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My DIY/Ghetto/cheap build

Darsh

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So a quick back story… I’ve been out of the saltwater hobby and actually completely tankless for about 6 years. I sold my tanks when I left my home country of Ireland to live in Poland. The itch starting to come back and I finally decided I NEED A TANK!!

After spending a lot of money in the past on fish related stuff I'm now not interested in going all out and buying the highest quality or most expensive gear.
I started thinking about how to do it “on the cheap” and realised that it was much much more interesting to source parts and make as much as possible myself.



I expect some detractors here and I welcome them because before I put any life in here I want others opinions on what I should/shouldn’t do. I realise I’m not doing the ideal thing but I’m confident that everything will work out. However, if someone sees an important hole in my plan I really would like to hear from them.

The target was basically this:

I wanted it to be cheap, I wanted it to be safe, I wanted it to be fun and the missus wanted it to match the furniture.

Of course I wanted a big tank but I felt that because we will more than likely move in the future I wanted to start off small so I could do everything by myself, lifting the tank etc. It wouldn’t be too intimidating for my other half and maybe she would fall in love with it and want a bigger one when we move to our forever home in the next few years haha.

I decided on a small 100L tank, or 25G.

I bought a strange corner tank and had a nice idea to turn it around and make a half hex out of it but that idea was revoked and I had to remove it from my home and it now resides in the basement. Here it is along with my vision...
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I was asked politely to "get a normal one"...

I bought the next aquarium second hand for basically nothing, ordered some chinese diamond hole saws and drilled 2 holes in the back. This was the first time I had drilled an aquarium and for anyone out there wondering about cheap hole saws I can really recommend them! I bought 2 in case the quality was so bad that I needed a second to drill the second hole but 1 did both holes no problem. They cost $6 including shipping haha! Then I painted the back with oil based gloss paint only because I needed it for the interior overflow and I’m trying to cut costs.
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I don’t want to bore you with the stand building, but basically, I had never done this before.
I recycled our old IKEA bed plus some extra bits for the stand. Then I recycled my son’s old IKEA cot for the canopy and painted it all in waterproof paint made for bathrooms that I had already, unopened for another project that in the end wasn’t needed.


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We bought our apartment almost 2 years ago to the day. It’s an old tenement house which was built in 1902 in very bad condition and we’ve been living here and renovating the whole time. The renovation is 90% finished and I had some leftovers so managed to make a “skin” to match the kitchen furniture.
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So far so good :) 20181130_113352.jpg
 
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Lazys Coral House
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Darsh

Darsh

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Don't tease us like that! :)
Here is a sneak peak ;)

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When I built the stand I was using the material that I had so I wasn’t thinking about how much room I should leave for a sump. I have 54cm(21”) between the supports and 40cm(16”) front to back, this means it’s too small for a standard 60cm(24”) tank which was my original idea.

For the moment I’ll use a plastic box with a sump which brings up more challenges. My idea again is not perfect but I think this will work well in a low flow environment.

There are four smaller compartments and one main one. My drains will flow into the first and highest one then into the main one, from there into the shortest one with my return pump. However along the way they will go through my removable two part deep sand bed compartment, my HOB filter turf scrubber compartment and my skimmer.

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Again, if you don’t like something you see or think something won’t work please tell me because it’s very easy to miss something or not think about some issue and really it’s half the reason I’m writing this build thread.

First my own critique. I don’t know exactly how the water will flow through this sump but I don’t think it will be important, it will enter on one side and exit on the other.
I realise I’m overcomplicating things with all these different methods of nutrient export in such a small box but each part is small. Small DSB, small algae scrubber and small skimmer. Hopefully they will all do their part and to be honest it makes things more interesting ;)
 
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Darsh

Darsh

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Slight change of plan ;)
After reading one of the sticky threads in the diy section about Donovan's Nitrate Destroyer I want to run one in my tank. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it!
With the DND in there, I'm not going to make the algae scrubber and maybe not even the removable deep sand bed, however I'm interested in seeing if it'll work out also, so not sure yet.
Trying to get all my plumbing together at the moment but everything is shaping up nicely :)
 

ccombs

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I am going to be really honest. Making so much of this yourself DIY and making it work will be very rewarding. My home reno was DIY and I am proud of what I accomplished daily. I am a tad DIY'ed out for now so we just purchased the fish supplies for convenience haha.

Best of luck to you! Looking forward to seeing what you make of this.
 
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Darsh

Darsh

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Thanks, it's really interesting researching and making plans to do everything myself.
My home renovation is still ongoing which is why my tank is taking so long. I have to work on it quietly while my better half thinks I'm doing something house related haha ;)
 

ccombs

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Thanks, it's really interesting researching and making plans to do everything myself.
My home renovation is still ongoing which is why my tank is taking so long. I have to work on it quietly while my better half thinks I'm doing something house related haha ;)
I don't think it is ever finished haha. A home is an on going project of repairs, maintenance, and new ideas. The scope of our renovation expanded rapidly when we got into it. I consider it done though haha. There are a few things here and there that need some upkeep lol, like my dog chewing up a door frame.....
 
Lazys Coral House
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Darsh

Darsh

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That tank looks great so far, no need to call it ghetto or cheap, I started with a 20g long on an old dresser.

Cheers!
The outside will look nice so that it's accepted into the house, but inside the stand will be ghetto haha.
Also, it will be very cheap, so far I've spent about $50 :)
 
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Darsh

Darsh

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So I've done a few things over the last month and it's getting close :)
I moved the tank into it's permanent place and to my shock my wife said "oh, it should be bigger, like the size of the whole wall!"
Without the door that wall is about 11 feet so I'm very happy to hear that haha.
Probably we'll sell and move in a couple of years so now I know the seed has definitely been planted on the bigger tank idea haha :)
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I've done most of the plumbing and water tested the interior overflow and the exterior overflow box and everything seems good. I need to buy a pump and then I can fill it with water :)
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Jon Fishman

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So I've done a few things over the last month and it's getting close :)
I moved the tank into it's permanent place and to my shock my wife said "oh, it should be bigger, like the size of the whole wall!"
Without the door that wall is about 11 feet so I'm very happy to hear that haha.
Probably we'll sell and move in a couple of years so now I know the seed has definitely been planted on the bigger tank idea haha :)
20190414_221605.jpg
20190414_221719.jpg


I've done most of the plumbing and water tested the interior overflow and the exterior overflow box and everything seems good. I need to buy a pump and then I can fill it with water :)
20190429_082444.jpg
20190512_161542.jpg
20190512_161603.jpg
20190512_161626.jpg
In-and-out burger would say that is Full-Animal style
 
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