jlanger's 120gal Arts and Crafts Inspired Reef Build

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by jlanger, May 1, 2013.

  1. KJoFan

    KJoFan Senior Member
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    I feel your pain. After a bout with some AEFW that ended up wiping out most of my sps for one reason or another I decided it was the right time to upgrade my tank. All remaining livestock has been hanging out in a 100g Rubbermaid tub without incident for a month or so as I pull together the new build.

    I was away for Christmas for a few days and came home to the following dead fish:

    Kole Tang
    Potter's Angel
    Potter's Wrasse
    4x Rhomboid wrasse females
    1x Biota Rainford Goby

    Now I'm left with a few sad looking sps, some softies, a pair of clowns and a pair of Leopard wrasses. So, I too will basically be doing a re-boot, but with a larger tank.

    Here's to more reefing success in 2018 for both of us!
     
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  2. Leicester56

    Leicester56 I contributed!
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    The sight of your dead montipora is heartbreaking. Like your system until recently, every monti I place in my tank thrives, even during my 9 month GHA battle that I think I finally beat. You are welcome to frags of any montis I have to reboot things. PM me for details on what I have.
     
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  3. rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    I have several of your past month frags that you are welcome to when you do reboot


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  4. eschulist

    eschulist That Office Nano Guy
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    Sorry to hear about your tank Jason.

    If you are completely rebuilding your tank: new aquarium, stand, sump, apex, etc. I'm sure this will become quite the impressive upgrade. What size / length were you thinking of going with?
     
  5. Leicester56

    Leicester56 I contributed!
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    I hope he goes for a 210!
     
  6. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I must write too much... people don't read or remember what they read. ;)

    No mention of a new stand. Why not? After five years, my stand is still as sturdy and "purdy" as the day it was built; no need for a new stand.
    Although... I have considered building a new canopy. Being that the existing canopy is only big enough to squeeze in a couple of 36" T5 strip lights, it would be nice to have more room for more bulbs and move up to 48" T5 lights. But I think I would get a better return on my investment if I upgraded the two Radion XR30 Pro (G2) fixtures to a new pair of Radion XR30 G4 Pro fixtures.

    Don't get me wrong, I would love to upgrade to a larger display tank. But for now, I think it's safer to stay with a 120gal display.
    I'm ordering a Custom Aquariums low-iron rimless 120gal and using a Modular Marine overflow system; similar to the new build by @Nezw0001.
    If I did go BIG, it would've been in the 400-500gal range. But I would need to be making a lot more stands or cookies to afford something that large! Maybe some day...:rolleyes:
     
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  7. eschulist

    eschulist That Office Nano Guy
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    Or I read too much into what you could be thinking or meaning behind your "I wish I could, but....." You left it open to say you havent ruled it out.
     
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  8. Leicester56

    Leicester56 I contributed!
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    I thought we were day dreaming here! Sure wish i had the space/money/time and my wife’s consent to upgrade. Haha.
     
  9. Fishfoo

    Fishfoo Junior Member
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    Very sad to see/hear. My tank was looking terrible throughout the summer as well, and even though the tank has bounced back, the bubble algae is still running rampant. I am very excited to see the new setup, however! And by the time you have it all setup I should have a Rainbow Phoenix frag ready for you :cool:

    Also hoping the Lineatus is somehow still just in hiding. Let us know if you find him!
     
  10. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    FTFY, Will.

    Thanks, Keenan.
    I picked up a Phoenix Monti from the Fall Expo that I have sitting over at AcanLord until I'm ready to add corals again. With the rate that my Nauti Spiral has grown while over there, maybe I'll be able to swap frags with you.
    And I have not seen the Lineatus at all. :(
     
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  11. blennieluvr

    blennieluvr TCMAS Event Committee
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    Sorry to hear of your troubles and kudos to you for your hobby resiliency. That would be a hard sock to the gut but you are taking it like a Champ. Looking forward to the new build.
     
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  12. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I have decided to move forward with the reboot of my 120gal system; although, the term reboot really doesn't apply anymore.
    After much debate and serious thinking, my plan has evolved. Instead of moving the existing system onto a temporary stand until the new system is ready, I'll be tearing it down completely and basically start over; new tank, new filtration, new lighting, new rock, new livestock.

    I will be rehoming or selling off the bulk of my livestock; only keeping a few smaller fish. I will be selling the remaining fish that are too large to keep in my small Fluval tank. I have reached out (and will reach out) to some other TCMAS members about keeping some of the corals that I would like to get back later. I will be selling/FIF those corals that I don't need to keep; along with the live rock.

    I will also be selling most of the equipment associated with this set up. Once the livestock has been taken care of, I'll be looking to sell the tank, the sump, the custom ATS unit, the Radion light fixtures and the Apex Classic controller. Essentially, I'll be selling a pseudo-complete set up except for the stand and canopy.

    I believe that by going this route, there will be much less stress associated with getting a new set up established while keeping the old one running. When I had to tear down this system in the past for the new carpet, it was only for three weeks and I lost some of my nicer coral colonies because everything was cramped and rushed. This way, I can take my time making sure everything with the new system is properly put together and stable before adding any livestock. Not having to worry about losing any more corals or fish during this process will be less stressful for me, although I am saddened to see some of these fish move on to new homes.
    So in the coming days/weeks, I will start posting items in the classifieds to begin the process of tearing this system down.

    :(
     
  13. coralreefer

    coralreefer I contributed!
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    Woah saw your for sale thread and immediately though the worst. Honestly, I agree it's so much less stressful to worry about temporary tanks but it's also sad to see the fish go. I'll wish you luck with the build Jason and if you need any terrible DIY help let me know :p
     
  14. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Thanks.
    It’s not the worst, but it was a difficult decision to make. But now that the plan is moving forward, I’m excited to get started on the new set up.
     
