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  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007

    Bob's Ghetto Build! 180 on the cheap!

    For those of you who have been following, I'm building a 180. Because I'm a poor mechanic, I'm doing it as cheap as I can, while still maintaining a degree of quality in my components. I started with a 180 miracles I found in the local classifieds. It was purchased new, filled to check for leaks, and then emptied and never used. It has dual 1.5" overflows. She paid 1600 for it locally, which is probably overpriced (not sure, never looked into it). Anyways, in the end she wanted it gone and gave it to me for 400 dollars! It came with plumbing and a mag 9.5, also brand new.
    Stand was built by myself, I also picked up a 60g in the local classifieds for 50 bucks, and I turned it into my sump.
    I needed a skimmer of course, and after a ton of research, I decided on the Octopus Extreme 200. It has a sicce pump, is rated for 225 with medium bioload, and is a beast. Came in at 339.00 brand new.
    I got a mag 18 for the return, I was going to go with reeflo, but decided against drilling my sump. 124.99 new.
    I researched my lighting for awhile, and wanted t5's, mainly for the heat savings, plus I saw some really neat tanks from europe with t5 only, and liked the look. I found a 72" 8x80w fixture with moonlights for Catalina Aquarium. They now have a 5 year warranty, are made in the US, and have individual reflectors and workhorse ballasts. I haven't received them yet, but I'll let everyone know what I think when I do. After some haggling, I got them for 600US total with bulbs.
    I picked up 100lbs of rock on the weekend from a reefer in TO who unfortunately had to get out of the hobby for a bit. He gave me the rock, 75lbs of sand, and two Koralia 4's for under 400 dollars.
    So at this point I'm cycling. I'm still waiting on the lights and my mag 18, but all is progressing smoothly!
    Now I'm not doing this just for the sake of being cheap. In fact, if you add it all up, I'm still out alot of money. But hopefully, I can make a few newbies realize that you don't have to spend their life savings to have a decent tank they can enjoy!

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Heres some pics along the way so far

  3. #3
    ijo is offline
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Your bound to save a lot of $$$ if you continue to wait for the deals!! Great Job!!!


  4. #4
    Sponsor - Ottawa Inverts
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    You found some great deals!

    A mag 18 is way overkill for a return pump imo. I think you will find that a smaller return pump will work much better for you.
    Saturdays: 10am - 6pm
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Zookeeper's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    I'm thinking that Mag 18 is too strong as well. Looking at your sump configuration it looks like you are planning to use one of those chambers as a refugium? Therefore you would want low flow. I'd think the Mag 9.5 would be just about right.

  6. #6
    liv is offline
    Former Moderator liv's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Looks good, do you have any pics of the stand finished ?

    The pic above that shows your stand, I hope its an unfinished stand picture as it wont be nearly strong enough to hold that tank.
    Your 180g will be over 2000lbs once filled with water, rocks and sand.

    I would use the 9.5 that came with your system at a max to pump the water from your sump. use the mag 18 for a skimmer or a recirculation system.

    moving.. so temporarily out of SW :b8:
    planning next tank, possibly 60x30x20 on 2x plasma.
    updated: 2011/05/30

  7. #7
    Senior Member Kenzy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    On my 170g I used a Mag18 and a 65g sump and it worked very well. IMO I don't think the Mag9.5 will give you enough turn over once you look at head losses.

    I also agree that pic of the stand looks a little underbuilt, hopefully it was skinned with at least 3/4" ply.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    The stand was inclomplete in that pic for sure, never noticed that. It actually has four more vertical legs, and all 8 are two 2x4's laminated together. Everywhere there is a screw, there is construction adhesive. There is no sheeting on the side, but 3/4" plywood on both horizontal surfaces. The reason for none on the sides is because I saw a tank online that was built like this, with pieces of oak on the front and sides velcroed on. this allows to to remove the entire panel to do work.

  9. #9
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by Kenzy View Post
    On my 170g I used a Mag18 and a 65g sump and it worked very well. IMO I don't think the Mag9.5 will give you enough turn over once you look at head losses.
    i agree, with ~8' of head loss ( 5' vertical and 6' horizontal with a few elbows for dual returns etc.... ) the 9.5 would probably only push ~500gph to the tank. the 18 will do about double that which may be a bit much but you could just add another return line ( more head loss ) or install a manifold in the plumbing to fed the refugium / reactor / RDSB / etc.....

    looking good Bob, keep us updated

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor

    My Gallery

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Heres some pics taken today, tank is up and running, built some stockman standpipes, work flawlessly, at least with the mag 9.5, we'll see when the 18 comes in.

    Sump with tank running

    With everything off (power failure)

    The Octo in action!

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