View Full Version : My 120 Gallon Reef

03-05-2011, 11:18 PM
I know this might be off to an early start to a tank journal, but Iím just really excited

Today I bought a 120 gallon tank that I will make into a reef tank.

I've been thinking about another tank so when I found this one, it just seamed right. Apparently someone ordered it from our SW LFS but when it arrived they did not want it anymore. I could not believe it was exactly what I was looking for. Because it was a cancelled order, I got it at a great price. The store owner even agreed to hold it until May when I will be able to work in my unheated garage and build a stand for it

I got a 120 gallon tank, 4í X 2í X 2í with a built in corner overflow and the back panel is drilled for the return line. Itís a euro braced tank, and the back panel has a black acrylic sheet attached to it.

I'm planning to make this a (mostly) LPS reef tank with a moderate stocking of reef safe fish.

When I get the tank home, Iíll post a pick

03-05-2011, 11:20 PM
Congratulations! I am looking forward to following your progress.

03-05-2011, 11:23 PM
Cool beans bud! Looking forward to seeing it unfold.

Goes to 11!
03-05-2011, 11:29 PM
Congrats Cliff!. Can't wait to see it come together.

Lady Hobbs
03-05-2011, 11:45 PM
Awesome. Now, why can't you cut the wood in your garage and put it together in the house. LOL You know you want to.

03-05-2011, 11:49 PM
Thanks everyone

I'm actually working on my stocking list right now

Lady Hobbs: I actually was thinking of that, until my wife saw the look on my face and asked the guy at the store to hold the tank for us :hmm3grin2orange:

She knows me really well

03-06-2011, 12:05 AM
Wuhuuuu! So I guess the Great Debate is over...

May is a long way off, but I just bet it won't really be that long before the beastie is in your house...

03-06-2011, 02:25 AM
LOL, am I that predictable ?

03-06-2011, 03:26 AM
Hey! That was my tank...and I'm getting it back!!!




03-06-2011, 03:19 PM
Congrats on the tank bud! I'm once again jealous haha can't wait to watch you churn out another great tank and great journal!

03-06-2011, 03:24 PM
Thanks guys

I'm still working on my stocking list for this tank. I really getting excite about having a second SW set-up

03-06-2011, 04:19 PM
Looking forward this one too! lol

03-17-2011, 12:01 PM
Can't wait to see the build Cliff thumbs2:

04-19-2011, 01:47 AM
Hereís a pic of the 120 gallon tank I found a great deal on, which really started the process for me.



The first thing we did was to decide what type of reef that we wanted. After my wife and I talked it over, we want to set-up a LPS and soft coral tank with a very light stocking of fish,

The 120 gallon tank that I bought is a 4í X 2í X 2í tank. Itís euro braced across the top so there is no center brace to get in the way and I wanted a open top tank to begin with so I donít need the brace to hold a lid. It also has internal overflow in the corner and the bottom of it is drilled for a 1.5Ē bulkhead flange. I needed a 1.5Ē drain line to get around 1500 to 1600 gph for the drain line. The back glass is also drilled for a 1Ē bulkhead flange which I also needed for the correctly sized return line. The tank also had a pc of black acrylic glue to it and the internal overflow box which I like better than trying to attach a background or using paint.

The first thing I did was get all of my equipment together, or at least decide on the equipment I was going to use if I could not afford to buy it right away. The equipment choices were based on the type of set-up the wife and I wanted. That was easy for me as we figured we wanted set-up with a sump

The equipment I decided on was:
Vertex IN180 skimmer
Tunze and Korilla power heads
Aquatic life 4 bulb T5HO fixture
Hagan 2 bulb T5HO fixture (I had both fixtures in the closet so I used them)
Quite one 6000 return pump (or my aquaglobe 9000)
Vertex UF-20 reactor
Two Aquatherm 300 watt titanium heaters

Once I had all the equipment decided upon the next step was to build the sump. Based on all of my equipment, I felt the best option for a sump would be to use a standard 55 gallon tank. I thought that would be the biggest sized tank I could use and still fit it under the main tank.

Below is the link to my sump build


04-19-2011, 01:47 AM
I also spent some time looking at tank pics with my wife so we knew what type of look that we wanted. With that in mind, I picked out the rock. We wanted some really flat pcs for shelf structures for corals. The SW LFS got in a few shipments of rock during the time I was looking so I was able to go through a lot of rock to find pcs that would go with the look we wanted. I did this over a 2 month period while working on the set-up.




Now that Iíve got everything Iíll need, Iíve started building the stand. Hopefully Iíll be able to finish it this weekend

04-19-2011, 01:50 AM
Very cool man! Just can't wait to see this one come alive again!

04-19-2011, 03:26 PM
Wow Cliff, looking good so far... I had a heck of a time finding flat rock, those pieces look great! Lookin forward to your endeavors...:22:

04-19-2011, 03:55 PM
Thanks guys

Hopefully we will get good weather so I can finish the stand build this weekend. Right now its the only thing holding my back from setting up the tank and sump and starting to cycle it.

04-23-2011, 01:18 AM
As we had really nice weather today I decided to finish building my stand

I framed it with 2 X 4Ē, gluing and screwing it together. I then used oak vainer boards to finish the outside of the stand and build the cabinet doors. I added a third door on one end of the stand so I can add or remove the sump easily should I ever need to do that.

Now I just have to apply a several coats of urethane, mount the doors, and Iím ready to set-up everything





04-23-2011, 02:29 AM
I'm able to take delivery any weekend Cliff. :18:

Seriously, nice work on that stand and your tank is making me want to spend some money. Keep the pic's coming.

04-23-2011, 01:13 PM
Thanks Strider

Hopfully, two weeks from now it will all be set-up and in the living room

04-23-2011, 01:18 PM
...I'm coming for coffee then...

TANK TOUR! thumbs2: :hmm3grin2orange:

04-23-2011, 01:20 PM
...I'm coming for coffee then...

TANK TOUR! thumbs2: :hmm3grin2orange:

I holding to that Rue, it's in writting now :ssuprised:

04-23-2011, 01:24 PM
LOL...one day this summer...when I'm in town, and you have time to spare...

I'll be there...jealous and drooling.:18: (I'll bring an extra towel with me)...:hmm3grin2orange:

Lady Hobbs
04-23-2011, 01:25 PM
Stand is looking good! I know you've been biting at the bit to get this going.

04-23-2011, 04:18 PM
Wow Cliff, nice job on the stand. Im looking forward to seeing the total assembly.

04-23-2011, 11:21 PM
Stand looks fantastic Cliff!! Amazing how some stain will really bring out some cool looking color in the wood huh? Stand looks great and seems very structurally stable!

Can't wait to see this one come together bud, looks great!

