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Shallow Reef Project


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#1
JustinReef

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I am new to Nano-reef.com but have been in the hobby for over 10 years now. What a great site!

My wife and I are moving soon and have to downsize tanks :scarry:

I had decided on the ADA 8.5G 24x12x7 until I found the ADA made, Do!Aqua tank in the exact same dimensions for half the price. I looked at them side by side and yes the ADA was clearer glass but knowing I was going to drill this tank, it felt like less risk to go with the Do!Aqua.

I now kind of regret not going with the "real" ADA...Oh well, this tank is for beginners, maybe it's better this way :huh: .

All photos will be taken with my iPhone for convenience :)

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System specs

ADA Do!Aqua 8.5G aquarium :rant:
Drilled for "herbie" style drains
10G sump
Vortech MP10
Bubble Magus NAC6 skimmer
Tunze Silence Water Pump - 1073.020
Reefkeeper Lite
DIY ATO with float valve
7G top off water tank
150 Watt Metal Halide
Phoenix 14K
Fan cooling
DIY plywood stand

Livestock

I will be transferring my livestock from my current tank. Mostly SPS and photosynthetic gorgonians. I have had most of these corals for many years so I have to frag them down a LOT to fit the shallow height of this tank.

Stand

I love the Restoration Hardware Aviator line of furniture made from galvanized steel with the industrial look. I recreated this look twice before for larger aquarium stands. Below is an example of a Restoration Hardware dresser in the style I went for.

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Overflow

I wanted to incorporate a herbie style drain which I have used on my past 3-4 tanks and been very happy with. Basically a gate valve controlled main drain which is adjusted to keep up with the return pump exactly at the same flow. I did NOT want a big ugly overflow box in such a small tank so I drilled for two bulkheads side by side but at different heights and then used two black 90 degree PVC pieces upturned.

Light

I gutted a Current USA 150 Watt Metal Halide Sunpod that I had not used in a long time and build a plywood casing sheeted inside and out with galvanized sheet metal to get the same look as the stand.

Drilling

Here are a few camera phone pics of the drilling process. Nothing too exciting.

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I will update this regularly! I have never really done a proper tank thread in the past.

Edited by JustinReef, 19 March 2012 - 09:03 AM.


#2
iball1804

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Looking good bro! Keep the pics coming!

#3
JustinReef

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Stand

As per above, the inspiration was the Restoration Hardware industrial Aviator line of furniture.

The base is 3/4" plywood, glued and screwed. Primed white. Sheeted with very thin galvanized steel. 1/2" metal screws were used to give it the riveted look.

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Doors open on heavy duty full drawer slides. I have done this on my past few tanks and it's always my favorite feature. They are relatively expensive but well worth it IMO.

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I still need to add some more screws but the stand is essentially done. I have started the light hanger and will try to update that and the light tonight.

Cheers and thanks for looking!

Looking good bro! Keep the pics coming!


Thanks! Lots to come and quickly because I have to get this transfer done soon as possible.

Edited by JustinReef, 13 March 2012 - 02:09 PM.


#4
Paigee

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I think this is the beginnings of a really cool tank! I love love love that stand. Very unique :) Can't wait to see it running!

#5
Boboli

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Definitely the coolest stand I've ever seen!

#6
JustinReef

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I think this is the beginnings of a really cool tank! I love love love that stand. Very unique :) Can't wait to see it running!



Definitely the coolest stand I've ever seen!


Thanks! They (and I say they because I have built a few now) are tedious to build but I think well worth the effort. I wish I had more pics of the building process but I was in a hurry :huh: It's not for everyone but I have a lot of "different" or unique furniture. Being in the furniture business, I see so much that I tend to gravitate towards unique.

#7
d'Espresso

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very nice stand! never seen one like that before
My Reef Tanks
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#8
JustinReef

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Overflow

As mentioned previously, I didn't want a big overflow box in such a small tank so this is the result. Left is the primary drain with 3/4" Spears Gate valve to match flow to the return pump. Right is the emergency drain which is higher in the tank and always above the waterline unless the main drain cannot handle the return pump flow due to anything restricting the main drain.

These will both be covered to keep fish and snails out but I have not decided with what yet. I have some plastic mesh I may use.

Before anyone says "That will not work" or gives me a hard time, I have done this once before and it worked very well. If it doesn't this time, I will build an overflow box from clear glass and keep it as low profile as possible.

In the next few days I will plumb the tank and test with freshwater.

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The tank looks so distorted and weird in this pic! It is level and built well, don't judge by this pic LOL It's a cool illusion though...

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very nice stand! never seen one like that before


Thank you! I have never seen one done like this before either. Although it may be mostly because people wouldn't want one like this :P

Edited by JustinReef, 13 March 2012 - 02:34 PM.


#9
JustinReef

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Aquascape inspiration

These are two of the biggest inspirations for this tanks aquascape.

I want to try to create something like this, in terms of how the tank is divided up. Essentially three islands.

(all credit goes to the tank owner, this is not my picture)
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I also want to try, to some degree, to create the depth in this tank which is not my tank or photo. They have used focal point and scale brilliantly. You will notice the rocks get smaller towards the back of the tank. I doubt I can recreate this kind of depth but I will try. As I mentioned earlier, I have to frag my large gorgonians (have about 20) and some of my medium sized SPS colonies. I will try to use the scale of the frags and rocks to create depth (ie. larger in the front and smaller in the back) as they have with plants and rocks in this photo. If it works I will try to keep them to scale as they do with planted tanks.

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This reminds me of how I wish I had not painted the back of the tank black yet. I would liked to have tried to create more depth with a blue scale gradient background. Although then hiding plumbing becomes a pain.

Edited by JustinReef, 13 March 2012 - 02:51 PM.


#10
JR!

