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Variant
I've been spending the last 6 months looking at some of the gorgeous tank builds here and now that my own tank build is taking off, I will introduce myself. I go by Variant on forums and I love good coffee, hiking, and my miniature schnauzer Mona.
 
I travel frequently for work but will try my best to document my reef tank journey.
 
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I'm hoping to build a mixed but SPS dominated tank for my living room. Nothings set in stone so we'll see how things change over time.
 
Equipment List
Tank: 30" x 25" x 12" (760mm x 635mm x 300mm) Crystal Dynamic Aquarium
Sump: 24" GEO Auto Filter Roll ("AFR")
Light: 8x24 ATI Powermodule Wifi
Flow: x2 Vortech MP10QD
Skimmer: Deltec 600i
Controller: GHL Profilux 4
Doser: GHL Doser 2.1
 
Quick pictures of the setup after picking up the tank today. Will be traveling in a bit so updates might be a tad slow!
 
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Dally

I really dig shallow tanks! I like your setup a lot. Will be following along.

 

Also a fan of some good coffee & good hiking.

 

Nice to meet ya.

 

Dalton

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Variant
14 hours ago, Dally said:

I really dig shallow tanks! I like your setup a lot. Will be following along.

 

Also a fan of some good coffee & good hiking.

 

Nice to meet ya.

 

Dalton

 

Nice to meet you too! There are so many inspirational shallow tanks on this forum that I just had to hop on that bandwagon. I've been really into Ethiopian Guji coffee lately, now that I've learned how to extract the fruity notes out of the beans.

 

Freshly medium-roasted beans for this morning

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Enjoying the tank view even though it's still empty, while brewing me a cup

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East1

woah tank looks awesome

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bomerst

I really love the look of that tank, cant wait to see where it goes

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Variant

One of the inspirations for a shallow tank was while exploring the reefs near sandbars. Hoping to get aquascaping ideas during my trip to Hawaii that's coming up!

 

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Jeff Hood

Awesome.  Following. 

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Dally
3 hours ago, Variant said:

 

Nice to meet you too! There are so many inspirational shallow tanks on this forum that I just had to hop on that bandwagon. I've been really into Ethiopian Guji coffee lately, now that I've learned how to extract the fruity notes out of the beans.

 

Freshly medium-roasted beans for this morning

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Enjoying the tank view even though it's still empty, while brewing me a cup

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Liking the Hario? I just recently got myself a Chemex. Still trying to find the right coffee for me & get the tastes just right.

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Variant
41 minutes ago, Dally said:

Liking the Hario? I just recently got myself a Chemex. Still trying to find the right coffee for me & get the tastes just right.

 

While I have not used a Chemex myself, one of the selling points for the Hario was that it seemed easier to extract the more subtle fruity notes compared to the bolder notes of dark chocolate and the like. I get my beans from Belux, which is a boutique coffee roaster in Georgia that I visited. They do small batch roasting and every cup I've tried from them (chemex and hario) were excellent. Their storefront only does pour overs and is no-nonsense (they don't even have pastries or cream there!).

What is your current favorite bean?

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Dally
40 minutes ago, Variant said:

What is your current favorite bean?

I might have to try some beans from Belux someday.

 

I personally am a fan of more bold & dark cups. Currently I get my coffee from two places. There's a local shop here in my city called Odd Duck. Love their coffee. Love their mission. They use a Guatemalen bean for their espresso & it's what I buy to use at home. I'll drink the espresso straight up or I like lattes a lot. I also get a lot of coffee from a local place in Kansas City called The Roasterie. I've been to a few cuppings there & have never had a cup I didn't like. I buy their Super Tuscan espresso which is bold, carmely, and wonderful & also their Columbian beans for the chemex. It's a super rad place if you ever get the chance to visit. They recently started selling a CBD cold brew which I enjoyed.

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Tigahboy

Dat synergy ghost overflow doe.

 

Really beautiful tank!  Now I'm regretting not going with a CD for my build.  I did get a quote from them, but ended up going with Visio.  Looking forward to seeing this progress. 

 

And always nice to see a fellow Socal reefer around here. 👊  :)

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Variant
1 hour ago, Tigahboy said:

Dat synergy ghost overflow doe.

 

Really beautiful tank!  Now I'm regretting not going with a CD for my build.  I did get a quote from them, but ended up going with Visio.  Looking forward to seeing this progress. 

 

And always nice to see a fellow Socal reefer around here. 👊  🙂

Thank you for the complement! The overflow is actually a modular marine ghost overflow that is capable of up to 800gph. The synergy overflow was way too overkill for this tank so I decided against it. 

 

Also, the tank I got from CD is great no doubt, but I did have a bit of trouble in the beginning. TLDR, the original tank they built had tons of quality issues but as soon as I sent pictures to CD they made it right by making a second tank that I picked up straight from Trent at CD Aquariums.

