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75g Reef Tank by Andyk47


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#1
AndyK47

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in late september a family member gave me a 55g tank and stand because they were moving and had to get rid of it. I had some ideas for a FOWLR maybe a dwarf lionfish. Went to the LFS and somehow he managed to talk me into getting a 75g w/stand for a sweet deal since the top of the tank had an imperfection on it (scratched plastic). I decided to try and cost cut in certain areas like my overflow wall. I'm late making a build thread but i figured since i took pics along the way i'd just go ahead and post them with a brief explanation.

Here's the tank....bought it on October 3, 2011
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1 by andyk47, on Flickr

#2
AndyK47

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I decided to make a rockwall/overflow for the tank since i've got about 15 lbs of LR just sitting in a bucket in the shop. READ a lot about rockwalls what to use, what not to use, etc.

used:
1 sheet of eggcrate
1 pack zipties (heavyduty)
1 can Beckett's pondfoam
2 packs of Z-poxy finishing resin
some left over LR and LS

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strapped my rocks to my pieces of eggcrate that i painted (read a lot about algae issues with eggcrate, so didn't want to risk it) later realized i didn't need to paint the eggcrate. Had to drill some of the rock and ziptie through it to hold it steady to the eggcrate.



Then i used Beckett's pond foam (and barely had enough) to fill the eggcrate and gaps between the rocks.

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Keep in mind the pondfoam expands a LOT i had to cut sections out because it kind of swallowed up all my rocks. but was happy how it brought together the wall for extra support.

Just a note, i started making this on October 12, 2011

Edited by AndyK47, 30 January 2012 - 08:10 AM.


#3
AndyK47

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I got sidetracked with birthdays and had to take a break from the wall for a while, so on October 31, 2011 i started working with the epoxy/sand covering. There are a lot of posts on this and i found there's 2 ways to do it. mix the 2-part epoxy, use a brush to paint it on the foam, then sprinkle the sand on... or you can mix the sand in the epoxy and paint that on. i found painting on and then sprinkling sand to work the best, the epoxy has a tendency to end up on top of the sand when u mix it. a combination of the both is what i used in the end.

*be careful where you wash out your brushes when using this, i had to scrub my kitchen sink for a while because i was clumsy.

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(didn't cut my drain/slots out enough the first go around and found out later i should have planned for this a little better. )

#4
AndyK47

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Fast foward to: January 21, 2012

Holidays were really busy and didn't exactly have a pile of cash laying around to mess with the tank, so it got put on hold for a while. Decided with advice from others to just paint the back of the tank black, took 3 cans of krylon fusion to get it so no light would go through.

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finished painting, figured i'd get an idea of what it could look like with the rockwall/overflow in place.

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#5
AndyK47

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January 23, 2012... did some plumbing for the tank, went ahead and siliconed in my rockwall/overflow.

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12 by andyk47, on Flickr

Did a freshwater trial run and found out that my rockwall/overflow slots weren't wide/deep enough to handle the amount of water going through the system. But other than that the rest of the tank seemed to be doing great. no major plumbing issues or leaks.

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Went ahead and started dremeling out the slots to allow more water to get in and lower the water level of the tank, which was at the very top of the tank.

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Edited by AndyK47, 30 January 2012 - 08:38 AM.


#6
Catbus

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sweet! following along =D

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#7
AndyK47

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Ordered 50 lbs of "eco dry rock" from Bulk Reef Supply, was really impressed with how good it looks. So decided last night i'd go ahead and do some rockscaping. I ordered some threaded nylon rods from USPlastics and they came in handy. Between that and 3 tubes of epoxy putty and 4-5 tubes of gel superglue the rocks are nice and steady.

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#8
vash028

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Sweet man im fallowing im about to convert my 75 FW to SW this week and next week. Im gonna fallow and ill post what im doing later today if u want to check it out. Im gonna do the Aquastyle DIY LED kits 2 36 led ones, what r u gonna do for lighting?

#9
JNA_DESIGN

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That scape looks sweet and for some reason scary... in a good way... IDK why but it looks intimidating.

Edited by JNA_DESIGN, 30 January 2012 - 08:40 AM.


#10
AndyK47

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That scape looks sweet and for some reason scary... in a good way... IDK why but it looks intimidating.


Haha, thanks!! I've had my 39g CAD running for like 2 1/2 years and when i bought it i was upgrading from a 12g nanocube, and i didn't have much money then so i didn't go all out on the tank, but it was still nice. i just got bored with the pile of rocks and after seeing some awesome rockscapes that people took time to assemble i decided i'd go ahead and put some time and money into it.

