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Old 03/28/2016, 12:46 PM   #1
d2mini
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d2mini's "Essential Focus" Mixed Reef Build

Annnnnnd.... we're back.


After a few months haitus (not counting the office nano), d2mini is back in the game!
A little background for those that do not know me, or a refresher for those that do...

My first real build (after getting my feet wet in reef keeping on a couple newbie disaster tanks) was a 135g cube that ended up being nicknamed "The Ecotech Cube".
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1757436
This tank went very well for a few years but life changes and we decided to move to a larger home, out in suburbia.

The new home afforded much more space for a build, including a full blown fish room in the garage.
Here is part one of this new 200g tank adventure...
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2144250

But alas, life continues to change, and we decided that suburbia wasn't the best thing for our family. So after almost 4 years, it was time for this build to come to a close and start a new chapter both in ever day life and reefing. About 4 months since tearing down the 200g and selling off most of it, it's time to begin again!

So here we are.
Where to start.... hmmmm....
Well, let's start with the title of this build!
The move back into town required two things. A little belt tightening, and the loss of a lot of space! We went from a brand new 3500 sq ft home with 3 car attached garage to a 1960's (but completely remodeled) 2500 sq ft home with detached garage. So right off the bat, 1000 sq ft LESS. Second, no garage fish room being that it is not only detached, but also has no water supply or drain system. And the third little snag is that when the house was gutted and remodeled, they created a very open floor plan. Nice to live in, but this leaves very little wall space for a large aquarium! What were they thinking?! So not only is space a limitation in more than one way, but the location of the tank also needed a couple other considerations. One, I wanted it to be in a decent spot for enjoyment. The previous build was great, but it was outside of the main living space tucked away in the dining room. You had to go into that room to enjoy it. Second, I wanted to be able to run ATO and possibly AWC water lines from a water mixing station directly to the sump.

So with limited space, I'm forced to downsize. Not only will the tank be smaller, but no separate fish room. I'm back to "roughing it" with all equipment being shoved inside the stand. Oh the hardships some of us must face. :P The title of this thread is a bit of a play on words, combining the need to really pair down and focus on what is essential to my little reef, and my love of photography which is always a big part of my builds. I can compare it to my Leica M camera system, which is the ultimate in design and function, paired down to the bare essentials of photography.

With this in mind as I design this build, I'm making careful choices in equipment with specific attributes in mind:
It has to be necessary. Maybe not necessary to run a reef, but necessary to run it the way I want to run it.
It has to be high quality. Buy quality once, not junk several times.
It has to be proven. Either by my own past experience or by the experience of others.
It has to make my life easier.
It has to be beautifully designed if out in the open (e.g., the tank, stand, etc)

One other important aspect of the design is that I've decided this tank will be run using the "Triton Method". Mainly because the whole concept behind it, including running a large refugium for natural filtration, aligns with my own personal reef keeping mantra. So my sump will be custom built with certain design considerations for Triton.

Now let's look at the space!
Here's a few pics of the house from the real estate listing which should give you somewhat of a 360 degree view of what I'm working with and the location I've chosen...









Now one of the reasons I haven't been able to start the build yet is because we had some other projects to take care of first. The big one being a complete home office build-out. The space you see in the pics with the chandelier was supposed to be the dining room, and I don't know what the space in front of the bay window was supposed to be. A second sitting area??? We needed a home office and didn't have the extra bedroom for it, so we moved the dining room to the bay window, put up a dividing wall between the two areas, built-in desks/cabinetry, and extended the kitchen cabinetry next to the refrigerator! That's all being finished up tomorrow I believe so pics coming later this week of all that.

So by now, if you've even read all of the above (I'm sure many of you have skimmed), you are probably wondering what exactly I'm doing for a tank!
Good question.
And since I don't have it yet, I'm not going to answer that!
And if I've talked to you locally, I ask that you please keep your filthy mouth shut.
What I am going to do is drop two important hints.
First, you can get an idea of the size with the following pic (and the one above).
My first piece of equipment arrived! Literally the heart of the whole system. An Ecotech Vectra L1.
And I mapped out the dimensions of the stand with some tape.



Second, since I sold off everything from the previous build and had a nice reserve in my paypal account... and had to downsize a bit... i'd figured I'd splurge a little on the tank. Keeping in mind the quality and beauty I mentioned earlier.

Well, I think that is as good a start as any for a build thread.
I've got more equipment arriving this week so I will post that as it comes in.
And this afternoon I will post the first big project I completed for this build... the water changing station! Which had it's own challenges. Some of you have seen it already in my nano build thread but it was really built for this system.
Stay tuned!


