dhof's 40 Breeder Tank Build

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
I got into the hobby about 10 months ago an built a pretty successful Fluval Tank setup. I wanted to graduate to a bigger tank, and decided on a 40G Breeder setup.

SUMP - I decided to do a DIY in a 29 gallon, which fits perfectly within the steel tank. That sump build is HERE.

Tank with Stand - Early.jpg
(above) - This is the 40B placed as a peninsula. I decided on the metal stand, and I'm very happy with the build quality of it. Eventually, I'm going to skin the metal stand with HDPE sheeting.

Return Hole.jpg
(above) - I had a LFS drill a hole centered for the Eshopps Eclipse-M overflow, and a return hole centered in one of the remaining sections of glass. The Eshopps overflow is nice quality, but I spent 2 full days trying to figure out how to set gaskets so that it didn't leak, and the only working solution was to buy more gaskets than it comes with. The water line is right at the bottom of the top trim of the tank, so I may cut a piece of acrylic and put it inside the internal weir to raise the water level in the future. I put a 1" strainer in the main siphon drain (not shown). The red emergency tube is a little short, so I may have to make a longer one. All in all, I'm not sure I could really recommend this overflow...

Light Fixture.jpg
(above) - I chose the Aquatic Life T5 hybrid, and I'm going to try to place my single AI Hydra 26 in there once I move the tank. I really think I'll have plenty of lighting with just 1 LED, but I may add a 2nd Hydra if needed. I was super proud of the work I did to move the Power cords both to one side of the ballast. So many people complain about the cords coming out of opposite ends on this fixture, but all it took was some minor disassembly of one of the ballasts and 2 cutouts with a dremel. It was such a trival task, its baffling to me that Aquatic Life doesn't just provide the 2 cutouts in the metal brackets in the first place.

Stand with Light.jpg
(above) - this is the stand with the Light hung. I decided to put some grated flooring from Menards under the sump. It sounds like with Carpet you really don't want a solid surface that can trap water underneath, so I think this was a good solution. I decided to mount some eggcrate on the underside of the stand so I can hang various things in the sump if I need to. With the 40B tank, there is a half inch or so of space above the metal bars where I can easily maneuver zip ties wherever I need to.

Tank with Light.jpg
(above) - This is the tank installed with the light over it.

Plumbing.jpg Plumbing 2.jpg Plumbing3.jpg
(above) - Some of the various plumbing and fittings I did for this tank. Unions and valves everywhere....
 

Retro Reefer

Slow and steady wins the race!
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
7,062
Reaction score
40,662
Location
Manassas Va
Nice looking breeder.. I’m working on getting one off the ground thats been cycled 3 weeks I’m just waiting for it to stabilize. Very similar to your build, same stand and lighting.. nice job with the plumbing and I like the egg crate under stand idea.
 

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
15,788
Reaction score
90,363
Location
New York
Looks like a great start. Judging from your Fluval nano (which I just checked out) you should do well.

 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Nice looking breeder.. I’m working on getting one off the ground thats been cycled 3 weeks I’m just waiting for it to stabilize. Very similar to your build, same stand and lighting.. nice job with the plumbing and I like the egg crate under stand idea.
Once the eggcrate is in its pretty hard to get new zip ties up and through. I have to use one of those mechanics grabber tools to get a new zip tie in. If I were doing it again I might pre-set some extra zip ties around the metal bars for future use. Just a tip.
 

Retro Reefer

Slow and steady wins the race!
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
7,062
Reaction score
40,662
Location
Manassas Va
Once the eggcrate is in its pretty hard to get new zip ties up and through. I have to use one of those mechanics grabber tools to get a new zip tie in. If I were doing it again I might pre-set some extra zip ties around the metal bars for future use. Just a tip.
Just bend zip tie into a U shape and you should be able to loop it right up and over the egg crate partitions
 

underwood

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
38
Reaction score
11
Location
Dallas
Nice looking setup. From your previous tank thread, it looks like your tank is mainly LPS / softies with a couple SPS. Are you looking to keep that mix in the future, or go more SPS heavy?

