View Full Version : 180 gal build-in tank

05-12-2012, 09:17 PM
After several years of planning and looking for reasonable prices for parts & tanks, here now some pictures from my 180 gal “build in” tank and the “fish-room”.
In this way I would like to thank all club members who encouraged me to do this. Even though they might have thought sometimes that this will never ever happen.
I learned a lot in all these years, even so I didn’t have a tank. I would like to thank especially Adam, Anthony, Bill and all the others who freely shared their knowledge.
Well, I am not quite there, I still don’t have water in it! But hopefully that will change soon and I can start cycling the tank and seeding it.

The facts:
Display-tank:72” x 24” x 24”
Sump I: 48” x 20” x 20” (used also as Refugium)
Sump II: 36” x 18” x 18”
Upstream Refugium: 48” x 18” x 21”
Total system water volume: approx. 340 gal (net)

Water movement:
2 x Recirculation pumps
1 x closed loop
1 x Tunze Wavebox
2 x Tunze Nannostream
1 x Borneman Surge-Device in the upstream Refugium

2 x T5’s for upstream Refugium
1 x LED for Refugium in Sump I
2 x GHL LED’s for DT (not sure about the lights yet. I am waiting for the release of the new GHL LED’s , or maybe one unit with a light mover and some LED strips)
1 x dimmable blue LED strip for shadowbox

Water purification: ANIT & KATI, RO
Protein Skimmer: Tunze Master Doc

Controller: GHL ProfiLux ( not yet purchased)

Fish Room:
Sink & some plumbing
Plumbing under the sink

05-12-2012, 10:37 PM
Looking good, seem's well thought out.

05-13-2012, 07:08 AM
Very nice. I love fish rooms/basement sumps. Makes life so much easier.

05-14-2012, 04:37 PM
That is looking pretty nice...

05-15-2012, 10:19 AM
I'm amazed. I can't even put together a simple sump.

05-17-2012, 08:44 AM
Looking good! I take it the tube sticking up in the middle of "Refugium II" is the surge device? Where does it flow into?

05-17-2012, 04:47 PM
That is correct. It is connected to the display tank.

from left to right: return sump II 3/4" pipe, return Refugium II (surge device), Tunze wavebox

06-22-2012, 10:31 AM
Updates Herman? Are we ready for beer?

06-22-2012, 05:19 PM
Not quite yet!
I had a little issue with the overflow box.

07-15-2012, 03:30 PM
I installed my 250W Halide (right side) and the 40W (max) 150 Kessil (left side)
Actually, I like more the look of the LED because I think the “look” is more natural.
However, I didn’t use any supplement lights with the Halide.
My plan is to substitute both with the new GHL Mitras next year.
We shall see …

Front view:

Back view:

BTW, the shadow box is not installed yet.

07-15-2012, 07:59 PM
That is a bit advanced for me!! That tank is looking awsome and cant wait to see more progress.

07-15-2012, 08:46 PM
Thank you! I hope to start with some frags soon.

07-16-2012, 02:05 PM
I agree. The tank is very nice but that light, the Kessil I think it is, that really makes the tank. ;-)

On a serious note your attention to detail and the planning in your fish room is outstanding. When I plan my next build, and hopefully have a bit more patience, I hope to have it come out half as nice as yours. Great job.

07-16-2012, 09:21 PM
Thank you for the kind words.
We will see how the Kessil is doing with SPS :rolleyes:
Maybe the Halide is much better .... :cool:

07-17-2012, 12:47 PM
Well you are asking bit much for it to cover 36"x24" but if you lower it to about 3" over the water line you can grow lower light SPS pretty deep in a 24"x24" area. With careful placement I think it will serve you well until you upgrade.

07-18-2012, 10:14 AM
Led supplementation is great for corals, you can get some more colors out of the corals, and the variability of them is unmatched. One of my favorite combos on a tank is halide and t5s, about 4 bulbs is good on a tank this size. You can get colors like fiji, uv actinics, and blue plus to make the tank more colorful, and overall more appealing.

07-21-2012, 07:12 AM
For water change & top off I have two 35 gal. vessels in the basement.
For water change I just plug in the pump to get the desired quantity.


