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88g Planet Crystaline New Build

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
Hi all

New member here.

After several years of being out of the hobby, I'm ready to do a new build. I thought I'd share my journey with you guys.

So far I've made a list of all the gear I'm going with:

48x20x21 Reef Crystaline rimless tank stand and sump from Planet Aquariums (trigger 36 sump comes with this package)
Neptune COR-15 return pump
Two Ecotech MP40's
Reef Octo Classic 152-SS protein skimmer
Two Ecotech Radion XR15W Pro Gen4's
Neptune ATK
Neptune Apex controller with WXM module and DOS for 2 part dosing

Got 40lbs of Caribsea life rock shapes coming and going with Arag-alive special grade sand.

Picked a spot (which caused a chain reaction of rearranging the entire house....totally worth it and the wife is happy)


IMG_1928.jpg




Next up, I'll post some pics of the RO/DI auto top off setup.
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
So, since there's a half bath on the other side of the wall where the tank's going, I thought I'd take advantage of the water supply and drain. There's also plenty of space in the cabinet under the sink, so I found the largest plastic tank I could to fit under there and planned on putting the RO/DI unit in there as well.

I went with a 16 gallon polyethylene tank and bought a second one to use for water changes. They're prefitted with 5/16" threaded inserts, so I'm going to install some casters to be able to roll it around easily. I also bought some plumbing and a pump to outfit that second tank for transferring and mixing saltwater. I'll have a post on that project once all the parts are in.


TANK.jpg





I did a quick drawing to plan out the connections and order all the parts.




RO:DI setup.jpg



I went with a popular and cheap RO/DI unit off of Amazon; might replace with a spectrapure or BRS unit later on. To control the unit, I went with a Spectrapure level controller. I had this controller on my previous tank years ago and it worked quite well. Also added a TDS meter.


ro:di unit.jpg




spectra control.jpg



The initial hook up and testing in the garage.


IMG_1916.jpg



Everything tested out great overnight, so I started on the inside install.


IMG_1924.jpg


IMG_1925.jpg



Still waiting on drain saddles to be able to connect the waste water and the tank over flow, then it's done.

The power and Neptune ATK topoff pump tubing will pass through to the other side of the wall and straight into the back of the tank stand. 16 gallons will give me about 15% water change capacity, which should be fine most of the time. I put a garden hose spigot at the bottom, which I'll use to transfer water into my water change tank. Pretty happy with the way it all turned out.

Thanks for looking!
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
Thanks!

I’m thinking I should probably go with the COR20 instead of the 15 after looking at the pump curves.
 

steveb

Director
Administrator
Board Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Location
Spring
I would be careful going too large. Although I guess since they are variable speed it can be dialed down.

Turnover through sump - ballpark (6-10 x tank volume)/hour.

So for you (48*20*21)/231 ≈ 88g x 6 = 524g/hr - 88gx10=880g/hr
 

kgk

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Location
The Woodlands, TX
Don't get too caught up in turnover ratios & numbers. Too much flow through the sump means loud drains, bubbles, salt spray, and lower sump dwell time. Lower flow isn't a bad thing at all, IMO.
I've always ended up tuning the return pump flow to get the drain nice & quiet, and not worried about the turnover ratios one bit. It looks like the system is setup with dual drains, so it's probably a Herbie style - you'll be playing with the full siphon drain valve & the pump flow rate to get the overflow to be quiet no matter what turnover ratio you choose, anyway. I imagine either pump will work fine. Buy the one you're most comfortable with.

Personally, I'd think about the Apex powerheads as well as the Vortechs. The Vortechs can be twitchy but usually work great. They're expensive though, and so are parts for them. And you have to buy the WXM to control them. If you're set on the Radion lights, then you need that anyway. Just something to think about. You may have bought all this stuff already, and if you have, then you'll love it.

I actually went away from an Apex setup to a simpler Reeflink + standalone controller setup, since I had Vortechs & Radions from my last setup. My last tank had an Apex fail with the heater on due to a lightning strike next door, and it cooked my tank. So I went lower tech this time. Still could fail, but I don't miss having the Apex one bit. It's a complicated, integrated, expensive system that does nifty things, though...

I'm running an Octo Essence 130 skimmer, and like it so far. It's easy to clean, and pretty quiet. Being able to easily remove the body & pump from the baseplate makes maintenance SO MUCH simpler. It's a feature I'll demand in any skimmer I look at in the future, for sure.

