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Old 12/23/2007, 09:30 PM   #1
jcpatella
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JCPatella's 90g Reef Build

Hey! After months of searching online and locally, my wife and I finally found the tank we were looking for – a 90g! Actually, that’s not true. I wanted a 75g and my wife wanted a 120g. Seeing as how I primarily take care of the tank, I didn’t want to bite off more than I could chew…

Anyway, we came across this 90g/stand/canopy in the paper. It was only used for three months and is in almost perfect condition! For $350, we couldn’t pass it up. This setup could have sold for over $1000. At first, I was a bit worried about the depth, but I think/hope my lighting should be sufficient (more on that later).

After an hour and a half of driving (each way) to pick it up, we were pretty tired. Needless to say, not tired enough to fill it up and test for leaks! Oh, and the dog on the left (jumping on my wife) is Drake – my avatar! The other little guy is Baxter – we were dogsitting him.


Of course, water-testing a tank is not very eventful, so we had time for one more:


The tank has a nice chunk of glass as the cross bar, but it doesn’t seem to block much light. We’ll see in time.


Oh, and excuse the mess – we weren’t planning on having ReefCentral in our kitchen that day.

I have a 2 x 54w T5 retro kit sitting on top of the tank. The canopy is hanging out somewhere else - I just wanted to see the tank with some kind of light on it! I got that kit back in August when I first set up the 55g that this tank is replacing. That retro kit was replaced by a 4 x 54w fixture. I plan on using both on this 90g (6 x 54w).


Well, there is more to come, but I’ll leave it at this for now. I'm a picture-loving kind of guy, so there will be plenty of those along the way. By my guess, the demographics of ReefCentral calls for pictures of the wife. There must be a good [picture of a girl] to [post] ratio!! Here's one for good luck:


That's my crazy wife. I hope this thread turns out as fun as I’m expecting!

-Josh


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Last edited by jcpatella; 12/23/2007 at 09:36 PM.
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Old 12/23/2007, 10:06 PM   #2
Mikeeee
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Looks like you are off to a good start Josh! I also have a 90g and its a great sized tank but I really do wish i would of gone with the 120g for the 6 inches front to back like my bro did. He even asked me as i was buying it.. are you sure you want the 90 and not the 120!? But space wise the 90g fits much better..a 120g would stick out too much in the room..this was one of the reasons i went for the 90. Definitely a popular and nice tank though to start out for beginner people in the hobby. Next upgrade will be a 150-180g but for that id need more space or down a hobby or 2! haha. Hope to see more action shots and hope you have fun with this one!


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Old 12/23/2007, 10:15 PM   #3
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Mikeeee - Thanks! I'd like a 120, but I'd rather spend the difference in price on livestock. I know what you mean, though - when I got the 55g, I thought "This should be big enough."

I didn't want to go bigger than a 90 because I'd like to be able to use most of the equipment I have on my 55g. I've been buying stuff with the intention of using it when I upgrade.


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Old 12/23/2007, 11:58 PM   #4
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Nice tank you got there.. and wife lol. But ill be following along with this one. Cant wait to see up and running


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Old 12/24/2007, 12:44 AM   #5
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I'll be following along also.


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Old 12/24/2007, 05:02 AM   #6
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Same here


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Old 12/24/2007, 09:54 AM   #7
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Well, I’m still water testing the tank, so of course there’s only so much to be done. For my 55g, we tinted the back of it instead of using paint. It was already in place, so spraying from behind it was impossible and painting it would have been a pain. The tinting worked so well (and was quick and cheap), so we decided to do it again for this tank.

Limo Tint (5%) is only about $10 from the local automotive shop and the whole process takes about 1 hour. I see a lot of threads on the “New To The Hobby” forum on backgrounds, so I thought I’d offer a quick walkthrough.

Materials Needed:
Baby Shampoo (we used soapy water)
Scissors (we used a razor blade)
Rubber squeegee (we also used a credit card wrapped with a t-shirt)

Here are some of the materials, with the tint laid out. Strange....the grocery list made the cut....


1)Thoroughly clean the surface (not with glass-cleaners like Windex)
2)Unwrap roll, spray the side with the clear plastic with soapy water.
3)Place it on the front glass of the tank. It will stick (not permanently yet) and cut down to size. Leave 1” excess on all sides.
4)Spray a lot of soapy water on the final surface (background glass). This is crucial. Too little spray and the bubbles will be near impossible to remove.
5)The tint should still be stuck to the opposing side (the front glass). Remove it and separate the tint from the plastic backing. Don’t let it wrinkle.
6)Now that you have the tint in your hands, spray the newly exposed side with soapy water generously.
7)Carefully place the tint on the glass. The wet glass and wet tint will cling, inevitably creating bubbles and lines. Use the squeegee to get the big bubbles out and a smaller squeegee (credit card) to push out the little bubbles.
8)Use a razor blade to carefully cut off excess tint.

