Mini Complete Tank Build for the *Unofficial* contest

faceymcfaceface

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I've found myself in need of something to do to keep myself occupied and scratch the need to build / learn itch.

So I decided to join Maddlesrain's little contest they started up.


Because of the ridiculousness of the Mini Complete Tank I figured I might as well have fun and over think the heck out of it.

So went ahead ordered one and patiently waited for shipping. While waiting I started mocking up plans in AutoCAD. Settled on a design where I will eliminate the included sump and instead build a miniature stand for the tank to sit on.

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I went ahead and using Mcmaster-Carr I got some 1/4"npt bulkheads, fittings, and valves.

Going to fabricate the stand out of hobby wood from Home Depot or Lowes and attempt to have it coming out looking like a bog standard flatpack tank stand from Petco. Sump will be a single pane glass construction.

Thinking of putting the sump on drawer slides so I can slide it out the back for easier access during water changes and cleaning. That's for another day.


Received the tank last Thursday and after some final measuring to confirm my drawings started my build today.
Didn't take any pictures of unboxing , because honestly I didn't think of it.


Good news for anyone else wondering. The plastic drills fairly easily. I will admit I did hold my breath
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Itty bitty bulk heads are cute!
And yes I know they stick out above the top of the tank.. I am planning on making a custom hood that will hold a small PC fan for cooling. I live in Arizona and keeping my tanks cool is harder than keeping them warm.

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Holding water and no leaks!

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Very unstable mock up while I tested how the pump and overflow worked. Looks like I am going to have to figure on using the built in overflow system as well. Even on my pumps lowest setting it was filling up to fast. The good news is I did plan for that during the design process.

I have heard the Krylon Fusion is safe for plastics inside the tank. Is that the consensus here as well? That gray lock-line nozzle will bug me to no end. Alas is does not come in black at 1/4"npt.

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That's all for now. Currently I have the tank in the kitchen filled with tap water testing for leaks overnight. After that I will drain it dry put some black vinyl on the back and start working on the stand.
 
Lazy's Coral House

danieyella

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Starting stand construction.

Biggest power tool I have is a belt sander and I live in a townhome with a tandem garage. Makes these projects just a smidge more hands on.

Also it is already 104 degrees at noon. Going to have to pace myself.

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I'm super excited to see your progress! This is going to look amazing.
 
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faceymcfaceface

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I work with steel and forgot that wood has nominal sizes. Had to do a quick redesign to account for 4" boards only being 3.5". Had to use the next size up.

Stand is now a smidge oversized from my original plan. If only I had a table saw I could have trimmed the boards.



Here is the tank on top of the roughed out stand. Still needs the door, side panels, and trim added. Not to mention the finish. Have some left over stain I may use.
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Stainless steel drawer slides mentioned earlier in the thread. Not attached yet just getting a feel for how things will fit.
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That's it for the next few days. Between work and school not much time during the week.
 
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faceymcfaceface

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My man, you should make custom tanks, lol! That’s some really good workmanship!

Have you ever done this before?

No I shouldn't :)

I am 100% hobby quality. I also have only been doing saltwater for 140 days. Highly specific time frame because I am keeping a log. Freshwater for a few years now.

Fabrication skills are just from osmosis from 41 year of life on this planet.

Hoping to get a forever home here in the next few years so I can setup a 5-10 year tank. Apartment living is not my favorite thing.
 

Maddlesrain

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This looks great so far! I'm glad you tested out drilling so I didn't have to be the guinea pig :p I'm going to see about making a little DIY sump as well. I haven't been having much luck finding something within the size restrictions that meets the dimensions I need.
Thank you for joining in! I can't wait to see where you go with this!
 
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faceymcfaceface

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This looks great so far! I'm glad you tested out drilling so I didn't have to be the guinea pig :p I'm going to see about making a little DIY sump as well. I haven't been having much luck finding something within the size restrictions that meets the dimensions I need.
Thank you for joining in! I can't wait to see where you go with this!
For drilling I highly recommend a step drill.


These things are beautiful for acrylic.
 

Maddlesrain

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For drilling I highly recommend a step drill.


These things are beautiful for acrylic.
I was looking at those! I was thinking maybe these from Amazon.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B001OEPYWK/ref=ox_sc_act_image_2?smid=A2AO4ILASGYIQR&psc=1
I'm thinking I'm going to use push connects for my drain and return rather than bulkheads, but still doing a little research on it.
 
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faceymcfaceface

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Putting the sides on. You can see I went with a black background on the MCT.
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Marking up the top for drain hole placements.
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I did intend for the offset to the lines.
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Not much to say with this one.
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Needs holes to accommodate the valves hanging off the back.
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Cleaning up the slots.
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I was able to get this chunk off in one piece.
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Placement and test fit.
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Might be a smidge too larger but I will do with that instead of too small. Nice amount of flexibility for movement if needed once the sump is but on rails.
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faceymcfaceface

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Had to bail on the slides due to lack of skill installing them. The staining didn't work out very well. I blame user error. Ended up going with a black paint and it looks "ok". Might attempt to replace the stand at some point during this next year.

Running tap water through the system now and I am not getting enough return to the sump. If I turn up the pump even more then a little it will overflow the tank. Bought a 2nd set of fittings to make two return lines. Should be here Monday.

Below are some more in progress shots. Excuse the silicone job on the sump. It was a super tight fit and I have fat fingers apparently.


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faceymcfaceface

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The leaks were a personal problem. Learned how to not installed the bulkheads.

Ran it for a few days with tap water and no leaks!

Emptied it out and this weekend I put salt water into it. Also bought some rubble from the LFS live rock selection. Away we go.

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