View Full Version : Marshalls Crazy Corals 8x4' Coral tank build

10-18-2017, 05:26 AM
Well I finally have some time to write about the build. Ive recently started up a business with the plan of importing and selling corals online canada wide.

I had a room available to use with heat and water attached to the shop which is attached to my house haha. I was able to find a perfect tank
At a fraction of the cost of having one built, needed some cleaning up and re plumbing but will work great for what i plan on doing. Its 8x4' x16" tall with a center overflow. 1" thick bottom glass and 5/8 all around everywhere else. Heavy!
Once i got the tank home i designed the frame and headed to country lumber. 340$ later i had the materials to build the stand. Got home and framed it up, got it done and me and the wife had a late night painting, decided to go the extra mile and paint the inside as well.

Getting the tank in and on the stand was pretty challenging. We had to flip the tank on its side and managed to get it on a dolly cart and wheel it over to the stand. 4 guys and we could hardly lift it a few inches off the ground, we used our brains and pretty well flipped it on and then spun tn to line up. It was hell.
It took me some time to find all the bulk heads i needed to replace the old plumbing, and im not a plumber im a carpenter/builder so figuring out the plumbing system was a bit challenging but thanks to a few helpful people i was able to plumb it up clean and effective. I went withna herbie drain system and for the return plumbing i made sure to raise the plumbing above the waterline and drill small holes to prevent any back syphon.

It also took me some time to figure out the Sump / refugium situation. I ended up coming up with the idea of running a stand alone refugium that will receive the water from the center overflow and then drain down into an actual sump tank.
I found a 50G tank with a small hole already drilled in the top right corner which was exactly what i was looking for. Although after going ober everything i realized the hole was to small to drain and keep up with the main tank overflow. Luckily my dad works at speedy glass and was able to come over on a sunday and help me drill it! We started with a 2 1/4 hole but then decided to go even bigger to 3" so i can get a 1.5" slip bulkhead in it.
I just picked up the equipment sump tank today
That will house the SWC 230 Skimmer and return pump and possibly some reactors in the future.

So the main tank drains down into a filter sock in the 50G refugium which will be full of live rock and a planted full of miracle mud and 20 mangroves. Also a power head for water movement. The tank top will be covered so no light gets in from the grow light for the mangroves. I know they will grow to big eventually i will sell them and buy more then.
The water then drains down through the drain hole into another sock in the equipment tank.
Where it is pumped back up though the plumbing where it splits off and each side of the tank is controllable by a ball valve.

Ive also got a chiller and a UV sterilizer that i have the option of running off the return plumbing.

For the lighting i was able to find 2x 8 bulb tek lights off craigslist, and 2x radion xr30 pros
I came up with a plan to make the light mount out of some angle iron with pre dilled holes. I bolted it all together and then bolted all the lights to it. I found some ratchet pullys that will work great for hanging the light system from the cieling that gives me the ability to raise and lower the fixture. The radions are mounted in the center and then ballasts sit above on the rack. Looks sharp. Im going to mount a power bar with timer on it also and then extension cord up and around the tek lights will be on timer and i have a reef link for the radions.

I also took the plunge and bought a new apex system with a ozone generator. Not going to bother with the ozone just yet.

The tank is now over half full with rodi, its taking some time to fill.... its huge! Once its full im going to bring it to temperature then run the system for a day or so making sure everything is running exactly how i want it and filter out any dirt or debris that may have got in. Then its mixing time... 2 and a bit pales of salt later...

Still i have lots left i want to do to perfect this build and the new business! Hopefully look forward to doing business with you guys in the future!

10-18-2017, 05:28 AM

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-18-2017, 05:30 AM

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-18-2017, 05:31 AM

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-18-2017, 05:47 AM
Looking sweet, excited to see it progress and come together!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

10-18-2017, 04:36 PM
Awesome dude! Very exciting. Looks great

10-18-2017, 10:52 PM
Wow, this should be a fun setup. That is sure some fancy pipework, haha!

10-19-2017, 12:40 AM
Looking pretty sweet! I like the Center overflow.

