SoCal 75g shallow reef build 48x24x15


Active member
Well, the Fluval 13g holding tank that kept some zoas and our clownfish pair going during our 2018 move from Los Angeles to Orange County (CA) is ready to be retired, as we've started purchases for the new tank, 48” long x 24" deep x 15" tall, rimless, approximately 75g. After keeping a tall 90g square (24" deep) with a canopy, the mrs. and I decided shallow open-top is the way to go. Looking at SPS dominated tank and a clam. Captive-bred fish only.

Let's get the big equipment out of the way:

-48x24x15, 3 side low iron glass, 4 1" bulkeads centered (2 drains, 2 returns) - my LA LFS Vivid Aquariums is sourcing the tank from Visio and a local carpenter for the stand
-Trigger Systems Ruby 36 sump (to live under sump)
-Trigger Systems Ruby 10 ATO (to live on the other side of the wall)
-COR-15 return pump (I'm in the Apex ecosystem)
-2x existing Tunze 6095s plugged into the Apex (would not be surprised if that pump count increases)
-existing floats and Apex utility pump for top off
-a Royal Exclusiv Double Cone 150 Red Dragon X DC (@slief is awesome!)
-2x XR15 G6 Blues, single arm RMS mount on each, mounted at 1/3 and 2/3 tank length
-clear view lids top
-98 lbs Reef Rock 2.0 by Walt Smith
-33" stand, enclosed and flush with the tank (doors too)

Water test before Halloween sounds like a tight wish it were so schedule, so let’s say “Updates with pics before US thanksgiving” and we can all be pleasantly surprised when that post hits anytime before. But all the bits and bobs are ordered, so start that juicy 6-8 week countdown.


KEF in-walls, to answer the inevitable next question. That's a test stand I built (bigger than the actual dims) with our holding tank, the Fluval 13 is retired for that 20L I got on sale, made it to get a sense of scale in the room.


Just random gear to-date.

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My last return pump on a tank was a Mag9. The difference in sound and flow is … silly.
Not a fair comparison I know, it’s just like going awhile between cars, the latest one has all the new cool stuff!

yes that’s me giggling realizing I'm giving you the tour of our guest bathroom.
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She’s a beauty. Bubble King Double Cone 150 with their RDX dc pump. Missing a pump controller but I’m confident customer service will take care of it. @slief

Edit: already great CS, controller is taken care of. 😃
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Garage sump glamour shot with some equipment before it goes to the LFS for plumbing pre-assembly in a few weeks. 2x 200mm Noctua fans in the middle refugium section also headed to the carpenter for stand exhausts.
Break-in on dirty water until big things show up in a month-ish.

have a happy week, reefers.


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More than a few days but less than a week churning over dirty water, which is coming from the brute holding the live rock. I forgot how exciting poopy foam can be! But honestly way more excited about the noise of this DC pump. Much like the COR-15 return, we were in quasi-hiatus/moving when the DC pumps came onto the market en mass, we're very pleased with the noise from this latest generation of equipment.

Obviously more patina needed on the skimmer for best performance, but so far great start! *insert praises for @slief and Royal Exclusiv here*

inside poopy cone.jpgtop poopy cone no cup.jpg
Good two days. Water is in the display. Plumbing is in and DRY and most of the wires tidy. Where’s the under-stand pic? “Most” is the important word in that sentence, “most of the wires are tidy.”

We’ll work towards an installed and prettied sump glamour shot and more water so we can run it through the system and not just making sure the display is leak-proof (not worried, so far so good).

We’re obviously dialed to 11 on the excitement meter.

Just sitting around the table, close to midnight, crushing dusty rocks into powder inside these reagent Nitrite and Nitrate bottles, just a regular addict-way to end my Tuesday/start my Wednesday.

But so Salifert worth it …

Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 1-2
Refractometer confirmed salinity 35
DOS units are hung & plumbed.
Rock went in morning of 12-13, aqua scape in the next day or two.
Total system water w/ rock and sand: 80g
Addict out.