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240 Gallon Display Tank

December 03, 2012 by Peter (1 Comment)
Just a quick update on everything.

I finally got our 240 gallon tank back and have no decided to sell it. Given the over 10 months this build took and really started thinking about what I wanted to keep in the tank. After a lot of soul searching, I decided that a 240 gallon 8 foot tank would not work out for us.

My goal is really keep and Achilles Tang and Sohal Tang together in a tank. It seems like to do this you need at least a 10 foot tank. So with that in mind I put the tank up for sale. It was purchased by a local reef club member named Jeff. He plans on keeping Clowns in the tank... which I'm sure are going to be some of the happiest Clowns around.

I'm going to wait until the Spring or Summer to purchase our new tank, and in the meantime I'm going to focus on redoing our 55 gallon tank for better coral growth.

I will keep you updated on both the 55 transformation and also the next tank we plan on buying.

November 16, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
Just a quick update about our 240 gallon tank, I'll follow this up shortly with a lot more information.

After dropping off the tank at the new tank builder, he had finished the new overflows and returns in just a few days. He also made the overflows boxes a little smaller and used better acrylic for the overflows.

I'm going to spend the next few days cleaning up some of the acrylic and leveling the stand. The new sump will be dropped off and installed next Sunday. From then it's off to the races. Can't wait!!!

October 29, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
I had originally planned to buy all of my live rock from a wholesaler, but that all changed when a great deal on established live rock came up on a local reef forum

I went to the forum member’s house and pulled out around 250 lbs of 4 year old rock out of the 240 gallon FOWLR tank. I then placed all of the rock into two large Rubbermaid tubs in one of our guest bathrooms. Along with powerheads, I also placed large heaters in each tub.

My tank ended up taking a lot more time to be completed, so over the next few months I had various tubs storing RO water through out that bathroom. That all ended when part of the drywall in that bathroom got wet and was messed up. My wife pulled the plug on that and I dumped out around 250 gallons of RO water and consolidated all of the live rock in one large tub in the bathtub.

Since I'm a little paranoid of putting rock, fish, inverts, corals, etc... from other peoples tanks into mine I was a little worried about what might be on this live rock. Through my tank build taking a few months longer than planned, any nasty hitchhiker or fish disease should have died out with no hosts and lack of nutrition.

Needless to say both my with and I can't wait for the new tank to be completed so we can get one of our bathrooms back. I'm still surprised my wife didn't make me just sell the rock when the wall was damaged. Guess I'm going to owe her big time after all of this.

October 29, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
When it comes to which order to add sand (substrate) and live rock to a reef tank there are two trains of thought.

One camp thinks it's better to place your rock first and get it nice and solid before adding in the sand. The other thinks it's better to place an even layer of sand, then add in your rock.

For our 240 gallon build, I had originally planned to put the rock in first and then put the sand in around it. After more and more thought I've decided to put the sand in first. Since I don't plan on having a deep sand bed, and only having 1-2" of aragonite, I thought it might be a better plan to go the sand first route.

Also since I have a bottom dweller in the Skeletor Moray Eel, I'd really like to make sure I have sand placed evenly throughout the tank. With the sand bed not being so thick, I should be able to push the base rock down onto the base of the tank anyway. Since the tank will only be ready to be installed in the next week or two my opinion might again change. Either way, I've decided to add more sand, since I think the original 1/2" of sand will not be enough

Expect a lot of pictures and a write-up of the sand and live rock going in as soon as the tank gets back from my tank builder.

October 26, 2012 by Peter (0 Comments)
Naturally with our large reef tank almost being down, I'm getting all anxious about getting some new fish...

For the longest time I've wanted an Achilles Tang in a reef tank. From day one of the 240 gallon reef tank build, I've thought mainly of setting up the tank to make an Achilles happy. First was to get a tank that was big enough and long enough for an Achilles. The 8 foot - 240 gallon tank should be big enough. Also another very important aspect of keeping an Achilles is high flow. I have bought two 4000 gallon per hour powerheads and a wave controller to get high flow and have it be more varied and surge like. My tank builder also thinks I went overboard a bit on the returns. I have two 1700 gallon per hour pumps driving four return lines. Now I'm really hoping this will be enough flow for even the pickiest Achilles. My wife does think I'm a bit nuts for wanting an expensive black fish... needless to say one as fragile as an Achilles. She said she could just take $200 dollars and throw it on the barbeque and it would give us just about as much pleasure as trying to keep an Achilles. I understand they are expensive and hard to keep, but it seems key to just get one that is fat and eating in the first place. Have a fat and ravenous Achilles seems to be 90% of the battle, and you win the war if you get over the first month or so of keeping one alive. Also Ich seems to be a huge problem for Achilles, but since I'm pretty anal about quarantine and don't put anything into my tank for other peoples thanks, I hope I won't have that issue. Also I am going to wait until the 240 is pretty established before trying the Achilles.

Another fish I really wanted to keep was a Purple Tang. I actually just lost a Purple Tang that was stuck in quarantine for many months. I made the mistake of buying the tang before my tank was done and the best things take a lot of time... so the Purple Tang suffered for my impulse buy... I think sitting in QT for so long with below par filtration ended up getting to him. Once the new tank is up and running, I plan on getting another Purple Tang and also an additional Yellow Tang into two QT tanks. I will then introduce the new Purple and Yellow Tangs into the 240 at the same time as my existing Yellow Tang. Since these Tangs don't get along in pairs, three should lessen the Tang warfare.

While on the subject of Tangs. I would also love to add another Tang into the tank but am scared. I've fallen in love with the Sohal Tang, but I know a 240 will be too small for it. Also it's very aggressive, and will probably kill the similar shaped Achilles. A Powder Blue and Mimic tang would also be nice, but again they wouldn't get along with an Achilles because of their shape. That leaves me with getting either a Blonde Naso (Maybe too big?) or a Bristle tooth Tang down the line. With a Yellow Belly Blue Tang, two Yellow Tangs, a Purple Tang and an Achilles I might be stretching it. I guess we'll see how they fit in the tank before I start adding more tangs... I don't want to upset the Tang Police after all :x

October 22, 2012 by Peter (1 Comment)
Welcome to our reef blog. :)

My name is Peter and along with my wife Tina we started this site to showcase our saltwater fish and reef tanks.

We have been keeping saltwater fish since 2011 and have been on a wild ride. Going through a few major crashes, losing a lot of fish, and in the process learning a lot about this demanding hobby.

The goal of this site is to share with other reef and saltwater enthusiasts what we have learned along the way and also share the daily ups and downs of keeping a living saltwater reef

We started out with a basic 55 gallon saltwater tank setup just over a year ago and are in the process of setting up our new 240 gallon mixed reef tank. We will bring you along for the ride of setting up this huge tank, and all the successes and missteps that happen along the way.

Please continue to come back over the following weeks and years to see our new reef being setup and to see how the reef matures over the years...

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