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Old 03/09/2016, 03:58 PM   #1
Blink2824
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My 150 Gallon Build

Hey Reef Central,

I haven't been a member here long, but I have read through quite a bit of the content and thoroughly enjoy learning about everyone else's projects/builds. A little bit about myself... I grew up in south Florida (palm beach county) and had the luxury of living close to the ocean. I've always enjoyed diving, fishing, boating, surfing...pretty much anything to do with the water. I kept various nano's since I was 16 but have been out of the hobby since going to Florida State University for college. I graduated in 2010 with a Finance and Entrepreneurship degree and married my high-school sweetheart. Worked for a few years back down in Palm Beach and then decided to take a job offer and make the move to Kansas City. I now work for Philips Healthcare (outside sales) and get to work from home in-between travel. I got a bit stir crazy since I was used to the old 8am-5pm work lifestyle, and having the freedom of working from home and pacing around the house on conference calls got me thinking... I need to get back into reefing...and this time, do it RIGHT!

So July 2015 I purchased a FOWLR 75 gallon on craigslist with a HOB skimmer. The tank came with a pair of Black Ocellaris clowns, a serpent star, and two blue/green chromis. Since then I have added various LPS/SPS frags (monti's, acro's, zoa's, favia, euphillia, etc). I have also gradually added some livestock: Midas Blenny, McCosker Flasher Wrasse, Purple Firefish, Randalls Goby/Pistol shrimp bonded pair, and five red glass spot cardinal fish (of which two disappeared).

Everything has been going great! Parameters are stable, fish are healthy and happy... but I am just not content.

I'm in the process of installing new 3/4" x 4" white oak hardwoods throughout my entire house, which turned into also scraping popcorn, new crown moulding, new base trim, etc. So I am going to strike while the iron is hot, and plan out my new build the right way. Plus, since I am doing all the labor myself- I get to fund my reefing project with my two hands and sweat. Double plus- Super excited I have a kid on the way, so I have to get my dream build finished before the September due date.

Thanks to reef central there is an abundance of information. I have an obsessive personality and it does not go well with this hobby! muahahahaha. Anyway... onto the fun stuff. I ordered the following:

SCA 150 gallon starphire tank and canopy (going to build the base myself)
LifeReef LF1 300-S Custom sump with 16" LifeReefugium-thanks to Soulpatch
LifeReef SVS2-24 Protein Skimmer
Tunze 3155 ATO Osmolator
Tunze 6095 Wavemaker x 2
Tunze 7096 multicontroller
Neptune Apex w/ Display module and breakout box/PX1000
Eheim 200w heater x2
BRS 6 stage RODI system w/ TDS meter
Two Brute Rubbermaid cans for future saltwater station

Steve with SCA and Jeff with LifeReef are both superb folks and have been extremely helpful in answering my questions. I also wanted to thank D2mini and Soulpatch (and some others of course!) in particular for letting me stalk their posts and giving me some solid inspiration in my own build. Thanks!

I plan to put the saltwater station and sump in the basement directly below the DT. Thus, I will be plumbing through the interior wall down into the basement for my drain/return and also water changes. Growing up in Florida, I am super stoked to have this opportunity. Still getting used to basements...

My neighbor used to be an electric engineer for AT&T (35+ years) and is retired so he has already committed to helping me with a dedicated electric line and plumbing (my weak area's...I'm best with a hammer). I know I am jumping the gun posting without pictures, but the updated will become more frequent as time rolls on. Right now my time-line is to have the new tank delivered by the middle of May. Until then, once I get some more time I will post pictures of my current 75 gallon set-up, and my house and basement.

Feel free to share ideas, past experiences, and advice on my new project! I'm so excited to get this all going. Cheers-


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Old 03/11/2016, 08:46 AM   #2
soulpatch
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While I sent you to Jeff for that sump I am really interested to see how it works out in the stand for you as I think I will be making the switch sooner rather then later to a new sump. I am discovering that the layout of the refugium portion of the Trigger is a PITA to deal with.

What all are you having done with the sump?


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Old 03/14/2016, 11:07 AM   #3
Blink2824
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Well, I was talking to Jeff about the CLR-II and explaining how I was maybe thinking long-term in case I needed to have a sump under the DT again one day... but he quickly talked me out of it and into the LF1-300S. Given the sump will be in the unfinished basement, I really have no limit on space... Of course I couldn't resist adding on a lifereefugium so I went with the 16" model. Jacked up my budget for this whole thing but if I am going to spend the money, it is going to be on the skimmer/sump/flow/filtration aspect of the build. I just finished the entire upstairs flooring so now my wife can stop bugging me about getting the baby room decorated on time. Moving downstairs this week- Since the tank is going to parallel the joists... i'm going to sister the floor joists, and beef up the support. Cut a hole in the drywall and remove a section of subfloor to figure out how i'm going to plumb this thing (first time plumbing, need all the help I can get). I also plan on building the saltwater station and mounting my RODI unit this weekend if time allows... I will update with more pictures as I make progress on the actual build.

