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Old 12/15/2011, 11:01 PM   #1
gmate
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Glenn's 55g Corner Bowfront build thread, pictures!

This will be a consistently updated build thread. I had yesterday off and began by sanding down my 55g Bowfront Corner aquarium, staining it black, and building my corner rock wall. Today I went ahead and finished another coat of stain, cleaned up the rock wall pieces, and painting the faux-wood plastic trim black to match the stand. It looks phenomenal, and I hope to do a freshwater test this weekend and then begin the real deal as well this weekend.

I bought the tank and stand off a guy who had been out of the hobby for about a year, and had it rotting in his basement. He said he had offers to part up the deal, but wanted to sell it bulk. 300 dollars netted me quite the deal.

55g Corner Bowfront + Stand, coralife 36" dual 10k white dual 420nm 96w actinic, RemoraC hob w/rio800, dual hagen402/50's, extra power heads heaters test kits supplements and more stuff than I could imagine. I had a trunk full of random items. The supplements he had given me needed to be tossed, but after cleaning everything was great in working order. This was a great deal. My father has been out of the hobby for about 6 years, and had all his stuff in the garage. He went ahead and hooked me up with a ton of supplies as well. I purchased a BRS 5-Stage RO/DI from a member here on the C.T.A.R.S. forum. Picked up my supplements on Amazon (I had a 100 dollar gift card, that went really quick!) including ESV B-Ionic 2, Kent Tech M, SeaChem Reef Plus. I'm using Tropic Marin Reef Salt.

Basically I have everything I need for my reef setup, I'm in 500 dollars and some manual labor. Quite worth it considering what we all know we can spend starting with all new equipment. I've got so much extra equipment, pumps, powerheads, heaters, etc that I don't even need to replace anything if it breaks. And I've got spare tanks (20L, 30High, 10) for quarantines and whatnot laying around too.

I spent about 3 hours sanding down the stand (it had a plain clear coat over the wood) and three coats of stain, which each took about fifteen minutes. Spraypainting the plastic rim only took me the better part of an hour. I did a DIY foam/rock wall using Marco Rocks (amazing product, will buy again). Used eggcrate and zipties to make small shelves on a wall, then used Tetra Pond Foam (which is aquarium safe - I checked several threads on this website and saw previous usage from other posters for several years without issue) to put it all together. I trimmed and sanded down the back so it's a nice even finish, and I purchased safe GE Silicone I to put it into the tank when I'm ready this weekend. I didn't drill this tank because the stand is very awkwardly shaped and really only allowed for a 10g sump, which I didn't think was worth the effort of drilling because I already had my HOB skimmer and did not feel up to plumbing. Any future build I do, regardless of size, will include a sump though.

I have a ton of pictures to share my process from start to finish within the last two days. Thanks for reading this thread. I've been keeping freshwater fish, from Cichlids to Danios for a while now. I've been wanting to Reef for a long while but only after reading several books and an extensive amount of time online did I feel comfortable. Now I feel rather confident I'll be alright. Now that I've moved out of my parents house and lease my own house, I can do what I want and as big as I want. This is just the beginning.



The spot in my bedroom, before


Marco Rocks shipment! I've ordered the 40lb rock / 40lb sand combo. Most of the rock was used in my wall, I still have 3 football-sized pieces left though. I'm going to be asking local reefers for some live rock if I can find anyone around from C.T.A.R.S willing to help a brother out! (I'll pay you, of course)




The ingredients to my rockwall: Zipties, Pond Foam, Eggcrate, Marco Rocks, and just a dash of sexy success









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Old 12/15/2011, 11:01 PM   #2
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Old 12/15/2011, 11:02 PM   #3
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Note to self: wear gloves next time using pond foam or stain. Two days later, hands are still this black. Feels so weird too.


Stand done, put the tank on it for looks. Yes, I'll definitely have to spray paint the tank now, because that looks terrible. I'm such a perfectionist, this tank is going to be my baby.


It's up. It's done. I'll freshwater test it and brew my salt this weekend. I'm getting giddy already.


I'm confident once the rocks seed up and darken, and I get some coraline algae on the back walls, it's going to look very natural. This was all a late birthday present to myself, I turned 22 last week and I've been wanting to do this for a long, long time now.

