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Old 01/18/2006, 08:18 AM   #1
mille239
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Doing it right... from the start (for a change)

Well opportunity has presented itself (yet again) to upgrade my reef tank. This time though, it was not by my own initiation, motivation nor inclination... the fact of the matter is, my old tank sprung a small leak. Now I know what you're saying.. there is no such thing as a small leak when it comes to the habitat of your miniature world, but I waas fortunate that it didn't come crashing down all at once.


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Old 01/18/2006, 08:38 AM   #2
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I had noticed some salt creep on the stand to my 29g reef one day, and when I went to wipe it away.. sure enough a drip soon followed.. then another about every 5 seconds. I thought "this can't be good.. the sides and edges of the tank were all dry, until I looked in the plastic framing around the bottom of my tank, which had water in it all the way around the tank. So deduction brought me to the conclusion.. the leak is in the worst place.. the very bottom of my tank.

On a positive note.. the leak was slow.. not even a couple gallons a day (I rigged up a temp. water catching pail, which I would empty back into the sump at the end of each day.

Furthermore, an upgrade was already being contemplated.. though I was hoping to put it off another year or so. guess not.

Many of you saw my 29 here:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...t=viewing+room

and several suggested that it was just too small, and a larger one would be more fitting for the room (go figure) so here goes it. I am replacing it with a custom 120

At first I was going to go even larger, say 210, but I figure I would do this in steps, and am planning for the future (as far as equipment, and stand construction) that an upgrade down the road would be a snap.

The 120 is going to be an AGA with dual overflows, drilled for a closed loop, and built in wall.

so what happens to the inhabitants of the 29 while the new project is underway? well fortunately, I have another 120 in wall FOWLR on the other side of the house, which is serving as the corals temp. home.

I really only had mostly mushrooms and zoos in the 29:





But plan to do a mixed reef with the 120, with a total water volume on the system of about 225 gallons.


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Old 01/18/2006, 08:50 AM   #3
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I had to rig up a temp means of hanging the halide (175w) over the FOWLR so my corals would survive while I worked on the new project, and it isn't pretty with wires, cables, cords and hoses going all over the place, it seems to be working, and should be fine for the next month or so.

I had started planning the stand construction for the new tank in another thread:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...ht=stand+niche

where I received some useful advice, because as I mentioned I was going to oversize it in the event I want to upgrade tto a larger tank even further down the road.


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Old 01/18/2006, 09:01 AM   #4
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Quick rundown on proposed equipment and specifications:

-120g AGA with dual overflows (on order), and drilled for closed loop intake.. built in to the wall.

-Reseal the old 29g and convert to a refugium

-Sequence Dart on an Oceansmotions 4-way (On order) for closed loop

-90 gallon sump with blueline 70 for both return and refugium supply

-30 gallon auto top off with kalk reactor

-Deltec AP851 skimmer (to cover any future upgrades)

-lighting: dual 250w single ended 15k XM, electronic ballasts, with dual 110W VHO URI super actinics on icecaps. (retrofitted into an old aluminum hamilton hood from years back) (On order)

-Calcium reactor: TBD (am open to lots of input/suggestions as to brand/model, etc.)


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Old 01/18/2006, 09:20 AM   #5
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Well I wait for the tank to arrive, and funds to magically manifest for the equipment, I had been following several threads here on RC, including the build up of Sean's DIY tank

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...hlight=plywood

where he described doing his own tank drilling. I found this thread also:

http://reefcentral.com/forums/showth...66#post6527666

Which further describes a cheap, easy way to drill tanks, so I thought I would try my luck last night and drill the 29g for the 2" overflow (which will become my refugium)

Holy crap it was easy.. and way cheaper than the 30 bucks the LFS store charges to drill!









I'm going to drill my old 90 gallon tonight which will become the sump


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Old 01/18/2006, 11:18 AM   #6
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Just followed the steps outlined in the threads, and it took less than 10 min to cut the hole (I used plumbers putty instead of modeling clay to build the water dam around the hole location)


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Old 01/18/2006, 07:30 PM   #7
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Good choice on the skimmer and CL hardware. Why are you going single ended on the metal halides? Do you have some hardware you are trying to reuse?

