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Old 08-17-2010, 11:45 PM   #1
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Crewdawg's 180 Journey... from a NC12 on up.

Hey guys!

So I've been in the hobby now for a few years and I've definitely had my ups and downs with reefing. My dad started this addiction when he won a 39 gallon tank, set it up as a saltwater and then told me how "easy" it was.

I had to wait a few years and then one year for xmas... I got my first tank.

A Nanocube 12DX:


I had this tank for oooh... about 3 months before dad calls me up and says, " Ready for a 55?!" Ready?! I had JUST started! Either way... it was a great deal so...

My 55:

(Disclaimer - This was NOT how the tank looked when I took it down. This picture is about two months after I got it setup. I dont have any good pics from later on down the road... Some of it was good... some... not so much)

Basically, my interest in the hobby came and went with my ability to add or tinker or whatever. As long as I had something to work on I was a huge fan . I had both of these tanks running and looking great until early 2009 when my roomates and I decided to move. Tried selling it... heck... Robb almost bought it. No one bit and in the end, the stand and tank ended up in the dumpster (I kept the hood).

With the end of my 55, my dad upgraded and gave me his old 90 AGA RR tank. Set it up in early 2009 and having been recently unemployed and having had to replace a truck... didnt do too much:

My 90:

This is a more recent picture. I'm just starting to really get back into things after being in a mostly maintenance mode for the last year, hence the lack of much character.

Now, my roomate is looking to buy a place, my girlfriend and likely future everything is buying a house and either way ... i've got to move soon. So, I figured, what better time to upgrade! I mean, I've got to move the tank anyways right?!

So, some of you saw my post in the reef discussion forum last week, but I'm going to try my hand at a 180 and I'll be looking for your help along the way

I've already gotten several of the components and will be ordering my tank this week. A Marineland 180 with dual corner overflows. Got a great deal from Tim at Keen .

The stand is still in the planning stages, but Dustin has been working with me and I'm liking where we are so far.


I'm going to be using Robb's 135 gallon sump and setting up a fish room in the basement of my girlfriend's new place. She's been incredible and fully supports my hobby... even knowing full well what I'm spending on this.

What I have:
- 2 MP40Ws... one is an ES version
- 1 MP20... will soon have a second and will likely upgrade both to the ES driver.
- Apex Lite Controller
- Neptune Breakout Box for my planned ATO
- Neptune WXM to control the Vortechs
- Bubble Magus T01 Triple Doser
- BRS - Dual Media Reactor
- Purely H20 Optima Chloramine Plus 5 stage75 GPD RO/DI filter. I'll be adding a 150 GPD membrane.

What I definitely need:
- Skimmer - After a lot of suggestions, I'll be going with a Super Reef Octopus XP3000 Internal
- Lighting - Getting rid of my PFO 175 watt triple ballast and getting 3 250 watt Lumatek dimmable ballasts - Have an HQI setting that supposedly runs Radiums well.
- Return pump - After looking around I see that Reeflo has a pretty good rep. I think I'll need the Wahoo to get it done after looking at the flow curves. I'll have ~17 feet of head pressure after considering ~12 feet vertical, 3 90 degree elbows, 20 feet of vertical run, etc.

Thoughts? Opinions?

I'll have to bolster the floor with some more floor joists as the tank runs parallel to them instead of perpendicular. I'll also be looking for everyone's infinite wisdom when it comes to setting up the fish room and ATO.
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Old 08-18-2010, 1:01 AM   #2
DrNecropolis DrNecropolis is offline
 
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Wow!! Cool story about how you got to where you are.. The colors in the pic of the 90 are amazing! Perfect balance of blue and white!

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:09 PM   #3
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Haha! Thanks for the compliment. I've just discovered the white balance on my Canon

Anyways, Its been a bit without an update and thats because well... I havent moved yet so there isnt much to update.

I ordered my tank from Tim at Keen. Its a Marineland 180 thats supposed to be here ~ September 13th. Thats awesome, because I dont have anywhere to put it until ~the 18th. I think I got a smokin deal.

I've ordered the stand from Dustin, so I cant wait to see how that turns out. I've looked through his build threads and everything he's made looks gorgeous. I decided to go with the stand pictured above, though we're going to wait and see about the overall height of the canopy once I get a chance to measure the height of the room everything is going in.

