Elos 120 (liter)

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by screebo, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    The tank is an Elos 120 liter model, up to 90 gal from 79 of prior generation. I am going with the Elos cabinet as it is much less expensive than a custom build and at exactly the right height for me to rest my arm pit on the top edge of the glass while fiddling with the interior. Since the Elos sump is not what I had in mind, I'm having TruVu make a custom 17 gallon sump. In the first chamber resides the AT1 BM 160 skimmer. The second chamber is the refugium. Third chamber contains return pump and room for adding any reactors/dosers (I've never had a reef tank large enough to need supplementation so I'm still leaning about current thinking about auto-supplementation) The forth chamber is the top off reservoir aprox 11 gals. It will be about 4 weeks for the sump to be ready as TruVu takes their time and is always busy.

    Other items already ordered are TECO Sea Chill TR15 chiller, Ecotech Vortech MP40-W (2 ea) and the matching Ice Cap backup, JBJ ATO top off unit and lighting: AquaPhoton Plus 48" fixture, 2 SE 250w Mh, 6 54w T5's.

    Best to all!

  2. Eight

    Eight Guest

    I have the older 79 gallon Elos 120 system. It's a fantastic tank, you'll love it.

    Only speaking from my own personal experience... I struggled with the MSX160 skimmer (which is almost identical to the ATI 160). It was really loud and I didn't find that it produced that much foam. The Bubbleking 180 has been leaps and bounds better, but more money also.

    I also really didn't like the Vortechs at all. You can search for my thread here. They kept falling off, making noises, locking up, etc. I got everything replaced under warranty then sold the whole package off. Lots of people seem to like them, but IME they just aren't as bulletproof as the Tunzes. For me, reliability is #1 attribute over efficiency, aesthetics, features, cost, etc.
  3. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Sorry for the terrible delay in build info but here's where I'm at today. It was arranged for me to "drop ship" the cabinet and pool between yesterday and today. After a short drive to Pleasanton, I had two very manageble loads that I was able to handle myself. Glad I bought the pneumatic tired hand truck a while back. I enjoyed my visit with Jesse at ElosUSA very much as we seem to be of the same tribe. I am still short a sump but I've got the skimmer now Thanks to Ed for providing a great deal on a skimmer and great conversation too.

    I hit the home depot to get some teflon tape, a "shop grade" 10 outlet plug stip and some 90 deg. grounded outlet extensions to keep the cabinet as close to the wall as practical. Yes, as long as I live in this condo, it's like sitting in the cockpit of a USAF primary trainer. "Rather Snug". Well, my wife Nikki is a little thing and she is the one who sits next to the tank!

    What you don't see is the stainless light hanger (went with the Elos) that I'll mount as soon as I have the distance between the suspension points on the AquaPhoton Plus fixture. I think they did a exceptional job on a ltd. production item from from the right material.

    I was really impressed when I saw the Elos Planet light fixtures. Light weight, very attractive and very efficient. Still, I'm happy with the choice of the AquaPhoton Plus. (Not shown 'cause it's not here yet) I'm expecting the MP-40w's and battery back-up any day... mount 'em up!

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0467.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0469.JPG
  4. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    Ah, I remember those days living in a loft in the city and listening to the roaring gurgle of my tank at night.

    Sounds like you are off to a great start. Can't wait to see it up and running.

    I have an ATI BM 200 (that I also got from Ed) and am really happy with it, it pulls out all kinds of gnarly junk.

    BTW I know this is of course after you have puchades the 10 plug strip but if you aren't considering going with a controller. DJ panels come in real handy in leiu of power strips as they give you an individual switch for each plug.

    Any plans for a chiller? Can't remember where you are at but you may very well need one at some point. Fortunately the summer heat is starting to wane and you could easily do wihout for a while.

    Are you going to go Calcium reactor or dose 2 part?
  5. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Nice size tank John, are you planning on transferring any of the smaller tanks on the image?
    See some of the companies are going after a chunk of the Elos market with their version of rimless.
    I like them a lot but going traditional canopy on top.

    Bryan Where do you get the DJ panels near the city?

  6. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    The Teco Sea Chill TR-15 is on it's way. I plan to use the heater option to keep all my temp control in one area. Yes! A chiller is required equipment on the S.F. Peninsula unless one enjoys A/C in their home. Once my coral investment went over $1K (a LONG time ago) I decided to never chance that day when the water temp hit's 90! My little Current 1/15 hp chiller has been doing a great job of keeping the little tanks at 77/78 deg. On the hottest days it's topped at 79.