04-25-2011, 02:32 AM
I checked my levels in the tank were Iím curing my live rock and itís been 0 - 0 Ė 0 for three days now. I bought this rock from a fellow hobbyist a few weeks ago (canít remember exactly when right now) who was taking his tank down as he was moving to a different city and did not want to take his rock or livestock with him. I added a few pcs of dry rock in there to try to help cycle the dry rock

Looks like the live rock is cured and ready to go. I wish everything else was ready


04-25-2011, 02:48 AM
Now that's not something you see in your shower every day! :hmm3grin2orange:

04-25-2011, 03:14 AM
LOL, it's our basement bathroom, so it's nice and dark for curing rock.

I'm going to start adding a few drops of ammoina daily to keep the bb alive.

I'm also going to replace mu nitrate test kit. There should be at least some nitrates in the water but my current nitrate test kit is not picking up any. Even tho I've done several water changes, there still should be some in there.

05-04-2011, 01:25 AM
Not much of a up-date today. But I did get the stand finished. This past Friday night, my brother in law stopped by and we moved the stand in place along with the sump and tank. I started to plumb it Saturday morning but got pretty sick with a bad flue and had to stop. I havenít done a bit of work on it since then. If Iím back to feeling normal by the weekend, Iíll finish plumbing it, complete a water test, and then put the rest of equipment in along with the stand doors and Iím ready for salt water.


05-04-2011, 01:44 PM
It looks awesome! It will look even awesomer soon!thumbs2:

05-04-2011, 04:18 PM
Lookin good bud, sorry to hear about the illness but hopefully you get well and back to work on this bad boy!

05-04-2011, 06:29 PM
Thats one sweet build you did there buddy. Looks totally awesome.

05-04-2011, 07:27 PM
Thanks guys :22:

With any luck, I'll have it filled with SW and cycling this weekend

05-06-2011, 10:50 PM
Looks amazing Cliff! BTW, is that speaker on the floor there to amplify the sound of the sump? :hmm3grin2orange:

05-06-2011, 11:14 PM
Can't wait to see this one up and running bud.

Race you to fill the back wall with coraline algae ;)

05-08-2011, 03:33 AM
I finally got a chance to get the plumbing done for the tank. I had a lot of difficulty making a stand pipe for the overflow. Itís still a little too noisy for my liking so I might order a custom one that can fit in that tiny little overflow space. The bracing above the corner overflow is really hard to work around so Iíll have to keep trying.



05-08-2011, 03:33 AM
When I did my first FW test, I found a leak at the bulkhead flange for the drain line. Looks like when I screwed on the coupling to the flange, I loosened the tightening nut. I had to drain the tank, and with help from my brother-in-law, take the tank off the stand to tighten the flange. After the second test, all is leak free




Iím now making salt water to fill the tank. Iím using my RO unit but it doesnít have a booster pump. Use it to make 160 gallons of water is a lot like watch paint dry. I think I might go the our SW LFS tomorrow and buy some RO water so it wonít take me all week

Tomorrow Iíll also be placing all the dry rock in the tank

More pics to follow

05-08-2011, 05:24 AM
thumbs2: looking great!!!!

05-08-2011, 06:28 AM
Very nice. Patience on the water making. I know it's slow...but hey...this hobby is all about patience.

05-08-2011, 01:13 PM
Wow. And thats why I don't have a sump. All that plumbing sure looks impressive and its great for those that love to do it, but I couldn't do it and have it be fun. Plumbing in my books is work!

Good job, Cliff, I'm always impressed with how methodically you get your tanks going.

05-08-2011, 04:25 PM
Looks awesome Cliff.

I like plumbing stuff for a tank. If I had the cash for return pumps I'd have a sump on our freshwater tanks too.

05-08-2011, 05:24 PM
I loooooove plumbing tanks. I think that's my favorite part of the build. Only thing I don't like about it is that I'm a clutz and tend to spill blue PVC glue all over my tan carpet. (blush)

05-08-2011, 05:40 PM
Tank is shaping up nicely Cliff!! This one looks extremely well thought out and just collectively well put together! (Not saying your other one doesn't :P)

Can't wait to see ya get the rock work in there!

05-19-2011, 12:23 AM
My second attempt at the stand pipe was a lot better (with a few skinned knuckles)


What really helped was to make a adjustable air hole on the stand pipe. I just drilled a large hole through the side of the cap and the pipe so all you have to do is turn the cap to make the hole bigger or smaller


It sure makes a lot less noise than the last one

05-19-2011, 12:47 AM
I got the rock and substrate in the tank last week. I make as many hinding spots as I could with all of my rock. What looks like a rock pile in the front right corner is more of a hollow structure.

I also picked up a few fish. I got: 3 bangii Cardinals, a six line wrasse, and a potterís angle. They spent almost a week in QT but when my air pump for the sponge filter broke, I added them to the tank. This is not the best thing to do, but as they are the first additions to the tank, the risk is minimal. Everyone is eating well and very active.

Iíll give it a few weeks to see how thing go and I might start adding corals and maybe a tang or a few more fish





05-19-2011, 12:54 AM
Nice! Love the fish!:1luvu: The rockwork looks great too!

But I'm no fan of scraped knuckles...that's in part why I'm not doing more with my tank or with SW...I'm not willing to injure myself everytime I do maintanance.

05-19-2011, 12:57 AM
lol, thx Rue

It will not matter how I set-up the tank, I'm a big enough klutz I'll skin my knuckles no matter what :hmm3grin2orange:

05-19-2011, 01:39 AM
Ahhh, what a sweet set up, Cliff.

And my dad always said a project wasn't complete until it had some blood on it...

05-19-2011, 01:46 AM
...And my dad always said a project wasn't complete until it had some blood on it...

Professional Vampire?


05-19-2011, 01:52 AM
lol, no...like Cliff, it just seemed a golden rule that he would scrape his knuckles or slice a finger no matter what kind of project he was into...always got a spot of blood on whatever it was...

05-19-2011, 02:02 AM
LOL, so........... am a Professional Vampire ?

05-19-2011, 02:10 AM
I'll find out when I come for coffee...if I can't get through the doorway wearing my garlic necklace...

05-19-2011, 06:19 PM
LOL, so........... am a Professional Vampire ?

Nah you are up to much in the day. Duhhhhhhh thumbs2:

05-19-2011, 06:27 PM
Oh Rue, you just know how to the direction of a tank journal :hmm3grin2orange: :hmm3grin2orange: :hmm3grin2orange:

05-19-2011, 08:38 PM
How to what Cliff??? :18:

05-19-2011, 11:31 PM
Shh! Cliff's trying to find himself in a mirror...:14:

But back to the topic at hand, you said you had 3 Bangai Cardinals, a six-line wrasse, and a Potterís angel. What kind of tang were you thinking? And what else?

05-20-2011, 01:20 AM
I ordered a regal tang from our SW LFS, and a orange-back wrasse. They were shipped to the store today and are looking and eating good. I will be taking them home on Saturday. Need to get a replacment air pump for the sponge filter for the QT tank

Once I start getting some algae, I'll start adding some snails and maybe a blenny

05-20-2011, 04:53 AM
Really cool Cliff. That small opening on the bottom right would be a great spot for Snowflake eel to call home!


