Leans tank build, 72x24x24 180g

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
Hi guys, a little about myself, I'm 41 years married with 2 monsters, 1 dog, a cat who hides all day and i get lost in front of a tank.

This thread will talk about my second tank, the one im currently building. It has, with many parts rejuvenated my passion for the hobby. so a little back story.

My first tank was set in 2016 just after my daughter was born, it was my first foray into the hobby and I was keen to say the least. The wife has always been a "go big when you can" kinda girl so when she said i could buy this used 220g tank I didn't argue. So, tank was built and all things were going great.

0421161519.jpg 1115161718c.jpg
 
Click to watch best scape method in 5 easy steps!
OP
L

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
Around the middle of 2018 i had some trouble with my tank and corals started dying and i didnt know why. Params were all fine and water was good and they just kept dying. Nothing i did worked. They all died. i lost around $2500 worth of livestock. All that was left were the nems, the big butt mushroom, the paly and my fish. Ever since then its been auto for me in the hobby. change water > feed the fish > change socks etc etc etc. This carried on till 2021 when in may i did a water change and noticed a leak from the inlet pipe. Just a small drop every 7 secs. "fook"

The tank itself has a ghost overflow so the back of the tank was 7" from the wall, torch in hand trying to get a good look at what was causing the leak. It was coming from the bulkhead on the ghost overflow. The pipe was attached to a gate valve that i didn't attach to the stand properly, so when turning during last water change it moved the bulkhead too much and caused the leak.

Not much i can do, cant even reach the back of the tank let alone try to fix it. so i tell the wife;
"You wanna just call it quits? take this as a sign?"
"You cant fix it?"
"Yeah but it requires me to drain the tank, move it and fix it..then test it and re house the fish for the time being and then this and this and this.."
" you should call jimmy and see if he can take your fish and nem, at least you wont need to worry about them"

and that vexed me, the wife gave really good sound advice about fish.....who was this women?

Anyways, i called jim, he cant do it. He tore his tank down and rebuilding then started to send pics of his new 72"x36"x24" tank. not gonna lie, i was ready to pack this hobby in but the sight of these pics stirred something inside. Love of the hobby or just pure jealousy? i still dont know.

"so how much was this tank? 4k? **** that i cant afford that. what? he has other tanks for sale?"

My tank at that point was a 72x24x30 tall and it was pain to reach down the bottom. short butt arms and deep tanks dont match. So i asked him how much for a 72x24x24? I was just curious. I was ready to pack this hobby in.

"$1200 + 5' sump"
"You're kidding? 1.2k? thats cheap, my used tank was 700....hold on a sec.
Baby. Darling..Hey babes so jim says he can get a 72x24x24 for 1.2...thats a steal..and a large 5' sump...what do you think baby <3?"
"Sure."
A few double takes and im like, "you sure? its not just 1.2, there other stuff i need to replace and upgrade.."
"I just got this dog and this will make it fair"

for a tiny second i beileved their was a higher power. bless you.
so called jim back, ordered the tank and thus starts this build.

heres the wifes doggo, shes cute as hell.

20210510_090943.jpg 20210509_014447.jpg
 
OP
L

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
So started the scramble to rehouse these fish and nems. i had a 40g breeder in the garage from when petco had a $1 a gallon sale, so i cleaned it and set it up. Spent hours trying to catch all the fish, eventually got them all at around 1am. I was beat, but i had won! Threw in the Aquamaxx Q3, the heater and attached a small pump to a filter sock. Added a Kessil 360 and called it a night.
20210504_200658.jpg


The next day begin the draining moving of the old tank
20210504_183719.jpg
20210506_005037.jpg



20210506_152905.jpg

The whole process wasn't that daunting. removed the rocks, emptied the water and then the...sand..which stank. like rotten eggs. Kids were like
"daddy did you fart?!"
"I most certainly did not! it was your mum.."
 
OP
L

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
After a decade of living here, we've always wanted to repaint the room, but with the tank in the way there wasnt any real way of doing it. now that the tank is out... The wife said we should. i just got a new tank so i was all "Yes ma'am!" we picked a darkish green for the back wall and had a lighter tone for the adjacent walls, in all was happy with the colour choices.
20210606_210029.jpg


The tank came in a few days later. I was a like a little boy on Christmas morning. A water test later and i was in planning mode!!

