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  #1  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:44 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
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FlamesFans 90g DIY Thread

Current Tank Status:



Current Specs:

Sun System 48" 6 bulb T5 Lighting
-Front
Actinic Plus
Pure Actinic
Aquaflora
Aquablue
Midday
Actinic Plus

-Back

Reeflow Snapper Returnpump
2x Koralia 3
Euroreef RS-100
TLF Phosban Reactor 150
RO/DI Barracuda System from AquaFX (75GPD)

Prologue: I wasn't originally going to post up a tank journal but decided I would, due to having a few DIY items in my build that maybe others could learn from, because honestly I had no clue how to do them until I read them in posts like this here on RC! Some of my pictures and such are from previous dates, not done on the date posted on RC.


Ok so i've been a long time reader on RC but just reciently i've signed up and started posting and well, this site really rocks. 100% of everything that i've learned about a SW system has been from this site. I've made under 3 stops to LFS's just to check out the scene but with a busy work life this is the best after hours place I could find! So anyways, 5 years ago I decided I wanted more out of the hobby and sold my 10g gold fish aquarium and dropped some good cash into a 90 gallon FW setup with a couple fluval 404's and such. I went out and bought a selection of cichlids, and out of the handful I bought only one didn't survive the 5 years I had them. After 5 years of FW I needed something new in the hobby to keep me interested, and with a bit of research online I found this incredible site, which in the end gave me all the information I needed to get the cog's moving and the confidence I needed.

Being a ticketed carpenter and a very hands on person I decided to do as much work myself as possible in order to save myself some cash, so what I had to work with from my old FW system that I could use on my SW system was:

Undrilled 90g tank
Jager heater
Basic FW knowledge

What I wanted:

Full reef system with an overflow and refugium, basically capable of being able to host anything that I would like to put in it.

List of things I will be doing on my own (some I have already accomplished):

- Drill current 90 gallon for a herbie overflow and build an overflow box inside the tank
- Construct a stand and canopy
- Build an acrylic sump with a refugium
- Plumb the entire system (this will be my weakness)

Continue reading if ya like!

Last edited by FlamesFan; 01/08/2008 at 03:16 AM.
  #2  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:50 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
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So one of the first things I realized I wanted was to have a built in overflow and a drilled tank. I remembered back 5 years ago when I bought my tank, and I remembered the LFS guy asking me if I wanted to buy a tank that had an overflow in it just "incase" I might one day go to a SW system. At that time, I was a lot younger and never thought I could one day afford that kind of setup so I didn't buy one. BIG MISTAKE!

So now, I took the plunge and shook the nerves off with a cold one and started my FW to SW conversion by drilling. I mean, if this didnt work it would mean a broken tank and saving up for a new one which would put this whole thing on hold for a while.

So here goes:


I decided to go for a center overflow, using the herbie design. So I will need three 1-1/2" holes. 1 for drain, 1 for return, and 1 for backup incase the first drain fails.

Tools used:
- cordless drill
- diamond hole saws purchased off ebay from a guy recommended largely on this site. The bit cost me 7 bucks and 7 bucks for shipping from hong kong.
- Toilet wax ring used for setting toilets. Everyone recommended plummers putty for a dam, but this baby was 88 cents and worked like a charm.
  #3  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:57 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Glass hole saw bits have no center guide bit like a normal carpenters hole saw, so to get it started you need to start on a good 45 degree angle and once it bites in you can slowly move to a straight 90 degree angle. I went with a nice high speed setting and didnt stop until it went all the way through.





Yes, this is me shakin in my booties.

  #4  
Old 01/08/2008, 02:58 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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btw fear my pink saw dust collection shovel! It's actually salmon color, you know...a strong fish.


So 3 holes drilled, an acrylic overflow will be installed when I purchase the material for the refugium

Last edited by FlamesFan; 01/08/2008 at 03:05 AM.
  #5  
Old 01/08/2008, 03:14 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Alright so Im not gonna go into detail about the stand and canopy unless I get any requests to do so, but yep was hand built and was my first time actually spraying the finish on it so that was a new experience to me. As far as the building goes im a finishing carpenter by trade so I guess if there's any questions your free to ask.


Stand/Canopy is Maple and is clear coated with a high gloss varathane product.