05-20-2011, 12:49 PM
I was actually considering a eel for this tank

My wife wasn't too comfortable with the stick feeding that most eels need. As she will be caring for this tank when I'm out of town, we just decided to hold off on a eel for now.

But if that changes.......................... everything is ready for a eel

05-20-2011, 12:58 PM
Great looking setup.

05-20-2011, 01:00 PM
Thanks Rich

I've just finished the doors for the stand so after I get them installed, I'll post a few pics of the complete / finsihed set-up

05-20-2011, 01:07 PM
maybe a little vampire eel? ;)

05-20-2011, 01:13 PM
maybe a little vampire eel? ;)

LOL Chris :hmm3grin2orange:

05-20-2011, 02:08 PM
Do you have to stick feed the eel? And how often does it need to eat? Or I guess...how long can it go between meals if necessary (and otherwise nice and plump).

05-20-2011, 03:01 PM
Keep in mind I only know a little about eels and that is only based on what I have read so far. I am not even too sure I am correct in my understanding about them.

Getting some eels used to eating froozen food can be a challenge while other eels are very shy eaters. Sometimes you have to encourage them to eat. One of the most common approaches it to put some food on a stick and move it to within their reach holding the stick at the other end. As the moving food can look like live food, they will be more likely to eat it. From what I've read, they need to eat 3 to 4 times a week to remain healthy. But like I said, I have not done a complete job of research eels yet so I might not be correct in my understanding

At any rate, as they have different diet requirements and eating habits from our planned stocking, my wife and I felt we needed to hold off on getting one.

As we learn more about them, we might change our minds in the future. But for now, we want a stocking of fish that we know more about and have cared for in the past.

I will be traveling a lot for work over the next few months leaving my wife to care for the tanks so now is not the right time to try new critters.

05-21-2011, 02:02 PM
After a little over a week, my skimmer is finally working as it should. I bought it used a while back and had it sitting in the closet. It was only used for three months by the past owner before he up-graded his tank and needed to up-grade his skimmer. I guess I just had to get/find the right settings for this tank. I'm still not 100% sure why this took so long, but I guess that doesn't matter now

Now that is out of the way, I'll be picking up my next two additions to the tank latter today, a hippo tang and a orange back wrasse.

I'll up-date with pics latter this weekend

05-21-2011, 04:39 PM
lovely, something fishy to look forward to!

05-21-2011, 08:00 PM
Woooo new fish!!!! Can't wait to see em Cliff! The tank sounds like it's coming along well!

05-23-2011, 08:37 PM
Just a few pics of the finished set-up

I got the doors installed, put a power head in the live rock compartment of the sump, and now have all the timers set for the light. Iíll just need to play around with the adjustments for the wave maker as the current / wave it produces should be a lot better.

Once I have all my fish out of the QT tank, Iíll post some more pics





05-23-2011, 09:04 PM
Thats looking good cliff. Will be nice to see the rocks colouring up like in your other one.

I better not show the wife your stand or I'm going to be out of pocket lol

05-23-2011, 09:24 PM
Thanks Chris thumbs2:

05-23-2011, 10:17 PM
Pretty! I have to say, I like them best when they're new and clean...I'm not a fan of coraline...

And I think you have the couch I want! I'm MORE jealous! And why isn't your floor full of dog hair???

05-23-2011, 10:27 PM
Thanks Rue.

I love the pre-coraline look of a set-up as well. I don't mind the look of coraline tho, once the tank is established.

And don't worry, there's dog hair, we have to vacum every second day so you can't see it.

05-23-2011, 10:35 PM
That's about what I vacuum...but your floors look better than my floors...but then again, you don't have food-flinging parrots...:hmm3grin2orange:

Do you scrape the back of your tank too, or is the rockwork too close?

05-23-2011, 10:45 PM
The rock work is actually spaced 4" from the back and side panels. Its hard to see from the pics. I wanted to try to get at 100 lbs of rock in there and still leave a lot of swimming space

05-24-2011, 01:51 AM
Sorry Rue, I think I see what you were asking about now

The lines on the back of the tank are from when I added the water and sand. When poring in the water with 5 gallon pals, I would stir up the sand making the water a little cloudy and it also left a little film on the glass.

I had to clean that off the front and side glass. I just havn't gotten around to cleaning the back glass

05-24-2011, 02:20 AM
Lookin great bud! I'm insanely jealous of this one haha definitely very well thought out and the rockwork is fantastic!!

Personally I'm a fan of once everything is all covered in coralline and macro algae though haha... still looks fantastic though Cliff!

05-24-2011, 02:22 AM
Thanks Hockeyhead

05-24-2011, 04:25 AM

05-25-2011, 01:24 AM
very nice tank Cliff. I'm really lazy when it comes to reading entire threads. Did you build that stand yourself? I really like the look of it.

05-25-2011, 01:31 AM
Yup, I built the stand myself so I could match the finish to the flooring and our other furniture that I built. That's my second favorite hobby

I don't like the look of any of the store bought stands, but that's likely because I like the look of older style furniture

05-29-2011, 11:00 PM
I just took my hippo tang and orange back fairy wrasse out of QT today and added them to the tank. Everyone is getting along and eating well. The pics are not the best quality as I donít have all of the lights on right now so the fish can better adapt to their new home.



Iím also moving a few corals into the tank today as well. I was planning on moving my two plate corals, a frag of green star polyps and my golden torch coral.

I have asked the owner of our LSF to try to find a blue carpet anemone for this tank so I\m going to have to leave a really big spot for that when it gets here.

Once I had the two long tentacle plate corals in the tank, I notice the amount of flow they were getting was too much for them. Now Iím thinking that I originally had too much flow in the tank for a LPS tank. I had 3 powerheads at 1100 GPH each, the return pump at 1300 gph, and the wavebox. Iím now trying only one powerhead at 1100 gph, one at 500 gph and the rest the same. The wave from the wave box is a lot more noticeable through the whole tank and the plates already seem a little happier, gently waving back and forth.

05-30-2011, 02:22 AM
Looking great, Cliff! Your Tang and Wrasse look amazing - I hope they settle in well for you! Good to hear you corals are doing better now there's the right amount of flow in ther!

05-30-2011, 03:10 AM

I orginally wasn't going to get a hippo tang until found some good info on how to accilimate them helping to reduce the chances of ick

05-30-2011, 03:14 AM
They'e more likely to get ich than other fish? Huh. Well, I sure hope he doesn't develope it in the near future!

05-30-2011, 03:22 AM
If they are not acclimated properly, than yes, thy can be every prone to ick. I've read a ton of info that suggests tangs like hippo and powder blue tangs need to be drip acclimated, added to the tank with the light off, and have access to hiding spots. If you don't, they can get stressed out more than most marine fish which can lead to ick.

05-30-2011, 03:31 AM
Oooh. That makes sense, doesn't it? I double hope yours doesn't develope ich then!

05-30-2011, 03:34 AM
He's acting and eating great today which are really good signs that he is starting to settle into his new home, no signs of stress anymore and no signs of ick.

