View Full Version : Alysiak00's 65g Mixed Reef Build/Swap

03/31/2011, 05:34 PM
Hello fellow reefers, here is a well detailed and photographic view at how i swapped out my present tank (in one night....and morning) and how the new 65g has come to be. It first started when a few months ago I came across a 65g drilled which i've been looking for as an upgrade from my 45g canister tank. I acquired the tank, cleaned it, and then it sat in the shed for a few weeks. Then Sunday (3/27/2011) My grandfather passed away (R.I.P Gramps :) ). Anyways, with a lot on my mind and definitely no way of sleeping, so began my long night swapping tanks and keeping my mind off other things. So without further a do, Here is my journey....



03/31/2011, 05:36 PM
Tank started out as a bare 65g, drilled with two bulkheads, one capped and one leading to sump. The sump consists of a 29g (absolutely crammed in there) with 3 chambers. A fuge, a center area with sump, and a return with gfo reactor and pump


03/31/2011, 05:40 PM
And now the fun part....

Heres when i started at 7:00pm on sunday

First started by unhooking the old Fluval 305 and taking apart anything i could to move out of the way


Heres my new water that i filled the new tank up with the rest of the way. It'd had been sitting in the tub with heater and powerhead and right sg. and temp for roughly two days.


03/31/2011, 05:43 PM
As i live in a mobile home right now space is a little tight so for the past month i had two large pieces of live rock in 5 gal buckets. Each one is in a 5 gal bucket by itself as they are that big of pieces.


Started to get all equipment out of the tank and get the holding tank setup.


Finally got the syphon out and started filling the holding tank and draining the display


03/31/2011, 05:49 PM
Before i go any further with handling the tank i must say SAFETY FIRST! I use these religiously when handling my live rock as there are always baddies out there that you never see.


Now theres a little break in the pictures but i think everyone can understand that this part is a time sensitive step lol. But heres when most of the stuff was transferred over and into the holding tank.


The tank kept dropping....slowly.....very slowly....


03/31/2011, 05:54 PM
Tanks pretty much dry just a little further to go.....


Once it was empty, out to the porch it went, lol. I'm still hearing everyday how I need to move my "glass fish turd bucket" off the porch. Why can't women just understand?


Just like anything in this hobby, if you don't get EVERYTHING, EVERYWHERE, ALLOVER WET in some way.....your just not a hardcore reefer lol. Just a little spillage but still a point was made.


03/31/2011, 05:59 PM
The girlfriend decided to come over and lend a helping hand.....she decided to take more pictures of me working.


Heres the stand for it. Its just an oak stand with standard 65g dimension. The base for the tank is sunk in with the normal 36x18 footprint but the stand itself sits at 38x20. Also, may i remind you how cramped it is in there. This is the point at where I started clamping on my home made conduit light stands. You can kinda see them.


03/31/2011, 06:04 PM
Remember what i said about cramped.....yea. Anyways this was taken right after i got back from walmart. I completely forgot to get 3/4" clamps for the light stands....silly me. Its okay though, nothing a night time run to "Wally World" can't fix. :D
*Plus i think they could have sent out a whole "People of Walmart" email from some of the clowns i saw up there. lol


Anyhoos, right after i hurled the tank on top of the stand, the girlfriend found something she liked to do.....pour sand. She said its fun.....whatever


The bottom of the tank has a piece of eggcrate cut to fit so all of a sudden my rocks don't shuffle and fall down. Thats the last thing i need. Here is some more sand going in and a little closer to the end of the road.....NOT


03/31/2011, 06:07 PM
The last of the sand going in. I only wanted a shallow sandbed as a deep sand bed has given me nothing but headaches in the past. They're great for a while but the maintenance is just not for me. So about 25lbs of sand and thats it. It created about a 5/8" sand bed.


Apparently Amanda has never seen "floating sand." She said it defied gravity and apparently it amazed the crap out of her lol


03/31/2011, 06:10 PM
FTS with a little more water and the two large pieces of live rock that had been cooking in the buckets. These suckers are heavy! They don't look big but they're deep


This is either the "O-H...I-O" face or the "jeez this is boring, pick a better hobby" face. I'm pretty sure its the first one!


03/31/2011, 06:14 PM
The woman decided to go home and leave me alone with the monster about to be unleashed.


More water went in as i cleaned the gfo reactor and waited for the tank water to balance out a little more.


I also started to setup my first sump but i don't think i did a bad job. Still tweaking the EuroReef skimmer. Fuge on right (with drain from tank), middle chamber with skimmer and chemi-pure, left chamber with return and gfo canister


03/31/2011, 06:18 PM
Kept hooking up the goodies like the ATO, heaters, and other junk while it continued to fill. After getting the sump "together," if you want to call it that, it was time for the morning shift. :D


The sump was almost done so i decided to do the wiring and make everything all nice and neat. I hate being a neat freak....i might be OCD. Everything is ziptied and kept orderly.