If going with more SPS, I'd consider using a "flat-ish" rock structure (med or low-med height in tank) to allow your LED to get decent spread without large areas of shading + cooking the corals placed in the upper 1/3rd. If I could go back in time to when I setup my 40G breeder, that is the main change I'd make.

For context, my tank has two separate "mounds" on each side with a third mini-mound in the center (but the center is mostly open). The left mound raises up slightly higher than the top 1/3rd of the tank. The center mini-mound doesn't get above the bottom 1/3rd. The right mound is slightly above the middle of the tank. I originally ran a Maxspect Razor R420R, so 3 led pucks spread out across the center of the tank.

In terms of general SPS happiness, my corals have been much happier in the center mini-mound (1st) or right mound (2nd) versus the left mound that is the highest of the three. They also have more usable space due to less shading - especially as colonies have grown out. I am now running a Maxspect Recurve 90 (same puck layout as the Razor, but now with adjustable LED side strips similar to where the T5s go in your fixture). The side LEDs helped with shading, to an extent, but I still wish I had gone with a flatter rock structure.

What other equipment are you planning to run?
 
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Nice looking setup. From your previous tank thread, it looks like your tank is mainly LPS / softies with a couple SPS. Are you looking to keep that mix in the future, or go more SPS heavy?

If going with more SPS, I'd consider using a "flat-ish" rock structure (med or low-med height in tank) to allow your LED to get decent spread without large areas of shading + cooking the corals placed in the upper 1/3rd. If I could go back in time to when I setup my 40G breeder, that is the main change I'd make.

For context, my tank has two separate "mounds" on each side with a third mini-mound in the center (but the center is mostly open). The left mound raises up slightly higher than the top 1/3rd of the tank. The center mini-mound doesn't get above the bottom 1/3rd. The right mound is slightly above the middle of the tank. I originally ran a Maxspect Razor R420R, so 3 led pucks spread out across the center of the tank.

In terms of general SPS happiness, my corals have been much happier in the center mini-mound (1st) or right mound (2nd) versus the left mound that is the highest of the three. They also have more usable space due to less shading - especially as colonies have grown out. I am now running a Maxspect Recurve 90 (same puck layout as the Razor, but now with adjustable LED side strips similar to where the T5s go in your fixture). The side LEDs helped with shading, to an extent, but I still wish I had gone with a flatter rock structure.

What other equipment are you planning to run?
I'm going to decommission the Fluval entirely and move everything over to this 40B. My Equipment is:
  1. Modules:
    1. Neptune Apex
    2. Neptune COR-15
    3. Neptune DOS/DDR
    4. Neptune ATK
    5. Neptune AFS
  2. Lighting
    1. AI Hydra 26 (will purchase a 2nd if needed, but I doubt it will be needed)
    2. Aquatic Life 36" hybrid T5/LED fixture
  3. Skimmer - Nyos
Very exciting that you mention the rockwork, as I'm in the process of putting rocks in various places and staring at them for a day or so. I would like to get more SPS in this build, and have been advised to keep things low (although I struggle as I naturally want to make rock higher than I should :) )
  1. My plan is to re-use the rocks from my Fluval in their current configuration into the left 1/2 of the 40B.
  2. For the other 1/2 of the tank, I have some Tonga Shelf that I think is pretty interesting: Here's a couple of pics
Right Side Rocks - Low.jpg
Above - The "Flat" tops of the tonga shelf makes a really nice flat surface about only 1/3 of the way up the tank.
-I may be able to prop these up another inch using small sections of rock as a base, which might get close to 1/2 of the way up.
-In real life, this looks way too low to me. (The eggcrate is just there while I was messing around, I do not have eggcrate underneath now)

