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Old 09-06-2016, 11:09 AM   #41
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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WE HAVE A TANK INSIDE THE HOUSE!

First things first, here's a picture of the system in it's final resting place:


Here is a quick run down of the latest steps I've taken to get it inside:

I painted the inside of the canopy with gloss white Appliance Epoxy to give the wood a nice uniform finish as well as provide a small amount of water resistance. The paint sets up as a very hard epoxy finish and will, fingers crossed, give me an easy surface to wipe down and keep clean. I also cleaned and re-mounted the lighting fixture inside the canopy. Previously it had wood screws holding it in and wasn't very secure so I drilled holes in the top of the canopy and used machine screws, washers and nuts to attach it. It's very easy to remove now if I need to service anything.


Sprayed and rolled with this product, Rust-Oleum Appliance Epoxy:


I also added some more 2x4s to the stand to create a safer and more stable base for the tank. After adding 5 more 2x4s I continued with the epoxy paint to, again, create a smooth uniform finish and provide some water resistance.






I painted the bottom with the same epoxy paint, but the plywood base was very porous and dry and wouldn't allow the epoxy to form a thick barrier like I had hoped and ended up looking like this:


That wasn't going to work, so I set off to Home Depot in hopes of a solution. I found some 12"x24" self-stick vinyl tile in a white marble finish. Turned out better than I hoped:


Here you can see it through the bottom of the sump, as well as testing locations for the heaters and my fancy silicone pump insulation.


Finally, some more pictures of the tank it's final position:






Regarding the fans and cooling inside the canopy, I've got two 120mm fans pulling air from outside the canopy and directing it over the two metal halide bulbs. The air is exhausted through the opening in the back of the canopy. Initial tests (sticking my hand inside the canopy) point towards this being the best solution and the fans won't be subject to pulling hot, humid, salty air through themselves and risking a higher chance at corrosion.

I've got 150(ish) gallons of salt water mixing in the garage at the moment. I just need to go into the crawlspace tonight and add some supports under the joists to keep everything safe and then we'll be bringing in the live rock, sand, fuge mud and water and we'll be all set!

After we get the tank going and I'm comfortable with the way it's running, I'll add the skin and cabinet doors to the stand and put a final coat of paint on it.

We'll be adding another cabinet to the right of the tank to store the controller, power strips, etc as well as a 5-10 gallon auto top-off/kalkwasser container.

I'm so excited to get this thing going!

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Old 09-06-2016, 11:14 AM   #42
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrandonMason View Post
Angle the fans to as point them to blow across the top of the water. I ran 3 server fans over my 210 like this. My temp always stayed within .5 degrees, however now that I was using evaporated cooling I would top off 5 gallons a day.
I'm hoping I don't have to angle the fans towards the water. The way I have it set up now, the air blows directly across the bulbs and seems to keep the temp down just fine inside the canopy. I keep our house fairly cool so it seems like having the fans pull air in and exhaust out of the back of the canopy is a good design choice.

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Old 09-09-2016, 12:55 PM   #43
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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So, a couple things have happened since I last posted.

I picked up the ReefKeeper Elite, which I may make a separate post about... I'm struggling with getting MyReef 2.0 to see any modules but the SID (usb attachment) and the SL1. When I plug anything else into the SL1 through the SID cable, it disappears from my listing of modules. It's the only one that will show up, the head unit, the power bars, nothing shows up. I've done a bit of googling and exhausted my knowledge. I've got no problem setting it up from the head unit, but the MyReef software would likely make this easier.

We finally decided on a piece of furniture, from IKEA, to house the Reefkeeper Elite controller and power strips on the "controller board", lighting ballasts and 5 gallons of ATO water. I hope 5 gallons is enough to keep me from having to fill up the ATO container too often. If it turns out to be too small, I may be able to cram a 10 gallon tank into the bottom of the cabinet and squeeze the ballasts under the cabinet. Looking at the picture, it appears I need to line up the cabinet doors a bit better. I'll tackle that once the cabinet is positioned correctly and attached to the wall.



I'll post a follow-up, with inside shots of the cabinet, after I wrap up the controller board and wiring this weekend.

