- May 28, 2020
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About 2 years ago my wife and I started looking for a property to build a new home. We found a lot about 3 blocks (Los Angeles, CA) away from our current home. I'm an Architect, so went to work doing what I do. New favorite client We pushed the local codes pretty hard in a few areas, one of which was having a suspiciously large fireplace in the dining room. Chimneys are allowed to project into the setbacks here. Well, the fireplace got surprisingly cut from the budget during construction but it was exactly the right size for our new Red Sea 750XXL. Imagine that. Somehow there were also dedicated circuits to the fireplace, and plumbing connections. The inspector was amused.
After we'd moved in, we put in our order for the new tank. I've learned my lesson about moving tanks (avoid at all costs, better to get a new one). The tenant at our old house was kind enough to do basic maintenance on our 120 while we spun things up and cycled. We finally decided that we'd be better off moving our creatures to the LFS for sitting while this all happened. I have to give a shout-out to Kris and staff at LAX Aquarium for awesome delivery and install, and babysitting our fish & corals. Well, the tank got setup. Everything went to LAX Aquarium and then Covid-19 hit while the tank was cycling. Needless to say, we got a very, very long cycle. Very... nothing quite like staring at your empty tank when you're locked in the house all day.
A bit about me: I started out selling fish at The Animal Hut in Washington DC back in the late 80's. My first SW tank around 2000 was a 40. It quickly was joined by a few more tanks, a clam reef, seahorse tank etc... Fun times. Then a few downsizes and nanos happened. When we moved to our previous house I picked up a 120g on Craigslist and learned a ton more!
Goals for new System
Use what good we'd had from the 120.
Low-ish maintenance (had a 1 year old, and a but in the oven when the tank was coming together).
Not move any mission critical hardware.
More volume, and more sand / negative space.
More color & life!
Since we already had about 5 years into our 120g mixed reef we were eager to keep the few fish, and many decent corals. I'd put in too much rock on the 120 however. It was full, and full of deadspots. Wasnt going to make those mistakes again. It also had its sump in a bathtub. That was awesome. Easiest maintenance I've ever had on a tank. Just pour in the new water & let the system overflow. That was awesome. I also had a full Apex system and 3 kessils to reuse.
The Old 120
It just so happened our previous house had a full bathroom off the kitchen. We couldn't figure out why we would ever need to shower in the middle of dinner so I knocked together a stand in the tub/shower & put the 120g in there. Sump was too small. Skimmer pretty good. Sitting on the toilet & having the tank at eye-level = priceless.
All these rocks, fish & corals went into holding. For almost 6 months.
PS: Here's the build-thread from the super cool dude who picked up this 120: https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/120g-craigslist-tank-restoration.688348/#post-7042759