CL_'s 105 gallon Crystal Reef Aquatics build

CL_

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It's been a number of years since I've kept a tank thread online (previously big into planted tank forums), but here we are!

Tank - 105 gallon Crystal Reef Aquatics (36" L * 24" H * 30" D)
Stand - 80/20 aluminum (1515 and 1530 profiles)
Sump - TBD
Lights - May be doing a 4*39W T5/two AI Prime combo since I have those lights already

More to come!
 
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Peace River

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Thanks for bring us along on your tank build journey so that we can be part of the adventure! This will also be neat for you to look back in six months or a year and see how far your tank has come and how much it has matured. I'm interested in seeing how the 80/20 works for you and if you decide to skin the stand or leave it open.
 

rushbattle

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Why not CRA for the sump? I am having them make mine, they seem to do an excellent job.
 

wrasse man

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Crystal Reef Aquatics is right down the road from me. Julian makes some nice tanks and sumps.
 
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CL_

CL_

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Thanks for bring us along on your tank build journey so that we can be part of the adventure! This will also be neat for you to look back in six months or a year and see how far your tank has come and how much it has matured. I'm interested in seeing how the 80/20 works for you and if you decide to skin the stand or leave it open.
Right now I’m thinking I’ll be leaving it open - I’ll be using some angle brackets to hold it together, so I don’t think I’d be able to get the flush look I’m going for (the skin would have to go on the outside of the 80/20 and would push the sides of the stand out beyond the sides of the tank).

Why not CRA for the sump? I am having them make mine, they seem to do an excellent job.
Their sumps are certainly nice, but would push my budget a little more than I’d like. I’m considering trying my hand at some acrylic work, but then again, if I end up keeping the stand open, one of CRA’s stealth sumps would look pretty slick.

Crystal Reef Aquatics is right down the road from me. Julian makes some nice tanks and sumps.
I’ve been in contact with Mike for the past couple of weeks working through the details and his patience and responsiveness has made it a pleasant experience thus far!
 
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CL_

CL_

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I got the hardware for my stand today and of course I couldn’t resist test-fitting it together (note that I have not yet added the top cross-braces).

I haven’t decided yet if I should add the two center legs/supports I got to support the 36” span. Using the handy calculator here (https://8020.net/deflection-calculator), a 36” span of the 1530 profile I’m using will deflect 0.1” when a 1500lb force is evenly distributed over the bar. The tank will probably weigh around 1500lbs total when full, and there will be two bars, so I’m probably okay without the center supports... the extra rigidity wouldn’t hurt, but the open stand design would be more accessible (and attractive, in my eyes).

 
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wrasse man

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I got the hardware for my stand today and of course I couldn’t resist test-fitting it together (note that I have not yet added the top cross-braces).

I haven’t decided yet if I should add the two center legs/supports I got to support the 36” span. Using the handy calculator here (https://8020.net/deflection-calculator), a 36” span of the 1530 profile I’m using will deflect 0.1” when a 1500lb force is evenly distributed over the bar. The tank will probably weigh around 1500lbs total when full, and there will be two bars, so I’m probably okay without the center supports... the extra rigidity wouldn’t hurt, but the open stand design would be more accessible (and attractive, in my eyes).

With the profile 80/20 you are using you should have zero issues with strength. The center bracing would just prevent any twisting or rigidity issues. I am using 80/20 45 series which is 1.5x1.5" for my 75 gallon. Which I am considering upgrading to a 120 gallon in the near future, and I would have no issue with the added weight. That 80/20 honestly is some of the strongest stuff for tanks, throw in its corrosion resistance and it will last two life times. Your overall foot print is much wider than mine I see you having no issues. But having the extra bracing does let you sleep better at night. I do have one upper center brace and three lower to support the sump. I like the sump off the ground so if there is a spill, I can clean it and it won't sit on the floor.
 
