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Dominator

Dom's Biocube HQI 29 restore/build

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Well. I was going to hold off for a while on a new tank since I just switched over to my 20h. I got a killer deal on a Biocube 29 off craigslist's list. For the money it could not be passed up. I got the stand/tank/halide light $100. Spent 3-4 hours cleaning it and got it pretty clean. Will need to do some repair on the back wall as the silicon is coming off. No problem. Came with a HQI metal halide lighting. I also need to figure out how to get varnish off the aquarium rim. Looks like they tried to varnish the stand with the tank still on the stand. Oh well. One mans trash is another mans treasure. I'm going to make this something real nice. A little elbow grease and some time has already paid off. 

Anyone know how to remove the varnish off the bottom plastic rim on the tank? Without damaging the plastic itself. 

Stay tuned for more progress. 

 

Here is shots when i picked it up....

 

 

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Here is the tank now after a cleaning....started to fix the varnish on the stand. Person varnished the stand with the tank on it. Have to remove the varnish from the black rim on the bottom. 

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1 minute ago, burtbollinger said:

I'd put in a new bulb...

Actually, this is going to replace my current setup so I am going to use my Prime HD to light this tank. I might make my tank into a freshwater planted system for my step son. 

 

I did light it up, it does buzz a little when it first turns on and the fan does not seem to work anymore. I might just sell it, not sure. 

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Well, was not happy with the varnish on the stand, so I sanded it down and painted it. The paint is Behr Premium matte black. The guy at Home Depot mixed the color from a picture I had. I think he did a pretty good job. Right now I am waiting for my silicon to fully cure (repair to the back wall) and did a second coat on the stand. I sanded down a bit before each coat and waited 24 hours in between. 

 

 

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12 minutes ago, Christopher Marks said:

Nice work on the stand, it looks good @Dominator! What happened with the back wall that you had to fix?

Thanks.....Silicon was coming off on the back wall. I bought some Aqueon black silicon and repaired it. Its stronger than ever before. I used a bit too much, but cleaned it up with a razor. Still trying to get the wall fully clean.....might sand it, but in the water you really can't see it. 

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Also, noticing that my Prime mount was pretty small, I had to remove some of the ribs on the back of my tank. This is the HQI version and it has the MH lighting that came with it. So there are little ribs on the back which is used as bracing for the stock lighting. I had to remove the ribs to fit the Prime mount on the tank. Took a hack saw blade to it and slowly cut them off to give it room. I could only use the blade itself as the handle was giving me issues with hitting the other ribs. 

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Great repairs and modifications, I love seeing this! Siliconing seams always takes so much less than our brains want to apply :lol: 

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Just now, Christopher Marks said:

Great repairs and modifications, I love seeing this! Siliconing seams always takes so much less than our brains want to apply :lol: 

Ain't that the truth....I kept thinking, its not going to be enough over and over...haha...

 

Thanks again. I do LOVE doing it myself. To see what it came from to what it is now, shocked my GF and my friends. 

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Looking forward to the build. I have the same setup that I am currently bring back from just fish to a full reef. I found that the AI Prime fits perfectly inside the hood of the HQI MH fixture. That where mine is. 

 

I just gutted the internals and slipped the Prime inside. I ran the wires through where the MH wiring went and unless you were looking up under the fixture itself you cant tell the difference. I'll take some pics later if you want

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I just saw you post a few nights ago Ralgo with your retro fit. I was going to do that, but I might sell off the light itself to recoup some of my costs. How does it hold up over time inside? Did you drill out some holes in the fixture? 

 

Btw, I also live in Coral Springs. Small world, lived here all my life pretty much. 

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Small world indeed! Been here since '97.  The fixture is holding up just fine. I dont notice any adverse effects from having it.  I originally did it because I didn't already have a mounting option for the light but Its worked out great. good luck witht he build and keep us posted!

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I was thinking of adding a skimmer in the back, do you run a skimmer? Looking for something that fits under the 2 back split covers. Is yours filled atm? 

 

I have been here since 1981, went to elementary-middle-high school here and college in Boca. 

 

Shoot me some pics of your build man, would love to see the final result. 

