My first 120 gal tank build/DIY

What’s your ideal reef tank

  • Nano

    Votes: 2 25.0%
  • Cube

    Votes: 1 12.5%
  • Peninsula

    Votes: 6 75.0%
  • Standard reef ready

    Votes: 2 25.0%

  • Total voters
    8

ReefZ1lla84

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Well to start off I bought a new 120gal peninsula reef ready tank from a fellow R2R member and decided to do as much as I could DIY.
cafb70837f50f936da2e7b48ff955480.jpg
he’s had some sand in it but never had water. So once I got the tank home I began to design the stand and canopy. I wanted a stand to be taller than most so I wouldn’t have to hunch over to look in the tank. So I designed it to be 44” tall. Which turned out to be much taller looking once it was finished. I started with a 2x4 frame and wrapped with with 1/4” birch and did all the trim work with blued pine to match my other furniture I’ve built.
6d35c5c0a78414ac098ab82237d7b9b0.jpg
f6f1ba030e3c0e613196f751e242dac4.jpg
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I had some hardwood flooring laying around so u cut that to fit where the sump would go. Originally I was going to run a remote sump but with my houses layout didn’t work out. But I planned it to house a sump either way. I wanted to have my control panel on the opposite side of the overflow. I bought some black chalkboard sheets from HD and that worked great. I then drilled my electrical holes out to where I would run my wiring for the equipment. It was quit the project trying to build everything from scratch a lot more work than I pictured. But well worth it in the end. I started on my doors for the front and control panel side.
1bb4c7afbb954fc0d4d60fb15f93ff64.jpg
a76f869ba054bfc9807409dcf56d904f.jpg


I ordered a DJ 4 plug outlet off amazon and a couple computer cooling fans. Mounted one in the electrical panel and one in the canopy.
1df68d2ec6c8522070cafbdf268f5222.jpg


Once that was finished got the rest of the wrap done and began painted the inside all black to help with moisture issues down the road and sealed the around the flooring with silicone to water proof it.
be3a6d5460fe273f0ab35625da386503.jpg


I painted the top black also with some spray rubber stuff I had laying around turned out pretty nice and definitely water proof. Next I started on the canopy. Used 1x2” for a frame and wrapped it the same as the stand with two doors on each side. All the doors are mounted with 45lb magnets I found on amazon as well. They ended up working really well and hold the doors on better thank I thought.
add4ea39de1b50840b6e79458db7c102.jpg


6ee9153cbc52d9801c4c884117776b94.jpg
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I wanted to cut some hole for air ventilation in the canopy and ended up putting some floor vents that I painted in the top. Worked out great since no one can see them anyways. Lol

I planned on using my sea swirl for the return and using my return line in the tank for an emergency overflow instead. So I had to design the canopy to fit the seaswirl on the side of it. Turned out pretty good. Next I built a sliding light rack out of wood and painted the inside of the canopy white with many coats of appliance grade spray paint to prevent rusting on the screws.
I also used about 3 layer of 3x poly to finish the stand and canopy off along with a ton of sanding. That was probably the longest part of the build the sanding .

95f84daf0a8ab995d1aa7ad08905a062.jpg



I finally had a friend come over and we lifted the tank on the stand and leak tested it just to make sure it didn’t leak. And it held water perfect. I’m alway cautious when it comes to buying tanks from people but this was a great deal.
92b80de0082aa34416fbd43767871d32.jpg

Next I started to plan out the plumbing and wanted to run a manifold with four outlets.
cbbbdd36aa3420a28625e2803edb1e03.jpg
56e11a85c2d67fb4c655288e6b3f9b16.jpg

I wanted to do a color theme with the plumbing and decide on orange and schedule 80 gray. I looked into ordering colored pvc but it was more expensive than I wanted to pay so I bought some plastic grade spray paint and that worked great.
Let the taping began lol
f897e7bdbbe044605478280846732de4.jpg
850396e15513e7dd5301a3cc75d6f54f.jpg
ff7178aca3655f6c322fb67e32668651.jpg
1720a15d96aaf98fd0c3733945b51f10.jpg

