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mrramsey
01-10-2014, 10:53 PM
Well folks how did we get here? It all starts with the fact that I have always wanted to have saltwater fish but for one reason or another I never did it. Well a recent turn of events gave me a reason to do it. On January first of this year (1/1/2014) I lost my sister to breast cancer. She had fought hard for 5 years. As you can imagine it was a pretty rough end to 2013 and just as rough of a beginning to 2013. She was 46 years old - too young, too soon.

We both made choices in life the put us a separate ends of the country so we did not see each other much. She had a real love for nature, animals and the ocean. So I thought "how can I honor her memory". Well I give you the Laura Patrick Memorial Aquarium. I am Still in the planning phases but have a pretty good idea of what i want to do.

So begins a new journal...

JudiJetson
01-10-2014, 11:01 PM
Very sorry for your loss but the new aquarium will be a wonderful tribute to your sister

mrramsey
01-10-2014, 11:16 PM
Thanks Judi - I am going to try my best.

Thanks to my aquatic buddy, Hardy85, for helping me locate and decide on the right tank. I will post that story later going to take my son to a movie tonight.

jeffs99dime
01-10-2014, 11:20 PM
I am very sorry for your loss. A tribute tank sounds like a cool idea.
I hope that your year gets better!

gronlaura
01-10-2014, 11:24 PM
My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family, I'm sure this will be a wonderful tribute to her.

Cliff
01-10-2014, 11:45 PM
I am sorry to hear about your loss. But what a great way to honor her memory

I am looking forward to following your build

Triton
01-10-2014, 11:51 PM
I can't wait to see it develop, so for being such a bad influence :)

Like I've said before, I'm sure you sister would love it

mrramsey
01-11-2014, 03:39 AM
Thank you everyone for the condolences and prayers. They are gratefully received.

Now to press onward. Here is where I am to date.

I started planning this adventure chatting quite a bit with Hardy85 via facebook. Hours of scouring craigslist for something decent that wasn't overpriced and something that people would actually respond to. Chased a lot of dead ends but alas there was one I saw weeks ago that looked great but had a $750 price tag. I pretty much wrote it off as I had emailed the guy and he was really slow to respond. Well I took one last ditch effort since it was still listed and said "Hey, I am still interested can you give me a contact number?". I got a response the same morning.

We had emailed back and forth a couple times and I had asked him if he would be willing to sell just the tank since that was the piece i wanted most or if he was flexible on price. He responded with "I would rather be flexible than part it out" so I called. He proceeded to tell me the story. He lived in Maine and was going to start a reef tank, he bought the tank and stand, protein skimmer, rio2100 pump, mag24 pump, and 8 30# bags of aragomax sand. never set it up in Maine and then moved to Ohio soon after. So her sits all of this stuff that has never seen water.
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Still wrapped in bubble wrap from the move. I started the negotiations, $400, he countered with $650 and I with $475, then he with $500. At that point I had to get to a meeting and said I would go over the numbers to see if it worked for me and call him back in an hour. Now this thing is about 70 miles from me and I don't have a truck anymore so transportation was gong to be an issue. I would need to rent a van or truck to get it, well there's another $100. I really started weighing it out pro's, con's and costs with Hardy85 on the other end live while all of this is happening.

It was pretty comical, I kept getting these chats "Well?", the suspense was high! I decided that $500 was too much and in fact so was $475. I really just wanted the tank and maybe some of the sand. The rest I could sell on craigslist or ebay but just the shear hassle of it was turning me off. I was ready to purchase a new tank at that point.

I called the guy back and said "After looking the numbers I really have to stay at my original $400". I kindly explained that while it is technically new it was not. I explained used tank values etc. I offered him $200 for the tank alone if he would split it up but if I took all of it I would go $400. I explained that I was assuming the burden of hauling and reselling along with the risk of buying the tank without any warranty. I gave him my number and told him to think it over and let me know. I thought that was going to be the end of it.

Twenty minutes later I get a call, it's him. He says "OK $400 for all of it". I agreed on the condition that he at least pull the bubble wrap off and take some pics of the tank. I said to him "You know, you and I both are assuming that nothing has happened to the tank since you movers moved it some years ago". He replies with "You know, I didn't even thing of that." He later send me some pics. I am picking it up in the morning.

The downside to this is that I will be tearing down the freshwater tanks. I enjoy them but I think it would be too much to maintain. I am planning on reusing the 55g as the sump. Depending on what all I use of this stuff I may keep the 72 as a fish only or FOWLR tank. I will be re-homing all of the freshwater fish and plants. as well as selling some of the equipment. More coming soon.
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Triton
01-11-2014, 03:48 AM
The suspense was very high, was fun watching you go back and forth, but I still think it's a heck of a deal for a great looking tank

Can't wait to watch you work your magic with the overflow, sump, and stand build.

Watching your 72 get built was awesome, I know this we be good too!

William
01-11-2014, 06:28 AM
Congrats on a good buy. I look forward to seeing the project develop.

Cliff
01-11-2014, 12:22 PM
Why not make your 120 the FOWLR and the 72 your reef ?

That way, you can get a lot more options for some really cool fish and you can save some cash setting up reef lighting and a skimmer on a 72 gallon tank as compared to a 120.

Depending on your fish choices, you might be able to keep a few select types of corals as many "non-reef safe" fish get that classification based on their predatory nature and not the fact they will munch on corals

mrramsey
01-11-2014, 01:42 PM
I had considered just doing the 72g but it being a bow front I really felt like it was a limitation. I have seen a few bowfront reefs and to me they always look crammed in there. And lighting I really didn't see any good lighting. It also has a scratch right on the front. I cleaned it up a bit and it's better but decided that it was not good enough for my main DT. I haven't totally decided if I am going to keep it at all but I might.

Triton
01-11-2014, 01:59 PM
I still hope you end up considering the Radiata Lionfish :)

Love the look of those

Crispy
01-14-2014, 04:47 AM
not a bad deal. looking forward to your progress and you're in the right place for good sw info. time to start weeks of reading. hehehe...

my word of advice for starting out, start slow and simple. it will make the hobby less intimidating at first and then expand your tank and knowledge as time/money/reading allows.

mrramsey
01-16-2014, 12:42 AM
Progress is a little slower than I like but I guess that's par for the course when you have to liquidate livestock and tanks to make room for a new build. I did re home all of my freshwater fish along with a few plants and wood. Moving some hardware items tomorrow and hopefully the rest of the plants this weekend.

I have been reading and researching as much an possible putting together my equipment list so I can place orders this week. I have decided I would give the new old protein skimmer that came with the tank a go. It seems to be built pretty well and they are fairly simplistic devices. It would seem by the design that they're should be pretty good prolonged contact with the bubbles based on the design.
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Cliff
01-16-2014, 02:16 AM
Nothing wrong with giving that skimmer a try

I would suggest keeping your stocking level low until your tank starts to matures as that style of skimmer is said to be not as efficient as other designs

mrramsey
01-17-2014, 02:19 AM
In other news the freshwater fishes have a new home and some of my old equipment has been sold. I am hoping to move some furniture and drain, clean and break down the other tanks this weekend.

