JJ's BIG - 125 gallon Upgrade


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I've had this 55 gal going for about 8 months now and I've been wanting an upgrade. My wife has a little flounder she had to have when we started the tank. I told her at the time that he will outgrow the tank and would have to come back to the LFS when that happens. Well she hand feeds it now and doesn't want to part with it. A while ago after hand feeding her fish she suggested I put in a huge wall tank so she could keep the flounder. Well that wasn't really an option but since that time I've been scouring craigslist for a larger tank. I wanted something wider but not much taller and figured a standard 125 gal would be perfect for the space. After some time of watching craigslist and message boards in the area I couldn't find one that was drilled.

Anyway today we were running around town and I asked if we could stop by a LFS that opened last summer just to see how business was doing. Well by the looks of their inventory they haven't grown much since they opened. Anyway I asked if they had any used RR tanks. They did have a used 210 with a sump and old PC lights and stuff but that was larger than I wanted. They did have a 125 gal on sale with stand but it wasn't drilled. They offered to order me one that was drilled but would be about $195 more. After a little number crunching he quoted my wife a number on the tank and she was interested. I told her I could just build a stand again but she insisted that we just order that in as well. To make a long story short the new RR tank and stand was over $100 less than the one they had on sale sitting in their shop.

So the tank should arrive Wednesday give or take, but in that time I need to move my 55 gal out of the way to make room for the new tank. I've decided to just get the new tank in place, find a sump or make one, and plumb everything up. Then I'll add some water from a couple of water changes and just let it cycle completely before transferring things over.

Right now on my 55 gal my sump is directly behind the DT on a siphon so this whole plumbing thing with a sump/fuge below the tank is all new to me. Any suggestions on plumbing, sump/fuge design, return pump suggestions, all that good stuff with be greatly appreciated.

Anyway here is my existing set up since this is where we are starting from:


Notice the 20 gal sump/fuge right behind the DT:


An here's the plan, drain about 70% of the water out of the tank, slide it over to the wall to the right where the desk is, add water back in, and put the new tank in it's place. The 55 gal will be going by by when everything is up and rolling in the new tank.



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Today was move the 55 gallon day.

Here's the tank with the light off ready for draining:


Pump in tank draining into garbage can:

About half way drained and everybody seems fine:

3/4 drained tank and sump in garbage can and a bunch of 5 gal buckets:

With 3 of us we were able to turn it 90 degrees and slide it to the other wall (step son paid off in beer):

Pumping the water back into the tank using a plastic bowl to prevent it from stirring up the tank:

Tank 20 minutes after being filled back up:

Polyps & shrooms opened right back up after adding the water back to the tank:


Just look at all the space opened up for the new tank that arrives on Wednesday:


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I'm looking forward to the new tank as it has dual overflows and returns. Watching craigslist for a sump or tank to turn into a sump, and new lighting. This will be my first sump/fuge under the tank so I'm sure I'll need some advise on plumbing and a return pump.


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Hi jjmoneyman! Way to go moving the 55. Really looking forward to watching you build out the new 125!!! Is it Wednesday yet?


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Well it is Wednesday, delivery of the new tank day, and no tank. They didn't ship the tank but they did ship the stand, the wrong stand. No big deal it gives me more time to get the other goodies for the tank. I'm checking out a used 50 gal sump tomorrow night and I think I've got lighting in the works.

So lets talk return pump. The tank has dual 1" drains and dual 3/4" returns. I want to do an in sump return pump (to keep it as quiet as possible). I want to put my heaters, skimmer, and all the goodies in the sump as well as a fuge with sand and cheato to grow pods. I've got a few Korolia pumps already sitting here to help with flow but what do you suggest for the return pump. I haven't ordered one yet.


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Hi JJ! We just purchased our first "Danner Supreme Mag drive 2 pump". The model that we purchased is a small pump but just what was needed. But the reason that we have mentioned it is because it has such a nice solid construction and feel to it that we believe it will prove to be a very good pump. You might want to take a look at one of them. Bummer on the delivery not coming off as planned, but be sure to take lots of photos!


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Thanks I've been checking out the mag drives but I'm not sure if I should get the 9.5 or the 12, anybody have any thoughts on this?


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Dead sand arrived yesterday and I got 100 pounds of rock today from reefcleaners. I can't wait to get the rocks home and see what I got.


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Well I made it home and carried 80 pounds of sand and 100 pounds of rock inside, now I think it's time for a break. But I couldn't wait to see what John picked out for me at reefcleaners.org for the rock. I ordered 100 pounds with free shipping and the price is just plain silly, I don't know how they sell it so cheap. My local stores have solid masses of rock that weighs a ton for many more times the price. Reefcleaners rock is amazing, it is just filled with holes. They show a pic on their website that they fill the holes with pens and screwdrivers and the like, well the stuff the shipped me has even more holes that what they have pictured. I requested a few flat pieces to build some shelves with and boy did John come through. He included a piece that had to sit in the box corner to corner it's so big and flat. This stuff is so nice I almost wish I didn't have to put my old rock from my existing tank in with it. If I can find where my better half hid the camera I'll try to get a shot of some of this.


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Ok here's a pic of a few smaller pieces and these things have tons of holes in them for critters to hang out. I haven't taken the larger ones out of the boxes yet as the boss wants the house tidy for some reason.



And this is Junebug watching her tank. I had to put a chair in front of the tank so she can just sit and watch. I'm going to have to build her a special bench for the new tank.


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Ok I took the rock outside on the deck and laid it out. To judge size, the deck is made out of 2X6's.

Here is how 100 lbs came, in two boxes:

And here's all the rock:

This is one of the larger pieces, plenty of holes:


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I took the rock out and started playing with a rockscape. Nothing has been glued together yet and has some nice shelves to it. I also have about 60-70 pounds live rock that will come over from my existing tank after this tank cycles.


Left Side:

Right Side:

This will be the sump/fuge, it's a 40 gallon breeder I found on craigslist today for $40.


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Well due to the delay in getting the tank, my better half came up with a brilliant plan, re-paint the living room before the tank arrives. So needless to say I've been painting today, but while I was as the man store I picked up a bunch of PVC fittings and pipe for the plumbing. The living room is about half painted and is now tan instead of green. Back to work for me now.