4 bags of CaribSea Arag-Alive Special Grade Reef Sand in Bimini Pink ready to go in:



I already dumped the 2 containers of Mineral Mud into the fuge, I think I'm going to go ahead and fill that section of the sump with water, get a small powerhead going and let the silt settle out so it doesn't cloud the tank too bad when I turn the system on.

I've got 150 gallons of saltwater mixing in the garage ready to go in the tank. We'll do this Saturday when the pump and 100' of vinyl hose shows up from the delivery man.

I'm sure you're all really wondering about the big white buffalo head from the picture up top... My girlfriend is, among other things, a photographer and went to school at SCAD in Atlanta and it was one of her projects. It's a wire mesh frame with individually tied small pieces of string covering the whole thing. We're going to hang it in the corner above the cabinet once we get everything where it needs to be. Everyone loves the buffalo when they see it, so we think it's going to be great as a display piece of art.


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Old 09-12-2016, 5:28 PM   #44
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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WE DID IT! IT'S HAPPENING!



I've had the past two weeks off from training on the bike to promote recovery, physically and mentally, to lead me into a successful cyclocross season, so I made the most of my free time and wrapped up all the final major components to the system.

First and foremost, I didn't want to take any chances with the floor caving in so I installed two jack-posts directly under the tank in the crawlspace.





Checked for level... BOOM!





The next step was to take the rock out of the holding bins in the mixing station and play around with aquascaping. This was what I ended up with in my make-shift "rule of thirds" "display tank". It's not exactly what I ended up with in the tank, but it was a great way to help visually guide me before hanging over the side of the tank on a step ladder.



At this point, I felt comfortable with filling the tank. I pumped the water in from the mixing station in the garage through a 1/2" 80' vinyl hose. It didn't take that long at all. The worst part was running out of water with about 20 gallons to go. I had to wait for the RO/DI unit to make the water before I could get the tank running. UGH! We got it though!



Getting everything closer to wrapping up...



At this point I was ready to finalize the controller board, as well as implement some cooling into the storage/controller cabinet. This was my initial layout of the controller board.



I was happy with that, so I went ahead and drilled the holes and mounted all the modules. I also took this time to cut holes in the back of the cabinet for wire management and a cooling fan, as I knew the light ballasts for the metal halide and power compact lights were going to get hot. I'm really happy with how it all turned out. The Homer bucket is for ATO water, soon to be Kalkwasser ATO water when my shipment from BRS arrives. I think I'll switch the orange bucket out for a white one I have in the garage. IIRC correctly the white buckets are food grade, but the orange ones aren't? Not sure.



I also drew up a small wiring diagram for the inside face of the cabinet door for future reference. I'm going to end up relabeling all the power cords with smaller easier to read tags, as well as label the power strips with my label maker. (Which is conveniently missing! Hmmmm....)



Now, for the money shot!



Some more initial setup work remaining:
  • Skin the stand.
  • Wire management between tank and controller cabinet.
  • Build a hidden wall/channel to hide wiring running between stand and controller cabinet.
  • Paint.
  • Weatherstipping in canopy to prevent light leak.
  • LIVESTOCK!
  • OTHER THINGS I'M FORGETTING!

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Old 09-12-2016, 8:45 PM   #45
PFCDeitz PFCDeitz is offline
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Nice job man!
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Old 09-13-2016, 6:31 AM   #46
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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Nice job man!


Thanks. Can't wait to stock it!

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Old 09-22-2016, 3:41 PM   #47
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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Tank Equipment Updates:

I placed an order with Bulk Reef Supply and got a few things recently. Most notably, I added a carbon reactor and a GFO reactor. I'm pretty happy with the placement of them, but not happy with the routing of the plumbing from the manifold to the reactors and subsequently from the reactors back to the sump. I'm going to try and find a roll of that same 1/2" hose they sent with the reactors and re-do the routing to make both reactors follow the same plumbing routes. Just not happy with how the separate reactors have such dissimilar plumbing.





Additionally, I swapped the big PC light pod over the refugium out with something with a little smaller form factor and a better spectrum for growing the macroalgae. The lamp is an LED grow light from amazon.






