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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey folks,

I just fell into a fantastic opportunity for a tank like I've been dreaming about for years. It's a custom made 72x30x24 inch, 225 gallon aquarium with a custom built stand, canopy, and 60 gallon sump. The original owner is a reef enthusiast who really took his time to make sure the tank was built and set up right. It's going to be a month or so before I get everything settled down and planted but I wanted to get the journal started now. :)

Lighting will be 6x 55 watt AH supply retrofits fitted lengthwise front-to-back. I'm considering attaching them to an aluminum frame that can be raised and lowered for maintenance or adjust concentration as needed to fight algae or slow growth. The goal is to illuminate the rear of the tank more and leave the front as algae free as possible. I've never kept a tank with a sand front but it seems to be a good idea with this one. I really don't want to have to maintain a huge mass of HC or Glosso.

One of the things about this tank that excites me so much is it's pre-drilled for a closed-loop. No need to rig some ghetto over-the-back spraybar like I've had to in the past. This is going to be 100% pure CO2 reactor love. *glee!*








Closed Loop



Acrylic sump



Since the tank was originally a reef the owner had the sump built with a separate refugium area. With two downdrafts from the overflow this is going to become a place to breed fish, store cuttings, and/or grow things out for flowers. It's the full section in the left-rear.



The other nice touch is the electrical work. Everything's wired into the panel of outlets and then hooked into the DJ stations. No more having to unplug pumps, heaters, or other misc. stuff during maintenance!





I hope you enjoy following this journey as much as I'm going to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
This is going to be sweet!
have you thought about what plants you want to keep in it?
how bout fish?
Colton,

I want to make this a weedy-looking system with lots of moss covered wood. I'll probably be using a lot of bright stems, lilies, and Aponogeton in the back. There will definitely be lots of ferns and Crypts. As far as fish, I'm pretty much fixated on having a large school of a few Pseudomugil species and some Threadfin Rainbows. If I can find a nice looking larger rainbow species that won't eat the smaller fish I'll probably get them as well.

Cheers,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I am thoroughly impressed by the electrical work in the stand. Amazing stuff!
No kidding! I was following the original build years ago on Reef Central and was very impressed with everything. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd actually own this. :bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce::bounce:
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
That is an amazing tank and system. And it looks like it is in perfect condition, did the builder ever use it?

Yes, he did. Those are the original set-up photos. The current shots are pretty good, but darker and didn't show the components separately. There are some scratches in the tank and furniture, but I got a hell of a deal on it so you'll hear no complaints from me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
We have plumbing!!!!

We have plumbing!

I know it's not that exciting to most of you, but this is the first time I've been able to use all the unions, valves, and whatnot that I drooled over in my former life as an installer. Modular hard plumbing is a thing of beauty and general convenience. With these I'll be able to control the flow to any part of the tank, do an emergency quick drain via the closed loop (CL), and all the other nifty stuff that I've wanted to do for years.



At first I'd considered doing a Mazzei CO2 system but then I remembered the AquaMedic reactor I had and thought it best to save money for fish. :D The reactor's going to be plumbed on the intake of the CL to maximize CO2 dissolution and distribution. The CL downdraft tube is going to be teed off with the gate valve in-line with the pump and the reactor on the T, similar to a Mazzei injector, only on the in rather than out direction. The gate valve will give very fine control over direct flow into the pump. The more the valve's closed the greater the flow going through the reactor. Any gas that escapes the reactor will be pulled through the pump's impeller and chopped up before being sent out into the tank.

Both the CL and the sump will be running off Pan World P40-X pumps with an approximate total flow of 700-750gph after accounting for head loss.

Fun stuff,
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
We have Discus!!

Hey all,

Stendker Discus' US division is having a spectacular Christmas sale on a limited number of adult (6-7") fish. I too full advantage of it and ordered my school yesterday. I'm now the proud owner of 6 gorgeous Flachen discus. They're similar to the cobalts and blue diamond fish that we've seen a lot of in planted tanks except they're based off a green fish rather than blue. I've been in love with the subtle blue-green color found in high quality wild "Green" discus since I first saw them. Finding a domestic strain with that full rich color made me squee like a little girl. *grin*

These are the actual fish I got-


They'll be staying at an acquaintance's fish house for a few weeks until I can get the tank up and running. More photos and updates will be forthcoming as things progress.


Squeee!
Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
VERY nice!

How long do you think it will be before the tank is ready for them?
Thank you!

I'm going to be conservative and say about a month. I'm not exactly sure when I'll be picking up the tank and getting wood for it. I've got a feeling it's going to be a bare bottom with potted plants setup while the wood gets waterlogged. If the fish spawn in that time then it may be longer.

~Phil
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I've got a little bird in Florida looking into getting some cypress root wads. If they're a decent price and shipping won't kill me I'll be getting some of them to cut up.

I'm looking for something similar to this stuff:
http://twistedsifter.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/05/aquarium-gallery.jpg

It's got really good character and lots of bends/knots to tie ferns and moss to. As tempting as it will be in order to maintain my sanity I'll have to limit the amount of stems in this tank. Trimming's going to be crazy as it is. I'm thinking just a few reds in the rear corners that won't need to be trimmed down too far to look good. The fish are going to require a lot of room in the front which makes me just as happy. Lots of sand is good for Cories as well as Discus, and means less intensive maintenance for me. :)

Cheers,
Phil
 
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