redfishsc

The Rock-Box nano, up and running.

Most recent FTS, 3/22/09

fts_3-22-09.jpg

 

 

 

 

Original post below

_________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Alright yall. You saw me build this thing, and I set her up a few weeks ago. Before putting anything in it, I gave it several days of tests. No leaks. Good waterflow.

 

Well here she is. Almost done. I am building a canopy to go over it that will have lots of storage and hide all the lights. I may even put an overhead fuge in it (a 10g).

 

 

For the info on construction, here's the thread for that.

http://www.nano-reef.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=171042

 

Here's some pics. Hope you like. It's basically a 10-gallon tank (the display side).

 

 

The tank set up with lights on. I'm not 100% happy with the rockwork (nor the mess on the shelf below which is supposed to hold books). Also note that the Nova Extreme is sitting on TEMPORARY blocks (the legs won't fit this tank), I know it looks precarious. I'm hoping my cat will jump on it and knock it into the tank and fall in with it :P

 

YES THAT IS A BEER BOTTLE you see on the bottom right. Now, I am Baptist living on Seminary campus (who, btw, grew up with an alcoholic father and I'd intentionally thirst to death in a desert full of Budweiser). In other words, when this beer bottle showed up at the LFS, I HAD TO BUY IT. It was sent to a local reefer by a diver friend (I forget where they were diving) and they traded it in. It's covered with corraline algae and spaghetti worms. Very cool. I'm hoping to put a shrimp goby in it soon.

.whole_tank.jpg

 

 

EDIT: closeups of the beer bottle.

beer_bottle_reef.jpg

beer_bottle_reef2.jpg

 

Top view, with descriptions. Thanks to FraggleReef for the chaeto!!!

sump_filter.jpg

 

 

 

Now, the tank's been set up for two weeks, and you are likely wondering why I have so many coral and a few fish (gramma and ocellaris). That's because the rock and half the water came from an established tank, was kept in a holding tank (with the Nova lighting it) for nearly a month and it never showed any nitrogen cycle. Trust me, all is well with the water parameters.

 

One variety of GSP, this one is a long-tentacled variety that is green as heck. In this pic the tentacles aren't fully extended, they're about 1-1.25" long when fully extended.

GSP_long.jpg

 

 

 

A different GSP, not quite as green, but with a more pronounced star shape. Small cabbage leather hitchhiker in the background. Looks like a wad of chewgum stuck onto the LR.

gsp_2.jpg

 

 

 

My personal favorite, a nice green-ish Duncan coral head. I feed it once in a while with table shrimp. One very happy coral.

duncan.jpg

 

 

Pumping Xenia. The stuff will not fully extend, and I suspect it's because of the light level, it's pretty intense in there with 96W of T5HO. However, it's already started to spread, there are a few polyps pulling away from the base.

xenia.jpg

 

 

A very odd pic of a very nice daisy polyp colony. I took the pic at an angle and apparently the acrylic bent the light in the image. I don't have this problem with glass, I was surprised to see it with acrylic.

 

These have a very bright minty-green center though it doesn't quite show up as well in the pic. These are already beginning to grow new polyps.

daisy.jpg

 

 

 

Paly colony. There were bright green with brown rims when I got them. Now they are brown with a green hue in the middle. Oh well, still purdy.

paly.jpg

 

 

There's some pest algae in the pics, but this is a new tank and it's nothing out of the ordinary. I had some dinoflagellates, but keeping pH up and keeping photoperiod shorter (5 hours) has nearly eliminated them.

 

 

Here is the equipment list.

 

Nova Extreme 4X24. I didn't like the lights it had so I changed 3 of them. 1 blue 460nm, 1 actinic 420nm, 1 12,000K UVI, and one 14,000K UVI. I love the look, much more pleasing to the eye. There's a few shrooms in the tank that now fully open (not in any of the pics) that stayed bunched up under the previous lights (2 10K and 2 460nm blue)

 

MJ1200--- circulation (deflected off of a large LR to muffle it a bit).

Powersweep something-or-other that stopped powersweeping, so it drives the sump/filter. About 150gph.

Robbed the powerhead off the crappy Nano-Fission skimmer and now using it for circulation. Good pump.

ViaAqua titanium tube 75W

26W PC/incandescent base growing the chaeto.

Kalk doser-- homemade using a 1L plastic jar, some tubing, and an airline valve. Works like a charm.

