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View Full Version : Custom built 88 gallon FOWLR tank.



keithw283
02-07-2015, 05:04 AM
This is way too early to start a journal but I'm just too damn excited lol. It will basically be a 75 gallon tank plus 6" in length. That will make it 88 gallons. I basically decided to build for two reasons: The cost and just to do a DIY project. I will be starting the stand this weekend and will be posting pictures. Was wondering about the silicone though. Have you guys worked with GE All Purpose silicone 1? I was told that GE Glass and Door Silicone 1 was what you wanted but all I could find was all purpose. Any thoughts?

Cliff
02-07-2015, 01:52 PM
It's never too early to start a journel

I have just the older version of GE 1 silicone on one of my past reef tanks and found it to work great

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/silicone_zps164e4869.jpg

DAP also makes some silicone which is stated on the label as safe for aquarium use which you could use as well

keithw283
02-07-2015, 04:41 PM
It's never too early to start a journel

I have just the older version of GE 1 silicone on one of my past reef tanks and found it to work great

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/silicone_zps164e4869.jpg

DAP also makes some silicone which is stated on the label as safe for aquarium use which you could use as well

All I could find was the all purpose. It didn't say door and window.

keithw283
02-07-2015, 04:51 PM
So I guess I could tell you guys my plans for it. I will be transferring over my 2 clowns, fire fish and crabs to the new tank. Hoping by that time the clowns are a little bigger (I figure I won't have fish in there until about May so that gives them 3 months to grow). I will be adding a blue tang, a foxface, a flame angel and an assortment of other fish. I really want a Moorish Idol but I feel like it will be hard to find as I haven't seen it at any of the pet stores I have been in. I will definitely be adding a good amount of live rock to this tank. I was wondering. If I cycle it with live rock and add my live rock from my 20 gallon once the new tank is cycled and ready to put fish in, will that cause an ammonia spike? If it will, should I just put the rock in at the beginning and leave my 20 gallon as a fish only tank for those couple months? What are your suggestions there.

keithw283
02-07-2015, 04:54 PM
It's never too early to start a journel

I have just the older version of GE 1 silicone on one of my past reef tanks and found it to work great

http://i938.photobucket.com/albums/ad226/Cliff_Erhardt/silicone_zps164e4869.jpg

DAP also makes some silicone which is stated on the label as safe for aquarium use which you could use as well

http://www.homedepot.com/p/GE-Silicone-I-9-8-oz-Clear-Window-and-Door-Caulk-GE012A-24C/100091111

This is what I want, right?

Cliff
02-07-2015, 06:34 PM
I have no experience with that stuff. Once GE changed the packaging and formula, many people have debated if it is still safe or not.

I would play it safe and get the DAP stuff

No sense in risking a health set-up over a $7 tube of silicone

keithw283
02-07-2015, 07:28 PM
good point. I found DAP at Home depot for $4.57. Do you think a 2.8 oz tube is enough or should I grab 2?

EDIT: Just did the math and found that I need 3.

keithw283
02-09-2015, 02:35 AM
Built the stand today. Still need to add the doors and paint it but that won't take much effort.

39420

Cliff
02-09-2015, 02:42 AM
Your stand looks nice and solid

keithw283
02-09-2015, 05:13 AM
Thanks. The design i used should be able to hold about 3200 pounds. i just need it to hold about 1000.

keithw283
02-12-2015, 06:08 PM
Have it painted now. Just need doors. 39513

keithw283
03-06-2015, 05:00 AM
39937

Have the tank together

Cliff
03-06-2015, 07:43 PM
How were you planning to brace the top of the tank ?

keithw283
03-07-2015, 10:09 PM
I have a 6x18 inch sheet of glass at 3/8" that I'm going to put in the middle. That will leave me with 24" on each side that I will put two 24" canopies and lights. That 6x18" sheet should be plenty, right?

keithw283
03-07-2015, 10:15 PM
39978

Obviously I don't have it siliconed on yet, but this is what I was planning. Thought?

Cliff
03-07-2015, 10:25 PM
I would also suggest one on each end, that will enforce all three sides.

Google euro braced aquariums for more examples

keithw283
03-23-2015, 06:23 AM
All my supplies i ordered came in the mail. I just need to cure the rock. I'm going to have to clean the rock from marine depot because there is a lot of obvious dead stuff on it. I also would like to chisel a tunnel into one or two of the pieces. Once i cure the rock, I'll throw it in the tank, wait for the cycle to be completed and slowly start to stock the tank

Cliff
03-23-2015, 11:53 PM
Don't clean off your live rocks. You will be removing both the remaining beneficial bacteria left on the rock along with the decomposing material that will provide the natural ammonia source that you need to grow more beneficial bacteria

The below link contains more info in cycling with live rock should you want more info

http://www.reefaquarium.com/2012/cycling-a-marine-aquarium/

keithw283
05-25-2015, 02:34 AM
I finally got my water issue figured out. I just decided to take water for work for free. I work for a water factory so I imagine the water quality is amazing. I added my sand, salt and just added my rock today. What do you guys think of the aquascaping? This is my first time doing this since I don't count my 20 gallon as I only had 3 small rocks. I still have 4 very small rocks I could put in there but I don't know where. Any suggestions? Also, all I have left to do is add the top, lights and protein skimmer which I have all of. My only other question is, should I have my skimmer and filter running now that I have my rocks in there?

