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View Full Version : Restart. Tear it down and do it right. Sc 150 build


rlhanks
04/01/2017, 03:00 PM
Been in this hobby for several years and we have come to a cross roads, either pull the pin and move on or tear this down and build it right. I have been collecting and piecing together this thing for four or five years. Actually, I have had a fish tank of some sort since my paper route days back in 1984. But this system started four or five years ago. For several years we had this five gallon octagon tank sitting on the counter that separates our family room and kitchen, it housed a fancy goldfish from Petco or Meijers. I came across a 60 gallon complete setup some one had moved to the garage and gave up and sold it for cheap. I was fascinated with the modern way of marine tanks with a sump under the display, I just had to try this. So I brought it home and set it up in our living room. Since then, this has grown into 66" x 24" custom built tank on a steel stand with a forty breeder sump. It has always had potential but I've just thrown things together without enough thought and it has grown into a huge mess. I need to do something.

Some time before Christmas we decided that the living room carpet was going to be changed. Everything in that room was going to be removed including the fish tank. I knew this was coming and what was going to be involved to do this, no small task but I knew it was something that needed to happen. With the existing system there were many red flags, beyond belief that I let it get this far. Everything was running and I just wanted to ignore that a ticking time bomb was sitting there. This was in the back of my mind but since it worked I choose to ignore it, I was very lucky. This is the perfect time to fix all these potential future problems.

My existing tank was a modified 180 gallon. I wanted to move to a 24" deep tank but found that most, if not all were either 48" or 72", where the longest mine could be is 68" otherwise it would extend over the window, something the wife was not going to approve. I came across this tank on Craigslist and it was 72" but it has 1/2" thick glass. I knew it was long but I really tried to get her approval. I knew something was going to need to be done to make it work. So I decided to cut four inches off the total length, yes cut this down like you do to the bottom of a wood door. Since I was cutting it up, I decided to put the one end coast to coast overflow with a built in glass box. I purchased a water cooled circular saw for cutting marble and granite counters that equipped with a glass blade went through this tank like butter. Problem was since this tank was not rimless I had to do something with the frame, upper and lower. That part of the project got put on the back burner. I did silicone in the new pieces and redid the inside silicone with SCS1200. It now fit perfect, except my stand was 22" deep made for an 18" tank that I modified.

A couple of the red flags that stand out would be from the constant upgrading. The whole system is plugged into the same single outlet behind the stand. That was fine for the first system when there was only a filter, light and a small heater. But now that outlet looks like Clark Griswalds garage circuit. The overflow wasn't calculated correctly and when the main pump stops the sump fills right to the top. All the parts for an ATO but no room for the storage reservoir, so every day or every other I'm putting pitchers of RO water in the tank. All the problems I have under control but going away makes for a real problem trying to get someone to tend to it while we're gone. God forbid there is a real problem during this time.

I've had a lot of these living things for quite a long time and am not really ready to part with them so we've decided to step up and do this right. First, as much as I love my custom tank, there's too many things that frustrate me with it. To finish the modification and all the scratches are one thing but this winter I was able to pick up an SC 150 delivered for cheap. This is a new tank with starfire glass and the perfect dimensions to fit my location. I can drill my own holes and add a glass box at the end for overflow. Also the existing drilled holes I plan on using for a closed loop. I am having the stand remade to fit this one perfect, no more top hanging over the front and the back. Filtration is all going to be done on the other side of the wall this sits next too, not an actual fish room but in an area in the garage where it's not crammed into a 2 x 6 x 3 foot box. My existing sump will be used for the refugium and a twin will be added for the remaining parts. I picked up a new breeder from Petco during their dollar a gallon sale. The stand will be finished like a kitchen base cabinet with drawers for all the junk that gets put up on the hood. I will really like one of the drawers to have pull out surface to do all my testing on. With the filtration there will be a larger reservoir with fresh water and another one with premixed water. There's already a floor drain so that will be nice for all the water changes. I have been around long enough to know what frustrates me and what I don't care about and this time around I plan on taking my time and doing this right. This won't be one of those threads that you see someone going out and buying tons of expensive equipment after only having tank running a few months but it will be a slow transition from a hodgepodge to a centerpiece.

rlhanks
04/01/2017, 05:10 PM
A year running in the old 150. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170401/a6ea53a9a9a23e544ed9af72a631acf8.jpg

Funding for this hobby is supplied by our friends at Generous Motors

rlhanks
04/01/2017, 05:14 PM
Relocated to the garage. Strip down and temp location is finished.

https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170401/74a73412bbea102efdd5be5a6e471b66.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170401/c83ae8bd8fc2c0cc42646257d2878f9f.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170401/939b2be102c8d8b57bd426eb3513ca3d.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170401/0d373c86096538849f5fafbda6dfbbac.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170401/5e94bc2bc1448142298c55ec253da36e.jpg

Funding for this hobby is supplied by our friends at Generous Motors

rlhanks
04/02/2017, 07:59 AM
Listed the tank and stand on Craigslist today to make room in the garage. $150 for the stand and glass, hopefully someone will buy it otherwise I will strip the glass into pieces and put them in the storage with the other piece of glass I have.

