120 gal tank build

Psychonaut

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Hey y’all, so I have been quietly working on getting this 120 set up over the last 2 weeks. So far I’ve built the sump, painted everything and set the stand up, replaced all the bulkheads, and set up my qt tank currently stocked with 2 black ice snowflake clowns, a Midas Blenny, and a royal gramma.

I have been making a video journal and logging my entry’s here
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2xiHS0qnLdNFYZAZ4D2iXg

Next step is to finish my cabinet video, and then work on the plumbing. Anyway wish me luck y’all, I’ll be keeping you posted
-Alex

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P-Dub

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Hi Alex! Welcome to the build forum!
Please, post those videos here so we can all more easily enjoy your progress.
Photo supplementation is always a bonus as well. Looking forward to your progress!
 
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Psychonaut

Psychonaut

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Ok! So here is my video for QT set up

Here is my tank set up video

Here is my LiveAquaria unboxing

That pretty much caches you up I think

I’m almost done with my stand set-up video and am in the process of making a QT log and a plumbing video


A little more background, this is basically my first fish tank ever aside from a couple goldfish. Looking to set up a mixed reed over the next few months. Gonna run FOWLR for a few months then add coral after about 4 months.
 
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Psychonaut

Psychonaut

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P-Dub not yet, I thought about that but was hoping because it was meant for dipping it would be ok. But I have some media bags now so I’m the DT I’ll use one of those

But I’m not sure, like I said it’s the first time I have ever done anything like this. I absolutely did my research creeping on these forums and watching every BRS video ever made along with CJs Aquariums, Aaron’s aquariums, tidal gardens... you know, I’m subscribed to everyone haha

But as prepared as I believed I was, today I don’t even have water in the tank yet and all I can think about is how I can do it better next time!

So a question for y’all, there is no top to my Stand. The glass rests on the 2x4’s that line the edges. Should I put a 48x24 piece of plywood down on top to help stability?
 

P-Dub

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So a question for y’all, there is no top to my Stand. The glass rests on the 2x4’s that line the edges. Should I put a 48x24 piece of plywood down on top to help stability?
Does the tank have a plastic frame or is it glass alone?
Edit: Never mind. I see the photos... no need for the ply.
 
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Psychonaut

Psychonaut

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My concern is that the board that runs under the center bracing isn’t flush with the bracing. So there is a gap. I tried to take a pic with the light coming thru to show you what I mean
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In the center of the photo there. You think I’ll be ight?
 

P-Dub

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Hmmm. I'm hesitant to say no problem. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Placing ply will still transfer that gap, perhaps not as much but it will still be there. I have a gap about equal to that on my stand even with epoxy coated MDF. If you can place foam around the edge that might help. Rigid foam insulation boards work well. You could ply it then sheet it with foam board. That might start to look ugly though. I didn't put the foam under my framed standard 125 over my slightly wavy stand when I first built it and didn't even give it a second thought for almost 8 years, mostly because I never realized the gap. It wasn't until I set the tank up again after over 13 years in storage did I notice the gap upon the rebuild. I did my best to level with self-leveling epoxy but still had gaps. So, long story short, I'm gambling by just going with the gap, not by much, I hope, but still gambling. Frankly, that is such a small gap and apparently, in the cross brace, I wouldn't worry about it.
 
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So I have my Stand pretty well set up, although I have a couple questions I’d love some opinions on if anyone had a couple min.

So one of the real pains about this stand is that there is no room for an ATO resivoir. The side cabinet is only 5” deep, and all the ato resivoirs that I have seen are 6” deep and won’t fit in there. I went and got some 5 liter cereal containers I was going to use, but I bet I’m gonna run thru them like crazy I’d love any input on a better way to do this. Maybe I can keep the tank 6” off the wall and put something behind it? Plumbing runs out the back anyway....

I finally got to trying to scrub some of these calcium deposits off the glass with some vinegar and a coarse sponge but man I just can’t get them off. I’m not sure if it’s because they have been left unattended for so long or what but if anyone has a good way to get these out that won’t poison my tank I’d love to hear some ideas. I tried a razor blade but it won’t budge.

I have most of my plumbing stuff arrive this week so hopefully I’ll have my plumbing done by this time next week. Does anyone know where I can get some schd. 80 true union ball valves that isn’t BRS? I don’t want she’ll out $25 a piece and can’t find any on amazon. What about like Lowe’s or Home Depot?

As usual thanks for any input,
-Alex

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NY_Caveman

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I tried editing and deleting those extra photos, not sure why I cant
If you can still edit the post, or in the future, you can manage pictures better when editing a post by selecting “More Options.” At the bottom you can delete extra pictures under “Attached Files.”

 

P-Dub

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For an ATO cabinet, I went with Home Depot. Not elegant but it does the trick. You will lose access to one of the sides unless you remove the internal wall to gain extra useable space. You can see it off to the right in the photo below. Holds a Trigger Systems 5 gallon ATO with room to spare, two drawers for misc. stuff, and a countertop.
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Psychonaut

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Ok so I have finished all my plumbing. I had a bit of an issue with my unions. When dry fitting, I couldn’t get them all the way into the slots. So when I went to glue (and they did slide all the way in, one of my joints was 3/4” off. I went to my local hardware store and bout 2 couplings and rigged a fix up. It’s not perfect but I’m happy with it

I got some bartenders keeper (or something like that) and alternating between that and hr vinegar scrubbed the be-Jesus out of my tank to get some of the hard water deposits off. It’s still not perfect, but much better and when it’s full you can’t really tell

Today I test filled the tank and was please to find out I didn’t have any leaks! That was the good news. Draining the tank back out with 3/40 flexible tube took 45 min and was exausting. My sump is so low I can’t even really syphon it all the way out, dunno how the f ima get the water out of there haha. The bad news is that I did notice a little bit of peeling/imperfections on one of the corners in the silicone. Right now the plan is to move ahead anyway.