I also wouldn't bother buying dosing pumps so early in the tank's life. You won't need them for quite a while. Leave space for them, but you never know - you may decide to do Kalk in the topoff instead, or go from a Calcium Reactor... investing in the pumps before you need them isn't necessary IMO. I've done this in the past, and ended up with dosing pumps in a box that I never used.....

I love the Planet tank setup & look. Beautiful aquarium.
 
Last edited:
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
I would be careful going too large. Although I guess since they are variable speed it can be dialed down.

Turnover through sump - ballpark (6-10 x tank volume)/hour.

So for you (48*20*21)/231 ≈ 88g x 6 = 524g/hr - 88gx10=880g/hr
Thanks for the advice. I've been out of the hobby for a while so I'll soak up all the knowledge that I can. I was shooting for the upper end at 10x, so using their published pump curve for the COR15 I was looking at ~750gph at 4ft head, which is about 7x turnover for the total system volume (105g) (minus volume displaced by rock). That said, since I'm going with two MP40s and I don't want a noisy overflow, I think I have plenty of flow and still considering the COR15, if I can get a good price.
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
Don't get too caught up in turnover ratios & numbers. Too much flow through the sump means loud drains, bubbles, salt spray, and lower sump dwell time. Lower flow isn't a bad thing at all, IMO.
I've always ended up tuning the return pump flow to get the drain nice & quiet, and not worried about the turnover ratios one bit. It looks like the system is setup with dual drains, so it's probably a Herbie style - you'll be playing with the full siphon drain valve & the pump flow rate to get the overflow to be quiet no matter what turnover ratio you choose, anyway. I imagine either pump will work fine. Buy the one you're most comfortable with.
Very valid points! At this point I think either will work fine. Just looking for a good deal now.

Personally, I'd think about the Apex powerheads as well as the Vortechs. The Vortechs can be twitchy but usually work great. They're expensive though, and so are parts for them. And you have to buy the WXM to control them. If you're set on the Radion lights, then you need that anyway. Just something to think about. You may have bought all this stuff already, and if you have, then you'll love it.
Actually, my first choice was the apex powerheads, but I've owned an MP40 on my previous setup and remembered how much easier it was to clean the wet side without messing around with the wire. That pretty much made my decision. Picked up a used pair of MP40s a couple days ago. Need to get some vinegar....

I actually went away from an Apex setup to a simpler Reeflink + standalone controller setup, since I had Vortechs & Radions from my last setup. My last tank had an Apex fail with the heater on due to a lightning strike next door, and it cooked my tank. So I went lower tech this time. Still could fail, but I don't miss having the Apex one bit. It's a complicated, integrated, expensive system that does nifty things, though...
I can absolutely appreciate simplicity and the benefits of lowering risk that come with it. I am however, an automation engineer by trade, and the tech is a big part of the fun for me. I'm pretty excited at the progress on technology for the hobby for the last few years.

I'm running an Octo Essence 130 skimmer, and like it so far. It's easy to clean, and pretty quiet. Being able to easily remove the body & pump from the baseplate makes maintenance SO MUCH simpler. It's a feature I'll demand in any skimmer I look at in the future, for sure.

I also wouldn't bother buying dosing pumps so early in the tank's life. You won't need them for quite a while. Leave space for them, but you never know - you may decide to do Kalk in the topoff instead, or go from a Calcium Reactor... investing in the pumps before you need them isn't necessary IMO. I've done this in the past, and ended up with dosing pumps in a box that I never used.....

I love the Planet tank setup & look. Beautiful aquarium.
I had a recirc Octo on my 120g, when they were still a fairly young brand. Worked great but not so easy to disassemble for cleaning back then. I can only imagine how they've improved seeing how popular they've become.

And yes, i know I won't need the DOS for a while..... BUT I CAN'T STOP LOOKING AT THE R2R SELLING FORUM EVERY 5 MINUTES! MAKE IT STOP! Seriously, it's the last piece of Apex kit that I need, so I'll take my time on that one.

