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OK. After a few months of fiddling with the 29 I reaffirmed I am juuuuust not a nano guy.

Wednesday is picked up a used reef ready 180 (72x24x24) and I'm excited to really get back in the game! I am tiling the floor around where the system will go on Saturday (the laminate there now does not play nicely with water, which I found out when the laundry room sink backed up on a water softener back wash day and woke up to a soggy basement...)

I plan to do 2x 55 with staggered height with one being a fuge fed from a t on the return and the other being a 3 chambered sump for my skimmer and reactors, etc... the remaining 2 feet will be a hinged control board for the reef keeper system, pump controls, and power system. I plan to leave it open behind that for dry equipment like the calcium reactor.

To the sides (since it's an 8 ft wall) I plan to do 12" wide cubby shelves for aquarium books and storage for test equipment. The lower half will be cabinets for my dosing pumps and additives. I will make the walls of one of the cabinets removable in order to allow side access to sumps and reactors. I plan on a ledge in front of the system that I will top with tile or travertine. Will allow extra width for the staggered 55s as well as a work shelf and more importantly, beer ledge.

Whew. That's a heck of a verbal description.

Yesterday I moved the 29 to the other wall to allow the space for tiling and to begin stand construction. It looks sad out in the middle of the floor.

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The hold up is the tile, I've got the lumber for the stand but once it's built, it's too wide for that door. Hopefully this week I can get the stand done. Anyone used the BRS reef saver rock? Thinking about using that for my base, but I don't know if it's bad for phosphate leach, like the Fiji dry rock. I can always do a muriatic bath, I suppose, if it does have a lot of po4 from old dead stuff.
 
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So update on my slow, slow progress.

Ordered 150 lbs of dry rock from BRS, some reef saver, some shelf, and some branch.

Also got supplies to add a 2" rear overflow behind each box that will allow all 4 holes in the bottom to be used as return lines. I don't want to be limited on flow and honestly, 1" overflows scare the heck out of me on big tanks.

Tile in the corner is done, now I just need to fix the laminate going up to it.
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I also resealed the inside of the tank. The old interior seams had eroded mostly away, so I stripped them and redid it with momentive 108. It isn't the prettiest silicone job, but should be water tight. Scraped and cleaned with MEK several times then hit with the 000 steel wool. Then one last MEK wipe down. Taped outlines and piped. Had my wife shape with a card I trimmed to shape. One seam came out pretty ugly, but the others are good. A few bubbles, but on an interior seam it's all cosmetic anyways.
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The plan is to let this cure until tomorrow night, then silicone in the overflow boxes. Then a week of curing. I will then water test the tank for a week and if all goes well, start plumbing the following week. Stand will be weekdays project while the tank cures and is tested. I'll upload stand design sketches later hopefully.

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Ok, so I've had a change of plans. I will be doing a filter room, now!!!! Updated plans and pics coming soon. Leak test has been successful and ill be throwing the tank on the stand hopefully tonight so I can start measuring for pvc plans through the wall and such.

Also, I know this is the slowest build thread, ever. Been hard to find people to help me move this tank repeatedly.
 
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So, update time for the slowest build thread ever! Got the tank leak tested, drilled the 2" overflows, and on the stand. Still have to skin the stand and paint the rear of the tank.

Plumbing is always easier without the skin. With the filter room, I wanted access to rear plumbing, plus I like being able to do a good visual inspection of the glass and seams on a tank, so I left a little shimmy space that i can access the back and sides with.

I also modified the ruby 36 to accept 2" bulkheads.

Picked up a skimmer upgrade, too....

Next step is moving the fridge from that corner and putting a hole in the wall for plumbing. Plus mortaring the rockscape. Started designing the filter room as well.
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Did a bit more work today since my truck was in the shop for repairs. I floored the stand and finished the front ledge. I also skinned one of the ends so I could see how i liked the finish. I did something I hadn't seen anyone do, but seemed like a good idea. I skinned with plywood, then over that, I used wood plank vinyl flooring. It's waterproof, snaps together like laminate, and doesn't take all that time polyurethaning. I think it turned out pretty good.
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Also, forgot to add the picture of my skimmer upgrade, yesterday! It needs a vinegar bath, but should be a nice improvement over the octo extreme 250 I've been running for like 9 years.
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Little more progress this week:

Got back and wall side painted black.

