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Building a 140G. reef
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2006.12.21(Thu)23:44    Post subject: Building a 140G. reef Reply with quote

Here's a brief overview of my latest project, creating a 140G. reef.

Having set up a fishroom downstairs I am trying to downsize the number of systems scattered throughout the house. My wife enjoys the tropical reef most so it was decided to tear down my freshwater tank in the dining room and transfer my 75G. reef to the bigger tank.
This is a shot of the tank after tearing down my freshwater set up. It is a Hagen 140 that is not drilled. The stand itself does not have a very large section for a sump so I am going to rig something so my skimmer can sit in the main display.



I decided to create scaffolding for the live rock using eggcrate (suspended ceiling light diffuser). To this I will zip tie the live rock. I will also make a corner box out of eggcrate to house the skimmer.



I painted the eggcrate with Krylon fusion spray paint (first coat) so it would blend better.



Filling the tank with water, substrate and salt. The AC power filter with floss is being used to clear up the silt from the substrate. The skimmer is in the box and a combo HOT Magnum filter and phosban reactor hang off the back. Also in the picture are the timers for the lights.
I have secured the scaffolding and box to the tank by using silicone. I ran beads on each side and smeared them together over top of the eggcrate. This seals the eggcrate to the glass quite securely.



After the dust settled it was time to zip tie. About 5 rocks at a time were taken from one tank to the other. More than a few hours later this is what I was left with. The skimmer collection cup drains into a hose that leads into a bucket under the stand. The rock looks quite bare in this shot but more bits have been added and the corals have opened up and filled in the gaps. I'll edit in some more shots later on. For flow at the moment I have two maxi jet 1200's that create a whirlpool effect. The scaffolding keeps the rock off of the back glass and allows water movement over most surfaces. It also gives the fish some caves and hiding places.



And with actinics.



Here's a diagram of the scaffold, equipment and lighting layout.


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Doosharm
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: 2006.12.22(Fri)1:48    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't want to sound as if I doubted your abilities based on the first few pictures but I was really shocked when I saw the final look. It looks much better than I was expecting, and I typically expect great things from you Dale. It looks very, very nice. Keep up the good work.

DJ

P.S. Any chance we can get some closeups on the tank, maybe showing how the rocks are tied down?
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2006.12.22(Fri)2:22    Post subject: Reply with quote

Exactly my experience as well DJ!

My wife wanted the project completed before a Xmas party we hosted so I was under a time constraint. I knew that the method of using eggcrate like this would work theoretically / practically but I had my own doubts as to the aesthetics. All along the project I had a sense of trepidation but when all was said and done I was pretty happy. I've taken some shots but there is always something messing up the scene (filters, magnets, smudges). Over the weekend I plan to do a proper "photo shoot" and I'll post some close ups too. For the rock I just used some electrical zip ties through holes or protrusions and the mesh of the scaffolding. Another common method is to build a framework of PVC piping (with many small holes drilled through) to zip tie the rock on to. Both are good ways to build stable towers or arches.
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sirreal63
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Joined: 21 Feb 2004
Location: Meadowlakes, TX

PostPosted: 2006.12.22(Fri)8:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great project Dale, very creative. You'll be buying a better skimmer before long, and more powerful lights, a calcium reactor, etc etc. lol I love longer tanks there are so many more options.
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FloridaBoy
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Joined: 04 Jul 2004

PostPosted: 2006.12.22(Fri)10:14    Post subject: Reply with quote

Love the arches!
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Doosharm
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Joined: 12 Apr 2003
Location: New Hampshire

PostPosted: 2006.12.22(Fri)19:39    Post subject: Re: Building a 140G. reef Reply with quote

dale wrote:

I painted the eggcrate with Krylon fusion spray paint (first coat) so it would blend better.


I have a couple of questions about this Dale. Did you do anything else to the paint to make it aquarium safe or is it safe as is? Also, how many coats did you go with and were they for asthetic or practical purposes (meaning do more coats just look better or perhaps add to the aquarium "safeness")? Thanks in advance for an answer.

DJ
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2006.12.22(Fri)23:43    Post subject: Reply with quote

2 coats for aesthetics only. The paint is made to bond to plastic surfaces and is supposed to be non toxic once dried. No treatment other than a good rinse. This brand is often refereed to in DIY threads for painting PVC pipes etc... and in my case so far no ill effects.
I also like the longer tank, the fish seem to have more swimming and hiding places. An interesting side effect was the change in behavior caused by differing flow options. In my 75 I had the flow delivered vertically via perimeter pipes drilled every inch or so and the fish swam quite placidly. In this tank the flow comes in two focused streams from the maxi jets and the fish line up to surf in the current (like the turtles in Finding Nemo). Something I didn't expect.
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2006.12.24(Sun)0:11    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a little video to watch:

http://s106.photobucket.com/albums/m274/fisherder/?action=view&current=100_2821.flv
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dale
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Location: Abbotsford Canada

PostPosted: 2007.01.11(Thu)23:35    Post subject: Reply with quote

An update on the reef. When I have some time I'm going to work on hiding those filter intakes Shocked

Full



Left rock mound



Center rock mound



Right rock mound


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Barracuda324
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Joined: 14 Oct 2006
Location: Cincinnati, OH

PostPosted: 2007.01.12(Fri)8:45    Post subject: Reply with quote

this may sound like a very stupid question but how do you get the rock to stand up with the crates, are they just stacked on top of eachother?
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