Fuge light works :)


03/31/2011, 06:21 PM
Little off topic but heres my little buddy "Float." Had him since he was the size of a quarter and he kept me company all through the night. He'll talk your ear off and he tells pretty good jokes. lol


Time to start draining the holding tank and adding the livestock back into the display. Just for clarification, i used all of the old water from the 45g and filled the rest with new.


03/31/2011, 06:24 PM
Tanks full of coral, although its highly unorganized in there.....yes, it made me absolutely crazy but time was precious.


Turned out to look at how my progress was going and well....its early (yes thats a.m.)


And heres a little taste of the mess i made. One dirty bedroom coming up! Whats that? You want a side of cluttered bathroom, no problem.


03/31/2011, 06:31 PM
Like i said. it was messy. Theres a bed in there somewhere!


And, after moving some corals around, gluing some here and there, and throwing some rocks in the sump this is where i was at. Not bad for 10 straight hours with your hands in saltwater :D
So this was the end of my first dive into the new tank. I went to bed about an hour later after i cleared off my bed and had enough time for 45 minutes of sleep before i had to wake up for work.....


03/31/2011, 06:37 PM
Here is where i started messing with the new t5 retro kit from BRS. I bought the kit for supplemental lights to my 2x150 sunpod. I ended up going with an actinic plus for the rear bulb and a fiji purple for the front.


Once again, just like war, you have to have chaos before you can have order :D


Heres more of my OCD kicking in with the overkill of zipties





03/31/2011, 06:40 PM
Heres what the tank looked like with the canopy on but without the lights. I just wanted to check fitment....and sure enough, after all the zipties i had to cut them off again because i had to slide the ballast over an inch. It ended up hitting my light stand. What are the chances.


Heres an upper view of the canopy with just the sunpod


03/31/2011, 06:45 PM
Finally some tank shots. Heres a few, don't mind the chaos in the tank. Some of the stuff was still not attached or positioned.




Top Middle

Frag rack

Left FTS

Right FTS


03/31/2011, 06:49 PM
i ended up getting the lights hooked up and wired after some absolutely absurd directions. Let me tell you, these things are vague and confusing. It tells you to do one thing, then take it apart and do another. I felt like i was on candid camera. But besides the point, they're together and working great!


03/31/2011, 06:55 PM
Looking good I want a 65g that will fit on my 40B stand I made. Im jelly.

03/31/2011, 06:57 PM
Heres the Tank after the lights were put on. I tried to just attach them because i can't figure out why photobucket won't let me upload bigger pictures with better clarity....o well

03/31/2011, 06:59 PM
Looking good I want a 65g that will fit on my 40B stand I made. Im jelly.

I have to say that going from a 45g to a 65g the upgrade was nice because most of the equipment will work. The depth is absolutely wonderful. Never again will i go to a tank less than 18" deep.

03/31/2011, 07:16 PM
heres some of the corals and once again i put them in attachments. anyone know how to upload good quality big pics. It'd be greatly appreciated :)

03/31/2011, 07:23 PM
Fiji leather, safecracker zoos, some goofy named sps :D

03/31/2011, 07:36 PM
sump as it sits right now. Notice theres a lot more rock in the 3rd chamber, and still for some reason the skimmer isn't peaking the collection cup.

side view from the left side looking to the right of the tank. thats my hammer, tyree toadstool, sun coral, shrooms and browned out acro lol. The acro and the purple sps are the only two that really got rocked with the switch. they should pull through though .

Frag rack.

03/31/2011, 07:54 PM
Definitely an improvement over the previous setup. Looks good.

03/31/2011, 10:35 PM
the euro reef skimmer i got used but it had a brand new sedra 3500. when i bought it, it came with two nozzles and everything else. my problem is that it doesn't skim all the way up the neck. it did when i first got it but not anymore. I think it might have just been breaking in but it receded after breaking in. Its sitting in roughly 10-14 in of water (as you can see) but the skim line doesn't go far past the collection cup seal. Any ideas. I cleaned out the pump, cleaned the venturi, and cleaned the airline, still nothing. You think the tank is still too "clean" or new to start skimming?

gray shorty nozzle (no micro bubbles escaped)



black long nozzle (had lots of micro bubbles)



venturi (as you can see, no broken needles or cracks)


03/31/2011, 10:38 PM
Very cool....thoses messes looked quite familiar and the floating sand comments were hilarious. Nice job.

