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Coral Vue Hydros

ZNinerfan's 38 Gallon Innovative Marine


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Hello Folks,

This is my build thread for my 38 gallon Innovative Marine Aquarium. This setup is intended to house SPS, ZOA's and various other corals. Haven't decided on fish yet.

Current Status: Tank and Sump/Refugium setup. Need to purchase a chiller.

Equipment Purchased/Already in possession:

Display Tank: Innovative Marine 38 Gallon Rimless Tank
Stand: Quasi DIY/Salvage of a broken stand
Lighting: AI Vega Color LED
Water Movement: Ecotech Marine MP10 ES

Skimmer: SCA-301
ATO: Avast Marine Works ATO
Heating: 2x Eheim Jager TruTemp Fully Submersible 150W
RO/DI: SpectraPure RO/DI 90 GPD
Misc Equipment: TDS Meter, Refractometer
Testing Kit: Various Salifert
Rock: BRS Dry Rock/10 lbs Fiji/Manado Live Rock
Substrate: 50 lbs Fiji Pink Aragonite Sand/10 lbs Miracle Mud

Sump/Refugium: DIY AGA 29 gallon aquarium with Sicce Syncra Silent 2.0 Multifunction Aquarium Pump

Equipment To Be Purchased:

1. Controller: Undecided seeking more info
2. Chiller: Will get one in June, undecided on make and model.

Looking for opinions related to the outstanding equipment that I still need to purchase.

I'll post some pictures once the tank and stand are together and go from there as things show up on my doorstep.


FTS - 02/17/13




FTS 3-29-13




FTS 7-5-13






Tank taken down.

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sounds like a sick build just from the equipment you have listed

i love rimless tanks

how are you planning to mount the VEGA?


I honestly haven't decided yet. I will probably go with an AI setup as conduit doesn't look that good to me. Although conduit painted over in either white or black could work and I could hang the unit from that.


Anyone have any opinions/recommendations in regards to the equipment I am undecided on?


Any info is appreciated.

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This build looks very familiar. ;) I basiclly have the same system already in progress. Nice choices on equipment. Check out my thread and feel free to ask any questions you might have going forward.




Wow you weren't kidding about running almost the exact same setup.


I finally got done with staining the additions to the stand and sealing and waterproofing everything. Here are some shots of the tank. I should be getting some stuff in for the tank this coming week and hope to get it wet come next weekend.








At this point, I am thinking of getting some rock rubble and rock pool crud from Premium Aquatics to seed the tank. I haven't reached out to lifereef yet to get things rolling on the sump/refugium but plan to soon.

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Yes, the stand it is sitting on will be what I will be using. I like the fact that opening beneath where the sump/fuge will go will make it easier to maintain and keep an eye on the sump. All the other equipment will go into the two side area's with the doors.


I honestly feel that the stand is the first real compromise I have made in regards to my setup. I wasn't trying to save any money or anything it was just me getting excited and wanting to get everything together. I feel like it looks pretty craptastic but I will just go with it. It has been reinforced with 2x4's and the tank is sitting on an additional piece of plywood so I feel good about the structural integrity.

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Just wanted to update.


I got my BRS rock in. I like the rock but I am surprised at the weight of it. For some reason I was imagining it being more like the Marco Rock I had used about 6 years ago in my previous attempt at a nano reef.


Sand also came in from Marine Depot along with my Avast ATO. The rest of the equipment I ordered should be coming in on Monday according to Fedex tracking.


My trailer park chic stand just continues to bug the hell out of me. I just hate the way it looks so I am waiting to hear back from a local cabinet maker on a stand. It won't be anything fancy or artistic by any means but it will be more in alignment with what I really want.


The dimensions I am looking for are 48"Lx24"Wx32"-36"H with an open back and open area inside without any support beams obstructing room to place a nice sized sump/refugium. If you guys know of any websites that sell aquarium stands with those dimensions at the $500 range or below please shoot me a message or list the link in your reply.