10-02-2012, 08:19 PM
Just to give you folks a quick update.
I purchase in Chicago a branching Dendrophyllia fistula (??). According to the LFS the colony was not target fed for 3 weeks (at least).
He made me an offer I couldn’t resist, knowing this I might have bought just an orange rock. I guess he was happy to get at least some money.
Anyhow, after arriving home ( bag was leaking and there was not much water left) I was trying to feed the colony with the bucket method, they didn’t really respond. Well, make a long story short the colony finally started to open up. Surprisingly all polyps were still alive. Amazing! Now the goal is to keep them alive … and to thrive.
Time will tell. BTW, I was trying to count the heads I stopped when I hit the 100 mark.


One week later:


10-02-2012, 10:17 PM
Very nice Hermann.

I hope the recovery continues. Any concerns for how the feedings will affect your SPS?

10-03-2012, 07:37 AM
Me too!
Yes, water quality is a big concern. On the other hand, I don't have many corals and no fish yet.
Because of my up-steam & down-stream refugium I have a lot of "marine snow" floating around.
I might concentrate on non-photosynthetic corals only, if this works out.
I might invest into a canister filter as well, for polishing up the water after feeding.

10-06-2012, 12:42 AM
Thought you were waiting a year... or is that just for fish? When is the grand opening party?

10-06-2012, 07:59 PM
As you know, it is hard to resist and everything is running since May ...
Maybe I should through a little party. Are you bringing the good American light beer? :rolleyes:

10-19-2012, 06:38 PM
Since May the system is running. No major problems so far, even when I was out of town for three weeks.
The water parameter are OK, I think...

Temperature: 77F-78F
Salinity: 1.025-1.026
pH: 8.1-8.2
NH4: <0.25
No3: 0
No2: 0
Po4: 0
Ca: average 450 ppm

Test kits: Red Sea (Ca) & Salifert

Water treatment:
- R/O water
- Tunze protein skimmer
- no GFO, no carbon

Inhabitants so far:
- 3 x Peppermint shrimps
- 1 x blue leg hermit crab (Hugo)
- 1 x big turbo snail (big Berta)
- Several Cerith snails & Nerite snails
- 1 x Emerald crab
- 3 x mini Serpent stars (hitchhiker)
- Several bristle worms & spaghetti worms (hitchhiker)
- Many other little critters which floating around and colonizing the rock

By “accident” I also got some corals:
- Geen slimmer
- Yellow polyps
- Green birdsnest
- Green Velvet Acropora
- Dendrophyllia fistula (?) (orange sun coral)
- Green flowerpot coral
- Green Briareum

Fish: none so far (yes Bill, still no fish)

Problems so far:
- Algae grow after my three weeks return (manual removal & introducing a clean-up crew)
- Start of bubble algae growth (introducing an Emerald crab)
- Detectable Ammonium because of heavy feeding (sun coral), trying to compensate with more frequently water changes

I am very proud that I was able to bring back the sun coral. I really believed I bought just a nice colored rock.
The future will tell … if the coral will thrive.

I am hoping to get a Profilux controller in the near future to be able to monitor the water parameter more closely.

10-19-2012, 06:53 PM


flowerpot coral (?)


Big Berta



Yellow Polyps


12-23-2012, 10:46 PM
After having some success with a orange sun coral, I got a black one.
Finally (after almost a week and now different location) the polyps are starting to open up.
Let’s hope it will continue.
Sorry, not the best pictures, but you are getting the idea …

Orange Sun Coral:


Black Sun Coral:

02-05-2013, 08:24 PM
What's new?

- Profilux Aquarium Computer with Touch
- GHL Mitras LED
- 5gal water change every day
- Wheeler shrimp goby

Still some problems with green hair algae (Bryopsis) and re hair algae (Asparagopsis sporophyte stage ?), but they are full of critters and my Mandarin is very happy. :)

Recovered Yellow Tang from HILLE


Control-Center (Profilux, Wavebox & Osmolator)

ouside wall fishroom the GHL Touch

Homemade probe-holder

Mitras LED

02-05-2013, 08:36 PM
my green monster

frags from the meeting


black sun coral

02-05-2013, 09:57 PM
Wow, I am speechless! Awesome set up, only one I could ever dream of having.

02-06-2013, 05:25 PM
Thanks KelliZachMOM!
There is a reason while it took me so long to get this. It's all about money & time, but if you are patient you can get a lot used stuff for less money. Of cause there are compromises, always.
And a small tank can be as beautiful as a big tank.

02-06-2013, 09:35 PM