Trials and tribulations of my 125 Gallon build

Discussion in 'Plans, Ideas & Reference Material for Starting a R' started by dubs83, Jun 6, 2017.

  1. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Hello NJ Reefers!

    My name is Paul and I'd like to share my build with you. I'm from Vernon, NJ and we decided to get moving on this project a few months after we moved into our first home. The build officially started in August of 2016 and I've been lazy about posting this here. I won't go through every detail and instead provide pictures and details as to where I stand as of today.

    So, here's what I'm working with:

    Tank(s)
    125 Gallon AGA Display Tank
    40 Breeder Sump
    40 Breeder Quarantine Tank
    20 Gallon Refugium
    Water mixing station (2) 35 Gallon storage containers

    Equipment
    • Display Tank (125 Gallon)
      • Lighting - (2) Reef Breeder Photon V2
      • Reef Synergy Shadow Overflow
        • Neptune Systems Apex 2016
        • WXM (to control MP40s)
        • PM2 (additional temp reading along with ability to temp correct salinity)
      • (2) VorTech MP40
    Filtration
    • Sump (40b)
      • Mechanical Filtration/Nutrient Export via (6) 100/200 micron filter socks replaced every 3-4 days
      • Skimmer - Reef Octopus Regal 250INT
      • Heaters - (1) Finnex 300w and (1) Finnex 500w titanium heaters
      • (1) Jebao DP4 Dosing Pump
      • (1) Jebao DCT 8000 Pump (Reactor Manifold)
      • (1) Emperor Aquatics 40w UV Sterilizer
      • (1) PhosBan reactor (running GFO)
      • (1) BRS media reactor (running BRS rox carbon)
      • (2) Neptune MPR Probe Holders
      • (3) Neptune PMUPs
        • (2) PMUPs used for daily Automatic Water Changes (AWC) of 8gpd
        • (1) PMUP used for Automatic Top Off (ATO)
      • Return Pump - Iwaki RLT75
    • Refugium (20g)
      • LED Growlight
      • Marine Pure 8x8x4 block
      • Chaeto for nutrient export
      • (1) Hydor Koralia 425
    Quarantine (40b)
    • Marineland 350 HOB
    • Heater - (1) Finnex 300w titanium heater
    Water Changes
    • RO/DI
      • BRS 150GPD RO/DI unit
        • (1) Sediment Filter, (2) Carbon Blocks, 150GPD RO memberanes, (2) DI resin filters
    • Water Mixing Station
      • (2) 35 Gallon water storage containers (1 for RODI/ATO storage and 1 for saltwater mixing/AWC)
      • (2) Jebao PP4 powerheads for mixing saltwater
      • (1) Little Giant 2MDQX for water mixing and transfer
    Test Kits
    • Hanna Phosphate ULR checker
    • Hanna Alkalinity checker
    • Hanna Calcium checker
    • Red Sea Reef Foundation Test Kit
    • Milwaukee Digital Refractometer
    Okay, that should cover the equipment. Now, onto the brief catching up and a ton of pics. I'll try to point out where I'm planning future changes and what I wish I had done differently.

    The Tank
    [​IMG]

    Sump before baffles
    [​IMG]

    Sump with baffles installed. In retrospect, I wish I had oriented the drain section and socks differently. Running lengthwise would have allowed for a cleaner set up. You will see what I mean later.
    [​IMG]
    I used a router to cut the holes for 4" socks along with a lip for the socks to sit flush against the holder.
    [​IMG]

    The display tank was gifted to me, as you can see the seams needed some love.
    [​IMG]
    Used momentiv RVT or RTV, I don't recall but went with black
    [​IMG]
    Sump was drilled for two 1" bulkheads. One is the external return pump (Iwaki RLT75) and the other is for the internal manifold pump (DCT 8000)
    [​IMG]
    ...and the leak test with the help of the best helper on the planet.
    [​IMG]

    That's it for now! Up next, placement and the construction!
     

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  2. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Placement and Construction

    We picked the place in our living room. The girlfriends biggest concern, the noise and "don't these things smell" Solution- "I'm going to cut into the basement and keep all the smelly stuff down there." This brought up another problem for her... "I don't want to look at it, though." Solution- "I'm way ahead of you!"