I also e-mailed Steve with SCA to try and get an idea of the canopy. I've been trying to decide on lighting/canopy design...and when I start reading into the lighting debate it makes my head spin. I have two Chinese LED full spectrum 125w on my 75 gallon for the past 8 months and have seen o.k. growth/color on my frags... but I think I will want to supplement with T5. Either way, I plan to have a "floating canopy" above the tank... still thinking this part through...




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Old 03/14/2016, 11:25 AM   #4
soulpatch
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Very cool. That is actually sump I was looking at with the refugium. It would fit in the stand but be tight with everything else I would need but it would work.


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Old 03/24/2016, 09:54 AM   #5
Blink2824
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Thursday update: RODI/Saltwater station build is in progress along with continuing work on the house (hardwood flooring upstairs is done, now moving downstairs). I plan to build a 96" x 24" x 32" stand (thanks rocket for the template) for the LifeReef SVS3-24 skimmer/ LF1300-S sump/24" refugium. Suggestions on setting up this "fish room" in the basement? I'm thinking the sump/refugium will go on the bottom of the stand and i'll have my brute/RODI station above it, with 40"+ of counter space for a possible frag tank and supplies, accessories, equipment, etc. I'll mount all of the electrical components on the wall behind the stand. The RODI/saltwater/ATO will be gravity fed and a relatively simple design... similar to many others who have shared on the saltwater station build thread. Thoughts? If you could plan your own basement fish room that was 6' x 18'....what would you do? I've got a clean slate... I just wish I had more time. Here's some random pictures of the progress on the house... tank stuff is coming. I promise!!!







aaaaaaaaaaaaannnd a quick FTS shot of my 75 gallon with my iphone



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Old 03/24/2016, 10:11 AM   #6
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I would flip the stand layout. You rarely will get into the water buckets and a pump will move water as needed. Just ensure you can pour in salt to the one container.

You will be playing with the sump/refugium more so and you will not want to be on your knees to play with it. I would much rather spend $2-300 on pump and plumbing for the water station and ato then to have to constantly be on the floor to clean the sump and such.


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Old 03/24/2016, 10:26 AM   #7
Blink2824
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Great point...Stand will need to be at least 36" tall for the brutes to fit below with comfort. Skimmer is the tallest component of the sump at 22" in height. That works perfectly- and I'm 6'3 so much better than working on my knees. Thanks Soulpatch!


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Old 03/24/2016, 10:27 AM   #8
soulpatch
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While Brutes are great I would get actual containers. I have 35 gallon side stand containers I got from tractor supply for $100 a piece. Sure more money but they have bulkheads and such which is awesome.


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Old 03/24/2016, 10:42 AM   #9
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Yea I'm staying cheap where I can for now... How's your evap rate on your 150 lately? Do you find 35 gal to be large enough?


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Old 03/24/2016, 10:54 AM   #10
soulpatch
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I evap a couple gallons a day it seems. I have a 7 gallon ATO that I need to refill twice a week or so.

That said it is still "winter" and thus my air is dry leading to higher evap. I drop somewhat in the spring and summer.


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Old 04/04/2016, 08:54 AM   #11
Blink2824
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Slowly making progress... wood flooring installation in the house is completed. Ceilings and crown molding work this week... I was able to stay up late yesterday and finish my sump station in the basement. To be completed this week: RODI to get mounted on the wall above the sump, plumbing for the saltwater mixing station, run two dedicated electrical lines for sump and display tank... need more time!


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Old 04/04/2016, 09:21 AM   #12
soulpatch
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Good deal. Jealous about the basement sump. Just ordered a new sump for my tank and was really starting to consider making it remote in my basement but I wouldn't have the down flow to make the run...


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Old 04/04/2016, 09:22 AM   #13
Blink2824
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Decided to run the plumbing straight through the floor. I installed a white oak vent that sits flush with the 3/4" flooring. This way, if I ever moved the tank or moved out of the house I can plug the holes and drop the vent cover in and rock on. Cheers-








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Old 04/04/2016, 09:28 AM   #14
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Seeing your stand in the basement let me make a suggestion. Put a "floor" in where the brutes sit so that that are raised. You can then drill the bottom and have bulkhead on the bottom of the cans to ensure full fluid movement as you plumb the two together. I assume you will have the plumbing and pump in the middle so you can use hole saw on that center brace to run the pipe through. It guards against flexing so to solve for that I would put another piece front to back about mid way up and use that for a shelf for your essentials like salt. And right below the top I would put a small drawer to pull out with your sump tools in it. Test kits, refractometer, and the like. You have the space and it is all of a $40 add to make everything functional in the one spot.