Vash, i've got a 48" aquaticlife 4 bulb t5 light that i'm using. Hooking it up inside my canopy has been a nightmare. The hanging kit that aquaticlife sells is the worst cheaply made piece of crap on the planet and i wasted $30 on it. I went to lowes/home depot/local hardware stores like 8 times trying to find the right wire/hooks to hook it up (i'll post pics tomorrow of how i have it hanging) I even went to my LFS and he didn't have any ideas, they just bolt there's' straight up to the canopy, which you can't do with the light i have. but i ended up getting it in the perfect spot, thankgod... just doesn't put off a whole lot of light for corals, so i'm probably going to add an LED strip to the front of the canopy.

Let me know how that 75's coming along. I started in early october and i'm just now thinking about when i'm going to put water in it. haha

#11
JoelRHale

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Your custom rockwork looks great. B)

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#12
Deckoz2302

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As does your overflow box ;)

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#13
vash028

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Im looking to have water in mine in about 2 weeks the only prob im gonna have is getting access to RO water im looking to doing 50 50 ro and tap sadly :( but ill just let the tank take longer to cycle and might do a little black out time in the tank to kill off anything the tap water might bring in. Difference from me and you is mine is all the way setup lol for saltwater was just using it for my cichlids.

#14
AndyK47

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Your custom rockwork looks great. B)


Thankyou! took a good 3 1/2 hours without help. that and i had to run back to lowes for more epoxy putty and superglue. I'm not totally finished because i have a pile of solid purple rocks in my 39g that i want in the display tank. so i saved some room for them.

#15
AndyK47

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Im looking to have water in mine in about 2 weeks the only prob im gonna have is getting access to RO water im looking to doing 50 50 ro and tap sadly :( but ill just let the tank take longer to cycle and might do a little black out time in the tank to kill off anything the tap water might bring in. Difference from me and you is mine is all the way setup lol for saltwater was just using it for my cichlids.


IDK what kind of testing you have but a TDS meter can be your best friend. My tap water isn't bad at all, but i invested in an RO a long time ago.(sadly it's on about it's last leg) so i'll be buying a new one sometime this year. Some people do fine with tap water, but you have a little more control over the tank with RO.

Thanks all for the comments! I've never done a build thread, or a thread of any type for that matter. Will have an update with pictures of the light/sump tonight/tomorrow.

#16
vash028

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Ya and the tap water is just gonna be at the start after that all im gonna be using in RO/DI water for top offs and water changes. And ur doing a good job man on the thread.

#17
JoelRHale

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For future reference, because if you're like me custom scapes are going to be the only way you do it from now on, I used GE1 window/door/bath for my dry rock and let it cure for 48 hours. It was a lot easier than fooling with epoxy which I had to use for the live rock.

Looking forward to the finished product. :)

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#18
AndyK47

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Decided i'd go ahead and fill up with SW Tuesday night after work, Murphy's law came into full effect. My water line is still a little high and then i kicked on the pump. My LFS sold me a cheapo pump (i should've known it was going to be loud). i was vibrating the whole tank, and the gurgling/bubbling/slurping noise coming out of the drain pipe could be heard throughout the entire house, i wasn't too thrilled, so i just shut the tank off @ 11pm. Did some major reading up on noisy overflows etc....

#19
BOMBreef

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Very nice build so far! If you're looking for a good pump that is reasonably priced the Quite one pumps work great. I had a 3000 on my 75g for well over a year with no problems whatsoever and it was silent.

#20
AndyK47

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I had a leftover crap "Aqueon" pump (i think it's called) from Petsmart and put that on, it doesn't move as much water and kind of helped my drain pipe quiet down, but i realized after reading that by closing the valve some on my drain pipe it made the drain pipe almost completely quiet! i don't have as much turnover for the tank, but it's enough.

Some more pics of the tank....
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Water in the tank! by andyk47, on Flickr


Went ahead and put the live sand in....
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woke up this morning and it had cleared up pretty good.....
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#21
AndyK47

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Just thought i'd throw in some pics of my sump, never done a sump before and had some learning from it, pretty simple, planning on adding more later. macro and maybe some mangroves just to have them....

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#22
andyITA

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very nice.

#23
Hoosierfan

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I absolutely LOVE the scape you put together. I'm looking forward to following this one.

#24
Arkayology

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Do you have any type of cap over the drain pipe behind the overflow?

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#25
AndyK47

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Do you have any type of cap over the drain pipe behind the overflow?


no, honestly i didn't do a whole lot of research into the drain pipe as my LFS guy didn't mention anything about the noise of it etc. I did put some "gutter guard" over the top so if a snail gets on it somehow he won't clog the drain. restricting the flow in the pipe reduced the noise by about 90% but i'm looking into the durso stand pipe....


Thanks for all the comments! After i got the rockscape done i just kind of sat there and starred at it for about 30 mins. was impressed with it myself!