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New To Hobby 120 Build

Discussion in 'Member Tank Builds' started by Jay D, Mar 29, 2018.

  1. Jay D
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    Ok so wanted to share some of my progress on the new build I'm working on. It is still in the works and will be a few weeks before anything even gets wet.

    I have been a freshwater guy for a few years and I got sucked into the hobby so I even stepped my freshwater game up to being a cheaper less intense version of saltwater. Sumps, Refugiums, Gyres, Apex, C02 and the likes. But now I have been talked into saltwater by one of my buddies and now I'm doomed.

    So here goes my initial design and build of my 120 salt setup.

    This tank is your typical 48" by 24" 120 setup with a nice canopy and Peninsula setup. This is the tank below (Empty and that's not my house)[​IMG]

    I am shooting for the Peninsula look as well with the new setup. This same friend (Horrible person) has talked me into tearing a wall down in my basement and using this tank to separate the 2 rooms. I was against it until recently and so now I guess that is what I'm doing. I have already went overboard with half of this hobby so why not keep it going.

    So I have sort of started from the beginning with water and purchased and set up the RODI unit. BRStv's videos are addicting so I went with the triple DI setup to ensure I am not starting with bad water. I even hooked just the RO side to the refrigerator to make the other member of the house happy. Pictured here.[​IMG] (Sorry about it being sideways.)
    I had a perfectly good sump ready and waiting for the tank but I watch too many internet posts and read too many forums so i now have Aquatica building me a custom sump with some serious space for a nice refugium. We haven't worked out the final dimensions for each chamber but we are looking at something like this. Pictured below
    [​IMG]
    So very simple sump just nice and large. second chamber is for the protein skimmer and the third is the refugium. Lastly the return pump will be in the final chamber. I already have the Vetra M1 pump and reef link so I am just moving them to this tank. My buddy brought me out to lear where i ended up winning the XR30W Radion light so I plan to grab another and the LED/T5 aquatic life fixture to light the tank. it already has 2 holes drilled on the opposing side of the tank for the overflow so I am still debating a overflow box or those H2Overflows I have seen.(I am willing to try things out) But those are 79 a piece and I am still doing some reading up on them before I decide. i will be running the Apex jr on this setup as I already have it and a few probes for PH and temp. I don't plan on chasing the PH but I do want it in the correct zone so to say. I am out of town often so I will also be running an auto top off and Dosing pump for auto water changes to keep the tank as stable as possible. I don't mind doing the big water changes when the tank needs it but I really want this tank to be as stable as possible. I have no clue how many gallons I will have it change weekly but that's something we will figure out once there is water in the tank.

    This will be a mixed reef as I am not used to alkalinity and or magnesium so I will work my way up to some of the higher demanding SPS at some point. But as I do like Softies and a few LPS I will be starting with the lower demanding ones. Starting with all dry Pukani rock as I am terrified of starting this thing with pests already. Also am building the rock on pvc as i have seen in a few videos. I want the rock to sit about an inch aboce the 2" of sand i plan to have in the DT. Figure with 2 XF250 Gyres a space below the rock will really keep some of the detritus in the water column. I have already began practicing by making an archway for the end cap of the tank (almost complete). PVC, Waterfall Foam, and some crushing of various stones/ dead corals I picked up. [​IMG]

    Making an attempt at a DIY 3D background soon for the single wall at the back of the tank sometime here soon. I truly want some cool fish in this build with little to no predators. But i really like those trigger fish!!!!!! I mean I reeeally like those triggers!!! But either way i want my refugium to be packed full of pods and have them overflowing into the tank in such an unsightly way that the only way to take care of their out of control growth is to get a mandarin goby. If that doesn't happen than i will stick with easier to care for fish with some personality.

    I do want to go with miracle mud in containers in the fuge and then the rest Chaeto. I have seen all the people online questioning miracle mud but I have yet to see one person that has it speak badly of it so I figured i would give it a try and hope for the best. i still plan to run a skimmer though as I am a noob in the saltwater realm and I dont want to skip to step R.

    But that's the build so far. (Empty tank, Water, pumps, 1/2 of lights, plenty of work to go. If any of this looks like I am completely off base and am going to have a huge fail on my hands please do let me know. I have all the time in the world to build this so I will look into any and all suggestions given. Yet again i say my buddy (C-Sea member) is a horrible person for doing this to me!!!!!!
     
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  2. davesfish
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    Looks like you have a good solid plan. I know your "buddy", and he will be a great help to you. Don't fear using some live rock in your tank, those"pests" you speak of are just part of the eco system you are building, and not always a bad thing ! Many people fear things like bristle worms...but they are just a part of your clean up crew ! Yes, too much of anything is a problem...but some are not bad. The live rock will help "seed" the tank to start your cycle. Let me know if you need more dry rock as I have a bunch. I will look forward to watching your build progress. Welcime to the club !!!!
     
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  3. Jay D
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    Will do and yes I will have be bugging you for dry rock for sure. I do plan to steal a few of his live rock and some sand to seed my tank too. But i wasn't so sure about the online rock or random facebook posted rocks. I will keep it up to date so that any of mistakes have a chance to be caught before I am 100% done. Thanks again
     
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  4. davesfish
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    Your on the right track !
     
