My 120g First Reef.

Bixby'sMenagerie

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So at the behest of ReeferBlaine I am making a build thread for my first tank. Let's start with equipment.

120g 4x2x2 tank
29g sump (filter floss, bioballs, carbon/purigen if I need it (haven't yet) and 15ish lbs rock. Space for more.
1200gph return pump.(dual overflows)
1 ancient 400gph powerhead (ugrading to 2 maxiflow 1200 adjustable ones in a few weeks.)
2 150w heaters
Reef octo hob skimmer. (Rated for a lightly stocked 120 but can always upgrade later. Hard to say no to a 50 dollar skimmer new in box that costs 200+ .)
2 Fluval aquasky 48"leds. Put out pretty good light for how cheap they are but will be upgrading to reefbrite ones later. These lights are meant for freshwater planted tanks but the softies are responding well. Not the best color on the blue light tho.
120ish lbs of rock, i will be trading some of this out once i have enough dryrock built up to build a nice aquascape for half the tank. Just a jumble of balanced rocks at the moment which is obviously not ideal.
Basic led light for the cheato in the sump.

My stocking plan so far has gone well. Started with an initial stock of (after fishless cycle);

1 mocha longfin roundtail and one mystery ocellaris clownfish. (Lfs owner got some tags mixed up so i got it for 40 bucks. Got a literal ghostface on his flanks)
1 hi fin goby(false dracula)
1 tail spot blenny
1 2 spot blenny
1 bicolor blenny.

Then it gets fun. Local dude had a tank bust and i went from 30lbs of rock to 120ish covered in kenya tree, mushrooms, hairy mushrooms (close to 50), a paly or 2, xenia galore, 3 toadstool leathers bigger than my hand, and this pink stuff i think is called cabbage coral. Also got a bunch of asterina stars, i saw 1 bristleworm, and feather dusters galore. In addition I decided to take his diamond watchman. Apparently the tangs were stealing all his food so he was really underweight. Must not have had much of a sandbed for the big dude.

So then I did my second round of stocking
1 fire and 1 skunk shrimp
2 nassarius snails
4 trochus snails
1 tux urchin
Baby randal shrimp for the hi fin goby

And then 1 week later I took about 1/4 of the xenia and kenya tree and the smallest toadstool of the three to one of my 3 lfs stores. I was hoping to get maybe a couple cheap frags. Wssnt expecting much.
Dude hooked me up with a lot. I spent about 40 bucks after the trade to buy
2 zoa frags
1 hammer frag
1 green mushroom frag
1 aquamarine ricordia frag
And my personal favorite
7 rock flower anemones and
1 maxi mini carpet anemone that accidentally got mixed in. Little nervous to keep this one. Seems to be a debate on whether they can eat small healthy fish or only sick ones.

Other than that my stocking plans for the future are pretty open, as the only for sure additions I have planned are
1 kole or tomini tang
More snails
Some ornamental starfish. Thinking a multicolor icon and a pacific jewel to keep the asterinas in check.
Fire urchin?
Just ordered the 5280 pods from algeabarn.

Feel free to post opinions or stock suggestions below. Non aggressive reef safe stuff only please. I will post some pictures in the morning once I have the lights on and such.
 
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vetteguy53081

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Nice size tank to start with. Move slowly with setup and utilize patience with cycling which will pay off
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

Bixby'sMenagerie

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Nice size tank to start with. Move slowly with setup and utilize patience with cycling which will pay off
That is my intention. I let it mature for several weeks after the cycle before I added inverts. Expecting the algea blooms to start any time now from what I've read and been told as the tank matures.
 

Gogol_frag

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So at the behest of ReeferBlaine I am making a build thread for my first tank. Let's start with equipment.

120g 4x2x2 tank
29g sump (filter floss, bioballs, carbon/purigen if I need it (haven't yet) and 15ish lbs rock. Space for more.
1200gph return pump.(dual overflows)
1 ancient 400gph powerhead (ugrading to 2 maxiflow 1200 adjustable ones in a few weeks.)
2 150w heaters
Reef octo hob skimmer. (Rated for a lightly stocked 120 but can always upgrade later. Hard to say no to a 50 dollar skimmer new in box that costs 200+ .)
2 Fluval aquasky 48"leds. Put out pretty good light for how cheap they are but will be upgrading to reefbrite ones later. These lights are meant for freshwater planted tanks but the softies are responding well. Not the best color on the blue light tho.
120ish lbs of rock, i will be trading some of this out once i have enough dryrock built up to build a nice aquascape for half the tank. Just a jumble of balanced rocks at the moment which is obviously not ideal.
Basic led light for the cheato in the sump.