    Placement: The couch will be replaced with the tank.
    [​IMG]

    The problem is it runs parallel to the joists below.
    [​IMG]

    One of the joists already sits on a weight bearing stud wall. I decided to sister the first joist visible from the window and support it with two jacks.
    Applying adhesive before bolting the new joist
    [​IMG]
    Bolted down
    [​IMG]

    Framing out the 12x8 room
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    I installed two dedicated 20amp circuits and ran the wiring. The room has three switches as you walk in. First is the light. Second and third switch is a kill switch for each circuit.
    [​IMG]
    Room was then insulated.
    [​IMG]
    Sheet rock was hung. I left one panel off in order to plumb from upstairs into the new fish room
    [​IMG]
    I placed all receptacles to avoid water dripping. Then the support jacks showed up.
    [​IMG]
     

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  3. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Messages:
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    Here are the jacks, installed.
    [​IMG]

    With the room coming together, I installed an LED fixture
    [​IMG]

    I secretly cut a hole in the floor and used a floor register to hide it until the tank came up. No one noticed!
    [​IMG]
    I used bulkheads and eventually flex pvc to join the bulkheads between floors.
    Here it is with the temp floor register
    [​IMG]
    Last sheetrock panel was up and the room began taking shape (I don't have any pics of this)
    Building the stand
    Pocket holes!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    The strength test!
    [​IMG]
    Room was painted
    [​IMG]

    Drain line that's plumbed outside

    [​IMG]

    Bulkheads plumbed from upstairs.
    [​IMG]

    Okay. Flooring is stand finishing is next! Stay tuned!
     

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  4. trio91

    trio91 Director at Large Board of Directors NJRC Member

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    Great start to a build @dubs83 ...did you post this on another site by chance? i feel like i have seen this before
     
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  5. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Messages:
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    Thanks! Yes. This is up on Reef2Reef but I've been harassed to post it up over here (rightfully so). Hoping to meet more folks in the area and trade some knowledge. I'll update this to where t currently sits and try and get more detailed as to the problems and success, if any, I'm experiencing!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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  6. redfishbluefish

    redfishbluefish Officer Emeritus Officer Emeritus NJRC Member

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    Nice documentation! Welcome to NJRC.
     
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  7. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Thanks!
     
  8. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Messages:
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    Flooring and Furnishings

    Finally, getting the tiled down!
    [​IMG]

    Freshly grouted
    [​IMG]

    On to the sump stand. This is another piece of this build I wish I had slowed down on. I built a main platform for the 40b sump and a slightly elevated platform next to it for the refugium. In retrospect, I wish I had made the sump out of a 75 gallon tank and used the 40b as a refugium. This is or will be at some point in the works.
    [​IMG]

    Here it is finished in the fish room. I painted it white and lined the plywood with a vinyl flooring runner. It has channels in it and won't allow water to make contact with the wood. I think I picked mine up at Home Depot. Used vinyl flooring glue to make a pretty robust bond between the plywood and runner.
    [​IMG]

    Then, being that this was in mid December, Santa showed up early and dropped off:
    Mixing station
    [​IMG]
    Goodies
    [​IMG]
    Two of these reef breeders
    [​IMG]
    and two MP40s
    [​IMG]

    After the holiday, I got back to work. I hate the smell of PVC more than just about anything.
    [​IMG]
     

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  9. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Plumbing

    This is another part of the build I wish I spent a few more days on. This involves reconfiguring the sump a bit and eventually the plumbing will be cleaned up.

    The initial connection between the first floor and the fish room below.
    [​IMG]

    All pipes are 1". The three on the left are the drains and the one on the right is the return. The drains go as follows in a traditional beananimal style drain from left to right. Emergency, Open and Full Siphon.
    [​IMG]
    Manifold has been plumbed along with the return pump.
    [​IMG]

    Here are the drains and some of the refugium plumbing. Again, not as clean as I'd want it but I'll be making some changes later in the year. The two 20longs on top were meant to be water change tanks but I've since scrapped the idea. Thoseare no longer in use and I plan on using the top shelf for a frag tank at some point in the future.
    [​IMG]
    Now, let the rocks cook in some RODI water and hopes of releasing whatever PO4 maybe attached to them.
    [​IMG]

    The same day, I added the first two fish to the QT tank.
    [​IMG]

    Apex board.
    [​IMG]

    With the water change station in view.
    [​IMG]

    And a panorama of the complete fish room.
    [​IMG]

    Next is the stand!
     

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  10. njtiger24 aquariums

    njtiger24 aquariums SECRETARY Board of Directors NJRC Member

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    nice build man and welcome
     
  11. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

    Joined:
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    The Stand

    As always it starts with a mess. We weren't sure and went back and forth between what we were hoping for. The girlfriend wanted something barnyardy so ,ofcourse, in order to keep the hobby a live, She got it.

