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Old 09/29/2017, 03:15 PM   #101
jmsilhy
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Man this is awesome!
Following along.

Out of curiosity, where do you get your PVC sheets?


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Old 09/29/2017, 04:16 PM   #102
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Awesome, awesome, AWESOME! Thank you for all of the pictures.


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Old 09/30/2017, 10:04 AM   #103
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Great build so far. The fish room is really coming along, looking forward to seeing it progress.
James404 - Thanks and welcome aboard.

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Originally Posted by jmsilhy View Post
Man this is awesome!
Following along.


Out of curiosity, where do you get your PVC sheets?

jmsilhy - Thanks and welcome aboard. I had to special order the 3/4 sheets from 84 Lumber. No place around me seems to carry the 3/4 in stock . I called a bunch of places and finally found 84 Lumber.

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Awesome, awesome, AWESOME! Thank you for all of the pictures.
Tuffyyyyy - Thanks and welcome aboard...more to come .


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Old 09/30/2017, 10:37 AM   #104
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09/26/2017 - Backsplash Finished
The backsplash is finished and sealed and the frag tank is back in place. I also started working on the control panel for the frag tank. I thought I had some extra cords but could not find them. I ordered some new cords to connect the modules and they should arrive by next Wed. My goal it to do a leak test by then. I think it turned out pretty good for what I am going to be doing...LOL. I am still a little up in the air on the edge. I cut tile to put on the ends with my trusty tile cutter but I am not sure if I will add them or not. I have not decided if it looks like it is too much space on the edge or not. You can see in the second picture below.


Backsplash
IMG_9692 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Backsplash
IMG_9694 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Backsplash Up Close
IMG_9695 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

09/28/2017 - Frag Tank Updates - WIP

I am getting very close to being able to put water in the frag tank. While working on my frag rack for the frag tank I convinced myself I needed a mini lathe. I chose to make the legs for the frag rack from 1/2 CPVC. It seemed like a great idea at the time until I started making legs. I had to use my Dremel and do each one by hand. After three or four of them I had the feel of it and was able to do them pretty quickly. I removed about 1/4" of the material so that i could fit into the egg crate and support the frags. I like the way it turned out and may end up painting it but for now its done.

Plumbing has also been completed. The only thing left are small things like adding thread sealant on the loc-line nozzles and figuring out the height of the water in overflow section. I am trying to use BeanAnimal style so we will see how it works out. There is not as much height under the stand as I thought so there are two quick 90 degree turns which from my research could be a problem. We will see .

Legs
IMG_9699 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Frag Rack
IMG_9700 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/07/2017, 07:10 AM   #105
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09/29/2017 - Cycling of Rock - WIP

My cheap salt came in and I hauled some water from the basement up to the garage. In hind site I should have cured the live rock in the basement. Carrying water from the basement to the garage sucks! I mixed up 50 gallons of salt water in the salt water mixing station. With all the bends in the plumbing the water pressure is not a great as I thought it would be. As a result of the low pressure I may scrap the internal octagon I had planned on using. It may be something I add later so we will see. It's been so long since I cured rock from scratch I am not looking forward to it at all. I threw some flake food in each container and will probably add some shrimp later to get the process really going. I did not add a heater yet since the garage stays pretty hot. I put the trash can lids on each trashcan and crossed my fingers.
10/03/2017 - Frag Tank - Wiring

I tired to calculate the number of outlets I will need for my frag tank and it started to increase more than I initially thought. I may have to scale it down to be more basic.

Since I know cord lengths were not going to reach all the way to the control panel I added 8 outlets under the tank. All the outlet ends cords terminate into a box I built and then the plug ends are ran through a hole in the top of the table. I used foam to "plug" the hole so the cords don't move. In the picture to the left of the gray box you can see the 1-1/2" PVC pipe I used to run the cords through. I used a coupling on the top side and so far it seems like this may work out well. I caulked the PVC pipe in place in case there is a water spill so no water would drain directly down to the wires. I now have 8 individual controlled outlets that I can just plug into the corresponding Apex outlet

Under Frag Tank Wiring
IMG_9702 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
10/04/2017 - Frag Tank - Bean Animal Plumbing - WIP
I finally finished the plumbing and added some RO/DI water to the frag tank. This was my first leak test for the frag tank as well so I am happy to report there are not leaks. I have to do some more fine tuning but I think I should be able to make the overflow pretty silent. The tricky part is since it's internal the water from the weirs make a crashing sound and trying to adjust the pipes to the right height is harder than I had thought. All in all it looks like the pump I am using is too powerful as the majority of the sound is coming from the water entering the sump. I will probably have to to t-off my pump and feed the water back in the sump in order to reduce the amount of water being pushed into the display or get a smaller pump. For now I am going to see if I can come up with a way to make the top quieter and then work on a solution