Look mom no center strut! Achieved by having 1-1/2 inch gables on the ends of the cabinet, and a solid back. The upper portion between the tank and the cabinet has a solid 4"x6" built up laminate beam in it from and back.
  #6  
Old 01/08/2008, 03:19 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Location: Calgary Alberta Canada
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Ok final post for today cause it's late, but UPS dropped this off today and maybe i'll install it tomorrow and show how easy it is to hook up to your washing machine station. I see so many posts in DIY threads on how to install one so maybe it will help someone out there lol.

  #7  
Old 01/08/2008, 08:15 AM
NanoGurl NanoGurl is offline
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Nice setup! Thanks for the photos on drilling.. that's neat. Tagging along!
  #8  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:24 AM
jcpatella jcpatella is offline
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Looking good so far! I love the DIY work. It's one thing to be an assembler, it's another thing to be a BUILDER! And that "salmon" shovel - there has to be a story behind that one...

There's something about drilling a tank that's unnerving. I'd be able to keep the hole lubricated just with the sweat dripping off my forehead!

I'll be sticking around too.
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  #9  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:58 AM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by jcpatella
Looking good so far! I love the DIY work. It's one thing to be an assembler, it's another thing to be a BUILDER! And that "salmon" shovel - there has to be a story behind that one...

There's something about drilling a tank that's unnerving. I'd be able to keep the hole lubricated just with the sweat dripping off my forehead!

I'll be sticking around too.
Hah, yeh I had to down a couple cold ones to build up the nerve to start cutting that first hole....but I admit nearing the end of the 3rd hole was the worste. Oh and yeh the shovel has a history
  #10  
Old 01/08/2008, 12:11 PM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Looking good.
Please do post some details about the stand and canopy built.
  #11  
Old 01/08/2008, 06:43 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Ok sure.

The stand is made out of solid and plywood maple. The cabinet area is the same proportion as the tank to try to give it an equal look.

The theme of the stand/canopy is a mission/shaker style. Which consists of all square sharp edges. I have also created the furnature in my living room where the tank is based on the same theme and also the same clear coat spray varathane look.

The cabinet area is built out of melamine (same stuff as kitchen cabinets) so it can be cleaned and wiped out with ease, and then the whole thing is wraped with maple plywood gables giving the box a full 1-1/2 inch (same width as a 2x4) surround for stability.

Total cost of materials is probally around 300-400 dollars-
- 2x 4x8 sheets of maple plywood
- 15 feet of 1x6 solid maple
- hinges and door knobs
- 4 liters of varathane

I would have no clue how many hours was put into the stand but it was a lot

The middle built up area between the cabinet and the tank was built with the same idea as the floor of a house. It is a rectangle with a 4x6 built up plywood beam running down the front of it in order in order to achieve no strut inside the cabinet.

ATM I live in a condo, but int he future I want to be able to move into a house so I know sometime in the near future I will be moving. With that said, when I designed and built the stand I made it so I can completely disassemble the entire thing into individual parts. The whole thing breaks down into 8 section/pieces which can each be carried around by one person and fits easily through openings and such.

Being in the construction/finishing industry I have my own wood working shop and all the tools required to do stuff like this. But a similar stand/canopy could easily be built minus some of the trim work on it, with a lot less tools that might be available house hold handy men.

Cutting some stuff for the stand


The He-Man Woman-Haters club gathering center:
  #12  
Old 01/08/2008, 06:49 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Next on the agenda to build in the next week or two is going to be my sump/refugium.

Here's what I came up with


I figure it should work ok, a T would feed about 25% of the water flow through the refugium. I guess questions that are still in the air would be, how thick of acrylic do I need? The dimensions are going to be around 36" long, 18" wide, 18" tall. I hope thats a big enough sump for a 90g. The refugium side will also be about 2/3 of the total length, as long as there's no minimum requirements for skimmer and return sections. Does anyone have a similar setup or could anyone offer some changes to my current design to improve?
  #13  
Old 01/08/2008, 07:42 PM
calkrog calkrog is offline
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love the work you've done. looks good. now that i know you're in calgary and do this kind of work i may be looking you up

I may be wrong, but it looks like you will have level fluctuations in your skimmer chamber the way you have set it up with your baffles. i would increase the height of the first one to the height you need the water to be in the chamber.

as for sump design and materials check out melev's site, he's had a lot of experience building acrylic sumps. www.melevsreef.com

in calgary acrylic materials and weld-on can be bought cheap at GE Polymershapes by the airport.
  #14  
Old 01/08/2008, 07:48 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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aw cool man, thanks for the info on where to buy acrylic. Is it a retail front or more of a wholesaler?