I ordered my return pump the other day from ebay ... went with the Reeflo Wahoo. It was just a really good deal on a new pump... couldnt pass it up.

Next, I ordered my ballasts (also from ebay). Went with three Lumatek 250 watt dimmables. I've heard great things about them and their ability to run the radiums I plan on getting here soon. Together with the three Lumenmax Elite reflectors I'll be wiring up, I'm hoping for good things . I had considered going with 400w ballasts, but thats just too much heat and I think I can probably accomplish everything I'd want with the 250s.

I spoke with Rit and will be ordering my Skimmer soon. Sticking with the Super Reef Octopus XP 3000. It was given the thumbs up by everyone and its pretty reasonably priced (not a $400 Vertex, but not a $1000 Bubble king either).

Bought my sump. Its Skriz's/LilRobb's old sump. 135 gallon with some baffles already installed. Its sitting in the garage... and Im hoping it will continue holding water... it looks like its seem MUUUCH better days :P I think I want to take one of the baffles out and create a small section solely for the skimmer. We'll see if the budget allows. Ideally, I'd get Chris over at FishScales to build me a sump ... but thats DEFINITELY not in the budget (though the budget seems to grow on its own... ).

Finally, after some discussion here:


I decided to go with a calcium reactor versus dosing two part. With a system this big, I'd rather not fight with it the way I've had to with my 90 to keep things where they should be. I found what I think is a pretty good deal on an MRC-CR2 with a regulator, solenoid and CO2 canister. Cant wait to hook this all up.

Once I get into the new house, its going to take some work though. I've got to install a few new joists, then pray that I can cut a hole in the wall instead of in the floor to setup my plumbing. ANY GOOD PLUMBERS WANT TO HELP A NEWB OUT FOR FREE BEER?! ... Come over during a Georgia gameday and I'll supply you with food, beer... jager bombs... car bombs... whiskey and coke... Just help! I'm thinking about setting up a small utility sink and stuff at the same time.

I'll try and get some pictures soon... thats what everyone wants to see anyways :P
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Old 09-01-2010, 11:14 PM   #4
weaglereefer weaglereefer is offline
 
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I like the history!

Can't help much with the plumbing, but if you're in Auburn for the GA game this year, feel free to crash on my couch.

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Old 09-01-2010, 11:20 PM   #5
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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I like the history!

Can't help much with the plumbing, but if you're in Auburn for the GA game this year, feel free to crash on my couch.
Thanks!

I might actually take you up on that offer. I think one of my favorite games of all time is the 2005 Auburn game... maybe it was because it was the last night game I went too... maybe it was the bourbon... who knows (cuz it sure wasnt the outcome). CLOSE second to the first and true blackout game... then the 2000 UT game (I got on camera hanging from a goalpost )
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Old 09-06-2010, 6:44 PM   #6
RedEDGE2k1 RedEDGE2k1 is offline
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Originally Posted by Crewdawg1981 View Post
Once I get into the new house, its going to take some work though. I've got to install a few new joists, then pray that I can cut a hole in the wall instead of in the floor to setup my plumbing. ANY GOOD PLUMBERS WANT TO HELP A NEWB OUT FOR FREE BEER?!
Feed me Guinness and I will hang those extra joists and do the plumbing too
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Old 09-06-2010, 6:48 PM   #7
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Feed me Guinness and I will hang those extra joists and do the plumbing too
Too many Guinness and you may be hanging the plumbing and plumbing the joists.

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Old 09-06-2010, 6:53 PM   #8
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Feed me Guinness and I will hang those extra joists and do the plumbing too
done and DONE!
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Old 09-06-2010, 9:29 PM   #9
1mbrews8 1mbrews8 is offline
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very similar to my build! looking forward to seeing how yours turns out!
mike

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Old 09-15-2010, 2:25 PM   #10
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Okay... well, let the fun stuff begin. I've got a few new packages sitting at home a few on the way too. In the end... I had to go with a Reeflo Marlin. I guess Reeflo has discontinued the Wahoo and everyone that said it was in stock, was wrong.

So... Here's the future home of the Tank. Not a huge fan of the tile... but... I'm not ripping it up.