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Old 03/28/2016, 12:53 PM   #2
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Here we go AGAIN LOL


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Old 03/28/2016, 12:55 PM   #3
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Subbed!! I loved all your builds.


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Old 03/28/2016, 01:10 PM   #4
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Good to see you back!!! This is going to be fun , subscribed


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Old 03/28/2016, 01:24 PM   #5
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Yes!


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DSA 105 Pro, Cebu Sun-Radiums-M80 Ballasts, 4 T5's, XHO LEDs. Through Wall 55g Sump, 10g Frag and 29g Display attached, Vertex V6, 3 mp40's, Gyre, 2 mp10's, GFO, Carbon, Pellets - 10g Bar Tank
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Old 03/28/2016, 01:36 PM   #6
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I've followed every one of your builds and looking forward another one that I'm sure will not disappoint.

Tagging along.


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Old 03/28/2016, 01:58 PM   #7
rs1831
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This just made my day! Love watching how meticulous you are and I am sure this is going to be an awesome thread!


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Old 03/28/2016, 01:59 PM   #8
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Pssssh just another $1 per gallon aqueon 40/20 build... :-D

Haha! This build should be amazing like all the others! Can't wait to see it come together! Subbed.


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Old 03/28/2016, 02:22 PM   #9
d2mini
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Quote:
Originally Posted by liverock View Post
Here we go AGAIN LOL
LOL, yeah... lucky for you I keep moving!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jade5051 View Post
Pssssh just another $1 per gallon aqueon 40/20 build... :-D
Hahaha! No.


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Old 03/28/2016, 02:24 PM   #10
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WATER MIXING STATION

I needed to figure out where I could put some tanks, and how I could get water to them.
Since my garage is detached from the house and doesn't have a water supply, that was out.
I have a hose bib on the back corner of the house so I decided that's where I would tap in for my water source. Since i have a ground level back deck that is near the only location I can really put the new tank, i figured that would be a good spot for the storage tanks. I decided the easiest way to create shelter for them is to purchase one of those plastic tool sheds at home depot. This ended up working out great size-wise. I built a wood platform so they would be elevated and keep the plumbing raised off the ground. I'm able to do all the filling/mixing with the turn of various valves and I also have barbed spigots for filling my water jugs from either the fresh or saltwater tanks. The pump is an Iwaki that was feeding my chiller on my previous build. I've always stored water in my garage before, but temps in there would "only" get to the high 90's. This location gets the afternoon sun so I have a feeling I'm going to be dealing with even warmer temps. Not much I can really do about that though so hopefully it doesn't create a problem. At least the tanks themselves won't be getting any direct sunlight. Some of you might be concerned about the weight of the water on the deck but one good thing is that the tanks are sitting directly over one of the main support beams, which I'm not 100% sure of, but should be sitting on the ground. We've had a few days with temps in the mid 80's and the water stayed surprisingly cool.

The pics below show how I hooked everything up. But first thing's first!
When we moved in, the deck was rust red. Blechh.
So we painted it a lovely shade of turquoise! The backyard GLOWS.

I let it dry for a week. Now time to start hooking things up.
I tapped into the outdoor faucet using a Y splitter with individual shut-offs and attached a quick-fitting adaptor for the 1/4" water line.
I ran black line (more protection from sunlight) up the electrical conduit to the eve of the roof. Then ran it along the eve to the area of the shed.
Under the eve by the shed location was an electrical outlet. So we tapped into that outlet and ran an extension down the wall with a new box. This will be my power for the pump, and probably a booster pump in the near future.
I ran the water line down the outside of this conduit and then into a quick-fitting in the side of the shed.
For the power cord, I cut hole large enough for a 3 prong plug to fit through and then used an white plastic escutcheon to hide hole, attached it with some silicone and filled the space around the cord with more silicone. Same with around the quick-fitting. So things should be pretty water tight. The walls of the shed are hollow so I don't want water getting in there and having no place to go.
Inside the shed the water line connects to the other side of that quick-fitting and runs to the RO/DI which I mounted to the front of the stand. I originally wanted to mount it to the wall of shed up high but there wasn't really enough room and I would have had to fabricate some extra support. The stand is much more secure and it's easier to access this way.
The fresh RO/DI water leaves the DI and then goes up to the top of the fresh water container and enters through a float valve. I should be able to get almost 55g worth.
The waste water leaves the shed through another quick-fitting on the opposite side and goes under the deck, watering my foundation.
The last couple pics just show the plumbing inside the saltwater tank. I figured I might as well spend an extra few minutes to split the line to help a little with mixing.

