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Old 04/23/2009, 01:55 AM   #1
cartoonbear
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Bear's 50 gallon reef build.

The new tank is finally on its way. Construction has begun on the entryway, where this tank will reside, and plans have been made. The tank and rock have been ordered and as soon as the new tile has been laid the tank will go through its final stages of assembly.

The planned specs and events surrounding each aspect of the tank are below.


Tank
The tanks' dimensions are 36"x18"x19", making it a bit over 50 gallons. It is glass with black trim and the back panel will be painted cobalt blue.

I was very specific about the size with this tank. I simply loved the layout I was able to achieve with my first tank, a 40 gallon breeder, and was never able to recreate that look with my current tank. To get back to this I wanted to have a much lower tank, hence the drop from a tank with a height of 24", referring to the 125 gallon here, to one with a height of 19". The width of the tank was a complete copy of the 40 breeder and so was the length. The length was supposed to be 4', but the only spot that lent itself to a tank was simply not big enough for a 4' long tank.

The reasoning behind the choice of glass over acrylic is the ease of cleaning glass with a razor blade and its scratch resistance. The 125 gallon reef I currently have running, also known as the "Family Room Reef," is acrylic and I have come to loathe each scratch as well as the time it takes to clean the front panel.

Cobalt blue was chosen as the color for the back wall because of how much it will hide the random crap floating in the water. With the black background I currently have you can see everything in the column; be it a grain of sand my Clarkii has kicked up or a pod that decided to go for a ride in the current.


Stand and Canopy
The stand will be made of maple and stained to match the dark mahogany colored stairs that are being constructed next to the tank. It will stand 30" tall and the foot print will only be larger than that of the tank due to trim along the bottom, where the tank rests, and along the top of the canopy.

The stand will have a pine frame and will have maple sheets on each side. Two doors on the front will allow easy access, and the back will be open to allow free airflow. Two 4" holes will be cut into the stand, one of each side for fans that will blow air into the chiller that will sit in the stand and remove the hot air.

The canopy will also have 4" holes for fans, one on each side, in order to keep the bulbs from overheating. It will also open from the top, and bring front of the canopy with it as it rises. This will allow me to have full access to the inside of the tank without having to take the canopy off.


Lights
When it comes to lights I am doing a small bit of recycling. I am using the ballasts used to power 2x54 watt T5HOs to power 2x39 watt T5HOs. I will be using two of the ballasts from my old tank leaving me with four very high output T5s. They will be mounted directly to the top of the canopy and the fans will pull air directly across the bulbs.

The bulb colors will be 2x1200k and 2xbluePlus.

The reasoning behind the bulb choices rests on my love for a blue tank and the fact that most coral inhabitants will be either LPS, mushrooms, or zoanthids.


Rock
I will be using 50 lbs of now dead rock. It will sit in the sump of my current 125 gallon tank for seeding until the new tank is up and ready to be aquascaped.


Sand
When it comes to sand I believe I will be using livesand in a bag from a LFS, about 20 lbs. I really do not want a deep sand bed, but still wish to have some sand.


Chiller
A 1/4 hp chiller will be used to cool the tank. As this is a sumpless system a pump will be hidden in the tank and pump water down to and back up from the chiller to a perforated line in side the tank to distribute the cold water more evenly.


Flow
4 powerheads will be used. 2 koralia 1s and 2 Maxijet 400s. The two koralias will be in the front top corners facing each other and the maxijets will be in the back corners facing each other. While one big is on the smaller on on the opposite side will also be on. They will switch about every hour.


Skimmer
I will be using a HOB remora C for the skimmer in this tank.


Fish
I do currently have a fish list going, but as I never seem to stick to them I will post the fish as they arrive.



I don't think I've left anything out, but if you have and your interested please just ask. Pictures will be posted as things progress, but as of now there is nothing to take pictures of


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Old 04/29/2009, 04:27 PM   #2
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Ok, the rock has come in, I've got the tank, and I've gotten all the wood (expect for the doors which had to be ordered). Today construction on the Stand is to begin.

A couple of updates. The lighting situation has changed. I will not be running off of 54watt ballasts, instead I will be using the recommended 39 watt ballasts and the bulb combination has also changed. 2 ATI blue Plus, 1 ATI Aquablue special, and 1 UVL 75/25.

The tank size has also changed a little. The outside dimensions (including trim)is 36"x18"x19", so instead of a little over 50 gallons it will now be a little of 46 gallons.

I also got my rock from Marco Rocks yesterday and I could not be any happier. I ordered 50 lbs of the KeyLargo dry rock and paid the $10 shipping. Not only did it take less than a week to get the rock from across the country, but it is simply perfect. Super porous, amazing aesthetically, and it lends itself to perfect stacking.

As soon as I can get my P&S back from my brother I will start posting pics of the build, sorry for the lack of pics up to this point.


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Old 04/29/2009, 07:01 PM   #3
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Sounds a lot like my tank. 36x18x18 50g. w blue background. Not sure why you think you need a chiller for this settup??


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Old 04/29/2009, 07:27 PM   #4
cartoonbear
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B/c I already have one and sometimes it can get well past the 100s in the summer. Better safe than sorry I guess .

Seeing as you've already been dealing with a tank this size, any recommendations?


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Old 04/29/2009, 11:29 PM   #5
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I have a 400w mh inside a canopy on mine. + some supplimental lighting. Where I live it gets well over 100 every summer (its been 110 here before). We keep it at 70 with the A.C. tho. I dont have any temp issues whatsoever. with your lighting, I cant think you will either, unless you dont have a.c. I would use the money for the chiller on a sump and a better skimmer.


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Old 04/29/2009, 11:35 PM   #6
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Do you see something wrong with the skimmer? Or just that it would be better with a sump? If so I totally agree. If the temp doesn't seem to be a problem then that's exactly what will happen.

