:25 PM
Afternoon Update:

So I have the next week off which will be great for building and designing my aquascape and generally getting the tank really dialed in. I have a few issues I still need to solve one of which is my return pump. Its of course a Vectra L1 and something tell me its not working correctly.



I have heard a few L1's and they don't sound like this. A call to EcoTech this morning resulted in a very nice gentleman telling me to give it another week to "break in" and see how that works.

I have a different theory.

Notice to the left of the return section is a completely empty 20GAL reservoir for my Tunze 3155 ATO? Well I'm thinking maybe its amplifying the vibrations from the return section and making a little water speaker. So its currently being filled up with RODI. If that does not result in a nice HUM from my L1 then the nice guy from EcoTech told me to give them a call and they will replace it with a new one.

Lets take a vote. How many of you think that its vibrations from the pump into the empty ATO section that's causing the noise. How many of you think that my Vectra is Shot lol

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/28/2017, 12:25 PM
The gifts keeps on giving:

So this one time I legit spent like 100 dollars on a cleaning magnet. I know right dumb. Just grab a magfloat and keep it moving amirite? Lol

Today I opened my box of goodness and pulled out ye' olde' magnet - goin on a few years old now and naturally it has a lump.


So being the good little reefer that I am I figure maintenance!! And pulled off the Velcro to replace it

Da FUQ?!!?!?


Oh right I forgot EVERY SiNGLe thing must challenge me for this project cuz why not fuq me right lol.


So I shot off an email to the manufacturer algaefree and after apologizing for the wet side failure he will be sending me a nEw replacement wetside for free and that my fellow Reefers is why I spent 100 bucks on a f*!&@:!& magnet.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/29/2017, 05:48 PM
My back hurts a lot. It took us 4 hours lots of wet floors lots of buckets and 3 tubes of epoxy.

The tanks too cloudy to show you pics of the final scape but there in some more clarity and hoping for the best.

Skimmer went crazy of course considering it's not broken in yet and temperamental...





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/29/2017, 11:33 PM
Alright you scurvy reef pirates I got a pic of the scape

My inspiration is Chingchai

My thought process was to go slightly less than 3/4's to the height of the tank.

I'll be using 4 MP40's with random flow .







Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/30/2017, 01:46 PM
Looks good. How many pounds of Real Reef rocks is that?

07/30/2017, 01:51 PM
Looks good. How many pounds of Real Reef rocks is that?

It's around 200lbs total of real reef rock

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/31/2017, 07:09 AM
Monday Funday Update!

First up is a quick video of the rockscape







Next up is manifold!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/31/2017, 07:15 AM
So last night after a ru day doing rock and other tank stuff it was like midnight when I started doing the manifold.



Wife came in found me taking a nap on the job. In reality I had lay down on the floor to stretch out my back after crouching under the stand routing wires and closed my eyes. I eventually drifted off a bit lmao.

(That hose was the wrong size btw)


Woke up finished the job and my wife forced me to come to bed.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

07/31/2017, 09:19 AM
Why double valves?

07/31/2017, 05:00 PM
Why double valves?

Double valves! Yes I didn't think anyone would ask haha.

Years ago I built a manifold with ball valves and found controlling flow was incredibly difficult. Not to mention after a few months they were almost impossible to turn. Dialing my flow into my calcium reactor and carbon/gfo reactors was also a challenge.

I learned that ball valves are for on and off. Gate valves are to control flow. By using both I can easily shut off a reactor or flow while keeping the flow setting the same on the gate valve. So for maintenance I'm not spending hours adjusting gfo tumble or calcium reactor flow. I just shut it off completely.

The gate valve also allows me to do water changes from my sump through the manifold flushing it out.

08/04/2017, 07:43 AM

I have been busy the last few days!

First up I took a trip to GREENSBORO,NC to checkout Daves shop and see a few of his custom fixtures in action. I will definitely be ordering 1 or 2 for my new frag tanks soon. It is a absolutely gorgeous facility.




While there we decided to checkout the science center while Dave worked on a secret upgrade to my light fixture!




Some very cool stuff there and only 12.50 to get in!! Easily an entire family day there and well worth the trip! After a few hours we decided to check out a new fish store in the area Reef Architect run by Earnest and his family.


We must have spend about 2 hours in there checking out his livestock and dry goods. In the end I walked out with 7 corals (Softies and LPS) and a quarantine tank!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/04/2017, 08:41 AM

After the Greensboro adventure and picking up a quarantine tank my wife and I discussed a lot of my failures as a reefer and what caused them.

We considered that at any point we would have thousands of dollars in equipment, thousands in fish and corals, and yet take risks with those investments by not quarantine fish.

We realized that the reason we didn't was because we didn't have space for the tank, or the tank was on the floor where it was hard to work on or see in, or too small, and all these excuses that over time cost me hundreds of dollars in fish and frustration.

This time we decided to do it right.



Using my new tank stand building skills I whipped this up and painted it in about 2 hours.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/04/2017, 10:04 AM
Moved it in and setup the quarantine. I've been thinking of whether or not to black out the sides of the quarantine but I might want to or use the tank for some other purpose so I opted not to.