Put trim on the one end to see how it looks.

Got the granite tiles for the front counter.

Also, lights came in! 2x SB Reef lights 32" extremes. Heard good things and they look good, so far.

Today I plan to start the canopy which is going to be different than most setups. It is not going to rest on the tank at all and will have a cantilever that Is cable stayed on the free corner. Also, since this tank is in the theatre room, the tank needs to be able to be blacked out as necessary. We have a design for that, as well. I'll post pics later today or tomorrow on canopy progress and continued stand progress.

Here's a few pics of this week's progress, though.
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Got the lights suspended on saturday and moved the can lights in the ceiling moved. I will be building the canopy this weekend hopefully. I'm going to be building in place because it will be tied into the wall studs and cantilevered to not rest on the actual tank since it needs to extend 2 in he's beyond the tank to allow for blackout curtains to be drawn since the tank is in the theatre room. It will be cable stayed from the floor joists above on the floating corner. Canopy to floor curtains will cover my access space behind the tank and should tie in well to the theatre.
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This week there will likely be little progress since I'm working on a project for one of my good friends sons 3rd birthday. He lo es trains, sooooooo........
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Finishing this up will take the rest of the week. Expect Saturday to see more tank work done.
 
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Got some more progress this week!

Suspended the skeleton of the canopy. Decided to use threaded rods rather than cabling so that I could add lock nuts on both sides of the 2x4 and support to prevent upward or downward movement. I think I could do pull ups on this thing, now, but trust me, I will not risk that one. Also, it over hangs the tank and doesn't cover the trim. This is so I can install the micro curtain rods for the black out curtains to the 2x4 beam. The skin will come down to cover the rods and the trim. Haven't been watching too many movies or playing games down there, because the room is a right mess, but once all is done, I'll need to be able to black out the tank if we want to watch movies during reef daytime.

I also cut the doors and finished skinning the stand. I'm very happy with how the flooring looks as the skin. I still need to do doors, but I may put that off for a bit in lieu of more important things.

I also ordered and revived vinyl ceiling tiles to go inside the ceiling over the canopy. I had concerns over humidity melting the ordinary tiles and particles entering the tank, so I figured vinyl would solve all the problems. Those will get installed this week before I put in the supports in the canopy for the t5 supplements. I am going to run 2 80w coral plus bulbs to even out all the light. I'm happy with the way the sb lights fill the tank, but I figured, why not throw a bit more broad spectrum light in there.

I also ran the wires for the new circuit going to the future fish room before I installed the canopy (drop ceiling for the win! ).

I also finished that train and the kids loved it, so it was totally worth the effort and delay on the tank.

Also ordered a gyre 250 for the dt. Debating on adding a second, but I can do that later. This weekend, I hope to start skinning the canopy and clearing the area that will be the new fish room so we can put up the wall and I can get the floor leveled and finished. Then start assembling the sump/fuge/frag systems.

On that note, I've seen people on fw forums using the edsal storage racks for tank stacks. Any one done this on a sw setup? I'm going to stack the 2 55s on top of each other and the 40 breeder over the ruby sump. I figured this would save me a lot of grief if these would work. It will feed from ruby to top 55 (fuge); overflow to 40 breeder frag system (offset on another stand to reduce height); overflow to 55 sump with bypass installed so i can do easy water changes out of this 55; overflow back to ruby and go to either dt or back through the stack. Figured the edsals would be perfect if they could support the tanks in this scenario.
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Also, here's the train in case anyone wanted to see that finished product!
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So, little progress on mother's day weekend, but this week I prepped the new fish room area. Prepared the floor and added an epoxy coating. I also primed and painted the walls and ceiling (picture is just primer, not the acrylic white). Hoping to get the racks built for the filter system and finish skinning the canopy this weekend.

Before and after pictures attached.

Once racks are in place, I will add the 4th wall of the fish room.
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This past weekend, I finished up the canopy. All in all, i'm happy with how the flooring looks as the skin on the tank. I'm sealing and finishing the cross beams that will support the t5s now and hope to have them installed by the end of the week. I also started construction on the second rack that will hold the 2 55s ( fuge and sump #2). Once that rack is in place, I'm going to add the new wall. I also ran the wiring for the new circuit to the fish room and just need to put in the junction boxes and new outlet boxes. I also hope to start plumbing and assembling atleast one of the islands of he rockscape this week since my acrylic rods and marcorock mortar came in.

