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Freddyk's 140 Gallon Reef Aquarium


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I thought it was about time I started a thread for my tank. It is a 140 gallon in-wall style build. It is a 72" by 18" by 24" acrylic tank I found on Craigslist for $100. I bought it to replace my 55 gallon fresh water planted aquarium in the living room. Once I got it I was looking at the clothes closet in my home office that happened to be 80" wide and about 28" deep. One thing became another and now I have a new addiction and a reef in my office.


Full Tank Shot 12-20-2008



I did as much of the setup as DIY as I could. I drilled all the holes for the closed loop, built the overflow box and converted a 50 gallon acrylic aquarium (also from Craigslist) into a three chamber sump. I have a Dolphin Ampmaster pump and a 4-way Oceans Motion for the closed loop. I use an Octopus recirc skimmer and an external Blueline 40 pump for the return and to supply the skimmer.



I started out with duel 150 watt 10000k halides but just converted to duel halide PFO ballast running 400 watt 20000k XM bulbs.


I am a 3D modeler, video editor, animator and interactive programmer by trade. I am learning some new 3D software and I decided to use my tank as a practice project. Here is a view of my tank that probably shows to much. It is still really rough but it gets much of the setup across. Yes I know that there are far to many 90 degree angles in the closed loop. I did not know better. Oh well live and learn. I still get a sick reaction every time I see the PVC section at Home Depot.




You can see a 3D animation of this tank at http://www.myreefaquarium.com/aquarium/140GallonReef.cfm


Overall the tank has been a mixed bag. I am really happy with the fish. The fish have been really healthy with no problems. I Have raised a Blue angel from a juvenile that has grown into a very regal specimen. I have a couple lawnmower blennies, a flame angel, 2 clowns, clown tang and a 6 line wrasse. Other inhabitants include two cleaner shrimp, a banded shrimp, two conch, abalone, brittle star and the other usual suspects for a cleaner crew. Except for the Blue Spotted Jaw Fish I have had all the fish for about a year.


I have had less luck with corals. In my 29 Gallon Biocube

I had no problem with zoanthids.


In the 140 gallon I have a large anemone which seems fine and the pulsing xenias that are fine but my zoanthids are barely hanging on and the star polyps come and go. The coral side of it has been frustrating but I am working on the issues one by one. I just added the 400 watt lights so I know that is no longer my problem. I change 35 gallons of water a month.


I have not really lost many specimens but my zoanthids seem to be on the way out. I am waiting until I can get the ones I have to work before I go and add a bunch more. I am going to start using Purigen and I am going to add a 40 gallon dedicated refugium as well as another 40 gallons of water volume. I hope these items will help get my nitrates and phosphates in line. My Red Sea test kit is tricky. I really wish there was a better way then the color bar method. I think my alk is about 9. Phosphates between 0.3 and 0.4. Nitrates between 15 and 20. My temp probably fluctuates to much because I have very flaky heating and cooling in the house. I need to get a controller that will automatically switch between heater and running fans and add a calcium reactor.


This build took me a full year to get up and running. It has been running more than a year since the build was completed. As money and knowledge comes I am trying to dial it in so that someday I can get the thriving reef I want. Any advice would be appreciated.


'Agave' the Blue Angel



'Agave' as a juvenile



'Digger' the Blue spotted Jaw Fish



'Beaker' the Clown Tang



'Sparky' the Flame Angel



'Nemo' and 'Sidekick' the Clowns





'Convict' the Lawnmower Blenny with my sick zoanthids.



Sand sifting starfish (It did not find any sand climbing the wall but I guess it was worth a shot)



These feather dusters are everywhere (Is that good?)



Anemone (When I bought it was tiny and bleach white with purple tips. Now it is huge with purple tips but brown. Is that Good?)



I got most my fish from Aquaticus Saltwater Aquariums in Beaverton. My Live rock and a couple fish are from Seahorse Aquarium Supply. I am a fan of both these store's.


So that is my tank. I am happy with it as a solid start but I have a ways to go. I will post more pictures as soon as I have some good news to report.



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Wow... really enjoyed looking at your pictures


Love the two pictures of the Blue Angel. I hope my Queen Angel will grown like that in the next year. I finally got a young one to replace one I lost in a "melt down". ( I think thats what it is called) The Queen is about 3" inches now and is doing great with a large Annularis and Emporar.


