HairyGary's Wrasslin Reef - 93 Rimless Cube

HairyGary

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First off, I want to thank everyone here on Reef2Reef for contributing on this forum. Reading threads and everyone's experience has been invaluable in maintaining my existing reef and planning this new adventure.

So here goes...

I have, like others, been in and out of reefing over the years due to work and family commitments. Well the time has come again (ok it came about 3 years ago) to get back into it. The last larger reef I had up was in 2010 or so that did not last long due to those work commitments. It was a bare bottom SPS 40 breeder with minimalist rock work.

40 breeder aquascape.jpg


Fast forward to about 3 years ago when one of my daughter's wanted a small tank so I bought her a Fluval Spec V and had fancy guppies. Well that turned into a nano mixed reef. So in the fall of 2016 I bought an Innovative Marine Fusion 20 and am now outgrowing with monti's and birdsnests growing off the glass. Everything has been trimmed back considerably.

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While I have greatly enjoyed the nano experience, I found it tough to maintain proper parameters at times and, honestly, I want more fish. I love corals but fish within a reef is where it is at for me. In fact I plan to stuff my next tank with fish and mostly wrasse.

So that leads to this build thread. My current 20 gallon is in a corner next to my bar in my finished basement so I thought it fitting (ok my better half wanted to keep it there for interior design purposes) to go with the biggest tank I could fit in the space. After looking at different aquarium builders etc, I ended up with a new Marineland 93 rimless cube. Well I bought it used from my awesome LFS here in MN (shout out to Jen, Doug and the crew at New Wave Aquaria), but ended up warrantied so I got new.

However, I really dislike the manufactured stands so I used my DIY skills and built a stand. I started with a 2x4 frame and Kreg jig. A little overkill probably but I can sleep at night now. The skin is 3/4 maple with crown moulding and 3/4' ply on the top. The top is removable for transport etc.

90 Tank 5.jpeg


The inside is painted with appliance epoxy and waterproof expandable caulk. I had to use my buddy's heated garage to finish as it gets a little cold for paint to dry outside here in Minny. I was directed to use cream based paint and to spray so I did that but it ended up a little too white.

90 Tank 6.jpeg


So I ended up with this gray tone for a stand color and love it!

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That leads to the doors. I wanted something a little different and to be recessed so I made my own out of maple 1x3 and 3/4" x 3/4" square dowels. Oh and I stained them.

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So now you ask, are you keeping them open? Nope, I picked up some glass and used mirrored spray paint but also antiqued them by flicking water and vinegar mix.

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The doors ended up like this.

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Now we are up to date. This weekend I plan to dry fit plumbing and finish working on electronics board. It will be affixed just inside the door on the right, just to the right of the sump.

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That's it for today. Oh and I am also building a water station in my utility room at the same time so double the plumbing fun.
 
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HairyGary

HairyGary

Why do all your fish look like trout?
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Today’s chore - plumbing. Since the tank runs a durso I decided to stay with it.

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But it took me forever to decide which hole to make as the drain. Since the sump hole was directly beneath one I decided to use it and have it drop straight into the sump. However the return has been the issue. I made a small manifold and plan to attach it to the cross brace sort of out of the way. Here’s the latest version. Any comments?



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Robin Haselden

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Looks like a great start! Cubes are the best tanks. I agree with your drain placement. I like a straight drop into the sump. One suggestion is using a gate valve on the drain instead of a ball valve. Making micro adjustments to balance your drain to the return is going to be a pain in the rear with that ball valve. Also, I'd put it in a different spot in the line, reaching behind that return pipe will annoy you later... like when it's full of water and you can't make a quick change.
 
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HairyGary

HairyGary

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Looks like a great start! Cubes are the best tanks. I agree with your drain placement. I like a straight drop into the sump. One suggestion is using a gate valve on the drain instead of a ball valve. Making micro adjustments to balance your drain to the return is going to be a pain in the rear with that ball valve. Also, I'd put it in a different spot in the line, reaching behind that return pipe will annoy you later... like when it's full of water and you can't make a quick change.
Thanks alot. The ball valve is not as close to the return as it looks and will consider the gate valve. however, I am using a large DC variable return pump so can play with the power as needed.
 
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HairyGary

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So the tank will be sitting in a corner. Do I or don’t I paint the back two sides black? Maybe one wire showing from Vortech on one side.
 
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jp_75

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Great looking so far! Going to check this thread.
 

Jerry Ebner

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I like your stand. I have a similar tank but its smaller down to 60 gallons
I purchased the tank and stand but I think DIY might be better in the long run.
Here is a slightly frustrated me trying to figure out how I want to proceed, But I do like your stand build for sure.
 
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HairyGary

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I like your stand. I have a similar tank but its smaller down to 60 gallons
I purchased the tank and stand but I think DIY might be better in the long run.
Here is a slightly frustrated me trying to figure out how I want to proceed, But I do like your stand build for sure.
Thanks. Yeah I was not a fan of the shorter stand so decided to venture off on my own. I really like the finished product.
 

Pntbll687

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So the tank will be sitting in a corner. Do I or don’t I paint the back two sides black? Maybe one wire showing from Vortech on one side.
I went with shiny construction paper. It works fine.

BUT there was someone on here who used some small magnets and a sheet of black plastic.

If you go without painting or cover, it'll take about a year for Coraline algae to cover the walls.
 
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HairyGary

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I went with shiny construction paper. It works fine.

BUT there was someone on here who used some small magnets and a sheet of black plastic.

If you go without painting or cover, it'll take about a year for Coraline algae to cover the walls.
Thanks! Yeah thought about both of those options but decided to keep is uncovered at least from paint. I can always cover with those options after the fact in case I do not like it.
 
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HairyGary

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Plumbing done.

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Working on control panel tonight that will be placed inside right side door to the right of the return pump.

Water testing tank tonight with RO and then adding more RO tomorrow to test plumbing tomorrow. Can only make so much at a time! If all goes well switching out tanks on Saturday. Excited but nervous as it is going into same spot as my existing reef.

I started to seed new live rock about 2.5 mos ago with periodic water changes so plan to add that as base for new tank with old tank live rock and corals on top. All new sand.

Bruno is excited for the move and new tankmates.

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HairyGary

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Plumbing and tank tested with RO. Draining tonight and switching places with the IM 20 tomorrow. Figures crossed all goes well. Have to replace regular outlet with GFCI as precaution and hang LED/T5 before I fill and move over so busy day tomorrow.
 
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HairyGary

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Alright it’s wet. I also added the new rock I’ve had stewing and sand. Sand storm alert.

It ran overnight. Need to rearrange the sand some and add a tad more.

Animals, live rock and most of water from IM 20 going over tonight.

Working on a little cord maintenance as well.

New fishes this weekend!
 

HolisticBear

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Really love the stand. Congrats on filling the tank
 
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HairyGary

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Yay it's wet! Pictures once it clears up!!!
Ask and ye shall receive.



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Still have a bunch of awuascaping to do and cord maintenance.

Adding some new fish this weekend.
 
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HairyGary

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So this weekend also includes finishing the aquascape and picking up new tankmates.
 
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