I would have liked to DIY on the stand but I don't want to drop the extra cash on equipment and quite frankly, I stink at making anything remotely presentable when it comes to woodworking.


So as of right now, the stand is what is holding things up as far as getting everything wet. The irony is that I bought my current stand because I wanted to set everything up as quick as possible and get the cycle going and it ends being the hold up...Not going to get into the wasted money.

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Ordered an RO/DI unit today. Got the SpectraPure Refurbished 90 GPD RO/DI unit. Still on the lookout for a stand. Not having much success finding one on the net or near me.

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Deep blue series 2 stand is 48x24, not sure about height though. Definitely under $500


Found a link online



But most LFS order from deep blue



Thanks for the lead on the stand. I just ordered one through this website:




I'm hoping they are a legit site and not some sort of scammer.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to update. Got an email from the website I ordered my stand from and they stated that they were unable to fulfill the order. So I ordered the same stand through Amazon via one of their 3rd party vendors and hope I am luckier this time around.


My RO unit came in along with the controller for my AI Vega LED light.


Looks like I won't be able to get things wet in 2012.


I'll update again when the stand comes in.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So I got home from work last night and was surprised to find the stand I ordered waiting for me in the garage. I was excited as I envisioned myself setting up my tank this weekend. The excitement faded away when I opened the box to find this:














I swear I can't seem to catch a break. Working on getting either a refund or replacement. I was surprised that this stand was shipped assembled. If they would have shipped it disassembled I think it would have fared much better.

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Just wanted to update. I got a full refund on the stand. I asked the vendor if they wanted me to ship them back the broken stand and they told me toss it.


I left the stand in my garage for a few days and then decided to salvage as much of it as I could. After looking at what was reasonably salvageable I decided to use the sides of the broken stand as a skin for a 2x4 frame I would build myself and then add pieces of plywood for the top and bottom.


I started by gluing and clamping all of the damaged areas as best as I could. After that was done, I went to Home Depot and bought some 2x4's and put a frame together.




Yesterday I went over the frame with some Kilz primer. This morning I attached the skin onto the frame.




At this point I have to attach the top and bottom portions of plywood, silicone the seams on the inside of the tank, paint the inside with a final coat of Kilz and paint the top black. I am hoping to get that done some time next weekend.


I also wanted to add that I received my Lifereef overflow kit from Lifereef a few days ago. After I am completely done with my stand I will figure out what dimensions I want my sump/refugium to be and get started on that too.


Going to spend the rest of today watching football. Loved the Niner game yesterday.

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Just wanted to update. I attached the bottom of the stand in between games on Sunday. Today I siliconed the seams along the bottom.


I am still a ways away from setting up my tank and getting everything wet but I decided that I would seed my BRS dry rock and start cycling that in the meantime.


I bought an 18 gallon rubbermaid tub added 10 gallons of saltwater and two pieces of live rock from the LFS to get the bacteria going. I have both of my heaters in there along with a Maxijet 1200 and light over the tub. I'll let the rocks cook like this and add distilled water as needed for evaporation.


Here is a shot of the rocks in the tub:




I am also going to order some uncured rock from premium aquatics to add to this in the meantime.


Question for you guys, should I add a piece of shrimp or something in there to introduce some ammonia to help the cycle or let things sit as is?



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I added a piece of shrimp to my rocks that were cooking in the rubbermaid tub last night. I decided to take a peek at them this morning and found my first little critter in one of the pieces of live rock I have in the tub seeding my BRS dry rock.


Looks like a bristle worm:






Maybe he is looking to snack on the piece of shrimp?


I also have some uncured Fiji and uncured Tonga rock coming in from Premium Aquatics this coming week. Hopefully that will add some more diversity in flora and fauna to my dry rock.


Waiting on the silicone sealant to cure before going over things with another layer of kilz and then putting the top piece of plywood on.


