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Old 04/30/2008, 11:05 AM   #1
apex003
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apex003's dual 40breeder adventure

Well, I've been working on a new system for a LONG time, gradually putting together the parts (and funds) to build a display/frag system. My nanos are busting at the seams, and I NEED some more space. Never kept a build thread before, so I thought I'd start one here. I look forward to your input/comments. This is my attempt a building an eventual TOTM. It will hopefully evolve into primarily SPS with some select LPS. Thanks and enjoy...

Here's the specs:

Display:
AGA 40B
65# fiji LR
40# aragonite sand
36" 2 x 150W Sunpod
2 x Tunze 6025 with high flow mod
black acrylic overflow
1" main drain
3/4" backup drain with 13" standpipe
2 x 3/4" loc-line returns

Frag/Sump tank:
AGA 40B
20" 150W Sunpod
bare bottom
Euro-reef RS80
Litermeter Water exchange module for ATO
Eheim 1260 return pump
Black acrylic bubble tower and dividers/baffles
2 x 150W Ebo Jager heaters
MJ1200 for circulation (for now)

The system is actually up and running now, but I'll start slow with the pics, because I didn't take many during the build:

Here's the back of the display:


- I painted the back glossy black with Krylon Fusion spraypaint (great stuff!) and drilled the bulkhead holes with dremel diamond bits. This wasn't fast, but very cheap and relatively easy.

- Stand is a very simple 2x4 design, painted black to match the tanks.

And here's the sump layout:


- I did most of the acrylic work myself. Water flows straight down from the drain into the bubble tower in the middle back, over the large divider to the skimmer on the front right, over the baffles to kill microbubbles, and into the return section. The large section on the left is for frags. I used weldon where acrylic meets acrylic and silicone where acrylic meets glass.

- How did I get acrylic overflows and dividers to stick in a glass tank you ask?
By painting the edges of acrylic that got siliconed to the glass with krylon fusion, you can get the silicone to adhere very well to the painted acrylic. I read this in passing on some forum about a year ago but haven't read much about people doing this. I tested it on a small scrap of acrylic and IT WORKS! Silicone peels right off unpainted acrylic, but the bond to the painted acrylic is very strong. Tell a friend...

More pics later...


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Old 04/30/2008, 11:11 AM   #2
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Cool


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Old 04/30/2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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i like it, how much for the tanks and materials for stand?


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Old 04/30/2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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... and here's the whole setup dry:




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Old 04/30/2008, 01:25 PM   #5
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Very nice set up, I wish I had done a set up more like yours rather than just a 40g and a sump. I just did my first set of fraging since i set it up 3 months ago and have nowhere to put the frags! A frag tank may be in the works soon though...


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Old 04/30/2008, 01:31 PM   #6
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Thanks hk855. I am in the same boat with my nanos, so I really tried to maximize the amount of space available for an integrated frag section with this system. You can never have too much room for frags.


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Old 04/30/2008, 01:41 PM   #7
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Looks like a very thought out plan, should be very nice. I am already wishing I went with a bigger sump, but I had to use what i hade laying around sincea high schooler's budget is pretty tight.


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Old 04/30/2008, 02:36 PM   #8
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Thanks mudskipper! I definitely tried to have the whole thing planned out in my head before building. There were some minor changes along the way, but it's mainly what I conceived when I started.

I definitely know what you mean about budgets, too. I tried to pay for most/all of this system with frag money. I started keeping FW in HS and everything seemed sooo expensive. Looks like you've put together a nice setup though...


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Old 04/30/2008, 03:16 PM   #9
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sorry fishnut, didn't see your post. Tank+stand cost was about $200 ballpark. That's just the tanks, lumber, hardware and paint; not plumbing, acrylic etc.


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Old 04/30/2008, 07:19 PM   #10
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How did you cut the teeth on the overflows? Do you have plans to add an auto water top off?

Great job on the two tanks.

Cheers,
Chris


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Old 04/30/2008, 07:41 PM   #11
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Thanks Chris! I cut the overflow teeth with a router and 1/4" bit. I don't have a table saw, so I made a "jig" with MDFB, 2x4's and a yardstick on my garage floor to cut the teeth. Tedious and hell on the back and knees, but it worked out pretty well. I wish I had taken more pics during the assembly...

I do have an ATO on the tank. I have a Litermeter III on my nano right next to this tank, so I added a LMIII water exchange module that is a combo pump and level switch that will ATO into the return section.


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Old 05/01/2008, 09:18 AM   #12
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Thanks for the update on how you cut the teeth. When you fill it with corals and fish post some photos.


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Old 05/01/2008, 09:59 AM   #13
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No problem...

Here's a couple more pics. No fish or corals, but I got the rock and sand in, and the dust has settled.

I bought about 65# of dead rock from a local reefer that's really nice. I wanted to go with dead rock to prevent any unwanted hitchhikers. Since I've got a couple other established tanks, I'm just going to water change into the new system to get the cycle sped up. I'm pretty happy with how the scape turned out:



Close up w/ lights on:



I tried to make it long and flat so I can put LOTS of colonies up close to the lights. I think I'm going to try and use the coral pegging system that I've seen in some of the TOTMs for easy removal of individual pieces.

