RocketEngineer launches again.

AquaCave

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Once more, we begin again. As this is my first build thread here on R2R, I figured a short introduction was in order. I started in this hobby in 2007 with a 30g FOWLR. At that time, I was only a couple years out of college, single, had just bought a house. The tank wasn’t much but I DIYed a PVC overflow (not recommended), built a DIY sump from a 10g (do recommend), and started learning the basics. After much planning and building, I upgraded to a 75G on a DIY stand in 2010.
EA7AE076-5A87-4EB7-9D8D-9C3CBB122C1F.jpeg

I can honestly say, this was the success that caused my downfall. This tank had a lot of DIY from the hood, the drilling of the overflow, the sump, the refugium light, even a LEGO stand for the kalk reactor.
699836D9-CD4D-4CDD-97B3-C582361D36C9.jpeg

After all the success of this tank, I decided it was time for an upgrade. Oh, what a mistake that was.

Even while planning the 75g I had thoughts of upgrading so the stand had been sized to fit a 125g down the road. In late 2012 I picked up a used 125G, replaced the overflow, built a new hood and DIY LED light panels, and in 2013, swapped out the tanks.
D2C96D5B-5839-45BB-B102-A3FC9ECA109F.jpeg

The LEDs were a disaster, wiping out every coral I had. I lost fish, hair algae everywhere. I changed the lights twice, added new Gulf of Mexico aqua cultured rock, bringing in gorilla crabs that killed more fish and ate my clean up crew. A pink cotton candy went nuts, bubble algae the size of marbles was buried in the rock work where I couldn’t get to it. In 2017 I lost my job and shut the tank down for good.

A new job, getting married, a new house later, and I’m ready for a new tank. So in the fall of 2019, I waited for a sale and when it hit, I ordered my next tank and stand: An IM 100-EXT. It showed up just as the weather turned so I focused on getting the water system built, planning to move the tank inside in the spring. A conversation with a coworker and I had two high school football players lined up to carry the tank inside to the stand. That was March 2020. The Monday before the planned move, COVID lockdown went into effect. For the next 18 months, the tank sat in its crate in my shed while the stand sat in my sunroom. This past August I was able to finally get the tank inside and onto the stand.

SO, after more then 4 years, I now have a tank again. Well, the pieces of one anyway. Let the journey begin.
 
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RocketEngineer

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Sometimes the journey is as interesting as the destination.....
This has certainly been a journey. Kind of scary going back and realizing how long ago I started in this hobby. As most of us know, a lot has changed in the last 14 years.
Welcome back to R2R, @RocketEngineer !
I hope your new build goes well. That 75-gallon setup looks beautiful in your picture!
It was an amazing system. I’m hoping to repeat that success with all the lessons learned.
 
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Will be nice to see what you do with the 100-EXT. I also have one.
Sweet! I chose it because of the dimensions. I wanted a tank that had more footprint and less height. With my 75g and 125g it was a stretch for me to reach the bottom. I’m still dreaming of the 200-EXT peninsula but the wife wants to see this one up and running first.
 
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Devaji

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Once more, we begin again. As this is my first build thread here on R2R, I figured a short introduction was in order. I started in this hobby in 2007 with a 30g FOWLR. At that time, I was only a couple years out of college, single, had just bought a house. The tank wasn’t much but I DIYed a PVC overflow (not recommended), built a DIY sump from a 10g (do recommend), and started learning the basics. After much planning and building, I upgraded to a 75G on a DIY stand in 2010.
EA7AE076-5A87-4EB7-9D8D-9C3CBB122C1F.jpeg

I can honestly say, this was the success that caused my downfall. This tank had a lot of DIY from the hood, the drilling of the overflow, the sump, the refugium light, even a LEGO stand for the kalk reactor.
699836D9-CD4D-4CDD-97B3-C582361D36C9.jpeg

After all the success of this tank, I decided it was time for an upgrade. Oh, what a mistake that was.