My plan is once I get the rock wall in, siliconed, and that cures I'll brew my salt and begin a natural cycle with no live rock to start (I'll do the shrimp test, or pure ammonia). I'm going to order a refractometer off MarineDepot tonight. I'll cycle the tank for two weeks with just the marco rocks, then I'll put some LR to bump the cycle half way through. Shouldn't take more than a month to cycle and introduce a clean up crew, hopefully. I'll probably have to make some cuts in my wall to put the powerheads in, which I'll do this weekend too.

Updates as they come. I don't plan on rushing this build at all. Please don't ask what I plan to stock, as have no clue yet! Definitely no Tangs, I'm not that kind of reefer lol. Any input you have about my build, your recommendations, or anything else would be greatly appreciated! Thank you for your interest all, and thank God I found this website a few months ago.

- Glenn


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Old 12/15/2011, 11:25 PM   #4
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Pretty sweet! Following along




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Old 12/16/2011, 02:08 AM   #5
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Im tagging along as well. I like the bow front tank.


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Old 12/16/2011, 05:03 AM   #6
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Looks nice


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Old 12/16/2011, 06:52 AM   #7
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nice start. will follow


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65g seahorse tank 20g sump with a reef octopus skimmer ,tlf 150 reactor, red sea ozone generator controller,cpr hob fuge with light and 2 China led lights one 42x1 w and one 24x3 w. occupied by 4 ecectus seahorses a couple small gobies and cuc.

Current Tank Info: 58g main with 20g sump
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Old 12/17/2011, 08:52 AM   #8
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Plumbing my RO/DI is frustrating me. I have a 75gpd unit from BRS. I bought it from Eaglesrx on this forum, he had the intake set up with a kitchen faucet connector. Would be perfect but I have older sinks with a female faucet, not a male extension (So what I have now is male-male). So I went to Lowes to buy more eggcrate and a dual threaded female, and got 3/8" instead of 1/2". Was too lazy to go back. Now I'm thinking of actually ordering a ball-valve T and plumbing under the kitchen sink But without taking my kitchen sink apart prematurely, I don't know if I'm going to need a 3/8" or if it's bigger under the sink (1/2?). My bathroom sink looks like it's smaller, closer to 1/4". The connection is smaller under the bathroom and there's not much cabinet space so I'll probably put it under the kitchen sink.

3/8"s connection?
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/...h-connect.html

or 1/2 connection for this?
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/store/...t-mur-lok.html

I'm not sure. I don't know if my lines are even those sizes either. I'd have to find out one way or another. Can't start till I plumb the RO/DI anyway.
I've also put up my 30 high and will use it as a quarantine or frag tank, most likely. I'll start that tank shortly after the 55g gets wet.


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Last edited by gmate; 12/17/2011 at 09:08 AM.
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Old 12/17/2011, 07:44 PM   #9
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I caved and lined it up to the washing machine in the basement. It's going now. Unfortunately I forgot to wash off the excess of my rock wall trimmings of the wall pieces itself, so I did that now. Once it's drying by later tonight I'll silicone it in. Then, well, the RO/DI will go in tomorrow night. Filler up, put some sand in, and the cycle begins. Unfortunately I only have 2 5gallon buckets too, so I have to stop making water tonight and start again tomorrow. Exciting stuff, I Know :P

This is the wall, in the tank, but not siliconed just yet. I cut the crap out of my hands getting it in, it barely fit in because of the corner bowfront design.



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Old 12/17/2011, 08:08 PM   #10
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run the rodi line right into the tank and let it fill over night


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Old 12/17/2011, 08:17 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erbgo View Post
run the rodi line right into the tank and let it fill over night
overnight would make for a flood . i would do it this way should fill in a bout a couple hrs i bet . i make 2.5 g in about 5-10 minutes never timed it but its not long.


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65g seahorse tank 20g sump with a reef octopus skimmer ,tlf 150 reactor, red sea ozone generator controller,cpr hob fuge with light and 2 China led lights one 42x1 w and one 24x3 w. occupied by 4 ecectus seahorses a couple small gobies and cuc.

Current Tank Info: 58g main with 20g sump
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Old 12/17/2011, 08:59 PM   #12
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RO/DI is in the basement, can't run the line that far. I'd need 30 feet of tubing. I don't mind filling the buckets one by one, but just wish I had more buckets. So that once the silicon has had 24 hours it's go time.

