150 Gallon Set Up

  • #1
I wanted to start this topic to track my progress on my drilled 150 gallon that is going in my living room.

My current 55 gallon houses my three goldfish, two golden dojo loaches, and 4 hillstream loaches. This tank is four years old and they deserve more space at this point.

The journey began by replacing our floors in the entire house. Kind of extensive you might think but since we were planning on ripping up these floors and replacing them anyway, it would have been unwise to set the tank up to just have to break it down to do the floors. Floors are nearly complete but are complete in the fish tank spot so we have moved the tank to its location in the living room. We will be reinforcing the floor underneath, just in case.

The 150 gallon tank stand was originally black. We recently painted it with high quality cabinent paint to a dark gray (that decision took me forever but I figured since our couches and tv stand are black that we should break it up with some gray). We built the canopy to match the stand and it does need some finalization and gray paint before it is brought up.


Yesterday, we moved the tank stand upstairs. We are using a board underneath, painted the same color as the tank stand, to distribute the weight more evenly.


The sump was also placed in the tank stand (which was a big pain in the butt). It is a homemade 55 gallon sump.


I am installing new soft close hinges on the doors of the stand, if I can find a size that will fit. I bought hardware (didn't come with any) seahorse pulls that I found on wayfair. Inside, I am planning to install lights that turn on when you open the stand's doors. I also have new hooks for the inside of the doors.


Struggling with finding large enough hardscape rocks. Going to the landscape store today to try and find larger peices of the samples I picked up around a year ago (yes, I've had this tank empty all that time - pure torture). The two samples I have been keeping in water for a couple weeks and the waters pH, Kh, and gh are still within the right parameters for my fish stock. I just have to decide if I'm going white or black! I will have sand in this aquarium (my loaches will love to burrow in it). I haven't decided if I will use white sand or black sand but I am leaning more towards black. I may try some hardy plants, knowing that they might be destroyed eventually lol. More to come on that. Not sure if I will do rock only or mix some driftwood in there as well.


That's about all I have for now. Have to round up four or five people to get the tank upstairs so we can start the plumbing on the sump.

Here's a photo of Noodles, the original carnival goldfish we saved from a friend. Can't wait to see her in her new home
  • #2
that sounds amazing! Cute little goldfish hopefully he'll grow into a giant!
  • Thread Starter
  • #3
that sounds amazing! Cute little goldfish hopefully he'll grow into a giant!

Thank you!

She's already around 5 and a half inches but I'm sure she'll grow more in the 150! When I got her she was probably an inch and much less wide haha.

I'll have to post a photo later of the baby hillstream loach that was born in my tank! It's been fun watching her grow and so exciting to have a fish not likely to reproduce in captivity do so in my care.
  • Thread Starter
  • #4
Have some updates on the 150 gallon.

While plumbing the sump, bulkhead cracked and had to replace it. Sump is now fully functional and there are only a few minor adjustments I want to make. The water is flowing only over a small portion of the prefilter.

Decided on black sand and ordered 120 lbs of it. Right now I have 80lbs in it. I’m having trouble because I rinsed the sand but now it’s wet in the tank which does not help me when I’m trying to spread it. If anyone has any advice on that let me know.

Rocks. The ongoing issue! I picked up some rocks yesterday from one of my lfs and even though I knew they were not inert, I decided to ignore my gut and buy them. The guy in the store said they would change my water chemistry. We shall see about that. My plan is to fill it with water when I’m done scraping and let it run for a while while testing the water chemistry. If they don’t do anything, great they will stay. If not, I’ll have to start my rock hunting over.

Threw together a first try last night at the scape. I probably will move things around a bit - but what does everyone think? I might need to use driftwood too to even out any issues with water chemistry that the rocks make (if they do).




Still needs to be done: new lights, paint canopy and possibly redesign it so that it opens out towards the user instead of up and back, attach seahorse hardware to doors, buy new hinges and attach doors, fix sump issue, decide on plants, decide on driftwood
  • #5
Following, this looks like a neat build!
  • #6
Awesome build!

That stand is looking great. What type of wood did you use?
  • Thread Starter
  • #7
Awesome build!

That stand is looking great. What type of wood did you use?

Thank you! The wood is maple.
  • Thread Starter
  • #8
This is going to be a long post because there are many updates! I’ve been meaning to get on here to update for a while but the holidays make it difficult.

After much debate with scaping, I planted the tank and filled the tank with water on thanksgiving. Got the handles put on the stand doors and reattached them to the stand. The rocks were all around obnoxious. We drilled a hole in the tippy ones and put a ceramic rod in the hole and attached that to a ceramic platform to keep it from tipping.




