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Old 10/25/2017, 07:47 PM   #1
Rover88
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First DIY tank, 75 gallon

Hello all,

This isn't really an ENTIRELY do it myself thread, as I'm taking someone elses setup that I purchased and setting it up how I like, with a new sump.

The existing setup was a 75 Gallon drilled tank, I believe it to be an old Aqueon Maxflow? It has two 1 inch drilled holes behind an overflow.

The stand was home built, very sturdy (and heavy!) 4x4s.

Equipment:
Vertex 130 omega
BRS GFO/Carbon dual reactor
Two MP10 powerheads
Maxxspect 420R Raz0r 320W light
Eshopps 2nd generation R300 sump. (Or refugium? Can't remember, its a sump for me).
Lots of plumbing and other things.


First step when I got it. It looked like this:




I wound up buying 24 litres of vinegar, filling a tote, and soaking /everything/. Also took the chance to paint the interior of the tank stand. It didn't hold up the best on the bottom where the sump has been moving around, but all in all I'm happy with it. Got it nice and white, and also did the top of the stand. I also had to lower the 'board' that was across so I could center it a bit better.



Painting...



Tank painting!



The haul

At the time this photo was taken, the tank was being sprayed with vinegar and cleaned. I also couldn't lift it up onto the stand by myself, so I needed to wait for help before I got it into place.



This is where I've made it to!



The returning plumbing is in place and untested. I'll tell you I have a plan for that second valve thats doing nothing but sitting there, buuuut... I don't. Not really. I'll lie and say water changes, sure. In reality, its how I got it and I didn't want to go try and source another local valve. Down the road maybe I'll find a use for it! I'm getting new 90 degree fittings so I can plumb horizontal across the top to go straight down to the pump at some point, but this'll do for now.



Thats the return. The top part was already done, I cut it off and reattached a new line down to where my valves are below. The hole was precut in the board that the tank is sitting on (I don't have a drill or saw, so I reused what was there).

There is an antisiphon hole in the return line, in the 90 degree that sits in the water.



I really didn't know where to put the lines off this? I mean... Does it pick up from the pump section and put it back at the beginning? The other way around? Eh, doesn't matter. The hoses are long, I can move it as needed. In the back you can see the two bulkheads. There is water in the overflow right now (Herbie setup) and it doesn't leak, so huzzah first leak test!

image limit... continued...


So yeah.


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Old 10/25/2017, 07:48 PM   #2
Rover88
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Thats every tool I own in my apartment. (Except for a hacksaw thats over the garbage can at the moment, IE: my PVC cutting station) Former instrumentation/electrical apprentice that found work in a different field. So no power tools, I'm all hand powered at this point. I recently moved, and I'm away from my family and friends that have power tools I can borrow, so everything I've done so far has been by hand. I'm having a blast with it.


Willingly accepting all critiques.


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Old 10/26/2017, 05:55 AM   #3
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The coming plans that are left todo:


When I get in the gate valve and rest of my plumbing for the overflow, finish that up so I can do a whole system test with tap water in it for a few days, make sure its all kosher.


Drain the system out, and put in the sand and rocks. The sand is new, but the rocks are from the prior system. They have gone through a muriatic acid bath to make sure nothing bad was left around, and to make them thoroughly dead. I'm going to get myself some acrylic rod and hopefully borrow a drill so I can mock up some structures with the tank drained and get it looking how I'd like it dry before rodding things in place. Then I'll be filling it with RODI water (And it'll probably take a week+ given my little itty bitty aquaticlife buddy) and adding salt until its good to go. Once thats done give it all a few days to settle, add some live sand and a hunk of live rock out of my other tank, and wait and be patient for a few months!

Some more cabinetry work probably to find something to act as a door. Might be as simple as just hanging a towel over it for now.


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Old 10/26/2017, 01:03 PM   #4
Rover88
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Found a slow drip around the exterior nut on the bottom of my bulkhead. Due to the awkward space I struggled getting a channel lock on it until I careful wedged the tank up with a few boards and then a 4x4. Its hard doing the lifting alone!

Got the channel locks on it and tightened it up a 1/4 turn, set it back down. Hasn't leaked in the last two hours, so hopefully thats all it was. Finger tight with an awkward grip isn't very finger tight.


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Old 10/26/2017, 03:33 PM   #5
JTL
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You are doing good.


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Old 10/26/2017, 05:01 PM   #6
Rover88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JTL View Post
You are doing good.
Thank you! I crave acknowledgement.




Got the rock back from where it was cleaned.

Its now burbling along with a power head and a heater, and gonna sit and percolate on the side while the rest of the project moves forwards.


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Old 10/28/2017, 04:01 PM   #7
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Lots of issues today with leaking bulkheads while I did my leak test. Wound up cutting a lot more out of the stand so I could reach inside easier when I had it fully drained. Went to the store and got a little hand saw and a oil pan wrench because a bulkhead nut got stuck on a bulkhead and I couldn't get it off. Been a loooong day of troubleshooting, but right now its holding all freshwater, and pumping it around super quiet. When the pump turns off, the water drains down to the sump and leaves me with 4-5 inches more of room, so plenty of safety net.