My stocking plan so far has gone well. Started with an initial stock of (after fishless cycle);

1 mocha longfin roundtail and one mystery ocellaris clownfish. (Lfs owner got some tags mixed up so i got it for 40 bucks. Got a literal ghostface on his flanks)
1 hi fin goby(false dracula)
1 tail spot blenny
1 2 spot blenny
1 bicolor blenny.

Then it gets fun. Local dude had a tank bust and i went from 30lbs of rock to 120ish covered in kenya tree, mushrooms, hairy mushrooms (close to 50), a paly or 2, xenia galore, 3 toadstool leathers bigger than my hand, and this pink stuff i think is called cabbage coral. Also got a bunch of asterina stars, i saw 1 bristleworm, and feather dusters galore. In addition I decided to take his diamond watchman. Apparently the tangs were stealing all his food so he was really underweight. Must not have had much of a sandbed for the big dude.

So then I did my second round of stocking
1 fire and 1 skunk shrimp
2 nassarius snails
4 trochus snails
1 tux urchin
Baby randal shrimp for the hi fin goby

And then 1 week later I took about 1/4 of the xenia and kenya tree and the smallest toadstool of the three to one of my 3 lfs stores. I was hoping to get maybe a couple cheap frags. Wssnt expecting much.
Dude hooked me up with a lot. I spent about 40 bucks after the trade to buy
2 zoa frags
1 hammer frag
1 green mushroom frag
1 aquamarine ricordia frag
And my personal favorite
7 rock flower anemones and
1 maxi mini carpet anemone that accidentally got mixed in. Little nervous to keep this one. Seems to be a debate on whether they can eat small healthy fish or only sick ones.

Other than that my stocking plans for the future are pretty open, as the only for sure additions I have planned are
1 kole or tomini tang
More snails
Some ornamental starfish. Thinking a multicolor icon and a pacific jewel to keep the asterinas in check.
Fire urchin?
Just ordered the 5280 pods from algeabarn.

Feel free to post opinions or stock suggestions below. Non aggressive reef safe stuff only please. I will post some pictures in the morning once I have the lights on and such.
Sounds awesome!! Pictures please.

I use 5xReefbrite XHOs (similar to your upgrade plans). I love the color and the muted shimmer, and the fact that I don't have to worry about placement height with them (higher shimmer in the Actinics than 50-50s). In all fairness to Kessils, its shimmer is the closest to the shimmer from sunlight . Part of my tank receives natural sunlight during for an hour in the morning. Kessil's shimmer is very, very close to that.

One knock against the XHOs is that 5×XHOs + ballasts for controlling is quite a bit more expensive as compared to other premium lights - 3×Kessil AP9X, 2xATI Stratons, 2xOrphek Atlantic v4, 3xRadion XR30, 2xPhilips Coral Care you name it - the XHOs will be more pricey, overall. I went with them primarily because of BRS' recommendations and tests, and because 6ft XHOs fit like a glove over my 6ft tank.

XHOs don't have onboard controllers, so you need to buy seperate ballasts to connect with Apex or something similar. My light setup was almost as expensive as my Aquarium and Stand combined. I sure hope that they are good for it. Ahhh well. :rolleyes:. If you are planning to wait out the current global supply chain shortage - you can consider the ATI Straton, since it is air cooled and wicked-sleek.

Enough ramble from me... would be pretty interested in your Tank pics
 

vetteguy53081

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That is my intention. I let it mature for several weeks after the cycle before I added inverts. Expecting the algea blooms to start any time now from what I've read and been told as the tank matures.
Lower your white light intensity and you’ll minimize algae blooms
 

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I would not get the maxijets and opt for jebao for sure over them. The slw series is pretty slick. I have the 10, the 30 would work well for you I think. It's dead silent.

I also recommend you ditch your current lights and go for mars aqua or similar vs adding the reefbrite LEDs
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

Bixby'sMenagerie

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Update, here are some pics as promised. Just my phone cam so quality is not the best. Also realized i forgot the rainfords or court jester goby in my initial stock list.
 

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Bixby'sMenagerie

Bixby'sMenagerie

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I would not get the maxijets and opt for jebao for sure over them. The slw series is pretty slick. I have the 10, the 30 would work well for you I think. It's dead silent.

