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crashburnoveride

CBO's 15g softy build

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crashburnoveride

Hello nano folks. About 5 years ago I was on this forum building a 20g tall nano. I ended up cracking the glass, and stopped the project. Every year when winter rolls around I have fought the urge to start another reef tank. This year I finally gave in. 

 

The plan is to have a relatively low maintenance soft coral tank with maybe 1 or 2 fish. Going to try to do 1gal weekly water changes at first and as it matures maybe 1 gal bi weekly.

 

I got a like new 15g tank locally. Drilled it for a corner overflow. The overflow is durso. Waiting for my black acrylic to show up so I can make the overflow section. This will have a 10g sump to hold all the equipment. I want a clean beautiful display without any powerheads and other distractions. The sump will hold the aquatic Life mini skimmer I have purchased, and have a chaeto refugium. Planning to use a par 38 led bulb down there. 

 

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I'm currently thinking about how to implement mechanical filtration into the sump. Originally was gonna do socks, but the cleaning process and honestly at like 8 or so bucks a piece I was deterred. My new thought is using dish scrubber pads. 1799226603_Screenshot_20201230-082310_AmazonShopping.thumb.jpg.ee70baa703ed08524ff6478ee2c86758.jpg

Something like these. I can have water flow through these right after the sump supply line, and before the skimmer. I will be posting more progress and have lots of questions I'm sure so stay tuned! 

 

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TatorTaco

Looks like a fun build.  I would avoid those sponges like the plague.  Most hobbyist use filter floss (pillow stuffing) since it captures the crud efficiently and just toss it out every couple days.  

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crashburnoveride
5 minutes ago, TatorTaco said:

Looks like a fun build.  I would avoid those sponges like the plague.  Most hobbyist use filter floss (pillow stuffing) since it captures the crud efficiently and just toss it out every couple days.  

I just stumbled upon that! Im still brainstorming the mechanical filtration part of the sump. Do you use floss in your sump?

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crashburnoveride

Ok, so for my sump mechanical filtration I'm pretty sure now I'll be using filter floss in a cup now. Seems like the easiest option. I just got a delivery. It's so tiny! 😁

 

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I have decided to make my overflow area a bit larger to fit an emergency overflow. I was hesitant to drill another hole as I've shattered a 55g before but I think that was tempured. 🤷‍♂️ A coworker of mine offered me a free 29g biocube without lid just last night. I wish I'd known that before I got this going, but it can be plan B if this cracks. But this project is unique as the stand is from my fathers old childhood dresser set that I also used throughout my childhood. Im about to pickup my black acrylic and will try two 45° bends instead of a 90° to save some display water volume and I guess be a bit different. 

 

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Thats all for now. Off to pickup the acrylic!!

 

-CBO

 

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crashburnoveride

Happy new year!! 🥳🎉

The bending turned out pretty good!

 

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Can anyone reccomend the size of return pump I would need that provides adequate flow for a softy tank? And does anyone on here use the SCWD WaveMaker? 

 

-CBO 

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crashburnoveride

Should I take the back off of the sump area? I don't want this fiber board to absorb water....

 

20210104_161805.thumb.jpg.d20a7c8897eb7e108f4e966f8a17f926.jpg

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crashburnoveride

Due to the overwhelming response from you all I decided to remove the back. It will make plumbing easier. I put on a board at the bottom and painted it. 

 

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One thing im currently thinking about is my return pump. I'm trying to do this on a small budget, but am also getting paranoid about my return pump failing and my heaters being down in the sump. Eventually I'll have 2 return pumps running all the time for redundancy. And I might think a bit differently, but am contemplating putting one heater in sump and one in the display, but behind a black pvc pipe cut in half with holes or slits in it. That way if the pump fails things stay warm, and it doesn't appear that equipment is in the tank. 🤔

 

I bought this scwd thing cuz 5 years ago I thought it was cool. 

 

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It is cool, but I realized it also robs the pump of some efficiency. 

 

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Not a lot, but with 3ft from bottom of the sump to top of the display, plus 2 elbows on each of the 2 outputs from the sqwd... seems like I'll be losing a lot. Which means spending more on a powerful pump. Then a spare... I may just end up returning the scwd. Idk! 

