Redoubt Reef: 80 Gallon Rebirth Build

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RedoubtReef

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In 2017, I moved from WA to ID and it was a rough move for the aquarium. Getting settled in a new state and a new way of life, the reef took a back seat and just didn't get the love it deserved. So, it's time to give new life to this aquarium.

The tank is a custom 80-gallon built by Clear Fabrications Inc (Get hold of Jason @CFI if you need one! https://www.facebook.com/Clear-Fabrications-2068164953394973/). I've got a new sump (48x22x24), which I'm picking up Saturday, that was also built by CFI as well. It has a 40-gallon refugium section, skimmer/equipment section, and then a 25-gallon return section....from what I can remember as I'm typing this:D

For lighting, I'm going back to halides and T5s. I ran Radions for over a decade and I never really got to the point where I thought the light from LED was quite as good as halides. There's a shimmer you just can't get with LED and they're tried and true for SPS. The light is a 4' Hamilton fixture with 2X 250W 20K Radiums and 4 T5s for actinic lighting. Not sure yet on the T5 combination but it will probably be ATI True Actinic03 and a couple of ATI Purple Plus. Probably won't need to run heaters:D

Nothing fancy for skimming, just my 13-year-old Reef Octopus. I'm going to use PolypLab Genisis Rock for the core of the bio-filter. I'm looking at Tropic Eden for my substrate, probably a mix of 3 different kinds and 2" deep as I'd like a Diamond Goby at some point. Flow will be provided by my MP40's (they started out life as MP20s) once they get the wetside and controller upgrades.

For Livestock, I'm looking at a number of small fish, mostly gobies. A tailspot blenny. Some sort of fairy wrasse and a six-line. At some point, I'll try and get a yellow tang or lavender tang. And then of course SPS, LPS, and maybe a couple of zoa varieties.

OK, on to the pics. Let's start with a little look back at the beginning:

Back when she was brand new and never seen water
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first setup with rock
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Some old livestock from the past
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And here's what she looked like when I tore her down a couple of months ago:
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RedoubtReef

RedoubtReef

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Time for a new stand! I'm using 3/4 Rustic Hickory plywood. The mfgr applied putty to the knotholes in the wood. I love the knots in it. Looks really good to me. I had intended to leave it but then got to thinking about how I could alter it to make it look a little better. I dug out the putty and used my son's wood burner to scorch the layer beneath the veneer. With the stain on it, it looks like solid wood in those spots. The finish I'm using is General Finishes Hickory stain and a satin topcoat. The stain is really nice to work with. You wipe on, let sit for 20-30 seconds and wipe off. I'll do 2 coats.
In all the pics below everything is just dry fit at the moment as I still have some pieces to cut before final assembly.
Here's my test board with stain over the burned out knothole:
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Top, bottom and sides will be joined with glue and dowels
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The back will be held in place with pocket hole screws every 6" all the way around and glue.
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There will be a 4" 'beam" made with 2 pieces of ply glued and screwed together behind the top faceplate. I'll put in a removable center stile once the sump/fuge is in place in the stand to add extra support to the center. Should also help block the fuge light from coming out between the doors at night.
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taulgrl

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Time for a new stand! I'm using 3/4 Rustic Hickory plywood. The mfgr applied putty to the knotholes in the wood. I love the knots in it. Looks really good to me. I had intended to leave it but then got to thinking about how I could alter it to make it look a little better. I dug out the putty and used my son's wood burner to scorch the layer beneath the veneer. With the stain on it, it looks like solid wood in those spots. The finish I'm using is General Finishes Hickory stain and a satin topcoat. The stain is really nice to work with. You wipe on, let sit for 20-30 seconds and wipe off. I'll do 2 coats.
In all the pics below everything is just dry fit at the moment as I still have some pieces to cut before final assembly.
Here's my test board with stain over the burned out knothole:
IMG_9946.JPG


