90 Gallon Build

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Hey reefers! 

Decided to come here to do a build thread and introduce myself. 

My name is Nick Babin I have been in this hobby for about 3 years. I started with a standard 20 gallon and hang on the back filters. 

I now have a successful mixed 20 gallon drop off tank and a 65 gallon LPS/Softies tank. This will be a mixed tank dominated by SPS


This build begain with almost all used items. 

Items that were second hand used in this build.

90 gallon aqueon tank 

stand and canopy 

Aqueon ProFlex model 4 

2- Phosban 150 reactors 

2- cobalt pumps 

Hydor 705 skimmer 

Fluval E300 heater 

4 bulb ATI sunpower t5 fixture 

90lbs pukani dry rock 


items purchased new 

hydor seltz-D return pump 

icecap 3k gyre 

48” LED t5 fixture 

RB lumenbar- high octane UV

 2- APC surge protectors 

4- smart life 1-2 WiFi switches 

CA 1400 pump for skimmer 

3/4 aluminum tubing 

3/4” x 3” L brackets 

misc screws and hooks 



The next step was to get all of this cleaned up. It took me about 6 hours start to finish. I ran the entire system in a water and vinegar mix while scrubbing off the deposits and cleaning the glass. I also wiped down the stand and canopy. I didn’t take any pics while it was full, I apologize. The sump was behind the tank with the skimmer and reactors running as well as a return pump I was going to use (SP6) 



after settinf the tank up inside the house I noticed a haze that I just couldn’t get to go away, so at this point I decided to get a new one. 

While waiting for its arrival I decided to purchase all new tubing for the reactors and skimmer. I got all this into the sump and organized. I also added the 48” led t5 light to illuminate the sump during maintenance. I also bought a piece of lexan cut to size to cover the opening on the backside of the stand, to eliminate salt creep or splatter on my walls. I left a gap at the bottom for some airflow and to route power cables out of. B2D23BF5-2170-45C0-A9B8-7CC57F95000E.thumb.jpeg.ad0969fbb9f94a69f6f638d9b470d584.jpeg




just before purchasing a new ati fixture the exact one I was looking at was offered for sale in the BRK group on FB. The fan wasn’t working though. I thought I can fix that no problem. I got it home and began troubleshooting the fixture. The fan functioned and I checked it using a dc drill battery. Which meant the ac to dc power supply had to be bad. I took the 12v one from my router and swapped it out. Instantly the fan began to buzz. Ordered a variable 3v-12v ac to dc converter from amazon and it was running as new when it came in 3 days later. This picture shows the voltage after using my other 12v adapter in the old ones place. 




the next steps were to get started on my aquascape and start on my do-it yourself arms to hang the t5 fixture. I needed arms as I decided I did not want to mount the lights inside the canopy. Not to my surprise the aquascape was the much more difficult task.. 

the material for the arms were purchased all from Lowe’s. 

3/4” alum tubing, L-brackets, wood screws, self tapping screws and 3/16” j-hooks. 

It took a little math to figure out the overall height I needed for the fixture to hang just above the top of the canopy with the lid removed. This allows much better airflow for the light, hides the rim of the tank, helps with light spill and also allows me to remove the canopy for working in the tank but keep my lights on so I can see. 

The scape I used a chisel and hand saw to cut and shape the rocks to stack best and to be solid. 






The tank had arrived by this time. The day before now, I had began to cure the rock in a trash can to help breakdown anything that would cause a problem later on with the tanks success. 

I was able to get the tank on the stand and finally see how it would look with the fixture hanging. 




all of my cable management supplies, timers and power strips had also come in today. Along with my hydor seltz-d controllable return pump. 

This means it was time for me to tackle what most of us don’t like to do. Organize the cords and keep the power strips safe and out of a corrosive environment. 

I decided to attach it to the side for now until I build my cabinet to hold them inside along with some supplies. 

Each outlet on the 1 to 2 WiFi timers can be separately controlled. 

I have timers for the first set of T5’s, the second set (peak), the fan, the reef breeder led that will be added when it comes in and also had an extra so put my sump light on the last one. The second surge protector is powering all of the pumps and heater. 

The 3 box in the picture of the power supplys is used to control the return pump. Flow control and feed mode. 


The outlets use the smart life app, which allows them to be organized and adjustments made even when I’m not at home via the cloud. 