 

-CBO

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ReefCap

I wouldn’t recommend the heater in the display I don’t think you’re plan of PVC with holes around it will provide enough flow for it to do anything. Having redundancies is always great and keeping both heaters in the sump is just fine. I think taking the back off the stand was the right move. It will allow more air exchange and will keep PH more stable.

 

Do you have enough room in the sump for 2 return pumps? And will your pluming be able to handle double the flow? Just things I would look at.

 

Cant wait to see it filled up I’ll be following along!

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crashburnoveride
11 hours ago, ReefCap said:

Cant wait to see it filled up I’ll be following along!

Thank you for the comment! I have decided to return the SCWD as I can pay for an adequate return pump with that money, and deal with less head pressure. Perhaps I'll allow one nano koralia to be in the tank for flow. 

 

I have dry rock currently in a bleach bath which will be done in 4 more days and then my goal is to have a clownfish in the tank the next weekend. So soon things will be up and running!

 

-CBO

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crashburnoveride

Here's the dry rock I got off of somebody locally. Fealt like 50lbs and gave him $20. 

 

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Here's the emergency overflow done. Tight fit in the overflow area, but glad I did it. Do not wanna ruin my oak floors! 

 

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Current fts with t5s on.

 

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-CBO

 

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ReefCap

I wouldn’t hold your breath on getting fish in their in a week. Especially with the rock now being sterile. I would look at getting Fritz Zyme Turbo start 900 to get bacteria in the rock again.

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crashburnoveride
16 minutes ago, ReefCap said:

I wouldn’t hold your breath on getting fish in their in a week. Especially with the rock now being sterile. I would look at getting Fritz Zyme Turbo start 900 to get bacteria in the rock again.

I bought Dr. Tims one and only. Apparently you add this and a hardy fish and its all good. 104565_MAIN._AC_SL1500_V1608135147_.thumb.jpg.39c6fb457cfa19d5e756dd68a2034000.jpg

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crashburnoveride

Hello hello 👋 I have decided to change up my drain situation. It was just too crowded and I wasn't a fan the more that I thought about it. I'm going to switch them around so the emergency will just be a straight down tube and the durso will go through the back like this. 

 

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The only thing I don't like about this is that it will stick out the back further. Honestly I wish I'd researched and implemented the bean animal setup, but before I knew much about it I'd already drilled the tank. Oh well.. I ordered 2 new 1" bulkheads but this time they're double threaded. These ones I have are slip and when you use pvc cement on them they melt slightly. Anyways, thought I'd post this little update! 

 

-CBO 

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tk-it-ez

Interesting build. how are you planning to do the return from the sump.?

 

The main thing i like about reefing is tinkering with stuff to make things work. 👍

 

 

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crashburnoveride
12 minutes ago, tk-it-ez said:

Interesting build. how are you planning to do the return from the sump.?

I'm gonna be using these as a dual pump return with 1/2" flexible line tubing. At least that's the current plan. One thing I love about this nano life is that the equipment we can get by with is astronomically cheaper!! 

 

Screenshot_20210106-194015_Chrome.thumb.jpg.3ec4f459afdd6b03c4ce653863c3552f.jpg

 

-CBO

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Lypto
On 1/5/2021 at 2:07 PM, crashburnoveride said:

I bought Dr. Tims one and only. Apparently you add this and a hardy fish and its all good. 104565_MAIN._AC_SL1500_V1608135147_.thumb.jpg.39c6fb457cfa19d5e756dd68a2034000.jpg

Welcome back to reefing! I just want to give some friendly advice that while It's good to add this, your tank will still cycle and it'll be very hard on the fish and not any better than fishless cycling. Fishless cycling has been the way to go for me and it's what I'd recommend. I'm sure there's many good guides for it. Reef keeping and fish keeping takes time. Best of luck in your tank!

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crashburnoveride

Calculating flow. 💧 My 2 sump return pumps after head pressure will pump 55gph each. My nano koralia is listed at 240gph. Giving me a total of 350gph flow rate through the display. Sufficient? 

 

 

 

 

 

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crashburnoveride

Heyooo. I got my threaded bulkheads late this evening. Ran to home depot. They didn't have the piece I wanted. A 1" T with the bottom connection a male threaded. Honestly I dont think its even a thing. So I had to settle. And I hate it. Sticks out to far pushing the tank away from the wall.

