300 Reef Oasis in AZ

1ocean

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Hi everyone,
We are so glad we joined AZFrag and was able to meet lots of cool people at our first meeting in July. We spoke to a lot of people and are sharing pictures of our build per some of your requests. We currently have a 140 gallon which will be taken down, sold and replaced with the 300. The 140 has been up and running for a little over a year now.
In short we had the tank build in Dec 2020 and did not start working on things till after the holidays and then we had to take a breaks due to both of our parents health issues, in NY and FLA and the whole global health issue.
Another sidetrack was Judy got the idea to start making a mixture of food for our fish and corals. She spend a lot of time doing research and several months of making test samples to feed to our fish and corals. We then began giving out free sample to people in local fish stores and store owner to try and give us feed back for a few months and adjusted the foundation formula. Now we have begun selling it and this too is taking a little time from our build, we make 8 pounds of the frozen stuff in about two days from grinding it all and packaging it.

We also have been taking our time doing research and talking to people to find out what is working in today's world of reefing, from equipment, chemicals and daily practices. We are still on our journey and at this point we are sharing short pictures of our progress to date( Aug 12th), which we are up to building the wood cabinet surround the fiberglass square tubing stand.
Hope to see you all again at the next meeting,
Sal and Judy

300 gallon being made.jpg

300 stand part 1.jpg

300 stand part 2 complete.jpg
 

1ocean

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The plan is for two sumps tied together with a 2" pipe at 3 inch water height from chamber 2 to chamber 2 of each and the refugium will sit above this pipe at 6 inch height on a platform. A secondary, overflow sump tie in pipe will be at 10" water height connecting the two return pump return chambers, across the back of cabinet. The sumps are race track design, 24x28x15 tall. They are divided down the middle at 12". We came up with this design and size of chambers by dry laying out real products (skimmers, pumps, heater, reactors etc) in the cardboard mockups.
We bought a used two chamber BubbleMagus sump at a used place in Tempe and we using it for our refugium. chaeto in first chamber and coral rubble in the second since we are going almost bare bottom in the 300. We want to create the look of the upper reef structures we see in real life, trying to get the drop off look...We plan to lay large flat rocks a inch or more off the bottom of the tank in places with wavemakers pushing water flow under them...from the left side of the tank. We plan to have sand and coral rubble on the far right of the tank, maybe about the last 2 feet of the tank. Judy wants a leopard wrasse. We think this will look awesome too.

sump pic 2 clamps.jpg

white sump w lids.jpg

sump H2O test pic 1 intake.jpg

sump H2O test pic 2 into second side.jpg

sump H2O test pic 3 second side to return.jpg
 
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1ocean

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Picture 1 is dry fit of the two sumps,far left(mechanical/biological), refugium center back with a blue box infront of it( two chamber for ATO and Kalk) and then far left right sump(mechanical/chemical).
Picture 3 is the back of the tank, returns are 1" pipe far right and far left.
Overflows are 1 1/2" pipe, one goes to sump#1, one pipe goes to sump#2 and the 3rd(middle) goes to the refugium which overflows into both sumps after the skimmer chambers.

dry fit sumps,refug, Kalk&rodi under 300.jpg

mech,chem sump dry fit.jpg

Back of 300 plumbing.jpg
 

1ocean

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Two pictures of where we are as of today Aug12th at coffee time...We got the wood frame surround done. Next is to build the sides and 3 lower doors which will be on barn door tracks.
Then the upper canopy to hide the 4 Gen5 XR30 blues and maybe 3 Kessil's to add a little shimmer and have come on during middle of the day.
The plan for the lights is to have them at 12 inches from the water to maximize spread.
Since I drove to Florida to visit my dad for 3 weeks, I drove to WWC. I got this idea for the lights from my 3 hour tour with some of the staff at WWC in Florida, they showed me the entire place including all the workings in the back. I got to ask all the questions I wanted and they told me everything they do...
We hope to have the wood pat of this done in the next 3 days. Once it is ready to take the place of the 140, we will drain and move the 140 to the other side of the room, set it all up, except for the rocks and let it run with the fish and corals while the 300 does its thing. We have big garbage can with dead rock in it cycling for last few months. We will add the rocks from the 140 to it. We also plan to seed the 300 sumps with filter media from the 140 sump and put about 70 gallons of water from the 140 to the 300.
Have a great week.
Sal and Judy

300 wood frame start.jpg

300 wood frame half way.jpg
 

sisterlimonpot

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Looking good! I can see some similarities to my build... Talk to me about the t drains in the main tank? Are you planning on a coast to coast?
 