Anyone know where the best place to buy acrylic rods is?

Also debating whether to get black eggcrate for the frag section. It looks nicer, IMO; but I'm guessing it will also absorb a little more heat. Either way, I've heard acrylic eggcrate is better than the standard polystyrene version you can get at HD or Lowes. Correct?


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Old 05/01/2008, 12:22 PM   #14
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Looks good. Impressed with the DIY work! Let me know when you are ready for some SPS frags.

I assume you tested this but just wanted to make sure you have enough room your sump to handle the water from the main tank when the power to the return is turned off.


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Old 05/01/2008, 12:54 PM   #15
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AC GREEN IN THE HOUSE!!!

Yup. I did a return pump failure test first thing. Pretty darn close, but I left just enough room in the sump. Your cousin would NOT be happy if I flooded the office! I just have to watch the locline depth because it pulls a siphon, so if I were to point it all the way down, I'd be in trouble.

AC, Where's your build thread?!


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Old 05/01/2008, 02:39 PM   #16
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Haha...i figured you would have tested it but it did look close.

Looks good though. Hopefully I can get time to post my build thread sometime this weekend.


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Old 05/02/2008, 09:03 AM   #17
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Sweet! Looking forward to some pics of your system AC...

So far the only design flaw I've found is that the drop into the skimmer area is too far (about 1.5" or something). It gives me a fairly loud waterfall. Too bad, because my drain and return are almost silent. If I hadn't been greedy about my frag section water volume, it would be a really quiet system. I don't think you can have a waterfall of more than about .5-.75" without having a good amount of noise. Thought about routing the teeth lower, but can't get the ones closest to the glass, so I'm going to see if the sound drives me crazy first. Good to know for the next system though , which I'll hopefully put in the bedroom.

Here's a sump close up where you can see the waterfall.




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Old 05/02/2008, 10:17 AM   #18
apex003
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Thanks mods!

Thought I'd move my build thread here to the nano forum, since it's probably a nano by most standards, and the Reef Discussion sucks threads off the page really fast.

Hi All!


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Old 05/06/2008, 11:13 AM   #19
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Well, my cycle has begun. I added a couple raw prawns about a week ago, and it up to about 0.5ppm Ammonia. Nitrate and Nitrites are also detectable, so it looks like I've got the nitrifying bacteria going. Also adding small batches of water/sand/detritus from my other tank during water changes to seed the rock with nitrifying bacteria.

Will be running lights off until I start adding livestock, because I don't want an algae bloom.

The stock lighting on the sunpods is actually pretty nice. Very crisp white on the 36" fixture. The 20" bulb is a little more blue. Not sure why, since I think they're supposed to be the same. Will be changing to Reeflux 12K on top and Phoenix 14K on bottom once corals go in though.

This weekend, I plan to make my frag racks, similar to the layout from Machado deSousa's frag tanks in Portugal.

Heat seems to be a little problem, so I'm saving for a chiller. Will probably run the light cycle at night for now, and see how it goes. Also, will try to run the lights for top and bottom staggered, so all 450W won't be going at once.

Also, plan to get a calcium reactor going on this tank, once it's up and running, if anyone has suggestions. Might try a DIY, if I get brave, but I doubt it...

I guess that's it for now. No pics of interest. Just an update. Any feedback/input is welcome. Thanks!


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Old 05/10/2008, 08:44 AM   #20
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This thread has been moved to the current forum.

(by original poster's request)


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Old 05/10/2008, 02:50 PM   #21
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Why dont you go with a lower kelvin bulb on the bottom like a 6500k or 10000k so the frags grow out faster?


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Current Tank Info: 11 gallon DIY acrylic cube and 20L displays plumbed to a single sump, Kessil, Onyx, MP10, RKL
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Old 05/10/2008, 03:06 PM   #22
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Nice, clean, neat setup!! I like it.

Spleify


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Current Tank Info: 60 gal SPS cube, with 25 gal refugium, 400W MH, DIY Lumenarc III, DIY skimmer, DIY stand and canopy. 40 breeder LPS with 40 gallon sump, DIY stand, 250W MH
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Old 05/10/2008, 03:39 PM   #23
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Awesome! I have a 40BR myself and I love it. I gotta tag along.


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Old 05/10/2008, 05:29 PM   #24
apex003
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Quote:
Originally posted by mudskipper1
Why dont you go with a lower kelvin bulb on the bottom like a 6500k or 10000k so the frags grow out faster?
I thought about that, but I've read that you sacrifice some color when you go to those lower K bulbs. True? I have the 14Ks on my other nano and like the nice mix of color and growth. Maybe if I find that growth is too slow, I'll go to a 10K. Thanks for the suggestion.


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Old 05/10/2008, 05:30 PM   #25
apex003
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Quote:
Originally posted by spleify
Nice, clean, neat setup!! I like it.

Spleify
Thanks. It's nice to finally get some feedback. Wasn't getting much action in the nano forum.


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