26g Bowfront Foam Wall Mixed Reef

sam.basye

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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.











Sam
 
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sam.basye

sam.basye

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Tell me more about that super cool foam wall!
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.







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.



Gradual tank progression
























Present day tank video


Feel free to ask any questions. I can also post more detailed responses on specific parts of the build!
 
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revhtree

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This is a very cool tank! Nice job!
 

saltyfilmfolks

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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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sam.basye

sam.basye

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saltyfilmfolks

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


Thank you very much!
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!
 
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sam.basye

sam.basye

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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!
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.
 

jsker

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Very cool concept
 

PupChow

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

Zirco

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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?
 
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sam.basye

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

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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?
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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