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Old 10/15/2009, 07:46 AM   #1
frankpayne32
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125 gallon in-wall build

Hello everyone, I've been a "lurker" on this site for several years now but have never posted anything. I didn't really need to, many of the answers I sought were already here for me. Despite all the great info on this site I still made all the same mistakes that a newbie makes: didn't quarantine, put a "reef safe" snowflake eel in my tank that killed about five fish, overstocked, etc. Even after making so many mistakes I did end up having a Biocube 8 and a 46 gallon bowfront reef that both did very well for about a year. Here are some pics of those tanks.

Biocube 8


46 Bowfront


My favorite torch pic:



46 gallon lit exclusively by t5's



This year I finally took the plunge and bought a house. I decided to do all the renovations on it before I moved in. I knew I would want a reef tank in the house and since this is my first home and it would be completely torn up anyway, why not go all out? And thus the idea for my 125 gallon in-wall build was born. I originally had planned on only doing a 75 gallon in-wall but when I went to the store to pick up the tank I thought that's way too small to justify building a whole room. I decided on a 125 gallon as that tank fit both my tastes and what I planned on accomplishing. I'll start posting pics of the build in progress in a few. Thanks for looking and I'm excited to actually become a contributing member of Reef Central!

Frank



Last edited by frankpayne32; 10/15/2009 at 08:03 AM.
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Old 10/15/2009, 08:01 AM   #2
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Pics!

I've gotten a lot done so far, so there will be a lot of pics today, but I still have miles to go till this thing sees water. I want this to be my accomplishment so I will be doing everything myself from top to bottom.

Here is the beginning shot of my front room where my tank room will be. Notice the wonderful 70's wood paneling (which no longer exists by the way).


The room framed in. The room is 8' x 6'.


Outside paneling installed but not finished or painted.


Inside pic of the room all painted, it is a light gray.


Pic of the stand I built myself. I used the stand template here on Reef Central. It will be physically attached to the wall I built and to the floor joists. A piece of 1/2" plywood will lay on top of the stand and to the outer edge of the wall. The front pane of the tank will be flush with the outside wall. The sides will also be covered in plywood. The stand will be coated with Drylok paint and then coated in a matching gray color. I do have an important question for anyone with engineering/stand building experience. Do I need to put a a center "leg" for the stand? I want it to be absolutely secure so I will if I need to but I also want to have a large sump underneath the tank that is easily accessible. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.


That's all the pics for today. I will post some more information/questions about my setup later today.

Frank


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Old 10/15/2009, 08:33 AM   #3
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To Reef Central

Looks like you are off to a good start!


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Current Tank Info: 375 Reef, 4) Radion LED lights X30 pro, Apex Fusion, Octo Regal 300 E Skimmer, GEO 618 Calcium Reactor 2) Reeflo Snapper pumps, 2)50g refugium, 2) MP 40's
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Old 10/16/2009, 08:32 AM   #4
frankpayne32
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Thanks edandsandy for the warm welcome.

Not too much to update, painted the stand with two coats of drylok yesterday. Going to put one more on tonight and then I can attach it to the wall/floor. I've decided to play it safe and put in a center bracing leg on each long side. I'll just have to work around it.

Here are some more pics of my current/past tanks.


















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Old 10/16/2009, 08:45 AM   #5
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I could also use some suggestions on my future stocking list for my 125. Here is what I have planned so far:

Pair Occelaris clowns (already have)
Powder Brown tang (already have)
Yellow watchman goby (already have)
Pair of neon gobies
Blue/Hippo Tang
Sixline Wrasse
Yellow Tang
Flame Hawkfish (i love these guys but am concerned about how it will treat coral, any experiences?)

This is what I have so far that I would like. I know I will have to watch out for aggression with the tangs but I've seen it done successfully before. Any other suggestions?


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Old 10/16/2009, 09:07 AM   #6
stevek480
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Looks like it's going to be really nice! Can't wait to see how it progresses.


