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James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

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James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Tue 09 Feb, 2010 9:24 pm

Introduction:
Been keeping FW planted tanks for a few years and decided to change to salt. Won't go into detail here as I'm sure most of you travelled this path. Have always wanted a salt tank ever since keeping a 51cm tank from BigW, running on an air driven sponge, filled with random marine creatures I'd netted from around where I lived (shrimp, mudskippers, tiny squid, juvenile mullet, etc), in my very early teens.

On with the show

System Objectives: I've revised this - my objective is to setup a marine tank without rushing into anything so things get done properly the first time

System Type: Mixed Reef

Display System:

Strike up Date: 3.7.2010 = salt water in. Live rock on 4.7.2010

Display Tank: 4x2x2 G J Maher tank. Now drilled and with weir made by Dennison installed.

Display Lighting: Guppy's 8x54w T5 (individual reflectors). Yet to be loaded with ATI Blue Plus, AquaBlue Special, and Fiji Purple (x1) tubes

Stand: To be made by me - pine frame with painted MDF cladding(partially done)

Hood: To be made by me - open crown

Sump: 850x400x450 - fuge, DSB, return, made by Dennison.

Refugium: To have a refugium with liverock and macro only.

Refugium Lighting: TBA


Support systems:

System Water: Natural salt water

Display Water circulation: 1x JVP 12000lph, 2xKoralia copy 5000lph

Return Pump: 2x Laguna 3500lph

Skimmer: Reef Octopus Hurricane 1500, running externally, with impeller upgrade.

Evaporation Top Up: To be auto eventually. Manual RO/DI to begin with


Chemical Support:

Calcium Addition: Chemical addition of some sort

Alkilinity Addition: Chemical addition of some sort

Other Chemical Maintenance: Chemical addition of some sort if need

Current Water Chemistry: NA at present
Nitrates:
Phosphates:
Alkalinity:
Calcium:
Salinity / Specific Gravity:
Magnesuim:


Images:
Last edited by Jamess on Wed 02 Feb, 2011 3:31 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Postby Reef_Geek » Tue 09 Feb, 2010 9:28 pm

Sound's like a great start, will be watching closely as i also am currently building a tank the same size,

good luck and post pic's when you can :thumbsup:
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Postby Jamess » Tue 09 Feb, 2010 9:29 pm

This is going to be a slow going journal at first, so I apologise in advance. Just so it's clear where I'm at - I've got my skimmer, chiller, DT, return pump, lighting fixture, and... I think that's it, so far. Pictures to come.
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Postby Jamess » Tue 09 Feb, 2010 9:32 pm

Damn you got in quick Reef_Geek!

One other objective I forgot to mention is I want to focus also on a neat and practical sump etc. Something not especially high tech, but enough that it will impress my lay friends and family when they look under the tank and see what's running everything :thumbsup:
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Postby Jamess » Sun 14 Feb, 2010 1:18 pm

This is a rough plan of what I'm considering for the sump. I was originally planning to use the tank labeled as the alternate sump tank, but at 2.5 ft the size was restricting. Ultimately I'd like to have a cabinet that's ~5ft long, but my wife won't let me (DT is 4ft).

I like the idea of having a separate DSB because it frees up space in the sump for a huge 'fuge and good size return section as well. With the 2.5ft tank as a sump I run the risk of a flood with power out, due to a small return, or I will have a little fuge (but I want a big one).

Image

Skimmer to be gravity fed from DT, with some flow from DT going directly to the small pre-fuge/skimmer return section in the sump (can't see it really in the pic). Water then runs along the bottom of the sump, up through egg crate (not pictured) which will support the fuge (live rock and macro). Water then runs through a bulkhead to the RDSB, then back through into the sump, with piping taking it to the bottom of the sump. Small bubble trap next, and then the return pump, which will T off to a chiller. Not sure if the chiller out will recycle back into the sump, or go directly to the DT.

I've never done anything like this before, so be nice if this is a stupid design for some reason :cheers:

P.s. sorry for the small pic - photobucket shrunk it and I didn't bother changing it.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Thu 18 Feb, 2010 7:22 pm

Just a few pics, more for my record than anything.

