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Old 02/18/2011, 08:11 AM   #1
hul kogan
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hul kogan’s 127G Caribbean Biotope Shallow Reef In-Wall Build

BACKGROUND
Some of you may recall the build thread I had going about a year ago for my 180G. As I mentioned in that thread, I decided to sell the tank and give in to my urge to go with shallow dimensions. So I had a new tank built and that’s the basis for this build.

SUMMARY
I received the built tank last May and other than a handful of tasks and some equipment purchases, the project sat idle for much of the remainder of 2010. Since the first of the year, I’ve started the wheels turning again…so we’ll pick up from there.

I’ve had the pleasure of traveling throughout the Caribbean since my mid-teen’s. The region has always been a favorite of mine, with the ocean being my main fascination. Since becoming a scuba diver, I’ve been able to really experience the underwater world and that’s what motivates me to recreate some of what I see when diving in the area. While doing a biotope tank, especially Caribbean, isn’t a wildly popular thing to do, I’m taking the challenge to create as ‘pure’ of an environment as I can. Meaning only inhabitants that are native (corals, fish, inverts, etc). Plus, it’s an amazing opportunity to learn more about the region.

TANK SPECS
Display: 127 Gallon, (72”x24”x17”) built by Glasscages
Sump: 75 Gallon, (standard dimensions) All-Glass

SOME OF THE EQUIPMENT
Lighting: Current Outer Orbit Fixture (3x150w HQI MH, 8x39w T5, 24 Moon LED)
Skimmer: Super Reef Octopus XP 2000 Skimmer (In-sump)
Overflow: Custom, BeanAnimal design
Return: Mag Drive 9.5
Controller: DA ReefKeeper Lite
RO/DI: BRS 5-Stage

I know you all yearn for pictures worse than Charlie Sheen does for his next questionable encounter, and have no fear, I’ll make sure you get your fix…but you may also find some value in my narrative musings. If not, well, I’m going to type them anyway…


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[127G Caribbean Biotope Shallow Reef In-Wall]
[40G Breeder]
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Old 02/18/2011, 08:12 AM   #2
hul kogan
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RETROSPECTIVE, GET SOME
Once upon a time, a 75G tank lived in my wall. Then one day I was greeted with the sight of pooled water on the floor. Left with quite the conundrum, I made the only logical decision…rip down the wall and upgrade. Though I knew my logic seemed to lack just that, I marched onward with battle axe (read: sledge hammer) in hand and destruction on my mind. These are my stories… {cue Law & Order chimes}

TOPPLING THE ‘GREAT’ WALL
First the 75G needed emptied and moved.


Tank out, a look through the wall into the tank/laundry/furnace room. I should just call it a multi-purpose room, eh? (what you see is a 180G and another 75G)


Molding pulled, prepping for destruction.


As you can imagine, this took awhile... (some of you may recall my demolition approved flippy floppies and socks combo)


BOOM.


All cleaned up and some self-leveling compound put down on a low spot.


The view from the tank room into the rest of the basement.



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Old 02/18/2011, 08:13 AM   #3
hul kogan
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I’LL STAND BY YOU, STAND
I stayed with the same footprint as the 180G for the new shallow tank for two reasons: 1. I could utilize the stand I already built, and 2. It fits well in the available space. Here's a look back at the stand build.

Ripping some wood.


Yes, I built this stand like a tank. With a large tank at 4 feet high, rather than the standard heights, I don't think you can over do it.


Then...this provided hours of enjoyment...


The finished product.



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Old 02/18/2011, 08:19 AM   #4
Dave VG
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Tagging along nice so far!!! Keep the pictures coming.


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Old 02/18/2011, 08:25 AM   #5
hul kogan
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Thanks Dave. Glad to have you on board.

Ask and you shall receive!


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Old 02/18/2011, 08:26 AM   #6
hul kogan
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REBUILDING
After the stand was primed, it was time to get it into place and start skinning. Two of the stand sides will actually double as the structure for the lower part of the wall. An integrated stand and wall, if you will. The main reason for this is I wanted the tank glass as close to flush with the wall surface as possible.

Here’s the first piece of moisture resistant drywall in place.


The bottom fully skinned with the second round of spackle drying. Notice the stand top is now in place, as well.