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Well... a few months back I suffered a setback... called disinterest. I did the bare minimum maintenance for a long time after dealing with an algae outbreak. Now I'm back to good parameters and basically have just live rock, a pair of cleaner shrimp  and a pair of clowns.The only corals in the tank are some polyps that survived and a half dead bubble coral.

 

I had a sump and a Aquaticlife 115 skimmer in it but that's out of commission until I can clean and re-set it up.

 

I recently updated my sand bed and redid my scape but that about it for now. I'm currently looking around for a few cheap corals for a trial run of making the tank a reef again

 

Here's my current scape. I tried to do a shelf section with sand on top. The pic was taken the same night I changed it. I'll upload some new ones tonight

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Nice, your sand does look nice and clean =) I just cleaned mine in my current tank as well, just a quick vacuum of the sand bed, getting it ready for the move. 

 

I might have a small frag of GSP you can have, normally a little breaks off when i move my rock. I will probably move everything tomorrow or sunday. Ill let you know and you are more than welcome to have a piece to test. 

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Awesome! Thanks man. PMing you my contact info.

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Did the skimmer fit under the split back covers? Like that scape too. I have the same pretty much in terms of fish, but 1 yellow accessor as well. 

 

 

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I had a little leaking from the back wall into the display tank. I drained it and applied some more silicon. This was just in the back wall on the return side. Just a pin hole leak. I was able to see it cause I put salt water in the display side and fresh water in the back. This gave it a visual effect that was easy to see where it was coming from. 

 

However, no outside leaking on the tank at all. I got the tank about half way full. Once the silicon is cured, will do a final leak check with the tank completely full. This will also give me more time for my paint on my stand to dry. 

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On 8/4/2017 at 5:00 PM, Dominator said:

Did the skimmer fit under the split back covers? Like that scape too. I have the same pretty much in terms of fish, but 1 yellow accessor as well. 

 

 

Actually I cant remember lol. Ive had it in a sump for the longest while. I'll be cleaning it up and setting it up tomorrow in the back chamber so I'll let you know then.

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I feel like an impatient little kid waiting for the silicon to cure. I setup a fan blowing inside of the tank to help speed up the process a bit. Well, probably not, but its making me feel that way so its all good....hahah... I only patched a pin hole, so it will not be a full 3-4 days. Again, this is good thing. It allows the thick silicon to cure and my paint to cure on my stand. I just need to get this setup soon. I leave in 2 weeks and will be gone a week, maybe longer. I want to get this up and running, also be able to work out the kinks before I leave. 

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Operation repair silicon is in effect. Silicon is drying now. Went over everything to just be safe and have to wait for it to dry anyway. I am just afraid it will leak into the tank from chamber 2 or 3 into the display portion and force my ATO to keep filling. I am pretty sure this will hold. Please excuse the lighting on the silicon , its starting to level out a bit and does not look as bumpy

 

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On 8/4/2017 at 5:00 PM, Dominator said:

Did the skimmer fit under the split back covers? Like that scape too. I have the same pretty much in terms of fish, but 1 yellow accessor as well. 

 

 

 

22 hours ago, Ralgo said:

Actually I cant remember lol. Ive had it in a sump for the longest while. I'll be cleaning it up and setting it up tomorrow in the back chamber so I'll let you know then.

I was able to get it cleaned and set up today. It fits almost perfectly.

 

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The cover doesn't go down all the way. just a little bit raised

 

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AWESOME....I just watched a video on it too. Thank you very much. 

 

Its almost 24h since my repair, going to wait till tomorrow and leak test again. 

 

Did it effect the water levels in the tank at all?

 

Now I have to find one as well....haha...

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Got the skimmer coming from another member. So I am going to maybe get a media basket, but considering I have to cut the back wall, I am not sure I want to go that route. 

 

Got the tank tank on the stand today and it matches perfect. I am very happy I decided to paint it. 

 

I filled up the back chamber and had a small drop from chamber 3 into the display. I stripped the silicon in that area and re sealed.

 

So another day or so. Hoping this is the last leak. Next will be another leak test and finally filled it up fully and let it run for a day. 

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