1ocean

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Looking good! I can see some similarities to my build... Talk to me about the t drains in the main tank? Are you planning on a coast to coast?
right now i am planning to add a 1 1/2 elbow or a "T" and use these 1 1/2 flat round strainers that insert into the 1 1/2 pipe, about 1" or so under the water line to prevent noise.
When we had the tank build we thought about that but Judy saw some tanks where they had encrusting corals and or corals like star polyp on the back wall. she like the ideas better then just coralline algae.
So I thought having any kind of weir's made into the back of the tank would be a never ending chore trying to keep clear. So I am trying this sort "closed loop idea', but in the back of the tank plumbing, you can see the 3 "T"s which will allow me to let air into the pipe after the air goes through this carbon air filters idea I have. I still have to add some 1 1/2 pipe to add height these pipes before I put on the air filters. Since the tank is in the main part of the house, kitchen, eat in kitchen, dining, two living rooms, i thought the air should go through foam and carbon before it gets mixed with tank water. I am concerned with air-born cooking, house hold cleaning products, candles and air fresheners etc getting into air and mixing with tank water...

I have been researching internal over flow boxes as my back up idea.

Been working on the light canopy yesterday and plan to today.

We might relocate the 140 to the other side of the room on Saturday, if not for sure next week, so we can slide the 300 into place and continue working on it and the wiring. I am running two independent 20 amp circuits to the 300 from the breaker box. With all the Gen5 XR30 and maybe 3 kessils, the Ecotech pumps, GHL stuff etc I figured this is best. You know from being in this hobby, the wires oh all the wires...

I bought these power strips on Amazon, should help with wire management and on/off ability. Thought I would share picture with you...

Also planning either solar or natural gas back up generator.

Talk again soon.... oh it is coffee time,
Sal

ADJ power strip.jpg
 
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sisterlimonpot

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Hmm, I'm not certain you're going to achieve the results you want. I may be reading it wrong, but it sounds like you're going to have essentially 3 separate and independent bottle necks with 1.5" strainers on them. I would be concerned that it will be a chore to keep those strainers free from clogging not to mention having all 3 tuned properly to drain at a similar rates.

I'm a fan of the ghost overflows that take up minimal space inside the tank but offers 2nd to none surface skimming. And I whole heartedly think that the Bean Animal overflow design checks every box from safety, to ease of use to quietness, I wouldn't build a tank without it.

I don't know if you're familiar with those, but I would read up on them, so that you can be objective with your choice, you're at good stage to be able to make the necessary changes to prevent floods and enjoy a silent tank.

If I read your post wrong, than forgive me and disregard.

Jimmy
 

1ocean

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Hmm, I'm not certain you're going to achieve the results you want. I may be reading it wrong, but it sounds like you're going to have essentially 3 separate and independent bottle necks with 1.5" strainers on them. I would be concerned that it will be a chore to keep those strainers free from clogging not to mention having all 3 tuned properly to drain at a similar rates.

I'm a fan of the ghost overflows that take up minimal space inside the tank but offers 2nd to none surface skimming. And I whole heartedly think that the Bean Animal overflow design checks every box from safety, to ease of use to quietness, I wouldn't build a tank without it.

I don't know if you're familiar with those, but I would read up on them, so that you can be objective with your choice, you're at good stage to be able to make the necessary changes to prevent floods and enjoy a silent tank.

If I read your post wrong, than forgive me and disregard.

Jimmy
thanks for the input... The strainers have a wide opening design in the web design. I have been thinking of a second idea if they do not work as I hope which would be,I would then make a 4 foot long internal overflow box by about 5 inches deep or less by about 3 inches deep. This would tie all three over flow holes in the back of the tank in one internal overflow box.
I am trying to minimize over flow box or anything in the tank...I hate having those corner floor to top of tank overflows, waste of space i think.
I am not worried about trying to tune the 3 over flow 1 1/2 inch pipes, since two go to each sump, which are tied together by a 3 inch pipe in chamber 1 at the 3 inch water height from the bottom and a secondary at the 10 inch height connecting each sump at the return pump chamber.
Also the center 1 1/2 over flow pipe feeds the refug that over flows into each sump in chamber 3.
I think this will balance out everything. I have tied tank together before in NY with one sump and had great success, so this idea is just the opposite.
Time will tell, as I am going to fill the 300 up with plain water first for a test run...
Again I thank you for your input and it has been committed to my brain...
Sal
 

sisterlimonpot

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Sal,

Thanks for the clarification, I too was concerned with taking up realestate inside the tank. I made my internal overflow as narrow as I could but at the same time allowing for excellent surface skimming. It only sticks out 2 inches and is barely noticeable unless you're looking for it.



and as you can see here:


The footprint is minimal.
 
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1ocean

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Sal,

Thanks for the clarification, I too was concerned with taking up realestate inside the tank. I made my internal overflow as narrow as I could but at the same time allowing for excellent surface skimming. It only sticks out 2 inches and is barely noticeable unless you're looking for it.



and as you can see here:


The footprint is minimal.
cool..Thanks for the feedback... we will be putting the 300 in the former 140 spot tomorrow and then I can work on the whole electrical process. I already ran two independent 20 amp outlets from the breaker box to the wall the tank is going on, for the 4 Radion Gen5, Ecotech pumps, skimmers, Kessil refug light, GHL KH Director, dosing pumps, heaters, UV etc and future ION Director and 3 kessil lights to add some shimmer to the Radions . I added up all the volts and figured out the amps. I have plenty of extra amps...
I will post some pic soon..
 