This weekend will be a wash since I'm going to another music festival (Taste of Country if anyone else is going, let me know! Always like to put faces to screen names) but hope to get work done in the evenings during the week. The goal is to have her cycling by the time I go on my 2 week vacation to Montana/yellowstone/glacier/road trip home in mid July so I can start some light stocking soon after I get back. Using 180 lbs of dry rock and 50 lbs of cured live rock, I don't expect the cycle to take more than 3 or 4 weeks, but we all know how that goes.....

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Continuing adventures in my build!

I have installed the 2 supplemental t5s. I mounted them on epoxy coated 2x4s. Rather than screwing them in, I have them held in place with acrylic rods, so that when I have to move the lights for access, it's as simple as pulling the rods and sliding them back. With the leds and the 2 2x4s, it really fills up the top of the tank. Fortunately, I won't have to access the dt, all that much with the fish room.

I also finished up the rockscape. I also plan to keep a jawfish in the reef, but didn't want a 6" sand bed all the way across the reef. So I constructed a mini ledge that divides the tank. I'm the picture on the right side of the tank you can see it, plus there's s close-up. To the right of the wall, the sand will be 6" deep, while on the other side, I can do a more standard 1.5-2" bed. It also gives a cool little rock face. I made it using the e-marco mortar. I created a plywood frame and filled it with rubble and branch pieces. Then put the medium consistency mortar on top of this. It filled in the gaps but didn't flow to the plywood on the bottom allowing the rubble to give the wall relief.

I left a large open area between the 3 rock stacks and the mini wall for a few reasons. One being that I love open brains and clams and never have enough sand bed for them. Second, it showcases the mini ledge since its kind of unique. Lastly, having that big open area in front of the reef crest that is getting heavy floors from the gyre should encourage anthias and fairy wrasses to school there. To balance the tank, I did a tall skinny stack behind the divider. This will also give some structure in the jawfish area for it to be a bit more comfortable.

I also modified the megaflow boxes by removing the teeth, widening the front opening, and replacing it with gutter guard. This should give better skimming as well as an increase in flow capability (which is good since I added the 2" drain lines back there.

Today I ordered my plumbing valves as unions so next week I can work on plumbing and running the new electrical lines.

Things are starting to move faster now. I hope to have water in there by mid july.
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Looking great! Love the scape!
 
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We're building a wall! And were going to make the fish pay for it!

Framed and drywalled the inside last weekend. Also sealed and painted the racks. Only had Friday and Sunday to work on it, though, as I was otherwise occupied Saturday (as you can see)

Hoping to get the door up, electrical done, and get some plumbing started. Picked up my mini fridge as well, so I'm going to start modifying it to become the auto feeder.
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Got some shelving for some of the less wet accessories. I have seen people use these racks for 40 breeders, so I figure if I replace the particle board with plywood it should be good for the calcium reactor and the auto feeder fridge.

Speaking of auto feeder! Got the fridge drilled and the valve dry fitted. Looks like it should fit all 4 varieties of food I want to dose with room to spare. Also a little freezer for frozen food which will be nice. Debating on using the other half of the rack set up next to this side to hold a set of 20 longs for at.

The fish room is a little bit cramped, but there's room for the brutes to get through and I would rather have all my gear and sacrifice a little working room for myself. I am going to put a small work sink in there right near the door as well (I think).
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A bit more progress had been made over the past week or 2.

We finished running wires and got the electric hooked up to the new circuit in the fish room.

We got the plumbing all finished.
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I made my control cabinet and mounted the apex as well as several other control boxes in it. I also got my apex running on fusion. I also mounted my old tablet as the control center to the side of the display tank.
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Also, big milestone.... I GOT WATER IN THE TANK!!!!
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I still need to patch up the drywall and add trim to the crawlspace opening. Perhaps this week. Then i can paint the new wall. That's the only thing holding me back on filling the filter rack since i need to paint behind the 55s. I did set everything up as a mock up to make sure I had enough space. Seems like I should have plenty of room to wheel a brute through.
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I am going to dose some ammonia and transfer a few pieces of LR from the 29 as well as do some microbacter dosing to get the cycle jumpstarted.

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