So keeping the DIY theme I used a 40 breeder I had on another setup for the sump and I had to flip it around the other way for the plumbing to work. Hints why the front is painted black. I then got some acrylic sheets at HD and cut two holes in them for my filter socks to go and replied my baffles in how I wanted them. Ended up working awesome and much cheaper than buying a new sump.
01e65b7a685227b91e005f4bec1c6c1e.jpg
fa3966f2647c4d6a74845c7fad6efe1e.jpg

Once I got all the plumbing put together and painted I let it dry for about a week before testing it with water. But the test was a success only one leak on the small gate valve. With a little thread tape that was a easy fix. I then had to wait a few more days to move it in my house and set it up.
d1efc84fce369f0110c7e81493d52524.jpg


Once again had to leak test everything since I couldn’t glue the return lines in until it was set up inside. Ran it for a day or so with tap water and no leaks. Very good news for me and my wife lol.

I had a 90 reef that I transferred everything over to the 120 and was trying to figure out a good rock scape. It took a little work but ended up pretty cool.
9116ef12a11f3c98c0c983114440bffe.jpg


Not a very good pic but u get the idea. Took a day for it to clear up. I also added some course crushed coral sand and that definitely added a great finishing touch.
c4b874f14ad5cca40230f47727b672dd.jpg


I’ll have to get some better pics of the rock scape my phone doesn’t take the best ones with the blue light. But that’s pretty much my 120 gal build.
3189f09c507ae2bb4cbfb75f865a2148.jpg
bd733a6529abdc5c22b8cc6e6d3f3440.jpg
86f33b2426b39937fb321530a64997b7.jpg
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I’m running 3 36” ati bulbs blue plus and one coral plus.
36” dsunny full spectrum led panel
2 24” blue led strips I had laying around.
My return is a jabeo 18000 which was bought for the remote sump but have to turn it all the way down for this set up. Super quiet though.
3k gyre
Jabeo p20
Random flow generator coming off the 3/4” sea swirl
Reef octopus 2000 older model
Apex lite with two eb8s and break out box
BRS carbon reactor
Jabeo 36 watt UV sterilizer
A par 38 refugium bulb
2 300 watt titanium heaters
I think that’s about it for equipment.
I’ll add more pictures once everything is settled better.
Thanks for reading let me know if there’s any questions.
 
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ReefZ1lla84

ReefZ1lla84

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Well to start off I bought a new 120gal peninsula reef ready tank from a fellow R2R member and decided to do as much as I could DIY.
cafb70837f50f936da2e7b48ff955480.jpg
he’s had some sand in it but never had water. So once I got the tank home I began to design the stand and canopy. I wanted a stand to be taller than most so I wouldn’t have to hunch over to look in the tank. So I designed it to be 44” tall. Which turned out to be much taller looking once it was finished. I started with a 2x4 frame and wrapped with with 1/4” birch and did all the trim work with blued pine to match my other furniture I’ve built.
6d35c5c0a78414ac098ab82237d7b9b0.jpg
f6f1ba030e3c0e613196f751e242dac4.jpg
f34ce0f02e8411bc33ad8ac7cf0b8fd9.jpg

I had some hardwood flooring laying around so u cut that to fit where the sump would go. Originally I was going to run a remote sump but with my houses layout didn’t work out. But I planned it to house a sump either way. I wanted to have my control panel on the opposite side of the overflow. I bought some black chalkboard sheets from HD and that worked great. I then drilled my electrical holes out to where I would run my wiring for the equipment. It was quit the project trying to build everything from scratch a lot more work than I pictured. But well worth it in the end. I started on my doors for the front and control panel side.
1bb4c7afbb954fc0d4d60fb15f93ff64.jpg
a76f869ba054bfc9807409dcf56d904f.jpg


I ordered a DJ 4 plug outlet off amazon and a couple computer cooling fans. Mounted one in the electrical panel and one in the canopy.
1df68d2ec6c8522070cafbdf268f5222.jpg


Once that was finished got the rest of the wrap done and began painted the inside all black to help with moisture issues down the road and sealed the around the flooring with silicone to water proof it.
be3a6d5460fe273f0ab35625da386503.jpg


I painted the top black also with some spray rubber stuff I had laying around turned out pretty nice and definitely water proof. Next I started on the canopy. Used 1x2” for a frame and wrapped it the same as the stand with two doors on each side. All the doors are mounted with 45lb magnets I found on amazon as well. They ended up working really well and hold the doors on better thank I thought.
add4ea39de1b50840b6e79458db7c102.jpg


