Update: 180gal Starphire build – sand

Tank and stand are in.  Next step is research and procure sand (actually calcium carbonate) and substrate.  Rick at Caribsea took some time to give us a brush-up on the basics.  Since this will be “quick switch” from one tank to to another, except for the sand, he advised one of their Live products.

We’re leaning Direct Ocean with oolite on one side of the tank for sifters and regular grade with some puka shells on the other side for burrowers.  Of course, over time, the two will mesh together.

Update: A custom 180gal Starphire build

Cabinet is now stained and in place.  One of the themes will be corals as “Orchids of the Sea”.  Regular orchids will be arranged in the room also.  Regarding staining:  nothing fancy, we don’t want to over-think this stuff, or get hung-up with too many details. So, coat of pre-stain (since pine), coat of oil-based, Minwax Dark Walnut, coat of Minwax Poly — done (“perfect is the enemy of good enough”).  More details to follow …

Update: A custom 180gal Starphire build

Still working through some display tank specifications.  Since the system will be peninsula style, almost free standing and no canopy, we decided on clear vs. black silicone.

On advice of our tank builder, we re-considered and now have decided on black silicone.

Related feedback: “Nothing structural, but I prefer the black. After some years, the clear tends to change color (absorb dyes, chemicals, etc), and usually gets covered with algae/coralline, etc. Bottom line, it ends up looking like crap and there isnt a whole lot you can do about it. The black covers all of that. To me, it just looks alot slicker as well.”