Jump to content


Photo

Medym's 4.5gal DIY'd


  • Please log in to reply
36 replies to this topic

#1
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

Well after a long time lurking on these forums, I figured I might as well make a post (or two)! I first read these forums years ago when I was considering jumping into the salt water world. I have been running a 56gal for a while now and since the beginning of the summer I jumped into an IQ3. Right now I havn't had much in this besides a couple mushrooms and LR as I was growingly disappointed in the stock lighting. (here is a link to what it was just after cycling (ya, it's not super, I know)).

As I started looking into upgrading I figured I would "go big, or go home." As such, I have launched into building a DIY'd pico tank to sit on my desk (this way, when I sit around playing Starcraft 2 or Battlefield BC2, my eyes have somewhere pleasing to wander instead of my dismal K/D).

My desk has a built in bookcase to it, with about 14x14'' of space- perfect home for an aquarium! Off I was to Lowes and Big Als, I picked up a couple things only to discover I purchased the wrong silicone (so back I went!). I also picked up the 2.5 to help me visualize things as I went on with my planning; it has since been returned. http://i.imgur.com/9LUqD.jpg

I started with moding the AC70 down- boy was that quick to do! I then constructed a stand on wheels to help me do work on the tank once it is setup and pull it out of its cubby, and forward. I ordered glass from a local shop at 6mm to construct a 12x10x10 aquarium. Here is a shot prior to the water test:

Posted Image

Despite my best efforts, this first water test failed! D: I had a small, small, leak in the back corner. I have patched it up and waiting for it to cure again and will retest tonight. I have also finished staining the wood stand to match with my desk, once it has dried I can post a follow up shot.

Next on my list is to put together my light: a DIY LED build from RapidLED. I will be doing 4 Royal Blue with 2 Cool White Cree LEDs coupled with a 2 Blue Moonlight kit mounted to a 6x6 heatsink.

Equipment
  • 12x10x10 DIY Glass Aquarium
  • Modded AC70
  • DIY Rapid LED light (2x 3W CW, 4x 3W RB)
  • pico powerhead (the one I purchased will likely be returned for something a touch smaller)
  • 25W heater

Any suggestions, condemnations, questions, concerns, and recommendations are most welcome.

Edited by medym, 13 February 2012 - 04:33 PM.

4.5 gal Pico

#2
MGDMIRAGE

MGDMIRAGE

    Land Loather

  • Members
  • 3,120 posts
  • Joined 19 Feb 2009
  • Spokane, Washington
Looks awesome so far :)

#3
castiel

castiel

    Violence is one of the most fun things to watch.

  • Members
  • 2,207 posts
  • Joined 23 Jul 2011
  • Melbourne, Australia
I agree, looks great. Love the little pull out stand it is on, I am planning to do something similar with the sump on my 17G.

You didn't post the link to your IQ3 - care to share?

ctFyi9l.gif


#4
iball1804

iball1804

    heard that!

  • Members
  • 10,942 posts
  • Joined 09 Apr 2011
  • where the wild things are
Just curious - what silicone did you have to return?

#5
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

Just curious - what silicone did you have to return?


I picked up kitchen and bath GE silicone with the anti molding agent so I took it back.

As for the IQ3 tank, will do once I am home!
4.5 gal Pico

#6
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

I agree, looks great. Love the little pull out stand it is on, I am planning to do something similar with the sump on my 17G.

You didn't post the link to your IQ3 - care to share?


My IQ3 at the start:
Posted Image


Ignore the poptart wrappers, the wife and I just got back from shopping over the boarder so I was pigging out on cheap Pop Tarts and Cherry Coke that day. Also, sorry for poor quality, I was using my iphone so it looks a bit washed.

Edited by medym, 18 October 2011 - 05:46 AM.

4.5 gal Pico

#7
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
Tank is in place and everything looks awesome (in my opinion). I have temporary lights running for now, and I am very excited about how this looks:

Posted Image

Dust has settled; the rock is from my IQ3, I will be hitting up my LFS soon for a couple more pieces like this to complete my scape.

Posted Image

Edited by medym, 20 October 2011 - 06:36 AM.

4.5 gal Pico

#8
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
So my stand, tank and fuge are setup for my 4.5 pico aquarium. Now for lighting. I have some questions though.

I have a 6x6'' heatsink for 4x Royal Blue 2xCool White and 2xMoonlight (from RapidLED)

I am thinking about seting it up like this:

*Please note that these positions are not final so if your OCD is kicking in and they are not evenly spaced, don't worry.
Posted Image

I would really appreciate some feedback on this because I have some concerns about having the cool whites in the middle.

The moonlights are on a seperate driver and will have its own timer for my viewing pleasure. I will be keeping my Dymax LED light for the fuge on an alternate timer from the main tank. (so three timers in total).


The precut wiring from Rapid LED is much too short for what I am doing, yet I cannot find 20 gauge AWG strand wiring anywhere. I do, however, have 18 gauge wiring. Can I use this instead?

Thanks!
4.5 gal Pico

#9
DIstudio

DIstudio

    Destroyer of Donkeys

  • Members
  • 581 posts
  • Joined 14 Jun 2011
  • Central Illinois
I like the look of it, how high above the tank are you placing it and are you using any optics? to low and you're going to have a spot light effect. And as for 18 AWG, have you tried radio shack? if not them I found lots of stuff like this at my local Menards, they even sell it by the foot, although it was over by the home entertainment area (place with the remotes, wall mounts, stuff like that)
the main system!

Aequitas, D's 2.5 gallon pico!


DONKEYS.... They will eat you alive. True story.

