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I moved to Austin in August, and have been interested in getting back into the hobby. I dove in with this 75 gallon build, which I started last month, and is now finally approaching the moment of truth... (I think?) STAND: The first task was to decide on the display size and stand. My old tank was a 55 gallon, and I wanted to increase the water volume of my new tank a bit, without having too much larger of an overall footprint. I went with the 75, because its essentially the same as the 55, but with 6 more inches in the back. After looking at buying stands, I realized that I could probably just build a stand myself with better quality and the color I wanted (white) for much less than the retail stands cost. After looking at a few designs people had used successfully on reefcentral, and then speaking with my LFS, I decided to go with a simple 3/4" plywood box design. I was referred to a couple of guys who run a lumber shop off of 183 and 1431 in Cedar Park - right around the corner from where I live. They're in the business of manufacturing door frames for homebuilders and as a by-product of their design, they end up with stacks of 20" x 96" scrap plywood that they sell for $10 a piece - perfect for my 48" x 20" x 32" plywood box! I should add, that this is not your typical Home-Depot / Lowes plywood variety - it's white birch plywood, extremely well constructed stuff! After cutting it up (5 pieces was all I needed for the whole design, which included a matching canopy), the total bill came in at $64.00 (including very accurate cuts). I put a small shelf inside for electronics and after reading bean-animals page on outlet-strips, I mounted a commercial grade tripp-lite power strip inside ($35 on amazon for the 16-outlet version) http://www.beananimal.com/articles/outlet-strips.aspx I drilled 1/4 holes towards the right side of the stand where the chiller will go. The ledge beneath it holds a small stand (also built out of the same plywood) that elevates the chiller enough to put a vornado-style fan pointed straight up underneath it providing further ventilation. It also serves to place the output of the chiller exactly where I wanted it - over the return pump section of the sump.
Pulled this tank out of storage finally. Officially been running since Jan, 3 Anyways, let's get to it. THE GEAR. Lighting - 2x 150w MH 20k, 2x 96w 50/50 PC Power head - Sicce Voyager 2, MJ900 Return pump - single Mag 9.5 split for dual return (ghettofied). ONLY 29 lbs of LR, so far, I'll add more when I see rock I want. STOCKING CORALS - Changed my mind completely with this tank. Bit of everything, for now. FISH - Yellow Tang, Cleaner Wrasse, Melanarus Wrasse, Flame Angel Here's some pic's of what I got done today (finishing the rest after this thread, really was itching to type one up). Cheers , Collin