75 gallon second starter build

Discussion in 'Tank Builds' started by Rendgrish, Aug 4, 2018.

  1. Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    I'm new to the hobby, and setup a Biocube 32 back in April. Things have been going pretty well (minus an incident of marine velvet in quarantine- I've since from an observation to treatment based QT), except for the inevitable issue with such a small tank.. no room for more corals. Based on the space I have available, I decided a 75 is the right size for me, and picked up a new 75 Marineland (not reef ready). So not my first tank, but my first real build (and the size I should have started with to begin). I wanted to share my progress - and also allow people to point out anything really dumb that I need to fix.

    Here's my existing tank. Current residents are a watchman goby and a firefish, corals consist of (and may not be correctly named):
    Hammer coral (partially mottled metallic green)
    Purple/green Hammer
    Kenya tree
    Ultra War favites (hard to see in photo)
    Trumpet coral
    GSP (on their own rock)
    Red Acan
    Purpleish discoma
    Unspecified brain coral
    neon green hairy mushroom
    Two yellow/orange hammers, they look more pink to me, could be lighting (they're recent additions and might still be adjusting?)
    Blue Symposium (again, on it's own rock)
    Mint Pavona (hidden behind the symposium here)
    Pink gorgonian



    New tank:


    Leak testing tank and sump


    Next steps-
    Drill back for Eclipse return (large size, so two holes)
    Drill back for 3/4" loc line
    Paint back black
    Pressure wash the rest of my Reef Saver rock when it gets here
    Install new GFCI outlet in wall, run a second outlet higher up to power the lights
    Silicone inside corners of stand to prevent leaks. I'm contemplating the thought of waterproofing the entire bottom with a rubberized sealant.

    I'll have a lot more to do, of course, but these are the more short term items. My hope is to be able to finish building the tank in a week, they may not be realistic depending on how things go.
     
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  2. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Congrats on the upgrade!
    Upgrading to a larger tank is a great, but upgrading from an AIO to a system with a remote sump is a bonus!

    Plumbing the tank will have a direct effect on that statement! Good Luck!
     
  3. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I'd seal the bottom and slightly up the side. It's a last resort and saves your stand. I like the rubber sealant idea, I've used caulk and marine sealant paint in the past.

    Also... if you like the Kenya tree consider swapping for a colt. A colt will get much bigger but won't spread.
     
  4. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    Haven't had time to post in the last couple of days, and not as much time to work on things as I wanted, but I'm making progress.

    Saturday morning I took the plunge and proceeded to void my warranty/drilled the back of the tank. I was slightly nervous before I started, but it went smoothly with zero chipping. I drilled a hole for a 3/4" bulkhead in the top right corner (as viewed from the front), along with the two holes for the Eclipse overflow. The display tank should be around 3.5 gallons per inch of water level, so I think I'll be looking at around 8-10 gallons draining back into the sump when the pump is off. I have over 15 gallons extra capacity in the sump, so that should leave me lots of room for error without resorting to something that will fail, like a check valve.

    Then I wiped the glass down with alcohol, blew all the water out of the frame with compressed air, and put on two coats of gloss black with a roller.

    For the stand, I sealed the corners with black silicone, then used a spray can of Plasti-dip rubberized coating to seal the entire bottom. I took Ryan's advice and went a couple inches up the walls- I think it should hold between 5-10 gallons before it gets high enough to leak- I still need to test that.


    I had a couple hours last night, so I mocked up all of the drain plumbing. Getting to the sump inlet in the front required me to run the PVC at an angle shallower than 45 degrees (combination of the shortish stand and tallish sump), but I used a few 45 elbows and was able to make it work without running any tubing parallel to the ground. I'm sure the bulkheads in the sump are installed backwards (No way to slide a sock in there now), but I'm having height issues already, so I'll need to trimp the bulkheads in the sump down to a shorter length if I want to slide socks in there.
    I put ball valves on the durso and full siphon, with nothing on the emergency overflow (and the drain exists above water in the sump). I'll probably put a second union on the emergency drain, and strap the PVC pipe to the back of the stand to take the load of the back wall of the tank.





    Anyone see anything I'm overlooking or could improve? I think if I make a bad design decision, it's more likely to be here- and fixing issues after the tank is setup doesn't sound fun.

    Return line isn't mocked up yet, but I'll run some 1" vinyl tubing to a connector to isolate pump vibration, 1" PVC up the back, then use a bushing to drop to 3/4" before I go through the bulkhead- the other side has 3/4 loc line so I can direct flow (I'll probably just use a couple connectors from the line- I don't need an 8" line in an 18" tank)

    Next things to do-
    Glue all the PVC together
    seal bulkheads (I'm using the liquid sealant for plastic PVC threads, not teflon tape
    Leak test tank
    Still have to powerwash rocks
    Still need to install outlet for lights
    Start thinking about aglae scrubber design


    And I'm not sure on the Kenya tree yet- I may just keep it until it gets big then frag it off and use the space for something more colorful.
     
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  5. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    I kinda like the look of the white joints and grey pipe.
     