Well $40 and a couple hours of your time but hey it's not my money or time. LOL. I am already using all I have getting ready for kitchen and a bathroom remodel as well as a sump swap on a running tank...


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Old 04/04/2016, 09:49 AM   #15
Blink2824
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Great suggestions, thank you. Since my ceiling height in the basement is only 78" to the bottom of the floor joist, I don't want to raise the stand up too much. I already had to make it 36" tall for the brutes to fit. I'm thinking about running a pc of hard plumbing internal to the brutes with a 90 turned down and plumbing a 1/2" off the bottom so that virtually all of the water can be displaced if needed. Yup- pump sits in the middle, I like the hole saw idea to brace the plumbing- thanks! Once I have more time I will definitely add some shelving, and possible drawer. Rock and roll!


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Old 04/04/2016, 09:51 AM   #16
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No no not raise the stand. Where you haev the bottom bracing around the brute containers. Just throw a piece of ply on that to make a raised base in the stand. Then you can drain from the bottom via bulkhead.


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Old 04/06/2016, 08:25 AM   #17
Blink2824
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6 stage BRS RODI is set-up/flushed and producing! Feels good to be making my own water after a year of bucket trips to the LFS. Large lifereef collection cup, and filter cylinders are on the way from Jeff this week... along with some sweet frags I won on a facebook auction for $10 bucks a piece










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Old 04/06/2016, 08:34 AM   #18
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You will want to look into the extra membrane for the RODI if you dont have it tucked behind the one already. Going from 75 GPD to 150 has been a life saver when I need to do larger changes or set up QT tanks.

Also those ourlets since they will be around water I would switch to a GFI receptacle.

Looking great though. I like how the one frag is overgrown some egg crate.


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Old 04/06/2016, 08:45 AM   #19
Blink2824
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Extra membrane is on order- funny you mentioned that. When I finished for the night, I was standing there sipping an ice cold beer and staring at the RODI water dripping into the Brute from the float switch...my first thought was geeeeze this is slow. Then I listened to the trickle of water going into the waste line, took my last swig- walked upstairs right to BRS shopping cart. One thing about this hobby is you never stop learning, which only fuels my obsession.

You're one step ahead of me, electrical work has yet to begin. Two dedicated lines will be ran, GFI's installed, and two EB8's and other various electrical components will be mounted on their own panel away from water lines.

Thanks for following along!


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Old 04/06/2016, 08:49 AM   #20
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Perfect. Only 2 steps ahead of you since I have already gone through those steps with my build. You are catching up fast though and might overtake me as I have to divert attention to house remodeling. Not looking forward to being without a kitchen for a few weeks but I AM looking forward to taking a sledgehammer to my current setup.


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Old 04/06/2016, 08:53 AM   #21
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The funnest part of remodeling is when demolition starts! Who doesn't like taking a 20pound sledge to anything and smashing it to bits? Its a great way to vent frustrations.


I also love how that coral is encrusted up and all over that eggcrate, looks really cool!


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Old 04/06/2016, 08:59 AM   #22
Blink2824
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@Homer you're so right. The demo is the fun part, and a great way to vent. It's everything after that that is the PITA!

Yea I thought the meteor shower egg crate frag was unique, thanks!


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Old 04/19/2016, 05:48 PM   #23
Blink2824
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I just ordered an African Radiant Wrasse, Halichoeres iridis on Divers Den. I've been keeping my eye out for one, as I have always wanted a Hilchoeres species wrasse to take care of any pests in the tank. Plus they are beauuutiful IMO. Stoked! He should be done with QT by the time the new tank arrives and gets salty.



Hopefully he makes it, listed as 1 1/2" in size. I know they can be a difficult species to ship, so I am hoping for the best. Does anyone have experience with the african radiant wrasse? Feel free to share!

I took a trip to Puerto Rico this past week while the hardwoods got stained and poly, glad I did it. The house still smells pretty bad... going to resume the work. Next up is re-doing the electrical by running two dedicated lines from the main breaker to various GFCI's... and getting the materials to build my tank stand. Going to be a slow process over the next two months, the house is the first priority with the kid on the way (due Sep) and I am sneaking off to El Salvador for a 7 day surf trip the beginning of May. Stay tuned!

-Tyler


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Old 04/19/2016, 06:09 PM   #24
sixpackgarage
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blink2824 View Post
[/URL]
That is beyond epic!


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my build:
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Current Tank Info: DSA NEO 65G reef powered by Kessil
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Old 04/21/2016, 02:31 PM   #25
aaron1129
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That is beyond epic!
It like that old show earth after humans, where they would show nature reclaiming and decaying all the man made things. It was a cool show.


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