rlinusc and the case of the 125G Mixed Reef Tank

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by rlinusc, Jun 1, 2015.

  1. rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    I think i finally feel like i can start to post a build thread and have it result in an actual running tank within 2 months. Feel free to comment, even teasingly mock or dispense advice if you like. Thanks and being a member of this group has been a lifesaver!


    When my wife and I bought our first house in late march, i began scheming and dreaming of building a reef tank. I had dabbled in the hobby back in college, but 20+ years later and the thought of having a permanent space brought the old fever roaring back.

    Now the first problem was- i knew i wanted the tank in the basement as the bedroom would be too loud, and because the house doesn't have central air (we are now getting it), the basement seemed like the best place to go.

    First problem though-

    IMG_1970.jpg

    That was what the basement looked like.. so we went to work
    IMG_1967.jpg
    IMG_1969.jpg

    We aren't quite there yet, but getting closer... IMG_2124.jpg

    Drywall is going up tomorrow and then we have to level the floor and install some flooring.. but then.. then.. the space will be ready.


    I bought a used 125gallon tank with a stand from craigslist. I wish I had been a little more patient since i bought it in March and didn't wait to see the Classifieds here.

    The tank is in decent shape, but i will be getting some glass polishing compound since when we cleaned it, we likely added some small scratches.

    The plan is to drill and use a BeanAnimal system for the overflow
    http://www.beananimal.com/projects/silent-and-fail-safe-aquarium-overflow-system.aspx
    Originally, i was going to use an acrylic overflow box that Jlanger made for me, but i have since decided to use a coast to coast glass weir. I still need to order 2 72" long 1/2" thick glass pieces. If anyone has any local places to recommend, let me know, otherwise i will have to order online.

    My biggest worry atm is the stand. The plan was to use a 40gallon long as a sump, but the stand is constructed in a way that i couldn't fit it through the stand, and likely couldn't fit much in. I took out one of the supports, but now that i have the stand out, i am a bit worried it may not be constructed well.
    This is the stand on its side after i removed one of the supports.
    IMG_2112.jpg
    Here are some other angles..
    IMG_2113.jpg IMG_2114.jpg

    Anyhow right now, i will likely reinforce the stand and add the support after putting in the 40Gallon Long sump, though if a reasonable stand comes along i might pounce on it.

    I am not known for my patience so after seeing some of the member aquariums from Grigor and going to the Swap, i decided to get something going. I used my future sump as a place to cycle some rock to cut down on the cycle period for the eventual tank. I then used some lighting and added a clean up crew after it cycled. I may not have fish or corals, but at least i have snails and hermit crabs to stare at from time to time.

    IMG_2125.jpg

    It is nicely cycled now after the algae bloom, and the clean up crew seems to be doing well.

    Some other plans-

    Lighting- Currently have a used Maxspect Razor + a used AI Hydra. I will either pick up another one of those used if available, or go ahead and pull the trigger with a BuildMyLeD high end version.

    Filtration will be LR and a ATS from https://www.algaescrubbing.com/ . I am still debating using a protein skimmer, but i thought i would try without one if possible as it would cut down on my worries about real estate and besides, the stories of smelly skimmate is making me think i should at least try the ATS side of things.

    Flow- Using a MaxSpect Gyre, and perhaps a Koralia, or Jebao powerhead. (I have the gyre already, debating what other powerhead to use). My return pump is an Eheim 1262 pump. And yes i am using RO/DI water..

    Planned livestock-
    Fish-
    false percula clown pair
    Yellow assessor
    Bangai cardinal (maybe a pair, unsure)
    Yellow Watchman goby with pistol Shrimp
    pair of hte hybrid cleaner gobies from ORA or possibly ORA dotty backs

    I am also considering a fairy/flasher wrasse as well

    eventually if i ever get enough of copepod population, a mandarin, though that won't be for another year at least.

    For corals for starters-
    frogspawn/Torch (or any suitable coral that the clown may pair with)
    gorgonthian
    some zoas/palys, though i would like to avoid the extremely toxic ones if i can.
    Green star polyps
    various mushrooms
    Brain coral
    Eventually a nice clam.

