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Old 01/31/2015, 02:29 PM   #1
rmchoi
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RC 75 DIY Stand and Sump

This is a journal of a 75 gallon build, highlighting a DIY stand and sump. Having had two all-in-one tanks, this is my first separate sump. The first tank consisted of LPS and Zoa's. I went all SPS on the second tank. As nice a the SPS are, I have decided I like movement in the tank and so going with a mixed reef of LPS and SPS this time.

 photo IMG_0471_zpse4e87a4a.jpg
Equipment gathered over the past several months

The Gear


Aquarium 75G Standard 48x18x22 Starfire Glass
DIY Stand Birch Plywood 48x18x40
Lighting 2 x Ecotech Radion Pro Gen 3
Ecotech RMS Tank Mounts
DIY Sump 20G High Aquarium
DIY Sock Silencers
Skimmer Skimz Monzter SM163
Reactor Avast Marine Vibe for Zeovit
Return Pump Eheim 2400
Circulation 2 x Ecotech MP-40, 1 x MP-10
Backup Power 2 x Ecotech Battery
Controller Neptune Apex Lite & Ecotech ReefLink
Heater Cobalt Aquatics Neo Therm 200W + 100W
Dosing Pump GHL Profilux
Dosing Container 4 x Building An Obsession


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Old 01/31/2015, 02:50 PM   #2
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Starting with the DIY Stand

The previous tank was a black European modern style cabinet. It was nice enough, I decided to go with that style again. The location with stairs and doorway limited the tank size. Because the narrow footprint, I decided to go with plywood construction, in lieu of 2x4 framing to maximize the cabinet space. I also used heavy duty casters rated 300 lbs, in case door clearance was needed. Lastly, I wanted a taller tank display to avoid leaning down to view.

 photo IMG_0249_zpsc3261eda.jpg
Actual size cabinet, laid out with the equipment ( Sorry the drawing is so light)


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Old 01/31/2015, 03:41 PM   #3
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I used two sheets of 3/4" birch plywood for the stand. There was very little wood scrap leftover after making all the cuts.

 photo IMG_0210_zpsc460ed2c.jpg
Plywood panels are cut.

For the joints, I used a Kreg pocket hole jig.

 photo IMG_0208_zps45d59c87.jpg
This was my first time using pocket holes. All the joints were screwed and glued.

For the back panel, I cut out large oval openings for cords and ventilation. In the past, I have experienced frustration because openings were to small from so many cords. I made the openings wide enough to pass equipment and transformers.

 photo IMG_0209_zpse9e7f5c5.jpg
 photo IMG_0212_zps836797f2.jpg
Back panel with cord and equipment slots.


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Old 01/31/2015, 05:26 PM   #4
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Great start so far! Nice to see stand that's not made strong enough to support a battle ship.


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Old 01/31/2015, 07:40 PM   #5
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Equipment Tray

Lots of thought to the equipment layout in the stand, especially managing the cords. I wanted the cords to be out of sight, but not so difficult to unplug and remove equipment for maintenance or replacement. In my last tank, I had cords organized bundled neatly with plastic ties, mounted on the side walls or ceiling of the stand. It looked nice until I had to unexpectatly remove one piece of equipment. this ended by cutting every tie to find and remove one cord.

This plan has what I call an equipment tray that sits between the sump and the cabinet ceiling. I was able to use this space because the stand is slightly taller than most designs. The tray accessible from the front and back. The front has doors to mount controls like the Apex to the front of the doors. The back is lined up with the equipment holes. All wires can sit loosely in the tray. This is easier to see than describe:

 photo IMG_0221_zpsd1e30163.jpg
Equipment tray with access from front and rear.

With a tall stand and plywood construction, I felt it important to provide additional lateral support. Using several pocket holes at each end of the tray, the equipment tray provides that added bracing.

 photo IMG_0219_zpsc625e206.jpg
Trying on the the equipment tray for size.

 photo IMG_0242_zps04741cb4.jpg
Front doors of the equipment tray open. The tray does not extend all the way to the back panel, leaving room for plumbing. The top holes in the stand's back panel match the tray height for easy access.