On the equipment front I have decided to invest in LED reef lights. I figured by the time I upgraded my existing t5 lights for corals plus the cost of bulbs annually I would be better off. I am looking at the lights from ReefBreeders.com. I also just saw an ad a fellow has on craigslist for a 3 month old ASM g4 protein skimmer for $250. I know I said I would give the one I have a try but at the price it's hard to pass up.

Cliff
01-17-2014, 03:02 AM
That skimmer likely would not fit into a 55 gallon tank as a sump. If you choose that skimmer you would need a larger sump as well as building a larger stand

http://www.aquariumsupplies.ca/protein-skimmer-p-1154.html

mrramsey
01-17-2014, 12:36 PM
Jeez Cliff I sure hate it when you point out the pesky little details that are right under my nose... LOL. I guess I will pass on that then.

Cliff
01-17-2014, 12:38 PM
LOL, Just trying to help you avoid the same mistakes I have made in the past.

Triton
01-17-2014, 01:28 PM
Or you just buy this 75 I have sitting in my basement and use it for a sump ;)

mrramsey
01-18-2014, 05:55 PM
And so it begins...

Starting to re arrange my office, paint and break down the 55 to make room for the build.sorry for the fuzzy pics. My iPad sucks at photos.

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Cliff
01-19-2014, 02:49 PM
Any up-dates today ?

jeffs99dime
01-19-2014, 03:27 PM
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That looks like the movie Swordfish when they are trying to "plant" the hydra.

mrramsey
01-19-2014, 05:25 PM
Any up-dates today ?
Just finishing up some painting and general clean up so that I can actually start building. Hoping to make final equipment selections today so I can get it ordered.

mrramsey
01-19-2014, 05:27 PM
That looks like the movie Swordfish when they are trying to "plant" the hydra.

LOL too funnny Jeff. I remember that.

Triton
01-19-2014, 05:28 PM
Can't wait to see this start coming together :)

mrramsey
01-20-2014, 02:15 PM
Starting the sump design today. Will post drawings this afternoon. I have a few designs that I am considering. I decided to use 1.5" bulkheads on the drains instead of 3/4". This will more than handle anything the mag 24 can dish out.

Cliff
01-20-2014, 04:54 PM
Now we are getting to the fun part !!!

Good call on the 1.5 pipe for the drain lines. Each of them should allow you to have around 1000 to 1600 GPH depending on how you pc the entire line together. Bigger pipe would also help avoid blockages with a style of overflow you are going for

jeffs99dime
01-20-2014, 05:15 PM
LOL too funnny Jeff. I remember that.

Sorry, when I saw that picture I could not resist. lol

mrramsey
01-20-2014, 10:27 PM
Now we are getting to the fun part !!!

Good call on the 1.5 pipe for the drain lines. Each of them should allow you to have around 1000 to 1600 GPH depending on how you pc the entire line together. Bigger pipe would also help avoid blockages with a style of overflow you are going for

Doing another beananimal coast to coast.

Cliff
01-20-2014, 11:12 PM
I'm not a big fan of the beananimal style as you are restricting water flow (not air flow) to get a silent drain line. But if you have a larger diameter line then you need, you should be fine.

mrramsey
01-21-2014, 12:09 AM
I am not sure I am following you there Cliff about restricting water flow.

I have the first layout for the sump design.

Intake Chamber - All intake drains are slightly submerged in this chamber
Dual 4" mesh filter socks - Intakes spill over into the sock holders
Skimmer and Equipment chamber
3" Sand Refugium
Mag24 Return Pump


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Cliff
01-21-2014, 12:58 AM
[LEFT]
I am not sure I am following you there Cliff about restricting water flow.

In a typical beananimal gravity drain, you adjust the water flow / air flow mixture by using a valve on the drain line which restricts or adjusts the flow of water to match the air flow an make the drain silent.

I like your sump design, good planning with the filter sock set-up. You might want to think about another baffle between the refugium and return pump compartment to make a bubble trap.

Cliff
01-21-2014, 12:30 PM
I forgot to ask, have you thought about drain back from your main tank yet ?

By that I mean, if you ever have a power failure and your return pump stops working, have you left enough room in the sump to hold all the water that will drain back into the sump?

mrramsey
01-22-2014, 01:04 AM
Yes I have. I estimated that there will be approximately 6 gallons of water that will drain back into the sump. I was thinking of adding one check valve on the return line not as a safety but merely as a way of not letting so much air back into the lines. There will be siphon breaks at each return outlet into the tank.

mrramsey
01-23-2014, 01:08 AM
OK I ordered some stuff from Bulk Reef Supply and Reef breeders. I ordered a 5 stage 150gpd RO/DI, diamond drill bit, bulkheads a swing check valve and the lighting. Those were the big ticket items. Now on to Lowe's to get building materials and plumbing parts. I am going to finish the wall in the same t&g that I used on the 72g build. I will finalize the sump plan and stand plans tonight.

mrramsey
01-24-2014, 09:40 PM
Yay! Christmas in January! I received my first shipment of goods.

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jeffs99dime
01-24-2014, 11:37 PM
Nice! Hey, I have the same air purifier.

mrramsey
01-24-2014, 11:40 PM
Lol Jeff! You sure do pay attention to all of those obscure details.

jeffs99dime
01-24-2014, 11:42 PM
lol. Seems to help.

mrramsey
01-26-2014, 11:06 PM
Well the weather kept me home this weekend to ponder some more on the plans. I reworked the sump a bit and am going with a center return.

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There is a 12x14 fuge at the left. Return pump in the center and the skimmer, sock filters, and heaters to the right. I think I have ironed out the stand and saltwater mixing station as well.

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Here are a couple crude elevations. The tank will be in wall viewable on the front and right side.

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Cliff
01-26-2014, 11:30 PM
I would suggest having your skimmer in a different compartment from your return pump.

Section of you sump with the return pump will be the lowest compartment of the sump as well as the one compartment that will have reducing water level as you get evaporation. Even with a ATO system, you will still get about a 1/2 inch variation. That will be enough to cause at least some variation in your skimmer performance. At least, that has been my experience with mid-quality skimmers that are realistically rated for a set-up like yours. In addition, your skimmer can release bubbles into the water which will get sucked up into the return pump causing extra wear and tear on the pump (and noise).

If you dose want to ever add a auto dosing pump, you would want it to be in a section of the sump after your skimmer to allow for the best possible mixing before hitting your tank and the best possible skimmer performance.

Have you picked out a skimmer yet that you eventually want to up-grade to yet ?

mrramsey
01-26-2014, 11:55 PM
The return pump is in its own compartment. It is hard to see in the pics. The pump you see us the pump for the skimmer.

The depth of the skimmer compartment will be 14" an I will raise my skimmer by 2". The refugium is 14x12 and appx 13" deep.

I have not picked out the next skimmer yet.

Cliff
01-26-2014, 11:59 PM
Ah, OK. I thought that pump was your return pump

My mistake

mrramsey
01-31-2014, 01:50 PM
No real build progress this week. With the weather breaking I plan to get started building this weekend. I did work out a trade for a newer protein skimmer. I am sure it is borderline size wise but definitely an upgrade from the one I have plus it frees up the pump to use for the mixing station. It's a like new SWC extreme 150 pretty much identical to the bubble magus NAC.