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well done so far man. cant wait to see more.

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#11
d0lph1n

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Great work.
I'm looking fwd to see how you will arrange the rocks and what corals you will use to emulate Amano's design and concepts. With so many options, the urge to add "more" is imense.

For your next project I hope you will use ADA glass.

Edited by d0lph1n, 13 March 2012 - 03:15 PM.


#12
Islandoftiki

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Ok, love the stand. +1 for thinking outside the box.

However, my question would be, what is the salt water going to do to galvanized metal? Obviously it won't immediately rust it, but will it discolor it? And if so, will it look shabby or will it give it a cool weathered look?

I'll be tagging along for this one!

#13
GTi

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I like it. Following.

#14
JustinReef

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well done so far man. cant wait to see more.


Thanks!

Great work.
I'm looking fwd to see how you will arrange the rocks and what corals you will use to emulate Amano's design and concepts. With so many options, the urge to add "more" is imense.

For your next project I hope you will use ADA glass.


Sigh...there is a part of me that wants to sell this aquarium and get the ADA one. I think I am going to have to get over it and use this tank for now with the thought of upgrading to the ADA tank in the future if all goes well.

The urge to add more...I have yet to be able to fight this urge. Ever. I'm also worried about how many corals I have in my current tank to choose from. Of course they are all my favorites! :D

I'm going to do my best...I don't have the skill to emulate an Amano tank and I doubt I have the will power but it's still my inspiration. I was even thinking of adding none of my current fish in favor of only adding tiny fish. The problem is, I don't see many available locally.

As of now I think I will keep just my two mated Bangaii Cardinals IF the tank is big enough. Anyone have an opinion?

Ok, love the stand. +1 for thinking outside the box.

However, my question would be, what is the salt water going to do to galvanized metal? Obviously it won't immediately rust it, but will it discolor it? And if so, will it look shabby or will it give it a cool weathered look?

I'll be tagging along for this one!


Actually I have had my current stand for a year and a fair bit of saltwater has been spilled down the sides with no issues. It just discolors it to a lighter tone. I would imagine over time it would get much more discolored. I don't know how it would look, maybe good, maybe bad.

I have galvanized steel furniture in my store that is slightly discolored and rustic looking on purpose which looks really cool. I don't know if it would look like this or not but if it did, it would be nice.

For now I will clean the stand a lot ;) I find its easy to clean...

I like it. Following.


Cool, thanks.

Edited by JustinReef, 13 March 2012 - 04:20 PM.


#15
JustinReef

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Light

I gutted a Current USA 150 watt Metal Halide Sunpod and made this:

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I have hung the light and tested it. The zip ties are temporary until I decide how low to hang it and then I will use aircraft cable. Looks great (I think) but the way I have it mounted is really not ideal for coverage. As you can see below. It should be hung WITH the length of the tank and I did try that but it just doesn't look right. The wires will eventually be run down inside of the conduit hanging arm to keep it looking wireless.

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I will have to think about the light and how I am going to aquascape. It probably will not work this way. I guess either way its a lot of light over this little tank.

Edited by JustinReef, 13 March 2012 - 09:01 PM.


#16
JustinReef

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I'm looking for fan suggestions...quiet, powerful and small as possible.

Thanks in advance!

Edited by JustinReef, 15 March 2012 - 10:13 AM.


#17
tiomm

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Whoa! That's unique! :naughtydance:

#18
MGDMIRAGE

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Very different, very cool :)

#19
Daveg99

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why are those two handles up so high behind the tank?

#20
Thornchase

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why are those two handles up so high behind the tank?

Look like a huge cabinet!
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#21
JustinReef

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Whoa! That's unique! :naughtydance:

Very different, very cool :)


Thanks :haha:

why are those two handles up so high behind the tank?


Because I am 7`tall and hate to bend down to open cabinet doors.

Look like a huge cabinet!


Yup

Edited by JustinReef, 15 March 2012 - 10:18 AM.


#22
d0lph1n

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I don't know much about MH lights, as far as I remember, the bulb produces the "right" spectrum at high temperatures...that why it needs time to warm up..so adding an active cooling inside the case might mess-up the chemistry. Please check this statement with wiser members.

Edited by d0lph1n, 15 March 2012 - 10:29 AM.


#23
JustinReef

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I don't know much about MH lights, as far as I remember, the bulb produces the "right" spectrum at high temperatures...that why it needs time to warm up..so adding an active cooling might mess the chemistry. Please check this statement with wiser members.


Yes, I think you are correct. The original fixture, like many MH fixtures, had a small computer fan blowing air OUT of the fixture. I said fixture too many times. Now the word fixture sounds weird to me. Fixture...

Anyways...

Actually the fan is to blow air across the water surface under the light to help cooling. I was thinking of adding a fan into my DIY fixture (there it is again) too (the one you see in the pictures does not work, it was to figure out spacing) but again, it would blow air OUT, not at the bulb.

Thanks for the heads up!

Edited by JustinReef, 15 March 2012 - 10:31 AM.


#24
JustinReef

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omgomgomg

Once the light was turned on, I could see I did such a great job of painting the back of my tank all patchy. I did three coats with Krylon Fusion but I obviously missed spots.

Have to take apart the plumbing, re-tape everything and spray again. Such a pain.

I doubt I will have any livestock moved over by this weekend like I had hoped.

#25
d0lph1n

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Cool, make sure it doesn't blow hot air.

On my mh I had 2 computer fans installed on the left and right side of the fixture using industrial strength velcro, parallel with the water. I think it's way more efficient to bring the fans as close to the water as possible like the ones sold by many including tunze.

Also, the light stand doesn't look centered, it might be 1/2-1inch more on the right.

Edited by d0lph1n, 15 March 2012 - 10:42 AM.