10-19-2017, 03:17 AM
Well tonight i managed to get a few more things done.
I finished all the drain plumbing to the refugium. Its plumbed with 1" inch for now as i couldnt find a proper bulkheads to fit 1.5" i will change it if need be after running the system.
I did manage to find a perfect bulkhead to fit the 3" drain hole in the refugium and have a 2" drain into the equipment sump.

I also installed a fan system in the stand that has a temp prob and a controller. Looks sleek!

Got the bulbs for the tek lights. 16 ati's..
600$ later.... that hurt. Fit them all in the lights and tested. Unfortunately one of the ballasts is pooched, the lights all lit up but the sparks and smoke coming from the ballast tell me something is not quite right haha. Luckily i do have a spare 6 bulb tek light that i am going to take the ballast from and fix the 8 bulb.

Another step closer and another step back... the way she goes i guess.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171019/460754b9582069f1a430766f0ffbf5a1.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171019/b83061312a337db7b85fcbf69b970ea3.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171019/ec9e296b1712859a5db0f1e6b1e58c7f.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171019/fa7e543f8853e500ce42949178da5b3e.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171019/97cff4d1ce46f7bf19f94ccf6be7cd55.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-19-2017, 03:40 AM
I like the digital gauge, makes it look high tech.

10-19-2017, 07:59 PM
Looks awesome, love the ass sides view concept, might need a bigger skimmer though?? Just sayin, oh wait I happen to have one for sale LOL hint hint, bookmarked to follow your journey best of luck

10-20-2017, 12:25 AM
Well another step back.... tank is almost full and heaters are on but it started to trickle drain down as i my return plumbing just a bit to low.... the water outside the overflow is higher then the top of my return plumbibg... well off to the plumbing store tommorow AM to re plumb it all a few inches higher.... stupid mistake... https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171020/469a7ed2dd1fcea835bb80c21f97f539.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-22-2017, 06:14 AM
Fixed the plumbing, ran the tank for 24 hours bringing it to temperature and mixed in 2 pales of salt tonight. Going to bring it to exact salinity tommorow and start the cycle!
Its suprisingly quite. My 75 gallon makes more water noise. Lovin this thing already. Just have to hang the lights now! https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171022/686bf23f8e018f4913882e25c6338f90.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-22-2017, 07:11 AM
Nice work!

10-22-2017, 04:34 PM
Been following your journal, looking awesome! Looking forward to seeing it full of corals! :biggrin:

10-24-2017, 05:12 AM
The tank is now cycling! Added about 60 pounds of well cycled live rock to the refugium and a big sponge thats been seeding in my display refugium. Loaded with pods.
Also added 30 vials of prodibio start up to really boost the cycle time.

Got the lights mounted. I used 2x6 that i painted white and screwed them to the cieling joists. i screwed in a hook lag and used a ratchet pulley to go down to the light mount so i can raise and lower the lights from the pull of a rope.

The radions are on and working but i need to make better bracing for the tek lights, they had to much sag.

first order is so close now! Few more tweaks and modifications and it will be good to go.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171024/b84c8b317e6afc8bb203fa8ea94b11e2.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171024/5ddf4ee96b22413c07c1fa720febc7b5.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171024/33ab023ea6be0cd2ea2065eb6481d7f0.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-29-2017, 12:08 AM
Well the build is officially completed. I still have some small things to do like make my frag racking and tidy up wiring etc.

I had to order a fan with a built in humidistat so it turns on and exhausts air out when the humidity gets to high. I have it set for 50, it runs most of the night but off during the day. 0 condensation on the windows or anything! Just the way i like it.
Was running a dehumidifier but it just sucks power like crazy and was pulling to much water from the air..

Im thinking its going to cycle very quick due to the heavy seeding i gave it.

Cant freekin wait for the first order...https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171029/253d00ac6ff0d91e20dabdb7f7c7a7c8.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20171029/0715ca00d5eb2172a53f6f98463cd135.jpg

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-29-2017, 02:18 AM
Looks great man. Will you be putting a bunch of powerheads in?

