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7.5 Gallon Mr. Aqua Nano Reef Aquarium Build


alexmoore32

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alexmoore32

Hey everyone! I started a 7.5 build about a year ago here but ended up deploying so everything was put on hold. Now that I'm back I figured I would just completely start over since the build never got too far along. It's going to be a great build and very excited to get everything going again. So without further ado...

 

I'm living in the dorms on base so it's going to be very minimal to save on space. I built a custom stand with the same footprint as the tank to save room. I will be drilling the tank and have a 5 gallon that fits perfectly underneath. I will be providing many pictures so stay tuned!!



I started off painting the tank as soon as it came it. I used Krylon flat black, worked great and looks very nice!

 

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alexmoore32

Tank will be drilled using a nano overflow kit from Glass Holes. The candy comes with all their orders :)

 

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Drilling the hole for the overflow box.

 

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Slow and steady...

 

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And success!

 

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Return hole.

 

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Overflow before the return was drilled.

 

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And the final product!

 

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alexmoore32

Alright so I made some HUGE progress in the past couple of days. Just about finished staining the stand and really happy with the turn out. Chose a dark brown PolyShades stain. The next phase is wiring a bunch of LEDs and when you see the final product you'll be pretty amazed. Here's some pics of what I've been working on...

 

P.S. - I'm no electrician and have NO experience with wiring LEDs, they're a pain in the a$$!! So don't judge on my wiring skills. They all light up so that's all that matters haha.

 

So I drilled 30 3mm holes all the way around and the tank will sit on a slab that is about 1" shorter than the footprint of the tank and main stand. The goal with the 1/2" height offset and the overhang of the tank about an inch is to give the DT a "floating" effect.

 

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It's coming out exactly as I planned! I have one more side to wire though. The LEDs are WAY brighter than I imagined so hopefully with all the sand and such in the tank it will diffuse the lights but I may have to get some screen or something to put over the LEDs to diffuse the excess light to give it an actual "glow" effect.

 

Thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated!! More to come!



Weird, those last three pictures are rotated, not sure why. Sorry about that!

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alexmoore32

Looks like a really great start. A simple arduino project would make those LEDs dimmable, fwiw.

 

Thank you! I actually bought a cheap LED dimmer/switch on eBay. If that doesn't work I'll look into Arduino. Looks complicated!

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alexmoore32

The arm for the light came in today. The pre-drilled hole was a bit to far out so had to drill a new one.

 

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The Par38 bulb from LEDTric.

 

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Thank you! I actually bought a cheap LED dimmer/switch on eBay. If that doesn't work I'll look into Arduino. Looks complicated!

LED dimming is one of the most basic (and pre-programmed) Arduino functions for these types of LEDs :). Being such a simple thing though, I' sure the switch would work much more simply. If you ever want to get crazy you could program the LEDs to do different blinking patterns and whatnot haha.

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alexmoore32
LED dimming is one of the most basic (and pre-programmed) Arduino functions for these types of LEDs :). Being such a simple thing though, I' sure the switch would work much more simply. If you ever want to get crazy you could program the LEDs to do different blinking patterns and whatnot haha.

 

I imagine I will probably rewire the lights anyways in the near future since I did a really poor job on them to begin with. I'll probably redo everything using a simple Arduino project, I'd have much more functions with them. Maybe even use some RGB LEDs so I can change colors and such.

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alexmoore32

Well I did a leak test and everything worked, no leaks. After adding saltwater, sand, and rock I noticed a tiny leak on the bulkhead, I drained the water just below the overflow box to turn it a bit tighter and after re-plumbing everything it's still leaking. I reinforced the bulkhead with some PVC cement and managed to slow the leak (it's a small drip leak, maybe an ounce per hour. I'm going to try wrapping the bulkhead with some teflon tape and cover it with some aquarium sealant to seal the leak and if that doesn't work I'll probably have to buy a new bulkhead from Glass-Holes.

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