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Rocket

42 Gallon Hexagon

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Rocket   

Current FTS: 12-3-2008

 

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Index:

 

Tank build/ AP24 transfer.

 

 

 

Hey folks,

 

About eight years ago I bought a simple gold fish for myself. As time went on it kept getting bigger, so I bought a 5 gallon tank to replace a 2.5, then I bought a 20 gallon tank to replace the 5, and finally that damn goldfish didn't fit anymore and luckily a Aquarium store was going out of business and I got a 42 gallon hex and matching stand for 50 bucks, pre-assembled. And guess what, that goldfish still kept getting bigger. In October I started a AP24 Reef aquarium as I wanted to get into saltwater for a long time.

 

That was it, I had no idea a 50cent gold fish could get so big. So I decided to classify it and discovered I had a Carassius auratus , also known as a Sarasa Comet. Neat, but it was over a foot long and I couldn't keep the tank clean for a week, not to mention it was out of room, yet again. I spent a good 2 months searching for a home and had to wait for the ice to melt off the pond once I found a decent home.

 

Point of story: empty 42 gallon hexagon tank rebuilt/repaired/resealed and ready to go to saltwater duty. I plan on moving my entire AP24 setup into the tank, that includes 35 lbs of lalo live rock, a good sized CUC (for a AP24) and the 150w MH light with 20k ushio bulb.

 

Now my first goal is to get about 15-20 lbs more life rock into the tank, and for a sort of stepped pyramid or volcano looking sea island with it possibly piercing the surface (not too sure on that idea).

 

Also I am on the lookout for a deal on the 250w sunpod, and I plan on dropping a 14k phoenix bulb, because my tank is rather tall and Par ratings that deep will cut off sharply in a 20k bulb.

 

Planning on building a semi cover for the tank out of acrylic, with a surface area this big I am going to have alot of evaporation. I want a cover but with a hexagon hole in the center to let in all the MH light. I am not worried of temperature because my house is kept at 66F and lower all year long. Although my filipino girlfriend wants to change that. (she's pictured in my avatar on a beach in Zamboanga, Philippines) So a 1/10th chiller might work, gonna have to research that once she finally wins the temp war.

 

The stand is extremely durable and in good condition, I have drilled out holes in the back for piping and electrical runnings. But that is where my headache started.

 

The current problem is fitting a 10-15 gallon sump into a hole only 8 inches wide, and 19 inches long. My solution to the problem is a sump that is 8 inches wide by 16 inches long and an undetermined height made out of .220 acrylic. Once I finally find Weldon. I am thinking 20-25 inches high to get the gallons I want.

 

With that kind of height in a sump/fuge, I am thinking a DSB is in order. Attached to the sump will be a skimmer and a slightly used magnum 350 canister filter as the pump with LR in the canister. Also a 200w visi-therm heater. All of which is fed by a Eshopps Overflow box. I did not want to drill the tank plus I like the surface skimming that the low profile box offers.

 

 

Any tips or ideas are welcomed.

More pictures to come, its late and this is all I managed to get a good photo of.

 

Is it TANG approved?

 

 

 

 

Didn't think so.

Edited by Rocket

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Rocket   

Update: Sump will be 16x8x20 custom made by me out of acrylic .220 thickness. For a total of about 11.08 gallons. First attempt at acrylic making, and I must say it smells when cut. Ran out of material, and its impossible to find Weldon in the Midwest states so I have an order coming from Tap plastics, thanks to StevieT for the recommendation.

 

Pictures to be posted when Weldon arrives and I actually build the sump.

 

What do you guys think, add a Deep sand bed to this really tall sump?

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Rocket   

Well I cut out the top for the tank today, and am on the final stages of gluing for the sump. I decided on a DSB anyways. Got a AquaC Urchin comming very soon and then I'll be set to get this tank up and cycling.

 

Few Pictures:

 

The Sump, Can't you see it?

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Cutting the Sheet. I needed 2 30X36 to do these projects.

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Wish I had a few more clamps, could only do 1 side at a time. Weldon #4 takes forever to cure.

