Hurricane Recovery 125g Build

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LouisianaReef

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I have been into reefing for about 10 years and once upon a time I had a beautiful 90g in my living room. Then came Hurricane Laura last year. We decided to ride out the storm as we have done many times before, but this time around 4am in the morning a huge pine tree came crashing through the house and nearly killed two people. Luckily no one got seriously hurt but the house. The tree landed on my outdoor pond that was only four months old, and pretty much destroyed the front of my house. Somehow the reef tank didn’t get hit. But with a tree in the house and getting hit by another hurricane just three weeks later and the house flooding with rain water the reef tank suffered. By the time a had a chance to do anything with it, I suffered a complete tank crash. Well I was able to save some fish. Every coral was nothing more than a white rock.

I vowed that I would have another reef. So now starts the new chapter. I have an old 6 foot 125 that was a African cichlid tank for many years that I have decided will be the new reef. We are now over a year since the hurricane and my house still isn’t fully fixed due to a contractor abandoning the job and leaving me fighting to get the money to finish, but there is finally light at the end of the tunnel and hopefully within a month the house will be done and setup of the new tank can begin.

I am going to post a follow up post with some pictures and more details so stay tuned.
 
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LouisianaReef

LouisianaReef

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I’ll start with some photos of short after the hurricane to show the whole story the this build. First picture is three days after Hurricane Laura, starting to try to get the tree removed. A picture of what is left of the outdoor pond I mentioned and what was supposed to be our temporary home for a few months while the house was repaired that turned into more than a year. The final picture is the point in which the contractor ran off after being paid 50k. Looks nice from the outside but no floors, cabinets, countertops, insulation in attic or useable bathrooms.

69CCF2C3-7FB3-4157-960E-973001CE8DEC.jpeg B6FA7CAE-7FB9-41F8-A898-ED0EC0A64A28.jpeg 5C111FBC-529E-458D-94F8-D3A0491CC49F.jpeg D4476CED-C64A-43B2-A70C-85D25763BFC4.jpeg
 
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LouisianaReef

LouisianaReef

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Now on with the build. I’m still in the process of collecting some things needed for the build while trying to finish the house repairs. This is going to be a slow build as money is tight right now with everything going now, but I will finish this. The tank I have wasn’t drilled for a sump, so that was my first order of business. Thanks to another member of R2R I was able to get two overflow kits for a great deal. Now time to drill and hope it goes well.
 

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LouisianaReef

LouisianaReef

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I can breathe now. Tank is drill without mishap. And getting some dry rock ready. Also this is my temporary holding tank, an old bio cube 32 I still had laying around from years ago, for the fish and some new frags I’m starting to grow it for it

image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
 
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LouisianaReef

LouisianaReef

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What size sump should I use? I have a 4 foot 60g that I could turn into a sump but I think it would be too tall if I put it under the display. Plumbing it through a wall into a bedroom may be an option. Still trying to figure it out.
 
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Eagle_Steve

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What size sump should I use? I have a 4 foot 60g that I could turn into a sump but I think it would be too tall if I put it under the display. Plumbing it through a wall into a bedroom may be an option. Still trying to figure it out.
40 breeder with a drop in kit from Fiji Cube or others would work well. It is a tried and true tank for DIY sumps.

Other than that, sucks on the contractor. Being as this is a family friendly site, I cannot say what I think, but use the darkest side of your imagination and you will know what I think of them doing that.

Also, best of luck on getting all done with house and tank!!!!
 
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LouisianaReef

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40 breeder with a drop in kit from Fiji Cube or others would work well. It is a tried and true tank for DIY sumps.

Other than that, sucks on the contractor. Being as this is a family friendly site, I cannot say what I think, but use the darkest side of your imagination and you will know what I think of them doing that.

Also, best of luck on getting all done with house and tank!!!!
Thanks for the kind words. I definitely could say a few choice words about the contractor. Would a 40b be large enough to handle the water from the display in the event of a power failure, etc. I had enough water on the floor after the hurricane lol.
 

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Thanks for the kind words. I definitely could say a few choice words about the contractor. Would a 40b be large enough to handle the water from the display in the event of a power failure, etc. I had enough water on the floor after the hurricane lol.
I have a 125 currently with a 40b as a sump. The trick is to set the water level in the sump to be at a level to handle the flow back. I do use 2 methods for stoping the siphon from the retruns. One is a check valve, but you cannot rely on that. At some point, sponges, algae or crud will make it not seal all the way. To counter this, I drill small holes in my lockline for the returns, just a hair below the waterline. This will allow for air to be sucked in once the water level drop exposes that area to air and will break the siphon.