The tank as it is now - about 2 bucket fulls of FW plants removed, getting ready to tear it all down and make way for my new interest
Image

My first ever attempt at an 'after thought' overflow and siphon all in one
Image

Laguna 3500lph pump, to be my return pump
Image

Top shot of the lighting unit I'll be transferring over, and the tank bracing (centre brace)
Image

Backup chiller for if/when the main needs a service. Got it for free
Image

Main chiller - TC 20
Image

Skimmer, DNW 200
Image
Running without any water in feed, just recirc
Image

Thanks for looking.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Thu 18 Feb, 2010 7:26 pm

I just realised these shots show how much of a DIY fan I am - work in progress tiling and dog house shown, as well as my first DIY stand and crown build. I'll be making a new stand and crown for the new tank (anyone want to buy the old one? :devil:)
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Reef_Geek » Thu 18 Feb, 2010 8:39 pm

great sump design i found that to be the hardest part so far, looks like you did it in a breeze lol very nice. i envy people that use sketchup. looking great so far :cheers:

say i didnt know you could take the housing of laguna pumps? is that what you did
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Thu 18 Feb, 2010 10:42 pm

Reef_Geek wrote:say i didnt know you could take the housing of laguna pumps? is that what you did


I thought everyone took those covers off? I got the pump 2nd hand with the cover removed, but yes, it comes off to reveal a semi normal pump :thumbsup:
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby imf » Fri 19 Feb, 2010 9:57 am

Hey James,

Just throwing an eye over the sump plan. Just make sure that you don't make the back sump too difficult to access. I can picture difficulty trying to get behind the skimmer to harvest macro or do sump maintenance.

Cheers,
Ben
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Fri 19 Feb, 2010 10:20 am

Good suggestion, Ben. I'd actually given it a little bit of thought and was considering having the skimmer plumbed with flexible hose and sitting it on a secure base that's attached to the cabinet door. That way when I open the door to access the sump, the skimmer moves out of the way, giving access. It wouldn't be very complicated to implement at all (but obviously not ideal). I really wish I had more space under the tank without having to sacrifice the 4ft sump. I don't want to put the skimmer in the sump either... Something about wanting to have my cake and eat it as well..
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Sun 07 Mar, 2010 5:41 pm

Minor boring update:

Have collected another piece of equipment - PSI-020B-DI-GM - and got some o-rings to stop the chiller from leaking at the tap.

I think I might tackle getting some glass to build my weir and sump next... no rush (:
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Mon 24 May, 2010 10:37 am

Minor update: This project is still going full steam ahead, but in low gear.

I've settled on a sump design and am having Dennison knock it up for me. Should be done by the weekend. He's also doing my weir, which I will then install myself.

I've ordered all my bits and pieces for the plumbing, and the stand is half done. In the process of cladding it and painting the cladding. Once the stand and hood are done I'm going to look into powerpoints that I can install inside the stand for neatness, and organise my fuge light and RO water container for topups (eventually auto top up). Following that I need to order a few things from Guppy's, inc powerheads.

Boss just arrived at work - more updates later.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Sat 29 May, 2010 2:55 pm

Progress so far: Got all my plumbing bits and bobs, part way through building the stand, and picked up my sump and weir today from Dennison.

Plumbing
Image

5 x 4.8m long pieces of 90x45 - building the stand begins
Image

All cut and ready to assemble
Image

Stand done, but still needs paint and cladding...
Image
Image

Hole cut in the 'ceiling' of the stand for plumbing
Image

25mm hose barb ground up to fit my skimmer
Image

Same 25mm hose barbs for the chiller - now everything is 25mm all round
Image

Weir courtesy of Dennison. Just need to drill my tank and then in it goes
Image

Stand with weir and sump in place - fits with only a few mm to spare, just as planned
Image
Image

I hope to get the cladding cut and the permanent pieces painted and in place this weekend. I hope I also get time to get the removable bits done as well.

Thanks for looking.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Sun 06 Jun, 2010 9:34 pm

So the cladding is done, but there's still a bit of painting to do. The crown also needs to be done.

Here's my vision of the completed tank
Image

With the front removed
Image

The actual stand so far
Image

Side removed
Image

:cheers:
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Lutjanus » Mon 07 Jun, 2010 3:48 pm

Looks great so far!

The skimmer will work well - I had the same model previously.

I did the same with my Teco chiller - increased the plumbing to 25mm all round.

The overflow looks like it will achieve great surface skimming.

Your cabinet looks great.
I want something similar to skin my stand - in black though.

You have great DIY skills :thumbsup:
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby shannonpayne86 » Mon 07 Jun, 2010 3:58 pm

Lovely work with skinning the stand, would love to get mine done!!
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby sydneydrewid » Mon 07 Jun, 2010 4:04 pm

the stand is looking very nice!! well thought out layout!!
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby imf » Mon 07 Jun, 2010 6:11 pm

Not long to go now James.

