Baz Design 5foot Reef Tank

Baz

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Hi R2R

Here goes on my tank journey...

Been busy with a new tank for the past two years or so. While I enjoyed some success in reefing with my very first reef tank, the second tank had some challenges and lots of headaches. Funny enough I am the kind of reefer that can keep sps no problem, but I struggle with the so called easier corals hence my failed attempt on my 2nd tank... Don't ask me why because I really can't answer that. My first two reef tanks where both Nano tanks, the first one being a cube and the second a slightly longer shallow reef attempt. I am not the kind of guy that gives up easily, so I decided to go bigger. When I had planted tanks I enjoyed my 5 foot tank the most, because of equipment choice options, stability and ease of fiddling in the tank. So it was only natural for my 3rd reef tank to also be a 5 foot.

This build took me around 6 months to plan and design. I am my own worst critic, so the design had to make sense to me and look just right before I could even begin building anything. I am happy with both the system's look and function, and I am especially proud to say I designed and built everything myself from scratch. The build has taken me about 20 months to get to this point and glad to say its close to getting wet.

Dimensions:
Tank 59 x 27 x 17
Sump 47 x 17 x 17

This tank will be sps dominant, bare bottom and have a good amount of flow. For light I bought a 2nd hand Giesemann 8x 54W Matrix T5 fixture. (I am a bit old school with lights) Flow wise in the tank I will be using 4x Jebao OW40 pumps. Return side is 2x DC3000 pumps each running a separate return into the tank. Skimmer is a H&H with a DC5000 pump upgrade. For control I will be using a Reef Angel for ATU, Timers, PH and Temp reading. I decided to go with a dry start this round so I could build the rocks the way I liked. For this I used Reef saver and some old dry reef rock from previous tanks that had been bleached.

I will upload different parts of the build as I get time. Will try to do it in the same sequence that I built the tank.
 
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Baz

Baz

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The stand was probably the one thing that had to be different for me. I wanted the frame to be visible, so I ended up building the cabinet into the frame, rather than around it. For that to look correct I had to use a beefy sized square tubing.
I also wanted a stand without a center support, so going for this size (3inch) square tubing worked out great. The leveling is sorted out via 6x 1.3inch bolts.
The raw stand
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And powder coated
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Then it was time to get some wood into the mix. The left hand side of the cabinet is where the control and power is situated.
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Next up was the sump.
 
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Baz

Baz

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I built the sump and leak tested it before I added anything else like filter socks, vinyl and acrylic. The sump is glass wrapped with vinyl, and the front is acrylic that was laser cut for the windows.
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Test fit in the stand to see where it was at before I added the finishing touches and filter socks.
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Test fit of the acrylic. Looks bland doesn't it...
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Here I spray painted a thin black border onto the acrylic just to round it off
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Then it was time to wrap the sides of the sump in white vinyl and the bottom in red
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And finally in position with my own design logo
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Next up was the tank build.... This is going to be fun
 
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Baz

Baz

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The tank was built with 12mm bright polished float glass, and the base of the tank was built using a solid 10mm panel with three separate 10mm panels on top of that. I wanted the base black, so I first used black silicone and rubbed it on the smaller panels. Then I set them onto the already applied silicone of the solid panel. I have some imperfections where the silicone was not thick enough, but the rocks are luckily covering that.
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Then it was time to build the tank
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For the overflow and return of the tank I wanted a skinny type overflow that also houses the return lines. I had the back panel and overflow panel machined so no drilling was needed. Being a solid overflow panel it was easy to get the whole back of the tank in solid black. The last bit was to add black laser cut acrylic panel with overflow combs already cut out.

Here you can see the overflow panel
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And here the panel was siliconed in place
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Next up was the overflow. I battled to find a shop that was able to laser cut this size overflow panel. I dreaded the thought of splitting it, and I almost gave up on it.... Then out of the blue I found someone with a laser bed big enough for the task. Here I test fit it before I could silicone it in place.
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And here it was siliconed in place
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Next on the list was plumbing...
 
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c.poindexter

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Welcome to R2R. Great looking build. I like that you built your sump. I have thought about doing that but never have.
 
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Baz

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For plumbing I decided to go the route where I can remove everything if need be. You never know what happens down the line..

I used tank fittings and unions to basically plumb everything in the sump to the union separately and the same for the back of the tank.
The shopping list was rather big for this to work... But I am glad I did it this way. The gate valves was the hardest to find in SA. We only do ball valves and I really don't like using them to fine tune a overflow.

