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90 gallon slow and steady build

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by neil82, Mar 27, 2018.

  1. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    I'm getting this thread started to share the progress of my new tank build. Thanks for taking a look and feel free to share any thoughts or ideas.
    I'm calling it the 'slow and steady' build because the wheels started in motion about 2.5 years ago. We had an unfinished basement, so the first step was to finish the basement with the end goal of setting up a new tank down there. My wife and I did the work ourselves. We just passed final inspection a few weeks ago. I've been collecting equipment and daydreaming about this tank for the same length of time.
    I'll list out the equipment I'll be using and post a couple pics of how things stand as of today.

    90 gallon reef ready tank
    20 gallon long for sump
    (2) Galaxyhydro Wi-Fi & Manual control 55x3w dimmable 165w LED light fixtures
    Reef Octopus Classic 152-S skimmer
    (2) Eheim Jager 200w heaters
    (2) BRS 1.1 ml/min dosing pumps
    (2) VorTech MP40s w/battery backup
    Apex Jr w/4 outlet energy bar & temp probe
    Eheim 1262 return pump

    I'd like to use the Apex Jr to control the heaters and the dosing pumps. I've never used an Apex before, so we'll see how it goes.

    20180325_161004-1600x1200.jpg 20180327_133705-1600x1200.jpg 20180327_133836-1600x1200.jpg
    SkyShark and SynDen like this.
  2. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Awesome! Following along for sure.
  3. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Apex is pretty easy. Tell me what you want it to do exactly and I can give you optimized code with failsafes that you can just copy/paste in. You might want to consider picking up a WXM and another energy bar (there are some used ones right now on the classifieds) so that you can take full advantage of its capabilities and features.

    I don't see an ATO in your list. What is your plan for that?
    neil82 likes this.
  4. CRW Reef

    CRW Reef Orca M.A.S.C Club Member ex-officio

    Sweet!! Nice work on finishing out the basement!

    Bring on the water!!!!
  5. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks Zombie! That would be super helpful.
    Still up in the air with ATO. On my current system I have a mechanical float valve that uses a gravity feed siphon for top off. It has never failed. I have not used an electronic ATO and I'll just be honest and say I'm a little skittish about them.
  6. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    There is a good chance my distrust of ATO systems is unfounded. Again, I have never used one. Can you let me know some pros/cons from your experiences?
  7. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Honestly with ATOs, the simple solution is often the best solution. If the gravity feed works for you then stick with it imo.
    My big tank is going to be gravity fed as well. I only use an ATO on my 75g because my RO is under it and cant be gravity fed to it.
  8. Balz3352

    Balz3352 Marlin M.A.S.C Club Member

    Tunze ato is the way to go
    Legonch likes this.
  9. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks for the feedback. I'd be super disappointed if I had an overflow due to ATO failure.
  10. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    I’m with balz, the tuner ato is the way to go. Get the one with the optical sensor and float valve as a backup. They also can only stay on a certain amount of time. Just make sure your water level can never rise to the level of the output tube.
    neil82 likes this.
  11. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Working on skin and trim for the stand. Getting close to putting the tank on top. 20180422_132802-1200x1600.jpg 20180422_175933-1200x1600.jpg
  12. zombie

    zombie Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    Not if you have an apex. The best ATO money can buy is a good peristaltic dosing pump in the 50-400ml/min range or a good low flow pump like the tunze pump without their controller, two optical sensors, and two floats. All controlled by the apex itself.

    The tunze controller primes every time it turns on, isn't adjustable, and can't alert you when there is a problem without some ridiculously crazy workarounds that only kinda work on a 2016 apex.

    Sent from my SM-G935V using MASC mobile app
  13. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

  14. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Trying to make progress on the stand. Finished up trim and painting. Picked up butcher block counter top (poplar) to put under the tank. Need to stain and finish the butcher block top. Hopefully more updates soon. 20180512_194806-1600x1200.jpg
    Robbiekrause33 and SynDen like this.
  15. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Okay, time to update. Finished up stand for the most part. I'll be ordering some cabinet doors for it eventually. Filled with water the weekend before last. Added sand and rock last weekend. It's Fiji island rock that I ordered in January and have had curing since. Thanks to @Gabe&Brandi and @ryewalk84 for the sand. I've just been letting the system run and breaking in the skimmer, tinkering with return pump flow rate, tuning the gate valve etc. Soon I'll add more live rock and see what I can figure out for the rockscape. I'll also be transferring over some established live rock from my 55 gallon system. To do list at the moment:
    Build hanging light fixture
    Install backup battery for mp40s
    Install/plumb brs reactor
    Setup ATO which will be 5 gallon jug gravity feed to mechanical float valve
    Setup Apex jr for control of two brs dosing pumps and heater
    Add cheato and light for fuge area in sump

    That's about it for now. Thanks for looking and let me know what you think about this design so far. 20180513_142802-1200x1600.jpg 20180513_161444-1200x1600.jpg 20180715_155208-1600x1200.jpg 20180723_194437-1600x1200.jpg 20180729_230734-1600x1200.jpg 20180802_195407-1600x1200.jpg 20180802_195339-1200x1600.jpg
  16. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Great stand, love the butcher block. Everything looks super clean. What are you thinking about for live stock?

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC mobile app
  17. Gabe&Brandi

    Gabe&Brandi Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Super clean. I too love that bucher block.

    I need a kitchen island made w/ bucherblock...maybe I should put a tank on it :)
  18. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks for the feedback! I will eventually be transferring livestock from my existing 55 gallon. The 55 gallon is mixed reef with zoas, LPS, SPS, BTAs. Fish include yellow tang, mocha misbar clown, yellow watchman, tricolor fairy wrasse, and banggai cardinal. I'm thinking of adding another fish or two if anyone has suggestions. The yellow tang currently rules the roost.
    For rockscape and coral layout, I'm thinking of building up the right side for SPS colonies and keeping the left side more open with a couple small rock islands for zoa garden and LPS. Open to any and all suggestions for rockscape and coral layout ideas.
  19. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

  20. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thoughts on using Apex JR to control brs dosing pumps for two part? Am I asking for trouble? This will be my first time using an Apex and it makes me nervous.

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