Mehaffy's 1100+ gallon Plywood display in North Alabama

Joe Glass Cages

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Things are really starting to come together. I have a few updates and I am really making some progress.

1. All of the fiberglass work is done!!!:):):) All I know is I sure would not want to work in the Corvette plant. That fiberglass is some really nasty stuff smelly itchy just no fun.

2. Got a call this afternoon from Joe @glasscages.com Hooray the glass is ready for pickup. They actually got it done early. They had told me 3 weeks which would have been Christmas day so I guess they decided I needed an early Christmas. I am going to have to recruit some help just to get the glass unloaded and into the tank building as it weighs approx. 300 lbs. for just the front panel.

3 .My epoxy paint has shipped and is expected Monday or Tuesday so I want to have everything ready so that I can paint the week of New years. I did end up going with Black Epoxy. I thought that would be best because it will hide the powerheads better.

So I have been working on design of plumbing and I think I have a plan to route the pipes and place the drains and return. So for this weekend after Christmas I will start drilling holes for Bulkheads. That's really scary after all of this work and now I'm going to start making holes in this thing. I need to get all of the holes drilled before I start painting with the epoxy.

This should keep me plenty busy for the next couple weeks.
gonna be RADICAL!
 
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mehaffydr

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Nice, I always wanted to do a plywood tank. It is so hard to get a large tank into my basement so this has always been a way for me to get a larger aquarium.
That is the number one reason I chose to do a plywood build. If this tank was all glass it would be around 1500 lbs and extremely awkward to handle. By doing this plywood build in place method I was able to build a tank larger than anything I had ever thought possible. I did have to get help carrying those 5' x 10' pieces of plywood and will also get help with the glass but other than that tis is a one man job.
 
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mehaffydr

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This is by far one of the most epic builds I have watched! Can’t wait to see glass in it
Thank You. Hopefully glass install is just about a week away. Right now I am just waiting on the epoxy paint.
 
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mehaffydr

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I had a great day today. I headed out to glasscages to pick up the glass this morning. When I arrived they were very accommodating and very nice people. First I got a tour of the manufacturing area and I have to say what they do in a not really large space is impressive. The tanks I saw where impressive. They also showed me their quality control system and verification check list which is most likely why they are know for such quality product. I really just wanted to load up a few tanks along with my glass.
They were very careful about loading up my glass and really helped me make sure it was safe and secure. The trip home was uneventful and I am home with the glass:)
They also hooked me up with 10 tubes of black silicone so this way I'm sure I have the right stuff. Yes I paid for it but I did not have to go looking for the good stuff. I got the same silicone they build their tanks with.
 
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mehaffydr

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i just finished taking apart my one Current light fixture that had 2 of the 4 T5 bulbs not working. I have 2 of these units that have 2ea 250 DE MH and 4ea T5's that I have had for 12+ years and this one had 2 of the T5's not working. So I ordered a new ballast and also 2 new cooling fans because the fans bearings were sounding kinda rough. I think this should have it good to go again. Now I just need to order new bulbs for both units. So I have decided that this tank will have a combination of MH, T5 and LEDS. I have 5 Kessil 360X fixtures from my 225. I will start with this and then decide if I need more light.
I think I will most likely need more what do you guys think?
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mehaffydr

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When I picked up my Glass from glasscages I also bought Silicone from them. I bought black because the interior is going to be painted black so I thought this would look the best as it will blend it good. Thought I would post a picture because there are always questions about what is the best silicone.
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mehaffydr

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One last thing and really the most exciting for me is that I just got confirmation that the epoxy paint will be in tomorrow and with a 4 day weekend I will be able to get a lot of the painting completed this weekend. I an quite sure I will be installing glass next weekend.
 

esther

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One last thing and really the most exciting for me is that I just got confirmation that the epoxy paint will be in tomorrow and with a 4 day weekend I will be able to get a lot of the painting completed this weekend. I an quite sure I will be installing glass next weekend.

I can't wait to see some new photos! This is exciting stuff. :)
 

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When I picked up my Glass from glasscages I also bought Silicone from them. I bought black because the interior is going to be painted black so I thought this would look the best as it will blend it good. Thought I would post a picture because there are always questions about what is the best silicone.
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I used that to reseal my 75 and build an external overflow. It is some BEEFY stuff, i had to pull 2 panes apart because i missed the measure by an 1/8th and it was rough, took the better part of an hour to do it without breaking them! It is really an adheasive, i think you will be very happy with it. One thing to keep in mind is that the tooling time is only like 10 -15 mins and after that it just wrinkles instead of smoothing so you will have to work relatively quickly.
 
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mehaffydr

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Well a little disappointment today. The paint did not arrived as expected so no epoxy paint for interior this weekend but honestly I have so much to do it really is not a set back other than I cannot install the glass until the interior paint is completed and a lot of this other work I could do while the silicone is curing which will take a few weeks. So I started laying out and doing the plumbing. I did finally decide on a plan. I am going to build a corner overflow. The way I am ding this is I will build a 90 deg. corner out of leftover plywood and either fiberglass and paint or maybe just paint with the epoxy paint. I will build this a few inches short of where I want the water level and I will 3D print the top section that will be silicone onto the plywood to provide the overflow and also keep fish and other critters in the tank. I will post pictures as I make progress.
So it was time to actually drill holes in this large plywood box that I have put so much time into. I am having 3ea. 2" drains. 1 will be full siphon 1 will be full siphon but controlled by gate valve and the 3rd will be emergency overflow. This should allow me to have an almost silent drain from the tank. This will all go straight to the sump. I will use one of my Reeflo pumps for return water to the tank. I plan on drilling 6 holes in the tank for returns which I will feed with a hot tub manifold. all of these will have lock line fittings inside the tank and I think I will use random flow generators on these. This should provide turn over of the entire tank through the sump of approx 4-6 times per hour.
I have 10 WAV pumps that will be placed throughout the tank for random flow within the tank.
So of course I have updated pictures of the progress. First the holes drilled for the 2" bulkheads. As you can see from the pencil marks I had a few Ideas before finally settling on this pattern.
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Now with the bulkheads installed.
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mehaffydr

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I really wanted to do some painting this weekend so I thought that I would paint the outside of the tank. I am just using a good quality exterior paint. Same paint I used for the stand.
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In this last image of the back this is where I will be building a platform so that it will be easier to get to the tank. i will most likely build it to be about level with the bottom of the tank.
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mehaffydr

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More progress today with 70 deg. temps here in AL today I decided to work on some things tat are best done outside because of dust. I first cut out the pieces that will be the corner overflow. I glued them together ans screwed them wit stainless screws. I will fiberglass an epoxy paint this before installing in the tank. I will be 3D printing the weir for the top couple of inches. But here it is sitting in position. I decided on this because I want to have the quietest water flow possible and I am going with the Bean Animal style drain setup.
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mehaffydr

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Next step was to open up windows and turn on fan so that I could do dusty woodwork inside the building. I first made a template for my router. This template I am using to router into the outer layer of plywood so that the magnets for the WAV pumps will work. The WAV pumps will work through about 1" glass and I tested its about the same for plywood. My walls are 1 1/2" thick so I needed to router in a 1/2" pocket for the magnets, I put 9 of them across the back of the tank,
First pick is laying out the spacing.
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I then proceeded to make the template.
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I made it about 3/4" extra all around so I can get my fingers in to remove the magnets.

I then screwed the template to the back of the tank moving it down for each magnet.
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And complete with all magnet pockets routered.
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This is what it looks like from the inside. There are a couple missing as they are in my temporary housing setup.
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