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Old 08/04/2016, 07:35 AM   #1
Ron Reefman
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Downsizing??? Really???

That's right, I'm going smaller. As some of you know, last Saturday, July 30th, our 180g tank (part of a 430g system) sprang a leak. Here is an old photo from back in the days of MH lights.


And rather than replacing it with another 180g tank, I've decided to go new and downsize.

Saturday, after the 180 gallons of water, live rock, coral, fish and inverts were removed, Johnny, Matt, Eric & Adam carried the 180 out into the side yard where it still sits, just waiting for me to decide if I call Waste Pro for a bulk pick up or take the time to cut it apart and store the glass, or even put it back together. I kind of take it as a challenge since the biggest tank I've built so far is a 65g.

Then the cleanup began. I had a spare 20g tank in the garage and my 65g shallow reef and 25g frag tank are absolutely stuffed with coral and fish. Johnny brought me a spare Brute so I have 2 of them full with what was live rock. But I've decided to let them dry out and I'll clean them off. I still have quite a bit of live rock in the 125g sump under the 65g shallow reef that I can use to start up the new system.

So Sunday was spent cleaning up and moving pumps, old plumbing, old electrics and making sure that fish and coral were doing OK. I also started looking at new tanks.

Monday I did more cleanup, more shopping and visited local club member to look at his Red Sea Reefer 425 system. They're really nice and I love the rimless look and the very modern looking stand. In white it almost looks like our new kitchen cabinets. But there are features I didn't like as well. I was weighing the Red Sea Reefer 525 (Red Sea says it's a 108g tank) against the CadLight Artisan II aquarium (125g and almost the exact same dimensions as the Red Sea). The one thing I wish was different about the CadLight system is the fact that the tank is eurobraced rather than rimless. My other concern is their customer service, which people on Reef Central say is not the best. But the advantages to the CadLight over the Red Sea were a bigger area inside the stand (no vertical divider), a bigger sump with room enough for a liner under it. I'll never do another tank without a liner under it. Elaine and I were even discussing the idea of a liner under the entire Red Sea stand because there is absolutely no room for one inside the stand. The Red Sea also has a silly little auto topoff reservoir, proprietary sized filter sock holders and a single nozzle for a return. The CadLight has no auto top off (I want my own) and no filter sock holder (I have my own) but it does have 2 linelock nozzles off either side of the overflow and an led sump light. The CadLight also comes with a glass cover which I may find useful if the build goes the way I'm planing it in my head! The Red Sea was $2900 delivered and the CadLight was $2400 and they offered $200 off if I didn't want the skimmer and $75 off if I didn't want the DC pump, so $2125 delivered. The Red Sea Reefer doesn't come with a skimmer, pump, led sump light or glass top.

Tuesday I drove to Naples and picked up the Rubbermaid trough that another local club member offered me (thanks again for everything). I also did a lot of disassembly of plumbing like my closed loop, DC12000 pumps, skimmer...

Wednesday I emptied the 75g hexagon tank of corals, fish, inverts, water and sand. The livestock is all in the trough. The empty 75 now sits out in the side yard next to the leaky 180. I also made the decision to go forward with the CadLight Artisan 125 and put it on order. It's scheduled to ship on Friday and arrive at our house on Friday or Monday, August 5th or 8th. I'm so looking forward to setting up a new, smaller system.

Other than the eurobrace and glass covers it looks almost exactly like a Red Sea Reefer :



For now I'm trying to keep all my animals alive while I think about ways to make the new system mine rather than just an off the shelf CadLight system. Maybe an extra cabinet, a display refugium, new dosing system, finally add the Apex I've had for 6 months and not used! Lots more to come over the next couple of months.

One consideration is what light to get. I have a 32" EverGrow/ReefBreeders Photon which can work for a short while, but it's too short for a 5' tank. I've been considering the new Photon V-2 in the 48" length. But I'm open to other ideas.

(to be continued...)


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Old 08/04/2016, 09:35 AM   #2
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Looking forward to this build...following along!