6ee9153cbc52d9801c4c884117776b94.jpg
f7612bb2ff405136b6d0677b4d28a5d4.jpg


I wanted to cut some hole for air ventilation in the canopy and ended up putting some floor vents that I painted in the top. Worked out great since no one can see them anyways. Lol

I planned on using my sea swirl for the return and using my return line in the tank for an emergency overflow instead. So I had to design the canopy to fit the seaswirl on the side of it. Turned out pretty good. Next I built a sliding light rack out of wood and painted the inside of the canopy white with many coats of appliance grade spray paint to prevent rusting on the screws.
I also used about 3 layer of 3x poly to finish the stand and canopy off along with a ton of sanding. That was probably the longest part of the build the sanding .

95f84daf0a8ab995d1aa7ad08905a062.jpg



I finally had a friend come over and we lifted the tank on the stand and leak tested it just to make sure it didn’t leak. And it held water perfect. I’m alway cautious when it comes to buying tanks from people but this was a great deal.
92b80de0082aa34416fbd43767871d32.jpg

Next I started to plan out the plumbing and wanted to run a manifold with four outlets.
cbbbdd36aa3420a28625e2803edb1e03.jpg
56e11a85c2d67fb4c655288e6b3f9b16.jpg

I wanted to do a color theme with the plumbing and decide on orange and schedule 80 gray. I looked into ordering colored pvc but it was more expensive than I wanted to pay so I bought some plastic grade spray paint and that worked great.
Let the taping began lol
f897e7bdbbe044605478280846732de4.jpg
850396e15513e7dd5301a3cc75d6f54f.jpg
ff7178aca3655f6c322fb67e32668651.jpg
1720a15d96aaf98fd0c3733945b51f10.jpg

So keeping the DIY theme I used a 40 breeder I had on another setup for the sump and I had to flip it around the other way for the plumbing to work. Hints why the front is painted black. I then got some acrylic sheets at HD and cut two holes in them for my filter socks to go and replied my baffles in how I wanted them. Ended up working awesome and much cheaper than buying a new sump.
01e65b7a685227b91e005f4bec1c6c1e.jpg
fa3966f2647c4d6a74845c7fad6efe1e.jpg

Once I got all the plumbing put together and painted I let it dry for about a week before testing it with water. But the test was a success only one leak on the small gate valve. With a little thread tape that was a easy fix. I then had to wait a few more days to move it in my house and set it up.
d1efc84fce369f0110c7e81493d52524.jpg


Once again had to leak test everything since I couldn’t glue the return lines in until it was set up inside. Ran it for a day or so with tap water and no leaks. Very good news for me and my wife lol.

I had a 90 reef that I transferred everything over to the 120 and was trying to figure out a good rock scape. It took a little work but ended up pretty cool.
9116ef12a11f3c98c0c983114440bffe.jpg


Not a very good pic but u get the idea. Took a day for it to clear up. I also added some course crushed coral sand and that definitely added a great finishing touch.
c4b874f14ad5cca40230f47727b672dd.jpg


I’ll have to get some better pics of the rock scape my phone doesn’t take the best ones with the blue light. But that’s pretty much my 120 gal build.
3189f09c507ae2bb4cbfb75f865a2148.jpg
bd733a6529abdc5c22b8cc6e6d3f3440.jpg
86f33b2426b39937fb321530a64997b7.jpg
ba657d7fe380559aa8a092770e093790.jpg


I’m running 3 36” ati bulbs blue plus and one coral plus.
36” dsunny full spectrum led panel
2 24” blue led strips I had laying around.
My return is a jabeo 18000 which was bought for the remote sump but have to turn it all the way down for this set up. Super quiet though.
3k gyre
Jabeo p20
Random flow generator coming off the 3/4” sea swirl
Reef octopus 2000 older model
Apex lite with two eb8s and break out box
BRS carbon reactor
Jabeo 36 watt UV sterilizer
A par 38 refugium bulb
2 300 watt titanium heaters
I think that’s about it for equipment.
I’ll add more pictures once everything is settled better.
Thanks for reading let me know if there’s any questions.

