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Unread 04/14/2009, 11:04 AM   #1
jb61264
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Jeff's Past Present and Future Reef Journey

I've been lurking and asking lots of questions on RC so I thought I would finally post some pictures of my past, present, and future reef journey.

My journey actually started about 12 years ago with my first reef which was a 30 gallon breeder...I think I have one print picture of that tank sitting in a shoebox somewhere...need to get it scanned and will post it. I had that tank for almost 3 years until I got married, bought a house, and had a child. I didn't get into the hobby again until a couple years ago (after divorce and moving into an apartment). This tank was a 40 gallon breeder with a 20 gallon sump/refugium that I built, ran a 36" Nova Extreme Pro for lighting.

Here is the refugium I built:


Here is the LifeReef overflow and you can see my first experience ever working with PCV/plumbing:


Here is everything set up, sand added and ready to add water:


Here is the tank after about two months, bought about 60lbs of live rock from TampaBay Saltwater which I have in my 29 gallon BioCube today (well...not all 60lbs)


I was so proud of this tank, it was gorgeous and everybody who came to my apartment absolutely loved it.

So, you say, you don't have that tank anymore?...no, I met someone and moved in to her house...she didn't not have enough space required to put my 40 breeder up so I consolidated everything into a 29 gallon BioCube which she like because of the "designer" look which matched her decor. I will post pictures of the current 29 gallon BioCube later.

Since about two months ago, I had to move out of her house (long story...but I may once again move in in the future) and am now in an apartment with my 29 gallon BioCube reef, a 30 gallon freshwater tank, and a modified 10 gallon tank that I have built up for a hitchhiker mantis that came with my original live rock from my TampaBay Saltwater live rock and has been in my reef ever since I trapped it two months ago.

So that is the present...

The future...I just bought someone else's 75 gallon AGA and stand (they included a Red Sea Berlin skimmer) and a 20 gallon sump as well as some crappy lights that I will not be using for $150. I am in the process of scrapping the blue paint off of the back of the tank and will paint it black, I will be slightly ripping apart the stand so I can re-skin it and then beginning the process of planning for the plumbing (have decided to go with the silent, failsafe overflow as posted in the BeanAnimal thread) and turning my current 30 gallon freshwater aquarium into a new sump...there are pictures of the stand and tank in this thread


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Unread 04/14/2009, 01:38 PM   #2
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Here's some pictures of my current 29 gallon BioCube setup

Front View:


Left Side:


Right Side:



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Unread 04/14/2009, 01:41 PM   #3
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Here are some pictures of my modified 10 gallon mantis tank:

Full tank shot:


Closeup of the mantis lair:


Weak closeup of mantis peaking out of his burrow in one of the rocks:



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Unread 05/12/2009, 08:36 AM   #4
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So I've begun my build on the new 75 and thought I would begin posting some pictures just for the sake of documenting this journey. Nothing real interesting to show, just work to date and some projects coming up in the next two weeks.

Coated the inside of my stand with Kilz and will be next lining with a either a PVC liner or linoleum to seal it up better in case of a spill



Have my overflow box put together and plumbing ready for the Beananimal failsafe design. Will be drilling the tank this weekend and am very nervous but determined about this.



Finally found a great deal on a 55 gallon tank for my sump..just happened to be browsing craigslist last week and someone had posted a 55 gallon tank and a nice wooden stand for $35...needless to say, I jumped from my desk at work and immediately went to get it (luckily it was only 10 minutes away from work)...have baffles cut and ready to install



Here is my 48" 6 54W T5 TEK fixture with stands and hanging kit...purchased from Anin on RC. Initially I will have this mounted on the tank with the tank stand, but I think after I get things up and running, I will build a hood that incorporates some fans and use the hanging kit (maybe)



Finally, here is the skimmer I will be using...I know I will get flamed, bashed, and urged to get a new one but this is what I will be using to start with. It is a Red Sea Berlin skimmer that the previous owner of my 75 threw in when I bought the tank from him...$150 for the tank, stand, skimmer, an overflow box (not using), some crappy light fixtures (not using), and a 20 gallon tank he used as a sump..seemed like a good deal to me.

From the tests I've been running in a 20 gallon tank, the skimmer seems to work really really well...I contacted the manufacturer and they sent me a supply of spare parts to get it up and running (for free)...I have absolutely no bioload in the tank and it was pulling crap out for a couple days...it has a solid column of microbubbles churning away and leaves none coming out the end. I added the plumbing with ball control valves to help control the bubble height in the overflow column (maybe I will not need this once I have it in an established tank with a healthy bioload...driven by a Mag 7



OK...that is all for today...as you can see, I have a LOT of projects coming up in the next couple weeks (drilling, plumbing, sump build, etc)


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Unread 05/24/2009, 10:17 AM   #5
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i was really nervous about drilling my 75 gallon but feeling somewhat confident after seeing quite a few posts on RC (and watching a couple YouTube videos. I ended up using a piece of 1x6 and used a holesaw the same size as my diamond bit to drill a "guide hole"...it worked great and with a little patience I now three bulkheads in my tank for my failsafe overflow setup.




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Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 05/24/2009, 10:21 AM   #6
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after drilling my holes, I set about leveling my internal overflow box...it is 36" wide...tank is 48" so it gives me 6" on each side for my returns. I used pieces of wood of varying sizes to get it to the perfect height, then leveled the internal overflow with the tank...that way when I level the tank on the stand, hopefully the box will be level with it notice the shims in place to get the leveling correct



Once it was leveled out, I siliconed the inside the box...after that cured and was holding firmly I was going to lay the tank on its back and get the outside.