Cliff
01-31-2014, 04:26 PM
I know two others are are using SWC skimmers and they really like them

mrramsey
01-31-2014, 04:38 PM
I know two others are are using SWC skimmers and they really like them

Yes I figure it will buy me some time anyways. It will be a while before I have a large bioload. I managed to work out a trade for the old 120g stand that came as a part of the package I bought + a little cash. So as long as I can manage 18-24 months with this skimmer I will be glad to drop some cash on a new one later to upgrade if needed.

KevinVA
01-31-2014, 09:20 PM
Congrats on your acquisition of this awesome looking tank and God bless you brother. I'm very sorry to hear about your sister. You're right... way too young. Your idea is a beautiful one and I'm really glad that you're allowing us to follow along. I really enjoyed your FW tank build and so far, I'm already feeling overwhelmed. lol

I've thought about keeping SW tanks, because they can be so beautiful and the fish are so interesting, but the costs and maintenance involved have always kept me at bay. This isn't helping me get a SW tank, but it's certainly a good read.

Cliff
02-01-2014, 12:22 PM
Depending on your final stocking in your tank, that skimmer just might be all you need. You'll just have to try it and see.

mrramsey
02-01-2014, 04:32 PM
Thanks Kevin glad your tagging along.

So I got up this morning after thinking about the sump last night and decided to make a few minor modifications ad do a final drawing and cut sheet. After reviewing many sump designs online I decided to lower my operating water level to 10" Here is the final layout:

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/sump_final.png

Cut List for the glass shop.
Note: I left the panels 1/8" shy of the width of the 55g. I also clipped the corners where they would contact the original silicone of the tank.

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/cut.png

I made it so that it is simple to change the filter socks as needed or to run without. There is also tons of space for back flow however with the siphon breaks on the return lines plus a check valve the back flow should mainly be the remaining water that is in the drains. The reason for adding the check valve is to lower the amount of bubbles in the DT when the pump kicks on. This is the one flaw in the system on the 72g that I will correct when that becomes a FOWLR tank.

I am also making some minor tweaks to the stand and plumbing to finalize my shopping list for today.

jgranata13
02-01-2014, 05:06 PM
My condolences on the passing of your sister.

I'm interested in setting up a saltwater tank at some point in the future and it seems like you're being very careful and thinking this build through very thoroughly. I'm sure I'll learn some valuable information from following along.

mrramsey
02-01-2014, 05:15 PM
My condolences on the passing of your sister.

I'm interested in setting up a saltwater tank at some point in the future and it seems like you're being very careful and thinking this build through very thoroughly. I'm sure I'll learn some valuable information from following along.

Thank you jgranata. Yes there is a lot of research but from the maintenance standpoint really not much different. The costs are definitely higher but I chose to keep just saltwater and not both.

Cliff
02-01-2014, 07:14 PM
I wish I could draft plans like you have done above

It looks like you have your drain split between the filter sock compartment and your refugium compartment. I think you mentioned that before and I missed it.

If that is the plan, I would suggest a bubble trap baffle set-up between the refugium and return pump compartment as well.

mrramsey
02-01-2014, 08:24 PM
Actually no. The drains all lead to the sock filters. I plan on putting a tee on the return line into the refugium allowing a slower flow there. I have read a lot of negatives on splitting the drains. The main one being that you end up with a lot of crap in the five that needs to be cleaned.

I actually started usind another cad program for drafting. It is free and easy to use. It is called nanocad.

Cliff
02-02-2014, 12:44 AM
Sounds like a good plan, sorry I missed that detail

You might still want to consider the bubble trap tho. It will help eliminate bubbles if the water level in your return pump section ever drops too low. I know you are planning a ATO system as well, but it would not hurt to have a built in extra safe guard. That is also based on the assumption you can loose a inch of space to allow for it.

Either way, I do like the sump layout and I am impressed at the level of planning you are taking here

I am really looking forward to seeing this set-up develop over time

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 12:50 AM
Well folks I almost pulled the trigger today while I was shopping at Lowe's for plumbing. Something has been grinding at me during this entire planning phase and that feeling was still present while I was pilfering through the various fittings. I was very apprehensive about this purchase and couldn't put my finger on it. So I decided to step back and go home to figure it out.

I got home made some dinner and had a beer. I was talking it through with my wife (she was trying her best to understand what I was talking about) it came down to the overflow... Something was just not sitting right with me doing the BeanAnimal Coast to Coast when I had 3 perfectly good external overflows to use. I mean these have been used for decades. I re ran some calcs and determined that even in the remote chance that all 3 overflows lost siphon or became clogged the display tank would not flood. Couple that with the fact that I have so much volume left in the 55g sump that that has no chance of flooding. In fact the worse possible case is the pump overheats and dies But I think there are ways around that.

With that bit of news I am re-configuring the plumbing plan now.

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 12:53 AM
You might still want to consider the bubble trap tho.

I just might... I had it there then took it out. the flow from the fuge should be low enough that I could go pretty narrow but even at an inch that still leaves me with 9" for the pump.

Cliff
02-02-2014, 12:53 AM
I re ran some calcs and determined that even in the remote chance that all 3 overflows lost siphon or became clogged the display tank would not flood.

Are you going for a siphon based drain or a gravity feed based drain ?

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 12:57 AM
I have 3 of these -

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I suppose I could go either way or a mix. I am open to ideas. They have 1" drains.

Cliff
02-02-2014, 01:03 AM
Ok, I understand now. You planning have a siphon based drain, not a bean animal (AKA gravity) based drain.

Have you considered drilling the tank or having the tank drilled for you ?

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 01:07 AM
The bottom is tempered. I did plan on the bean method and do have the bit and 3 1" bulkheads. Yes I have these siphon based drains that were a part of the deal when I purchased the tank initially. I have a hard time not using what is available to me rather than discarding it. Running three of these should handle the planned 1200GPH flow I would think?

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 02:45 AM
This is what I am thinking about. I have 3 HOB overflow boxes with 1.25" U tubes. They have 1" drain lines that should handle up to 600gph. My drawing is crude but you get the idea. I would use Flex line to the sump and utilize the same sump layout. I still believe the pump will put out about 1500gph after head loss so maybe I only need 2. I know some of the issues with U tube setups is when there is too slow of a flow going through the tube and that causes air bubbles to not flow through and accumulate at the apex of the tube. What do you guys think?

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/hob.png

Triton
02-02-2014, 03:24 AM
My issue with flex tube is that I feel things can get stuck easier since it's not perfectly round.

Cliff
02-02-2014, 11:30 AM
What type of product are you referring to when you say "flex tube"?

Have you considered getting the back pannel of the aquarium drilled?

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 12:56 PM
A semi rigid tubing like you would use on a sump pump. Not vinyl tubing. I am 98% sure the entire tank is not tempered.

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 01:40 PM
I guess the real question I am asking is are the external u tube type of overflows adequate or am I better off doing my original design?

Cliff
02-02-2014, 01:50 PM
External siphon based drain would work provided they do not loss there siphon. However, I would suggest getting your back panel drilled and use a completely gravity based drain. It is the simplest and the most fail safe type of drain you can have

You just need to confirm the glass is not tempered before drilling

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 03:54 PM
Alright then... I am back to drilling the back. I have simplified the plumbing a bit. I am picking up the parts today.

Triton
02-02-2014, 04:04 PM
:) we are horrible influences

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 06:04 PM
:) we are horrible influences

Nah not so much as horrible influences. You guys just keep me on track.

