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RollaJase

RollaJase's Trip Off the Deep End - Custom Rimless 55G

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Hello all :). As some of you may know, I have been contemplating a move towards a larger aquarium for quite some time now. I love my 30G cube, it has taught me so much about the hobby and in June last year (2014) I was awarded TOTM which was a huge honour to me. I have had the opportunity to experiment with a wide array of live stock and equipment and with this knowledge I have a clear idea which way I would like to take this new project.

 

A link to my original 30G Cube can be found below:

http://www.nano-reef.com/topic/318986-rollajases-30g-custom-cube-upgrade-brainstorming/

 

 

Back Story:

A little back story for those of you who are unfamiliar with my journey. My original tank was designed, built and stocked on a shoestring budget, initially. At the time I was a poor University student, willing to cut corners to get the dream of my first reef tank up off the ground. I designed this tank purely around utilising a single PAR38 LED bulb for lighting while keeping as close to 30G of water volume as possible. At the time, this was not an issue for me in relation to my vision. However, as I delved deeper into this hobby I started to realise that the cheap, basic equipment I had initially purchased just wasn't going to cut it. As it stands, the only original pieces of equipment I am still using (besides the tank and stand) is a 150W heater and a pair of thermometers. Everything else has been replaced at least once and in most cases, twice. My current tank is fairly decent build wise but my biggest regret has always been the lack of internal overflow. This was a cost saving method for me initially and I rectified the lack of overflow about 2 years in with a sump refresh and the installation of an overflow box I designed and built myself.

 

I have designed this new tank from scratch to rectify what I believe to be shortcomings with my original setup. This time I won't be cutting corners and instead of designing everything around my choice of lighting I am designing it all around the available space I have. The dimensions will be modest but still the largest aquarium I have ever owned and something that will fit well with a modern home when I eventually move into my own place.

 

 

Inspiration:

My two largest inspirations for this project are 4x5's 'Made in Africa - A Shallow Reef' and TheDoogan's 'Shallow Rimless Reef'. The look, feel, dimensions and livestock of both of these build's is pretty much exactly what I envisioned in a future upgrade and this style suits my available space perfectly. The stocking choices are also very akin to my own personal tastes. I don't want to mimic these builds by any means but I do very much want to draw heavily on them for inspiration.

 

 

Table of Contents:

Chapter 1 - Design

 

Chapter 2.1 - Stand Build - Frame

Chapter 2.2 - Stand Build - Base and Cladding

Chapter 2.3 - Stand Build - Fans, Power and Control

Chapter 2.4 - Stand Build - Vents and Shelf

Chapter 2.5 - Stand Build - Cable Management, Fan Brackets & Top

Chapter 2.6 - Stand Build - Cladding Part 2

Chapter 2.7 - Stand Build - Tidying Up

Chapter 2.8 - Stand Build - Lighting and Ventilation

Chapter 2.9 - Stand Build - Painting and Display Lighting Mount

Chapter 2.10 - Stand Build - Cable Management Part 2 & Shelf Install

Chapter 2.11 - Stand Build - Finishing Touches

 

Chapter 3.1 - Equipment - Tank, Sump and ATO Reservoir

Chapter 3.2 - Equipment - Plumbing

Chapter 3.3 - Equipment - Lighting

Chapter 3.4 - Equipment - Final Install Pictures

 

Chapter 4 - Aquascape Inspiration

 

Chapter 5.1 - Tank Update - 17th January 2016

Chapter 5.2 - Tank Update - 7th February 2016

Chapter 5.3 - Tank Update - 26th July 2016

Chapter 5.4 - Tank Update - 9th August 2016

Chapter 5.5 - Tank Update - 26th September 2016

Chapter 5.6 - Tank Update - 16th October 2016

Chapter 5.7 - Tank Update - 1st November 2016

Chapter 5.8 - Tank Update - 20th July 2017

Chapter 5.9 - Tank Update - 26th July 2017

Chapter 5.10 - Tank Update - 10th October 2017

Chapter 5.11 - Tank Update - 16th October 2017

Chapter 5.12 - Tank Update - 8th November 2017

Chapter 5.13 - Tank Update - 8th January 2018

Chapter 5.14 - Tank Update - 9th May 2018

Chapter 5.15 - Tank Update - 26th September 2018

 

 

Equipment:

