View Full Version : Xeb's Upside-down Reef - 120 Gallon Build

03/08/2017, 11:04 AM
Well, now that I've settled on a tank size, thought that its time to put down my intended build. Planning on running a mixed reef, mostly SPS/LPS with a relatively light fish stocking.

This will be the largest tank I've attempted, and a considerably different situation as my last reef was set up in Australia (15 gallon sumped nano SPS reef with halides and a first generation MP10), where I had good stability for a couple of years before closing down as I moved. After 3.5 years in NY, I've relocated to Michigan, have a new house and finally an opportunity to own another tank. The tech has definitely evolved - I'm hoping to leverage LED for efficiency and automate everything I can.

The tank will live in the half-basement (tri-level), and is going to be put in after some house remodeling that I'll be undertaking - replacing the existing carpet with tiling and adjacent to a newly created fish room which will house water storage, QT and possibly a frag tank (could be a display frag tank - not sure yet).

Equipment wise, as I travel for work I am going to need the system to be fairly automated, and I also like a nice quiet tank so leaning toward some higher end options for reliability:

120 Gallon in classic 4x2x2, left rear corner drilled straight drain system, return in the weir - still looking for one second hand or if I have to will buy new.

Undecided on this - hoping I can find one with a tank - preference is for something reasonably large that leaves me space under the stand, probably acrylic, with space for a fuge & DSB. Welcome recommendations.

Stand & Canopy:
Planning on a self-built custom 2x4 pine stand with a cherrywood wrapping + cabinetry, 12-14" canopy to get the lights above the water.

Neptune Apex Classic - with Ecotech link module. Still sitting on the fence as to other modules. I've heard poor reviews of the newer model so planning on sitting with tried and true. Planning to team up with an auto-feeder for shorter trips.

2 MP40QDs (have purchased)
Ecotech Vectra L1

TBD - Welcome any recommendations - Quiet and efficient a plus.

2x Ecotech Radion Pro G4s.

TBD - needs to be reliable.


In the weird situation of having both a Rainsoft RO household system (well water), and an Apec RO countertop 90G/day. Will probably run the Apec with a DI resin as a tank supply.

Planned Fish/Invert Stocking:
This list is preliminary, but as it stands:
Bangai Cardinal Pair
2 Clowns (Least territorial I can find)
Flame Angel (I know - gambling with fire but its on my always wanted list)
Royal Gramma
Yellow Coris Wrasse
Kole Tang (Last addition of initial stocking)
Mandarin Dragonette Pair (Addition after 6 months)
Fairy Wrasse (unknown which species yet - will probably depend on availability, but I do like the Carpenter's)
2 Blood Shrimp
1 Cleaner Shrimp
Yasha Goby & Pistol shrimp

Maybe: One Spot Foxface.

Planned Coral Stocking:
This of course will be dictated by available frags, which is how I hope to grow things out into something pretty natural.

Montipora Capricornis
Plating Acros of different varieties, and small branch cluster acro types.
Montipora Digitalis
Birds Nest

Branching Hammer(s)
Maze Brain
Candy Cane

Ricorda Yuma

Would welcome opinions on the proposed stocking list (including dude way under/overstocked), and the general setup specifications. Will hopefully get some pics up of the space for the tank in the next few days.

03/10/2017, 03:05 PM
Have been working on the house, and have successfully removed all the carpeting from the basement (all 550 sqft) - but things are a bit limited in progress as we have someone in removing the horrid popcorn ceilings. So on hold until next weekend for the remainder of the cleanup down there and before I can get to surface prepping for the tiling. Also plan to put in the drywall for the left of the doorframe and close that off in the next week or so, and demolish the dividing wall that lays between the two rooms, before installing a door at the RH entrance.

Here are the first couple of pictures of the space where the tank will go, and where the fish room will end up being. Plan to put the tank up against the wall on the right.



Next Few Jobs:
Clear away remaining carpet glue, carpet grip strips (which are terrible to remove from concrete) and dry-vac all surfaces.
Install framing and replacement drywall for the left hand entrance, fixing up a few squaring issues (somebody didn't own a spirit level).
Demolish interior wall between rooms to create a long fish room, and patch any drywall that needs it. Also need to relocate the wiring to the power plug between the two rooms.
Add an interior door to the right hand entrance which will swing into the room.

Tank Related:
Purchase the tank.