Thanks for bringing up the temp I'll keep my eye on it.


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 04/30/2009, 01:36 PM   #7
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After some reading I'm thinking of changing the planned skimmer form an AquaC Remora to a Octopus BH 2000. It would help keep another pump out of the tank, will keep the surface clean, and is not too far from the same price for more skimmer (or at least from what I've read).


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

Current Tank Info: 125g Reef w/ T5 HOs, 50Gallon being built!
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Old 04/30/2009, 08:59 PM   #8
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Woot! Construction has begun! Most of the wood has been cut for the stand and all of the equipment is to be ordered tomorrow!

The skimmer plans have now been changed to an octopus BH1000.

Once again, sorry for the lack of pics on a build thread, but my brother still has my camera


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

Current Tank Info: 125g Reef w/ T5 HOs, 50Gallon being built!
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Old 05/07/2009, 03:41 PM   #9
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I decided to stop waiting and just use my dslr, but please excuse the high ISO. I just didn't want to deal with the flash, these were quick shots.

Oh the skimmer is also an Octopus bh2000, not bh1000 like previously stated.

Ok, its time for an update.

The stand is done and is waiting for the doors to come in at the lumber yard and then fitted. Once the doors are taken back off the stand we will be ready for stain. For the stands construction 3/4" maple plywood was used along with some minor 2"x2" pine bracing on the inside. All of the trim is also maple.







Next is the skimmer problem that arose today. It came in fine condition. I even plugged it into my 125 to see if I could get it to pull something and as you can see on the cup, it works.



It seemed to fit the tank fine.






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Old 05/07/2009, 03:43 PM   #10
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That is, until I got the canopy on it.



After finding out that I couldn't open the top due to the collection cup I did this.





The hole did not get in the way of the T5s going in so all is right again

Here's a detail from the front of the canopy to give you a better idea of what it looks like.



Here's the T5 set up all wired up. I pre fit the whole thing yesterday, including the fans so that after stain all of the components would fit without hassle.



Here's some of the rest of the equipment. 4 powerheads, 4 fans, and the 4" reflectors that were trimmed down and drilled to fit the 39w bulbs.




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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

Current Tank Info: 125g Reef w/ T5 HOs, 50Gallon being built!
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Old 05/07/2009, 03:44 PM   #11
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Oh and here's a couple pics from my 125 that is soon moving away and becoming a fowlr.






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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 05/08/2009, 12:26 PM   #12
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Woot! The cabinet door are finally in! That means they get sanded and fitted tonight and it all gets stain tomorrow morn!


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 05/08/2009, 12:41 PM   #13
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Just curious. On the stand, is that a plywood box with some internal joint bracing? Not judging here....just curious as to the internal construction.

Your 125 looks very nice!


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Old 05/08/2009, 12:53 PM   #14
cartoonbear
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Pretty much yeah. The idea was to copy what was used for our 125 stand, but make it a bit stronger. We were supprised to find out that this was all it took to hold up that much so to be sure we thickened the walls.


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Old 05/08/2009, 01:00 PM   #15
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Oh and thanks about the 125. I'm actually pretty unhappy with how it looks, but I guess it's pretty good considering what it's been through.


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 05/08/2009, 01:11 PM   #16
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Nice looking Tank, Stand and Canopy you have going! Cant wait to see it stocked!


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Old 05/08/2009, 01:15 PM   #17
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Me either. Thanks jadams!


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Old 05/08/2009, 01:31 PM   #18
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Another small update.

The tank is to be lps, zoas, and ricordeas so I would love to get the shimmer from a mh system. I've read a bit about current USA powerbrites so the plan is to get 2 blue powerbrite strips and mount them infront of the t5s at a 45 angle into the tank.


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 05/08/2009, 03:36 PM   #19
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really nice work on the stand


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Old 05/16/2009, 03:24 AM   #20
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Tagging along,
How much clearance between the tank and the wall do you need for the skimmer to fit?


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Old 05/16/2009, 07:22 AM   #21
cartoonbear
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Not sure yet. I think it's just over 3" thick so it will have about 4.

While I'm here I'll throw in a small update.

After way too Many problems with the stain and lacquer the wood has now been painted black, but the insides are stained and lacquered. I'll get some pics later.


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 05/16/2009, 11:28 AM   #22
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Looking good. Cant wait to see it all finished. (like a reef tank is ever really finished)


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Old 05/18/2009, 02:29 PM   #23
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It's coming soon. Either tomorrow or Friday the tank should be going up. The location has changed from the entryway to my bedroom so a sump has now become a possible addition for the future. When that time comes I'm going to have to decide between a whole new skimmer or a sump large enough for this monster of a hob.


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Click on the red house to see my 50 gallon softy tank being built

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Old 06/05/2009, 10:29 AM   #24
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Cabinet looks really great. Looking forward to seeing it painted.

Your big tank (125) is stunning. I am a big softy fan, so this is right up my alley.

Canopy/skimmer fix looks very professional- nice troubleshooting.

I have a 29gal Eurofil sump- simple, one section for sock, the rest for skimmer, pumps, etc. Works like a charm and wasn't too hard on the wallet.

I also have some koralias and a maxijet 400 helping with circulation in my tank, as well as a 1/4 chiller...

I haven't hooked it up this summer yet as I moved to a studio and I am seeing how much I can manage with the sump fan and my AC although we have already hit 84 degrees!! *insert smiley with the bulging eyes of shock*... actually I lost a lot of turnover with my chiller inline so I have to upgrade my pump or just have the chiller plumbed out of and back into the sump with my backup pump (not as great for cooling) so I am interested in how you plumb the chiller (what pump you use for it)


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