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Old 08/14/2007, 02:47 PM   #1
Tiggsy
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180G UK reef

Ok......so i've converted to US gallons and i just scrape the 180g limit for a "big tank" That and the fact one of my sons thinks he's going to be the next Steve Nash and so thinks posting on an America forum is far cooler...means you get my build diary in all its glory!



So here it is!


My last tank was a 100g "all in one" that i added a sump to in a shed at the side of the house.....i have resurected the shed for this and added more gear to it:















and i have started on the LR/foam/egg crate plan!







Coated all the exposed foam in epoxy resin and covered that in sand tonight......pics tommorow of how it looks!


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Old 08/14/2007, 02:48 PM   #2
Tiggsy
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Have now made the rest of the backing sheets for the weir cover/background.





All going to plan - i will end up with a rockwall sufficient to cover the weir but it wont take up much floorspace due to its extreem height versus width - impossible with traditional stacking.

The original bit has had excess foam removed, covered in epoxy and live rock rubble - under the flash it looks a bit obvious but in real life it looks like one large rock




oh, and my nano clowns and nano nem had decided to start co-habbiting in my frag tank!




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Old 08/14/2007, 02:49 PM   #3
Tiggsy
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now done another bit of the rear wall.....and rigged up a light bulb over my cheato crate in the sump (that's boring so pics of the rock only!)

Started by cable tieing the rock to the egg crate:





Then added the foam:



and more....




At this point I was about to start the sand covering when i realised the sand was in the boot of my wife's car and she was out! So in a moment of boredom i put the rock in the kids paddling pool to see what it weighed under water.......and it floated like a bloody balloon!

So mad hacking away of all spare foam and even some chunks of egg crate - PITA but made it much more open which i like.

Coated all exposed rock in epoxy resin and buried under a mix of sand and coral gravel:



Need to wait 24hrs before the surplus coral gravel can be brushed off and any bits i missed touched up, but you get the idea (there's a LOT of loose gravel still on there to brush off)





Gives an idea how open it is now...




I like the open structure more - only change it will require is i will scrape if the dark blue backing on the tank where the rock wall is and paint it black.....so any spot where you can see through the rock work will have a black background


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Old 08/14/2007, 02:49 PM   #4
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thats pretty cool. no collapsing rockwork for you... wish i had done that.

so you used live rock? does the epoxy kill the bacteria? seems like the LR would dry out while the epoxy cures. just wondering. brilliant idea tho. shoulda done this myself


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Old 08/14/2007, 04:39 PM   #5
Tiggsy
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The rock i used is old live rock that has dried out - so very cheap but no life on it.

In my sump i run 80kg of LR anyway so the rock in the display doesn't need to be live initially....also the epoxy and foam only covers 15% of the rock....so plenty of rock is still exposed to become live again.


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Old 08/15/2007, 12:40 AM   #6
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Cool idea. Looking good.


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Old 08/15/2007, 02:14 AM   #7
ReefingBuddha
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Nice start, Looks really good.

Where in England are you located? I'm in Leatherhead, right outside of Guildford and was hoping to meet up with some local reefers.


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Old 08/15/2007, 02:21 AM   #8
Tiggsy
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Berkshire, Reading - Not far away.


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Old 08/15/2007, 02:28 AM   #9
ReefingBuddha
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Maybe I'll get the chance to head out your way and maybe even give you a hand on your build. I would really enjoy checking out some of the local large SPS tanks if that would be possible.

I have to head in to London this morning and was wondering if there were any aquarium stores worth visiting.

Thanks


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Old 08/15/2007, 06:07 AM   #10
Tiggsy
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I'm not to good with shops - i get most of my stock shipped in for me when i want it so never go "window shopping" round stores.


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Old 08/15/2007, 11:56 AM   #11
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Hi Tiggsy,
Just been admiring your work over on UR, your better half posted the pics . very tempted to do this, is the bulk of the structure reef bones from germany, and what epoxy resin did you use to seal it all.

Cheers

John


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Old 08/15/2007, 12:25 PM   #12
ReefingBuddha
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Oh well, went to a place in Kingston that I passed on my way back today. Kinda depressing actually and didn't have any hard corals, oh well.

Are there any local reef clubs that I can get in touch with. If you could just point me in the right direction that would be great. We actually had an British family visit my local club in Orlando a few weeks ago.

Thanks


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Old 08/15/2007, 04:09 PM   #13
Tiggsy
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Quote:
Originally posted by johnski
Hi Tiggsy,
Just been admiring your work over on UR, your better half posted the pics . very tempted to do this, is the bulk of the structure reef bones from germany, and what epoxy resin did you use to seal it all.

Cheers

John
Hi John,

She said she was posting pics.....i told her if she did and anyone spotted they were of my tank she'd get herself banned

The rock is dead live rock i got from a fellow UR'er local to me (he had stripped his tank and not shifted the rock on before it dried it so i got it at £3 per KG.....however - i quickly have run out so will be getting some from Germany. I will be getting a mix of bones and rock as i need/want nice stuff with holes and tunnels as opposed to just big boulders.

