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ReefWaters
08/28/2007, 08:44 PM
I started my first reef tank when I was 15. It was a mixed reef with a ton of live rock, VHO lighting, and a wet dry tower. It did okay for a while but was never anything special. I broke it down when I went off to college but never lost the bug. I started reading everything I could find (a little after the fact :D), and started looking at Reef Central and Reef Keeping Magazine almost every day. I finally felt that I had enough knowledge to get back into the game so I started up a 50 gallon cube four years ago and designed it to be sps dominated. Here's the thread to my 50 cube. (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=789594&highlight=pics+of+my+cube) This tank was always meant to be a “practice tank” for something bigger and nicer. Which leads us to this thread….

I’ve been working on this project for almost a year now. Its been going really slowly so I haven’t wanted to start a thread. Its finally nearing completion so I figured I would start posting some pics. But I will warn you, its probably going to be a few more months before any water goes in the system. I still have a lot to do and I have very little time lately because of work. That’s actually a good thing though. Okay, enough chat

The Basics

Display - 220 gallons
- 60 x 48 x 20
- External Overflow
- Made by Aquarium Obsessed

Refugium
- ~ 90 Gallons
- 60 x 20 x 18
- This will be located higher than the display tank and the prop tank and will drain directly into these two tanks.
- 2 x 250 watt MH in Luminarc reflectors, IceCap ballasts
- 6 or 8, 60 inch, 140 watt VHO’s on IceCap ballasts

Propagation Tank
- ~ 60 Gallons
- 60 x 20 x 13
- 2 x 175 watt MH on Reef Fanatic electronic ballasts.
- 2 x 48 inch, 110 watt VHO actinics

Primary Sump
- 40 Gallons

Water Change Sump
- 55 Gallons
- This tank will run parallel to the main sump. I will be able to cut it off, change the water, and turn it back on, slowly adding the new water back into the system and avoiding having to mix trash cans full of new water.

Secondary Sump
- 20 Long
- This sump will have much easier access than the main sump. All of my probes will be located in this sump, as well as the reactor supplies and effluents, and the skimmer supply and drain.

Skimmer
- Deltec AP702
- Feed pump – PanWorld 100PX
Ca Reactor - Barr Aquatics CR 1200
Kalk Reactor - Precision Marine KR620
Display Return Pump – Iwaki MD 40RLT
Prop Tank/Fuge Return Pump – PanWorld 100PX
Circulation - All circulation in the display will be provided by EcoTech Marine VorTech Propeller Pumps. I’ll probably start with the two I have and add two more in time.

Control – Im going to start out using the AquaController Jr that is running my 50 cube. I am planning on upgrading the computer to the AC III or III Pro.

Temperature Control – I am going to have several heaters throughout the different tanks of the system. The fish room air temperature will be controlled by a 12400 BTU mini split air conditioner. I’m hoping (crossing my fingers) that the A/C will be able to keep the tanks temperature from going too high and will keep me from having to buy a chiller. The mini split is a heater as well.

ReefWaters
08/28/2007, 08:47 PM
Well, that’s enough of that. Now for what everyone has skimmed over my babbling to get to….the pictures.

Ive always dreamed of having an in-wall tank. The only place in my house that would allow this, was the wall between my living room and my sun room. This actually turned out to be perfect. First off though, the sun room had to be gutted and completely remodeled. I replaced all the windows, insulated the walls, and replaced the sheetrock.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PA082431.jpg

I took the opportunity to add a floor drain and a utility sink to the room. As well as 3 new circuits and plenty of outlets.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1163033.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1163034.jpg

And why redo just one room….when you can over extend yourself and redo the rest of the house….

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PB202644.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1173037.jpg

ReefWaters
08/28/2007, 08:48 PM
The sun room was an addition to the original house. It was originally just a screen porch. Sometime, I think in the 60’s, the porch was framed in and windows were added. I had to remove a window and completely reframe the wall in order to create the tank opening.

From the living room.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PA262511.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PB192627.jpg

From the fish room.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PB192628.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PA262502.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PA262505.jpg

Plumbing for the mini split air conditioner. Above the display tank.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/PB192633.jpg

The finished product from the living room.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P2043082.jpg

ReefWaters
08/28/2007, 08:49 PM
The tank arrived last Tuesday. I had procrastinated on finishing the stand, so it sat in my driveway all last week while I built and painted the stand.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P8224032.jpg

Moving day! Sunday, August 28, 2007.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P8264039.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P8284044.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P8284051.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P8284041.jpg

ReefWaters
08/28/2007, 08:51 PM
Here’s a SketchUp of the fish room layout. Ive already figured out the plumbing but there is very little chance that Im going to draw it in. It just takes too long. This helped me a lot to get the feel for the room….before I started handing out credit card numbers.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/1.jpg

jnarowe
08/28/2007, 09:18 PM
WOw...it's taking a while but the results are stellar. What a sweet tank! and the viewing room is really nice. I like the color a lot. Well, the brown anyway! :lol:

It's interesting that you put the AC unit right over the tank. I wonder how that will work and if there will be any conflicts with equipment and heat etc.

So nice to have a floor drain...that's one thing i am missing in my tank room.

fishdoc11
08/28/2007, 09:27 PM
Wow! That's a bunch of work!
Congrats on getting to this point....it looks very nice:D
Very nice size/layout on the tank as well.
Chris

clamdigr
08/28/2007, 09:55 PM
Looks great! Can't wait to see this progress. I like the size of the tank and the external overflow is cool. The view from the family looks first class.

ReefWaters
08/28/2007, 09:59 PM
Thanks guys. I started thinking about this tank probably 2 and half years ago. I physically started working on it a year ago. Im glad to see it shows.

The A/C has louvers and a flap to direct the air flow. You cant see it, but there is also a 52 inch outdoor fan in the center of the room. Im hoping there will be a no problem with air flow in the room.

Lunchbucket
08/28/2007, 10:09 PM
DANG NICE BUILD! Can't wait to see it finish up!

I'm "working" (haven't done crap) on my 170gal cube (48x48x20") too. I think it will be like yours a LONG time in the making :D

Lunchbucket

hawaiianwargod
08/28/2007, 11:25 PM
That's a heck of a project! I love it!!! Very impressive I should say!

melev
08/29/2007, 02:13 AM
You are doing a beautiful job, and I love the look of that tank. Nice colors, new flooring... you'll love this setup once it is up and running.

You may find the need for a drip tray under the A/C unit, to catch salt creep mainly. I'm not familiar with that particular type of unit though.

Your sketch-up is sweet. I need to take the time to take a look at that at some point.

ReefingBuddha
08/29/2007, 04:28 AM
Nicely done bud, glad to see you used that sketchup advice well, very nice.

You pulled a 180 on the viewing room, it looks really nice man, congrats on a job well done thus far.

And of course that tank looks AWESOME. Can't wait to get mine as its almost the same size. Looking forward to what comes next, keep us posted.

Bax
08/29/2007, 05:16 AM
The depth of the tank will be very nice from the viewing side! Really great build!

BeanAnimal
08/29/2007, 05:54 AM
That looks wonderful. I am glad evreything is coming together.

Wazzel
08/29/2007, 06:42 AM
You may want to consider putting some cross bracing on your stand. Structurally it is not a good idea to not have cross bracing when supporting somthing heavy.

Nice work.

i2ik
08/29/2007, 07:01 AM
I can already see that your tank will be a wicked one! Good job on it! Looking foward for any updates :)

adddo
08/29/2007, 07:04 AM
Wow, very nice job sofar, cant wait to see more progress on this one! Good job and keep updating us!

ReefWaters
08/29/2007, 07:26 AM
Thank you again everyone! I REALLY appreciate the props.

The only big thing standing in my way right now is what to use for my fuge and prop tanks. They are both going on the white, aluminum, powder coated rack, behind the display. The fuge will be on top, and the prop tank in the middle. I cant seem to find a standard tank with a 60" length (the length of the stand). The stand is also 20 inches wide, which is not standard. I am debating on whether I want to build my own tanks, or order them custom. Any thoughts? Either way, I need to get off the pot.

Once these are in place, its just a matter of putting it all together, filling it, and moving everything over from the cube.

jnarowe
08/29/2007, 09:33 AM
If you have the time, build them yourself. If not, find a starving acrylic guy! :D

russ49merc
08/29/2007, 10:57 AM
I like the a/c unit above the tank I use those in server rooms but very good idea.

trueblackpercula
08/29/2007, 06:08 PM
very nice please keep posting. Man thats a lot of work but it will be worth it.
Michael

ReefWaters
08/29/2007, 08:55 PM
Here's the plumbing layout. I've never run a secondary sump the way I'm trying to do it. I don't believe there are any missing components or problems with the design though. The only tank that should change its water level due to evaporation is the main sump. Every other tank should fill to its respective overflow.

Please let me know if anyone has any questions or see any problems with the design.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/Untitled-1copy.jpg

jnarowe
08/29/2007, 10:03 PM
Looks good. Why don't you gravity feed the skimmer from the display? Then you could cut out a feed pump right?

Your drawing is nice for sure but why the secondary sump as a separate unit? Seems like you have an extra return pump when you don't need it. I have two sumps as well. The display overflows into the inbound sump and skimmer. Then the water travels through two valved lines to the outbound sump, while the skimmer also feeds to the outbound sump. Then the return pump goes to a manifold that feeds 4 lines to the display, 1 line to my reactors, and 1 line to the fuge, which overflows into the display.

Because I have used flexible PVC, I can take either sump offline for an extended period for replacement, cleaning etc. without stopping the water processing flow. Just some thoughts for you to consider. :)

melev
08/29/2007, 10:24 PM
The only thing that stands out to me now as well as before is the 40g main sump. I think it is too small.

Try to determine the surface area of every vessel, assuming each one will drain only 1" worth of water. Will the main sump hold all that water in the event of a power outage? If it will, then you're set.

If it was me, I would make the main sump huge. Just eliminate the water change vessel. Turn off the external pumps and let all the water collect in that main sump. Pump it out and replace it with new ly aged saltwater. It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes, then restart the pumps.

ssbreef
08/29/2007, 10:33 PM
Looks GREAT! How much flow are you going to be putting through the tank? Turnover?

RRodrigues
08/30/2007, 02:02 AM
Very nice. How thick is the glass used in that cube tank?

eastcoaster1
08/30/2007, 05:13 AM
Nice, well thought out system.

As far as the plumbing goes...something about the split overflow drains doesn't seem right to me. I'm pretty sure the return pump needs to be feed with the same amount of water that it's pumping into the tank. If the overflows go directly into the sump with the pump then it's a nice self-regulating system. Once you split the overflows I think you will run into problems balancing the water flow between the tank and the main sump.

jnarowe
08/30/2007, 07:14 AM
Yeah, and Marc is right about sump size. I have two 100g sumps which I allow to be half full, giving me the ability to absorb all the water in the overflow, plumbing etc. during a power outage, as well as fully cover me if my skimmer explodes again. I think you are making it more complicated than it needs to be, and possibly introducing an element of risk.

ReefWaters
08/30/2007, 09:54 PM
I'll just quote the questions and respond in blue.


<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10664892#post10664892 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
Why don't you gravity feed the skimmer from the display? Then you could cut out a feed pump right?
I could try it. But Im concerned I will not have enough through put that way. I also want to have as few pipes going back and forth across the room as possible.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10664892#post10664892 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
Your drawing is nice for sure but why the secondary sump as a separate unit? Seems like you have an extra return pump when you don't need it.
Im trying to avoid/change everything about my current system that annoys me. And one of the biggest things that annoys me right now is how hard it is to get my hands in the sump in order to clean probes, remove pumps or heaters, or ANYTHING else that might need to be done in the sump. The location of the “main” sump in the new system reminds me too much of my current sump. So Im hoping to fix this by having the “secondary” sump up higher, close to the sink, and right next to where all of the equipment is going to be. This way, I can add supplements easily, get my hands anywhere in the sump easily, and keep a close eye on the business end of the tank all in one spot. And I wont have to get on my hands and knees and crawl under the stand to do so.

As for the extra return pump, I would personally rather have 2 small pumps than one large one. This way, there are less, smaller, pipes going everywhere, and if I need to remove a pump from the system for maintenance or to replace it, I can do so and run the entire system off of the secondary pump return.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10665066#post10665066 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by melev
The only thing that stands out to me now as well as before is the 40g main sump. I think it is too small. Try to determine…..
:D Okay, you got me. I knew someone was going to bring that up. :lol: I just haven’t taken the time yet to figure out the minimum size sump needed to handle a power outage. I’m very aware of how important it is. Just calculating the volume of the top 1” of all the tanks comes out to about 25 gallons.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10665066#post10665066 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by melev
If it was me, I would make the main sump huge. Just eliminate the water change vessel. Turn off the external pumps and let all the water collect in that main sump. Pump it out and replace it with new ly aged saltwater. It shouldn't take more than 20 minutes, then restart the pumps.
I will definitely go bigger than the 40 gallon sump. I will probably go as big as the space will allow. But I do want my water change sump, even if I get it by simply putting a water tight baffle in the main sump. Im bad about doing water changes. I hate them. So Im trying to make it as simple as possible. I stole this idea from Tuan Pham's tank of the month. (http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-07/totm/index.php) I will be able to cut off the water change sump and not affect the rest of the system at all. Then I can drain the old salt water from that tank (directly into my floor drain :D), fill it with fresh RO/DI water (about a day), mix it (one day), and then slowly cut the sump flow back on. No additional water change buckets, no drain hoses, no pumps to get the water back in the tank, and a lot less stress on the tank than replacing 50 gallons of fresh salt water in a matter of minutes.