This is a really cool and welcoming group. Can't wait to meet some of you guys! We're from Louisiana and moved here about 6 years ago. LAreef club was also great. Added bonus, I get to take my kids along on the journey this time. We're gonna learn so much together.
 

steveb

Director
Administrator
Board Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Location
Spring
We’re having a lfs bus tour Oct 19. Raffle at each stop plus lunch!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
That sounds cool. I won't be ready for any livestock by then, but it would still be fun and helpful. When's the deadline to sign up?
 

kgk

Supporting Member
Joined
Jan 11, 2010
Location
The Woodlands, TX
Actually, my first choice was the apex powerheads, but I've owned an MP40 on my previous setup and remembered how much easier it was to clean the wet side without messing around with the wire. That pretty much made my decision. Picked up a used pair of MP40s a couple days ago. Need to get some vinegar....
Yeah, I've been running them as well for years. Wetsides are easy to clean, and that's nice. I've had several dry sides eat themselves just out of warranty though, and that's kind of soured my view of their reliability. In fact I just had a dry side go wonky - glad I had a backup.

I can absolutely appreciate simplicity and the benefits of lowering risk that come with it. I am however, an automation engineer by trade, and the tech is a big part of the fun for me. I'm pretty excited at the progress on technology for the hobby for the last few years.
I'm a computer architect, I get it. I'm usually the same way. I keep eyeing Reef Angels and Apex setups... and then finding some other project to work on to keep myself occupied so I don't mess with it. :)

I had a recirc Octo on my 120g, when they were still a fairly young brand. Worked great but not so easy to disassemble for cleaning back then. I can only imagine how they've improved seeing how popular they've become.
I was lusting after a Deltec 600ix, and it has similar features. I think the higher end Eshopps one does too. The Nyos that everyone speaks so highly of doesn't though.
I had a big recirc Avast with an external pump on my previous setup, and that one was easier to clean due to the external pump.

And yes, i know I won't need the DOS for a while..... BUT I CAN'T STOP LOOKING AT THE R2R SELLING FORUM EVERY 5 MINUTES! MAKE IT STOP! Seriously, it's the last piece of Apex kit that I need, so I'll take my time on that one.
Haha, sounds familiar. I still have a pair of new BRS dosing pumps in boxes, from years ago. :)
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
Got the water change/mixing tank set up and tested.

IMG_1936.jpg

Pan World 30PX pump from BRS
Plumbing includes 3/4" fittings for pump suction with ball valves to select either garden hose connection for transfer from the RO/DI topoff tank or internal recirculation within the mixing tank.
Discharge is 1/2" with ball valves to select transfer to display/sump or recirculation within the mixing tank.

I still had ~44g and ~34g Brute garbage cans from my previous setup, which have been cleaned and are ready for saltwater mixing for the initial tank setup.

All Neptune Apex pieces have been purchased. Some received, some awaiting arrival. I ended up going with the COR15 return pump.

Purchased a side cabinet to install most of the electronics. I'll post pics of that once I have everything mounted.

Tank/Stand/Sump and other assorted gear scheduled for delivery Wed. afternoon!
 

steveb

Director
Administrator
Board Member
Joined
Jun 24, 2009
Location
Spring
It all looks good.

My 2 concerns
1) metal drain on ro/di storage. I'm paranoid so I would be concerned about heavy metals/copper from parts leeching into stored water.
2) on your mixing station - pump output side. I have something similar on a larger scale. I have found that the pressure against the ball valve (the one NOT going back to tank) will cause them to get difficult to turn on/off (I'm assuming its a deposit from salt mixing) and worse, mine started leaking after about a year of use. I'm using single union ball valves so that may have something to do with it. Just a heads up.
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
So the spigot is stainless. I think it'll be okay, but I'll keep an eye on it and do an ICP test every so often.

I remember having a hard time turning ball valves in the past after running for a while. Did your leak happen in the valve body? I'm only planning to use the tank while I'm doing a water change; I suppose I could run some fresh water through it before putting it away to avoid this issue.
 
OP
sderise

sderise

Supporting Member
Joined
Sep 2, 2019
Location
Katy
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Got a lot done today!

Pretty happy with the tank and stand so far. The overflow kit came with Maggie Mufflers, so it's pretty quiet. Had to run to the LFS for more sand and a return pump. I have everything but the actual APEX controller and power bar and the COR15 has to be hooked up to the APEX to run. It's lost in USPS land somewhere. Shoulda been here 4 days ago. So I bought a very overpriced Sicce that I can use as a backup just so I could get things up and running.

The small cabinet to the left has all my electronics and test kits except for the DOS and DDRs which I'll mount under the stand. I'll have pics of that after I get the APEX and clean everything up.

Dumped some bio-spira and a few cubes of mysis in.
 
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