Great job on the stand. Looks very sturdy.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby StripestheEel » Mon 07 Jun, 2010 7:12 pm

Looking very nice mate
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Martin_QLD » Sun 20 Jun, 2010 2:21 pm

Looking very good mate :thumbsup:
:cheers:
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Mon 21 Jun, 2010 8:55 am

Cheers for the comments.

This weekend was spent drilling holes for the bulkheads, installing the weir and plumbing everything up. I got all that done and ran a FW test - no leaks, but I've hit a hurdle none the less. I can't get my durso anywhere near quiet and my skimmer makes even more noise than the durso. I spent about 30 mins searching the interwebs for answers, but didn't find anything that solved my issue.

Noise from the skimmer is the pump (otp 3000) - it's loud, plain and simple. How loud are these even meant to be? I have the skimmer plumbed with flexi pipe and sitting on foam.

Noise from the durso is trapped air causing splashing. It feeds directly into the skimmer and takes the flow with no trouble, but makes about the same noise as filling a bath.

I've decided not to progress any further with this build until I can find a solution to these 2 issues. Feel free to post suggestions here if you've got any.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Mon 21 Jun, 2010 10:37 am

Been thinking about my setup (2x Durso, 1 slightly higher than the other to act as a backup) and I'm going to change this to a siphon and backup durso. I can't think of any other way to get it quiet enough to watch TV in the same room, possibly due to the fact that it's feeding to the skimmer - I don't know.

That just leaves the otp 3000. Maybe a new impellor is in order. I'll pull it apart tonight and see if anything is obvious.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Sun 27 Jun, 2010 1:04 pm

Most of my noise issues are solved - I've ordered a pinwheel impellor for the skimmer and I'm waiting on some 45 degree bends for the skimmer return as well. Also arriving soon will be some loc line for the 2 returns and my refractometer and powerheads.

I still need to build the hood and finish the rest of the stand.

Anyway, here are a few progress shots.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Tue 29 Jun, 2010 2:07 pm

Powerheads arrived today, along with some items to try to silence my tank - needlewheel replacement for my skimmer and some 45 degree elbows for the skimmer return. I'm hoping this cuts a bit of the skimmer noise down, and reduces splashing in the sump fro the skimmer return. I've got no problems with micro bubbles (my bubble trap before the return pumps isn't even needed), but the splashing is a little bit ott.

:crossfingers: I'll get everything tested before the weekend so I can work on collecting ~500l of NSW and make a live rock order/purchase next week.

6 months of research and development and things are starting to come together - very exciting.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby juststu82 » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 2:02 pm

Looking good. I now have a wet tank with the first rock in it and it was a year and half of research, saving and planning but yours looks great and well worth the time it took to get it going. Well done.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 2:28 pm

Cheers. Despite having a work meeting last night, straight after work, that didn't finish until after 10pm, I still managed to put the 45degree bends in on the skimmer return, put the new impeller in, install the loc line on both my sump returns and test out all the powerheads.

Skimmer return is a lot quieter - almost silent, which means everything is very quiet apart from the powerheads and the skimmer itself. The new impeller seems to have made no difference with a FW test. So skimmer and powerheads are kinda loud, but because it's a constant hum/buzz, it's not as bad as splashing.

So, I'm going to get substrate, get water, and get a few kg of live rock to kick things off on the weekend. Because I'm not in a rush I'm going to get a few bits of LR to start a cycle, cycle it, then add another 20kg and cycle that. Hopefully a few more of the critters from the 2nd batch of rock will survive this way.

My scape is going to be more open (no rock wall). Photos will come when more happens.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby mattgreen » Wed 30 Jun, 2010 5:29 pm

plenty should survive if you did it at once. nice tank build very interesting to read looks like you put alot of thought into it. goodluck with it
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Jamess » Thu 08 Jul, 2010 12:31 pm

Those with a keen eye would see that I've added the 'strike up date' to my initial post.

So the tank is up and running with fine white sand substrate and ~20kg liverock. I'm loving the whole spot the hitchhiker phase I'm going through at the moment, and have found a lot of the standard critters, and a few different ones inc a little collector crab, some ball anemones, at least 3 corals that I have no idea about, and so on. I know there are at least 3 little crabs that might need removing. One has a claw the same size as it's little cream coloured carapace. Unfortunately there also seems to be some colonial hydroids, which I unknowingly placed in a dark, low flow area, so I hope they drop dead.

I'll post pictures in the next few days.
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Re: James' 4x2x2 - newbie tank with T5s

Postby Savmel » Wed 03 Nov, 2010 9:29 pm

any updates on the tank :)
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