PDA

View Full Version : The 50 gallon frag tank



mch1984
08-17-2018, 03:05 PM
So I decided to post this on here, even though I don't think it will be as cool as most builds. I have learned just how much I enjoy growing coral and taking care of it. Locally we have a great community of reefers and there is a lot of trading and selling coral among members and I want to join in. This project is getting kind of a funny start.

A while back I was going to convert a 54 gallon column into a reef tank. I started with building my own stand, the one with the tank was too small to get a decent sump in it (and I like my sumps). Then I found my 90 gallon and the project got abandoned pretty much. Once I got it in my head I wanted to do a frag tank, I decided I would build the system around this stand. The thing is a beast and you could park a Cadillac on it. It's a bit of an odd size due to the custom build, it's 46" x 26". I have seen some zoo med low boys used for frag tanks and they are perfect. They measure 48" x 24" x 10", so a piece of 3/4" plywood with 1" of over hang will be just right. I am going to order the lowboy this weekend from a small shop in Abilene Tx. It will be a couple of weeks before I go back and pick it up but I can get started on the finishing the stand anyways. I'm undecided on most of my equipment so far but we'll get there.

fair warning this one will be a slow progress build.

Tank - 48" x 24" x 10"
sump - undecided, but some kind of DIY build
Lighting - probably a 32" sb reef light with timer
flow - single gyra (probably ice cap)
Skimmer - undecided
Fuge light - probably another ufo like my display
return pump - probably a jabeo dc pump
controller - not going to run one

56130

showmebutterfly
08-17-2018, 05:01 PM
Hooray! Hooray! Hooray! BTW, all builds are cool in their own way. I'm so glad you're sharing this.

BluewaterBoof
08-17-2018, 06:21 PM
Should keep you busy if you're not going with a controller. I see lots of manual alk/Ca/Mg testing in your future with this setup :hmm3grin2orange:

mch1984
08-18-2018, 06:23 PM
I could always do a Jabeo dosing pump or something but weíll see. If I ever upgrade my 90 gallon controller Iíll move the classic apex to the frag tank.

mch1984
08-20-2018, 02:32 AM
So good news, tank was ordered today. Hoping I can make the drive and pick it up this weekend.

mch1984
08-20-2018, 02:27 PM
As I prep for the tanks arrival I need to start getting some plans together on how I want to set this up. What do you guys think about this? My thought was if I have the flow coming in on one end, probably with the nozzels that generate a little random flow. Then add the gyre to the other end, that will create some turbulent and random flow for the coral .

56147

Taurus
08-20-2018, 03:54 PM
Just frags....yeah, just frags, listen to me, like that will be easy :ezpi_wink1: ... Looking forward to following this project along. Marine tanks are NOT easy.

mch1984
08-20-2018, 04:01 PM
Just frags....yeah, just frags, listen to me, like that will be easy :ezpi_wink1: ... Looking forward to following this project along. Marine tanks are NOT easy.

No but they are fun. I like growing coral as much as I like keeping a marine tank. I think thats part of why I'm doing this project.

BluewaterBoof
08-20-2018, 06:06 PM
Marine tanks are NOT easy.

Oh come now Larry! They aren't THAT bad haha

mch1984
08-20-2018, 06:38 PM
Spardas and BluewaterBoof, what do yall think of the flow idea?

BluewaterBoof
08-20-2018, 08:29 PM
I like it. I would have the gyre pulsing nice and slow so that you can get some alternating current in the tank.

mch1984
08-20-2018, 08:37 PM
I like it. I would have the gyre pulsing nice and slow so that you can get some alternating current in the tank.

Yeah that was kind of my thought. I figure when it pulses it will help in creating some good random flow in the tank. I'm thinking with a strong return pump an ice cap 1k should do the trick.

BluewaterBoof
08-20-2018, 08:59 PM
I go more for alternating current as opposed to random flow. One side is constant at a lesser strength and the opposing side is stronger and will kick on every 10 seconds and stay on for ten seconds. This will start pushing the water back the other way, giving about 5 seconds of random currents as the stronger pump starts to overtake the weaker flow, followed by a good five seconds of the uniform flow to the right side. Then when the strong pump kicks off, I get another 5 seconds of random flow as the smaller pump regains momentum followed by five seconds of uniform flow going to the left.