The other good thing about this location of the water tanks, is that I have the option to eventually run both fresh and salt water lines out of the shed, further along the house, and then into the house to the new tank.

That's about it. Enjoy the pics!












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Elos Diamond 120xl | Elos Stand | Radion G4 Pros | GHL Profilux Controller | LifeReef Skimmer | LifeReef Sump
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Old 03/28/2016, 02:26 PM   #11
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more pics...






















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Old 03/28/2016, 02:51 PM   #12
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dennis, you always make me feel like such a slug! i thought i had really accomplished something over the weekend when i got the tractor out, dragged the pig pen, picked up limbs all over 7 acres, pulled weeds from flower beds, cleaned a spot to stack a load of firewood that's coming soon, picked up a winter's worth of dog poop (3 great danes so that alone was an accomplishment), AND i did some major fish tank maintenance.

now i come here and see you have moved into a really cool house and already you are starting another epic build.

i feel so inadequate!


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of all the things i've lost, i miss my gary the most.

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Old 03/28/2016, 02:58 PM   #13
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OWW MY EYES!!! so much blue......


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:01 PM   #14
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OWW MY EYES!!! so much blue......
Just think....Bahamas!


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:05 PM   #15
d2mini
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OWW MY EYES!!! so much blue......
Quote:
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Just think....Bahamas!
LOL! Exactly.
Even when i pull in the driveway I can see the glow coming from the backyard.
It's like a big tease because it's almost like we have a pool. Almost.


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:06 PM   #16
d2mini
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dennis, you always make me feel like such a slug! i thought i had really accomplished something over the weekend when i got the tractor out, dragged the pig pen, picked up limbs all over 7 acres, pulled weeds from flower beds, cleaned a spot to stack a load of firewood that's coming soon, picked up a winter's worth of dog poop (3 great danes so that alone was an accomplishment), AND i did some major fish tank maintenance.

now i come here and see you have moved into a really cool house and already you are starting another epic build.

i feel so inadequate!
If i had all those chores, I wouldn't even HAVE a tank. Jeezus, Nina. haha


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:12 PM   #17
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LOL! Exactly.
Even when i pull in the driveway I can see the glow coming from the backyard.
It's like a big tease because it's almost like we have a pool. Almost.
You could probably get a pool for what your going to put into this tank


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:15 PM   #18
d2mini
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You could probably get a pool for what your going to put into this tank
When did my wife join RC?!

Her exact words to anyone admiring my last tank... "hi, nice to meet you. This is our pool".


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:36 PM   #19
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I'm really looking forward to following your new build! I'm glad to have found it on day 1 -- instead of on post number 3000something and having to go waay back to the beginning like I did on your previous build.


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Old 03/28/2016, 03:43 PM   #20
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If i had all those chores, I wouldn't even HAVE a tank. Jeezus, Nina. haha
ikr! and the loungers are trying to talk me into upgrading to a 125g because i've run out of room for STUFF!


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of all the things i've lost, i miss my gary the most.

Never hold your farts in. They travel up your spine into your brain, and that is where crappy ideas come from.

Current Tank Info: i gave my reef away and i feel like a bird out of a cage!!
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Old 03/28/2016, 04:12 PM   #21
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I'm not certain I can manage to follow another Dennis build....I only have so much I can be impressed with....

don't listen to that, I'm just complaining and will just live vicariously through your build

Excited to see where this one takes you. TBS again? I would hope so.


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Old 03/28/2016, 04:13 PM   #22
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oh, and do I have to be the one to say it?

"when life gives you lemons..." haha


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Old 03/28/2016, 05:40 PM   #23
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Hey Dennis, did you buy the water storage containers locally? I live in Houston and I've been looking around for a place with different sizes...

BTW, are you thinking of drilling the wall and running plumbing inside or is it going to be a bucket endeavor?


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Old 03/28/2016, 05:54 PM   #24
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Oh look another d2mini build to follow and make me my tank feel inadequate haha. Can't wait to see it take shape!


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My build thread:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2548422

Current Tank Info: 65 gallon mixed reef, Eshopps sump and HOB overflow, RO-110int skimmer, Reefbreeder 32" photons V1.
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Old 03/28/2016, 05:54 PM   #25
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Nice. Beautiful place. I'm sure the tank will fit nicely


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