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Old 10/29/2017, 02:52 PM   #8
Mark Bianco
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Old 10/29/2017, 06:37 PM   #9
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You sound a lot like me about 30 years ago.

Damn that makes me feel old.

You need to be real careful to not over tighten the bulkheads. It isn't as hard to crack a tank as you might think. If you have any more leaks, you need to take the bulkhead apart, clean all surfaces of ALL debris (a single grain of sand is one too many) and reassemble. If the bulkhead gaskets are old, they may need to be replaced. And remember - it goes bulkhead flange, then gasket, glass, and nut. No gasket is needed on the nut side, nor will teflon tape (bad - don't use it anywhere) or Teflon Paste. The nut on the outside is there only to allow the gasket to make a seal on the inside.

hth.

And pics when you've got it running!!!

Enjoy the obsession.


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I can't help that I grow older, but you can't make me grow up!

Current Tank Info: 120 mixed reef with 40b sump, ASM G2 skimmer, AI Sol Blue x 2, and a 60g Frag Tank with 100g rubbermaid sump. 2 x Kessil A360w lights, no skimmer (yet)
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Old 10/30/2017, 08:53 PM   #10
Rover88
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billdogg View Post
You sound a lot like me about 30 years ago.

Damn that makes me feel old.

You need to be real careful to not over tighten the bulkheads. It isn't as hard to crack a tank as you might think. If you have any more leaks, you need to take the bulkhead apart, clean all surfaces of ALL debris (a single grain of sand is one too many) and reassemble. If the bulkhead gaskets are old, they may need to be replaced. And remember - it goes bulkhead flange, then gasket, glass, and nut. No gasket is needed on the nut side, nor will teflon tape (bad - don't use it anywhere) or Teflon Paste. The nut on the outside is there only to allow the gasket to make a seal on the inside.

hth.

And pics when you've got it running!!!

Enjoy the obsession.
Thank you! I do appreciate hearing from people that have been doing it longer then I've been alive

I'll definitely keep updating this as I go. Maybe should have made it a build thread, but hey I'm already here.

I shall be careful not to overtighten. The gaskets were brand new, and I think the issue was more I /undertightened/ them. Mostly due to improper tools and not being able to reach right.... I

On that note...




New investments for the bulkheads! The oil pan pliers grab the PVC /perfectly/, and I managed to get a proper turn on it. They don't leak anymore!

Also, I got fed up with the difficulties of reaching the spot... After my freshwater test, I put that saw to use.



Much better.

Also visible is the new edition; my watertight GFCI box. I bought a predone box, lopped off a cord from an old beat up powerbar, and off to the races. Last few days the big focus was on electrical while the RODI does its things.



The little box pre-install. Quite happy with it, protects everything downstream and saves me from tinkering with the wall outlets. (I'm in an apartment).



PROGRESS!

I have all the electrical of every component EXCEPT the light wired into place and ready to go. I have some cable management neatening I want to do, but there is a careful balance between rearranging down the road, and aiming for neatness.

My goal was to keep things out of direct line of water, and to keep them elevated in the case of skills. Also safety; The few outlets not in use are covered, and I've taken care to route things out of the way of the 'working' areas as best as I can.




Tangled rats nest. But no really, there is a rhythm to the madness, I can get most things extricated fairly easily from it if I need to




RODI has been running nonstop since Sunday morning. The little Aquatic Life Buddy is doing its damnedest, but it wasn't designed for a tank this size from a second floor apartment with low water pressure. But its doing its best! Tomorrow if the water is high enough I intend to test the MP10's, get the light running, and configure the temperature controller to control the heaters. I got a fair bit of equipment testing to do.

Oh, and as I'm sure peopled noticed from the milkshake, got about 80 lbs of caribsea aragonite sand in there. Probably will be a day or two longer til it settles out.


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Old 10/31/2017, 10:13 AM   #11
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Progress is good!


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Old 11/01/2017, 04:01 PM   #12
Rover88
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Tank is filled with RODI water.

Vortech pumps are working and synced.

Light is on the tank and plugged in, all wires labelled and ready to go.


Sump still needs to fill. Was pouring water into tank from the RODI bucket and lost about a gallon because a union underneath leaked. Discouraging. Ah well, my fault for not checking it first.


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Old 11/01/2017, 06:42 PM   #13
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I must have jarred the bulkhead fixing the union.

Leaking again. I have to drain 4 days worth of RODI water to remove the bulkhead and get it seated right again, I can see that sand got under it when it moved while I was trying to tighten it.




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Old 11/01/2017, 07:07 PM   #14
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Slow down. You have an overflow. There should be no sand in there but even so save the water in some buckets. Clean the bottom of the overflow (after you remove the bulkheads) and regroup. Take it nice and easy. Jarring the bulkhead is not going to make it leak if it was installed correctly.


