AGs 180 Mixed Reef Build


Blenny Badlands
So I've had my 125 setup for a year now, and like many new reefers, started my system with many used bits and pieces. I've replaced many of those bits and pieces over the years as they have broken, failed, or caught fire. :frustrat:

Well, now it's time to redo the floors in the "fish room", which means I MUST move the tank. :shock: However, I've decided that if it all has to come OUT of the tank to be moved, then I may as well move them into a .....NEW TANK! :bounce:

I'm starting this thread to show my progress along the way from my 125 Frankenstein system to a brand new 180 top-notch system. I will be converting from HOBs to built in overflows, MH/VHOs to LEDs, etc. Completely terrified about stirring up and breaking down the old system, but totally psyched about going bigger and better!! More to come!
Wow, I don't know where you guys find the time to photograph your progress along the way! I've been so busy that I couldn't catch my breath, let alone a shot! But here are some photos of my old system.

Mess of a thing called a sump:


Shelves for more wiring and the ballasts


"Frankenstein" non standard plumbing parts on the center drilled drain holes, and a butt-load of silicone to keep them there


Return line, drilled through the canopy, meaning, I can't take off the canopy at all.


FTS MH lights (with fish trap in the tank too)


FTS actinics only


Egg-crate/light diffuser grids covering the small access doors


Canopy cooling fan


I've just spent the last 24 hours emptying the 125 and rebuilding the 180 in its spot. All I can say is, I've been reminded of my age this weekend. EVERYTHING hurts! Will post some progress pics as soon as I find the strength to lift the camera. :goodnight
WHEW! It's finally set up! :bounce: Here are some initial photos:

Full tank shot showing the tank, stand, and canopy. The paint is still drying on the 3rd and final door, which is why is isn't mounted yet.


The canopy has a hidden door that's big enough for me to access properly!


Inside the access door you can see the 3 AI SOL Super Blue LEDs that are mounted inside. Here is a closer shot:


Closer shot of just the tank:


I'm really digging this black sand!


The whole sump area is much cleaner too:

Looks awesome. I bet it was a pain transfering everything from tank to tank.

Yes, it really was, and nerve-wracking! Had to set up multiple Rubbermaid bins with powerheads and heaters to hold all the water, rock and livestock, and keep everything reasonably comfortable for 48 hours while I tore down the old and rebuilt the new. Have to admit, I kept checking on the bins at least once per hour! I was so afraid everything would just keel over from shock alone. My tang was VERY upset about being imprisoned in a 30 gallon tub for 2 days! But they weren't kept in the concentration camp for too long, thankfully!
Where did you get the fans on your canopy and do they blow in or out? How much does this change the temp? I have a 90g I run without my 6" canopy all the time. This summer I wanted to try to use my canopy and add some really good fans to lower the temp.
Where did you get the fans on your canopy and do they blow in or out? How much does this change the temp?

I got this set up from The specifically make cabinet cooling systems using computer-type fans. Mine is a dual fan set that can both blow in, both blow out, or one of each. I use their fan controller connected to a water temperature sensor. When I had my MHs powered inside the canopy, I set the controller to come on once the temp reached 82 and not turn off until it reached 80 again. These run super quiet. Totally unnecessary, but the unit also has a little blue LED light in it that spins with the fans so I can see when it is running in the dark (since it's so quiet). I have another set inside the stand, over the sump to help cool the water in there too. You can completely customize whatever fan system you want to run by building your own on their site. Hope that helps. :Cheers:
One of the last stages to redoing the "Fish Room", aside from the glam new tank, was redoing the floors. Previously, we had the "builder's choice" carpet that came with the house. Over time, it's gone from a nice light gray to a dingy, scuzzy brownish gray that I couldn't stand to look at anymore. So we ripped out that carpet and installed a new hardwood bamboo floor this weekend. LOVE IT!


Still need to install the base boards/molding around the walls to complete the project. I'll do that when I can feel my body again! :helm2: