120 Gal Build

Reefer5640

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Around 13 years ago my wife brought up the idea of keeping a reef tank together. Our first tank was a 20 gal with a HOB filter and a power compact light, no skimmer, ATO or bells and whistles of any kind.

*I think this is our second tank, I couldn’t find a pic of our first.
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We were very impatient and learned a lot of hard lessons. As time went on we started up multiple smaller tanks and became more knowledgeable and successful at keeping reefs.

*30 gal softy tank, one of my favorite tanks to this day. I believe this is the same tank as above just later in life and added a sump.
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Being that we always had smaller tanks there were certain fish my wife and I wanted. So naturally we started up a bigger tank (75 gal mixed reef) and decided to take it more seriously.

*Early stages of the 75 gal. This is where the bug really set in.
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The more we invested and researched the more successful we became. We caught the bug worse than we already had it and filled our house with reef tanks ranging anywhere from 30 gal to 100 gal. As the reefs matured it became too much to manage which brings me to this build.

*100 gal that started to get away from us due to having too many tanks to manage and not enough time
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I like to think of this build as “The lessons learned/consolidation build”. We cut frags from all of our favorite colonies for the new 120 gallon SPS dominate mixed reef. We sold all the colonies, equipment, tanks, and fish and started over. I had a 30 gal frag tank in the basement to keep the coral alive for the duration of the build.

*30 gal frag tank
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This round I wasn’t going to cut a single corner. We cured our own dry rock rather than live, we took extensive quarantine measures for both coral and fish which also included a three month fallow period.

*Rock curing system. All linked together running off a sump.
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The sump and stand was another big area I wanted to put a lot of effort into. I made my sump from a 50 gal tank. I hate filter socks so I made my version of a roller mat, I also wanted multiple sections; a refugium, a frag/fish isolation area, a reactor/skimmer section, and dosing/ATO/return pump section.

*And so the build begins
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I built my stand specific to all the things I wished I had over the years. I wanted removable doors, full access to the sump without anything in the way restricting my work space. I wanted an electrical compartment and a way to display my apex, I also wanted to be able to separate my stand into a wet side (sump) and a dry side (storage). I built an adjustable base so I didn’t have to shim the stand to level. I also wanted a way to control humidity and temp.

*Steel angle to support fully open face stand
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*Built in leveler
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*Extra storage everywhere I can fit it.
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*Cooling fans and blowers in each compartment to remove the heat and humidity.
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*Electrical compartment. Keeping all electrical up and away from anything wet and keeping it temperature controlled was another objective I had. Wire management was a big one too. Can’t see it very well in this pic but I ran panduit all over to keep wires managed.
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Got pretty serious about quarantine and keeping an ich/pest/disease free system. I can honestly say that over the last 13 years of reefing, quarantining fish and identifying and treating issues has proven to be the most challenging part of this hobby for me. It was a true test. I almost called it quits out of frestration of loosing so many battles.

*One of many battles. This one was won thanks to the help of the people on this forum.
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If it weren’t for my wife and the support she has given me through this I would have for sure quit the hobby all together. Thanks to her this build is now complete and we have a full blown fish room in the basement with a grow out tank, a frag tank, and a great QT setup for both fish and coral.

*I love this stand and sump
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*Early stages of fallow period
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*Coral grow out tank
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*Fish Room. This was the first attempt, it has been changed up quite a bit. I’ll post an updated pic later.
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Reefer5640

Reefer5640

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Great build thread! That is a nice sized fish room! Following...:)
Thank you! I looked at your build thread too. That is an awesome bow front man!
those are great pic. And s very nice tank
Thank you! I Have more to come. I guess I can only post up to 20 pics per one post
awesome!

What light are you running on your 120?
The lights are the AI Vega Color. They were the generation before the Hydras came out.
 
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Reefer5640

Reefer5640

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Here’s what the fish room looks like these days. Pretty messy right now but I guess that’s what happens when you use it...
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(Left to right) 65 Gal Rimless Coral Grow Out, 25 Gal Rimless Frag Tank, 20 Gal Long QT ( I have two of these with matching heaters, power heads, etc... for tank transfer method)
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Here is my clean out station. This is awesome for tank transfer method. Beats having to take the tank outside every time. I just framed up a box. Sloped the floor towards the drain, threw down some underlayment, and then put the rubber membrane right over that. It makes water changes a breeze too. I can just throw the end of the hose on the floor in there and let it do it’s thing. Definitely one of my favorite things about the fish room.
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Here’s my my little DIY sink and the
RODI System. Started running the BRS 3 stage DI Resin.
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Here the water mixing/storage system
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And here’s the live cultures
5 different types of copepods, two different types of phytoplankton, and a culture of rotifers
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Reefer5640

Reefer5640

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Here is my most recent update of the fish room

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And here’s what the tank looks like these days. Ran into some snags with green hair algae and aptasia so it’s not as filled in as I wish it were. But I got the green hair under control by increasing my magnesium levels and reducing the amount of food I put in the tank. As for the aptasia I have employed some Berghia nudi’s. They do great until my triggers and puffer find them but while they are living they are noticeably effective.

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Complaining about the cost of aquarium equipment when you pay large sums of money for coral & fish..

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