Remix - Nems & Leathers & Sea Turkeys. Oh my!!

AquaCave

WirelessMike

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Hey Reefers. It’s been a while since I have posted on here and I thought it was time to get back in the community. I started in the hobby at the beginning of COVID and posted my first build on here a couple years back. As with any of us, over time I got bored with my tank. I rushed my stand build, slapped together my rock work, used what I had from the guy I bought the tank and sump from, and upgraded slowly as I got deeper into the hobby. Well after about 18 months of looking at all the mistakes I made in my first build I decided to relocate everything to a 40 breeder and prepare to either move to a new place and buy a bigger tank (isn’t that always the dream?) or rebuild the 65 like I had always envisioned. Well the new place and tank got put on pause due to life and kids. And after about 5 months of the 40 gallon I got the itch to invest in the foundation I had in the garage. So let the fun begin. I hope you all enjoy this build. I hope to throw a few surprises your way in the process. Shout out to @sp1187 who was always around to bounce ideas off of! I hope he enjoys the surprises as well! I will add some new build pics shortly! Plus you can always scope it out in my build thread links if you want to compare the differences.
 
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Top Shelf Aquatics
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WirelessMike

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So let’s start with I hated about the original stand. Built off the standard 2x4 plans you see on all the sites, skinned with plywood, and painted black. Although it looked ok at first, water splash and overall wear and tear made that thing look ROUGh over time. I also did not like that everything was closed in. (I mean as a rookie closed in is great because you can hide all the plumbing mistakes and such. Out of sight out of mind)

first things first I stripped all the plywood and got back to the bare 2x4’s. Then I skinned the bones of the stand and cut trim to really give it a custom look. It was my first time doing trim like this, but after a couple brain farts and bad cuts I was able to get it dialed in. (Pardon the messy garage.)

I wanted an open design to showcase plumbing and sump. Painted the inside with an exterior white paint.
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WirelessMike

WirelessMike

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After getting all of the skin and trim dialed in (and adding wood filler. I’m no Bob Villa!) I started looking at different coatings. I settled on a stain that matched my decor in the family room and unknowingly also picked one with polyurethane built in. I guess that’s what happens when you shop on the paint shelf of the garage. I also scored some clearance LED’s at Lowes when buying $1 paint brushes so added those above the sump as well. I’m all about the deals folks!
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Hey Reefers. It’s been a while since I have posted on here and I thought it was time to get back in the community. I started in the hobby at the beginning of COVID and posted my first build on here a couple years back. As with any of us, over time I got bored with my tank. I rushed my stand build, slapped together my rock work, used what I had from the guy I bought the tank and sump from, and upgraded slowly as I got deeper into the hobby. Well after about 18 months of looking at all the mistakes I made in my first build I decided to relocate everything to a 40 breeder and prepare to move to either move to a new place and buy a bigger tank (isn’t that always the dream?) or rebuild the 65 like I had always envisioned. Well the new place and tank got put on pause due to life and kids. And after about 5 months of the 40 gallon I got the itch to invest in the foundation I had in the garage. So let the fun begin. I hope you all enjoy this build. I hope to throw a few surprises your way in the process. Shout out to @sp1187 who was always around to bounce ideas off of! I hope he enjoys the surprises as well! Here’s a picture of the OG 65 and I will add some new build pics shortly! Plus you can always scope it out in my build thread links if you want to compare the differences.
welcome back.
 
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With the tank on I think it looks good so far. Especially from what we started with! Oh I forgot, I also lowered the stand about 6 inches. The first time I made it A bit taller than I had planned. Always using a step stool to reach a frag that gets knocked off was a pain, and that canopy didn’t do me any favors. Lol
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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED bar
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WirelessMike

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So there were multiple things that irked me about the original tank. The first was how dark it was with the black background. Originally I thought it was cool and didn’t matter, but over time it bugged me. The second was the black plastic overflow. I don’t know about you but I’m not trying to replicate my piece of the ocean next to what looks like a giant pipe. lol it also didn’t really add to the aforementioned darkness of the tank. Since I had painted it originally there was no swapping to blue and easy peezy changes, but with it apart in the garage the world was my oyster. You can tell from the photos above I scraped for ages with a razor to get the paint off. Did it suck? Yeah for sure. Was it worth it… I think so but you can be the judge when it’s done. I also started to explore the deep world of Pinterest. I assure you that app is not for the faint of heart. However in the spirit of marine science I powered through endless posts of really cool and expensive ideas to liven the tank up. I assure you that if I did not have a big new tank budget I was going to have to find someone who specializes in the lost art of DIY. Lol and low and behold I found a fellow reefer on this site to guide my vision. More to come!
 
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WirelessMike

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I can’t find @sam.basye on here anymore when I enter his handle, but I found his article on Pinterest that sent me right back to R2R. I know the thread started in 2016, but Sam (I hope you are still on here) gave me some really cool ideas for how i could cover the overflow within my budget. Sam you rock!


