A fabricators dream frag system!

MakerofThings

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Hello everyone! Time for a new build thread!

As some of you may have seen, in early 2020 I built a 10 gallon tank, with an 8 gallon frag tank and 12 gallon sump. Link here!

Well, pretty quickly what was intended to be a nice display, with a little room for frags to sit.... became a full work tank. I ended up having over 150 frags in there!

PXL_20201103_224706611.jpg PXL_20201113_161422823.jpg

So, as always I just HAVE to upgrade... right? Being a fabricator and having a depressingly large amount of time on my hands this year, I got to work planning a new system.

Thankfully having sold 20-30 frags in the last week, I've managed to convince the wife that she should let me use some of the walk in closet (space is at a premium in an apartment) to install a new system... Still can't believe she said yes!

So, here it is! The new frag system. This should do me well for the next year or two until things level out and we can begin house hunting.

Lowboy Fish Room v142.jpg


NOW before anyone asks, yes I am confident with putting that much weight there, we're on the second floor but this spot shares a wall with the concrete staircase outside, a bathtub next to it, and we've actually had about 600lb of junk sitting there for the last 2 years anyway. I've done the math and I feel safe. I wouldn't go any bigger, but this works.

So, obviously this is just a 3D render...

I am waiting on my LFS (hopefully this week) to start their annual tank sale so I can pickup a lowboy! The lowboy is going to make up the top section.

I've also order all the plumbing, and some special parts from my first and possibly only sponsor, SendCutSend!

SendCutSend are awesome, they're honestly my favorite company to work with. I use them a LOT in my day job (fabricator/design engineer) and my other hobbies including robot combat... So I reached out and they were thrilled to help support the build and help me introduce them to the reefing world. I really think there is a lot of space for them in this hobby!

SendCutSend basically allow you to draw something in a 2D or 3D program, upload a file of it to their site, select from a crazy range of materials, and then within HONESTLY a couple of days you'll have your parts at your door. I am always blown away by the quality and speed. Their team is awesome. Here is some other stuff I've used them for...

Some knives I had cut for gifts, and my 1lb combat robot "Entirely Harmless"

IMG_20200707_150703.jpg IMG_20200315_232048.jpg

Anyway, I will be using aluminum extrusion for the stand. This material is awesome and I am so glad its becoming more common in our hobby. I am going to be using
2020 series (20mm x 20mm) for this build to allow me as much size/space and weight savings as possible. Having worked with it before I am confident in the weight holding too.

Capture.JPG


But as you'll notice, I have added a series of brackets to each corner, these are being cut from stainless steel and should add massive strength and good durability in even a salty environment.

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I've also designed some special brackets to show off some of the things you can do with laser cut metal. These will be aluminum as they'll be wet a lot, and won't rust. A towel rack built right where I'll always want a towel, and then a handy little rack to hold tweezers, glue, and a cup for grabbing frags that need to be bagged. Coming soon will be some interesting ideas I have for making the bagging and shipping of coral way faster, easier and better!

Capture2.JPG


So, here we are... the start of a very cool build. I am excited to share it as it comes together! I'll rapid fire some key points below...

- Top is a 50 gallon lowboy with a corner overflow, super simple. This tank will be high light and high flow for SPS.
- Lowboy will drain into the approx. 25 gallon frag tank below which will be just for softies and LPS. Low light, low flow.
- YES I KNOW THE PLUMBING ISN'T PERFECT. This is purely a visualization. Lots more work to come.
- The sump is totally unknown at this point... I am playing with an idea for a chaeto tumbler, or maybe a bucket fuge... we'll see!
- ALL the equipment is up in the air right now too. This is still very much a side business, so I'll be saving money however I can.

Lastly I just want to explain that this project will go in stages, as I sell frags to fund it... I plan on drilling and plumbing the lowboy, but running it as an AIO for a couple of months, then I will buy the acrylic and build the middle tank and run that as a loop, and then finally I will add the sump and connect it all.

Stage 1: Lowboy AIO
Stage 2: Lowboy with frag loop
Stage 3: Full build with sump

Well, with that I have some work to do, and some Christmas ham to eat! Hope everyone is having a wonderful holidays and I look forward to sharing this build!
 
Budmans

Ef4life

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20mm seems pretty thin to me, but it’s probably strong enough. Other than that it looks like a solid design. I like the towel rack and cup rack too. Great ideas
 
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MakerofThings

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20mm seems pretty thin to me, but it’s probably strong enough. Other than that it looks like a solid design. I like the towel rack and cup rack too. Great ideas
Yeah, seemed thin to me too, but I have a table built with it and that thing is a rock. Plus, with it bolted and braced so many placed im not too worried. I also did a load sim and its well within reason.
 
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MakerofThings

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So, I've done some more work on the design. Going with about a 35 gallon sump that I'll build. Going to be having lids for the first time which will be nice! Going to try and add as many fancy features as I can to make the whole thing as easy to service and be as functional as possible.

Lowboy Fish Room v22-1.png


Also pretty set on a 7 gallon bucket as my refugium. I think I have the PERFECT fuge light, and then it'll be running off of its own pump.

Lowboy Fish Room v222.png

More details to come...
 
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MakerofThings

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SendCutSend parts have arrived!