    Here's the mess.
    [​IMG]

    Starting to come together. It's wrapped in 3/4 plywood all the way around.
    [​IMG]

    The doors we wanted to slide apart like barn doors. Here's what they came out like.
    [​IMG]
    And with the trim.
    [​IMG]

    Painted the inside white.
    [​IMG]

    and then finished the hood. Just needed to paint the trim
    [​IMG]

    It was then time to drag everything upstairs! We were close. After 4 months of planning and working
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Okay, it's dinner time. Stay tuned for the final update! It should bring us to where we stand today!

    Paul
     

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  12. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Okay, tank is upstairs.

    Sand is in!
    [​IMG]

    Rock work is out... let the scape begin. To be honest, I was petrified of this step. But the pieces of Pukani sent by BRS were perfect. This is honestly, the first go at it and we loved it.
    [​IMG]
    Left side of the tank
    [​IMG]
    Right side of tank
    [​IMG]
    FTS
    [​IMG]
    Almost there!
    [​IMG]

    Now... the hood. You can see it in the bottom portion of the above picture.

    Here's what it looked like, and we weren't really feeling it.
    [​IMG]

    In our opinion, it looks some what out of place. It also leaves that massive open space above the tank. We had tossed around the idea of a floating canopy, or wires but it wasn't really what we were going for. Another member here suggested using iron or steel pipe and showed us his plans. It immediately clicked as to what we wanted to accomplished. More on this later.

    It's full! and it's not leaking!

    [​IMG]
     

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  13. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Hood solution

    Okay, to the hood solution.

    I ended up ripping the front of the hood off and hanging above the tank. This accomplished three things: it allowed us to stick with the theme; it gave us a base to attach the lights to; it filled up the empty space above the tank.

    [​IMG]

    Then, I ran out to the hardware store and purchased these gas pipes... and got to work. Here are the hanging brackets:
    [​IMG]

    I took a 5" piece of threaded rod and stuck it into the T of each bracket. I wrapped the rigging wire onto the rod and secured the lights that way. Then we hung up the brackets onto the front of the hood, now hanging on the wall.
    [​IMG]

    And the lights are now attached.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    and lit!
    [​IMG]


    Okay, build is complete... now the trials and tribulation. I'll post what I'm currently battling in the next post... I'll try to do that today, but for now... I'm off to work on the deck before it decides to rain again.
     

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  14. trio91

    trio91 Director at Large Board of Directors NJRC Member

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    Nice idea with the hood
     
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  15. Altohombre

    Altohombre Active Member

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    Looks great!
     
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  16. NyteGTI

    NyteGTI Active Member NJRC Member

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    This looks awesome, following along
     
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  17. justingraham

    justingraham Member NJRC Member

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    Yea wonder where you got that idea from @dubs83

    Brings back memories I forgot about ur build.
     
  18. freshoffthegrill

    freshoffthegrill Active Member NJRC Member

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    Awesome build.

    Sent from my XT1080 using Tapatalk
     
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  19. dubs83

    dubs83 Member NJRC Member

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    Thanks for all the great comments.

    So as of today this is what we are looking at.
    [​IMG]

    I'll explain-

    I've been battling some algae. I've assumed they're diatoms to dinos and briopsis but to be completely honest, I'm not 100% sure. Here are some photos.
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

    I've been testing my water religiously and consistently come up with:
    Temp 77.6-78F
    pH 8.2-8.3
    Ammonia 0
    Nitrite 0
    Nitrate 2
    Phosphates 0.02
    Mg 1340
    Alk 8.4
    Calcium 430

    My approach to this is try and starve the algae out. So, tank has been dark for 4 days now. I've cut back on feeding and increased water changes to 12 gallons a day. Fresh carbon and GFO with the fuge light on 24/7 to off set the pH swing. I've also noticed some rust forming on the pipes I used to support the light which I'm worried maybe finding its way into the tank.

    I will be dismantling the support and sanding down any rust then coating it with some water based poly. Hopefully that'll stop it.

    Also, this is my first time dealing with well water and I exhaust 2 canisters of DI resin in about 100-120 gallons of water. I'll be adding another tank to the water change station to degas the CO2 from The RO water then feeding it through the DI resin.

    This is some what of a set back and disappointment to be honest as I've been as careful as possible with selecting corals, fish and clean up crew to what my tank can support. I thought I checked every box and it's hard to motivate when you don't see success, considering the time and energy that was put into this project. I'm finding some new motivation, though, and with that a different approach. I'll try and run this for a while as a softy tank and once things stabilize, I'll dive into SPS again.

    Stay tuned!



    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  20. SomethingFishy

    SomethingFishy Member NJRC Member

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    Great build, very inspiring for my upcoming build. Don't get upset on the algae, I think we all have been through some plagues in our tanks. Nothing good happens fast lol
    Again great build
     
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