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Old 08/05/2016, 06:55 PM   #3
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My stand has been moved to the driveway so all that's left is the 8'x2'x18" sump/refugium. Then I get to start on drywall repairs! Oh boy!

The CadLight Artisan II is on order and should be here in about 10 days.


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Old 08/05/2016, 07:56 PM   #4
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Bigger is better


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Old 08/05/2016, 07:57 PM   #5
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Excited for you, Ron!


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Old 08/06/2016, 04:19 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gamestyle View Post
Bigger is better
Twelve years ago I started with a 30g tank. Three years later I moved up to a 75g tank and then later added a 35g hexagon display refugium. Three more years and I upgraded to the 180g with a 75g hexand a180g sump/refugium. That's 435 gallons in my living room, then I made a 65g shallow reef tank and a 25g frag tank and bought a 125g acrylic tank for a sump/refugium for my reef room (spare bedroom). That's 600 gallons of saltwater in the house and you want me to go bigger?

How big is your tank?

Quote:
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Excited for you, Ron!
Thanks Josh. How are things in Windsor? I grew up in Detroit and when I was a kid we had a cottage near Kingsville, Ont on Lake Erie. We lived all summer vacation from school at the cottage and my dad came out for the weekends. Both my mom and dad were from Canada.

I just got word from the shipping company that they expect to deliver the new system on Friday. As happy as that makes me, I sure have a lot of work to do cleaning up all the damage the old 180g tank caused. I just hope I can keep everybody alive for the next couple of weeks.


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Old 08/07/2016, 08:22 AM   #7
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The 8'x2'x18" sump/refugium/DSB has been emptied (what a chore) and moved out to the driveway. BTW, my driveway is starting to look like an aquarium junkyard! A 6' tank, a 3 1/2' hexagon tank, an 8' sump, an 11' stand, lots of PVC pipe, a big skimmer, an OceanMotion, 2 Brutes full of rock and several 7g buckets of sand!

Inside the great room floor has been cleaned which included finding my purple tang that disappeared 9 months ago! It was caught between the back of the stand and the wall 5' in form either end. No way I could even see it, let alone save it!

Now the drywall and paint repair has begun. The damage wasn't too extreme. The whole wall (11' long and 10' high) was coated in salt! Some latex paint did blister and peel off the wall. And a few small spots lost some of the drywall's paper outer layer.

So to protect the wall from here on, we have decided to put up white fiberglass reinforced plastic paneling along the entire 11' of wall. Bought and cut at HD and will be hung on the wall with high grade stainless steel screws. And the screw heads will get a dab of white calk to help them blend into the white wall and protect them from the salt air.

Monday I'm going to contact an acrylic supplier to see if he can build me 2 light hangers. I want them to be either white or black (the stand is white but the fixture will likely be black). They will attach to the back of the stand and be slotted so they can be moved up and down by a small amount. I want them to extend out over the tank so the led fixture is much closer to the from of the tank than the back. I'll remove the small threaded fitting from the led fixture and add longer ones to the front than the back. That way I can tip the front edge of the fixture down slightly and angle the light so it comes in from the front edge of the tank at an slight angle toward the back. This is an effort to reduce the shadows that leds tend to produce. I'd like to slot the upper arm of the acrylic hanger so the led fixture can be moved forward and backward as well. This is to get the fixture 'out of the way' when I want to work in the tank. My one concern is the slots reducing the structural integrity of the acrylic.

I'm also considering a white lacquered kitchen cabinet (like our entire kitchen) to set net to the aquarium. The idea of a small (30g) rimless tank to sit on the cabinet and become a display refugium. And inside the cabinet a 2nd tank to be the reservoir for the auto top off. The dosing reservoirs and dosing pump can be inside the cabinet as well.

Maybe I'll finally set up the Apex that has been collecting dust in a closet for over 6 months!

So many ideas that I want to follow through on, but so little time. The new tank is scheduled for Friday (I'll believe that when I see the truck) and I have so many small tanks full of fish, coral and inverts that wnat back in a big tank!


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Old 08/08/2016, 03:43 PM   #8
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I have had a 55, a 75, and a 120 gallon in the past. I really like the 40 Breeder I have now. A 10% water change is just one bucket.