Just waiting on a couple guys to come pick up some stuff I had for sale. Then off to lowes.
The new skimmer is here. Looks good!

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Triton
02-02-2014, 06:04 PM
Very nice, looks like you made out well

mrramsey
02-02-2014, 06:31 PM
Can't complain. It's actually built better than I thought it would be. Just sold my old ac70 which brings the cost of the skimmer down to fifty bucks.

Triton
02-02-2014, 07:19 PM
Not bad at all

Cliff
02-02-2014, 07:24 PM
Not bad for a skimmer that retails for just under $300 new

mrramsey
02-03-2014, 12:03 AM
Ok folks... Game on!!

I think I have 95% of everything. Still have to order glass for the sump but my trip to Lowe's was successful.

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We have a project ahead of us now. The piping and lumber will be here on Thursday morning.

Cliff
02-03-2014, 06:47 AM
I would suggest a medium bodied PVC glue. It will have a longer set time making it a little easier to work with.

mrramsey
02-03-2014, 11:52 AM
One step ahead of ya there Cliff. :D

Cliff
02-03-2014, 01:11 PM
LOL, I should have known !!

Are you planning on using a threaded fitting to attach the pipe to the bulkhead flanges ? The reason why I ask is that if you are going to glue them, you should use a ABS/PVC transmission glue. And don't forget to use thread tape on the threaded fittings. But you have likely already thought of that as this is not your first sump set-up

mrramsey
02-03-2014, 01:16 PM
Yes threaded fittings. Funny thing though now that you brought it up. Those are the three fittings I totally forgot to buy! Well that's par for the course when I shop at Lowes.

mrramsey
02-03-2014, 01:20 PM
Oh and the bulkheads are schedule 80 PVC. Yeah overkill... Either way the inside fittings I will just use a little silicone to give the fitting a seal so I can remove it for any reason if needed.

KevinVA
02-03-2014, 08:07 PM
Actually no. The drains all lead to the sock filters. I plan on putting a tee on the return line into the refugium allowing a slower flow there. I have read a lot of negatives on splitting the drains. The main one being that you end up with a lot of crap in the five that needs to be cleaned.

I actually started usind another cad program for drafting. It is free and easy to use. It is called nanocad.

Thank you for mentioning that. I've been wanting to get my hands on something like you use, and know that autocad is expensive as hell. Appreciate it! =]

mrramsey
02-03-2014, 11:48 PM
I am pretty happy with it Kevin. It uses all of the same commands as AutoCad.

mrramsey
02-04-2014, 11:31 PM
Ordered glass for the sump and overflow today. What an ordeal. I had called the local glass shop to get an estimate based on my drawings. He asks the average size of most pieces and tells me just to figure $7.50 per square foot and that would include any polishing of the edges etc.

Today I drive to the shop to deliver the drawings so that they had all of the info. Now I calculated about 8.5 square feet at about $65. While there I explained in detail what I needed and what I was building. No problem he says... it will be a couple of days.

I stop on the way home at the hardware store to get a few fittings I forgot. When I got home I double checked the measurements of the glass just to be sure. Alas I decide to make the overflow a half inch larger. I call the shop and give the guy the info. He says I'll call you to let you know. A few minutes go by and he calls.... the total will be $227... I said what??? I mean really? These are basic shapes. He proceeded to feed me a line is bs about being too busy and they would send this out to be fabricated. I said thanks but no thanks and would never do business there again.

Called up another local shop and he is doing if for $90. Should have it Thursday.

William
02-05-2014, 01:33 AM
Some places really do not understand customer service. Good to hear that you found another shop.

KevinVA
02-05-2014, 03:56 AM
Ridiculous ordeal, but glad you found another reasonable shop. =/

mrramsey
02-05-2014, 01:39 PM
A little inspiration...

http://fish-etc.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/04/Bleacher-effect.jpg

Triton
02-05-2014, 01:42 PM
Thats awesome, are you going to paint the back? I know you said you wanted the coraline algae, but I still think a black back (or even blue) with the algae on it would look better than the clear glass.

Then you could put the powerhead on the side that's built into the wall too

mrramsey
02-05-2014, 01:44 PM
Yes the back and left side of mine will be black. Take that rock structure and flip it 180.

mrramsey
02-05-2014, 01:46 PM
I don't think the tank in that pic is a 120 so I will upsize appropriately.

mrramsey
02-05-2014, 03:55 PM
Getting ready for drilling...thumbs2:

I opted not to go coast to coast this time around but more N.Y. to Colorado lol. The reason for it was purely aesthetics. I don't like the look of the end of the overflow on my 72g against the glass and since this build highlights 2 sides of the tank I thought it best to shorten it so not to obstruct any views from the right end of the tank.

This is the back view.
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/bean1.png

mrramsey
02-07-2014, 01:38 PM
Update

I have acquired the lumber, plumbing parts and will pick up the glass today. Construction is slated for this Sunday. I will be starting the stand and wall.

mrramsey
02-10-2014, 09:15 PM
Well I did not get much done over the weekend. The crappy weather took the wind out of my sails as I didn't feel much like working in the damp cold garage. I did start on the sump though. I just use pvc fittings and cardboard tubes from a paper towel roll as temporary spacers while the silicone sets up.

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6435.JPG

This is part of the inlet chamber. It was easier to glue up this one outside of the tank.
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6437.JPG

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6439.JPG

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6440.JPG

I just have to silicone one more baffle in place and insert the intake chamber. Silicone one cross brace for the filter sock plate which is going to be made from 1/4" acrylic. More pics to come later.

mrramsey
02-11-2014, 08:18 PM
I finished the glass work on the sump today and glued up the overflow. Once it is dry I can lay out the holes for drilling the tank.

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6441.JPG

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6442.JPG

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6443.JPG

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6444.JPG

mrramsey
02-14-2014, 08:53 PM
I mustered up the courage to actually drill the glass today. I have one hole drilled and 2 more to go. Definitely a slow process. Patience is key here.

Here you see I used a piece of scrap acrylic as a template. This will assure that my holes are exactly in the same position. I used a small ribon of plumbers putty between the glass and acrylic to act as a gasket to keep the water from seeping underneath. I then Made a ring about 1/2" deep around the hole to hold the water for cooling.
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6448.JPG

I taped the edges of the template to hold it in place while I drilled. I also put some tape on the inside to hold the glass plug when it drilled through.
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6450.JPG

Started drilling and this id at about 30% through. I drilled slowly with my cordless set on slow speed and also set the clutch on a low setting just in case the bit would get stuck for some reason. The white that you see is the glass powder from grinding.
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6453.JPG

Made it!!
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6454.JPG

Triton
02-14-2014, 08:56 PM
Jeez. Glad it worked out ok... but that would scare me

mrramsey
02-14-2014, 08:57 PM
A few more pics...

Plug removed
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6455.JPG

Cleaned up
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6456.JPG

Perfect Fit
http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/IMG_6457.JPG

thumbs2:

mrramsey
02-14-2014, 08:58 PM
Jeez. Glad it worked out ok... but that would scare me

It really was not bad at all

Cliff
02-14-2014, 10:53 PM
That's a great tip to use the acrylic guide like that.