I hope that makes sense...

mch1984
08-20-2018, 09:03 PM
I go more for alternating current as opposed to random flow. One side is constant at a lesser strength and the opposing side is stronger and will kick on every 10 seconds and stay on for ten seconds. This will start pushing the water back the other way, giving about 5 seconds of random currents as the stronger pump starts to overtake the weaker flow, followed by a good five seconds of the uniform flow to the right side. Then when the strong pump kicks off, I get another 5 seconds of random flow as the smaller pump regains momentum followed by five seconds of uniform flow going to the left.

I hope that makes sense...

I know what your talking about, it's a good method. Should give this tank a good flow pattern.

Spardas
08-21-2018, 07:51 PM
Look at Boof, speaking like a master.

Ebb and flow.

For corals, they would prefer turbulence and surge currents. You don't want to just have the flow going in one direction. Also, have to consider what you are placing in the tank. What type of corals and livestock is important to consider when creating currents.

mch1984
08-21-2018, 07:58 PM
Look at Boof, speaking like a master.

Ebb and flow.

For corals, they would prefer turbulence and surge currents. You don't want to just have the flow going in one direction. Also, have to consider what you are placing in the tank. What type of corals and livestock is important to consider when creating currents.

So I guess the question would be is the single gyre fighting the returns be enough to create the surge and turbulence? This will be just a grow out and sell/trade tank. Once it's wet I'll start with zoa and maybe some other softies. Then build my way up to a doser and growing some LPS and SPS in it for sale.

showmebutterfly
08-21-2018, 08:14 PM
Uhm. Yep. That all sounds good. I have no helpful advice, but I'll cheer from the sidelines. :cheerleadersmileygu Go, Matt!

mch1984
08-22-2018, 02:43 PM
So I was on the fence about lighting, but I am not any more. I had considered SB reef because the reviews were excellent and prices are fair. I spoke to the owner on facebook a couple of nights ago and I am sold on it now. For the simple reason that he did not try to upsale me on anything, in fact the opposite. I asked if he suggested a single 32" or two 16" for the lowboy. The short version of his response was a single 16" mounted 18" above the tank. I can not be more impressed with a business owner that sales you what you need not what makes him more money.

Taurus
08-22-2018, 03:43 PM
Oh come now Larry! They aren't THAT bad haha

I guess not Boof for those that have the resources available to them. Corals are fascinating and beautiful. Like I said, I look forward to following along.


Locally we have a great community of reefers and there is a lot of trading and selling coral among members and I want to join in.


My point exactly about resources. I'm not complaining, just stating facts.

BluewaterBoof
08-22-2018, 04:17 PM
So I guess the question would be is the single gyre fighting the returns be enough to create the surge and turbulence? This will be just a grow out and sell/trade tank. Once it's wet I'll start with zoa and maybe some other softies. Then build my way up to a doser and growing some LPS and SPS in it for sale.

Hmmmm...how strong is the gyre pump?

mch1984
08-22-2018, 04:24 PM
My orginal plan was just the ice cap, but I could step up the game on that if i need to.

BluewaterBoof
08-22-2018, 04:59 PM
Which one? The 1k might not be enough, but the 3k should have plenty of power on tap.

mch1984
08-22-2018, 05:26 PM
I was thinking the 1k but I can go 3k and Iím sure it will do the job.

mch1984
08-22-2018, 11:07 PM
So the reason I was in Abilene last weekend is I was visiting a ranch. My dads cousin has a 200 acre ranch and my dad was baby sitting it while they are out of town. So we ordered the tank while I was there and decided to make a trip out of getting it this weekend. Decided to go back to the ranch and do some cooking and have some more fun. My tank showed up at the store today and was cracked. They hope to have the replacement in by friday but if not I'll get to visit the ranch. It's only a couple of hours and I'll do it another day. So while we wait, some pictures of the ranch while I was running around on the 4-wheeler.

56184

56185

56186

mch1984
08-22-2018, 11:08 PM
I don't know why it keeps turning my pictures.

showmebutterfly
08-23-2018, 11:16 AM
Well, even sidesways, it looks like a beautiful area. That stinks about your tank, but it sounds like you have a good attitude about it. Hopefully you'll have it soon though.

bpete
08-23-2018, 01:26 PM
nice looking spread there. looks like a turkey and whitetail paradise.

mch1984
08-23-2018, 01:30 PM
nice looking spread there. looks like a turkey and whitetail paradise.

