This tank has been in the planning stage for a very long time. Like 30 years long. I have wanted a tank of this size since I was a kid. Parents said no, apartment was way too small, wife said not with little kids around. Finally, because of a fortunate (?) accident I was able to put together this monster in my office.
When I bought my office 17 years ago, I inherited a VERY poorly designed salt water aquarium built into the waiting room wall. The tank was about 500 gallons, acrylic in a strange off set shape. There was a tiny (4”x4”) corner overflow that drained into a wet/dry filter. There was no live rock,no powerheads, just some plastic plants and some fish that were being replaced nearly monthly because no one in the office knew what they were doing and every maintenance company that came in to service the tank wanted to do a major overhaul to the system but could never keep things alive. Then the overflow cracked. I got tired of pouring money down the drain trying to keep salt in a system that couldn’t support it and converted the tank to a freshwater pond and stocked it with koi. This is what it looked like until about two months ago.
Then I noticed that the top braces had fractured and the front wall of the tank was starting to bow out. Before I ended up with 500 gallons of water on the floor, I decided that now was the time to finally get my big boy saltwater tank. So, this happened.
After talking with a few tank manufacturers I settled on a 260 gallon tank with a central overflow and 100 gallon sump. I knew it was going to take several weeks to get the tank made and equipment ordered, so I set about looking for someone to help with the demo and reconstruction. Once I was able to secure a finish date for the tank, demo started….
Of course we found mold…
that was removed and reframing for the new design began.
With framing complete, we moved the tank in to place.
The sump has four chambers for 1. mechanical filtration, 2. skimmer and possible (probable) reactor, 3. refugium, 4, return pump.
Then the beast (already got the sand in)-
Time to unpack the equipment:
Add some rock:
and mix up some water:
Skimmer is a beast and already pulling the crud from the water
The rock work in this tank is going to remain relatively simple. I wanted some room to place some corals that I can let grow to large sizes. This is going to be predominantly LPS and softies as far as corals go. The main focus however is going to be the fish. I wanted a very open scape with plenty of swimming room. There are a few caves and overhangs where fish can hide if they want to. Water was still cloudy so I will post better pictures once it clears.
Tomorrow we will begin hanging drywall and doing the finish work. I’ll post more pics as things progress.
Now to wait out the cycle. The rock has been cooking in vats for the past 8 weeks. I am also adding a few pieces of live rock from my existing nano tank sumps. I added a few cubes of homemade fish food and a generous dose on MB7. I have a shipment of new live rock scheduled to arrive the 18th which I will use to round out the “reef” look so the islands don’t look so disconnected. By then we should be ready to begin adding the livestock.
The planned stock list includes mostly predators: lionfish, triggers, an eel, possibly a stingray, a grouper, and large wrasses along with a few grazers: a blue hippo, kole, and naso tangs, and a foxface.
Corals will include: gorgonians, leathers, euphillia, trachyphillia, acans, duncans and palys for sure and possibly a few montiporas.
Thanks for looking!