    Other potential corals would include xenias, and leathers. My hope and plan is to start small, and let the corals grow themselves out.
     
    #1 rlinusc, Jun 1, 2015
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  2. Bschowa

    Bschowa I contributed!
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    You are off to a great start! And have a very well planned out plan, one thing I might recommend looking into is the overflow, 72" of glass is going to be very pricey, when I built my coast to coast members on here recommended not going the whole length. I ended up only going 30" right in the middle and it handled all of the flow I could need, I had a speedwave dc 12000 100% on and I had no issues with 1" drains on my old 125. I think the overflow only ended up costing me 30$ worth of glass


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  3. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    Thanks, that was a definite thought. Ultimately thought i thought having a piece i only need to attach to the sides makes me think it would be more stable and frankly easier to install.
     
  4. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    Disaster!

    I made the stand (ordered cabinet doors for it, and was getting the process of skinning it). I finally decided to move my 125 tank that i bought on Craigslist in April inside. Despite, making a leak test when i first bought it- a second leak test found a leak on the bottom corner. I suspect it was a seam.

    I assume there is no reliable way to fix a leak to make the tank useable right? Let me know if i am incorrect.

    This teaches me to buy used. (Not sure if having the tank sit in a cold garage on an uneven surface was the true culprit or not).

    Now i have to figure if.

    1) I want to buy a new 125 gallon tank
    or
    2) buy a different size- i.e. 120 gallon and make a new stand.

    What a bummer.
     
  5. Nickz

    Nickz Senior Member
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    Many have resealed tanks with success, remove old silicone, clean glass very good and apply new. Personally I would always buy a new tank vs reseal, can always sell the leaker as a reptile tank to recoup some of the loss.

    If you decide to reseal, the trick is to only cut away the silicone inside the tank, don't attempt to cut between the glass pieces... New silicone will not stick to old silicone very well but your goal is to get a nice bead sealing from one pane to the other.

    Cleaning the glass very well is VERY important, Not cleaning glass good enough is what causes the most failures on reseal jobs.
     
    #5 Nickz, Aug 2, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2015
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  6. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    thanks nzac I am very wary of resealing since it will be hard to know if I did a good enough job.


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  7. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Tanks usually go on sale in the fall ( Sept/Oct ) so at least the timing is pretty good. I'd probably opt for new. 125g aren't all that expensive so not a huge amount of $ to be saved.
     
  8. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    yeah i am likely to pick up a new tank. The question is whether i switch the size/dimensions. I'll keep people updated. Thanks all! It sucks, but it is far better to find out about the leak now then it developing after...

    Linus
     
  9. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    I'd probably still choose the 125g over a 120 IF you wanting to get some tangs and or some more free swimmer type fish.

    If not really interested in bigger fish and more in corals then 120g more suitable for corals and aquascape.

    180g though would be best if you want both, lots of corals and some bigger fish.


    As far as new tanks go, 125g will be the cheapest and you won't have to mess with another stand.
     
    #9 David Grigor, Aug 3, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2015
  10. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    Right now my list of fish that i am looking at are:
    false percula clown pair
    Yellow assessor
    Bangai cardinal (maybe a pair, unsure)
    Yellow Watchman goby with pistol Shrimp
    pair of hte hybrid cleaner gobies from ORA or possibly ORA dotty backs

    I am also considering a fairy/flasher wrasse as well.

    These don't see like huge swimmers that would need the 6' span. But i do go back and forth over redoing the stand and having a 48" tank.

    I am debating myself, i'll be making a decision soon though.
     
  11. BlacknBlue2

    BlacknBlue2 I contributed!
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    If its a matter of building a stand I will offer my help.
     
  12. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    Does anyone have a suggestion of what to do with a 125 gallon tank that a) leaks on the bottom corner and b) has 3 holes drilled in it for 1" bulkheads? Should i try and sell it as a terrarium? Not sure how that would go.
     
  13. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    You can try to sell if but most likely will have to just give it away if you want it gone.
     