Oh and yeh that sounds right, I should have the first baffle the height that I want the water level. Euroreef skimmers want about 7" of water height there.

As far as lookin me up, thats np. I do it all from interior finishing to cabinetry and all kinds of fireplaces, railings and built-ins.
  #15  
Old 01/08/2008, 08:46 PM
Zuluman100 Zuluman100 is offline
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I'm following. My 90g is waiting on one small leak in the return plumbing to be fixed and then ready for 90g of water and 5-6 weeks of cycling. Curious to sea the aquascaping.
  #16  
Old 01/08/2008, 09:53 PM
calkrog calkrog is offline
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GE Polymershapes is a wholesale place, but they will sell you whatever you want at their shipping counter. last time i was there they gave me a 1/4 sheet of 1/4" acrylic for free because it was easier then doing up an invoice.
  #17  
Old 01/08/2008, 11:09 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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ah cool im going to definitely have to stop down there and get my stuff from them. TYVM
  #18  
Old 01/09/2008, 02:29 AM
gabe3d gabe3d is offline
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Love the stand, good job on it. Nice big door, no center brace, and nice looking wood. Also like the circular doodoo you used for drilling the tank, great idea.
  #19  
Old 01/09/2008, 03:08 AM
jeffmperez jeffmperez is offline
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Ok. you got me hooked. I want to see what you do with this project. So far so good. I like the fact that you have the He-Man Woman-Haters club. I miss the one that tI used to have...

By the way, good call on the melamine...
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  #20  
Old 01/09/2008, 10:33 AM
jcpatella jcpatella is offline
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I agree with calkrog - you could heighten the first baffle closest to the skimmer to the water line you have drawn. That way, as evaporation takes place, the level in the skimmer zone will remain the same while the level in the return zone will drop.
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  #21  
Old 01/09/2008, 12:19 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by gabe3d
Love the stand, good job on it. Nice big door, no center brace, and nice looking wood. Also like the circular doodoo you used for drilling the tank, great idea.
lol thanks, the "circular doodoo" is an 88 cent toilet bowl wax ring
  #22  
Old 01/09/2008, 12:22 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by jeffmperez
Ok. you got me hooked. I want to see what you do with this project. So far so good. I like the fact that you have the He-Man Woman-Haters club. I miss the one that tI used to have...

By the way, good call on the melamine...
Yeh, the beer fridge and the TV pretty much sealed the deal. It's a great place to "hide".


Quote:
Originally posted by jcpatella
I agree with calkrog - you could heighten the first baffle closest to the skimmer to the water line you have drawn. That way, as evaporation takes place, the level in the skimmer zone will remain the same while the level in the return zone will drop.
So I should be able to keep the skimmer side baffle at 7" and then say drop the return side to 5-1/2 inches and then only the return side will drop in water level? That would be cool to maintain a consistent skimmer.
  #23  
Old 01/09/2008, 01:14 PM
jcpatella jcpatella is offline
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If you don't maintain a consistent skimmer level you're going to be constantly adjusting it the skimmer. The height of the baffles are up to you. The key is to keep the water level in the return zone lower than the baffle for the skimmer zone.

Here is a picture of my current sump. It's not great, but it shows how the water level stays consistent in the skimmer zone.


Actually, now that I'm looking at it, the levels are really close and the upright is blocking the view of the baffle. Either way, the water level is lower now in my fuge and return section, but the water level in the skimmer remains that height.
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Last edited by jcpatella; 01/09/2008 at 01:20 PM.
  #24  
Old 01/09/2008, 08:04 PM
FlamesFan FlamesFan is offline
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yah thats exactally what I need then, lower the return section baffle. Thanks for the pic, im going to be goin down on friday to buy my acrylic and hope to have some sump creation pics up possibly sunday. I'll have some RO/DI installation pics up soon too I just gotta get around to going down to home depot for some wall anchors.
  #25  
Old 01/10/2008, 12:44 AM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Thanks for the info
 

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