Jimbo’s CDA 250

Jimbo327

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#1
A little background, I started reefing back in 2000, and it was a lot of fun, meeting people, frag swaps, and basically trying to keep things alive. Over the years, I had to keep downsizing as my time and energy keeps shrinking. After the 2nd kid was born, I was down to a 6 gallon nano, but eventually got out of hobby for awhile (years) to focus on my kids and work. My oldest is 11 years old, and 2nd kid is now 8 years old! Finally settled down in OC, and after my oldest showed interest in fishes last year, I wanted to get back into reefing. Now I get to have my dream build. Only caveat is my wife said it needs to look nice and clean clean.

Tank and Stand
  • CDA 72”L x 30”D x 27”H. My dream dimension. (It’s an used tank, but new to me.) 😁
  • 1.5" External Overflow.
  • 3-side 0.5" Starfire glass.
  • 36" tall stand, made of steel with wood wrap.
Lighting
  • 3x ATI Straton
  • DIY T-Slot Mount (Hung from ceiling)
1717D971-E7DD-44EE-BA20-BE671ED0850F.jpeg


Equipment List (Have):
  • Sump (Have) - AA PVC/acrylic sump 48” long but needs TLC.
  • Skimmer (Have) - Used Regal 300SS, but needs major maintenance. I also have a BK DC 200, but I may sell this later.
  • Return pump 1 for DT (Have) - Used Ecotech L1 pump, but needs major maintenance.
  • Heater (Have) - Two 300W heaters along with a controller.
  • ATO (Have) - Tunze Osmolator from my old nano.
  • AWC (Have) - Used APEX DOS. Not sure how to use it yet.
  • Controller (Have) - APEX Neptune. Not sure how to use this. Will need advice.
  • Chiller (Have) - Used 1/4 hp Oceanic
Equipment List (Need):
  • Return pump 2 for manifold (Need) - Thinking of using a smaller DC pump like a Vario. Mainly to feed the chiller/UV or GFO.
  • Power heads (Need) - I have 1 older MP40QD, but will probably need a few more.
  • Dosers (Need) - I need 2 dosers for 8 channels. Thinking of 2 GHL dosers or something reliable.
  • UV (Need) - 90w Lifegard UV. Back ordered until July.
Goal of tank
  • SPS dominant
  • Run no socks
  • Minimal water changes
  • Alcohol-based Carbon Dosing
  • Lots of fish and snails
  • Target higher nutrients
  • Sand bed
 
Last edited:

Jimbo327

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#2
Yes, stand doors are missing because they were light pink! They didn’t prime/block so the original darker stand color bled through. Bummer.

Almost all of my equipment are used. I’m splurging on the lights because I don’t have a canopy. So the plan is to use ATI Stratons to give it a very clean look. But the multiple Stratons ceiling mount options are non-existent to US customers. What a pain in the butt, especially when they cost so much. Now, I have to figure out a way to mount these onto a rail and hung from the ceiling.
 

Jimbo327

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#4
Thanks! I've done a lot of reading over at R2R on how to mount these lights, and I've decided to use an aluminum T-Slot rail and fasteners for the strength (and not bow in the middle). But it's going to require a lot of ingenuity to make it look clean. I picked up the T-slot parts from Grainger.

When I look at the list of things I need to do before getting this tank wet, it feels overwhelming because I want to set it up right from the start. I know myself, if I don't do it now...I won't do it when it is up and running. So I will just focus on doing one thing at a time, and take it slow. I will start with the lights, and go from there.
 
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Gedxin

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#5
Tank and especially stand are beautiful! I love the drop-in sand hiding look as well. Excited to see this all come together.
 

Jimbo327

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#9
AD3CC373-2A63-45AE-8ABD-DCABEC7B4888.jpeg

This is the mess in my garage now. I have a lot of used stuff that needs some TLC. I’ve been digging through my shed for stored equipment that I had picked up over the years. My wife calls me a hoarder. 🤣

Good idea about the list. Let me make one up.
 

Jimbo327

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#16
Thanks! It's been a long time to be back in the hobby.

I think we've met before, a long time ago...you had a tank in your garage. I remember because your house was down the block from my childhood home. Hopefully, I'm remembering right, and I can get some frags from you in the future once my tank is ready.
 
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Jimbo327

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#17
The wall behind the tank is an exterior wall to the side yard, the plan now is to keep a Rubbermaid shed (outside) to house a 50gal top-off fresh water barrel, and feed the top-off water through the wall directly into sump with a (Tunze Osmolator) ATO pump. With a tank this size, I figure I'll be losing 3-5gal/day in evaporation, and I just can't see myself filling a small in-house ATO container every couple days. And if I have to travel out of town for 1-2 weeks (which happens a few times per year), that would be a problem.

Initially, I had thought about putting the whole sump in the shed, but I gave up on the sump shed idea because I wasn't confident of the plastic Rubbermaid shed insulation.

So next things I'm working on:

1) Re-silicone the loose baffle in the AA sump and cut new holes for bulkheads/fittings
2) Bleach the dead real rocks
3) Insulate the shed / work on water station / figure out how to feed into house
 

Smite

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#18
Have you thought about gravity feeding your ATO from the barrel outside? I've been topping off that way from a 30g food grade barrel for 3+ years now without issue. I used john guest 1/4 line that you'd use for rodi. They sell a john guest gate valve at home depot so I have that inside above the sump so I can shut off flow while draining the sump for maintenance. Using that 1/4 tubing also allows you to use a cable jack/sleeve to help seal the penetration where the line goes through your exterior wall. Like a TV cable tech would use.

Once I saw they can create enough back pressure to shut off my RODI in my mixing tub I felt more confident in them. Just need to clean them but I feel are more reliable than any kind of pump based ATO. I plumbed my RODI to fill up both my ATO and mixing station. So I have 3 of those float valves in use and none have failed to date. I just turn on my RODI 1x a week and I'm good.
 

Smite

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#19
View attachment 98597
View attachment 98598
With the DIY T-slot mount, the lights still tilt backwards because the weight of the wire, so I’ve propped it with a stick for now. I’m impressed with my own DIY. (Must have been 10 trips to HD and lots of trial & error to make it work). 🤣. Good light coverage. 😎
Great job, this looks awesome man!
 

drexel

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#20
Looking good! Looks like you'll have enough room between the lights to put up a couple Kessil's to get your shimmer on. :p I'm with Matt about the gravity fed ATO. I'm going back to gravity fed ATO on my rebuild, too many issues with the ATK , but the new Tunze looks promising. I think you can keep a lot of softie in an sps dominant tank, so you can have it all. I think too many people see softies as low light animals, but nothing could be further from the truth. Plus, I'm sure you'll have some shaded areas to place lower light animals in, just don't do that whole NSA aquascape, fish hate it as there's no place for them to feel safe.
 

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