93 Cube for under a grand. It can be done... I think. UPDATED GRAND TOTAL! :)

dantimdad

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I'm a cheapskate, I admit it. Sometimes I let my hobby get the best of me and spend more than I should though. I recently had a stroke and did a small build of an 18X18X11 cube while I was out of work that will become a display refugium for this tank.

Being set back from the health issues and associated costs, I wanted a bigger tank but lacked the funds necessary to do it just by whipping out the credit card. So, I kinda bet myself and my buddy that I could do something really nice on the cheap. (Also, my fiance' said all extra money had to go to the wedding so that might have had something to do with it.) ;)

So, you can following along as I sort through the issues associated with having a stroke, recovering, getting married, finishing the living room remodel and building this tank all at the same time.

(I think it just dawned on me what caused the stroke to begin with!)

As fate would have it, I was given a broken 93 cube:

IMG_20180708_135725.jpg

IMG_20180708_135736.jpg

I had to spend $53 on gas and lunch for my buddy and my son to go pick it up about 2 hours away.

I then removed the broken glass and cleaned it up:

IMG_20180718_180256.jpg

IMG_20180718_180305.jpg

Just about the time you THINK you are done cleaning silicone, repeat everything you just did. :)
 
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dantimdad

dantimdad

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So, the first expense was a new piece of glass and good silicone: $73

I removed all of the inside seals, the overflow and cleaned the heck out of it. I then glued in a piece of 1/4" glass I cut myself from scrap to cover the holes in the bottom.

In went the glass and new seals!

IMG_20180728_084852.jpg

IMG_20180728_084841.jpg

I should have taken pictures of the progress and taping off to get neat seams but alas, I was remiss. :(
 
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I waited the grueling 7 days for this thing to cure.

Then I began to fill it up:

IMG_20180804_194817.jpg

Now, this is the point where you begin to doubt yourself. No matter how many of this type of repair you do, you are always second guessing. You hear noises, see drops of water that aren't there and generally look through your fingers over your eyes while waiting for it to fill. Expecting to have a crash and splash all over the carport.

Well, that didn't happen and this is a week later:

IMG_20180805_100225.jpg

Success!
(note the patch over the holes held as well)
 
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dantimdad

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I will say that I hate build threads that just stop before anything is done. I will do my best to see this through to the end.

So far I have only spent:

$53 gas and lunch
$73 glass and silicone (Technically, this and the light I did not pay for out of the budget. I sold a bunch of aquarium stuff to pay for it.)
$150 for a Euroquatics 150 watt LED setup (This may change as I have about 150 LEDs and a bunch of drivers hanging around to DIY something.)
$26 for an Eheim Jager 250 watt heater from Ebay/Premium Aquatics (used a discount code was $29.99)
$25 for a sump that I cut down to fit but have changed my mind on it and am going to use it as a 12 gallon ATO container
$25 for a 160 gallon bucket of IO (on sale and pickup discount from petsmart)
$30 for substrate (ridiculous mail order price from petco I feel sorry for the delivery guy as this was part of a 180 pound order for another person I am helping out)

So far: $382

The rock has all been free from shut down aquariums that I bleached and acid cured. I will start cycling the rock in tubs soon.


What I need:

I have to completely redo the stand as it got water damage at the bottom and the front top part. (probably no more than $75 for materials)

Light hanger

Some plumbing bits that I don't have in my vast arsenal

RO unit

Another power head

Bigger return pump than what I have

I am desperately looking for a good skimmer. I have a line on a curve 7 but am going to try and find something a little cheaper just because I am on such a small budget. Lemme know if you have one.

I hope this build interests you. The budget is going to be all the way up to having a few fish and corals in the tank. Hopefully I can find cheap frags of the corals I am looking for.
 
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dantimdad

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Oh! I was informed by my buddy that, other than plumbing parts, I cannot say I didn't pay for something because I already had it. I paid for it at some point so I have to show the cost of it.

I have a jebao 3000+gph wavemaker pump that I paid $25 off of letgo. I had to vinegar soak it and it work perfectly now. Left it run the entire leak test.
The return pump and the ATO unit were given to me when I helped clean up the mess of a broken tank. (but I need a bigger pump since I am doing the display fuge)

Also, we agreed since I had it built and nothing is getting added to it, the display fuge doesn't count. I could very well sell it as a nano and use the money for this setup. ;Greedy
 
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I'm going to follow along for the ride. I started out with a under a grand budget for my 60 cube. I'm already over and my tank is still dry.
I can understand that. But, in my case, if I hit the limit, I'm sunk. At least until after the honeymoon. LOL
 

Todd L.

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This is very interesting to watch play out! Also an inspiration to me to look for used equipment, I have a mindset that if its not new don't use it:(. ( that needs to change) Keep up the project and I hope you recover well. Best wishes for you and the missis.
 
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This is very interesting to watch play out! Also an inspiration to me to look for used equipment, I have a mindset that if its not new don't use it:(. ( that needs to change) Keep up the project and I hope you recover well. Best wishes for you and the missis.
Thanks!