I'm sure the turkey are there but I've never heard them mention it. Whitetail for sure, there are two feeders within view of the ranch house. The deer come in pretty often and you can watch them eat. They would come in more but hogs are pretty thick out there and then tend to steal the food. Last time we were there we watched a mom and about 6 piglets running around the feeder.

BluewaterBoof
08-23-2018, 02:33 PM
Aw man, that stinks about the tank!

mch1984
08-23-2018, 02:56 PM
Yeah but everybody is good about it, the store handled everything. They had already contacted zoomed and I wont have to mess with it. Fingers crossed the replacement shows up friday and isn't cracked. I ready to get it, even if it will be a while before I do anything with it.

mch1984
08-26-2018, 07:26 PM
The tank has been picked up! Super excited to get the stand done and put this thing in its spot. Let my daughter do some fish shopping for her 34 while we were there.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180826/658e2924456ad57ca0b7b6f3f4d3b30c.jpg

showmebutterfly
08-26-2018, 10:56 PM
Hooray for the new tank coming in safe and sound. Did your daughter bring home any new fish?

mch1984
08-27-2018, 12:12 AM
Yeah, she got 6 panda tetra, another Cory to add to the group, and a Striped Raphael.

I still have to put plywood on the stand since the tank over hangs. For now, this is where it will sit.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180827/32f69f216544d187c159936c9b5bc887.jpg

mac
08-27-2018, 08:04 AM
Very nice stand.

mch1984
08-27-2018, 11:01 AM
Very nice stand.

Thank you!

mch1984
09-02-2018, 08:40 PM
So getting to work on the stand this weekend. Got the top done, working on the bottom plywood now. Will update later when itís finished.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180902/1ea84e0fbbf7eed419a6da91de6e9ad6.jpg

mch1984
09-02-2018, 09:24 PM
Stand is done, except the light hanging brackets.
Itís awesome to see the level come out that nice when gore done building.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180902/3122a5873e8c92cd165629d1373518d9.jpg

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180902/f0a55a42f9adfaf17407c46912cd4c5e.jpg

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20180902/2e377d4d10a305cde40b0321a1d8dde9.jpg

showmebutterfly
09-02-2018, 11:01 PM
It's coming along nicely. [emoji106]

Nautilus291
09-03-2018, 01:54 AM
Wow can't beat that! I'd have to build my stand out of square to get my level to come out like that! My room has a 3 inch drop across 28 feet :{

mch1984
09-03-2018, 02:32 AM
Wow can't beat that! I'd have to build my stand out of square to get my level to come out like that! My room has a 3 inch drop across 28 feet :{

Wow, I bet that does make for a challenge

BluewaterBoof
09-04-2018, 04:38 PM
Having the tank overhang like that makes me nervous...

mch1984
09-04-2018, 05:20 PM
Having the tank overhang like that makes me nervous...

If this was anymore than 50 gallons I would be with you. This only hangs off about 2.5" either side and it's sitting on 3/4" plywood. I don't worry about this one but I know what you mean.

Nautilus291
09-04-2018, 06:27 PM
Ya, I'm sure it will be fine. If you notice any problems, or if you want to play it safe you could make a decorative board that runs around the bottom of the tank and have it screwed into the 3\4" plywood.

Kind of like this except don't tip your tank over like the picture lol. The board would give it some more support, and might even add to the aesthetics.

mch1984
09-04-2018, 06:31 PM
I may do that, although it would be for structure and not aesthetics. As of now this tank is in the office/spare bedroom and I don't care about looks. If I could talk my wife into letting me put it in the bedroom and tie into my 90 I would worry about the looks more. As of now thought it doesn't seem like I could talk her into it. Ultimately she would let me do it, but she would never be happy with it.