I received 120lbs of the cheap amazon dry rock. I soaked it in the bathtub overnight and scrubbed the crap out of it. After a bit of tinkering I believe I have my aquascape. I’m waiting for some “polymorph plastic” to arrive on Wednesday so I can glue this thing together and get it in the tank

I have 80lbs of ocean direct sand ready to go. I have some nitrifying bacteria on hand. I’m the mail curtesy of BRS I have an icecap 3k and a finnex 300w heater. I also already have a liter of seachems pond matrix and half gallon marine pure balls. So hopefully the plan is to start getting water in the tank thurs/Friday and get this cycle started

Since my tank already has to sit almost 6” off the wall I think I’m going to buy a 6”wide 5gallon ato resivoir and just keep it behind my tank. I also drilled 3 holes thru the board I plant to keep my controllers in and bought a box to hide all the wires. Below and behind the bord to create an automatic drip loop
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Finally starting to feel pretty real getting excited ! Please tell me if you think I’m about to empty 120gal of water in my dining room. Still working on a plumbing video, maybe tomorrow.
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P-Dub

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Moving along nicely. There is always a better road to take on the next tank. Stay the course and you'll be fine. Remember, the next step of cycling will require a monumental amount of patience. DO NOT RUSH this stage. I did it over a period of just under four months. Never had a break out of any kind once I started adding animals. Looking forward to the progress reports.
 
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Psychonaut

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So my polymorph plastic got here and I finished my aquascape. I couldn’t get Pukani, and this rock was really heavy, So I didn’t trust glueing the rocks together outside, and moving them in, so I decided to put the scape together inside the tank

Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken into account the width of the glass on my mock-up on the floor, and when I got it in the tank It wouldn’t fit. I would not have had enough room to get my algae scraper around, and so I had to re-do the whole thing

In the end I chose something that was similar, but a little bit different. I found the polymorph plastic was really easy to work with, and so far has held up really well. Both of the top rocks are fighing gravity, I had to hold them still for a few minutes while it dried so they wouldn’t fall over

My icecap gyre 3k arrived and I have it programed. Stupid question here, but do you run your pumps at the same intensity at night? Seems like a dumb question because I’m sure ocean currents don’t care if the lights are on, but thought I’d ask.

I went to go hang my lights (viparspectra 165w) and after the first night the timer on one went out. Can’t control it or change the settings, but I wrote viparspectra and bought a new timer for $10 and I’m going to see if I can fix it.

I went to go start filling my tank and unfortunately found that my brand new DI resin was completely depleted after 100gal. I had to order more resin and pack a new tube, but after filling up a cup to test TDS I was at like 18 so I figured I’d just run to the LFS and buy enough water to finish filling my tank

When I got it filled up the water was a little higher than I had anticipated. It was about 1/4” from the top of the tank. I turned my jebao DCP 10000 down to the lowest setting and now my water is 1/2” from the top of the tank. I’m hoping that is not too little sump turnover for my tank. It’s the lowest setting on a 2600gph pump, any thoughts on this? Is that too close to the top of my tank, should I be concerned?

I also replaced the outlet I’ll be plugging everything into to GFCI

Today I added 2 cubes of frozen mysis, and a bottle of Dr. Tim’s, and a bottle of BioSpira. So while I’m tracking my tank cycle I’m going to focus on a few other things like fixing this light, finishing the copper treatment on my QT tank, and getting to the bottom of my RODI problems. Any input on any of these, or other problems would be much appreciated
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NY_Caveman

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I really like how your rockscape ended up actually.

For the gyre, or pumps in general, I leave them the same night and day. I have seen a few people change the speeds and/or modes throughout the day, but not sure if this makes much difference. I guess if one were specifically trying to simulate tides or some other natural effect perhaps it could be useful.

For the return, I have not used a sump before, but most folks seem to aim for 5-10x turnover.

 

P-Dub

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Some of my pumps remain on at low throughout the evening. Then when my nanobubble scrubber comes on my recirculation pumps come on and alternate at 30%. They go off when the nanobubble scrubber goes off. They are on in the evening/dark like this from 22:00 to 04:30. Then I have a sunrise/sunset schedule that comes on at 09:30. Then day schedule at 11:00 followed by another day schedule causing a standing wave at 16:00 to 20:00 and then ramping down again with the sunrise/sunset schedule till 21:00. Every two hours from 09:30 till the end of the sunset schedule the pumps alternate at no specific pattern at 100% for 20 min. to mix the detritus up. I do scheduling with my pumps like this to better mimic the natural reef. In nature, there is more wave action on the reef during the day as the sun comes up and mellowing out as the sun sets. As things heat up there is more wind and therefore more wave action, for the most part. Does this all make a difference? I don't honestly know but everyone in the tank seems happy.
 
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