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Old 10/21/2009, 09:24 AM   #7
frankpayne32
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Thanks steve! Me too.

Could someone please post there heater recommendations? I have never heated a system of this size. It will be approximately 200 total gallons. I will definitely have two heaters for redundancy. I am looking for wattage recommendations as well as preferred brands. I have always used visi-therm stealth heaters for my smaller systems in the past. Thanks!


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Old 10/24/2009, 09:04 AM   #8
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Here is the outside of my tank room all painted up. Just need to put in the moulding to create the picture frame look. The carpet gets installed in the house today and I pick up the tank tomorrow.



And then a picture of the inside of the room. It is 6' x 8'. I poured a waterproof rubberized floor in that is slightly sloped to the center. I will eventually put a floor drain in the center in case of disaster so my entire front room does not get ruined. There will be a utility sink, lots of shelving, a large sump (probably a rubbermaid stock tank), water change/top off station, and plumbed in frag tank. I will post pics of all this as it gets installed.



This is the first stand I built (used the plans found here on reefcentral). the top and sides were skinned with 3/4" plywood. All wood surfaces received three coats of Drylok waterproof paint. Here's my level mark. Pretty darn good if I do say so myself, considering it spans six feet of a very old house.



I will post more pics tomorrow of tank on it's stand. Let me know what you think and if you have any equipment/tank room suggestions. Thanks for looking!

Frank


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Old 10/24/2009, 09:22 AM   #9
nanshaw2001
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Really nice!!! I think the rubberized floor was a great idea! Keep the pics coming!!!


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Old 10/26/2009, 08:51 AM   #10
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Thanks nanshaw2001.

The carpet got installed on Saturday and I picked up the tank on Sunday! I really like the dimensions of the 125 gallon. Here is a pic of the outside of my tank room with the tank on the stand. I bought some nice 3.5" molding to frame the fish tank this weekend too. I am going to install that tonight.




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Old 10/26/2009, 09:13 AM   #11
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Looks good. I'm jealous. I saw a tank once, they didn't paint the back of the tank but painted the back wall blue. doing this added a lot of depth to it. i thought it was really cool. dont know how your setting up you fish room but if you could keep the back wall empty you might like this idea.


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Old 10/26/2009, 09:24 AM   #12
frankpayne32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjwilcox View Post
Looks good. I'm jealous. I saw a tank once, they didn't paint the back of the tank but painted the back wall blue. doing this added a lot of depth to it. i thought it was really cool. dont know how your setting up you fish room but if you could keep the back wall empty you might like this idea.
Thanks rjwilcox. I saw that same tank. It had a neat effect but that will not be possible for me. I will paint the back and sides of the tank black or a deep blue, haven't decided. The opposite wall in the tank room will have equipment and also another in-wall tank. The other side of that wall is visible from my other living room/tv room. I am going to build a large and vertical rainforest vivarium.

Frank


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 10/27/2009, 08:58 AM   #13
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Not much to report. Framed in the aquarium with 3.5" inch molding last night. Now the bracing is no longer visible, only the front pane of glass. Will post a pic as soon as I can.


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 10/29/2009, 12:52 PM   #14
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I am on the fence for my lighting. I will be doing double ended metal halides for my main lighting but I am undecided whether I will use 150 watt or 250 watt. I am trying to use as little total wattage as possible but I am planning on keeping mostly SPS coral. The tank is 23" tall. I want to be able for my acroporas to grow quickly in the top half of the tank. I plan on using Phoenix 14K bulbs as I like their color and par values. Any input would be greatly appreciated.


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 12/28/2009, 03:57 PM   #15
frankpayne32
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Finally an update!