03/31/2011, 11:11 PM
Lookin nice! Lucky to find a fitting sump. Still can't find one for my 60 g

04/01/2011, 05:37 AM
Lookin nice! Lucky to find a fitting sump. Still can't find one for my 60 g

to get the tank into the stand I had to take out one of the top pieces of wood

04/01/2011, 06:14 AM
Might try raising the skimmer up.....I have read that most skimmers work best in 8-10 inches of water.....worth a shot anyways.

04/01/2011, 06:33 AM
Sounds like a long night. Looks really good!

04/01/2011, 08:03 AM
Nice writeup. The transformation looks great!

04/01/2011, 03:16 PM
Nice writeup. The transformation looks great!

It's not the way I like doing things but its the only way I could do it. The tank is in my room and I can't setup another one. But, I agree and think it came out alright. I may have lost an acro and my clown hasn't hosted his nem in a few days

04/01/2011, 04:09 PM
i see ya still have the sunpod i sold ya.how is it working out.bye the way the tank looks good.

04/01/2011, 04:17 PM
i see ya still have the sunpod i sold ya.how is it working out.bye the way the tank looks good.

The sunpod is great. Im getting ready to get phoenix 14k bulbs for it. It's been a great entry level mh and i absolutely love the shimmer

04/01/2011, 06:16 PM
Very sorry about you Gramps, Alys. Thanks for the entertainment, I had fun reading your thread. :)
I'm in Streetsboro, too, and I desperately need someone to take a look at my setup and let me know what I else I need to get, need to change, and need to learn. Maybe I can get you to help me out?
PM incoming...

04/01/2011, 07:45 PM
Very sorry about you Gramps, Alys. Thanks for the entertainment, I had fun reading your thread. :)
I'm in Streetsboro, too, and I desperately need someone to take a look at my setup and let me know what I else I need to get, need to change, and need to learn. Maybe I can get you to help me out?
PM incoming...

lol its no problem, i'm always willing to help anyone in this hobby. I'm not an expert by far but i can guide you along no problem :D

04/01/2011, 07:49 PM
would like to give an update....I"M FED UP WITH THIS SKIMMER!

I've done nothing but tinker with this thing for a week now. I rose the skimmer up roughly two inches and still it had no effect except a slight increase in the neck. someone recommended i put the skimmer in 7-8" of water and it actually lowered the level (making it worse)

The skimmer is now sitting in 10" of water and its bubbling up the tube but still 1-2" shy of the collection cup lip.

04/01/2011, 08:03 PM
Is the inlet to the pump up against the glass of the sump?

04/01/2011, 08:05 PM
no it has about 4-6" distance away from glass. I also cleaned out the pump to make sure no cheato lodged in there. The only other thing i can think of is a leak in the adjustment pipe or a toast pump.

04/01/2011, 08:12 PM
Maybe you could put it in a 5 gallon bucket with two gallons in it and see how high the water shoots straight up. Unfortunately my friend has my CS5/3 skimmer with the 3500 Sedra pump.

04/01/2011, 08:21 PM
i dropped the level down to 7" and had nothing positive. isn't the majority of the skimmers supposed to be around 7-10" of water?

Gold Stripe
04/02/2011, 07:42 AM
Don't know what model you have. My ER CS6-1 is in 8 inches and works fine. It sounds like maybe you have a pump issue. You should be able to raise the rider tube all the way up an that pump should shoot water out the top of the skimmer.

04/02/2011, 11:17 AM
Exactly. And its the sedra 3500. Maybe I should look for a 5500

04/02/2011, 01:48 PM
It's not the way I like doing things but its the only way I could do it. The tank is in my room and I can't setup another one. But, I agree and think it came out alright. I may have lost an acro and my clown hasn't hosted his nem in a few days

Just gotta give it some time. ;)

Big E
04/02/2011, 02:29 PM
Nice work..................I'd put a gate valve on & get rid of that riser tube, it's the only way you are going to consistently get the water level where you want it. The pump is probably undersized but at least it will work with a gate valve.

04/02/2011, 09:47 PM
i'm debating on what to do though. I NEED a skimmer. I've always had one and its not pulling anything. what would be a good pump for this euro reef. just add in a bigger sedra or is there other pumps that would work well.

or should i just bite the bullet and buy my swc cone :D

04/02/2011, 11:07 PM
Did you get that from frost? If so ask him. i had a problem with the bubble magus skimmer i bought used and replaced the pump and raised it up 2" and it is working fine.

04/03/2011, 06:16 AM
which skimmer pump did you get?

Gold Stripe
04/03/2011, 08:19 AM
Why dont you email Reef Dynamics and see if they can give you some guidance. Not sure exactly how it happened but Reef Dynamics is the new Euro Reef. They Have replacement parts for Euro Reef and their skimmers are based on the Euro Reef design.

04/24/2011, 09:43 PM
How's the tank going?