Budget minded 210 build.

coralbeauties

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I thought that I would share my budget minded 210 gallon tank build. I have been in this hobby for over 30 years. Started with a single 30 gallon saltwater tank which let to a second tank then in 1989 I bought my first 120 gallon reef tank. Back then sps was unheard of and the top of the line corals were torches, frogspawn, hammers all lit with vho lighting. Fast forward to today and I have a 180 gallon sps tank. My current tank is an oceanic 180, its been a great tank but I have always hated the huge overflows and crazy large center cross braces. Ive been wanting a new tank and cruised craigs list for ever looking for something. I finally found a tank from customaquariums.com They had a discounted group of tanks. My tank was a custom built tank for a customer that canceled the order before it was finished. BUT it came with issues that I have to work my way around. First issues was the bottom was drilled. I want to use a synergy shadow overflow. Second issue is they never finished the tank build and it didnt have a top and bottom frame. The big attraction for me with the tank is it 6in deeper front to back and it is starfire glass. I know you guys are thinking I am crazy but I was able to buy the tank for $700 plus shipping.
I will be merging my current 180 tank with the new 210. Rebuilding my tank hood, using my same lighting, using my current filter system. Most everything I do is diy or if I buy is used. Thus my budget minded build. I am guessing it will be about a 2 month project and I will update as things progress.
thanks for looking
Jeff
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coralbeauties

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I decided that rather then modify my current stand to fit the new tank and having concerns if the old stand will be strong enough for the added weight I am building a new stand. I used (11) 2x4's,(5) 1x4's and 2 sheets of plywood. There is a diy build thread on reef central that I got my basic ideas from. I built it so that I can use the doors off my old stand. I plan on spray painting it an antique white and trying my hand at rubbing on brown glaze for highlights. I also increased the height of the stand to 32in. My old stand is 28in and is awkward to view the tank without bending over some. I may regret not going taller then 32in but didnt want to have to get a step stool to work inside the tank.
Jeff
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coralbeauties

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Ive been making alittle bit of progress on the new tank. I had pieces of glass cut to patch over the holes that were drilled into the bottom of the tank and got them installed. I also decided to install a small euro style bracing along with the aluminum top and bottom frame. Here are some pics of the glass work.

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coralbeauties

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I was able to cut the 1 1/2in aluminum angle with 45 angles and my boss is a very good tig welder. I had them all fitted and welded up. I ground down all the exposed welds and it all looks seamless. I will be taking the frames to be powder coated tomorrow. I'm going to be a little different and have them painted a chocolate brown. I did my hood and stand in an antique white with brown glazing so the brown frame will go well with it.
Jeff

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coralbeauties

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During all the work my led power supply decided to crap out on me and leave my tank in the dark. I was able to borrow a couple black box leds for the main tank. I used the down time to switch over my current lighting from my old hood to the new one that I built. My lighting is diy leds that I built years ago. There are 3 heat sinks with 6 smaller sinks attached with a total of 204 three watt cree leds. Along with these I have two 80 watt t-5 bulbs to supplement the leds. My highest par coral is my wwc blueberry which was under 700 par.
Jeff

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I actually didnt do a write up on the lights. They have been a work in progress over the years. currently I have 3 main sinks with 48 leds on each sink. I had this setup for several years and when I bought a used setup that was a mess I incorporated it into my system. My system is now controlled by an ardurino controller and ldd drivers. With this control system I am pretty much able to customize my lighting schedule by controlling the intensity of each color and can ramp up and down for dawn and dusk. I also wanted to add more leds and didnt have room on my heat sinks so I added 2 smaller sinks to the side of each large sinks. So this took the system up to 204 three watt cree leds. I was getting alot of shadowing so I added two 80 watt t-5 bulbs to help fill out the shadows. It is a very strong and functional system but all the wiring is pretty ugly and can be a mess so I have to hide it inside a hood. If you have any questions just let me know.
Jeff

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Finished up the stand yesterday. I assumed it would fit through my basement door but I ended up having to remove the trim from the stand to get it through the door and downstairs. Called myself a few names over that one. I painted with antique white with chocolate brown glaze. My stand that I had for my 180 was a dark cherry and I think this stand being antique white the new tank will look brighter.
Jeff

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Muttley000

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This looks great Jeff! I used to do a lot of running around the Yellow Springs and Clifton Gorge areas about the time you were setting your first tank up! I don't have time to visit WORC anymore so I'm glad I found this thread here and look forward to your updates!
 
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This looks great Jeff! I used to do a lot of running around the Yellow Springs and Clifton Gorge areas about the time you were setting your first tank up! I don't have time to visit WORC anymore so I'm glad I found this thread here and look forward to your updates!
Boy I am surprised you still remember my first build. WORC is now Ohio reef and most of the faces are different, seems people change every several years except for us old guys.
Great finish on the stand! Looks really sharp.
Good luck on the build...looks like it's gonna be a nice one!
thanks for the compliment. Stands color looks better in brighter light.
Jeff
 
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Drilled the tank this past week for the synergy shadow overflow. I thought that i would be about crapping my drawers with nerves drilling but I was quite confident drilling it. I drilled real slow with not much pressure and used alot of water. The shadow overflow comes with a nice drilling template that we taped to the glass and it held the water almost in a puddle right in place where the hole was. Had just alittle bit of chipping around where we started the first hole but nothing that will cause any harm or leakage.
Jeff

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Nice! I was really nervous the first time I drilled a tank, now I rather enjoy it! What's next?
The upper and lower frames are at the powder coaters. They are suspose to be coated tomorrow. I asked to have it coated a chocolate brown but I am now wondering if it wont look right with the black silicone used with the tank. As soon as I get them back and get them silicon ed in place the tank is ready for it's trip home and down to the basement. Not looking forward to lugging it down the stairs but I have suction cups that will help out a lot.
Jeff
 
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It been awhile since I added anything to this so I thought I would update from where I left off.
I changed my mine and went with black powder coat for my upper and lower frames. The frames worked out real well and fit the tank almost perfectly.
I got lucky and the guy that bought my old 180 gallon tank came with a crew to haul that tank out of the basement so I was able to enlist his crew to haul the new tank down into the basement.
Jeff

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I am lucky enough to have a sump room behind the tank so all my wiring and plumbing are run through the wall behind the tank into that room. I plumbed up the returns and the synergy overflow. The sump room can get to be a mess of wiring and hoses but luckily the display tank area is able to be kept fairly clean.
Jeff

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Speaking of your latest coral purchase...

  • It was a GREAT deal

    Votes: 113 36.6%
  • It was a good deal

    Votes: 100 32.4%
  • It was nether good nor bad

    Votes: 72 23.3%
  • It was a bad deal

    Votes: 19 6.1%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 5 1.6%
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