Dear Sallie Mae....KISS THE DARKEST PART OF MY HAIRY WHITE @SS.....

#10
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

I like the look of it, how high above the tank are you placing it and are you using any optics? to low and you're going to have a spot light effect. And as for 18 AWG, have you tried radio shack? if not them I found lots of stuff like this at my local Menards, they even sell it by the foot, although it was over by the home entertainment area (place with the remotes, wall mounts, stuff like that)


I have 60 degree optics I can use if needed. As of right now I can mount the light from ~8-10'' above the water level, or lower if needed. I have a couple different mounting options which gives me a fair amount of wiggle room in that regard.

As for the wiring I checked Lowes and two Home Depots in my area as I assumed that would be the place to get it. I can check Radio Shack though.
4.5 gal Pico

#11
DIstudio

DIstudio

    Destroyer of Donkeys

  • Members
  • 581 posts
  • Joined 14 Jun 2011
  • Central Illinois
yeah hit up the 'Shack. thats where I get the majority of my small components like switches and stuff. my advice on the light is place it as low as possible and keep raising it up until you get the blending you want from it. my pico build I actually am incorporating a little mechanical lift for the lights. that way I can push a button to raise or lower them :) I'm loving the DIY stuff.
the main system!

Aequitas, D's 2.5 gallon pico!


DONKEYS.... They will eat you alive. True story.

Dear Sallie Mae....KISS THE DARKEST PART OF MY HAIRY WHITE @SS.....

#12
karisma

karisma

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 367 posts
  • Joined 08 May 2011
  • Canada
just dont use solid core 18g wire, get stranded.

DIY CREE LED PICO LAMP


Aqua illuminations Sol Nano

My pico build thread


MY AIO 10g REEF BUILD THREAD


#13
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

just dont use solid core 18g wire, get stranded.


So I can use my 18ga strand wire and use it instead of the 20 which was provided without a problem?
4.5 gal Pico

#14
DIstudio

DIstudio

    Destroyer of Donkeys

  • Members
  • 581 posts
  • Joined 14 Jun 2011
  • Central Illinois
yes, you should be fine.
the main system!

Aequitas, D's 2.5 gallon pico!


DONKEYS.... They will eat you alive. True story.

Dear Sallie Mae....KISS THE DARKEST PART OF MY HAIRY WHITE @SS.....

#15
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

yes, you should be fine.


Great, looks like I will be spending my evening burning and shocking myself! Thanks!
4.5 gal Pico

#16
DIstudio

DIstudio

    Destroyer of Donkeys

  • Members
  • 581 posts
  • Joined 14 Jun 2011
  • Central Illinois
well if thats what you're going to do I recommend at least a case of beer thrown in there at some point. everyone knows that beer makes the burns stop hurting. :slap:
the main system!

Aequitas, D's 2.5 gallon pico!


DONKEYS.... They will eat you alive. True story.

Dear Sallie Mae....KISS THE DARKEST PART OF MY HAIRY WHITE @SS.....

#17
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario

well if thats what you're going to do I recommend at least a case of beer thrown in there at some point. everyone knows that beer makes the burns stop hurting. :slap:


As of today, I have started parking my car at the Beer Store during the day. Obviously this was meant to be!
4.5 gal Pico

#18
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
Aquascape completed:

Posted Image

I am somewhat worried that if I want to have a swimmer in here that there is too much rock. That said, I love how it looks.
4.5 gal Pico

#19
JR!

JR!

    BANGARANG!

  • Members
  • 6,889 posts
  • Joined 01 Sep 2011
  • Medina Ohio
looking better and better each day

logo-grey.png FOKZMSG.gif

12476890073_3f76a2c307_o.png
13792750754_50b4aac8ba_o.jpg


#20
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
I have done the wiring and gotten it set up for the most part. Now all I need to do is worry about hanging it overtop

Posted Image
4.5 gal Pico

#21
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
My mount is all done and is ready for the new light fixture to be hung up. I will be doing that tonight. My god, I blinded myself with these suckers more than I care to count! I think it looks great and the shimmer effect it has over the tank is amazing due to the flow of my powerhead and the AC70.

I did a third bout of tests last night and I am surprised to say the tank has already seemed to have cycled. Once the light is up, I will add another picture, I will let the new light run for a bit and next week I will start adding stuff to the tank!
4.5 gal Pico

#22
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
Maybe someone here could give me some advice or suggestions: I am looking at running three different timers: one for the main fixture (4xRB 2xCW) one for the moonlighting (2 moonlight LEDs from RapidLED) and finally one for the fuge light to keep it on a reverse schedule for my own viewing pleasure. What kind of schedule should I be keeping the lights on?

The room it is kept in would be in darkness if it was not for the tank, so really I can establish any schedule I want, but what would be considered a "good" kind of timer setup for this?

Thanks!
4.5 gal Pico

#23
medym

medym

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 29 posts
  • Joined 17 Oct 2011
  • Ontario
The aftermath of my DIYing:

Posted Image

Full shot (and a reminder to stop using an iphone to take pictures, the lights do not agree with the camera!)

Posted Image
4.5 gal Pico

#24
picOnly

picOnly

    Nano Reefer

  • Members
  • 171 posts
  • Joined 10 Jun 2011
  • Franktown, CO
Looking great! Tagging along for this one.

#25
JR!

JR!

    BANGARANG!

  • Members
  • 6,889 posts
  • Joined 01 Sep 2011
  • Medina Ohio
love this build.

logo-grey.png FOKZMSG.gif

12476890073_3f76a2c307_o.png
13792750754_50b4aac8ba_o.jpg