This is where the build is at so far. I will be updating this thread as I make more progress. Any comments or concerns are welcomed! Happy reefing everyone! 







Edited by NaClH2oReefer

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5 hours ago, saltyfish808 said:

 This is going to be a great 90! I would try to open up the rock work a bit when you get to put it together .



Thank you and sure will pay attention to that when it goes in! 

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The reffbreeders high octane UV lumen bar came in today along with the icecap 3k gyre pump. Looks pretty good installed! Definitely mimics a traditional actinic bulb. The picture makes it look more blue but in person definitely closer to violet. Ready for the rocks to finish the curing process so I can fill it up and start the cycle. 








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Got the lighting finished up finally how I wanted it. 

48” 4 bulb ATI fixture 

2- 48” reefbreeder lumen bars with 36 3 watt cree LEDs 

Front to back order 

RB high octane UV 





RB royal ice 


May see how it looks once filled and decide if I’m gonna replace the purple+ with coral+ or not. 


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Been pretty busy lately! Let the rock soak in prime a little longer but let it dry out since Friday morning and put it in today. 


Gonna think on it a few days but may leave this as the final scape. Any feedback is appreciated! 


It’s off the wall on the back, fish will be able to swim all the way around, including behind and through in several spots. 


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Changed up the scape some. Moved stuff off the back wall. Spaced out the right side by making a cave and canyon effect instead of a wall 
If everything goes right should be filling it up tomorrow. 

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4 hours ago, RedStickReefer said:

I dig it.  Not a major change in the scape, but it looks like it opened it up a bit.


Well today I made a major change in the scape and I am liking it a lot. Used the same amount of rock but figured out how to stack it and open it up much more. 


Here is an original scape to now. The final scape. Currently waiting on the brute can to fill up now. 






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Well today was the day. Took a little over a day and a half to get these filled. Sand and water went in today. All pumps are working great, drainage is pretty darn quiet. The seltz-D return pump is silent! Luckily no leaks in the bulkheads, tank itself or plumbing. So far so good. Hoping to have it cycled in 6-8 weeks.



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Been a while since I updated here. Sorry 


Tank has been going great and smooth. Everything in my opinion has been a perfect start. 

This is the tank as it sits. Almost 2 months since it was filled. 


Taking it slow and wont be adding coral until it’s stocked with my fish. So far the stock list is 

Midas Blenny 

3 blue/green chromis

2 molly ( were honestly suppose to die in the cycle process lol) 

2 zebra bar dartfish 

flame angel 


tricolor fairy wrasse 


only fish left to add are 

yellow tang 

leopard wrasse 

Royal gram


Edited by NaClH2oReefer
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Sorry guys! 

Here is a small update. I finally got almost all of my coral moved over from the 20 gallon drop off I had into this 90 gal system. 

Mill try to get better pics next week once everything settles in. 

Also here is the stock list so far. 



Current frag list in the tank:

Fire and ice zoa  
Blueberry pie zoa
Fruit loop zoa 
Radioactive dragon eye zoa 
Bam bam Zoas 
Gatorade Zoas 
Rasta Zoas 
Sunny D Zoas 
Pink ring of death Zoas 
Ultra red discosoma 
Marbled discosoma 
Orange rhodactis 
Neon green rhodactis 
Green and orange Yuma
Neon green Alveopora 
Pink Goniopora 
Neon green cabbage leather 
Rainbow acan 
Green star polyp 
Neon green toadstool 
Purple Stylophora 
Bubblegum Digitata 
Mystic sunset monti 
Green and Purple Milli 
Sunset Milli
Ponape Birdsne st 
Pink Lemonade 
Rasberry Limeade
Cornbread Purple Planet





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Tank just made 5 months old. Battled some aggressive cyano during the ugly stage. Stayed at it with good husbandry and the tank is looking great.

Params are staying stable 
Nitrate - 5ppm 
Phos- .02ppm
Alk- 8.9dKh
Calc- 450 



I did change the fish stocking up a little. I lost my copperband to infection/bacteria which also took out my flame angel. I decided not to go with the royal gramma. I went with a high back wrasse over the leopard and I got rid of the mollies for harassing my wrasses. 


Stock list: 
Snowflake eel 
Yellow tang
Hippo tang
Midas blenny 
Black ice clown 
2 chromis 
2 bar dartfish 
High fin wrasse 
Tri color wrasse



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