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True 2.5g DIY acrylic tank


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#1
Daemonfly

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Well, since both my 2.5g custom contest tanks cracked and knocked me out of contest, as well as having a nice hood I built sitting here doing nothing, I decided to build a new tank. Tank was built to the outside dimensions of a 2.5g to fit the hood perfectly, as well as being a bit higher. This results in a true inside volume of 2.5g, compared to a standard 2.5g which is considerably less than 2.5g.

Hood is a custom dark-stained maple design incorporating a hidden air ducting system. 2 fans, and 2 18w 50/50 bulbs.

Using my manifold inspired loc-line spray-bar once again, as well as 2 slots in the rear of tank feeding into external overflow with durso drain. Tank is made mostly out of 1/8" cast acrylic, aside from the 1/2" base, with euro-style bracing up top. Still have to glue in the hose barb onto the bottom of the durso, and wire up the fan control for the hood, which should all be done today. I'll be using the same sand & rock, as well as using the same landscaping as was originally in my glass tanks.

Livestock will be softies & LPS so far, with various inverts as well as a small fish, the type of which I haven't 100% decided. Very likely to be a bernacle blenny, as my LFS has them frequently, and they don't require much swimming space.

Current pics so far, although still wet from testing:
(click thumbnails for full shots)
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3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#2
robmacy

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lookin good.

#3
hyewiz

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Daemonfly I always admired your great work, this is what i need to do but i wish i knew how to..... :(
i will follow this project and hope i will learn something from.

#4
Daemonfly

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Hey, thanks. I loved this setup since the first time I tried it out for the contest. I let a tiny amount of air into the return pump, and watched the flow in the main tank, shown by the microbubbles. Deffinately something you just can't get with just a tank & an AC fuge or even with supplemental powerheads. It's also a lot less visually corrupting like a power head or HOB intake tube. I just wish the loc-line pieces I used had left-right adjustment, but I felt using a full manifold setup would have been a bit bulky for such a small tank.

I'm also lucky it turned out so well, I accidentally bought Weld-on 3 instead of 4, so I learned how to properly glue the seams as I went. I'm also surprised I got such good cuts, as I have a cheapo router table, and DIY jigs.

If I had to do the hood over again, I wouldn't have used the chrome tape. It was mainly an experiment, and I also tried it on a slightly older hood, but the chrome layer eventually seperated from the sticky layer. Might have been due to heat though, and the air duct system in this hood should keep everything cooler.

I plan on converting my 5.5g over to a manifold setup as well. It has an AC 500 fuge, and flow sucks. It's also taken over by grape caulerpa :(, so needs a good re-do. I'm also already building a full pvc/loc-line manifold for my larger tank, if I ever get off my lazy ass & finish it.
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#5
robmacy

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did you use a laminate bit? and once assembled, did you run a bearing bit along the edges to "true" them?

#6
Daemonfly

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Used regular 2-flute 3/8" bit. For cuting out the slots, I used a Rotozip spiral-cut bit, this works great for free-form cutting, I must say! Then used the router bit to finish off the slots.

I didn't have a good bearing bit to do the edges with. Only one I had was one with the screw-hole off-center a bit, so it never works properly. Edges weren't in much need of truing though, as I took care to position them well when gluing. I did use a fine file then some novus polish to finish up the front joints. Didn't worry about the rear ones as they're not seen, nor the top ones as they sit in the hood, and left a small lip to keep any condensation inside. One day I'm gonna build my own router table setup. Hard to work on a small 1'x2' or so table :(

Edited by Daemonfly, 17 December 2005 - 11:37 AM.

3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#7
Fishfreak218

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the tank is looking good.....P.S. i didnt have time to read the whole thing...sorry....

-josh

#8
PaulS

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Great setup. Good pics too.

I'm with hyewiz ... I'll be watching and reading and (hopefully) learning something. The loc-line spraybar is a slick idea. What gph rating do you use to get a good flow through the loc-line spray bar?

Regards
PaulS

#9
RobD

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Nice work. Looks good. Have you filled it up and hooked up a pump? I'm curious what pump and how the circulation turned out.

#10
Daemonfly

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It's been running all day Sat & most of Friday. Thought I might have to replace the durso with a larger dia pipe, but found the down-turned elbow was a bit too restrictive than it needed to be, so just replaced it.