There are definite advantages to smaller tanks!


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Old 08/09/2016, 07:34 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HuskerBioProf View Post
I have had a 55, a 75, and a 120 gallon in the past. I really like the 40 Breeder I have now. A 10% water change is just one bucket.

There are definite advantages to smaller tanks!
I had 4 tanks before, a 180g a 75g hexagon, a 65g shallow reef and a 25g frag tank. The 180 and 75 were tied together with a 180g sump and the 65g and frag tank are tied together with a 125g sump. I wanted to downsize, but nothing made sense. Take away the 75g hex and the big system really isn't any easier to care for. And converting the 65g shallow reef into a frag tank and removing the 25g frag tank doesn't really change much either. I have to have a frag tank and I didn't really want to attack the big system. I was stuck.

So the failure of the 180g made it simple. Either buy a new 180g tank and put it back in place of the failed one, or tear out the entire system and start over with new equipment.

But I've been considering a 30g display refugium to sit on a cabinet next to the new 125g CadLight system. Add in a 20g auto top off reservoir inside the extra cabinet and maybe even a 'spare' sump in there as well? It's like I can stop thinking of things I could add to make it more interesting and different.

But I am looking forward to having a new, clean, modern looking display system. My old one was big and the tanks were cool, but the stand was always a bit rough and homemade looking.

I was even beginning to dislike the canopy over the 180g tank as looking old compared to the newer rimless systems. But between lighting and lots of above the tank plumbing, I couldn't even remove the canopy.

I am so looking forward to Friday (current delivery schedule).


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Old 08/09/2016, 01:50 PM   #10
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Old 08/09/2016, 03:52 PM   #11
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This was after the 180g tank and the 75g tank were removed. And I wanted to move the 400 pound stand out of the house. Those top beams, both front and rear were two 2x8's glued and screwed together and over 10' long. I didn't have any help as everybody was working (that's OK, I'll stay retired). So I jacked it up, moved it over the sump and then lowered it down on piano dollies and moved it out the front door.




The old system is all gone (at least on this side of the wall) and repairs have been made and prep for the new system started.

These are the condition of the wall after the 180g leaker. It doesn't look too bad from here.




But up close the problem becomes clear.





So the loose paint and soft drywall was scraped away and a new skim coat of dry wall mud was applied. Then we made the decision that with the new white lacquered cabinet and stand, we could protect the wall some and pull the look together with a white plastic wall. The stainless steel screws will get a dab of white paint and we will try some white calk in the seams to see if we can hide them a bit better.




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Old 08/12/2016, 06:26 AM   #12
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Bummer, freight carrier just moved my delivery date from today (8/12) to Monday (8/15). Oh well, I guess that gives me a few more days to get ready!

My new Reef Breeders Photon 50 V2 is still scheduled for delivery for tomorrow (8/13).

I'm really looking forward to setting up a new system now that I have 12 years of experience with aquariums. This is going to be fun!


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Old 08/12/2016, 02:07 PM   #13
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Wall is looking good. Now you get to do the fun part...wait for it to show up! Hows everything that was in the old tank?


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Old 08/12/2016, 03:00 PM   #14
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So far everything is doing better than I expected. I've had a couple of loses, but nothing major... yet!

I just went today and found 1/2" white pvc in 4'x8' sheets. I'm going to build snug fitting trays to go in the bottom of the stand under the sump and the bottom of the spare 36" cabinet I've ordered which will have dosing fluids, 5g ATO and a 2'x2'x2' rimless display refugium on top.

I just washed out two 7g buckets of sand. It's funny, the sand from the deep sand bed that was 6 years old was cleaner than the sand for the DT! I still have two more to do (which I probably don't need) but our afternoon thunderstorms just started! LOL!


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Old 08/14/2016, 07:56 AM   #15
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Great idea on the backsplash. Is it solid surface without a seam? If not, curious to see a close up of the seam.

How/where did your 180 fail/leak?


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Old 08/14/2016, 09:56 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neiltus View Post
Great idea on the backsplash. Is it solid surface without a seam? If not, curious to see a close up of the seam.

