New 135 high tech build in Arlington

Hello everyone,

Last Sunday I was able to visit dz6t's place with my family, and I must say it was awesome, he had many more tanks than I was expecting, and everything looked clean and healthy.

We also did some chatting of course, at least until my 5-year-old got impatient. I feel really lucky to have a source of corals so close by.

So, here is an update both based on some of the advice he gave me and some follow-up research I have been doing this week.

- Automatic roll Pre-filter
The Klir from CoralVue we both agree is really cool, definitely putting one in the build

- Lighting
We are in consensus that the lighting I have will not be sufficient if I want to get the kinds of results he is getting. I actually just posted my lights to the marketplace, and I am going to go with a pair of AP700's instead.

- Algae scrubber
He is very skeptical of the ARID algae scrubber, mainly due to the price compared to his method of just using refugiums's with algae in them. He has definitely renewed my skepticism on the device, but I won't say it is off the table yet. I sent a very in-depth e-mail of questions to Pax-Bellum and am waiting to hear back, I may share this here later.

- Calcium reactor

We are in agreement that the DaStaCo is a luxury item, but probably worth it, and that I should definitely steer clear of some of the imitators that have come along. So this is probably going into my build. Also, he is using Reborn arogonite media from two little fishes in his reactors, and explained that this is hard to get because they have a special license to sell crushed coral like this, and people in Europe may not be able to legally get it. Since this is actual coral, dissolving it in a reactor should theoretically release calcium as well as other minerals in the exact same proportions the new growing coral needs, so it can potentially negate the need to dose anything else, at least that is what he is doing currently. So that is probably what I will do as well. He also had some good food that he recommended.

So, it was a very worthwhile visit I must say.

Aside from that, here are some additional updates:

- Main pump
After discussing my design and calculations with Iwaki, I think I can get the 55RLT up to about 850GPH using 1-1/4 or 1-1/3" PVC pipes.

- Overflows
The overflows on my tank are only rated for 600GPH each, and I am worried that if one were to fail the remaining one could not handle the entire flow.
So, I could just dial down the pump, but realistically I would have to bring it down to 500GPH or so... not sure I want to go that low, although maybe I could divert some of the flow and eliminate a pump in that case.
Alternatively, I am considering what might happen if I converted it to one of these full-siphon "herbie" setups, and use both holes for drain, and run the return over the side, kind of like in this video here:
I am a little concerned that some people have said that such a setup can be sensitive to barometric pressure changes, and I can't seem to find anywhere how much actual flow these are capable of (ballpark figure, obviously lots of variables).
The other thing I was wondering is, what if I simply put TWO megaflow durso's into the same overflow box? Looks like they would fit... but I don't know if that would actually double the flow it could handle. I can't see to find anyone who has tried this.

- Sump
I am researching ideal sumps for the basement setup. Currently considering a PVC insulated configuration, such as the one's available here:
The guy that I am working with on this project feels strongly about PVC-PVC bonds, using Sched 80 instead of 40, and so forth due to reliability, durability, and reducing salt creep. So I may consult with these guys on an ideal setup, need to figure out how many chambers and whatever I need. He mentioned something made by a company called Neptune (not the apex) that also made a top of the line sump, but I haven't found a website for that anywhere. I may go with a custom size, but I will get one as large as possible.

Looking forward to feedback on this.


Hello everyone, I have a big update.

I have been really busy, but also been doing a ton of brainstorming, design, and research since the last update. I would say taken together it is a pretty radical departure from what I was doing.... but I have encountered some really interesting stuff on Reef2reef and watching all he Bulk Reef Supply videos.

Here goes:

No longer doing basement sump

- I have backed-off on putting the sump in the basement. I still wish I could do it, but it started creating more problems than it solved, not the least of which is that I am getting ready to completely re-model my basement to build my home theater / man cave, and having that down there with all the dust would be an issue.
- So instead, I am moving the tank out from the wall about a foot, and that should give me enough room to accommodate the things I want to do

Changed lighting
- I sold the 4x Kessil A160's, and I am now rocking a pair of Kessil AP700's, this is almost 5 times as much light, and broader / better spectrum
- I wanted to be able to do SPS if I want, or anything I want for that matter, and these have even more pop and still have the shimmer

Going with different power heads
- After some research, it looks like going with Tunze is better than Ecotech MP's

Final decision on overflows
- I was going to go with the semi-complex "beananimal" adaptation for my mega flow overflows, but it was looking like overkill
- So, I am going to stick with dual-herbie, nice and simple, and the full siphon can support the flow rate I need, it's quiet, basically checks all the boxes
- The beananimal was made to be safer than herbie, but if you have two herbie's, you are fine

And now for the big one.....

