View Full Version : Ryagon's 125g mixed softie/lps tank

02/21/2017, 06:54 AM
Hey guys, this is my first saltwater/reef tank. I did have my 125 set up for high-tech planted tank for about 4 years and a 25g for a few years before that. So I am not new to aquarium keeping but am new to reefing.

I started getting interested in reef tanks about 2 years ago when my wife and I were getting ready to move. I was considering starting up after the move with a reef so I started doing research. We ended up living in an apartment in a different city so I basically gave up on aquariums all together. About 6 months ago we moved to be close to family and found a house with a great spot for an aquarium which got my interest peaked again. I did a few months of research and reading these forums before doing anything. I started purchasing equipment back in the fall to reduce cost all at once. Now the time is near to get wet so I am starting my tank journal.

My goal for this tank is a mixed soft & lps tank with mostly community fish & inverts. After purchasing the sump I realized my original stand would hold the sump (I did measure) but I did not take into account getting the sump in through the narrow doors. So I drafted the help of my parents, which are both handy with wood working, to build our own stand. Currently the stand is nearing completion, just needs to be stained and doors installed. After that we are good to drill the tank and get wet!

Tank Setup:
Tank: 125g all glass aquarium
Stand: DIY wood stand (plans taken from these forums, installation guide from King of DIY on YouTube)
Canopy: DIY wood to match stand. Built after measuring water level.

Equipment in sump:
Sump: Trigger Systems Sapphire 34
Protein Skimmer: Skimz Monzter SM163
Calcium Reactor: Skimz Monzter CM113 Duo Internal
Pump: Eheim 1262 (900gph)
ATO: Tunze Osmolator 3155
Controller: Reef Keeper lite plus (2 power bars, temp & pH probes)
Bio Media: MarinePure 8x8x4 plate & MarinePure spheres
Refugium Light: Reefbreeders Fuge-Lite & Gooseneck
Heaters: Eheim Jager 150w x2

Equipment not in sump:
Overflow: Synergy Reef 16" Shadow Overflow
Lights: Reefbreeders Photon-v2 32" x2
RO/DI: BRS 6 stage 150gph
Sand: Tropic Eden Mesoflakes
Rock: BRS Dry Pukani

Fish List:
6-7 Bluegreen Chromis
1 Yellow Tang
1 Coral Beauty Angel
1 Flame Angel (both angels will be QT'd & introduced together to reduce chance of issues)
2 Ocellaris Clownfish
6 Pajama Cardinalfish

3 Cleaner shrimp
1 Red Sea Star

Corals: This will probably be reduced after I make up my mind.
Pulsing Xenia
Toadstool Mushroom
Kenya Tree
Assorted Mushrooms
Pipe Organ
Cabbage leather

02/21/2017, 06:55 AM

02/21/2017, 07:02 AM
Can't edit my 2nd post to add pictures for some reason. Here are a few shots.

Sketchup model of the stand.
Completed framing, not yet wrapped.
Potential rock layouts, will probably not use that much.
Curing the rock.
Had to move the buckets so they wern't in the middle of our gazebo.

02/21/2017, 07:05 AM
Starting to add Birch plywood.

Assembling the doors.

Ready to stain!

02/21/2017, 09:15 AM
Sweet build so far! Subbed

02/21/2017, 09:53 AM
looks great. Any plans for mounting lighting and power strips in the stand?

02/21/2017, 10:03 AM
For the power strips and controllers I installed a solid wood piece on each side of the back of the stand, you can kind of see it in the last picture. I might add an LED rope light inside.

02/22/2017, 05:16 PM
Looking good!!

02/22/2017, 06:05 PM
For the power strips and controllers I installed a solid wood piece on each side of the back of the stand, you can kind of see it in the last picture. I might add an LED rope light inside.

Skip the rope light, go for this. Comes with a little tap switch that you can mount somewhere convenient.


02/22/2017, 06:23 PM
I didn't even think about that. I have a few of those in some cabinets. Thanks!