Top Down
IMG_9709 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Overflow Box
IMG_9711 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

10/06/2017 - Main Control Tank Panel - WIP

Today I managed to create the box I will use for the main control panel. I marked out in painters tape where the panel will go on the wall. Currently its 34" W x 28" H. I forgot my camera in the basement while I was working in the garage so I will post a picture on my next update of what the frame will look like. It will open from the top or side or maybe I will use a french cleat like the frag tank. I am still trying to figure that part out .


Main Tank Control Panel
IMG_9707 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/07/2017, 09:36 AM   #106
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This looks like an awesome project !
Sea Dwellers


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Old 10/09/2017, 12:28 PM   #107
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Awesome build! Where are you in MD? I'm in Millersville and have a 315 gallon system with fish room. Noooo where near as nice as yours


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Old 10/10/2017, 01:42 PM   #108
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This looks like an awesome project !
Sea Dwellers
Thanks sdweller!

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Awesome build! Where are you in MD? I'm in Millersville and have a 315 gallon system with fish room. Noooo where near as nice as yours
Flatrack01 - Thanks. I am in Capitol Heights MD. I am still adjusting to not having 3 great places to buy corals and fish within 30 mins of me from living in VA. Did you end up doing a build thread? Mine is small compared to some others but it works for me...LOL. I think we all want more space!


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Old 10/10/2017, 02:15 PM   #109
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Thanks sdweller!



Flatrack01 - Thanks. I am in Capitol Heights MD. I am still adjusting to not having 3 great places to buy corals and fish within 30 mins of me from living in VA. Did you end up doing a build thread? Mine is small compared to some others but it works for me...LOL. I think we all want more space!
Haha yeah I hear ya. I did not do a build thread strictly out of laziness, but I have always considered doing one after the fact because I'm constantly tweaking things.

You should check out Fintastic Aquariums in Frederick (yep, its outside of 30 minutes lol). Its a small store but they have really nice stuff there and are great to work with.


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Old 10/15/2017, 08:49 PM   #110
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Haha yeah I hear ya. I did not do a build thread strictly out of laziness, but I have always considered doing one after the fact because I'm constantly tweaking things.

You should check out Fintastic Aquariums in Frederick (yep, its outside of 30 minutes lol). Its a small store but they have really nice stuff there and are great to work with.
Flatrack01 - I may add them to my field trip list. I looked at their website and the prices are pretty good!

10/10/2017 - Curing Rock - WIP

I finally got around to checking my ammonia levels in the my trash cans for my rock that is curing. The ammonia kit said 8 but I think its higher...LOL. My garage stinks so I know something is happening. The cycle is officially underway. I may need to do a small water change to help move the process along. I also ended up buying some bacteria to add once I move it in the main display. When I looked back at my pictures of my first aquascape I realized I wanted another large rock piece or two. ON my latest BRS order I asked for large Pukani. The customer service rep I spoke to was great and told me he would go to the back and make sure I had a large piece or two. When they arrived I was very impressed. They are large with a great variety of nooks and crannies. One thing I will have to do is to bleach this rock for sure. There is some dead material on the rock that is not fully dry so even though it is dry rock there are still some things decaying. The rock also has that smell of rock that has been out of water for a while but not completely dry.

Ammonia Test
IMG_9714 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Bacteria
IMG_9729 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Rock 1
IMG_9731 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Rock2
IMG_9732 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
10/11/2017 -Control Panel -WIP

I made some updates to my control panel. I added a center brace and some corner braces. I will find the studs in the wall and then mark them so I can attach the unit after I prime it. On the left side I plan to cut two areas that I can feed the cords in. My cords have a variety of lengths. I have six fairly short, four really long, and two medium length cords. I will have a total of 12 individually controlled outlets.

