DIY Family Money Pit

Fungusamongus

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Hello R2R,
I have always wanted a saltwater tank. Haveing freshwater tanks all my life, I am finally able to set up a saltwater tank. However, I still have to be budget conscious as my wife is in school and our 2 year old is, well, a 2 year old.

Haveing read articles on here for the last several months I started acquiring the materials for a budget build (Yes another cheapskate). I thought it would be best to start my first saltwater tank this way having seen many people leave the hobby just in the last couple of months. Although I plan to keep my tank, unforseeable incidents may occur and 75 galllons is enough water to clean up.

My plan so far is an LPS dominant mixed reef, with 75g display tank and 40g sump.

Having looked at the premade sumps I went with the Fiji cube baffle kits and a 40g breeder. I can change my sump configuration if needed and it gives me everything I (believe) needed. I am just hoping the baffles stay in place after being submerged in saltwater for an extended period of time. I actually already built the sump. Thanks all for reading. Will post more as the build continues.



Gluing my first acrylic piece. Much easier and more effective than I thought it would be.

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Finished product. I had a bunch more photos during the build process, but it appears my son did not like them and had my phone.

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Fungusamongus

Fungusamongus

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Started my stand as well. Just going with a nice pine stand able to hold the DT and Sump. It is going to be a somewhat peninsula build, with the overflow and return on the sides of the tank.
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Nice and level. Hoping it stays that way.
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bigbugoutfitters

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Good luck! Ive got a 15 month old myself and she loves the tank. What lights are you running? I started with some used primes but just made the switch to noopsyche and couldnt be happier.
 
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Fungusamongus

Fungusamongus

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Thank you. I actually purchased my 2 x Noopsyches 2 months ago when they had a sale. Keep seeing good reviews and experiences. Good luck to you as well. 15 months old, just starting to get into everything?

That is going to be the most difficult part. Making the stand accessible and yet keep my 2 year old out of the sump and supplies.
 

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Yea, she loves getting into things. But she is also loving the tank, especially my wofes nano and her acooter blenny. Before my seam failure she really liked my snowflake eel too.
As for keeping her away from the tank… we have it in our office. My wife is a gunsmith and i tie all my on flies for work. So that room has guns and lots of hooks… so she just isn’t allowed in there. We call it the forbidden realm.
 

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Fungusamongus

Fungusamongus

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Nice. Dont blame you there. I cannot wait to get mine up and running. My son loves fish.
 
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Fungusamongus

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Yes, i was going to add a lip and use imbedded neodymium magnets. Found some great strong magnets for cheap. I will probably add another lock on top of that. Thinking of making the back panel clear plexi so he cam look into the refugium.

Your daughter is cute, good picture. Love the enthusiasm. That is exactly what i want for my son.
 
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Fungusamongus

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Finishing up the stand frame. Staining and coating with Poly next. Slow and low, but i want it to look good.
 

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Fungusamongus

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You might want to add bracing in the corners as it appears that the weight will be on nails/screws vs load bearing uprights. Rocket engineer stands - google this and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
Thank you. Looking into it.
 
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Fungusamongus

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Found 120 lbs of old Fiji live rock that belonged to a local reefer that quit. Said he purchased it in the 70s or 80s. He broke down his tank akd has been sitting on this for 5 years. He had it in a shed so i washed it up and am going to soak in rodi for a month with water changes. Then will probably soak in rodi saltwater. It will Give me enough time to finish the epoxy coating on the stand.

Thanks to @ronnie for the advice on the stand. I added the additional supports for each leg.
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Fungusamongus

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Well, the stand is done. Not great photo but i am trying to get the plumbing done so i can get it up and running.
 

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Fungusamongus

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Been a bit. Yes, I have my sump and 75 gal up and running. I need some new photos, but here are a few. I havent taken any in a bit. Currently battling some cyano, but need to get some of my fish.
 

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Fungusamongus

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Finally, some updated photos after a cyano bloom being controlled. Unfortunately, I lost my Pintail wrasse to my algae scraper. He got stuck between it and the glass wall. His pectoral fin was lodged in the felt material. I was super mad at myself for leaving it in the tank near the bottom. I ound him dead the next morning after looking for hours.
 

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Caring for your picky eaters: What do you feed your finicky fish?

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  • Masstick (or comparable)

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  • Other

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