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Unread 05/15/2008, 11:17 PM   #1
ludnix
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Ludnix's tropical 120!

After owning a 30 gallon cube for a few years I finally have gotten the opportunity to work on building a 120 gallon reef aquarium! I am currently 17 years old and graduating highschool within the next two weeks, but I intend to update this thread as often as possible.

From the start of the project, my family knew this aquarium would have to go on the first floor of house becuase of weight, and since we would be making a reef aquarium we thought it would only be fitting to have it placed in our Hawaiian decorated room. We wanted the aquarium to be a little different than the usual 120 gallons you see, in that we wanted to be viewable from three sides. For this to happen we would have to have the overflows in either the corner, or what we chose, to have two of the overflow boxes placed on the non-viewable side.

We placed our order with AGA and got to work on our stand. We all agreed that we wanted an extra tall stand so that you don't have to bend over to get a good view of the fish (of course this is inversely more effort when it comes time to feed and clean the tank). We ended up chosing to have it be 40" tall.

But with these ideas in mind we set out on the construction.



The stand is built using the usual construction plans you can find on Reef Central, each corner is supported by three 2x4 peices, and the overall strength is amazing.



On goes a few coats of KILZ primer!



Doors are mounted! The wood used is marine grade ply-wood, overkill but we wanted to be sure the doors would not warp under any conditions (They better not, they fit only exactly the way they are!).

I unfortunately didn't take many photos during the decorating process but it was pretty straight forward. We used some bamboo reed mats we found for sale in Hawaii to cover the stand, everything but the top and the doors would be covered in the mat on the outside.

The trim would be stained pine for the small pieces, and the large pieces that go around the top and bottom would be made from Cherry, no stain, with carvings made using a dremel.

Front:


Back:


Doors:


The doors are the marine grade plywood, covered in a different style of matting. The carvings are the ones you find all over Hawaii for the tourists.

I'll try and add some close ups of carvings and such soon as I can.

The sump/refugium is a 40 gallon breeder. Return pump is a Mag 12, ans the skimmer is a Octopus RPS 2000 recirculating skimmer.



This weekend I'm going to try and plumb everything together as well as order lights. We're looking at doing 4x T5 55watt bulbs and 2x 250watt metal halide bulbs. The lighting may seem overkill but we plan on running the the Metal Halides as infrequently as possible (4-5 hours a day when we are home), and have everything do well off the T5's for the rest of the time.

Once we have the lights we can start working on the canopy!


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Unread 05/15/2008, 11:18 PM   #2
Chef Reef
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nice so far. keep it up.


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Unread 05/15/2008, 11:22 PM   #3
TikiDan
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very cool! I love the stand. I am building the stand for my 120 as a neo-classical victorian style.


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Unread 05/16/2008, 10:36 PM   #4
ludnix
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I'm going to try and place an order for lighting and plumbing this weekend. Does anyone remember the name of the plumbing website that's pretty popular on here? I thought it was something like "svako.com" but that's not correct.


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Unread 05/16/2008, 10:58 PM   #5
GQuinn
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The site is www.savko.com

Gary


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Unread 05/16/2008, 11:26 PM   #6
K' Family Reef
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nice original looking idea for your stand - cant wait to see the rest of the build!



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Unread 05/17/2008, 01:06 AM   #7
ludnix
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Thanks GQuinn for the site, maybe I'm just dyslexic.

Thanks for the complements WarrenAmy&Maddy, I'm excited to get it up and running too.


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Unread 05/17/2008, 05:27 AM   #8
Andrew
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That has to be one of the best stands I have seen so far! Nice job!


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Unread 05/17/2008, 06:16 AM   #9
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Very nice, That stand is really cool.


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Unread 05/17/2008, 07:22 AM   #10
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very original stand, I love it! really matches your decor


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Unread 05/17/2008, 07:24 PM   #11
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I went and got some of the vinyl tubing I needed for the inlet pump on the skimmer. I couldn't resist trying it out (it's my first recirculating skimmer after all) and it's a beast! I'm not concerned about performance at all after that test run!


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Unread 05/17/2008, 07:38 PM   #12
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Here are some close ups of the trim:






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Unread 05/17/2008, 09:31 PM   #13
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Very nice!

Also cool that your family is so supportive.


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150 gallon Perfecto with 1500 gph GH overflow / DIY stand-wine bar / Dart Return / SRO XP3000 Ext skimmer / 75 g frag / 40 g fuge / 40 g DIY sump / Orphek P156 & Kessil 150A

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Unread 05/17/2008, 10:21 PM   #14
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That's one of the best stands ive ever seen.


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Unread 05/21/2008, 12:24 AM   #15
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We've decided to replace the bulkheads that came with the tank. The stock ones use a hose barb fitting, but we ordered some PVC slip fittings since it would make use feel a little more comfortable to not have to go from poly-tubing to pvc. Once the bulkheads get here we can start plumbing and filling it up!

