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Thread: 80 Gallon Shallow Reef Build Thread

  1. #1
    Rotifer
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Maineville
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    80 Gallon Shallow Reef Build Thread

    Hey all,

    I took a break from the hobby a couple of years ago due to a tank which gave me a lot of trouble. I had livestock dying off in bulk, and a water overflow issue which my wife was not thrilled about. After the much needed break, I'm ready to make another attempt at a reef tank, and am starting this thread at the planning phase to get input, suggestions, etc.. Bear in mind that I have two major criteria for this tank. First, it needs to look good. My days of custom built PVC overflows are done for this build. Secondly, and the most important is that water on the floor is strictly forbidden at all costs! I want to make this as bullet proof as I can possibly do, which starts with the tank selection. So my initial thoughts are below on the equipment list for this tank. Let me know what you guys think!

    For the tank / stand / filtration:
    Innovative Marines Nuvo SR-80 tank / stand combo. This includes an 80 gallon shallow tank, 16" deep, with the overflow / sump built into the tank itself. It also includes dual return pumps, filtration socks, top screen, and some other goodies. Basically, overflow is impossible without the tank itself failing.
    Innovative Marine Ghost Skimmer (full size)

    For water flow:
    Jebao RW8 (one for now, but I will have two of them mounted on the back of the tank to keep the tank uncluttered.

    Heating:
    2x ViaAqua Titanium 300 Watt Heaters

    Lighting:
    RapidLED 75G Dimmable LED Kit
    Coralux Storm Controller (This could change to a Bluefish wireless controller in the near future)

    Monitoring:
    Neptune Apex Aquacontroller Jr. (initially to control heating elements, but will be adding Salinity and PH monitoring modules)

    Rock / Sand:
    I'm looking at ordering "The Package" from Tampa Bay Saltwater, which will include live rock, live sand, various cleanup crew, and even some sponges and corals.

    Ok, so give me your thoughts. What am I missing? Aside from dosing, of course. I'm looking at a Jebao dosing pump that will perform ongoing water changes in the tank, and something for ATO.

    Thanks!

    Chris

  2. #2
    President
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
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    Kenwood
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    Welcome back! I think you've got a great equipment list started.

    My recommendations/feedback:

    If your LEDs are going to be in a hood consider adding a retrofit kit of T5's to run along with your LEDs. I think the combo far outperforms T5's alone or LEDs alone.

    Preventing overflows is critical, I've experienced my share that's for sure! Usually the source is (I just looked up the setup of the Innovative Marine tanks, so most of these are already prevented by the combo layout of those tanks):

    Power failure, overflow siphons water into the sump, sump cannot handle the water volume from the display, water overflows into stand/flooring. Making sure that the return tubing is high in the water in the display will reduce amount of water that will siphon, preventing an overflows.

    Skimmer tipping over in sump, literally pumps water over the side of the sump and into the stand/floor. Make sure that it's impossible for the skimmer to tip over and reach over the lip of the sump. I had this happen just last year but I caught it before it did serious damage!

    ATO going haywire and overflowing the aquarium, investing in a good ATO system makes the difference. I recommend the Spectrapure UPLC-II, it's the best and most reliable that money can buy. I've been running mine for 7-8 years now.

    For dosing, consider tracking down a used Litermeter III system on Reef Central. Same as the ATO, reliability is key, the LM systems are bulletproof.

    As for the liverock and sand, your tank may have to cycle before adding corals/fish.

  3. #3
    Tang
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
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    fairfield, oh.
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    Wow that is one pricey ato. Going to keep this one on the back burner

  4. #4
    Premium Member
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    May 2005
    Location
    Wyoming Ohio
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    573
    Hello Wentlanc,

    If you are looking for a high end shallow reef ready tank I have a 150G custom acrylic tank 96" long 24" wide and 15" deep

    You are welcome to come see it or come check it out on the 14Th Kick off meeting at my home and get some free eats and have some fun.

  5. #5
    President
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    Quote Originally Posted by beginner View Post
    Wow that is one pricey ato. Going to keep this one on the back burner
    They're not cheap but it runs forever! Definitely one of those pieces of equipment you splurge on.

  6. #6
    Rotifer
    Join Date
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    Maineville
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    Quote Originally Posted by lawrence View Post
    Hello Wentlanc,

    If you are looking for a high end shallow reef ready tank I have a 150G custom acrylic tank 96" long 24" wide and 15" deep

    You are welcome to come see it or come check it out on the 14Th Kick off meeting at my home and get some free eats and have some fun.
    Hey Lawrence,

    I appreciate the offer, but I think that is longer than I have room for! I also need to make sure that I stick with the "no water leaving the tank" rule on this one. I may be interested in this kick-off meeting that you speak of. Are there details in another thread? Looking now as I ask the obvious question.

