View Full Version : Ashurbarnipal's 80 gallon

03-10-2012, 01:51 AM
Ok, so I got this used on Craigslist for 50 bucks. It has no cracks and really no scratches. I've only had about 25 gallons in it so far, and I'm thinking I'll resilicone it as soon as I clean and remove the other divider and spare overflow boxes (took one of each out after taking pics)



It is pre drilled


It's kind of a mess right now, but I think I can remove the paint and dividers and clean it up into a pretty decent tank.

03-10-2012, 03:34 AM
Not a bad find for $50

It might be a good idea, since you have to remove those dividers, to replace the outer seal in that tank. That way you don't have to worry about a leaky tank

I did that with my 90 gallon that I bought used. I even re-sealed the overflow. I'm glad I did.

03-10-2012, 03:38 AM
You mean the seal on the outside of the tank as well as inside the tank?

Hmm. I could do that. Would it be alright to replace the silicone and leave it outside under a gazebo or tarp or would it need to be placed inside for the silicone to dry?

03-10-2012, 03:57 AM
There are two different seals or applications of silicone used. The inner seal is the one that holds the glass together and is inbetween the glass where it joins together. The outseal is the one that is placed on top of that to give the inner seal some more strenght and make sure it will not leak.

This below thread explains how to replace the outer seal, just incase I'm not explaining it well enough


03-10-2012, 04:13 AM
Ohh, lol. Yeah, that's what I meant by resilicone it, lol. Already have my masking tape and whatnot ready for it, just gotta finish cleaning it out.

I'm storing it at my folk's home as I'll have to move out of this apartment soon, so hopefully it'll be alright to dry it in their gazebo as they don't have space for it right now

03-10-2012, 02:13 PM
Fun project!

03-10-2012, 05:10 PM
As for stocking, I think I'll just stick with LPS corals. Apart from that, I'm thinking longnose hawkfish, bartlett's anthias, and a marine betta.

I'd like to do one of the smaller tangs like the Caribbean blue or White Tail bristletooth, but I'm not sure if this tank is too small

Dimensions are 51 by 20 by 18 (it was a custom tank for some fish store made by dutch folk)

03-12-2012, 06:09 AM
So, I could really use some advice about my sump, since I've never set one up before. I've been reading for the last week or so on sumps, but there are still some things I don't quite get.

The hole on the tank is drilled almost exactly at the top of the water level, and I'm thinking of doing a 30-40 gallon plastic tub as a sump, so I'm wondering two things:

What kind of pump/plumbing do I need? I was thinking a 1000 gph pump for the return and I'm wondering how one controls the water level in the return so there's enough excess space for the drainage line should the return pump fail. I've heard check valves mentioned, but don't fully get them.

The other question is, how important is it that the baffles be water tight? All the rubber tubs I'm looking at have very uneven surfaces which would prove difficult to make watertight. I'm wanting to do something along the lines of this: http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/sumps/f/sump_f.html

03-12-2012, 06:54 AM
From my book list

Natural Reef Aquariums, by John H. Tullock, Microcosm Ltd. Publisher - One of my favorite reef books to recommend to the new hobbyist, as Tullock covers plumbing, temperature control, lighting and filtration systems in detail, and follows it by step-by-step instructions on how to set up the aquarium and establish a living reef by using live rock and live sand. What makes this book different is the detailed description of different conditions in reef regions like the Caribbean, Gulf of Mexico and the Pacific Reefs with his recommendations on how to simulate a specific region in your aquarium. The author stresses using natural processes in aquariums, and limits equipment as much as he can in his descriptions.

All you need to know about plumbing a sump Ash. A check valve only permits a fluid to go in one direction. A check valve prevents back flow.


03-12-2012, 07:27 AM
I actually already have that book, though I admit I haven't gotten to the part about sumps yet.

03-12-2012, 10:01 AM
The only drawback to using a plastic tub is that you won't be able to effectively put in baffles.

If you want a sump, I would suggest keeping an eye open for a used tank to make into a sump. Something like a 30 to 55 gallon tank would be best (nothing smaller).

I would also suggest that you have all of your equipment purchased before you set up your sump. That way you can double check the size of the compartments to make sure everything fits in place.

When picking out your return pump you will have to keep in mind you will lose about 100 gph for each foot of height on the return line. You will also loose some flow based on each elbow on the return line a well. So if you want 1000 gph of flow you will most likely need a 1400 gph pump to get around 1000 gph of flow in the tank. Once you have that figured out, you can then size the drain line in order to make sure it can handle that much flow. The below should help you figure that out.

