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Old 02/09/2016, 02:30 PM   #1
Johnseye
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*Johnseye's New 260g Build*

120g just isn't enough for the types and size fish I love watching. The new 260g being built by Derek at Miracles is 84"L x 24"D x 30"W with 3/4" starphire on front and sides and eurobraced. 48" rear external overflow with three 1.5" bulkheads for a beananimal. Only two return holes in the back corners of the DT. I decided against CL after talking with Sanjay. Too much risk for what it's worth. I did have 2 holes drilled into the back eurobracing for some Seaswirls if I ever decide to return over the top. Miracles is also building the stand which will be steel framed with stained maple skirting. The 120 is in the sunroom/kitchen area. The 260 will be in my office. Eventually I'll tear down the 120 once everything's moved over.

Sump was custom built to my design by John at Advanced Acrylics. This one will be in the basement. It holds about 80g and is 48"L x20"D x20"W. 1/2" rimless with 3/8" black baffles and bottom. I sized it to go in the stand under the DT if necessary. Flush Lids with tabs on all 4 sections. Notches on the return and the skimmer section for cords, Four 4" filtersock holders, skimmer section 12.75"x20", Center fuge section 12"x20", Return section 8"x20", 5 hole dosing line , 3 hole probe holder, three 1.5" bulkhead holes for the drain plate. I'll be drilling the return bulkhead hole in order to line it up properly with a Reeflo Hammerhead Gold.

Lighting is Geismann Spectra 72" MH/T5 combo. Possible future plans to build in Kessil LED pucks between each MH reflector.

Powerheads will be some shelved Tunze 6105s on each end and an MP40 in the back. I'll move a pair of MP40s over from the 120 then decide whether I want to replace anything for MP60s.

Skimmer for the moment is my shelved LifeReef 24 with Vectra M1. I will either extend the skimmer height or replace it entirely depending on how the noise from the venturi and the heat from the pump do in this setup. The 24 in and of itself isn't big enough for the 260g but the nice thing about his skimmers is they are essentially the same except for the height.

Dry sand is CaribSea special grade. I will be getting live rock from TBS. Not sure if I should go with the Walt Smith, Pukani or both yet.

I had a dedicated 20amp run to a quad in my office and a dedicated 20amp to a quad in my basement fish room.

Because I'll be running both the 120 and 260 simultaneously for a while I had to double up on some equipment, and I'm holding out on some. I temporarily dismantled my frag tank so I can use its Apex and GHL Doser 2. I bought a 75 ft. Apex cable so I'll be linking an EB8 in the office with the Apex in the basement. I picked up a new 55g Roto-mold for salt water storage and am about to pull the trigger on a Genesis Renew for AWC.

Here's the space in the office where the new 260g will go.



Here's that space after taking out the bookshelf, adding the quad and opening up the wall for plumbing.



The 260g Miracles tank before the eurobracing was installed.





The Advanced Acrylics sump which just arrived today.








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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS

Last edited by Sk8r; 08/10/2016 at 12:19 PM.
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Old 02/09/2016, 03:25 PM   #2
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Nice tank! Love the dimensions.


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Old 02/09/2016, 06:30 PM   #3
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Awesome! Is that a Martin?


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Old 02/11/2016, 03:59 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by frankabagnale View Post
Awesome! Is that a Martin?
Yup, thanks. That's my custom D15 spruce/rosewood.


Checking with a structural engineer now whether there's anything I need to do to prepare for 2800 lbs on my floor. I'm guessing I'm going to have to tear open my basement ceiling some more and reinforce the joists. If I'm told I have to put any kind of beam to the floor in then I'll look to put the tank somewhere else.

The other fun issue I'm dealing with is how to move 700 lbs of glass. I decided to get the tank shipped to my house just so I wouldn't have to deal with lifting it off a truck if I picked it up at the depot. Professional movers are an option if only because they carry insurance for this, but with some neighbors and kind folks in the Chicago Reefs forums I think we can move it from the driveway to the first floor office. Hard part is going to be flipping it on its side to get through the door. I'm going to borrow some glass vacuum cups from a local glass shop. I'll also have some dollies and furniture moving straps & pads ready. Trying to cover all bases and be prepared.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 02/13/2016, 02:37 PM   #5
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After talking with the structural engineer I'm going back to my original plan. I was hoping to put this in my office. The tank itself is about 700 lbs. With water, sand and rocks it will be 3000. After verifying I could run the plumbing I consulted the engineer. I should have done that first. I would have to put a column in the finished basement. With a 17' span from foundation to beam I would need microlams that long which I can't get into the basement. A column could split that length but would look too odd in the basement, not to mention interfere with the pool table.