41145

keithw283
05-25-2015, 02:38 AM
Here is another picture that is not upside down

41147

showmebutterfly
05-25-2015, 02:51 AM
How did you get your rocks to look like that? Are they just stacked strategically or are they held together with epoxy and / or rods?

keithw283
05-25-2015, 02:55 AM
I just stacked them that way. I had them stacked really cool earlier with a bunch of cool caves but I was a little worried they would fall. I like this because I have a few tunnels for them to swim through but I also have a lot of open water which is what I want

Slaphppy7
05-25-2015, 03:12 PM
Be certain those rocks can't fall and injure/trap/kill your fish...from the pics, it looks kind of precarious, IMO.

showmebutterfly
05-25-2015, 04:51 PM
My rock stacking abilities are almost non existent. Plus I'm a big chicken and worry about them falling over.
I admire your stacking abilities!

keithw283
05-26-2015, 02:38 AM
Be certain those rocks can't fall and injure/trap/kill your fish...from the pics, it looks kind of precarious, IMO.

They won't. They are very carefully stacked. The fish would have to literally be trying to knock them over.

keithw283
05-27-2015, 05:47 AM
Finally got my protein skimmer set up. It hasn't even been an hour but it seems to be much better than the one I had on my 20 Gallon. It is so quiet too. Also, I did some testing on a few things and the salinity is at 1.028. Is that too high, or should that be okay?

showmebutterfly
05-27-2015, 02:27 PM
Congrats on the skimmer! The salinity is probably a bit too high. I think Cliff recommends having it at 1.025 or 1.026.

keithw283
05-29-2015, 05:41 PM
I just went out and bought Seachem Stability. It says to us one capful per 10 gallons of water on the first day and 1 per 20 gallons each day for 7 days. It says you can add fish immediately following the first dosage as long as you continue to do it the following 7 days. I think I'll wait until after these 8 days are up but I was wondering if anyone has any experience with this.

keithw283
05-29-2015, 09:38 PM
This is what I got
http://www.seachem.com/Products/product_pages/Stability.html

Cliff
05-30-2015, 02:01 AM
Did you add live rock or dead rock to your set-up ?

keithw283
05-30-2015, 02:51 AM
Dead. That's why I got that Seachem

Cliff
05-30-2015, 03:11 AM
That product will not instantly cycle your tank for you. None of them will. Weather or not they help your cycle progress along is a topic that can (and has been) debated here on many occasions. But I can assure you it will not provide you will a cycled tank.

You will still have to cycle your tank. The below link can help with that if needed

http://www.reefaquarium.com/2012/cycling-a-marine-aquarium/

keithw283
05-30-2015, 02:15 PM
I was actually looking for Pure Ammonia when I went to the LFS but they didn't have any. I picked this up basically just to get something and I have heard very good things about Seachem in the past.

Cliff
05-30-2015, 02:18 PM
Seachem products are good. You just can't trust stability to cycle your tank for you

Can you get about 15 lbs of some liver rock to cycle your tank with ? IME, that is by far the best way to cycle a marine tank.

keithw283
05-31-2015, 01:59 AM
Honestly, that was my plan, however, There just isn't very much room too add much more rock. I guess since I already have purchased this product, I'll be your guys' test subject and record my findings on this thread.

Cliff
05-31-2015, 02:13 AM
What are you planning to use for a ammonia source ?

keithw283
05-31-2015, 06:45 PM
It has been 8-9 days since my tank has been fully running. Meaning, it has been 8-9 days since I put the protein skimmer on and got that running. It's been about 12 days since my rock has been in the tank and 3 days since I started dosing the stability. I tested the water today 4 hours after dosing the stability and my readings were:

Ammonia - .50 ppm
Nitrite - .25 ppm
Nitrate - 5 ppm

Cliff
05-31-2015, 06:55 PM
Have you been dosing ammonia, or has the ammonia be come from some other source

keithw283
06-01-2015, 05:46 PM
My guess is that the ammonia is coming off of my thermometer that I took from the other tank. That's the only thing I could think of. It is day 4 of dosing Stability and 3 hours after dosing my results are:

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrite - 1 ppm
Nitrate - 5 ppm