  6. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    Plumbing is all glued, tank is currently being leak tested. I have two small leaks at the bulkheads in the eclipse (on the outside through the threads), I'll take them out and make sure I don't have anything around the gasket flange and then re-install and test tonight.
    I have to say- for what Eclipse charges for their overflows, the instructions are piss poor and I'm not impressed. They don't give good information on where to put the template for drilling- and my water level is right at the trim of the tank. Wish it was about 1/8" higher. I'm going to look into a matching canopy (also hides the LEDs)
     
  7. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    The bulkhead leaks are now gone, everything feels dry after running overnight.

    One question- should I replace all of my substrate when moving to the new tank, or can I use the existing substrate that's been in the tank for about 4 months? I would still need to add more, so the old would only be about 1/3 of the total volume, but I'm concerned that taking the old substrate could cause a spike in nitrates. Thoughts?

     
  8. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    Moving day arrived. Since the old tank is in the same location as the new one, I had to take everything out of the old tank and move it to a 29G in the office. I moved water between the two systems with a bucket I felt comfortable that all of the parameters were identical, then started moving everything over one thing at a time (except for my peppermint shrimp, which I didn't find. It's probably hiding in a rock I moved). Once everything was out, I put down the base rocks and sand. I need to make a lot more water, so it will be at least another day before I can move anything into the new tank.

    Rehomed:

    Getting ready to move things in:
     
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  9. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Hey! Did you use the painters tape to assist in laying out your aquascape?
    I thought I was the only one that did that?
    I marked out my tank (Rule of Thirds) for placing the islands in my previous build before gluing the rocks together. I'm not sure if it helped that much, but I felt better about it.
    If you didn't do it for that... never mind; carry on.
     
  10. RSnodgrass

    RSnodgrass TCMAS President
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    That's a really good idea, simple and effective.
     
  11. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    I always have good ideas; the best ideas! Unbelievable ideas! :p
     
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  12. ikserk

    ikserk Administrator
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    [​IMG]
     
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  13. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    Yep- that's what the tape is there for. I take no credit for the idea, there's a great thread on aquascaping that I've found helpful.

    I have a good idea of my aquascaping already, but I'm not able to actually complete it with the tank dry, since I have about 28lbs of live rock that I need to work in. I have spots picked out that I think will work for the largest pieces that will showcase them a bit and create some visual interest, but I'll have to see how it all goes together in the tank.
     
  14. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    Final update before moving everything in-

    I did my initial wiring under the stand the other day, I bought a black shelf and hard mounted the powerstrip and controllers to it, then stuck the shelf to the inside wall of the stand with double sided tape (strong 3M stuff I've used for years, I think the laminate will pull off first). I still need to do some final cable routing, but it's 90% right and all off the floor (which will hold water). The wall outlet is a GFCI.


    I added hooks to the ceiling to hang the lights, then made cables out of black vinyl coated stainless cable- the loops on the end allow a bit of adjustment for each length, so I don't even have to get them perfect (yay!). I'm going to get a longer powercord for the left hand lamp so I can route the power cord across and up the cables to blend in better. The outlet near the ceiling is also GFCI protected- seemed like a good idea. :)


    Speaking of lights, I went the Chinese wifi LED option- these are branded as Roleandro, and use the "aquariumlight" app (different than the Evergrow and equivalents). The app itself has some pretty shady data privacy settings, and their privacy policy is terrible. Rather than put it on my phone (which also gets used for work), I picked up a cheap pre-paid cell and set it up as a WIFI only device. I'm logged in on my parrot's account so they can't access any of my contacts either.
    This might sound crazy on several levels - but I work in IT and I've seen what gets scraped by some applications, so I think it's fair. Also, it's totally normal for a parrot to have her own account- she has different musical tastes than me.

    Other equipment choices so far- Bubble Magus Curve 5 for a skimmer, a pair of Jebao RW-4 powerheads for water movement (I like that I can pair them wirelessly and can set them up to run alternately), and a Jebao DCP-3500 return pump. I have a spare return pump I can swap out in 60 seconds if needed, so I'm a little more relaxed on reliability here, and cleaning can be more relaxed.

    My plan is to move everything back into the display tank tonight, so I checked the water in both tanks, then used a 2 gallon bucket to move water back and forth between the tanks just to make sure everything matches. Tonight I'll double check temps and start moving everthing back and blending in the aquascaping (I have at least 40lbs of rock left, so I can break/chisel any general shape I need to fill in gaps).
     
  15. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    Might as well give an update! A bit over a year in, and the tank has settled in well. The only significant change was to add an ATS (homemade), and a Bubble Magus filter roller.
    Also, I think I bought too many corals.
     

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  16. dougers31

    dougers31 Senior Member

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    No such thing... ;)
     
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  17. Mordim

    Mordim Just keep reefing
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    Looking good. Lots of coraline algae growth too.
     
  18. ironman

    ironman Mr flabs of steel!
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    Wish I had seen this before you glued up the plumbing. Putting the valves inside the stand instead of facing the wall behind the tank might have made life easier in for future you. Looks great otherwise.
     
  19. Adam G

    Adam G Born to Reef!
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  20. OP
    Rendgrish

    Rendgrish Junior Member
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    I have enough space between the bank of the tank and the wall to use them,I but honestly haven't needed the valves at all, I could have left them out of the build.
     

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