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Old 06/07/2016, 07:00 PM   #1
madweazl
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Office Tranquility (75g mixed)

Over the past 20 years I've had a number of mixed reefs but military life always kept me on the move making it next to impossible to keep a stable environment for more than a couple years. That changed about two years ago when I decided to retire from the hustle and bustle of that life into something a bit more traditional. While I still travel frequently for work, my home life is far more stable and more importantly, doesnt require any relocation.

About a year ago I started gathering the parts and pieces to bring a bit of what I loved back into the home. I hadnt anticipated it taking this long but I knew we'd be moving within the year to a new home so I decided to wait it out and save the inhabitants the hardship of making the move with me. In the end, it turned out for the better and I was able to do things the right way instead of my typical "instant gratification" method.

I already had a tank (50g rimless), sump (Eshopps R200), lights (Photon 24), heaters etc. but the stand was a cheap unit that didnt look very good and in the end, I decided I wanted something a little bigger. I browsed the local listings and came across a 75g tank with a stand and canopy. After bringing it home, the tank was in poor shape but the stand and canopy were well worth what I paid but needed a little bit of TLC.





The refugium was a tight fit but I was able to squeeze it in there. Since I was replacing the tank itself and there was a possibility of going acrylic, I had to close the top of the stand with a surface that would properly support the tank (it was made for a glass tank and open on top).



I decided to use 3/4" birch plywood to provide a good strong base and went to work. My cuts were square, the stand, not so much.



To protect it from water damage, I applied a few coats of Redgard. This stuff was easy to work with, wasnt too smelly, and provided a level of insurance against future problems should they arise.



Since I was in a painting mood it seemed like a good time to apply a coat of Redgard to the cabinet area of the stand as well. I went approximately three inches up the walls and then painted the inside white to help maintain a clean appearance. The canopy received the same treatment.



With the stand and canopy out of the way, it was time to find a solution to the tank problem. As luck would have it, Marineland's sale was on so I picked up a standard 75g at a great price. The HOB overflow I had previously used worked but it was a bit noisy and rather unsightly. While searching for options I stumbled across the "ghost overflows." It wouldnt take up very much internal space, looked really clean, afforded the opportunity to run a modified bean animal return, and was fairly cheap. There was only one problem, I had never drilled a tank before. After reading a few posts on the process I decided it was worth a shot and took the plunge, literally. Hole one was a success and the three remaining got easier and easier.



Once I had the holes drilled it was moment of truth time; were they properly aligned for the overflow? The aqua-gods showed mercy and everything lined up perfectly.



It was time for dis-assembly and prep for paint! I went with a black latex to match the overflow and went to work.





To be continued...


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Old 06/07/2016, 07:01 PM   #2
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... continued

I ordered 65lbs of the BRS reef saver dry rock and started planning the aquascaping. I threw some masking tape of the floor to outline the tank and used 1/2" OD PVC to make a basic structure. I wanted to create structures the fish could swim entirely around providing a bit more surface area to graze on. I wanted to incorporate the rule of thirds into the structure and I want to split the structure to help create the illusion of depth. The small diameter PVC was really easy to work with and helped me better visualize everything.



Enter one year hiatus and the aforementioned move here

It was finally time to start working on plumbing! I had ordered red furniture grave PVC about a year prior along with the matching white fittings to give an otherwise nice appearance to what typically ends up rather unsightly in my setups. This time I vowed to keep it clean, simple, and functional. After some mock-up, I started cementing things in place; I wanted to keep the straightest, most vertical path possible in an effort to maximize flow since I was using smaller diameter PVC at 3/4".



Now when I say maximize flow, it only counts on the drain side. I'm a symetrical kind of guy and I had plenty of pump for the return side of things.



The business end of the overflow was a very tight fit and I was a bit concerned things wouldnt quite work as intended. Thankfully I was wrong and with a bit of tuning, everything worked out perfectly.





The water level inside the tank was spot on! There were no leaks in the plumbing and everything was working pretty well. I removed the pre-filter to do some tuning of the main and open channels.



Once dialed in, I replaced the extension tubes and everything was operating pretty smoothly. The overflow box was a bit noisy from the water cascading from the inner chamber to the outer so I started working on a solution to that. I had to slow the return pump down quite and bit and subsequently, close the open channel down quite a bit. In the end, the overflow box was almost dead silent and the loudest part of the entire setup was the return pump.





