120 Gallon Mixed Reef in progress

Tristren

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Ok, so the adventure begins.


After plenty of research, but no experience, we are starting on a 120 gallon mixed reef (eventually) tank. It is a Seapora 120XH, so 60x18x26.

My philosophy going in to this is to go slow, and wherever possible default to a "natural" process. By that I just mean more chaeto refugium and less zeovit and dosing. Not to say I won't end up dosing. Just that I want to slowly build the system up, and only add complication when I have to.

The reason we went with a 120 gallon tank to start is because I figured that I can upgrade lights later, I can add on extra systems and toys, but I can't make the tank bigger. Also from what I've read, having a big system with lots of volume, but a comparatively small amount of fish and corals and inverts, is actually easier to keep stable.

So far we have it up and cleaned (water and vinegar... It was pretty dirty). And now my wife is painting the back black.

This weekend I hope to get the sump and plumbing done. Then on to the rest!

Happy to hear any and all words of wisdom (or just encouragement). Future updates will hopefully have more interesting pictures. The only other shots I have now are piles of boxes with all my equipment : )


Cheers, Tony
 
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jsker

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Tony, welcome to reefing and the adventure of reefing. Please feel free to reach out the the community here at R2R to answer your question. Wow a 120 is a great size to start out with.
 
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Tristren

Tristren

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Thanks very much to you both for the welcome. I'm sure I will have lots of questions!

At the end of our first day, we got a fair bit done.


The back is painted, and I got to dry fit and eyeball the plumbing enough to realize that it wasn't going to play out exactly as I'd thought. That is largely thanks to the sump tank being higher than I thought. I'll go through the twists and turns that saw me first getting a 40g breeder and then switching to a 29g tank is another post once the sump is done.

But now is the best time to identify issues with the plan!

So tomorrow, hopefully, I'll get the plumbing done, and start sorting out the equipment. We also will work on the preliminary aquascaping (I have three bags of sand, and two boxes of dry rock, with live rock to follow). Also leak testing.

I'm hoping to have saltwater in it Monday or Tuesday, and live rock by the end of the week.

Anything I should be looking out for in the next day or so that could lead to headaches later?

I'll go through my equipment choices and reasoning tomorrow as well.

Cheers, Tony
 
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Tristren

Tristren

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Ok, yesterday was a long day of plumbing and organizing. As a result, I now have a reef tank with a complete, and terribly ugly, plumbing setup!

No pics of that. But the tank is a reef ready with a corner overflow and two holes (a 1" and a 3/4").

I set it up with a Herbie overflow in the 3/4, and an emergency backup in the 1. The return just comes up over the back.

The sump, as I mentioned, is a 29 gallon (12x30x16). While I was waiting for the display tank and stand to arrive I actually picked up a 40g breeder on sale. They're common sumps, and I figured 18" width in the display, 18" width in the sump, great.

Unfortunately I forgot that the stand has supports and things. So the footprint for the sump is closer to 13-14"... So now I have a 29g sump, and a 40g quarantine tank! So that's ok.

Plumbing was a lot harder and less fun than I expected. I'm glad it is done. Or at least I hope it is done. Will find out when test it I guess.

In and around life (and picking up some other bits for the setup) what got done today was the aquascaping. Or most of it anyway. Which was a lot of fun.



So far we have about 80-100 pounds of Marco rock, and about 70 pounds of agronite special.

The plan is to add another 40 pounds or so of live rock, so that will add some more to the top of the two sections.

But this is what we have so far anyway. Sorry for the iffy photos. I suppose I need to set up some lighting to get rid of the reflection. This is a bit fun though as you get a sense of the length we get from the 5 feet.



And at the end you can see the Maxspect Gyre that we will be running. Really looking forward to that.

I have to finish up the sump, so hopefully by the end of tomorrow there will be water in the system!

And just so I'm clear. I should fill from the display tank completely? As in fill the display until it over flows into the oveflow and then fills the sump and the turn on the pump.... Or fill the sump a bit and then the display?


Tony
 
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Tristren

Tristren

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That's interesting. Because of the CO2 from burning wood?

Is that a long term exposure kind of thing, or a sudden spike issue.

We only use it a few times a year, so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem.
 

cloudisback1997

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That's interesting. Because of the CO2 from burning wood?

Is that a long term exposure kind of thing, or a sudden spike issue.

We only use it a few times a year, so hopefully it won't be too much of a problem.
Yes. It would likely be just a spike when you are using the fire place. Just might want to keep an eye on your ph and temp when using the fireplace. If it ever got smoky in the room too that could be a problem.
 
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Tristren

Tristren

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The fireplace works well, so no actual smoke issues.

I'll keep my eye on the numbers though. Maybe I can put a cover on when we have a fire too. Normally will have on a mesh screen (ordered from BRS), but I could put a sheet of acrylic or something as a temporary cover?

Plenty of time to think about that though... It was 90 degrees here in Ottawa today.
 
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tigerhawk

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Yes, at least with this obsession,you have something you and everyone can enjoy. I'm In love with all the equipment you can put on these reef tanks.
 
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Tristren

Tristren

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Yes, at least with this obsession,you have something you and everyone can enjoy. I'm In love with all the equipment you can put on these reef tanks.
I can see that from your threads!

I'm thinking I'm going to need to add an access point to my wifi network. Reception has always been dodgy at that end of the house. Now with the Apex, and also a webcam I plan to have on the tank, I think it's time to fix that.
 

Kevins_tongue

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I'm liking the aquascape so far! That's one of the things I struggled with the most when I had my 125. I just couldn't find a way to shape the rocks I had to make it look attractive (to me).

So as more corals were added, rock was as well to create more real estate and I ended up with a giant rock wall spanning 6 feet[emoji23].

That being said, I love your use of the negative space on the right and hope you keep it like that! I'm planning on doing the same with my new build (220)!
 
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Tristren

Tristren

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Yes, that's definitely something I'm trying to keep in mind. It's a bit tricky as we'll be adding live rock on top of this, and then obviously corals on top of that. But definitely want to preserve enough open space as well.
 
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