Any suggestions on getting the sand in there slowly without clouding up the tank too bad? I've heard recommendations of using large ladles, but that would take forever and be extremely tedious. Should I just dump it all in and let it clear within 24 hours?


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Old 12/17/2011, 09:02 PM   #13
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And I should have applied silicon to the back of the wall in addition to just the sides. Didn't think of it at the time, and already put in and siliconed the first piece on the left. Oops lol, looks like I'll deal. I'm not redoing it. Laziness.


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Old 12/17/2011, 11:46 PM   #14
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Actinic


Whites


Both


Tomorrow after work I'll fill with RO/DI then add salt to get the desired SG. Will use my hydrometer until the refractometer comes in. Adding live rock during the week (merry Christmas!).

A beginner question, when should I begin dosing? Once I add corals to the system (I will be dosing 2-part Calcium and then Magnesium) or after the cycle has completed? Dosing prior to livestock introduction seems rather redundant (aside from just bringing the parameters to where they should be). Is it beneficial to establish a 'stable' system at set metrics for Ca/Mg first, or are they less important to initially establish as PO4 and Nitrates? Thanks.


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Old 12/18/2011, 07:19 AM   #15
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Good job...looks great! I recently cycled my 75 gallon tank...it took 15 days to get zero ammonia/nitrites - 40 ppm Nitrates. I'm old school , so I used the hardy fish method and used 2 Chromis - feed 3 times a day. It was enough bio-load to get the process going. Lots of bio-active Aragonite sand and high quality cured rock helped expedite the cycle no doubt. Best of luck with your tank - I'll be following for sure.


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Old 12/18/2011, 08:30 AM   #16
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i would turn off any filters and dump the sand and let it settle over night.


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65g seahorse tank 20g sump with a reef octopus skimmer ,tlf 150 reactor, red sea ozone generator controller,cpr hob fuge with light and 2 China led lights one 42x1 w and one 24x3 w. occupied by 4 ecectus seahorses a couple small gobies and cuc.

Current Tank Info: 58g main with 20g sump
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Old 12/21/2011, 11:07 PM   #17
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I got the tank half full with RO/DI tonight and them my roommate had to do laundry so I had to hook the washer back up. Bummer, was planning on filling the tank, mixing salt, and adding sand tonight. Tomorrow or Friday then. Still need Live Rock if anyone is selling.


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Old 12/22/2011, 06:09 AM   #18
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Are you planning on powerheads? If so where are you attaching them? I may have missed that comment.


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Old 12/22/2011, 06:52 AM   #19
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Flow will be interesting. I have five or so various pumps and powerheads. I'll use as many as needed to get good flow. I can attach to the glass with suction cups or fasten to the wall. We'll see.


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Old 12/22/2011, 06:56 AM   #20
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Quote:
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Are you planning on powerheads? If so where are you attaching them? I may have missed that comment.
oh crap he is right maybe you should of left a couple spot open in your walls for powerheads. you will not be happy with them on the front of tank.


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65g seahorse tank 20g sump with a reef octopus skimmer ,tlf 150 reactor, red sea ozone generator controller,cpr hob fuge with light and 2 China led lights one 42x1 w and one 24x3 w. occupied by 4 ecectus seahorses a couple small gobies and cuc.

Current Tank Info: 58g main with 20g sump
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Old 12/22/2011, 07:14 AM   #21
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I guess thays where the saying "HIND SIGHT 20/20" comes from. Lol


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Old 12/22/2011, 07:20 AM   #22
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your rock walls are awesome my friend... very well done on those


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Old 12/22/2011, 07:51 AM   #23
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Worse comes to worse I will cut a spot for my powerheads. I looked again after BfishLpond's comment and counted...I have eight powerheads of various flow ratings laying around. Koralia's, Hagen's, other stuff. I definitely realized this before I did so, and there is a spot on each wall with just foam / no rock to be cut out in anticipation I'm anticipating the need for at least three powerheads to eliminate dead spots, getting behind the structure in the very back will be the fun part once the rock structure is in place.




Ro/Di filling up:



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Old 12/22/2011, 09:03 AM   #24
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where is the overflow am I missing it


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Old 12/22/2011, 09:12 AM   #25
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No overflow, no sump. Skimmer is AquaC Remora w/Maxi-Jet 1200 HOB.

I know, I know. I can't do a sump on this tank. My next one will be sump-included.


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