02/24/2017, 07:59 AM
Plumbing has arrived. I went with the blue tubes to match the blue sump for some under tank appeal.

The Shadow overflow uses 1.5" plumbing and the sump uses 1". After watching Synergy Reefs video on installing the overflow they had shown to do 4"-10" of 1.5" pipe glued to the bottom of the box. Then add unions, on the underside of the union add a 1.5">1" bushing and then from there all the rest of the plumbing will be 1" to tie into the sump. The return line will be 3/4" T'd off to have a return with loc-line on each end.

After laying everything out I realized I needed 2 extra unions for the supply @ the pump since I will be doing soft hose on the lower section. Also I ordered 3/4" 90 street/threaded to be able to screw the loc-line straight in.


02/25/2017, 02:10 AM
So after adding the plumbing to my 3d model I might not have as much room for the supply as I had hoped. It might be a bit better when I can manuver the sump and plumbing inside the stand. I might just have to do hard plumbing and nix the flex hose on the supply. I wanted to add ball valves on the 2 back up lines if I ever wanted to close them off for whatever reason.


03/06/2017, 06:33 AM
I drilled the tank, never done this before but it actually was not too bad. Ended up having to repaint since the constant water for 15 minutes messed it up quite a bit.

Stand is finished (except knobs I ordered have not come in yet). The canopy will be built after I test for water level so I can get a piece of trim just below the water line.

Hard plumbed the full siphon and secondary siphon. Was pretty tired after a full day yesterday so did not finish the emergency or return lines.

03/06/2017, 06:37 AM
I saw some PVC rock holders on the forums somewhere so decided to try this to keep the rocks off the glass for flow/cleaning underneath.

Most the equipment laid out. Glad I have a wife that puts up with my shenanigans and makes the house a mess.

Pic of the Shadow Overflow from the inside. When inside the room the black on black almost completely disappears.

03/06/2017, 07:06 AM
Looking really good!

03/06/2017, 02:26 PM
Looks like a good setup with good potential. One thing I would change is the xenia, Kenya tree, and mushrooms.
These corals have the potential to completely take over. Others to avoid would be green star polyps and clove/button polyps.
Go for more hammers, acans, and chalice corals. :thumbsup:
Also I would break up the rocks to smaller pieces and try to get away from the rockpile formation. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Kd33z0lIvY

03/06/2017, 02:36 PM
Really Nice Build. I did see a few folks who had a separate door on the side of their custom stand for all of the electrical and controller equipment. I would have done it that way if I had built my own. Too many times crawling under to plug something in or working around some plumbing to get a power or switch wire into place. Only a suggestion which i believe will make life easier down the road.

Oh yeh and I eventually modified my canopy by pulling the front face off it, bracing across with 1"x 2" and then using door magnets from Home Depot to hold the face back in place to the sides. it gives me easy full access into the tank (a 90 gallon acrylic with only 2 access openings). Previously I was going top down into the canopy through a door that lifted up. Again just an idea.

03/06/2017, 07:14 PM
Yeah the I thought the doors would be pretty helpful. The side doors are actually bigger than the front left and right so I can get equipment in easier.

03/07/2017, 03:45 PM
So I have nixed Xenia & Kenya tree due to possible taking over tank. Are mushrooms really that invasive? What is the difference between Actinodiscus, Rhodactis & Ricordea? I'm so new to corals I have been researching this stuff for a while but I still feel like I only know about 10%.

03/13/2017, 08:08 AM
Got the tank scaped. Spent about 2 hours working on this with my wife trying out different options. We were pretty happy with this so just left it and glued. It has several good caves. Kind of hard to see in the pictures. Sorry for the dirty glass.

Disco Sump!

Now that I have the water height I can begin building the canopy. Should have it within 2 weeks. If I do need lights I can stick my old t5's on for the moment. Will make sure that part is done before adding livestock (after the cycle of course)

03/16/2017, 11:52 AM
looking good! subscribed!

