And It's Done! An Aquarium Build Update

Updated: Sep 27, 2020

I know I have been delinquent in updates recently but that’s because I’ve been super busy. As you can tell from the below photo, I’ve been knee deep in setting up the new salt water system. I am ecstatic to say I AM DONE! My wife is also extremely happy because we can finally get rid of all these boxes and extra fish and marine equipment laying around the house.

Fish room mess after finally finishing the build

I made TONS of mistakes a long the way. I am going to try to muster up the courage to relive those mistakes (some extremely costly) to help you avoid similar ones in the future. The first lesson is one I always knew deep down but thought I could avoid. In fact, this very lesson was a feature of a recent Coral magazine spread. And it’s a lesson that applies to all aspects of life: You get what you pay for.

Trust me, you may think you are saving a few dollars—which is essential when undertaking one of these builds—but you’re better off in the long run just purchasing the good stuff first before realizing after the close of the return period that your budget gear isn’t going to cut it. (See those Echotech MP40 boxes in the background…)

A related lesson is to know your limits. As I’ve stated several times, I am not handy by nature. I like the hobby because I learn new things. But my time is also limited with a lot of people demanding some of it. After countless floods during my build I made the wisest decision of all: to call a pro. Dynamic Tank came to my rescue and was here once a week for nearly a month helping me get everything set up perfectly. The owner was here so often that my wife started buying him Slurpees when she took the kids for their 7-11 fixes and inviting him to dinner. This project really could not have been done without him and if you are in the tristate area, definitely give him a call. It is better to get it right the first time than to keep fixing your mistakes.

Anyway, this build took a lot longer than I expected. I’ll make a tour video of the new system soon to show it off. I also have updates from my trip to Reef-A-Palooza (where I won my first raffle ever—a Tunze Algae Reactor, which I’ll review soon). The day job has also been super busy and, oh yeah, we had a baby!

That’s all for now. I promise to try to keep these more frequent and to provide regular updates.

As always, any questions, feel free to drop me a note. And don’t forget to share and subscribe!

Happy reefing.

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