Good job drilling the tank. It can be never-racking the first time you do it, but after you have drilled one, it starts getting a lot easier.

mrramsey
02-16-2014, 04:26 PM
Overflow attached...
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Stand construction starts today.

Crispy
02-17-2014, 03:56 AM
looking great! can't wait to see more...

mrramsey
02-17-2014, 11:38 PM
I built the stand today. I still need to paint it but just doing a dry fit to check for level. I need to shim a few spots on the frame but it is solid.

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Cliff
02-17-2014, 11:46 PM
I like how you have the sump behind the tank. It can be a little bit of a pain getting skimmers in and out of stands

mrramsey
02-17-2014, 11:51 PM
Thanks. The way I looked at it in the end was that you really wouldn't do any tank .maintenance from the rear anyway. Its primarily just the sump. You have to vac and place corals etc from the front where you can see. Plus its a straight shot for the plumbing.

KevinVA
02-18-2014, 01:38 AM
Where is the tank going? I'm curious about how you're going to maintain the sump. Is this going to be an in-wall unit w/ a maintenance room in the back?

mrramsey
02-18-2014, 01:46 AM
Yes this is an in wall build. It it pretty much in place where it sits. I will be building the wall around it. The mixing station and ro unit will be to the right of the sump. The front and one end will be visible.

KevinVA
02-18-2014, 01:55 AM
Very cool! I hope we get to see that build, as well. =]

Have you thought about leaving the one side open, as well, to give yourself a wrap-around viewing window? Not sure how difficult that would be to build, but in theory it sounds good.

mrramsey
02-18-2014, 02:07 AM
Yea that is exactly what it will be like.

KevinVA
02-18-2014, 02:10 AM
Awesome. Looking forward to seeing the finished product. So far, everything looks excellent. Another job well done. thumbs2:

mrramsey
02-18-2014, 08:23 PM
Painted the tank today. I went with black. I was messing around and set the new light on the tank.

mrramsey
02-18-2014, 08:27 PM
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I also added the acrylic plate that holds the filter socks. Hopefully I got the size right but it is just tacked in place with silicone until I test fit some socks.
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jgranata13
02-18-2014, 10:22 PM
Looking really good! How come there's egg crate in the bottom of the tank?

mrramsey
02-18-2014, 10:26 PM
You will find many aquarists that use egg crate just to protect the glass . I like it because it keeps the rocks in place so they are not sliding around.

jgranata13
02-18-2014, 10:28 PM
Ah, that's very smart! I've never thought of that but I'll definitely remember for future reference

mrramsey
02-28-2014, 01:21 PM
Making slow progress with cold weather and some travel. I have the stand completed, level, and painted at this point. The tank and sump are painted, drilled, and on the stand.

I ordered the last of the equipment this week.
2 Jebao wp25 wave makers with controllers. I used these because the price was right and they are controllable. They also have gotten great reviews and many are going to these over the vortech's. They push 900-2000 gph each

2 Finnex 300 watt titanium heater tubes
Stc-1000 temperature controller
4 4" 200 micron filter socks
Float valve for the ro system

I hope to complete the wall today and tomorrow before heading to Vegas next week for work and to grab a beer with triton.

Triton
02-28-2014, 01:24 PM
thumbs2:

APPROVED! Hopefully I can see some pics in person

mrramsey
02-28-2014, 01:26 PM
I'll be sure to take a bunch on my phone

mrramsey
02-28-2014, 06:05 PM
OK got my heaters and they just fit between the glass on the baffles. Anyone see a problem with this?
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I also made my holes too big for the filter socks. New another piece of acrylic...

Triton
02-28-2014, 06:07 PM
I feel like the heaters won't have enough time with the water to heat it up properly... and if they are too close to the glass I feel like that could cause issues...

mrramsey
02-28-2014, 06:36 PM
The heaters have rubber caps on top and bottom that hold it in place. I would think that i would have more even heating with them in a high flow area like that. The temp will be monitored from the DT and not the sump.

mrramsey
02-28-2014, 11:15 PM
Did some framing today. I will button it up tomorrow and start the paneling.

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Triton
02-28-2014, 11:43 PM
How are you going to support the upper corner?

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 12:01 AM
It is suspended from the top.

Triton
03-01-2014, 12:31 AM
Make sure you don't have much weight on it then. Don't want it to sag at all

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 12:53 PM
There is no real weight to the structure at all. Nothing actually touches the tank either. There will be two panels that open at the top for access to the tank and one panel on the bottom that will open to access below the tank. I will post more pics as I go today.

Cliff
03-01-2014, 01:02 PM
The progress is looking good

I've always wanted to do a completely built in / in-wall tank build but never had enough space to do one

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 01:15 PM
The progress is looking good

I've always wanted to do a completely built in / in-wall tank build but never had enough space to do one

Thanks Cliff - I didn't really have a choice in my case due to lack of space for the equipment. What do you think about my heater placement between the baffles in the sump? Bad idea?

Cliff
03-01-2014, 01:22 PM
I have my heaters in my 120 gallon set-up in the baffles between the first two sump compartments and it works fine for me. I find that being in a high flow area keeps a more even and stable temp when using good quality heaters.

A in-line heater would be best, but your approach would be just fine IMO.

Either way, it will take a little trial and error getting both heater set correct and working in sink with each other

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 01:29 PM
I bought 2 300watt Finnex Titanium tubes so no thermostats to sync. They will be controlled by a separate temperature controller that will control the outlets that they are plugged into. I will have control of the setpoints as to what temp the heat kicks on and off. The temp probe will be in the display tank and not the sump.

Cliff
03-01-2014, 01:32 PM
Oops, I forgot you are using a controller (not enough coffee yet today).

That is actually going to be my next up-grade for my own two set-ups. I'll be looking forward to hearing about how you like your controller once you have it set-up and running

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 01:35 PM
I will definitely document that since it is DIY to a degree. It is a STC-1000 (find them on amazon for about $20). The only downside for me at least is the unit of measure is Celcius. But that would be perfect for you Cliff. :18:

Triton
03-01-2014, 02:05 PM
The stc-1000 is an awesome controller too

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 05:24 PM
Getting ready to put the pine on...
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jeffs99dime
03-01-2014, 08:17 PM
Oh man! That looks awesome. Nice job.

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 08:20 PM
Thanks Jeff!
Here it is now... I am about half way do me with the tongue an groove pine.

32772

jeffs99dime
03-01-2014, 08:23 PM
Wow! Even better. Are you keeping it natural finish? Staining? Clear coat?

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 08:28 PM
Actually I am going to paint it but with a faux finish to make it look weathered. The idea is to give it a shanty on a dock look. There will be more aquatic deco added to it like nets or rope etc.

FrozenTundra
03-01-2014, 08:48 PM
that is looking nice

Cliff
03-01-2014, 09:07 PM
Have you thought about some ventilation in your sump room?

I have the 100 gallon sump for my 180 gallon tank sitting in a closet behind the display tank and it started to sell "musty", like stale damp air does. I added a ventilation panel at the bottom of the door and I have a fan that runs for 3 one hour intervals (on a timer) to keep the air circulated and have a more constant supply of fresh air circulated in the closet as well. Although there was no physical signs of moisture problems that I was able to find, the smell did go away. From what I have read, have a most constant supply of fresh air for your sump can help keep your oxygen level higher in your set-up as well, although I'm not too sure about that.

mrramsey
03-01-2014, 09:29 PM
Yes I have thought about it. The room is not sealed off and there is HVAC in the fish room area. I think it will be fine as is but I can add a ventilation fan easily if I end up needing it. I may put a small fan on a timer to kick on throughout the day though. That's a pretty good idea.