So the aquarium will go in the basement. I like the location better because there's more room, my office won't be cramped and it will stay cooler. It just won't get as much visibility. My head will decrease from about 15' to 5' which is great. I'll be dialing back flow on my return.

Despite some kind neighbors and folks from the Chicago Reefs forum offering to help me bring the tank inside, I'm going to hire movers to get it down the basement stairs. Not to mention they'll be insured.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 02/14/2016, 11:11 AM   #6
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Awesome. Post some pictures when you get it in place.

PS. I rock an HD-28


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Old 02/14/2016, 07:12 PM   #7
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Man, that tank looks awesome


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Old 02/25/2016, 10:15 AM   #8
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The aquarium and stand arrived safely last Friday. Coordination of the freight company with Miracles and the movers was challenging. In the end the tank arrived on time. The freight company, ABF, was great. We removed the stand from the crate first and they helped me get that into the house. Then we put the tank on the driveway.



The movers arrived Saturday and unveiled the tank. Here she is.





I prepped the stand Friday night for the tank. I used 3/4" plywood and foam on top of the steel frame. I also put a PVC liner under and behind to protect the carpet.





There is a maple skin that covers the steel frame. Two removable doors on the sides and four hinged doors on the front. I designed the stand to be able to house the sump if necessary. This required 2x4 steel beams in order to open up the front and use only one center column.





Three guys used an appliance dolly. I was surprised at only three as some movers quoted me four to six guys. Three was all it took. There were challenges moving it on the stair landing as it makes a turn but these guys were pros and made it look easy.

The maple skirt is loose against the stand in this picture. Derek at Miracles did not, or forgot, to provide the method to attach the skirt to the steel frame. He later explained I would need to use L brackets and tap the steel. One other minor gripe is that he built the skirt 4" higher than the frame. He explained this was to allow for the plywood, foam, bottom of tank and sand, but even with all that considered it's too high. Once I get the sand in I'll determine how much needs to get trimmed from the bottom. Considering what I paid for the stand, I'm not happy about this. I don't have the tools to make a clean cut and will need to hire someone.

Regarding the tank itself. I had asked for, in writing and in conversation, that the silicone be clear. When I saw the first pictures of the tank before eurobracing was installed I saw it was black. I also noticed the return holes were 3/4". My option was to have the tank disassembled, redrilled and re-siliconed. This would have added at least two weeks. Instead I asked that clear silicone be used for the eurobrace. Luckily you can't tell where the black silicone was used at the corners and the clear silicone on the eurobrace looks great. I'm stuck with 3/4" return holes but I can work with that since I would have been stepping down to that measurement for loc-line anyway. I would have prefered larger and should have been more clear about that. I thought I had asked for all holes to be for 1 1/2" bulkheads like they are in my overflow. Apparently I wasn't clear enough.

I am going to leave my opinions of dealing with custom manufacturers to this, whether it's for your tank, stand, sump or anything else. Make sure you tell them exactly what you want. Do not trust them to make the right decisions for you. If you think that because they do this professionally that they will make the right decisions, you're wrong. They are likely understaffed, overworked and do not want to hear from you. They want to get the work done in their timeframe with minimal interference. This makes things very challenging, so think every little detail through yourselves, communicate this to them up front, and get it in writing. Even then it may not be enough. I don't mean to sound harsh, this is just the reality of the situation.





There she is, in place and ready to get plumbed.

IMO the plumbing is the hard part. Right now I'm trying to figure out what pieces I need to fit in the space, allow for easy assembly and disconnect while reducing head. The sump is 20" high and I want the PVC runs to come through the wall below 36" which is the top of the steel stand. This leaves me 16" of play. I also only have about 6" between the back of the tank and the wall so my return plumbing needs to be snug.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 02/25/2016, 10:50 AM   #9
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The stand thing would really irritate me. Doesn't even make sense that they would do that.