This time the new build is going to go on top of some sort of a collection pan in case of water leak or for spills. Also to save the carpet if there is a time that this gets moved to a new location or if I get out of the hobby all together.

Jdack
04/02/2017, 11:09 AM
I look forward to seeing what you accomplish. Looks like, albeit a thrown together build, you had success. I can only hope mine has that level of success!

Did you build the overflow box on the right side of that aquarium like that?

rlhanks
04/02/2017, 11:46 AM
I purchased a circular saw with a water cooled blade designed to cut solid surface counters like marble and granite. Equipped with a glass cutting diamond blade it cut through the half inch glass like butter. Since I was cutting it down to size I made it so the overflow off the side of the tank was coast to coast and the drain side compartment was part of the tank, instead of typically a glass tank siliconed on the side. Before any cutting was done I removed the end piece and cut two inches off that. I had some 3/8" glass that I used to cut for the side and bottom of the overflow compartment. Silicone all the pieces back together using the SCS1200 for its strength properties.

Down side, after it was all together and cured I must have bumped the corner just enough to crack it. The solution that I used instead of completely starting over was to insert a piece of glass inside the drain tank. It work great except i had that ugly crack. The finish plan was always to have a wood trim door there to cover the entire side, one that would match the trim I needed to wrap the top and bottom.

rlhanks
04/06/2017, 10:06 PM
Purchased all the square tube for the stand today. The supplier is going to cut the pieces to length, hope to have this welded up by the end of the weekend. Hopefully the welding lab wont be busy so I can get in quick so I can put it into the paint booth. Just going to give it a couple of coats of Kraylon when done since it is going to be wrapped in wood.

rlhanks
04/08/2017, 02:13 PM
All welded up. Now some over kill grinding and prep for paint. 371317371318371319

Funding for this hobby is supplied by our friends at Generous Motors

Reefer_Addickt
04/11/2017, 08:53 PM
The stand and work so far look good. I'm trying to design a coast to coast aquarium too.

rlhanks
04/12/2017, 12:50 AM
This time I am going with a Ghost overflow because of the way that the tank is. I think that it will be just the same but I really like the way the last one had the entire side skim just the top half inch of water. It worked the best, there was never anything on the surface of the water.

The new stand pictures are not clear but this one is going to have three drawers at the top like your typical kitchen cabinets have. One thing that I really felt that I needed on the last stand. One drawer for all the testing supplies that will be done out of the display tank, another drawer for all the misc. tools that get tossed into the stand or on the hood, like nets and push sticks, cleaning tools, mag clips, etc. You know what I'm talking about. The goal to this one is going to be trying to keep it as organized as I can.

The stand is getting painted right now. This weekend I need to add the leveling feet to the bottom so I can place it into its spot and level it up. I can then get started on picking out the Laminate for the top. Hopefully I will have more picks.

The goal for next weekend (weekend after Easter) is to have water in it and the closed loop running so I can get the live stock back into it and out of its temporary location( currently a 40 breeder). I can worry about getting the sumps plumbed in after that.

rlhanks
04/13/2017, 05:46 PM
I'M no painter for sure. I did little to no prep work before paint because this is going to be wrapped in wood. If the day comes that this is used as an exposed stand than that owner can have it painted professionally. I'm good with the way it is.

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rlhanks
04/13/2017, 05:47 PM
Forgot to add the picturehttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170413/9cea1121c64152c227fb999f7e348f9a.jpg

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Darthv247
04/14/2017, 05:01 AM
looks great! whats the plan for the wrap? looks like drawers are going in?

rlhanks
04/16/2017, 08:01 AM
Ok it's Easter morning and there are all kinds of plans for family coming over. Next week is the beginning of finals for school. After this I can get really going on this project. So I apologize for the pace soon things will pick up.

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rlhanks
04/24/2017, 05:36 AM
Like I said the next few days are going to be slow but I got the tank out of storage. Actually had it delivered to the wife's grandmother house til I was ready to put it in, couldn't pass up the price they were selling these for in December. Got it unboxed and started stripping out the center down flow. I am surprised that behind the black acrylic is a glass channel. Looking at the side glass I'm skeptical that it's actually Starfire, I thought that a view through the side of the glass would be more blue but this is definitely green. In what little free time I have this week I'm going to drill the sides and get the overflow ready. Hopefully I'll be able to get this at least into its location this weekend. A few shots of the overflow coming out.https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170424/a7c7f36f68f34aef128b1b5592f31ef1.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170424/1fb114c5981abe1c920e483965547125.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170424/54dba9e7939c8fb3a791e14a859c7dc4.jpg

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GQuinn
04/24/2017, 06:58 AM
Nice progress so far. I also removed the internal overflow on SCA 120 and it really opened up the tank.

