85 Gallon scratch build too divorce.....Passed the point of no return so suck it up!

Dukereefnz

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Long story short.. at least I will try.
I was reefing 15 years ago, 240G tank in the same spot my new ice cream container sized 65G will go.
A poor beaten man starting again in the shadows of greatness.

Last tank was run by a PLC with ATO, AWC using NSW. I used sensors hooked up to the home alarm zone 4 & 5 to monitor the tank sump level low and sump level high (pump off) and temp. The alarm company would ring me to say when those zones went off, it happened a couple of times when power went off, and saved my bacon. One outage was for 3 days.... After all we paid them to monitor all the zones on the house so there was no extra cost. No tank control systems in those days! I like to think I was ahead of the game...

The killer was the sump, stupidly (excitedly originally) mounted under the house where the wind blows hard in winter, Auckland NZ get to 0 to -2C in winter and no amount of insulation could stop $800 power bills as the army of heaters ran hard. Add new kids, 9.0% interest rates and my hobby was domed. I lasted 5 yrs but when i needed to upgrade equipment kids **** won. So tank went and a couple of book cases were installed.

To be honest it was a relief for the tank to go, no more worry, a weight was lifted. People under estimate the responsibly a reef tank creates.
But I look back fondly like when the misses looked good after 2 beers... not 12..Lol. My Fav fish was a massive ****** trigger, he was the man. Tank was LPS with a huge anemone being centre stage. No idea what it was, funny thing it just grew and never split. Test water nope... only salt level and MH's... like 4 x 250's. The wife loved the fish, hated that power bill!

Fast forward 2021... Can I have a new tank, NO.
So we start small and carry on and on and on until they give in.
What the F#ck it a tiny little tank, not like the last one....might get those ***** teenagers to lift their heeds from their phones.

So I win, like I do... enough time for pictures!

Stage one... wooden stand, and i m no wood worker, hated building this thing. Wood is expensive here even though it grows like a weed, all exported so we have to pay export prices!
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Big wall, small tank... How we are a shadow of our once great self.
You can see the holes in the wall from the last overflow heading down to the sump chiller.
 
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Dukereefnz

Dukereefnz

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Wow is it that obvious... the wife has not worked it out... Next up was what over flow... remember i am having to do this on the sly. Keep the $$ spent low so they do not get noticed. The problem with this approach is you have to do lots of DIY.

So I wanted a Coast/Coast overflow but it not in the budget. So I drew one up and cut it out in cardboard, the perks of working at a cardboard factory. Yes I know.. Homer Simpson said, when at work.... it could be worse i could work for a box factory. Haunts me for ever LOL.

Does it look familiar?

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I purchased the 6mm acrylic board, organised work to cut it out on a CNC router, free I will add. But then started doubting myself and me ability to glue it up, never glued acrylic before. Talked with the wife, explain how the overflow would be against the wall and if my DIY failed... major water leak in the house. That was not appreciated. Dear wife has major lack of respect for my DIY skills, apparently anything I DIY never gets finished, does not look any good, or palm on my head... fails. I think she is taking it personally. My DIY skills are great and I do what i want!!! LOL

Long story short.

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- MODULAR MARINE'S 1200 gph LOW PROFI LE OVERFLOW BOX. - another sell point was the low profile back...80mm installed on the tank. Great= Love this thing, workmanship is excellent. Only thing I will add is NO instructions on how to plumb it???? and the clearance for pipes ?? But R2R crease fixed that, cut the tank bulkheads. More on that later.
 
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Dukereefnz

Dukereefnz

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Next up was to drill the tank, thanks to MM for the drill included and the template, what could go wrong?
Tape under the cut out, towel in the bottom to catch the cut out, if it dropped. Water, drill and a beer or the 3rd beer who would know.

Boy - help me carry this tank outside, please... You nearly have to beg to get a teenager to help you these days. When they were younger, they knew I could not hit them... and we live in the bush. Do what i say or you are sleeping outside. Worked great for a while. Nothings lasts.

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Template in place.... lets go.

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That worked great - job done.
Who said drill glass was hard, MM instructions said if you have euro bracing remove the top and go high.. use the bracing as the lid. So I left 1-2mm gap, no way the lid can fit. Did i say i love this thing? Its sooo good.

Lesson one: You get what you pay for.
 
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Dukereefnz

Dukereefnz

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Instruction one: This is how the stand must look.

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yep - I can do that trust me.

So lets start the skin of this stand. Looked at the outer frames and went.. OMG.
R2R - plywood outer frame on magnets. Perfect.

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Doors need to be flush.. so lets cut out the holes, easy as.
 
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Dukereefnz

Dukereefnz

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Lesson Two: Buy quality tools and work out how to use them.

Not a straight line to be seen LOL
Well that is the end of doors that same as the kitchen... be alright dear.. remember trust me.

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Added some magnets, first go was with screws. Aridite glue did the job and coated the magnets from corrosion.
Still worried about the door weight. Those magnets were not cheap, I think I went too small. And I do not think they will do the job... So there is an option 2...

Lesson 3 : Do not go cheap when buying stuff for the build....

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Quite a bit of work in the latest picture... I have a sump...

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Oh and a Stainless steel draw.... Yea - i love that draw!
 
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Dukereefnz

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Before all the above took place, using stealth purchase mode (small purchases, often and spread) , I had to accumulated reef equipment, this was before lessons 1,2 or 3 above. You know that pay for, quality etc.....Bugger

But I did research each buy, its a timing thing LOL, what is a good idea today... press buy-now. Is not tomorrow. Bugger and how many of these are in a reef build? F#n lots here.