For the carpet, the seller I bought from (Han aquatics) sent the java moss on a thin plastic mesh. I laid it down, pushed it down slightly and was careful not to put too much water flow on it for a while. The other plants include various species of anubias, including anubias Nana, Nana gold, Nana petite, congensis, and Nana micro, and java fern trident.

I was having a major problem with foam in the sump after filling the tank. Looked like a protein skimmer. It was also causing the tank to have so many microbubbles. I added carbon and it *maybe* reduced it a little. I took the carbon out and added cycled media from my 55 Gallon. A couple days after adding the cycled media, the foam was basically gone. No issues since.


As you may have noticed in the previous photos, the lighting is not the same on both sides. I purchased an AI Prime Freshwater light and put it on the side with the carpet. On Christmas, I received another AI Prime light for the other side. I was hoping to get away with two lights only but I really think I need a third. I am liking the lights very much. I began adding fertilizers (Seachems line) before even adding the lights.



I have gotten much algae growth on the left side of the tank (carpet side). I am not worried. Once I have fish in there it will decrease and also I was happy to see it as it is a sign that my tank is cycling.

Even with the cycled media, the tank bacteria levels were not cycled. I was getting good growth from the plants but some were showing signs of nitrogen deficiency. I began adding dr Tim’s ammonia. I would have to say that my growth rate really took off after a few days of having the ammonia in the tank and really beginning to cycle.


to be continued on following post ( won’t let me add anymore photos lol)


  • 2D21C455-39EE-4DDD-B03C-49728DBF33CA.jpeg
    82.9 KB · Views: 78
  • EF8CA756-D0A1-4EEB-A5E3-8F1C47F2AB3E.jpeg
    95.5 KB · Views: 61
  • 8C3AD807-5763-44AF-BF69-196C2D73BB14.jpeg
    103.9 KB · Views: 79
  • Thread Starter
  • #9
Another word about the lights... I added a siesta period to slow/halt algae growth.

Here are some photos of growth progress (yes we are going to paint the canopy gray but it’s too cold outside right now):





I purchased 12 White Cloud Mountain minnows on December 16th and placed them into 30 Gallon QT. My goal is to have a lot More of them in the 150 (50-80) but I wanted to make sure these were healthy. Everything was going fine with them until about four days ago. There is a minnow in question now. It’s so hard to tell because these guys are so small but I’m thinking I need to dip him in a medicated bath. If only I knew what he has so I could dip him properly! No one else is looking odd and all are very lively, coloring up nicely, and eating well. Even the man in question is eating well.


On day 36, I added more java moss, java fern trident, and an anubias pinto. I also purchased 10 colbalt blue shrimp and placed them into QT.





  • Thread Starter
  • #10



Day 38 is the clearest I’ve seen the tank. My ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrate was between 0 and 5 at that time. Yesterday (day 40), I added another 2ppm of ammonia to see if it could manage to bring levels down to 0 in 24 hours. After 12 hours, it had brought ammonia to 0.5 and nitrite to 0.5 and nitrate to 5. After 24 hours, ammonia 0, nitrite 1, and I have not yet tested nitrate yet. I will give it another day but we are almost cycled!


Today is day 41 (if I counted right, lol)


  • #11
I think your setup is turning out beautiful and if I could make one comment it would be this. I would have taken some lacquer thinner and wiped that fake wood grain off of the plastic frames.

Otherwise this is turning out far nicer than any aquascaping I've ever done.
  • Thread Starter
  • #12
I think your setup is turning out beautiful and if I could make one comment it would be this. I would have taken some lacquer thinner and wiped that fake wood grain off of the plastic frames.

Otherwise this is turning out far nicer than any aquascaping I've ever done.

Thank you! I wanted to take it off but had no idea how lol. I thought I was doomed to have it on there haha
  • #13
Do it quickly and in one swipe or you will make a mess & the plastic will get all sticky.

Just wipe in One Direction only, repeatedly, each wipe with clean sections of a wet rag, and it should just fall right off.

But the stuff is noxious !!! so is it better not to do it in the house, especially if you live somewhere that you cannot open all the doors and windows right now.

In that case it's better just to take some 220 grit sandpaper and scuff It Off
  • #14
Temporarily you could just go over it with a black paint marker, but of course that'll get all crusty after about a year and you'll be doing it with the Sandpaper.
  • #15
But the quick and dirty way is black electrical tape.

Similar Aquarium Threads

  • Locked


Top Bottom