With that said, it does look great and I know the tank will turn out great!


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Old 02/25/2016, 12:54 PM   #10
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Great looking tank and stand! I will definitely follow this build.


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Old 02/26/2016, 11:08 AM   #11
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Loving this. Stand is nice but yeah I agree its way too tall (skirt).


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Old 02/27/2016, 05:39 PM   #12
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You could always add a few sheets of ply to raise the tank up. Would be cheaper than changing the stand. A couple three quarter pieces would probably do the trick.


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Old 02/27/2016, 06:31 PM   #13
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You could always add a few sheets of ply to raise the tank up. Would be cheaper than changing the stand. A couple three quarter pieces would probably do the trick.
I'd prefer not to raise the height of the tank anymore. I want to have enough clearance for my lights and right now there's only 19" between the top of the tank and the lowest point of the ceiling.

I appreciate the input though, it's a good idea and I would probably do that if it weren't for the height to ceiling.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 03/21/2016, 10:38 PM   #14
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Any updates?


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Old 03/21/2016, 11:01 PM   #15
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Very nice miracles tank.


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Old 03/21/2016, 11:25 PM   #16
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I'd love to see an update. I recently bought a very similar tank from Miracles and so we'll probably wind up facing many of the same choices throughout setup.

FWIW what worked well for me was to get a drawing from Derek in advance and my tank came through almost 100% as I expected it to. Only thing I'll need to get changed is that I don't want teeth on my coast-to-coast overflow, which is just a matter of a new sheet of acrylic.

One difference between our tanks is that it looks like the glass in your overflow is black. Mine is clear and needs the black acrylic installed to look the way I want it to.

Lastly I'd say your stand looks good - I wouldn't want the edge of my sand to show and that overlap will give you a nice clean look in my opinion. Maybe before you change it you need to figure out what depth of sand bed you want to have? Or do you want to see the sand through the glass?


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Old 03/22/2016, 10:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
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I'd love to see an update. I recently bought a very similar tank from Miracles and so we'll probably wind up facing many of the same choices throughout setup.

FWIW what worked well for me was to get a drawing from Derek in advance and my tank came through almost 100% as I expected it to. Only thing I'll need to get changed is that I don't want teeth on my coast-to-coast overflow, which is just a matter of a new sheet of acrylic.

One difference between our tanks is that it looks like the glass in your overflow is black. Mine is clear and needs the black acrylic installed to look the way I want it to.

Lastly I'd say your stand looks good - I wouldn't want the edge of my sand to show and that overlap will give you a nice clean look in my opinion. Maybe before you change it you need to figure out what depth of sand bed you want to have? Or do you want to see the sand through the glass?
Thanks for the interest in an update. It has been a while. I had been holding off until I can show some pictures as the fruits of my labor. I'll share those this weekend.

I had a slight delay because the sump I had custom built from Advanced Acrylics had a small chip in it. We believe this chip was cosmetic, but with Sherylinn's encouragement (they were reimbursed by the carrier) John rebuilt the sump for me. I had to wait about 3 weeks which tested my patience, but in that time I ran as much plumbing as possible.

Plumbing engineering isn't my strong suit so there was a lot of dry fitting and trial/error. I wanted as much hard plumbed as possible. I do have some spaflex but kept that to a minimum, only when angles needed to be other than 45 or 90. I made sure the return plumbing was equal distant. Stepping down from 1.5" return pipe to a 3/4" bulkhead was challenging. It would have been nice if there was a premade 1.5" female slip to 3/4" thread male adapter, but there isn't. I used a 3/4" sch80 pipe with thread on the end, cementing it into a female 3/4" slip to 1.5" slip adapter. That went to sweeping 90s down to a 120 wye in the middle, then to another sweeping 90 into the fish/sump room. I only have one actual 90 in the return run. Each drain also only has one 90 with the rest of the angles being 45s.