20210510_142227.jpg
20210510_120132.jpg


I really didnt like the baffles on this sump and it would be changed later.
I knew i wanted to correct some of the mistakes i made from my first build. the convoluted pipe design, the placement of the sump, wiring and maintenance problems. The sump was really too small for the tank so when the system was off it would sometimes overflow the sump. To counter this i had a 3/4" hole drilled into the sump about an inch off the top and added a bulk had attached to a pipe that would lead to a 20g spare tank i had sitting around. That itself had been sectioned off to house a 5g ato tank. So 15g empty space for emergencies and 5g chamber for water, except when the ato was at its fullest it would be higher then the sump and that left a tendency to keep a siphon when the ato was first used (it wasnt until year 4 we thought "how about we dont fill it all the way to the top?" So, my apex was constantly on to turn off the ato, sometimes i would forget to turn it back on and wake up to "daddy, there are bubbles in your tank"

Another thing i changed this time around would be the reactors. My god they are annoyingly, unnecessarily big. Changing the gfo and carbon was a chore to say the least and would always be like 1/10 of the chamber filled. So this time i will be using the BRS double reactor module, easy, small and it just works. Maintenance wise, cleaning the skimmer was the most id really do on a bi weekly basis, regardless of the amount of skimmate (we have a mango tree so feeding it skimmate did it wonders)
and on occasion i would remove skimmer for a good clean which would result in two things. 1, ato going off cus of the water difference and a mad scramble to pull the wire through the snake pit.
Every time i said i would clean it up and every time i didn't.
So this time im adding socket and switches to the main stand area. this would offer me s quick click for on and off, easy removal of skimmer and still allowed me to have it individually plugged into the apex. This could of been done lots of different way, but i feel this would give me a cleaner look.

20210606_210020.jpg
20210606_204559.jpg
20210606_204606.jpg


These would be attached to a 14 gauge wire with a plug and attached to the side wall of the stand where it would have no contact with water. This was also the time when lumber prices were crazy..
 
Corals.com
OP
L

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
The Stand.
(Understand that i was not going to do a build thread so i didn't take as many pictures as i wanted, these were just show a friend on progression)

For about two weeks i had been planning on how i wanted to do this. Made compromises, which i hope turned out for the better and some, was a battle i could never win.

"Lets hold out for another week, maybe the lumber prices will fall"

They didn't and i caved. $480 was the total cost of the wood (4x 1/2 plywood not pictured)
The tank collecting dust, the BRS toys came, i couldn't hold any longer, even the thought of my mother in law in a bikini couldn't make me last longer.

20210616_215211.jpg


Reading around i found an article on Reef Central about a guy who used 2x6 for the horizontal beams and 2x4s for the rest. This allowed to not need a centre bracing beam in the middle. Very keen to replicate that i read more into it and decided that i was going to do the same. Using the same method as Joey from YouTube, king of the diy. I build the top frame from 2x6, it was times like this i wished i had a plainer or knew someone who did. Everything else was done by 2x4s. In his video's Joey would add "guide" beams inside of the frame and that would allow the weight holding beams to have something to attach to. The guide beams on the front side i placed inside of the frame while the back one i placed on the outside, this would give me a flush back and an extra 1.5" of space. The aim was to have the sump back wall align with the overflow pipe coming down do it was all straight. In all i think it worked out ok, the extra 1.5" space at the back gave me more space at the front too which is always nice.

20210620_182544.jpg


In retrospect i think i would did the guide bracing on the inside. Reason being; i dont really need the extra space in the front so what i should of done was to push the sump closer to the front and had the back board mounted right up to the sump (so kinda in the 1/3 way in on the stand)
On a 15" sump in a 24" stand would of given me a nice 7" of space on the back. this would have allowed me to mount all the pipe work on the back of the back board and only the necessary pipe coming through, i think this would of been a lot cleaner and different. But maybe next time

I made the stand 6" longer then i needed. the weight holding legs were still at the 72" part so it wasn't a worry there, i did this because i wanted some extra space to have a cavity between the main sump section and the electrics. This was to hide all the wires that weren't going to be used unless something broke or need a tank tear down. The extra 6" of space also give me a small table top to do test and such and i know im gonna end up leaving stuff on top to the tank and what not, so might as well give a space.

20210621_153456~2.jpg
20210622_123646.jpg
20210622_133213.jpg



After stand was finished i used some wood filler to fill in some of the holes and lines from the plywood. What's important to understand is that it looks good from a distance.
Painted the exterior the same green as the living room back wall (dark green, i forget the colour and brand) this was to have a matching aesthetic and to save money on paint.
Interior was white, painted with two layers (not cus i was a pro, but cus the paint was a primer and left streaks) sanded between layers (cus i wanted to be a pro) and did about 5 layers of polyethylene.