I'm hoping it stays that way as well.


05-30-2011, 07:33 AM
Fingers crossed for you.

05-30-2011, 02:25 PM




That sure is a sweet set up Cliff.
It looks fantastic.

05-30-2011, 03:26 PM
Thanks guys thumbs2:

05-30-2011, 03:37 PM
Very nice tank and that is a great remote control.

05-30-2011, 04:50 PM
Beautiful St Bernanrd!

Oh...and the tank's pretty cool too. :hmm3grin2orange:

05-30-2011, 08:44 PM
Thanks guys

I really like our remote and dog as well :hmm3grin2orange:

05-31-2011, 10:52 PM
I guess no one likes your slippers, lol!

06-01-2011, 01:49 AM
LOL, I was wondering if someone was going to comment about the slippers :hmm3grin2orange:

06-01-2011, 07:37 AM
I'm more a fan of your tiny surround sound speakers :)

06-01-2011, 10:53 AM
LOL, when you have a big tank in the room, you have to downsize in other areas so everything fits

06-01-2011, 11:21 AM
tell me about it!!!

With the tank and the new couch I'm gonna have to downsize my coffee table lol

06-07-2011, 12:02 AM
Now that Iíve reduced the flow a little, I started to notice detritus collecting in a few dead spots. After looking into this a little more I decided not to add any more powerheads. I want to keep the tanks flow around medium to low flow for the majority of the corals that I want to keep in there. Instead I decided to increase the strength of the wave created by my wave maker. I added a controllable power head to the same controller that came with the wave maker and it worked like a charm. Both the powerhead and wave maker are synchronized

That really seems to be working good. Now the wave produced by the combination of the wave maker and powerhead is a lot more stronger than before and a there is a lot less dead spots. The long tentacle corals that are in there seem to be a little happier as well.

Hopefully I can figure out how to post videos in tube and post short video to show the wave.

06-07-2011, 12:14 AM
lol hurry up. Hopefully I won't like your wavemaker so much that I feel I have to out and get one myself!

06-07-2011, 12:31 AM
Need... pics... (or vids)... asap!!!!

06-07-2011, 06:20 AM
I'm going to have to hassle you for a vid too. I can't quite picture what you mean but I'm intregued!!

vid vid vid!!!

06-08-2011, 12:05 AM
This past week we had some aggression between two of the three bangii cardinals. Iím thinking (assuming really) we have two males and a female. The bigger male has been harassing the smaller one for a few days now, the past 3 days it had been getting to the point where the small one wasnít eating.

So today, my wife managed to catch him. Iím really impressed with her, I tried many time to catch this fish but didnít even get close

The little bangii is now in the 90 gallon and is getting used to his new home

And BTW, I set-up a you-tube account last night so now I just have to figure out how take videos with my camera

06-08-2011, 01:17 AM
And BTW, I set-up a you-tube account last night so now I just have to figure out how take videos with my camera

Awsome! Please tell the forum when you upload fish Vids!

I'm dying to see a video if your fish!

I'm also especially interested in your cardinals. I saw a picture of one in my book and didnt think it was all that interesting. BUT, when I saw the pic you uploaded I was amazed at how cool they looked.

06-11-2011, 03:13 AM
This is the first time I've used my camera to take a video, and I must say, I need a new camera. It's not the best of quality, but you'll get a pretty view of the tank and the critters


I colors really don't show through very well on this video.

06-11-2011, 08:13 AM
looking awesome buddy :) :) :)

Really really really loving the wave effect. Any chance of some more details/pics/vids of exactly how that works???


06-11-2011, 12:43 PM
Very nice tank and good job on the vid.

06-11-2011, 09:19 PM
Thanks guys

Really really really loving the wave effect. Any chance of some more details/pics/vids of exactly how that works???

The wave box that I bought is really easy to set-up and operate. I bought the below one;


You fist place the wave box in the tank so the top of the box is about 1Ē above the water line. One of the corners is the best spot if you have the room. It mounts on the glass with a very strong magnet that can be used on 5/8Ē thick glass.



You then plug in the controller and adjust the wave frequency / Pulse knob all the way to the left. You have to also place the light sensor under your tank light somewhere so the wave box will only come on when your lights are on. This way the wave box will not come on during the night (or when the lights are out) making it more natural.


Take the power supply and set it to the highest setting and connect the power supply to the wavebox


Next you just have to keep adjusting the frequency / pulse knob on the controller until you get a good wave in the tank. Each tank is different so you have to find the right frequency for your tank. You can now go back and lower the wattage setting on the power supply if you want to decrease the strength of the wave.

I really like using this wave box as (IMO) they work better than just controllable power heads do. I friend of mine is currently using 4 controllable powerheads and she will not get a good wave like I do with one wavebox and one powerhead. The difference (IMO) is that the wave box draws water from the top of the box bringing it down to the pump at the bottom and then pulsing it out of the box through the pump at the bottom. Also, you can add an additional controllable powerhead to the wave box controller which will also pulse the powerhead just like the wave box adding even more strength to the wave. I used the below powerhead in my set-up


06-11-2011, 09:55 PM

I will defo look into getting one. I did look at these before but they are V expensive in the UK :(

06-13-2011, 02:39 AM
The second noisiest part of the sump was listening to the water fall from the first to the second compartment as there is 5Ē of height difference. I bought three sponge filters for a FX5 and placed them vertically in between the baffles. These sponges are course enough to not restrict the water flow and completely eliminated the noise. I wasnít too keen on uses sponges in the sump as they will have to be removed and cleaned really well each week. I still figured it would be worth a try and see how well it works. I also just added the bio-beeds to the reactor as well.


When we are at the SW LFS this weekend, they had some nice corals we could not pass up on. I got a purple/blue Duncan colony and a red/purple-ish hammer coral. I also moved another frag of green star polyp and some more of the glove polyps.



06-13-2011, 02:41 AM
And now for a few full tank shots. As these were taken shortly after I acclimated the corals, there is only one light bulb on so nun of the corals are fully extended.



06-13-2011, 04:05 AM
Wow man the tank is looking absolutely amazing!!! Jealous of the new coral purchases haha I need to stop up at my LFS and scoop up a hammer or a frogspawn to replace the one I lost. Your hammer looks great! Can't wait to see what it looks like when it's all the way open!

06-13-2011, 06:15 AM
I love hammers, still never bought one yet though lmao

Cliff, I can't get over how tiny your regal tank looks!!!!

06-13-2011, 12:47 PM
Thanks Chris.

06-13-2011, 11:23 PM
Looking good! Very very good!


06-14-2011, 12:28 AM
LOL, Thanks Rue

06-18-2011, 07:41 PM
Not too much of a up-date today. Other than my skimmer is still not working the way it should so I had to order another one. I also picked up a pretty nice looking torch coral with purple tentacles that have green tips. It looks really good when the wave maker comes on. Heís only been in the tank since late last night so heís not fully extended yet

I also move some of my clove polyps into this tank. As those glove polyps grow at an amazing rate, Iím sure Iíll have a ton of them soon. You canít really see the orange strips and green centers very well in the pics.