I wanted the drain lines to be at a continuous downward slope, even if that slope was slight. That proved challenging and hopefully there isn't too much pressure at the overflow bulkheads because of that angle. Because I chose to place the aquarium in the basement I no longer had the vertical from the first floor. The sump is 20" high which gave me only 16" of vertical to go from the overflow into the sump room and into the sump drain bulkheads. Keeping a downward slope for that length with that little vertical allowed for a very slight slope along the three drain runs.

I ended up removing the PVC liner from under the stand. We had some concern that it wouldn't allow the carpet to breathe which would result in trapped condensation and eventually mold. I used this liner under the sump on concrete instead.

The overflow is black on all sides with a black top. This will help prevent unwanted algae growth. In my sump rebuild I had Advanced Acrylics make the back and sides black for the same reason. The bottom was already black. The covers and front are clear.

The sandbed in my current 120 DT is 2-3". I was planning on making it slightly more shallow; 1.5-2". The hope is easier cleaning and less chance of diatoms or cyano. I do not want the skirt covering all of the sand. I want to be able to see about an inch from the front. Once I get the sand in and everything's settled I'll measure how much to trim from the bottom.

I already know the skirt will be too high. This is something I should have thought through more and discussed with Derek in depth. As you mention, a drawing is good. We had a drawing, but had not detailed out every aspect. There is a lot we discussed verbally which I should have had in writing. One thing I've learned is that no matter if you think you're being a pain in the arse by going over every little detail, and getting that in writing, it's better to do it than have something like this built incorrectly. Derek is no exception. I had the same issue with John at Advanced Acrylics. These guys are very busy and do not want to spend time talking about your aquarium, no matter how nice they sound on the phone. They want to get your requirements and move on. Leave no room for chance or discrepancy. If you've ever built a house it's the same thing. The construction workers will do it the way they want and even if you make things very clear they may still do it their way.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 03/22/2016, 01:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnseye
I ended up removing the PVC liner from under the stand. We had some concern that it wouldn't allow the carpet to breathe which would result in trapped condensation and eventually mold.
I hope you didn't put your tank and stand on top of carpet. This may cause some serious levelling issues once the tank is filled. It is better to cut the carpet out beneath the stand and put the tank and stand on the bare floor so you can be sure it is completely level.

After the tank is filled is too late.

Dave.M


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Old 03/22/2016, 02:11 PM   #19
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I hope you didn't put your tank and stand on top of carpet. This may cause some serious levelling issues once the tank is filled. It is better to cut the carpet out beneath the stand and put the tank and stand on the bare floor so you can be sure it is completely level.

After the tank is filled is too late.

Dave.M
Fortunately the stand has built in levelers. I put some carpet glider cups under the levers to help. The tank and stand have already compressed the carpet and pad. I expect the water to compress it some more, but there's not much more it can compress.


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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 04/06/2016, 11:14 AM   #20
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Last week I got water in the system. Only three loose fittings which once tightened became dry. I'm glad none of my PVC welds leaked. The return bulkhead is sched 80 in the sump. I wanted to shorten the distance from the sump to the pump so I reversed it. I tried using two gaskets, one flange side, one inside. It leaked, so lesson learned there, only one gasket on the flange side.

The DT bulkheads are ABS. I had wanted to use sched 80 bulkheads in the DT but when thought to ask Derek at Miracles if there would be any issues I found out the holes he cut were too close to the edges to allow for sched 80. Nota Bene: always think through every detail of your measurements. One would expect a tank manufacturer to drill holes allowing for sched 80 as an option, but that would be an incorrect assumption.

I'm very surprised at how loud the Reeflo Hammerhead Gold pump is. The fan on it is fairly loud and I see why it has one as the outside of the pump is hot to the touch. I used spaflex at the intake and outake to reduce vibration as well as vibration reduction pads underneath. I have only run DC pumps in the past and those have never gotten so loud or so hot. I made a decision to replace the Reeflo with a 230w Red Dragon 3 which will arrive today. I was considering a Vectra L1, but I don't think it would handle the flow. The L1 has a sharp drop in GPH with increased head. I have not finished plumbing the manifold yet. Once I get the RD3 I can finish that.

