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Old 11/08/2006, 10:38 AM   #1
mcrist
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450 Gallon Peninsula Display

This is my first thread so hopefully I get some views and replies. I have been planning on creating this system for the last year during which I did a lot of research. Of course my research was mainly limited to Reef Central, Wetwebmedia, and books. I strongly recommend reading any of Bob Fenner’s and/or Anthony Calfo’s writings.

The first decision I needed to make was acrylic or glass. I don’t want this to become an acrylic verses glass thread but I wanted to list my thoughts. I’ve always owned glass tanks before but my last tank had a scratch in it that I hated and of course since it was glass I couldn’t remove the scratch. I also had an Oceanic tank leak on me 2 days before Christmas which was a real nice Christmas present. I was on both sides of the fence and finally decided on an acrylic tank.

Next order of business was the size of the tank and its location. The two designs I've always liked are the in the wall and the peninsula design. I wish I had some great words of wisdom here, but my final decision came down to what my wife wanted. She liked the idea of the tank being a room divider between the kitchen and the family room. Now that I knew where the tank was going I needed to decide on the size of the tank. I wanted an 8’ long tank by 4’ wide tank but I had a hard time fitting it in the space I had. I decided that an 8’ tank was a little to long so I went with a 7’ long by 4’ wide by 30” tall tank. I also went with an external overflow and a euro braced top. Since I knew what I wanted I needed someone to build my tank. I always knew if I went with an acrylic tank that I wanted to contact James from Envision Acrylics. I read so many posts on Reef Central on how people loved his work so I wanted to call him. After talking with him on the phone numerous times, to make sure I was comfortable with my design, I ordered my tank in May. I received the tank in August and my project finally started. I never realized how much my life would become involved with a project of this size. Enough writing here are some pictures…


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Old 11/08/2006, 10:50 AM   #2
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Very nice. I'm thinking of getting a tank from James too. Are the corners on your tank rounded? I don't see room to add a sump sump underneath the stand? Is it going to be external (outside the house).


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Old 11/08/2006, 10:58 AM   #3
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Here are some photos when I received the tank. The truck driver didn’t think we could get the crate off his truck and it took a little convincing before he would even try.








Last edited by mcrist; 11/08/2006 at 11:20 AM.
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Old 11/08/2006, 11:06 AM   #4
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How far along are you right now, just receiving the tank or further along. My tank is 6ft x 4ft x30" that I am currently setting up so I will watch your thread closely to see how you aquascape and handle flow and such. Tank looks beautiful!


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Old 11/08/2006, 11:09 AM   #5
mcrist
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Quote:
Originally posted by xinumaster
Very nice. I'm thinking of getting a tank from James too. Are the corners on your tank rounded? I don't see room to add a sump sump underneath the stand? Is it going to be external (outside the house).
Yes, two of the corners are rounded. I would highly recommend having James build you a tank if you want acrylic. The sump and all equipment are located in the basement directly under the tank.


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Old 11/08/2006, 11:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally posted by stlouisguy
How far along are you right now, just receiving the tank or further along. My tank is 6ft x 4ft x30" that I am currently setting up so I will watch your thread closely to see how you aquascape and handle flow and such. Tank looks beautiful!
My tank is up and running, I just need to post more photos. Still have a lot more work to do, but thats half the fun.


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Old 11/08/2006, 11:12 AM   #7
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thats going to be sweet


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Old 11/08/2006, 11:29 AM   #8
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One thing I would like to point out is the crate that was built to ship my tank. James takes no shortcuts when it comes to anything he does. The crate was built out of 3/4 plywood and I think he used an entire box of screws to hold it together. My first battery drill ran out of juice before I even had the top off. The truck driver even made a comment that he never sees crates built like this anymore. I think we could have just dropped the crate off the truck without harming the tank.




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Old 11/08/2006, 11:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcrist
My tank is up and running, I just need to post more photos. Still have a lot more work to do, but thats half the fun.
Stop Teasing!!!! Show me the tank!!!