It was time for aquascaping and sand; total master piece, right?





Last edited by madweazl; 06/07/2016 at 07:27 PM.
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Old 06/07/2016, 07:02 PM   #3
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Old 06/07/2016, 08:29 PM   #4
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... continued.

After initial placement of rock, 100lbs of live sand was added followed by the initial fill. Naturally things didnt come out exactly how I'd envisioned but it was bad.



I ran up to the LFS store and grabbed a few pounds of Fiji live rock to fill in some of the gaps, build up the structure a tad more, and too kick-start the cycle. All said and done, I was quite happy with how it came out. While tough to see, there is actually a lot of room through the structure for water to flow while maintaining some nice cubbies for the inhabitants. I epoxied most of the structure once I was happy to keep the inmates from redecorating and called it good.





Much to my surprise, one of the pieces of live rock had a couple green mushrooms. I wouldnt have purchased the rock had I known they were there given how new the setup is but they're doing well for the time being. If things go south I'll rehome them.



Now the waiting game begins.

Current equipment list:

75g Marineland aquarium (drilled for 3/4" returns and 1" intakes)
Eshopps R200 refugium
SBReef 16" Basic LEDs x2
Waveline DC6000 return pump
Jager 150w heater
6500k CFL refugium lights
Reef Angel Plus

Planned additions:
BRS carbon reactor
Protein skimmer
~5g ATO


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Old 06/07/2016, 09:30 PM   #5
bwhit1406
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Very nice build so far, clean plumbing job! Tagging along

Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk


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150 Gallon mixed reef mix of lighting Metal Halide, Led, and T5
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Old 06/08/2016, 08:49 AM   #6
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Very pretty plumbing work, its a relatively small thing that makes a big difference aesthetically in the long-term. Tagging along.


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Old 06/08/2016, 06:45 PM   #7
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Not sure how I'm going to lay things out yet but I picked up the stuff to mount the controller today. This panel will stand off the wall (or whatever I end up mounting it to) 1" and allow me tuck all the wiring behind it keeping things nice and tidy. I'm planning on placing hinges at one end (or some type of quick release) so it's easier to access everything behind the panel as the system grows. I was going to remote the controller to a more convenient location but I'll be using a tablet for display and control purposes so it really doesnt matter where I place that (may hide it all together since a bagillion cables come off of it).




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Old 06/10/2016, 04:06 PM   #8
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Opened up the Reef Angel relay boxes and switched them to analog signal to match the SBReef lights that are inbound. Apparently the labels are reversed on the PCB so PWM is actually analog. Older versions of the relay box didn't have the capability to be switched but I haven't been able to confirm what the visual differences are yet (assuming the jumpers just weren't there but not positive).




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Old 06/10/2016, 07:19 PM   #9
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Made a little more progress on the control panel; framed the perimeter leaving the right side upper five inches open for the cables to pass through and also drilled holes for the cables to pass through to the relay boxes. I still need to finish the holes for the power cords, USB, and RS232 connections and the connections coming off the controller itself. On the subject of RS232, I found some nice low profile connectors that are only 1.25" long.

Photo is distorted but the holes do line up with the outlets of the relay boxes





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Old 06/10/2016, 10:05 PM   #10
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Did a test fit of the panel along with a function check of the controller and all works as expected. I'll try to dig up the motivation to fill, finish sand, paint, and mount the panel tomorrow.



And a FTS of not much; daylights kicked off and the sump light on right before I snapped the picture naturally. I need to find some thin weather stripping to seal off the light creep around the doors; the projects never end.




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Old 06/10/2016, 10:23 PM   #11
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You can probably fix the light creep with weather stripping you find at a hardware store. You can paint to match and it would be hardly noticeable. Your build are exactly like I like mine to be, super detailed and everything well thought out. Good job


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22g RBTA tank build:
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Current Tank Info: 22g Peninsula tank RBTA / Euphyllia / Clownfish
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Old 06/11/2016, 08:36 AM   #12
madweazl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bwhit1406 View Post
Very nice build so far, clean plumbing job! Tagging along

Sent from my LG-D851 using Tapatalk
Appreciate the kind words. I'm usually too impatient and just go with standard PVC, leave the excess cement in place, and never actually truly measure things but this time I wanted to keep everything really clean.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ksigaekdb View Post
Very pretty plumbing work, its a relatively small thing that makes a big difference aesthetically in the long-term. Tagging along.
Agreed; I should have been doing this all along. The simple things always make a big difference. There are some amazing displays out there and then the sumps look like a war zone; I'm trying to prevent this from happening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickztahone View Post
You can probably fix the light creep with weather stripping you find at a hardware store. You can paint to match and it would be hardly noticeable. Your build are exactly like I like mine to be, super detailed and everything well thought out. Good job
I was checking out your build this morning; the tank dimensions are awesome for a small reef. Very cool.