 

 

 

Well anyhow, hope you like!

 

EDIT: I don't know the difference between dessert and desert. doh!

post-38816-1224799382_thumb.jpg

Edited by redfishsc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sickest tank on this site hands down. Im glad to see your tank is coming together.... I want a stone tank.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Awesome DIY. very unique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I want a stone tank too. Mine doesn't even need a plexi side because I want a stone frag box! Then a stone sump / fuge for the stone frag tank. I want mine made out of neat granite looking stone, then I want to make a stand out of wood, painted with that cool rock spray paint! That's all I want!

 

Hey, on a more serious note, how available is scrap from tnis stuff? Where do I look up installers? Are they listed with the cabinet makers in the book? I only know of the superstore instllation, but I know it's "the guys" that I need to get up with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I want a stone tank too. Mine doesn't even need a plexi side because I want a stone frag box! Then a stone sump / fuge for the stone frag tank. I want mine made out of neat granite looking stone, then I want to make a stand out of wood, painted with that cool rock spray paint! That's all I want!

 

Hey, on a more serious note, how available is scrap from tnis stuff? Where do I look up installers? Are they listed with the cabinet makers in the book? I only know of the superstore instllation, but I know it's "the guys" that I need to get up with.

 

 

Look in the yellow pages under "Kitchen" (remodeling, etc). NOT cabinet shops, there are a few that work with this stuff, but not most. Also look under "Countertops".

 

The material you want is called, generically, "Solid Surface" material. Brand names are Staron, HiMacs (what I used), or the most common name, "Corian". Most people are more familiar with the name "Corian" than "Solid Surface".

 

Note that I use this stuff to make custom collector grade pens with, and I gave the place that supplied me a couple of Cross-style twist pens made from it as a "thank you!".

 

 

Also note, BIG TIME two very important things.

1) I do not know for absolute sure that this stuff will hold the epoxy joint long term. The epoxy I used I am sure is safe (Marine epoxy, from Lowes).

 

2) I did NOT use typical glue joints to glue this all together. Please browse through the construction thread I posted, up above in the original post, for the link to it. The joints are all lock-shoulder (aka "rabbet") joints. Just the mere method of joining this material together locks it together. I'm not worried about the tank falling apart, ever. I'm more concerned with a leak.

 

 

 

The stuff isn't easy to work with. It machines with standard woodworking tools, but it flings slivers of acrylic all over you. Massive goggles and dust mask (and ear plugs!) are an absolute requirement.

 

Also note I built a 10 gallon tank (roughly). I didn't want to make it too big (meaning, more pressure from the water).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Outstanding. I love the techniques used and realize the added integrity from proper joinery. I actually still sport a slightly shortened left "Bird" finger, from a wood working project decades past!!!

 

I would love to put something like that together. I know these epoxies and resins are used to make boats, so I guess it's just the integrity of the reactive bonding areas between the solid surface material and the epoxy itself. I know some engineers I am going to get thinking about this. I bet I can come up with a resource for bodd strengths in saltwater environments.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Need a good closeup shot of the beer bottle :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Need a good closeup shot of the beer bottle :D

 

 

Agreed. I'll see what I can do.

 

 

Alright. Here ya go. I went ahead and posted them in the original post as well.

 

beer_bottle_reef.jpg

beer_bottle_reef2.jpg

Edited by redfishsc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I bet I can come up with a resource for bodd strengths in saltwater environments.

 

 

Thanks for the comments!

 

As for the bonding strenghts, I do not suspect the saltwater will weaken it. I suspect time will, though. Epoxies have UNBELIEVABLE solvent resistance, in most cases--- the crosslinks in the polymers are incredibly strong, and I don't think there's anything in saltwater that will cause a failure. Time, however, is not always friendly to glues and epoxies. Some get brittle with time.

 

 

Just for giggles and insurance, (before I assembled this tank), I made a test run of the bonding strength. I glued/clamped up two 4" X 12" pieces of scrap, edge to edge (making one big 8" wide by 12" long board). Once the epoxy cured for 24 hours, I was able to stand, with one foot, with all my 240 pounds (lots of baptist bird, aka, fried chicken!) standing on that joint, with each side of it propped up off the ground. The joint held me just fine until I started bouncing on my foot, and then it snapped. The break was not a clean break, the glue broke jagged (ie, how I wanted it to break).

