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Old 03/13/2017, 10:55 PM   #1
nightOwl
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Talking Finally My Custom Miracle Build with Fish Room

Its been a while since I have had a real tank. My previous tank (180) ended with some phosphate issues and a massive crash. I lost all of the corals in the tank! It was a painful experience but I have been able to live vicariously through a few friends in the hobby. Their encouragement and support have helped me realize its not how you fall down but how you get back up on the horse and try again. With that said I am ready to get back up on the horse!

Since my crash in 2013 a lot has changed. We moved from VA to MD (2015) and while I was a huge adjustment I tried to stay positive about not having access to as many great LFS within 30 mins of our home. While house hunting I decided since I had to move my next house would have to accommodate a full fledged fish room. This did not sit well with the Mrs. at first but she knows how important the hobby is to me and eventually helped find a perfect home that would accommodate a fish room. From my old set up a few of my fish survived so once we moved I set up a temporary tank and a few months later moved the fish over. Shortly after purchasing the new home I started framing for the fish room area but things slowed down drastically as we were between two homes. The past few weeks things have picked back up and now with a deposit officially placed on new tank I figured I would start my build thread.

I talked to a few builders before finally deciding to go with Derek over at Miracles. I was quite surprised at how much quotes varied between builders. But the communication has been great and he has answered every question I have had with no hesitation. Response via email has also been outstanding...it's great to send an email late at night with a question and wake to a response. Estimated delivery time was between 8-9 weeks. It has been about a week or so since I ordered the tank.

I like taking pictures so like my other tank build thread most updates will be accompanied by pictures. I will try to dig up some old pictures to catch everyone up to where I am currently am sometime tomorrow.

Tank Specs
-82" x 40" x 26"
-Main display area is around 72" x 40" x 26"
-All edges machine polished
-Tempered bottom with 4 holes in the overflow section
-Starphire on two sides and one end
-Black Divider panel with 1-1/2 teeth at top
-Vertical strips of glass in each corner for added strength
-Eurobraced
-Four holes drilled in overflow section
-Black silicone seams
-Peninsula style tank but only on side viewable through the wall

Fish Room Plans
-9.5' x 13.5'
-Utility sink
-Water storage/ mixing station
-Cabinets of some sort

There will be a ton of DIY on this thread, tons of pictures, and few bumps along the way. Hopefully this time around my tank will not end in disaster.


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Old 03/14/2017, 10:26 AM   #2
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Wow congrats I just finishing my 360g build so now I can seat back and watch others. The part I hate the most is the plumbing it will be much more complicated with the fish room.


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Old 03/14/2017, 11:03 AM   #3
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Oh very nice. I am glad things worked out between you and the Mrs. Happy Reef = Happy Wife.

This should be an interesting build.


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Old 03/14/2017, 04:10 PM   #4
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Let's Catch Up
Brand New Basement - 05/9/2015
IMG_4982 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
To test how responsive the wife was to making changes to our new home I started off with a small project. I added a door to access the unused space under the stairs leading to the basement. The builder wanted $600 for this modification and I could not justify it any way I tried to spin it.

From this
IMG_4985-2 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
To this
20150509_172343 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
The unfinished part of basement when I am finally done this will be broken into three areas
1. Walk-up bar and viewing area
IMG_4991 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

2. Fish Room
IMG_4993 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
3. Utility area
IMG_4994 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
From left to right - Fish Room, Walk-up Bar, Utility - 05/10/2015
IMG_5011 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

Began Framing - 06/21/2015
I also ran some new wire for lights. If you look back at the pictures on 05/10/2015 there were only two lights in the unfinished area of the basement.

IMG_5029 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_5030 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

In the picture below you can see a few things. The big lima bean shape is whe builder was supposed to have leveled my floor for me. The floors were really uneven and during our 30 day I had them level the floors. More on that later! You can also see the old light fixture in this picture that is no longer being used. Instead the fish room has two 6 inch cans, the walk-up bar/viewing area has two 6 inch cans, and the utility section has one light at this time.