06-18-2011, 07:42 PM
I also moved the plate coral up on the same rock shelf. I did that a few days ago and they have been really happy ever since. Itís amazing how moving a coral 10Ē can make such a big difference


And a few more pics



06-18-2011, 07:43 PM
And a quick video. Its really cool to see the tentacles from the plate corals waving back and forth.


06-18-2011, 08:21 PM
Ace, got an email from youtube to say you'd uploaded a vid.

Tanks looking quality.

thumbs2: :19: thumbs2:

06-18-2011, 09:50 PM
Tank looks absolutely fantastic!!! What r the two wavy corals next to eachother in the first picture? I know you said one of them is a plate coral but which one is that and what's the other one??

06-18-2011, 11:24 PM
They are both plate corals, just a little different colors and one is much younger. That's how I am able to get away having them touching each other with them killing each other.

06-18-2011, 11:36 PM
Gotcha gotcha very cool man! Think I have another coral to add to my "wanted coral list" lol

Tank looks great man!

06-19-2011, 02:24 PM
Those are really cool. But just a heads up.... Fungia really should be on the sand. They are motile (able to move) and if they fall will be very easily injured. They also prefer low flow. You should also place them where they can't reach other corals. They won't sting each other but can do considerable damage to other corals.

06-19-2011, 03:56 PM
Thanks guys

And thanks Gem. I'll keep a close eye on there guys. Just making room for my red carpet anemone

06-26-2011, 06:21 AM
Yesterday evening I assembled the new skimmer and put it in the sump. It was really easy to assemble seeing as how I got a practice run while going through airport security yesterday. Itís a Skimz SK181. After 24 hours of breaking in, it is already pulling crud out of the water and I have both valves wide open. Defiantly a very good first impression so Iím really interested to see how this skimmer is going to work after one week or so.



After 24 hours of breaking in, it is already pulling crud out of the water and I have both valves wide open. Defiantly a very good first impression so Iím really interested to see how this skimmer is going to work after one week or so.


06-26-2011, 06:22 AM
I also picked up my red carpet anemone today. He is a red Stichodactyla haddoni carpet anemone. After drip acclimating him it took me about 5 minutes to place him on the substrate. This guyís tentacles were so darn sticky I had one heck of a time getting him off my gloves. Thank goodness I was wearing glove when I was handling him. He has now moved into a different spot so Iím hoping he has already found a place he likes and will soon dig his foot into the substrate and stay put.. As soon as he settles in, I want to get two clown fish and maybe move the brain corals up to this tank if there is going to be room for them once this anemone reaches his full grown size.




06-26-2011, 01:16 PM
Glad the skimmer is going to be worth the hassle it caused you, lol.

Tank, as always, looks great!

06-27-2011, 02:05 PM
Cool nem! I've seen them get huge but they're awesome looking, and I heard they're one of the most potent stings, so definitely a good thing you had gloves on!

07-10-2011, 09:19 PM
Just a small up-date this weekend.

The new skimmer seams to be working a whole lot better than the last one. I spent most of the morning moving corals from my 90 gallon into this one. Some of them still have not fully opened up yet. Iím going to have my 90 gallon as a SPS & anemone tank and the 120 as a mixed coral tank. I just have to move the red carpet anemone to the 90 gallon. Iíll take care of that sometime this week

Other than the 6 snails (survivors) the Rue was kinds enough to give me, I still have not added any clean up crew yet. I did give the snails a few pellets just to make sure they are getting enough to eat.



07-10-2011, 09:32 PM
looking lovely buddy.

Thats a fair old colour of skimmate, how long did that take to collect?

07-10-2011, 09:49 PM
my, that's some lovely slime you got there, lol

07-10-2011, 09:57 PM
That only took the skimmer 5 days to pull that crud out of the water

Pretty amazing IMO considering there is about 160 gallons of water and a light stocking in the tank

07-10-2011, 10:00 PM
Just think where all the crud would end up without it!!!

08-01-2011, 12:54 AM
Just a short up-date for my 120.

Iíve had to increase the daily dosing each week for the past 3 weeks. The corals and coralline must be starting to take hold. I got a really great looking brain coral today. The SW LFS was taking down their special display tank to make room for other display tanks. I got a great deal and got one of the ownerís own private stock. Heís still a little stressed out from the trip home, but you can already see the colors that he has.


And just a few more random shots



09-19-2011, 01:40 AM
Not much of a up-date for my 120

It almost looks like I might have some cyano growing, itís a little hard to tell. I added a little extra phosphate remover and vacuumed up the little spot that I though was it. I might just increase the water changes for a few weeks just to make sure. Phosphates and nitrates always test at 0ppm, but that doesnít mean there isnít anything nasty growing in the tank that is using it up as soon as it is produced.

I ordered new LEDs for this tank and hopefully I will be able to find the time to build the canopy soon

This pic was just taken after I completed a water change so some of the corals were not too happy with me when this pic was taken


09-19-2011, 01:45 AM
Your fish and corals all look awesome! thumbs2:

09-19-2011, 02:48 AM
Thanks KingFisher

09-19-2011, 03:05 AM
tank is looking awesome bud!!

09-19-2011, 04:38 AM
looks awesome Cliff, can't wait to see it with the LEDs

09-19-2011, 05:41 PM
Thanks Guys

I can hardley wait for the LEDs to get here. I just found out they are backordered so I'm going to have to wait a few extra weeks

At least I can take my time building the canopy

09-19-2011, 09:45 PM
Thanks Guys

I can hardley wait for the LEDs to get here. I just found out they are backordered so I'm going to have to wait a few extra weeks

At least I can take my time building the canopy

I know what you mean, we had the same situation, we ordered ours almost 2 weeks ago. They were suppose to be here tomorrow but now its moved it Wednesday according to the tracking number. The wait is killing me, lol.

09-20-2011, 01:54 AM
That is one clean looking tank Cliff.thumbs2:

Question; back some thirty years ago my saltwater tank had a layer of algae on the bottom which I thought was a healthy sign. I have noticed that s/w tank pic's I see on this site don't have that carpet on the crushed coral floor.
Was having a carpet of algae a bad thing? :sconfused: It was a deep green with some purple in it if I remember correctly.

09-20-2011, 02:04 AM
From what I understand, back in the day crushed coral was used to help regulate PH and Cal. Now that live rock is common place (and will also do the same things) using crushed coral is not that popular anymore. It still is used tho in systems with no live rock and filters for bio-filtration.

