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Old 02/12/2010, 06:06 AM   #76
teesquare
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For easy removal of the OM-4 I still like the idea of a TUBV immediately below it.
Having the experience of removing and maintaining them - from under the tank, in the stand (can you say CHIROPRACTER...?) a few times - I can tell you it is far easier than any other way I have tried to plumb them.
You will still need a towel to catch maybe a couple of ounces of water - but what other method is completely dry?

Untamed:
I just saw in an earlier post that your OM's have a 1/4'' drain plug? I guess mine are of an earlier "vintage" - no plug, but what a good idea. I may remove mine and install one!

T


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Old 02/12/2010, 09:06 AM   #77
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I much like the potential of this setup... keep the updates coming!


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Old 02/12/2010, 10:32 AM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teesquare View Post

Untamed:
I just saw in an earlier post that your OM's have a 1/4'' drain plug? I guess mine are of an earlier "vintage" - no plug, but what a good idea. I may remove mine and install one!

T
No...not the OM's... the 1/4" drain plug is on the pump volute. In my case, the pump is so close to the ground that I can't use it to drain the lines prior to opening the unions. As is, I have to crack open the union on the TUBV and drain that way. A bit better planning and it would have worked better.


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Old 02/12/2010, 10:47 AM   #79
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Gotcha...Thanks Untamed!
T


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Old 02/14/2010, 02:50 PM   #80
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Tee Yeah, we're putting a union between the pump and the OM4 so we can take it off for cleaning and maintenance.

CRVZ Thanks! Nice to have ya along!

blumoon reefers Milissa - that's a great offer. I know you guys put the caribsea pink in your 150... how much did you put in? We want some fat grain substrate (4-5mm) for ours...

LHCorals Lynn - appreciate that link. I've got some of the marine epoxy that I'm going to try today with my experimental aquascaping. Gonna get a couple of beers in me first, then sit down and try it out!

Untamed Once again, we really appreciate all the helpful tips. I took out the trusty sketch pad out today and played around with a few ideas on how to elevate the Dart a bit. I really want to see if I can hit two criteria: 1) reduce noise and vibration as much as possible, and 2) eliminate strain from the bulkheads. The added benefit may be a way to make the pump easier to access for maintenance and access this little drain line.



How about a couple of updates!
Got a package in from Premium Aquatics:



Started looking at the new canopy and how we are going to mount the lighting. As mentioned earlier in the thread, we've been toying with the idea to put in an aluminum light rack into the canopy.

The canopy has got access doors on the sides and front, as well as a piano hinge that allows the front to flip upwards and the rail-mounted light board to slide out:
Here's a shot looking into the left side access door:


and here you can see a view of the front panel lifted up


here's what it looks like with the light board extended out


What we're thinking we'll do is build a light rack out of modular aluminum tubing and attach it to the light board. Here's the design drawing:



This is inspired by Tom's Light Rack which is a beautiful piece of work!! We've asked the EZTube people for a quote, so when that comes back, we'll see if it will fit in the budget. If not, we may be looking for some alternatives from you guys!

Another outstanding task on the project plan is getting some substrate. Recall that we picked up some live sand from the nice folks down at SeaLife Inc... very nice stuff - we're wanting some fairly chunky substrate (4-5mm), and I can't find the tropic eden reeflakes anywhere, so we're searching. Two questions for you guys. 1) how much will it take to cover the bottom of the big ol' double D with about 2" of substrate? and 2) where can we find some good chunky stuff that will look gorgeous and not break the bank? I came across this stuff on a search today, but I'm hesitant without a couple of references from the big tank folks here on this forum...


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Last edited by Dino; 04/20/2013 at 04:51 AM.
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Old 02/14/2010, 04:13 PM   #81
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Mike, you are going to love those reflectors. I use them on my current tank with 400W Radiums. I plan on moving them over to the new tank.

The light rack looks great. Looking forward to seeing it all set up.


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Old 02/15/2010, 07:39 AM   #82
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Mike this is goint to be one awsome tank. When I do my next upgrade I am going with the 250dd. If I may ask, where did you purchase the tank? Localy or did you order it?


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Old 02/15/2010, 08:22 AM   #83
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Mike-
I love the E-Z Tube site!!!
But - will the connectors be tight enough long term? I I had a welder use "L" channel to make mine, but would have loved to make it myself with this!
T


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Old 02/15/2010, 11:18 AM   #84
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OK we had a pretty bad issue last night.