<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10665121#post10665121 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ssbreef
Looks GREAT! How much flow are you going to be putting through the tank? Turnover?
I believe there will be about 900 gph flowing “through” the tank. From the inputs and out the drains. This is what I call turnover. Some people may call it the total amount of water movement inside the tank due to all pumps. If that’s the case, there is no telling. The Vortechs are rated between 200 and 3000 gph each. I will probably have 4 eventually. But I will also be running it on the infamous EcoTech controller, so it will vary up and down depending on the settings of the controller.

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10665787#post10665787 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by RRodrigues
Very nice. How thick is the glass used in that cube tank?

The front back and one side are 12mm starphire glass
The overflow side, overflow, and Eurobracing are 12mm regular glass
The bottom is 19mm regular glass
All the glass is ground and polished. You really can’t appreciate this aspect of a nice custom tank without seeing it in person. Im VERY pleased.

Hope that all made sense. If you have any more questions, or still think Im missing something, please tell me, thats what this is meant for.

Thanks for the help.

RW

melev
08/31/2007, 12:02 AM
Creating a water change vessel is fine if you have the space. I'd love to have one but I don't have the room in the fish room. I've even thought about enlarging the fishroom to house a couple of barrels (salt and RO/DI) but then I may find the window a/c isn't large enough. Don't know yet.

The one thing about vessels that are removable is you can take them out and rinse them, let them air dry, and have them clean for next time. If you have room for a large sump and a water change vessel, go for it. If you make it one with a divider, you'll need to use thicker acrylic to hold that volume of water for longer periods of time to avoid swelling issues.

How does the water go from the mixing chamber into the master sump? Won't that be adding it all at once, so to speak since you had to drain a specific amount from the reef down the floor drain?

One other question - how to you determine how much has drained out without draining too much? By what is left in the master sump? If so, you'll want the master sump to be pretty tall so that it can hold a decent amount of water and as water drains away, there is enough water to avoid having the return pump suck air. If the sump is a longer shallower one, the surface will reach the pump more quickly because the water is spread out over a larger area.

fishdoc11
08/31/2007, 04:12 AM
Just something I noticed. If it was me I would want all the water turned over skimmed. Since that doesn't seem to be possible with the design you have I would maybe think about putting the skimmer on the other side so that all the water is either run by the skimmer or through the fuge. That way more of the water is filtered, in one way or the other, on every pass. Just a thought:)
Chris

ReefWaters
08/31/2007, 02:24 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10673125#post10673125 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by melev
How does the water go from the mixing chamber into the master sump? Won't that be adding it all at once, so to speak since you had to drain a specific amount from the reef down the floor drain?

One other question - how to you determine how much has drained out without draining too much?

I think I can answer this pretty simply. If you still have questions, please ask. I know exactly how its going to work, but I may not be explaining it very well. :D

Here is a detail of the main sump and water change tank.
As before, blue lines are drain lines and red lines are from pumps.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/WCDetai.jpg

I didnt draw in any shut off valves, but there will be one on probably every single drain and return line in the system to allow me to turn off anything and everything, if ever needed, as well as to divert more water into one tank or the other.

There will be separate drain lines coming from the display overflow to the main sump and to the water change tank. On any given day, the water change sump will be full of salt water and connected to the system, and will effectively just be extra water volume in the system. Whenever I want to do a water change, I just shut off the drain that supplies water to the water change tank. This will not affect the water level in the main sump except for the little bit of water in the drain lines supplying and draining the water change tank as well as the little bit of water that is higher than the drain going from the water change tank to the main sump.

Once the water change tank is shut off, I just turn another valve and drain the water change sump to the floor drain. I will probably have to vacuum out a little water from the bottom of the water change tank. Or I can raise the tank a few inches and drain it directly through the bottom, or just leave the water to mix with the new salt water.

The water change tank will also be directly connected to the RO/DI unit with a water level shut off. I'll just turn a small valve to allow fresh RO water into the water change tank, and let it fill without worries. Once its full, I'll toss some salt in with a heater and power head, let it sit for a day or two and cut the drain supply line to the water change tank back on.

When I cut the supply to the water change tank back on after making fresh salt water, I'll only turn the valve partially, to allow the new salt water to mix slowly. After a while, I can cut it on full throttle again.

Sorry for being so long winded. I hope this made sense.

ReefWaters
08/31/2007, 02:31 PM
fishdoc11, lets agree to disagree. :D ;)

I could be completely wrong, but I feel that the water in any system will reach a parameter equilibrium no matter how the water is moved about the system. In my humble opinion, as long as all the water in the system is connected somehow, it doesn't really matter where things are located. If the water wasn't connected, it wouldn't be the same system anyway. I see what you are saying, you like to force every bit of water through the skimmer at some point during its trip from the time it leaves the display to the time it gets back to the display. I just feel that it will eventually get skimmed no matter what. Hope that makes sense.

jnarowe
08/31/2007, 04:53 PM
OK, so I want to chime in a little bit. As far as the skimmer goes, it depends on the type of skimmer you are using and what your philosphy is in this regard. I only have about 600g/hour going through my skimmer and it pulls out 1g/day of very foul coffee. Do I think I could do better? Well yes, I think there is always room for improvement! :) Other skimmers operate better with more throughput.

I think, if I understand your posts correctly, you may have an issue with the remote sump. It seems you are planning to put your probes in there as well as feed your Ca and alk. I think this may be a mistake and hear me out...I put my probes in my "inbound" sump and my supplements into my "outbound" sump. They get mixed plenty on their way to the display, but if I dosed into the inbound sump, then my probes would go wild and things would get shut down for no real reason. Every time my top-off kicks on, then my probes would read an elevated pH, and my CO2 and top-off would be shut down by the controller.

So I hope I got this across in a manner that makes sense, but I just think you have to be careful about this issue and think it through.

jnarowe
08/31/2007, 04:57 PM
Oh, yeah, and that water change method may not be the best idea. When you mix in the new water, you are actually not changing out that volume, but a diluted version of that volume. If your system is 1000g and your water change tub is 100g, and you mix them together, you are really only changing out maybe 1/10 or 10g. I think that's the correct way to analyze that, but you could check out in the water chemistry forum more info. on that. :)

JCTewks
08/31/2007, 08:51 PM
I believe that the water change will be done just as anyone else does...you take X gallons out, and replace it with X gallons on NSW. taking the "water change sump" offline for the process...and usiong the system water that is in the tank as what will be thrown away. then making NSW in the same tank, and putting it online again....it does away with any measurung, or worrying about taking out more or less than you are replacing.

All he is doing is making a way to do it without having to get his hands dirty so to speak.

jnarowe
08/31/2007, 09:02 PM
Well that may be true, but I didn't get that message when I read his posts. If so, please ignore my comment.

ReefWaters
09/02/2007, 01:30 PM
JCTewks is correct. It will replace X amount of water with X amount of water. Its no different than doing it the old fashioned way of filling up buckets with NSW and siphoning off the same amount.

As for adding supplements in the same sump as the probes, jnarowe you are probably very correct about that. I do it now, but I dont really have an option. I will look into a way to design the secondary sump so that the probes are ahead of anything being added to the sump. Or I can add things to the main sump instead.

jnarowe
09/02/2007, 01:52 PM
sorry...I just misunderstood your description.

As for the probes, in a mlarge tank system, often you are constantly adding Ca and kalk so the area in which this is being done has a higher ppm than the system as awhole. If you are going to automate it with dosing pumps and a Ca effluent line, typically you are able to put the reactor/dosing pump just about anywhere and run 1/4" or 3/8" line to the outbound sump.

For instance, the LiterMeter III doesn't have to be anywhere near the delivery point.

hatfielj
09/02/2007, 04:23 PM
Wow!!! What an awesome tanK! The dimensions are great! That is going to be really really nice when its mature. It will be especially neat to be able to see it from the side in your fish room. I'm totally jealous. Nice work! More pics!

hatfielj
09/02/2007, 05:10 PM
Also, I must add that your set up, fish room, inwall build, dimensions and everything are perfect! This is exactly what I want to do in our next house when I have the room for it! It's very well planned out and I'm sure it will be a very nice and easy to maintain system.
What do you plan on doing for mixing saltwater and doing water changes. I've found that this is the most labor intensive part of my current setup and if I could simplify that my tank would be 100% easier to take care of.

melev
09/02/2007, 06:25 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=10688266#post10688266 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by hatfielj
Also, I must add that your set up, fish room, inwall build, dimensions and everything are perfect! This is exactly what I want to do in our next house when I have the room for it! It's very well planned out and I'm sure it will be a very nice and easy to maintain system.
What do you plan on doing for mixing saltwater and doing water changes. I've found that this is the most labor intensive part of my current setup and if I could simplify that my tank would be 100% easier to take care of.

Answered here:
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=10676722#post10676722

TandN
09/03/2007, 11:08 AM
very nice indeed :)

ReefWaters
09/04/2007, 08:44 PM
Well, I've been thinking a lot about some of the suggestions I've gotten here.

I'm really considering gravity feeding the skimmer from the display overflow. Even though I'll have to plumb it all the way around the room, as I'm not willing to change where the skimmer is located in my original design. :D I'm just waiting from confirmation from some Deltec experts as to whether I have to perfectly hit the rated through put or not. I'm concerned I wont be able to dial in the flow through the skimmer coming from a drain as easily as I will a pump. I also dont have much flow through the overflow to begin with. Only about 800 gph at my best guess.

Things are still going slow, as I warned, but I have made some important decisions that should speed things up.

I'm going to build the fuge and prop tank myself. I'm going to have the glass cut to size and polished for me. I'll just glue them up. They will both be 58" L x 19-3/4" W x 12" H, rimless and braceless. I think 3/8" glass should be fine for this at these dimensions. Anyone have any experience with this and want to give some advice???

The secondary sump is still a go and will most likely still be a standard 20 Long. The water change and main sump are a little bit in the air still but will definitely be standard store bought aquariums.

I'm a huge fan of IceCap products and swore a long time ago I would never buy another brand ballast. But I got an email from Premium Aquatics the other day saying they had found a case of 2 year old (but never opened) 175 watt Reef Fanatic electronic ballasts and were selling them for $40 each. :popeye: I couldn't resist. 40 bucks a pop. I was planning on dropping 120 bucks each on 2 IceCaps. I figured it was worth a shot. It seems like a very nice ballast. I'll be running 2 of these on my prop tank with 14K Hamiltons and 2 x 110 watt VHO actinics.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P9044059.jpg

That's about all I have to update right now. :cool:

jnarowe
09/04/2007, 08:59 PM
you can control the water volume through the skimmer quite easily with an exit gate valve. just run it into a bucket while keeping time, do the math and you will know where you are at. I have an inbound BV and an outbound gate valve on my skimmer so it is essentially infinitely adjustable.

StingRay1969
09/15/2007, 06:33 PM
Any updates on the progress?

ReefWaters
09/15/2007, 07:14 PM
Nothing too exciting to report.

I placed the order for the main sump and water change tank and Im working on ordering a bunch of other stuff.

The sump is a standard 50 gallon at 36x18x18.
And the water change tank is a standard 55 gallon at 48x13x20.

That's about it....

WDLV
09/15/2007, 07:35 PM
You've done a fine job so far! Shoot, mine's been up for almost two years and I haven't made it a priority to finish the outer wall.

erics3000
09/16/2007, 12:17 AM
Wow nice tank..

TheSaltwaterGuy
09/16/2007, 03:43 PM
Nice tank! Can't wait to see it finished!

jopo43
09/17/2007, 08:15 AM
looks awesome

jopo43
09/17/2007, 08:15 AM
looks awesome

ReefWaters
10/18/2007, 02:29 PM
Okay, not much to update but I figure I'll keep everyone in suspense. :) I have not done much at all in the last month. I own my own business, and things are booming right now, so I have to set my priorities and I cant complain. I certainly cant pay for this puppy if I don't make any money right? :D

The main and water change sump have arrived at the LFS. I just have to pick them up.

I ordered the cut and polished glass for the fuge and prop tank today. It should be here next week. Its a little pricey but its all 3/8" and cut so the tanks will be rimless and braceless. Its going to be tricky assembling the prop tank because I'm going to have to do it "inside" the stand (the middle section of the white powder coated stand). I think I've got it figured out but it may not be the prettiest silicone job because of it.

Next on my to-do list is to finish up the few feet of base moulding that I haven't finished in the fish room, cut the feet on the support tank stand so it will sit level, build the light rack, and then assemble the tanks and start plumbing. Sounds easier than it will be in reality I'm sure. :rolleyes:

Other than that, I have placed several orders for miscellaneous items that I am going to need. The boxes are starting to pile up.

I'm really wanting to get this thing up and running. I had a small crash in my 50 cube a few weeks ago. I lost my two largest corals. My Cali Tort and my green stag. I still want to cry when I think about it. They were both 10" plus and several years old. Fortunately though, I did have a few frags already started from both colonies so I will be okay in the long run. I just REALLY wanted those two corals to start out the new tank.

jnarowe
10/18/2007, 02:38 PM
I hate it when that happens. :(

melev
10/18/2007, 02:45 PM
http://melevsreef.com/g/aww.gif

FUA
10/18/2007, 10:21 PM
jumping on board

ReefWaters
10/19/2007, 11:04 AM
Yeah, it sucks, but its my fault. They both RTN'd over night. They were both touching each other and growing around and on top of each other. I have not been as diligent with testing, etc, as I should have been, plus the stress of outgrowing their space and competing for space, light, etc, I think the Cali Tort just did what it would do in nature and "blew up." It went 100% white in about 24 hours. It was gone before I knew it had started. The large stag started RTN'ing where the tort had been touching it. I was able to frag the heck out it but not the tort.

