Gabe's Great 40B Build

gabrieltackitt

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UPDATED: June 16, 2020

494E9083-C37B-4A98-990A-A6B052BB2650.jpeg


Build Start: March 21, 2020
Tank Wet: April 17, 2020

BUILD TIME: 2 months, 4 weeks
WET TIME: 1 month, 4 weeks



TABLE OF CONTENTS:

The Beginning:

2: START OF IT ALL
3: Week 1
4: Week 2
5: Overflow Plumbing
13: Return Plumbing
15: Leak Check #1
17: Planning a mobile RODI/SW station
18: Week 3
24: So I got a box of rocks..
26: Aquascapes Pt. 2
31: The Return of the Return (Plumbing)
41: Final Aquascape?
55: I've fallen a bit behind.
56: It's ALIVE..

Phase 1: Cycling
70: First Residents
71: The First Mistake..
76: Big Update Time
77: Testing Methodology
78: Another update

Other Threads about this build:
Thoughts on Drilled Returns vs Over the Rim Return Pipes

QT Filtration Discussion

Discussion on Aquascape

Skinning a Metal Petco Stand

Hammer losing its tentacles

Nano Reef Build I'm working on:
The MIL Build
 
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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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gabrieltackitt

gabrieltackitt

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THE START OF IT ALL

Never go into your LFS without a plan, Otherwise you start a build 3 months earlier than you were planning. Yikes. Oh well, I had a goal of what I wanted to accomplish with my first tank, and lots of ideas about how I wanted to get there.

I went to a LFS in my area to see if they had any pH buffer for a freshwater aquarium I keep for my fiancé, the only problem was that they were having a sale and I had just received the biggest paycheck I had ever gotten. My plan was to purchase a 29 and stand from Petco that week on the dollar per gallon sale and that would be all that I got with that paycheck. But instead I ended up buying an Eshopps Overflow and Simplicity Aquatics Return pump, the lifeblood of any large saltwater system. So I head over to Petco to purchase the tank that I had already had my eye on, and they have the tank, but no stand. They do however have a metal stand for a 40 Breeder on sale. It was a floor model and had gotten some scratches on the front and sides, but that wasn't the tank that I had planned to purchase. But it wasn't too much longer than the 29 I already had in my cart.. And the 40 Breeder is also 1/2 off during the DPG sale, and I had planned on doing a 15 sump for the 29.. Long story short I ended up with a 40 Breeder, metal stand, and 29 to build a sump out of for less than $150.
 
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gabrieltackitt

gabrieltackitt

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Week 1:
3.22 Sunday: Moved everything into my apartment
3.23 Monday: Began planning how to rearrange my furniture
3.24 Tuesday: Did Nothing
3.25 Wednesday: Drilled tank for overflow,
3.26 Thursday: PLUMBING RUN
3.27 Friday: Started planning out my plumbing for my sump.
3.28 Saturday: Got tank placed and dry fit the beginning of my plumbing
 
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gabrieltackitt

gabrieltackitt

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Week 2:
3.29 Sunday: Nothing, Day out.
3.30 Monday: Finished plumbing plan and begin dry fit and glueing
3.31 Tuesday: Nothing
4.01 Wednesday: Leak Test
4.02 Thursday: Tonight I painted the back and sides of my 5 gallon QT tank. I also began final cleanup on my sump and stand for final assembly in the coming days. I am going to be drilling my DT for the return soon so I will not start cleaning it quite yet. Hopefully I will be buying some rock and getting everything wet soon.
4.03 Friday: Continued to clean everything to get ready to actually start this thing, bought 50lb of dry rock, and the parts to drill and plumb my return into the tank with Loc-Line. Hopefully this completely eliminates anything going over/being on the rim of the tank.
4.04 Saturday: Cleaned my apartment. The process of designing and building a tank can become a mess very quickly.
 
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gabrieltackitt

gabrieltackitt

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The Plumbing Plan (Overflow side):

040120 Overflow Plumbing.jpg

Here is my finalized plan to plumb the overflow side of my tank.

Overflow is plumbed in the Herbie style, with the left being the full syphon tube, and the right being the emergency drain. I made sure to use plenty of unions to ease cleaning for later. The syphon tube exits about 1.5 inches below the water level, while the emergency tube exits almost 2 inches above the water line. I splurged and got the nice gate valve and it is really smooth and easy to adjust, so we'll see during leak check and once I actually get this baby wet. I used 1 inch plumbing for the whole thing and only used 45 degree angles to help aid to pull the full syphon.

Tomorrow when I get some sleep, I'll do the write up on my return side, and the leak check.
 
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lpsouth1978

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looks like a solid start so far. It is almost exactly how my 40b was set up. I do have a couple of recommendations though. First, I would swap the placement of the main and secondary drains, and turn the valve toward the outside of the tank. This will make it MUCH easier to adjust once the tank is full and against a wall.

Second, you mention that you have the secondary about 2" above the waterline. While this will work, there will be noise created by this. The Eclipse M is a Herbie style overflow, so there is a trickle of water going down the secondary drain. I would extend the secondary so that it empties right at, or just under the waterline.
 
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gabrieltackitt

gabrieltackitt

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The Eclipse M is a Herbie style overflow, so there is a trickle of water going down the secondary drain. I would extend the secondary so that it empties right at, or just under the waterline.

I thought that a Herbie was a full syphon with no water going down the secondary so that it was a true emergency drain? wouldn't the trickle defeat that safety and introduce the possibility of something clogging both drains?

Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought that was why the bean animal was so popular with people is that it did have the secondary drain to accommodate the variation in water flow?
 

lpsouth1978

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The herbie style doesn't have a true emergency drain. The water level is set so that just a tiny trickle of water goes down the secondary. The chances of both drains getting blocked is astronomically low, especially if you don't put a strainer on the primary. After using both a herbie and a Bean Animal, I can say that the biggest advantage to a bean animal is the silence!. The herbie is very quiet, but there can still be some noise created (at least mine did), but my bean animal is so quiet that it can be difficult to tell if the pump is even running without looking at the sump.
 
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gabrieltackitt

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Ahh, I see. I will be sure to do that then. As far as swapping them, the valve that I got was quite a bit taller than what its specs were, I originally had them the other way around but the valve sticks out the side too much and I would rather the hassle of dialing it in every once in a while vs seeing the red handle all the time.
 
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The Plumbing Plan (Return Side):

040220 Return Plumbing.jpg


This is (almost) the final plan for my return plumbing.

I picked up a Simplicity Aquatics 1000DC at my LFS, it was super cheap and has worked great in all of my tests. It was only $89 so I plan on going to pick up a spare as soon as they reopen(dang Coronavirus). Its a DC pump so I'll control the flow that way, I already plan on changing the ball valve out for a nicer ball or possibly a gate valve from BRS like the one on my overflow. I used braided flexible tubing for the added strength, however it was very difficult to shape and would probably go with the non braided next time. I did end up using my hairdryer to heat it a little and bend it around to fit into my sump better.

Everything works great but I am changing out the PVC over the top for a drilled return. I will be drilling a hole for a 3/4" bulkhead and using loc-line Y'ed with two flare tips to help provide some flow behind my rocks (hopefully I'll be able to pick those up soon). I just think that I will be much happier with the look of the drilled return, and I plan to hopefully not have anything attached to the rim at all to keep this as clean as possible.

You can see the debate of drilled return vs over the top HERE.
 

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gabrieltackitt

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IS SHE SEAWORTHY? (Leak Check Day)

040120 FTS.jpg


So I missed last nights update, so I figured I really shouldn't skip two nights in a row.

A few days ago I thought I was finally ready for a leak check. So I moved the stand, tank, and sump out onto my porch to fill it up and check it for leaks. It took a while for me to get it filled up, there are no accessible hoses on the outside of my complex and I didn't feel like buying one just for this one purpose. So instead I filled it up with buckets, which took FOREVER and a day. All I had was the 2.5 gallon bucket I use to change the water on my little 10 gallon freshwater tank. I planned to count the number of trips it took me but I lost count somewhere around 8? Needless to say it was a lot of walking back and forth to my sink. I did however put a spare 5 gallon tank in the sink and just let lit fill up continually and then pumped from that into my 2.5 bucket. It saved me quite a bit of time waiting for the bucket to fill up, but it still wasn't ideal.

From all of this I have decided I'm going to build a small cart with a few water containers for RODI and saltwater storage. I wish I had the room in my apartment to build a permanent one somewhere but I think a cart that I can roll out when I'm doing water changes will serve me and my tiny space better. I will probably have a thread just for that over in DIY but I will be sure to link it here and maybe do an abbreviated write up about it.

All in all, she didn't leak. I did have some drips however around the bulkhead for the overflow, but I think that was due to me not putting the rubber rings in the right places. I plan on doing another smaller leak check at some point after I drill the return in and get it all installed. But other than that I could fill her up now if I wanted to.

Also I ordered a 50lb box of MarcoRocks from @uniquecorals yesterday so that should get here soon and I will get to start the joyous process of aquascaping. Hopefully then it will start to feel like this build is actually coming together.
 
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gabrieltackitt

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RODI + SALTWATER MIXING STATION


I've decided the with the plans that I have for this and future tanks, and the abhorrent thought of having to go to the LFS every time I need water, that it would be in my best interest to build a mixing station. I don't have the space to do a huge station or anything crazy so I plan to build a small one on a cart.

My current plan is to basically do a miniature version of what seems to be the most common design. 2 tanks side by side with an external pump in between the two and plumbing to use the pump with both tanks. I plan to use either 15 or 20 gallon tanks so that I have plenty of saltwater for water changes and my QT process plans.

I'll post more of both later. Right now, time to watch the only show currently airing actually on air.
 
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Week 3:

4.05 Sunday: Got really busy with work, didn’t get much done other than obsess about how long it was taking to ship some things (stupid virus)

4.06 Monday: Drilled the hole for my return line. It was significantly faster and easier than the overflow drilling, I’ll be posting some thoughts on why sometime soon.

4.07 Tuesday: Rock got delivered!

4.08 Wednesday: actually had some time to unpack the rock and begin to play with the aquascape, hopefully I'll have some more time soon to really get into it and make something cool looking.

4.09 Thursday: Finished the return plumbing with the Loc-Line. Hopefully I'll be filling this bad boy up soon.

4.10 Friday: Cleaned the Display and Sump and started to do final preps for fill up time. Sealed the overflow in, attached all of the plumbing, got return pump into place.
I think the last few things to do before I fill her up are place some power heads, finish the aquascape, I think I’m almost there. I haven’t decided if I want to build the RODI/mixing station first or do that down the road as I figure out what is going to work best for me? I also need to build a cabinet to go around the metal stand and hide the sump and equipment. I definitely don’t plan on doing that until after I have everything running for a little while. Want to have all the kinks out before I start on that project.
 
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gabrieltackitt

gabrieltackitt

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Any reason you're using glass tanks instead of plastic tubs? Plastic would be much simpler to drill holes in.
I assume you are referring to the RODI setup I am planning?

I did mean plastic water storage containers, tanks was probably just a poor choice of words considering our hobby. :cool:
 

IS RTN/STN MORE COMMON THAN IT USED TO BE?

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