20210620_151302.jpg
20210624_171336.jpg
20210625_142553.jpg
20210625_173912.jpg
20210625_174108.jpg


I made the wall opening at the bottom to have access when needed, the top part is secured and doesn't move. A hole was drilled to let wire through from the skimmer, return and manifold pumps, heaters and probes. A few pictures up, were of an electrical socket extension that im using. Two will be mounted to the top portion of that wall and be used for the ATO and the skimmer.
20210624_162317.jpg


20210709_164555.jpg


As mention before, the skimmer is one of the pieces i turn off regularly for cleaning and that affects the water level for the ato alarm to go off, so having these two switches with plugs allows me to turn off faster without logging into the apex and be able to remove the skimmer from the socket without going through all the wires while still giving me individual control of each piece via the apex.

looking back, this would be the second aquarium stand i made (plus all the other stuff for the rodi, if people are interested i could detail that too) To me, this is one of the fun aspects of a new build, the coming of ideas, how can i make it better then the last stand and the over confidence in my carpentry skills. Some parts were not as neat as i wanted, whether the wood warped outside or just lack of skill,? I think a bit a both. A hand held plainer was bought to smooth some of the rougher edges. I think, i know this stand was better then the first one by a mile, but still not good enough. Told the wife, next tank (she wide eyed looked at me) were doing a metal stand. Which isn't really fair on her, she said i could but i rather use the extra $500 for another light, compromises.

Next episode : Sump and moving stand indoors! Riveting I know...
 
OP
L

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
So, with the stand painted and ready to be moved inside it was time to tackle the sump. I was unhappy to say the least about the sump. i felt like the return section was way to big and the refuge or middle part was too low. Just felt like the guys who made it just thought to split it up equally and be done.

"Not on my watch!"
"who are you talking to?"
"no, no one darling...go back inside..leave me alone."

Anywho...I wanted to change it and needed some acrylic. Called a place in Santa Ana : Paragon plastics. I dont think they aquarium stuff but was happy enough to take the details of what i wanted and got it done for me. The results were prefect. if you need some acrylic for anything, feel free to give them a shout.

toll free at 888-776-0000 or locally at 714-835-8181

I wanted the sump to have a small chamber that flowed into the socks that lead to a large skimmer section for seeding sponges for the QT various others i might want. My last tank the sump was tiny and it was a squeeze to fit everything in, so this time i wanted it bigger. The skimmer section would flow to the return and the return would offshoot to the refuge area at the end. The baffle height was 9" which was fine, except I wanted the refuge to be deeper and opted for a 12" deep refuge

Once the acrylic came I went about removing the silicone from the sump and started to tape of sections where the silicone would go so it wouldn't make a mess. It ended up a mess, my silicone skills suck really really bad...
The whole thing held water and my wife said it looked ok so...i was...proud..

20210622_133224.jpg

20210623_155305.jpg

20210626_131905.jpg

20210629_145656.jpg
20210629_154703.jpg


A quick water test just to make sure.


20210630_143334.jpg



With the help of my burly neighbor we moved the stand inside along with the tank and sump, it was a pain and i was scared i was gonna drop the tank so we opted to lift the tank onto the dining table first then onto the stand.

20210630_180858.jpg
20210630_204839.jpg


Around this time I decided to that my diy over flow in the holding tank wasnt any good and i really didn't want to spend $100 on a Hob overflow so instead bought a hob with an overflow, added some carbon to clean the water and removed the skimmer and now the fish have more space. Also opted to do 5g water changes every other day and leave the big skimmer out.

20210706_174718.jpg
20210706_174727.jpg
20210706_174700.jpg


Unrelated, we got new grass put in the yard and our mangos have been doing good this year. Oona approves of new grass!

20210708_184129.jpg
20210708_184138.jpg
20210713_190043.jpg



this was a short update, been busy with the rest of the tank.
Next chapter: The sexy world of plumbing and new toys arrive*


*not a pornhub title, honest.
 
Last edited:
OP
L

Leandre

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 6, 2021
Messages
27
Reaction score
101
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
chino Hills
Sorry for the late post. Skyward sword came out and its so good...
The sexy world of plumbing and lets be honest it really is.. or i just have weird kinks?
My first tank, the plumbing was stupid, way to many turns and angles. It made the flow slower and it looked horrid but it worked so i left it and because I didn't have the cash to redo it all. So this time i wanted simple. Keep it simple and everything will just work.

My previous tank was a external ghost overflow running a bean setup and it was nice not having to worry about fitting pipes in the overflow box.
This tank had a central internal overflow, main line 1.5" and emergency and return was 3/4 and it was a nightmare to work with. The overflow box was tight as my wifes..you dont need to know that.. my initial design was to hard plumb everything but the lack of space inside meant i had to switch over to soft plumbing for the returns which meant more time waiting for new parts to come. I spent more time thinking about how it was going to go inside my head then actually doing it and still i made mistake.

