Chaucer498

Chaucer's pilgrimage back to the reefing world

47 posts in this topic

Hey everyone, this is my tank build thread. I used to keep a large reef system over 150 Gallons several years ago and had to take down my reef. I had kept a few things that I knew I would use again in the future because I had no intentions of leaving this hobby forever. I loved my reef and am really excited about getting it started back up again.

 

I was originally going to start up a Nano Cube 28 Gallon but after a quick visit to the LFS (I should really stay away) I saw a 75 Gallon rimless tank. :o My head started to spin and I was trying to convince myself about all the reasons I wanted a small tank and then they were quickly outweighed by the reasons I HAD to have that 75G rimless. I remember seeing that tank before and I made a call to a buddy of mine and it so happens that she has the same exact tank and isn't using it. I will be picking it up from her house some time this week. The tank needs to be cleaned out and flushed but it's in perfect condition. The stand is in good shape. The hinges on the inside are rusted from saltwater popping up out of her sump so I may change those out for new ones. Other than that, it's in pretty good shape, could use a touch up on the paint here and there.

 

I went to the LFS this morning and picked up an Eshopps refugium that I am going to use in the base of the tank. (Hopefully I can link the picture with no issues)

 

EshoppSump.jpg

 

I figured I would pick this up already so I can get the tank over and plumb it in so I can start to flush the system out with water and white vinegar. I need to look that up though because I don't remember. Anyway, I plan to keep this updated with my progress. I will post more pics as soon as I get the tank over here. Back when I used to be in the reefing hobby my buddies and I had a saying, "Nothing good happens fast in a reef". lol I'll never forget those words because they are so true.

 

Future Hardware:

 

Radion Lighting Fixture

Protein Skimmer (maybe an aqua maxx HOB 1)

UV Sterilizer

Chiller if needed

Edited by Chaucer498

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I picked up the tank last night and set it by the wall where I want to keep it. The tank and stand are really dirty so I have my work cut out for me.

 

Here are pics of the tank when I brought it home:

Front Side

IMG_0005.jpg

 

Left Side

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Right Side

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All the hinges on the door were rusted real bad because the former owner had an open sump and let the water bounce around under the stand all over the place so as you can see in the pictures there is dried up salt all over and all the hinges are rusted pretty bad.

 

Side Door Hinges

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All of the hinges were this badly rusted so a quick run to Home Depot and I was able to find replacement hinges for the two front doors.

 

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I still haven't found hinges for the side. I may go out to Lowes today to see if they have them. I cleaned out the salt from inside the tank and the Eshopps sump fit perfectly inside the stand.

 

I took a trip to the LFS and picked up a rio pump and new bulkheads for the tank. The former owner had installed the bulkheads improperly and of course it leaked so instead of fixing the problem properly they used silicone all over the bottom of the bulkheads to seal them. :o The bulkheads were in bad shape so I removed them and picked up brand new ones and I will need to run a new return pipe because they had glued the one on to the bulkhead so I will need a new pipe for that.

 

I filled the tank up halfway to let the drain pipe, overflow cap, and return nozzle sit in hot water with white vinegar and I cleaned up the overflow box a bit as well while I was at it. I also moved the old left over sand to one side so that it can be siphoned out.

 

IMG_0014.jpg

 

IMG_0015.jpg

 

I removed the sand and emptied the tank for now. Next phase I need to plumb the sump in and fill the tank completely and let the water with white vinegar concoction run through the system for a while to remove the rest of the calcium build up in the tank. It should then look brand new.

 

I made a good deal with my LFS today and the owner is going to give me LR for 4.00 a pound since I have been a customer for quite a while and will be spending a lot of money in there in the next few months. I will be able to score 75lbs of LR,Live Sand and some salt for a total of 300. That's not too bad considering the last time I bought LR I spent 6.00 a lb and that was cheap back then. Now I know some places are charging 9.00! :o

 

I was going to pick up my Radion light today but they were out of stock and expect some back in some time this week so I may be picking that up soon. I want to get the light mounted before sitting the tank bank in it's permanent place. Will update the next phase.

 

Sorry about the picture quality they were from my phone.

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I went to Lowes and picked up some of the things I needed for the plumbing of the overflow. I installed it and slowly checked it for leaks. It looks like the new bulkheads and gaskets are sealed properly because I had no leaks. I filled the tank up slowly watching for any leaks and kept it going until the tanks was filled. I started the return pump and locked and loaded a container of white vinegar in there and let it sit for a bit. After an hour or so I started scrubbing some of the calcium build up off and a lot of the floating debris is being caught in the sump sock. Here is what it currently looks like.

 

IMG_0023.jpg

 

Next step...a hanger mounted for my light and then of course my light.

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Only one radion?

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Yes, one radion. I am planning to mount the light dead center so that the focus of the light is in the center of the tank leaving only low light in the corners of the tank. That's the plan for now anyway if I don't like it I'll end up mounting a second.

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Emptied the tank and now I am waiting for the light hanger so I can mount it to the back of the stand and move the tank back into place.

