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View Full Version : 150 Gallon Saltwater Aquarium


BlindParrot
04/24/2017, 08:05 PM
This is my first saltwater aquarium and I have always read that the larger it is, the easier it is and so i went and purchased a pre-drilled 150 gallon and stand on Craigslist for $150. Its in very good condition although the stand is painted an ugly brown in my opinion but nothing a can of paint cant fix. The tank is 72" long by 24" deep and 18" high. I have been researching in the dark on this website as well as a few other forums, and watched all of the BRS 52 weeks of reefing on the 160 Gallon build and I figure mine is pretty similar to theirs. I do however plan to maybe start as a FOWLR tank because i will be buying some semi aggressive fish that can be kept with a reef with caution according to liveaquaria. Ill post up my fish list, my price estimation sheet, and my sump design (55 Gallon). Basically i would like some input on the build. I want nice stuff with the lowest cost. My second favorite part of an aquarium build is the research and search for the lowest prices. Although, due to my job, i will be looking for advice and revising plans until august before i can crank it into high gear and build/set up the aquarium. I plan to have at least my live rock and maybe one cheap fish in the aquarium before December so i can let it sit over Christmas break since i am in college. ill post a picture of the actual aquarium itself later when i can.

BlindParrot
04/29/2017, 04:39 PM
Ok so finally got time to take a picture of the tank as well as the sump with all the components except the glass and auto top off system. No the cardboard boxes will not be staying, I will replace with eggcrate(light diffuser) and glass. But for now it is a place holder. I'm trying to find the lowest prices to buy my glass and taking my time to find someone who can give me a great deal. I also just bought 150lbs of pool filter sand and may get more later if I decide I need more. I bought #20 pure silica pool sand that's a white tone with some tan tones in it as well. Very natural looking in my opinion and will look great under the right lighting. Speaking of lighting, I'm trying to get my hands on one euphotica light and probably two of the Chinese black box lights. That way I have one light in the center that can for sure grow corals and two other lights that also can but less trusted in the feeding community. I know the tank looks dirty, it was originally used for freshwater and it sat in a building for 2 months after it was taken down. I was cleaning it with bar keepers friend and now it's super clean and looks great. Can't wait to paint the stand and trim.

homer1475
04/29/2017, 06:05 PM
I see a couple issues with your cost list.

Silica sand(pool sand) - if this what your planning on using for your sandbed. DONT. Silica will cause massive algae blooms. Crushed coral or aragonite sand is what you want. Don't buy into the hype and buy live sand either.

You have several check valves listed, bad idea. They all eventually fail, and if your setup cannot handle this failure...... It's better yo just adjust your sump heights to accommodate a complete drain down of the overflow, as well as an air break somewhere in your return to stop the display from siphoning.

BlindParrot
04/30/2017, 10:54 AM
I see a couple issues with your cost list.

Silica sand(pool sand) - if this what your planning on using for your sandbed. DONT. Silica will cause massive algae blooms. Crushed coral or aragonite sand is what you want. Don't buy into the hype and buy live sand either.

You have several check valves listed, bad idea. They all eventually fail, and if your setup cannot handle this failure...... It's better yo just adjust your sump heights to accommodate a complete drain down of the overflow, as well as an air break somewhere in your return to stop the display from siphoning.
I don't believe in the silica sand stuff. My father has used Silica sand and after looking at the chemical composition of silica sand, it is the same as the glass of my tank. I know the sand has more surface area, but running gfo and a rufugium should help control algae blooms. I personally don't believe in the silica sand causing algae blooms as long as it is well kept. The check valves are double security. I did make baffle heights adjusted for the valves to fail. If the water flows down, ill still have an extra 5 gallons of space for water.

stratozyck
05/03/2017, 06:40 AM
Regardless what you believe... the experts disagree. Comparing it to glass is a common misconception (that deserves a face plant). Glass dissolves a lot slower than sand. You are running the risk of having diatom blooms be a constant issue.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/1/aafeature1

BlindParrot
05/04/2017, 08:51 PM
Regardless what you believe... the experts disagree. Comparing it to glass is a common misconception (that deserves a face plant). Glass dissolves a lot slower than sand. You are running the risk of having diatom blooms be a constant issue.

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2003/1/aafeature1
That's a great article but one thing I got out of reading it is
"Is it OK to use silica sand? Probably. Many people do so. I also believe that not all “silica “ sands will be the same for the reasons described above relating to processing of the sand and the nature of the mineral inclusions present. So the fact that many people successfully use some (or many) types of silica sand does not necessarily imply that all people can use any type of “silica” sand without a problem."
From what I gathered, it's a chance I could have a diatom bloom or I could not have one. If I do have one, simply scraping the glass every other day will rid the glass of diatoms while they continue to absorb the SiO2 from the water. Soon the sand will have settled and will begin to release the silica slowly much like that on the ocean floor. Once the sand settles and gains a bacterial coating on it, the release will be slower and the diatom bloom will be almost no existent. Cleaning my tank glass every other day is a lot easier for me than paying 5x as much on calcium carbonate. The use of calcium carbonate and feeding fish has about 4ppm less silica releasing than the sand does. So if I get a good control on feeding only what the fish eat, and buy a sponge to absorb silica too. My father has used it which is why I believe it. The guy tested all this stuff in a very scientific way that isn't exactly like a reef tank in my opinion but a very interesting article that does show how it can affect a reef tank. And plus I already bought the sand so I'm stuck now haha but I'm confident with my decision. If it's terrible, it's a learning mistake. This is my first saltwater aquarium after all.

BlindParrot
05/05/2017, 08:16 PM
I also read that GFO reactors will help reduce or eliminate dissolved silicates and I will be running a GFO reactor.

BlindParrot
05/05/2017, 08:23 PM
So finally finished the stand and painted it, installed doors and handles and hinges. Still need to build another door for my side hole I made to access the stand better. Since I'll be gone for the summer this is as much as I can do now but I'll be constantly ordering supplies and researching. I have also changed my ideas for a sump because I have gotten opinions stating that my refugium is too small to be useful for anything so I'm thinking of adding some sort of algae reactor instead and increase my ATO area and my return section.

RedGabino
05/08/2017, 11:23 PM
Good Luck with your Silica Sand.
I think this is your first salt water tank, but I can notice that you are an Expert.

reenact12321
05/09/2017, 08:48 AM
Nice work making that stand look pretty. I look forward to the rest of the build.

theMerchant
05/09/2017, 11:33 PM
Nice color for the stand. Hope all goes welll for your build.
Make sure you rinsed you tank well, since you used Bar Keepers Friend, that stuff contains acids similar to Ajax.

What i learned from life is, doing it right the first time is cheaper than doing it twice.





Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk

BlindParrot
05/10/2017, 07:34 AM
Nice color for the stand. Hope all goes welll for your build.
Make sure you rinsed you tank well, since you used Bar Keepers Friend, that stuff contains acids similar to Ajax.

What i learned from life is, doing it right the first time is cheaper than doing it twice.





Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
Yea I rinsed the aquarium pretty good after using the bar keepers friend. I've used it a lot on previous aquariums and generally one clean has done good enough, but considering it's saltwater I'm going to do one more clean as well. Since I won't actually start the tank for another few months, I'll have to rinse it again due to all the dust and stuff that is collecting in the tank