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Old 06/12/2016, 03:01 PM   #13
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Disassembled one of the relay boxes and got it painted. Also got the panel it mounts to finish sanded and will start on the paint for it shortly.








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Old 06/12/2016, 03:40 PM   #14
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First coat of paint has been applied.







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Old 06/12/2016, 07:45 PM   #15
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Got the panel painted and installed; pretty happy with how it turned out and I really like the white on the relay box compared to the original black. I still need to get some grommets to clean up the holes in the panel.




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Old 06/13/2016, 04:49 PM   #16
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Very nice. I really like it. Do you have a parts list or where did you get these from?


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22g RBTA tank build:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2578399

Current Tank Info: 22g Peninsula tank RBTA / Euphyllia / Clownfish
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Old 06/13/2016, 08:34 PM   #17
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The panel was simple 3/8" plywood. I framed it in with 1"x2" on the back and left approx 5" open in the upper right corner so the wires could pass through. For the wires to pass under the relay box, I drilled 5/8" holes (could be made a bit smaller but some of my cables were fairly thick) and then just cut out the center. 5/8" grommets will fill the holes and keep it looking nice and clean.



Last edited by madweazl; 06/13/2016 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 06/13/2016, 08:41 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madweazl View Post
The panel was simple 3/8" plywood. I framed it in with 1"x2" on the back and left approx 5" open in the upper right corner so the wires could pass through. For the wires to pass under the relay box, I drilled 5/8" holes (could be made a bit smaller but some of my cables were fairly thick) and then just cut out the center. 5/8" grommets will fill fill the holes and keep it looking nice and clean.
Sry, meant the box and receptacles for power?


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22g RBTA tank build:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2578399

Current Tank Info: 22g Peninsula tank RBTA / Euphyllia / Clownfish
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Old 06/13/2016, 08:48 PM   #19
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Oh, those are part of the Reef Angel controller.


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Old 06/13/2016, 10:14 PM   #20
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Oh, those are part of the Reef Angel controller.
Gotcha! Now that you mention that, yeah, it looks so familiar! I've been looking at the RA controller for a while but being that I have no experience writing code, it is a bit intimidating.


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22g RBTA tank build:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2578399

Current Tank Info: 22g Peninsula tank RBTA / Euphyllia / Clownfish
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Old 06/14/2016, 06:33 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rickztahone View Post
Gotcha! Now that you mention that, yeah, it looks so familiar! I've been looking at the RA controller for a while but being that I have no experience writing code, it is a bit intimidating.
The software includes a wizard that will knock out all the typical stuff for you and the members of the forum have written just about anything you can think of. It has been a piece of cake.


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Old 06/14/2016, 11:18 AM   #22
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The software includes a wizard that will knock out all the typical stuff for you and the members of the forum have written just about anything you can think of. It has been a piece of cake.
yeah, I keep hearing that. It is seriously still on my list of consideration, but I hate to think that I can mess something up so bad that someone wouldn't be able to walk me through it, lol. I also see far less users of the RA vs other controllers which makes me think it is a little more "hands on" than a regular controller.


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22g RBTA tank build:
http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=2578399

Current Tank Info: 22g Peninsula tank RBTA / Euphyllia / Clownfish
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Old 06/14/2016, 03:00 PM   #23
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nice build sir!
I like what you did with the RA.


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Old 06/14/2016, 07:28 PM   #24
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Green algae is starting to take over (cant see it yet I know); always cool to see the metamorphosis, even if it isnt "pretty."



Speaking of pretty, I found a way to finish off the sump! They arent too expensive and will match the red PVC and keep everything looking really clean down there.




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Old 06/15/2016, 04:22 PM   #25
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The refugium starter pack arrived today along with the carbon reactor. Still not sure how exactly I want to plum this; the DC6000 is plenty of pump to do it and the return but I'm not sure how consistent the return flow to the DT is going to be if I make the manifold (I have the MJ1200 if need be). Decisions decisions...






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