Nick's Miracle Build

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
It's time to start a build thread for this. The building and electrical inspectors just walked out the door and we are now ready for the 2nd phase. You can call this Nick’s reef 3.0 since this is the 3rd serious tank upgrade. But this is something I called a Man-Cave or “In-Laws are Here” cave.
I started this project since August of last year. I had very limited amount of time on it and at some point I stalled and didn’t even want to set the tank up. But I kept chipping away one bit at a time and I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I’m hoping to finally get the tank up and running in the next couple months and let it run for a bit before moving the existing tank(Link here) content to it.
First off, let’s start with the tank. The tank was delivered October of last year. Other than the initial inspection, it was crated back up and has been sitting in my garage.

Tank dimension is 72”x48”x24” and holds ~360gallons. It was built by Miracle. Miracle also made the stand for it. The tank is built as a peninsula set up. Large external overflow with 3 drain(planning on doing a Bean overflow). Two returns from the overflow side and 4 return holes from the opposite side. Starfire on all viewable side.


this is me

I like turtles
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Now for the project itself and why it took so long. When we built the house, we did not get the basement finished. The unfinished space is ~1200sq ft. I had an estimator came in to give me a quote on finishing it and his quote was absurd(to me). I’ve never picked up a hammer in my life but there’s no way I’m going to pay $80K to finish the basement on top of what we’ve already spent on the house and the Elos tank upstairs. I started to do some research and planned out on what needs to be done. Learned how to frame a wall or two from Youtube and see how far I can get before I call in a professional.

Original unfinished basement. Green taped marked the location and size of the tank. I had no idea if I can do this project or not but taping the concrete floor was easy! And a constant reminder of my goal.

To-be lounge with the tank behind.

More space

Most important of all. The to-be fish room

this is me

I like turtles
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First delivery of building materials. I’m using foam board to cover up the concrete walls before framing and then add batt insulation.

More studs

How do I get all the studs down to the basement? In a Lexus of course! :D

VIP delivery


this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
Concrete walls all covered up. Now let’s build a wall.

Or two

Or three

Had to crack the trigonometry look for this one.

Hey moron, you just blocked yourself out of the fish room with that wall!

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
Next is the electrical work. I use 12 gauge on all the receptacles boxes and 14guage on the lights. The 12guauge is probably overkill but it’s cheaper to do it now than later.

Fishroom electrical

The 40amps wall in the fish room. I will be using metal halide and T5 as my lighting and there will be a utility sink with a pump. Gotta make sure I have enough juice.

Lights! I’m using recess can for light to preserve the headroom. And they look great!

Ahhh, the monkey behind the hammer.
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this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
Next, a utility sink in the fish room.

Finished drain

Water hook up for the sink

Thank god for PEX! Had to buy a $250 cinch tool but it’s a hell lot cheaper than not doing it right.

this is me

I like turtles
BRS Member
There are a few wiring I need to do this weekend before I can close her up. Will be running CAT6 ethernet everywhere in the rooms. I'm an RF design engineer but I prefer wired stuff. Ironic but wired communication works 100% of the time. I blame the crappy wireless software guys. :D
LOL you must have been copy and pasting the text and had all the images ready and in order LOL !!! I've been there, but anyways sweet build, tank and basement. Peninsula tanks are my favorite. Get er done!!

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This tank is going to be rediculous. Cat wait to see the progress.

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looken great gonna be a great build. lol all them 2x4 in a nice car thought i was only guy who did that had to show that pic to my gf cause she tought i was crazy when i did that. keep up the good work and we all love pics keep them comming -


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Staff member
I am thoroughly impressed with your basement. That looks like a whole lot of work, but it will be worth it to have that nice space. Can't wait til you get that tank up and running.
For a moment I thought the tank was sold.
it's going to be a great tank build thread for sure..
nice house and nice tank and nice GS350
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Awesome progress. I wish I could finish my basment, gahd dahn field stone foundation though!!
Whats your plan for ambient temp/humidity control?
The window in the fish room is a huge help, you could always just run an A/C down there.
An option to consider would be running an exhaust fan over the tank wired to a humistat, any time the humdity is over a certain percentage the fan kicks on to vent the air through some duct to the outside.

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