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150 Gal XT - A DIY Guide & Build

Neon Reefer

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150 Gal XT Build

By Neon Reefer

Goal: 150 gallon build- quality grade tank and stand w/ a 40G sump.

You guys already know I am a DIY builder and have previously done a 75 G and a 40 G build both on a shoe string. My goal this time is to do a 150 build utilizing some new equipment, some used equipment purchased here on our ARC forum, with some equipment from my DIY shop. This tank build will include a how to format for individual DIY projects you may have.

Tank 150 G (48L x 24D x 30H) Marineland Perfecto 2 years old purchased for $60 as a leaker. This tank had several leaks on the bottom but only a couple of light scratches on one side from rock. Otherwise is a nearly new tank simply requiring some TLC.


Sealing the tank

Drilling the tank.

Prepping for the drilling process

Drilling process

Installing and testing the bulkheads

Building the hood

Building the stand

Building the Manifold

Building the Sump

The Dosing Pumps & ATO

The Finished Product

Adjustments at install


1.) Sealing the tank

After picking up the tank from a club members house and delivering to the shop I placed it on the work bench and proceeded to scrape out the existing silicon down to the bare glass to include utilizing acetone to remove the silicon residue. Using a box cutter and a razor scraper, layers of old silicon are removed by 1st scraping the silicon from edge to seam from both directions with a razor blade and then carefully cutting across each seam at midline with a box cutter. Pulling from the cross cut towards each corner will then remove the bulk of old silicon; and then rubbing with the acetone will remove and soften remaining residue. After initial removal continue to scrape seams and utilize acetone between scrapings 4X until there is only bare glass and no old silicon residue. New silicon will only bond well with glass and not so well to old silicon thus the reason I remove any silicon I can reach. The most important thing to remember when resealing a tank is the glass must be very clean.


Now it is time to tape up the tank in preparation to laying down the new silicon. I used wide frog style painters tape for this job placing nice straight lines of tape with a ½ wide gap for new seams. Just like painting, the quality of resealing the tank comes in the prep done prior to laying down the silicon. Laying down the silicon is pretty easy using my Ryobi electric caulking gun. I use GE Pure Silicon I Clear for these wide seams. Black can be used but is a little harder to find in the HD stores. Regardless of your color choice be sure you use a pure silicon with no additives such as mildew inhibitors as these are a real no for saltwater invert inhabitants. I set my gun to medium and laid down a continuous bead about the size of a triple A battery, only stopping momentarily to change the tube of silicon when empty. As said laying down the silicon is easy, but must be done quickly as you only have about 5 minutes to get it done and start pulling the tape before the silicon starts to crust on the tape. If the silicon crusts even a little when you pull the tape it will pull the silicon out and leave some unsightly little tabs on your nice straight line. So after quickly laying the bead of silicon down and I run my gloved finger along each seam a couple of times to flatten the silicon along the seam, force into the seam and remove any excess; I also began quickly and carefully pulling the tape. I suggest having a helper on hand to go behind you as you flatten the seams to quickly pull the tape lines behind you on a larger tank like this. Nothing left to do but let it cure for 5 days. This whole process from beginning to end, scrapping to caulking on this size tank requires about 10 hours labor. On Thursday after work I filled the tank and dusted with powder to look for any leaks. Left tank filled three days. The following Sunday I was ready to drill the tank.

Note: I use GE I pure silicon and this product is similar to Marineland Silicon like found on most commercially produced tanks who utilize a wide seam. Some higher end tanks utilize a ¼ bead of silicon creating seams barely visible upon inspection. This type of seam does require silicon with a higher bonding value like Momentive RTV100.


2.) Drilling the tank.