I was pretty geeked for this moment…the first time the tank went onto the stand.


Then framing out the top wall structure.


And a shot from the front.



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Old 02/18/2011, 08:31 AM   #7
chimmike
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IMO you don't need the foam under the tank as it's a rimmed tank. Looks pretty sweet so far!


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Old 02/18/2011, 08:46 AM   #8
hul kogan
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@chimmike - I debated back and forth with myself on that one. I finally opted to go with it simply to compensate for any small discrepancies that may be in the stand. And thank you, it's coming together little by little!


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Old 02/18/2011, 08:48 AM   #9
hul kogan
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BUILDING THE BEANANIMAL OVERFLOW SYSTEM
First off, big shoutout to the man, the myth, the legend…Mr. Bean himself! Such a great concept and design that people can tweak their needs, so that’s exactly what I did. Since I didn’t want to take up a bunch of real estate inside the tank, I opted for a small internal weir with an external box. The internal weir is built from 1/4” 14% Greylite glass and the external is built from 3/8” standard glass.

Both boxes are finished but I do not have pictures of them yet. So, I’ll share these ‘in progress’ shots of the external first, and get shots of both up here later.

First, I drilled the bottom panel of the external box for 3 1” bulkheads.


Then I started to build the box, attaching the bottom and back panels.


And this catches me up to my most current pics. I’ll post the finished overflows soon, as well as some other updates. Stay tuned.


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Old 02/18/2011, 09:07 AM   #10
chimmike
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i LOVE the bean overflows, you will too.


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Old 02/21/2011, 09:11 AM   #11
hul kogan
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CONTINUING WITH THE OVERFLOW SYSTEM
I finished building the external overflow box and internal weir last week and was able to get both of them installed on the display this past weekend, as well as drilling the tank. On to some highlights…

Here’s the completed internal weir. As you can see, I had to get a little creative with the end caps due to how the upper brace was done on the back of the tank when built. More on that in a few pics.


And the completed external overflow box, drilled in the bottom for 1” bulkheads.


Next it was time to drill the tank. Drilling a brand new tank wasn’t as nerve-racking as I expected. I was done with the 3 holes in about 10-15 minutes. I’m sure part of it was I had to drill the overflow box the week prior and that went smoothly, as well.


With the tank drilled, it was time to secure the internal weir. This shot gives you a look at the end cap, as I mentioned above.



And a shot from outside the tank of the weir. It’s 56” in length. I went with this rather than a full C2C for a few reasons; 1. That length is close to the max I could fit down into the tank in a single piece (due to the bracing), and 2. I will be running the returns over the top of the tank and next to the weir on each end.


After giving the internal weir time to dry overnight, I flipped the tank over and secured the overflow box in place.


It’s coming along!


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Old 02/21/2011, 09:38 AM   #12
SurfnFish
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You my friend, are quite talented! Very nice build.


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Old 02/21/2011, 12:12 PM   #13
shaggss
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hulk

great start! I have heard so many good things about the Bean.. I will definitely have it on my next tank.

Thanks for sharing

cheers


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Old 02/21/2011, 06:50 PM   #14
hul kogan
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@SurfnFish - Thanks much! I appreciate it.

@shaggss - Thank you. In the last year I've spent a lot of time researching the BA setup and also read a bunch of great things about it. I look forward to having it up and running!


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Old 02/21/2011, 07:39 PM   #15
chilwil84
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nice build. your stand isnt really overkill when you skin it with drywall and not plywood. love all the angle braceing in it. did you own the kreg kit prior or did you buy it for the stand.


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Old 02/21/2011, 09:36 PM   #16
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sweet work so far......tagging along!


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Old 02/21/2011, 10:45 PM   #17
Anthonius
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tagging along on this one... so far looks amazing!


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Old 02/22/2011, 07:05 AM   #18
hul kogan
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@chilwil84 - Thanks! I skinned it with 5/8" plywood on the back, though I did cut much of the middle out as an access hole. My main objective was to provide a solid connection between all 4 corners, which it did quite well. As far as the Kreg, I purchased it for the stand build. It's an amazing tool! I consistently get compliments on the use of pockets holes for the stand.

@jmking33 - Thanks, glad to have you on board!