Cliff
06-01-2015, 06:36 PM
You would not get ammonia from a therometer

I quickly looked over your thread again and it looks like at least two of the rocks you put in the tank had a good amount of dried out "stuff" that used to be alive. As that decomposes in your tank, it will produce ammonia to grow bacteria (with at least some help from the stability). This would be a lot like cycling a tank by using fish food.

keithw283
06-02-2015, 12:52 AM
I have 10 pounds worth of those rocks in the tank.

keithw283
06-02-2015, 04:59 PM
Day 5 of dosing stability and my results are:

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrite - 1 ppm
Nitrate - 15 ppm

keithw283
06-03-2015, 06:32 PM
Day 6 of dosing stability and my results are:

Ammonia - .25 ppm
Nitrite - 1 ppm
Nitrate - 20 ppm

Is the higher nitrate a good thing? I know that you don't really want to go over 15-20 ppm but does this mean that the cycle is getting closer to ending even though there is still a hint of ammonia and a little more nitrite?

Cliff
06-03-2015, 06:55 PM
What are you using for a nitrate test kit ?

keithw283
06-03-2015, 11:03 PM
I am using the API Saltwater test kit

Cliff
06-03-2015, 11:24 PM
I would suggest getting a different nitrate test kit. I have found them to be highly inaccurate, results ranging from 5ppm to 40ppm on 4 to 5 tests taken minutes apart. And I tried 3 different API kits, each with different batch numbers. Granted, these test kits are prone to error if you are not careful, but I could not get similar results consistently

I would suggest purchasing Salifert test kit. This is about the best kit kit for the money you will pay

A 50% water change would be a good measure as well. You can run into problems done the road if you maintain the nitrates higher than 5ppm for longer periods of time.

keithw283
06-04-2015, 05:40 AM
will the API test kit be okay for testing ammonia and nitrite?

Cliff
06-04-2015, 12:53 PM
Many others have found the ammonia and nitrite test kits OK for salt water as they feel they are accurate enough. I prefer salifert (I'm not a fan of API for salt water test kits), but the API should be OK for ammonia and nitrite

keithw283
06-04-2015, 03:54 PM
Okay. I won't be able to go out to get the salifert test kit until sometime this weekend so I guess I will just keep using API until than and see if there is a drastic difference from API to Salifert when I get that.

Cliff
06-04-2015, 04:47 PM
Good plan. You can go wrong with a test kit like the Salifert one. It will detect levels as low as 1ppm were the API test can only detec levels as low as 5ppm. Even in a FOWLR set-up, you should have your nitrates at or below 5ppm so you really need a test kit that can detect levels lower than that so you can understand were your tank is at in comparision to a 5ppm goal.

keithw283
06-07-2015, 10:31 PM
Petco was having a 20% off sale so I bought some new little buddies for my tank. Since my 88 gallon is still cycling I just have them in my 20 gallon temporarily.

41325

4132541326

41327

keithw283
06-07-2015, 10:32 PM
Sorry that I can never figure out how to get my pictures right side up on here.

showmebutterfly
06-07-2015, 10:35 PM
Congrats on the new additions!

Slaphppy7
06-07-2015, 10:56 PM
Sorry that I can never figure out how to get my pictures right side up on here.

Oh...my next question was how you keep the tank full of water :14:

Congrats on the new fish.

keithw283
06-07-2015, 10:59 PM
I'm excited to get them in my 88 gallon. Hope to have it ready in the next couple weeks. My Nitrite levels have spiked so I imagine that it will start coming down soon.

keithw283
06-20-2015, 05:15 PM
still waiting on this thing to finish it's cycle. The ammonia at its highest was 1 and it's now at .25. The Nitrites have been at 5 ppm for over 2 weeks now. I thought once that spiked all the way to 5 it would have come down at least a little by now but it's been steady at 5 ppm

Cliff
06-20-2015, 11:29 PM
see if you can have someone else test your nitrites with a different test kit, just to make sure your current test kit is giving you accurate readings

keithw283
06-21-2015, 03:59 AM
I believe it is. My other tanks nitrites and ammonia are both 0

Cliff
06-21-2015, 10:43 PM
If that is correct, and you actually have 5ppm of nitrites, then I would suggest a very very large water change before your rocks start soaking that in. 50% or more would be in order.

keithw283
07-13-2015, 05:53 PM
Thought it was time for an update. I added about 6 pounds of Live Rock to help out the cycling process and it worked within two days. everything was cycled. I now have stocked my tank with 2 Ocelleris Clownfish, 1 firefish Goby, 1 Bannggai Cardinalfish, 1 Yellow Tang and 1 Cleaner Shrimp. I also have bought a Pearlscale Butterflyfish and a Flame angel. My QT tank still has ich but my LFS is letting me keep them at the store for up to 2 weeks to ensure me they are healthy.

keithw283
07-13-2015, 05:58 PM
I had to take back the Mandarin back because I couldn't get him to eat.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Cn0OZVMp1k