Finally going "big" - 120G

Discussion in 'Member Tanks' started by don_chuwish, Aug 26, 2015.

  1. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Yeah I'm leaning toward full replacement but just the idea of pulling apart my rockscape makes me sick. Just got some new coral over the weekend too. ugh.
     

  2. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Replacement tank is ordered. I was sorely tempted by various custom builders but just couldn't justify the cost - or the wait. I'll pick up my new 4x2x2 Aqueon this Friday evening. Black trim, black silicone. Then I'll immediately void the warranty by drilling it.
    My brain has been in overdrive planning out the tank swap. I've started making NSW and will have to get another Brute to bank as much as possible. Setting up 2 holding tanks for fish & coral, a tote or two for rock & sand that won't fit in the holding tanks, etc., etc. I'm going to frag & reduce coral - taking it to the LFS where I ordered my tank. Hopefully get some decent store credit. Some stuff is just overgrown anyway and space in the holding tanks will be limited.
    This gives me an opportunity to tweak my sump setup a little bit, plus just clean it and the equipment. Maybe shift the stand an inch or two.
    I'll get a lot done this weekend but not everything. Fish & coral probably won't move back in until the following weekend.
    Times like this make you appreciate the collection of unused equipment you have lying around. Tanks, HOB filters, power heads, heaters, etc. Still had to order some stuff to cover all the bases. Thank goodness for Amazon Prime.

    So what to do with the old tank? I think I'll take it apart & rebuild it. Maybe even cut the sides down shorter, use the extra glass for euro-bracing and make a 48x24x18 frag tank. Only problem is I have no place to set up such a large frag tank - or the desire to take on the extra effort involved. Who knows, maybe I'll find a buyer. It'll be fun to build anyway.
     
  3. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    From this:

    IMG_6684.JPG

    To this:

    IMG_6701.JPG

    And finally, to this:

    IMG_6702.JPG

    Everything that would fit went into two separate holding tanks. Only lost one little critter, a candy stripe pistol shrimp that I hurt trying to catch.
    Traded a lot of coral in at the LFS where I bought the replacement tank. $160 worth really helped. Love that LFS but wish it were a little more "Local" - 70 miles away.
    Got the sump and all equipment out for a good cleaning. Going to make some small changes in the sump that I'll post pics of later.

    New tank is basically prepped already. 12 hour leak test done, holes drilled & back painted, 1/4" HDPE panel in the bottom:

    IMG_6694.JPG IMG_6703.JPG

    And now as I stare at the stand I put so many hours into, I'm thinking I want to redo that too. This is a perfect opportunity to fix some shortcomings I've noticed over the past year. Mainly that it's too short. I think I'll add 3 or 4 inches and maybe put the doors on hinges. Complete rebuild though. oof!
     
  4. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    When I removed the old tank from the stand I noticed that a small gap, maybe 1/16" had opened between the bottom front of the tank and the stand surface. This tells me that when full, it had deflected down. That probably contributed to the brace failure.
    So the new stand has a major change: the unsupported front 'beam' is 2x6 doubled, glued & screwed. Previously it was a single 2x6, but then I had to cut 2" out of it. Reenforcing that with 2x4 wasn't enough. I did some calculations and the new & improved beam is at least 4x as strong as the original. Bottom is a 2x4 ladder with white Formica on top of 1/2" plywood. Sides & back also clad in 1/2" plywood, glued & screwed to the frame. Top is 3/4" plywood with the same white Formica. The 2x4 center support is getting joist hangers at each end.

    new_stand.jpg

    I'll post some progress photos this weekend.
     
  5. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    OK, some progress pics. Got it to the point today that I'm ready to paint. Just have to sand smooth some filler.

    A look at the new & improved structure:
    IMG_6725.JPG

    Prepping for Formica:
    IMG_6726.JPG

    Formica top & bottom:
    IMG_6728.JPG

    Caulking to keep the sump area water tight:
    IMG_6731.JPG

    Today I drilled a lot of holes with hole saws. Holes to match the original plumbing, holes for ventilation and holes for cables, ATO, etc.
    When I get a chance to paint, it'll be same as before, bright white inside, black outside. While I wait for putty to dry I should probably work on cleaning up the cable spaghetti I left when taking everything down.
     