Oh well. Ive done a few water changes and everything seems to be coming back around now. I really believe this was just a natural process of competition and survival of the fittest in a VERY small, enclosed environment.

erics3000
01/13/2008, 09:42 PM
Any updates?

ReefWaters
01/13/2008, 09:58 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11594215#post11594215 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by erics3000
Any updates?

Yeah. Im broke!

:D :lol: Ha ha, just kidding. Well, not really. I just finished a few projects around the house that I promised myself I would finish before I started back on the tank. Now, Im back in the process of getting some things together (lighting components, plumbing, etc) so that I can start really putting things together and get some water in this thing. Other than that, nothing has changed.

Keep bugging me though. Its good motivation. :smokin:

derick2724
01/13/2008, 11:33 PM
well hurry up and get up yo lazy a$$ man :D and finish your AWESOME project man, we can't wait to see how it turns out...

ReefWaters
01/22/2008, 08:48 AM
I spent some time in on the tank this weekend and last night. Not much to update about. I took a few pictures but they really don't show anything, and I don't really have time to post them, so live with it. :D :lol:

I'm still trying to get the rubber base molding to stick well. That was a bad idea. I highly suggest never messing with that stuff unless you know some secret that I don't. But its really too late now. I just have to live with it.

I figured out how to level the stand for that the fuge, prop tank and secondary sump sits on. I just purchased some corner cabinet braces from Home Depot and screwed them on the bottoms of the legs. I'll post some pics of that later. This way I can just shim up each leg with some pieces of sheet metal. The purpose of the corner brace piece is to even out the load on the angle iron legs and also make it where you really wont see the shims. Should work pretty well.

I also need to decide if I'm going to level the main sump and the water change sump under the display. The floor is tile, and it slants lightly towards the center of the room. The floor is out of level by about 1/4 of an inch every 18 inches or so. Pretty significant I think. I'm just don't know how I would go about leveling the tanks. They are standard All-Glass aquariums with the black frames. Would I have to shim them along the entire length of the tanks or just at the corners? I may just leave it alone. It wont be terribly noticeable unless your looking for it. Not sure what to do here. Any suggestions?

I'm also trying to make some fish or cut bait decisions on the plumbing. I think I'm going with my original plan to feed the skimmer with a pump from the secondary sump. I'm just think this will make it easier to get an accurate and consistent flow through on the skimmer. The only draw back is that this gets me to 3 external pumps instead of two. And I know, many of you feel I should feed the skimmer directly from the display to get it to work efficiently. Lets just agree to disagree on that point. :smokin:

I think I'm going to use my existing 20 gallon long sump as the secondary sump. Its already set up 90% like I would like it. Plus I'm running out of money :rolleye1: and I don't see the point in taking the time to build something I already have.

The other big project I have to get started on is the light rack. I've decided I'm going to hang some barn door rails from the ceiling and have the light rack slide completely away from the tank (off to the side). This will give me more room than one hobbyist could hope for to access the tank. In addition, the light from the ceiling fan will be more than enough to work with while the light rack is slid away. I can use a sturdy step ladder and access every inch of the tank from the back side. I'm excited about this.

Okay, I think I've babbled enough. I need to get back to work so I can pay for this monster. :p

Let me know what you think.....

jnarowe
01/22/2008, 10:03 AM
I'm still trying to get the rubber base molding to stick well. That was a bad idea. I highly suggest never messing with that stuff unless you know some secret that I don't. But its really too late now. I just have to live with it.

Yeah it ain't as easy as it looks huh? I have had that battle several times at home and in my store, and seriously always end up swearing uncontrollably before it's all said and done.

fishdoc11
01/22/2008, 11:55 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11659154#post11659154 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
Yeah it ain't as easy as it looks huh? I have had that battle several times at home and in my store, and seriously always end up swearing uncontrollably before it's all said and done.

It takes a bit of practice. I laid quite a bit of it when needed back when I worked construction and I would only call myself adequate. The guys that do it all the time, typically the carpet/flooring guys can lay hundreds of feet a night and it looks great. When you are going around outside corners you need to cut a notch perdendicular to the length on the inside. It's easiest to just cut and stop at an inside corner cutting out the little curve in the bottom on one side to make it fit if that makes sense.

melev
01/22/2008, 12:51 PM
<b>I also need to decide if I'm going to level the main sump and the water change sump under the display. The floor is tile, and it slants lightly towards the center of the room. The floor is out of level by about 1/4 of an inch every 18 inches or so. Pretty significant I think. I'm just don't know how I would go about leveling the tanks. They are standard All-Glass aquariums with the black frames. Would I have to shim them along the entire length of the tanks or just at the corners? I may just leave it alone. It wont be terribly noticeable unless your looking for it. Not sure what to do here. Any suggestions?</b>

You will want to shim the entire cabinet so that all of it is evenly supported.

Using a chisel and hammer, cut off what still shows, then using that excess piece, use it to tap the shim under the stand about 1/8" so it is out of sight.

hatfielj
01/22/2008, 01:40 PM
2nd what Melev suggests. Its really important to keep the stand level on the same plane. Any warping of the stand so that the corners of the tank are not all in the same plane will cause the bottom pane of glass to crack when water is added. Make sure you get the stand level front to back, side to side, every single way you can measure it!
Again, I can't wait to see this system up and running:)

ReefWaters
01/22/2008, 08:31 PM
See, this is why I should have posted pictures... :lol: You guys are so confused..... :rollface:

The display tank is perfectly level. The sumps that Im talking about being out of level are sitting on the bare floor underneath the display tank. They dont touch the stand at all.

See. :D

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014351.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014345.jpg

Do you still think I should level the sumps? Again, Im worried about putting too much point pressure on them if I shim the corners and dont get even pressure all around the frame. Or do you think it matters with 50 and 55 gallons? One solution would be to cut a piece of plywood or starboard to put under both of the tanks but I really diddnt want to do that.

Here is a picture of the level. Not sure if you can see the bubble or not.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014340.jpg

jnarowe
01/22/2008, 08:51 PM
probably doesn't matter but they may be more prone to cracking if you try to shim corners. Maybe leveling cement, but that would not be the "look" you have going now.

melev
01/22/2008, 08:51 PM
How about a sheet of foam under each sump to insulate it from the cold flooring? It would also support it fully, as the foam would simply press down and form to the shape of the tiles.

jnarowe
01/22/2008, 08:55 PM
That's about the best idea I think.

ReefWaters
01/22/2008, 09:08 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11664829#post11664829 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by melev
How about a sheet of foam under each sump to insulate it from the cold flooring? It would also support it fully, as the foam would simply press down and form to the shape of the tiles.

I thought about the foam. But I thought I read where you shouldnt put foam under a framed tank (standard tank black frames) because it could potentially put point pressure on the bottom. But that really doesnt seem right does it? Also, the foam really doesnt fix the level problem, or did I miss something? I could shave the foam on one side and wedge it on the other to get it level. I still just wonder if its worth it.

Maybe the next step is to put some water in each of the tanks and see how bad the "water line" looks to me.

Lunchbucket
01/22/2008, 09:18 PM
Leave it to Marc for the great ideas.

Is it me or does he throw the foam word out there more than anyone on RC?? :D

Lunchbucket

jnarowe
01/22/2008, 09:19 PM
that could be true, but I put foam under my small glass tanks anyway. maybe get a nice piece of 1" thick foam, and press the tank down into it while using a level?

melev
01/22/2008, 11:44 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11664970#post11664970 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
I thought about the foam. But I thought I read where you shouldnt put foam under a framed tank (standard tank black frames) because it could potentially put point pressure on the bottom. But that really doesnt seem right does it? Also, the foam really doesnt fix the level problem, or did I miss something? I could shave the foam on one side and wedge it on the other to get it level. I still just wonder if its worth it.

Maybe the next step is to put some water in each of the tanks and see how bad the "water line" looks to me.

You could press the tank into the foam to get an impression, then cut away what is necessary to support everything evenly.

Those tanks are small enough that being slightly angled on the floor doesn't matter. You could shim under the foam though if you needed it to be perfectly flat.

And again, you're insulating the tank from the cold floor.

polywise
01/23/2008, 05:34 PM
ReefWaters,
They are going to be used for sumps right? - you are not going to be filling them up to the top right? -- I wouldn't worry about not being perfectly level. Your level is not really too far out. Did you put the level on the floor to check if it is level ?, as compared to the frame of the tank possibly not being perfectly assembled to the tank? The insulation is a good idea if the tanks are going to stay on the floor

ReefWaters
01/23/2008, 08:22 PM
Yes, the floor is out of level too. And neither tank will be filled completely although the water change sump will be pretty much full. Just a few inches from full

I'm torn on what to do about the insulation. During the winter, it would be nice to help keep the heat in the water from sinking to the floor. However, in the summer and warmer months (which we have more of than less of down here) the cool floor would help to keep the tank from over heating. So its kind of a toss up in my opinion.

I had a thought today about how to fix the level of the sumps. I have some scrap starboard. I could build a tapering jig for my table saw and run some full length tapered wedges to go under the frame of the tanks. That way the pressure would be along the entire length of the frames and not just under the corners. Any thoughts on that? I'm not sure if its worth the effort though.

BeanAnimal
01/23/2008, 08:37 PM
That would likely be the easiest way to level the sumps.

ReefWaters
01/23/2008, 08:57 PM
Melev....I was looking at your website and your light rack is pretty close to what I am planning. But the sliding mechanism is going to be a good bit different. Still haven't completely figured it out. Where did you get your angle iron and slides from?

melev
01/23/2008, 11:35 PM
The aluminum angle iron was from Home Depot. The slides are made from a Pocket Door Track that I cut in half, so I'd get both rollers from one kit.

Here are some posts with the details:
7/30/2004 - Light Rack
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=3244873#post3244873

7/31/2004 - Pocket door hardware modified for light rack
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=3252924#post3252924

8/01/2004 -Lights move forward and back now.
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=3252929#post3252929
Details: http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&postid=3256850#post3256850

ReefWaters
01/24/2008, 01:27 PM
Thanks for all the info Marc. Do you remember what section of HD you found the angle iron? I hate to ask, but unlike the commercials lead you to believe, my HD employees dont know $&^# about anything. :D Did you also find the shelf supports at HD?

Unfortunately, because Im moving my rack from left to right, and not front to back, my total track length needs to be at least 10 feet long. Im having a hard time finding something that will work.
The good old "barn door tracks" that many people use should work, but they are bulky and MAJOR OVERKILL for a light rack IMO.

Here's what I found from McMaster-Carr (http://www.mcmaster.com/) You'll have to hit the link and then enter in the part number (1225A23) in order to view it. I cant seem to link directly to the page.

Anyway, Im thinking it might be a little too pricey at somewhere around $225 shipped for two rail kits. But the barn door tracks wont be much cheaper and I like this a lot better.

Any other suggestions on moving the rack that far? If anyone is confused why I need to have such a long rail I can either try to explain it better or draw some kind of picture or something.

ReefWaters
01/24/2008, 01:33 PM
Also, does anyone know where to find GM Silicone I in black? All I can find at my HD is Silicone I in clear and Silicone II in black. But from what I can tell, Silicone II is not a great idea for glass to glass. Has anyone heard this?

jnarowe
01/24/2008, 01:51 PM
I have some of that same track and it is good stuff. If you really want to save money, get creative. The Great Dahn Nguyen built light racks & rails for his tank out of wood and just greased it up. :)

ReefWaters
01/24/2008, 02:01 PM
"Greased up wood"??? Nice! :lol:

I want to make smart purchasing decisions, but at the same time, I am more than willing to spend an extra $50 or so if its going to save me a bunch of maintenance hassle in the long run and/or be easy to use over the long run.

What are you using that track for? Your lights? Do you have any pics you can post?

melev
01/24/2008, 02:20 PM
Another track that might work for you is the same track they use for sliding mirror doors. I have a huge 12' long closet, and I use 2 6' tracks that are aligned & butted together and it has worked great for the past 7 years.

The aluminum is in the tools department, very close to where they have their mailboxes. It will be standing up in a rack, and odds are the longest they sell is 6'. Maaaaybe 8'.

The shelf brackets are on the same aisle as drawer pulls, hinges, sliders, etc. The ones I have are pretty tough and can handle quite a bit of weight, but at 3.5 years they are starting to rust. I'm planning to redo my lighting setup and when I do these will be removed.

This company sells Dow Corning 795 silicone; you could call to see if they have black:
Silicone Specialties Inc
2367 Glenda Lane
Dallas, Tx 75229-3318
972 243 0676

miwoodar
01/24/2008, 02:51 PM
If the space above the tank is not being used, what about a block and tackle system?

Nice build - been following from the start. Sorry to hear about your lost corals!