Control Panel
IMG_9716 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

12 Outlet Junction
IMG_9717 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

10/13/2017 - RODI Upgrades

Maryland water sucks! My TDS meter is running around 240 -260 on the incoming side. I noticed no mater how many times I was changing the filters my TDS on the out line was still ranging around 12 or higher and what ever they are treating the water with killed most of my corals in my temp set up. It looks like a few may hang in there but for the most part they are on the decline. The filters below on the current system are from only 2 weeks of use.I am not sure if it is related to the chemicals the water company is using or if the DI resin is old. Either way I decide to add a second DI resin chamber. Turning my 5 stage into a 6 stage RODI unit. I thought my existing bracket could hold two chambers but the holes would not line up for two units. Temporarily I am just going to have then on the back table. I removed the old membranes and as I suspected they were swollen. When I talked to the water company they mentioned they had flushed the system in the last few weeks due to some type of algae and sediment bloom. I found a place on Ebay that sold DOW membranes for a pretty good price. So I decided to change out the membranes as well. I essentially replaced all the internals of my unit and added an additional chamber. The unit ran so much better when I flushed it for the first time.

Current System
IMG_9730 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

New Chamber
IMG_9724 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

New Membranes
IMG_9739 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr




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Old 10/15/2017, 08:52 PM   #111
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Continued

Inside the box
IMG_9740 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


BRS 6 Stage Kit
IMG_9728 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Temp Set Up
IMG_9742 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/15/2017, 09:41 PM   #112
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Main Tank Plans

So with the main tank I have a few things I need to get finished before my rock cures. I am hoping that the two new pieces of rock will be adding will allow me to make another structure or make the structure a little higher or just give me some other options.

I invested in three Triton water tests after talking to the water company and not feeling like the water quality in my area will be resolved for a while. According to them there are a few factors that may be causing my issue. Ranging from water main breaks, flushing the system due to algae blooms or sediment bloom. They also mentioned because our neighborhood is fairly new it could be a plumbing issue. My plan is too send off one test when the tank is officially up and running then one every 2 months.

I also ordered some Epoxy Resin for my planned platform for my rock structure to sit on. From previous tanks rock that sits in the sand becomes a detritus playground. the platform will be made from egg crate and foam then covered in sand and epoxy.

Water Test
IMG_9726 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Planned Aquascape
IMG_9542 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 10/16/2017, 05:36 AM   #113
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This picture is making me lose my balance!

Are the tape marks or the wood pieces level?


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Old 10/16/2017, 06:34 AM   #114
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This picture is making me lose my balance!

Are the tape marks or the wood pieces level?
MarylandTang - LOL the tape marks are level. I had it hanging on the edge of the outlet cover while I figured out how far my short cords would make it...lol.


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Old 10/23/2017, 04:09 AM   #115
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Wow you went all out


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Old 10/23/2017, 02:15 PM   #116
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Awesome set up so for will follow.....


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Old 10/26/2017, 11:49 AM   #117
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Amazing build


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Old 10/31/2017, 02:53 PM   #118
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Wow you went all out
Techhnyne - I figured this is the last house for a while so figured I better make it count.

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Awesome set up so for will follow.....
wowkingjames - Thanks for tagging along!

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Amazing build
russ49merc - Thanks for the kind words.


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Old 11/01/2017, 02:11 PM   #119
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This tank looks amazing!!! I have a question about the display! are you going to paint/cover the back of the tank so you do not see the fish room? Or is your intention to see through to the fish room? Overall this is amazing again LoL!


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Old 11/02/2017, 07:12 PM   #120
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This tank looks amazing!!! I have a question about the display! are you going to paint/cover the back of the tank so you do not see the fish room? Or is your intention to see through to the fish room? Overall this is amazing again LoL!
eonflux123 - The back of the tank is also starfire so I do not plan on painting it. I figure when I am in the fish room I can look at the corals too . On my last set up my drainage was on the back side and it was painted. The only time I could look at the tank was from the front and side. One of the cool things about having people over is showing the fish room and now they can see the corals and fish from three sides. Another great thing about it being able to view into the fish room is my wife can see I am not ignoring her and actually busy in "my" fish room...lol.


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Old 11/02/2017, 07:52 PM   #121
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I have been pretty busy with other stuff besides the tank so not a lot of progress has been made. A few small things are underway or done so here is the list
  1. Created a cord management track for main tank lights (probably will change this)
  2. Both containers of cycling rock have zero ammonia
  3. Nitrite is climbing in both containers
  4. Nitrate is well underway as well in both containers
  5. As with all Pukani rock phosphates are starting to present themselves (once the nitrite is zero I will start removing the phosphates)
  6. Control board the main tank is almost done
  7. Plumbing finished on the frag tank ( I have some issues with the herbie overflow)
  8. Cycling of the frag tank is underway


10/17/2017
IMG_9754 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

10/18/2017
IMG_9755 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

10/18/2017
IMG_9760 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


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Old 11/03/2017, 11:26 AM   #122
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eonflux123 - The back of the tank is also starfire so I do not plan on painting it. I figure when I am in the fish room I can look at the corals too . On my last set up my drainage was on the back side and it was painted. The only time I could look at the tank was from the front and side. One of the cool things about having people over is showing the fish room and now they can see the corals and fish from three sides. Another great thing about it being able to view into the fish room is my wife can see I am not ignoring her and actually busy in "my" fish room...lol.
Very cool! Im one of those OCD fish people that likes plumbing tanks, but not looking at it! Your build is so fun and loving all of it!