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Tigahboy
3 minutes ago, Variant said:

Thank you for the complement! The overflow is actually a modular marine ghost overflow that is capable of up to 800gph. The synergy overflow was way too overkill for this tank so I decided against it. 

 

Also, the tank I got from CD is great no doubt, but I did have a bit of trouble in the beginning. TLDR, the original tank they built had tons of quality issues but as soon as I sent pictures to CD they made it right by making a second tank that I picked up straight from Trent at CD Aquariums.

Well I'm glad they fixed it b/c CD is $$$$ and it should be perfect.  Did it take a long time to build the first time around?  If I have quality issues with my Visio, I may try CD.  LOL.

 

Which island are you going to?  My family lives on Oahu, so I'm there once/twice a year.

 

 

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Variant
9 minutes ago, Tigahboy said:

Well I'm glad they fixed it b/c CD is $$$$ and it should be perfect.  Did it take a long time to build the first time around?  If I have quality issues with my Visio, I may try CD.  LOL.

 

Which island are you going to?  My family lives on Oahu, so I'm there once/twice a year.

 

 

 

You're totally right about the $$$$. As Trent (I think he's one of the owners) said himself when I met him to pick up the tank, "our tanks aren't cheap so we want to make sure our customers are happy". Despite waiting 8-9 weeks for the tank (paid my deposit a few weeks before Christmas), getting a dud, and waiting another 3.5 weeks for the new tank, I'm pretty happy with how the builders handled it. 

 

I'm going to Oahu, I have family there too and grew up there so it'll be a trip back "home" if you will.

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Tigahboy

Nice!  Well have a good trip back home!

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Variant
Spent some time organizing the electronic components of the stand. Right now have two GHL Powerbar 5.1s on each side of the stand with the middle dedicated for all things wiring and power adapter related.
 
I'm sure things will get messier as the rest of the equipment show up.
 
Quick picture
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Tigahboy

So clean and organized!  Looking good!

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Variant
A quick update on the build... Got back from Hawaii excited about setting up the tank but got news that my sump was going to be delayed by a few weeks. So I thought I'd take my time to focus on some of the details in the meantime. :(
 
First, I got rid of the conduit bars I was using to hold up my light. I finally got it hanging from the ceiling. This wasn't as easy as people might think because our ceiling has radiant ceiling heating and I had to buy a fancy IR thermal imaging camera to make sure I wasn't drilling into any of the thermal components.
 
Second, I decided to put the Reef Octopus Varios 2 pump in the closet and use a Royal Exclusiv Red Dragon pump for my return. I wanted a stronger pump that would be able to feed a few extra pieces of equipment without losing too much flow on the return. I have to say, I'm super happy with how heavy duty the pump and controller box feels. One detail that I appreciate is the ability to take the pump off the controller for easier maintenance (I won't need to clean pumps by the tank).
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Lastly, I got bored so I DIY'd three dosing containers for my 3-part dosing. Given the white and red theme I'm planning for, I found a creative way to make the dosing lines look extra slick!
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Variant
For those who were curious, the red dosing lines are just regular clear dosing tubes with Techflex braided cable sleeve. I just had to add heat-shrink on either end to keep the sleeve in place.
 
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Justind823

Great work so far! 

 

I'll be following along this clean build

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Variant
4 hours ago, Justind823 said:

Great work so far! 

 

I'll be following along this clean build

Thank you! When you have a few weeks of waiting for a sump, there's an endless amount of tinkering and tidying up haha.

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pricewayne

A-may-zing setup. I love it -- so clean. Can't wait to see how this plays out!! Also... hi, Mona 👋!! Grew up with miniature schnauzers -- awesome pups.

 

Where in LA are you? I'm in weho -- love to hear what local fish stores you like.

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Variant
2 hours ago, pricewayne said:

A-may-zing setup. I love it -- so clean. Can't wait to see how this plays out!! Also... hi, Mona 👋!! Grew up with miniature schnauzers -- awesome pups.

 

Where in LA are you? I'm in weho -- love to hear what local fish stores you like.

Thank you so much!

 

Mini Schnauzers are great! Or in my case, the only dog that doesn't flare up my dog allergies 🤣

 

I'm pretty new to the area but located in the Valley so not too far. I'm still trying to anticipate the evaporation on this open top tank as summer starts to put out some heat in the area...

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antsypants

This is so clean 😭 Can't wait to see what you have planned! 

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Variant
1 hour ago, antsypants said:

This is so clean 😭 Can't wait to see what you have planned! 

It's clean because there's no equipment in the stand just yet! 😂

 

I'm excited to see how this unravels too! The sump can't come any sooner...

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