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Old 01/31/2015, 08:08 PM   #6
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Earlier I mentioned the stand will be on wheels. This was not my preference. Because of a near by door that may need full access at some point, being able to move the tank a few inches might avoid breaking down the entire tank in the future. For this, I found low profile wheels, rated at 300 pounds each.

 photo IMG_0214_zpsf8a0b0f8.jpg
The bottom of the stand was built with two layers of plywood for added support for the wheels.

 photo IMG_0236_zpseb293cab.jpg

Finishing the last stand doors with European frameless cabinet hinges.

I was concerned about deflection in the front at the door opening. The front of the top is a wood beam, made out of two layers of plywood, glued and screwed together. This is supported by a center post, that rests on a double layer bottom (also glued and screwed together)

 photo IMG_0240_zps865474f3.jpg
This is the final cabinet with almost the pieces assembled, including the equipment tray. 3/4" plywood was the only material used, besides the hardware. A toe kick apron will be added in-between the wheels in the from and the sides.


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Old 01/31/2015, 08:20 PM   #7
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looks like a very high-quality build! you save a ton of internal space with the plywood design. I'm not too crazy about the wheels, but I assume you had no choice.


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Old 01/31/2015, 08:33 PM   #8
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Finishing the Stand


It was a struggle how to finish the stand. Since this is standard tank with black plastic trim tom and bottom, black would be the best color to keep blend the trim into the big picture and keep from standing out. The finish had to be easy with no shading between coats. My solution using a metal paint with an oil base primer.

 photo IMG_0322_zpsfcf0ba68.jpg
Oil based primer and paint. Fortunately, the stock black paint color ended up matching the black trim on the tank.

 photo IMG_0415_zpsc0f5e060.jpg
The back of the stand finish painted.

 photo IMG_0404_zps132c6493.jpg
The bottom of the stand finish painted, including the toe kick boards between the wheels.

There is one regret I have. It occurred to me to leave the inside of the cabinet a natural birch with polyurethane, after having already prime painting both the inside and the outside. The birch would have been a nice natural look and bright too.

 photo IMG_0408_zpse8bb120e.jpg
I ended up going with a light gray interior, which actually turned out okay.


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Old 01/31/2015, 08:45 PM   #9
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Here are the finished pictures of the stand.

 photo IMG_0414_zps7e10e44e.jpg
The inside of the stand with the equipment tray doors open. The equipment tray ended up taking almost as long to build as the stand shell itself. It was a project inside a project.

 photo IMG_0420_zps267d152c.jpg

 photo IMG_0419_zps2fd542ab.jpg
The black finished stand with the doors.


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Old 01/31/2015, 09:10 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rwb500 View Post
looks like a very high-quality build! you save a ton of internal space with the plywood design. I'm not too crazy about the wheels, but I assume you had no choice.
reefmad619 —Thanks for noticing the build. Very limited tools turn this into a harder project than it should be. The extra space in the cabinet is nice, but you will see the space needs when it is stocked. I am also with you on boycotting the wheels. The adjacent room is a furnace room. If I need to move a HWH or furnace, I will be glad the tank is movable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by reefermad619 View Post
Great start so far! Nice to see stand that's not made strong enough to support a battle ship.
rwb500 —Appreciate the encouraging words. My gut says to build it to support a battleship, but I see commercial stands, for tanks twice this size, made with 3/4" plywood.


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Old 01/31/2015, 09:12 PM   #11
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i would lose the wheels, from all of my reading here its a very bad idea to move a tank with water in it. Very nice build.


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Old 01/31/2015, 10:25 PM   #12
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Love the clean lines of your stand! I'm curious to see how you utilize equipment tray once your further into setting up your system.

Following along


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Old 02/01/2015, 06:27 AM   #13
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I like the way you have the stand built. I love Kreg units and own two myself. My first concern is that you won't have enough room for the skimmer, either removing the cup or with getting the pump out for cleaning. If you have enough room for that, you should be good.

I have three problems with your wheel theory. My first is that you would move the tank for a furnace or HWH replacement/repair but those would have to go through the doorway. If you have room in front of the door anyways for accessing the furnace room, anything that would necessitate moving the tank would involve RIPPING OUT THE DOOR ! I don't know about you but if they were going to take a door out of the wall to fix something, either the door is the wrong size or I would want to move the tank away from the demo.

