• Advertisement
RTAW Advertiser

Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft (Centre Weir + Auto Top Off Sys)

The purpose of this forum is to allow people to showcase their tanks, and allow other uses to ask questions on equipment, livestock, methodology etc.

Moderators: Moderators, Mod: Tank Journals, Promotions, Competitions & Sponsorship

Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft (Centre Weir + Auto Top Off Sys)

Postby forsaken » Thu 08 Apr, 2010 11:53 pm

Hi All,

Ben from Cronulla, after having a small 35l tank for sometime now and the guys I work with having larger marine tanks, I decided it was time to take it to the next level. I ended up purchasing a 3ft tank on ebay which included the cabinet and hood.

Although it's been about 6 months (I would have said it was shorter but I'd get spammed by the guys at work...) I am just about ready to fill the tank up and start the curing process. I guess hearing the guys at work talk about there tanks and taking on theirecommendations, I thought I'd try and get the best of both worlds by incorporating a lot of features that you would probably see on larger tanks, whether this was just wishful thinking by a noob that I'm going to regret or it turn out just the way I wanted it to be...You decide... take a look at the pics and let me know what you think.

This is the tank before I started, got it on ebay.

Image

Image

After doing quite a few drawings on how it was to fit together and run, the first thing i got done is get the guys from St George Aquariums to put in the false back, the idea was that the centre section was to be my weir and the extra sections either side, these would hold the freshwater to be hooked up to a float valve in the sump

Image

One thing I didn't really do is work out exactly how I was going to connect everything up, pretty stupid but luckily everything was working out so far...

Image

Seeing my tank is only 1.5ft deep I didn't have all that much room to play with especially inside the weir and freshwater sections

Image

Image

After dropping the screw driver a number of times into the bottom of the three sections, i suddonly realised how much of a pain it would be if I had to do maintanence on any of them, especially seeing i used fixed pvc pieces, I then decided to change them to use the vinyl tubing instead, plus didn't have to worry if things didn't quite line up.

Image

Image

Now that the weir sections have been done, I decided i liked the look of the false backs so I picked one up from Strictly Aquariums, cut it all to size and after some nervous moments, siliconed it all on...

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

The guys at my work hinted that I really needed to be able to service the sump if needs be, one of them suggested some sort of roller system which I quite liked... so... the first thing I had to do is cut out the sides of the cupboard and turn these into doors, this way I could get into both sides, took awhile but eventually got it done.

Image

Image

Image

Seeing I had the three bulkheads in the middle of my weir, I had to cut out the original support beam which you can see and replace them with two new one's. I found that I needed to do the new supports first so I could fix in the rollers without them getting in the way.

Image

Once the doors were done, I ended up picking up some 4wd fridge rollers which are rated upto 100kg and need to fix them to the bottom of the cupboard

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Now that the roller systems was working well, I did the measurements and got the sump made up..I looked into making the sump myself out of perspex but just getting the pieces cut to size and that's not including buying any of the glue or other materials, I found it was way cheaper to get it made up in glass instead, plus it only took a 1\2 day if that to be made up.

Image

Once the sump tank was in, only just!.. Had to made sure the 30l drum was going to fit also, another hint from some other enthusiats was to have one of my drains going to the drum and then into my refugium, this was when I wanted to do a water change, using unions joints, I turn off all the pumps, un-do the union joints and remove the drum, replacing it with another drum of fresh salt water.

Image

Image

I placed the main display tank on the cupboard so i could start putting on all the adaptors, using plenty of thread seal tape, it took awhile but eventually got there, found using irrigation barb type fittings that come with there own washes did not work at all so tried to use fixed barb pieces as much as possible, using shelleys glass silicone, coated everything I could to ensure there'd be no leaks.

Image

Ideally I really liked the sump design that had three sections and both section 1 and 3 drained into the middle, though seeing my cupboard and tank is not all that big, it made me go through with the 3 section sump with the refugium at the front, did think of it at the time but this made it quite difficiult to cable up all the different drains to go to the relevant sections in the sump, especially trying to not turn it into a web of pipes which some of the pictures suggest, though it's fairly simple.