Prepping for the drilling process


The first thing is to determine if the tank has any or all tempered panels. Tempered panels cannot be drilled. The best way to do this is to call the manufacturer with information about the tank. All tanks have a sticker somewhere on them with a code and a date. This information along with the dimensions of the tank is all that is needed for the technical or engineering department of the manufacturer to tell you if some or all the panels are tempered. I located the sticker under the left side front top frame recorded the information and called Marineland and got an engineer on the phone who was happy to look up the information for me. Good news as no panels on this tank were tempered. He also said in most cases on large tanks any glass 10mm and over manufactured by Marineland will rarely be tempered. With this in hand I still used the layman way to tell is glass is tempered. In an area of low ambient light place a polarized light source behind the glass. This can be any LED screen such as a laptop or a smart phone. Then look thru a pair of polarized sun glasses. If all you see is a regular screen then no tempered glass. But if you see distortions normally looking like black or gray bars running across the picture then it is tempered glass. Great news I saw no distortions. To verify my results and insure I was actually utilizing polarized sunglasses I looked at a known piece of tempered glass, the side glass of my newer model automobile with the light source and the sunglasses. I saw the distortions verifying the sunglasses show actual distortions when viewing tempered glass.


Next determine the size of the hole wanted to fit any particular bulkhead you want to utilize. Remember bulkheads are listed in size by the passage size thru the bulkhead and the fitting that can be placed into it. The hole needed to install the bulkhead will be significantly larger than the listed size of the bulkhead and is normally noted in millimeters. IE my 1 ½ bulkhead required a 60mm hole. Not all same sized bulk heads will require the same size hole, so be sure to know before you drill. In my case I want to install the new H2Overflow and anti-siphon returns so I purchased the entire kit including the two diamond coated boring bits and a template to determine exactly where to drill.


First determine where you need to drill. A couple of simple guidelines is try to never drill closer to a seam than 2 and try to never drill two or more holes closer than 3. And only drill as many holes as absolutely needed. The more you drill the more you weaken the integrity of the glass. The only reason we can drill our tanks in the first place is because the glass is grossly over engineered. Holes closer to the top weaken the structure less than holes drilled in the bottom where the bulk of the weight is located. Buy or build a jig to guide you thru the process, this is done utilizing a small square or rectangle of ¾ plywood. Measure the holes from the frame or if frameless from the edge of glass from two directions if in a corner and one direction if not a corner and transfer onto the plywood measuring exactly the same. Then drill with a hole saw to the same dimensions as the diamond hole saw. Next cut a small V shape with the smaller end of the V opening into the hole. This will allow you to place a water source on the bit while drilling.

Now firmly attach the jig in place to the tank with bar clamps or with the clear packing tape used in dispensers. Note if using the packing tape be sure to wet the glass first as his stuff is really hard to peel off glass. The water gives it just enough damping to stick but yet peel off easily. Just make sure the jig is firmly in place. Take your diamond hole saw and place into the jig. Using a marker mark the hole saw at the top of jig. Take out the saw and now measure from the line on blade towards the stem of saw the exact number of mms the glass you are drilling and make another mark all the way around the blade. This way when you are drilling and this line approaches the top of jig you will know when to slow down and ease up on the drill as not to chip out the back of glass. Next apply the water source using a garden house clamped or taped in place where the water flows into the V and hole in your jig.

Place the drill in the jig and with a cordless drill (Do not use a corded drill and a water source together as this is an electrocution hazard.) on high mode begin drilling with only the force of the weight of the drill. Once the drill water begins to produce a little white color you can slowly rock the drill ever so slightly still leaving the weight only of the drill as pressure. You will see more white material in the water falling from the jig. This is an indication it is moving thru the glass. As the line on the bit approaches the top of the jig stop rocking and make sure the drill is in perpendicular alignment to the glass so the drill will go thru the glass evenly and prevent a chipping out of glass on the back side.

I prefer two things when I drill. I like to drill in a downward position instead of drilling in front of me this way near the end I can utilize the centering level found on the end of most cordless drills to insure I am exactly perpendicular to my glass. And I like to drill from the side where the gasket is going to go. So some applications will require drilling from the inside of the tank and some from the outside of the tank. It takes approximately 3+ minutes of continuous drilling time to drill a hole in 10 mm glass once started. A bit will cost approximately $20 and is only good for 3 5 holes depending on thickness of glass. Since Im drilling 12 mm glass My drilling time is about 5 minutes and my bit would be good for three holes. And once you are thru drilling, DO NOT run your finger in the hole to check it, as glass holes, their cut outs and shavings are frequently sharp. Use fine grit sandpaper to smooth the edge of the cut if needed. Upon inspection a small amount of chip out is normal and will not affect your sealing with the bulkhead. If there is significant chip out then use some silicon when applying the bulk head. Some do this anyway.