My water level in the sump is about 10" in the drain/skimmer area, 9" in the fuge section and 6" in the return section. This leaves plenty of room for drain back and for when the overflows drop to below the drains.
 
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LouisianaReef

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I have a 125 currently with a 40b as a sump. The trick is to set the water level in the sump to be at a level to handle the flow back. I do use 2 methods for stoping the siphon from the retruns. One is a check valve, but you cannot rely on that. At some point, sponges, algae or crud will make it not seal all the way. To counter this, I drill small holes in my lockline for the returns, just a hair below the waterline. This will allow for air to be sucked in once the water level drop exposes that area to air and will break the siphon.

My water level in the sump is about 10" in the drain/skimmer area, 9" in the fuge section and 6" in the return section. This leaves plenty of room for drain back and for when the overflows drop to below the drains.
Sounds like a good option. I like the idea of plumbing a sump in another room, but I don’t know if the wife would agree with cutting holes through the wall. Did you use a drop in kit to build yours? I always have used plate glass but is the extra cost of a kit worth it over just glass?
 

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Sounds like a good option. I like the idea of plumbing a sump in another room, but I don’t know if the wife would agree with cutting holes through the wall. Did you use a drop in kit to build yours? I always have used plate glass but is the extra cost of a kit worth it over just glass?
This last one, I used glass pieces cut at a local glass shop and had them sand the edges. Was not going to do filter socks, so did not do a drop in kit. My last one, I used a drop in kit. I will say, it is pretty easy and is nice if you are going the filter sock route. No thinking or drilling, etc. lol. Just figure out the space for each section and silicone the kit in. Let cure and then put it to work.
 
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LouisianaReef

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This last one, I used glass pieces cut at a local glass shop and had them sand the edges. Was not going to do filter socks, so did not do a drop in kit. My last one, I used a drop in kit. I will say, it is pretty easy and is nice if you are going the filter sock route. No thinking or drilling, etc. lol. Just figure out the space for each section and silicone the kit in. Let cure and then put it to work.
Sounds a lot easier to use a drop in kit. My problem is a tend to forget to change filter socks often enough so I don’t normally use them
 

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Sounds a lot easier to use a drop in kit. My problem is a tend to forget to change filter socks often enough so I don’t normally use them
You can do a drop in and not use socks. ALl in preference to how easy it needs to be. Either way, it has to be siliconed in. Plus, if you decide to stir stuff up or whatever, need to run a bag of carbon for an emergency, you have the option to throw in socks for that.
 
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LouisianaReef

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I got kin down in Lafayette Parish, I’m pretty sure I get more wound up about hurricanes than they do. Seeing the damages done to your place really hits hard. Best of luck on your rebuild, from house to reef.
Thanks. I’m about an hour away from Lafayette
 

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Thanks. I’m about an hour away from Lafayette
You don’t say? Last time I was visiting, my son, nieces and I went down to Holly Beach. It was my first time on a Louisiana beach, we found tons of seashells and my son discovered that Native Americans are not, in fact, immune to sunburn after all. It’s beautiful country down where y’all live, although I don’t know if I can hang with that many mosquitos. Being the Northern sister who’s kinda deaf, I spend an awful lot of time mispronouncing words and enjoying the good food. Takes a stout heart to live where the water and wind keep trying to scrape you off, so I can see why there’s so much joy in life down there. We joke about what’s worse, hurricanes or wildfires and ice storms. I’m pretty sure if the food is a selling point for her too.

It looks like your re-build is going to be super solid. Best of luck to you!
 
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LouisianaReef

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You don’t say? Last time I was visiting, my son, nieces and I went down to Holly Beach. It was my first time on a Louisiana beach, we found tons of seashells and my son discovered that Native Americans are not, in fact, immune to sunburn after all. It’s beautiful country down where y’all live, although I don’t know if I can hang with that many mosquitos. Being the Northern sister who’s kinda deaf, I spend an awful lot of time mispronouncing words and enjoying the good food. Takes a stout heart to live where the water and wind keep trying to scrape you off, so I can see why there’s so much joy in life down there. We joke about what’s worse, hurricanes or wildfires and ice storms. I’m pretty sure if the food is a selling point for her too.

It looks like your re-build is going to be super solid. Best of luck to you!
We spent a lot time down on the coast crabbing and fishing. As a matter of we spend a week every year in June/July with our camper on Rutherford Beach, not far from Holly Beach
 
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