 

IMG_3171.jpg

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Good news! I tried many different hardware stores looking for that side door hinge with no luck in finding a size that would fit the stand. I dropped an email to Deep Blue simply asking where I could purchase the hinge because I can't seem to find it anywhere and that I really needed a replacement. They asked me to email them a receipt and picture of the part. I emailed them back a picture but I have no receipt to show them. They emailed me back letting me know that they are going to ship me new hinges free of cost!!

 

Talk about great customer service. I was in no way expecting that, nor did I ever imagine they would go to that extent, but I am grateful for it. Just thought I would mention it in case anyone was thinking of picking up any Deep Blue products. It seems like they stand behind their stuff.

Edited by Chaucer498

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I like how you cleaned it up!

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I like how you cleaned it up!

 

Thanks! Yes, it was a bit of work but I knew it would be worth it in the end. The glass could be cleaner but I already anticipate the mess I will make of it once I start filling it with Live Rock, Sand & Water so I didn't go overboard. lol

 

Yesterday I went to my LFS to pick up some water. Lugging these up the stairs was no picnic. I still need about 4-5 more I think.

 

photo.jpg

 

 

My light hanger has an E.T.A. of Monday. I wish it would arrive sooner because if I were able to mount that before this weekend, I could fill the tank with rock and sand and let it settle in. If not, I'll have to wait until next weekend to fill it because I like to babysit new setups for a couple of hours to make sure everything stays nice and sealed.

 

I am waiting for my LFS to get my Radion light in which is due some time this week. I will keep updating as I go along.

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Tank looks nice and clean now! Hope your light comes in soon i want to see this all setup!

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Tank looks nice and clean now! Hope your light comes in soon i want to see this all setup!

 

Thanks. I hope it comes in soon too. I was already messing around with the software but you can only go so far with it without having a device hooked up to it. It seemed easy enough to configure. I guess we'll find out soon enough.

 

Since my light has it's own built in timers I am debating whether I should get a Reef Keeper unit. I used to have one on my old reef and I swore I would never set another tank up without one but I had a standard Metal Halide light fixture that needed timers. The RK also kept track of PH, which was nice, and temperature as well. It even had a feeding mode that shut off all pumps so the water was calm during feeding. I don't need the wave maker feature that's built-in because the Eco Tech power heads I am planning on getting have their own. I'm on the fence. It seems rather useless for me. On another note, I like how the Apex units can be controlled with an Iphone. That is pretty cool.

Edited by Chaucer498

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Okay, my light hanging fixture arrived today.

 

IMG_0056.jpg

 

Installation was straight forward.

 

IMG_0058.jpg

 

I also received the Eco Tech hanging light kit though my LFS still hasn't gotten my light in yet.

 

The only issue I am having is what to do to get the wires from the hanging kit around the arm of the light hanger. I thought they would have multiple parts in the box for several hanging options, but it's strictly for hanging from the ceiling. I need to come up with a way to get the two wires to hang somehow firmly to the hanger arm. Any suggestions?

Edited by Chaucer498

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Well this is not exactly what I had in mind but I guess it gets the job done so it will have to do for now.

 

IMG_0060.jpg

 

Now I just need my light to come in so I can finish the lighting phase of this project.

 

I picked up another 5 cases of Ocean Water. That should be enough water for now.

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I put an order in last night for some bags of sand and some filter media.

 

I am still waiting on my light to show up at the LFS. I am getting impatient with the waiting of this light though and soon I am just going to put an order for it online. I am trying to give my LFS the business to help them out but this is week 2-3 already. They are holding me down now. :lol:

 

I think this weekend is going to be rock & water weekend. I can drop the sand is as soon as it arrives and I don't need it to set my aquascape. I was waiting for my light but I don't technically need the light to fill the tank either so. Maybe some progress and pictures this weekend.

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Still waiting on the light?? Man hurry them up! If possible put the sand in first then add your water, thats one thing i learned from setting up my tank twice. With that hanging kit will the light be centered over the tank enough? I was going to use the aqualife arms for my Ai Sol but i needed them to go 15" out over the tank and they only went 11"

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I got a phone call this morning from my LFS letting me know that my light came in so I took a long lunch and picked it up on my lunch break.

 

photo-1.jpg

 

I can't wait to get this home to set it up.

 

I have the arm installed dead center behind the tank and raised quite a bit which I plan to adjust once I get the light hung from the arm. It looks to be over the water enough but I will know for sure tonight when I get home.

 

My guess is that I will have to keep it a bit higher than 6" if I want to get more ambient light through the tank but I am going to play around with it. I saw a video somewhere that a reefer had the Radion light over the center like I want to do and it did a pretty good job of hitting majority of the tank. My goal is to have dimly lit corners so I can use for low light corals and as a starting ground when introducing corals to the tank. I'll move them closer and closer to the light letting them adjust to it little by little. I plan on giving it 6-7 months. If I see that I should roll out a second light I'll have to empty the tank a bit so I can move it up and install another arm and move the arm I have over to make room for another Radion. Time will tell.