10-29-2017, 07:50 AM
Looks great man. Will you be putting a bunch of powerheads in?Ya im putting 2x 2600gph wave makers pointed at the bottom of the center overflow to turn on for 5-10 minutes a day to raise up any settling debrie. The return plumbing pushes 2640gph split between 4 outflows.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

10-29-2017, 11:58 AM
is that overflow loud ?

10-29-2017, 04:40 PM
beauty build man! i love it

10-29-2017, 08:04 PM
is that overflow loud ?No actually. The water level in the overflow is right near the top and its set up with a herbie drain so i can control it. I have it so the water just barely drains through the highest pipe.

The tank actually makes less noise then my 75G display haha.

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

tang daddy
10-30-2017, 06:36 PM
Looks great, a nice build forsure... def have to come for a visit once your tank is full!

10-31-2017, 11:53 AM
how tall is your tank. I couldn't see you mention it in the thread.

10-31-2017, 03:03 PM
how tall is your tank. I couldn't see you mention it in the thread.16" tall

Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk

11-01-2017, 04:44 AM
Look'in good , very impressive !

11-01-2017, 06:55 PM
I like this. Definitely want to come see it in action once you're finished.

Sent from my Nexus 5X using Tapatalk

11-02-2017, 03:42 PM
Your Build is looking awesome! i can't wait to see if full of coral :D

11-25-2017, 01:06 PM
Love the design. Looking forward to seeing more of this build

11-26-2017, 07:48 PM
Looks fun! Good luck :)

11-29-2017, 02:56 PM
its time for an update please

11-29-2017, 04:04 PM
Hey guys, sorry for the long time with no updates been crazy busy.

Since i posted ive made a few changes / additions.

I added all the racking which is black egg crate i ordered from the US, the eggcrate is 4" off the bottom of the tank to leave lots of room for my workers ( fish ) to eat algaes as well as allowing lots of flow to circulate on the bare bottom.

I found a 25Gallon clear cylinder tank that i painted black and am going to use for my ATO, the tank will go over a week without the auto top off water having to be filled.
Currently vinagar bathing as it had vape oil in it before and in sharpie 12mg on the front, either being nicotine or thc haha im not sure.

Ive added another tank to the sump system for a refugium. I found a 20 gallon and drilled / bulk headed it to connect to my equipment sump.
The water drain down from the main tank into a 50G full of live rock, from there it drains through the top corner of the 50G to the 30 Gallon oceanic sump where my equipment is. There was a spot for a exterior return pump on the oceanic that i used to connect the 20G refugium. All the sump tanks have custom made acrylic lids i cut out and am painting black to help reduce evap and condensation in the stand.

Im using a ball valve off the return plumbing to feed the refugium and it drains itself back into the equipment tank.

I glued a few baffles in the refugium and filled about 3" of crushed coral. I then clumped fiji mud on one side and planted 20 red mangroves.
I mixed the remained of the fiji mud with a 20# bag of arag alive black sand, turned into a soupy mess.... i poured it ontop of the crushed coral / miracle mud and then topped it with about few inches of crushed coral. It runs perfectly, had a hell of a time getting it all set up but im 100% happy with the system and confident it will be a self sustained low nutrient system...

I also added 6000 pods to refugium tanks,

I had the most minor diatom bloom and starting to see a tiny bit of fuzz growing on the coral plugs etc but for the most part the tank has stayed very clean.

Im amazed at how well Prodibio start up worked for the tank, it instantly cycled this 400+ gallon system. I had fish and corals in 2 days after seeding and everything has taken off / happier then it was in my display tank. Absolutely unbelievable to me... the fact i added around 60 pounds of well seeded lýve rock and a big sponge from my DT also helped but the prodibio did the most of it.

My nitrate and phosphates are almost unreadable with red sea test kit.

I will be doing the first water change this weekend as the coral order has been placed!!!
The order should arrive in vancouver december 6th give or take a few days.

Ive made some changes to the website as well as my payment methods on the site, i want people to etransfer rather then pay with credit card or paypal as they both deduct 3% of payments made.

Anyone who purchases with etransfer or cash receives a 10% coupon on the next order!


Sent from my SM-G930W8 using Tapatalk