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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm Back.
I’ve been contemplating about building an aquarium for years. I’ve had my on and off days wondering if, as a college student, I could support myself both financially and physically with the extra burden of a fish tank on my shoulders. Back in 2012 I started my first Nano, and my first ever experience with saltwater aquaria had begun. Two years later, I got rid of the tank. Ever since, my fingers have been parched and only the salty waters of a new aquarist adventure would quench them.

Today, I am happy to report that after a long contemplative thought process, I have decided to begin the first steps into the largest aquarium I have ever owned. Yes — finally, it’s time to start my own build thread amongst all the amazing aquariums, people, and enthusiasm of TheReefTank. I am excited to be able to share the beginnings of a new chapter in my aquarium obsession.

Welcome everyone to:


Logistical Disclaimer.
As a Junior in college, I will be updating this thread primarily on a weekend basis as that’s when I have the most available free time. I plan on finishing the build late Spring to early Summer, of course, I’ll document everything along the way. I will try to respond and contribute whenever I can throughout the week.

The Glass Box.
Size: 92 Actual Gallons — 59" Long, 20" Wide, 22" Tall. 5/8" Ultra-Clear Glass
I knew that if I wanted a new aquarium setup, it simply had to be rimless. I want the tank itself to be as much of a feature statement in our home as the inhabitants themselves, and I personally really like the look of fine polished glass beside shimmering water.

At first, I was thinking of going the custom route, but I was under serious sticker shock about how expensive rimless custom aquariums actually are. For a time, I was discouraged of doing anything because of the startup costs. Last week, I caught glimpse of an aquarium store liquidating their leftover inventory and I spotted a Red Sea Reefer 450, tank only, that looked simply incredible. It was beyond perfect for my needs and I took it home for $500.

The Equipment.
So far, all I have are a few basics and I am still researching and deciding what exactly I will use in terms of filtration. Here is the list of what I currently am in the process of purchasing.

Tunze Osmolator 3155
Aqueon Pro Heaters
CaribSea Oolite Sand
BulkReefSupply Pukani & Reef Saver Rock
Current E-Flux DC Return Pump, 1900GPH
Stand — Most likely custom build by myself.
Sump — Retro or scratch build.
Skimmer — a really big one.
Lighting — LED’s
Controller — Not sure about this, but maybe.
Dosing — Jebao
Power Heads — Jebao
And other miscellaneous things. Feel free to chime in recommendations!

It’s a Wrap.
So far that’s it! I just wanted to say a special thank you to each and everyone here on TRT, you all are amazing at what you do and I would like to extend my sheer and upmost respect for everyone who finds the time and willingness to help, criticize, and shape any individual into a true aquarist.
 

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Shark..but a friendly one
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16,014 Posts
:beer::popcorn::pint:
Hack
 

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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 · (Edited)
:beer::popcorn::pint:
Hack
Thanks for Joining!

:thumbup:And now the party begins. Diggin the rimless tank
Me too! Thanks for the compliment.

Ooooh, and very nice graphics too!
Appreciate that! I want to look back on this thread in a few years and relive the excitement.


Skimmer is in.
My skimmer came in earlier than expected and I decided to go ahead and pick it up. What did I choose?

I went with the E-Shopps AXIUM X-350 because I wanted something with a large body for a really long contact time. E-Shopps just came out with a new line and I decided to give it a shot!



I must say, however, my initial reaction is not too optimistic.

Firstly, it's huge — and I like huge. Sadly that's where the positive variables take a pause.


The build quality for this skimmer is somewhat poor, particularity the bubble filled seams. Secondly, my Sicce pump is the standard grey color and doesn't match the entire design of the skimmer — note the pump is advertised as white. I called eshopps and am waiting to hear back on if I can get that exchanged. I was told that they rushed the units to market prior to receiving their shipments of white bodied pumps. :doh:

They should call me back with more info within the next few hours.


Additionally, the pump has no rubber or vibration absorbing mounts; in fact, there are no vibration reducing qualities at all! There are no rubber pads, feet, anything to muffle the Sicce 1200

My main complaint, however, is the ridiculous excuse for a bubble plate. I mean, what is this thing! It's designed with function over form, any form for that matter. It's just a standard CNC cut eshopps logo. It begs the question, why? I really don't understand how eshopps, who is trying to revive the entire brand, made this fatal error.



I will sit on this for a moment while I concentrate on my Finance exam tomorrow morning. I might just go ahead and return this skimmer so I can go with what I wanted in the first place, a Skimz Monzter. What do you guys think?
 