I also recommend you ditch your current lights and go for mars aqua or similar vs adding the reefbrite LEDs
More of a cost issue at the moment. This will never be an sps tank, so insane par is not really necessary. I have been looking at options other than the reefbrites tho. For being 120 a piece tho these aquaskys are not horrible for soft coral. Getting good growth anyway. Definitely would not cut it for lps or sps though, especially near the bottom of this 24"tall tank. 5 reefbrites would be very expensive, but I do not really need that much light. Brstv ran 5 of em at 30% and tested well above softie range. I can probly get away with 2 or 3 or for about the same cost get a couple of those higher end red sea or mars lights. Lotta options and I have time to save up so we will see.
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

Bixby'sMenagerie

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I understand. I mean something like this. 2 (just by themselves) of these would set you up nicely for what you want out it. These are $140 a piece
I think I would have to hang those, I'm renting so I will have to check if I'm allowed to do that. The guy i got the rock from gave me 2 mars 165w or something like that for free. Not sure what the kick on those would be though. Any particular reasons to pick the jeabos over the maxijets?
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

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Super-duper. Very cool tank, Bixby!!
Thanks! It's a start but give me a couple years and time to grow and trade some coral and upgrade my system and we should really be lookin great. Then maybe in 10 years or so when I'm more financially confident and have a permanent house I can get a real monster tank. And load it with incongruously tiny fish.
 

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Thanks! It's a start but give me a couple years and time to grow and trade some coral and upgrade my system and we should really be lookin great. Then maybe in 10 years or so when I'm more financially confident and have a permanent house I can get a real monster tank. And load it with incongruously tiny fish.
Hehehe cheers to that!! - I quite like your tank.

There's a dude who joined R2R today from UK with an outlandish softy-tank. Any tank can look great, in my naive opinion. One way to do this will be to have an end-goal about how you want your tank to look like, and walk backwards. IMO the path to take become clearer that way.
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

Bixby'sMenagerie

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Hehehe cheers to that!! - I quite like your tank.

There's a dude who joined R2R today from UK with an outlandish softy-tank. Any tank can look great, in my naive opinion. One way to do this will be to have an end-goal about how you want your tank to look like, and walk backwards. IMO the path to take become clearer that way.
I understand that lol. My current plan is to sell off most of the current soft coral as i grow out other colonies. I do not need 50 green hairy mushrooms and 3000 stalks of xenia. Ill probly keep a little, and a big toadstool. But over the next year most of it will be phased out. At the same time i will slowly transfer the uglier rock to my sump and whatever does not fit I will sell as I build up the cash for enough dryrock to build my fancy dancy glued together negative space aquascape. By doing it all slowly in sections I'm hoping to see some decent results. I will slowly be ramping up the coral and invert difficulty after the 9month to 1 year point and may try some acropora or flame scallops. Stuff that needs a bit more regular care and a more mature tank.
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

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General update because I thought it was hilarious and I wish I caught it on film.
Anyone seen 300? The scene where they mention using the persian corpses as mortar for the wall? Well my randal shrimp is apparently a Gerard Butler fan because i just watched him drag 2 asterina stars down under his rock and start shoving them into the wall between come coral and rock he gathered yesterday. Not sure how this will work out for him as I'm not sure he actually killed the dang things first.

16191206088154061785968332670579.jpg
 

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If you have the mars aqua already, use those without question. You can rig up hanging pretty easily without going from the ceiling. But the drywall hooks don't leave a big hole. Nothing putty couldn't handle.

I'm a big jebao fan. They work and they work and they work and they keep up with current tech with each release.
 
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Bixby'sMenagerie

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If you have the mars aqua already, use those without question. You can rig up hanging pretty easily without going from the ceiling. But the drywall hooks don't leave a big hole. Nothing putty couldn't handle.

I'm a big jebao fan. They work and they work and they work and they keep up with current tech with each release.
Think 2 of these would have the punch for my whole tank? Footprint is 4x2x2. They are the 165w version.

20210422_163321.jpg
 
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I think it would be for you current goals. They are nicer lights than what you're currently using. I would toss those on and then think about it you want to supplement.
Okay i will look into some cord and hooks for em then. Stopped at my lfs today to talk stock. Considering a pink spot watchman /tiger pistol. Would be a month or so before he gets it in, but i just added the 6 snails, urchin, and randal pistol 2 weeks ago so I should probably wait that long anyway. Thoughts?
 

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