    Yes, I plan to migrate ALL the coral and rock from the small tanks into the Elos, then tear down the nursery.

    Ah.........a controller. Well, I had tentatively picked on as the last bit of hardware to consider. I do like the simplified way of monitoring and remote access via Ethernet connection. That would allow me to be more comfortable when traveling and offering input to my tank/cat keeper. I'm pretty tired of adding 5 drops of PH testing solution to a little vial of water. Since it's new hardware to my experience, I'm just a little reluctant to jump in. Well, the plug strip was less than 40 bucks :)
  7. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Bryan! You just won the prize for jogging my memory! H)
    I have a DJ plug strip from stage lighting I used at my last residence. I'm pretty sure I bought it mail order from a DJ supply.

    Edit Note: later chose to use a Neptune Apex controller for strip plugs and timing.
  8. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    You might save some of the water from your water changes on the old tank for a little while and cycle it in with the new tank. could help speed up the process.

    Depending on what you are going to have in the new tank, I think your demand for CA and Alk will become much greater. Using a reactor or dosing with dosing pumps and a controller helps to both maintain stability as far as the levels go as well as take some of the hassle of having to do it manually/find someone else to do it if you go out of town.

    I have tried to automate as many of the labor intensive pieces of my tank as I can, top off, dosing etc. so that I can spend my time doing other things like water changes, pruning, and actually enjoying the tank. Again it also make it much easier if you go out of town. I have found that I can leave now for about 5 days or so with my tank on its own and even longer if i have someone drop by on occasion to refil the top off and check on a few things for me.

    Granted I do now have the luxury of a garage to keep most of the working parts out of sight and not cluttering up the living space.
  9. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Great idea of saving "lucky" water from the other tanks. Guess I'll spring for another 40 gal garbage can with lid. The concept of both reactors and dosing pumps makes pretty clear sense to me. I've just not done any research, as yet, as to which approach seems to be working best for those of our tribe that have been using them. If setting up from start, which appoach would you use for a 90 gal shallow rimless tank? Yes, I'll search threads on the site to get "caught up" with what folks are saying.
  10. seminolecpa

    seminolecpa Past President

    I think that strip looks fine to use.

    As far as dosing vs. reactor, you can ask 10 people and probably get various answers. the truth is what you think works best for you.

    I have done several different methods starting including manual dosing, a reactor and now auto dosing and of the 3 I prefer manual dosing. Here is why:

    [Disclaimer- this is my personal opinion only and not necessarily what everyone's experience is]

    Manual dosing

    1) Cheap-you can get pre made stuff or make your own
    2) More hands on- If it is you doing it vs. letting a machine do it, in theory there is less that can go wrong
    3) Space- no bulky extra equipment needed

    1) More hands on- was fine when my tank was smalller as well as my corals but it began to become a major PITA to do it every day and gave me fits of trying to give someone instructions of how to do it every day when I was gone.
    2) Stability- unless done at very frequent intervals, it can cause decent sized fluctations in your water chemistry.


    1) Tried and tru method- many many successful reefers use
    2) Automated- The reactor gave me some freedom with the set it and semi forget it.


    1) Cost- a good reactor, plus regulator, plus PH probe and monitor plus CO2 tank can be a pretty costly at startup
    2) Dialing it in initially
    3) Low PH- you can either live with it or or dose kalkwasser (see above form my opinions on manual dosing) or get yet another reactor for the kalkwasser (add to cost).
    4) CO2 running out- It never failed that my CO2 would run out on a Friday or some other time and I would have to either wait or come up with something on the fly to get the tank refilled. Very hard to gauge when a tank is going to run out.
    5) Space- a reactor plus CO2 tank can be pretty bulky

    Dosing pumps


    1) Automated- set it and forget it for the most part
    2) Stability- by using a controller and dosing pumps to manage when the chemicals are added, I can maintain not only steady levels of CA and ALK but I can also manipulate that ph drop that happens at night with a regular tank.
    3) Easier to adjust- add or subtract minuted from the dosing rounds and ability to change the forumla depending on where you PH is sitting
    4) Cost- if you take out the seperate cost of a controller from the mix as it serves more purposes then just for dosing, your initial costs are for the dosing pumps (about 80-100 each or so) and chemical (you can buy in bulk at a pretty cheap price)

    1) Space- You need a little bit more space as you will need to have reserviors of premixed calcium and alk as well as the dosing pumps though not really that any more then a reactor
    2) Mixing Chemical- you will periodically have to mix up batches of 2 part to refill the reserviors (I find that I need to refill my 1 gallon jugs about every 2 weeks or so on my heavily stocked 180)

    I am sure I could probably ponder a while more and think of some other pros and cons for all of these methods but these were the ones that came to mind immediately.
  11. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Leaning toward a Neptune Apex controller with lab quality probs then look at the dosing method.