03/31/2017, 09:05 AM
It has been a little bit since there has been anything to show. I did grab a few Blue/Green Chromis to start quarantining and had something happen there I am still not sure of. All but one has died and I'm not entirely sure why. I drip acclimated for 45m, floated in a transfer container for 20 minutes to temp acclimate. All the parameters looked good. Of course I didn't write down what they were, I will test again today. I read a few post where other people had issues with large changes in salinity from store to tank. I did not measure the stores but the QTs was 1.025 to match the DT. If the remaining Chromis survives I'm going to break down the QT and re start it with tank water and make sure everything is perfect before adding any more. Also will be setting up an additional QT for inverts, might try to see if I can keep a few snails and hermit crabs alive before try any additional fish. Now on to the DT changes.

I added a couple bait shrimp a few weeks ago to get things rolling. They are pretty much disolved at this point. As of this morning Ammonia is 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate a hair above 0 maybe 0.25. I think things will be good to go in a few weeks when (if) I can get fish through QT.

I discovered what happens to a skimmer when the sump volume is way to high .. It has since been adjusted and is skimming well.

Canopy has been mostly completed. Fully framed and assembled just waiting to for stain/ varnish. I will be using a white boat paint for the inside.

04/18/2017, 08:45 AM
Nice woodwork, neat build.
Keep it up.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

04/18/2017, 09:15 AM
Canopy is finally done and lights installed. Also added door knobs to the front doors on the stand.


Here are the Reefbreeders Photon V2's in preset cloud mode (30%). Sunny (50%) is way to washed out on my phone to take a picture. I need to run through the custom mode to get the timer and channels set through out the day.

Moon Light mode.

Inside the canopy & light mounting. Had to re do the hangers. I had installed eye screws into the bottom of the 1x3 that spans the full length but they got pulled out almost instantly. So installed bigger eye screws into the side so they could go in deeper and that is working great.

04/18/2017, 09:22 AM
As far as the live stock. It was a full loss on the batch of blue/green chromis. One I'm pretty sure was on his way out before he even got in the QT tank, he was looking pretty bad in the bag & drip acclimitation. The rest I think it was a mix of to severe increase in salinity and the filter was too low flow & not enough bio media to handle the nitrites even with water changes every 2 days. So i put an Aquaclear 50 on it and have been seeding the media in the DT sump for a while. Also added some extra matrix in the media bag so there will be 2x +/- the bio media there was before.

The 2nd QT for inverts is doing well and all 5 hermits I added a few weeks ago are still doing well. I will be adding them to the main tank this weekend. Then I will be getting a smaller batch of Chromis for the fish QT and several peppermint shrimp for the invert QT.

Biggest hermit, couldn't pass him up. Not sure the species but his shell is probably 1" wide.

Several of the blue legs enjoying an algae wafer. The one in the white shell commandeered a shell from something else while in the fish store.

06/08/2017, 12:15 PM
Not much new to show. The display tank is running well with the hermits and peppermint shrimp. No issues with anything there.

I have several corals in quarantine right now and they have been in for a few weeks with 1 dip and I will be doing another this weekend. They have done well and most have grown quite a bit just in a few weeks time. I will add pictures when they are in the display tank in another week or two.

I am having to find a new fish source and probably will just start ordering online. I have attempted to purchase blue/green chromis from a local shop twice. The first time they all died within a few days one was dead very quickly. My nitrite was slightly high but should not have been fatal and I was doing daily water changes. I tried several more, which took 4 weeks just to get them in since they never placed my order... One was dead before I even got home from a 10 minute drive, lost another while drip acclimating. The rest died in a day or two. This time the tank has been set up longer and has twice the bio filter, ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0. I have never in 10 years of aquarium keeping had anything like this. The store staff even started asking me for tips while I was there getting a refund. Needless to say I will not be going back. After my corals have finished their time in quarantine I will be placing an online order for some chromis for one quarantine and possibly a pincushion urchin a some trocus snails in the invert quarantine.

06/13/2017, 12:56 PM
Here is a quick pic of the Frogspawn and Hammer that will soon be put into the display tank. Both have grown since the 4 weeks ago I purchased them but the frogspawn has grown significantly.