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jbadd99 01-23-2010 05:08 PM

Official Tank Build Thread

And it begins, *MY* tank build thread...

As some of you know, I've been working on purchases for my first tank and the prodding of my wife. Since then it's become a full blown obsession and I look forward to actually stocking the tank, though I think that's some time away. The tank will begin as FOWLR, but will become a reef tank eventually.

I'd like some opinions, and also some help. Here's where I'm at:

120g Marineland predrilled, single corner overflow
Custom Built oak wood stand with split open canopy
Black Python 120W LED Master Unit (a slave will be purchased as well)

Still to be purchased:
160 lbs of BR
50 lbs of LR
Approx. 90 lbs of Ara. substrate

I'm considering putting the following items in, but need input:
2 Koralia 4 powerheads
Octopus 200 Extreme protein skimmer

Still not sure on:
RO/DI unit

The tank+stand combo includes a sump, although I have not yet seen it, so I don't know how big it is, or if it will work. I'm planning on a sump/fuge split design.

The wife wants to paint the back of the tank Krylon "Castle Rock" which is kind of a gray color, I'm not sure on this one.

The main area of my holdup is the plumbing. I have drafted several ideas in paint, but I can't find many or good pictures of sump plumbing a setups. Initially, I'm thinking of just plumbing the sump/fuge and leaving and area where I can attach reactors later, but again, there just isn't much information out there on the topic of plumbing.

Opinions/experiences with the above items are very welcome. Information on plumbing setups would be even better.

Since I am still in the planning/purchasing stage, pictures aren't being taken, but I assure you when the project begins to come together, I'll take many.

CaptainAhab 01-23-2010 05:10 PM

Is that a 4' 120 ?

Aquarium1 01-23-2010 05:40 PM

Can't wait to see how this turns out. Lol

melosu58 01-23-2010 05:44 PM

Looks like a pretty good plan. Nice size tank.

jbadd99 01-24-2010 01:36 AM

Alright, Ahab got me.... 48.5"x24x24...

jbadd99 02-06-2010 09:26 PM

So after payday this week, I've added the following:

Octopus 200 Extreme skimmer
2 Koralia 4's (debating about adding a third, but haven't decided yet)
1 Koralia 1 - for mixing the salt

I'm planning on a Brute 32g can to mix my salt in - does anyone else use this can? If so, what size heater are you using in it?

My tank still isn't here, mostly because the stand/canopy isn't finished yet. They told me two weeks... That was three weeks ago... oh, well, just gives me more time to finish my shopping list, which continues to grow the more I read. I think I'm going to buy my base rock from, they seem to have the cheapest per lb. Has anyone had experience from this site? I'm going to seed with live rock from one of my LFS.

I'd add pictures of what I have, but so far, it's just my refractometer... then again, it might spruce the thread up a bit ;)

jbadd99 03-01-2010 04:49 PM

It's been a while since I put anything in here... mostly because there was nothing to add other than a couple things I picked up for the tank while waiting on the stand to be completed... Still looking like another month or so before I put water into the tank since I'm paying cash as I go - and I've still got to buy my base rock, live rock, sand, return pump, all the odds and ends (nets, buckets, thermometers, etc), and possibly a calcium reactor. Of course the most expensive part of that is going to be the rock. But just a quick update...

So here's what I picked up this morning... I have the canopy too, I just haven't put it on yet pending a thorough cleaning of the tank.

And the obligatory FTS with my favorite creature... ;)

Zer0 03-01-2010 04:57 PM

Haha! That's hilarious! And that tank is gigantic! Funniest picture i've seen all week!

Definitely subscribing to this thread. Want to see how this tank turns out!

Just be careful not to let any splashing get out of the top of that tank and on to your electronics that seem to be pretty close to it. Just a little advise. :)

Mitchell0605 03-26-2010 10:29 PM

That should be submitted in the SW Photo April Comp. :D

capj64 03-30-2010 03:28 PM

Looks like a fishy kid to me :)

jbadd99 06-12-2010 12:24 AM

Well... I hit a few snags on the way - mostly I ran out of money, but I'm back on track and after selling a bit of stuff, I got the money to finish my project.

In the last four months, I've managed to pick up *almost* everything I need...

Equipment list is as follows:
120g Marineland with single corner overflow
Custom stained stand/ split canopy combo
2 Black Python EX 120w controllable LED lights
4 Koralia 1400's
800w JBJ Tru-temp heater/controller combo
Octopus Extreme 200
Eheim 1262 return pump
40g breeder sump conversion w/ fuge (in process)
Purewaterclub 150g RO/DI w/ added dual TDS Meter
85 lbs Base Rock (
120 lbs Caribsea Oolitic sand

There is more to purchase, I know, but the above is a list of what I have sitting and waiting on me to do something with it... The rest will be as I go.