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In the mean time, Plumbing!

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Test run, Used a 2.5G tank as a temp sump with only freshwater to test my system. A-ok!

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Sump is built! But it leaks from 1 side. #16 fixed that right up.

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KING!

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Drawn out by my beautiful girlfriend.

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Rotozip is my friend!

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Rocket   

Update May 26 2008:

 

With memorial day weekend here and now gone I was able to get a lot of work done on the tank. I came up with a brilliant idea (so far). As I was cementing bracers to hold the sunpod in place, I figured why not just cement the sunpods feet to the top of the cover. So I did!

 

The sump is all prepped and ready. I am awaiting a AquaC Urchin that is supposed to come today, or tomorrow and a bag of Chaeto sometime this week.

 

My next goal is to come up with some sort of small lighting to light the chaeto on a reverse schedule.

 

And now for 5000 words:

 

This is the lighting controller, and the Koraline #2 will turn on with the daylights.

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Sump/fuge all ready to go.

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My brilliant idea

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20 lbs of sand

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And of course a FTS

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That's really cool! I'm not a big fan of the hex tanks, personally, but yours is looking great!

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Rocket   

Update May 29, 2008

 

The sump/fuge is done. Just need to rig a light over the sandbed area as that is where the chaeto will go.

 

Sump details:

16''L x 8''W x 20''H. =11 gallons

The divider is 14''H

Skimmer shelf is removable and is a simple 6''x6''x 2''H

Skimmer is a AquaC Urchin.

200watt visi-therm deluxe heater.

DSB is approx 4.5'' deep

Magnum 350 canister will be the return pump. Debating what to put in the canister, if anything. It was a free pump.

 

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Rocket   

Update: June 4th 2008

 

Everything except the fish and CUC is moved over. Gonna wait till it clears up a bit before I move the rest. (few hours)

 

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I already see another problem, More LR needed. What you see is 30lbs of Lalo. I think another 2 chunks totaling 10 lbs stacked high. I am going for a reef crest look. I don't want the rock within 6 inches of the top.

Edited by Rocket

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Rocket   

Oh a side note. I wanted too much flow through my sump for a DSB to work, so I got rid of it. Its just a Chaeto growing factory now. With an ACE 8'' utility clamp lamp, with a GE 6500K Daylight bulb, 10watts

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Rocket   

It has been a few weeks since I last updated this. Replaced theK3 and K2 with a Vortech MP40W and I love it! Got a green bubble coral, and a frogspawn. When I bought them they where about 1/3rd the size they currently are. I guess they liked my tank flow and parameters better then the LFS, I didn't think they would be so big.

 

The Bubble coral is so cool to watch at night, hundreds of semi clear tentacles sprout up and filter feed at night. Plus the mouth(s) of the bubble coral is about 3 inches long.

 

And now for pictures:

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Edited by Rocket

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Rocket   

Tonight I'll snap a good macro of the bubble coral at night. It's just so amazing to watch.

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crabs1jz   

thats great... I know that tanks can make a room... but dam

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JediGobi   

Subscribed, need more updates. My mother also has a hex, about 30 gallons and her 4 year old goldfish is outgrowing it as well. I figured after she couldn't take it anymore I could convert it to a SW for my brother still in college at FSU. It should be a good project tank for a young kid getting a Science degree. Good job on the sump and the tank overall. Looks Great.

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Rocket   

Well as promised, just a little late though, are the night photographs. If you want to see all of them, go to my link for 5MP sized photographs.

Tank is running well. I find that 30-75 Micron sized filters preform the best, and don't clog for atleast 2 weeks. I love the brightness of the tank, its only a 150w MH, the standard bulb that comes with the Sunpod 150. I have tried 3 other types and K rating bulbs but this bulb is simply amazing.

The vortec pump is to die for. The different settings it has is very nice. I personaly love the wave crest mode. and I have the night mode setup. Flow decreases 1 hour after lights off, and flow increases 1 hour before lights on.

