Neverlost 90 Gallon Reef Build Thread

Discussion in 'Show Off Your Fish Tanks!' started by NeverlosT, Aug 26, 2009.

  1. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    Well, I figured I would start a build thread to document my efforts here and so that others may learn from the mistakes. The goal is to end up with a 90 gallon reef living room reef with a custom stand/hood, T5 lighting, auto-top off from an RO/DI in the basement, powerful skimmer, UV sterilizer, Fluval additional filter.

    First, Some pics of the custom stand... some lessons were learned here. And of the tank which had its small corner chips ground down, its trim re-painted, and a little touch up siliconing. The stand went together pretty well, the 4x4 in the back left corner had to be chiseled out to allow the drain/return lines from the tank to enter the stand. The staining was pretty easy, but the damn hole-filler putty didnt take stain too well, so that was a drag.

    Next up... planning the lights, putting fans in the hood, working on plumbing and deciding if I want to make my own agro-crete reef structures...

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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    great start NeverlosT

    youve been busy already I can see

    Ill tag along and enjoy the progress on this one

    Steve
  4. divott

    divott Giant Squid

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    i agree with steve, very nice start. looks like everything is well planned out, which is more thaan half the battle, keep it up and also keep updating

    guy
  5. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    Update 8/31/09

    Ok. The stand has been finished and urethaned. The top is very level but the bottom appears to be slightly uneven, so I will handle this with a little shim-work which was going to be needed to make the tank level in the living room anyway.

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    I installed two 100+ CFM DC (quiet) fans into the hood to cool all of the lighting but will have to modify the hood to contain the new lighting plan...
    Front to back:
    Two 36" T5 Blue +
    Two 175W Ushio 14K Halides
    Two 36" T5 Blue +

    If you have any suggestions on the lighting, please feel free to provide them. The only items I have left to get are the reflectors for the halides and T5's. I also attached a pic of the hood I picked up cheap which is being butchered to remove the Halide mounts.

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    This is the new tank (the 2nd 90 I have bought used in like 2 weeks). It has MUCH thicker glass (1/2" thick on the front and back, 3/8" on the sides) so it does not need center bracing which opens up the top quite a bit. I filled it up and saw no considerable evidence of the sides bowing out, so I believe this setup will work great. This tank also has the return on the opposite side from the overflow which I like.

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    Next update will be of the finished hood/lighting system. It should be bright as heck. I am also re-siliconing the overflow in the tank today. The filtration gear all gets here on the 11th of Sept.

    I already got the skimmer though, an ETSS Reef Devil run by a Mag 7, as well as a few options for return pumps. I am in the process of trying to find a good ATO and RO/DI system.;D
  6. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    Well, here is an update on the hood and you can see the stand where the tank will be eventually, it is all level and shimmed up (since the floor was not perfectly level).

    Ok, here is the lighting setup (so far just two 250W metal halide 14K setups driven by one single blueline ballast, but soon there will be two T5 tubes with Actinic + bulbs for a total of 608W of lighting over the tank).
    I put frames around the bottom and top of the halide pendants to hold them in there so you can tip the lid back and there is a little tab you can twist to take them out. The fans are dual 100+CFM dc fans run on a transformer a buddy had so they take very little power and are powerful to keep gas exchange good and the bulbs cool.

    So now I just need to decide what to coat the inside of the hood with (if anything) and then mount the T5 lights (the hood is currently stained and urethaned).

    The final shot is of the stand in my living room where the tank will go!

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  7. Puffer Chick

    Puffer Chick Giant Squid

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    very nice! i'm liking this thread! and i saw for your lighting that a 90 is only 36"! man that's the same length as my 46 bow! i got gipped lol i could of gone bigger! but really, this is going to be an awesome reef
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  9. oceanparadise1

    oceanparadise1 Fire Squid

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    Silly goose his 90 is 48 inches ::)
  10. Puffer Chick

    Puffer Chick Giant Squid

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    oh haha ok i'm going a lil crazy tonight :D
  11. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    too true ocean paradise, it is a normal 90, the only small difference in size is that a typical 90 gal footprint is 48.5x18.5, whereas mine is more like 48.5x19. Since they didnt put a center brace on this tank, they made the front and back glass very thick, which bulks up the one dimension. I was lucky the hood and stand still fit!