Going to go full-on Triton method, this means:

- Don't need the automatic pre-filter, or any pre-filter at all... a little sad because I was looking forward to this
- You could say I am going from algae scrubber to refugium-algae-scrubber-on-crack.... so don't need the pax-bellum
- Yes, I could use the Pax with the Triton method, but I decided I want to just follow the Triton recommendations as closely as I can
- Honestly, the Pax is so expensive it is probably a wash, maybe even slightly cheaper, and slightly less maintenance
- The calcium reactor will be replaced with dosing Triton chemicals instead (will see how this goes, I might still get one)
- Main pump - probably switching to Succi Advanced AC pump(s) -
- I like my Iwaki and Blue Line, but I need to hit about 1,400GPH to support Triton 10x+ turnover, and the 55RLT won't do it
- Also, these new pumps are quieter, more efficient, run cooler, and are controllable (not DC pump though)
- Going to add a section to my Lifereef protein skimmer, making it a 36" skimmer (maybe even bigger?) since this is the other main filter on Triton

- So, this brings me to the new sump design:
- This is my current draft, it is actually already up to version 3
- Most people seem to be retrofitting their existing setups for Triton, I am purpose-building it for that from the start
- Need to decide who I will have make this sump... not sure if Trigger systems does custom, and I am not sure Lifereef is on-board with this idea...

The spare equipment I free up / have left over I will likely use to build a quarantine tank....

So, I will be very interested in some feedback on this.

So, I took advantage of the Black Friday specials and got the following:
- Trigger systems Triton 44 sump
- Complete Apex setup, with two DOS and two dosing reservoirs, flow sensors, auto-top-off, auto-feeder
- Two Tunze 6105 power head w/Apex cable
- Hanna checkers for Alkalinity and Phosphate
- Red sea test kit for ammonia/nitrite/nitrate/pH/alk
- Various odds and ends

I had to give up on the custom sump, I had very bad luck with custom builders.
- Lifereef was happy to build it, but it would have been $1,000+ with shipping easy
- Many took one look at my design and declined to take it on
- Synergy Reef basically told me to go f$ck myself....
- A few others were willing to do it, but it would have been very expensive

I was still very tempted to go with Lifereef because I like his stuff, even at the higher cost. But he is not really a fan of Triton, fair enough, if I crash and burn he can say he told me so.

So, I saw the Trigger systems discounted to about $450, and it is 90% what I need, and then I can stop anguishing over it.

So this should get me most of the way there.

All that is left is:
- The new return pump and skimmer pump
- Setting up my RODI (working on that now, going to branch off of my existing drinking water system)
- Plumbing
- Going to buy a Milwaukee specific gravity meter with my "bonus points" from Aquacave from getting all this stuff...

I am also going forward with home batteries for solar storage, and I will have my electrician run some outlets to the aquarium so I can make that a critical load. So I should be able to have backup power for more than a day, even longer if it is sunny ;-)

I will post pictures when all this stuff starts arriving in about a week or so.



Well-Known Member
BRS Member
Sounds like an awesome build, can't wait to see picks. I also picked up a trigger triton 44 bf sale and have been talking with jeff about a custom skimmer with blue plumbing and acrylic to match the sump. Haven't I probably won't install it for a month or so still working on my list. where were you planning on placing your heaters?
Sounds like an awesome build, can't wait to see picks. I also picked up a trigger triton 44 bf sale and have been talking with jeff about a custom skimmer with blue plumbing and acrylic to match the sump. Haven't I probably won't install it for a month or so still working on my list. where were you planning on placing your heaters?
At the moment I have just one heater. And I was planning on placing it in the sump. It will be connected to and controlled by the Apex, but also have it's own controller set a degree or two higher. I am thinking of getting a second backup heater.