ReefWaters
01/24/2008, 03:04 PM
Thanks again for all the info Marc. But I have to ask...what do you mean by "I'm planning to redo my lighting setup"? :p Are you saying I'm not going to like a sliding aluminum rack after 3 years? :D

miwoodar..... thanks. I think I've finally figured out what's causing the coral deaths. Dont tell anyone, but I havent run any tests in probably a year. Yep, thats right. I admit it. And I'm kicking myself ever day now because of it. I started running a whole slue of test the other night and found that my Ca is terribly low. My salinity is a lot lower than I would like as well. I'm buying a new Magnesium test kit tonight so I should know if that is the cause of the depressed Ca, as my reactor and Kalk reactor seem to be doing fine. I'll keep the 50 gallon cube thread up to date on that.

As for a block and tackle system, that was my first thought. And I may go back to that after I get a feel for the aluminum angle iron at HD. I like the idea of the sliding rack though, because I will have a TON more room to get my body over the tank than I will with a block and tackle system. I also worry about how easy it will be to get the rack to raise and lower easily with pulleys. Any thoughts on that?

miwoodar
01/24/2008, 03:27 PM
I understand the concern about really being able to dive into the tank to do work. I've never had a tank big enough to have this be a concern. I would think it would be nice to be working in a lit tank though.

Weatherson's is nice...
http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2005-11/totm/images/full_back.jpg

The Penn State tank...
http://www.advancedaquarist.com/images/oct2002/figure4.jpg

http://www.advancedaquarist.com/images/oct2002/figure6.jpg

jnarowe
01/24/2008, 04:30 PM
I don't like the block and tackle deal. Here's an old pic from my construction phase:

http://home.wavecable.com/~jrowe/final%20lamps.jpg

This shows the center dish on that track and the end reflectors on Light Rail 3.5 track. Those are light movers. I used the track linked to above but ran it out well beyond the tank so I can pull the reflector off the top to do tank cleaning etc. and also to make it easier to clean the reflector and change the lamp.

I used the three track system so that I could move the light off 1/3 of the tank at a time. That way I can work on one section with mush less impact on the reef and also still have light. In teh case of full moving light racks, once you move it, you still need light to work on the tank.

BeanAnimal
01/24/2008, 04:36 PM
That is a very good point that I never thought about....

If you move ALL of the light, then it will be much harder to see in the tank!

jnarowe
01/24/2008, 05:04 PM
I do feel like "mush" but meant to write "much". :rolleyes:

melev
01/24/2008, 05:05 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11678603#post11678603 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
Thanks again for all the info Marc. But I have to ask...what do you mean by "I'm planning to redo my lighting setup"? :p Are you saying I'm not going to like a sliding aluminum rack after 3 years? :D



I want to use Luminarc III or LuminBright reflectors, and they are so big that I'd have no room to work. I've got plans to mount them higher, without the rack, and make a rolling VHO fixture with roller blade wheels that travel back and forth on the euro-bracing. ;)

jnarowe
01/24/2008, 05:18 PM
see, and I would like to design and build a catwalk that rolls across my bracing on roller blade wheels. :D

ReefWaters
01/24/2008, 05:37 PM
Man! Decisions Decisions. This is why it has taken me so long to get anything done. I think too much! :D


The block and tackle system would probably be a little easier to build. Maybe a little cheaper, depending on the pulleys I bought. But I think it would be more fragile, more prone to BAD THINGS happening - rope rotting and lights falling onto tank, rope slipping out of hands and falling onto tank, etc. The lights would be very hot when you stick your head under them to work on the tank. But you would have a lot of light. It would also be much more difficult to work on wiring, clean bulbs and reflectors, etc, etc.

The rail system would be more stable. Stronger. A little harder to put up. A little more expensive. But it would be a lot easier to get into the tank when its moved and a lot easier to clean everything. Theres also no worries about anything falling.

I'm not concerned about having enough "working" light when the rack is moved off the tank. I don't know if I put a good enough picture up, but there is a ceiling fan with 3 x 100 watt bulbs over the corner of the tank. There should be plenty of light and if not, I can always change the fan light fixture to get more light directed on the tank.

I know I know, how am I going to hang a light rack with a fan over 1/4 of the tank. :smokin: Magic! No really, I'm going to have to hang the rails from the ceiling by about a foot or so to get the rail under the fan blades. And if I go with a pulley system, I just have to make one of the pieces of the angle iron a lot longer than the other to clear the fan blades.

:rollface:

kingsland
01/24/2008, 09:08 PM
I don't know if this will help you, but my light rack also has to clear a light fixture when it is moved away from the tank. I've also posted a picture of the pocket door rail. I choose this type of rail because it completely captures the rollers. It is very easy to mount and unmount the rack using the quick release on the roller assembly, although it still takes two people to do so. You could also suspend your track from the ceiling similar to the way garage door track is hung.

http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/500/6247320080120_3-med.jpg

http://reefcentral.com/gallery/data/500/62473InWall_037-med.jpg

kingsland
01/25/2008, 06:07 AM
The second picture is borrowed from another's build thread, I hope he doesn't mind me using it. I purchased the aluminum angle from a local company that buys surplus metals from our local aircraft manufacturers. They sell by the pound so it ended up being around 50% less than it would have cost me at HD. Bolts, track, and aluminum came to around $170. Here is a link for the pocket door track and a link to the manufacturer's site.

http://www.hardwareandtools.com/invt/6109649

http://www.johnsonhardware.com/pdindex.htm

ReefWaters
01/27/2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks for the info guys. I just placed an order with Johnson Hardware for two 80 lb Pocket Door kits. The total with shipping came out under $65. I figured it was worth a try to save almost $200 versus the I beam rails. I think they will work great. I also ordered the Luminarc III reflectors. Once these parts come in, I should be able to start putting the light rack together.

ReefWaters
02/02/2008, 01:55 PM
Alright! The Luminarcs, 2 PanWorld pumps, light rails, endcaps, etc, etc, have all come in. I dont believe I need anything else that has to be shipped. I do have a few things to pick up locally like the silicone, angle iron, and plumbing parts.

Now would be a great time to start sending those annoying, "Any Updates?," and "How bout some pics?" comments. :D I need all the motivation I can get to get this thing done in a timely manner. :lol:


Oh yeah, any suggestions on gluing up the base molding? I got a tube of the correct adhesive. I had purchased the molding that aready has the adhesive applied. Kind of like tape. It didnt work so well...... :rolleyes:

jnarowe
02/02/2008, 02:07 PM
why are you gluing it?

gary faulkner
02/02/2008, 03:34 PM
"Any Updates?," and "How bout some pics?"




:lol::lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

JCTewks
02/02/2008, 10:44 PM
yeah, how about some updates :lol:

It's been like 10 hours...you should have all of this done by now, right? :lol::D:lol:

melev
02/02/2008, 11:30 PM
Normally we would prod you along with requests for updates & pictures, but you've already exceeded the 14 day set up standard set by some guy years ago, and at this point we really don't care anymore.

In the future, please make the effort to get your projects completed in a timely fashion. Thank you for your cooperation. Have a nice day. Buh-bye. :wave:
































Just kidding, of course! I can't wait to see what's next. Get 'er dun!

Regarding the sticky baseboard, if it won't stick to the surface, then you may need the kind that doesn't have a sticky backing, and apply it with the bonding agent sold by the can. You trowel it on, and apply the baseboard.

A nice trick Weatherson used was to apply silicone around the entire perimeter so that any water leaks would be contained in the room and not be able to get under the baseboard to wet neighboring carpeting.

ReefWaters
02/03/2008, 11:41 AM
I originally bought the base rubber base board with the adhesive already on it. I did half the room and worked okay. A few very small spots popped off and I was able to super glue them back down with good luck. I left the rest of it out in my garage for many many months before trying to put it on the other day. The glue had obviously deteriorated because almost all of it is now on laying on the floor next to the wall. :rolleyes: So now I do have the adhesive, but its the kind in the glue gun. I will try this on a couple of feet and see how it works.

I'm off to HD to buy a bunch of crap for the light rack. If you're lucky, you might get some pics tonight.

RW

jnarowe
02/03/2008, 11:56 AM
That stuff is a PITA to deal with. There is an adapter for the cartridge that will apply it in several beads as well.

ReefWaters
02/03/2008, 12:07 PM
Luckily I only have about 12 feet to glue up.

And I probably will silicone around the bottom as Weatherson did. I had thought about it but was worried about the mess. But using black, 100% silicone, should make for a pretty clean application dont you think?

jnarowe
02/03/2008, 12:22 PM
Well, it can work but there is a problem. Silicone doesn't attach to some materials very well, like cement. One thing you might consider is doing what I did:

I applied a very large bead of silicone to the joint/gap between the sheet rock and the floor. Then I applied the rubber wall base over it and pressed it in. As you examine the wall base molding, you will see that the bottom edge is angled out a bit, So I basically filled the gap behind it with silicone.

Then I ran a thin bead of clear silicone along the top of the cured wall base molding and pressed it in with my finger. I did this because if there is any condensation on the walls, it will drip down to this edge and possibly wick behind the molding.

The wall base glue can be a hassle as I stated so go slow and make sure to fit the corners very well prior to gluing.

kingsland
02/14/2008, 08:11 PM
How goes the build?

ReefWaters
02/14/2008, 09:22 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11851260#post11851260 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by kingsland
How goes the build?

I got some work done on the light rack last week. It's taking a LOT longer to finish than I was expecting. But I'm really excited now about the results. I've come up with an interesting means of adjusting the position of the Luminarc reflectors within the rack. I'll try to post some pics later on tomorrow and explain it then. I know you'll just hound me for pictures anyway. :lol:

Work and my 50 cube have been taking up all my time. I've REALLY neglected that tank for the past year and now I've been struggling for the past few weeks to get the parameters back in line.

ReefWaters
02/15/2008, 08:42 PM
The light rack is going to be pretty simple. Its just 1" x 1/8" aluminum angle iron from Home Depot, riveted together at right angles. Here is the frame laid out on my work table.

<a href="http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/?action=view&current=P1014410.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014410.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/?action=view&current=P1014412.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014412.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

My original plan was to just rivet the reflectors to the frame. But I couldn't decide how I wanted to orient them. With the bulbs front to back or left to right? Or how much space to leave between them? And what if I ever wanted to add another Luminarc? Or some pendants? I just hated the idea of limiting my lighting options.

So I brain stormed for a while and came up with this idea.

I cut guides for the reflectors from some starboard and siliconed them to the frame.

<a href="http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/?action=view&current=P1014418.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014418.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

The horizontal piece keeps the reflectors from falling in the tank and the vertical piece guides the reflectors left and right. I can orient the reflectors in any combination and move them left and right according to my needs. And there is enough room to either add a third Luminarc or add some pendant style bulbs at a later date.

<a href="http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/?action=view&current=P1014417.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014417.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

<a href="http://s6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/?action=view&current=P1014419.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014419.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

I still have to attach 6 sets of VHO endcaps to the overhangs on the corners of the frame. I'll have three, 60", 140 watt VHO bulbs on each side of the Luminarcs. Each set of three bulbs will be running on its own IceCap 660 ballast. Then all I have to do is attach the hangers that came with the rails to the frame and I can hang the whole thing.

jnarowe
02/15/2008, 08:47 PM
very very nice. me likey! :D

TandN
02/15/2008, 09:22 PM
are you going to have actinics or vhos ?

kingsland
02/15/2008, 11:30 PM
Very nice. Good idea on the starboard. Have you decided how to suspend the rack from the pocket door track?

I'm paranoid about electricity and water so I looped a piece of suspended ceiling wire through the bottom rivit holes on the reflectors and tied off around the frame. It is a larger diameter than needed but I had it laying around. That way they were not mounted permanently, but were still secured to the frame in case one was accidently disloged.

nick540
02/15/2008, 11:38 PM
nice build! I am looking forward to some more pics.

WDLV
02/16/2008, 03:09 AM
I did the same on my 210 but I used Lumenarc A3 Minis. I actually wound up using 4 of them. It worked out pretty well for me.
How do the full sized ones fit with the VHOs on the sides? Are they trim or do they overlap the sides of the tank?

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e92/walterlaroque/6-16-06066-1.jpg

mhurley
02/16/2008, 08:39 AM
Wetsleeves,
I sent you a PM and an email.

WDLV
02/16/2008, 09:17 AM
TY.

ReefWaters
02/16/2008, 10:12 AM
Thanks Guys!

tanya72806.... You can get VHO bulbs in actinic, white, or 50/50. I'm starting out with 4 actinics and 2 whites. The actinics will be placed on the inside, closest to the MHs. The whites will start out on the outsides to hopefully even out the color through the tank and put a little white light on the outside edges.

kingsland.... The pocket door track came with a quick release bracket to connect the door to the trollies. I'm going to extend the length of the brackets with some thread stock. I think that's what its called. Its just a rod that is threaded over its entire length. I've got some small L brackets to connect the bracket to the rack with. I'm hoping I wont have to secure the reflectors like you did, but I may do it if I feel there is a chance of the reflectors becoming derailed.

WetSleeves.... the tank is 48 inches deep (front to back) and only 6 inches of it is hidden in the wall. The rack is 36 inches wide. So the lights will not hang over the sides at all.

TandN
02/16/2008, 10:47 AM
lol I know what color bulbs VHO's come in asked are you using them or t5's lol ;)


how are you connecting the VHO on to the light rack ?

ReefWaters
02/16/2008, 12:05 PM
:lol: I figured you knew.

Im just bolting standard waterproof VHO end caps and mounts to the angle iron.

I'll keep posting pictures as I get done with different parts of the project. You know what they say.... "A picture is worth a thousand words."