It helps, when buying used equipment, if you are handy and have the right tools. But, you can save a ton of money if you look. You may be a year or two behind what's trendy, but, I am pretty sure, your fish won't judge you. Just stop wearing black socks with shorts, they will give you very snotty looks. ;)
 
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I got a suggestion from someone at work to make this more interesting. I should get the prices of everything new and doing nothing myself (like building the stand) and see just how much this would have cost.

Now THIS will be revealing! ;Wideyed
 
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So, if I went with new equipment:

TANK: 93 GAL CUBE 30x30x24 RIMLESS MARINELAND special order 368.99 (this is not reef ready to be fair because I took out the factory overflow as I don't like them)
STAND: VENTURA BLACK 30x30 special order 322.99
LIGHT: Euroquatics A150P $250 on clearance. ($499 when new)
SUMP: Eshopps 200 $269 (to be fair, I am not using the new version of this and it won't be used as a sump, but, it is being used in the system and would have cost this much to buy new)
Wavemaker: Jebao WP-40 $66.99

Total thus far: $1277.97 without tax or shipping!

BTW, I had extensive talks with Euroquatics about the light. After updating firmware and using a laptop instead of my piece of junk phone, the light works beautifully. I put it over my nano to see the coloration and blending and must say that I am impressed with it. I have no doubt it will power the cube if I decide to stay with it. I want to weigh out if it's exactly what I want or if I just want something more simple at this point and DIY a manually dimmable 4 channel LED setup like on the nano.


 

Katrina71

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I love this thread. I do most of our equipment 2nd hand...sometimes even 3rd hand. I'm looking forward to seeing your "up cycled" tank.
 
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dantimdad

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I love this thread. I do most of our equipment 2nd hand...sometimes even 3rd hand. I'm looking forward to seeing your "up cycled" tank.
Yes, I am no longer a cheapskate thanks to Katrina71, I am an "upcycler". Yeah, that's the ticket. ;)
 
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This is very interesting to watch play out! Also an inspiration to me to look for used equipment, I have a mindset that if its not new don't use it:(. ( that needs to change) Keep up the project and I hope you recover well. Best wishes for you and the missis.
One thing I will NEVER get used or even reuse once it's been out of water for more than a day or so are heaters. Way too many issues from them even when they are bought new to try it used.
 

Forsaken77

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I'm a cheapskate, I admit it. Sometimes I let my hobby get the best of me and spend more than I should though. I recently had a stroke and did a small build of an 18X18X11 cube while I was out of work that will become a display refugium for this tank.

Being set back from the health issues and associated costs, I wanted a bigger tank but lacked the funds necessary to do it just by whipping out the credit card. So, I kinda bet myself and my buddy that I could do something really nice on the cheap. (Also, my fiance' said all extra money had to go to the wedding so that might have had something to do with it.) ;)

So, you can following along as I sort through the issues associated with having a stroke, recovering, getting married, finishing the living room remodel and building this tank all at the same time.

(I think it just dawned on me what caused the stroke to begin with!)

As fate would have it, I was given a broken 93 cube:

View attachment 812894

View attachment 812897

I had to spend $53 on gas and lunch for my buddy and my son to go pick it up about 2 hours away.

I then removed the broken glass and cleaned it up:

View attachment 812898

View attachment 812899

Just about the time you THINK you are done cleaning silicone, repeat everything you just did. :)
I wish you were closer to NY. I am using that same 93 cube, but have been slowly gathering parts for my 180. Found out my $2,000 stand for it isn't frigin level and they won't refund it. So that's taking longer as well.

I would've given the 93 to you when I was done with it as a get well project. If you're using the stock stand, it sucks. You have to drop the sump in before you put the tank on and can never remove the sump or easily access it. I would HIGHLY recommend building a stand with all open sides and using magnetic panels.

You're supposed to be taking it easy after a stroke bud. Hoping everything works out for ya :).
 
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dantimdad

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I wish you were closer to NY. I am using that same 93 cube, but have been slowly gathering parts for my 180. Found out my $2,000 stand for it isn't frigin level and they won't refund it. So that's taking longer as well.

I would've given the 93 to you when I was done with it as a get well project. If you're using the stock stand, it sucks. You have to drop the sump in before you put the tank on and can never remove the sump or easily access it. I would HIGHLY recommend building a stand with all open sides and using magnetic panels.

You're supposed to be taking it easy after a stroke bud. Hoping everything works out for ya :).

Yes, I wouldn't trust any retail stand. And, with a cube this size, open sides are a must! I have a wood shop and have been building stands/canopies/furniture/speakers/aquariums for 30+ years.

I am taking easy. Well, for me anyway. My best friend, as soon as he found out about the stroke, said "Well, maybe now you will slow down to everyone else's level!" :D

I appreciate it. I wish I was there to build you a stand or fix the one you have. I'm sorry it happened.
 
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dantimdad

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Forsaken77,

PM sent. Hopefully, I can help.
 

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