Blog #4 05/14/2017: The Equipment List

The deposit was given, the CAD drawings for sign-off are on the way, so let’s look at the equipment list…

Aquarium:  Custom glass 96x30x30, center overflow, pre-drilled, steel braced around rim

Stand:  96x30x36 custom steel stand with drip tray

Sump: Custom 72x24x18 acrylic sump with filter socks, refugium, and skimmer section.

Filtration:  Curve 9 Protein Skimmer

Main Pump:  Reef Octopus Varios 6

Power Heads:  Ecotec Marine MP40 (2)

Lighting:  Hydra 26 LED lighting system (5)

RO:  Custom 3 stage RO system w/ auto top-off

H2O Change:  55g drum w/ submersible pump, fed from RO system

Substrate:  240lbs live sand

Rock:  300lbs Fiji premium live rock

As mentioned in previous posts, the tank, stand, and sump are custom and will create a water volume north of 500g.  I’ve decided to go with LED lighting, mainly because of the low maintenance and the low heat output.  The pumps, skimmer, etc. were all recommended to me by the dealer.  These same items were included in a number of my quotes, so I’m assuming they are popular models as of the writing of this blog.

A water line is going to be run from my bathroom plumbing behind the tank wall, through into a pantry area where the RO system will be installed.  The RO will feed the auto top-off for the tank and an auto-top off for the 55g drum that will also be in the pantry directly behind the tank.  Everything will be plumbed so that the auto top-off will keep the tank full, and the drum will serve as fresh water for my water changes.  All I’ll need do is add salt to the drum, and when ready drain some water from the tank (plumbed into the bathroom drainage), and then pump the new water back into the tank.  Water changes on this big of a system can be a pain, so I wanted to make sure this was as easy as possible… a large improvement over my first reef tank!

Another thing that I will do differently this time around is the rock.  My first tank had real, live rock from the ocean.  This is great since there is so much life on the rock right at purchase.  It’s also bad because it has so much life on the rock right at purchase.  lol.  This time around, I’m going with cured live rock, cultured outside of the ocean.  This is good in the reverse in that their isn’t the life of ocean rock, but it also will have zero parasites or unwanted critters hitch-hiking their way into the tank.  I’ve also come to learn that it is much more eco friendly to go with cured live rock… so there’s that.

For the sump, there are a number of ways to go, but I’m a believer in a big refugium with lots of algae.  The fight fire with fire theory… to keep algae out of the tank, grow it like wildfire in the refugium!  I haven’t picked a light for the sump as of this blog post, but I’ll pick something up once the tank arrives.

In the future, once the tank is mature enough for hard corals, I have planned on space in the stand for three reactors.  Likely a calcium reactor, a carbon reactor, and a nitrate reactor.  A calcium reactor is in my future for sure… the others will depend on the tank’s needs… but space is there if needed!

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