Reef Central Online Community

Home Forum Here you can view your subscribed threads, work with private messages and edit your profile and preferences View New Posts View Today's Posts

Find other members Frequently Asked Questions Search Reefkeeping ...an online magazine for marine aquarists Support our sponsors and mention Reef Central

Go Back   Reef Central Online Community > General Interest Forums > Do It Yourself
Register Blogs FAQ Calendar Mark Forums Read

Notices

User Tag List

Reply
Thread Tools
Old 09/14/2013, 03:09 PM   #1
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
75 Gallon Hexagon Tank/Stand/Canopy - Build Thread with Pictures!!!

This thread is a cleaned up and expanded version of the original found here:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh....php?t=2292412

My goal is to summarize everything Iíve done so that someone else completely new to saltwater aquariums, wood working and plumbing like myself can try to take on a similar project. I would also like to thank those who have helped.

Please feel free to throw out suggestions at any time. Each main post will focus on a different step in the process I have followed and will provide details and photos. Iíll title each of the main posts so they are easy to find if a lot of comments start coming in.

So far Iíve spent around $1500.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:09 PM   #2
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 1 – Tank Stand Frame

I decided on a tall tank as we wanted to put the tank in a corner of our house which has no seating nearby. It being tall will allow for people to easily check things out while standing. I was unable to find reasonably priced setups like this online and therefore decided to build one myself.

I designed the stand in Google Sketch-up which worked great. For the frame I chose to use mainly 2x4s along with some 2x2s at the bottom.

 photo 01-SideViewUnderTop_zps39829cc8.jpg

 photo 01-AngleFromAbove_zpsf1e31ab0.jpg

 photo 01-Bottom_zps2f971a8c.jpg


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:10 PM   #3
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 2 – Tank Stand Skinning

I used half inch stain ready ply wood to skin the frame. I picked it simply because it was relatively cheap (compared to solid wood) and because it had a stainable surface. I did not use any fancy joints at the corners. I simply cut everything at a 60 degree angle as straight as I possible could. Worked out pretty well and didn’t require any great wood working skills.

 photo 02-FrontClose_zps2659543e.jpg

 photo 02-Front_zpsaafa9449.jpg

 photo 02-RightSide_zps50b57e43.jpg


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:11 PM   #4
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 3 Ė Tank Stand Trim

I followed a similar trim design to what marino420td did and summarized in this thread:

http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=787189

Again I didnít use any complicated joints. I just cut all the corners at 60 degrees and fit them together as best I could.

 photo 03-Top_zps5dd2baf9.jpg

 photo 03-Bottom_zpsb327f342.jpg

 photo 03-FullStand_zps87c478fc.jpg


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:11 PM   #5
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 4 Ė Tank Staining

I decided to try staining the stand a dark brown to match furniture in our home. Having never stained something I didnít know how this would turn out. Also, I did not build the doors from scratch, I ordered 4 of them custom online for $30 each. This was well worth the $120 as it would have taken me days making nice doors with no experience.

 photo 04-Doors_zpsc22a622e.jpg

 photo 04-Top_zps73633248.jpg

 photo 04-FullStand_zps6be4aad4.jpg

While the stain took to the door wood materials a bit differently than the stand material, I think it actually loos great this way!


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:12 PM   #6
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 5 – Stand Weight Test

While I was confident my stand was sturdy, the garage floor wasn’t exactly level making me constantly second guess whether the stand was wobbly. In the end I decided to sit the 75 gallon Clarity Plus Acrylic tank on the stand, fill it up with water and find out.

 photo 05-WeightTest_zps1b36c002.jpg

The test went just fine and I even placed and extra 100 pounds on top to simulate the future canopy, live rock, sand, etc.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:12 PM   #7
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 6 Ė Final Stand

I carried the stand to its final location in the house before attaching the doors.

 photo 06-FarAway_zps2d8d397d.jpg

 photo 06-CloseUp_zps9aba26f3.jpg

 photo 06-WithTank_zps4d12bfbd.jpg

Not bad compared to what my initial creation in Google Sketch-up looked like before even starting!

 photo 06-Comparison_zps17aa18b3.jpg


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:13 PM   #8
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 7 – Refugium

Because of the awkward stand shape, I had trouble finding a prebuilt refugium and sump that would fit in the stand. I was however able to find a kit on ebay. I decided to try my luck at cementing acrylic. Below are some pictures along the way.

 photo 07-RefugiumBuild_zps32d42c84.jpg

 photo 07-RefugiumBuild2_zps8208a245.jpg

And then I tested the final refugium for leaks:

 photo 08-FinalRefugium_zps38421d82.jpg

Looks good!


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:14 PM   #9
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 8 – Plumbing

After tons and tons of research, I settled on the BeanAnimal setup. Thank you Bean! It seemed like the safest and quietest way to go and there is a discussion thousands of posts long that answers just about every question that could possibly be asked related to setting it up. He also has a whole website summarizing the design. Initially I wanted to just use PVC and came up with the below as a first attempt.

 photo 09-Full_zpsc17271a5.jpg

 photo 09-Above_zpsc3bfbea8.jpg

 photo 09-Below_zps4054e2dd.jpg

You can see a Quiet One 4000 return pump in there which after a lot of research seemed like it was decently priced, quiet, efficient and provided roughly 500 GPH at 6-7 feet head height.