IMG_5031 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 03/14/2017, 05:01 PM   #5
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looking good.. I found out when I built our home last year, NOTHING IS LEVEL period!


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Old 03/14/2017, 05:14 PM   #6
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Let's Catch Up - Part 2
06/23/2015
Started running electric in the framing.
20150623_134106 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
I framed out the three areas, framed doors for access to both areas (fish room and Utility), framed out soffit around the metal beam, plumbed the walk-up bar and fish room for hot and cold water.
IMG_5035 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


08/16/2015
I framed around the window and began testing the outlets in the fish room. I also added a direct line for connecting my RODI unit. I also started the plumbing for the utility sink. This was changed later.

20150816_214158 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
10/29/2015 - Basement flood
This was a night one of the debates was on and I had intended to make about 20 gallons of water for a water change. I remember my wife calling me at 8 and running upstairs to watch the debates. The next morning I woke and realized I did not remember cutting the water off.

This is the culprit - 300 gallons a day with a booster pump
IMG_5059 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
Over two inches of water in the basement in the unfinished part the carpet and padding was completely soaked and at this point I realized just how much they had not leveled my floor. You know its bad when you call in Servpro. My wife was very calm about the situation...for the next week I slept very lightly as I was afraid I would be murdered in my sleep...lol. I remember saying "Honey well we got the flooding out the way." No claim was filed...I did the right thing and paid out of pocket!

20151029_101018 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

20151029_101030 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

20151105_154059 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

20151105_154028 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

01/05/2016
Made a prototype of the tank to see how it would sit behind the wall.

IMG_6045 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
01/25/2016
First layout of where the water mixing station and new sink placement. The area to the left will have my frag tank and a place to store QT tanks for fish.
20160125_195712 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 03/14/2017, 06:03 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ycnibrc View Post
Wow congrats I just finishing my 360g build so now I can seat back and watch others. The part I hate the most is the plumbing it will be much more complicated with the fish room.
ycnibrc - Welcome aboard. I am hoping to keep plumbing simple. I may have two separate systems but still not sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by worm5406 View Post
Oh very nice. I am glad things worked out between you and the Mrs. Happy Reef = Happy Wife.

This should be an interesting build.
worm5406 - Larry don't let me catch you and your upgrade progress...lol. Welcome aboard. I am trying to make sure she does not run any interference. She almost pulled the plug on the upgrade since I was dragging my feet.

Quote:
Originally Posted by serenity View Post
looking good.. I found out when I built our home last year, NOTHING IS LEVEL period!
serenity - Welcome aboard. It's amazing how unlevel and un-square a house really is. I have been doing the work myself so I can see where they have not been as accurate as I thought. The cool thing is since this is not my real profession I gave myself a pass on being super perfect. As long as I come close to what they did I am good. I am learning mud and molding hides everything .


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Old 03/14/2017, 07:00 PM   #8
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Hah - I'm glad i'm not the first (nor probably the last) to flood a basement because I forgot to turn off the RO/DI unit. Glad to see that you managed to clean it up though. Looking forward to following along on your build.

Speaking of non-square - I find it almost depressing to own a level with my new place - there is one place where the previous owner obviously decided to literally cut some corners. I think its good your not putting too much of it on you and working within it (need to remember that).

How are you planning to finish the flooring in the new section? If tile or vinyl if its too much out might be worth putting a concrete waterproof sealer and self leveling compound or similar just to straighten things out.

As a final Q - how do you find that Rigid Mitre saw? I was looking at getting one for some framing and redoing the baseboards on my place.


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Old 03/14/2017, 08:09 PM   #9
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Instead of leveling the floor perhaps you should have dug it up and installed floor drains first... just in case. If you're putting in a fish room with a sink you're going to need a drain for it anyways so why not get the whole thing done at the same time?

Dave.M


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Old 03/14/2017, 08:18 PM   #10
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I like the frag tank and QT design, are you plumbing the frag tank into the display?