200gph = 0.58 drain line
400 gph = 0.83
600 gph = 1.01
800 gph = 1.17
1000 gph = 1.31
1200 gph = 1.43
1400 gph = 1.55
1600 gph = 1.65
1800 gph = 1.75
2000 gph = 1.85
2200 gph = 1.94
2400 gph = 2.02
2600 gph = 2.09
2800 gph = 2.19

03-12-2012, 11:35 AM
Would that 29 gallon I got free work?

03-12-2012, 11:59 AM
I'd say the 29 gal is a good sized tank, enough so that you can have a decent amount of water actually in there and enough so that if the power goes out the tank can drain some into your sump without it overflowing

03-12-2012, 12:04 PM
Has hockey head has stated, you would have to leave enough room in the sump for the drain back but it certainly can be made to work.

My only concern would be the working level of water left in the tank would have to be at the minimum level for what ever skimmer you choose to put in there.

Come to think of it, did you once state you wanted a fug in your sump ? If that is the case, then I would suggest a 55 gallon tank for the sump.

03-12-2012, 12:30 PM
Yeah, I definitely do want a refugium this time around. Well, there is a 55 on the local Craigslist. I'll see if I can get that, though I suppose there's no rush since I'll need to build a stand first.

03-12-2012, 01:33 PM
It might be a good idea to get your sump figured out first. That way you can make sure you sump fits inside the stand and there is enough height for your skimmer and lighting inside your sump.

That is, if you want your sump inside the stand.

03-12-2012, 04:32 PM
Definitely get your sump and then build your stand otherwise you can end up with a tight squeeze or other issues. Also a consideration to keep in mind is how high any equipment/plumbing will be in the tank, this is a problem I ran into personally haha my skimmer is way to close to top of my stand so keep in mind any reactors or skimmers or scrubbers you think you could even possibly want in the future

In terms of sump size if you want a fug compartment definitely go with a 55 or maybe a 40 breeder (I think it had a more short and wide footprint vs a 55 with the tall and narrow foot print)

03-14-2012, 01:50 AM
Some progress. I'm looking at a 55 gallon on craigslist, dunno if I'll be able to get it, though.

Removed the rest of the dividers and the extra overflows, plus those annoying plastic bits on the front. Also, filled it to about 80%. Didn't see any leaks, though I may or may not have heard it making noises. Was outside, so couldn't be sure.


And I measured the drilled hole. It's around 3/4ths of an inch.

I'm thinking I want to use vinyl hose for the drain so I can see just in case something got sucked into it, provided vinyl hose would work with that kinda thing. Also, can you attach vinyl hose to ball valves? (I'm a total plumbing newby)

This is what the other side of the hole looks like:


Would I need some sort of insert coupling to attach it to the hose?

03-14-2012, 01:55 AM
you will need a female threaded hose barb. Just like the below, but in plastic


03-14-2012, 02:38 AM
Thanks again, Cliff! Man you're quick with help!

Also, it looks like I may get a 55 gallon this weekend!

03-15-2012, 02:40 PM
Alright, someone is supposed to bring a 55 gallon tank by my house this weekend so I'm gonna start building my stand.

I'd like to use a slightly modified version of this:


Would it be ok to put the green screw strips on the outside? (if I don't I'd need to make my stand a few inches longer than the tank) Also, would I need to put upright beams in the middle to support it? It is 51 long after all.

03-15-2012, 02:47 PM
I would put the supports in the middle of the tanks and a cross support at the back

Are you going to us a insump skimmer ? If yes, I would make sure you leave enough hight for it. A few inches tall than the tank doesn't sound like enough room to me

In stead of putting the screw stips on the outside, I would suggest making the stand a little longer. I think it would look better that way

03-15-2012, 03:11 PM
Cross supports like this: http://ana-white.com/sites/default/files/large-chalkboard-7.jpg ?

I gotta admit, I'm a bit nervous making a stand that's meant to hold nearly 1000 pounds of weight, but this design is very simple.

03-15-2012, 03:47 PM
Yup, you got it.