Leonardo_
02/24/2008, 03:27 PM
Hey reefwaters, I'm already subscribed to this thread for a while :D I like your setup very much, and to be honest, I stole your idea for the Light-rack ;) I would like to see pictures of the finished light-setup when you're done!

Leonardo

JazzZero
02/24/2008, 04:18 PM
Very nice and quite the complex reef system blueprints good luck!!!

Nickde123
02/24/2008, 07:04 PM
How are you connecting the VHO to te angle iron ?

ReefWaters
02/24/2008, 08:03 PM
Hey Leonardo, take any ideas you like! That just means I'm doing something right. :) I actually hope to have some pictures of the finished light rack by the end of this week. Cross your fingers.

JazzZero...Thanks. I try. :D

Nickde123... I'm just drilling holes through the angle iron and then connecting the VHO endcaps with nuts and bolts. Pretty low tech.

Nickde123
02/24/2008, 08:39 PM
yeah thats what im doin with my T5s just wondering :)

Reeftanks6
02/25/2008, 04:57 AM
Looks good. Great start cant wait to see some fish and corals in there.

ReefWaters
02/28/2008, 07:39 PM
Alright. Here's a little update. I'm 90% done with the light rack. I pretty much just have to wire it up. I will attach the end caps when I run the wires from the ballast. I think that will make getting the wires into the end cap easier. All of the holes for mounting the endcaps are already drilled, so it shouldn't take long at all. I'm going to mount the ballasts to the wall, so I'm going to have to have enough slack in the wire to allow the rack to move back and forth. Shouldn't be too bad though.

Here's the rack, hanging from the rails, with no reflectors.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014464.jpg

This is a close up of how I attached the threaded rods to the rack. Just some angle brackets, screws, and bolts. VERY High Tech!
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014465.jpg

Rack, over tank, with reflectors.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014468.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014474.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014476.jpg

ReefWaters
02/28/2008, 07:41 PM
And here's my favorite part of all. Check out how much room and light I have to work in the tank when the rack is moved out of the way! (no flash on camera)

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014481.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014478.jpg

jnarowe
02/28/2008, 08:21 PM
very very nice. how will you keep from gashing your arm or bashing your head on the angle ends?

melev
02/28/2008, 08:51 PM
I love it. This is the thread that had that crazy sump plan, right? It's been a while since I've visited it.

That tank is very pretty, and your light rack looks super convenient. I love that slimline A/C unit, but is there any reason to worry it might drip something in your tank?

ReefWaters
02/28/2008, 09:24 PM
jnarowe....I don't really have a plan for protecting my head. I'm sure it will happen eventually. :)

<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11970782#post11970782 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by melev
This is the thread that had that crazy sump plan, right?

I love that slimline A/C unit, but is there any reason to worry it might drip something in your tank?

Yes....and why do you have to bring crap like that up???? :rolleye1: Seriously! :D Actually, I never thought about that. But there was no where else It could have gone. Also, the connection to the coolant coil is inside the wall. The coil is solid everywhere where it is over the tank. BUT really....I don't want to think about that EVER again. :lol:

jnarowe
02/28/2008, 09:42 PM
I would have to wear a helmet.

kingsland
02/28/2008, 10:47 PM
The light rack turned out really nice. I'm waiting to see how you mount the others as I need to do the same thing.

cbui2
02/28/2008, 10:52 PM
you can cut pvc in half to make a drain below ac unit or if its level away from the tank will be alright. tank and lighting look awesome too. what other lighting and ballast will be used?

melev
02/29/2008, 12:17 AM
I'll have to post a picture of the acrylic tray I put under my AC (on both sides of the wall!) to catch any surprises. ;)

ReefWaters
02/29/2008, 08:57 AM
The "safety tray" is not a bad idea. I may look into doing something like that. melev, do you have any pics of what you did?

cbui2...I will be using all IceCap ballasts. Two 660's for the VHO's and 2, 250 watt New Style MH ballasts. Again, the way I have the light rack set up, I can add another Luminarc or some other type of MH lighting in the future. I'd really like to try some Japanese style MH spots at some point. But right now, I just need to get some water in this thing.

My next project is to start assembly on the support tanks. I have all the glass and silicone ready to go. This should be interesting to say the least. The most silicone work I have ever done is to glue up some baffles in a sump. Does anyone know of a good source for some details and tips for assembling a glass tank? I know the basics but some "tips and tricks" (with pictures) would be GREAT!

mpoletti
02/29/2008, 09:06 AM
This is a very nice project. I look forward to seeing your progress as it continues.

hatfielj
02/29/2008, 09:21 AM
This tank/system is so awesome I can hardly stand to look at your pics!!!

jnarowe
02/29/2008, 09:42 AM
I love a guy who buys the materials and THEN does the research! :thumbsup: You are my kind of reefer! :D

melev
02/29/2008, 12:25 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11973762#post11973762 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
The "safety tray" is not a bad idea. I may look into doing something like that. melev, do you have any pics of what you did?

cbui2...I will be using all IceCap ballasts. Two 660's for the VHO's and 2, 250 watt New Style MH ballasts. Again, the way I have the light rack set up, I can add another Luminarc or some other type of MH lighting in the future. I'd really like to try some Japanese style MH spots at some point. But right now, I just need to get some water in this thing.

My next project is to start assembly on the support tanks. I have all the glass and silicone ready to go. This should be interesting to say the least. The most silicone work I have ever done is to glue up some baffles in a sump. Does anyone know of a good source for some details and tips for assembling a glass tank? I know the basics but some "tips and tricks" (with pictures) would be GREAT!

We have a great thread on DFWMAS showing how to glue up a glass tank. Remind me to find you that link.

Here are two pictures of my acrylic trays. The inner one usually just catches any salt accumulations, and the occasional drip.

http://melevsreef.com/pics/08/02/ac_inner.jpg

The outer one was designed to catch more water and stop water from spattering me as I was working in the garage. As the condensate hits the compressor, it almost feels like a mister, but that got old when you'd slip on a wet spot so I made a quickie shield. I doubt it ever gets more than 1/4 cup of water in the tray, which evaporates. Originally, I expected more water and planned to add a bulkhead, PVC and place a bucket beneath to capture the water and keep the garage dry. However, neither A/C unit I've used has had that problem.

http://melevsreef.com/pics/08/02/ac_outer.jpg

jnarowe
02/29/2008, 05:54 PM
that's so sick Marc.

cbui2
02/29/2008, 06:43 PM
nice Marc, safety for both sides is great idea

ReefWaters
02/29/2008, 07:58 PM
Man Jonathan, you make it sound like I didn't do ANY research. I did enough to know what materials I needed and how I was going to do it. I'm just procrastinating on figuring out the details. :rolleyes: :D

Marc, I was talking to a buddy of mine tonight, and he has a good bit of experience with the split units. He says he has never know of one leaking on the inside. What exactly are you worried will "leak." What is causing the drip on your unit? Mine has a condensation drain that runs from the inside unit to to the outside of my house.

And on a completely unrelated note, Jonathan, did I read on your thread that you bought some extra wet frames for your Vortechs as a means of keeping them clean by switching them out with dry ones once they get covered in algae? Or was I dreaming?

By the way Marc, FIND ME THAT LINK!!! :lol: :D

jnarowe
02/29/2008, 08:11 PM
yes, you read that. and I was just teasing you about the research thing. I find that I can research something to death only to learn I made some stupid assumption along the way that negates my time spent on research.

melev
02/29/2008, 08:17 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11979018#post11979018 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
Marc, I was talking to a buddy of mine tonight, and he has a good bit of experience with the split units. He says he has never know of one leaking on the inside. What exactly are you worried will "leak." What is causing the drip on your unit? Mine has a condensation drain that runs from the inside unit to to the outside of my house.

By the way Marc, FIND ME THAT LINK!!! :lol: :D

Link: http://www.dfwmas.org/Forums/viewtopic.php?t=41244&highlight=silicone+glass

Salt creep, plus any aluminum decay due to salty air corrosion. I don't want anything unwanted in my tank when possible.

And I wouldn't want the condensate in my tank either, as it would be full of dust and oils from the compressor section of the unit.

jnarowe
02/29/2008, 08:20 PM
no doubt. the aluminum thing alone is scary.

ReefWaters
02/29/2008, 08:24 PM
Jonathan... I know you were kidding. :p Did you buy the entire wet side assembly or just the guard? Ive tried pulling mine out to clean them and there really is no way to do it without letting everything die off for a few days.

Marc...I think Im still a little confused about the salt creep coming from your A/C. Is the air in your room so salty that movement of moist air causes salt creep? And I think you are most definitely correct about the possible corrosion flakes and other weird dusty things that could drop in the tank. I think I will definitely glue up something from some scrap acrylic I have. Good thinking. That's why I keep you guys around! :lol:

melev
02/29/2008, 08:34 PM
Yes, when the A/C is running, it is drawing in moist salty air. Salt builds up on the plastic frame and the screen is cleaned often during those months. When I'm in the garage, the bottom couple of inches of the coils are eroded with salt damage, but that's unavoidable.

You can clean the VorTechs quickly. I soak them in hot water and vinegar, or cold water and muriatic acid. Within the hour, the pump is up running again. Perhaps since I don't want a long time between cleanings, it gets done more quickly compared to one that has been encrusting for months.

kingsland
03/21/2008, 08:36 PM
How is the build going?

jnarowe
03/21/2008, 09:22 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=11979235#post11979235 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
Did you buy the entire wet side assembly or just the guard? Ive tried pulling mine out to clean them and there really is no way to do it without letting everything die off for a few days.

Sorry I missed this. I bought a full wet side so I can swap it out with minimal problem for the tank. I don't see any other way to do it because I want to clean the entire moving assembly each time I do it.

ReefWaters
03/23/2008, 09:13 PM
The build is going very slowly right now. I am extremely busy with work. Not exactly a bad thing, but it takes away from time on the tank. Pretty much nothing has happened since my last post.

I ended up pulling my entire wet side assemblies on the Vortechs one at a time and soaking them over night in hot water and vinegar. It certainly cleaned them completely. I can see where an extra assembly would be very nice but probably not necessary. Its also nice to have an extra one just in case one breaks for some reason.

ReefWaters
04/22/2008, 09:46 PM
Absolutely NOTHING has happened since my last post. I have been so busy with work I have barely had time to take out the trash....and that is no exaggeration. Needless to say, I haven't made any time for the new tank. But I still cant complain. What else can you ask for as a businessman. If anyone is interested check out www.royalrestrooms.com I have the entirety of North and South Carolina.

The little bit of "tank time" I have managed to make has been spent trying to save what little is left of my cube. I am embarrassed to admit how far in the red I have allowed the cube to get. I have lost an unacceptable number of corals (thankfully all were aquacultured except for one) but still a huge loss. I am working diligently to turn it around but it is tough. I blame it completely on the lack of regular maintenance and testing. I only mention this at all in order to remind the readers of this thread that there is NO SUCH THING as auto pilot on your tank. Lesson learned on this end! :(

Well that's about it. I must add that I am very disappointed in the lack of heckling and badgering from you guys. You are not helping with my motivation at all. :D :lol: :smokin:

mcliffy2
04/22/2008, 10:04 PM
Quit making money and start spending it on your tank! ;)

melev
04/22/2008, 10:06 PM
Those are the prettiest portapotties I've ever seen. We would have only wished to have had such lovely thrones when we were doing construction years ago.

You don't need to be heckled at all. Git 'er dun. There. It's been said. The rest is all in your head - forever. :D

jnarowe
04/22/2008, 10:24 PM
I have been in one of your toilets and thoroughly enjoyed it. :thumbsup:

ReefWaters
04/24/2008, 11:01 AM
Jonathan, was it an acutal "Royal Restroom"? We do have a location in Seatle. It is very possible.

jnarowe
04/24/2008, 11:52 AM
Actually it was in NC. I travel the country checking out toilets and yours are definitely top-tier. :D Actually I was at an event with my parents (who live in Washington, NC).

I have an extensive collection of TP from around the country and the World dating back to 1975. You wouldn't believe what people in Europe and the Middle East were wiping their butts with back in the '70s...I suppose even the newspaper was better than my left hand though! :lol:

JCTewks
04/27/2008, 11:07 PM
test

What the heck...I thought that the little break RC took yesterday was supposed to fix these glitches...then I get an email that reefwaters ahs posted to this thread....check the thread, and nothing :(

ReefWaters
04/28/2008, 06:57 AM
Hmmm, I tried to post last night and it never seemed to stick, so I gave up.

I was just going to tell Jonathan that the trailer he used belongs to me. Small world huh?

Ohhhh! I did 15 minutes of work on the new tank this weekend. You should all be proud. I think Im a little scared to start the plumbing. You cant un-drill a hole in glass.

WDLV
04/28/2008, 07:54 AM
Don't be a chicken. Here's my 210. I've got 5 holes in each side!

http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e92/walterlaroque/Basement%20Project/3e.jpg

ReefWaters
04/28/2008, 08:11 AM
Were you able to drill those holes without tipping the tank on end? In other words, did you drill the holes in a vertical piece of glass?