All the fittings used on this build
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Here I drilled holes and test fitted the unions and fittings.
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The plumbing worked out a lot easier than I thought when it came to building all the joints, because I could remove all the parts and work on a table, then re attach on the tank once finished.

Here I test fitted all the pipes at the back. Note 3 different outlets for the overflow. the top left one is an emergency overflow because I didn't add any vacuum breaks to this setup. The white tape was used to keep the overflow panel in place while I siliconed everything.
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The sump area was a bit more stressful because of all the bends so I ended up removing and measuring multiple times. You will notice the valve handles on the return lines are blue. We also don't get the single union valves with red handles. So I changed them to red.
Return side
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Overflow side
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And a shot from the front
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The Filter sock holder was built using two acrylic sheets, each cut with a different diameter hole then glued together using acrylic gel. It is held up using two glass sheets siliconed in place, then finished off using black silicon.
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Next up dosing lines...
 
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Baz

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For the dosing lines I bought some acrylic tubes and red silicon hoses. I decided to change the color of the tubes to mach the plumbing.
This is what it looked like before the change
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The change
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Then it was time to install them.
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The hose on the left supplies the RO reservoir that in turn feeds the ATU system.

Here I installed a float switch. This switch is just in case I forget to manually close of the RO line to fill the reservoir. I prefer to manually fill this container in order to monitor the tds.
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And finally a picture of everything installed and all equipment in the sump. (The float switch was installed after this picture)
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Next up was lighting up the tank...
 
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Baz

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The light is a pre owned Giesemann Matrix 8x54w unit that needed some tlc. The tank theme is predominantly black and white, so I decided to change the color of the unit to suit.
Before
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After
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I decided to mount 4 separate mounts to the unit instead of the a single cable adjuster.This way is a bit more stable and easy to change the angle of the unit if needed.
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Then it was time to hang it and see if the effort was worth it...
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I am a big fan of ATI because of the active cooling. I used one on my fw 5 foot and I really wanted one for this tank. But at the end of the day this unit is brilliant and the build quality shines so I am really glad I snapped it up.

Next up was the control side of things...
 
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Baz

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So for the control and power side of the tank I had this space to work with.
IMG-20190629-WA0095.jpg


I really scratched my head to get a layout that would work. This section was easily the most work done on the tank. Getting wires all curled up and routed where you want them takes some skill that I surely did not possess before this attempt. I had to make up wires as I went along that would work with the Reef angel, as well as extend quite a few wires so everything could work on one side of the tank.

The first step was to get the color that I wanted. I used red vinyl for the background and the same paint that I used on the acrylic tubes for the sides
IMG-20190711-WA0061.jpeg


Then I started adding the power supplies, controllers and sockets
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I ended up with this
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The next step was to add the auto doser to this section so I built a simple shelf for it to sit on. Also covered this with vinyl to suit the rest
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And finally the doser sitting in its place
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And lastly the end result where it is currently. The only thing that is left here is to route the dosing lines up to the doser.
20190727_180722.jpg
 
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Baz

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Just a few pictures of the skimmer. I bought this H&H body without a silencer and pump. It was pretty beat up, so I had to give it much needed tlc... I first used 1000 grid sand paper then moved to 1200 before I started with the Novus. This product is really good. I think it turned out great.
Before
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After
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I ended up building my own silencer for it. For some reason no one wants to supply these separately in SA.

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And lastly the finished part
IMG-20190506-WA0086.jpeg


Here is the skimmer side by side before and after for comparison
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Baz

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Hey Bud, this is awesome. BTW where did you get those gate valves from, i had to order mine in from uk. i tried everywhere in SA. Also where did you get those brackets to hold the acrylic dosing tubes?
Thank you very much.

The gate valves where bought from one of the local shops in PE, the guys name is Leslie Hempel. These are the same as the valves used on Reef Octo skimmers if I'm not mistaken. Can PM you his detail if you don't know him. The brackets for the tubes, as well as the one holding up the manifold in the sump was 3D printed.
 
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Thank you very much.

The gate valves where bought from one of the local shops in PE, the guys name is Leslie Hempel. These are the same as the valves used on Reef Octo skimmers if I'm not mistaken. Can PM you his detail if you don't know him. The brackets for the tubes, as well as the one holding up the manifold in the sump was 3D printed.
Awesome Thanks, but i managed to get my gate valves from the UK. But where did you find the novus kit. I can only import it seems
 
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