My long patient wait for a 100+ gallon tank has finally arrived! Finding a great deal on a used 120 Gal acrylic tank on Craigslist, I jumped on the opportunity. Being used and a lot of history, the tank had a lot of scratches on the inside and outside. I loaded it up in a uhual and took it first to my parents house to use their garage. My first plan was to buff out the scratches, sand and repaint the stand.
The stand was pretty much straight forward. I used a power sander to sand out the saltwater stains and get a new, fresh surface. The stand was originally oak wood and color. Once the sanding was done, I repainted the stand a black glossy water resistant finish. Because the paint was water resistant, I also went ahead and painted the inside of the stand too, to help protect against any spills or accidents 😉
Buffing the acrylic was a good effort and work out! I started with a wet/dry 1000 grit sand paper, then went to a 2000 grit. After a quick rinse, I then used Novus #2 polish. This has some grit within the liquid to help get out fine scratches. Once that was done I then used a polish wipe to shine it up. After all was said and done, the tank looked much, much better! I loaded up the car and moved it into its new home!
This is a pic of the new tank where the 40 Gal was located.
The teardown of the 40 gal went smooth. All the livestock went into four buckets.
I’m sorry though, the build took so long I finished the tank at about 2am! And I managed to forget to take pics of the completed build 🙁
Because the sand was out of the tank for so long with out any circulation, I think a lot of the live sand had died by the time it went into the new 120 Gal tank. So as soon as the build was complete I put the remaining charcoal I had on hand into mesh bags and into the sump. The tank had a rough first 2 days. The result was a very low PH of 7.4 – 7.6 during the night/day. I then did a water change and re-pushed the charcoal around to re-energize it. By the fourth day the PH had rebounded to 7.5-7.8.
The fish looked much happier in their new home, and the corals that survived looked well on their way to good health. During the first 2 weeks the rode bubble anemones moved a lot, some nights managing to traverse the entire tank! It seamed as if they were checking out their new home 🙂 By the end of the 2 weeks 4 of the 5 rose bubbles anemones had settled into their new locations.
Within 3 weeks of the new tank setup coralline algae began to build in quick! I have never had a tank grow coralline algae that soon! I take it as a testament and knowledge of my saltwater aquarium skills 😉
However, in addition to the coralline algae building in, algae was also growing. But it appeared like an accelerated cycle because within 2 weeks I saw cyano, slime and hair algae appear in various parts of the tank. To remedy this I made sure to maintain a clean skimmer, and reduced the fish feedings to once a day. In about 2 days the algae was about non existent.
At about the two month mark, coralline algae was thick in all corners and edges of the tank!
The following pictures are the progression of the tank…
Oct 4th, 2012