3.) Installing and testing the bulkheads


Now that the holes are drilled it is time to clean out any shavings, sand the rough edges if needed and install the bulkhead Bulkheads are usually in three parts. The male threaded side. The female threaded nut, and the gasket. The bulkhead can be installed from either direction depending on the application. IME it is always best to place the gasket on the side opposite of the nut. When installing the bulk head some people also like to place silicon between the gasket and the glass. Be sure to tighten the nut appropriately, tighter is NOT always better. Simply tighten the nut as tight as you can with your hand and then turn it ¼ turn more with a wrench, but NO more. Over flattening the gasket from over tightening the nut will cause it to leak.

Once the bulk heads are installed it is time to install the overflow(s) and return(s). Most types of overflows you decide on will be installed with silicon. However I am using a pre-made H2Overflow as seen in the pictures. I chose this overflow for its clean look simplicity and lack of need for a box any other tank side plumbing like stand pipe, Durso, Herbie or other bell style plumbing. Once your corner, center or coast to coast overflow whether internal or external are installed and cured along with any needed tank side plumbing, the system is now ready to check for leaks. You can attach some temporary hoses for drain and fill and run thru a pump once the tank is filled. I use anything like an ice chest as the sump to place the pump in. If the bulk heads are leak free I will run this way for a day to make sure all is good. The tank is now ready to place on the stand.


4.) Building the stand


Simply put the stand is designed to provide a stable, flat and level surface for the tank to sit on. The size and shape of the tank will of course dictate the shape and needed strength of the stand. The stand must not only bear the weight of the aquarium, the water and the rock; but do so without any type of warping or bowing. A stand that cannot support without twisting, bowing or warping will surly contribute to the tank leaking, as the seams of a tank cannot bear any pressure from this type of structural searing or stress. Whereas the foot print of the tank dictates the needed dimensions of the top of the stand, the height of the tank dictates the structural support needed to bear the weight associated with the weight of the water. Take for instance a standard 48 long X 24 deep tank that is 18 high = a 90 G tank. The weight of water is 8.34 lbs. per gallon so 90 x 8.34 = 750.6 lbs. Now the same footprint of 48L x 24D but 31High = 154G @ 8.34 lbs. per gallon = 1284 lbs. or an additional 534lbs. This plus the additional glass weight and rock can easily accumulate an additional 700 lbs. on the same dimensional foot print. Therefore more strength in the stand is needed.

This idea is particularly important in pre manufactured stands as they rely on more real engineering instead of bulked up materials. The high costs associated with materials means manufacturers utilize engineering to work with thinner and less board feet of material. So when it says 90 gallon stand and you put a 150XT on it, most likely you are exceeding the weight standard for the stand and subjecting the aquarium to additional shearing and / or torsion stresses, because the uprights on the stand are bowing which in turn over time can cause leaking or catastrophic aquarium failure.

For my build I calculated the weight my stand would need to bear for my new 150 XT to be ~ 1,780 lbs. total to include the tank, contents and the hood. I like working w/ 2 x 4 framing and having a little basic knowledge whereby in general the load capacity of a standard 2x4 non dense pine stud is usually estimated at 608 lbs. of stress from the end (as on the top of a leg), but as little as 475 lbs. stress without any bending which is what I utilize. There is far too much structural engineering involved for me to understand much less explain, but with this in hand I know I will at least be over building. I will be utilizing a 2x4 engineered frame covered in 1x4 select pine. Since an engineered beam is far superior in strength to the sum of its parts I know I will have a support structure far exceeding the strength needed to support my aquarium.

