Ocean theme nursery with 40 breeder reef!

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Nsakis1

Nsakis1

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Not much accomplished today. Needed some parts from Home Depot but forgot it was Sunday and they close early. I was able to get some routing done for the controller compartment and got the backside primed for painting tomorrow.
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Fritz
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Nsakis1

Nsakis1

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Finally finished all the plumbing!
Alright truth be told...there was some leaking...ok lots of leaking...from like ALL of the threaded joints. My videos haven’t been posting but let’s try again so you can see the dreaded drip drip drop

If the video doesn’t play, just trust me. It was ugly. But not as ugly as this guy...
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Applied a nice thick layer of this stuff, and all was well in the world again! I feel dumb for not knowing that this exists but I learned a lot while reading about what to do. Apparently Teflon tape is frowned upon for threaded fittings due to the increased Stress that it places on the joint. Also learned that the threads get tighter and tighter the more you screw it in. Also learned that there is epoxy putty that you can apply over the top if you aren’t able to get to the source of the dripping so for like three dollars extra, I bought some to put in the “just in case” bin.
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This stuff is thick! It’s also very satisfying to see how much easier it is to twist the threaded fittings together as this acts like a lubricant. I called the manufacturer to ask when I could run pressurized water through it as there was no specific time period listed and they told me immediately.
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Maybe people already know this but when I decided where to place my unions, it was really just to be able to take them apart and set the tank down flat without having pipe sticking out from the bottom. I wasn’t thinking of anything else. This picture is to show that if you do the plumbing the way I did, you need to make sure this piece can swivel without hitting your overflow box. Obviously incorporating another union higher up will eliminate this problem but just something to think about.
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Full of tapwater without any leaks! OK fine there was still one tiny leak after a few hours but it’s because my tiny woman hands didn’t tighten the union well enough. After a little bit more elbow grease, it’s been leak free for hours now. I plugged in the heater which is working well and plan to run it overnight. If I’m still without any leaks by tomorrow evening when I get home, it might get drained and carried upstairs!
 
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It’s been a busy two days!
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Neat pic before I drained it and carried it upstairs.
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The final position. Time for sand
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Playing around with some dry rock
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This is about the scape style we are planning on but will be purchasing live rock to replace the dry rock “island” on the right as I really like the one on the left



Time lapse of the initial water fill! Unfortunately someone texted me and the vibration moved my phone a bit halfway through but it was still a fun video
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Finally full of water!
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My first Apex! The tech need in me is pumped
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I would say we are good from a salinity standpoint. 3is exactly what I was aiming for
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Dr Tim’s is in and now we wait!
Based on the provided schedule, first day we can add fish is July 9th! Getting more excited by the minute!
 
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Vortech party in my lap
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The control panel is coming along
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I am limited for room so this will fit the Apex energy bar, base unit, Varios pump controller, MP40 controller and then a small space for whatever else I decide to buy vs. the Inkbird heater module. Haven’t decided yet
 
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Just a few pictures showing progress on wrapping the stand. Unfortunately this vinyl is either terribly not sticky on a vertical surface or leaving it in the garage for a week ruined the adhesive. Either way my wife sent me a picture of half the vinyl fallen off minutes after texting me “the front of the stand looks great”...
Nothing the finish nailer can’t handle!
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My humble attempt at a control panel
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Night shot
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0.0°. Is that good!?

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This is how it looked before the bottom three panels fell off. Hopefully there’s a lot more done by tomorrow
 
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Nsakis1

Nsakis1

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I may have missed it. But what was used on the back of the tank to make it black. What paint was used?
I’m not sure if I posted it but here it is. A little can like this had plenty left after I finished 3 coats
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Aquarium Specialty - dry goods & marine livestock

revhtree

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Build is looking good!
 
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Picture dump but I wanted to wait to post the stand once I got it skinned to POSSIBLY squash any eye rolling as I completely understand the skepticism of completing a project like this without it looking cheesy. Hope that’s what I accomplished. Here we go....!
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Gluing on the half rounds

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2 or 3 layers of metallic copper followed by 2 layers of clear coat

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Vinyl panels on the end piece

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Left side looking pretty flush. On to the next...


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Most of the stand trim in place. I did all of this with a finish nailer. My recommendation is to make absolute certain that your settings are correct on scrap wood before firing nails into the project

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Guess I can’t ALWAYS be perfect

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So the deal I had originally made with myself was that I would not open this tablesaw until I got the garage cleaned out but it turns out babies don’t wait for you to complete projects so I had to break my rule. Shucks!