Livestock/Macroalgae:

I placed an order with reefcleaners.org and added some dwarf ceriths, some nassarius, some florida ceriths, some nerites and a couple of hermits. They're doing well in the display, I'm dropping a small sinking algae wafer in the tank every few days in order to provide something for them to scavenge as well as add some bioload to the tank.

One of the snails already laid some eggs...


Action shot of one of the hermits going to town on the algae wafer...


In addition to the snails and hermits, I also added a ball of chaetomorpha and a small piece of red gracilaria. I've just got the chaeto floating in the refugium, while the gracilaria is attached to a small piece of liverock with a rubber band. Both seem to be responding well to the new LED lighting setup.



Also, I added one bag of Pods+ and one container of Reef Pods in order to help start the population off strong, as I used dry rock.

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Old 09-22-2016, 3:42 PM   #48
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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RO/DI + Saltwater Mixing Station + Water Change Setup:

In the BRS order, I also received bulkheads and a few plumbing pieces to construct my RO/DI + Saltwater mixing station. The left 44 gallon Brute can holds the RO/DI water which has a float switch in order to provide security from over filling. It's plumbed to the tank on the right through a set of valves which lead to a Lifegard Aquatics Quiet One Aquarium Pump 5000. From the pump, the water can be diverted to fill up the saltwater can, mix the saltwater or pump saltwater to the tank for a water change. The hanging hose is 1/2" vinyl hose, I'll just keep it hooked up and hanging there for easy access and ability to bring it through the house from the garage. The saltwater mixing can has a heater in it as well in order to bring the freshly mixed saltwater up to temp.








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Old 09-22-2016, 3:48 PM   #49
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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Oh! I forgot to add... The water change system works perfect. I did a change of about 30 gallons this weekend with no trouble whatsoever!



Most of the invasive sump setup work is done and now I can begin working on my design for skinning the stand. I'm thinking I'm going to make the whole skin removable in order to have easy access to the sides. Research incoming.

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Old 09-22-2016, 3:55 PM   #50
PFCDeitz PFCDeitz is offline
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Keep up the good work brother!! The tank looks amazing
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Old 09-22-2016, 4:12 PM   #51
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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Originally Posted by PFCDeitz View Post
Keep up the good work brother!! The tank looks amazing


Thanks! That means a lot. I'm hoping for years of success. Trying to do everything right from the get go. Going to get a 29 gallon quarantine tank set up soon, using equipment I already own. Excited about it!

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Old 09-22-2016, 4:35 PM   #52
PFCDeitz PFCDeitz is offline
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You should be! I have had a 2 gallon to a 1000 gallon and i enjoyed them all. Patience was always my enemy in t his hobby but i have since learned
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Old 09-22-2016, 9:21 PM   #53
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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You should be! I have had a 2 gallon to a 1000 gallon and i enjoyed them all. Patience was always my enemy in t his hobby but i have since learned


I learned to do things right from the get go on this setup. Everything previously was done with what I could scrape together. This one is being done properly and I'm really enjoying taking it slow.

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Old 09-23-2016, 5:57 PM   #54
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Looks fantastic! When you get your livestock in there, you will never leave the dining room! Love the Buffalo head, too!
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Old 09-24-2016, 7:30 PM   #55
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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Originally Posted by Shrimpy Brains View Post
Looks fantastic! When you get your livestock in there, you will never leave the dining room! Love the Buffalo head, too!
I'm sure. We already spend a lot of time in here looking at the tank progress and start to become a little more stable. It's nice having the tank to watch while we have lunch or dinner at the dining room table.

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Old 09-27-2016, 8:59 AM   #56
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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I posted this elsewhere, but thought I'd post it here as well... I'd like to upgrade the flow in the tank and have a few options I'm considering:

Quote:
It's come time to look at upgrading the flow situation in my 120 gallon 4'x2'x2' tank and I'd kindly like to ask for your advice. Here's a link to my build thread if you'd like to peruse through before offering your advice: Zach's 120 Gallon Reef Resurgence.

