Brandon’s 180 Upgrade

Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#1
Eight months ago I found some old equipment for a nano I had in high school circa 2010. At the time I had no idea what I was doing. No skimmer, no alk/calc test kits, no dosing, and rarely did water changes. Needless to say it became an invert and Kenya tree tank tank a couple of months in with everything else dying. Eventually I lost interest getting ready for college and put everything in storage.

Fast forward to June of 2017. I found the old gear and set up a new 20G nano with plans of getting into corals and having a clue as to what I was doing. That lasted all of a month. By July I had drilled and build a 40G breeder and built a black stand for it that looked like a Red Sea stand. As my rock finished curing in the 40B someone on BRS had a 90G up and I snagged it. The 40 lasted all of 3 weeks without ever putting fish in it.

I spent hours cleaning the 90G with a razor blade and wire brush prior to learning the benefits of vinegar in this hobby. Built a stand and got it wet around August 2nd. The tank has came along great and I have learned a lot. Now, 8 months later I had the urge to upgrade in every which way.
 

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Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#2
In February I found a 180 for cheap money an hour away from where I live. However it was freshwater and had the dual column overflows I hated. However it was a great deal and beggars can’t be choosers. I made the drive with my friend and loaded two truck loads of gear. The tank was absolutely disgusting and needed some serious TLC. After spending two hours removing fish, mud, and tons of equipment my buddy and I moved the tank into the bed of the truck. All went well. Then during the tie down the glass chips...took a lot of effort to not lose my mind right then and there.

Reached out to a few people to see what they though and said it would be fine. Just to check I filled it with water and left it for a week, even pressing on the glass from the inside just to make sure. I deemed it safe to fill. Spent just about 6 hours cleaning and applied extra silicone in all four corners for aesthetics.
 

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Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#3
Now that I’m working, the process has taken much longer than previous builds. Probably for best. As they say, this is a hobby of patience for optimal results. I had an idea for what I wanted for a stand, drew it up, made the measurements, and purchased the needed materials. The frame would be built out of premium 2x4’s with 10 support columns aka about 6,500lbs of capacity. More than enough for 180+/- gallons and 200lbs+ of rock.

As of now the interior frame is painted with a glossy black water proof paint. Yes, I wanted it black to notice any salt creep so I can clean it up as I notice it form. I’m a little neurotic with stuff to say the least. The exterior trim has been formed out of poplar and will be painted white to match the room. It will have a matching canopy that will be fully automated, raising and lowering with the flick of a switch via linear actuator. Still in design. The canopy will house 3 Kessil A360’s and six 60” 80W T5’s as it will be predominantly SPS. I was debating on radions but I'm a sucker for shimmer.
 

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Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#4
Plumbing will contain 6-8 unions, 4 gate vales, and be 1" red pvc all around with white joints. I still haven't gotten to a dry plumb as the stand and sump are not complete. The sump will be built off of a 50G acrylic sump that came with the tank. I was hesitant on using this as it did not have filter sock holders and wasn't sure if the Regal 250INT skimmer I purchased would fit. Once i realized the skimmer fit perfectly I was set on using this sump. I snagged a 2x4' sheet of cast acrylic off amazon for $50 and began meticulously cutting to make a 4th chamber/filter sock holder in the sump. Cutting the circle for the sock free hand with a broken router was quite the task....

The sump will have three 1" drain ports for my 2 overflows and algae scrubber. Those will overflow into one 7" filter sock. From there it will pass through a chamber full of rock/rubble to the skimmer then return. The return pump will be a Jebao DCP 15000. I had a DCP 6000 on the 90 and had no issues. Plus for the price, you cant beat it. I'll suck it up and get a serious return pump/powerheads in the future but for now...Jebao
 

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Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#6
Stand is complete, minus the sliding platform for my ATS. Pretty happy with how it came out, certainly a learning experience.

The canopy woodwork is done. Just need to do some finishing and paint. Didn’t realize how many more outlets this tank would need compared to my 90. Picking up another EB8 for just the canopy alone.

Tank is now down stairs. Plan on doing the transfer 2 weeks from now.
 

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Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#11
At this point I’m starting to believe I’m not supposed to have a 180...just got back from my trip this AM. Unwrapped my BRAND NEW tank from Marineland, flip it over to paint the back black and when I remove the bottom cardboard I find this...bottom bracing is crushed/cracked in 5 diff spots. Absolutely ridiculous. I’m told Marineland won’t replace it because they’ll say I caused the damage.
 

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Abrooks12376

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#12
That's brutal man.. that's some serious damage, it would take a good deal of force to create that kind of damage. Like.. dropping it from a truck? Where did you get it?

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
 

RogerO

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#13
Sorry to hear that, did you call the place who sold it to you.
I will fight till I get my money back ,clearly it was negligence on the people that transporter the tank.
 

aresangel

Tim- 2019 BRS President
BRS Member
Officer
#14
Wow.... let the place you bought t fight for you. That’s why they are reta. If you bought it directly from marineland then the shipping company should have insurance to cover it.


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Johnson556

Well-Known Member
BRS Member
#15
Quick update before I head down to NYC at 11PM like an idiot. The fourth tank came in perfect and is all plumbed, will give it a few days to dry. Canopy is on but not hinged yet, taking the ceiling hook idea from my conversation with OneEye. My fancy pants actuator idea is just more money I don’t need to spend right now. Spent enough on this already and I’m about to pull trig on some vortecs....

Algae turf scrubber will be going on the platform on the left above the ATO reservoir.
 

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