  • Tank: 31.5x24x18" (800x600x450mm) - 10mm glass (Low Iron front and two sides) with overflow
  • Sump: 20x15.5x15.5" (535x400x400mm) Custom Sump
  • ATO Reservoir: 7x12x15.5" (180x300x400mm) Custom Reservoir
  • ATO: Cade Ripple ATO
  • Stand: 31.5x24x39" (800x600x1000mm) DIY Stand With Cladding
  • Lighting: Custom LED Fixture with NanoBox V3 Arrays
  • Flow: 1 x MaxSpect Gyre XF-130
  • Backup: APC BK650-AS (650VA) UPS & Coral Box Power Cell
  • Return Pump: Jebao DCS-4000
  • Heaters: 1x 300W AquaOne and 1x 200W Fluval Heater
  • Skimmer: Coral Box D500 (with upgraded DCA-2000 pump)
  • Reactors: 2x FistaFiltration Nano Reactors (GFO & Carbon)
  • Dosing: Marine Color MCD-3-M Doser with Expansion (Alk, Cal, Mag, Aminos/Vitamins, Bromide, Boron)

 

Livestock:

Fish:

  • 1 Bicolour Blenny (Ecsenius bicolor)
  • 1 Melanurus Wrasse (Male) (Halichoeres melanurus)
  • 1 Scarlet Pin Stripe Wrasse (Secretive Wrasse) (Pseudocheilinus evanidus)
  • 1 Yellow Eye Kole Tang (Ctenochaetus strigosus)
  • 1 Six Line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia)
  • 2 Green Mardarins, male and female (Synchiropus splendidus)

 

Clean Up Crew:

  • 8 Turbo Snails
  • 5 Cerith Snails
  • 4 Nerite Snails
  • 4 Nassarius Snails
  • 2 Trochus Snails
  • 2 Brown Janitor Hermits
  • 2 Crimson Janitor Hermits

 

Corals:

Corals - Softies:

  • Assorted Zoanthus sp. & Palythoa sp arranged in a garden
  • Pink Body, Green Polyp Leather Coral
  • Pink/Purple Dendronephthya

 

Corals - LPS:
  • Fluro Orange Fungia Plate
  • Red and Green Trachyphyllia
  • Green and Purple Reverse Stem Hammer
  • Orange/Gold Leptoseris
  • Red Leptoseris

 

Corals - SPS:

  • Green Plating Montipora
  • Green Montipora Capricornis
  • Red Plating Montipora
  • Red Montipora Capricornis
  • Pink and Green Birdsnest
  • Toxic Green Staghorn
  • Green Acropora
  • Blue Staghorn
  • Blue Acropora
  • Green Poci
  • Purple and Green Acro

 

 

Full Tank Shots:

8th May 2018:

jJiaoV.jpg

 

26th March 2018:

ZQeHr1.jpg

 

8th January 2018:

Bk4xst.jpg

 

8th November 2017:

V6wGIV.jpg

 

8th October 2017:

alnvLP.jpg

 

7th September 2017:

097V6c.jpg

 

24th July 2017:

NiEFFY.jpg

 

21st May 2017:

boCkcS.jpg

 

21st February 2017:

kcK3cz.jpg

 

1st November 2016:

HSWOMQ.jpg

 

16th October 2016:

rJKNjI.jpg

 

17th July 2016:

3zAsNt.jpg

 

7th February 2016:

nIU1A9.jpg

 

17th January 2016:

c3xUog.jpg

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Sexy times! Doogan's set up is such an inspiration of neatness. :) Looking forward to seeing more.

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Sexy times! Doogan's set up is such an inspiration of neatness. :) Looking forward to seeing more.

Thanks buddy :). Your reef has been a huge inspiration to me also those dimensions just do something to me ;).

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Design:

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I have spent a lot of time in Sketchup designing models to scale to see how everything fits together. I am pretty happy with the dimensions of everything. Stand is a pretty basic frame with a solid top and base. The internal cavity of the stand will be waterproofed and lined on the base to help with spills if they ever occur (blue portion in second diagram). Cladding will be designed out of MDF and will attach using a combination of clips towards the base as well as cabinet panel magnets up top. The stand will be able to be open on all 3 facing sides. I will be painting the entire stand in a gloss white, I was going to go down the 2 Pack route but will probably use high glass wall paint.

 

Sump:

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Sump is loosely based on the design from my current tank with a dedicated drain chamber leading to a filtersock which I think works wonders when cleaning the tank. From there the water flows through a large skimmer chamber, a LR and Fuge section before hitting the return chamber.