    It's very good of you to take time to run this down. One can sure save time and money by taking a tip from "one who's tried". I'll mount up the DJ panel in lieu of a controller until I make sure I've covered all my other essentials. I'm glad I saved my receipt on the 10 outlet shop plug strip. Back it goes tomorrow!
  12. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    Todays progress:

    *Wired and installed a GFP 15 amp outlet.
    *Built bracket and installed DJ Pannel and relay controlled outlets

    I won't feel a lot of grief if/when I remove the DJ panel in favor of a controller panel.

    I'm waiting to install s.st. light hanger and brackets until I know distance between hanging points of the Aquaphoton Plus. Anyone have one they could measure? (no worries, I'm working on it)

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0472.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0477.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0481.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0482.JPG
  13. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    I received the MP-40w's yesterday along with the JBJ ATO system. Just had to mount 'em in anticipation of more waiting for the sump and light fixture. All electric is located out of the path of splash and spill.
  14. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    And yet, a little more progress:
    The Ice Cap back up came for the circ. pumps and was installed. Neatened up the wires a bit and made chart of what's plugged where. Got great news that the sump will be ready next week. The chiller comes tomorrow. Smells like the plan will be to pick up the sump, sand, LR and fill it with water next week. Sure hope the AquaPhoton Plus is on a fast boat.....This gives me time to suspend a fuge light and think about timers.
  15. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    The electric is done with the exception of finalizing wire routing once I connect the sump pumps and light fixture. Looks like there's nothing I can do now until I get the sump. I'm fighting the urge to mix and fill the tank just short of the overflow and get it circulating........
    Additions in the pics are the circulation pump battery back-up, fuge light and the timer panel for Mh, T5 and fuge light.

    Attached files /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0495.JPG /attachments/sites/default/files/IMG_0498.JPG
  16. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

  17. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    Yea: Thanks Brian. I appreciated the pros and cons write up too.

    John: "Ethernet Connection." controller" loving the sound of that. I guessing there is software out there and it may run on a Mac? Inquiring minds want to know.

    OSH has some nice digital timers for $19 that I'm running my lighting on. You may want to take a look at them as they have battery back up and multiple programs that can be run at the same time, which may be better than the ones in your current cabinet.

    Your build out is looking pretty sweet. I'm enjoying your tread and progress.

  18. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    John are you planning on putting a background on the back glass? if so, now's the time, before is too heavy to move.
    There are some "yoyos" for adjusting the height of the lights instead of the brackets, can't remember the exact name but someone may chime in; maybe Sun Light Supply?
  19. screebo

    screebo Supporting Member

    I'm planning an island arrangement with no contact on the rear glass........so I'll likely not do a background. Yo Yo's sound interesting...the Elos hangers are easily adjusted also. I may need to borrow a par meter to get an idea of what I can place where based on the amount of light that the AquaPhoton puts out. I've been chating with a fellow on RC that has nearly the identical set up as me and it looks great. He mounted his hangers about 8" lower than mine and suspends the light about 12" above the tank. Sounds about right. He's using more standard DE Mh bulbs where as I'm picking up my Radium 20K's from Derek at O.T. next week. I've still not settled on the T5 choices and I've got the six slots to fill.

    Wadda you all think I ought to run along side the Radiums. Straight 460 nm actinics? Some combination? Not much else needed to be up and running. Thanks for all the good words and ideas.
  20. Reef Keeper

    Reef Keeper Supporting Member

    That sounds similar to my lighting scheme: The 460s make for great color popping visual experience while replicating depth, while working well as transition lighting too. I'm using 2 T12s URI SVHO, but there are some "Super Blue" T5s, if you can find them, that may be able to give you a similar nm with out taking up as much space as a T12. Commodity Axis used to have Super Blues in the 460 range, but the T5 ones I ordered from them last time ( a few month ago) seem more like in the 380 range, you may want to speak with them to see if you can get the nm rating you're looking for.

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