Seriously though, getting ready to add rock in the next day to two, could you pm me a pic of your aquascaping?


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Old 11/08/2006, 11:36 AM   #10
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I liked the idea of a metal stand but the cost of it being built and the fact that I did not need much room under the tank persuaded me to build the stand out of wood. Here are some photos of my stand under construction.








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Old 11/08/2006, 11:40 AM   #11
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My wife loves this photo. A lot of people commented on the size of the tank and joked that I built my coffin. Well I figured I might as well take a photo of it as my coffin.





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Old 11/08/2006, 11:42 AM   #12
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Here are some photos of the tank on the stand.








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Old 11/08/2006, 12:03 PM   #13
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I would like to post what not to do when moving an acrylic tank.

The tank weighed an estimated 600 pounds dry and I had a total of 6 men (including myself) to move the tank. I figured 100 pounds a person seemed doable. We needed to move the tank from my garage to the front door which is about 30 feet away. Then we need to go up two concrete steps then through my front door. We then needed to go about 15 feet down a hallway before making it to the family room. We were able to pick up the tank but we couldn’t walk with it very well. Well after much thought we decided to put the tank on its one side and that we would roll the tank on PVC pipe. Big mistake… It seems that PVC pipe is a soft plastic and that it picked up small stones as we rolled the tank outside. I also learned that protective paper will not stop small stones from scratching the tank. Well it did a lot of damage to the tank but I guess I will need to sand the scratches out. They are not too noticeable by I know they are there. My wife made a comment “Well the first scratch is their now you can stop worrying about it.” Great words of wisdom…

Moral of the story, if you need to roll an acrylic tank in order to move it, put the bottom of the tank on the pipe. Never use a viewable side.

Please learn from my mistake…


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Old 11/08/2006, 12:08 PM   #14
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I was so excited to finally add water. Now we are getting somewhere.




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Old 11/08/2006, 12:25 PM   #15
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Interesting, added water before you did the plumbing. Any particular reason for that?

Also for moving large tanks I suggest 4 wheel dollies. Sorry to hear about your damage, go get some novus and a random directional buffer


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Old 11/08/2006, 12:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by stlouisguy
Interesting, added water before you did the plumbing. Any particular reason for that?

Also for moving large tanks I suggest 4 wheel dollies. Sorry to hear about your damage, go get some novus and a random directional buffer
No reason, just wanted to get it moving along. I closed all the ball valves so that I could start adding water. It took over a week to add the water and I wanted to work on the plumbing while I was filling the tank.

Where were you when I need that info? I already got a kit from http://www.micro-surface.com to sand out the scratches. I would love to use a buffer but I am scared as hell to damage my tank even further since I never used a buffer. I haven't attempted to sand out any scratches yet, maybe this weekend.


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Old 11/08/2006, 12:43 PM   #17
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I designed my tank to have a closed loop through the bottom of the tank. This is the first time I ever had a tank drilled on the bottom of the tank. After talking with James he convinced me that if I used Hayward brand bulkheads that I would not have leaks. I was so impressed with the quality of the bulkheads that I bought all Hayward brand unions and ball valves.

One thing I did that may be different from what most people do is that I did not use Teflon tape for any threaded connections. I used aquarium grade silicone for all fittings. I learned that one from Bob Fenner. I love the seal it makes and I get zero salt creep and yes you can remove it if needed. Best of all it is flexible for any fittings that has vibrations, specifically pumps.

I had 8 one inch holes drilled on the bottom of the tank and 2 two inch holes on the side of the tank to feed my pump. The pump I decided to go with is a Sequence Dart and I was originally planning to use the 8 way OceanMotions unit for random flow. I decided that the 8 way would make my plumbing way to complicated so I went with the 4 way. I am happy I did since the 4 way was tough enough to get the way I wanted. The Dart is sooo quiet, I love that pump. Bellow is a picture of the fittings where the two inch bulkhead goes to my pump. My daughter is playing peak-a-boo in this photo.




