A True Unit...180 gallon Aqua Japan

joeguysreef

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Hi guys,
Well here goes my first venture into the large format tank. I have always been an aio person but i have always loved the larger fish i could never keep in a tank that small. Go back to last October and i bought a used reefer 250 from my lfs that was too good of a deal to pass up. After a few months i realized i still couldn’t have quite the fish load i wanted, i disliked my aqua scape, and i hated the small format sump everything was so cramped together. I threw a couple frags in the tank and really only one random torch thrived because i was more interested in my two nano tanks. Now full circle i found these aqua Japan tanks at an LFS in az and thought the price is too good to be true for a 180 gallon tank, stand, and sump. I decided to can my reefer 250 and go all in on this bad boy. I’ve never started a build thread from scratch so I’m looking forward to truly documenting my journey with this tank.
Tank Dimensions: 72x24x24 rimless with a euro brace
Sump: I’m going to stick with the stock sump for now until i feel that my reefing skill has out performed the sump rather then go all out for some fancy sump i honestly have no clue how to take advantage of.
Equipment List:
4 Hydra 32
1 jebao cross flow 70 i had never used in the reefer 250
1 jebao cross flow 150
Simplicity 2100 return pump
2 300w jaeger heaters
80lbs carib sea live sand
135lbs of reef saver spread between the scape and refugium area
1 Amazon brand bio brick for sump

Livestock rom transfer tank:
2 orange storm clowns
1 yellow corris wrasse
1 blue hippo tang
1 Bengai cardinal
1 cow fish
1 fire shrimp
1 cleaner shrimp
1 tiger conch
1 red starfish
X various clean up crew

Tank got wet 4/15/21
 
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joeguysreef

joeguysreef

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Tank was delivered and set up on Tuesday by the guys from the LFS. Was so much bigger in my house then it seemed in the store but isn’t that always the case lol.
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joeguysreef

joeguysreef

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After the tank arrived i went to pick up the first round of supplies for the aqua scape. I’ve never been one to get super elaborate with aquascape and usually end up mounding up some rocks without even securing them and calling it a day. I new with this tank i wanted to do something that was truly unique and my own creation. As well as permanent and not have to worry about toppling my entire rock structure on accident working in the tank. I followed the concepts outlined by the brs guys with their negative space scape for inspiration.
 
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joeguysreef

joeguysreef

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This was the beginning of what i came up with after working for a few hours the first night and coming back to it in the morning to re evaluate where i could build off with this as a base.
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From there i ended up with this which i was very satisfied with. I want this tank to be a true mixed reef and felt it left me enough for room for some sps the fill in the open space as well as enough lower flow area for some lps and softies.
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joeguysreef

joeguysreef

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That brings us to today which was water day. I purchased an rodi setup but after realizing it would take me over 2 days to fill and mix the salt i decided the intial fill I’ll just go ahead and buy the pre mix from the lfs since they’re close by anyways. First trip in the morning i picked up the sand they ordered for me and my first batch of water jugs. I ordered 3 40lb bags of sand but after two bags i was happy with the thickness of the sand bed and decided to bring back the third bag.
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Then it was time to get the water going.
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joeguysreef

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After many hours of lugging water jugs it’s finally full. I think the install guys may have don the return drain a little too high as the Maggie muffler raises the water level too right where it splashed over the euro brace so i removed it for now to consult them on if they also think that’s the case. I also added a bottle of micro Bacter start 15x to help speed up for the tank transfer.
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Also unfortunately the hydra hms mounts do not work well with the brace on this tank and it looks like I’m going to have to go with the rail system instead for a more safe mounting approach. There just isn’t enough room for the the mount to grab on and mounted at 12 inches it has a gnarly lean to it.
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joeguysreef

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Also after much consideration i think I’m going to go forward and order the hydros 4 controller and wave engine. I know they may not offer all the abilities as some of the established controller brands but i love the UI as well as the ability to elongate a bunch of the power brick clutter by using the wave machine. It would also be sweet if they roll out kamoer dosing support sometime this year like some of the rumors I’ve seen. I more so want the intial functionality of obviously ATO and temp monitoring but the ability to push 1 button to feed the tank and things like that.
 
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joeguysreef

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Well i guess my post last night was little jinx but I’m glad i only mounted 1 light the way i did. Woke up to a brand new hydra 32 at the bottom of my tank. Yay me. Also I’m worried about what might’ve gotten into the tank as the bucket i put the light in has a bunch of electrical smelling black water in it. Any recommendations on what i should do to make sure they water isn’t messed up?
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joeguysreef

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well here’s how today’s scenario ended. I’ll be going with an xr15 in the middle also but they didn’t have it in store so ordered it. Im also going to have to figure out some sort of wall bracket to hang the radion hanging rail over the tank as none of the tank mounts work with euro braced tanks. I also grabbed two green chromis to throw in the tank to help with the cycle.
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joeguysreef

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mounted one of the xr30s for now until the rail and hanging kit comes in this way i can get my fish and couple corals from the reefer 250 transferred over tomorrow. Then i can get the 250 out of the house and worry about mounting the rest of the lights next week.
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joeguysreef

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I’m having a really hard time deciding what controller i want to go with. Part of me wants to do the hydros but i also don’t want to have to wait for functionality’s to be added over time. I’m leaning towards the apex since the trident doesn’t need a lot of extra stuff to run it unlike the ghl stuff which is a lot of items to put in a cabinet. I really like the idea of the trident automating dosing as well.
 
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joeguysreef

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Well got all the fish from the reefer 250 transferred over earlier today as well as i threw in one torch last night and another tonight as a little tester. Everyone seems to be doing okay and exploring the tank already. I also ordered the rms rail and hanging kit from brs so i can get the rest of the lights hung and start adding the rest of my coral.
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joeguysreef

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Also after transferring my fish i had a dottyback that was a big bully and my girlfriend wasn’t a fan of as well as a tomini tang i felt i didn’t want to add to this tang in lieu of wanting some other tangs. I bagged them up and took them up to the LFS to trade in for store credit and of course they had a fish on my wish list i couldn’t pass up. A nice sized gem tang that I’ve always wanted. They’re going to hold him until Tuesday so i can make sure the tank transfer inhabitants make out well for a day or two.
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joeguysreef

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Well unfortunately my random green torch had all the signs of brown jelly this morning and after dipping it, it was a goner. Unfortunately it looks like my Aussie gold torch is a goner too after moving it to my softie tank when it didn’t look to hot either. Real bummer hoping i don’t loose any more of the ones in the tank fingers crossed.
 
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joeguysreef

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Wow it’s been a busy one. The tank has come a long way in just a few months going to dump some updated pictures of everything. There’s been some ups and does as far as the fish stocking has gone but I’ve gotten on top of my qt procedures and hope to have things under control. Enjoy some of the pictures and let me know what you guys think!
 
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My most recent FTS it’s definitely time to grab some more light I’m thinking maybe just an xr15 in the middle to save some money just due to the gap in my aqua scape. But also thinking down the road if i run in to shading issues I’ll want to run 4 xr30s vertically. If anyone can guide me on this I’d appreciate it!
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Do you take notice when your coral starts stretching or shrinking?

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