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Sponge
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2,333 Posts
I ran an eshopps skimmer for awhile. Then my return pump messed up so I robbed the skimmers pump. Haven't used my skimmer in 6 months. I never could dial it in right.
 

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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh, sorry to hear that...I'm surprised it lacks in quality

And...yes, your thread will be a classic when looked at later. I do that every once in a while to remember when I got the tank running and started the journey.
I am just as surprised. Completely unexpected for a $400(+) MSRP Skimmer.

I ran an eshopps skimmer for awhile. Then my return pump messed up so I robbed the skimmers pump. Haven't used my skimmer in 6 months. I never could dial it in right.
I don't think this particular Generation 4 skimmer will have any adjustment issues. The gate valve is very accommodating to even minutiae settings so I'm sure it will be nice and steady. It's a shame because the body seems to have the ability of really holding some foam — it might make an excellent skimmer after a few modifications. :cool:

Is the tank going to be at your college home or home home?
Home Home. I chose to attend my local State University which is only 10 miles away, as the burden of student loans was not something I wanted to rack up for a credential worth not much more than my local offerings. Plus, nothing beats moms cooken'... I'm such a freeloader.
 

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Sponge
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2,333 Posts
Haha I wish I had done the same. I went to morehead state university for 2 years. Now I'm wishing I would have went to my hometown college as it would have been cheaper. But it was fun. Looking forward to your progress
 

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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Haha I wish I had done the same. I went to morehead state university for 2 years. Now I'm wishing I would have went to my hometown college as it would have been cheaper. But it was fun. Looking forward to your progress
Thanks for the wishes!

QUICK UPDATE!

Busy day today, however, I got some mail so the excitement kept me on the edge... I will open it all up and log whats inside tomorrow!



In other news, I got to return the eshopps skimmer... dogged a bullet on that one. :2gunsfiring: I'm shopping around and researching options, leaning towards a Skimz but I am open to any and all considerations!

Spring Break Itinerary

During spring break I want to see if I can actually craft something out of wood; thus, I will attempt to build a stand for a 20 gallon aquarium that I will use for a quarantine system. I've always loved working with wood and I am so excited to have a go!

That's all for now, I'll see ya'll tomorrow!
 

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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
So here are a few goodies I received throughout the week. I am so ridiculously excited. :blob:

Just Random Stuff


BRS RO/DI Upgrade kit and a Tunze Osmolator! I never even seen one of these ATO's in person before... It's so awesome to be the owner of one.


Just a few random woodworking tools... I also got a little router table coming in! :agree:

The windshield repair kit is for the chip in the tank that I think was my fault... I only noticed it when I got the tank into the house. Ouch. :eek:


The Lighting System

So here is the main pièce de résistance, my new LED's! I went with the AI Hydra 26HD!



Interesting week with these lights though, here's what happened: I sold three AI 26HD lights to a client and all one of them had a defective WiFi driver with a white (Red/Green/Blue) LED status symbol. I was at their home all day yesterday — 900 Gallon Aquarium! — connecting and reconnecting, trying to figure out what was wrong until we called AI and got a notice that this is a WiFi module defect. AI was extremely helpful and without hesitation said they would ship a replacement with a return label. Shout out to Toth! Anyways, I thought "no problem, I got my three lights at home, I'll swing by tomorrow and get him a new light." Two hours later the client called and said another light was doing the same thing! So today I was at his home since 6am trying to make things right so he would stick with AquaIllumination Lights as it was looking like he was going to go with a different route. I gave him all three of my LED's and took all the defects. I must say this was incredibly strange and somewhat disenchant for what I assume is a quality product.

I've never had a problem with AI's customer service so I have a feeling that everything will all be taken care of soon.

Moving forward, I have a question.
Will I be able to grow most coral in my 20" water depth with Two Hydra 26HD's? I am very unfamiliar with LED fixtures', Lux, Spectral, and PAR outputs. I am planning for my aquascape be minimal and will be the "two island" approach.
 

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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
AquaArtSho - I can't help with the lights sorry, but I love the minimalist look...I tried 2 islands in my BC29...loved it.
Thanks! Still conceptualizing the whole aquascape in my head, but it's not coming out right. How are you liking your Razor fixture?
 

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Just a Fishy
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601 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Its awesome, bit pricy by comparison...wish I could control it with my Apex. Oh and they shutdown on me twice recently...but came back?
Well, that's much more convenient than going completely black with a white indicator light. How are your SPS faring with them? I noticed in your build you added some in, yet I couldn't catch if there was a post updating on their growth.
 
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