Now in Sam’s instructable he was building a completely new overflow. I didn’t want to disturb the current overflow that was in place and also didn’t want anything so permanent I couldn’t afford to mess up. Lol so I started by grabbing a cardboard box and making a template of the overflow. Then I used the template on a piece of scrap plywood to build a frame. I placed scrap cut 2x4’s in between the plywood cuts to get the length I needed. Secured them with wood glue and brad nails for a solid template.
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After I built the frame I covered it in a layer of parchment paper. I figured this would help prevent having to trim the foam off the back of the wall. Also the frame of this cover wall is built on egg crate. If you haven’t messed with this stuff before it isn’t very flexible. So I cut it in small sections and loosely attached them with zip ties.
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WirelessMike

WirelessMike

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After I got the skeleton about 3/4 finished I remembered how SP had hidden all of his pumps and thermos within and behind his rockwork. Knowing I had room to spare I flared out the far corner of the skeleton and attached light shelf rocks and 1 heavier rock to the egg crate with zip ties. Following Sam’s instructions I worked in small areas with the pond foam and same to create a rock like texture. All in all it turned out better than expected. Tip #1 wear gloves! Like for real no joke don’t be me! Lol this pond foam does not come off. You can Google and try everything listed, but it only naturally wears off after a couple days. (Again don’t be me. I had a work function the day after and I had to tell the story about 10 times) Tip #2 definitely wait until there is a good skin on the foam before you push the air out. Sam says about 5 minutes. I’d give it a bit longer. After the first couple times you will know when to do that part. Any way here are pics of part of the over flow and my hands on day 2.
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WirelessMike

WirelessMike

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So I thought it might be smart to keep a tally of what I have invested in the reboot so far.
Stand materials: $150 (skin/trim/filler/lights)
Foam Overflow cover: $40 (3 cans of foam, 1 sheet egg crate, and leftover dry rock.)
Schedule 40/80 Plumbing: $75 (got an awesome sale on the schedule 40 on @Bulk Reef Supply Thanks BRS!!!)

so we are somewhere in the ballpark of $275 so far. Not bad in my opinion but we are far from done and we will reuse a lot but also add some new.
 
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Added about 4 more rows of egg crate using the template for the curve and everything fits real nice. The fun part with the foam walls is waiting 24 hours for it to setup before you can fit it and trim. But like anything in the hobby it’s worth the wait. At this point I still had 3/4 of a sheet of egg crate left and had only used a single bottle of foam. I was feeling creative and thought “why not add another removable piece on the bottom. Figuring that if I liked it great…if not it has to set just as long as the addition to the overflow piece.
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now I can see my vision coming together and it’s definitely way brighter and engaging than the black spray paint wall in my opinion.
 
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WirelessMike

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Alright, so when we left off I had done all kinds of fun foam stuff. I also did not take photos, but added 2 glass cleaner magnets in the back foam piece. It made it easy to secure to the glass and also removable! I knew that the place where the tank is going had a white wall which would amplify the light from my Ocean Revive, but I found that it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be in my 40 breeder. So I started to search and I found myself going back to the Current Marine website. After waffling for weeks I finally pulled the trigger on their Serene background film.

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On their website it is generally referenced for freshwater tanks, but I was willing to gamble the $60 for a 24-36” kit and see what it could do for the reef tank. Let me tell you I think it paid off in a big way. Again these shots are all in the garage until I get everything dry fitted, but I hope to hear all your opinions on the finished product! I hope you like it as much as I do! I have added a couple photos in extreme light (the garage door has big windows) and some shot last night after dark.
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(Extreme Lighting from Sun)
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I can’t wait until we get the R2R app that we have been hearing about. The videos from the screenshots have an awesome transition. You can also select by color and the brightness. So far I think it was a $60 gamble that paid off! How bout you?
 
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WirelessMike

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Also here are a couple shots of where I will hide my icecaps. If you look close in the pics above you will see that I added 4 - 1” return holes in the flared wall to help with the water flow.
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May have to trim the back piece an inch or so if I decide to keep it in. That decision might be driven by my choice of substrate or bare bottom.
 
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Moved the serene light bar to the top of the tank and think I like it more for the reef application as the sun would be above the water. But open to opinions. (Also these shots are done with a poster board behind the tank as I don’t have the wall for the needed light spread. I expect better results

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WirelessMike

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This time around I want to utilize the vertical space of the tall tank and really give the livestock multiple islands to call home. Got the rock today to get started. Going with 3 tall islands.
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Got the first island built. Gonna need more supplies for islands 2 and 3. Ideally the middle island will be proportionally the largest to add depth to the tank
building them up with caves and crevasse’s to allow for water flow and hiding places. More to come after I get more supplies! image.jpg
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AquaCave

How have you used eggcrate in or around your aquarium?

  • Aquarium lid

    Votes: 60 33.9%
  • Frag rack

    Votes: 94 53.1%
  • Skimmer stand

    Votes: 60 33.9%
  • Sump Divider

    Votes: 36 20.3%
  • Other (please describe in the discussion)

    Votes: 28 15.8%
  • I have not used eggcrate in or around my aquarium

    Votes: 41 23.2%

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