 

Here's the Night shots:

 

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Rocket   

New photos tomorrow during light schedule. Didn't forget about N-R.com. Just got too busy with summer activities.

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Rocket   

New photos. I added a Lawn Mower Blenny. Otherwise nothing changed. Well except some hair algae growth that I have yet to get under control. I'll be researching what to do about it. Any suggestions would be helpfull.

 

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What is that growing on my Frogspawn? (The black/brown and spiky matt growing on the stalks of the coral)

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Rocket   

New update. GHA (green hair Algae) is still a problem... BUT! I found my source of phosphates. the damn RO/DI membrane was starting to fail. I'll be checking my RO/DI unit more carefully every month from now on.

 

Did a group order with a friend from "the Doctors." My phos-ban is on its way. Plus a bunch of other goodies that I needed to finally add some SPS corals.

 

Tank is doing good. Its coming up on a year since I got my sunpod 150 HQI. Been looking at getting a 14k Phoenix bulb. I have a emergency 20k Ushio bulb but I absolutely hate it. My water depth is 24 inches and the light output of that bulb is nowhere near the intensity of the standard powerpak bulb.

 

Was at my LFS and got this and a small bag of krill for 20 bucks. Figured why not try one:

 

Purple Condy Anemone: This is right after I put it in. The photo was shot when the anemone crossed the highest intensity light area.

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P.S. I'm pretty sure my Lawnmower blenny is overweight. He's so fat my girl thinks it can't swim so it must walk.

Edited by Rocket

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Rocket   

Quick update: 10-1-2008 VORTECH INCIDENT

 

Came home from classes today and found my Vortech pump whining. The pump had stripped the plastic screw and nut from holding the propeller in place. So the shaft was spinning but no water movement. Luckily I keep a K3 around for backup. I put in the 850GPH pump, (just enough flow to get some water movement), while I worked on the Vortech.

 

My quick fix was super glue. Just reattached the stripped parts with super glue. I plan on fixing this the right way, but this will hold me over. Now I have to go search for parts. I need the nut, and screw shaft.

 

My theory on how this happened was that a snail crawled in and jammed the prop. The shaft kept spinning and eventually stripped off the plastic.

 

Sorry no pictures for this one. Well maybe 1 tomorrow when I get a chance.

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Rocket   

Vortech fix. Superglue for the win. (the white stuff on the prop)

 

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New condy Anemone

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Rocket   

Update 10-5-2008:

 

I have decided that my Magnum 350 which if you didn't know is, 350 GPH, is not enough flow through the sump. I have the output 5 feet up. This is alot of head height and I believe I am loosing too much flow. Id put it around 150 or less GPH. I want more flow. So I have decided to go with either a Mag Drive 9.5 or the one lower than that. I would like 700 GPH, with a head output of about 600. I might get a valve to dial down the flow if its too much. My over flow box is rated at 800 GPH. And my sump is part fuge and I don't want too much flow.

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PBUEHH   

more threads should have lots of pics like you :P Nice tank!

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Rocket   

Hey Thanks PBUEHH. I try to get pictures in with every update. I just hope the load times for my Log are not dismal.

 

 

EDIT: Just noticed, today is my 1 year with Nano-reef.com. Sweet!

Edited by Rocket

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PBUEHH   

Happy Nonoversary! :welcome:

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Rocket   

Just a quick update:

 

Purchased a small Hippo Tang today. It's about 1 inch in length. I did this to keep me motivated to finish building my 125 that I have been working on for a few weeks now. The hexagon tank is just too much a PTA to work with corals, way to high I need a step latter to reach the bottom of the tank.

 

My current plans are for a 125 gallon : 72''x18''x22''

 

Most of the equipment purchased for the 42 hex was designed to work for much bigger tanks. As I knew would go larger.

 

The hex is doing fine. Have not changed a thing besides the Tang. Tank has been on autopilot. All I do is add top off water, then a few cubes of food. Everything else is automated.

 

Goal is to get the 125 operational between christmas and New Years.

 

I'll set up a new build thread when I have some photos to post.

 

 

Cheers,

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