I like to build open backs without any center support and in a 48 application a single ½ beam would suffice. A ½ beam consist of a centered 2x4 mounted on the edge centered to a 2x4 flat side. Once glued and screwed together it has a synergistic affect much greater than the individual parts. I went ahead and used a double half beam which includes two 2x4s mounted flat sides together with a third mounded flat across the two vertical edges. I use this because the finish side works better in the application of the 1x4 finish. I build the beam so that each end will sit ½ on top of the post, the other ½ besides the post and the top of the beam resting on top of the entire corner. This is easily accomplished by reducing the inside 2x4 by the width of the post and extending the top by one width of the post, and also by notching the post by one 2x4 width. The posts each consists of a 2x4 x edge to a 2x4 x flat to form an L. I first build the rear beam and attach to 2 posts. Then I build the front support which consists of two 2 x4s attached like the posts. I then tie them together with the side supports built like the posts and where the front beam has the down side of the L facing inwards.

To build the bottom frame I now screw 4 measured and cut 2x4s together to form a rectangle the size of the entire length of the upper frame but only the inside measurements of the width of the upper frame with one centered 2x4 spanning the short length of the bottom frame. This way once completed I can slip it thru one end of the upper frame between the posts and screw together from the inside, forming the bottom supports for the frame, the uprights to be installed on the front, the end panels to be put on each side of the outside ends and the plywood bottom on which the sump will sit.


The only construction left is to install the ¼ finished on one side plywood to the ends of the stand and the uprights on the front of the stand by toe nailing them in place. The location and number of the uprights is determined by the size and number of doors on the front of the stand. One upright centered for two doors and two up rights for three doors. Lastly install your trim onto the sides first then the front overlapping with the trim on the front to better hide the seams. A hint for doors is to utilize old cabinet doors; I always have a supply of these on hand for this. Im the guy you see on the side of the road with his cordless drill taking off doors from cabinets going to the scrap pile. Ha! No pride here when it comes to free useable parts. Besides building quality looking doors is the hardest part to get right without specialty tools which most of us dont have. But the simplest way to build those doors is to take some1 x 3 lap trim and cut 4 pieces to fit the size of the door you want. Dry fit them together and carefully take the measurements from the inside of the ¼ drop in the trim utilize the same measurements on the same type ¼ one side finished plywood you used on the sides of the stand between the frame and the trim. Cut a piece the size of the measurements. Take some 1x3 trim and cut so the top and bottom pieces fit inside the uprights to form the size of the door. Glue the flat insides of the lap trim to the unfinished side of the ¼ plywood and the 1x3 to the finished side of the ¼ plywood and nail from the inside. Run a hand router w/ a fluted bit on the outside of the trim and whoalaa you have a finished door. Easier to find an old cabinet door right? Last thing is to add a 6 plywood plate to the rear inside top of the stand where I will hang my three BRS dosing pumps.

The rest is all about filling cracks, sanding and painting. If you want to stain you have to use stainable material. If painting dont waste your money on select stain grade wood unless like me you want no knot holes and a whole lot less filling and sanding. Another tip for painting is skip the oil base and go with Latex. Its a whole lot easier to work with and now there are agents which you can add to the paint to retard or slow the drying process which means a harder finish and smooths out nicely without spraying. You can roll the paint with a short pile roller or a quality foam roller and no brush marks. Lowes carries a door and cabinet 6 foam roller kit comes complete with roller foam pad and paint roller tray for a few bucks. They also carry the foam rollers only for cabinets and doors which have a smooth finish and the ends are made like rounded tips for corners and moldings.


4.) Building the hood.

For this project I am going to build my signature hood which features a floating frame to hide the tanks top frame with no wood below the tanks top plastic frame as my water level is going to be high in this build, much like on a frameless tank. In addition I am going to utilize my wooden hinge pins so the entire lid will tilt out of the way taking the lights with it to give me better access to the inside of the tank. The floating frame will consist of 1 X 3 on front and two sides with the back making the full height of the top utilizing 1 X 12. This will hang on a 1 X2 screwed and glued horizontally onto the 1 X 3 so no part of the hanging wood frame will be inside the tank or below the top plastic frame on the tank and the outside tank frame is covered..

