Well, I've now been in the reef hobby for a little over a year. When I started out, I purposely set up something small - seemed less expensive, easier to manage, less of a commitment, etc, with the idea that if I really liked it, I would use the experience to move to something larger. I've kept freshwater tanks for more years than I'll admit, and despite the outstanding nano tanks I've seen here, I do enjoy keeping something that falls into the medium size range. Here's what that tank looks like today. Gettin' pretty full. Yes, that monti has grown onto the side of the glass and yes there's basically no room left for anything new, let alone for stuff to continue growing. So I starting keeping my eye out for a really nice 3' tank - and when I saw one listed here for sale, with basically everything needed to set it up, I cashed out my tank budget. Today's the first day I've actually done anything to it, so it seemed a good time to start a build thread. Here's the tank, (36"x24"x20" 1/2" starfire glass, according to seller made by Keith Grandt) with some of the supplies, sitting empty in my apartment, taking up the space where my wife thinks a Christmas tree should go... Came with a nice sump - 29"x20"x16" (according to seller, custom made at Neptune) and skimmer that fits pretty tightly in the stand: Another tank shot showing the bracing. Those metal brackets on top are for the Elos MH lights it came with. I've only run LEDs in the past, so it will be interesting to try these out. Here's the inside of the stand (according to seller, also custom built by Neptune), where I'm starting work. For some reason, the opening in the back went all the way to the bottom. I cut a piece of plywood to fit the bottom few inches, and once the glue sets, will lightly sand and paint the inside. I'd like the stand to be able to hold water for a little while if - correction - WHEN, I manage to spill, or something leaks. I have some leftover high humidity latex paint from when I painted my bathroom, so I'm planning to use that. Also, that means the inside will be white, which may seem odd, but I think will make it easer to see when working in it. The tank is drilled with 3 holes for 1" bulkheads, and I'm thinking a herbie style drain. I have some plumbing, but am going to need to pick a few things up at an aquarium shop this weekend that my hardware store doesn't stock (gate valve, unions). This may be pushing it, but I'd really like to have water in it by the end of the year... Here's my current plan: - Clean, paint, silicone (if needed) the inside of the stand. - Move the whole setup into place. - Plumb. Could really use some advise and help here, I've only setup freshwater tanks with wet/dry sumps before. Ideas seem similar, but I never had to worry much about water levels in FW. Just don't have so little that the return pump runs dry, and not so much that if the power shuts off the sump floods, or if the siphon breaks that the tank overflows. - Leak check. - Hopefully not re-plumb. - The fun part, sand, 'scape and moving of critters from the old setup to the new one. Right now I'm planning a larger version of what I have now - LPS, zoas, easy SPS, room for my RBTA to grow, and hopefully one day, a clam. Love to hear thoughts thoughts and ideas!