 

I'll take pics tonight when I get it hung. I'll try to get some side views to show where the light is actually hanging over.

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Morning,

 

Sorry for the lack of posts last night. I had some bad luck yesterday when I got home with my light. If anyone is planning to buy an EcoTech Radion light double check that it works before leaving the store.

 

I got home last night with my light and was real excited to get it up and running. I unbox it and get it all plugged in and the light turns on but I quickly notice that it's turning off and on and wont stay on. I knew from that moment that something was wrong. I did way to much research on this light and I know all the modes. This pulsating light was not one of them. I try to use the raise and lower buttons and that would quickly throw the light into a safety mode with a red blinking light on the top display. I looked that up and it means the unit overheated. Basically, I tinkered around a bit and everything forced this light into a red blinking light. I was so bummed out.

 

I looked at the clock it was 8:15 and the LFS closes at 9. The LFS is not exactly around the corner either. I had to try though because this would burn inside me all night. I packed the contents of the light back into the box, jumped in the car and got to the LFS in record time. I explained the situation and exchanged my unit with a working one that I tested at the store. My original box said it was manufactured less than a week ago and so was the new one I exchanged for. I hope that these issues with my unit was just a fluke and not a product of quick manufacturing to meet customer demands.

 

I brought the new unit home and was able to mess around with it a bit. The software is easy enough to use and understand that I think a second grader could easily figure it out. I had created my own profile and even ran a simulation so that I could see what it would look like. Once I was happy with my profile, I exported it to have it saved and then programmed the light with my desired tweaks. Easy and straightforward.

 

I hung it over my tank to see what it looked like and it pretty much lit my whole tank. I have the light about 9" off where the water would cap off. I think I may lower it to 6" and see what it looks like then. The light is really bright at 100%.

 

I'll try to get those pics of the tank tonight and post them up. Overall, I am really satisfied with this light.

Edited by Chaucer498

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Wow man that sucks on the first unit, im sure you were super pissed! Good that you were able to get it exchanged quickly and not have to wait for another!

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Wow man that sucks on the first unit, im sure you were super pissed! Good that you were able to get it exchanged quickly and not have to wait for another!

 

I was thinking about that on the way in. It was killing me. That's why I didn't want to wait another minute and just got in the car and took off. lol

 

I will get you pics of the tank tonight. I know you wanted to see where the light placement was with the AL hanger. It pretty much falls dead center in between the front of the glass and the overflow box. I'll get you a side view perspective to try and show where it is. I'm happy with the way it looks so far, but the most important part is whether it'll handle the job. Time will tell.

 

I'm super impressed with the accessibility the EcoTech software offers. I think I may pick up a Vortech powerhead this weekend and see how well the two devices communicate with each other. From the software it appears to be an automated thing. I enabled the Eco Smart box so that it will look for other ET devices in the area. Now I just need to add another ET device.

 

Sand and filter media shipped as well so hopefully they get here quick.

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Sorry to hear about the light, what are the measurements on that tank?

I thought you would need 2 of those fixtures.

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Sorry to hear about the light, what are the measurements on that tank?

I thought you would need 2 of those fixtures.

 

I guess it depends on what look you're going for. On a standard 75 gallon my lighting setup wouldn't work because of the center brace that runs across a standard 75G tank. If I had a standard 75G I would have gone with two fixtures for sure. This rimless tank has no brace so I was able to mount my light dead center of the tank which is where I plan to keep all my corals anyway. I plan to keep all the low light around the bottom edges of the tank where the light will be weakest compared to the top center.

 

There is a video I saw a couple of days ago where someone had the same idea as me and a similar tank and I saw the light cover majority of his tank. Last night my tank looked the same as his. I'll try to get some pics up tonight. Obviously, with two lights it would be much much brighter, but I believe one will be sufficient for what I need.

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Got home real late and I'm tired as heck but I managed to take some quick phone photos to show the light. Don't mind the cables and wires I have to snip them and strap them back yet.

 

Side View

IMG_0068.jpg

 

Side View from other side

IMG_0069.jpg

 

Front view with light on. (not sure what setting I had it on to be honest)

IMG_0070.jpg

 

I'll try to get better pics tomorrow when I have some more energy in me. I'm beat for the day...

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Great job on the clean up of the tank and stand. What kind of coverage do you get with the radion? It looks to me like you will need one more to have adequate coverage.

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Yeah that was what I was getting at. 1 light fixture will not be enough I am thinking.

You have to remember that spread in your pics does not look like enough....................even before you but water in the tank.

 

I am no expert, and have been looking into LED lighting for my next build which will be 36x18x18.

I would need to go 2 fixtures there to get decent PAR on the sand bed as well as having proper spread so the corners would get light. I love the radio fixtures...............but needing 2 fixtures and the budget I have I am leaning towards AI Sol Blues ($650 with controller) versus 2 Radion's which would be $1500.

 

When you fill with water and get everything running you will be able to make the call based on your needs.

I really like your tank!

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