 

 

 

 

Now, to make things simpler, there is an epoxy made SPECIFICALLY for this stuff. It's what the countertop makers use. I did not use that epoxy b/c it would have cost me probably $150. It's expensive stuff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Noticed this hitchhiker the other day, gonna post in the ID forum and maybe someone can tell me what it is.

 

It's NOT a soft coral, it never moves/sways, seems rigid. About 1-2mm tall and wide.

 

mystery_hitchhiker.jpg

mystery_hitchhiker2.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Rearranged the rocks just a tad to get some more sand space and better "stack", the one on the right was just way too close to the surface of the water and was nearly unusable space. Now I could easily grow something like cloves or even some encrusting sps.

 

Also got the small powerhead out and replaced it with a HOB Marineland filter (no media) I had. This gives a LOT better circulation, more gentle also.

 

fts_10-26-08.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Added a few more corals.

 

a. millepora (frag plug ugly, but it fit perfectly in the hole in the LR)

millepora2.jpg

 

 

monti cap, I paid $7 total for one big piece and fragged it off into what you see here, plus three other quarter-sized pieces I glued to other parts of the tank. Notice the one piece glued to the wall.

monti_cap2.jpg

monti_cap1.jpg

 

 

 

Also a better pic of the clove polyps:

cloves.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Added another frag, caulastrea. While it's pretty, it just kinda sits there. What's funny is that even though it's not my favorite, it is usually the first one a visitor notices and asks "what is that!?".

 

caulastrea.jpg

 

Also, notice the growth on the millepora. This coral is obviously happy. I still think I need to increase the water flow around it, the polyp extension isn't quite what I think it should be.

 

 

Less than a month ago (fresh from the LFS)

millepora2.jpg

 

 

3 weeks later, it's starting to overgrow the plug.

millepora_growth.jpg

 

 

 

 

FTS from today:

full_tank_nov2008.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Some great growth shots.

 

This first unknown acro (tortuosa?) was kinda greenish brown when I got it back in November 2008. Now, 4 months later, it's grown half it's size over again and colored up a LOT more than the pic shows.

unknown_acro2.jpgunknown_acro_feb2009.jpg

 

 

This is a standard issue millepora. First photo is from November 2008, second from Feb 2009. Totally overgrown the frag plug and polyp extension is a LOT nicer.

millepora2.jpg

 

millepora_growth_feb2009.jpg

 

This one is a duncan coral, also from November 2008, a single polyp. Now, here in Feb 2009, I now have one big polyp and 7 small ones in varying sizes (got the pic while it was closed up b/c it shows off the other polyps). I'm amazed at how quickly this thing sprouted off.

 

duncan.jpg

duncan_growth_feb2009.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I set up a 20g-long frag tank to go along with it, lighted by a 4X24 T5HO. Here's the pics.

 

What I can't believe is that I had all that coral in a 10g! A lot of the softies were fragged and put on frag plugs/plates so it looks like more than it really is... but that's still a lot!

 

fragtank2.jpg

 

 

fragtank1.jpg

 

Since I removed a lot of the softies for the frag tank, it's now a more SPS dominated tank. Here's a FTS.

 

I know the spray bar on the MJ is really ugly, I gotta work on that...

 

fts_3-22-09.jpg

Edited by redfishsc

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks!

 

It has it's limitations, it's smaller than I'd like and the built-in filter is more work than I'd like it to be, but all in all it's a cool tank.

 

It's small because that was all the material I had to work with. I wanted to make it a full 24" long, but to do that I would have had to use 3 or 4 oddball colors of the acrylic material that would look crappy. So I stayed with 21" long plus the attached refugium/filter (which is actually a different color material if you look closely but it's hard to tell).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crud, the frag tank has dinoflagellates. I've whupped these lil $%@#%$^%^ before. I'll do it again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, folks, I'm takin' her down this week.

 

 

I built it with free material, but that meant I was limited on size. That, and a couple of "design irritations" on it--- the tank works fine but it has to be tweaked and is a general pain in the rear the way I have the attached sump plumbed.

 

 

Anyhow, it's gonna be replaced by a 25H, which will sit side-by-side with my 20L frag tank. Both will have the same 4X24 light system I am currently using. In fact the only thing I'll need to really add is another 15 gallons of water and some more rock.

 

 

Anyhow, here is a sneak peak of the stand/canopy I built. Horridly crappy cell phone pic, but it's a sneak peak anyhow....

 

 

0629091652a.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now