Right Side Rocks - higher.jpg
Above - the "Flat tops of the tonga shelf are about 1/2 way up the tank with small ledges available on the large rock on the right at only 1/3 up the tank

I'd love your input on height design/layout of these rocks. I really like the higher one, but I bet most SPS folks would tell me to go with the lower one....
 
https://www.omegasea.net/

underwood

Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 29, 2015
Messages
38
Reaction score
11
Location
Dallas
Height-wise, both look good and I think you will be happy either way. For the 2nd pic (maybe I getting the wrong impression from the pic angle), the only thing I would caution is the right-side underlying rock structure seems very "vertical" (in that not much extends out past the upper shelf rock). If you have something growing out horizontally on top then it may render much of the space underneath less usable than you would prefer.

If you haven't already considered it, you might look into using 3/8" acrylic rods (cheap on Amazon) and epoxy to fine-tune your rock height and/or help reduce the need of underlying base/support rock. I used rods to elevate my rock off the floor to help keep detritus from collecting. To a lesser extent, you can also use one or more of those square frag plugs to elevate things from the bottom where needed.

You don't have to do it now but, as you add frags, you could mount the frags to small scraps of loose rock/rubble and then glue that rock to the shelf. It will give encrusting corals more service area to establish their base without fighting with neighboring frags.
 
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Height-wise, both look good and I think you will be happy either way. For the 2nd pic (maybe I getting the wrong impression from the pic angle), the only thing I would caution is the right-side underlying rock structure seems very "vertical" (in that not much extends out past the upper shelf rock). If you have something growing out horizontally on top then it may render much of the space underneath less usable than you would prefer.

If you haven't already considered it, you might look into using 3/8" acrylic rods (cheap on Amazon) and epoxy to fine-tune your rock height and/or help reduce the need of underlying base/support rock. I used rods to elevate my rock off the floor to help keep detritus from collecting. To a lesser extent, you can also use one or more of those square frag plugs to elevate things from the bottom where needed.

You don't have to do it now but, as you add frags, you could mount the frags to small scraps of loose rock/rubble and then glue that rock to the shelf. It will give encrusting corals more service area to establish their base without fighting with neighboring frags.
Very good advice, and much appreciated. I like the acrylic rod or frag plug ideas. Sounds like I'll be planning/staring at rocks for many more hours now. LOL
 
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Here's a quick update on the 40B build:

Fuge Light.jpg
(above) - I purchased a waterproof and fanless "Grow Light" from Amazon. I think this thing is intended for growing "other" things than Chaeto, but it's claimed spectrum output was in the right spots and it was way higher par than comparable Aquarium fuge lights and 1/2 the cost so I figured I'd try it. It is incredible the amount of light this thing outputs, so I think I'm pretty happy with it. The light spread is pretty wide so even though I have it mounted only about 4 inches off of the water in the fuge, the spread is so wide, I was having light output to parts of the sump I really didn't want light in. So I made a simple Fuge Light Skirt..

Fuge Light Skirt.jpg
(above) - Fuge Light skirt made of eggcrate and I purchased some HDPE sheeting from Menards for the left and the right side. This effectively keeps the light only to the refugium section of my sump, and also gives the Fuge Light an eggcrate lip to sit on. Since the Fuge light is fanless, it gets incredibly hot and I was more comfortable with it sitting on the eggcrate than on the top trim of my sump.

Sump.jpg
(above) - Here is the light in action in the refugium section with the skirt keeping the light bleeding out to the other sections (for the most part)

Apex Cabinet.jpg
(above) - I got all my controller stuff into a tiny cabinet somehow.

Starboard.jpg
(above) - I purchased some king starboard 1/4 inch to cover each side of the tank. This is really a great solution. I ordered it online cut to the exact dimensions already and I had the outer edge of the non-tank side routered with a beveled edge. This really looks professional and well done. My intent is to try some 2" magnetic strip tape to make it easy to mount and unmount off of the metal tank stand. Tape gets delivered today, so we shall see if that is a good solution. I can always fall back to rare earth magnets or velcro if I need to.