Also I may have missed it in all of the posts, but are you running only the return for circulation? or are you using powerbeads or closed loop?


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Old 11/04/2017, 09:45 PM   #123
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Subscribed, look forward to following along.


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Old 11/04/2017, 11:23 PM   #124
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Very cool! Im one of those OCD fish people that likes plumbing tanks, but not looking at it! Your build is so fun and loving all of it!

Also I may have missed it in all of the posts, but are you running only the return for circulation? or are you using powerbeads or closed loop?
eonflux123 - I am the opposite of you I hate plumbing...I was working on a bit of plumbing on the main tank today along with my platform idea. I plan on using some pumps...for flow inside the tank. I have on hand three MP40s. I am an SPS guy so there will be tons of flow in the tank. Hopefully I can finish up plumbing in the next day or two. I have to figure out my plan for a manifold and where it will be located.

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Subscribed, look forward to following along.
SurfCastinRI - Welcome aboard.


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Old 11/05/2017, 08:01 PM   #125
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General Updates

10/26/2017 - Expandable/Dynamic Manifold
While trying to solve an flow issue on the frag tank I decided to make a manifold to bleed off some of the water before it entered the tank. Long story short the pump is just too strong for the frag tank...that or my plumbing sucks...(that can't be the case...LOL). I am still having an issue with the overflow so I am going to to reread the Herbie thread again and see if I can tweak anything. Since I am not sure how robust the frag tank will be I wanted a way to expand the manifold as I needed. I came up with the idea that each manifold section should be its own unit and with that I can increase or decrease the number of manifolds units as needed. The proof of concept worked and I will also be using it on my main tank.

Two Unit
Dynamic Manifold by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Three Unit
Dynamic Manifold by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


11/02/2017 - Control Panel For Main Tank - WIP
By dumb luck I managed to make my hinged panel not hit the side of the tank. Because some of my cords were shorted than expected I moved the panel over a little bit. During design I thought I would have the panel swing open but after some thought decided to use hinges at the top since I am not sure how many Apex modules I will add and how much weight it will be. Rather than side mount and deal with sag I chose top mount. I am waiting for some hydraulic/gas hinges. Once they get here I will be able to not worry about it falling on my head...lol. If you notice the frag tank is cloudy as the cycle is well under way.

Control Panel
Control Panel by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

11/02/2017 - Rock Platform - WIP

I have mentioned this a few times but my goal with the main rock structure is for it not to sit deep in the sand and become a detritus trap. My plan is to make a false sand bed platform. I plan on covering the the platform with epoxy and sand. The height of my real sand bed will be under 3 inches and my platform is roughly 2-1/4 inches right now with the egg crate on top. I added the foam under the underside of the platform to help fill in some gaps. I am hoping the foam does not make it float too much and the weight of the rock will hold it down. Before adding the rock I plan to silicone the platform to the bottom glass then fill the tank with sand.


Platform
Rock Platform by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Epoxy
Epoxy by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Platform with Legs
Platform by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



11/05/2017 - Under Tank Light - "The Blinder" - WIP

I was doing some plumbing today and while under the tank realized I will need some extra light so since I hate plumbing I "accidentally" got sidetracked. About two weeks ago or so I was tinkering with my soldiering iron and decided I would need a light eventually under the tank. Today I created a little prototype enclosure for the what I had nicknamed the "Blinder". For anyone that has ever looked into the sun by accident when you look away even with your eyes closed you see "one" bright white spot. When I was testing out the "Blinder" when I first plugged it up there was a delay so I looked at the lights less than 1.5 feet away to see if it was wired properly and they popped on. Imagine 14 - 3W LEDs on full power that close to your eyes. For a about 45 seconds I could not see anything but bright white! I laid in the floor thinking my retinas were burned and my wife would come home and find me in the floor blind. After about a minute I was still seeing bright spots but I could tell I was not blind. It may sound funny now but I was really thinking all my sight was gone a few weeks ago...lol.

The "Blinder"
Light Protoype by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr




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