"Mega Tank" Mixed Reef with Natural Tonga Branch Rock Aquascape - Dream Build 250 DT with 325 Total System Volume

Benpastw

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This build is for all the people who started with a 5 gallon tank on their dresser, fell in love with the hobby and have been apart of it ever since. This tank is being built by my brother and I who have been in the saltwater hobby for about 12 years. Prior to that, as kids we always had small freshwater tanks. Growing up money for the hobby was tight and we would pinch and save for the rare occasion we could buy a new filter or used light. We finally find ourselves in a position where we can build the "Mega tank" that we have been dreaming about for years and we couldn't be more excited to share it with you all.

Tank: 250+ Gallon Tank 3/4in Starfire Glass 7' x 28" x 25" (drilled for closed loop and sump) with 2"x2" powder coated steel stand with Oak skins
Sump: Advanced Acrylics 60" x 24" x 16" and Matching 25 gallon ATO
Lights: 6 Kessil AP700's
Protein Skimmer: NYOS Quantum 220
Vectra L2 Pump for Closed Loop
2x Vectra S2 Return Pumps
Pax Bellum arid n24 Macro Algae Reactor
Pentair UV Sterilizer
Full Apex with two eb832 Power Bars
Neptune ATO
3x Vortech MP40's

Livestock: Tank will be a Mixed Reef with a full Aqua scape of 100% natural real Tonga Branch Rock

We both love the look of natural Tonga Branch Rock. For the last 5-6 years we have gone to great lengths searching local LFS, driving (sometimes for hundreds of miles) and searching the internet to buy any tonga branch we could find, knowing that one day it would be needed for this build. I know you can get the manufactured stuff but its really not the same and we've been able to amass what we think is enough to stock this build and then some (maybe a second mega tank sometime in the future years???)

We will continue to update and post pictures as the build progresses, as of now we have all of the equipment and are just waiting on the sump which should arrive next week. After that arrives, we will plumb the tank, fill it and begin to aquascape and cycle the tank. Thank you for reading and for joining in on our build!

Happy Reefing!!!

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TriggerFinger

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That’s an impressive collection of branch rock, I’m excited to see what you guys come up with in the tank!
 
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Benpastw

Benpastw

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Looking for suggestions on how to attach two pieces of branch together to make longer sections, if anyone has a good way I’d be happy to hear!
Also if there are any specific products you think would work best, super glue, apoxy, I’d appreciate it!!
 

mmorriso

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Looking for suggestions on how to attach two pieces of branch together to make longer sections, if anyone has a good way I’d be happy to hear!
If you're okay with drilling your rock, drill a hole in the pieces you'd like to attach and then place an acrylic rod in there to provide support.

You can then fill the gaps with sand and make an effective mortar by soaking thin super glue / cyanoacrylate into the sand.
 
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Eagle_Steve

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Awesome. Cannot wait to see this come together. I fell ya on the driving long distances to get what you want. I do it all the time for nems lol. It gets expensive with gas/diesel and all of that, but if it is what I want, I dont care.

Glad to have met someone with the same attitude to "get what they want" no matter what. Makes it much more enjoyable in the end.
 

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This is my dream tank size too!!! When I was gluing my branch rocks I zip tied them together how i wanted them then I used a hot glue gun as well as gel super glue to hold it all together. You can see the piece i made real good in this video. Time stamp 1:00 middle left. That was in my 65 I now use that same piece in my 120
 

F i s h y

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Can't wait to see this come together. I build scapes and I use @Glue Masters thin super glue and either crushed rock (my preference) or sugar fine sand. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions.
 
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Can't wait to see this come together. I build scapes and I use @Glue Masters thin super glue and either crushed rock (my preference) or sugar fine sand. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have questions.
Thank you for the shout out!
 
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Benpastw

Benpastw

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For the fish list, I’m thinking of the following, I already have these I’ll add in from my current tank:

Yellow Tang
Blue Spot Jawfish
Tahiti Fire Hawk
6 Line Wrasse
Cleaner Wrasse

I’d like to add the following but am concerned about th tangs all getting along, any experiences or help on if they’d all get along I’d be interested in:

Purple Tang
Gem Tang
Koi Tang
4-6 Assorted Anthias
 
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Eagle_Steve

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@Eagle_Steve any thoughts on the tangs on his list?
Hard to say, but they may fight. I have a purple, scopas, yellow and des in the same tank with no issues. Been 4 years that all have been together. And not even a squabble. I do feed 6-8 times a at and there is always nori available. That may curb the aggression, who know. But all fish are different.
 
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Benpastw

Benpastw

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Hard to say, but they may fight. I have a purple, scopas, yellow and des in the same tank with no issues. Been 4 years that all have been together. And not even a squabble. I do feed 6-8 times a at and there is always nori available. That may curb the aggression, who know. But all fish are different.
How did you Introduce them all to the tank, same times/diff times, my main concern is aggression as well, hoping if I have a few the aggression will
Be displaced by many and be manageable and one won’t get singled out.
 

Eagle_Steve

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How did you Introduce them all to the tank, same times/diff times, my main concern is aggression as well, hoping if I have a few the aggression will
Be displaced by many and be manageable and one won’t get singled out.
Des was long time resident. All other were added over time, but were all close to same size when added. I also conditioned the fish in another tank with each one by itself and got it nice as fat. Then introduced the fish. At same time I taped a mirror to the side of the tank for a few days. This got the attention of the other fish and the new fish had time to settle in.
 
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Benpastw

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Progress update: continues to be slow and steady, but every day were getting closer to adding water. Sump is scheduled to come in on Monday (hurrayyy!!!!!).

Today my dad came over to visit and i was lucky enough to have him help me run wire for a new outlet directly to the Breaker box. Used 12 gauge wire with a 20 Amp breaker which will run the tank. The outlet box we added is right next to a pre-existing outlet running off a different breaker so I will be able to split the load onto two different breakers and any worries i had about overloading and causing it to trip just vanished. :)

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Updates!!!! Been busily working to get everything set up, The sump arrived about a month ago, it is from Advanced Acrylics and we sprung for the extra reinforced welding around all the windows and seams. Amazed at the build quality, very happy with the purchase.
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