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Old 03/14/2017, 08:51 PM   #11
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thats all you have gotten done in almost two years???????? get moving on it!!!!!




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Am I really doing all of this for a fish tank??????

Current Tank Info: 360g Envision Acrylic Tank, Closed Loops, Vectra L1's, MP40QD's, 400w Radiums, Regal 300ext, Dastaco Ext3 CaRx, Controlled by GHL Profilux
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Old 03/14/2017, 08:54 PM   #12
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Nice


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Old 03/14/2017, 08:56 PM   #13
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Awesomeness


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Old 03/14/2017, 08:57 PM   #14
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Awesomeness
the march to 50 meaningful posts


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Am I really doing all of this for a fish tank??????

Current Tank Info: 360g Envision Acrylic Tank, Closed Loops, Vectra L1's, MP40QD's, 400w Radiums, Regal 300ext, Dastaco Ext3 CaRx, Controlled by GHL Profilux
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Old 03/14/2017, 09:42 PM   #15
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Let's Catch Up - Part 3

01/16/2016
Air King DH55 Dehumidistat Switch arrived
20160303_135225 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

02/04/2016
Started cutting hole for my viewing area
20160204_180657 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
02/23/2016
Re-plumbed the utility sink. Instead of cutting the concrete and doing a floor drain I am using a utility pump - Liberty Pumps 404 1/3 HP. Due to the way the french drains were laid in floor and the placement of main sewer drain. I could not cut into the floor without major reconstruction. My builder made a mistake and forgot to let me know the placement of the main drain was behind the line to sump pump and some slab vent. When I asked for the site plans the builder let me about the issue.
20160223_184640 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


Sink in place
20160223_184934 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
03/02/2016
Vent for fish room arrives
IMG_6552 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
03/06/2016
Frame in place for viewing area
IMG_6591 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

08/14/2016
My hole saw arrived a few days earlier and my wife was in the kitchen when I opened the box. The conversation went something like this. Her - "Honey what is that for. I am a little concerned you need to cut a hole that big." Me - "It's to cut a hole in the back of the house for my vent." Her - "Maybe you need a smaller vent." Me - "To late I can't return it." I left the kitchen before she could ask anymore questions...lol.

I was a little nervous about drilling through the house but it went pretty well. Once I had cut the siding I was at the point of no return so it had to work. In the end it turned out very nice.

IMG_7625 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_7627 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_7630 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr



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Old 03/14/2017, 10:22 PM   #16
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Nice energy recovery ventilator!


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Old 03/14/2017, 10:32 PM   #17
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Following along!


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Old 03/14/2017, 10:34 PM   #18
nightOwl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xebadir View Post
Hah - I'm glad i'm not the first (nor probably the last) to flood a basement because I forgot to turn off the RO/DI unit. Glad to see that you managed to clean it up though. Looking forward to following along on your build.

Speaking of non-square - I find it almost depressing to own a level with my new place - there is one place where the previous owner obviously decided to literally cut some corners. I think its good your not putting too much of it on you and working within it (need to remember that).

How are you planning to finish the flooring in the new section? If tile or vinyl if its too much out might be worth putting a concrete waterproof sealer and self leveling compound or similar just to straighten things out.

As a final Q - how do you find that Rigid Mitre saw? I was looking at getting one for some framing and redoing the baseboards on my place.
Xebadir - Welcome aboard. The sad part is that I have flooded the basement a few more times just not as bad...lol. What's even sadder is I have two auto shut-off kits somewhere around here.

I have now given up on trying to find square rooms in this house. Our sit in tub is so un-square when I pointed it out to the builder he was like looks like we missed that one.

For the floor in the fish room I will probably use some of the stuff you put down in garages. The walk-up bar area I think it will be tile or some of the new stuff that is waterproof that looks like wood. If I do tile I was thinking of doing a mosaic in the center with a seahorse similar to my last stand.