If you add additional supports in the middle (as you have already suggested), and add the cross supports to the back, you will not have to worry. That is almost the same design that I used for the stand on my 120 gallon tank

03-15-2012, 04:43 PM
Make that stand and screw a sheet of plywood to the back and you'll be good to go. The plywood will add the horizontal support to the whole stand, granted it'll make it a lot heavier but much sturdier as well

Keep that exact layout and just modify the dimensions so you have more room than you think you'll need in there to work on any equipment or put rocks in or do any plumbing or anything of that nature

03-15-2012, 05:17 PM
For the middle support, should I wedge it in and use a screw support like with the uprights?

03-15-2012, 06:40 PM
Also, wood screws and glue again as opposed to just hammer and nails, right?

03-15-2012, 06:50 PM
Yes, glue and screws will make a strong stand for you.

And I would suggest making the middle support just as you are planning to build the ones at the corners.

03-16-2012, 12:29 AM
Ok, so I went by the hardware store to pick up some longer woodscrews and I looked at plumbing while I was there. I think I should have clarified, the picture I posted with the threaded tank hole is actually on the INSIDE of the tank, not the outside. So I'm not sure what kind of attachment I need? Or maybe I need to try to reverse it somehow.

Also, I'm nearly ready to resilicone the tank and I'm wondering what to do about the overflow box. It's a fabricated like this: http://www.livingreefs.com/attachments/9775d1294275647-diy-internal-overflow-aquarium.jpg Except the hole is at the top not the bottom. Should I just reseal around it and on the inside corner?

03-16-2012, 10:18 PM
I'm starting to think that the bulkhead may be installed backwards on this tank.

This is what's on the OUTSIDE of the tank, at the back:


And this is what's on the INSIDE: http://i221.photobucket.com/albums/dd310/Archilocos/DSC01693.jpg

What do you guys think, did they screw it up? I dunnow how well I can re-install it, cause I think it's siliconed in.

03-16-2012, 10:29 PM
It all depends on how you want to plumb it. I looks like your bulk-head flange is meant to be used with threaded fittings on one end and socket glued on the other end.

To me, neither type is easier than the other. Just two different methods

03-16-2012, 11:41 PM
So, I take it I'd need to socket glue a hose in? How would I go about that?

03-16-2012, 11:50 PM
You will have to use PVC fittings, flexable hose and PVC standard grade glue. Cut everything and fit it place. Once you have put everything together and it looks like you have everything fitting good, take it apart and glue it together oc by pc. After allowing it to cure for 24 to 48 hours you are good to go

03-17-2012, 12:06 AM
Thanks again cliff!

03-17-2012, 12:11 AM
I wasn't too clear in my last post. The flexable hose that I meantioned must be PVC as well. Its the same type of PVC flexable hose used on jetted tubs.

03-17-2012, 12:49 AM
Ah. I'll look when I go to the hardware store next.

http://www.amazon.com/Gorilla-Glue-50004-Adhesive-4-Ounces/dp/B0001GAYRC/ref=sr_1_1?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1331945213&sr=1-1 Would this kind of glue work?

03-17-2012, 01:25 AM
No, only standard grade PVC glue will work. There are different companys that make them, but almost all hardware stores will carry it


Most hardware stores will not carry the flexable PVC tubing, you might have to go to a store that sells plumbing supplies or a store that sells hot-tubs for that.

03-17-2012, 01:47 AM
Hmm. Is there any alternative to flexible tubing? I'm not married to the idea of hosing and would be fine with standard PVC pipe

03-17-2012, 01:53 AM
Standard (rigid) PVC pipe works great as well. You just have to be more carful to correctly cut all the pcs. I know some people who perfer regular PVC pipe.

I have used both and both work well

03-17-2012, 02:10 AM
Ok, thanks! Gonna shop for plumbing after I put new silicone in. Tank is mostly clean now. I hope to resilicone this week. Cut some of the wood for the tank, need to find better screws then I can get started.

03-17-2012, 02:18 AM
I would think that you'd also need primer..?

Correct me if I'm wrong Cliff, but PVC needs to be primed then glued. When I built a drainage pipe for the pool I primed then glued and it still leaked, but its drainage so no big deal.

03-17-2012, 02:30 AM
You will not need primer unless you are using different types of PVC. For example, using PVC and CPVC, or scd 40 and scd 80 (regular and extra heavy) PVC. I think when you use CPVC or system 636 PVC (gas vent PVC) you have to use a primer.

I have yet to use a primer and have had no leaks. I also used PVC without any primer when I finished my basement and it passed inspection OK. I've also did not use a primer on the return lines on both my reef tanks and all is good

03-17-2012, 12:26 PM
Thanks for the input on this. As a plumbing new, it's very appreciated.