This will also provide enough strength to the floating frame once installed to re-enforce the top frame on the tank so that I can remove the center plastic brace running across the middle of the tank. This brace will be removed, therefore eliminating the shadow affect and allowing me to place my H2Overflow at a height that will fill the tank above the bottom of the tanks frame line. This means however in future applications the tank cannot be filled without the top floating frame in place or without being Euro braced with glass.

The hood itself will be comprised of three panels made from ¼ finished plywood set in grooves cut into the edge side of 1 X 2 giving it a clean look and lighter weight. The three panels will be topped with 1 X 3 with a 1 lip to match the look of the stand. The rear sides of both the hood and the floating frame will be re-enforced so they can sustain the drilling for the oak pins and the future wear from opening and closing the hood.

The top and bottom corners on the front side will also be re-enforced with triangles for strength. The top will also have a custom cradle built on top to accept the Reef Breeders Photon 48 and the Current USA T5 HO 48 2 bulb which will both sit a top the hood at 12 above the water line. Inside the front corners there will be plates to facilitate acceptance of E -27 sockets where I will utilize my custom made 36 watt each PAR 38s. This will give me a total of 275 watts available LEDs and 108 watts of T5 HO. This should be equal to ~800+ watts of MH where the LEDs are very bright & figured at 2.5 X MH and the T5 HO @ 1.5 X MH giving me ~ 5 watts total per gallon in old terminology.

5.) Building the Manifold


The manifold will consist of a a series of 1 ½ X 1 ½ X ¾ inch tees in a series connected by short pieces of 1 ½ PVC pipe each ¾ end will have a slip by male thread 90 degree turn going into a female X female threaded ball valve which will have a thread X barbed connected to it where braided hose will make up to the returns in ¾ braided hose and two barbed connections will make up to ½ braided hose for utility connections. The end of the manifold will be capped off and the intake will have a reducer from 1 ½ to 1 inch female thread to take a male thread X 1 90 elbow barbed to make a soft connection between the manifold and pump with 1 braided hose. The return line will be 3 Spa hose to accommodate a 1200 gph return on a single soft line. The manifold will be installed above the sump where the cross brace connects the center of the top of the stand, giving good access to the ball valves.

6.) Building the Sump


I have had good success with the simple mechanical sump. And since I do not try to combine a refugium into the sump design nor do I have need for specialized chambers for the skimmer, reactors. extra surface skimmers or sock drops etc These are all great if needed and one wants to invest the time or money to build this style engineered sump . I put more rock into the tank and good surface agitation, along with good surface skimming to achieve these things. And as quoted from Reef Keeping Magazine The benefits of a sump are simply to: · increase total water volume, provide a place for equipment and filtration, keep the surface of the water free of contaminates, aerate the water, simplify water changes, and keep the water level stable in the display tank.

The simple Under Over Under sump design can achieve all this. It will increase my water volume by a small amount but this is not my main concern with this build as it is a 150 XT meaning lots of water volume and small footprint. This UOU design gives me plenty of room for equipment and filtration. The two compartments give me a plethora of space for my skimmer, reactor(s), ATO, return pump, a place for sponge or floss and the heater. The continuous reflow I utilize in my sump design, where I pull water from the clean side back to the dirty side with the water manifold on a continuous loop to create enough surface agitation to help aerate and stir the sump continuously for cleaning.

Therefore I can utilize a standard mechanical sump container IE a standard Petco style 40 gal breeder with a simple under / over / under style baffles to create a two compartments w/ 7 standing water height with space between for floss and heaters. All glass and baffles installed w/ silicon. No cover will be needed as the H2Overflow does not ingest a lot of air as normal stand pipe does therefore no gurgling or splashing in the sump. And as the drain line, skimmer return and reactor return will all fall in the drain side of the sump there should be plenty of agitation for a self-cleaning sump into the floss prior to the pump box.

7.)The Dosing Pumps & ATO.


