Avery's 90 Gallon Tank Build


Reefing newb
So the time is finally here I finally get to start a tank build thread. I picked my tank up Friday and that is when the work began. Some of you probably remember some of the pictures from my other post, but trust me there are plenty of new ones.

First let me say that this tank is huge. It is a Marineland 90 Tank with a Corner Overflow. I painted the back of the tank black over the weekend. Today after 3 days of debating how to plumb this darn thing I finally figured it out! It took me about 3 hours to get it to line up and be supported the way I wanted it to. I also had to make one of the drawers about 2" shorter to give me room for the plumbing. I didn't want to loose a drawer, because one of the reasons I bought this stand was because it had space to hold my supplies.

The only problem I hope I don't have is if the sump ever needs to be removed, the DT needs to be removed so I can take the back of the stand apart to take it out. So hopefully it won't need to come out. The return pump has a union on it that way it can be taken out for cleaning. There is a ball valve to control the flow to the refugium and also a ball valve to control the flow back to the DT.

The pipes have not been glued yet. That will come later this evening or tomorrow, hopefully after a few of you fellow reefers let me know if this plumbing looks good. I need to get one more 90 to finish the supply for the refugium. Let me know how all the plumbing looks that way I can start to glue it :D. Also do the pieces that are in the DT overflow do they need to be glued or can they just stay pushed together?

Well here we go picture time!
Check out my sweet DIY Sump/ Refugium!


Setting up the refugium:

Finishing up first coat of paint:



"Umm... Now what?????????":


Tank on stand and egg crate bottom!!!(Also Egg Crate top too!


Plumbing! (Let me know if it is glue worthy!)





My modded drawer:

It fits!

That is all the pictures I have for now! This will probably be a slow build because I am on a budget and slowly getting parts and pieces. This weekend was a huge step in the right direction though.
There might be a few potential problems, or maybe not...lol.
How high are the baffles on the left side where the skimmer section is? Skimmers run best in about 8" of water.
Looking at the difference in height between the baffles on the left for the skimmer and on the right for the fuge section, the water will be dropping pretty far down. Besides splashing and being loud, the pump might pull in some of the bubbles and spray microbubbles into the tank.
Do you have an ATO setup in mind? When water evaporates, the water level in the middle section will drop. It doesn't look like it holds a real lot of water.
What's up with the eggcrate on the bottom of the display?
There might be a few potential problems, or maybe not...lol.
How high are the baffles on the left side where the skimmer section is? Skimmers run best in about 8" of water.

Not all skimmers. My i-Tech runs best in about 6".
Good point though. Gotta research that aspect to make sure the sump wall is high enough. If you have the room under the stand, you can always raise the skimmer, but you can't lower it.

The build is coming along nicely.
Why do some people use the egg crate on the bottom? Just to protect the glass. Always makes me think it will collect stuff.
Well I am hoping to keep a really slow flow going through the refugium. Hopefully that will keep the bubbles down. If not my pump came with a large pre filter that I can use to try and stop them. I do not have a ATO set up or planned. I am hoping that I can top it off every day or so myself. I believe my skimmer is sitting in 8 or 9 inches of water if I remember correctly. The eggcrate on the bottom is to keep the rocks off the glass and keep critters from causing a landslide if they are digging in the sand. Thanks for looking I hope to start glueing the pipes today.
Looks great avery155. I am a big fan of eggcrate inside the tank. It is so nice to see your getting everything ready to go. It is so awesome that other people are into this hobby. Everytime I see pictures of start up tanks it just reinforces the kinship we all share in loving this hobby.
Hey everyone!
Its time for an update!
All of the pipes are glued and I really hope that none of them leak! I also hope my bulkheads don't leak.....

I purchased a 300 watt heater and have installed it in the overflow. I picked up a test kit, and 45 lb of sand.
I ordered an Aquatic Life 6 bulb t5 HO light fixture. This has built in timers, moon lights, and individual reflectors. It should be in with in a week or two. Hopefully sooner!

I received my shipment today of dry rock from Marco Rocks. I ordered 50lb of their key largo rock, and like everyone has already said... This rock is awesome! Now I am no rock expert but, I really like it. I have it in the tank right now testing out some ideas of how to start setting up all the rocks.