Also, was talking to a fish guy locally and he brought up something I thought I should check. He said blue throat and niger triggerfish were potentially coral-safe. Liveaquaria seemed to think so with the Blue throat at least.

What I wonder is how true is this and how FISH safe are they? I mean, I'd love triggers, but not putting them in if they'd bother anthias basslets/dottybacks etc

Note: I'm not that seriously considering triggers, I just wondered

03-17-2012, 12:57 PM
From what I have read, the bluethroat trigger is indeed reef safe and will not outgrow youe tank. The niger trigger would outgrow your tank at some point. But that all based on what I have read. I have never kept any of those fish



03-20-2012, 10:30 PM
Well, I just picked up the 55...though actually it may be larger than a 55, I dunno.

I'm wondering what sump config would allow for the most volume of water and in particular the most space for a refugium?

I kinda wanna do this: http://www.melevsreef.com/acrylics/sumps/f/sump_f.html

But the refugium space is lesser than I'd like.

03-21-2012, 12:09 AM
I suggest your first step would be to determine how much drain-back you would get from the main tank into the sump if the power goes out. Once you know that, you can determine the hight of your baffles to make sure your sump will hold the extra water.

That way, you will never have to worry if the power goes out

I've done that on both of my sumps and it works great

03-21-2012, 12:36 AM
The hole is 3/4" wide and at the very top of the tank, right at where the waterline would be. I figure it'll drain at about 600 gph from that chart you posted.

03-21-2012, 12:40 AM
Is that the measurement of the hole in the glass, or the inside of the bulk head flange?

In my last post I was actually referring to the amount of extra water your sump will hold in the case of a power failure

03-21-2012, 12:46 AM
Inside of the bulkhead flange. No idea about the hole itself. The bulkhead seems to be siliconed in.

03-21-2012, 08:23 AM
Well, I ran the aquarium calculator dealie, and if it's right, about 5 gallons should drain when the pump stops

03-21-2012, 12:43 PM
I wouldn't rely on the calc haha I'd test it all set up with fw and see how much you'll get, draw a line on your sump of normal operation level and then drained level if power was lost

03-21-2012, 01:09 PM
Well, yeah, I'm totally gonna test it first. But I'm in no hurry since I have to move. I just wanna understand the mechanics of it better for now.

03-21-2012, 01:38 PM
gotcha gotcha that's good, the more you understand before you build the easier you'll be able to understand problems and their cause and how to fix them when the arise

03-21-2012, 01:43 PM
I found the tank calculate that is stickied in the SW section to be pretty close to accurate, but not exactly 100% as Hockeyhead has already stated. That is what I used when I set-up my two sumps

You have to be 100% of the lowest water line in your tank should the power go out.

That would be the first test that I would suggest. Then you know exactly how much room to leave in your sump and can plan the baffles to match. Add about 10% extra space you'll be fine. That had worked for me at least

03-21-2012, 02:46 PM
Well, once I resilicone, I guess that's the first thing to do!

03-23-2012, 06:48 PM
Well, I just bought this pump: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251011029716?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_1116wt_1185

I also couldn't help myself and bought a ricordea: http://www.ebay.com/itm/160767960874?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1497.l2649#ht_1107wt_1185

Which will eventually go into the 80 along with all my soft corals. I think I'm going to eventually turn the 29 into a mostly SPS exclusive tank, given the water quality for which I'm shooting

03-24-2012, 03:45 PM

What do you guys think of this protein skimmer?

03-24-2012, 03:52 PM
I have never used one, nor do I know anyone who has

I would never buy a off-brand skimmer like that. IMO, I just can't see it being a good quality skimmer. There appears to be no air line into the motor intake. For a good quality in-sump skimmer I would expect to see that.

But I am only basing that comment on what I read in the add and how it looks

I personally would look at Vertex, Skimz, Bubble Magnus or Red Octopus brands. You truly want to get the best skimmer you can within your budget.

03-24-2012, 03:58 PM
Yeah, that's what I figured.

Guess I'll be saving up for a reef octopus, then. Sigh, my bank account.

03-24-2012, 05:09 PM
I'm thinking I'll just save up for this one, which I think I can obtain in two weeks or so:


It would also let me know how high my skimmer chamber would have to be.