    Thanks for the kind words puffer chick!
  12. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    Progress!!

    I have finally at long last finished the hood (with some help from my brother!)

    It has two 250W Halides, and two 48" T5 bulbs with SLR reflectors. The two fans were creating so much pressure in the hood that I had to put in some vent holes, which I installed clamshell covers to and now they blow on the top of the halide pendants so the fans cool the lower AND upper parts of the halides.

    It is pretty darn bright. You can also see in one of the pics that the tank has been plumbed with two 1" lines to the basement. Pics of the sump are on the way soon (it is a REALLY cool design I think, made out of another 90 gallon tank, with internal refugium!). Also, I ordered the reeflo GOBY GOLD pump today and an Aquacontroller APEX controller!
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  13. jkat21

    jkat21 Bangghai Cardinal

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    Nice work,looks great.cant wait for water next...
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  15. tatted4ever

    tatted4ever Horrid Stonefish

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    sweeeeeeet.... lookin forward to some aquascaping and livestock
  16. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    UPDATE: Aquascaping, Filtration Pics

    Hey all. Here you can see the aquascaping/sand is finally in there. You can see the VORTECH MP40W on the left near the overflow and the main return on the right.
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    What do you think of the aquascaping??

    Here is one of the side:
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    And here is one of the sump all plumbed up!
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    Let me know if you have any suggestions on how to better set up the sump, since there is no water in there YET. The Aquacontroller APEX is on the way so that will have its sensors in the sump there and the Korallin Calcium reactor has not been built yet (it is sitting down in the basement).

    I also need to plumb the UV sterilizer in somewhere... I have to figure that out. I tried to put a tap in on the pump output for easy water changes, so hopefully that works out.

    Comments/Suggestions??
  17. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    Added water last night, just one tiny leak at the main pump output, will have to tighten it up tonight when I fill it the rest of the way. The pump I bought (thinking it was a Goby Gold) was actually a Reeflo Sting Ray, which is much more powerful, but I have it running my skimmer in addition to returning water to the tank, so I think I will be in good shape.

    I need about 40 more gallons of RO/DI water to finish filling this thing, then I will begin adding salt into the sump once it is running and get that SG sweet spot! Then I need to add some live rock or live sand and cycle cycle cycle.

    Im stoked, things are FINALLY coming together. The only change in plumbing that I am considering now is installing one of those Durso (sp?) overflow drains (I have all the parts) in the hopes that it will accelerate my drainage rate.
    1 person likes this.
  18. divott

    divott Giant Squid

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    i really like your scaping lost. very original and cool looking. its all nice and secure i hope. thnx for the update and keep em coming.

    guy
  19. sean_p_f

    sean_p_f Sea Dragon

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    I must say that i really like the aquascaping especially the right side where did you find a rock like that?
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  21. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    that ONE rock cost a stupid amount of money years ago (back when I was in highschool like 1999), I then had to take down my tank to go to college, and I gave it to my older brother who had just started a tank. Well, I just bought my first house and he had a baby so he needed more time/money and I needed rock, so I took it back, so at this point that rock has been in my family for over a decade!

    Everything is held together with Marine grade epoxy and seems VERY strong. (you can lift the entire structure on the right side up by grabbing the top piece, it all weighs a ton).

    The left side is zip-tied and epoxied together as well. I wanted to go higher, but I needed to leave room for coral placement and growth!

    Now I need to get some healthy and nuisance free LIVE rock or LIVE sand to start the whole bio-cycle in the tank...

    oh yeah, and thanks to my girlfriend Kat for helping with the aquascaping. If you think you can epoxy multiple HEAVY rocks together in a neat shape yourself.... you're wrong!
  22. crustytheclown

    crustytheclown Eyelash Blennie

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    wow i hope i have a house someday and i can do that type of set up there. PROPS!!!!
  23. tatted4ever

    tatted4ever Horrid Stonefish

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    that is one hell of a sump. nice aquascaping.
  24. NeverlosT

    NeverlosT Astrea Snail

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    I got the Apex controller all wired in. The skimmer is working well now, the Auto Top Off is functioning, and all of the lighting and fans seem to be working too! It is not super noisy (except for when the big fans kick on). And so far I only flooded the basement once when the skimmer decided it was time to go crazy-go-nuts and just blow water straight out its top...

    Anyhow, pics to come tonight!