New to forum. Hi. In wall tank build. 90G.

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
Hello everyone. It's been a decade since I had a reef tank. I've been meaning to set up a new tank but never really got around to it. When I was finishing the basement, I decided on a wall where I wanted an in-wall tank but went back and forth as it would back to the utility/hvac room and I didn't want moisture in there. Hasn't been a problem so far (2 months) as I lose only about 0.5 gallons a day through evaporation. I'm mainly going to do soft (zoas and mushrooms) and some lps.

I have 50-60 pics that show the construction and where the tank is now. What's the etiquette here? Thumbnails, a few at a time or just dump all of them at once?
 
Champion Lighting & Supply

Peace River

Thrive Master
View Badges
Joined
Apr 29, 2014
Messages
14,803
Reaction score
110,284
Location
Central Florida, USA
#WelcometoR2R!!! Congratulations on the new adventure and thank you for the gracious question! While in other parts of the forum you may want to be more conscientious, in your build thread you can feel free to post away! Many members find that posting 3-5 per post usually works best (even if you want to submit 10 posts at a time containing 3-5 pictures each). This approach also lets you add a little bit of text to walk the reader through your journey (and as a reminder for you when you reread the thread in a year). I look forward to seeing your setup!
 
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
Here's the wall. Luckily, when I built out the basement I didn't run any wires or pipes through this wall. Had to move a bunch of junk out and a lot of spare wood flooring boards.

thumbnail_IMG_5999.jpg


As I'm sure most people are aware, tanks seem to be hard to get. Phoned multiple locations and finally found the tank 4 hours away in Pittsburgh so decided to drive there and back. It fit perfectly in the back of a GTI, with the trunk closed.



thumbnail_IMG_6008.jpg


Here's the wall. Wanted to bottom of the cutout to line up with the speaker. A tad OCD. Tape to mark the dimensions and see what it would look like. I made the hole about 5" smaller than the tank height wise and 2" smaller left to right so dimensions ended up around 46x19


thumbnail_IMG_6034.jpg



thumbnail_IMG_6037.jpg

and the studs are gone. Nothing super exciting.


thumbnail_IMG_6072.jpg


Stand, blocking and painting the back wall is next ....
 
Last edited:
Zoanthids
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
I kept going back and forth on whether to build the stand integrated into the wall or standalone. I ended up building it standalone and the modifying to fit into the wall.

thumbnail_IMG_6053.jpg


Following online instructions, used 2x6 across the top without center braces. Sanded, leveled, glued, screwed etc ...

thumbnail_IMG_6059.jpg


Obviously won't fit into studs as is, so ended up cutting the bottom and placing another piece of wood going left/right about 3.5" back. Shimmed a little since the concrete isn't exactly flat. Hanging one light to just to see what kind of room I had. The cut wall studs aren't actually supporting anything. The stand carries all the weight. Painted walls, studs and stand with zinsser or something similar.

thumbnail_IMG_6145.jpg


Next up will be finishing the cut out ....
 

Jekyl

GSP is the devil and clowns are bad pets
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
5,466
Reaction score
8,984
Location
Michigan
That's how I did. Did you find that design somewhere? The stand I built for my 90 had a lot more wood to it. The stand has to be able to support a lot of weight with no warping. Here's some reference pics.
 

Attachments

  • 1622000254153759955655623603290.jpg
    1622000254153759955655623603290.jpg
    125.2 KB · Views: 16
  • 16220002792303993622002661518493.jpg
    16220002792303993622002661518493.jpg
    118.4 KB · Views: 16
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
2x6s sitting on two 2x4s on each corner, with weight straight down. I might put a cross brace at some point in case it gets a huge bump that upsets it but it's not moving. It's only 4' wide so no need for a center with a 2x6.
 

Jekyl

GSP is the devil and clowns are bad pets
View Badges
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
5,466
Reaction score
8,984
Location
Michigan
2x6s sitting on two 2x4s on each corner, with weight straight down. I might put a cross brace at some point in case it gets a huge bump that upsets it but it's not moving. It's only 4' wide so no need for a center with a 2x6.
I didn't use any 2x6 in my build. Also was for a 4' 90 or 120g
 
First Choice
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
Welcome to REEF2REEF!!! Following along. I love the hole cut in the wall

Sometimes it's the only way to start. Cut the hole and the rest will follow. I'm a big believer in getting some designs and plans done first but I get to about 60% and then start doing. Would be nice to have it all thought out first but that's not how my brain works.
 
