26g Bowfront Foam Wall Mixed Reef

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by sam.basye, Nov 18, 2016.

  1. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Decided to start a build thread over here for those who might be interested!

    It's an Aqueon 26 gallon bowfront tank with a custom foam wall and built in refugium in the back. Currently a mixed reef and only a couple fish and has been running for about the last 2 years. It's lighted by an Evergrow IT2040 with a custom layout.

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    Sam
     
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  2. McMullen

    McMullen Valuable Member

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    Tell me more about that super cool foam wall!
     
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  3. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    I started out with a sheet of eggcrate and cut it to shape and the design I was looking for. Then I zip tied it together and zip tied the rocks to it.
    I used pond foam for the wall. Its a lot like great stuff insulation, but fish safe.

    Doing small sections at a time, add sand while it's wet, and letting it dry for a few min then pressing it down.

    I unfortunately do not have any pictures of the process, just final result once installed.

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    This picture shows the 2" gap behind the wall I designed to be a refugium and hide all the equipment

    I used window tint to cover the part where the wall was up against the glass.

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    Gradual tank progression

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    Present day tank video



    Feel free to ask any questions. I can also post more detailed responses on specific parts of the build!
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2016
  4. revhtree

    revhtree Owner Administrator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 Cyber Monday Sponsor R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    This is a very cool tank! Nice job!
     
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  5. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Thanks!
     
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  6. mdbannister

    mdbannister Ahh...the Reef Life Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Partner Member 2019 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Build Thread Contributor

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    Wow!! That's a beauty!
     
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  7. ReefingWhiteford

    ReefingWhiteford Well-Known Member

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    That is one nice looking tank! IMO it looks quite natural
     
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  8. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Thanks guys! I appreciate the complements :)
     
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  9. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Yea Very cool!
    I talked myself out of the back wall in the new cube, influenced by most folks opinion on them. #totallyregrettingit
     
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  10. 1979fishgeek

    1979fishgeek Well-Known Member UK Reef Club Member

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    That is a work of art! Absolutely, totally, gorgeous.

    Well done!
     
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  11. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Lol. It was well worth the effort.
    What are these "opinions"??

    Thank you very much!
     
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  12. saltyfilmfolks

    saltyfilmfolks Lights! Camera! Reef! R2R Supporter Reef Squad Leader R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award Build Thread Contributor

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    It was 80s. It was ugly. It would nuke your tank. Bla bla bla. You know. Nay sayers.
    I'd seen a few I did kinda like but in the last while I've seen some great ones. Not to mention some at amazing aquariums too. Really a natural look.
    Plus look at the real estate ya gain for coral!
     
  13. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    There's one spot of the wall where the foam has degraded and the egg crate is showing. I considered refoaming it, but I was concerned for the curing time and nuking it since I can't just drain the tank. Lol
    I had caulerpa covering it and that got way out of control!
    I removed it all as best I could and now have green star polyps starting to cover it.


    It's great having the ability to just push frags into to the wall!
    The only downside to mine is that it's mostly flat and coral at the bottom gets shaded by stuff at the top.

    Another bonus is since I'm running the tank sumpless, it hides all the equipment behind the wall.

    The next one I do will be stepped so all levels will have full lighting coverage.
     
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  14. jsker

    jsker Reefing is all about the adventure Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Partner Member 2019 Reef Tank 365 R2R Secret Santa Article Contributor Hospitality Award Build Thread Contributor

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    Very cool concept
     
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  15. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Thanks, jsker.
    It was a fun project and came out pretty good.
     
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  16. PupChow

    PupChow Member R2R Supporter

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    This looks amazing, would be awesome if you could put out a step-by-step guide in the future :cool:
     
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  17. Zirco

    Zirco Member R2R Supporter

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    Best looking foam background I've ever seen. Every time I scrape the algae off my back glass I'll be thinking about you :D

    It looks like a very tight fit. Did you build it in place or just build it carefully so that it would fit snugly against the sides?
     
  18. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Thanks!

    I actually have considered making a step-by-step guide and might do so with my 2.5g in gonna start using as a mini frag tank. I think I have enough eggcrate left over and possibly still some foam. I'll definitely post back if I do.
     
  19. sam.basye

    sam.basye Active Member

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    Haha! Definitely nice not having to scrape the back glass.


    It was a very tight fit! So much so, I had to break it and refoam it.

    The wall was built to the exact inner dimensions of the tank and when I went to put it in, I had an ahh s*** moment.
    I didn't account for the ¼" lip on both sides of the rim and it wouldn't fit!!

    I elected to breaking the wall vertically about ⅓ from the right and foamed the crack after it was installed.

    I also siliconed the entire display side edges to the glass. I wanted a good seal around the edges.
    The fit was tight enough I didn't need anything to keep it from floating.

    I'll post a pic here in a few of the siliconed edges.
     
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  20. DustinTWilliams

    DustinTWilliams Member

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    That's awesome. Ow u got me wanting to do that. How dare you give me more ideas
     
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