Thereís nothing really wrong with algae as it will help keep the parameters good. Most of it just doesn't look good and can cover corals (killing them)

09-20-2011, 02:12 AM
I had a few pieces of live coral and I made sure to keep the coral clear of the algae. It was a pain in the uknowwhat, which is why I asked the question about all these clean tanks I see pictures of.
Thanks Cliff, again..Nice tank!thumbs2:

10-09-2011, 03:16 AM
I never thought I would be doing this, but today I got a pair of black snowflake clowns and a sable anemone (Heteractis malu). When I wife and I went to the SW LFS today to get a new powerhead, we saw the pair in one of there display tanks and we fell in love with them. As they were already hosting in the sable anemone, I figured why break up a perfectly good set. After making some room in the tank, I found a good spot for the anemone. He is getting settled in right now.

I have to clowns in my 10 gallon QT tank right now. They are really active and eating OK right now.

Once I figure out how to use this new camera of mine, Iíll post some pics

I also found out that my LEDs should be here in about two weeks

After all that excitment, I forgot to get my replacement powerhead

10-09-2011, 03:25 AM
New additions are always funn!:hmm3grin2orange:
I can't wait to see pics of the new additionsthumbs2:

10-09-2011, 05:52 AM
rofl.... you forgot the power head!!!!

Nice one with the new additions though bud. Can't wait to see the pics :)

10-09-2011, 11:31 AM
Your tank looks completely gorgeous and healthy Cliff.. If I ever take the plunge into sw... you da man I'm coming to

10-09-2011, 12:54 PM
oooo new critters!
can't wait to see!

10-09-2011, 03:55 PM
Thanks guys

I'm charging the battery on the camera again, hopfully pics to follow this afternoon

After I get back from getting my powerhead that is

10-09-2011, 05:42 PM
try not to get sidetracked this time...get the powerhead FIRST, then go look at the tanks!

10-09-2011, 09:43 PM
I'm starting to get used to the new camera so here's a pic of the new sabe anemone. He about the size of a toonie or a silver dollar right now.


We also moved our blond naso tang from our 90 gallon into our 120. This will give him a little more room to grow into


I could not get a good pic of the new clowns as they are still a little shy in the QT tank

10-10-2011, 12:36 AM
Nice coral/anemone thingys by your tang!

10-10-2011, 01:01 AM
Thanks :22:

The one on the bottom left is a green star polyp and the coral to the right of that is a torch coral

10-10-2011, 01:58 AM
Awesome looking tank, corals and Fish Cliff. I know it's delayed but nice job on the stand too!!!

10-10-2011, 01:59 AM
Wow that is quite the small nem! Looks great though, great looking tang too. And you weren't kidding about your GSP, Obviously I can't see all of it but it certainly does look pretty big!:hmm3grin2orange:

12-19-2011, 01:46 AM
JUst a few pics for a up-date

I bought a SPS for this tank yesterday. I had a weak moment when I went to the store.


The button Polyps I got a few weeks ago are doing great. Already have 4 new heads. I guess they really do grow as fast as they say


My duncans have also started a little growth spert as well. I'm not too sure how many new heads there are right now as they are growing so close together


And a full tank shot


12-19-2011, 02:06 AM
Wow!! Very nice!!!

12-19-2011, 02:35 AM
Awesome tank! Can't wait to see more photos. Keep up the great work!

12-19-2011, 03:47 AM
Every time I see your fts', I suddenly get the urge to start my own sw tank. I'm thinking of starting it at the end of May when I get out for summer. Thanks for the inspiration Cliff!

P.S. - I've done tons of research too, I want to at least attempt a sw tank to say I've gotten saltie. :hmm3grin2orange:

12-21-2011, 11:24 PM
lookin awesome as always cliff! Your growth rates are incredible

01-04-2012, 09:34 PM
Just a small up-date.

I had found what I thought to be a small ĹĒ patch of dinos so I took some drastic measures. Well not really. I just cleaned it off and did a really large water change. But when you have to mix the saltwater and carry 40 gallons of it upstairs to the tank, it can really seem like drastic measures. I think I will add another powerhead to the tank next payday as the low flow in there right now could have been a contribution factor. With the exception of the wavebox, there is only about 3300 gph in the tank right now.

Anyways, the sebea anemone is still growing like a weed. The below pic was taken not to long after I got him. He wasnít much bigger than a loonie (one dollar Canadian coin) at the time


I just took the below pic of him today he almost double in size, now at least the size of a toonie (two dollar Canadian coin). :hmm3grin2orange: Heís been in the tank for close to 4 months now. He is really starting to get some nice blue coloring on his tips


The rock behind him has not changed, there is just less substrate and more coloring in the rock in the after. Itís a good thing I left him a lot of room to grow into. All the corals in the tank around him will be going into our other tank soon

And a FTS


01-04-2012, 09:39 PM
It looks just like I remember it!thumbs2:

I luv anemones. Whoda thunk what's more or less an animated balloon could have so much personality? :1luvu:

01-04-2012, 10:43 PM
That's Rue

It's always really hard to take a pic of a tank that will look like the tank does in real life. Even more so when you have a lot of blue tones in the tank lighting

01-04-2012, 10:58 PM
Just a small up-date.
I think I will add another powerhead to the tank next payday as the low flow in there right now could have been a contribution factor. With the exception of the wavebox, there is only about 3300 gph in the tank right now.

Just go big and grab a couple of Mp40w's, lol. JK. The tank looks great. You still planning on a frag tank

01-04-2012, 11:06 PM
LOL, you have no idea how tempting that is Labnjab

But after just getting the LEDs, I'll be saving up a while for some Mp40w's.

01-05-2012, 03:56 PM
Is that FTS under the LEDs? And the nem looks great man! Your clowns are spoiled having so many potential homes to pic from lol

It looks like nem has split or something, or maybe it's just the way its resting in that picture but it looks like it has a ridge down the middle that divides the two... or maybe I've just been staring at a computer screen too long at work today and have started to lose my mind lol

Tank's look great tho man! Also what is in the bottom left of the FTS? looks like some type of coral but I can't tell if it's a stony or a softy that's just just standing up during the picture lol

01-05-2012, 04:25 PM
Thanks Hockeyhead

I still have the LEDs on the tanks and at the time I took these pics

I think what you were seeing in the pic is the anemone still being folded up a little after being feed a small pc of shrimp about 20 minutes before I took the pic. He is almost always flat and sure hope he will not split, I have a hard enough time keeping up with the BTAs in my 90 gallon. It not very common at all for Sebeas to split which is a quality in a anemone that I have grown to like.

I think what you are seeing at the bottom left of the tank is the clam. I light did not reflect off him well and he is hard to make out in that pic

01-05-2012, 05:00 PM
Cliff, amazing saltwater tank.. When are you going to send me it the mail?

01-05-2012, 05:52 PM
Na not the clam I think it's a stony coral on the bottom left of your rock structure, kinda has a pinkish-red color to it

01-08-2012, 07:22 PM
After having a heater fail in my FW tank and losing a lot of my fish, Iíve been looking into preventing this from happening in all of my tanks
After spending some time looking for heater controllers and heaters, I think I have found a workable solution the will not involve me spending a lot of money or getting an electronics degree required to use some of those controller units

I got two of the below heaters


So far they are working really well and I am very happy with them. Both with calibrated the same from the factory, and both are within 0.3F of the two different digital thermometers that I have tested the tank with. The heaters have been maintaining a very stable temp.



