Hi, I am Scott Morell, a volunteer here at GARF. Here is my history page for my 150 gallon tall aquarium. This tank was torn down a few weeks ago because my lovely and gracious wife and I just wanted something different. As you read this you will see I am parting from the standard GARF method which has worked well for me the last ten years...


Here are some of the latest images. We have added quite a few captive raised coral and a few fish...

Full tank shot

Hammerhead coral I got from a fellow reef club member

Here are a couple of sarchophytons I got from Leroy. We purchased 2 percula anenome fish and one of them is hosting in it...

I have no idea what this is. When LeRoy comes over next I will ask him. It appears to be a type of macro algae that grows very quickly.

Here are some acans I got from Leroy. In the back ground you can see a pulsing finger leather I stole out of the lovely and gracious Monica's tank...

The Critters

We are planning on having only farm raised or MAC certified fish in the aquarium. We added a lawn mower blenny and a star blennie to the tank on Monica's birthday March 27th. I am planning on added an pair of farm raised Ocellaris clownfish and a few farm raised Bangii Cardinals. Other fish will be a selection of farm raised or MAC certified critters...

The Rock

The rebuild is going to include 100% live rock that we purchased from Dale Barger at www.floridaliverock.net. The rock should arrive on Tuesday, February 3rd. The rock is going to go into a 100 gallon water trough that we have ready on the back porch. With any luck it will take a minimal amount of curing...


Well it has been a while and the most lovely and gracious Monica has spent about 40 hours aquascaping and re-aquascaping the tank. There is a new LFS in the area so she bought about $60 worth of live rock that looks like coral skeletons. She used 1/2" acrylic rod and zip-ties to mount the skeletons.

Here is what one of the first tries looked like. (Kinda resembles a funny looking Budha) It did not last long...


We trashed that look and after many iterations we finally came up with this that we are happy with:

It uses a combination of about 100 lbs of Dale Barger live rock, 15 lbs of Figi live rock and 2 GARF arches. Since we finished the aquascaping we have put in a couple of coral.


Here are some images of the rock that came in yesterday:


The aquascaping for all of our tanks is always done by my lovely and gracious bride, of 25 years, Monica. She just has an eye for aquascaping and her designs always looks awesome. We have been doing a lot of research and have decided on a "Bonsai Method" that we found on Reef Central. We are building a frame out of 3/4" PVC pipe. We will be renting a boring drill bit from a local rental shop to drill the rock. The rock will then slide over the PCV pipe. The rock will be held on with tie-wraps, epoxy, and CA glues. We expect to take a few evenings to get it right.

One of the advantages of doing the bonsai method is that nearly 100% of the sand bed is exposed thus having maximum filtration capabilities. Plus if we do it right it will look very cool!!!

We also plan on drilling 3/8" holes 3/4" deep in the rock before we fill the tank with water. The main reason for this is. we are going to mount the coral frags to "Ryan's Reef Plugs". The plugs are made by a young local hobbyist named Ryan (9 years old). The base of the plug diameter is 3/8" so we can insert the plugs in the hole Here is an image of the plugs:

Here is the rough design (the fat guy in the reflection is me):

The Sand

The sand we are using, in this tank, is a brilliant white sugar sized sand I traded a local fish store for. The sand is Chemical Lime's Dolowhite Pool Grade DS. It is a sugar sized sand that will work well for a deep sand bed. We currently have 150 lbs ready to rinse and place in the display. We have not decided what we want to do in the sump/farming unit yet. We will either put in a remote plenum or sugar sized sand.



The Tank

The stand, facade and canopy were built on my back porch. We made the stand out of MDF and coated it with 5 coats of white epoxy paint. The facade is made from oak and is coated with a marine polyurethane. A calculator for building the stand and facade can be found here:Fancy Large Stand Calculator

Here is the stand before it was painted:

Here is the stand sitting in place:

Here is the tank and the stand:

Here is the tank with the facade:

The Auto Top Off

The lovely and gracious Monica came up with a design for a "Poor Man's auto top off". This ATO uses a Kent Float switch, a 2 gallon water bottle from Walmart, 1/4" tubing, a standard 5 gallon water bottle, and a stand which we made. The best thing I like about this ATO is it is very safe. The most fresh water I could put into the tank at any given time is 7 gallons. At 150 gallons the tank could easily handle it with out stressing any of the critters.

When I get some free time and am in the mood, I will do a write up on making one...

The Sump/Farming unit

The Sump is actually a combination sump and farming unit. The tank is a 30 gallon breeder that is 36" long, 18" wide and 12" tall. I have partitioned it into 3 chambers. The farming unit chamber is 18" x 24" and is fed from the display tank's overflow. This chamber has 3 raceways in it to force the water to travel over 100% of the sand bed. The second chamber is 12" x 9" and this is where the skimmer will be. We have selected a Deltec APF600 for the skimmer. The last chamber os the output chamber. We have an external Iwaki pump that will return the water to the display through the chiller which we have installed in the crawl space under the house.