WDLV
04/28/2008, 08:22 AM
Yes. I used a paristaltic pump over the drill site like this.
http://i37.photobucket.com/albums/e92/walterlaroque/Basement%20Project/3c.jpg

jnarowe
04/28/2008, 08:46 AM
sweet idea Walt. Last time I did a hole I had another guy stand with a spray bottle! :rolleyes:

Best mobile toilet in the World IMO! :D

WDLV
04/28/2008, 11:51 AM
LOL! That must have been a sight to see.

melev
04/28/2008, 11:52 AM
I would drill any holes vertically. It is easier to keep things straight and even. However, I will totally admit that I'm impressed with that horizontal drip method pictured above. That's pretty crafty, Walt. ;)

WDLV
04/28/2008, 11:59 AM
I guess I didn't think I had any friends who cared enough about my hobby to sit there and pump a squirt bottle for hours on end.
Necessity is the mother of invention.

jnarowe
04/28/2008, 02:45 PM
Well, I don't tell them that BEFORE they come over... :lol:

ReefWaters
06/16/2008, 09:12 PM
I finally finished the base molding in the fish room. This is definitely one thing I would have done differently. I laid the tile and then ran standard wooden base molding around the room. There was a little gap left over between the tile and the base (which I planned). I closed this up with industrial rubber base molding. This was not easy and left tons of gaps for water to get through. So I ended up caulking the top and bottom edge to make it all water tight. I'm sure it will do the job, it just doesn't look as neat, or "clean", as I would like. If I had it to do over again, I would have made the base out of the same tile I used on the floor. Oh well. :rolleyes:

So, I'm on to some plumbing, and or lighting. I need to find a good local supplier of Sch 80 PVC. I refuse to waste even a minute in Home Depot or Lowe's when it comes to the wet side of this project. I'm going to stop in a Ferguson Express tomorrow. Has anyone been to one of these? I'm not sure they have anything I need but we'll try it anyway. Its between home and my office.

I picked up some single union ball valves the other day at Northern Tool. But I do have a question about them. I'm sure they are perfectly safe for aquarium use but I'll ask just in case. They are black with a blue handle. They says "Polypropylene EPDM Gasket Taiwan" on the side. So does anyone know for sure if they are aquarium safe. I kept the receipt just in case! :D

As for the lighting, I'm ready to wire up the display lighting. I just cant decide where to mount the ballasts. On one hand I want to mount them directly to the rack on one end. They would not be directly over the water but they would be in the vicinity. This would make it so I only have one wire (a power cord) running from the wall to the rack. Remember that this wire has to have enough slack to move the rack a full 5 feet left and right and not fall in the tank. I'm not sure how I'm going to do this yet. If I mount the ballasts to the wall, I would feel a lot safer about where they are mounted but then I will have an incomprehensible amount of wires that would have to find there way from the wall to the light rack and OF COURSE have 5 or more feet of slack. I'm a little lost on this subject so any suggestions would be great.

jnarowe
06/16/2008, 09:34 PM
most just mount the ballasts to the rack as well a enough power outlets to do the job. I would also consider ventillation for them. If you can mount them in a way to take advantage of room ventillation, or include a fan or two into the design, that would be good IMO.

There's nothing better than getting a huge box from SAVKO! :D :D :D

ReefWaters
06/17/2008, 07:39 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12761680#post12761680 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
most just mount the ballasts to the rack as well a enough power outlets to do the job. I would also consider ventillation for them. If you can mount them in a way to take advantage of room ventillation, or include a fan or two into the design, that would be good IMO.

There's nothing better than getting a huge box from SAVKO! :D :D :D

I think I am going to mount them to the rack. Unless anyone else thinks its a BAD idea. I will have to reinforce the track a little and add a bracket of some sort. But that wont be hard. The ballasts will be just inches out of the path of the A/C rent and about 8 inches under the ceiling fan. So I think I should have more than enough ventilation. More so than on the wall.

jnarowe
06/17/2008, 08:57 AM
sounds like a good plan. Yu can get heavy cable to run power to the rack and install as many plugs as you need in the rack itself. That way there is just one line that has to be dealt with.

ReefWaters
06/17/2008, 10:26 AM
I was thinking about running an Aquacontroller heavy duty 4 plug direct connect from the wall plug and then mounting it on the rack. I believe that should run 4 Ice Cap ballasts just fine. Of course, that wont help if I add another MH or moon lights. Hmm. Gotta keep thinking.

jnarowe
06/17/2008, 10:30 AM
run two. or one and a DC8 so you have plenty of plugs for moonlights etc. Remember that there is a max amp. for not only the whole DC4HD but also for each plug.

ReefWaters
06/17/2008, 11:47 AM
I'll definately figure out the max amp pull before doing anything. I just thought about this too, with the the DC4 and/or DC8 I would still have to use a lamp module for the moonlights wouldnt I? Or is that function built in to the DC's?

kingsland
06/17/2008, 08:29 PM
Nice to see you've made some progress. I've been wondering how your project was going.

ReefWaters
07/08/2008, 10:40 PM
I went to Lowe's yesterday to pick up a bunch of Sch 80 to get started on the plumbing. My plan was to plumb everything with Sch 80 PVC. Well, I obviously never took the time to really look at the prices of this stuff! :eek1: :D At up to four times the cost of Sch 40 I can live without the cool grey color. I mean, that was the only reason I wanted it anyway. :smokin: I just can't justify spending an additional several hundred dollars just for some color. So I picked up a bunch of Sch 40 90's and 1" thin wall pipe to get me started. This will be a lot better for maximizing flow through the drains anyway. I did pop for some 3/4" Sch 80 for the pump returns. I'm waiting on a bunch of pipe clips from Savko for attaching the pipe to the wall and then I can REALLY get started on some plumbing.

I worked on mounting the ballasts to the rack tonight. I should be able to finish it up tomorrow or the next day and start wiring the VHO's and MH's.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014800.jpg
I just riveted two pieces of angle to the frame and will mount the other MH ballast above this one. I will add two more pieces of angle to the right of these and mount the two 660's to these.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014803.jpg

jnarowe
07/09/2008, 09:42 AM
looking very good. Nice job on the ballast. remember they are disimilar metals so a piece of rubber between the aluminum and the ballast would be a good idea.

tgunn
07/09/2008, 08:05 PM
Wow, I envy the access to your tank you will have with that setup!!! I wish I could slide away my equipment that easily to get at the tank!

Looking forward to seeing this with water in it!

Tyler

ReefWaters
07/10/2008, 07:47 AM
jnarowe, good suggestion. I'll pick some rubber gaskets up at the HD next time I'm in there.

tgunn, I actually ended up with WAY more access room than I ever expected. I am very excited about this. I currently have a 2' x 10" area to access my entire cube right now and it REALLY limits a lot of the maintenance/cleaning I would like to do on the tank.

I had to go out of town yesterday so nothing got done on the tank. I have to go out of town tomorrow afternoon for the weekend so nothing is getting done then either. :( But business has slowed down a little during the dead heat of the summer so I should be able to make some time for the tank over the next month or so.

Thanks for the comments!

RW

ReefWaters
07/15/2008, 03:21 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12910344#post12910344 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
...remember they are disimilar metals so a piece of rubber between the aluminum and the ballast would be a good idea.

Well, I woke up in a sweat thinking about this comment....yeah, I know, took a while. I used stainless steel rivets and bolts on the entire aluminum rack. I also used some mystery metal self tapping screws (probably zinc). I'm sure this wont corrode to the point of falling apart but do you think I'll have problems with flaking metal from corrosion of the dissimilar metals? I used the SS rivets because I was afraid that the aluminum ones would be too weak.

I'm diligently working away on the tank every moment I get. I had to go out of town all weekend and yesterday so I'm hoping to get some stuff done during the evenings this week. I'll keep you posted and probably post some pics in a day or so.

jnarowe
07/15/2008, 03:49 PM
never know what will happen, but the combination of steel (ferrous metal) and aluminum is not a good one, and it is even worse in a salt environment. You don't ever want to lose an iron based fastener in an aluminum boat.

My fisherman buddy just had to replace his pilothouse doors. They are marine grade aluminum on a steel boat and they literally fell apart.

If it were me, and I had the time, I would remove the SS rivets and put in aluminum ones. They should be plenty strong.I doubt you will have the kind of salty humidity that I have in my tank room, but looking down the road, it could cost you a lot more.

I would bet that the zinc fasteners will corrode to failure, and it might not take very long.

ReefWaters
07/15/2008, 08:22 PM
Okay, Im sure you are correct but Im a glutton for punishment and at this point, if I dont get some water in this thing soon, Im going to lose it. Im going to keep a close eye on it and pull it down later if I have to. I dont think it will be any more work if I have to pull it down later instead of now. :rolleye1: Yeah, Im lying to myself to keep this thing moving.

jnarowe
07/15/2008, 08:34 PM
I fully understand. You should have seen me when it took 27+ days to fill my tank. I just about hung myself.

ReefWaters
07/15/2008, 08:58 PM
Ha ha. :lol: That brings up another thing Ive been thinking about. Doesnt the RO produce more waste water than filtered water? That seems like such a waste. Can I use the waste water to water my lawn or something? :D Or would the concentrated dissolved solids be bad for the lawn?

jnarowe
07/15/2008, 09:38 PM
Actually, I channel the "waste" water to barrels and water my vegetable garden from them with a timer. The waste water really is a high nutrient water much like a diluted fertilizer. I think it's a great idea, and when I rip out my deck and put in terraces I will install a 1000g waste water collection system.

I really don't know what the effect would be on a awn but it sure would pay to try it out. I just don't have enough to make that practical.

ReefWaters
07/15/2008, 09:53 PM
Well, anything is better than dumping it down the drain. I mean, environment aside, I paid for it right!

jnarowe
07/15/2008, 09:59 PM
exactly. I don't "pay" for the raw water since I am on a private well, but there still is a cost to purify and I hate to waste anything. I will probaby run my roof gutters into the sistern to feed the yard too on the six days it doesn't rain. :rolleyes:

ReefWaters
07/15/2008, 11:05 PM
Let me know where you get your sistern. I was even thinking of putting a large, shallow, sistern under my house in the crawl space since I dont have a lot of yard to waste. Then maybe hook up a small pump to it. Yeah, and I'll do this during all of my other free time I have to start projects only to leave them un-finished for years. :D

And to throw a tank note in here:
Ive got one MH and one 660, along with all the end caps, completely wired except for the power. It wasnt nearly as difficult as I thought it would be and the wiring has turned out extremely neat and tidy. I'll try to get some pictures up tomorrow. Now I just need to make a fish or cut bait decision on the DC8 or whatever else Im going to use to power and switch the lights.

jnarowe
07/16/2008, 10:53 AM
I hear ya on that. I don't even want to go out in my yard. My wife put up some fencing to allow the neighbors sheep to come in and eat the grass!

DawgDiggity
07/18/2008, 09:36 PM
The Icecap 660, you running VHO's or T5's??

ReefWaters
07/21/2008, 07:40 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12977462#post12977462 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by DawgDiggity
The Icecap 660, you running VHO's or T5's??

VHO's. Some may think they are a little old school but I have always had great luck with them. And since I've been using them for eons I can trouble shoot anything with them.


Update: I didn't work on the tank but a few hours this weekend but I feel like I'm getting some good progress going. If all goes to plan, I should have the plumbing pretty much finished up by the end of the weekend and can do a fresh water water test. Cross your fingers! :smokin: I do promise to get some pics up soon but that usually ends up taking me an hour or two to accomplish.

ReefingBuddha
07/21/2008, 09:41 AM
j, why does it not surprise me that your neighbors have sheep... Don't want to think what happens when you and Sherman start drinking.

Looking forward to those pictures.

jnarowe
07/21/2008, 10:14 AM
And they are "long haired" sheep too. very cute. :eek: They always give me the stink-eye when I mow, so here's their chance!

DawgDiggity
07/21/2008, 04:16 PM
VHO's... "if it ain't broke..."

I asked an engineer buddy of mine about the use of those aluminum angle iron and SS rivets:

The combination of dissimilar metals is never a good idea. We did an experiment in school where you take 2 different metals and stick them in a brine solution. You are essentially making a battery and you can actually measure a slight voltage across the metals. This is also the reason you don’t use SS bolts in an aluminum engine or heads. Steel fasteners are fine as long as they are coated with zinc, chrome, anodized, etc. IMO SS fasteners are a bad idea anyway, they have the tendency to gall and are usually impossible to remove.

I am surprised the AL doors corroded. I would have thought the gaskets would have prevented the metal contact. I would suspect that this was another issue.


It is a bit late in the thread, but I had never heard of this before and thought it very interesting topic. Great thread!!

jnarowe
07/21/2008, 04:27 PM
one comment regarding the aluminum doors: This is on an ocean-going hard working fishing vessel under constant harsh sea conditions. Saltwater + aluminum + steel is just a really bad mix under these stressors. Some might ask why use aluminum doors then ? (I know I did) And the answer is that they are much less likely to kill a person in a heavy sea.

as far as using steel that are coated with zinc or other materials, I would agree if it weren't for the vibration. Even the slightest vibration over time will cause the coatings to fail and the underlying steel to corrode.

VHO's work well. I am using NO's over-driven by an IceCap 660 and the results are spectacular. I can post a pic if you want to see it. As far as lifesapn is concerned, I feel this issue is more than mitigated by the significantly less expensive bulbs.

mpoletti
07/21/2008, 04:31 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12990277#post12990277 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
VHO's. Some may think they are a little old school but I have always had great luck with them. And since I've been using them for eons I can trouble shoot anything with them.


Me too ;) There are just certain things you can achieve with VHO's that you can't with any other lights.