IMG_9947.JPG


Top, bottom and sides will be joined with glue and dowels
IMG_9948.JPG



IMG_9953.JPG



IMG_9950.JPG


The back will be held in place with pocket hole screws every 6" all the way around and glue.
IMG_9957.JPG


IMG_9961.JPG


IMG_9962.JPG


There will be a 4" 'beam" made with 2 pieces of ply glued and screwed together behind the top faceplate. I'll put in a removable center stile once the sump/fuge is in place in the stand to add extra support to the center. Should also help block the fuge light from coming out between the doors at night.
IMG_9960.JPG


IMG_9958.JPG
You do beautiful work. Love the wood you used!
 
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RedoubtReef

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Did a road trip over to Western WA yesterday and picked up the new sump. Wow, bigger than I thought, but that is a good thing. The fuge section is +40gal.



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Unpacked the new light today to get a look at the beast. A little dusty on the outside but it cleaned up. Reflector is in great shape. UPS busted the glass so have to order a new one from local supplier for $35.
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Due to the size of the sump, finding the right hinge that will fit in the 1/4" space between the sump and the side panel has been a challenge. I finally found one that will work: https://www.hardwaresource.com/aximat-full-overlay-270-degree-hinge-black.html

This hinge will let the door sit flush to the side panel and top panel. It will allow the door to swing all the way open and back against the sides when I need to do maintenance.
This is what happens when you design your stand around your sump :face-with-tears-of-joy:
 
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RedoubtReef

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Took a few weeks off due to being out of town and an injury. Got the stand glued, clamped, and screwed this AM. The next step will be painting the inside of the cabinet white after I plug the pocket screw holes.
Also, I think I found a better solution to the wood center support I planned on using. I was admiring some of the extruded aluminum stands that some folks are using and so I'm replacing the wood front support with a piece of 1x3 black anodized t-slot using 2" gussets I ordered from 80/20 yesterday. That support will provide 7" of support across the center of the top and bottom boards.

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Feel like I'm finally getting somewhere. Got the inside of the cabinet painted and the doors mounted. I'm loving the hinges. One of the things that bothered me about my old stand was that I couldn't always get the doors out of the way when I needed to do certain things. Not a problem anymore.
Hopefully, I'll get everything sanded and start putting the stain on by this weekend.

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Thes Kreg jig worked pretty well. Easy to set up.
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This is a long-overdue update. I ran into an issue with the stand in the previous pics. Back in July, I began to notice the veneer on some of the plywood panels was wavy. As I began to try staining the cabinet, the veneer began to let go of the layer beneath. The panels with this issue all came from the same sheet.
I called the vendor and told him what was going on and he graciously offered me 2 new sheets. I did a little more research and decided to use marine-rated mahogany plywood and had to rebuild the cabinet. I also slightly changed up the original design in that I raised the bottom up about 2" which allowed me to box in the sides to the bottom panel for added strength. Lessons learned. So, I had to take time to get other things done before winter hits and the cabinet took a back seat for a bit. Today, I was finally able to move the stand and the sump/fuge system into the house. Still need to do a little tweaking on the door hinge alignment.

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This is a removable center support that came from 80/20. I added this because the stand is slightly wider than the tank and it helps alleviate my paranoia. :beaming-face-with-smiling-eyes:
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Fan installed!
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Patched up the old closed loop holes yesterday. Got it filled for a leak test before I bring it in the house. I also had to polish out the back of the tank. I had never removed the paper protector from the acrylic and the adhesive had hardened. Scratched the heck out of the tank removing it but it looks good now.
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Yikes!
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ahh, that's better!
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I'll get it in the house tomorrow if it doesn't leak
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No leaks so I was able to get the tank brought inside and placed on the stand for the first time. Dug out an old Maxspect LED I had laying around for the fuge light. Plumbing supplies show up Thursday from BRS so I should have it plumbed this weekend.

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