Image

I ended up picking up a Aqua C 120 Skimmer with a Ocean Runner Pump, bit expensive but all the reviews suggested it was worth the money, could have gone with a smaller model but thought I'd stick with something that others know works.

Image

Image

As my sump is not very big, I wanted to make it hold as much water as possible which meant I needed to make up a simple glass stand for the skimmer to sit on.

Image

Some pics of the cupboard once eveything was hooked up, again this took ages as I was trying not to over complicate things, it would have been so much easier with a bigger cupboard but that's down the track....These shots arn't the best angles but I think you get the picture....A few flow valves to have total control of the flow into each sump section

Image

Image

Image

I ended up bitting the bullet and purchasing a chiller\Heater and UV (Teco TC10), seeing I want to keep corals and our unit gets quite hot in summer, thought this would be worth every penny.

Image

At this point I ended up filling the tank up with freshwater to ensure I had no leaks, after some more silicone and seal tape, ended up with no leakes, though I had to take the display off the cupboard to be able to tighten everything up again, I had the sump changed also to increase the space between bubble traps as I wasn't getting enough flow from my skimmer section to my return.

Image

Image

Image

Finally moved the cupboard up into the unit, got some people together to help lift up the main display tank

Image

Image

Image

Finally recieved my lighting system too, it's a MaxSpect 230W LED, not a bad unit, a bit bright but hopefully will do the job.

Image

Image

Reassembling time...

Image

Image

Image

I've also started on my egg crate to go on the bottom of the tank, I've know there's been a lot of debate on whether to or not, I've decided to do so, the egg crate is being help up by 32mm pvc which has all sorts of holes drilled into it. Planning to just cover this in lime sand so it can't be seen..

Image

Image

Finally the water goes in, well some of it anyway...

Image

Image

After a few days..

Image

Finally, the tank and sump filled and with 15kg's of rock, plan to get more rock and macro algae on the weekend

Image

The tank with 10kg's more of live rock...

Image

Image

Image

I found to begin with, my skimmer was going crazy, picking up tonnes of stuff in the tank, it picks up so much stuff that when your cleaning and draining the top collection cup, it smells like egg, it's really bad but happy though that when my fish go in there, there not going to swimming in all that #@@#@#!! =)

Image

The skimmer after a few days seems to be settling down

Image

Hooked up the float valve this weekend and seems to be working really well, in the two fresh water sections of my tank, it can holds about 50l so hopefully won't need to check the level of the water in my sump for evaporation everyday.

Image

a month later... a lot of green hair alage which I am manually removing until I get some fish\snails that
will eat it and also lots of colour on the live rocks. Getting all sorts of small shrimps coming out at night.

Image

Image

I have also moved across to the new tank a leather coral, hermit crab and tonight a sea urchin using the
drip acclimation process

Image

Another great freebee on the live rock. This starfish ended up getting into my weir and being sucked down the dorso pipes and a week later found it in my sump.
I've got some finer grate to put over the weir egg create. I plan to use cable ties to attach it.

Image

Image

Almost got my QT also just about ready to go.

Image

Updated Pic:

Image

The short video:

Image

16-9-10

Image

Image

I've got a couple of pistol shrimps in the tank and at night make this loud snapping
sound as they stun their prey, so would like these gone so I can get some nice redline
and peppermint shrimp. I've made a make shift trap to catch them but each time the bait
has been gone by morning, so in 3 attempts it's shrimp wins x3

Image

I've also had a flame angel in a QT which after two weeks came out with white spot, so
decided to treat it with copper, Been treating it for 4 weeks now so this weekend is the
end, 2-3 weeks in observation and if all good, into the DT he\she goes. I'm now not really keen
on the copper treatment as it resulted in the ammonia to Nitrite to Nitrate to stop so the
ammonia goes through the roof, pretty much had to do 25% waters changes almost everynight
as well as testing the copper concerntration

Image

Finally added the flame angel into the main tank, she looks awesome, plus got a BubbleTip Anemone and a Duncan\Whisker Coral, I have also got 2 Yellow Coral Goby's in the QT. The Goby's were bathed for 30 minutes in Hyper Peroxide prior to going into the QT.