Calcium reactors...check out Geo, myreefcreations, and Schuran. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of them.

Do you have an RO/DI unit?


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Old 01/18/2006, 09:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by javajaws
Good choice on the skimmer and CL hardware. Why are you going single ended on the metal halides? Do you have some hardware you are trying to reuse?

Calcium reactors...check out Geo, myreefcreations, and Schuran. I don't think you'll go wrong with any of them.

Do you have an RO/DI unit?
regarding the lighting, I already had an old hamilton hood all set for single ended bulbs, I suppose DE wouldn't have been too hard to retrofit into it, especially since I'm putting in spider light reflectors, but I feel the SE set up will be more than adequate.

As far as R/O units, I have a Water General 100GPD R/O DI unit in the laundry room, hooked up to automatically fill both a 20 gal. top off container, and a 42 gal. salt mixing container.
i'll get some pics of that set up later, after I get all my dirty laundry outta there...


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Old 01/18/2006, 10:14 PM   #9
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Speaking of lighting, the MH bulbs/ballasts, spider reflectors, timers, VHO bulbs/ballasts arrived today from www.hellolights.com



Very good prices, excellent company to deal with, and super fast shipping.

Tonight I spent the evening cleaning out the old 90 gallon which will become the sump.. what a mess. it's been sitting in the garage for 5 yrs.. filled with crud, fish waste and completely coralline encrusted sides





I would have put money on it that it still held water, but being approximately 15 yrs old, and sitting empty for over 5 through multiple MI winters, I decided to re-silicone the seams.

My hats off to anyone who does this for a living, it is such a pain getting all the old silicone completely off.. went through about 2 and a half hours,10 razor blades and a bottle of rubbing alcohol, scraping, washing, scraping, washing..
I know how important it is to get it all off, because new silicone does not stick to old, in the end, it came out really well IMO. will have to pick up some tubes of silicone next time I'm at the LFS.



I also drilled the end of it for the return pump bulkhead tonight, while I still had all the tools out.



That's all that was accomplished tonight.. Probably won't get much else done until Monday, going to be in FL this weekend.




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Old 01/18/2006, 10:38 PM   #10
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Great looking setup and house. Tagging along for a fellow michigander!


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Old 01/18/2006, 10:52 PM   #11
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demeyer2 Thanks you! glad to have you along, not only a michigander, but I'm a fellow spartan) (alumni '99) Go state!

one last pic for the evening; showing the quick-rigged state of my other 120 when I had to move all my corals over. Hopefully they can wait out this project...




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Old 01/23/2006, 10:53 AM   #12
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Got back from Florida, and my Oceans Motions 4-way arrived.. I purchased 4 of the 1" swivel outputs as well as an additional drum (so I have type 2 & 3) I will try them both once set up to determine which flow control I like better.

Since I am going to be running the closed loop off a Reeflo Dart, which has a 2" intake, should I have the tank drilled for two 2" intakes, joining to the one pump so the suction isn't too strong to pull fish shrimp, etc or will I be alright with one 2" intake?


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Old 01/24/2006, 09:42 PM   #13
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Here is my Oceansmotions 4-way.. pretty excited from all the talk here on reef central about how well it performs.





Also, I started work on the light canopy. I had to modify the old hood by moving the ends out 1/4" each to fit the VHO end caps in.





The aluminum channel that runs along the back of the canopy to contain the lights, I installed two pulleys from the RACO bicycle storage kit (which will be used to raise and lower the lights)
for $30 it is a great piece of equipment,

Dero Bike Racks

and can hold up to 50lbs. (I can't see this weighing any more than 15 or 20 when all is said and done)





Here it is so far with the halides, reflectors, and VHO's installed... I still have to purchase a moonlight or two, which will be mounted therein as well and wire up the whole thing.





That's as far as I got tonight.