"Don't put a union on the underside of the tank until you're 100% sure the top part is done, cus its not coming off once you add it"

"Remember to add the flange side on the union to the fitting cus when you glue that fooker to the bulkhead you're not getting the flange on"

And I did both. Fook.
The flange on the union ball valve cost me a new 1.5" bulkhead and union under the tank thankfully didn't cost me anything more then a coupling but it made the pipe look ugly.. but in all it was a pretty easy finish i think the final result looked good and I'm happy with it. i kind of wish i had more money to buy the BRS coloured pipes for extra pop.


I used a clear primer and clear pvc cement to avoid the purple stains, Home depot carried it but not in stores so had to order and be picked up.

I knew I wanted to have a Sicce 3 running the manifold and I knew I didn't want to have those massive reactors inside. So I opted to reuse an old 2 stage BRS reactor i ran on an old frag tank. Way easier to clean and add media. With gfo and carbon taken care off I added two more stations, one was a spare and the other for water changes. The previous tank, at first WC were every week, then every other week, once a month and lastly twice a year ( after the coral died I just didn't care) So this time I'm aiming to do 5g wc every other day. Have the changing station hold a weeks worth of saltwater so no mixing and just change. It still required me to haul buckets but i think its ok, makes me feel like I'm doing something.

Added a sediment filter to the saltwater station to handle the build up of crap at the bottom. Sundays will be a clean and new salt mixing day.

20210726_010054.jpg


This is what I ended up with.
For now the spare has nothing going for it so i added a pipe to offload some of the pressure from the Sicce. The middle pipe goes up and loops over the stand, i added a 1/2 barb fitting to add a soft pipe if needed.

20210705_004917.jpg

20210709_195037.jpg


With the refuge being at the end I knew I had to use the return to feed it. The reason being, if the main pump was off I didn't want to sicce to move the water from the skimmer section to the pump section (as it overflows into it) I know that once about 5g of water has been added to the return section the water lever becomes the same but I still didn't want it to ( I'm weird...) and also, I didn't want a manifold pipe to have to cross over to the return pump section. This setup ended up being around 1.5" away from the back wall so i found some cheap lumber pieces from HD, $5 for 6' x 3" x.75" So i cut some small pieces, glued them together and painted them white and mounted them on the back wall with glue then screw from the back to secure it. (did this part last and a few 3/4 unions left over so thought id use them all)

20210709_195103.jpg



The main pipe in the old tank was the one that was leaking. I used a 2" gate valve and the weight was what caused the bulkhead movement which lead to the leak ( and me not securing right) so this time I wanted something light and more uniform in weight so i picked up a 1.5" union ball valve. Smart buttocks me forgot to add the flange of the union to the fitting before gluing it to the bulkhead and that set me back 5 days waiting for a replacement. Once everything came it was just a matter to measuring right and prey to the big man above I did it right. luckily I did and everything fit.

20210709_195057.jpg


After that it was time to tackle the overflow box.
I forgot to take pics during the making, sorry but i had the return pipe after the bulkhead go to a check valve > tee > barb slip fitting on top and side of the tee > 90° 3/4 barb x thread fitting > bulkhead > locline. Again, it was tight, so tight i had to use 2x 45degree fitting together to move the emergency pipe to make space. Thankfully the middle was kind of clear. Enough for me to 90° fitting to a 90° street fitting.

20210708_225328.jpg



Everything fit is really the take all from this and you cant see it so i didn't care. Gave it a good 24hrs to dry and time to do a full water test.


20210710_004211.jpg


No leaks. it was such a huge thing for me ; ;

so this is it. the final pics of the plumbing in all its personal glory

20210709_195049.jpg
20210709_195022.jpg


This is the final one with the electrics too
20210714_003758.jpg


also, toys came, you bet your buttocks i set that skimmer up knowing i wasn't gonna use it for a few weeks. just soo....sexy...

20210625_232321.jpg
20210625_224029.jpg


Im a Kessil guy...

5hmtm9.jpg


That's it for this round folks, Next round electronics!
thank you for reading thus far!
 

When is the last time you purchased cleanup crew critters?

  • Past few days

    Votes: 64 12.2%
  • Past few weeks

    Votes: 137 26.2%
  • Past few months

    Votes: 166 31.7%
  • Over a half a year

    Votes: 76 14.5%
  • Over a year ago

    Votes: 76 14.5%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 4 0.8%
Buckeye
Top