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A Saga: Nikki's 120 gallon

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NaH2O

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The saga of putting my 120 gallon tank together. It has been a long long process getting my she-beast together, but the patience is starting to pay off. 120 gallon tank....this is your life :D

It all began with welding a steel frame:



The welded frame was then covered in several coats of Marine Topside:



Here she is with stain, poly, and maple :)
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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Here is the stand in place with the project Superintendent on duty:



Here is the completed stand:




Well, the trouble started when deciding how to have flow in the tank. From here, I was stumped and cleared with the budget committee to go ahead and order an acrylic tank. This way the circulation would be a lot better than what I could have had with the glass tank.

Here is the thread with my tank being constructed: 120 gallon Reef Tank for NaH2O - Thanks IAP for such an awesome tank!

Here is the thread where my plumbing was designed: Some Plumbing for Nikki - Thanks Mike for the plumbing design!

My girl's closed loop is run on an Ampmaster 3000 - flow is controlled with a Hayward Motorized Ball Valve. It works great! Here is a shot of the back of the tank:

 

Fly n Reef

Sky Goddess
Joined
Aug 19, 2003
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Location
Kent, WA
Nikki- It looks like it is coming together. Bravo!
I am suffering from NTS myself and can't wait for a mature tank ready for frag swapping. I had an icky outbreak of diatoms last week but kept reading, practicing my patience and applying a couple of experienced suggestions and they "seem" to be gone.
Another victory, small but still a victory.
I see visions of a great tank for you. Looking forward to the stocking pics.
Take care,
Karen
 

NaH2O

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Here are some pics of the closed loop from the inside of the tank:






Let's look under her stand, shall we? :oops:

Euro-reef CS8-3 skimmer, and a Mag 12 return pump:

(this is the fresh water test - my TDS reading from the tap is in the upper 400s, so sticking a hose in the tank is only for testing purposes)



The fresh water test showed some leaks....for details, read "As the Glue Dries" (thanks for that Charlie) in the plumbing thread linked above.
 

NaH2O

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Ahhh - now the fun part!

A shipment of uncured Pukani Live Rock. 170 pounds total





I decided to have an aquascaping party - since I'm a wuss and didn't want to do it alone...lol. Special thanks to Curt and Katrina (Curtswearing & Hooked) for coming over to help with the aquascape.

Here is the start:



Then we are getting closer:



Here is the finished product from far away, as we are filling the tank:



We ended up using approximately 140 pounds of the rock. I have stuck some extra pieces and rubble in the sump, and I have a large bucket in the garage. I am going to put these in my refugium (for pods). I didn't have enough water made to set up the fuge, so it will just wait until tomorrow. The tank is all RO/DI water.

Here is the final product. I haven't taken a picture with the tank full yet because the water is still icky looking. I did have to empty my skimmer cup first thing this morning. It was black, thick, and nasty.....but I loved every minute of it!

 

NaH2O

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Thanks guys! I forgot to add - I still need to attach some rubble pieces to hide the epoxy that was used to attach some rocks together. Most of the rock was zip tied together, and on the rest we used epoxy.
 

CarlaW

Scarlet Begonias
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Feb 8, 2004
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Needlees to say, we are all pretty envious. That is gonna be one heck of a masterpiece when evrything gets all put together, with corals, I mean. Is your closed loop on the bottom or top row of loc-line. You didn't break any fingers with all that stuff, did you?
Did you and hubby do all the work on the stand, it's beautiful, and probably super functional. You might even have some room left for some books in there somewhere. Have fun and good luck!
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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LOL - the loc line was great fun to work with!! I enjoyed every hand bruising second! I think I should have loc line parties similar to tupperware! LOL Easy to put together, but when it came to taking it apart, it was a bear.

The other half did all the work on the stand. I just described to him how I wanted it to be. The side cabinet serves a couple of purposes. First, I wanted to have a gravity fed refugium, and second there is a window right there, so I needed to keep the light from hitting the tank. The side cabinet prevents that from occuring. The bottom of the side cabinet will house my future Ca reactor. That's the plan for now, but you never know - I've been known to change my mind a few thousand times before I'm set on something.
 

wooddood

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Sep 22, 2003
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marion in
:razz: looks awesome nikki cant wait to see it filled up and running full tilt. congrats to all involved in the process and especially to u i know your stoked. keep them pics coming. good luck:razz:


dave.:p
 

NaH2O

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Well - I did some rock blasting with a power head a little bit ago to free up some collecting detritus. I'm frustrated because the epoxy we used is crap. I managed to save a minor avalanche, and found another rock that wasn't even holding - smaller pieces, so I will order some different epoxy and reattach. They are holding steady without, but I don't want to take chances......I'll need to be careful until I get them secured. Anyone have epoxy suggestions before I order some up?
 

NaH2O

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Possible - I think with these particular pieces there wasn't any place to attach, so we went with the epoxy. I'll take another look at them and see
 

CarlaW

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You can always pull out the old standby, Mr. Dremel, drill small holes and use a bunch of the smaller tywraps. I find that the smaller ones work just as good as the big ones, and believe me, I use alot of them where I work!!!!!
 

Curtswearing

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Nov 20, 2003
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The pics don't do it justice. There are ledges everywhere and the rockwork undulates between the two islands.

Nikki,
Which pieces aren't holding?
 

mojoreef

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Looking great Nikki. I am glad you got some help Aquascaping is definately a two person job. Keep us posted with some more pics as you get things all working.


Mike
 

NaH2O

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Curt - the very top piece on the right island - you know that small piece. It also had some sponge that finally died so there were little rubble pieces I pulled off. The other piece is one of the two we attached on the left island bottom right area. I'm afraid to touch any of the other smaller pieces. I'm going to get in there again and see if there are any places I can run a zip tie through. A dremel is a great idea, but I'm not sure I want to drain the tank to get at the bigger rocks in order to attach the smaller ones.

Oh, and I changed my mind on the fuge - I'm going to put it on the middle shelf and have it gravity feed into the sump. I know some of those little buggers will make it through my pump :)
 

Dr B

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Jan 9, 2004
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It is really hard to capture the beaty of liverock placement sometimes. I couldnt get my aquascaping to look good either in the pics.

Nikki,
Your curing your rock in your tank. What is your planned time-line and process(waterchanges etc). When you are done curing will you replace all the water, and do you feel your going to need to "cycle" the tank?
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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The tank is cycling with the curing process. I had planned on doing small water changes every few days, but I think I'm just going to wait further into the cycle before I do any. My fear was the smell in the house, but it really isn't all that bad, and we're used to it by now. I have my test kits, so I'm going to follow along and watch the ammonia rise and fall, nitrites do the same, then watch the nitrates rise. Right now my ammonia is 7.5 - I'll probably check again in another day or so. I'm such a science dork - I had planned on not checking my parameters until a week in, but I can't resist the temptation, and I started my little tests. My pH is 8.2 and temp is 80F (both pinpoint monitors), salinity is 35ppt (refract). Anyway, that's the story. I'm just watching and waiting, but right now I need to go and get drenched again....trying to get some of the rock attached.
 
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