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Old 01/24/2006, 09:45 PM   #14
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so let me get this right ur goin from a 29g to 120 thats a hell of an upgrade

good luck


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Old 01/24/2006, 10:50 PM   #15
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Nice thread!! Good to see you doing a lot of the work yourself.


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Old 01/25/2006, 12:23 AM   #16
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Looks good..........
......and you are local too.!!!!

SBC


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Old 01/25/2006, 01:44 AM   #17
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tank

Looking good and GO STATE!!!!!(class of 2000)


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Old 01/25/2006, 10:54 AM   #18
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Thanks for your comments all, I hope this proves to be an informative thread for all to learn from (especially me).

NanoManMaster: When I first got the inclination to build a reef aquarium, I was told "start small and work my way up" by a LFS employee who I won't mention...(I now know the opposite is true, as larger systems are much more stable).
Well the way I look at it, the 29 gallon did take a lot of work, but if I could be sucessfull with that one, I should be successful with any size tank, putting forth similar diligence in maintanence. I had always said if I was sucessful with the smaller tank I would upgrade down the road. well I am officially on the road


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Old 01/26/2006, 12:45 PM   #19
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Alright... just spent $140 on plumbing supplies from Savko, Ordered my pumps, heaters moonlights, and loc-line fittings from Marine Depot, and ordered 3 caulking tubes of All-Glass aquarium sealant from Pet Discounters, for resealing the sump and refugium, as well as attaching the baffles in the sump (once I measure for them and go to a glass shop)
I surpassed my "accomplish one thing on the project each day" goal.

Now.... where's that TANK!!!! (time to make a phone call)


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Old 01/26/2006, 01:05 PM   #20
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What i dont get is how come people with glass tanks spring a leak, thank god it wasnt a bigger problem then it already is, and go out a by another glass tank? And a more expensive one at that. So next time it leaks it costs twice as much (when u throw it away) and its twice the size so its harder to move everything into another tank when that one leaks also. I would do it once probley but after one leaks and after hearing storys, i wouldnt do it again. I wouldnt be able to sleep at night. Is a glass tank leaking not a big deal?


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Old 01/26/2006, 03:15 PM   #21
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wish i were at steel point, west end today...been there...'bout as nice as it gets


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Old 01/26/2006, 08:27 PM   #22
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integlikewhoainteglikewhoa: glass tanks don't normally leak, But there are always exceptions to the rule. What I don't understand is people who buy acrylic tanks, scratch the heck out of them, then go out & buy another acrylic.
Many glass tanks last 10 yrs+.... long after the clarity of an acrylic is gone and it's scratched to bejezus..... now I know there are benifits to both, but in all my years of both glass and acrylic aquariums (up to a 250 FOWLR).. one leak is not going to deter me... Glass/Acrylic is a debate that may never end, but it comes down to personal preference. if it makes ya happy either way.. go for it I say.



travismcgee : Yes it is paradise down there isn't it?? spent 10 days bareboating and diving the islands last Feb. and dyin to go back... good eye! (and I will own that house one day) )


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Old 01/26/2006, 11:30 PM   #23
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I agree it might take owning 2 tanks for one of them to leak. But i still find they do leak alot. And a scratch is easy repaired. Matter of 10 min actually. Takes about the same time to do a water change. A leak usally means a new tank like in your case. But i can sleep at night with a scratch not a leak.
It might be also beacuse i expect earthquakes over here. Good luck with the tank and keep us posted.


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Old 01/28/2006, 12:38 PM   #24
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Hey Blair,
Whats up? Looking real good. Cant wait to see it when your done.
Best Wishes
John
(BW3)


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Old 01/30/2006, 09:20 PM   #25
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Not much new... Called on the tank today.. Found out there was a "discrepency" i.e. 2 more weeks... I'm glad I'm not waiting on a heart transplant from this store...

Anywho.. got my box-o-plumbing parts today from Savko



I think there there might be an elbow missing.....



now if I can just remember what is supposed to go where...


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