EndGraphic.jpg
(above) - For the end of the peninsula, I found a high resolution graphic of a maze coral macro. It was originally yellow, so I edited it in GIMP and changed it to a nice blue. I measured the space and ordered it printed on acrylic online and mounted it behind the cross in the metal stand by putting some magnets behind the acrylic to hold it in place. I'm in love with this addition, and it really looks nice in real-life.

Tank Shot.jpg
(above) - Heres a quick tank shot. The rockwork on the left is a direct "lift and move" from my Fluval 13.5. I like the left side rockwork, and will probably leave the left side as-is. The right side bottom rock is awesome and will probably stay where it is, but it has a large Tonga shelf resting on top of it that i eventually will try to create a bridge I think between the left and right side with that shelf. Once I get this thing more balanced from an alk/calcium perspective I will work on the rocks.

I've been shocked at how much more alk and calcium this tank needs, so I'm still trying to dial it in just right. Not sure why, but Alk demand is about 4 or 5 times higher per day than the fluval, and my calcium demand is about 3 or 4 times higher. Maybe the tonga rock still has some stuff degrading in it, or maybe the new substrate is getting settled in. Not sure the reason, but I hope to get it balanced in the next week because all this testing and adjusting is killing me....

Thanks,
 
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Well, the 2" magnetic tape rolls got delivered today, and they are super powerful. This is going to work nicely. I put the magnetic tape across the top, and both sides of the Starboard, and once it is placed onto on the metal stand, it holds firm. Very firm. If I need to adjust the starboard even a millimeter or two, I have to remove it and reseat it. Because the magnets are so strong I feel like I'd move the entire tank before I moved the starboard on the metal (probably not, but it sure feels like it). That being said, I'm pretty certain 1" magnetic tape would work just fine if anyone tries this same thing in the future based off of this post.

Starboard Magnetic Tape on top and sides.JPG
(above) - I put the 2" magnetic tape roll on the top and the sides of the starboard piece. I used a roller to really seat the glue that came pre-applied to the magnetic tape roll to the starboard. Time will tell, but I do think the glue will hold up.


Starboard installed with Magnets2.jpg
(above) - With the magnetic tape, the Starboard sits absolutely flush, and makes a very nice finish to an inexpensive metal tank stand. Especially with the routered edges.


Starboard installed with Magnets.jpg
(above) - Here's a full side view of the finish that is created with the Starboard held on with the 2" magnetic strip tape. I did put a bead of black silicone on between the bottom tank support and the metal stand. You can see the silicone in this picture because of the flash, but in real-life you really don't notice the silicone at all. I didn't want saltwater to get into the tiny gap and cause rust or something so the silicone worked nicely to fill the gap.

Thanks,
 
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Well, it's only been a few days, and while the magnetic strip is a perfect solution to hold the starboard in place, when I remove the starboard sides, the magnetic strips stay magnetically held to the metal instead of coming off with the starboard. Seems the glue that came on the back of the magnetic tape is not holding.

In researching, there's basically no regular/common adhesive that sticks to starboard (HDPE sheets). There are adhesives you can special order but you have to use a torch and heat treat the starboard to get the adhesive to hold. Not sure if I'm really in the market for that....

I'll have to contemplate if there is some sort of mechanical solution to keep the magnetic strips to the starboard. I'll hate to have holes through this as the look is so clean the way it is. I may see if staples will do the trick.
 

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
15,788
Reaction score
90,363
Location
New York
Well, it's only been a few days, and while the magnetic strip is a perfect solution to hold the starboard in place, when I remove the starboard sides, the magnetic strips stay magnetically held to the metal instead of coming off with the starboard. Seems the glue that came on the back of the magnetic tape is not holding.