The epoxy is "finishing resin" from a model shop - its used on model boats etc. If you do a search on UR for EPOXY you will find where i asked about it recently (under an alterego that also got banned once they realised who it was )

Any other q's just ask mate


thirschmann, i have no idea baout local clubs i'm affraid - join a UK forum as they often have sections for local clubs.


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Old 08/15/2007, 04:19 PM   #14
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These are my model shots showing how the finished layout will look (its a 20% scale size made from flour and water!)

First pic shows the halide position over the islands.








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Old 08/17/2007, 01:41 PM   #15
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bit more of the rock wall done again - bit annoyed with myself as i have just ordered 60kg of rock and reef bones from Germany but i was so keen to get on i used some old stuff i had lying around....just hope the german stuff isnt SO good it makes me want to rip this down! Its a bit "big lumps of rock"....but it may work.

Started of with a down tube - this will stick 1" above the water line and is where my return flow enters.....sends water to the bottom, stirs up behind the rock and no syphon issues as the return pipe just pokes into the down pipe which is a far larger size.



Cable tied on the rock - this is where the wall starts to go round the weir box so it needs to be a bit "fuller" than the other bits so you cant see past/through it to the weir box itself.



Foamed!





Cut off excess foam, epoxy the foam and cover in sand in the morning


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Old 08/17/2007, 03:14 PM   #16
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The rocks look great.


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Current Tank Info: 70 gal Oceanic Tech Series, 55 gal sump, ATI Powermodule 6xT5 lights, Vortech MP40w, Aqua-c EV240 skimmer, Neptune Aquacontroller Jr
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Old 08/17/2007, 04:11 PM   #17
steve the plumb
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I like the way you made the rock formation.Very good idea and looks nice.


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Old 08/19/2007, 12:53 PM   #18
Tiggsy
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Another bit of rock all done....so much fun i worked through the rain

trimmed of excess foam (the blue tub in the background is to test that it sinks! The foam will easily make 20kg of rock float unless all the extra is trimmed away)



Here is the bit epoxy'd and covered in stone...and added to the other bits. The tub of food is for scale, its 27 1/2" to the point where water will flow over to the weir. It rises a litle to cover the inlet pipe so will stick above the water line at that point (abot 28 1/4")



end on, its is FULL of holes and caves and tunnels and very open behind the rock.....every fish i will stock could easily get behind this area alone if they wanted to.



This overhead shows the tank layout (it wasnt 100% overhead so it looks like the rock goes beyond the red tank outline)

Notive the input for the main return (an OR 6500 - an OR3500 will return elsewhere), the weir box is 6X9"...the rock done so far is 36" long leaving a 6" gap to the far left. The weirt box is 9" deep and the rock only 11" at its deepest (despite peeking over 28" tall) meaning almost 20" clear in the tank even at the rock walls widest point

The blue is the remaining bits to do, around the weir and down the right side in two sections and 3 islands. Got a lot of reef bones and stuff on the way from germany for that.



Not a great shot but shows the back of the new bit - you can see how open it is behind there. This is the heavist bit i will make (the islands will be in horizontal sections)...this bit weighs about 15kg and is very sturdy and easily moved around.



So far so good

(Mrs has added that the patio table has now seen better days though :unsure: )[/quote]


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Old 08/27/2007, 03:55 PM   #19
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wow, this looks really nice. i am setting up a new 180 gallon, and i have been debating using some foam to put on the back of the tank before i do any rock work, and you have had by far, the best idea i have seen posted anywhere...very nice work, it is going to look great! glad you posted on our forum, tell 'steve' to head to dallas to join the mavs, we need another point that was as good as him. (and this way you can help me out, hehe). keep the pics coming as you progress, i want to see more...hope you dont mind me stealing your idea, cause i am all over this...


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Old 08/27/2007, 05:36 PM   #20
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great rockwork! ive never seen foam look that good.


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Old 08/27/2007, 06:57 PM   #21
bimmerzs
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Excellent idea and execution....

Cheers!


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Old 08/28/2007, 02:08 AM   #22
Tiggsy
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Quote:
tell 'steve' to head to dallas to join the mavs, we need another point that was as good as him. (and this way you can help me out, hehe). [/B]
that might be tricky - he's got his heart set on Miami Just had his 7th birthday and his box of goodies from the NBA store arrived (great pound/dollar rate at the moment ).....his training drills video is Nash.......all his replica kit is Shaq/wade stuff though


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Old 08/28/2007, 06:01 AM   #23
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Love the rock can't wait until you get this thing filled.


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Old 08/29/2007, 06:16 PM   #24
Aquavadis
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Wooow awsome job. I am realy curious about how it is going to look like. I beleive it is going to be and amazing aquascaping when you are done with the rock work.


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Old 09/01/2007, 12:45 PM   #25
Tiggsy
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Finished the backing today!

Need to be touched up when put into the tank but thats easy enough.

From the front



End on



From behind, showing the weir box space and the pipe to recive one of the two return feeds



With the two islands (cant fit 3!) Reef bones island for the nem (needs some thought) and tall pilar for coral (needs fomaing and coating for stability)








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