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Thanks for reminding me about doogan's tank :(:P

 

Looking forward to this build

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I'm in, alrdy lookin awesome, I'm a sucker for some sketch up

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Thanks for reminding me about doogan's tank :(:P

 

Looking forward to this build

 

I'm in, alrdy lookin awesome, I'm a sucker for some sketch up

 

Thanks guys :). I'm hoping to order the tank at the start of July, just waiting on the builder to give me a price on the ATO reservoir and the sump. I should start work on the stand in the next few weeks :).

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Yea this is really well designed for sure. Nicely done rollajase.

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Very nice! Looking forward to following along ? love your drawings- what software did you use for that?

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Yea this is really well designed for sure. Nicely done rollajase.

Thanks :), I'm glad you think so.

 

Looks good! Excited to see what's to come

Thank you very much :).

 

Very nice! Looking forward to following along love your drawings- what software did you use for that?

Thanks mate :). The program I used is called 'Sketchup', It was a Google piece of software but I don't think they have anything to do with it any more. Pretty easy to grasp and use with a huge online community. They even have a model warehouse so you can download and insert real 1:1 scale models into your design. The Skimmer, pump and doser in my models I downloaded and imported so I could be sure of my measurements and size. Pretty versatile for a free piece of software, only a 100MB download also which is fantastic :).

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Thanks :), I'm glad you think so.

 

 

Thank you very much :).

 

 

Thanks mate :). The program I used is called 'Sketchup', It was a Google piece of software but I don't think they have anything to do with it any more. Pretty easy to grasp and use with a huge online community. They even have a model warehouse so you can download and insert real 1:1 scale models into your design. The Skimmer, pump and doser in my models I downloaded and imported so I could be sure of my measurements and size. Pretty versatile for a free piece of software, only a 100MB download also which is fantastic :).

Absolutely. Well done.

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Following this thread.

 

4x5 and TheDoogan both have all time great tanks in terms of aquascaping and overall build quality/finish. How neat their builds look is a constant motivation for myself to clean my glass and hide my equipment >_>

 

Look forward to it

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Following this thread.

 

4x5 and TheDoogan both have all time great tanks in terms of aquascaping and overall build quality/finish. How neat their builds look is a constant motivation for myself to clean my glass and hide my equipment >_>

 

Look forward to it

Thank you :). Hiding equipment can always be a challenge but a well though out sump can really help with making things easily accessible for maintenance while keeping the equipment neat and tidy. I'm going to try and keep as much out of the display as possible, I should get away with only the wave makers, everything else will remain in the sump. The aquascape is something I have thought of a lot but have not made a decision on yet but I do agree this is plays a big part is what makes 4x5's and thedoogans' reefs great.

 

 

In other news, I should be picking up the wood I need to make the frame of the stand this weekend! I'm going to see if the hardware store can cut everything to size for me so I just need to drive there and collect it. May cost me a bit extra but the cheapest mitre saw I can find is about $70 odd dollars and would rather not spend the money if I don't have to. I asked dad to give me a hand with collecting the wood (no way it is going to fit in my car lol) and all he knows is I am making a new aquarium stand, he will get a shock when the tank arrives haha.

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Woah! Just saw this and I'm excited to see this new build. Seems like a great plan. I totally understand building a tank on a budget and then replacing equipment multiple times and still not being happy with the overall system. That exact feeling is what made me start over with my 40B a couple months back. Good luck and I'll be following!

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Woah! Just saw this and I'm excited to see this new build. Seems like a great plan. I totally understand building a tank on a budget and then replacing equipment multiple times and still not being happy with the overall system. That exact feeling is what made me start over with my 40B a couple months back. Good luck and I'll be following!

Thanks Felicia :), I can't wait to see how it turns out also. I typically don't like working with a tight budget and my original build stretched things a little more then I should have allowed. I definitely will rectify all of what I believe are the short comings with my original system which should help tidy everything up nicely (visually) and give an easier to manage system overall.

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Easier to manage is definitely the way to go! :)

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Easier to manage is definitely the way to go! :)

Exactly, the more I can engage auto pilot the better :).