  14. Bschowa

    Bschowa I contributed!
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    The last 125 gallon tank I had I ended up having to smash it on a tarp and shove it into a trash can as no one wanted it for free including the trash guys, two weeks in a row they just left it next to the can


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  15. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    Here is an update- I got a corner overflow 120 fat boy and built a brand new stand. Here are some pics..[​IMG][​IMG]

    My next step is to plumb and put on a door for the stand.


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  16. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    You're going to like the 120gal; great dimensions for a mid-sized reef tank.

    Are you planning on having rustic pine doors to match the stand? Cool look.
     
  17. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    Plumbing- I have questions.

    So i am using the corner overflow for 2 standpipes in a herbie system configuration as outlined here. http://gmacreef.com/herbie-overflow-reef-tank-plumbing-method-basics/#bestpractices

    I was thinking that the emergency standpipe will be running a "trickle" and i would use hte durso configuration that came with the tank for the emergency and a regular standpipe for the siphon.


    The return will be plumbed separately using 1 1/2" flexible PVC and piping.

    Here are my questions..

    1) i bought a simple ball valve from Home Depot. Should i invest in a pvc true union ball valve or gate valve? (Is there a place i can get these in-person locally?)

    2) Is there any reason why using the durso for the emergency drain would be an issue?

    3) finally i am trying to figure out how best to plumb the ATS.

    Looks like i should not be teeing the siphon overflows,which leaves just the return pump tees.

    Is that what most people are doing? Or should i just bite the bullet and get a separate pump?

    4) I would likely plan on adding a dual chamber reactor for Carbon/GFO, do most people use a separate pump or tee the return?
     
    #17 rlinusc, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  18. OP
    rlinusc

    rlinusc I contributed!
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    I had ordered these custom doors for my original stand.. using two would be way too big, so i am going to use one door and yes i am going to use the same stain on them.
     
  19. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Depending on where you're putting the valves, it could make a difference.

    Placing a True Union Ball Valve on the outlet of your return pump will make maintenance so much easier. You'll be able to close the valve and remove the return pump from the sump for cleaning; or replacement if necessary. I will close my ball valve when doing water changes so that the return lines stay filled with water. If they drain completely, air may get into your pump and you'll need to prime the pump to get it pushing water again.

    On my two return lines, I use gate valves with a union. Gate valves make adjusting the water flow through the return lines a lot more manageable. So if you plan on using a valve to restrict water flow, you'll get finer adjustments with a gate valve. Ball valves are best used for full on or full off; but they still work when partially closed.

    And if you plan on using your return pump with a manifold for other pieces of equipment, using unions is a necessity. You don't want to work on the entire section of plumbing if you want to make any changes to one application.

    And as with everyone's plumbing experience....
    You'll NEVER get all of the plumbing pipe and fittings you will need in one trip to the hardware store; and most likely not even on two trips!

    Good luck!
     
    #19 jlanger, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015
  20. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    1. Ball valve will not work for the Herbie adjustments if that's what your intending it for. They are designed more for just on/off situations and can't do the fine tuning necessary. Don't skimp on the gate valve, you want a nice one. Otherwise 1-2 years down the road you will probably be replacing it. BRS is a good place.

    2. I tried that initially, I went back to just a regular vertical pipe. With the herbie to be as quiet as possible, you want the emercency right at or just a teeny bit below the teeth of the overflow. You will adjust the herbie so the normal water level will be the least amount of water fall. When you try to stick the durso elbows on it even as high as you can make it, the water level in the overflow is going to be several inches below the teeth thus your going to get noise. If zero noise isn't the goal and you want the max flow from emergency then durso is fine to use for it.

    3. I personally match my return flow rate to the ATS needs and feed the herbie ( since has no air in it ) to the ATS. Been doing it this way for years. Never had an issue and if for some reason you did thats what the emergency is for. Surprisingly doesn't matter if ats screen is completely full or not doesn't seem to effect the amount of flow and don't have to adjust the herbie. It has worked out well saves me a 800gph+ pump as gravity feed from the herbie is free. You can T off your return but your adding more load and may need a bigger pump thus more electricity.

    4. Since your building from scratch, I like to T off the return. When retrofitting that may not always be as easy to do. In the end though it really doesn't matter much becuase the pump to drive it < 20w.
     
    #20 David Grigor, Aug 21, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2015

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