550lt Reef Upgrade

GregBishop

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Having tried the hobby almost 20 years ago with limited success, the bug seemed to bite again while my wife informed our girls that 'dad used to keep the same fish as seen on TANKED'. Obviously there was no turning back as the girls now wanted a marine tank! I swore that I would keep it small so I decided to buy a 900 x 450 x 450 tank. Having received excellent advise from the local pet shop it was a success. 6 months past and guess what... time for a bigger tank!?! (What is it with this hobby?).

To limit costs I purchased the tank and most of the equipment through MASA. Being rather patient I bought a 1500 x 600 x 600 tank which would be the a labour of love!

I stripped the tank, repainted and being a bit of a neat freak, tried to do everything perfectly which subsequently has been redone on multiple occasions! Is it really cheaper?

It was going so well that I decided to build my own cabinet. To put this in perspective, I do not own the correct tools to do so and hence the design was critical to hide the joins, this took about a month! Finally the cuts, splinters, aggravation etc. has paid off.

As I thought everything was ready to start I received a rather nasty surprise on what all the filter materials costs which somewhat delayed this labour of love! A while later all done until I hit another obstacle... Building the Reef! Never again and the realisation that I needed to purchase 60kg of rock. Having built it approximately 30 times my wife had enough and abused google to get some ideas, it was eventually 2 concepts combined that we think we are satisfied with.

We started the system 3 days ago and running perfectly, after fixing a leak with the plumbing. Cannot wait for 6 - 8 weeks to pass, fortunately patience has been learnt and suited for this hobby!

Would appreciate opinions?
Pics to follow!!!
 

GregBishop

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Filter system with limited space! I hate wires and plugs so learnt how to wire a DB board. Whilst not difficult to most it's a real challenge for me!
image.jpg
image.jpg
 

Hammerhead

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Stunning build. The patience really pays off in the long run.

I noticed the reactor is hard plumbed will this not cause the joints to leak when changing media. Unless of course you have a union somewhere.
 

GregBishop

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Did not really think that one through I guess, but the reactors do detach from the hard plumbing easily so I do not foresee an issue. The carbon reactor at the back could be an issue and will probably look out for a reef octopus Bp70 as they are easy to change.
 

RiaanP

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wow, a bit OCD on those plumbing. But it looks neat.

Like your white cabinet.
 

ScubaLover22

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Looks great. What I found works really well with the aquascaping is drilling the rocks and inserting plastic rods through rocks you want to join. It allows the rocks to be very stable and allows for overhangs and caves to be firm.
I can see myself following your plumbing techniques. I love the neatness.

How easy is it to get in and work on the sump?
 

pyke

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congrats, an awesome build! wish I had the spent the time when I started my tank, much harder to do things properly after the fact.
 

GregBishop

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Access to the sump is not problematic, I found the return chamber was a little limited due to the pumps feeding the reactors but all worked out in the end. There is ample space to work in it. Nice idea on rocks! I found that the glass on top of the sump had limited space for pipes and it was challenging to feed pipes in and out. The design could be improved but it was in and had to work with what I had and hence the busy pipes. Thanks for the feedback!
 

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