Dream Re-build?

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Hi again from long long ago!  Well I’ll make the intro to this fairly short... I just want to say that I’ve been “reefing” for 25 yrs. the early days were softies and bryopsis!  Now color sticks grow and have color that we never had back in the days of bright yellow light!  For 25 yrs I’ve wanted a “fish room” and in 2006 I made one in my reptile store at the time located in Covington LA. I ran it for about 6 mo the before the other business was just too much to handle and the reef thing tapered off. Now 38 yrs old I still have my reptile business that is 18 yrs old and ships globally. We ship 3 times a week domestically and we have a good bit of space to play with. I’ve got a popular industry podcast also so I’m finally “allowed” to do this and let the other business take care of itself while I play a minute...




The room started as my office/man cave and this room is 11x22. I had to separate my recording studio from the tank because ambient salt was becoming an issue with my hardware. So we made a littl 11x10 recording room with no saltwater in it. It’s so boring ?. This pic was taken in 2012 when we finished the room I got the tank going and was running on 4x 400w Radium 20ks. Acros started doing well and fish were good too. In July of 2012 I was upstairs on the second level deck, we hadn’t finished all of the railing yet.  I was on the phone, wishing my grandmother a happy bday when I slipped or tripped and fell over the edge...  I landed backwards on a concrete chain wall we poured for some lizard caging. This broke my back at T8 and severed my spinal cord completely. So I’ve been sporting a wheelchair and try to not let it define my future. This project is really slow because there is so much of this that I can’t complete without help. My friends and family have been pitching in a lot to this one!  So details... 




in 2005-06 I constructed my first “dream build” which was PLYWOOD!! 

If you want the full build thread... some pics are still there especially if you scroll to the last page... Plywood 300 build thread (if you ever have questions about this just text me 9852731699) this is easy but tedious. If you want a huge tank that’s more durable but costs 1/3 or less and you have tools and some time... this BAD WORD is REWARDING!!! 




-Main display 300 gallons 96x24x32h with a 96x8x10 overflow “coast to coast”

-MRC 36” reef sump with fuge

-Deltec 902 w/auto cleaning head 

-past had reactors from MRC all large gfo, Kalk and Carbonate 

-return pump/skimmer loop is a BlueLine(pan world) BL70 that flows through a 4way Oceans Motions for surface circulation 

-Old school closed loop!!  First run by a massive Hammerhead, which finally gave after spinning for 10 years but now brushless pumps like the Jebao 20k lph (about 5259gph) make it still run hard but now more adjustable. It draws through 2x 2” drains on the back and flows through an 8way Oceans Motions (sooooo old school?) that will operate two of the 8 in tank nozzles. 

-Might drop in a couple Vortech Mp40s just to toss it a bit or even target detritus spots... tbd

-Lighting... 6 or 7 Radion Xr30wG4 Pros OR two Aquaticlife 48” T5 kits with Radions in the middle.


With a little help and a few more weeks this one will be ready to cycle!  


Onto the other half of the room... AA3B9602-71D2-40DF-9195-A90645C9BFD9.thumb.jpeg.4cba93d10aff9015d8118dfe75b68bc2.jpeg


Years ago when I was dabbling in marine retail I ordered a some big tubs for live rock curing and also propagation. These tubs hold about 95 gallons each. I have 6 of those running 4 in this room above the two on the left are 3 ZooMed Frag Tanks giving me a grand total (not including sumps of course) of 80sq ft of growing surface to light and seed lol sounds like fun!!! You see the mess in the pics!! oh and the left and right sides are operating independently right now. 


System Left

-3 ZooMed Frag tanks & 2 Pentair Tp130 Mortar Style Tubs

- Sump High Country Plastic 75 gallon tanks

-Main Drive is 2 EcoTech Vectra M1s (one per level) the frag tanks are regulated with gate valves but I drilled them with 1.5” drains so I can flush them hard if I want to. The lower tubs are connected at surface level with 2x 2” pipes. The water comes in the closest tub in the system and goes through a 1” Wavy Sea (old school like a Sea Swirl rotator)

-Circulation in glass tanks... 6 Mp40s, 2 per tank and probably 3-4 IceCap Gyres for the tubs. I don’t have these yet so maybe something else similar, I’m open to suggestions. 

-Skimmer... None yet ??

-Lighting... no Idea lol!! I’m going to make a list of what’s left...


10x Radion Xr30wG4 Pros

4x 36” T5 Teklight Fixtures 6 Bulb

1x 48” T5 Retro 2 Bulb

2x 24” T5 Retro 2 Bulb

4x 400 w Metal Halide 

2x 250 w Metal Halide 


System Right 

-2 Pentair Tp130 Mortar Style Tubs

-Sump High Country Plastic 75 gallon tanks

-Main Drive - 2 EcoTech Vectra M1s (one per tub) 

-Circulation - Each tub has 2x IceCap 3k Gyres seem to do the trick. I’ve thought about getting one of the new 1ks to disturb cross flow very little detritus is gathering. 

-Skimmer - NYOS Quantum 220

-Lighting - Tub for higher light has 3 Radion Xr30wG4 Pros and 2x 36” T5 Retro 2bulbs ea. Running one Blue+ and one Purple+ in each Retro and I run the 3 radions about 18” up and get a spot I. The center in the 400-450par range as about 8 inches of depth. The Radions run on the AB+ setting at full. The other tub curently has 2 Radion Pros running that Phoenix 14 program and 1x 36” T5 Retro 2 bulb with a B+ and Coral+  


Datz It!!


i certainly welcomes suggestions critiques insults or whatever my brothers and sisters of saltwater have to say. We are always learning new things!! 


Im glad to be back here and I’m glad to be able to dive into this project. I’ve gone through a ton of BAD WORD in my life to get here. I’m excited to finally build something I’ve been dreaming of!  Who knows what I’m going to do with this... I’ve just been building and filling everything around me that will hold water!!


Thanks for reading! 

Edited by Sean:EbN

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Nice to see you still have a passion for reefin. Build looks really good. Keep us posted on your progress. Don't forget the pics.

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Sorry to hear about your accident, but glad you're still here and reefing.  Looks like a LOT of work has happened and the built looks great.  My "Dream Build" with fish room and all had to get put on hold since we lost just about everything we owned in the 2016 flood, and life in general got in the way.  The good news is the 30g frag system I was planning on building for my dream build has now become my home office display tank, so I'm back to reefing again and it feels great!

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Glad to see you're back, I haven't done much with my tank in two years. I did recently clean it up and basically start over, kept the fish and I'll probably just keep softies. I know one of my fish love purple gorgonian, so I'll try some different cheap corals and see if he lets any grows. :)


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