My 75 to 120 upgrade

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scrappy35

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I picked up a brand used, but never used (still had stickers on it) planet aquariums 120 to replace my 75. Started with the stand. Built using the typical design with a couple mods. The is 4” taller and I didn’t want my overall height any higher. I built the top supports using 2x4 doubled up on the long runs and glues and screwed together. Then to gain space on the bottom I had my dad weld me 2 - 1 1/2“ square tubing brackets to support my 40 breeder sump. Between that and using 2x4 instead of my current 2x6, I was able to keep sump space the same and overall height the same. I also made the side that houses apex and pump controls a little deeper overall. Still need to add the divider walls.

the 40b sump:
had a few lessons learned here from my first build. I changed the way water flows in, expanded the bubble trap to the return to 3” to make cleaning easier and put a little more height difference between sections. I also made 2 exit points for water leaving the skimmer section ( slot just off the bottom and over the top). I did just under the divider on first one and it had seri low flow at the top around the skimmer. Second, I doubled up the 1/4” acrylic to 1/2” (glued together) for the baffle between my fuge and return chamber. There is about an 8” height difference in where the water level will be and 1/4” bowed to much for my liking. I make fairly large return chamber size to accommodate back flow water when pumps are off. Never understood the small return chamber volume on commercial sumps. I don’t want have to worry about it. I calculated I can can hold about 10g just in return chamber. I also used black and smoked gray acrylic to stop fuge light bleed over. Clear allowed algae to grow all over. A232C79C-798E-48F9-BD29-98D14422C9AC.jpeg 2ECCDDB8-3BC2-4DFE-8947-1C7A12832C08.jpeg CE68D8A5-A374-4646-8834-6E5E3FFA635A.jpeg 0AC31005-5C4D-4F4D-AFA6-112EAA51A553.jpeg 3A80709A-21EF-46E6-8A42-02E41F25CD1D.jpeg

Next is to start laying out the plumbing.
 
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scrappy35

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I will enclose it, paint the inside white and the outside black to match my fish room tank racks. I’ll do this after I get the plumbing figured out and test run it for a week in my shop. Had to buy all new stuff since I can not steal anything from my current tank.
 
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Made some headway in the overflow plumbing today. The center pipe is the emergency and I wanted to put it into the fuge section, but the only place I could fit the bean animal was on the outsides of the overflow. That left the center for emergency. Here are some pics, please point out any suggestions before I glue it all. Overflow pics are a little hard to see. Short drain is about an inch off the bottom and the secondary has an air vent in it. All 3 will drain onto a 10x6 filter pad sitting on top of a course sponge. i tried to keep 90s to a minimum.

3FA18AC1-AAA9-4192-AF66-B23259FCF801.jpeg 78840ABB-611D-4B4B-AF75-812EAA2B10BD.jpeg B6084BDF-46CE-4794-8600-A3B856F991BE.jpeg 11E158F7-4DB2-41F5-8668-210B458D4AF9.jpeg 0CE31A18-D37B-48EB-9F55-FA194356E5D7.jpeg F35554FE-4D10-484A-8F27-FF17B79FB578.jpeg 9E7CE921-DB6F-4A4B-BB20-764AA66F58E8.jpeg B8A0842C-B3DF-4B11-9E31-3EAB07A7189E.jpeg
 
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What would I need those for? I haven’t seen a need on my 75 yet and it will have to sit pretty close to the wall in order to fit in the fish room. Not seeing a need and finding out it would have been a good idea later are 2 different things of course.
 
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Finished the rough in of the plumbing. Still have to get a couple pvc fittings and 2 pieces of lock line in order to finish final connections. Getting close to gluing, fill and run it through its paces. I figured a way to mov the emergency drain so that it will make noise if running. Seriously thinking about getting the flow kit for my apex to see what it’s really doing. Anyone have that? Thoughts on it? 7B712D29-777E-4AC4-B2ED-5018DA0FA1A1.jpeg 0B546FF1-2264-44C9-86CC-7B42B65299F1.jpeg
 
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it’s alive! Got all the plumbing glued and filled with water. Almost made a big mistake, I was gluing the pipes with unions onto the overflow bulk heads and forgot to put the nuts on. Realized it at the 3rd one. Luckily I was moving fast and was able to pull them back off before they completely dried. I was nervous about regluing, but it all worked out. The bean animal is silent.

I ordered a reefdreeders coral box return pump and they were out of the 1600 gph so they upgraded me to the 2500. I was worried at first, but glad they did. I’m running it at about 70% at the moment, that’s with some water being diverted to the fuge section for more flow there.

Things to adjust: I’m going to drop the water level in the fuge about 1.5 inches and I need to put some slots in the skimmer section to clean up the surface water in it. I put a 1/4 slot down low thinking I would get overflow, but it didn’t quite work that way. This part will suck since I have to do it with my small router in the sump. Drain the sump, cut, clean and try again. Luckily I have a heated shop to work in. Right now it is out there running to make sure all is good.
Thus far I am pretty impressed with the build of the planet aquarium tank. Water level runs slightly above the rim, so there is no water line.

To be continued…….
 
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Ran tank for a week and a half, then drained and continued working on stand. I got it skinned and the control compartment figured out. Now to paint and build the doors.
One think I did notice is the tank continues to drain past the threads on the overflow box until it reaches the bottom of the threads on the bulkheads going through the tank. Thinking of adding a second set of gaskets between the box and the inside of the tank?

I also built another structure to add to the bigger tank. E1D5D05A-7FA8-468A-B294-0FD6EA26F384.jpeg E1D5D05A-7FA8-468A-B294-0FD6EA26F384.jpeg 69C8CD55-9555-4D99-BF86-B1E32D549C18.jpeg
 

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scrappy35

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iv e done all the prep work I can for tomorrows swap. Rinsed 80lbs of sand. That was a pain. Weather has been nice until last night. Todays high was 10, so I rinsed in the bathtub. I have 60g of new saltwater ready, an empty 55, 29 tank and a 25g tub. I’ll get some pics tomorrow during the move.
 
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Long day! Finally went to bed around 11:30. Ended up using about 50-60lbs of new sand, no old. I was using 2 Nero 3s, now I hooked up my 3rd to flow down the back side and may even buy a 4th. I got my new aquaticlife led strips mount with my 2 xr-15s. My original rock structure doesn’t quite look as good in the bigger tank, even though I added a 1 new structure. Will have to play with it. I will do a new par map and place corals today. Right now they are just sitting on a rack. Leveling a tank on carpet sucks, but we t it level. I also have a 1/8” yoga mat under the rim of the tank just to allow for any small imperfections. B29E9DE8-37C2-4315-870F-A1A1AE4B26C2.jpeg 275622D1-5894-44E5-8443-442E331BD649.jpeg A1226BB8-8BA4-4745-BCA5-3BCD6F2583D9.jpeg 9967E7B3-EE51-4D48-9DDC-55A8DC33DDBA.jpeg E86484C0-09C6-4140-890B-F2D6EAB93362.jpeg 2A693505-B7FD-4C80-BBEB-958B94051609.jpeg 506969CF-B2A0-4EFD-9055-D4E2777C8189.jpeg 57B32920-B3AF-402A-94FF-C4EBF8DD79E4.jpeg B2E1966F-6245-4564-A2EC-4E6FF5F85CCA.jpeg 06B92B64-C66F-4020-BEC5-E95FD7E0B11C.jpeg 6DEC2EEE-7FEF-41B5-8BDB-F1DECB93EA96.jpeg
 
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