Using fuge I built for contest that has a 190gph Mag drive pump, although I may eventually test out the next highest version. Flow in tank is very good, tested it by letting tiny bit of air into pump for microbubbles. Durso has 2 vents, one normal one venting into the top of durso to prevent siphonage, then one is a piece of rigid airline tubing inserted down the pipe to quiet gurgling of the water exiting the drain hose into fuge.

I'll get some new pics of everything today ot tomorrow.
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#11
Daemonfly

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I was asked in chat about how much this cost to make. This is a hard thing to price really, as I already had all the materials to build it with. The actual cost of everything I bought new to finish this current version is about $26 :) (6 loc-line elbows)

The acrylic was 1/8" cast & 1/2" cast. I usually get my small pieces off ebay (http://listings.ebay...x.html?from=R11) where manufacturers put up scrap pieces usually for decent prices. If it's a larger project, I'll just buy a full or half sheet.

Loc-line was all bought from www.modularhose.com Got the 1/4" circle flow kit as well as a few sections of standard segments, some elbows, and some NPT fittings.
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#12
hyewiz

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Like i said its an awsome set-up i wish i can make one like it for me :(
(not a handy when it needed)

#13
schaadrak

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Damn fine job, man. I'll definately be following this one.

#14
robmacy

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any updates on this one? this may be a candidate for a "featured reef"

Edited by robmacy, 22 December 2005 - 12:55 PM.


#15
Daemonfly

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Just been letting it mature. Already getting the "fuzzy" on the tank walls ;)

Put a few corals in to get started:
Orange ric, hard to see though as it's small & took hold in a nook.
Blue rics
Teal rics (lower right, used to be 5-mouth, but recently split into 2 & 3 mouthed)
Baby purple yumas
purple star polyps
Maroon w/ green center 4-head blasto merletti I got from LFS for $7, but not sure if it is gonna make it.
Purplish candy-cane

Flow is great, and the purple stars has a nice random sway to them.

Holding tank is getting taken over by algae & aiptasia, so gonna have to clean up any other corals before I put them in. Waiting on LFS to get in a diadema urchin.

Cam isn't the greatest & doesn't like the full brightness, but got 2 decent pics. One with all lights, one with just a 7w 17,000K PC bulb I use for a slight dawn/dusk effect. I'll probably eventually put in a 1 or 2-LED moonlight.

Posted Image
Posted Image

Edited by Daemonfly, 08 March 2006 - 09:15 PM.

3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#16
PaulS

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Thanks for all the details on your setup. It looks really slick!

#17
Daemonfly

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Well, it's been maturing a bit, and I've slowly added to it. Also got some of your common new-tank algae growing on the tank walls.

Water going into the fuge was gurgling enough to annoy me, so I built something to quiet it down. It's pretty much a modified durso, but you could also consider it similar to a j-trap that would be under your sink. Vertical piece has a piece of filter sponge to act as a noise baffle (also have this up on the top durso). The resulting dual-durso design results in the drain being PERFECTLY quiet, thankfully, as it's in my bedroom ;).

Posted Image

I added a small astrea snail, 2 blue legged hermits, and 3 tiny sub-1/4" red leg hermits (LFS gave me free due to size). While not ever considered 100% reef safe, the hermits give the tank some more life, and they've been behaving quite well so far. They've never bothered any corals, and don't even try walking over them, aside from one baby red-legger that likes to hide just under the outter lip of one of the teal florida rics. Also added a orange-brown & white fanned feather duster worm. Threw in a few asterina stars from my 5.5g, and willl get some white mini brittles when I can catch them. Also moved over a shell that a 2-tentacle worm decided to make his home(can't remember name). He sits in the corner constantly pulling sand, etc.. to him looking for food.

As for corals, added a small pom-pom xenia frag, which I also found a single polyp growing off to the side all by itself. Attached to the rock the FD worm was on(slate) was a baby green-striped shroom (bonus!). Gently removed him by scraping him off the flat slate with a razor blade, and put him in the tank. Of course, it was blown around, but settled and quickly attached to the rock, and moved about 2" to it's current spot (common with it's type, IME). I also wanted to get some baby torch corals at LFS, but they were firmly attached to larger rocks. The 4-head maroon/green blasto is actually making a come-back, all 4 heads too. Baby purple yuma rescued from my currently-having-problems holding tank is doing ok, but still not "well". All other corals are doing very well. Just ordered a very nice selection of zoos which should get in this week. Most frags have mutiple types, so will have a good variety soon.