So my very first purchase was a secondhand kit set - un-built Robtank controller with a Pi. Went from there and built a reef-pi controller and two power boards. Having never done anything like this, I got the program loaded and working!

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Dukereefnz

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So purchased a poor mans reef tank controller, DIY - perfect and having learned so much building and getting this running. Its not a walk in a fish shop. This is like a teenager. Good when it works, a pain in the butt when it plays up and a disaster when it fails. But nothing above has to do with the Robo equipment, faultless with customer service to boot.

Its the Reef-pi program and not having a clue what your doing.
But everyone helps, and you get it working and it works... Robo controller has been running on my desk for months, at 9:11pm every night a cheap dossing pump runs for 10sec. Always gives me a fright.

And the program reef-pi just keeps getting better with updates, so cool, and its free.
Screen shot from my PC, I can view on any device at home.... and yes it send email alerts.

Plan is to use the controller for:
ATO, AWC, PH, lights - ramp up and down, leak sensors etc.

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Dukereefnz

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Another well researched purchase was the skimmer, squired some cash away for this one, purchased locally.
Buying locally is easy... No trail... receipt never makes it to the kitchen counter. Time is your friend here... Food shopping just gets expensive... $200 food + $50 cash it all adds up LOL

Tried to buy secondhand and looked for months, market for such stuff in NZ is low.
There maybe only a few for-sale at any one time.

There was a couple that came up, but the were way oversized... And when you read about Deltec, when they say 600l tank they mean it. They do not over state skimmer size and many hours of U-tube and forum convinced me, I descended I did not want to go oversized on the skimmer. (purchased before steel stand plan). But pleased, it will do this tank justice. 600i - DC.

I wanted Deltec. Last skimmer was a Deltec and it was great.
But AC not DC... never had anything DC before, and never had failures... Read about the AC/DC argument. Went years without any AC failures... will my DC purchases stand up to the test of time?

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Poor little thing looks lost in that sump... top bracing. gone.
 
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Dukereefnz

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Here is a question, why after such a reliable run would I go DC... I asked myself the same thing. But to be honest... do I have to be honest. Well you saw those cuts.. yep. Its about the control cabinet. All those things with adjustment buttons, scales, high tech looking and wheels, they just look so cool. I need a thing like that. My friends will be blown away. Must have electrical cabinet! Sorry AC just does not do that!

I still have my old AC return pump... and it works. F#M
 
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Dukereefnz

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Lights were another purchase before 1,2 or 3....remember DIY- buy now.. OH no. Bugger. Oh well. And i read sooo many posts.
Had to be DIY didnt it..., Had to be able to purchase parts bit by bit... No way a big spend was going to go un-noticed... Are you getting the drift yet.

My last tank had MH.. as said, so LED - DIY was the go.
Some how I ended up with the following, and i think it will be ok, in the end, as long as I strengthen the ceiling to hang it from. Yep... do not ask.

Lesson 4: Are you sure you can do a do a better job than those who spent YEARS - designing it and making it marketable.

What rules, broken? All of them?
Are you ready? These are the heat sinks.


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I think they may have been used on the shuttle.
 
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Dukereefnz

Dukereefnz

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I think the Heat sinks might be over kill, but is 12inchs....... really overkill? I did not want to run fans.
So I purchased 60LEds.. all the colours I could find, glue them down and plug'em in.


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OK just 4....
Not spaced, before you ask. OK the right one is.

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48W each x 4, plus i am adding 2 T5's, but I have no idea what tubes to use.

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Quick question: what is the tape for...?
 
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Dukereefnz

Dukereefnz

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OK... I want to be able to lift and lower the lights.
NO cords or wires - Nada, zepo,FA, - nothing... there is to be nothing between the lights, wall and stand..., Did I mention my Boxer like cats, yep with Nada, zepo,FA.. smooth.....

Anyway.. not sure how I am going to do this, where to start or how much it will cost.
I have been doing some research / beer tasting - work in progress.

Going to do the BRS 4 month cycle.... one thing it will do is stop the spending.. sort of but my guess is it will go in to the stand and light.... While sitting and waiting for 2-3 month... !!!. 2-3 months, no lights, no fish, no nothing what the heck...

Love the editing done when you post... I did not write What the "Heck"... really, it was more - what the fu...



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I like this... Clean, smart - great looking tank, minimalist reef aquarium. scape - l.. and yes I had to google that one, no chance spelling that word, not on beer 6. Like you go to the bank and say.. HI my wife is a "minimalist" How do you explain that one. If that doe not get the brain working, checking what team your batting for!!
Lov cricket, now that games has batting... unbelievably. Watch a T20 game - AUS big bash..

Enough dribble... beer 7 is looking at me.
 
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Dukereefnz

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So back to the light.. plan is to build the light while it is cycling, I can not turn it on...if it does not go.!
You Cant turn on something that does not work, or at least be willing. Sign here Sir....

Forced patients .
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So I am hanging back looking at the shuttle rear cooling flaps, thinking need time to chill. I recon after looking at the Shuttle flaps for several months a plan on the light will come together.
 

reefpizza

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Nice! I was thinking that in NZ it was not possible have corals in reef tanks i was wrong :) ! (nice to know i wanna switch country as soon covid situation goes away)
 
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