KevinVA
03-02-2014, 04:36 PM
The tank wall is looking fantastic! Very well done, Mike.

mrramsey
03-03-2014, 08:28 PM
Thanks Kevin...

No progress to make this week. I am in Vegas for a trade show it is going to make for a boring week.:seeingstars:

KevinVA
03-03-2014, 08:42 PM
Thanks Kevin...

No progress to make this week. I am in Vegas for a trade show it is going to make for a boring week.:seeingstars:

Interesting. Chris is in Vegas this weekend, too, also for work. I wonder if you're both at the same trade show. You guys should try to hook up and nerd out. ;P

mrramsey
03-03-2014, 09:32 PM
haha thats the plan but he is heading back to NY tomorrow. We are going to try to get together tonight.

mrramsey
03-09-2014, 10:42 PM
Okay... back from Vegas and jet lagging a bit but did some work today. I have the wall about 98% completed.

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mrramsey
03-09-2014, 10:44 PM
More pics...

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Cliff
03-09-2014, 11:09 PM
Look like some good progress

Sorry if I missed it, but how were planning to finish the pine ? Paint or Stain ?

mrramsey
03-09-2014, 11:15 PM
I am painting it with a distressed finish like this...
32914

Triton
03-10-2014, 01:42 AM
Curious to see how that paint is applied

KevinVA
03-11-2014, 08:56 PM
Looks amazing, so far. thumbs2:

Andrews
03-11-2014, 10:45 PM
Curious to see how that paint is applied

I'll take with a brush, for 400 Alex.

mrramsey
03-11-2014, 10:47 PM
Lol! Classic...

Actually it is a 3 step process.

mrramsey
03-12-2014, 09:24 PM
ATO is pretty well finished. Here are some pics.

Here you can see the reservoir for the RO water. There is a valve to fill it on top from the ro storage tank.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/13/hy5u5e3a.jpg

Here you can see the water level set tube. This should remain submerged but when the water evaporates it allows air to enter and water to drain from the reservoir. When the water submerges the tube the flow will stop.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/13/8uhadeve.jpg

mrramsey
03-13-2014, 01:17 AM
Mixing pump...

Whoops... upside down...
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hockeyhead019
03-13-2014, 03:19 PM
Maybe I'm missing something in the setup but won't that just creat a siphon? That looks to me like it'll keep adding RO water to your sump until that 5 gal bucket is empty. Again I might be missing something but just wanted to check

mrramsey
03-13-2014, 03:41 PM
Maybe I'm missing something in the setup but won't that just create a siphon? That looks to me like it'll keep adding RO water to your sump until that 5 gal bucket is empty. Again I might be missing something but just wanted to check

Try to picture putting your finger over the end of a straw full of pop. The pop stays in the straw until you let air into the opposite end. The air inlet tube under the surface of the water acts as your finger would on the end of the straw. When the water level drops below the tube air is allowed in and fills the top of the bucket allowing the water to flow. When the water again covers the air inlet tube the flow will stop. Simple, effective, no moving parts.

hockeyhead019
03-13-2014, 07:38 PM
gotcha gotcha, didn't know the 5 gal bucket was sealed lol my bad. Very smart system, I had that in my mind but couldn't see the air return line, I see it now that you explained it and I looked a little harder lol

mrramsey
03-13-2014, 08:16 PM
gotcha gotcha, didn't know the 5 gal bucket was sealed lol my bad. Very smart system, I had that in my mind but couldn't see the air return line, I see it now that you explained it and I looked a little harder lol

Just an experiment at this point... It works but I am finding that it is slow to shut off due to the give in the bucket and its kind of noisy when I simulate evaporation. You get a lot of gurgle noise. I may just put a float valve in and still utilize the gravity feed.

mrramsey
03-15-2014, 11:57 AM
Well the design and theory behind the ATO is good but falls short. I made a few tests to see how it would work and it did to a degree. I think the tubing i used was too large and the bucket had too much give allowing the water to almost continuously trickle. The float valve idea would probably work but takes far too much space in the return section of the sump. The gravity flow works fine so I am revamping the system to use a single low voltage float switch from Autotopoff.com and a Solenoid valve.

The single switch will be fine in this case since I only have a 5 gallon reservoir and flooding is not possible. The solenoid is a normally closed valve so no water will flow in a power outage. I can manually top off directly from the RO storage tank if this happens.

mrramsey
03-15-2014, 08:54 PM
Taking a break on plumbing for a bit. I need to get some electric ran. I started with the power control box. One might day its overkill. Here is the mock up ... no working has been done yet.

The front has the stc-1000 temp controller and two switches for the return pump and skimmer. I have plenty of room for future upgrades but for now the two will suffice since the power heads and lights have their own controller.
32977

The back has 8 recepticals of which 2 are switched. The black outlet is going to be wired to the stc-1000 for the heater tubes.
32978

Since the wall is not a permanent structure I opted to build the panel this way. It will be plugged into an existing outlet via a 12/3 rubber sheathed cable.

It will be mounted here about 24" above the sump. I am still adding one receptacle on the front of the panel for the fuge light timer.
32979

Cliff
03-15-2014, 10:36 PM
There some good manufactured ATOs on the market that might be easier if you run out of time

Are you setting up your electrical on a GFI circuit.

mrramsey
03-15-2014, 10:38 PM
Yes I will be plugging into a GFCI circuit.

mrramsey
03-15-2014, 10:39 PM
Let the wiring begin lol.

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mrramsey
03-16-2014, 10:44 PM
ower control box has been completed. I tested the stc 1000 against me multimeter and found it to be pretty accurate. I added 2 additional switches and 4 panel indicator lights for some bling.

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/17/rahahezy.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/17/ygu2asu3.jpg


http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/03/17/apaduqe7.jpg

mrramsey
03-22-2014, 04:44 PM
Good Morning ALL,

Today is going to be a busy day. I have a lot of information to update you on since my last post.

As of today I have filled the tank with fresh water for testing. Everything is working as planned however the mag 24 pump is a bit loud. I have the pomp sitting on a piece of 3/4" thick foam in the sump. I also have foam padding anywhere that the PVC is in contact with the tank or stand. I have some work ahead of me to quiet it down.


Here are some progress videos -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eDlvbWxlhOI

mrramsey
03-22-2014, 04:44 PM
http://youtu.be/mF3r-EwrgOM

mrramsey
03-22-2014, 04:44 PM
You will notice in this video at the beginning there are excessive bubbles at the intake. I discovered an small air leak at the double union ball valve. This has been corrected and now just minor bubbling at the secondary drain.

http://youtu.be/xuBk_DR7t6I

mrramsey
03-22-2014, 04:45 PM
I installed 2 wp25's in my 120g reef tank build. I have the system up and running for testing right now. I know I have read that people are saying that the night sensors are junk and they do not use them. I made a slight modification to mine for better performance.