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CL_

CL_

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With the profile 80/20 you are using you should have zero issues with strength. The center bracing would just prevent any twisting or rigidity issues. I am using 80/20 45 series which is 1.5x1.5" for my 75 gallon. Which I am considering upgrading to a 120 gallon in the near future, and I would have no issue with the added weight. That 80/20 honestly is some of the strongest stuff for tanks, throw in its corrosion resistance and it will last two life times. Your overall foot print is much wider than mine I see you having no issues. But having the extra bracing does let you sleep better at night. I do have one upper center brace and three lower to support the sump. I like the sump off the ground so if there is a spill, I can clean it and it won't sit on the floor.
Thanks for the feedback. The math also says I’ll be a-ok, so I’ll leave em out. Like you, I believe increased rigidity would be the biggest reason to add in the center supports. The top will be plywood, though (with a layer of foam), so I will be adding in the two cross-top supports.
 
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lookin good! are you going to color match the gussets? i have an open t slot stand and love it! i say keep it open!
I’ve considered it. Ultimately the silver ones came out to less than half the price (I ordered them through tnutz and they don’t have the black ones like 8020 does). I don’t think black spray paint would give the same finish that the powder coat has, and the silver/black together don’t look half bad.
 
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I’m still considering painting the silver parts of the T-slot and the gussets. Any recommendations for paint (or something else) that would most closely match the existing black powder-coat finish?



I’ll also need to decide on my sump/figure out plumbing at some point. Currently considering taking the 33 gallon tank I have sitting in my closet (24*18*18 inches) and adding some baffles, as that would save me a few hundred dollars over a pre-built sump.
 
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Diamond in the rough! Here’s a quick and dirty pic of the tank before they cleaned up the silicone seams
48DC9539-FE0C-422D-8A67-BD16B8A27DF3.png


Will likely end up ordering one of their stealth sumps while I’m at it
 

coseal

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looks like its moving along!

I’m still considering painting the silver parts of the T-slot and the gussets. Any recommendations for paint (or something else) that would most closely match the existing black powder-coat finish?
i would try a low gloss engine enamel something like . it will be a true black where as a satin finish black can have a slight brown sheen to it. dont have to amazon it. can get it at most auto/home centers..
 

DaneGer21

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Will they be applying black vinyl to the back panel? I had them do it to mine and I love it
 
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CL_

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looks like its moving along!


i would try a low gloss engine enamel something like . it will be a true black where as a satin finish black can have a slight brown sheen to it. dont have to amazon it. can get it at most auto/home centers..
Good idea... I’m actually back to thinking I’m going to leave them unpainted. I tried using a sharpie paint pen on the cut ends, which was a gloss finish and which I actually liked due to the contrast it provided with the flat black, but it did not adhere to the aluminum

So I was thinking about doing a gloss black but I have the stand assembled now and the black/silver kind of plays along with the black/white design of the stealth sump I’m ordering.

Will they be applying black vinyl to the back panel? I had them do it to mine and I love it
You got it! Through all the communication I’ve had with CRA being picky, they’ve been great. Time will tell if the tank quality is just as good but I have no reason to believe it wont be!
 
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@DaneGer21 I just realized that your tank is exactly two of my tanks back-to-back. I do love those dimensions. How are you liking the 36” front-to-back?
I LOVE it! To be able to center my aquascape and have tons of room in front and behind the scape is awesome. Tons of swimming room for fish!
 
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I LOVE it! To be able to center my aquascape and have tons of room in front and behind the scape is awesome. Tons of swimming room for fish!
I’ve had a lot of tanks in my time but this one will be the largest by double, so I’m definitely excited to give my fish some more room!

As for the lighting, I’ve had a 4*39W T5HO light since my planted tank days. I’ve got some ATI bulbs on order. What I’m currently thinking is that I’ll cut the fixture in half hotdog style, then put my two AI primes in the middle. This will give me more spread front to back as well as some slight controllability due to having the AIs.
795E3FB1-32DD-4600-B3DD-3D105FBF08B7.jpeg
 
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