rlhanks
04/24/2017, 06:18 PM
My wife seems to think this tank is huge but we all know that this is probably the smallest a reef tank should be with fish. That drain system took up a lot of space and also I think is really ugly. My plans have the water draining outside the top side so that wasn't going to work anyways. I'll make use of the holes in the bottom for the closed loop that I plan to use over having power heads all over.

rlhanks
05/07/2017, 08:36 PM
Ok, I know it's been a while but life has been busy. But that's the past and now it's time to get this thing rolling. Got the top and bottom wood on the stand. Drilled the six holes in the sides and got the bottom holes that came with this all plugged up. Set the glass on the stand. Put neoprene down under and that was a fiasco. My advice would be to glue that down to the top otherwise the glass will mess it up every time you move it. I didn't​ glue it down I choose to mess with for an extra hour or two instead. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170508/c372d90591f6f3e9bb3a6064ec83168a.jpg

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dimasv
05/08/2017, 06:25 AM
Tank looks awesome following

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rlhanks
05/09/2017, 05:51 AM
Got this overflow some time back off eBay. It is what I wanted for the over flow but this particular one is junk. It is so simple it's hard to believe that they could mess it up but they did. The bottom plate​ leaks like a sieve. I knew I should have just made this myself, but I didn't have the time and this was cheap, less than thirty delivered. Goes to the saying, you get what you pay for. So I took the Weld-on #4 that I had and sealed it up the best I could, luckily being black you don't see any of the runs that I created​. With the last tank, the top overflow coast to coast worked wonderful skimming the top surface water. I never had any kind of skum on that one unlike many other tanks I had. I'll take the trim router out and clean up the edges and drill the holes so I can get this mounted. The outside glass tank is ready to be silicone on the other side of this. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170509/82fc481bd26fda6613d78fda06e3d689.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170509/9f4811c7d346b0080e2f84d09a76584a.jpg

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d0ughb0y
05/09/2017, 11:28 AM
Ok, I know it's been a while but life has been busy. But that's the past and now it's time to get this thing rolling. Got the top and bottom wood on the stand. Drilled the six holes in the sides and got the bottom holes that came with this all plugged up. Set the glass on the stand. Put neoprene down under and that was a fiasco. My advice would be to glue that down to the top otherwise the glass will mess it up every time you move it. I didn't​ glue it down I choose to mess with for an extra hour or two instead. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170508/c372d90591f6f3e9bb3a6064ec83168a.jpg

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what color and brand stain did you use on the plywood? I like the color.

rlhanks
05/09/2017, 11:56 AM
It's melamine pressboard with a cherry veneer. It's got a hard cover that resist some water. Easy and looks good, especially since 90% is covered.

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d0ughb0y
05/09/2017, 12:39 PM
ok, thanks.
I am currently building a plywood stand and want to stain it to that exact color.
All my furniture around the house are exactly like that color in your picture. Where did you get it from? I can't find it in home depot website. I might just use that material instead.

how hard was it to remove the overflow?
I got a used 50 cube cadlights, and overflow box is the same as SCA build. acrylic outside with glass inside. how are you going to plug the holes from the original overflow?

rlhanks
05/09/2017, 03:46 PM
I have some thick glass pieces from other tanks that I bought and tore down instead of giving them away or selling them. I took a piece and cut out three holes the same size so I had round pieces that I could silicone into the empty holes, then after that dries I took a rectangular piece and siliconed that directly over the top of the three blank holes, I'll add pictures later of the process. Many of the large tanks have pieces glued in the bottom for extra strength, I'm sure that is done on the thinner glass tanks, this one has 1/2" glass so it wasn't done at the factory. You can't be too safe with sealing up potential leaks on the bottom of the tank.

The wood was bought at a plywood shop, they sell mostly to contractors who build and sell cabinetry. They are open to the public, they have a selection of everything from marine grade to all kinds of veneers. The melamine is fairly flat and comes in a huge variety of colors and patterns, since it is either in the bottom of a closed box or under the glass tank I thought it was perfect for what I was doing. If I had to, the worst case scenario would have been to get a sheet from Home Depot but that was limited to only white. I would check Menards as they have more variety of things but I rarely shop there out of convenience.

rlhanks
05/21/2017, 01:13 PM
Cutting the holes for the plugs for the bottom holes. Silicone them in and tomorrow I'll cover them with a piece of glass for extra protection. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170521/a6e1c54446715badbdf5fa90e7e199cb.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170521/9f53fcb83d6562d1dd2a8c7016cf3913.jpg

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rlhanks
05/21/2017, 01:20 PM
The outside overflow glass is getting cut. Using the glass saw for custom fit. Tomorrow I'll drill the bottom for the plumbing. Then start​ the install on the side of the tank. https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170521/361b4c8e63777a298ad8b5fd5fcfe2d6.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170521/87026c2d2c3fca8ebd9e284f30e41c6e.jpghttps://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170521/9769b0a04516b3cd306ddaa181728ca0.jpg

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