Stnbrgn's 300G Branching Reef -- Build Thread - GTA Aquaria Forum - Aquarium Fish & Plants serving the Greater Toronto Area.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:15 AM   #1
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Talking Stnbrgn's 300G Branching Reef -- Build Thread

Hello, I'm fairly new to this forum and I've never posted a build thread before but now after buying our first house, my girlfriend and I decided it was time to upgrade from our current 80g to a larger more permanent aquarium where we can get a great new reef started. We take possession of our house April 20th, so in the mean time I'll be gathering all the necessary equipment to get the build started the week of April 25th. We decide to go with a 300g custom made tank with deep dimensions by Miracle Aquariums. The new tank will have dimensions of 72"36"27" with Starphire front and sides as well as external overflow drilled for a Bean animal overflow. They are also making us a custom sump with dimensions of 60"x36"24" for maximum water volume. Our goal here is to maximize the amount of water the system has but also contain all the necessary equipment needed to run this reef. All while being under the tank in the stand, at the same time looking clean and organized. Under the tank in the sump area everything will be very compact but also very organized to maximize space, functionality and looks. I'd like our sump to look almost as nice as the display tank itself. Here are a couple teaser pictures of the tank still being built at the Miracles warhouse...



After ordering the tank I started to think about our rockscape. I looked at many different options and after alot of thought I decided to use Tonga branching reef rock. I knew for the large amount of rock and design we wanted I'd have to go with dry rock so I contacted Eli at Fijireefrock. After going back 4 or 5 times by phone and countless texts we had finally manged to get 270 lbs of nice quality tonga branch rock that would help us create the perfect aquascape. I would definately recommend Eli for all your dry rock needs, he was patient and made sure I was completely happy with every piece of rock before shipping it off to me. He even sweetened the deal with 7lbs of carbon and 5lbs of Fijicrete with my order for free, great service from start to finish. Now knowing that we'd be using dry rock I knew it wouldn't be a good idea to just put the rock in the tank and go through a huge cycle and algae phase. Instead we bought a 450g plastic pond (rock tub) that was roughly the same size (68"46"24") as the aquarium to both cure and cook all the rock.
Alot of water changes ahead...
After roughly a week the rock arrives at our door tightly wrapped and ready to get into the rock tub for curing...

After a bit of time I pieced together a rough rockscape design to get an idea how it'll look in the tank. Here are a couple teaser pictures without giving away too much of the design before it's in the tank...



Picked up 9 bags of "Select" reef sand for an approximately 2" deep sandbed from Bill at Incredible Aquariums...

After getting together two eheim heaters, a eheim compact 5000 and eheim 1262 that I had lying around, I filled the rock tub with Rodi water, heated and salted the water to nsw. I followed the curing instructions from Eli's website and fed the rock with skimmate. After 3 weeks the rock was fully cured. I've also been soaking the sand in buckets of Rodi water, changing the water every two days, to remove all organics and phosphates till it goes into the new tank. I will be doing a 100% waterchange to the rock tub early next week. I will then be adding some live rock from our established tank to help seed the new rock for the next 5 weeks before it goes into the new tank.
I will be updating this thread over the next 5 weeks as I gather all the equipment needed for our reef. The build will take place the week of April 25th. Feel free to comment or suggest anything you think may help to make this a better reef system.
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Old 03-13-2016, 03:38 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by MStnbrgn View Post
Hello, I'm fairly new to this forum and I've never posted a build thread before but now after buying our first house, my girlfriend and I decided it was time to upgrade from our current 80g to a larger more permanent aquarium where we can get a great new reef started. We take possession of our house April 20th, so in the mean time I'll be gathering all the necessary equipment to get the build started the week of April 25th. We decide to go with a 300g custom made tank with deep dimensions by Miracle Aquariums. The new tank will have dimensions of 72"36"27" with Starphire front and sides as well as external overflow drilled for a Bean animal overflow. They are also making us a custom sump with dimensions of 60"x36"24" for maximum water volume. Our goal here is to maximize the amount of water the system has but also contain all the necessary equipment needed to run this reef. All while being under the tank in the stand, at the same time looking clean and organized. Under the tank in the sump area everything will be very compact but also very organized to maximize space, functionality and looks. I'd like our sump to look almost as nice as the display tank itself. Here are a couple teaser pictures of the tank still being built at the Miracles warhouse...







After ordering the tank I started to think about our rockscape. I looked at many different options and after alot of thought I decided to use Tonga branching reef rock. I knew for the large amount of rock and design we wanted I'd have to go with dry rock so I contacted Eli at Fijireefrock. After going back 4 or 5 times by phone and countless texts we had finally manged to get 270 lbs of nice quality tonga branch rock that would help us create the perfect aquascape. I would definately recommend Eli for all your dry rock needs, he was patient and made sure I was completely happy with every piece of rock before shipping it off to me. He even sweetened the deal with 7lbs of carbon and 5lbs of Fijicrete with my order for free, great service from start to finish. Now knowing that we'd be using dry rock I knew it wouldn't be a good idea to just put the rock in the tank and go through a huge cycle and algae phase. Instead we bought a 450g plastic pond (rock tub) that was roughly the same size (68"46"24") as the aquarium to both cure and cook all the rock.

