Canreef Aquatics Bulletin Board  

Go Back   Canreef Aquatics Bulletin Board > General > Tank Journal

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 02-05-2013, 01:14 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road
Default ReeferFulton's most SPECTACULARLY AWESOMEST tank build(s) EVAHHH!!!!

Well Hello everyone

This will be my first time ever doing a build thread and posting pics.

Little back story .

My wife and I have kept FW tanks for the last 12 years . They were all below 75 gallons . We kept a cichlid tank for around 5 of those years . Our maintenance was very simple , weekly water changes and filter cleans .. thats it.
I have never tested a single water peramater etc . Cichlids were having babies like crazy , and we never really lost any fish on any sort of large scale .
Then one day in Calgary we noticed a small setup and running 12 gallon JBJ Nano .. Came complete with some coral and rock etc .
So we scooped that up .
Having no idea what we were doing , I took to the forums and learned what I could .

I didnt get to serious into the SW hobby then. Again maintenance consisted of weekly 10 percent water changes.THATS IT. Never tested anything. My coral was growing out of control to i might add . GSP Basically took off lol .

I kept that tank for about 8 months . then sold it prior to our move to Victoria BC..

here she is in here glory

with a close up

had a couple of clowns and a yellow watchman gobbie .

going to end this post as a test to see if the pics worked ..

more to come

Last edited by kien; 02-19-2014 at 06:11 AM.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 01:43 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road

awesome pics worked , now I am motivated to keep going.

One thing I have come to love is viewing all the amazing build threads online.
so i would like to share my simple one .

Anyway . We sold off all our tanks and loaded up the uhall and headed out west to Victoria .

We bought a house oct of 2011 . And life went buy .
Then in late December of 2012 I got the urge to have another SW system . So on A tight budget i began scouring the classifieds. I came across 110gallon semi cube that had been converted into an all in one .

this tank had on overflow built into it that was the width of the tank and 10 inches wide .
inside that area was a 9" tall baffle for a skimmer , then a secondary area for whatever .then the return area about 7" tall , 4 " long .. Held about 1.8gallons of water ..
In this return section there where also 3 holes drilled for 1" bulkheads

so at this point the tank had usable area of 26x28x25h

So with the tank came the following
Mag 9.5 return
older reef nwb-oct150 skimmer ( was very clean)
hydro power head 2
1 heater
and a lumentek 250/400 ballast and lumen max 2 reflector . with 250mh bulb

Now I have never even seen a mh bulb up close .. Crazy big . I had also never heard of a skimmer lol

But with the wife and myself convinced i had everthing i needed I told her it would be up and running in a matter of weeks ............

Thats when I jumped back online and began reading and reading and ......

To my surprise lol i realized the tank was not set up how i wanted it ..
AND thus begins the tank build .

I started with removing the existing in tank overflow and baffles .

there ! one Big tank .. looks way bigger now .
That took 5 hrs by the way ..... found out that the really small thin exacto blades work best .

Took the previous glass wall down to the glass shop and had them cut to 10" wide peices for me ..
and created this

was happy , started to look like a proper tank again . I was really pleased with my self.
I let this cure for 7 days before filling it up and testing for leaks ..
here we go no leaks woot
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 02:07 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road

So when i maintained the JBJ in Calgary i was told by the previous owner to use only RO water from the grocery store .. AND I did religiously .

Yet somehow when I got this tank I totally forgot about that. Low and behold what is the first thing I read for newbies setting up tanks ....... GET AND RODI.

Now this began a week long hunt and stress out over which one was the right one .. There is so many reviews and opinions on what one to get .. It seems there are too many options lol . I would have been so happy if someone had just said there is only one kind for reef tanks and this is the price .

anyway . i ended up buying a MAXCAP 90. with dual TDS meters buy spectrapure.

showed up a week later and i could hardly wait to hook it up !
I wanted so bad to see what my tds was coming into the house lol ..

Turns out that after all that my tds coming in is a whopping 17ppm...
needless to say it is still a necessary step in the right direction

so 17 in , 0 after RO , and 0,0 after DI .
GOOD start .

All i can say is wow these things make water so slooowwwwww.
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 02:27 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road

forgot to add some info on the tank .

IT is half inch glass all the way around . with 2 panes on the bottom. 1" thick totall . Not sure why it was done this way . maybe someone on here knows.

so afterI made the overflow around the three existing holes i started to research proper quiet drain setups and sumps.. again back online .. must have read 30 hours alone on drain designs !!

What i decided was a Herbie design extactly .
So i ordered 3 new double threaded 1 inch bulkheads. I wanted to be able to remove everything in the plumbing as I had no idea what i was doing.

