I've always tried to find the ultimate setup ranging from simple to very complex and I've gone through 4 different reef setups in the last 2 years trying to find what would work best and they all worked just fine, I can't really say anything worked better than the next. Finally I just wanted a tank that was simple and worked, providing plenty of room for corals and just as much of a viewing area, all while keeping costs to a minimum. In the end I had to build the tank I wanted, but I'm thrilled with the results.
Alk 8 dkh
Outside Dimensions 48x11.75x7.875 made of 3/8" acrylic leaving
Inside Dimensions of 47.25x11x7.125 for those of you who have an issue with this, when you build your own nano tank and have almost 20% of your display volume tied up in materials (2 gallons) you can measure how you like.
Sump Dimensions of 36x5.25x7.125 (1/2" thick)
Resulting in a display volume of 10.2 gallons and sump volume of 2.5 gallon (sump is 1/2 filled)
First the plan...
Then, fabricating it...
and polishing (by hand takes a while...)
Plumbing was equally daunting as some of the pieces were still to large to assemble and required some serious dremel work to get it to fit.
My original plan to have the black background removable was a great idea IMO however it's not realistic once the tank is up and running. The two biggest hurdles is the sand and the rocks, and as I've discovered now is the lack of support for the front of the tank. Mine is still solid but it bows way more than I'd like it to, if anyone plans to do something similar please fore-go the cover and add a crossbrace.
The 2 ViaAqua 1300 pumps provide plenty of flow as you can see here:
And a back shot of what is actually going on in the overflow box...
The sump overflows in two places on each side for a total of 4 overflows all which direct water through a HOB filter cartridge. The remaining room from the filter cartridge to the return pumps is for refugium and is loaded with Chaeto.
Next came the task of mounting it on the wall. I was able to find steel brackets each capable of holding 500lbs each (total of 1500lbs w/ 3 of them) and mounted them to 2x6 studs using 3 lag bolts per bracket. Please mind the cables in this pic, it was just setup and didn't take the time to clean up with wiring.
I added rock which had been cooking in my basement for the last 6 months and with the help of a hammer and screwdriver I was able to get 3 large rocks to fill the tank.
This barebottom look lasted about 15 hours (long enough to sleep on it and go to work the next day) I was sick of it that quick and added sand immediately.
Next task was to build a canopy which took me another month to do, but in the mean time the rock was able to really set up...
I ended up going with a 3x54w T-5 setup (11k:Act:11k) compliments of GrimReefer (thanks again bud!) and installed it in a black acrylic canopy which I also built.
Coral additions started small 3 or 4 at a time here and there, a big thanks to all those who helped by providing corals and helping with the tank (Russ, Robert, Scott, Dan, Todd, and Paul)
Here's a list of most of the livestock, I'm sure I'm missing some, but last count was 61 corals/clams...
Target Mandarin (only for flat worm control then will be moved/traded)
Asst. Snails and Crabs
2 Harlequin Shrimp
2 Peppermint Shrimp
1 Pistol Shrimp
5 Crocea Clams
1 Derasa Clam
Asst Stars for Harlequins to eat
Green w/ brown skirt Zoanthids
Red Ring Zoanthids
Fire & Ice Zoanthids
Pink Mouth Red Skirt Zoanthids
Orange Mouth Green Skirt Zoanthids
Green Mouth Green Skirt Zoanthids
Yellow w/ purple mouth Zoanthids
Yellow Mouth Green Skirt Zoanthids
All Green Zoanthids
Red w/ Purple Mouth Zoanthids
Bubble Gun Zoanthids
Green w/ Yellow Skirt Zoanthids
Orange w. Yellow Mouth Zoanthids
Green Polyp Toadstool Leather
Orange w. Blue center Candy Cane
Purple w/ Blue center Candy Cane
Neon Yellow Candy Cane
Yellow Tip Torch
Neon Green Acan
Green/Red Acan Lord
Peppermint Acan Lord
Alien Eye Enchinada
Puple Blue Micromusa
Tri Color Acan
Green Stripe Mushrooms
Tri Color Ricordia Yuma
Green Florida Ricordia
Orance Florida Ricordia
Teal Florida Ricordia
Blue/Orange Florida Ricordia
Blue Florida Ricordia
Rainbow Florida Ricordia
Pink Green Blasto Merletti
Red Blue Blasto Merletti
Red Purple Blasto Merletti
Pink Yellow Blasto Merletti
Light Pink Neon Green Blasto Merletti
Purple Green Blasto Merletti
Pink Green Blasto Welsi
Purple Blasto Welsi
Purple Blue Chalice
And some pics of a few of my favorites as they were added.
One of my favorites was this Goniopora which was traded after outgrowing the tank in about 6 weeks...
One of my two harlequin shrimp.
And a few closeup's.
Edited by calvin415, 03 April 2007 - 07:54 PM.