Robert's 180l Rescue

NewRobert

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Hi All,

Just introducing my 180l cube build. I picked this one up used for R 1500 ($ 100) and it arrived yesterday.

It stood empty for a few years then was used as a goldfish tank for a year or so apparently.

It came fairly complete:

Tank - 60cm x 60cm x 50cm height. With an overflow box in the back. Seems to actually be low-iron glass and incredibly thick.
Sump - 3 chambers, I assume Top-Off, Return and media chamber.
Wave Maker - Jebao WP-25 - this is the actual reason I was so comfortable buying, I needed one for my 120gal and it has been tested and already working in there.
Protein Skimmer - Untested, no idea if it works or not.
2 Return Pumps - Also untested, looking dodgy.
Cabinet - This is a disaster, it is quite broken. It started its life out as white and then someone painted it a hideous brown. Bottom plywood is delaminating and broken. This will be my first order of business to sort out.
Lights - Some K.E.Y. LED Light system but not working properly. The white lights are basically blown and it doesn't look like I will be able to get spares in this country so will most likely replace with something new.
Plumbing - Disaster, if this thing doesn't leak it will be a miracle. Silicone has completely loosened from the overflow box etc. I will redo from scratch.

The rocks were apparently put in the seller's garden so nothing there, and it came with what looks like construction gravel that was used for the goldfish. I have donated the gravel to someone in my complex.

That is about it. This build I am taking calmly as I really only bought the entire setup for the WaveMaker. The rest is just a bonus!

tank.jpg


IMG-20201207-WA0017.jpg
 
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NewRobert

NewRobert

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The tank's glass is crazy thick - 15mm (5/8")

The cabinet turned out to be less than ideal. At first I thought all I would do is sand it down and put a coat of white enamel paint on it - but it was fairly damaged. It would also show the bottom glass pane and polystyrene I plan to put between the tank and cabinet.

There's no leveling feet and It also seemed to have been dragged across an untiled floor breaking out some of the fragile plywood at the bottom.

I've been spending the last 3 days fixing up the bottom by glueing a thicker supporting piece next to the thin front/back. I then covered the bottom frame in solid white oak for durability's sake (even though I will put some leveling feet at the bottom to keep it off the ground).

This was before:

20210225_102238.jpg


And after the re-enforcing and fixing the bottom:

20210226_165725.jpg


I followed that up by gluing on a matching skirting at the bottom to make the profile-frame that I will be gluing to the outside of the top to hide the glass/polystyrene less "out-of-place":

20210227_073738.jpg


Luckily I measured the tank against the cabinet and realised that when I put these profiles on the top sides the tank won't fit in, so I am today gluing thin strips of 3mm veneer board there before the top frame goes on to make the cabinet at the top a little "bigger".

I am hoping to finish sanding today and maybe tonight get a coat of primer on there :)
 
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NewRobert

NewRobert

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My plan to spray the primer did not quite work out. Something is either wrong with my spray gun or this primer just doesn't spray that well.

After I sprayed the first coat on, I decided to do the second with a roller otherwise I was never going to get that ugly dark brown covered.

This is after the 2nd coat done with the roller - starting to look like something decent though. No longer this ugly thing that you don't want to come near. Plan to do another 2 coats of primer before I let it dry overnight for top-coat.

20210228_144309.jpg
 
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NewRobert

NewRobert

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My schedule has been turned upside down by work (although not complaining). Got approval to go ahead with a pharmaceutical manufacturing automation project which involves running 14km of cabling and installing a bunch of equipment so I won't have much time for this in the coming 8 weeks.

However, status update:

1. The door has been primed and the first coat of paint is on it. Needs some light sanding and another spray coat to get smooth - going to try squeeze it in the weekend.

2. The cabinet has been put outside in the sun and wind to cure every single day this week and it is reasonably cured. The feet have been installed and it is ready to be moved into the house.

3. The tank has been leak-tested and found to be OK

4. I took the sump to my local marine guy who has added some baffles for media and so forth, picking it up tomorrow!

5. The pumps I got with the tank were both broken - I bought a new DC pump for my 100 gallon and will be moving its old pump to this project.

6. In the same fashion, I upgraded my 100 gallon tank's UV from 15w to 30w and will be installing the 15w on this project.

7. I bought all of the plumbing fittings I think I need to do the plumbing.

I plan to spend this weekend moving the cabinet, tank and sump into its final resting place, doing the plumbing and getting water running through it. All I will need for it to cycle while I am busy with work is the rock. I will try and squeeze out a few minutes in the week to go get some (planning wet live-rock this time) and just throwing it into the tank to cycle while I attend to the part of my life that funds all of this madness!

Some pictures taken through this week's progress:

20210307_175142.jpg


20210308_195539.jpg


20210307_061928.jpg
 

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