03-27-2012, 03:07 AM
So I resiliconed yesterday and am letting it dry. Thinking of using airplane stripper to get the paint off, since mineral spirits did basically nothing to it.

Any advice on that? Definitely don't wanna poison the tank.

03-27-2012, 03:11 AM
In the past I have used a razor with great success


03-27-2012, 12:31 PM
paint stripper? I personally wouldn't put that stuff anywhere near my tank haha it's so destructive it's insane not something I'd wanna take a chance with

03-27-2012, 02:41 PM
Well, it hasn't been responding to my attempts to peel it, though I admit I haven't tried the method cliff suggested yet.

03-27-2012, 03:22 PM
Just hold the razor at a ~45D and go slow. If you are careful you can take all the paint off without a scratch.

04-03-2012, 05:54 PM
Well, I've run into a problem with that hole in the back. Even the smallest PVC pipe I've found (1/2 an inch) won't fit. Looking online, I think this was meant for a 3/8ths inches pipe, but I can't find any such things locally.

The problem may be that this aquarium was apparently custom built in Holland and I think uses a metric standard. Is there anything else I could do? Maybe silicone some alternative?

04-05-2012, 08:23 AM
What about polyethylene or vinyl hose, would silicone bond with that?

04-05-2012, 11:54 AM
I wouldn't chance it... the problem is when you try and get silicon to bond to something flexible it just won't seal as well... I'd go ahead and drill the hole out so it's bigger and you can fit whatever size drain pipe you'd like on there

04-05-2012, 03:11 PM
Thing is I don't know what type of glass it is. Not to mention, it's thicker than normal glass. Like over 3/8 th's of an inch.

04-05-2012, 05:09 PM
If all you can put in the tank is a 3/8" bulkhead flange, then I would not even bother using that hole for anything. A 3/8" line would only give you ~400 gph assuming you use it for your return line from your sump. That would be about 1/2 to 1/3 of the total flow you would need (IMO) going through your sump.

I would suggest either seal it, or get it drilled to fit a 1" bulkhead flange.

04-05-2012, 07:49 PM
I was afraid you would say that. As for this bulkhead, I don't think it comes off. It seems to be siliconed on. I guess I could seal it and do a hole on the other end.

I presume I'd need this:



http://www.drsfostersmith.com/product/prod_display.cfm?pcatid=4009 This?

Would I need anything else, like an overflow box if I just drilled it right at the top of the water line?

Also, I have an old 10 gallon with a broken back, I was thinking maybe I could practice drilling on it first? Thoughts?

04-06-2012, 01:46 AM
What size of bulk head flange are you planning on using ?

04-06-2012, 01:48 AM
The one inch one. That was what you recommended, right?

04-06-2012, 01:50 AM
Yes, just keep in mind you will need about a 1 3/4" hole for a 1" bulk head flange will fit through

04-06-2012, 01:55 AM
Hmm, can't seem to find that size bit on Amazon.

Well, one thing I think I'll do is see if I can't figure out a way to pry off that bulkhead that's on it now next time I go out to where I'm keeping it.

04-09-2012, 06:58 PM
Well, I just went and tried to cut out the bulkhead with a razor and it actually came out.

The hole itself is around 1 and 1/8th of an inch thick. So, can I drill around it?


And if so, would it work with this?

04-09-2012, 07:47 PM
You can, but it might be a little difficult to do. I would suggest follow the steps that I explained in the below thread with one big difference. Do this in your yard/driveway and use a garden hose to run water over the bit as you are drilling the hole. It might be best to have someone else hold/use the hose to keep water flowing over the bit while you are drilling the hole


As for the drill bit, I would suggest getting your bulk head flange first. That way you can double check the size of hole that you need before spending money on a drill bit. You can find the odd flange that is a little different than most. Better safe than sorry

04-10-2012, 12:32 AM
Think it might not be a better idea to just plug this hole and drill the other side or would that weaken the glass?

04-10-2012, 12:18 PM
That would weaken the glass but I'm not sure it would to the point where it'd be an issue... however it would definitely be a major eye sore

04-11-2012, 02:18 AM
Someone else suggested a dremel kit might work for enlarging the hole.

I've never used one before, though, and like I said, really really thick glass.

04-11-2012, 09:32 AM
Maybe I'm having trouble understanding how you would use a dremel for this, but I would think using a dermel to make the hole bigger would most likely involve putting pressure on the glass. If you were to try that, you would likely break the glass.