Since I have two units and two controllers I decided to wire them to a single sensor. I soldered the sensor to two 24awg solid core wires. I then soldered two additional leads to the opposite ends to spilit the sensor between the two controllers.

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/wp25-1.JPG

I used a couple of feet of wire to allow me to put the sensor in a better position. I added a short piece of RO tubing for protection.

http://mramsey.homeip.net/img/reef/wp25-2.JPG

THe sensors do need some amount of ambient light to function properly. They do get 'confused' in total darkness but run perfectly when my moon lights are on. To overcome this minor fault I will probably add a small led in proximity to the sensor or try a different sensor from radioshack to see if it works better than the stock one.

mrramsey
03-22-2014, 05:58 PM
I just finished connecting the ro unit. So far so good. No leaks. The operating pressure is about 90psi. TDS going into the DI resin is 8ppm and out is 0ppm.

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mrramsey
03-23-2014, 10:10 PM
So I had the tank up and running for the past two days with freshwater for testing. All looks good. The ATO is functioning perfectly. The temperature controller works awesome and maintains consistent temps. The pump and ro systems are working as planned. Tomorrow morning I will shut her down and drain it down to start the rock work. I have a short trip to Chicago for work this week so maybe start making saltwater this weekend.

hockeyhead019
03-24-2014, 12:46 PM
Mike your workmanship is stunning... the attention to detail is absolutely fantastic!

You're new gravity system makes me feel much better than the last one. I expected it to keep trickling with the air loop just because of pressure. The solenoid is a fantastic fail safe though since from what I gathered it's a normally closed valve it'll protect when power loss happens (if it happens)

I apologize if I missed it but what's the eggcrate for on the bottom of the DT?

Can't wait to keep watching this progress it's a very clean build and very thoroughly thought out!

mrramsey
03-24-2014, 12:58 PM
Thanks Hockeyhead!

The theory on the last gravity based system would work but the failure was the materials used. The 5g plastic bucket obviously has a small air leak somewhere and just the give in the lid and sides allowed more water to flow after the level was reached. On a smaller scale with an airtight glass jug for a nano tank it would work much better. My testing has shown the ATO currently working as desired now with the solenoid valve. I have been evaporating at a rate of 1 - 1.5 gallons per day. It is pretty dry here now so I don't think that will increase any.

The eggcrate in the bottom is just protection from the rock for the glass. It will also keep the rock from sliding around while I place it in the tank. I am currently laying out the rocks on my desk (I have a big desk LOL). I have a cardboard template the same size as the DT to aid in placement.

hockeyhead019
03-24-2014, 01:53 PM
Yes I agree in theory it should work lol however it requires, like you said, everything to be absolutely air tight, also I think you're flow rate would vary since the air would have spring like qualities in a system like that.

Regardless, love the build can't wait to see what you do with the aquascaping!! Any thoughts on having a back wall of rock? I believe Cliff did it in his 120 or 90 build, can't remember, but that was definitely something different that looked cool. And the eggcrate to protect the glass is a great idea.

Have you tried a power loss test? Just to make sure your flow and everything reacts how you expect?

mrramsey
03-24-2014, 02:24 PM
Have you tried a power loss test? Just to make sure your flow and everything reacts how you expect?

I have and the overflow works perfectly just as it does on my 72g. I am experiencing one problem though. The mag24 pump doesn't always want to restart. I used it because it was "new" and came as part of the package deal I got on the tank. I think I may look for a new pump. I am open to suggestions for comparable pumps.

hockeyhead019
03-24-2014, 03:28 PM
Can't say I have enough knowledge of pumps with a high flow rate like that so I'll wait for somebody else to chime in. Glad to hear everything works as expected!

Cliff
03-25-2014, 02:46 AM
I am a big fan of ReefFlo pumps

If you are open to drilling the sump (for a external pump feed) then I would suggest either the Dart-Snapper or the Trident III

http://www.reeflopumps.com/

mrramsey
03-25-2014, 02:57 AM
I am not opposed to an external pump but the 55 I believe is tempered all around. So drilling it is not an option.

Dinner seems to think its a bad impeller. I ordered a new one from Drs Foster & Smith today. They said I could return it if it does not fix the issue

hockeyhead019
03-25-2014, 11:56 AM
would you necessarily have to drill for an external? You could just oversize slightly and have it be pulling out of the sump with a pvc run and then a return like normal. The oversizing would be to overcome the extra power needed to pull the water up and over the side of the sump and down to the pump

mrramsey
03-25-2014, 11:59 AM
I have not seen any self priming pumps. The trick would be to get it set up to where the pump wouldn't lose its prime during a power outage.

mrramsey
03-25-2014, 02:09 PM
I checked the audio level in the fish room... its a little on the loud side. 50-55 would be better.
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hockeyhead019
03-25-2014, 03:17 PM
Checked the audio level in the sump room or in the outside room with the door shut?

If from outside with the door shut maybe some sound dampening could be brought in?

mrramsey
03-25-2014, 04:17 PM
In the sump room it was 68 outside was 50.

mrramsey
03-31-2014, 02:47 PM
Drained the water from the tank now that the plumbing checked out. Started working on the rock work. I made a couple of attempts but this is where I am at...

Here is the second try... I think I am close...

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hockeyhead019
04-01-2014, 12:25 PM
I definitely like the island piller style out towards the corner where you'll be able to see from two different angles

mrramsey
04-01-2014, 12:34 PM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5WFUt2qOgs

Cliff
04-01-2014, 12:45 PM
Looks pretty good

I could not get my volume to work for your video, but were you planning to add more rock ?

Have you finalized your stocking plan yet ?

mrramsey
04-01-2014, 12:51 PM
Right now I think this is all of the rock I want to add. I still have maybe 10-12 pounds left. That's about 110 pounds in the DT. Still no clue on stocking yet but open to suggestions.

Cliff
04-01-2014, 12:55 PM
I would suggest to start thinking about stocking before you finalize your rock-work / layout. Some fish need hiding spots within the rock work to fit there adult size.

What type of corals are you interested in ?

Are you thinking about a more community based stocking or more predator based ?

Would you rather have a few larger interesting fish, or a higher number of smaller fish ?

mrramsey
04-01-2014, 12:59 PM
Community based but a few larger species. Really maybe 6-10 total fish...
An anemone at some point with a clown or two.
Corals softies an lps maybe some sps later.

Cliff
04-01-2014, 01:20 PM
Based on the current amount and layout of rock (and assuming you place your extra rock in the sump) here would be my suggestions to consider:

Two clownfish, either fancy snowflake or domino clowns.
For a anemone, a Haddon's Carpet Anemone, (Stichodactyla haddoni)
One of the smaller tangs, either white tailed bristel tooth tang (Acanthuridae ?), Squaretail Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus truncatus),Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus binotatus), or a Kole Yellow Eye Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
One or two Banggai Cardinals (Pterapogon kauderni)
One fox face, either a Bicolor Foxface (Siganus uspi) or Magnificent Foxface (Siganus magnificus)

More rock and more/bigger hiding spots in the rock will give you some more options without risking your water quality

mrramsey
04-01-2014, 02:15 PM
Based on the current amount and layout of rock (and assuming you place your extra rock in the sump) here would be my suggestions to consider:

Two clownfish, either fancy snowflake or domino clowns.
For a anemone, a Haddon's Carpet Anemone, (Stichodactyla haddoni)
One of the smaller tangs, either white tailed bristel tooth tang (Acanthuridae ?), Squaretail Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus truncatus),Two Spot Bristletooth Tang (Ctenochaetus binotatus), or a Kole Yellow Eye Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
One or two Banggai Cardinals (Pterapogon kauderni)
One fox face, either a Bicolor Foxface (Siganus uspi) or Magnificent Foxface (Siganus magnificus)

More rock and more/bigger hiding spots in the rock will give you some more options without risking your water quality

Thanks Cliff!

