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Old 12-13-2013, 01:25 AM   #1
rdmustang1
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190 Gallon Custom Build


I've had a 29 gallon tank now for almost 25 years and have let it go. I've decided to get serious again and do it right. I looked for a pre-built tank that would satisfy me but couldn't find one. I ended up deciding on a custom tank.

Tank Summary:
Tank: 60"x30"x24"
Tank Volume: 190 Gallon
Total Water Volume: 260 Gallon
Lighting: 3x FishNeedIt T5-ho 4ft / 2LAMP Aquarium lighting w/ 6500k bulbs
CO2: 20lb Bottle, Wiki dual stage, all stainless regulator (picked up from Tom Barr), Cerges' Reactor
Filtration: 75 gallon sump with 5 different types of media, 2x Eheim 1262 pumps
Substrate: Eco Complete
Heating: 2x ViaAqua Titanium Aquarium Heater, 300-Watt (will add a third if needed)
Dosing: PPS-Pro plus DIY Dynamite Select root tabs
Automation: Apex Jr w/ temp probe, PM1 w/pH probe, 2x Tom's aqualifter dosing pumps

First decision was glass vs acrylic. I've only owned glass but worked at a LFS in high school and college and we used only acrylic so I'm very familiar with them. In the end I decided on acrylic because of its clarity and also for the weight (my wife and I can move a 190 gallon acrylic but not a glass).

I contacted 3 local builders and all three said I have to purchase through a LFS. I contacted 5 LFSs with requests and only 2 got back to me. One said they didn't get a response back from the builder and the other didn't contact the builder I wanted to go with but instead went with some crazy company in Florida who wanted $11k + shipping to build my tank. I was about to try different LFSs but found another option.

I contacted Jason Gregory at Clear Fabrications Inc. He was highly recommended at reeffrontiers. His price was extremely reasonable and well within my budget. The only problem was that he's in Washington and I'm in Texas. I bit the bullet and set up a deal with him even though the shipping costs put the total cost of the build higher than I had wanted. Based on all the feedback I read I knew that the tank would be nice. So far I've been very impressed with his knowledge. He helped me with the final design of the tank, kept me informed with pictures along the way, and always was responsive to my (often stupid) questions.

He created a build thread at RF. The tank is 60x30x24, has a continuous overflow box along the back, has 3x 1.5" overflows, 2x 3/4" returns, and 2x 1.5" holes to run wires/etc. Here is a pic of the finished tank:





It shipped today and should arrive around Tuesday of next week. I am dying of anticipation.

I built a custom stand for the tank. The room it's going in has a sloping floor (1" difference over the 5' that the tank is going on) since it's an enclosed patio. The stand came out very nice and perfectly level. I wasn't able to get a picture that shows off the stand properly. It's stained very evenly but for some reason the pictures make it seem uneven.



I'm using a 75 gallon glass aquarium for a sump. It has 5 media compartments plus a wet/dry area for bio balls. I cycled it using a fishless cycle so once the tank is in I can add fish immediately. I went with a sump because I want as little equipment as possible in the tank and I love having virtually unlimited filtration media as I like fish-heavy tanks.



I'll upload better pics once I have it in place.

I also bought a 10 gallon quarantine tank that I went ahead and set up to help add bacteria to some of my substrate (Eco Complete). I found a great deal on some plants and couldn't wait so I threw them in the 10 until the big tank is ready next week.



I'm planning on using the PPS-Pro dosing method with pressurized CO2. I'm using Excel until I get my CO2 rig finalized.




The CO2 will be injected using a DIY reactor:



10 gallons of PVC parts for the set up:


I'll also be using a custom 3D, internal background from atg-scape which is the main reason for the continuous overflow.

Hopefully this time next week it will be up and running. It's been about 2.5 months in planning and building. It's these last few days that are the hardest!

Last edited by rdmustang1; 01-08-2014 at 02:25 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:15 AM   #2
kevins007
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That tank looks very nice. Please post some pics of it after you get it.
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Old 12-13-2013, 03:41 AM   #3
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wow flourish excel got a new face now? Never seen that one.
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Old 12-13-2013, 05:17 AM   #4
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Off to a great start
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:02 PM   #5
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Default It's Alive!

Apparently the shipping company never called me to tell me that the tank was in so it sat at the docks for 2 weeks. Oh well, better late than never. I finally got it home and got to work.

Most of the PVC parts layed out:


Tank and sump set in place:


Bean animal overflow set up:


Plumbed and leak tested:


There were 2 connections that I didn't tighten properly but all the glue held up just fine.

Lots of water movement:


Media in place:


Return plumbing with easy access drain line:


A view from the top:


Background and driftwood in place:


CO2 reactor running nicely:


Dosing pumps (two times a day):


Apex (tried to make all the cords neat but there was just too much coming in):


Apex display mounted on the tank:


My first attempt at planting:


The tank still needs a lot of work but it's finally up. I'm fishless cycling and have a very strong batch of nitrosomonas bacteria but my nitrobacter bacteria are still growing.

Will post more updates as I have them.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:11 PM   #6
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yahoo what a beautiful tank!! great journal!
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:23 PM   #7
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great tank.
What made you go with ecocomplete instead of aquasoil? You were going all out why not splurge on aquasoil as well?
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:34 PM   #8
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Have you considered turning the driftwood located on the left side of the tank 90 degrees counterclockwise. But the construction of the tank is very well done.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andyl9063 View Post
great tank.
What made you go with ecocomplete instead of aquasoil? You were going all out why not splurge on aquasoil as well?
I've been out of the plant game for about 15 years and so much has changed. When I first started doing research 4 months ago I didn't come across aquasoil at all (not sure how I missed it). Most posts still recommended Flourite (which I used a long time ago and loved) and Eco-Complete (newer and cheaper alternative to Flourite) stood out as the best choices. I actually purchased it about 4 months ago last week figured it would work well enough. Even though I went all out on a lot, cost was still very important. 240 lbs of Eco Complete was expensive enough and since I would have had to eat most of the cost I decided to stay with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by NYCaqua View Post
Have you considered turning the driftwood located on the left side of the tank 90 degrees counterclockwise. But the construction of the tank is very well done.
When I bought it I did try multiple angles and this one was my favorite. Each piece is actually 2 smaller pieces screwed together. I decided on orientation before putting them together so when I do some major changes to the scape I may try that out.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rdmustang1 View Post
I've been out of the plant game for about 15 years and so much has changed. When I first started doing research 4 months ago I didn't come across aquasoil at all (not sure how I missed it). Most posts still recommended Flourite (which I used a long time ago and loved) and Eco-Complete (newer and cheaper alternative to Flourite) stood out as the best choices. I actually purchased it about 4 months ago last week figured it would work well enough. Even though I went all out on a lot, cost was still very important. 240 lbs of Eco Complete was expensive enough and since I would have had to eat most of the cost I decided to stay with it.
not sure how much cost, but I filled up my 220G with 6 bags of aquasoil, total $200. I still had 6 bags left over that I sold.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:47 PM   #11
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man I love that sump.

tank looks great too. that built in overflow is awesome
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:21 PM   #12
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gorgeous, i like it a lot
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:31 PM   #13
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Looks good, but all that money and no leds.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:50 PM   #14
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Nice set up you have going there.

Three questions the Reactor and dosing pumps can you say more about them, plus what about the 3D background, who makes it?

Still that is going to be a real looker.

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Old 01-08-2014, 12:06 AM   #15
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Awesome set up! What type of fauna you going to put in there? Hope a dozen or more discus Lol.

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