You were talking about a loss of zoos. Not sure if this is the reason for you, but for me I started losing all my zoos when I had my queen angel in with them. At first they would never be open, and then they slowly started disappearing. When I finally realized she was the problem, I took them out and put them in my 10 gallon. They made a comeback. My angels also like waving hand polyps too. I had alot of it, and one day they all decided to wipe them out too. My angels dont touch my other soft corals. I have mushrooms, frogspawn, torch, hammerhead, devil hand leather, regular leathers, kenya trees and a few other I dont remember the names to.


Anyway, I enjoyed looking at your pictures. Your tank is beautiful.



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Thanks Tammy and Michael. I swear that after a year I have never seen either angel even remotely interested in a zoanthid. The Flame angel was in with my zoanthids in the biocube and they grew great in there. I sure hope that is not it. If it is those fish are really sneaky because we spend a lot of time with the tank in the office. I am still so new to this I am far more willing to blame myself than my Blue or Flame Angel.

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I had some problems with zoos a while back too, they were great and then they started doing the same as yours! The only thing that changed with mine was the addition of rock.... Then after loosing a lot of the colors of zoos I loved so much, I found the culprit!!!! There in a zoo eating nudibranch..... Hard to see and a sneaky little sob too, mainly coming out at night in my experience. They are quit small and tend to be between brown and orange in color. Look carfully at your zoos for any abnormalities, they actually resemble a zoo in a way.they sort of seem to have tentalces like a zoo on their back.

I did not dip any rock or coral when I bought it but I am sure to do it now! Live and Learn!!!

I hop for the best for you, and that is a beautiful tank:)

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Thanks CA2OR.


I know the feather dusters are good because they filter the water. I was just asking because I have not seen any tanks that have so many of them. I just hope it is not to much of a good thing. I like them. Their motion in the current adds a lot to the live rock. If you don't have any I am sure I could get you started.

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Thanks CA2OR.


I know the feather dusters are good because the filter the water. I was just asking because I have not seen any tanks that have so many of them.


This is because they usually dwindle in numbers as the tanks mature. And a wrasse will most likely put a dent in their numbers too from what I have seen.

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Thanks Madreefer. I really tried to get it right because I did not want to do it twice. I took a year of wandering web forums and Home Depot to pull it off. I think I pretty much pulled it off. I can't think of many things I would do different. Now if only it could grow zoos as well as a BioCube...


Michael I only have a 6 line wrasse and it seems to leave the feather dusters alone. I don't mind though.


One funny thing. I have an abalone that has a small feather duster growing on it. It makes the abalone look very punk rock. My wife wants me to take it off but I don't want to deny the abalone its one piece of flare :)

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  • 1 month later...

Thanks CA2OR. It's all starting to FINALLY come together. They say patience is important for reef keeping but I may have too much of it because everything takes me forever. This week I hope to finish the wood work around the tank. I got the boards to do the job Christmas 2007...Ouch!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Featured aquarium in the Loc-Line catalog


Hi All


I am very proud to announce that my tank is the featured aquarium in the Loc-Line catalog. It is not quite TOTM but I will take what I can get.



PDF link to the catalog: http://www.loc-line.com/catalog/images/locline08.pdf


I am currently the web programmer for the Loc-Line site. I built this Flash based image browser to show off the various applications of Loc-Line.






Loc-Line is made by Lockwood in Lake Oswego.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Added Phosban Reactor and an External 30 Gallon Tank


I added a new Quiet One 4000 pump to my sump and an external 30 gallon tank. I added a system of PVC and ball valves so that the flow can be directed to the new 30 gallon aquarium, phosban reactor, charcoal and refugium.


This external 30 gallon tank serves a couple purposes. First of all it adds water volume to the system which I think is always a good thing. With ball valves it can be isolated from the main system. The water is then pumped to a drain. 1/4" tuping is run from my RO water filter so this tank can be refilled. Once the new water is mixed with salt and other additives it is allowed to age for a day. The ball valves are then opened and this new water slowly mixes with the rest of the system.






Quiet One 400 aquarium pump in the center chamber of the 3 chamber sump.




I designed this system of PVC for flexibility and future expansion options. I added an extra ball valve so that I can route water to a charcoal filter if I want. I also added another ball valve that can either go back to the tank or to a future chiller.




Once the PVC comes through the wall it goes up the side of my new shelving system and into the external 30 gallon tank. The shelving system holds this tank, a kalk drip reservoir and an auto top off reservoir. In the future I will add another refugium to the shelving system and a quarantine tank.



External 30 gallon tank adds water volume and allows for easy water changes.

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I really like the system. I don't have to lift buckets any more so my water changes should be more regular.


The RO System can fill the tank in about 40 minutes. I try to keep it off line for a day so I can mix the salt for a while. I am not sure how important it is to age the new salt water for a day but I figure it can't hurt.

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