Ah, there it was, the day that we finally picked up my cleverly-named "Big Bertha", our new 150 gallon reef-ready tank, from Neptune's Reef. My initial thought when we walked in the door was, "Wow, that's a lot bigger when I think about picking it up". Regardless, we got it done. With the help of Justin and Michelle from my local fish store and two vehicles, we man-handled Big Bertha to the best home she'll ever have, mine. On the way home, I think my road rage increased by about 300%, but I'm happy to report that we made the 10 mile trip with absolutely no cracks or damage. Step one, complete.
Note to self, next time I'll probably use some of those cool lifting straps rather than showing off my man-strength. Come to think of it, I should have gotten a picture of Justin and I in beast mode. Yeah, you're right. That might have been too much for some folks to handle...
Location, Location, Location...
Going from a 55 gallon reef to a 150 gallon was no easy feat. First off was the pure size of the behemoth! I wanted the perfect spot for it, away from windows and vents obviously, and a place that would wow my guests as soon as they came in the door. Well, I just so happened to find the perfect spot with just enough clearance right beside the front door. Alright, so this build started off great, but it gets even better.
Out of Sight, Out of Mind...
The filtration, that is. One of my biggest plans for this build was to have all of my filtration routed to an entirely different room - Out of sight, out of mind, and virtually inaudible. This is where the location gets even better! Luckily, the spot I had in mind for the tank has my office just on the other side of the wall, even the side of the office that I don't use. Perfect. After a few quick cuts through some drywall (One of the lovely benefits of owning your own home), we could make quick work of the plumbing, but you guys don't get to see that until later.
Let's Go Over the Specs
Okay, I know you all want to know about the equipment I put into the build, but we'll get around to that. I promise. What really sold me on this Deep Blue - Reef Ready tank was the dimensions. I love the height and the width. These dimensions really play tricks on your mind when you start putting stuff in the tank. At 48L x 24W x 30H", you've got plenty of versatility in terms of aquascaping and coral placement.
Next, I want to talk about the overflows. That's right. I've got two of them bad boys. The two corner overflows in my new tank are perfect, providing maximum drainage, flow, and adjustability. Oh yeah, did I mention that you can adjust the display's water level from both overflows? That's pretty neat, I suppose. I think what I loved most about those dual corner overflows, though, was the ability to really do some neat designing with my liverock. They gave me some nice angles to work with to prop the rock against.
The stand may have been one of my favorite parts of the build. Obviously, we had to take it apart to move it, but what sold me was the canopy. I literally found out just a few days before we picked up the tank from Neptune's Reef that the canopy didn't have to come completely off for maintenance like other tanks. The look on my face was priceless when Michelle lifted the front of the canopy up effortlessly to show me how much room I had rather than just opening the front doors of the canopy. In all fairness, it really is concealed so well that you'd have no idea it lifted separately unless you were playing around with it.
Now, before I call it quits for sharing the beginning of my build this week, I feel that it'd be appropriate to show you guys a sneak peek of where I'm at now, a few months later.