I purchased three used BRS 1.1 ml per minute dosing pumps on the ARC forum, tested and cleaned them prior to beginning install. The sump was designed specifically to take these pumps so install was a breeze. I simply installed the pump brackets to the back wall w/ screws near the side panel door for good accessibility. I connected tubing to each pump and labeled the tubing and each pump so it would be easy determine which pump is doing what. I installed a timer for each pump so I can individually set each pump to run at the appropriate time and duration to achieve the dosing required for the system. I will be running kalkwasser thru my ATO and supplementing it with the dosing pumps. I have been running Ca Acetate thru my ATO and it has done a very good job. But this product is primarily for smaller tanks and for a 150 G would be a bit pricy. I also set up my ATO at this time. I will be utilizing my JBJ ATO from my 75 G tank with redundancy floats in the sump and a 5 gal bucket w/ small utility pump set up behind the tank and thru the wall under a bathroom vanity. I also made a pvc bracket to hold all the dosing lines in the sump. I used 1 G milk jugs with dosing pump lines set in rigid tubing for each of the foundation elements.

8.)The Finished Product





150 Gal XT Marineland Perfecto tank drilled in back for single 1 ½ bulkhead drain and 2X 1/2 bulkhead returns

Plumbing single 1 ½ H2Overflow w/ 3 Spa hose to sump2X ½ Siphon Stopper returns w/ ¼ flex nozzles 1 ½ water manifold X (4) ¾ ball valves

Jabeo RW 15 Wavemaker w/ variable flow: 900GPH-3400GPH

Jecod DCT 8000 DC Controllable Water Pump - Grey 2015 Model 660 GPH / 2100 GPH w/ auto shut off warning

Eshopps PSK 150 skimmer w/ 945 gph Sicce motor

Lil Fishy 150 reactor powered by manifold

JBJ Auto top off

3X BRS single dosing pump

2X 60mm 12V 18CFM Cooling Computer Case Fan

2X Finnex 300 watt titanium heaters w/ digital controller

Lighting: Total lighting = 276 watts LED + 108 watts T5 =800+ watts MH

(1) Reef Breeders programmable Photon 48 w/ 102-3watt emitters running 204 watts max

(2) 2X PAR 38 dimmable 12- 3 watt running at 36 watts each max

(3) 2X 54 watt T5 HO running at 108 watts

Custom pine stand w/ oak doors X 4 32 tall X 50 long X 26 wide

Custom pine paneled hood w/ hinge pinned lid and light cradle

9.)Adjustments at Install:

As with most builds prior to the time of install there will be the opportunity to make improvements on the design if one sets up a test run prior to final application. I always do this before adding saltwater and/or any livestock, especially in a situation where this is a tank upgrade and there will be no cycling period. It all needs to work right the first time. So the first thing is to check for level once the tank is sitting on the stand and in place where it will go. Sometimes shimming of the stand and NOT the tank is required once in place and is easily accomplished with small shim plates. Once the top of the tank is deemed level in all direction, then the hood and all equipment should be placed into the correct position.

Fill the tank with TAP water including the sump to correct levels. Begin the test by turning on the lights, powerheads and pumps. Check the running level of both DT and Sump. Look for leaks, check for proper flow thru the sump and up to the DT and thru the returns and back to the sump, check the manifold and test all outlets and valves on same. Check the function of the powerheads and the lights to insure all are functioning properly. Check the sound levels and be prepared to make adjustments to the return plumbing if needed. Check for micro bubbles in DT and Sump. Make sure the sump can handle the amount of backflow when the main pump is turned off. Block the overflow box and make sure the DT will not overflow when the pump sucks the sump to airlock level. If there are issues here then its time to go back to the drawing board and make big changes to the design. Otherwise continue to run for hours or days depending on how long it takes to make the needed adjustments and feel confident the system is 100% ready to accept saltwater and livestock. When confident shut system down drain all TAP water to include lines and pumps and give the inside a wipe down with vinegar

The following are adjustments I made to my set up. First I needed to shim the back of the stand as there was ~ ¼ off drop down at the wall. I needed to tighten some of the threaded parts on my manifold as there was some dripping noted. I removed the anti-=siphon stoppers on the return nozzles as they caused some micro bubbles in the display. I replaced with simple double 90 degree elbows and drilled the anti siphon holes at ½ below the water line needed to prevent over siphon back flow into the sump. See photos. I added some overlapping trim where the hood meets the floating rim as there was some light coming from the crack. I also added the planned trim where the tank sits on the stand to hide the black plastic rim. And I did some spot painting to cover any defects or marks from moving.

