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180 Build "Heavy"


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Small first post to start the thread.

Pardon my messy garage.

The 75 wasn't enough for me.   I knew this would happen.  Got a used 180 gallon today.  Thanks Tim!     Gonna fix this up and upsize the 75 gallon to this tank, moving all the live stock and live rock over.

I have a lot of work ahead.   Removing the overflows, redoing the silicone, new plumbing, building a stand etc....    Gonna be a while, but it will get done.   Pulled one overflow out today.  I'll get the other one out tomorrow and start working on the old silicone.

Apparently, this tank has a name, "Heavy".    I'll keep the name.   Renaming boats is bad luck, and probably bad for tanks.   "Heavy" it is.

Thus, it begins.


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19 minutes ago, ckyuv said:

We’ll that only took you 6 months haha. Thought about lights at all? You might need another kessil for this one huh? 

I will most likely reuse the 2 SB Reef lights I have over the 70g tank.    I'm going to have a little less rock and coral than most reef tanks.   Want to add some larger fish.

The tank will likely have some more and some less lit areas, but I'm ok with the 'open water' area not having super high PAR.   The idea with this upgrade is to make more 'open water' for things like tangs to swim around.

Worse case, if I end up not liking it, the SB Reef lights are only $150 each and work pretty good.    I run them way less than full power.  Adding one extra would be a simple and cheap fix.   

If this is confusing, I run the Kessil on the 40g tank currently.    And yes, if I were running Kessils on this I'd definitely get more than one for this application.  Overall, I'm happy with the SB Reef lights.   They are not as sexy as the Kessil by any means.   The company's communication is terrible, but you get your product, and it works.    It would be hard for me to recommend them to others, just because their customer service is so spotty.

I'd love to have Kessils over this tank.   Just buying 3X of them would really hurt the old wallet.   :D

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I'll get you more pics of the overflow on this system that's hidden in the middle of the tank in front of the tree.  The drain is 3 inch PVC and the 2 returns go through the drain line.  With holes drilled at both ends you can use all of them or just one or two.  Getting rid of those huge overflow boxes gives you more room for aquascaping.  You could in theory have the overflow located somewhere else and hid the plumbing to the existing openings.



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I started on the overflow boxes and clean up process.   Good thing we decided to remove them and replace with stand pipes.   

Like I said, I have ape strength.    Got one overflow out completely, but I broke the other box on removal.  🤪    Big shocker there.

I've decided that I will remove the old coraline from the sides.   Looks ugly on the sides IMO.    Back panel I'm still deciding.




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Got both overflows removed.   That one was stubborn.  Cleaning the sides one at a time with a razor blade and vinegar.   Vinegar is great for dissolving the coraline.

First side progress below.

There is a stain under where the overflow box was.   I cannot feel it with my hand.  I've tried the blade and vinegar, but no success.    I'm going to try a Magic Eraser tonight.   Kind of odd.  I wonder if the silicone caused permanent discoloration or etched it some.   hmm

Two pics attached.  Easier to see the stain from the outside.     Overall the tank is looking way better.



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I'm thinking of keeping dual overflows with the stand pipes and PVC screens on top.  Easy!    But, I'm strongly considering only keeping a single return with one large return pump.   And plugging the other return hole completely.  Less plumbing, heat, space, etc.

Thinking one of the Sicce Syncra 1321 GPH models, as that would give me 7.25X tank volume exchange per hour, for about an amp in current draw.     (Been using some other Sicce gear lately and liking it.)   I may keep a smaller spare lying around for emergencies.

Next, I'm thinking that the heater(s) belong in the sump.   Where do ya'll run them?   In the deep sand bed portion of the sump seems logical to me, but I'm open.

Also, I think it would be a good idea to plumb in a drain in the overflow or return line down in the sump area, with a barb and a line to facilitate water changes.  Open valve and pump water out.   Yes, I know I need to vacuum the sand bed, but sometimes we just don't have time.   Having the drain valve would make lazy day water changes possible.    I think the overflow would be the preferred location.      I plan on 20G water changes weekly/biweekly in this thing.   For those doing math, the water may drop below the stand pipes before I get 20G out.   I intend to have 'risers' on the stand pipes so I can control water level.

I'll likely put a pump in my Brute can to make pumping new water into the tank easier.     Having flashbacks to my old system.


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Hmm   thinking about the above.   Maybe it would be better to use that unused return hole for the water change drain.   Put a strainer on a stand pipe about 6" high behind rock work.   Would eliminate the need for risers on the drains and I could drain the tank as much as my heart desires.

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The simpler you can do watr changes the better.  I've only done standpipes in sumps to facilitate water changes but I don't see why it can't be done in the display tank so long as livestock can;t get sucked into the plumping.

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Working on sump design.   Plan to use a 75 gallon tank as the sump.   I'll go to Lowes and get all the acrylic cut by them once I solidify the plans.  Will silicone these in.  Drawing not to scale.  

Idea is sponge for mechanical filtration. Deep sand bed across the tank.   Bubble filter, and isolation to keep sand out of return.   Return pump

A.  First baffle on drain side, intend to have it spaced about 6" from the wall so I can get my hand in there. 15" high.

B.   Odd baffle with a ledge.   This will hold some sponge material for physical filtration, held up by the ledge, easy to remove to clean.  Haven't done the math but it will be about 9" long.

C. 9" high, leaving about 2-3" gap between B and C.  Overflows into the DSB.

D. 8.5" high, goes into bubble trap. E

E. 7" high gap in bottom.

F. 7" high flowing into return.  Spaced about 6-7" away from pump side depending on size of return pump.

Any feedback on this design is appreciated.  :)  Thinking emergency cut at top of B in case a sponge gets SUPER clogged.   Also maybe have C a little higher to have more water on the sand bed....



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Totally edited this idea.   I almost fell victim to over engineering something when there was a cheap commercially available solution.   I found large sponge sheets that I can cut to fit the width.   So baffle B will look like this from a front view.   Black and white is baffle.  Brown is representative of the sponge.


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