The breaker on one of the powerstrips for the 125 tripped during the night...main pump, skimmer, and heaters all knocked off line - not sure how long...worst case 8 hours, best case maybe 4?
Holding tank went to 64 degrees...drastic loss of oxygen.

Most fish were lying on bottom breathing very hard. One confirmed casualty so far - our 8 year old flame angel:



The Regal doesn't look good. Not sure if she's gonna make it.

We did an emergency 20 gallon w/c - that's all we had made up in the vat that was warm and ready to go. Moved over another 5 gallons from the sump. Some fish starting to recover and move around a bit. Corals look rough, but will likely be OK... too soon to know.


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Last edited by Dino; 04/20/2013 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 02/15/2010, 11:36 AM   #85
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Tough loss, hopefully everything else pulls through


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Old 02/15/2010, 11:39 AM   #86
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Mike, this is truly sad news. I know what it is like to lose a fish after so long. It sucks. I hope the regal pulls through. They are pretty sturdy fish once they are fat. Wishing you the best with this event.


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Old 02/15/2010, 01:17 PM   #87
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Mike, I am so sorry to hear about this. Any idea what tripped the breaker? Are you putting anything in place to prevent this from happening again?


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Old 02/15/2010, 05:25 PM   #88
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ugh, that blows. good luck with a recovery.


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Old 02/15/2010, 05:42 PM   #89
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Thanks for the kind words, everyone.

As of 3pm, with four 300w heaters running, the tank was 77f.
And here's a real happy sight:



Milissa I balanced some of the equipment out across another breaker and power strip. We'll be keeping an even closer eye on the 125 out in garage.... This upgrade can't happen fast enough at this point. With all the delays on getting the tank, it's already been much longer than we had planned.

firebirdcrzy We're getting the tank from an LFS here in Richmond, FishWorld.

RichK We're really stoked about the reflectors. We're hoping that the 250w will be sufficient, but if it looks like we'll need more, we'll be in the market for some 400w ballasts...just don't want that added expense!


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Last edited by Dino; 04/20/2013 at 04:52 AM.
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Old 02/15/2010, 07:24 PM   #90
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Originally Posted by prop-frags View Post
We're really stoked about the reflectors. We're hoping that the 250w will be sufficient, but if it looks like we'll need more, we'll be in the market for some 400w ballasts...just don't want that added expense!
I've been considering a very similar setup, and was hoping to run a trio of 250W as well. I have ballasts (lunatek) and bulbs (radium), and this weekend I snagged lumen bright mini wide to try it out (I just have a stock tank right now... waiting on a few things to settle out before moving forward). I definitely considered the lumen max, though. Hopefully you'll have great success!

You may have mentioned this, but I'm at a loss. What's the time frame on delivery of the tank?


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Old 02/15/2010, 09:28 PM   #91
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Hmmmm RC is really slow this evening...

We figured some long-awaited experimentation on the aquascaping while we watch the olympics. How about that downhill run this evening...wow! Bode Miller grabs the bronze...GO USA!!

For our aquascaping the new DOUBLE D, we have a couple of design principles in mind...
1) plenty of negative space for fish swimming, coral growth, and to give the viewer more of a real ocean reef feeling.
2) Three islands with somewhat of a "bonsai tree" / corkscrew look. This is difficult to explain, but essentially what we want is each island to have multiple levels around the core.

Inspirations for this are:
ChingChai
Crazy4Acros
Sirena

We certainly can go on, but you get the picture. Anyway, to pull off what we have in our design minds eye, we'll need to use some gravity-defying tricks to our rock to do what we need. We procured fiberglass rods and epoxy and zipties. Those are the typical tricks of the trade, no?
The rods are .5" and so we'll be using .5" long-reach bore bits on our drill.

Here's the tools for our first "Olympic experiment":


And here's how it came together:






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Old 02/16/2010, 05:01 AM   #92
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Glad to see the regal is doing great. That is great news!

Looking forward to seeing your rock work. I was planning on using acrylic rods to do just that. After seeing Sanjay's tank, I am sold on this way of stacking the rock. Keep the pics coming.