In researching, there's basically no regular/common adhesive that sticks to starboard (HDPE sheets). There are adhesives you can special order but you have to use a torch and heat treat the starboard to get the adhesive to hold. Not sure if I'm really in the market for that....

I'll have to contemplate if there is some sort of mechanical solution to keep the magnetic strips to the starboard. I'll hate to have holes through this as the look is so clean the way it is. I may see if staples will do the trick.
Starboard is notorious for not adhering to anything. Staples seem like a good idea. Is there something metal you could screw into the board, but not all the way through, that would fasten to the magnets? Would one side of the magnet hold metal?
 

Retro Reefer

Slow and steady wins the race!
View Badges
Joined
Dec 15, 2015
Messages
7,062
Reaction score
40,662
Location
Manassas Va
Love the starboard panels!! If you can’t get the magnetic tape to work how about some cabinet door magnets that you could just screw onto the back side of panel.. I have the same stand for my 40b and may have to shamelessly steal this idea :D

9041DA72-CF24-4069-BE85-3D62EE0B7949.jpeg
 

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
15,788
Reaction score
90,363
Location
New York
Love the starboard panels!! If you can’t get the magnetic tape to work how about some cabinet door magnets that you could just screw onto the back side of panel.. I have the same stand for my 40b and may have to shamelessly steal this idea :D

9041DA72-CF24-4069-BE85-3D62EE0B7949.jpeg
Good idea. Perhaps instead of screwing the metal piece in, maybe use tacks or something with a barb (?) to affix them to the Starboard. Even heavy duty staples.

EDIT, actually, pointed screws might work well.

 
OP
dhof

dhof

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Nov 29, 2017
Messages
233
Reaction score
297
Location
Mishawaka, IN
Good idea. Perhaps instead of screwing the metal piece in, maybe use tacks or something with a barb (?) to affix them to the Starboard. Even heavy duty staples.

EDIT, actually, pointed screws might work well.
The cabinet door magnets might be a good solution, and I'll probably do that as a fallback option. I'm sure I could figure out a way to mount the metal strike plates onto the starboard with a wood screw that wouldn't come out the other side. I would worry about rust and whether I could reliably back out the screws and put them back in, whenever the time comes for replacement.

I like the magnetic tape a little better because it does hold the entire length of the starboard firm up against the metal. The 1/4" starboard has a very slight bow in it, and I think the magnetic tape is a better solution. I"ll pick up some stainless staples later this week and give that a try, and update the thread with the results. Thinking more about this overnight, I'm pretty confident the staples idea will work very well.

Thanks,
 

NY_Caveman

likes words, fish and arbitrary statistics
View Badges
Joined
Sep 8, 2017
Messages
15,788
Reaction score
90,363
Location
New York
The cabinet door magnets might be a good solution, and I'll probably do that as a fallback option. I'm sure I could figure out a way to mount the metal strike plates onto the starboard with a wood screw that wouldn't come out the other side. I would worry about rust and whether I could reliably back out the screws and put them back in, whenever the time comes for replacement.

I like the magnetic tape a little better because it does hold the entire length of the starboard firm up against the metal. The 1/4" starboard has a very slight bow in it, and I think the magnetic tape is a better solution. I"ll pick up some stainless staples later this week and give that a try, and update the thread with the results. Thinking more about this overnight, I'm pretty confident the staples idea will work very well.

Thanks,
Also, FWIW, to help any metal from rusting, I used clear nail polish on my hinges.
 
Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

Do you think a xenia refugium is an effective method of water filtration?

  • Yes

    Votes: 57 12.3%
  • No

    Votes: 70 15.1%
  • Maybe considering the set up

    Votes: 73 15.7%
  • Never considered it

    Votes: 260 56.0%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 0.9%

Online statistics

Members online
2,619
Guests online
5,866
Total visitors
8,485
Underwater Creations, Inc.
Top