For filtration I got a biowheel filter and I'm gonna grab some dr tims and marine pure media

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/07/2017, 10:23 PM
Update time:

So I had an eventful "vacation" and now that it's officially over I'm glad that I took it.

Over the last week I have been working on the tank daily!

Fist up I took care of my wiring


Then I turned my attention to the quarantine tank.


I mixed my salt water and also got some bioballs in my sump for when I dump in dr tims


I also painted the doors for the display




Current stocking list is
2 snowflake clowns
1 red fairy wrasse
10 hermit crabs


Corals so far have been loving the light from the leds.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/10/2017, 09:21 PM
I'm following. Please inform about the fish shipment I'm very curious

Shipment is scheduled to arrive tomorrow morning before 10:30 AM.

Today I went out and purchased 3 buckets, airline tubing and some airline valves.

I also picked up 2 cleaner shrimp and 2 wrasses that I had the lfs holding for me.

They were in a separate tank and nothing else was supposed to go in but today they got a shipment and one of the workers coming back from vacation added 3 other wrasses to the tank my fish were in. I'm not taking any chances so they are going into quarantine.

I took advantage of BRS preferred reefer sale and snagged a Skimz chaeto reactor cheaper than DIY. The only problem is that I literally can't find a single friggin person that has chaeto available. I love melanarus wrasses and will be picking up a nice pair in addition to a mandarin and 2 red scooters. In order to do this though in need pods.

I'm sorry but no one wanted to sponsor me so for a few bucks I reached out to a fellow reefer Lazy of Lazys Frag house and picked up some cool stuff. Can you guys guess what these will be used for ? (
2.5 gallons each @ 6.00 from Walmart)




If you haven't guessed then I'm going to be raising pods. I haven't decided if I'm going to do phyto and pods but right now definitely pods.

I can't even begin to count how many pods are in each bottle.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/11/2017, 04:42 PM
Update Time!

The Fish arrived



So did the worst 40 bucks I ever spent. Decorations for the quarantine tank. These things are so small




Everything arrived ok except the geometric Pygmy hawk fish. He survived acclimation but I think it's going to die. He did NOT look well in the. bag and frankly I thought he was dead.

I saw movement so I added him to the quarantine tank.

I ended up doing 4/5 hours of drip acclimation at 3 speeds.

Things to note:

The water the fish came in was cool to the touch. The cool packs worked.

They came in very small amounts of water.

The salinity in the bags were between 1.018 to 1.020. All the fish were the right size. (I was told the fish would be 1.025) so what I did while dripping the fish I refilled the lost quarantine tank water with fresh saltwater at much lower salinity. Ending salinity in the tank was 1.023 and I changed roughly 15 gallons.

All of the fish showed signs of stress but no diseases are present. I will start prazipro in a few days once everything is eating. I have not fed them yet and probably won't today.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/11/2017, 08:25 PM





Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

08/11/2017, 10:12 PM
Looking good, I have about the same size tank I got wet about 2 months ago. Following.

Thanks for the follow guys. I was starting to think no one cared about my little trials and tribulations!

Just checked the tank and naturally as I expected the geometric pygmy hawkfish did not make it. He was practically dead in the bag on arrival. I saw a fin move and put him through acclimation and then an isolation container in the tank. He did not make it. The trigger pair are of course hiding in the fake corals but all of the other fish came out and ate some frozen mysis. Tomorrow I will be getting some live brine shrimp just to get them all enticed to eating and also because its just healthier for them initially.

Hopefully tomorrow I will start my copepod culture as well.

The tangs naturally showed some aggression towards each other but only the yellow ones. They are schooling though and after observation I'm not noticing any new nips or pokes.

The powder blue is absolutely flawless and is cruising the tank like no ones business.

In the mean time I made a boo/boo in the big tank. I think I might have let some food decay or something and caused a small algae bloom. Its not bad but I think it will clear up in a few days.

One thing I hate about the real reef rock is that for literally a few months the rock was curing in a VAT of saltwater. Stuck to the pieces of rock were small pieces of the paper that they came wrapped in. I don't know if that caused the bloom but tomorrow I will go in with a small tweezer and see if I can't remove any that I can see.

I have been running carbon on the tank from day one so I'm thinking that anything toxic that could have leeched would be over by now. Unfortunately i've been running the carbon in a bag in my sump which is less than ideal. I've been lazy to setup my GFO and Carbon reactors.


08/12/2017, 05:16 AM
Hey man everything looks awesome!!!! I'm amazed with your cabinet skills!

08/12/2017, 05:36 AM
Been following your build, been planning for my next tank and I am very interested in your build your especially with the cabinet. Having room around the tank is so helpful. You mention Lazy Frag House are they the ones in Dayton Ohio? Are you in Ohio? I am in Columbus. I have Cheato if you still need them.

08/12/2017, 05:43 AM
Yes lazy is in Ohio Nd that's where I got my copepod starter from. I still do need chaeto but I'm located in charlotte North Carolina. If you would be willing to stuff some of that chaeto into a usps flat rate. Box I'd happily pay the shipping.

08/12/2017, 11:22 PM
Just a Quick Little update. So far the fish are doing fine. I made a little video after I made a few small changes to the quarantine tank.