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Nice. That is a seriously burly stand.

Do you have to use goggles when working in the tank?

Yes it is a hefty amount of sand. ill be excavating some out pretty quick, just need to get the rest of the frags off the beach first.

Goggles are a requirement for this project. 32 " depth w/ the frame and ~ 28" arm reach. Got any heavy duty reachers for sale. I need a 36 " pair.

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Going to remove ~ 20# of sand tonight to get that bed down to 2-3". I like the look of the special grade reef sand. But in the past I have enjoyed the ease of having a 2" Crushed Coral substrate. Just vacuumed the heck out of it once a month and it stayed real pretty and never gave me any problems. Hoping I can do the same with sand. Going to have to get into a whole new category of CUC.

Parameters prior to transfer:

SG 1.026

pH 8.1

Temp 79.0F

Alk 9.2 dkH

Ca 440 ppm

Mg 1375

Parameters after transfer:

SG 1.026

pH 8.2

Temp 80.0F

Alk 9.0 dkH

Ca 425 ppm

Mg 1325ppm

Did not test NO3 or PO4 post transfer

I used 100 gal. RODI / Red Sea Coral Pro mixed for 1 hour the night before and heated to 82*F, and aerated for pH values for 1 hour prior to transfer. I mixed w/ ~ 75 G of existing tank water. I also utilized a double dose of Prime in the new water prior to transfer to lock up any Nitrites or Ammonia that would come from the moving of live rock from one tank to the next. So far only detrimental affects noted is some burnt tips of the two birds nest that are getting a little too much light.

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  • 2 weeks later...

This is an awesome build!!! I love how detailed you were with the build, it makes it easy to learn hot to set up DIY style. Most builds don't take the time and effort to do that, thank you for that. I'm glad Ty's tank went to a good person who knows what they're doing and takes good care of it!

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Gig Em'

Thanks for the comment. Yes I am really enjoying this tank. The build was fun to do and worked out pretty well. I will be soon including some new photos as the tank is settling in nicely. Already starting to see some nice growth marks on many of the corals and have 2 new fish in QT. I added three new SPS corals from Quok a couple of weeks ago and they too are doing nicely. IE Rainbow Thick Stylo, Purple Porci, and Strawberry Shortcake. I also remove ~ 20# of sand to get down to ~ 2".

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update on the Build

Looks like during the transfer I lost three corals: Red Planet, Purple Nana, Tri-Color Valida. Bummer I had high hopes for these three I got from D. Duncan. I must say that all three of these corals were not doing so well in the 75G and were not strong enough for the transfer.

Equipment changes: I eliminated the BRS dosing pumps in favor of a single programmable Jebao DP 4 head dosing pump, Trying to get to all DC under the hood. This leaves only the skimmer pump on AC.

Changes made to system are I switched over to Kalkwasser dosing from the Calcium Acetate in the ATO.

Starting Readings: Ca - 425ppm

Alk - 9.0 dkH.

I kept my routine dosing of 2 part @ 60 ml Ca and Alk per week. After one week I saw my Ca climb to 525 ppm and my alk to 9.3 dkH. So I backed the Kalk to 5 teaspoons per week and temporarily stopped the Ca dosing to let it fall back down. I will monitor again tonight as it will be 5 days since the changes. And update the post later.

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  • 1 month later...

Awesome write up! I noticed a few quantities don't specify the unit as inches, mm, etc (".. than 2 and try to never drill two or more holes closer than 3...") etc, but fantastic job.

I also didn't know that Ryobi had a caulk gun, definitely will be adding it to my set.

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