  5. Jay D
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    Picked up the sump today from aquatica Steve Shin did an awesome job! Should run at 42 gallons with room for another 32 in case of power outage. Good guy gave me a great deal on this custom build too.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  6. Jay D
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    New bulkheads to fit the giant holes in the tank and plumbing has began! Like always i forgot a few fittings so i have to get 90's tommorow to finish.

    I weighed the 300 dollar kessil 380 option against a horticulture light made for indoor growing (medicinal plants) lol. And the horticulture light won for 70 bucks. I know alot of people go with cfl bulbs and clip on lights but after watching brstv I chose more wattage and spectrum instead of starving the macro of light. Stole someones design off youtube and used magnets to hang it.(45lb ratings) so 180 lbs of magnet power. Figure that will help me move the light if ever needed without having to fight with it. (I pulled on the light pretty hard and its not moving without me detaching them)

    Picked up my t5/led hybrid light and bulbs as well. So this will run with 4 T5's and 3 ai primes as i traded 1 big light for 3 smaller lights. T5s will be 2 coral plus and 2 blue plus.

    And lastly for today I also grabbed 20 pounds of Miracle Mud that i will either cut with aragonite or add more miracle mud to get to the depth i want in the fuge. I was thinking of making 2-3 sections of it seperated by marinepure cubes but I am still not sure if I want to go that route or not just put it in shallow tupperwares as I have seen done.

    Well more to come as this thing seems it will never be done.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  7. Jay D
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    Added miracle mud cut with aragonite oolite sized since MM is so expensive and i would have needed 40 lbs.

    Also grabbed a 1/2 cubic foit of marine pure cubes so I outlined the entire refugium in them and made a pile in the reactor chamber for a secondary place.

    Planning to take part of that pile and toss it in my buddys sump. Figure it will build up some of his bacteria to transfer back to my tank when i start cycling here shortly.

    Still not sure if the marine pure cubes are in a good location around the mud like that but it may work out well. 20180501_180936.jpg 20180501_180941.jpg

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  8. Jay D
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    OK I am getting the itch now and just ordered a Lifereef SVS2-24 protein skimmer. Anyone have experience with these? I have a life reef overflow box and it handles almost double what it is rated for so I figured their skimmers would at least preform at what they have it listed to handle. Supposedly its plug and play and "just skims" which is exactly what I am looking for vs fiddling with multiple valves and water levels. Plus I can use whatever pump I want which I do like.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. davesfish
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    You will still have to dial it in with the red handle on that valve.
     
  10. Jay D
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    Yes but I can handle 1 valve maybe even 2. But I am out of town a lot and really need it to be as set and forget as possible.
     
  11. davesfish
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    Most of them are that way. Its just a matter of getting it set to your permanent water level.
     
  12. Jay D
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    Oh ok gotcha! Reading online and talking to people I have heard horror stories so I just assumed there were a lot of things to mess with and lots of cleaning involved.
     
  13. Jay D
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    Ok so everything was put on stand still for a bit due to me deciding to move aquariums around and knock out walls and such. The tank is cycling currently but I still have to pick up the H2Overflows, skimmer, and add a few tonga shelves to the rock work.as you can see by the photo the rocks are sad looking for now. But I will be posting some images here in the near future of how it turns out before lights. And again after. I have them i am just "editing" my canopy a bit.

    Side note: Leaving orlando now from a job i had down here and visited world wide corals. The place is small inside but wow is there selection incredible! Nice people too.[​IMG]

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  14. Jay D
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    Some world wide coral photos. Phone phitos do no justice to the sharpness of these colors but you guys get the picture. I want them all![​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  15. Jay D
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    Almost there. Still have to play with the rocks and add some more. I have it but now i'm starting to get picky with what the rocks look like and placement. Great flow and shimmer so far. Still need some ledges and more caves though. Also belive i want some magnetic ledges and frag racks on my black wall.

    The hybrid light and 2 ai primes really do look awesome at this point though. If more is needed i may grab a ai twenty six but i think the par is already in the low sps range. But now its lights out for another week or 2 to avoid algae.

    Jumped the gun a bit on the cycling (few weeks) but there are 5 snails and tigger pods in here surviving perfectly fine and plenty of bottled bacteria, live rock, live sand, and general life to keep it rolling. Even tossed in some chateo and whatever type of grass macro that is.

    Well I will post some more here in about 2-3 weeks when the rock is closer to final and maybe a first fish.[​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]

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  16. davesfish
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    Looking good. When you get closer, the club does have a par meter if you want to know where you are for sure. When you get ready for fish, do yourself a favor a DO NOT put in damsels. They are a pain to get back out....and most people do not keep them in there.
     
  17. Jay D
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    Lol i have heard the same before and i will definently not go damsels. Eventually stocking lawnmower blenny, few firefish, smaller tang, and from there im still on the fence on a few i like. Tropus snails, nassarius, and other reef safe inverts too. I like the corals more than the fish myself.

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  18. davesfish
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    A pair of clowns are also a good starting place.
     
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