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Old 03/11/2017, 08:54 PM   #26
henryle
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Thanks for documenting in so much detail! I'm sure I'll turn to this thread as a guide when I do a permanent build in a few years lol


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Old 03/12/2017, 08:38 PM   #27
VGT
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I'm super impressed with this, especially considering this is your first tank. You've clearly done your research. Nice handiwork, to boot.


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Old 03/13/2017, 02:42 PM   #28
Skynite
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Nice build. looking forward to more pictures


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Old 03/13/2017, 04:23 PM   #29
AndrewNC
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Great stuff. Must of done a lot of reading because you're doing everything right so far. Most people including myself take shortcuts on their first build just to get it going. Looks awesome so far


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Old 03/14/2017, 11:54 PM   #30
fishresponse
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This is going to be good!


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265g w/ 20" synergy overflow box
Hamilton Cebu MH/T5 fixture w/ 250w Radium bulbs
SPS/LPS mix | 30g (long) refugium with cheato | 40g sump
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Old 03/15/2017, 04:06 AM   #31
Sambo107
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Looks like this is going to be a very successful first reef tank!


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Old 03/15/2017, 02:58 PM   #32
benbarfield
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parts list

Busy week at work so nothing new to update other than my parts list. Maybe this weekend I will be able to install the whisper fan above the tank and run the electrical and water lines. I am planning on doing upgrades to my system, as I get more comfortable with running the tank. Mainly when I start adding more sensitive corals.

(1) Sepctrapure 5 stage R/ODI 180
(1) Auto shut Off -LLCM
(3) Aqua medic DC runner 5.1
(1) Regal internal 250
(1) UV Sterilizer Aqua medic Helix max 55 watt
(3) Aquatop 500 watt w/ controller
(1) Neptune Apex System Gold
(1) Energy Bar 8

And the parts are starting to arrive…




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Old 03/19/2017, 10:54 PM   #33
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Busy day today and making much more progress. Today I tapped into the water line to run water supply to where the RODI unit will be house in the utility room. I shut off the main water line and I took a garden hose and connected it to the hot water heater. I ran the garden hose to the p-trap drain below the tank stand to drain the water from all lines in the house. Once the water was drained, I cut into the cold water line and added a t-piece (Sharkbite PEX Barb Tee). From the t-piece a new section of PEX tubing was run behind gas lines and up and around the ceiling. The first picture shows the Tee piece. The second picture is the PEX line running along the ceiling. The third picture is the new end of the water line and where the RODI unit will be mounted to the wall.







Once the water line was in I moved on to running electrical. I cut a hole to allow for the PVC conduit to exit the utility room to the side of the house. Next the piece was cut down and run along the side of the house to the electrical box. A junction box was added to allow for easier wire passing through the PVC conduit.



The next picture shows the PVC conduit secured to the side of the house and running toward the electrical panel. I took the picture later in my progress of the day so you can see the electrical wires exiting the junction box.




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Old 03/19/2017, 10:55 PM   #34
benbarfield
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I am adding two circuit breakers and 4 lines to supply the tank and all the equipment. I measured out the length I would need and it was around 60 feet of wiring. I measured 3 wire sections per new electrical line. Total length of new wiring was around 700 feet (hot, neutral, and ground). I used green for ground, black for hot, and white/blue for neutral since I ran out of white wiring and Home Depot only had blue. My wonderful wife helped me collect all the electrical wiring and secure it into a single tight line. Pictured below are the 4 new electrical lines.



We secured the wires with electrical tape every foot. The picture below shows the electrical box on the side of the house. It was accessed from one of the pre-marked access points. A 1” drill was used to cut a hole in the panel. (After the house was cut off).



The new electrical wire was secured into one piece and was thread through the PVC conduit above the tank. It went across the ceiling into the utility room and out the side of the house to the electrical panel.







This picture above shows the exit hole being cut for the exhaust ventilation. I stopped before completely accessing the utility room from the outside. The wiring was all run into the electrical panel I coiled it up and closed the box. I am going to finish wiring the electrical to the new breakers next weekend. UNC game is starting and I am off to cheer. Go Heels…


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Old 03/20/2017, 05:42 PM   #35
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Water Lines

Nothing major done today. Just ran the water line tubing (blue and white) through the PVC conduit in the drop down ceiling to the utility room. Going to caulk around the wood attached to the ceiling and wall before painting everything with RedGard.






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Old 03/25/2017, 09:49 AM   #36
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Aquatop Titanium Heaters Arrived

Tank and sump heaters arrived. (Aquatop Titanium Heaters) Tomorrow’s goal is to finish all the wiring, install the last of the exhaust ducting and exhaust fan, and caulking and painting RedGard on everything…




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Old 03/26/2017, 06:13 PM   #37
benbarfield
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I hate wiring electrical

Didn’t get nearly as much accomplished, as I wanted to today. Electrical really got the better of me today. But progress was made. First was opening the hole for the exhaust fan ducting to exit the house. The vent was put in place and duct taped shut so I can finish connecting the ducting.