I realize this may seem like a lot of steps, but it goes so quickly with the help of another person. An hour later and it’s all done!

This guy is my most valued helper. He provides moral support as my wife and I put the tint on the front of the glass (to cut it down to size).


After you move the tint to its final surface (back of the tank), you will see wrinkles and bubbles. Don't mind the dog hair - this is actually on the front of the tank - it stuck there because the glass was wet and the plastic side of the tint was rested on the floor first. DO NOT let ANYTHING get in between the tint and the glass during the final application. It will show, no matter how small.


These are very obvious if not pushed out, so plan on spending some time in sheer concentration :


I should also mention that I cut out the area behind the overflow. I'd like to be able to look through the glass into the overflow for maintenance.

It's done! It looks great and there are NO bubbles left. If anyone has any questions on this (or comments to make it better/easier), chime in!!!!


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Last edited by jcpatella; 12/24/2007 at 10:02 AM.
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Old 12/24/2007, 10:22 AM   #8
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looks great so far


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Old 12/24/2007, 01:21 PM   #9
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Hi jcpatella, i just "tinted" my tank this past weekend and it turned out great. I didnt have to worry about paint getting everywhere. It actually took me about 1/2 an hour. But the tank looks great as well!!


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Old 12/24/2007, 01:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by asia102485
Hi jcpatella, i just "tinted" my tank this past weekend and it turned out great. I didnt have to worry about paint getting everywhere. It actually took me about 1/2 an hour. But the tank looks great as well!!
Thanks! I find that tint doesn't scratch as easily as paint too.


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Old 12/24/2007, 01:46 PM   #11
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Old 12/24/2007, 01:49 PM   #12
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hey jcpatella, i see that you have a Koralia 4. How do you like the flow??


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Old 12/24/2007, 01:57 PM   #13
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Dang! I accidentally put that in there when I was updating my profile. It's actually hanging out in the empty 90g right now. I'm only using the K3 in the 55g now and it is great! The flow is very wide and I don't think the shroud is as big as everyone makes them out to be.

I'll let you know about the K4 once I fill up this 90g. Along with the return flow, I'll be using the K3 and K4 in the 90g, so hopefully it will be enough.


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Old 12/24/2007, 01:59 PM   #14
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I want to know if you got the:

Okra
Garlic
Olive Oil
Rice

From your list?


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Old 12/24/2007, 02:16 PM   #15
jcpatella
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HAHA! I KNEW THAT WAS COMING! We sure did. My wife can make some killer meals - we're actually eating gumbo tonight! Good ole' New Orleans cookin' for Christmas!


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Old 12/24/2007, 03:07 PM   #16
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it is about time for you to up your ratio of pics


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Old 12/24/2007, 04:31 PM   #17
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lol MERRY CHRISTMAS TO EVERYBODY


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Old 12/24/2007, 07:58 PM   #18
jcpatella
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Quote:
Originally posted by llama72
it is about time for you to up your ratio of pics
Man! One round of pics yesterday, one round today, and you're already ready for more????!!!!

I'll have the sump build on here tomorrow (or wednesday).


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Old 12/24/2007, 08:09 PM   #19
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Sounds good


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Old 12/24/2007, 08:14 PM   #20
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I liked the pic of her in the surgeon's mask!!!


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Old 12/24/2007, 08:20 PM   #21
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Hah - you remember that? That thread was fun. She was working hard to save a zoa that we got as a hitch-hiker. Too bad that blasted emerald crab got a hold of it...



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Old 12/24/2007, 10:20 PM   #22
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Old 12/24/2007, 10:22 PM   #23
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Just kidding. Great thread so far. You got an excellent deal on the tank, and having a helper makes it so much more enjoyable. I need to find me a reefette too.

Thanks for documenting the tinting process. I didn't realize those films came with a protective layer as well.

Looking forward to the next update.


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Old 12/24/2007, 10:57 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by melev
Just kidding. Great thread so far. You got an excellent deal on the tank, and having a helper makes it so much more enjoyable. I need to find me a reefette too.
Actually, the funny thing is, she was into saltwater a few years ago. Her tank was crashed by Katrina, so last summer I decided to fully embark on this bank-breaking hobby.


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Old 12/24/2007, 11:07 PM   #25
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I agree with melev..where do we find these 'reefette's' ? . For me its either one i can enjoy my hobbies with or none! i'd rather not have to lie about where all the money goes hahaha.


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