BRS Reef Savvy Tank Upgrade: EP 11 -- How to Start a Saltwater Aquarium

November 15th, 2013
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Today on BRStv, we are going to move and upgrade a reef tank we started over two years ago here on YouTube. We just moved our offices and warehouse to a new building so it seemed like the right time to put a new reef tank in Ryan's office. Ryan had a 40 gallon breeder tank and he wanted to move the inhabitants and rock to the office. So first, we needed a new tank and stand. We reached out to Felix at Reef Savvy and their partner Synergy Reef. The new tank is 70 gallon, rimless with a phantom bottom (which means it sits directly on the stand). It has Ÿ" glass and a Ghost Overflow. The Ghost Overflow is two pieces -- an ultra-low profile overflow on the inside of the tank and an external box for plumbing. The sump we have is the Reef Savvy's Shadow Box made by Synergy Reef. The Shadow Box is made of smoked-colored acrylic (to hide the salt creep -- nice!) with space for two filter socks. It has an adjustable water baffle to allow you to adjust the water level from 6-10" for your skimmer chamber.

So that is the tank -- what about all the equipment? We upgraded to two Kessil A360W LED light pendants with Gooseneck mounts. We love the shimmer of these lights and think they most closely emulate the sun.

We started with new sand and decided to go with the Caribsea Fiji Pink Arag-Alive! Reef Sand. It's got a high surface area for bacteria and is a popular size among reefers.
The rock we used and just transferred over from the old tank is Pukani. This is our lightest and most porous rock and a customer favorite.

For the return, we are going with a Speedwave DC Pump. They run super quiet, are controllable and even come with a feed mode.

We are continuing to use the Elos Digital OsmoController ATO. It has a low-profile probe that easily fits into the sump and there are no moving parts to fail.
Protein Skimmers. At BRS, we always say -- choose the best possible skimmer that fits into your budget and the space you have available. We are going with the Vertex Omega 150. The build quality is exceptional and quite simply, it works.

For heaters, we decided on the Cobalt Aquatics Neo-Therm Submersible heaters. They have an ultra-low profile and haven't failed on us yet.

So what about a powerhead? We chose the VorTech MP40w ES from EcoTech Marine. They are a reliable pump and for this set up can be operated at 60-70% which should extend the life of the pump.

And finally CONTROL...We had an Apex Controller from Neptune on the last tank and we are going to stick with that. It has all the features we need: leak detection, salinity probe, can control the VorTech pumps and the Kessil LED lights, notify if there is a power outage and connects to the internet for easy monitoring.

So have you ever upgraded to a new tank? Tell us about it in the comments below.

*Legal Stuff*
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