Once again, my wonderful wife got her hands dirty with this project. She was connecting wiring to the new receptacles. Pretty good assembly line going…





The rest of the wiring was pulled through and out each unit. And receptacles attached.



Power was turned on and tested once all the electrical was connected. One of the receptacles kept tripping so it was taken apart and rewired. Works great, but I can’t fit all the wiring back in the box. I trimmed it down but still couldn’t get it in the box. Got really frustrated and decided to quit for the day. Going to get some extenders and see if that helps. Also installed the new exhaust fan switch on the ceiling. Hopefully will finish electrical and venting Thursday. Thanks for all the comments and following along so far…




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Old 03/28/2017, 07:11 PM   #38
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I am so over ventilation ducting...

Have I mentioned I hate ventilation recently? Today after work, I pieced together the final pieces for the exhaust ventilation. I put together a few 90 Degree Round Adjustable Elbows connecting the ventilation coming into the utility room and up to the exit vent in the side of the house. The only snag was the electrical ground wire to the house was directly in the way. I had to cut the power to the house and move the ground wire further up the copper piping to allow enough room to get around it with the ventilation. I then marked each piece to show the correct arrangement with a black sharpie marker. Next step was pre-drilling holes for the self-tapping metal screws to secure the ducting. Once the screws were in place, I taped and painted on duct sealant and allowed the pieces to dry. I will hang and finally finish ducting on my day off on Thursday. The first photo shows the pre-drilled screw holes. The second is the marking to show correct aligning of the vents, and the final picture is after taping and sealing the ducts.







I figured I would post a picture of the floor plan and what I have been talking about with this build to help get a better idea. Below is my basement floor plan. The second picture shows the tank location and venting across the ceiling into the utility room and out the side of the house. Hope this helps set a picture…






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Old 03/30/2017, 09:46 PM   #39
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Yay, No more ventilation... except the fan

The outlet boxes were not deep enough for me to put all the wiring back in and secure the outlets in place. I decided to take them down and add an extension to the boxes. I used epoxy to secure the additional extensions. I then used silicon to ensure the seam is waterproof. Below is the picture of the receptacles before adding the extensions.



While the outlets were drying (and they are currently still drying as I type), I moved back to ventilation.



After the vents were screwed together and the sealant dried, I went outside and sealed the exhaust vent with the silicon sealant. Back inside the utility room I sprayed more insulation around the venting to seal off any other cracks I may have missed. I also took the remaining foam sealant and sprayed between the drywall and floating floor space. Also sealed around the new p-trap under the tank.





Below is a picture of the rubber removed from the tank stand and how it is now pulled away from the wall. The next move is to RedGard the stand, walls, ceiling, and all around the electrical boxes. The last picture shows another shipment of goods that arrived. Neptune system, bulkheads, RODI unit, filters, top off, and protein skimmer. Still waiting on the rest of the Neptune system, 3 Kessil Tuna Blue lights, aquamedic pumps, and 3 holding tanks that will be my sump under the tank. Later I will add another small tank to create a refugium. Hopefully they arrive in the next week or so and we will finally start building the tank.





Off to Phoenix tomorrow to cheer on my TARHEELS….


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Old 03/31/2017, 03:02 PM   #40
hammerhead24
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Any updates?


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Old 04/01/2017, 12:21 AM   #41
nabeelc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by benbarfield View Post

Your build is an inspiration. I am thinking of building my own aquarium and stand. I have a perfect spot on the wall which backs into the garage so I can have a built-in aquarium on the wall and have the sump in garage.

Have a question - why did you put the PowerPoint on the wall underneath the ceiling? You had a manhole above so you could have installed the PowerPoint from above and have the outlet flush with the ceiling (similar to the blue box next to the manhole). That would have provided a cleaner look for the lights hanging from the ceiling.




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Old 04/01/2017, 03:45 PM   #42
Hefner413
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You'll be super glad you did the pool liner. Necessity IMO. I assume you're keeping your top open? Thus the reason for the ventilation? I've always had glass tops and thus little humidity issues. There's obvious benefits for an open top though.


