I know a lot of people on this forum will plan for months before embarking on a new tank and I totally respect that but it is just not me. This tank is a Christmas present from my wife, she found it on Wednesday, it was delivered on Friday, and the plants went in on Sunday. I have to get back to work, and that means 11 hour days, tomorrow morning, so the tank has to be essentially done before then.
No fish for about a month though. I want to let it get settled in first.
I had my heart set on a 265 but it would have cost about 1500 more and, the real killer, I would have had to wait 6 weeks to get it. My 125 was just painfully stuffed with plants, I couldn't see the fish anymore, and I was eager to move. This tank is a foot shorter in length and an inch shorter in height. I miss the foot a bit but the inch I can give up. It is very hard to plant something at the back of this tank.
The substrate has three levels. (1) bottom is the EcoComplete and sand mix from my old 55 gallon. (2) next layer is 150 lbs of Turface MVP, unwashed, (3) top layer is 100 lbs of plain play sand, unwashed. This stuff is incredibly dusty, which explains why the tank is not clear yet. I was very careful not to disturb the substrate when filling the tank.
The hardscape consists of a couple of large rounded gray granite stones, plus some smaller gray granite stones.
The plants all came from my old 55 and my existing 125, which now needs a major rescape, when I have time. At least now I can see the fish.
The pile of stones at the back (top in this picture) is where the intake and outflow for one filter is located.
The tank was setup for a reef. The LFS took out the overflows, leaving me with four 40 mm holes in the bottom of the tank. I connected up two Fx5's, one that had been on my 90 and a new one out of the box. The key to the rapid setup are these Eheim disconnects, which look exactly like the ones that came with the Eheim classic, but about 10 times bigger. I paid about $85 dollars a piece for these things, and you need four, but they made the whole thing go together super fast.
That is Eheim 25/34 mm tubing. This stuff has walls that are 4.5 mm thick, which gives a lot of confidence. When working with this tubing, a heat gun is handy. It is very stiff and bulling it on onto a connector is difficult even for me, and I work out at the gym pretty hard.
For lights I am using a hodge-podge of lights salvaged from previous projects, all HOT5. I have 10 2' tubes and 2 4' tubes.
A couple of massive swords. There is nothing to give scale here, but the tank is 24" wide and 29" deep.
Initially I will be injecting CO2 in a bell in the tank but eventually I will rig CO2, UV sterilization, and heaters into the plumbing beneath the tank and have no equipment in the tank at all.