ReefWaters
07/22/2008, 09:49 AM
Man! You guys have me all stressed out about the SS rivets now. :( I'm thinking I need to pull the whole rack down and replace the rivets and SS bolts. But I REALLY don't want to. I could replace the rivets with aluminum but what about the bolts? Do they even make aluminum bolts and where would I find them? What have other people done when they needed to "bolt" or "screw" aluminum. Maybe I'm being overly optimistic but I don't believe I'll have a problem. The two instances you guys are mentioning having failure involved high stress and/or complete submersion in salt water. Neither of these will be occurring to my light rack. I'm stumped here.

On a light rack related note, I had to do a bunch of rewiring on the VHO end caps because I decided to use the wiring diagram for the 430 and not the 660. :rolleyes: Luckily that wasn't a bad fix at all. Just a little time consuming. I'm just glad I caught it before I plugged the ballast in. That surely would have caused some issues.

I've been getting a good bit done over the past few days. I was going to post some pics of the progress but decided to wait until things are a little further along and the room is a little more cleaned up. Right now, I just have a bunch of miscellaneous plumbing done and a bunch of crap strewn everywhere. I have a MASSIVE HD/Lowe's list that I keep adding to. I'm going to keep doing what I can with what I have on had because every time I turn around I think of something else I need. And I HATE going to the hardware store EVERY DAY! Talk about stress.

I cut my first bulkhead holes last night. That was a lot easier than I expected. However, I did get some chip-out on the bottom side of the holes that I'm not too happy about. I don't think it will cause a problem but Id like to avoid it on the rest of the holes. I'm using a drill guide and the way it is set up, the bit only goes through the glass by about an 1/8th of an inch. This may be the whole problem so I'm going to change that before the next hole is drilled. Any other suggestions?

I also haven't been able to find an answer to whether or not the union ball valves from Northern Tool and Supply are reef safe. They are black, with a blue handle, and as far as I can tell are made from polypropylene. I know it is hard to tell without a pic. I'll post one when I get around to the other pics.

I think that's about all for right now. I'm just going to keep plugging away at things until I have to go to Lowe's. I may or may not make it out of there alive! :rollface: :rolleye1:

jnarowe
07/22/2008, 11:23 AM
I spent rediculous amounts of money at the local hardware store, but it seems less painful when you spread it out over many trips.

BTW, the mounts for my reflectors have steel bolts and they are all corroding. My only worry is that it will fall in the tank, but a little iron shouldn't hurt anything. When I do my tank remodel, I will go to all aluminum rivets.

ReefWaters
07/22/2008, 11:28 AM
Jonathan, how badly are the steel bolts corroding? Are they really so bad that you think they would fall apart? Are they flaking? And when you say "steel" do you mean stainless steel or just steel?

jnarowe
07/22/2008, 11:39 AM
just steel on most of mine. They are slowly dripping rust down the reflectors due to humidity, but to be very specific, stainless steel is no better.

I installed stainless steel tables and a stainless refrigerator and they all need constant attention. There are many different recipes for stainless, so certian ones like 316 would do better than the sucky 18-8 I have. The plain and simple truth is that it was a mistake to install them. They look "cool" but require extra upkeep.

But, there's no real reason to use bolts for your rack. Nice sized aluminum rivets will work great and if you ever have to change the rack, you can just drill them out.

Even better would be to use a food grade plastic grating that could be hung as a rack. This generally would cost a bit (OK, a lot)more but its service life would be virtually infinite and there would be zero corrosion issue. If I were to build a rack system, that is what I would use.

ReefWaters
07/22/2008, 02:09 PM
The main place where I am using bolts is to connect the plastic end caps to the rack. So I was afraid to rivet them as I have had problems breaking plastic parts trying to rivet them to things.

I PM'd a few people with aluminum racks and they are not having problems with the SS bolts they used touching aluminum. Ive just got too much to finish on this tank right now, Im going to leave it be and keep an eye on it. I believe (or at least hope) that I wont have much of a problem as I plan on keeping the humidity in the room down as much as possible.

melev
07/22/2008, 03:59 PM
Just keep an eye on the rack and look for signs of issues. My aluminum rack was riveted together with aluminum pins. I've been using the same rivet gun for 15 years, I don't even know how you can break those (someone posted going through three of them recently).

I used screws to hold in the end caps, and screws to hold on the rollers. They were over my tank for more than 3 years without problems. Sure they looked bad when I finally replaced my lights, but none of that stuff ever made it into my tank as far as I could tell. The euro-bracing kept the perimeter safe from any dropped flakes or rust dust, I'm sure.

octoboy
07/27/2008, 08:26 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=12998317#post12998317 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
I cut my first bulkhead holes last night. That was a lot easier than I expected. However, I did get some chip-out on the bottom side of the holes that I'm not too happy about. I don't think it will cause a problem but Id like to avoid it on the rest of the holes. I'm using a drill guide and the way it is set up, the bit only goes through the glass by about an 1/8th of an inch. This may be the whole problem so I'm going to change that before the next hole is drilled. Any other suggestions?

When you were drilling the bulkheads, did you put tape on the opposite side of the glass? How are you cooling and lubing the drill bit as it goes through the glass?

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 11:22 AM
No I didn't put any tape on the opposite side. Does that help with the chip out? I am lubing it with plain old tap water. Just pouring a little on the glass/bit every so often as I go.

melev
07/27/2008, 01:18 PM
When I've drilled glass tanks (and I've only done a few holes), I take a styrofoam cup and cut off the bottom half. I use the upper section as a collar around the area I'm going to drill. Some plumbers putty makes a great dam for the styrofoam to wedge into, and I fill it up with some water. This keeps the area submerged as I drill.

Be sure to place a towel under the area that is getting drilled so as the glass falls down, it won't damage the opposing glass panel. Taping the underside might help - I've never done that but it seems like it might prevent chipping.

octoboy
07/27/2008, 04:52 PM
The tape helps provide a little back pressure to cut down on the chipping. I also used glass cutting oil and poured the oil on as I went. However, the water probably works better as a coolant.

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 07:07 PM
I drilled three more holes this afternoon. No problems to speak of. There was a little chip out but it's so thin you can barely tell its there.

Im working on posting some pics as we speak....

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 08:00 PM
I've been working as much as I could on the tank over the past week. Basically just doing a bunch of miscellaneous plumbing. The biggest thing slowing me down is not having every single little tiny thing I need. From simple things like screws that I can get at Casa Depot to specialty items that have to be ordered from Savko or Premium Aquatics, etc, etc.

I got a bunch of these "clic" clips from Savko. They work GREAT! Just pop a screw through the hole in the base and click the clamps shut. A pair of pliers is occasionally needed to get them to click but you can usually do it with your fingers. You can get them open again with a flat head screwdriver if you need to. I've been trying to put them all on studs but have had a few misses. Anyway...

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014828.jpg

Drilled a bunch of holes for pumps, and drains, and more drains.
http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014859.jpg

The pumps need to sit directly on the ground. But as we all know, an external pump sitting directly on tile is no good. I had some scrap starboard or cutting board - whichever you like - so I made these mounts. I used lags with lock nuts to secure the pump to the mount and strips of "gripper" rubber padding for furniture. It all works a lot better than I thought it would.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014837.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014839.jpg

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 08:03 PM
Here's the light rack in its 95% finished state. I have to run the power cords to the Aqua Controller direct connect (I still have to order this) and wire up the moonlights. I'll move the two ballasts from my cube over when I move the rest of the cube over. It shouldn't take me long to wire it all up with the base all finished.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014867.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014870.jpg


I took Melev's advice and took a precautionary measure for the off chance that the A/C unit leaks any fluids at some point. I was walking through the HD the other day and it dawned on me to look at some exterior flashing or something similar for some ideas. I ended up buying a length of vinyl gutter and two end caps. I just screwed it to the wall and will silicone the inside edges to make sure any liquid that runs down the wall will stay in the gutter/tray. I'll probably end up plumbing a small drain out side as well as an extra security measure. Better safe than sorry I say.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014875.jpg

jnarowe
07/27/2008, 08:07 PM
you got lots of stuff done! And I am a big fan of those clips from SAVKO. I even used one for my COND Probe isolation cup:

http://home.wavecable.com/~jrowe/conductivity%20probe.jpg

How's that for original?? :lol:

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 08:16 PM
Here's the main sump in the front. I went ahead and drilled two pump bulkheads in case I ever want to add redundant pump or a chiller or something cool I don't even know about yet. The drain for the water change pump is in the center of the picture on the bottom left hand corner of the 55. I need to get a union ball valve for it. The Brute in the background is my fresh water reservoir. This will feed the top off and the kalk reactor.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014874.jpg

The drain from the water change sump dumps directly into the floor drain. I used a Dremel to cut away enough of the drain cover to slip the PVC through. There is still enough room around the edge of the PVC to let plenty of water through should I ever need it. But I'm really looking forward to my first zero spill water change! :D

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014857.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014877.jpg

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 08:23 PM
And finally just a few miscellaneous shots.

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014855.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014858.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014871.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014872.jpg

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/P1014876.jpg

And one last one. I just couldnt resist. Its totally off subject but maybe it will be my next project....in 30 years.....

http://i6.photobucket.com/albums/y210/ReefWaters/DreamTank1.jpg

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 08:25 PM
I actually LOVE that idea Jonathan. I'll probably make it even a one step simpler and glue the clip directly to the glass! :lol:

jnarowe
07/27/2008, 08:46 PM
Nice mock-up! :eek:

I have floor drain envy. :shock:

melev
07/27/2008, 08:46 PM
I really like what you've accomplished. So what is your goal date for adding water? Seems long overdue for some reason. ;)

ReefWaters
07/27/2008, 09:03 PM
Water? What do you mean by water? What is that?

:lol:

I still have no idea! :rolleyes: I'm placing an order tomorrow for some more parts, and assuming I don't forget anything, I'm hoping to be doing a fresh water leak test around the first week of August. Assuming all goes well with that it will just be a matter of filling the tank(s) with RO/DI and adding salt.

Obviously I will get the parameters in the new tank perfect before moving the old tank and water over, but what do you guys think about cycling the new water? How long would you wait to move the livestock? Should I do some water swaps? Any thoughts?

There will be a minimal amount of plumbing to be done on the day of the move. I'll have to move the current sump over and plumb it into the system. I'll probably give it a good cleaning while I'm at it too.

Also, I'm not sure if I mentioned it before, but I'm going to postpone building the fuge and prop tank until the display is running and the cube is moved over. I just have to get the cube out of my guest room. If I have one more leak or spill on my hard wood floor I'm going to kick my own @$$.

I should be able to get cracking on that within a few weeks of the move. I'll have 90% of the work done anyway.

melev
07/27/2008, 09:31 PM
Usually I try to use the water from the old system in the new one. However, if the water parameters of both systems match, then that's good enough. You definitely want as many parms to match; specifically pH, temp, and salinity, but alk, ca, & mg would be good as well.

I wouldn't be trying to cycle the water, but aging it a few days is fine. That allows the plumbing to break in, plus you can watch for any oddities to occur. If you run your lights, you run the risk of nuisance algae, but you also can see how much the tank heats up each day, and how much it cools off at night. You can always put in a test subject (snail, shrimp, damsel or chromis) to see how they respond to the new water, if you wish.

jnarowe
07/28/2008, 12:47 PM
I have seen guys just swap tanks directly with no aging, and then others that go to extreme lengths to ensure no shock or added cycle.

It all depends on the livestock you are moving, how much new rock is in the new tank, etc. If you have new rock in the new tank, I would allow it to cycle. If you don't, and are just going to move the livestock and rock over, then I would get all params in line as Marc stated and during the move, I would transfer over as much of the "old" water as possible.

Couple possible scenarios:

1. remove sump from old system, plumb into new, move livestock and old water over into sump, and slowly allow the water to mix.

2. Over the course of several days, swap 5 gal. at a time between the two systems while both are running at same params. This would be a nice slow acclimation.

ReefWaters
07/28/2008, 04:06 PM
As for now, I think I'm going to get the new tank water mixed and the params in line first. Maybe swap a 5 gallon bucket or two between the systems over the coarse of no more than a day or two.

What I like about this set up is that I can run the whole thing off of just the new sump. So in other words, the display will be running/circulating through the main sump and water change sump well before I ever break down the old tank. I can move the live stock into the new display and then start working on moving the old sump (new secondary sump) over to the new system without shutting down the circulation pumps or anything. In fact, this will buy me as much as a few days of running without the secondary sump. But this will also mean I have no skimmer so I will get that going as quickly as possible.

I ordered what I hope is my last order from Savko today. I also ordered an AC III PRO!!!!!! I'm REALLY excited about this upgrade. I've been running a JR and I love it but I just cant wait for the added features of the Pro. I'm going to start controlling the CA reactor chamber PH and/or effluent as well as monitoring the tank PH. I'm going to monitor conductivity as well which I think I'm going to like as my current tank always seems to be a little low on salt IMO. I'm going to hold off on running ozone for now.

Anybody know of an easy/cheap way to connect the AC III Pro to the internet? I have a wireless router connected to a cable modem in the next room. I could run an Ethernet cable to the router through the walls but I REALLY don't want to.

jnarowe
07/28/2008, 04:33 PM
1. Be very careful about conductivity probes. They are not reliable and cannot be used for exactly measuring S.G. In fact, since I have had my ACIII Pro, the COND probe has only worked well for a few short months. Even with it isolated something was plating it and I would clean it, re-calibrate, and then the reading would slowly drop to the point of being useless.

So they have an inherent problem of plating, as well as a semi-short lifespan. Setting the controller up to spot major swings may be a good way of getting an alarm for out-of-state salinity, like if something were to fail and you started filling up the system with RO/DI water.

