View Full Version : 6' Frag Tank Build

06-19-2015, 06:04 AM
Well, it's been an interesting few months of working in the garage to slowly piece together a frag tank that I've been planning to build for over six months. The plan was to build a system that was efficient, easy to maintain and could effectively grow a majority of sps corals.

Adhering to the KISS principal is something that all of my previous builds have been based upon, so this one is no different. I've been in the hobby since the early 90's when most people relied on under gravel filters and a weak powerhead to try and keep their aquariums functioning. Online forums were also non existent, so acquiring accurate information was difficult to say the least. I've kept everything from octopus to acropora but the challenge of aquaculturing the most finicky of sps is fun new challenge.

I'll include a bunch of photos of the entire build from top to bottom and I hope you enjoy!


06-19-2015, 01:15 PM
great.i'm planning a 7 1/2 foot frag in the next little while to replace my 2 frag tanks.just as soon as i can finish up some other cabinet work so i can start mine

06-20-2015, 12:45 AM
Initially, I was going to build a 90ish gallon lagoon style aquarium since I really admire the shallow/rimless euro look. But after planning that type of system for a while I realized that it just wouldn't fulfill my need to do something totally different. I've built sps dominated reefs before, so that type of system would have been rather redundant. I've also built a bunch of pico/nano reefs packed full with coral.


I've experimented before with coral farming, while living in Florida, and build a small scale operation within a green house. The use of natural sunlight to grow corals is every hobbiest should experience. There really isn't anything like it. Corals grow like weeds and recover from fragging within weeks.

06-20-2015, 01:39 AM
After contemplating quite a few shapes for a system that would be effective in keeping the water as clean as possible for the most finicky of sps I decided on a long and narrow glass aquarium. Many of the coral farmers/wholesalers are using long fiberglass/plastic storage tanks to effectively move water from one of the tank to the other. Those tanks can be rather steep in price, so I went with a similar idea as this farmer.....http://www.garretts-acropolis.com A long, shallow and narrow glass tank which would hold hundreds of frags while keeping water volume at a minimum and ensuring maximum light penetration.

So, I searched craigslist and found two Hagan 100 gallon 72" long/18" wide 1/2 glass used tanks which I could heavily modify to meet my needs.


They didn't look like much (I think they were from a LFS that closed their doors) but I wasn't looking for a show piece tank. I wasn't sure of their age, so I decided to strip all of the silicone and reapply which took longer than expected. After a week long leak test I was satisfied they would hold water and I moved on to the fabrication of the system.

http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6814 http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6832http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6815

06-20-2015, 08:57 PM
One of the Hagan tanks was to be the display/growout area with the other one a sump divided by glass baffles. A Gyre XF150 would be mounted on the left side of the display pushing water down the length of the tank to a spillover. The spillover water flows through a bean animal overflow.

I really like the design of this overflow and the triple redundant features which pretty much rule out a clogged drain. Since I would be leaving this system for a couple weeks at a time it was important to have it almost fully automated. The next step was to start drilling the .5" glass to create the overflow and drain pipes to the sump.http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6830http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6828http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6831http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6833http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6834

I also had to fortify the existing metal work stand to cope with the heavy weight, so I built two frames that would be tied into the plywood top. After the sump's glass baffles were siliconed into place and drain holes drilled it was slipped within the wood frames on top of high density foam. The two frames allowed me to fit the sump in at an angle which would not have been possible if the stand was built as one piece.

06-23-2015, 05:00 AM
After the drills were done the sump was slid into place. The chamber on the far right where the overflow water initially returns houses the skimmer, then a chamber for live rock, a chamber for a six inch DSB lagoon and then the return pump chamber with heaters and dual carbon/GFO reactor.

06-23-2015, 05:08 AM
There were a few leaks from the bulkheads/PVC fittings during the freshwater test but nothing too serious. Sometimes when salt is added the leaks cure themselves. So, I transferred the contents from one of my smaller tanks to this one to start the biological process and reduce the cycle time.

06-23-2015, 05:13 AM
Reef Dynamics calcium reactor installed and water change 60 gallon barrel fabricated. Just mix salt and let pump recirculate until ready and roll it to sump for a quick water change. Three Kessil A360W's installed on goose necks for maximum light spread over 72". Neptune Apex installed next to control everything. http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6897http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6898[/IMG[IMG]http://www.canreef.com/vbulletin/picture.php?albumid=958&pictureid=6899

06-23-2015, 05:15 AM
Looking good