Peace River's Found Parts Build

Peace River

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This is the start of a build thread that is mostly made up of found parts including stuff that was given to me, stuff that I had laying around, and stuff that I collected. This isn't meant to be a model for a budget build although there may (or may not) be some things that may be helpful to those wanting to go that direction. This also isn't meant to be a model for a build in general - I have already done things in this build that I probably would have done differently if I did it again. I will try to be candid along the way to point out lessons learned and less than optimal decisions. Additionally, this isn't my main system - I wanted to set up an additional tank and use what I had. I will post pictures and more of the story soon.
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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I have a number of tanks and because people know I am unapologetically into fish stuff, more tanks and equipment seem to show up. Often I find new homes for the stuff, but sometimes, for various reasons, the stuff shows up and stays. This year a 5g, a couple of 10's, a 55g w/stand, and other miscellaneous parts and pieces found their way into my assortment of stuff. I found a home for a sump, a canister filter, a basic pump, some basic lights, and several other parts, but as I looked at the 55g sitting in my garage I started thinking about what I could do with it and then I started looking around any going through everything else I had. Although none of it was anything special I decided it would be enough to do a fish-only system so the adventure began....
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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Haha let's see how this goes. Gonna set a budget too??
Great question! I'm going to try to do it with no additional money spent so there's not really a budget at the moment - just stuff I have laying around from past projects, stuff that was given to me, or stuff I collected. I'm not saying that I am doing it all for free because I did purchase some of the stuff in the past that is no longer in use or that I didn't end up previously using. Also I'm not making a hard rule that says I absolutely can't spend any additional money - that's just a general guideline. I'll post a equipment list soon. We'll see what happens!
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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Following along for the build for sure. I did not realize how much extra reef stuff I had until I recently moved.
You aren't kidding! Part of the agreement to setting up another tank was cleaning out all of the stuff that would likely never be used!
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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I didn’t take a true "before" picture of the tank and stand because I wasn’t really planning to turn this into a build when I got the tank. When the inspiration hit, I took a survey of the parts and pieces that I had then started working on the tank. I started by rinsing out the already clean tank and then filled the tank with a 20:1 water to bleach solution for a few days. After a thorough rinse I let the tank air dry outside in the sun. The next day I wiped down the outside of the tank with acetone to prep for painting and taped off the trim with blue painters tape and used copier paper. Although I normally use Krylon spray paint on tanks, this time I used a couple of cans of Ace Hardware brand flat spray paint that was similar and left over from another project.
 
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Peace River

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Once the bottom and the back panels of the tank were painted, then I moved on to getting all of the other equipment ready to go. In addition to the tank and oak stand, the setup that I was given also included a traditional old-style hood and fluorescent light fixture. I had a 4' T5 reef lightbulb that I had previously purchased for $2 at a fish club auction that I put into the fixture. Additionally while all of this was happening I setup up a Penn Plax Cascade canister filter that wasn't in use and connected it to another one of my saltwater systems for about a month in order to seed the filter material and hopefully limit the cycle time after I moved the canister to the new system. I also found a yet-to-be-used off-brand powerhead in my stack of stuff - I think I had also bought that at a fish club auction last year. So with a plan for the tank, stand, hood, lights, and filtration, it was time to decide what to put in the tank....
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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I'm really confident this will be very impressive. I'm excited to follow along. I've done this with 10g.
Thanks! I hope you’re right! Lol!
 

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Great idea for a thread. I am always looking for projects like that.

I applaud your tank painting. Nice, neat, taped and prepped. Makes me feel bad. I took my 180, put the open end up against a wall in my garage, windexed the back panel and sprayed the Lowe’s black on. 5 minutes. After I moved it there was overspray all over my garage wall:eek:
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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Great idea for a thread. I am always looking for projects like that.

I applaud your tank painting. Nice, neat, taped and prepped. Makes me feel bad. I took my 180, put the open end up against a wall in my garage, windexed the back panel and sprayed the Lowe’s black on. 5 minutes. After I moved it there was overspray all over my garage wall:eek:
LOL. I used to be a lot more careful than I am now, but after doing between 20 & 30 tanks (usually just the bottoms) I have figured out a process that is relatively quick: look at the weather, grab the drop cloth, spread it out in the back lawn (not under trees - don't ask me how I know this), put the tank in the middle of the drop cloth, tape off the trim with long strips, slide used copier paper underneath outside edge of second row of tape, test spray can to make sure clean spray of paint (lesson learned here too), spray two to three coats on outside panel of tank, move the tank into the garage away from rain, debris, neighborhood cats, etc., remove tape before paint starts to get tacky (if I forget then use razor blade to score the edge between the tape and the paint), and usually let dry for a day so the paint is fully hardened.
 
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Peace River

Peace River

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Once the tank was prepped and the equipment was setup, it was time to turn to what was going inside the tank. I have another 55g tank set up for breeding saltwater killifish that had a couple of decent sized pieces of driftwood that I had previously found at low tide. In addition to adding some aesthetics, I figured that moving the driftwood to the new tank would also bring some good bacteria to complement the bacteria from the canister filter that had also been running for a while on a SW system. Trying to stay with the theme of found stuff, I decided to head to the coast with dipnet, seine, and buckets to see what I could find....
 
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