The red number is the temp in F you have the heater set at, and the number in green is the actual reading in the tank from the separate temperature senor.

01-08-2012, 08:15 PM
Hey, those look nice. I will look into them when it comes time for replacments. Wow, cheap too, only 30 buck american at WalMart...

Likely it will be hard to think of it, but I'd like an update after you've had them for a year or two.

01-09-2012, 03:34 AM
where are the updated pics of this tank lol (full out lol)

01-09-2012, 01:34 PM
icefreeze I think he put some pics up in the previous page or two...

Cliff those heaters look cool (he starts thinking since he gets his first pay check in two weeks) lol if they're only 30 buck and work that well I'll most likely be picking them up since my heaters are extremely sporadic right now (don't like it at all lol)

Glad to hear you like them though!

01-16-2012, 03:18 AM
I wasnít happy with the flow in the tank so I decided to up-grade two of the powerheads to higher flow ones and add one additional powerhead. That certainly did increase the flow but I have been struggling all day to get the flow just right by re-positioning the angle of the power heads. I went with Tunze powerheads so you can get better angles as compared to a lot of other brands out there. I finally got it close so Iím going to leave it and just watch it for a while.

Iím not too crazy about the look of having 5 powerheads and a wavemaker in the tank, but I would rather have that as compaired to some of the other problems you might get from mediam to low flow tanks such as out of control algaes.


01-16-2012, 02:34 PM
As always Cliff, that looks great.

Whomever comes up with invisible powerheads will make a mint.

I wonder how hard it would be to make built in powerheads - like jets in a hottub - in a plywood tank?

01-16-2012, 03:55 PM
cliff your tank is amazing.

sheamurai- how cool would that be- even a display tank fully encased in wood trim

01-29-2012, 01:50 AM
Just did a water change this afternoon so I thought I would take the time to snap a few pics

This pic is my favorite plate coral. He eats really well and is growing like a weed


The clam seams to be doing well. He moved a little after up-grading to LEDs but he has settled into his new spot and has grown a little as well. Iím only planning to feed him once a month now as he is at the size (5Ē in length) were clams become mostly photosynthetic and require less manually feeding, or food from the water.


The corals seem to be doing OK. The zoas are now growing, just really slowly.


And of course, a full tank pic. Thereís a little bit of algae in the tank now, but the CUC and angle seam to make short work of it


01-29-2012, 08:49 AM
lovely :) :)

01-29-2012, 02:04 PM
Thanks Chris thumbs2:

01-29-2012, 02:32 PM
fabulous Cliff. Always like to see shots of your tank.

01-29-2012, 04:08 PM
Thanks :11:

01-29-2012, 04:32 PM
...I love your tank/s...:1luvu:

So pretty...

01-29-2012, 04:48 PM
Looks awesome man! Love the different colors you have in there, definitely one of the best tanks I've ever seen

01-29-2012, 05:32 PM
Stunning reef

01-29-2012, 06:41 PM
Thanks for all the kind words everyone

02-06-2012, 02:00 AM
Other than getting a new plate coral. The vitamin C dosing seems to be working well as the zoas keep growing. The other plates corals are doing well and the new one is still settling in getting used to his new home. Iím a little concerned about my glove polyps as they have been closed for almost two days now. Iím going to have to keep an eye on them.

The two clown fish are starting to get along better now that the dominate one has been established. They are both hosting in the anemone now and sleeping together in it all night long.


I tried to capture the effects of the LED royal blue and blue lighting, but I just can't seam to capture the true look of it

02-06-2012, 01:35 PM
Do you worry about overdosing the Vit C? I've not seen a test kit for it, so the cardinal rule of don't dose what you can't test for doesn't seem to apply.

02-06-2012, 01:54 PM
I have thought about that and I could not find a test kit either.

Right now I'm only dosing enough for the replacement water that I put back into the tank for my weekly water changes. I take out 15 gallons of water, put back 15 gallons of new made water, and only add one dose for 15 gallons. I have not been doing the weekly dosing as suggested on the bottle only because I can not test for a level.

That's the only way that I could think of to safely dose without having to worry about overdosing.

02-07-2012, 01:16 AM
Tank is looking awesome man, glad to hear the clowns have settled down, maybe you'll get lucky and have a spawning pair!!

02-07-2012, 01:19 AM
I dose vit c3 or 4 times a week ,my usual "squeeze out what seems like an ounce" method. Vitc c isnt one of those things that would cause any harm to critters but simply adds to algae food. My zoas have loved it so far.Your tank is awesome and is instrumental in MY addiction.

02-07-2012, 01:47 AM
Thanks guys

Smaug: good info on the vitamin C dosing. I think we have been fueling each others addiction as I REALLY want a mantis tank still. :ssuprised:

02-13-2012, 05:08 AM
We bought a few pcs of SPS for the tank this weekend. There are two different types of acros. The first one is doing really well. Iím not quite sure where his final spot in the tank will be yet so I just placed him near the hammer coral for now


The second one developed a case of Rapid Tissue Necrosis starting right at the base. Likely due to the stress of shipping to the SW LFS and then the trip home to my tank. I fraged it in an effort to save some of it. The smaller frags seem to be OK, but I just noticed RTN in the larger frag. At least I was able to save some of it


An of course, a full tank pic


02-13-2012, 01:07 PM
well, maybe I lean to this one being my favourite, if I HAD to pick, lol.
Maybe I'm just jealous at the size of it. My planned upgrade is only going to be to a 72gal tank...

Fishin Phil
02-13-2012, 01:10 PM
Looks great Cliff.

Note to self: stay out of SW Aquarium Journal section.

02-13-2012, 04:18 PM
Thanks guys

I can't pick any one of my tanks as a favorite as I like each of them for different reasons. This one is my wife's favorite tho

02-13-2012, 05:17 PM
Looks great Cliff! Congratulations on having such nice tanks. thumbs2:

03-05-2012, 01:28 AM
I had a little set back this week. After 8 months of being in the tank and staying right were I put him, the sebae anemone decided one night that he would move over one foot to the left to sit right beside the clam. That poor clam did not stand a chance and he did not survive. The only thing that is changed is the behaviour of the clown fish. As they are beginning to mature, they have started to fight it out to determine dominance (who will be the female) so they have been a lot rougher on the anemone. Iím guessing the stress of that made him move. He is still moving around a little, but sticking to the same little area as that is the only spot with the moderate flow these guys typically like. I did move a bunch of corals to the other side of the tank to be safe.

From now on, itís nothing but carpet anemones for me.

But we did find some magician pallys yesterday. Iíve been waiting a while for our SW LFS to get some in and they finally did. Once we get the new tank set-up, these pallys will be moved in there.


I also got a dosing pump for this tank as well. Iíve been running into the same problems keeping the dKH and the Cal stable as we keep adding more and more corals and as the coralline continue to grow.