1ocean

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Made a rack mount for the power strips for each sump and installed them.
We got the 300 in the location where the 140 was and completed the wood frame wrap around the stand. Next I have to build the wood doors.
Today we are going to start the rock design, outside of the tank.

Left sump power strip.jpg

Right sump power strip.jpg
 
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1ocean

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Yesterday ,spent 6 plus hours designing the rocks out of the tank, then moved them to the 300 tank.
No water yet maybe in a week or two.

300 with rocks done.jpg
 

1ocean

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yep it is Oct 21st, and RODI and salt are in the tank since Oct 15th.
Both sumps working perfectly....
Been adding Brightwell Microbactor 7.
still have things to hook up and get running.
 

1ocean

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Well it is coffee time. Soaked 1/2 a Brightwell Bio Plate and 1/2 a Brightwell No3 Plate in Brightwell Microbacter start xlm over night per directions.
Will add them to the sumps today and also turn on the two MP40s....
Have to do little modification to the two sumps, when the system turns off for feeding time the bio balls float out of their camber and into the chambers after theirs.
I don't want them getting pulled into or blocking the Vecta pumps so I am gonna install a small egg crate gate to keep them in their chamber.
Still have lots of wires to tuck away and things to hook up.
Taking it slow to be sure it is how we want it.....
 

1ocean

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Well we are moving along. Ammonia zero, Nitrite 0.1 and Nitrate 2.5 so we added 5 Blue Chromis to the 300 on Monday 10/25.
So far things are good and we will slowly start moving fish from the 140 to the 300 over the next month.
Testing along the way and we using Brightwell products to help.
Was using all Hanna checkers but I hate the new Hanna Nitrate tester, went back to Red Sea for this test.
Anyone using the Hanna Nitrate checker and needs stuff for it or wants the whole kit let me know, I only used it maybe 8 times.
Paid $50.00 for it will let it all go for $15 to a AZ frag member.
Sal
 
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sisterlimonpot

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Well we are moving along. Ammonia zero, Nitrite 0.1 and Nitrate 2.5 so we added 5 Blue Chromis to the 300 on Monday 10/25.
So far things are good and we will slowly start moving fish from the 140 to the 300 over the next month.
Testing along the way and we using Brightwell products to help.
Was using all Hanna checkers but I hate the new Hanna Nitrate tester, went back to Red Sea for this test.
Anyone using the Hanna Nitrate checker and needs stuff for it or wants the whole kit let me know, I only used it maybe 8 times.
Paid $50.00 for it will let it all go for $15 to a AZ frag member.
Sal
Is it the high range checker? If so, I'd be interested in it.
 

1ocean

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I been doing a lot of research and talking to alot of reefers(chemist) here and around the Country and I decided to not use a refug on the 300. I want to be able to have more control over the nitrate numbers within a range, with ease and without constant light and water flow with a refug.
Plus it frees up more space under my tank and reduces my overall water volume by 20 gallons.
I know it is my choice and everyone has the right to choose, I just know think, (yes after making a refug for the 300) having to rely on chaeto, a light, water flow and the fact that if there is not enough nitrate the chaeto dies is more complicated and does not provide a means to dial in the nitrate number within a range I want to maintain.
So watched a lot of videos including Parkers Reef and others around the world and made me want to make one.
Yesterday we went out and found (yes in Tempe place) two slightly used reef octopus for a total of $135.00 vs new at $290.00 for the BR 140 and $220.00 for the MF 2000 advanced media reactor...
I did a little pipe modifications and have to go get one last 1/2" threaded 90 degree so I can thread the blue flex pipe to reactor 1 (the sulfur reactor) from the second reactor which will have very Caribsea large course arogonite in it to help buffer the ph, alk drop caused by the sulfur.
Got sulfur and Caribsea ARM coming next few days.

Is anyone using a sulfur reactor?

Sulfur and ARM reactor.jpg
 
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sisterlimonpot

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That's the beauty of all this, you can use that chamber for many different things. I started off with a chamber solely for a fuge to tumble chaeto, then it morphed into a spot for miracle mud, now it's a spot for my frags.

There's still remanence of chaeto on other sections of my sump, I haven't nor will I irradiate it completely, it keeps growing and I keep harvesting, so I guess you can say I have free range chaeto in my sump.

When I think of denitrator I think of a benthic, low oxygen zone with miles of tubing inside a reactor and slow.... slow... I mean slow moving water through it for the anaerobic bacteria to form and take up nitrates. Looking at your pictures, I don't think that's the same as what I think of. This may be the addition to the word sulfur, which I know also has a denitrification quality when in a low oxygen environment, but not quite sure how the industry has packaged this great wonder.

Personally, for nitrate control I use a shit ton of siporax (sintered glass) and pond matrix, someone correct me if i'm wrong but it works off the same principle of a denitrator. Lot's of surface area in a low flow/light area using anaerobic bacteria to break down nitrates. And all you have to do with that is to put them in bags and drop them in your sump. one less ass to wipe with caring for a reactor(s).