I have spent a fair amount of time on this and purchased at least one new Lab Grade COND probe with the exact same results. It has never been reliable and the feedback from my mentor is the same.

Sorry to bring you that bad news, but I would rather that you were aware of it and understood it before it became a problem.

2. There is no such thing as a "Last Order from SAVKO".

3. Lots of help regarding connecting the ACIII Pro in the Neptune Systems Forum (http://reefcentral.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?s=&forumid=368) as well as from Curt. He is bar-none the best technical advisor in the business.

You can get a head start by checking out this site: http://www.dyndns.com/services/dns/dyndns/ This allows you to tap into your controller from a remote location. You could also use pcAnywhere if you have your controller hooked into a PC with Aquanotes or even just a web browser.

There is a web server/browser built into the ACII Pro so you just need to find the best way to hook into it.

4. My tank room is on the floor below my home office and I like to be able to spy on the system from there. I have AquaNotes install on the office PC and a wireless router as well. When I first set up my ACIII Pro I had to buy the bridge online, so I substituted a wireless gaming adapter while I waited and it worked great right out of the box.

Then when the bridge came, I swapped them. It actually took more work to get the bridge online than the gaming adapter, and the gaming adapter was half the price. Just an FYI.

I have been happy just to get alarm emails without actually tapping into the controller, but like I stated, using the dynamic DNS site or pcAnywhere are both good solutions.

HTH.

stunreefer
07/28/2008, 05:38 PM
Great build ReefWaters!

Cant wait to see your next project, ;)

Kurt03
07/28/2008, 05:51 PM
What about sms on power outages? I assume this is possible, just need the ac3 and cable modem, and switch/hub/router on battery backup? Not sure how you detect the power outage though.

jnarowe
07/28/2008, 06:32 PM
Kurt03: The ACIII Pro will detect the power outage itself by utilizing a second power adapter running from a UPS. But even if you have all your stuff on BB like I do, when the power goes out, your internet company (cable in my case) may not work to get the message through.

Having said that, I am usually the first to kniow about it when it does happen. :D

Kurt03
07/28/2008, 07:09 PM
Does this work on the AC3 (not pro) as well?

Sorry to spam your thread reefwaters, really like what your doing. Cant wait to see it all finished :D
Im going to have to get me some of those clips!

jnarowe
07/28/2008, 07:27 PM
Honestly, I have no idea. A quick email to Curt would answer that.

Kurt03
07/28/2008, 07:42 PM
Ill have to do that when I get it, he has a cool name. Its spelled wrong though ;)

Ratpack
08/05/2008, 08:27 AM
Very nice set up. I hink I'll tag along and see the outcome. This is similar to what I hope to have one day.

Lunchbucket
08/05/2008, 05:01 PM
Nice job. Where you get those rollers for your light rack?

Nice click clamps, I'm gonna have to order some now

Lunchbucket

ReefWaters
08/05/2008, 06:03 PM
Got the track and rollers from Johnson Hardware.

http://johnsonhardware.com/


They have stuff that will hang a car if you wanted to. But you really don't need anything more than the lightest track they make. The only thing I wish I had done was go with the ball bearing rollers for a few extra bucks. But I can always replace them...and probably will be soon. There are tons of places on the web that sell this stuff but I found these guys to have a good selection and pricing with an easy to use website.

Looks like you're having to take a break from your tank? Sucks doesn't it? I'm SO close I can taste it...I just need to buck it up and finish already! :smokin:

Lord Viper
08/05/2008, 06:10 PM
Reef waters your doing an excellent job on your build keep up the good work. dont rush it now youve taken you time so far don't ruin the quality by rushing.

ReefWaters
08/05/2008, 06:24 PM
Oh I won't cut any corners. I REALLY am very close. I have all the parts and equipment, I just need to finish putting it all together.

On another note - does anyone know if I can go ahead and install AquaNotes on my computer and start playing with my programming before I plug up and turn on the ACIII Pro?

jnarowe
08/05/2008, 07:42 PM
hmmmm....I would think so because you can use it without communicating with the controller. Probably a bit of a waste though since you won't get any feedback.

BTW, I keep my timer names, program, and notes in a Word Document so that I make changes there and then copy & paste to Aquanotes. That way I always have a "backup" in case the unit were to die on me.

Lunchbucket
08/05/2008, 07:44 PM
What did you buy from them? Which track and which rollers

Lunchbucket

ReefWaters
08/05/2008, 09:52 PM
I got 2, 96" 80 lb kits. I believe the only difference in the 80lb and the 150 lb kits are the hangers. I kind of wish I had spent the extra 20 bucks now. The 150 lb hangers just look like they would roll more smoothly. Mine tend to jerk a little. But like I said, I knew my rack wasnt going to be anywhere close to 160 lbs (2x80) total, so I went with the 80 lb kits. Im very happy with them overall.

http://jhusa.net/111pd.aspx

mehaffydr
08/06/2008, 04:10 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13097264#post13097264 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReefWaters
I got 2, 96" 80 lb kits. I believe the only difference in the 80lb and the 150 lb kits are the hangers. I kind of wish I had spent the extra 20 bucks now. The 150 lb hangers just look like they would roll more smoothly. Mine tend to jerk a little. But like I said, I knew my rack wasnt going to be anywhere close to 160 lbs (2x80) total, so I went with the 80 lb kits. Im very happy with them overall.

http://jhusa.net/111pd.aspx

I am new here but couldnt resist. I own my own buisness selling comercial doors and hardware I am a distributor for Johnson hardware.
The diff is that the heavyer ones have ballbearing rollers. I am not sure if that would be good for this application because of corosion but if youu would like some I could get you some much cheaper than buying at list price from the factory. They would be a few dollars each. I buy bulk quantities.

if you want a couple to try send me an email with your address and I will send you a couple no charge.

jnarowe
08/06/2008, 04:20 PM
uh oh.

mehaffydr
08/06/2008, 04:40 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13102337#post13102337 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by jnarowe
uh oh.

As I was typing I thought this might be a bad Idea being you Guys dont know me at all. I promise this is not an attempt at buisness just trying to help out that is why I actually offered a couple for free. I buy this stuff in large quan. for use in hotels and apartment buildings.

You can check my scren name on ebay is the same.
and I do have a new tank. 60" 36" 24"

Sorry if this was a bad Idea.http://i56.photobucket.com/albums/g170/mehaffydr/newtank003.jpg

ReefWaters
08/06/2008, 08:28 PM
All good here. I appreciate the offer but I hate to take anything from people for free. If the hangers I have dont work out you'll be the first person I contact. :D

ReefWaters
08/14/2008, 09:31 PM
This is beautiful. I found this picture at www.perfectoaquariums.com (not what I was looking for) but its a very good representation of what I'm going to try to do with my aquascaping. Several small rock islands with one or two large colonies on each.

http://www.perfectoaquariums.com/common/imagelib/index.htm/2063_270_200_crop_a686d.jpg

I cant seem to find any more information on this tank. It actually looks like a lagoon style tank or salt water pond. Maybe outdoors. What do you guys think?

Bax
08/15/2008, 04:50 AM
That would be awesome scaping for a shallow reef.

Bax
08/15/2008, 04:50 AM
bump

StripestheEel
08/20/2008, 10:01 PM
Subscribed. Looking forward to this.

ReefWaters
08/21/2008, 07:42 AM
Well its been a heck of a couple of weeks. I had my wisdom teeth pulled two weeks ago so that put me out of commission for a solid week. Then, just when I was starting to feel normal again, I pulled my back out. I can barely walk, let alone work on the tank. :rolleyes:

Oh well. That's life I guess. Hopefully I'll be feeling better in the next day or two and can get some work done over the weekend.


Another question about the AC Pro: Will the PH probe from the AC Jr work on the Pro? They do not look identical but Im pretty sure they have the same connection. Also, I plan on running a probe in the main sump to read the tank PH and then a second probe in the calcium reactor chamber. But I will have to run about 15 to 20 feet of wire to get to the reactor from the AC Pro. Do they make an extension cord? Or would I have to do one of the expansion boxes?

jnarowe
08/21/2008, 09:44 AM
You will need an expansion box anyway to utilize the second pH probe. I have about the same setup. If the probes have the same connector, you should be fine, but keep in mind they DO NOT have an infinite lifespan. 1 - 2 years at the most, depending on the "grade" you buy.

ReefWaters
08/21/2008, 10:54 AM
How can you tell when a probe is shot? Use an occasional test kit?

I also thought you could use the dissolved oxygen connection on the controller to run a second PH probe?

jnarowe
08/21/2008, 11:02 AM
That may be possible regarding the DO but I have not heard that before. I would talk to Curt about that.

Probes are easily plated even when new so they require quite a bit more attention than what is commonly assumed. And I don't know how much of "lifespan" is actually marketing. I have had 3 conductivity probes that didn't last long at all, and this is easily noticed when the values drop dramatically without cause.

For pH, that's another story. It may be more of a "feel" thing, but I am not very trusting of the ones I have now. I recently replaced one but have noticed that the one on my reactor does not seem to be registering much when the reactor is on. That's on my list today. I will re-calibrate it and see how it behaves, and if I get to a point that I don't believe it any more, then I will put on a new one.

ReefWaters
08/21/2008, 11:15 AM
I hate to hear that you have problems with the conductivity probe. I really want to be able to keep my salinity more spot on than I have been. But its not like taking a refractometer test is real hard or anything. :rolleyes:

Even though it would take an elaborate set up to "control" your salinity with the Pro, you can at least tell it to send you an alarm message if the salinity drops below a set point right? That way you can check the tank and determine at that point if the drop was caused by normal loss of salt (skimate, creep,spills, etc) over time or if it is being caused because of too much fresh water being dumped in the tank by your top off. Am I on the right page here?

jnarowe
08/21/2008, 11:32 AM
yes, BUT, that page is very wrinkled! :rolleyes:

When I first set up my system I relied on the cond probe and it seemed to go well for a while, but as the system aged, I noticed the probe screwing up. I discussed it with Weast and he very pointedly told me that they were not good for much and I should always check using a refractometer that has been properly calibrated.

I have not had a properly working cond probe on my system for over a year. I clean them, calibrate them, and they start showing a dropping value with a couple of days. This could be due to system issues like stray voltage but I have isolated the probe, installed a bunch of grounding probes etc. with still poor results.

So, I check salinity every day with a refractometer. I had originally used it to control top-off but it was just way out-of-spec. all the time. Now I use a LiterMeter III tied into the AC Pro to dose fresh kalkwasser based on pH and water level.

zmalexander
09/16/2008, 01:17 PM
Subscribed and I'm along for the ride. The system is looking great, and I'm loving your fishroom. "Any updates?" and "post more pics!"

Boostin S14
09/16/2008, 01:30 PM
A+ on the build!

Nice sig by the way....Spaceballs is one of my all time favs : )

ReefWaters
09/16/2008, 02:46 PM
I am moving along....very slowly.....as usual.....

I have all the plumbing finished for the main display, water change sump, and main sump. I have water tested this with fresh water and fixed the few leaks I had in the plumbing. I am EXTREMELY pleased with the the fact that the floor didn't fall in. :rolleyes: With the display and two sumps underneath it filled, I can jump next to the tank and I don't even get a ripple. I have already drained the fresh tap water out of the tank and will start filling it with RO pretty soon here.

I'm in the process of cleaning out all the unnecessary crap from the fish room (tools, plumbing parts, etc) and will then hopefully be able to wrap my head around the details of finishing this thing up.

As always, I am having to find time between work, my house, my girlfriend, and a little bit of me time. So its getting done 5 minutes at a time.

I've got to get the controller set up and installed. Plumb the feed pump and drain for the skimmer. Fill the display, WC and main sump with RO, then salt, and then get the parameters right. Once I have this all in line for a few days and nothing seems to be going haywire, I will transfer the rock and corals over to the display. I will probably just place my 10 gallon fuge in the WC tank for a while. I'm going to get a handle on the system for a few weeks before I try to add the fuge and prop tank to the system. The hardest part of that project will be assembling the tanks.

That's about where I am....... :smokin:


As some of you may or may not know, my current cube crashed several months back. This was completely my fault. I stopped almost all maintenance on it because, a) I was bored with it and b) I was spending my free time on the new tank. I have been doing what I can to get it back in line but it has not recovered. I have stabilized the coral plague and stopped the incessant death, but I am left with some sad coral specimens and a forest of bubble algae. I'm trying to decide how I'm going to deal with the bubble algae. On one hand, I want to completely clear the tank of it before I move to the new system. However, I am in no mood to mess with that system anymore. My wood floor is already ruined and more water damage wont do any good. The tank has a small leak up at the top. The floor is making the whole thing lean. I can barely get a hand in the tank to work on it. I cant get my hands in the overflow to clean it.....etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.

So I guess where I am at is trying to figure out my plan of action on how to minimize the transfer of bubble algae to the new system during the move. My initial thought is to remove all the coral from the rock during the move and place it in the new display on egg crate. Then I would scrub all of the rock to get rid of any bubble algae, but I'm not going to cook it or anything. Then I was thinking I would place all the rock in the sump for a few weeks so it would not receive any light, and hopefully hinder any bubble algae growth.

Anyone have any other thoughts on that subject?

melev
09/16/2008, 03:37 PM
If you aren't feeding that tank too much, you might drop in a small army of emerald crabs to clear off the rockwork of all that valonia.