Of course, people want pics. Clickable thumbnails as usual.

FTS with flash
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FTS without flash
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Interesting parts listed. Main lights were originally off, so many things are closed up due to night-mode and/or because I turned lights back on.
Posted Image

1. Purple star polyps | 2. Candy Cane (withe feeding tentacles out) | 3. Baby red-leg hermit | 4. Zoos | 5. Zoos | 6. 3 & 2-mouthed Teal florida ricordea (used to be 5-mouth before split) | 7. Tiny 4-head maroon w/ green center blasto merletti ($7!) | 8. Small pom-pom xenia frag (haven't decided position yet) | 9. 2-mouth teal florida ric | 10. 2 baby purple yumas | 11. blue florida ricordea | 12. Orange florida ricordea (things diretcly under this on sand are emtpy shells for hermits) | 13. green-stripe shroom on other side of rock extrusion | 14. shell with one a 2-tentacle worm inside | 15. Single pom-pom xenia polyp | 16. Some filter feeder that made it through everything since I got that rock | 17. orange-brown & white feather duster worm | 18. Small Astrea snail

Edited by Daemonfly, 08 March 2006 - 09:15 PM.

3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#18
Ann

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Hey, it's good to see that you have a Pico running now with that super smart pipework and hood. Excellent set-up! Looking really great. :D

Best regards

Ann

#19
kinetic

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what kind of rock are you using? where did you get it from?

#20
Daemonfly

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Nano Marshall Island rock from Premium aquatics.

http://www.premiumaq...y_Code=Liverock


As of right now, it's pretty much the same as in the pics, but I now have a pink/red Coco worm. I couldn't resist the temptation at the LFS ;) Also, zoo frags awaiting removal from their rock, and placement on my rock somewhere. Taking it slow.

Dual durso setup is still working perfectly, and this tank is quieter than all my others.
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#21
Maeda

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Finally.

I'm glad I found this thread, and i'm glad to see you're rebounding from the contest cracks Daemonfly!

Looking really good so far!

PS.
Could you send me a diagram explaining this dual durso... I'm planning a mega-ridiculous-mindblowing tank for use down the road and this seems EXACTLY what i'm looking for!!!!

Edited by Maeda, 28 January 2006 - 11:24 PM.

Project100 - Dream Tank
SPS, BB, DIY, OMGWTFBBQ

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SCNRS


#22
Daemonfly

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Yeah, I'll come up with a diagram, or better actual pic if I can.

<3 MSPaint skills

Posted Image

Edited by Daemonfly, 29 January 2006 - 10:43 PM.

3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#23
melbourne

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Nice DIY tank, I like the rockwork also. Did you get your acrylic sheets locally or mail order?

#24
Daemonfly

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Ebay. They have an Acrylics & Plexiglass section that is mainly scrap cutoff. If you don't want to buy a whole sheet, and just need a small ammount, then you can usually find some good deals. I had a 1/2" cast piece from making some CPU waterblocks, and got some 10"x15" 1/8" cast sheets off ebay a while back.

Most vendors don't discern from cast or extruded, so you have to know what you're looking for (i.e. Acrylite FF = extruded, GP = cast).

http://business.list...ListingItemList
3g long: Wow, found my first tank thread (retired)
5.5g reef: 96w Quad 50/50("rigged")| AC500 full modded fuge. (retired)
2.5g reef: Complete DIY 2.5g acrylic tank & hood (retired due to split seam ;_;).
20g long prop tank. 10g sump, 175w MH.

Coming soon! 2.5g dubbed "Pulse".

#25
melbourne

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Ebay. They have an Acrylics & Plexiglass section that is mainly scrap cutoff. If you don't want to buy a whole sheet, and just need a small ammount, then you can usually find some good deals. I had a 1/2" cast piece from making some CPU waterblocks, and got some 10"x15" 1/8" cast sheets off ebay a while back.

Most vendors don't discern from cast or extruded, so you have to know what you're looking for (i.e. Acrylite FF = extruded, GP = cast).

http://business.list...ListingItemList


Thanks! - prices seem to vary quite a bit on the scraps. I'll have to pick some up - already have the weld-on from a skimmer project.