@Anthonius - Greatly appreciated, stay tuned!


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Old 02/22/2011, 08:45 AM   #19
Briney Dave
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Chris, I love what you got going on there. Collecting with Tim: I am sure you will be filling it with some really cool stuff. Plus his rock is eco responsible and great quality at the same time.

Can't wait to see all the mechanics get finished so we can see how you are going to scape and stock


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Old 02/22/2011, 12:16 PM   #20
gweston
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That stand frame can probably hold up two adult male elephant's stacked on top of each other! Well built is an understatement!

Great build. The overflow for my 125' long is going to be very similar to yours. I just built my hood. Next I finish the stand. Then I drill/silicone the weird and external boxes. I also bought smoked color glass.

Zinsser makes a great primer. Good choice. I am using the same stuff.


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Old 02/22/2011, 09:40 PM   #21
hul kogan
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@Dave: Thanks sir! I may be able to bring some things back after this trip if I have time to collect for myself, we'll see. I'll definitely be utilizing some of the rock. It's moving along so mechanics and the 'scape should be on the table soon.

@gweston: Haha, well said. I had another person tell me that I could park a Jeep on top of it. I take both of these as a compliment! I think it will be a great overflow system...can't wait to get it up and running. And speaking of the Zinsser, I just used the last of that gallon tonight. Time to snag another.

SMALL UPDATE
No pics for this one, but I put the last coat of sealer on the inside of the stand skin and did another round of sanding and spackle on the wall this evening. Dust storm engage!


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Old 02/22/2011, 10:06 PM   #22
torino06
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great build so far! had a couple questions about your over flow. what are the dims of the internal overflow? look about 2 inches high by 1 inch? dims on the external? any advantages making it larger? do you think it needs to be supported by any means? i noticed your holes are 1 in., are you going to use 1.25 in. piping or 1 in.? keep up the good work


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Old 02/23/2011, 07:14 AM   #23
hul kogan
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@torino06: Thank you! Sure, no problem, the internal weir is larger than it appears. It's 5" tall and 1.5" width. It may seem small but when you consider the 56" length, I think it will handle overflow capacity quite well. The external is 20x8x6. You could certainly match the length of your external box with the internal weir, but it's not necessary.

I've been contemplating having my glass shop cuts some supports for me. The internal is fine, just speaking in regards to the external. It seems ok, but I like to err on the side of caution (as you can see by my stand, haha). I'm still undecided. And yes, drilled for 1" BH's...I may bush the emergency drain out to 1.25".


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Old 02/23/2011, 08:37 AM   #24
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Don't mean to step in.. sharing a few thoughts:

56"x1.5"x5" should be plenty for the internal weir. For my (in progress) 125Long my internal weir is going to be 48"x2"x5". That is the actual dimensions. When the glass is all put together, the actual weir opening is about 1.75" wide as the glass is .25" thick.

1" holes out to the rear box should be plenty too.. and you have three of them. I am going to do the same. Good spacing between the holes too. Important to not put them too close to one another or you'll play 'connect the dots'. I forget what the suggested distance is. Something like 1 hole width spacing between is perfect.

Not sure how big your external box is, but the box I am putting together is something like 24"x4"x6". I am going on memory here, so it may be somewhat larger than that. My box is pretty much just big enough I think. It is to just hold the plumbing and allow for flow and maintaining siphon. It isn't a reservoir per-se.

By using a good solid silicone adhesive (such as the RTV100 series adhesives) you probably don't need additional supports for the external box. It certainly wouldn't hurt though. The important bit is to -not- add any stress to the plumbing. Support it properly. Honestly, you'd probably be fine with any proper silicone.. but for myself, I tend to try to overbuild.

The bean flows work perfectly fine with 1" plumbing. Some upsize to 1.5". The siphon gives you a lot of flow even thorough 1".


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Old 02/23/2011, 10:50 AM   #25
ludiNano
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Wow great job so far, almost exactly same as what i hope to put together.

Did you cut out the back trim on tank or get it custom from glass cages that way?

Where did you get your hole saws from?

Will you be putting a front access panel on this tank too?
---Im debating to on mine, i love the look w/o and just trim around it, but having abillity to get in from front and set coral is winning.

Great job i will be following along.


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