I'm planning on keeping a mix of softies, LPS, SPS... a nice mix of everything. Currently the tank is running two 1600 gph SunSun JVP-201B powerheads (remnants of the past). They're working fine but my inclination is that they won't work well with my Reefkeeper Elite running them on a wavemaker timer as they tend to clatter and clank when I turn them on and off.

Option A:

I've got the Reefkeeper, which has the ability to control powerheads as a wavemaker which opens up the possibility of using 2x Sicce Voyager 4s (1600 gph each) set up through the Reefkeeper on timers and the 2x SunSun powerheads running full time. This would give me a total of 6400 gph with all units on and around 4800 gph as the two Voyagers would likely run at opposing times in order to create more random flow.

Cost: Approximately $178.00

Option B:

Continue to use the SunSun powerheads and add a Maxspect Gyre 230. This would give me a max flow rate of 5500 gph using all pumps and a minimum of 3200 gph as the gyre runs through it's scheduled flow pattern. I like this option due to the laminar flow that the gyre provides.

Cost: Approximately $290.00

Option C:

Any other ideas?

Final Thoughts:

I enjoy having new technology and adding the Maxspect with it's separate controller would be cool but also possibly open up the door to more complications as I'd be essentially adding another controller to the mix. The cost is a little higher and the flow is a little less, albeit laminar and different than the 2x Voyagers. The obtrusiveness of the Gyre seems like it'd be a little less than adding two of the big Sicce Voyager powerheads. Help! I just can't make up my mind.

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Old 09-27-2016, 10:28 AM   #57
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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The tank is showing some early signs of maturity. The rock is becoming a more uniform color, some light brown algae is appearing on the glass, rock and sand. The refugium is also showing some signs of algal growth as well as seeing new growth in the chaeto and the gracilaria.

FTS:

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Old 10-04-2016, 10:53 AM   #58
zachxlutz zachxlutz is offline
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MILESTONE!

This past weekend we reached a pretty big milestone with the tank. After watching our ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, calcium, alkalinity and pH levels over the past few weeks, I felt comfortable adding a few pieces of hardy coral to the tank. We stopped by Atlanta Aquarium Saturday morning after picking up some books for my girlfriend from Titan Comics, located in the same shopping center. Everyone at the store was very helpful in picking out coral and everything looked so healthy. We had a really hard time deciding on what we wanted but eventually settled on 4 pieces of coral.

Duncan (the largest piece we got, 1 large head and several babies popping up under the main head):



Frogspawn (tiny! cute!):



Fungia (very small little baby, but opening up great):



Zoanthid (Dragon Eye?):



We're also getting great growth from the macros in the 'fuge, although the red spectrum LED makes photographing it impossible with the iPhone:


And finally, a FTS showing the initial placement of the coral. None has been glued down or permanently mounted as they are so small and we're not really sure what direction we want to take the tank with what future corals we'd like and what sort of placement we'd like.


The fungia is on the substrate near the left side of the right island. The duncan is on the top right of the right island. The frogspawn in on the top left of the right island. The zoas are placed in the center of the left island.

I've been playing with the placement of the two existing powerheads while I still contemplate what the next powerhead purchase will be. I'm really leaning towards the new Maxspect Gyre 230 at this point.

We're also patiently waiting to get fish in the tank. It's come to the point in time where I'd like to start coming up with a plan for what fish we're going to want and the order of introduction to the tank. I've got the QT tank set up next to the DT and I've got some filters in the sump of the main tank building up bacteria so the QT tank should cycle relatively minimally.

We're really at a loss for what fish we want! I'd like a shoal/school of something beautiful... I really like anthias but I'm afraid they're going to require a lot of feeding and I'd really like to keep feeding the tank down to once a day. I'd like a tang but I'm not sure how well it would do in a 120. We definitely want clowns, although we haven't decided on what sort of variation yet.

Anyway, that's today's update! Thanks for following along!

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Old 10-04-2016, 2:27 PM   #59
Dapperjman Dapperjman is offline
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It looks awesome! How long did you wait before adding the snails, hermits, and macroalgae?

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk

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Old 10-04-2016, 2:49 PM   #60
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That frogspawn is so tiny!!!

Tank is looking good

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