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
I don't like wood molding around in wall tanks or picture framing it. Think it detracts from the tank. I was initially going to do a minimalist frame out of metal. Could never really get it right and scrapped that idea. Between having to worry about scratching the tank glass (it was a u-channel), water around metal and just not liking how the corners came together I decided to just finish it as you would a window return.

thumbnail_IMG_6172.png



I didn't want it recessed the depth of a stud. That would have been the easiest thing to do but I didn't want to lose another 3" of space either. I also didn't want to just use the depth of the 1/2' drywall. To make my job easier, I went to Lowes and grabbed the spacers they use when they stack drywall sheets. Free and factory straight. Glued them around the back to form a 1" lip that I would then tape and finish.


thumbnail_IMG_6200.jpg


Drywall work always (for non professionals) looks much worse before it gets better. Luckily I have a few drywall projects under my belt including the entirety of the basement. Tip: If you ever want your drywall work to look good, take a light and shine it onto the work at shallow angles from multiple directions. It'll pick up all the imperfections which you can then tackle. Drywall finishing quickly takes skill and art but you can still do a great job by just putting the time in and not settling for good enough.


thumbnail_IMG_6204.jpg





thumbnail_IMG_6216.jpg




thumbnail_IMG_6232.jpg





thumbnail_IMG_6284.jpg


thumbnail_IMG_6288.jpg



thumbnail_IMG_6296.jpg



I used a strip of 1/4" or 3/8" weather stripping along the perimeter of the inside edge. It looks good now but that was a debate in that if it deteriorates or needs replacing, having a 800lb tank in the way could prove to be a challenge. We'll see how this works out long term.
thumbnail_IMG_6310.jpg
 
Last edited:
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
Next up. Carrying the 90 down the interior staircase. It wasn't horrible. Up on the stand. Note the waterline will be obscured and the trim also.

thumbnail_IMG_6318.jpg




thumbnail_IMG_6334.png


Now for the equipment and misc stuff. I got a redsea 300 skimmer off ebay that was local to me and the guy had some dry rock plus supplemented more dry rock from BRS. I should probably have cured all that somewhere else just to make sure but I didn't. No damage yet but I'd recommend that if you get your rocks from a source you don't know.


thumbnail_IMG_6139.jpg


For powerheads and return pump, I went with all Tunze DC controllables. Two 6140 and one silence 1073.05 (amazon warehouse deal for 1/2 price).

Two ViparSpectra 175w LED lights. Plus a BRS ro/di. Had a drain and pipes in the room so that's helpful. Along with an ATO and various containers.



thumbnail_IMG_6337.jpg


For the sump, I DIYed a 29G with 2 1/4" acrylic baffles of which one failed after 3-4 weeks. Luckily it wasn't the skimmer one. Let cure for 2+ weeks.

thumbnail_IMG_6503.jpg
 
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
Some live sand, rocks and water. Mixed the water/salt in the tank which I knew would be a mess once I added the live sand but it just takes it a few days to settle. Heaters in tank for now then will go to the sump.

thumbnail_IMG_6452.jpg



thumbnail_IMG_6510.jpg


Couldn't help my self. Got a couple of clown and some zoas in pretty quick after the cycling. Used Dr. Tim and Bio-spera. Still got some brown diatoms and bit of hair algae that I think originally came in on the zoa rocks but ended up turning down the lights for a few days and doing a water change and they disappeared.

I have test kits galore now. Hanna salinity, phosphate and ph meters. There's a tds meter on the rodi and a bunch of kits for the other stuff. Still not my favorite part of the hobby.

Also recently got a small pump to do water changes straight out of the sump instead of disturbing the main tank. Not sure why I hadn't thought of that earlier.



thumbnail_IMG_6745.jpg


Inhabitants are now a tomini tang, a snowflake clown, a flurry clown, a fridmani (orchid dotty), a peppermint shrimp, 2 turbos and a bunch of other snails. Pretty much done with the fish for a long time. Need to find the balance point on feeding as I'm sure I'm feeding too much and more importantly way to variable in terms of amounts.

IMG_6604.jpg


IMG_6783.jpg


I also ran a dedicated circuit and organized all the wires a bit.
 
Last edited:
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
This is the exciting stuff!! Tank looks good!! How long did it take for the cycle?

3-4 weeks iirc. Added ammonia and dr tims. Wouldnt come down, was told that it was due to the live sand outcompeting the bacteria in a bottle. Did a partial water change and added more bacteria then the numbers started to come down. Added the 2 clowns and figured the bacteria would have to catch up to deal with the load. Things generally stayed stable but for a couple of algae blooms which died off with a water change and minimal lights for a couple of days. Got my skimmer dialed in which helped matters. Added the tomini and called it a day.

Will regulate my feeding schedule and concentrate on corals now.
 
OP
W

workhz

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 23, 2021
Messages
138
Reaction score
152
Location
nova
Have a few corals in. I definitely like zoas. BTA has finally situated too.
 

Attachments

  • 7B488C55-A827-4DF5-9C0B-F3C18322776C.jpeg
    7B488C55-A827-4DF5-9C0B-F3C18322776C.jpeg
    224.1 KB · Views: 14
First Choice
Top