And a FTS


03-05-2012, 01:42 AM
Man, sorry to hear about your clam, though it's good to hear everything else is fine so far. Looking great, despite the loss.

03-05-2012, 12:50 PM
Sorry about the clam that kinda blows and yea I guess lesson learned lol stick with carpets

Tank looks fantastic though and hopefully the doser pumps can keep things stable for ya

03-05-2012, 01:19 PM
Looks really good Cliff, sorry about your luck with those d**n anemones!

04-29-2012, 09:28 PM
Not that I have re-homed the emerald crabs that were living in the live rock compartment of the sump, Iím trying a few different macro algaes. About two weeks ago, I got a small pc of Caulerpa sertularioides and it looks like it is doing well in the sump. At least I hope it is Caulerpa sertularioides as this macro algae can easily be mistaken for a few different types of more common macro algaes (like Caulerpa Mexicana or Caulerpa taxifolia AKA killer algae). You canít really be sure until it starts to grow and take hold in a tank. Itís about Ĺ inch tall right now


I also got a nice pc of red Centroceras clavulatum. As with most marco algaes, it can be hard to properly identify them until they grow and spread. Iím hoping this will not turn out to be more red fuzz algae (Asparagopsis taxiformis). I want to try something a little different this time.



Iím managing to keep my nitrate just a touch below 1 ppm so there should be just enough nitrates in the water for some macro algae to grow and hopefully thrive. All the other macro algeas that I have tried in the past became lunch for either a crab or a tang. Hopefully Iím going to be successful in the long term this time.

04-29-2012, 09:29 PM
And as an added surprise, I found what looks like green star polyps growing on the rock in the sump as well. Iím a little at a loss to explain were this little guy can from, or how he got in the sump, but it sure is nice to see him there just the same.


And of course a FTS


04-29-2012, 11:20 PM
Really nice looking tank you got there cliff :22:

04-30-2012, 03:05 PM
Cliff as always your tank is gorgeous... looks fantastic! It's really a great reflection of how well you take care of your systems

05-06-2012, 09:02 PM
My feather macro algae (Caulerpa Sertularioides ) seams do be doing good. It is now ~1 inch in size and is sending out runners. I looks like it is close to having doubled in size over the past two weeks.


The red hair marco algae (Centroceras Clavulatum) seams to be doing OK as well. It is growing slower but I have noticed growth.


05-06-2012, 09:18 PM
love it Cliff.

I've been eyeing up loads of different marcos as my LFS has expanded his marine section.

Your tank as always is an inspiration :)

05-06-2012, 11:36 PM
Thanks Chris

I've really been getting into macro algae latley. Likely just because it looks more like plants than it does algae.

05-07-2012, 01:51 AM
Very cool... definitely gives a different feel to the tank

05-14-2012, 04:00 AM
Well it really looks like I got my hands on some feather algae (AKA Caulerpa sertularioides ). But only time will tell I guess
The macro algae has really started to take hold in the sump. It is growing a lot faster now. Thereís runners going out everywhere. Iím a little surprised at the growth rates as my nitrates never get above 1 ppm and I donít have enough algae to make a difference in the test results. My main goal was not to grow this algae to lower the nitrates or phosphates, but to place the sump lighting on a reverse schedule to the main lights and make the PH even more stable. Once the macro algae grows more, Iím confident this will happen. This approach is currently working well for my 90 gallon set-up as I seldom see a pH change of higher than 0.1 anymore. The only difference between the two set-ups will be the type of macro algae used.


05-14-2012, 06:49 AM
cool as f*** thumbs2:

05-14-2012, 12:08 PM
Sweeeeeeet thumbs2:

05-14-2012, 12:21 PM
My main goal was not to grow this algae to lower the nitrates or phosphates, but to place the sump lighting on a reverse schedule to the main lights and make the PH even more stable.

It will do all of these haha I noticed when I started my scrubber (which was made to remove trates and phos) but it also kept my pH much more stable, next step is to have full lighting in my sump, much like you have in yours

Well done on the algae definitely looks super cool man!

06-04-2012, 12:11 AM
I added about 30 lbs (maybe a little more) of cycled/cured rock to the tank and sump this weekend. I add been getting this rock ready for a third tank, but seeing as the wife and I put those plans on hold, I decided to split the rock between the two reef tanks. I donít think I could get any more rock in the sump or tank even if I wanted to. At least, not without it having a negative effect on the flow or fish. I think I have around 160 lbs of rock in this set-up now. Iím not even to sure, it could be higher than that as I had added more rock a few weeks back but I forgot how much.

Looks like the little bit of cyano that I had been getting is slowly going away. The coralline is really taking off tho, which I donít mind at all.

Pretty soon Iíll have to start trimming back the macro algae in the sump before starts affecting the flow. Iíll just rotate a few rocks between the sump and the tank so the tangs can have a little treat.


06-04-2012, 12:47 AM
thumbs2: thumbs2: thumbs2:

06-04-2012, 02:51 AM
Cliff you truly have a stunning tank man. I applaud it and everything you do to keep it that way. Hands down one of the best I've ever seen!

New rock is always fun because you get to watch it become encrusted with life and algae, definitely one of my favorite experiences in my tank haha

06-05-2012, 10:51 PM
Cliff, I am truly envious of your tangs.....good thing I will be joining that club very soon :D

06-05-2012, 11:03 PM
Thanks !

I look forward to the pics of your tang Tigerbarab



06-05-2012, 11:36 PM
And I look forward to posting them! My tank's going to be a kick a** fowlr:hmm3grin2orange:

06-10-2012, 08:10 PM
Just a short up-date today. The macro algae is now growing like crazy in the sump. Iím amazed that it grows as fast as it does due to the nitrates in the tank seldom reaching 2 ppm. Iím going to take Ĺ of it and add it in the sump on my 90 gallon next weekend. As this type of macro is hard to come by, I can now start giving it away to some follow reef keepers here were I live and maybe even start trading for different types of algae that I can try. I'm also going to keep feeding a little of it to my tangs as they just go nuts over this stuff.


As you can see, this stuff will slowly take over the whole sump if I were to let it.

And just a random pic of my brain coral about 8 hours after a feeding. I think itís really cool to watch him get all fat-n-happy after a feeding.


06-10-2012, 08:20 PM

Really making me want to sort my sump out and get it looking pretty lol

I've got some mangroves to plant in mine, just floating in some polystirene at the mo.

Stunning pics as always Cliff!

06-10-2012, 10:15 PM
Thanks Chris

I wish I had the room for some mangroves but I did not think there was enough room in the stand. I still want to give them a try some day.

I'm just really glad I found a macro algae that will also do well in lower levels of nitrate.

09-03-2012, 12:59 AM
Seeing as how I have taken this tank down, I will now close this thread. I will be setting it back up, but not as a reef tank.

Everything in this tank was just moved into my 180 gallon tank (link below)


Even tho this was one of my most favorute tanks, it is time to take it in a different direction and try something new. I will start another journel for the new 120 gallon tank soon