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by forsaken on Tue 12 Oct, 2010 12:26 pm, edited 26 times in total.
User avatar
forsaken
Bicentenary Reefer
 
Posts: 317
Images: 2
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Gymea, Sydney

Re: Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft

Postby Semillon » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 9:51 am

Looks like you packed a lot in that small space under the stand, nice job.

What is your reasoning behind placing the egg crate on the bottom of the tank? If it is to "spread the load of the rockwork" this is a misnomer...
User avatar
Semillon
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1506
Images: 1
Joined: Sun 08 Nov, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Casula, Sydney

Re: Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft

Postby forsaken » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 10:30 am

Once you take down the lighting control unit, there is a bit of space to play with but certainly not as much as I would have liked, I've been planning to have between 1 to 3 inc sand bed on the bottom of the display, and seeing I wanted to put in live rock, I didn't want the rock to sink into the sand and have detritus build up aroud the base, also thought it would be a good not to have all the weight of the live rock sitting direclty on the glass.
User avatar
forsaken
Bicentenary Reefer
 
Posts: 317
Images: 2
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Gymea, Sydney

Re: Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft

Postby Semillon » Fri 09 Apr, 2010 11:17 am

I think you may find that the eggcrate becomes a larger detritus trap than the live rock ever could be. It also gets in the way of any sand sifting invertebrates or fish you may decide to include in your tank.

Selection of suitable peices of live rock to sit at the bottom of your structures can also assist, for example, we placed some pieces that had natural "feet" to limit the surface area contact with the bottom of the tank.

Other people have used plastic rods attached to the lower pieces of rock to acheive a similar result.

Just food for thought...
User avatar
Semillon
RTAW Veteran Reefer
 
Posts: 1506
Images: 1
Joined: Sun 08 Nov, 2009 2:32 pm
Location: Casula, Sydney

Re: Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft

Postby forsaken » Mon 07 Jun, 2010 9:37 pm

Finally updated my tank journal with what I've done so far, all going well and algae's being eaten by the two turbo's I now have in the tank. The auto top off systems works really well, gives me atleast a week and a half before I need to check up on it...
User avatar
forsaken
Bicentenary Reefer
 
Posts: 317
Images: 2
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Gymea, Sydney

Re: Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft (Centre Weir + Auto Top Off Sy

Postby forsaken » Thu 26 Aug, 2010 8:05 pm

Added a few more pics and a short video which I'll re-do on the weekend so it's not so dark, My auto top off system also lasts for extactly two weeks, I have had it get a little dirty and block twice now but as long as you clean it once your doing your monthly cleans or whenever you should be fine, gussing you might not have this issue if you have a larger float valve. I've add a few more hermit crabs and thinking of getting a some red line cleaner shrimps but I have either a mantis or pistol shrimp which I'm hoping won't attack them
User avatar
forsaken
Bicentenary Reefer
 
Posts: 317
Images: 2
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Gymea, Sydney

Re: Ben and Gemma's 3x2x1.5ft (Centre Weir + Auto Top Off Sy

Postby forsaken » Thu 16 Sep, 2010 10:29 pm

Some new pics of the tank and of the flame angel in the QT, attempting to catch some pistol shrimps using a make shift trap, got some strombus snails also.
User avatar
forsaken
Bicentenary Reefer
 
Posts: 317
Images: 2
Joined: Mon 26 Oct, 2009 12:17 pm
Location: Gymea, Sydney


Return to Reef Tanks (101 - 799 Litres)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Societies
MASAOG MASQ MARQ MASS MASOV MASWA

Copyleft 2010 Marine Aquarium Societies of Australia Inc. (www.masa.asn.au)
Reefing the Australian Way is proudly brought to you by MASA Inc.