 

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So I think I like this new idea. 90 out of the bulkhead to the side then T fitting and down. I will have to do a few turns to line it back up into the sump, but I'm much happier with this so far.

 

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Just need a threaded 90 now so I gotta go back to HD. 😅 I put in an order at BRS today for some plumbing pieces for inside the overflow, salt mix, and return pump. My rock is out of the bleach water and drying. Close to aquascape time!

 

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-CBO

 

 

 

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ajmckay

Nice thread - sorry it hasn't gotten a lot of responses.  In time I guess. 

 

Nice score on the local dry rock!  It's one of the larger expenses in setting up a tank so you saved a lot there. 

 

So I really wish I would have seen this a few weeks ago.  Your build doesn't look too different from my own (link in signature).  Here are my thoughts:

 

1) I realize you just ordered a QO1200 return.  I used that same pump for quite some time.  I purchased it in 2009 I believe and it's currently in my mixing bucket to this day.   If at all possible I would consider returning the QO1200 and getting a DC pump.  Something like the Jebao/Jecod DCS-1200 is only a little bit more and is quieter and adjustable flow too. Right now you can find it for $55.  I've had a Jebao DC pump for over 5 years and it's been great. Another benefit of DC pumps is you can run it off a battery in the event of a power outage.

 

1-B) on the topic of pumps I think if you wanted to you could get away with only using the return pump for flow, but depending on what corals you want to keep that could be a limiting factor.  Koralias are cheap and there are a bunch of newer even tinier pumps on the market!  Search the "Hygger mini powerhead with controller"!  It's super tiny. 

 

2) Take one of those rocks and smash it up with a hammer or a driveway.  The small pieces of rubble will help hide seams between rocks if you wedge them between.  For that matter don't be afraid to take a hammer to any of the pieces. When putting together your scape consider getting some Cyanoacrylate gel and epoxy putty.  BRS actually has some great videos on how to make really nice looking rock scapes by gluing pieces together.

 

3) I run a herbie overflow design (a primary and backup out the back panel).  It was scary drilling 2 holes out the back and so close to each other!  But it's held up for 10 years so far.  My opinion on overflows is to set it and forget it.  To that end I actually like the first way you had it - with some modifications.  If you look at page 6 of my tank thread (sig) you'll see that I used slip x slip bulkheads and just cut back the threads enough to stick about 1/4" of a PVC elbow in there.  I opted to glue everything together because I didn't want to deal with threaded things leaking.  Also tightening those down will cause stress with the glass. One thing I probably would have done to make alignment a little easier though would be to use some PVC unions to allow for some rotational movement (which looks like you have one sitting on the floor).  

 

4) For heating I think using two isn't a bad idea, but even then you're still relying on a cheap heater thermostat.  Another equally important piece of equipment is a heater controller.  They're super cheap since hydroponics have taken off.  Basically you set the heater to a temp at or slightly above where you would operate your tank normally and then use the controller to turn the heater on/off.

 

5) Consider getting an ATO.  Since you seem to be handy with DIY this is the one I made 

Good luck!

 

 

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crashburnoveride

Aj, thanks for the reply. That DC pump is a good reccomendation. It says its 24volt right? So would you need to have 2 car batteries in series somewhere for the backup power? That hygger looks pretty awesome. I may have to get one down the road. I actually have a koralia nano from 8+ years ago I found in my fishtank junk. The red clip that attached the magnet/suction cup is broken. And the cups are missing. Im gonna try to glue it to a magnet thats been plastidipped and see how that works. Anything to save a buck!! 😆 (or a pound) I know I set out on a no powerheads journey, but am realizing one may be necessary and if I put it on the overflow side it won't detract too much. 

 

I'm definitely gonna check out your ato thread. Thats on my list for sure. I also stumbled upon reefberry pi. I'm probably going to mess with that as well. 🤓 I was rifling through your threads and saw some diy LED business. I need to research but if I can create a project and do something cheaper I'm always game. How'd it turn out?