Alot of water changes ahead...

After roughly a week the rock arrives at our door tightly wrapped and ready to get into the rock tub for curing...



After a bit of time I pieced together a rough rockscape design to get an idea how it'll look in the tank. Here are a couple teaser pictures without giving away too much of the design before it's in the tank...







Picked up 9 bags of "Select" reef sand for an approximately 2" deep sandbed from Bill at Incredible Aquariums...



After getting together two eheim heaters, a eheim compact 5000 and eheim 1262 that I had lying around, I filled the rock tub with Rodi water, heated and salted the water to nsw. I followed the curing instructions from Eli's website and fed the rock with skimmate. After 3 weeks the rock was fully cured. I've also been soaking the sand in buckets of Rodi water, changing the water every two days, to remove all organics and phosphates till it goes into the new tank. I will be doing a 100% waterchange to the rock tub early next week. I will then be adding some live rock from our established tank to help seed the new rock for the next 5 weeks before it goes into the new tank.

I will be updating this thread over the next 5 weeks as I gather all the equipment needed for our reef. The build will take place the week of April 25th. Feel free to comment or suggest anything you think may help to make this a better reef system.

Congratulations on your house and your new tank. Following up to see how this monster turn out. Good luck and keep the pics coming. What kind of setup r u planning Sps dominant, Softies/Lps, Mixed reef? What kind of lights and filtration u r planning?


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Old 03-13-2016, 03:54 AM   #3
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Congratulations on your house and your new tank. Following up to see how this monster turn out. Good luck and keep the pics coming. What kind of setup r u planning Sps dominant, Softies/Lps, Mixed reef? What kind of lights and filtration u r planning?


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Thanks! I'll be updating this thread with many pictures as the build progress'. I plan to do an Sps dominated reef with some LPS and zoa's for filler around the sps. As for lighting and other equipment I'm going to have to leave you hanging as I want to post pictures when I post my equipment list but let's just say I plan to use high end equipment for this build. So stay tuned for more pictures and build info!
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Old 03-13-2016, 04:01 AM   #4
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Ummmmmm


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Old 03-14-2016, 10:10 PM   #5
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Very nice, looking forward to the build thread.
My only advice would be a basement sump. I honestly think you're going be hunched over working under a tank that deep.

A basement sump will make husbandry much much easier and it will also contain the mess of routine maintenance.

Water changes are going to be a pain lugging 20-30 gallons for water changes. Both to and from the tank.

Just something to think about.
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Old 03-15-2016, 12:11 AM   #6
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Sub'd to see the progression.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:39 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeznutz View Post
Very nice, looking forward to the build thread.
My only advice would be a basement sump. I honestly think you're going be hunched over working under a tank that deep.

A basement sump will make husbandry much much easier and it will also contain the mess of routine maintenance.

Water changes are going to be a pain lugging 20-30 gallons for water changes. Both to and from the tank.

Just something to think about.
completely agreed. Too bad my fish room in the basement is way across the floor where my tank sits I definitely would use this as an option if available.
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Old 03-15-2016, 09:49 AM   #8
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Welcome and congratulations on the house and the tank upgrade Ill be following your build so keep the pictures
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Old 03-15-2016, 10:49 PM   #9
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Following this one for sure. Congrats and good luck. i love the branching rock and i cant wait to see it all come together.

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Old 03-15-2016, 10:55 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deeznutz View Post
Very nice, looking forward to the build thread.
My only advice would be a basement sump. I honestly think you're going be hunched over working under a tank that deep.

A basement sump will make husbandry much much easier and it will also contain the mess of routine maintenance.

Water changes are going to be a pain lugging 20-30 gallons for water changes. Both to and from the tank.

Just something to think about.
The house we bought is a raised bungalow so it has walk out basement, it's the only way we'd get the stand inside the house, the stand is 72"x36"x42"H. I'll be spending most of my time in the basement and want to have an awesome reef to occupy my time. Thus the tank will already be in the basement and unfortunately I don't have access to sump room or anything like that. However I did design the sump in a way that most of the necessary equipment is accessible without having to reach to far into the sump for easier maintenance. Most of the sump is just extra water volume with all the equipment being organized for easy access. As for doing water changes I plan to run two 1/2" PVC pipes (Saltwater input, Tank water output) as well as a RO line up the wall, through the ceiling and down into our furnace room where I'll be making a water mixing room as well as laundry sink for doing all my regular fish maintenance. I have to try to keep everything under the stand as there is no room for equipment beside the tank. So basically I'm trying to make the best of having the sump under the stand. I hope it works out as I planned, but I'll keep this thread posted.
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