Ordered on the night of Christmas eve, delivered on the 30th! awesome as always.

Love how well everything is packaged.
PXL_20201230_172649240.jpg

These stainless parts go on the front, I wanted something a little cooler looking on the front side, so I created these brackets. I went with stainless for all the bracketry as it may get a drip or two, but won't be exposed to salt full time, and I can use the extra strength the steel provides here.
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The rest of the brackets are this simpler form, it allows me to modify them in the future if needed, but its also cheaper to have cut as its a simpler shapes and there are a lot of them, so this is ideal.

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The first of the tool holders came out great too!! This one will be at the top and used the most, I expect it to come into contact with water a lot, so I've had it cut in 6061 aluminum. Aluminum may corrode over time, but won't rust, so it works perfectly in this application.

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Here it is with the tools I use the most, and the best part about using SendCutSend is that if I want or need to change it in the future, its only going to cost a few bucks to have an entirely new rack made!

PXL_20201230_173143990.jpg

Now I'm just waiting on everything else to show up. Planning on drilling the lowboy today, and the parts for the stand should all arrive early next week! Can't wait to have stage 1 up and running.

Here is a final look at the final, 99% complete model of the final stage.

Desktop Screenshot 2020.12.30 - 01.42.10.30.png
 
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Max_nano

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This is so cool! I like the renderings. I have my tank on aluminum extrusion too. It was built for a 90 gal cube so it’s 3”x1.5” and 1.5”square extrusion. You’re giving me bad ideas with that website, I kinda want to use aluminum or the composite ACA stuff for a cover for the stand.

Since I see you have the anodized tweezers, I’d recommend the new tweezers that are being made from carbon fiber now, they’re great. I got some generic ones from a local Reefer that look like the max spect ones. They’re surprisingly strong and you don’t have to bother wiping them dry after each use
 
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MakerofThings

MakerofThings

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This is so cool! I like the renderings. I have my tank on aluminum extrusion too. It was built for a 90 gal cube so it’s 3”x1.5” and 1.5”square extrusion. You’re giving me bad ideas with that website, I kinda want to use aluminum or the composite ACA stuff for a cover for the stand.

Since I see you have the anodized tweezers, I’d recommend the new tweezers that are being made from carbon fiber now, they’re great. I got some generic ones from a local Reefer that look like the max spect ones. They’re surprisingly strong and you don’t have to bother wiping them dry after each use
Thanks!

Yeah, I plan on getting some carbon ones soon, actually! I was even planning my own design with carbon cut from SendCutSend...
 
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MakerofThings

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Well... Started off the new year pretty badly.

Major RTN event in my frag tank... I think with lack of focus over the holidays and planning this new system, I had an ALK swing AND nutrient swing, and boom. Overnight I lost 20+ acro frags.

Oh well... trying not to get too upset, move on, and focus on what I have.

In more positive news, I made a nice little control board for my new mixing station using a (what was) broken old mighty jet pump. Now I have direct power control.

PXL_20210102_015206660 (1).jpg


Well, now we just wait for the stand parts to arrive and we can get the coral moved over to the new system and better taken care of.
 
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MakerofThings

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I had a crazy, stressful, everything can go wrong will go wrong sort of week...

But starting off the weekend right!

Stand parts arrived, ended up with some last minute strengthening changes, super solid and still very open.

Stage one is starting today!...

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Jcr's Reef

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Looking awesome. Just an idea, you could also incorporate the stands corner brackets into wall mounts, or have angle brackets that are adjustable and slide within the "T" slot to line up with wall studs incase you move the tank later on. Either way super clean look!
 
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MakerofThings

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Looking awesome. Just an idea, you could also incorporate the stands corner brackets into wall mounts, or have angle brackets that are adjustable and slide within the "T" slot to line up with wall studs incase you move the tank later on. Either way super clean look!
Way ahead of you! Used some wall brackets I had laying around to brace the whole thing against the wall.
 
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MakerofThings

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Quick update.

Hopefully I'll have some time for a detailed update this weekend. Unfortunately we've had a crappy start to the year and my focus at the moment is filling orders (massive thank you to anyone who has ordered anything from me!)

Tank is officially in stage one.
Hospital tank had to be setup for my rainbow trachy... Really upset on that one, I don't think it'll make it at all. Randomly developed brown jelly during the move over, but thankfully it was the only one.

PXL_20210113_192654568.jpg

Whipped up a little mixing station with some left over aluminum from another job and some random parts I had in the parts bin.

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And I've begun testing the bucket fuge. Should be awesome... Maybe a future product?

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As I said, more to come, just not much time to work on the system let alone document it!
 
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MakerofThings

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Well, finally had a few hours to tidy up and get some stuff done!

The tiny fish room is coming along nicely. Have a little test kit table and paper towel rack. So handy having everything right there.

PXL_20210117_232728155.jpg

Picked up some much needed clean up crew including this adorably tiny Tomini tang. He'll be the only fish in here. I honestly think he'll be very happy for a long time, and if he's ever too big I know a nice 500 gallon tank he'd be welcome in.

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Really frustrated about the RTN event I had just before setting up this tank, looks like I need to restock soon... Doesn't help that this tank is so much bigger that it now looks empty!

But boy, it looks good.
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Over the next week I hope to continue the little things and hopefully see some growth!
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