I've managed to paint the back of the tank Krylon "True Blue" to hide the cords and whatnot... I'm still having an issue mounting my lights though... no word on what I might do yet.

The sump/fuge will be done next week - the glass shop was too backed up to finish cutting my glass before quitting time today and they're closed on the weekends <sigh>

That being said, I'm installing the RO/DI system in the morning and then to the Home Depot to pick up a few basic plumbing supplies and wood for building a not-so-fancy stand that I am going to mount the powersupplys for my lights on.

For those wondering... and ATO, controller, calcium reactor, and wavemaker are on my wish list...

My wife is tired of looking at an empty tank, so I figured I'd get some water with a couple fish in there first before I tell her I dropped another $1500 on the tank.

Pictures forthcoming as I take them.

Bige 06-12-2010 12:36 AM

I would like to see your LEDs. Could you take some pics of equipment? Nice tank! Kid will need a re-breather or something. Did you drip acclimate him?

jbadd99 06-12-2010 01:38 PM

Pictures will be added later in the week... for the LEDs, see

Pasific Sun USA

Mitchell0605 06-13-2010 10:33 PM


Originally Posted by jbadd99 (Post 1120199)
My wife is tired of looking at an empty tank, so I figured I'd get some water with a couple fish in there first before I tell her I dropped another $1500 on the tank.

Smart. ;)

cmor1701d 06-14-2010 08:49 AM

You can see pictures of THAT LED on my new thread, though I didn't include any pictures from the bottom of the fixture.

When my tank was cycling one of the mods here told me to put a rubbie duckie in there is I just had to see something movig around <g>.

Jimbo7 06-14-2010 12:48 PM

The Remote Controlled Robotic Bull Shark - Hammacher Schlemmer
Fun for the kids too!

jbadd99 06-16-2010 12:32 AM

A rubber duckie huh? Hadn't thought of that idea, but I might steal it.

Well, since my updates on this board have been lacking, here goes...

I picked up my glass yesterday and got it installed... of course it being the first sump I've built, I measured three times, yet somehow one of my baffles still ended up being crooked - I blame my two year old distraction running around the garage with my tools...

After that, I got a rough plumbing system done - after my initial adult beverage induced epic fail - I forgot to add the securing end of the union before cementing ... whoops... of course I goofed up the finalized product during the cementing - nothing that wasn't easily fixed with a small hacksaw... (I cemented the ball valve for the return line too far left and couldn't close it all the way because it was hitting the drain line) I hacked off half the handle and it now closes with no issue.

Water test in the morning - whilst that is happening I'll be making rock supports from the leftover PVC... if all goes well, aquascaping Thursday, maybe even sand, saltwater on Friday and maybe, just maybe cycling on Saturday... we'll see... anyways, on to the pics... and no, the fuge line is not actually that low - pic was taken before it was cemented in.

Mitchell0605 06-16-2010 02:02 AM

Nice aquascape. :)

jbadd99 07-07-2010 03:54 PM

Alright... update....

After going through problem after problem with my RODI unit, I managed to get the tank filled... added sand after that and learned a hard lesson... no matter what the $%$%$# bag says, rinse the sand...

3 days AFTER adding sand...

the sump during that time...

After throwing a 100 micro filter sock, some Seachem clarify, and some Seachem stability into it... ( and a week and a half after adding sand...)

Cycled shortly thereafter with ammonia crystals obtained from my LFS... parameters have been holding nicely ever since... still trying to clean some of the residual silt off the glass in the DT and sump....

But I did pick this up today to seed my coraline algae, and hopefully get the tank kicking over the next couple days... next addition is a small CUC and pods to seed the tank and fuge...

Jimbo7 07-07-2010 04:00 PM

Take the rock and scrape a bunch of coralline off it up by a power head, its supposed to seed your coralline like crazy. Lookin good though! I hate waiting for sand to settle, I rinse mine like 5 times and then still pour it down a PVC pipe to be sure.

jbadd99 07-07-2010 04:04 PM


Originally Posted by Jimbo7 (Post 1130947)
Take the rock and scrape a bunch of coralline off it up by a power head, its supposed to seed your coralline like crazy. Lookin good though! I hate waiting for sand to settle, I rinse mine like 5 times and then still pour it down a PVC pipe to be sure.

Great idea, I hadn't heard this one before and I think I'll give it a shot...

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