I love that miter saw. I have had it for many years now and it has worked flawlessly for many years. If you can get a sliding one. I had to buy sliding one recently to be able to cut wider material.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dave.m View Post
Instead of leveling the floor perhaps you should have dug it up and installed floor drains first... just in case. If you're putting in a fish room with a sink you're going to need a drain for it anyways so why not get the whole thing done at the same time?

Dave.M
dave.m - Welcome aboard. Due to builder error a floor drain would have been more expensive than I was wanted. The floor needed to be leveled when I first moved in. When I showed it the builder they admitted that it was outside of their tolerance for QC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sambo107 View Post
I like the frag tank and QT design, are you plumbing the frag tank into the display?
Sambo107 - Welcome aboard. I am still up in the air about the frag tank being part of the main display since It will be on the opposite side of the tank. I am still up in the air about how to plumb it and have it return back to the main sump under the tank. Any ideas or suggestions?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SPotter View Post
thats all you have gotten done in almost two years???????? get moving on it!!!!!

SPotter - Welcome aboard. Steve I am still updating the progress...lol. Remember one year does not count as we were between two homes...lol.


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Old 03/14/2017, 10:35 PM   #19
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This is gonna be fun!


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Old 03/14/2017, 10:36 PM   #20
nightOwl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbravo2 View Post
Nice energy recovery ventilator!
bobbravo2 - Welcome aboard. I like the vent. It is very quiet!


Quote:
Originally Posted by savvybuckeye7 View Post
Following along!


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Quote:
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This is gonna be fun!


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locito277 - Welcome aboard. It's gonna be gonna be a fun ride for sure.


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Old 03/14/2017, 11:07 PM   #21
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Let's Catch Up - Part 4
09/28/2016
I finally got some drywall put up. Drywall is a pain in the butt especially hanging it by yourself. The fish room has the mildew resistant (green) drywall. I figured since its going to be a high moisture area better to take some precautions.

IMG_8705 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_8707 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_8709 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

02/11/2017
And then there was mud. I hate mud! Mud and sanding is the worse but the end results are great.

IMG_0242-4 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0244-4 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0245-4 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0249-4 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

I forgot when I swapped the door out but I added the 48" French door to enter the room. I think it will make the entrance grand when entering the back area.
IMG_0250-4 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr


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Old 03/14/2017, 11:16 PM   #22
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Glad you're back in. Can't wait to see the progress.


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Old 03/15/2017, 08:47 PM   #23
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Glad you're back in. Can't wait to see the progress.
gioNVA - Francis Welcome aboard. I'm glad to be getting back in man. I am hoping I can get back to having healthy corals once the tank is up and running. Hopefully your tank is doing well.


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Old 03/16/2017, 04:59 PM   #24
nightOwl
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Let's Catch Up - Part 5
02/11/2017
Had my buddy Tom39 (Tom) come by and help me with ceiling seams. I had pretty much completed all seams but the ceiling seams were giving me issues. Tom was kind enough to come by on a Saturday and literally spend the whole day helping me.

02/20/2017
Finally got around to putting some primer on the walls in the fish room. The first coat was soaked up by the drywall. So I will now need another coat.

IMG_0358 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

IMG_0359 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr
I need to move the sink and finish the drywall behind the sink. Once that is done I can add the last coat of primer and then apply some paint.

IMG_0365 by LifeThrough_TheLense, on Flickr

03/02/2017
Ordered my new tank. Below is the description on the invoice:
82" X 40" X 26" HIGH CUSTOM
AQUARIUM 3/4" GLASS A/A
STARPHIRE 2 LONG & 1
SHORT TEMPERED BOTTOM
WITH 4 HOLES 2-1/2" INLINE
5" OFF END FULL WIDTH
BLACK DIVIDER W 1-1/2"
TEETH INTERNAL
EUROBRACE 4-1/2" WIDE
EUROBRACE VERTICAL
STRIPS
And with that we are all caught up on my progress.


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Old 03/16/2017, 06:23 PM   #25
Brunzy
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Great looking room! It looks like you are coming along fast here!


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