My question about this is, is it ok for the rock to be touching the back of the tank. The rock seems to be very stable like this so I do not see a problem, but just want to verify that.

Also when should I fill the tank up with fresh water to get it up to temperature so I can add salt. How soon should I do this before I am ready to purchase my live rock?

I plan on adding the sand once my rock is all in place. I really like the egg crate material on the bottom of the tank. It has really helped the stability of the rocks, it can dig into the squares of the egg crate making it super sturdy.

So that is the update, I am anxiously awaiting my LFS to call and say I can pick up my light. I can't wait!
It's okay if it's touching the back. Try to ensure that there are spaces and gaps though, so that water can still move through it.

You can add live rock as soon as you get your temperature and salinity corrected.
Ok, so filling my tank up has become a extremely slow process. Much slower than I thought. It is 3/4 full and the sump is empty. But Its 1 AM I give up! I will tackle this tomorrow night some more when I get home. It takes forever to fill up a 5 gallon bucket, but only a few seconds to empty it. But at least I got to play Final Fantasy XIII most of the day!
Well the tank is filled, it, ran for a day! There are no leaks either, I am very happy about that. Now the temperature currently is 78 degrees, I mixed salt in the water tonight it took a while to do, and my specific gravity is 1.026.

I think that if the temperature and specific gravity readings are the same tomorrow morning I think I will go buy a little bit of live rock!

I started up my protein skimmer just for a minute and it was already pulling some brown stuff out? not much just a tiny bit. Could it be from the dry rock that I put in the tank? either way, I shut off the protein skimmer for the night. I know it needs to go through a break in period of a few days. If I go get some live rock tomorrow, can I start and keep my protein skimmer on from then on?

Also it may be up to a week longer before I get my live rock. I have heard that it will be ok without light for a week and it is recommended to keep the lighting minimal for the first week of the cycle.

So does all of this sound good? I hope so because if it is I will be going to buy some rock tomorrow! Also if I am really lucky my light will be in too!
So woke up this morning and temp is 78 and specific gravity is 1.030 could that be from evaporation overnight?? I hope not! Hope it is just the salt is getting mixxed up more.
Well the LFS just callled and my light was just delivered. I will be getting off work at 4 and going pick up my light and some live rock. I just have to remember to add some fresh water to my tank first to bring the sg down a bit. Pics will definatly be comming shortly!
Ok, its long overdue for an update. I picked my light up my light Monday at the LFS. I also picked up some live rock. Right now I have about 30 LB of live rock and 45 LB of dry rock. I have to fix some of the sand as you see in the pictures because my one power head was pointed too low and blew my sand around.

My parameters are:

Temp: 76.7
PH: 8.2
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0
Carbonate Hardness: 10 dkh
Calcium: 400 ppm
Phosphates: 0
Copper: 0
Ammonia: 0 to 0.25 its hard to tell...
Alk: "Normal" about 2.0 mEQ/L According to Red Sea Test kit

So everything looks to be in check. I do have some coralline growth it looks like, and I also have some gold algae. Which from what I read may be Diatoms. Is this a bad thing? I have been running my lights full cycle, now since yesterday I just keep the LED moonlights on. I basted some of it off and now it is in my sand. I hope that my parameters get in check soon that way I can get some sort of a CUC in there to keep the diatoms in check. I still need some more live rock first. I am hoping that my cycle will be fairly quick since the LFS said that they clean the rock really well so that the cycle shouldn't be long and drawn out. Well Let me know what everyone thinks of all this. Now time for pics which is what everyone wants I am sure!










Let me know your thoughts!
Oh and as far as hitch hikers go... I have some type of gray or silver maybe brown its so hard to see its kind of round and has like hairs sticking straight up it is pretty small, it doesn't move. I nudged it with the turkey baster and it did nothing. I think there is some more of that thing in the rock too that I can see. I also have some little shellfish animal. I know this guy is alive because he closed up when the turkey baster came near him when I was blowing off rock. He is back open though. He is in a white shell and is living in a hole in the rock. This critter is super super small. When I put my rock in I seen some animal running about in the rock trying to find water i guess? However I have not seen him. I got scared and put the rock in the tank really quick so I don't know what that was. I also seen some little critter swimming in the water when I shut all the pumps off really small white critter. Nothing else yet.. Wish I could get pics but my camera sucks...