I posted the above pictures on Reef Central and of course received a few suggestions. Thanks Lionfish666, NanoReefWanabe and Floyd R Turbo!


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:14 PM   #10
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 9 – Larger Hole

Floyd and Nano suggested to enlarge the back hole in the top of the tank as it was making it much too difficult to access the plumbing and the area behind the internal overflow. I decided this was a good idea and went for it using a piece of acrylic as reinforcement I found on ebay and following Floyd’s very detailed directions. Thanks!!

 photo 10-Template_zps30ba5f05.jpg

 photo 10-NewHole_zps4cecc5a1.jpg

 photo 10-Reinforced_zpsb0889ae5.jpg

While I was not able to get the reinforcement cemented to the tank top perfectly (lots of the air), it was certainly better than no reinforcement!


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:15 PM   #11
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step – 10

I decided to replace some of the PVC with Flex PVC to aid in aligning things better and I also simplified the return line per a suggestion from uncleof6. JiveWalker also pointed out that it would be much easier to work with the Flex PVC if I heated it first. Thanks!

I also ordered a custom internal black overflow made of ľ acrylic from someone on ebay. I used silicone to hold it in place which may or may not prevent leaks but any leaks there shouldn’t be the end of the world.

The first full setup fully running is shown below and I included a link to a video on YouTube.

 photo 11-Full_zps5e72d7aa.jpg

 photo 11-Top_zps61c594c4.jpg

 photo 11-Silicone_zpsc9d22509.jpg

 photo 11-Top_zps61c594c4.jpg

 photo 11-WeirWaterLevel_zpsd5fb0590.jpg

 photo 11-Left_zps426517a3.jpg

 photo 11-Under_zps9227bd90.jpg

 photo 11-Front_zps66829384.jpg

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zw3nA...ature=youtu.be


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:16 PM   #12
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Coming soon:

I’m making a few tweaks to the above setup after seeing everything together and running. I’m adding a pond liner under the refugium in case it overflows. I put silicone on the back side of the internal overflow as well to hopefully take care of a few small leaks. I need to cement the tops of the drainage pipes in place. I’m also adding a gutter guard above the internal overflow to prevent critters from getting back there.

I’m hoping to have everything back together and ready for water, sand and live rock in about a week.

If anyone has any suggestions let me know. I’m looking at 100 watt LED lighting off ebay currently. I’m also not sure when I need to add a skimmer but I think I have that picked out as well.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:27 PM   #13
SABOB
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: San Antonio,TX
Posts: 207
Awesome write up....keep up updated with stocking plans


__________________
To all Military...Thanks for Serving

Current Tank Info: 12gl NanoCube,55gl softies,fish
SABOB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/14/2013, 03:34 PM   #14
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Will do! I'm going to need to some help though for sure. I want to make sure I don't get anything that will or could scratch the acrylic.

I know we want clown fish and a lion fish (if those go together). I would also like to get a starfish if it won't harm the tank. I also would like some sort of puffer fish. 'm starting out as a FOWLR but then hopefully getting corals and all that once I get the FOWLR setup stabilized.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/19/2013, 02:47 PM   #15
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 11 – Finished Tank and Stand!!

Just started pouring RO DI water in it. Although that is going to take a bit longer than I anticipated as I somehow had it in my mind that my unit created 75 gallons per hour when it is per DAY. Whoops!

 photo 12-Full_zps255bf155.jpg

 photo 12-top_zpsd3c3a347.jpg

 photo 12-topangle_zps05a99658.jpg

 photo 12-overflow_zps5ed9d290.jpg

 photo 12-eggcrate_zpsb22f82fe.jpg

 photo 12-bottomopen_zpsd9646e34.jpg

 photo 12-bottomupper_zpsc577a126.jpg

 photo 12-bottomlower_zps8abcdc50.jpg

 photo 12-bottomleft_zps3943f310.jpg

 photo 12-bottomright_zpsce6b1b39.jpg


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/19/2013, 02:49 PM   #16
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
I bought a mix of "live sand" and dry sand at the LFS. The dry sand says it needs to be rinsed off first, does it matter that I'm filling my tank with RO DI water but then rinsing the sand off with non RO DI water?

According to the bad the live sand just goes straight in the tank although I realize I should try and get my salinity in range before adding that.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/19/2013, 07:20 PM   #17
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
I've decided to return the dry sand and just get another bag of the live sand. They were the same price and I'd prefer to avoid the hassle of rinsing it all out. Sounds like it may or may not help with the cycle time as well.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/21/2013, 07:26 PM   #18
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Step 12 – Water and Sand Added!

Finally finished filling the tank. Also put 2 bags of live sand in. Light on top is temporary until I decide which LEDs to get off ebay. Wires will also be hidden soon. BeanAnimal seems to be functioning fine.