Okay i wont explain the herbie , but simply put . I have 1 drain 6 inches long straight up open ended . This goes straight into the sump. no bends or turns. It is controlled by a spears 1" gate valve ...(pricey little bugger.)
second pipe goes right to the top about 1/4 inch below the bottom of the wier. this is the back up drain
third is the return , with a couple of 45's and some flex makes its way to the tank and straight up and into a 3/4 loc line Y fitting . which splits into two 3/4 loc line runners into some flared nozzles .


so i got this all fired up and tested to find out that i had too big of a weir in my tank . I could not raise the water level of the tank high enough with the output my pump was giving me . ( I had 20 inches of wier with 2" deep teeth).

So I added some more acraylic behind the teeth to raise the water level . problem fixed . Now when the tank is running the water level is just above the start of the tank trim . Then flows over the weir and drops about 1/2 inch . and remains stable .. Super quit . i do not even hear the water at all ..!

so far so good
I am getting my build thread out of order .. doh ,, i will add the steps in a bit lol
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 03:04 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road

well since i decided to use the 3 bulkheads that meened i needed to learn about sumps .

What i found was a 36x16x16. previously a turtle tank with a ramp.
I took the ramp out . peeled out all of the internal silicon and bleached the tank.
then washed the tank with vinegar . then rinsed and rinsed . and rinsed

I decided on a simple 3 compartment sump design .. tank drains into first section . with skimmer . then an over under over bubble trap . then a middle section and then a return section .

I made the return section fairly large , as I learned with is where all the systems evaporation will be seen .

Had the glass shop cut me all the baffles , i siliconed them in and resealed the inside of the tank .. 5 days later .. leak check time .
I leack checked each individual compartment. all was good

hope someone like this thread lol
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 03:22 AM
mrhasan's Avatar
mrhasan mrhasan is offline
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Calgary
Posts: 2,893
mrhasan is on a distinguished road

Wonderful build I should be able to learn about sumps from here

Keep up the elaborate explanations

You wouldn't want to see my tank. I don't use fancy equipment and I am a noob
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 03:27 AM
Rice Reef's Avatar
Rice Reef Rice Reef is offline
Colony Growing Master
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Victoria
Posts: 1,073
Rice Reef is on a distinguished road

Welcome and it is nice to have another member on the Island. Tagging along to your build. What are your plans for the tank?
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 03:31 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road

another thing i wanted to do before i got this tank up and running was complete the stand the a presentable level for viewing in my house.


basic simple 1" tube frame supported in all corners by little gussets. I wanted to add an additional vertical support on each side in the center. I aslo wanted to add a horizontal brace around where the holes are drilled through the tank.

I am not sure if this was necessary but felt like doing it anyway.

now Due to the fact that i have 22 foot high ceiling about the tank , i did not have the option of hangin my light from the roof .
So I came up with my own light stand based on ideas i have found online .

I went to the local metal shop and bought 9 feet of 1 1/4 inch stainless steel boat hand rail .
Then i took this to a metal fab shop and hand them bend a perfect 90 degree bend on one end.

what i did next was find some seamless steel pipe with basically the exact inside diameter of 1 1/4 inch . My plan was to weld a bracket onto the back of my tank what would except my stainless light holder into it . this would then give me the option to rotate the light stand 360 degrees if i needed .

some pics

with light stand

after then stand was welded up I screwed 3/4 plywood to the top and bottom of the stand. and proceeded to try and figure out how to wrap this metal contraption in wood lol
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 03:56 AM
reeferfulton reeferfulton is offline
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Victoria
Posts: 347
reeferfulton is on a distinguished road

sorry for the sideways pic..

Well I would like to do alot of LPS and softies and some fish etc .

I have spent so much time building and researching the tank that i have not spent much time deciding what to put in it ..
I do know that i want a minimalist look with a simple 2 island rock scape .
I will be doing a thin 1 inch sand bed on the bottom . ( like the look)

back to the stand

I am not a wood worker ... lol I have a skill saw , compound mitre and a jigsaw ...and no skill ..

I wanted to make the stand open up completely. I did not want to be hindered when trying to work in the sump .
My thoughts where to have the sides hinge off the back 180 degrees . and the front to pop of with the use of magnets ..

I Welded on a pair of hinges on each back side. to these i screwed 3/8 good one side pine plywood . . then i trimmed the plywood with 2 x 1/2 pine tight grain wood .

Stained this all with ebony 1 step stain .. love the look

some stain added

I added some generic magnetic latches to the ends that close . they are pretty weak , and would like to upgrade those in the future . For now the front section just pulls off and I move it aside

1 more
we are really happy with the way the wood looks once it was stained ..Really though i just looks like a military crate lol
should put a skull and crossbones on it . or a poison symbol
Reply With Quote
Old 02-05-2013, 04:53 AM
ensquire's Avatar
ensquire ensquire is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Yellowknife
Posts: 669
ensquire is on a distinguished road

Great job so far. Only thing I would have added would be a sheet of styrofoam under tank.
Looks like you have another interesting project going on in your garage ?
Reply With Quote

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

All times are GMT. The time now is 06:01 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2022, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.