    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Rotifer
    Join Date
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    Maineville
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    Thanks Logzor! Definitely good input.

    This will be a rimless / open top tank, so I will have to work with the confines of the LED kit that I'm going with. I've built a couple of these fixtures in the past, and had excellent results with them. I'm ok with that and the shallow tank as constraints to what livestock I can put inside.

    I think I'm good to go on the skimmer, since it is a snug fit, and hooks onto the overflow, there should be 0 chance of that failure. I'm really only looking at full tank failure (shattered tank), or ATO / auto water change as failure modes.

    I'm still looking at dosing, so I will be digging into the LM systems that you've recommended. Initially, I can manually dose / top off.

    There was a thread on reefcentral where a guy build a 130 gal rimless cube, all custom, and stocked it via Tampa Bay Saltwater. They ship half of the rock and all of the sand first, then after cycling, ship the rest of the rock cleaners, and other livestock. The guy from this thread (d2mini) is a photographer, and did an amazing job photographing the entire build and stocking process. Check out the thread here. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1757436

    Thanks in advance!

  8. #8
    President
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    Quote Originally Posted by wentlanc View Post
    Thanks Logzor! Definitely good input.

    This will be a rimless / open top tank, so I will have to work with the confines of the LED kit that I'm going with. I've built a couple of these fixtures in the past, and had excellent results with them. I'm ok with that and the shallow tank as constraints to what livestock I can put inside.

    I think I'm good to go on the skimmer, since it is a snug fit, and hooks onto the overflow, there should be 0 chance of that failure. I'm really only looking at full tank failure (shattered tank), or ATO / auto water change as failure modes.

    I'm still looking at dosing, so I will be digging into the LM systems that you've recommended. Initially, I can manually dose / top off.

    There was a thread on reefcentral where a guy build a 130 gal rimless cube, all custom, and stocked it via Tampa Bay Saltwater. They ship half of the rock and all of the sand first, then after cycling, ship the rest of the rock cleaners, and other livestock. The guy from this thread (d2mini) is a photographer, and did an amazing job photographing the entire build and stocking process. Check out the thread here. http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=1757436

    Thanks in advance!
    I think the aquarium setup with the built in sump area in the back is nice, less chance for failure. That setup rules out the sump overflowing due to siphon and the skimmer tipping over.

    I always wanted to try building an LED setup, from what I'm seeing online, the LED colors have come a long way in the past few years.

    I think manual dosing is a good way to go until demand gets excessive.

    I'll check out that thread, I'm thinking of going with live rock for my next tank build. That's nice they space out the shipping so you can cycle the aquarium.

  9. #9
    Rotifer
    Join Date
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    Maineville
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    Quote Originally Posted by Logzor View Post
    I always wanted to try building an LED setup, from what I'm seeing online, the LED colors have come a long way in the past few years.
    As of now, I have a 48 LED system planned. There will be 4 dimming channels controlled by a Bluefish controller. This will let me manually adjust the level of each color channel for Royal Blue, Cool White, UV, and one Red / Green channel to adjust the lighting to the color mix and intensity that works best. It will also use the blue channel (for now) for moonlight. There is a distinct chance that I may set up a separate moonlight channel. I've recently become a big fan of RapidLED. The last fixture I built for my 120 was two 24x12" heatsinks with 48 LED's on each. I had separate dimming for white versus blue, so you had some color control. That setup was over $900 and did not include the Neptune Apex module to control it. The RapidLED build will be about $700 including the Bluefish controller!

  10. #10
    Rotifer
    Join Date
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    Ok, just a quick update. I've pulled the trigger on the orders. I made a couple of changes which I've outlined below.

    For water flow:
    Jebao RW8 (two of these instead of just one)

    Heating:
    2x ViaAqua Titanium 300 Watt Heaters

    Lighting:
    RapidLED 75G Dimmable LED Kit - Using the LDD drivers with 8 total power channels driving 2 fixtures for RoyalBlue/CoolWhite/UV/Red&Green as 4 independent color channels
    (for those interested in doing their own DIY LED, I will post diagrams of the LED Layout along with details of the RapidLED build)
    Bluefish Wireless Controller - Controls up to 6 channels of light, and provides an IOS / Android interface instead of a knob.

    Monitoring:
    Neptune Apex Aquacontroller Jr. (initially to control heating elements, but will be adding Salinity and PH monitoring modules)

    The Tank is held up in a shipping container in California right now, so that will be a bit delayed, but I'm hoping to have LEDs in this week. Were it not for 7 Lacrosse games, and an American Heart Association Mini Marathon this weekend, I'd likely have the fixture built! But we will see when things show up.



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