The second counter to your moving the tank theory is that you're assuming you will need to move the tank at some point in the future. I would counter that by saying you are more likely replace the tank or have moved before you will need to do that kind of work on the furnace. Most furnaces and HWH will last decades, very few reef setups last that long.

My third issue with the wheels is that they don't give you any way to level the tank easily. If there is a slope on the floor, the tank will not sit even which could result in things leaking or bending over time.

If you decide to remove the wheels I would recommend either placing the stand flat on the base sheet of plywood or to move the filler strips you have between the wheels out until they sit below the sides of the stand. You want the load to go straight from the top of the stand, down the sides, and into the floor. Having the toe kick is all well and good but it makes for a poor load path.

The result is a very clean design. Looks good so far. Keep posting picks. I look forward to seeing how this progresses.


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Old 02/01/2015, 12:58 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RocketEngineer View Post
I like the way you have the stand built. I love Kreg units and own two myself. My first concern is that you won't have enough room for the skimmer, either removing the cup or with getting the pump out for cleaning. If you have enough room for that, you should be good.

I have three problems with your wheel theory. My first is that you would move the tank for a furnace or HWH replacement/repair but those would have to go through the doorway. If you have room in front of the door anyways for accessing the furnace room, anything that would necessitate moving the tank would involve RIPPING OUT THE DOOR ! I don't know about you but if they were going to take a door out of the wall to fix something, either the door is the wrong size or I would want to move the tank away from the demo.

The second counter to your moving the tank theory is that you're assuming you will need to move the tank at some point in the future. I would counter that by saying you are more likely replace the tank or have moved before you will need to do that kind of work on the furnace. Most furnaces and HWH will last decades, very few reef setups last that long.

My third issue with the wheels is that they don't give you any way to level the tank easily. If there is a slope on the floor, the tank will not sit even which could result in things leaking or bending over time.

If you decide to remove the wheels I would recommend either placing the stand flat on the base sheet of plywood or to move the filler strips you have between the wheels out until they sit below the sides of the stand. You want the load to go straight from the top of the stand, down the sides, and into the floor. Having the toe kick is all well and good but it makes for a poor load path.

The result is a very clean design. Looks good so far. Keep posting picks. I look forward to seeing how this progresses.
RocketEngineer — Thanks for taking the time share your insights and details of the potential pitfalls! Frankly, I agree with all three points and wish it was not even an issue. There is more to the door access, calling for full access sooner than replacing furnaces. Its our storage room that has my girls piano, among other large items, which likely be moved soon. For now, I have no intention of moving it. Thanks for taking note on the design.


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Old 02/01/2015, 01:21 PM   #15
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20 Gallon DIY Sump

My goals was to have a sump with little water noise, splash free and easy to maintain. This design had four chambers; a drain, filter sock, skimmer and return pump. Although I would have like to go bigger, I used the smallest size I thought I adequate, to allow room for other equipment in the stand.

The Sump Build

I thought baffles could easily be done. I read about those buying glass baffles from Home Depot. They would even cut it to size. I found stores only carry picture glass (1/10” thickness). Glass from glass shops were well over $100 polished. I even went to a thrift store and found glass that looked old, which turned out to be tempered. It exploded into hundreds of pieces when I tried to cut it. I finally found 3/16” plate glass on craigslist.

Cutting the glass was not that difficult. Once the glass was cut and edges eased with a sander, I wasn’t sure how to how best to hold the baffles in place and keep them
square while caulking. I saw all kinds of bracing methods online, but I found the easiest way was to turn the tank on end and use spacers. Gravity kept the glass panels square and made easy access for caulking. I used GE Silicone 1 for caulking.

 photo IMG_0285_zps01307562.jpg
Placing the first glass baffle in place using wood spacers, ready to caulk.

 photo IMG_0288_zpscadb8968.jpg
 photo IMG_0286_zpsb897159a.jpg
Caulking the next baffle into place with wood spacers.