I will research these. I was thinking of adding a shelf in there somewhere to create more hiding spots

jgranata13
04-01-2014, 03:42 PM
I don't know if you could do this with your remaining rock because of the distance, but I think a bridge for the main "island" to the pillar could be really cool.

Plus, that could give you a good spot to place higher-light corals and even create a shadow in which to place lower light corals.

Just a suggestion.

mrramsey
04-01-2014, 08:29 PM
OK chiseled away at a few pieces to make a couple more caves and a shelf. Now I have used all of my rock. I will get a few pieces of live rock from a buddy to seed with. I will probably just put them in the sump.

33208

hockeyhead019
04-02-2014, 12:56 PM
That looks like a solid layout!! Definitely good hiding spots in there, just gotta be sure to watch the flow.

As for stocking I'd say definitely go with a carpet nem, they won't wander and mess with your rock work (however personally i'm a bubble tip fan but they like to wander and end up where you don't want them)

And to add to cliff suggestions maybe a jawfish? They're pretty cool but very docile, would be cool to have one burrow near on of the rock structures.

mrramsey
04-02-2014, 01:04 PM
Yea I will have to play with the power heads when I get it filled. There won't be much burrowing going on since I did not do a deep sand bed. I added 40# of sugar sized aragonite to cover the eggcrate in the bottom. I topped that off with about an inch of sea floor grade aragonite. I still have more sand and will add it where needed.

mrramsey
04-06-2014, 03:43 AM
Paint is done. Salt is ordered. We're getting close now.

33278

33279

33280

Cliff
04-06-2014, 03:50 AM
looking good !!!

mrramsey
04-06-2014, 12:44 PM
Thanks Cliff! I am going to do a second coat today. I used a semi-gloss paint and can see some areas that I touched up so second coat is in order. I also cleaned out the 72g bow front in preparation to become a FOWLR tank in the near future.

hockeyhead019
04-07-2014, 03:09 PM
whole layout looks fantastic! Can't wait to see some critters in that big tank

mrramsey
04-07-2014, 11:43 PM
Ran into my first real problem today. The pressure gauge on my BRS RO/DI unit is leaking. I also discovered that my water pressure is too high.

The good news is that BRS is sending me a new pressure gauge. I just need to go find a PRV to reduce the pressure. I will get an inline one for now but long term I need one on the whole house.

Cliff
04-08-2014, 12:48 AM
What is the pressure in your house right now ?

mrramsey
04-08-2014, 12:50 AM
According to the gauge on the ro unit its about 95psi

Cliff
04-08-2014, 12:59 AM
That's not too bad considering the max pressure (plumbing codes) in most areas in North America is 85 psi. Back in the day, I had tested some homes which had a little over 100psi.

I would suggest a PVR just off of the main shut-off along with a expansion tank.

mrramsey
04-08-2014, 06:20 PM
Yep, just to confirm the issue I built a pressure gauge to test the static water pressure. I read 97 PSI. While I had the gauge connected I started the washing machine then stopped it. While it was filling the pressure dropped to only 90 PSI and when it stopped it hammered to 120 PSI. Not good...

I have a plumber coming in the morning to give me a cost estimate to add PVR.

mrramsey
04-08-2014, 11:16 PM
Woot! Reef crystals and testing supplies arrived today.

mrramsey
04-12-2014, 02:11 PM
Update...

Several days later and the tank is full of saltwater. Salinity is at 1.025 water temp at 79 F. I will start the cycle next weekend. I want to let the tank stabilize for the week and make sure the equipment is all functioning properly.

I also need to tweak my ro system a bit. I really burned through the DI resin. I got about 150gallons out of it before it depleted.

Cliff
04-12-2014, 05:26 PM
WOW, only 150 gallons ???

Have you double checked the TDS in your tap water and the TDS coming out of your resin cartridge latley ? What type of carbon are you using in your system and did you flush out the system after adding the new carbon ?

I have 100 to 140 TDS in my tap water and I have been using the same DI cartridge for over a year now making about 40 gallons of water a week. Still coming out at 0 TDS.

mrramsey
04-12-2014, 05:33 PM
Yeah according to the meter the incoming tap water TDS is about 320ppm and 11ppm after the ro. That's about 96.5% rejection.

mrramsey
06-26-2014, 02:22 PM
Hi Everyone, Been a while since I have done an update so here it goes.

My tank has been fully cycled for the past 5 weeks. I took a vacation so didn't want to introduce any livestock until I got back. I have since fixed my incoming water pressure to my house. I plan to upgrade my RO membranes to the spectrapure 99% membranes to effectively double plus the life of my DI resin.

I have added some corals to the tank that I picked up from a local reefer that is moving and selling all of his corals and livestock. I may go back, for more :hmm3grin2orange: I got whole rocks full of stuff to make it easier than dealing with small frags.

I have 3 colonies of zoas
1 medium/large birdsnest
Large colony of Clavularia it also has 2 GBTA on that rock.
3 small colonies of pulsing xenias
Lots of mushrooms and some small montie frags

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/25/5ybeduqy.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/26/pynu2ara.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/26/9ejyzuve.jpg

mrramsey
06-26-2014, 02:22 PM
http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/26/ty4amyqe.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/26/3aja3a8a.jpg

http://img.tapatalk.com/d/14/06/26/4ade6yva.jpg

Compass
06-26-2014, 02:25 PM
Yes!! I've been waiting for an update on this tank! Those corals look awesome! What is your fish stocking plan?

mrramsey
06-26-2014, 02:34 PM
Yes!! I've been waiting for an update on this tank! Those corals look awesome! What is your fish stocking plan?

Actually I think I am going to go back and snag up some of his livestock.

A mated pair of Black Ocellaris Clownfish
http://www.houseoffins.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/rg-black-ocellaris-house-of-fins-3.jpg

A Mated pair of Bengali Cardinals -
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/da/Pterapogon_kauderni1.JPG

Maybe a foxface or yellow tang
http://www.freeinfosociety.com/media/images/3606.jpg

Compass
06-26-2014, 02:39 PM
Sweet! Thanks for the pictures, I'm not up on my saltwater so I was going to have to look all those up. hahaha

KevinVA
06-26-2014, 08:17 PM
Wow... fascinating pictures, Mike. You've done quite well for yourself in the realm of salt water. =] The corals really look beautiful and healthy. Can't wait to see your choice of fish in there. Beautiful job, man.

mrramsey
06-26-2014, 10:26 PM
Wow... fascinating pictures, Mike. You've done quite well for yourself in the realm of salt water. =] The corals really look beautiful and healthy. Can't wait to see your choice of fish in there. Beautiful job, man.
Thanks Kevin, I got pretty lucky finding the seller and ended up getting a lot of bang for my buck. Its a good start