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  6. renato120

    renato120 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Nice build!
     
  7. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thanks! Especially the 'rebuild' I suppose. Live & learn.
    Hope to get some primer on the new stand today.
     
  8. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Got the whole thing covered in primer. A little more prep tomorrow and I'll be able to finish up painting by the weekend hopefully.

    IMG_6736.JPG
     
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  9. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Paint job is coming along. Really makes me wish I had a spray booth. Would have gone MUCH faster. Yes, it's upside down:

    IMG_6745.JPG

    Should finally be done tomorrow. Only problem then is I don't have anyone handy to help move it! This thing is heavy.
     
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  10. Live Water

    Live Water Active Member

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    [​IMG]
    Come on man you know you could paint that thing in a dirt field with no wind on a quiet night and get it to look just as good if not better.
     
  11. Live Water

    Live Water Active Member

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    Aka hurry up! Lol
     
  12. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Not quite sure what you mean, or why the frag pic, but OK! Ignore the rough area around the base (which is at the top since it's upside down) - that'll be covered by some trim in the end. The rest is much smoother, promise!
     
  13. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Basically done, next is to move it and put the tank on it. Test fit the plumbing & check for leaks before putting it in the house.[​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  14. renato120

    renato120 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Good job! Looking nice!
     
  15. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thanks!
    Painting is all done and I've flipped it right side up - not easy to do alone. Mortised in the metal plates that the panel magnets stick to and test fit the panels - all good. So I think it's ready to come home from the shop finally. Just have to figure out who I can ask for muscle help.
     
  16. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Finally some progress worth mentioning. Got the stand out of the shop (different location than my house) and into my garage. Finished my sump mods and started putting the plumbing back together.
    Amazingly all my old plumbing fits perfectly. Despite very careful measuring & marking I was still nervous about it.
    Just before my wife & daughter helped lift it onto the stand:

    IMG_6825.JPG

    It fits!

    IMG_6827.JPG

    Inside, double 2 x 6 beam:

    IMG_6828.JPG

    IMG_6832.JPG

    Plumbing looking good:

    IMG_6834.JPG
     
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  17. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    The sump mods were just some ideas I had to improve functionality a little and add a chaeto bay. Can't really call it a refugium but it'll grow pods I suppose.
    When I got the sump baffle kit from @TaylorPilot he included a baffle for a refugium idea I wanted to play with. In the end there just wasn't enough space left to right in the 40B. But after experimenting with a basket in the return area I decided to split the return area in half, front to back, but still keep the water level equal. I wanted the partition to be removable for access to the return pump. So I took the extra panel and made some notches, put some tabs on the tank walls and:
    IMG_6836.JPG

    IMG_6837.JPG

    Pump fits in back of the partition, leaving me easy access to the front where the chaeto will be:

    IMG_6844.JPG

    fullsizeoutput_39a9.jpeg

    I also took some extra acrylic pieces that @TaylorPilot had included as bracing material and turned them into a splash/salt creep wall where the drains enter. Weldon 16 bonded them nicely to the trim plastic:

    IMG_6843.JPG

    Full view as it sits in the stand:

    IMG_6841.JPG

    So hopefully today I can get it full of water to test the plumbing!
     
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  18. TaylorPilot

    TaylorPilot Well-Known Member

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    Looking great!
     
  19. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Thanks!
    So far it's leak free on the plumbing test. Gonna leave it circulating a bit longer though. So nice having a little more head room in the stand.
     
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  20. don_chuwish

    don_chuwish Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    A long crawl under the house with a drill and I was able to put a hole up inside this wall. Some scrap PEX tubing as a conduit is in there now, and I'll be able to snake a 3/8" tube down it for the skimmer air line. I'll be curious to see how much difference it makes.
    Now that I've got that done, I think tomorrow I'll be putting the new stand & tank in the house where it belongs. Not sure how I'm going to tackle putting everything back in. I really liked doing the aquascape without any rush last time. Rocks first and then sand.

    IMG_6881.JPG
     
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