Thinking of going with a 29 gallon tank for the sump/refugium. Need to figure out the dimensions for my ATO reservoir that I will be getting to get a better idea of how much room I have to work with for my sump/fuge.


Any recommendations for an ATO reservoir?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just wanted to update. I got my order of uncured live rock in today from Premium Aquatics along with my Innovative Marine LED light that will end up on my refugium. I expected the live rock to have more gunk on it as it was supposed to be uncured but honestly it looks like cured rock to me. It was in transit for 5 days and when I unwrapped it today after I got home from work the rock smelled fresh with no funk to it at all. I hope some interesting things show up over the next few weeks as things settle down in my rubbermaid tub.


Here are some shots of the rocks cooking in their rubbermade container. The LED light really got the colors to pop a bit, particularly the fluorescent orange:






The two dark rocks are from my LFS and are covered in purple and green coralline. It took the LED light for me to really appreciate that fact. I was using an old fluorescent light I borrowed from a friend while waiting for the LED light to show up. The rocks have been cooking in the tub for two weeks. Some nuisance algae is slowly growing in there. I am also seeing some purple freckles on the BRS dry rock but I doubt it would be coralline as there is nothing growing on the plastic. I tried to blow off the purple freckles with a turkey baster but they aren't moving.


I also ordered an SCA-301 skimmer. Seemed to be highly recommended on various forums.


Next on the hit list is creating my sump/fuge. Going to get a glass tank from petco/petsmart and find a glass shop to cut me 6 baffles out of glass. I am tentatively thinking a 29 gallon tank for the sump/fuge but I may go a little bigger. Haven't decided yet.


Got my stand done on Wednesday. I'll post some pictures up tomorrow. A bit tired tonight. Been a long week at the office.

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Here are a couple of pics of the stand. I painted the top with 3 coats of rustoleum black paint and 3 coasts of spar polycoat applied in thick coats. The inside is painted with kilz primer and 3 coats of spar polycoat. The polycoat gave the inside a bit of a yellow tinge. The seams along the bottom inside of the stand have also been sealed with silicone sealant prior to the painting.






While not a work of art by any means I am happy with how the stand turned out. It went from being a box of broken MDF to something that can sustain a 100 gallon tank if need be with plenty of space underneath for a sump.


I will be out of town in the morning but on my way back I am hoping to pick up a 29 gallon tank for the sump/fuge.


I have 43" of usuable length inside the stand and was considering a tank up 36" long but want some extra space so I can put a container in there for an ATO reservoir. The chiller when I eventually get one will be on the outside of the stand.


Getting real close to getting things wet. I'm pretty excited. Once I solve the puzzle of where to get glass baffles for the sump/fuge I can set up my overflow and various other equipment and kick things off.



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Great job on your IM build. I can't wait to see it up and running so I can get some ideas. I also have the 38mini white/white.


Thanks for the kind words. I feel like the real work is about to begin.




I purchased a 29 gallan AGA tank from Petco and some glass baffles from a local glass shop. I will wait for my protein skimmer to show up before I put the baffles in. I placed an order with Marine Depot for various items including some miracle mud and some Salifert test kits for calcium and magnesium.


Barring any unforeseen events I could get everything together this coming weekend if I receive all of my items before next weekend.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Argh! I started trying to install the baffles for my sump and the glass shop did a crappy job cutting the pieces. I broke 2 pieces before I realized the edges they cut weren't square.


This is incredibly lame.

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I wanted to update. Got my RODI unit plumbed into the cold water line for my washer and dryer. Here is a shot of the fixtures I put together, there is probably more there than needed but I did want a ball valve there to shut off the water when not being used:




Here is a shot of the Spectrapure RODI unit:




I am actually mixing my first 5 gallons of virgin saltwater as we speak. I decided to fill my aquarium and just not hook up the overflow until the sump is ready.


Here are some shots of the aquarium:




With 15 lbs of aragonite dry sand:



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