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 05/24/2009, 10:24 AM   #7
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Pictures of tank on its back with the overflow box siliconed in place






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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 05/24/2009, 10:29 AM   #8
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Next task was to paint the back of my tank black...I used Krylon Fusion just because I already had purchased some a while back...there are other options that work for painting the back of a tank, but the Krylon Fusion worked well for me.

Once the paint had dried, I had my 12 year old help me move it back inside from our deck and get the tank up onto the stand. Here is a picture of it on the stand with my TEK 6x54W T5 fixture and you can see my sump sitting in front while I finish the baffles on it.

Next step will be to rough out the plumbing from the overflow to my sump and the returns from the sump.

I plan to have a T in my return to feed my fuge and also want to mess around with some sort of manifold design that will allow me to add reactors in the future (any suggestions are always much appreciated)




Side Shot



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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 05/24/2009, 10:34 AM   #9
drummereef
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Wow Jeff, everything looks fantastic so far. Interested to see what you do with the plumbing.


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Unread 05/24/2009, 10:49 AM   #10
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thanks drummereef...i'm interested to see what i do with the plumbing too...lol...i'll need to get some ideas for bracing the overflow to the stand.

as i have it now, the closest overflow to the middle which I believe they refer to as the "emergency" overflow (elbow turned up) is pretty much in alignment with my return area in the middle of my sump...since I will most likely never have any water flowing through that (hopefully) I think I can plumb it straight down into the return area...although I'm going to wait to hear if anyone tells me not to do it that way


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 05/24/2009, 12:43 PM   #11
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Looks like its gonna be a sweet setup.


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Make it a Great Day!!!!

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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Unread 05/25/2009, 12:36 AM   #12
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looks like a awesome setup! look like you put lot of effort and time into building the overflow, it should be DEAD silent! those light look familiar hehe..


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Unread 06/14/2009, 12:08 PM   #13
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Been a while since I posted progress on my system...over the last two weeks I've worked out all the plumbing and last night and this morning I have been leak testing with a dry run of the entire system.

Here are some pictures of the plumbing:

Return plumbing (none of this plumbing up to the true union ball valve is glued in permanently yet...wanting to see if anyone sees any issues or has better recommendations on the way I have it set up)



Here are views of the "behind the scenes" plumbing



and




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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/14/2009, 12:15 PM   #14
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I am so happy with the design of my "silent/failsafe" overflow as described in the Beananimal thread. The tank is 48" wide and I have a 36" wide and centered glass overflow box.

When I first started everything up, my tank was not leveled properly and it created some issues, but after leveling my tank, the setup is absolutely perfect...dead silent...and I've even tested the "failsafe" by breaking the siphon on the primary return and the emergency overflow works perfectly...I'm just completely amazed at how well this design works!

Here are some pictures I took while doing a dry run of the system

Looking from the left side:


Looking from the right side:


Looking from the front (smooth as glass):



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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/14/2009, 04:46 PM   #15
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Here's a picture of my entire setup being leak tested last night:




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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/14/2009, 05:16 PM   #16
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very nice


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Thanks! Jeremy

Current Tank Info: 90 gal with 40 gal breeder sump / fuge, Octo skimmer, lights and some water.
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Unread 06/16/2009, 12:03 AM   #17
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Added "Build Thread" to the title of my thread so hopefully more people will realize it is build thread and check it out and offer suggestions

Thanks Anenome!


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/16/2009, 12:11 AM   #18
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So this is where you been hidin out...... looking like a really clean setup. Good job drilling. Can't holler at you yet.......

Jim


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Unread 06/16/2009, 12:19 AM   #19
jb61264
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Quote:
Originally posted by uncleof6
So this is where you been hidin out...... looking like a really clean setup. Good job drilling. Can't holler at you yet.......
Jim
I attribute it to my ask twice, measure three times, and execute once mentality Seriously tho, thanks for the help and suggestions you and many others on RC have provided to get me this far...now if I can just keep going without screwing up


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/16/2009, 12:22 AM   #20
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So I'm interested in any feedback anybody can provide on my pictures above showing my return plumbing...as I noted, I have two T's...the first feeds the fuge/macroalgae section and the second is intended to provide flow for a couple of reactors in the future...basically just a gate valve on each outlet...I'm thinking I can hang them (reactors) on the backside of the sump tank?


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/16/2009, 11:07 AM   #21
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So I think I may have a very small leak in the back right bottom corner of my tank...I noticed a bit of wetness on the stand from the last four days since it has had water in it...but it is completely dry on the tank by the black trim edges, etc...so I'm thinking that maybe on the bottom there might be something small.

I'll be emptying out the tank later this evening and breaking things down so I can get underneath and apply some silicone...probably the only way to be sure is to run some silicone on the inside seam of the tank where I noticed the wetness on the stand...sigh.


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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Unread 06/17/2009, 07:05 AM   #22
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Looks awesome JB.

Your pics will be very helpful. Thanks and good luck. Keep us all posted!


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Unread 06/17/2009, 11:17 AM   #23
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I would have to agree that this looks awesome! Everything is so neat and clean! Plumbing looks good!

Can't wait to see the rest!!!


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Unread 06/17/2009, 12:48 PM   #24
Reefer2727
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Is your return plumbing 3/4" or 1"?


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Unread 06/17/2009, 01:20 PM   #25
jb61264
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Quote:
Originally posted by Reefer2727
Is your return plumbing 3/4" or 1"?
My return plumbing is 1" from the pump to where I split my returns...then I reduce down to 3/4"


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In the end (and the begining) we're all just stardust anyway...

Current Tank Info: 75 gallon SPS reef/55 gallon sump/6x54W TEK T5HO/Reef Octopus 200 Extreme Skimmer/Reef Octopus Single Chamber Calcium Reactor/RKL
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