How/where did your 180 fail/leak?
It's thin and the seams are fairly visible when you get up close. I considered 1/8" white acrylic but settled on 1/16" FRP as it cost $110 vs $300+. I've been toying with the idea of taking white caulk and putting it in the seams so they might blend in even better. But for me, the fact that my wife thinks it looks great, is all the better I need it to be. LOL! More than 50% of the seams will be behind the stand, tank, cabinet and display refugium. I'll get a close up of the seam before my next post.

My 180g tank failed 3 feet in along the back glass where it meets the bottom glass. Somehow an inch or so of silicone got pushed out and created a 30gph spray/leak out the back. It sprayed water hard enough at first that it hit the wall and bounced back all over the back of the tank. Wiring got wet and the GFI's tripped. We heard the sound of the siphons breaking as the level in the tank went down at just about 5am on Saturday morning 2 weeks ago.

I'm seriously considering taking the 180 apart, removing the plastic trim (not structural at all) and the 18" wide center brace. Clean it and reassemble it without the brace. I'd test it for leaks and if it bows even a tiny fraction of an inch, I'd drain it and do a eurobrace along the front and back glass. All just for fun.


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Old 08/14/2016, 10:12 AM   #17
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Above is my new Reef Breeders Photon 50 V2 fixture which is waiting for a new tank to sit on! LOL!

I've played with the light some and I like it a lot. For the price (I paid $607) it does everything that lights costing 2 or even 3 times as much would do. Yes, the programming of sunrise/sunset is a bit slow, but unlike my old EverGrow (Reef Breeder Photon 1st generation) fixture, I don't have to stand in front of the fixture for 10 minutes while I program it. It's all in the remote and I can do it while I'm watching TV in a different room! I don't mind using the legs for the fixture to get started. But I'm going to contact 6061 and see if they are willing to fabricate a custom light mount for me. I want some up and down adjustability, but I really want some forward and backward over the tank adjustability. I'd like to pull the led fixture forward to the front of the tank and then tip the front edge down to direct the light back into the tank and thereby reducing the shadows produced by leds directly above the tank.

My old system had a lot of very random flow and I think my corals liked that. So besides the 2 returns from the sump (the Red Sea Reefer system only has one) I'm going to try a Jebao Crossflow at each end and 2 Jebao RW8 wavemakers on the back wall. Between the reversing of the Crossflows and the pulsing of the RW8's, flow should be pretty random. It may prove to be too much even dialed all the way down, but it's my starting point. And if it is too much, I'll consider alternating flow every 6 hours like a tide. Maybe even do an hour or 2 of overlap between tides with everything running or even more reduced flow for an hour or 2 by shutting down everything but a Crossflow or RW8.

Inside the kitchen cabinet I'll have beside the stand will be a 5g jug for a JBJ auto top off. That's something I've never had before. I'm hoping that means refilling the jug once a week. My old 400g system had 36 square feet of open water surface and only evaporated 1 1/2 gallons a day. I'm guessing this system with only 20 sq ft of water surface should evaporate less. The CadLight tank comes with a glass lid for the tank. I'm not sure I'll use it, but I expect with good turnover between the tank, the sump and the refugium as well as a BIG skimmer (Aquamedic Turbo 5000) keeping the water oxygenated pretty well. And that should reduce evaporation a lot more. We'll see, I'm not attached to using or not using the glass top at this point.

I may also pull the 3000gph DC pump provided by CadLight in favor of a new Jebao DCT15000 rated at just short of 4000gph. I'll be building a manifold so I can feed the display refugium, possibly a reactor and my 1hp chiller with is out behind the house (north side shade) in a ventilated plastic cabinet. And I'll be using all gate valves (no more ball valves) for flow control.