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Old 11/08/2006, 12:57 PM   #18
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Here is another topic that can cause some debate…Bare bottom or sand…

In the past I had tanks that were both BB and with some sand. I always like the look of sand but hated the additional work required with sand. The final deciding factor was that I would like to add a pair of Flasher and Fairy wrasses. So I added a deep sand bed to my tank. It took 1100 pounds of sugar fine sand to make my DSB. Talk about a headache adding the sand and working with it afterwards. The jury is still out if I made the right decision but only time will tell. It does make it look more natural.


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Old 11/08/2006, 01:02 PM   #19
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Do not be afraid of the buffer!! My tank was used and covered in small scratches, I had never used a buffer, but with the novus, I used it slightly damp and just let it work. I am also very lazy and didnt want to wear out my arm buffing with grit after grit after grit

Go ahead and sand out a few scratches, then you will understand the buffer. It was only like $20 at Home Depot just gotta make sure its the random directional one.

How are you going to handle what appears your plumbing is against your bracing? Do you think cutting it will affect the integrity of the stand?

Great pics keep them coming


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Old 11/08/2006, 01:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally posted by mcrist
Here is another topic that can cause some debate…Bare bottom or sand…

In the past I had tanks that were both BB and with some sand. I always like the look of sand but hated the additional work required with sand. The final deciding factor was that I would like to add a pair of Flasher and Fairy wrasses. So I added a deep sand bed to my tank. It took 1100 pounds of sugar fine sand to make my DSB. Talk about a headache adding the sand and working with it afterwards. The jury is still out if I made the right decision but only time will tell. It does make it look more natural.
Picture would be nice


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Old 11/08/2006, 01:11 PM   #21
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Finally some pictures of my tank with rock, sand, coral, and fish in it. These pictures were taken 2 weeks ago. Water is a little cloudy because I just added the rock. Everything came from my preexisting tank that was up for about 2 years.












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Old 11/08/2006, 01:18 PM   #22
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Stunning!!! Keep the pics coming.

What are your intentions for finishing the stand? Will you leave the top open with the lighting as is?

Very nice!! (jealous)


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Old 11/08/2006, 01:27 PM   #23
mcrist
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Quote:
Originally posted by stlouisguy
Do not be afraid of the buffer!! My tank was used and covered in small scratches, I had never used a buffer, but with the novus, I used it slightly damp and just let it work. I am also very lazy and didnt want to wear out my arm buffing with grit after grit after grit

Go ahead and sand out a few scratches, then you will understand the buffer. It was only like $20 at Home Depot just gotta make sure its the random directional one.

How are you going to handle what appears your plumbing is against your bracing? Do you think cutting it will affect the integrity of the stand?

Great pics keep them coming
I think I will try the buffer but I want to try it by hand first.

The brace just touches the plumbing going through that section. It is a lot tighter than I wanted so it made it harder to work on it but it all does fit. Sometimes I wish that I went with the in-the-wall design so I would have a lot more room for this.


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Old 11/08/2006, 01:39 PM   #24
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is it a sumpless system or do you have drains/returns in another room that I cant see?


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Old 11/08/2006, 01:40 PM   #25
mcrist
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Quote:
Originally posted by Z-Man07
Stunning!!! Keep the pics coming.

What are your intentions for finishing the stand? Will you leave the top open with the lighting as is?

Very nice!! (jealous)
Thank you for the compliments. I was a little nervous to start a thread because I see so many beautiful tanks that other people built and I don’t want to compare mine to theirs.

The bottom of the stand I am planning to match the cabinets that I have in my kitchen. I know a professional cabinet maker that I am hoping to help work on this.

The lighting will change because I hate that old hood. I am currently looking at fixtures by Aqua Medic, Giesemann, and Sunlight Supply. I don’t think I will take the leap until after Christmas. I spent enough money as is. I am planning to leave the top mostly open maybe a 4 inch oak cap but otherwise open.


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