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Old 11/02/2017, 05:54 AM   #15
Rover88
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Quote:
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Slow down. You have an overflow. There should be no sand in there but even so save the water in some buckets. Clean the bottom of the overflow (after you remove the bulkheads) and regroup. Take it nice and easy. Jarring the bulkhead is not going to make it leak if it was installed correctly.
The prior owner poured sand/rubble into the overflow, and while I got most out I must have missed some.

I am going to make a few more changes to the stand while I have it shut down. I thought I cut the hole underneath big enough to clean/change the overflows without tearing the tank down, but clearly I didn't. So yeah, going to plan to make those changes now rather then when the tank has livestock in it.

When trying to tighten the union to stop the leaking, it turned the bulkhead on the glass, and I think that is what did it. I must not have had it tight enough.


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Old 11/02/2017, 07:57 AM   #16
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When trying to tighten the union to stop the leaking, it turned the bulkhead on the glass, and I think that is what did it. I must not have had it tight enough.[/QUOTE]

It is pretty easy to get a good grip on a union, especially the smaller ones, hang on to the fixed side real tight so it doesn't turn.


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Old 11/02/2017, 08:48 AM   #17
Rover88
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It is pretty easy to get a good grip on a union, especially the smaller ones, hang on to the fixed side real tight so it doesn't turn.
Yeah. I was seeing burbling water coming out of it (O-ring wasn't seated, was the issue I think) and I thought it must have been too loose. It wasn't. So when I turned on it it turned the bulkhead and womp womp. Here I am.

Like you said, just time to take it slow and regroup and get back into it. Now that the tank is drained, I'll make some changes to the stand as I said so next time I hopefully don't HAVE to drain the tank.


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Old 11/03/2017, 07:11 AM   #18
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Small update.

Tank was lifted off stand, the access hole was made much bigger, and tank was put back on. I did the plumbing from /inside/ the stand this time instead of putting the tank on with the plumbing on it just to be sure I could if down the road it happens again.

Took my sweet time and made sure the gasket was where it should be and immaculately clean. Tightened it a 1/4 turn after finger tight.

Filled the overflow and attached the plumbing, and it didn't leak overnight, so right now it looks good to go again.

While hoisting the tank back on, it drew blood when a thin wafer of glass chipped into my thumb. Posted a thread about that in the help forum, but I think it will be okay. It was very thin, on the corner.

Moving forwards!


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Old 11/04/2017, 07:17 PM   #19
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Had a local confirm I shouldn't need to worry about the chip.

Filling! Tank is about halfway up. Ways to go yet til I can do a wet run with RODI water and make sure all is kosher. Then I'm adding salt.


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Old 11/05/2017, 10:45 AM   #20
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If a mod sees this, could they move it into the Build thread? Thank you


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Old 11/07/2017, 05:30 AM   #21
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As of this morning, its filled and moving water around.

Going to get the temperature up to where it should be, then salt.


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Old 11/07/2017, 08:35 AM   #22
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Progressing well, congrats.


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Old 11/07/2017, 05:51 PM   #23
Rover88
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Progressing well, congrats.
Thank you! Moving along merrily with it.




Ta da! Its full, temperature is up to where it needs to be, everythings churning around merrily, and the salinity is bang on. Now all I need to do is seed it! I've got 60lbs of rock curing in that garbage can in the back corner, so once that is showing me promising signs of a finished cycle, into the tank it goes.




In the mean time... I'm going to work on some DIY screen covers for the top!


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Old 11/12/2017, 04:53 PM   #24
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Wetside of one of my EcoTech Powerheads had the ceramic bearing break. I had a flashing red/green when I woke up, took it apart to find that piece in pieces.

On a positive note, the bucket of rock I've been curing hit 0 ammonia/nitrites in 24 hours (from 2ppm ammonia) so I'm doing that again. If by tomorrow its down, I'll be moving rock into the 75.


Also finished the DIY screen. Not going to win awards for pretty, but I like them. They do the job. Had to do an interesting design job to get it around the pipe. Pictures another night.


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Old 11/13/2017, 04:42 PM   #25
Rover88
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Nope! Thing has been my bane. I've no idea what I'm doing wrong with it, it just immediately overflows the cup. I'm probably going to take the waste catcher off, and just let it run for a while.

I didn't take many progress pictures, cause I was working against wetness seeping into everything.



Thats the old 30 gallon (old, haha, only a few months) that I shut down and migrated all of it into the 75 today while moving rock in.




A roughneck container that came with the rock. After this is done, I'm emptying it of water and resourcing it to a recyclables container garbage can. On the left underneath my home made screens is the BRUTE container that I'm using for my ATO.



I have to clean the glass, but thats the setup! I tinkered with the lights to make them all white light so I can take pictures. Convict engineer is on the far right against the glass, the yellow clown goby can be seen poking his head out of the rightmost clump of rock midway down, and there is a tailspot blenny hiding somewhere....


Thats'r setup! Now to figure out what to do with the old 30 and light... :P


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