BluewaterBoof
09-04-2018, 07:23 PM
Yep. If my wife knew I really wanted to do something, she would let me do it even if it bothered her. It's one of several reasons why I consolidated and tore down some of my tanks throughout the house. She never complained about all of them popping up here and there but she was visibly relieved when I started to tear them down.

mch1984
09-04-2018, 07:30 PM
Really I think the only way I could make her ok with doing it would be a huge undertaking. I was thinking she might go for it if I was to build an entire new stand that could house both tanks side by side. I think on of the reasons she wouldn't like the way it look is that the two tanks are different depths. One being 18" and one being 24". I could make a stand that would hold both but it would be a huge stand and about 8.5' long. Plus then I'm looking at tearing down the 90 and setting it back up all in one day with having to the plumbing.

BluewaterBoof
09-04-2018, 08:53 PM
Plus then I'm looking at tearing down the 90 and setting it back up all in one day with having to the plumbing.

This would be an awful experience.

mch1984
09-21-2018, 11:56 PM
So I got a hell of a deal for this tank. This is way out of order but I bought a brand new never even opened reef octopus skimmer. I saved about $80 off retail and was super excited.

Also just ordered the acrylic to finished my home made sump. I was on the fence about using the acrylic box I made but decided why not.

showmebutterfly
09-22-2018, 01:05 AM
Whoo-hoo! Congrats on the great deal.
So I got a hell of a deal for this tank. This is way out of order but I bought a brand new never even opened reef octopus skimmer. I saved about $80 off retail and was super excited.

Also just ordered the acrylic to finished my home made sump. I was on the fence about using the acrylic box I made but decided why not.

mch1984
10-17-2018, 05:07 AM
This will probably go down as the ugliest acrylic sump in history but Iím ok with that. The acrylic for the tank was basically free and the black acrylic for baffles were $35. $20 bit to cut the worlds ugliest weir but itís all good. Side note, a full carbide cutting but is sharp as hell and will slice you if you look at it wrong.

Ps. Yes there is silicon on the baffles, no that is not the primary binding agent. I used weld on 3 for that. Because I was newbie when I built the aquarium it was not completely square and the bottom of the baffles are not completely flush.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181017/30748f6bca99ab869e37e8b9e9e6473b.jpg

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181017/199e737943c7b0db6622183f70fc95c9.jpg

Jwfish13
10-17-2018, 07:23 PM
not bad, not the ugliest. I'm sure the weir is kind of difficult.

mch1984
10-17-2018, 07:28 PM
It is when you are doing it by hand with a router.

Jwfish13
10-17-2018, 07:30 PM
lol no kidding.

BluewaterBoof
10-17-2018, 08:44 PM
Looking good. I'm assuming you didn't leave any wooden spaces under the baffles this time. :hmm3grin2orange: :14:

mch1984
11-16-2018, 10:54 PM
Finally bought the stuff to drill the tank. Should have it done in the next few days.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181116/dbd0ac0c55551d05f246024dbe3ba20f.jpg

mch1984
11-19-2018, 08:40 PM
Well tank drill was successful. Now just have to buy a return pump and sock holder so I can plumb it

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181119/057db0e71981553d7bea6bcb8f9208cd.jpg

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181119/68e95883fc0e1e38c1f132d35d6feb3e.jpg


https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181119/2ac1fe2840b547485428ec6c114db6c7.jpg


https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181119/6173139d097488f1ff9f7b0cc0bc3e5b.jpg


https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20181119/566863ac39ac08f2204e64120d79b2c6.jpg

mch1984
12-10-2018, 04:41 AM
A little closer, for the pump and filter sock holder. Hope to have it plumbed next weekend. Still need a few things but I can fill it and start cycling.

56992

56993

Nautilus291
12-10-2018, 04:46 AM
I've been wondering how this build was going, looks like you are on the final stretch! That overflow looks professionally done; good work!

mch1984
12-10-2018, 04:49 AM
Thank you! And I am. Mostly it’s just spending money from this point. I can start the tank cycling without lights and powerheads. Really it wouldn’t hurt for it to run for a month or two just getting established. Since this tank is all about growing coral, stable is the keY

mch1984
12-15-2018, 08:20 PM
So plumbing as been started, have everything dry fitted. Still have to glue everything, but my pvc glue was crap so I have to go back to lowes. Got the conduit for the light hanger measured and cut, going to take it down and spray paint. Hope to have it all done and water started going in by the end of the day.

57024


57025


57026


57027