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Old 04/04/2017, 07:58 PM   #43
benbarfield
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Hammerhead24 - I have been posting updates as I go. Nothing new, but maybe this weekend I can get some more work done. Thanks for following along

Hefner413 - Yeah I plan on leaving the top open. I have glass covers for the top and may alternate covering each section on top to try and prevent some evaporative losses. Probably will be open top the whole time though


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Old 04/07/2017, 05:45 PM   #44
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I think I'm high on paint fumes and my elbows and hair are now red…

It’s getting closer to actually having a tank so it’s time to start painting the stand, wall, and ceiling with RedGard. I cut the excess foam away from the wall and cleaned the walls prior to painting. First coat of RedGard is on and waiting for it to dry. Second coat will go on tonight and tomorrow will install the ventilation fan, finish electrical boxes (only 1 not working as of now), install the RODI unit in the utility room, and cut holes in the tank stand for all the plumbing. What fish should I get? More to come…






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Old 04/08/2017, 09:52 PM   #45
benbarfield
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Electrical is finally done! Outlet #2 has been giving me fits since installing it. The circuit kept tripping no matter what I did. I disconnected everything on that receptacle and started over today. I checked each outlet individually. Each were installed and no circuit broken. I then added the exhaust fan switch to the wiring and the circuit broke. I realized the ground wire of the fan switch was making contact to the hot line when I pushed the wiring up into the receptacle. After fixing that problem, all electrical is up and running. The picture below shows the finished outlets.



My fish tank advisor/guru told me the stand had to be rethought. It was not level enough and we worried about the weight of the tank and refugium weight on the stand. Over time the worry is about sagging of the wood, bowing, and possibly breaking. Time to redo the stand. It was painful at first but I’d rather do it right from the get go…



Stand after demo…



Home Depot on a Saturday afternoon is one thing, but Home Depot on a Saturday with nice weather and the first shipment of spring flowers makes for a nightmare. That place was a zoo. The shopping list included wood for the new stand top, cement blocks, an outlet cover, sound boards, and lumber for framing the tank base and future upper cabinets. Pictured below is after the Home Depot run.



Rubber pond liner back on the floor and cement blocks were stacked and glued together in place. These will act at the supports for the tank and refugium. Another middle section of cement block supports still needs to be installed.



The pond liner is folded in the corners and attached with a machine bolt, washers, and a nut. This was done to prevent having to cut the liner and ensure a solid leak barrier/container.



Not pictured is a Brute trash can that is placed on 2 cement blocks in my utility room where the RODI unit will be set-up tomorrow. I went back outside to the exhaust ventilation and place a mesh guard over the opening to ensure no rabbits or critters get into the venting.



Tomorrow our plan is to build a new tank stand frame and framing for the upper cabinets above the tank. Finish installing the ventilation fan, hook up the RODI unit, and RedGard the sound board and all the exposed framing. My watchdog is currently guarding the salt until we start cycling the tank in the next week or so.



It currently looks like a bomb went off in my man cave...



More to come tomorrow…


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Old 04/08/2017, 11:21 PM   #46
Chriss614
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I'm curious as to why exactly you're advisor thought the first stand would not be strong enough? As far as I know most stands are made solely of wood unless you have a real monster tank that requires metal supports. In fact both of my tanks are sitting on wood stands right now...

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Old 04/09/2017, 08:30 AM   #47
benbarfield
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The concern was the wood stand legs possibly warping or shifting. I am doing built-in cabinets around the tank as well and didn't to ruing the cabinetry if shifting occurs. Another reason and probably the deciding factor is the sizing of the sumps. With the wood stand I build I only had 18" of width. I am going to use 3 HDPE containers to create a sump system. The first one will hold only a filter and catch all my debris so in theory that one is the one I would have to clean more often, the middle will house the protein skimmer, and the final will house extra rock. The thought was to get as much water volume as possible. The refugium will sit next to the tank hidden in cabinets and drain into the first sump container. My goal is to eventually not have to feed my fish and just have a self sustaining system like in the wild (or as close as I can get). With now 24" of width my sump container sizing options really opens up. The cost of a custom sump was just too much since I am already nearing my "budget" for the tank. I think it would have been fine but my buddy has been building tanks for years and has never had an issue with tanks he builds (as I knock on wood).


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Old 04/09/2017, 11:11 PM   #48
benbarfield
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I have RedGard all over myself...

Finished installing the cement blocks for the tank stand base. All have been liquid nailed together and allowed to set and dry. After the blocks were left to dry, the exhaust fan was installed. It’s amazingly silent while running.





The sound proofing panels we laid out and painted with the RedGard. The hope is to add some waterproofing to them and give them a little more strength when the painting dries on them. Next was building the new stand frame top. It was built out of 2x6”s. I topped it with liquid nail and screwed ¾” plywood on top. I added a second layer to ¾” plywood on top and secured with liquid nail. I am allowing it to dry for 2 days with lots of weight on top to ensure a solid seal between the plywood. Next steps are to cut out the take plumbing holes on the stand and get it down on top of the cement blocks. I am going to paint RedGard all over the wood stand. After that is to build the framing around the tank for the cabinetry.






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Old 04/10/2017, 03:33 PM   #49
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Looks really good!


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Old 04/11/2017, 06:25 PM   #50
ratherbeflyen
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That's some serious planning for a first tank. That's an impressive build for someone who's upgrading after 10 years in the hobby.


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