Waiting for the sand to settle now. Going to look at cured rock tomorrow. Temperature is holding steady around 76deg. Perhaps I’m going to need a heater.

 photo 13-Full_zpsc520a847.jpg


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/22/2013, 05:45 AM   #19
TundraGuy
MantisOholic
 
TundraGuy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Washington DC
Posts: 1,946
76 is a great temp hope you can keep it there. Any plans on adding a skimmer? Bean overflows are grate you can add a filter sock under them to act as a prefilter to the sump but are tricky to get out under the pipes. I like this build looks like you have room on the shelf in the stand to add a couple reactors (carbon, gfo, or even biopellets). With the biopelltes you will want a need a skimmer, if that sort of thing strikes your interest. I have seen a few tanks use the five area for a really good skimmer then use the pellets in a reactor, kind of a new aproch on the Berlin system. As a fowlr you selection of fish can work but one corals come into play that puffer will make for a challenge. I am also not a fan of lionfish in tall narrow tanks being that when something falls to the bottom you will have to use long tongs to get them. With a fish that packs a nasty sting this can at times be no fun. Don't let that discourage you though. I am looking forward to seeing this tank develop. I also like the hidden hotty in the reflection of step 6.


__________________
No there is no such thing as over filtering a tank.

Slow is smooth, smooth is steady, and steady is fast.

Current Tank Info: Enough to be considered an addict.
TundraGuy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/23/2013, 02:38 PM   #20
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Thanks for the beedback Tundra! I do plan to add a skimmer but figured that wasn't necessary for at least a month. I was looking at these 2 models which are relatively cheap:
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/bubble...n-skimmer.html
http://www.bulkreefsupply.com/reef-o...n-skimmer.html

I know very little if anything about reactors so I'll have to read up on them. My goal is to keep this tank as low maintenance as possible. My fish (and someday coral) choices will probably reflect that as I learn/research. The only complaints I ever heard for saltwater tanks are how much maintenance they are so I'm hoping to avoid that when possible.

I did add a filter sock to the main siphon line so we'll see how that goes. It certainly wasn't easy getting it in there. Seems like mixed opinions on whether it is even needed.

My guess is the puffer doesn't work out unless I want to chance it scratching up the tank. If I went with one it would be while still a FOWLR to avoid the coral issues.

And good points on the Lionfish as I really don't feel like wearing a glove every time I reach in the tank but at the same time I really want one so we'll see.

I now have rock in the tank and will hopefully be posting a picture tomorrow once the water clears up a bit more!


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/23/2013, 03:49 PM   #21
kjardine519
question master
 
kjardine519's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 121
I have the bubble mag 3.5 on my 55g total water volume and it skims like a champ. At one point I had a Sixline and a damsel in my refuge. Two clowns, coral beauty and a scooter blennie in my display. This was for a few months while I was waiting for my friend to be ready to take the damsel and sixline. It kept my nitrates always at zero overfeeding frozen food. I modified mine with a air silencer and a air valve to get maximum control. I keep mine roughly in 7'' of water. I also use it for water changes, turn it to a higher setting and place the hose from the collection cup into a bucket. and place my ato pump into a bucket of saltwater. I love it and I could see it handling 80 gal of water with a medium bioload no problem


kjardine519 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/23/2013, 03:55 PM   #22
kjardine519
question master
 
kjardine519's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 121
The filter sock is nice to keep things clean but it has to be changed or cleaned regularly (few times every two weeks) so that adds more to maintenance. It's best to make the removal of it easy so it doesn't seem like such a chore. Use high flow to keep things suspended in the sump and display and only put the filter sock in. A couple hours before water changes when you get into the tank and blow the rocks with a turkey baster. That way on your dedicated water change day your doing it all in one swoop instead of constantly cleaning / replacing the sock. Just my 2 cents


kjardine519 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/23/2013, 03:58 PM   #23
kjardine519
question master
 
kjardine519's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2013
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 121
The Reef octopus may be a better choice for a skimmer because of the rating, generally you want a over rated skimmer


kjardine519 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/24/2013, 08:06 PM   #24
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
Should have a picture up of the tank with rock tomorrow. Water is looking much clearer!

Can anyone chime in on the following LED lighting off ebay?
http://www.ebay.com/itm/50-50-Aquari...item46101dd061

I want LEDs that are not going to break the bank and also provide a bit of shimmer. These seem relatively cheap and since they are single source should provide a great shimmer effect. I would have to put them on a timer but that isn't that big a deal.

They have the same thing in 60W which may even be enough for my tank but I'm not sure. At first it will just be FOWLR but eventually I would like to get some coral.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09/24/2013, 08:09 PM   #25
XStroX
Registered Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 214
This would be the alternative to the above:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Full-Spectru...item3385b196b2

Multiple LEDs and with timer built in. Seems like 120W is maybe overkill for my tall and skinny tank though.


XStroX is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 02:22 PM.


TapaTalk Enabled

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Powered by Searchlight © 2020 Axivo Inc.
Use of this web site is subject to the terms and conditions described in the user agreement.
Reef CentralTM Reef Central, LLC. Copyright ©1999-2014
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging v3.3.0 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2020 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.