I've finally gotten the tank set up and running and almost ready for coral/fish. Here are my system specs/equipment:

- 125 gallon AGA tank with 55 gal AGA sump
- Self-drilled dual overflows (1.5")
- Mag 7 return (smaller than most people run on a set up this size but I can't come up with a good reason to use a bigger one so I won't)
- Reef Devil protein skimmer (picked up for $20!)
- 500 W Finnex titanium heater
- 2 x 250 W Phoenix 14K metal halides (halides should be in this week, I will make a DIY rack for the retrofits. Right now the tank is being lit by powercompacts for the benefit of the live rock)
- Reefkeeper Lite controller (controls lighting and heater)
- 8 channel DJ power center for pumps, etc.
- ATO auto top off system
- I will eventually section off the sump, the middle portion will house chaeto algae run on a reverse daylight schedule.
- 2 x Coralvue high seas powerheads (3000 gph each). A very budget powerhead but so far they are working very well and push a load of water. I've had bad experiences with Koralias' in the past and I simply could not afford Vortechs right now so I went with the Coralvue's. I've only been running them a few weeks so I can't speak for longevity but right now I'm very impressed with them.
- I only have one live rock pillar (~50 lbs) in place. I used a 1/2" masonry bit and cpvc pipe to make a stable structure that sits in the middle of the tank. I love the way this looks and there should be no stagnant areas at the back of the tank. I will eventually move approximately 75 lbs of live rock from my old tank once I'm convinced the tank is no longer cycling. I will leave the middle open and unlit by halides to hopefully create an open feeling as well as to provide lots of swimming space for fish.

And finally...here are some pics:











Hope everyone enjoys! Feel free to make any suggestions. More updates soon.

Frank


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 12/28/2009, 05:33 PM   #16
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Great Job

You did a great job! What a great place to sit and have drink right in front of your tank. Congrats.
-Salty


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Old 12/28/2009, 10:43 PM   #17
frankpayne32
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You did a great job! What a great place to sit and have drink right in front of your tank. Congrats.
-Salty
Thanks very much! I'm sure I will have many meals/drinks in that spot.


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 12/28/2009, 11:41 PM   #18
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are you planing on adding t5's to the halides .. or some good led's ..I sure like the way the blue power brights look when you add about 6 to that size tank? your build looks very nice and thanks for sharing !


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Old 12/29/2009, 12:00 AM   #19
frankpayne32
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fishguy86 View Post
are you planing on adding t5's to the halides .. or some good led's ..I sure like the way the blue power brights look when you add about 6 to that size tank? your build looks very nice and thanks for sharing !
I plan to add 2 or 4 t5 for actinic supplementation and to increase viewing time (the halides will only run for about 8 hours). I will also add a moonlight controller with led's. Thanks for the compliment!

Frank


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 12/29/2009, 12:05 AM   #20
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sun light supply sells some nice t5's retrofits with very good reflectors i would go with 4 / 4 ft actinics that way you could stager them for the full 6 ft //4 / 3 ft bulbs would work as well if space is a problem .. I love the color they give to the corals


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Old 12/29/2009, 12:09 AM   #21
frankpayne32
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Originally Posted by fishguy86 View Post
sun light supply sells some nice t5's retrofits with very good reflectors i would go with 4 / 4 ft actinics that way you could stager them for the full 6 ft //4 / 3 ft bulbs would work as well if space is a problem .. I love the color they give to the corals
Thanks for the tip. I already have some t5 retrofit kits from my previous system though. I love the color provided with t5's also.


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 12/29/2009, 01:48 AM   #22
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I am building a 180 gallon in wall, mind if I ask you questions along the way?


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Old 12/29/2009, 09:26 AM   #23
frankpayne32
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Originally Posted by Mad Max View Post
I am building a 180 gallon in wall, mind if I ask you questions along the way?
Of course, I'll do my best to help.


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Advice to new hobbyists: listen to people that have a tank you would like to have one day, not to those with a high post count.

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Old 01/03/2010, 09:29 PM   #24
frankpayne32
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Just got my first fish, a 5" Desjardini Sailfin tang, gorgeous pattern on this fish. Will post pics tomorrow.


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Frank Payne

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Current Tank Info: 125 gallon in-wall (build thread is my homepage).
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Old 01/03/2010, 09:40 PM   #25
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Tagging along! Congrats on your home purchase. Your tank is looking great!


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