Once I got the leaks tightened I washed the sand. Two rinsings per bucket with RODI water. I used 200 lbs of CaribSea Aragonite Special Grade Reef sand 1.0-2.0mm. This is dry sand, not live. In the past I had used live Fiji Pink. I now believe "live" sand to be unnecessary provided you have another source to seed the bacteria. I also found the Fiji Pink to blow around too easily, requiring me to turn down my powerheads, decreasing tank flow. The water in the tank is just starting to clear up. I'm just using a pair of Tunze powerheads now, and will swap them with the MP40s from the other tank once I get to that point. The Tunzes on full blow out the sand in the middle so I'm still going to have to dial the powerheads back with this sand. Hopefully not as much.

I have things simplistically set up at this point. I shut down my frag tank and am using the Apex from it. The only thing I have setup now with the Apex is ALD. I want to be able to shut down the pump at any sign of a leak. I bought a new Genesis Renew for AWC but that's not setup yet. The tall black container is a 55g Ace roto-mold tank for SW storage.

Live rock from Tampa Bay Saltwater is on order. According to Rich there's too much chop so I'll be waiting another week for the rock.



You can see the sediment buildup from the sand accumulating in the sump. I'm running the sump water level low right now as no rocks have been added yet. I've got the LifeReef skimmer in place and I'll be using the Vectra M1 with it. It's not skimming yet.





The two vertical pipes on the right are house plumbing.



This shot is of the plumbing coming in from the living area into the sump room. You can see I staggered the unions to keep the drain lines as close together as possible. I didn't have much vertical space to work with while maintaining a downward angle. You can see there's a little sag with the return spaflex. Not sure how to support that yet. Again, the two vertical pipes are house plumbing.



Here's the DT so far. I primed and painted all the white plumbing behind the tank to match the wall. The stand skirt isn't on now, but when it is you'll still be able to see some of the pipes to the left of the tank going into the wall, and when sitting on the couch you can see behind the tank. I didn't want the plumbing to stand out when looking at the tank.



Top shot of the Sea Swirls. The Tunzes will go away. I don't want cables hanging over the eurobraced top.



A shot of the return plumbing. I have 3/4" returns at both the bulkhead and Sea Swirls. I split the return loc-line with a Y and put an eductor on one output. Not sure how this is going to work as it takes more pressure for the water to get out the eductor. The result will be more water coming out the other exit. I may remove the Y. I used spaflex from the T to the Sea Swirl.





This is a shot from below the DT looking up at the return plumbing and external overflow.




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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 04/06/2016, 11:15 AM   #21
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Plumbing lines along the wall. You can see the drain lines have a downward angle while the return line is nearly horizontal.




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New 260g build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2557715

Current Tank Info: 260g reef, Giesemann Spectra MH/T5/Kessil A160, Pacific Sun Calcfeeder Pro, Vortechs, Lifereef skimmer, Red Dragon 3, Apex, Genesis, Tangs, Clowns, Anthias, Wrasses, Angels, Cardinals, SPS, LPS
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Old 04/06/2016, 02:31 PM   #22
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Looking good!


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Old 04/06/2016, 05:18 PM   #23
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Very very very nice!! I can't wait to see this come together! The tank and sump look great!


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Current Tank Info: 480G display mixed reef, 90G sump, 90G refugium, 60G display refugium. Check out my build thread: http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1783476
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Old 04/06/2016, 06:45 PM   #24
sixpackgarage
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Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 819
Epic build and I think the black silicone looks better than clear. On the stand, I have a similar issue with a non custom stand from DSA. The lip is just a little too high and the issue is that your magnetic scraper will hit the stand and not allow you to properly clean the glass.. sucks, but I deal with it and I would not want deeper sand either. IMHO it looks like you would really need to trim the top rather than the bottom.. to keep the aesthetics and balance of the design more appealing. I think if you trim the bottom, it will look like it was trimmed vs. the top where you have more meat to work with.


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my fuge thread:
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2523500

Current Tank Info: DSA NEO 65G reef powered by Kessil
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Old 04/06/2016, 09:35 PM   #25
sean obergfell
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Olean, ny
Posts: 855
Looking great

I love Sea Swirl's

One of the best ways to move water ....
My 190 rimless is from Miricles and I am very pleased.
Excited to see this coming together


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