A few more pics after the corals have settled in. Wanting to start dosing soon but with the huge water change all my levels are still good.
IMG_8680.JPG
IMG_8677.JPG
IMG_8678.JPG
 
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ReefZ1lla84

ReefZ1lla84

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Just got my new Bashsea smart series sump plumbed in. Had to redo the overflow lines. Also bought a used Bashsea reactor from a fellow R2R member. Thinking about putting a frag section in the middle and running a chateo reactor instead.

9A96659C-C919-4B76-AA71-784A66FD43AF.jpeg 176EFC14-D03B-45F4-8346-0BD017BC465D.jpeg
 
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ReefZ1lla84

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Here’s a few more tanks shots everything is growing great finally. Have some GHA so I just started using vibrant after trying every other natural option I could think of.

2F30DF4C-4445-4FC8-8BB8-6EAF4B843CF6.jpeg C6618123-E170-4006-8DAD-5122DB395B29.jpeg 0CB4A21B-EE00-4710-8039-75635F9FEACB.jpeg 90639C5C-2DCF-4013-A1C0-B353687662E6.jpeg 9820A309-234B-4CAF-AD97-9420AE05DD9F.jpeg
 
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Finally got the UV put back in. Also added a Bashsea media reactor with carbon for now. Have been fighting some GHA issues lately. Started dosing Vibrant about a month ago. Still waiting for results but my water sure has cleared up a lot.

75A25990-192A-4098-BB40-6075A84D1CC0.jpeg
 
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ReefZ1lla84

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Got a few more corals a while back everything is doing great and sps are encrusting over great now. Funny how fast they grow once you have your parameters dialed in.

6C18362F-4C8F-462C-A060-C540DC580884.jpeg 82B21299-7AFD-4F7E-9CD0-2867EC26D58F.jpeg 8955464E-B7D0-4CBA-82BA-1AE373526095.jpeg B29D64B2-840D-45BA-93F8-6F8454AE9436.jpeg 99FE66DC-976A-43D8-B8DB-73DCB8154A8B.jpeg 712CB0BA-9DB7-447F-AC03-4A87C416D9A1.jpeg
 
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Some more tank updates. I plumbed the 120 to my basement tanks and ran a remote sump. Now there’s a 50 gal lowboy and a 60 cube all plumbed together. Also adding another 50 gal lowboy. the system is running great and growing better. Also upgraded lighting to radion gen 4 pros. huge difference in color for the fish and coral. Also going to a hydros controller intead of the apex classic. We will see how it goes. 4324B0FF-E1EE-43E6-8B49-D057AD77C3A6.jpeg B54D6A8D-E78E-4EB9-9CF2-9AAAC67FB6E3.jpeg CAA448E7-F412-4C7A-827D-E2FFC626C4AB.jpeg 4324B0FF-E1EE-43E6-8B49-D057AD77C3A6.jpeg 4324B0FF-E1EE-43E6-8B49-D057AD77C3A6.jpeg 68EAE041-1690-47DA-9628-C959581850C0.jpeg 31A71F91-CD06-4D2E-95EF-DA4DC2DCC4D5.jpeg
 
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ReefZ1lla84

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Some more updates F6BF17E4-CA7D-4CFD-8C24-A5A144D2E025.jpeg 9924DCBE-7CA3-4FC7-B1AE-0115D9A2929A.jpeg 2C15D7E0-35F7-4D42-B7AA-6E1ABA71CFFB.jpeg
 

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ReefZ1lla84

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Here’s a few more tank shots, so when I started the tank I put some pandora paly’s in my tank and of course they have grown out of control. So next step is to take all the rock out that has them growing in it and swap with my 60 cube rock. This will definitely be a lot of work considering I have pretty big sps colonies growing on most the rocks now. I’ll add some pics of the new rock and hopefully I can get rid of these dang paly’s.
 

ARE YOU USING LIVE FOOD TO NOURISH YOUR TANK? (TELL US WHY OR WHY NOT IN THE COMMENTS!)

  • Yes, I'm using live food.

    Votes: 42 55.3%
  • No, I'm not using live food.

    Votes: 15 19.7%
  • Not yet, but I want to.

    Votes: 10 13.2%
  • No, and I don't have plans to use it.

    Votes: 8 10.5%
  • Other (please explain!)

    Votes: 1 1.3%
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