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  15. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    The dismantling of the 120gal system is progressing along.
    I have sold most of the fish; all of the larger ones, at least. There are still the three gobies that I would like to find new homes for. The pair of clownfish, the Midas Blenny and the Flameback Angelfish will be moving into the temporary Fluval set up; the Clown Goby will move into my 32gal Office tank..
    I have sold or rehomed all of the SPS corals; the remaining LPS will be moving into the Fluval with the smaller fish.
    I will probably start setting up the Fluval this weekend. As I do this, I will be prepping the existing live rock to be sold.

    Speaking of rock, I picked up three new pieces from BRS this week for the new tank.
    My aquascaping goal was to recreate one of my favorite features in the 120gal system, the reef slope. I really liked having the corals mounted to a vertical structure so they would grow out into the negative space between the rock structure. Another main goal was that I wanted the reef to appear that there was a natural fault that split the reef in two. This would allow a passageway for water to flow through the reef and provide plenty of cover for the fish. A third goal of the new aquascape was to leave one side of the tank completely open; an unbalanced aquascape. I could use this open area to place larger LPS corals on the sand bed.
    I had no idea if I could accomplish any of these goals; my OCD gets heightened when it comes to visual design projects. I originally thought of using Tonga Shelf rock to create a stack of vertical layers, but I thought it would look too artificial; forced bansai-like. I thought about using large Pukani rocks that would be inverted so the larger parts would be at the base. But then the natural growth formation of the coral skeletons would look upside-down and unnatural. So then I thought I might find some narrow pieces of Fiji rock and I could stack and glue them into a couple of reef crests. By the time I visited BRS and joined Randy for a rock dive, I didn't know what I was looking for.
    As it turned out, one of the first pieces we found was a great big Tonga Shelf rock that had lots of character. It was too big to be used as a shelf, but when it was placed on its side, I knew that this was the rock we were going to work around. We tried a few other Tonga Shelf pieces and found a couple that looked like they would work. I also checked the Pukani and Fiji bins for something that would catch my eye. After only fifteen minutes or so of digging through rocks, we had my new aquascape.

    Here's some pics of the new aquascape.
    This first layout has the two Tonga Shelf pieces placed so the two peaks are just offset; and a piece of Pukani creates a small island.

    [​IMG]

    The second layout spreads the two Tonga Shelf pieces a little more, but the Pukani island moves into be "attached" to the back shelf.

    [​IMG]

    From above, you can see that there's a good 2"+ fault between the two shelf pieces.
    I may snap off some of the shelf that isn't visible on the left side to help open up more of a gap.

    [​IMG]

    The front shelf is a massive 26"L by 18.5"H by 5-7"W. The back shelf is 24"L by 19.5"H by 8"D (at the thickest).
    The overall dimensions for the aquascape are about 36"L by 18"D by 19.5"H.

    The front shelf provides a lot of character with the all of the thumb-sized projections on the front surface. I may take a chisel to the rock to remove a few areas that will help open up some negative space. Knocking off a few of the projections will help shrink the overall footprint.
    The back shelf has a couple of nice features. The "shelf" itself has no defining features; just a flat surface. But the thin (1-1.5") shelf allows for the fault and allows for the vertical reef slope. There are a handful of large tubes left by worms that will make for great natural retreats for the blenny. The right end of the rock (the base) actually makes for a nice horizontal landing for LPS corals.

    [​IMG]

    I'm still unsure of exactly what I want to do with the Pukani rock. I like that it covers up the front of the back shelf somewhat and it will provide an area for the gobies/shrimp to create a burrow. Keeping the rock tied to the other rocks helps lessen the footprint, but moving it out as an island creates another focal point.

    I'm sure I'll be playing around with the layout quite frequently over the next few days.
    But I probably should get the rock into a bin soon to start cycling the rock and finding out just how much phosphates I'm going to find leaching out.
     
  16. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I should also state that in addition to picking up my new rock, I have also acquired a few upgrades in the equipment side of the build.

    Reef Octopus calcium reactor; still need to purchase CO2 tank and regulator.
    Reef Octopus Regal 200-SSS protein skimmer; bigger than my current Diablo XS160 and this has a DC pump.
    Neptune Systems 2016 Apex controller, display module and an extra 832 energy bar; woohoo!!!
    Modular Marine 1800 low-profile overflow system; sending the drilling template to CA for new tank.

    And a couple sheets of polycarbonate (clear and black) for making a new ATS unit, custom sump and an ATO reservoir.
     
  17. cathorn

    cathorn Senior Member
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    Hi Jason. I can't find the name of the 3 Gobies, in your posts that you have left. Could you re-tell me the type and prices please. Thanks Chuck
     
  18. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Hey Chuck.

    I have two Orange Spotted Gobies (not a bonded pair, but are fine with each other in the tank) and a Randall's Goby.
    All three gobies have coexisted in the 120gal tank for months with no physical aggression, but they do have separate burrows.

    Here's the link to the classifieds; #1.
     
  19. OP
    jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    The last of the fish have been sold and picked up.
    The fish and corals that I'm keeping are residing in their temporary tank.
    And it's all been reduced to a pile of rock...
    And a lot of mushrooms...

    [​IMG]
     
  20. cathorn

    cathorn Senior Member
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    Thanks Jason for the 3 Gobies. They seem to be doing great, searching out their new home. Thanks again Chuck
     

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