 

 

Dad did some investigating for me in regards to the wood I need for the stand. Our local hardware store (which we have an account with for farm goods) will charge me $1.20 per meter for the wood and cut it for me free of charge. I should be able to get all the structural pine needed for the stand for less than $30.00 :). Depending what the wood looks like (rippled or smooth) I may pick up some nice Baltic pine to for the base of the stand as it will be visible under the cladding. This just saves me having to pile on the filler to make it all look nice. I am hoping to get the majority of the frame finished Saturday, having the wood cut to length for me will be a big time saver seeing as I only have a hand saw at my disposal.

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do you have bondo or similar there? bondo makes any wood working project where you paint it amazingly easy with the help of a power sander. Hell i had zero wood working experience prior to making my stand... I would have done a few things different like lose the cleats and opt for a kreg jig for the frame but aside from that finishing of it was the easiest part imo.

 

Little advice on cord management in the stand is to get some wire duct from like automationdirect it'll hide excess wire and keep your wire going to the places it needs in nice straight lines.

 

If you are painting it I can't recommend sherwin williams pre cat epoxy industrial grade stuff enough. It's used in doorframes so you know it can take a beating and goes on buttery smooth.

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do you have bondo or similar there? bondo makes any wood working project where you paint it amazingly easy with the help of a power sander. Hell i had zero wood working experience prior to making my stand... I would have done a few things different like lose the cleats and opt for a kreg jig for the frame but aside from that finishing of it was the easiest part imo.

 

Little advice on cord management in the stand is to get some wire duct from like automationdirect it'll hide excess wire and keep your wire going to the places it needs in nice straight lines.

 

If you are painting it I can't recommend sherwin williams pre cat epoxy industrial grade stuff enough. It's used in doorframes so you know it can take a beating and goes on buttery smooth.

We don't have Bondo branded filler but I can get the 3M stuff, got a large tin of it in the shed actually. Never thought of using it on the wood though (I already picked up some wood filler to cover screw heads etc.) so I might give that a try instead. I've got an orbit sander which will make short work of smoothing the filler out.

 

For cable management I was going to go down a similar route as I did with my current stand. I will be using 19" 1RU server rack cable guides. They are made of hard plastic with lots of notches to allow cables to enter and leave the channel. They also have a lid to cover all the cables up. In essence it is very similar to what you suggested, I can just get these real cheap through work and can cut them to size if need be.

 

I originally considering a 2pac finish on my cladding but have opted to go with a high gloss wall paint due to cost (can always repaint the cladding mater, that's simple), I will consider the epoxy finish though, sounds like a good idea particularly for the inside of the stand.

 

Following along! :)

Thanks, I appreciate it :).

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:o:D:haha:omgomgomg:naughtydance:

 

Super stoked for you buddy!

 

Your Sketchup skills are SIK! You put a buttload of work into that. Especially digging the sump organization. I'm such a fan of super clean builds.

 

Truly dream dims on the tank. Very excited to watch this tank get off the ground. Take it slow and enjoy every part of it. Second tank is all about redemption tank. Tweak and redo all the things that irked us from our first go around.

 

With your skills. I have no doubt it will be a stunner bud. Congrats cheers.gif

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:o:D:haha:omgomgomg:naughtydance:

 

Super stoked for you buddy!

 

Your Sketchup skills are SIK! You put a buttload of work into that. Especially digging the sump organization. I'm such a fan of super clean builds.

 

Truly dream dims on the tank. Very excited to watch this tank get off the ground. Take it slow and enjoy every part of it. Second tank is all about redemption tank. Tweak and redo all the things that irked us from our first go around.

 

With your skills. I have no doubt it will be a stunner bud. Congrats cheers.gif

Thanks buddy :D.

 

The modelling side of things was really easy to pick up, I think in total those models took me about 6-7 hours or so. I had done the majority of the designing and measurements on paper so it was pretty easy when I had to do it all to scale. I'm a very visual person so being able to put it all together like this really helped with making sure it would all fit.

 

I have had these dimensions in mind for quite some time now, I really dig the shallower tanks and these dimensions fit really well with my available space. When I eventually get my own place it will still look modern enough for a newer home and the size isn't huge and isn't tiny so I should be able to fit it anywhere. I plan to really take my time with the stand build to get everything just right. Having access to the sump from 3 sides will really make everything much easier with maintenance. Redemption indeed, I'm going to make sure I don't make stupid mistakes with this one ;).

 

Thanks buddy, yous support means a lot :D.

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This build is super similar to mine! Keep it going man, love the progress so far!

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This build is super similar to mine! Keep it going man, love the progress so far!

Thank you very much :). I'll have to check out your build :).

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