We also placed some orders on lights! We ordered 4x 48" T5 kits, two actinic and two daylight and 2x 250watt DE HQI XM 15,000k bulbs with some small reflectors (and ballasts and other necessities). The reflectors won't be the most efficient, but they are the only ones that will fit with the T5 lights!


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Unread 05/21/2008, 12:41 AM   #16
JustinReef
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Beautiful stand. This is going to be a very nice set up!


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Unread 06/02/2008, 08:00 PM   #17
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Update!

Today we've made a ton of progress!


The original bulkheads that came with the tank we replaced with slip-fitting bulkheads so we wouldn't have to deal with hose barb fittings.


The pump is a Mag-12, it has a tee to feed back into the return incase we need to throttle it down for some reason.


The pump leads up to this tee which splits the water into the two return sections of the overflow boxes.



We cut a hole to fit the American DJ power supply (pictures of the otherside coming soon).


Overall sump layout.


And we have water!


This came just in time! Hopefully the tank will be full by the end of the week with the pace of the RO/DI unit


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Unread 06/02/2008, 08:24 PM   #18
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Very nice setup, the one thing i gather from the pics is that your return pump may be a bit undersized.


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Unread 06/02/2008, 10:00 PM   #19
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It might, but I guess that's strange issue. The water will only come down as fast as it will go up, so there shouldn't be any real problem with the pump being undersized. I guess if it does turn out to be too little flow it will be easy to switch out with the union on it.

Thanks for the response!


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Unread 06/03/2008, 04:58 AM   #20
Bax
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For a 120, a Mag 12 is more than enough return flow. What are you doing for flow in the tank? You don't really want to depend upon your return pump to provide all the flow. Since the tank is not drilled for a closed loop, you can consider an over the top CL or using power heads for flow. Depending upon what you want to keep, you may not need to go too crazy there, a few MJ Mods may do the trick.


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150 gallon Perfecto with 1500 gph GH overflow / DIY stand-wine bar / Dart Return / SRO XP3000 Ext skimmer / 75 g frag / 40 g fuge / 40 g DIY sump / Orphek P156 & Kessil 150A

Current Tank Info: 150 DT/ 40B fuge/ 75g frag/ 40 g sump/ SRO XP 3000 Ext/ TUNZEs & VorTechs circulation/Dart return/ MTC Pro Cal/ UV & Oz
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Unread 06/03/2008, 10:27 AM   #21
ludnix
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bax
For a 120, a Mag 12 is more than enough return flow. What are you doing for flow in the tank? You don't really want to depend upon your return pump to provide all the flow. Since the tank is not drilled for a closed loop, you can consider an over the top CL or using power heads for flow. Depending upon what you want to keep, you may not need to go too crazy there, a few MJ Mods may do the trick.
We have two Koralia 4 power heads that we planned to mount to the top of the side facing the over flow boxes. Hopefully they will create a sort of collision between them and the return and provide a decent amount of random flow. We'll probably be starting out with mainly LPS, softies and zoas, but if we find we need more flow we could figure something else out (or replace the koralias with a couple of vortechs ).

Thanks for the reassurance on the return pump! So far the tank is filled to 10" with RO/DI water so before long we'll be able to see.

I also got in contact with my LFS and they said they'd be willing to sell me 200 pounds of uncured live rock at $2.22 a pound. Since the tank is new and uncycled we'll just cure the rock in the tank. We'll wait to add sand until the rock is totally cured so we can easily siphon out detritus that comes off the rock.


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Unread 06/03/2008, 01:15 PM   #22
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For zoos and LPS you should be good to start with on flow.

My 120 uses a QO4000 split between the display and fuge. I am only pushing about 450 gph back to the display.


... but I have a little more flow than you'll get from a pair of Korilia 4's


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Unread 06/13/2008, 01:09 AM   #23
ludnix
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The LFS sold us 200 pounds of uncured live rock at $2.22 a pound and it's shipment came in.







Since it's going to need time to cure I'm guessing it's going to be a few weeks before it all settles out. Once it does we'll do a large water change and add the sand. It's probably more rock than we'll want in the end, but once it's cured we can take it back to the LFS for credit.

We're thinking of using reef epoxy to make some pillars and arches using the rock, but we'll have to play with it to see what we finally want.


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Unread 06/13/2008, 10:23 PM   #24
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you may want to rethink having your electrical outlets under all the plumbing lines. If you have a leak, that could be dangerous. Having it above the sump like that could also lead to salt creep. you may want to try and add a divider to keep the power strip safe and dry


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Unread 06/13/2008, 10:45 PM   #25
ludnix
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Thanks scott11, I've been checking it almost daily for moisture because I had the same concerns but luckily it seems to stay very dry. I'm considering making an acyrlic case to go around it though just to prevent long-term moisture build up and or a leak from a bulkhead. Hopefully if something like that did happen the GFCI would take care of the problem, but it'd be nice not to have to rely on that.


If anyone has any advice about the curing process or information that would useful it'd be great if you could post it. I haven't had to cure rock before and all I'm sure of is that it's going to smell pretty rank.


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