 

-CBO

 

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crashburnoveride

Fealt the need to fortify the stand more. Removing the back panel sort of weakened it structurally. I added more to the back while still leaving an opening for plumbing/cords. 

 

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Then I replaced the front drawer panel with a bigger piece that screws in to further solidify things. I discovered the old drawer face was barely holding on with wood glue.

 

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So then I got to play with some rock. 

 

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I broke some up into smaller pieces. I should be able to use whats in this bucket with larger pieces in the display and the rubble from hammering in the refugium. Giving me about 17lbs. 

 

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And this is what I still have left that I probably won't be using. It's a lot. 

 

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ajmckay

Stand is looking nice.  Black looks good.   Also the rock looks like it's coming along nicely. 

14 hours ago, crashburnoveride said:

Aj, thanks for the reply. That DC pump is a good reccomendation. It says its 24volt right? So would you need to have 2 car batteries in series somewhere for the backup power? That hygger looks pretty awesome. I may have to get one down the road. I actually have a koralia nano from 8+ years ago I found in my fishtank junk. The red clip that attached the magnet/suction cup is broken. And the cups are missing. Im gonna try to glue it to a magnet thats been plastidipped and see how that works. Anything to save a buck!! 😆 (or a pound) I know I set out on a no powerheads journey, but am realizing one may be necessary and if I put it on the overflow side it won't detract too much. 

 

I'm definitely gonna check out your ato thread. Thats on my list for sure. I also stumbled upon reefberry pi. I'm probably going to mess with that as well. 🤓 I was rifling through your threads and saw some diy LED business. I need to research but if I can create a project and do something cheaper I'm always game. How'd it turn out?

 

-CBO

 

  

Yeah I believe that's how you would set them up.  I was able to get some small 12v batteries out of razor scooters. The DCP-2500 is another possibility. 

 

The Koralia nano should work well!  I had one that I think I got for free but was missing the inside magnet so I epoxied it to a magfloat.  Worked. 

 

The ATO is a must-have IMO.  Makes like so much easier and also results in much more stable water parameters which is good for the inhabitants as well as helping make sure algae doesn't take over your tank.  I totally intended to build some type of open source reef controller - but ultimately decided that a $20 commercially available heater controller, not-smart ATO circuit, and simple LED controller pretty much took care of me.  Of course the main benefit of having a reef controller would be the ability to monitor things remote - so I could see myself going that route at some point when I have more time.  

 

As for the LEDs - Still rockin 'em 😎   I've made some updates over the years - like swapping out the 3w CREE white LEDs for 10w bridgelux vero, and adding some lime, but the cheap controller still works.  The base of the whole thing is a bad-ass 8.4" x 24" t-slot aluminum heatsink I got from a place called Heatsink USA.  I think I'm going to keep that thing until I die as I don't really see it for sale anymore.  I don't know what the total wattage is, but even without a fan the heatsink stays at room temp. Here's the current layout - I couldn't be happier with the light.  It's awesome. Cost between $350 and $400 but that was with the monster heatsink.  Note that years ago good LED lights weren't commercially available at a good price.   For $400 now you can buy a really nice LED unit with a phone app and stuff - but to light a tank wider than 24" you're still looking at buying two.   So if you're into tinkering with LEDs and stuff I would certainly recommend it because it's cheaper, more fun, and it feels good to build something yourself.   

 

 

 

 

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TatorTaco

Lessons I've learned the hard way that I hope you consider:

 

Definitely get an ATO.  This makes the hobby so much easier. 

 

Definitely get a temperature controller.  This is the one I got and it works like a charm.    

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geekreef_05

very cool project, ive always wanted a bottom-drilled tank. 

 

If you havent bought filter floss yet, check this out. Super cheap and a single roll seems to last years. Ive used it alot,  

https://www.amazon.ca/Seapora-4040-Filter-Floss-Aquarium/dp/B0765BK73V/ref=sr_1_5?crid=1C9BTT5L17DXX&dchild=1&keywords=filter+floss+aquarium&qid=1610392203&sprefix=filter+floss+%2Caps%2C170&sr=8-5

 

 

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Firefish15
2 hours ago, TatorTaco said:

Definitely get a temperature controller.  This is the one I got and it works like a charm.

How’s that one been working @TatorTaco? Does the probe rust at all?

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