And the sump room:


I think I'm going to need to get creative with the plumbing as there isnt a drain in the basement... at least not that I saw. Everything is plumbed outside to a black drain pipe... but supposedly that pipe goes to the yard... no bueno for saltwater.
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Old 09-28-2010, 11:33 PM   #11
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Making some progress... slowly but surely.

Got the stand made for the sump thats going in the basement. Its 8 feet long by 3 feet deep and 30 inches high. Made from 2x4s, if you couldnt tell, and a 3/4" top.

Once I'm sure everything fits on it, I'm going to add a lip all the way around, similar to the back piece of plywood and create a catch pan. Drill some holes for PVC and have some drains to catch any overflow and send it outside. No need to have this thing overflowing into the basement.

Top and bottom frames done:


Top, bottom and legs on:


Painted with epoxy paint:

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Old 09-28-2010, 11:41 PM   #12
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Stopped by Dustin's tonight and that stand is really looking amazing. I know I'm biased, but its definitely my favorite of his builds. Its going to be stained with an espresso color. I'm definitely nervous that its too dark, but we'll see.

Also, got some work done on the fish room tonight. I put down some epoxy paint on the floor then threw some of those flecks down to help disguise some of the deterioration of the cement. I think it turned out really well... I'll try and get some pics up later.
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Old 09-29-2010, 12:04 AM   #13
Smoothie Smoothie is offline
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Wow! I think that thing would hold up my truck. Great work
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Old 09-29-2010, 1:02 PM   #14
gnashty gnashty is offline
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Dustin does great work!

I dont plumb or woodwork but Im sure you could find something for me to do....paint, run wire, personal koozie
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Old 09-29-2010, 11:33 PM   #15
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Haha! I'm not a master carpenter either, but that rocketengineer build from RC is what I sorta followed. I obviously adapted it a tad to be larger. and... a personal koozie?

I had my buddy's contractor out to the house today to look into installing the plumbing for a sink since the main drain line is actually along the ceiling of the basement... its not something I can do. He said he'd go ahead and price out doing that plumbing, installing a dedicated electrical circuit for the sump, installing the joists and then running some PVC if I wanted.

All these things I'd probably do if I had time... but without it, this could be very tempting. Of course... seeing how I'm way over budget already, I dont know if it'll be in the cards. We'll see.
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Old 09-30-2010, 1:21 AM   #16
Acroholic Acroholic is offline
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Grant, You need at least three dedicated circuits for your tank: lights, chiller, everything else. If your contractor is installing one, running the wire for two more is not that much more. Electrical equipment has a way of proliferating on a reef system.

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Old 09-30-2010, 7:59 AM   #17
gnashty gnashty is offline
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... a personal koozie?
means....I'd hold your beer while you work...
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Old 09-30-2010, 8:36 AM   #18
Crewdawg1981 Crewdawg1981 is offline
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Grant, You need at least three dedicated circuits for your tank: lights, chiller, everything else. If your contractor is installing one, running the wire for two more is not that much more. Electrical equipment has a way of proliferating on a reef system.
Hey Dave,

Not sure if I'll need the chiller yet, and its def not in the budget for this year, but I will have a dedicated circuit for the sump. The lights and vortechs will run off of a different circuit upstairs. Its not dedicated, but....

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means....I'd hold your beer while you work...
Ha!
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Old 09-30-2010, 8:36 AM   #19
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Grant, You need at least three dedicated circuits for your tank: lights, chiller, everything else. If your contractor is installing one, running the wire for two more is not that much more. Electrical equipment has a way of proliferating on a reef system.
Yes and you will want them to be 20amp GFCI's.

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Old 09-30-2010, 10:15 AM   #20
RedEDGE2k1 RedEDGE2k1 is offline
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Yes and you will want them to be 20amp GFCI's.
I disagree here, the circuit itself should not be a GFCI circuit (meaning the panel breaker is a standard breaker, not a GFCI breaker).

Ideally, the circuit itself would be a standard circuit, and the outlet gang box on the end of the circuit would have GFCI outlets. This way you can have an outlet box with four GFCI outlets, and if (when) one trips, it doesn't turn off everything connected to that circuit. The only electrical equipment that would be turned off would be the specific items connected to that specific outlet.

Dustin
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