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Old 02/16/2010, 08:18 PM   #93
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crvz View Post
I've been considering a very similar setup, and was hoping to run a trio of 250W as well. I have ballasts (lunatek) and bulbs (radium), and this weekend I snagged lumen bright mini wide to try it out (I just have a stock tank right now... waiting on a few things to settle out before moving forward). I definitely considered the lumen max, though. Hopefully you'll have great success!

You may have mentioned this, but I'm at a loss. What's the time frame on delivery of the tank?
Thanks, crvz! The way we're building the light rack, we can squeeze in four of the LMEs. Don't know if we'll need that - we're starting with just three. Keep us posted on how that lumen bright works out. Love to see one of those in action. The tank delivery is supposed to be this week...but man, we've had our share of delays so we're not holding our breath.


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Old 02/17/2010, 05:44 AM   #94
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Still looking for some suggestions on substrate.

We used to have crushed coral in our tanks back in the 80's with our under-gravel filters! But for some reason we really like the chunky look of it. Will that be a poor choice for a SSB (maybe 2")? There's going to be strong flow in the tank and we don't want those "bare spots".

Where can we get chunky in bulk that looks good?


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Old 02/17/2010, 04:40 PM   #95
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Mike where did you get your union ball values from? I saw them at Lowes/HD but wasn't sure if there was better ones out there? I saw you got Haywards for your bulkheads but is there certain ones you recommend as there seems to be "different" types? One last thing what's the diffence between sch 40 and 80? Thanks for all the help and hope you don't mind me taking alot of you pointers and using them. Great build thread


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Current Tank Info: 500g w/ a few fish & little coral, but that will change. 4 MH(400w-2-10K & 2-20k), 4-6' VHO, CL thru eurobracing, 2-Tunze's, OCT 5000ext., RKE, 2-550's LFR(GFO & Carbon), 2-part, and more equipment to add down the road.
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Old 02/17/2010, 05:22 PM   #96
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Mike, we did go with the caribsea pink fiji. We started with 40lbs, but decided we needed a little more so we ended up with 60lbs. In our 150 it gives us about an 1-2 inches with more or less in some places. Under the caves in the rock, there is just a fine layer of sand. I really, really like the way it looks. When we added the tunze, we did have to do some fine tuning of the flow so that we didnt get the bare spots or the sand dune effect. Overall, I have to say we are really pleased with it. You are more than welcome to stop by sometime to see it.

Glad to hear that you were able to split some of the electrical needs to avoid any future problems and I am very glad to see the regal out and about.


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Old 02/17/2010, 07:39 PM   #97
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BTW, loved that the glass of wine is considered a "tool of the trade"!!!!


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Old 02/17/2010, 08:57 PM   #98
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RichK Rich, can you give me a link to where Sanjay talks about using acrylic rods for aquascaping? There are so few good sources of DIY out there on how folks do fabrication techniques with aquascaping.

PSU Thanks Rob - appreciate the kind words and it's great to have you along. Our TUBVs are from Lowes over here on Hull street. Many of the guys here used the sched-80 TUBVs, but personally I find that to be overkill. Most of those are really expensive (especially > 1"), and honestly I have never had one of the American Valve TUBVs ever fail. The Sched-80 are just thicker, which also reduce flow since PVC is standardized on outside diameter, and thicker PVC means it cuts into the inside diameter. As far as the b/h go, I picked up these Hayward units from USP. They are definitely very well made, very heavy, deep threads. Watch out, USP shipping and handling charge is outrageous.

blumoon reefers Milissa, did you buy your Fiji Pink locally or from an online dealer? If we go that route, I'm guessing that we will need maybe 100lbs for 2" depth? Those 20lb bags are kinda pricey... and yes, the Simi Savignon Blanc is recommended with all projects requiring an "open mind"

On a very positive note, our LFS wrote tonight and said the tank just arrived. We need to set up a delivery time...hopefully we'll be in business by this weekend!


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Old 02/17/2010, 09:56 PM   #99
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Mike thanks for the info. I'm putting Carib-Sea ARAG-ALIVE FIJI PINK in mine. Got 8 bags from PA when they had free shipping


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Old 02/18/2010, 05:23 AM   #100
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Sorry to read about you loss...
Looking forward to the finished rockwork. Are you sure there's no invisible wire keeping that pillar from falling? Very exiting shapes.
Good luck building the light rack!

Leonardo


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