I can't wait to get saltwater in the tank and start playing with the the aquascape and rock selection. BTW, I have a 44g and 32g Brutes full of LR and a 125g Sump on my other tank system that has about 40g of space full of LR as well. I've had a rock wall reef in my 180g tank for 6 years and I'd like something different for a change. But in looking at threads here at RC I haven't seen anything that really caught my eye. They are either over the top vertical and to my eye look completely fake, or basic islands. I'm not interested it ledges that just create shadows where I can't place coral underneath, or vertical pillars that make attaching coral difficult. I guess I don't really know what I want, I just hope I'll know it when I see it!


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Old 08/15/2016, 12:32 PM   #18
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Outstanding! Following along.


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Old 08/15/2016, 08:31 PM   #19
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did it show today?


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Old 08/16/2016, 06:45 AM   #20
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Quote:
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did it show today?
No, the carrier is small in our area and only gets out to Cape Coral with the lift gate truck once every 7 to 10 days! So I've borrowed a friend's pickup and I'm going to get it myself in about an hour. I'll be unpacking and assembling later today. I just hope I can find some help to unload the glass tank during the day!
Pictures to follow.

BTW, I just ordered the 36" wide, 2 door kitchen cabinet in gloss white to sit beside the stand and tank. It's 2-3 weeks out. I also ordered 2 bathroom cabinet systems at the same time. Seeing as how the bathroom cabinet that was on the other side of the wall from the old 180g tank is swollen and even starting to smell a bit! And if I'm going to upgrade 1 bathroom (the one we never use) I might as well figure to do the master bathroom as well! I should be pretty busy for the next couple of months! Good thing I'm retired and my wife won't be around to supervise as she still works!


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Old 08/16/2016, 04:10 PM   #21
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It's here!!! And it was a bit of a handful for 2 guys to unload (especially since one of them is 67 years old and a bit out of shape).




There was a lot of stuff in there and it all seems to be in top notch condition. We got everything inside before the midday thunderstorms hit. The dining room is kind of full of 'stuff'. You can see in the photo how well the new stand will compliment our new kitchen cabinets we had installed 6 months ago. The 36" 2 door cabinet I ordered looks like the kitchen cabinets.




I couldn't find assembly instructions, but how hard could it be? It's a 6 sided rectangle. So I got started and all was going well until I got down to the front supports. So I called CadLight. They said the instructions should be in the long box with the plumbing supplies. Long box? I didn't get a long box. Oh, and I didn't get bulkheads, ball valve, loc-line nozzles or pipes? He said, that's what's in the long box. So he explained how the front supports go in and said a box of plumbing supplies would go out UPS today. Cool. I appreciate good customer service.

This is the box full of all the stand panels. It weighs darn near as much as the tank!




I got most of it together.




I intend to get metal inserts to go in the stand where the front supports thread in. That way I don't wear out the wood threads every time I want access into the stand and have to remove those supports in order to move the sump or the new pan I'll build. I used white silicone and sealed up all the seams inside the stand to keep any water or salt creep from getting in between the panels. Tomorrow I'll pick up some 3/8" pvc sheet material and build a 'pan' to fit inside the stand. That way any drips or minor spills will get caught and not do any damage to the stand. I'll install a bulkhead in the pan and run a hose out of the stand and out of the house. So if something serious happens water will drain outside and not in the stand or on the floor.

Maybe when my wife gets home we can put the empty tank on top of the stand so I can get a better visual... maybe a better photo to show off too!


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Old 08/16/2016, 09:29 PM   #22
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nice...


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Old 08/16/2016, 11:18 PM   #23
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Congrats!
Nice work thus far, glad to hear CAD is taking care of you.


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Old 08/17/2016, 03:30 AM   #24
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Thanks guys. This is the first time I've set up a primary DT and had some reasonable idea of what I'm doing. The last system was so big and convoluted that it was pretty much a hit and miss operation. This time I know pretty well what I want and were I'm going... except for rockscape???


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Old 08/18/2016, 09:37 AM   #25
Ron Reefman
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I still have some work to do inside the stand, like install a drip tray, get the door braces attached with helicoils and bolts rather than wood screws and get the door aligned just right. But I couldn't resist getting the tank up off the dolly and then top it off with the light to show me just how bad I need to clean out the inside of the tank! This is really a small step, but visually it's a big thing.




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Visit my build thread http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2593017
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