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Old 02/01/2015, 01:27 PM   #16
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The most difficult glass cut was the divider between the filter sock sump and skimmer chamber; and the glass cover over the filter socks. Both pieces required a square notch cut out in the corner of the glass pane. For the first side of the notch, I used a diamond blade on a hand grinder, with one of my kids spraying water to keep it cool. That was the most delicate part. The second side of the notch, I used a glass cutter which was easy in comparison.

 photo IMG_0312_zps040003e7.jpg

 photo IMG_0313_zps41b64f58.jpg

 photo IMG_0315_zpsc25a65b4.jpg
Notched baffle dividing filter sock and skimmer chambers

 photo IMG_0433_zps7b8fd077.jpg
Filter sock cover with notch for drain pipe.


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Old 02/01/2015, 01:37 PM   #17
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Hmm....wonder where you might have seen that technique......

Here maybe?



The silicone job looks very clean. Much better than I did on mine.


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Old 02/01/2015, 01:38 PM   #18
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 photo IMG_0320_zps44ba526f.jpg

 photo IMG_0317_zpsca51fb15.jpg
Setting and caulking the last piece of glass, dividing the drain chamber and the filter sock chamber.


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Old 02/01/2015, 01:48 PM   #19
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Baffles Caulked in Place

 photo IMG_0323_zpsa81f58af.jpg
Here is the 20 gallon high aquarium with the baffles caulked in place.

 photo IMG_0327_zpsf9d08739.jpg
On this view, you can see the drain chamber (the smallest section at the top right corner) is sealed to the bottom on all 4 sides.


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Old 02/01/2015, 02:03 PM   #20
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Accessorizing the Sump

Filter Sock Holder

The filter sock holder consists of two layers of 3/16” acrylic sheet. There are two different size holes in the top and bottom plate. The top hole allows the edge of the sock to sit lower than the top plate. The bottom plate creates a ledge that supports the sock. Together, the filter sock stays securely in place.

 photo IMG_0376_zps663aa8a1.jpg
It was difficult to get the top holes perfectly centered with the bottom holes. You may notice the hole at the bottom is offset. I had to cut the bottom section in half, then realign the holes before gluing.

 photo IMG_0379_zps4cfeb647.jpg
Here you can see the holes matching up, after sitting the bottom plate into 2 pieces. At first I was disappointed to have to cut the bottom plate to make this work. Then I realized the bottom plate would not be seen.

The last step was to sand the edges and place the sock holder.

 photo IMG_0383_zps3902a70c.jpg

 photo IMG_0385_zpsdc6e7a3f.jpg
I ended up supporting the holder with wood supports and calking it in place.


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Old 02/01/2015, 02:09 PM   #21
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Here is how the sock holders turned out with the filter socks in place.

 photo IMG_0387_zpsca40db56.jpg
Using a 20 gallon high allowed me house the extra height in the tank to accommodate longer filter socks.


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Old 02/01/2015, 02:16 PM   #22
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Drain Pipe Mount

I wanted to make sure the drain pipe was supported in place. For this item, I glued two layers of acrylic together. The bottom later was offset to accommodate the plastic lip of the black aquarium rim. I drilled a hold for the drain pipe bulkhead the siliconed it in place.

 photo IMG_0441_zps500c535a.jpg
This is the drain pipe holder siliconed in place with the glass cover notched out around it.


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Old 02/01/2015, 02:26 PM   #23
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Filter Sock Silencers

I mentioned wanting a sump as quiet as possible. I saw this item on line called a sock silencer. It is designed to spread the water before it falls, instead of all the water falling at the sock perimeter. There is a 1 inch hole in the center that is designed to relieve the water, if the holes plug.

 photo IMG_0403_zpsda2da4c4.jpg
It was convenient to use the leftover round pieces from the sock hole cuts for this.
I first counter sinked, then drilled through the counter sinks for the holes.


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Old 02/01/2015, 02:29 PM   #24
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Here are the finished sock silencers with the center overflow hole.

 photo IMG_0422_zpsa587677c.jpg

 photo IMG_0424_zpsfd4e4606.jpg
The center overflow tubes are made from air conditioner drain pipe, It is thin wall, something like schedule 21.


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Old 02/01/2015, 02:35 PM   #25
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Putting it all together

This is how the sump turned out with the accessories in place.

 photo IMG_0427_zps269f5a1b.jpg

 photo IMG_0430_zpse073b5ec.jpg

 photo IMG_0431_zps614d85c8.jpg
Another idea to quiet the water was to slot the drain pipe to release water on the way down.


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