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My very first table saw accomplishment. Kerfing the entire 28”x36” surface

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Protein skimmer arrived! Bubble Magus Curve Elite 5

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I built a base that sits directly on the black trim of the tank and then framed everything around that

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Above are the brackets, nuts, and machine screws that I decided to go with. Down below you will see that I had to cut the brackets to accommodate for the wire that sticks out just below the screw hole in my AI prime 16 HD light

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I painted the brackets to match the light fixtures and then applied two layers of clearcoat. Right behind it you can see the aluminum 3 foot angle segment that I used to create the mounting bracket in the canopy. I drilled 5/16” holes only because that was the only metal drill bit that I actually own and the listed hardware above fit perfectly

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Here is the mock up of how the lights will hang

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OK this part was an absolute disaster. The plan was to glue this thin piece of wood to the underside of the canopy to provide rigidity to the lid that would eventually be on hinges. It’s a little difficult to explain until you get to the bottom and see how I cut out the opening on the canopy. Basically what happened is this giant wood piece just snapped right in half as my father-in-law and I were trying to curve it. Some quick thinking and two sets of hands were able to make a speedy recovery

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Here is the underside of the canopy nailed together. As you can see all of the wood glue is now exposed unfortunately making it a little less pretty

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The finish nailer was the king of the day

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Test fitment was absolutely perfect with probably 1/16 of an inch to spare

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This was the next disaster of the project! So the thought was again because I made so many cuts when I was Kerfing the top canopy piece, the edges of the cuts were not touching once it was curved around the half circle pieces. This made me think that when I cut out my canopy latch, that the whole piece would just straighten out instead of keeping its curved form. I mixed up this Bondo brand adhesive/filler and it was just very difficult to get it to go into the cracks therefore I probably ended up using twice the amount of product that I needed to and it still didn’t completely cover the interior of the canopy. The problem with this product is that it sets in 3-5 minutes so I want you to picture of me sitting on a bucket with a paper plate in my lap mixing this stuff up and trying to cram it into all of those grooves in less than three minutes... not fun!

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I was really concerned about whether this vinyl would stay curved because the adhesive had already proved to be absolutely useless on a vertical surface. Luckily those finish nails were barely visible and I just went to town on them

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I sent this picture to my best friend and he was quick to point out that the flowers in the background made this look like a casket!

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When you don’t have a 36 inch clamp you get creative. Let’s just say when I tried to do this without my wife’s help, one of the clamps jumped off of the tank, swung down, and conveniently found my kneecap. I felt that for a solid 24 hours

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I didn’t realize until I got to this picture during this post that I hadn’t mentioned the goal was to make this project look like a treasure chest so hopefully this is the first picture which is somewhat indicative of those intentions


This was the beginning of a very fruitless night working on the canopy. All I had to do was nail the last two pieces of trim in place and I put the left side on backwards. At first I thought no big deal I will just pop off the half rounds and move them to the appropriate spot. Turns out what they say about what glue is correct because the bond that the half round had on the wood trim or stronger than the wood trim itself

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I felt like I was so close to being done and this was quite a setback but really when I look back on it, it didn’t take that long to fix the mistake. I was able to make all of the kerfing cuts on a new piece of trim, glue on the half rounds, spray paint and clearcoat all in that evening and attached it all in the morning

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Spray painted some handles that we found at hobby lobby and got them mounted to each side. Unfortunately because of the lighting in the room, even though they are perfectly centered, they don’t quite appear that way

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You can see a few different things in this picture. One of the two lights is now mounted to the top bracket. Unfortunately after priming, painting and clear coating the interior of the canopy, The perfect 1/16 inch gap for the canopy fitting on top of the aquarium had disappeared and it was quite difficult to get the canopy back on. I mention this because mounting the lights was very difficult with the canopy already in place and I just didn’t want to take the canopy off to do it. Either way it ended up getting done. The other thing that you can see is how much of that Bondo product did not fit into the grooves. At this point I didn’t see the benefit in sanding it all smooth since it was just the inside of the canopy.

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Here is a picture of everything in place with the three different compartments open. I will place a picture of the final product in my next post!
 
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Ferrell

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First off, congratulations on the build, it’s an awesome build and the concept and craftsmanship is over the top. And if the baby has come early, good job and wish #5 good health and a reefing spirit.
You asked if we see any issues and you may already know this but I’m going to state the obvious, that metal screw clamp in the water is not good, even if it’s supposed to be stainless. And while you’re at it, the one on the top of the pipe should be changed too. When It rusts it could leach into the tank. BRS sells plastic squeeze together clamps that work great.
AGAIN, congratulations on everything



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Nsakis1

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First off, congratulations on the build, it’s an awesome build and the concept and craftsmanship is over the top. And if the baby has come early, good job and wish #5 good health and a reefing spirit.
You asked if we see any issues and you may already know this but I’m going to state the obvious, that metal screw clamp in the water is not good, even if it’s supposed to be stainless. And while you’re at it, the one on the top of the pipe should be changed too. When It rusts it could leach into the tank. BRS sells plastic squeeze together clamps that work great.
AGAIN, congratulations on everything



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Thank you for reminding me. I definitely had considered this but didn’t know there was a plastic option. Thanks for finding more ways for me to spend money! Lol
 

Do you house a "Reef Safe" Angelfish in your reef tank?

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