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The Kraken's Lair

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Hello everyone,

I have been in the hobby for some time, but I was forced to tear my last tank since I was out of the country. Now, I am back home and I decided that a home without a reef can't be a proper home( at least for me). So, I opened Sketch Up and drew some ideas. In the end, I decided that 18 gallons would be a perfect choice. I have some equipment from my old tank- the lights and the stand. So, this is my idea probably and I am going to order it at the end of the month. So far, I chose Red Starfish SQ-70 for a skimmer, I have some LED lights made by my LFS and decided to go bare bottom. The livestock is going to be mostly LPS, maybe some SPS, mushrooms, and zoas, maybe a shrimp. I don't think that I can fit some fish in this space. 

I am looking forward to ideas on livestock, aquascape, and anything you can imagine. How many gallons per hour return pump would be sufficient for flow? 

back view.jpg

fron view.jpg

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Christopher Marks

Welcome to the community @TheBlackKraken!


I love DIY all in ones, this is a nice size. Will the display tank be made of glass or acrylic?


I think if it were mine, I'd consider moving the return outlet closer to the water surface. I wonder if there would also be a benefit in Y splitting the return outlet into two outlets, to increase circulation in the display. Balancing out the return flow against your slotted surface skimmer drain is an important consideration as well, you want wide teeth, but not so wide that livestock inadvertently passes through. Sometimes can be tough to get the overflow and return balance just right on custom designs, you might consider building a little notch at the backside of the overflow to hold an acrylic plate to help you adjust the depth of the teeth to your liking later on (and control the water level in the display tank).

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Posted (edited)

Thank you for the warm welcome !@Christopher Marks

Right now, I am 50/50 if I want to glue it myself or order it custom made. If I order it custom made they are definitely making this notch and make the overflow in the right height since they did a perfect job the last time. The tank is going to be glass since nobody is working with acrylic in my country. I am searching for Y-shaped outflow I hope I find one soon. It's not a big deal if I start the tank without and add one later since a have 1-2 wavemakers laying around. Do you have any ideas about what to cover the bare bottom with? I want to make some kind of coral carpet, but I don't want GSP or Xenia. 

Edited by TheBlackKraken
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Christopher Marks

Keep us posted @TheBlackKraken!


It can be difficult to cover a bare bottom tank with a specific coral, oftentimes they won't cooperate quite how we'd like. If you want to exclude green star polyps and xenia, the only other one that comes to mind is Cyphastrea corals, they are a hardy encrusting SPS coral that can be found in a number of different colors.

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Finally a little update on my tank. Today, I received the tank and I started going through my old stuff. Turns out that a member of my beloved family threw away my LED fixture. I have been thinking of a cheap DIY project, but I thought that I will have more time to work on it. My 3D printer is coming tomorrow and I already have some designs for the LED box and I just need to order the electrical parts, but it will be over 2 weeks until they come. So, maybe I am going to start cycling the tank without lights and skimmer( Since I won't be able to put any corals I won't be buying it locally). 

So the plan for the lightning is two be made of two separate smaller fixtures each equipped with 6 x 3watt royal blue LEDs and 3 x 3 watt neutral white LEDs. So the total from them is going to be 54 watts which I think is going to be sufficient for my tank since it is shallow. Here are some pictures from SketchUp:

This is going to be the box in which everything is going to be placed.



I decided to mount it on top of this kind of arc and there is going to be around 20 sm between the surface and the fixtures.



As you can see the top has a hole for a ventilator, so the whole thing doesn't get too hot.



And finally the placement of the LEDs.




I tried to create several aquascapes with the base rock that I have left. They need to be glued together for stability. My personal favourite is the first one.




They are still green, I need to clean them properly, my last tank crashed and I haven't put much effort in cleaning them after this. I can bleach them for a day or two right?

As you can see my stand is white, I am going to spray paint it matte black as well as the LED fixtures. Should I spray paint the bottom of the tank as well since it is going to be BB?


I found a model on Thingiverse for the dual return, so I am going to be printing it in black ABS as well as everything else I print. 





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