Even while planning the 75g I had thoughts of upgrading so the stand had been sized to fit a 125g down the road. In late 2012 I picked up a used 125G, replaced the overflow, built a new hood and DIY LED light panels, and in 2013, swapped out the tanks.
D2C96D5B-5839-45BB-B102-A3FC9ECA109F.jpeg

The LEDs were a disaster, wiping out every coral I had. I lost fish, hair algae everywhere. I changed the lights twice, added new Gulf of Mexico aqua cultured rock, bringing in gorilla crabs that killed more fish and ate my clean up crew. A pink cotton candy went nuts, bubble algae the size of marbles was buried in the rock work where I couldn’t get to it. In 2017 I lost my job and shut the tank down for good.

A new job, getting married, a new house later, and I’m ready for a new tank. So in the fall of 2019, I waited for a sale and when it hit, I ordered my next tank and stand: An IM 100-EXT. It showed up just as the weather turned so I focused on getting the water system built, planning to move the tank inside in the spring. A conversation with a coworker and I had two high school football players lined up to carry the tank inside to the stand. That was March 2020. The Monday before the planned move, COVID lockdown went into effect. For the next 18 months, the tank sat in its crate in my shed while the stand sat in my sunroom. This past August I was able to finally get the tank inside and onto the stand.

SO, after more then 4 years, I now have a tank again. Well, the pieces of one anyway. Let the journey begin.

nice you got your own build thread...now you're official :cool: :cool::cool:

love the lego stand! maybe you could partner with lego to bring quality DIY stands to the aquarium market!?...

where are you at? I am sure if there are reefers in the area we all could pinch in and get the tank in for you.
 
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You're the guy with the 2x4 stand that everyone uses, I assume?

Welcome.
Yeah, I go and make a pretty picture and suddenly everyone is using it. Still post about them in the DIY section. Been doing that while waiting to get my own build off the ground.

nice you got your own build thread...now you're official :cool: :cool::cool:

love the lego stand! maybe you could partner with lego to bring quality DIY stands to the aquarium market!?...

where are you at? I am sure if there are reefers in the area we all could pinch in and get the tank in for you.
The LEGOs were very much a case of using what I have. Not sure I would do it again, as my nephews are all into LEGOs. I can see them taking my stand apart block by block.....

The tank has actually been moved already. A family gathering at my house and some arm twisting got my in-laws to help get it inside. Plumbing parts came in last week so next up is a trip to the hardware section for PVC.
 
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Sorry for no pictures but the empty tank is like a mirror which makes it very hard to get a good picture. I will see about getting ones this weekend.

Let’s dive into the equipment list so far:

Tank: IM 100-EXT with stand
Sump: Trigger Systems Ruby 36
Return: (2) Sicce 3.0 pumps

I have a discontinued Avast Marine Pegleg I would like to use. I need to pull it out, see if the pump is any good, and give it a citric acid bath. This skimmer has the smokey acrylic cone body which you can’t get in any modern skimmer. I also assembled it myself so if possible, I would like to continue using it.

Also kicking around my collection of gear are some older MP40s and a Tunze AC nanostream. Hopefully a good citric acid bath and these will come back to life.

Into this old gear will be a bunch of new. I’m going to be ordering a new pair of Eheim heaters as I don’t trust them beyond the warranty. I’m probably going to stick with another Aquahub ATO as it’s simple and easily repaired. Still debating the ATO pump, may just go with the BRS 50mL dosing pump.

The last big piece is lighting. I’ve been looking at the aquatic life T5s since I started planning this. I like the look of T5 and had great results on the 75g. Then they drop their LED version and now I’m not sure. Either way, I’m going 36” on a 48” tank.

What do you folks think?
 
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Can’t tell you how many of your stands I have built over the years, glad to see you are still around! Looking forward to seeing this progress.
Oh yeah, I’m still around. This time around it’s going to be a lot different for one big reason: family. My wife has already said she wants to be involved in choosing the “pretty feesh” and corals. I also have 5 nephews all under the age of 12. I’m the cool uncle into Minecraft, LEGOs, and most anything geek. Yes, I’m a giant nerd and that’s fine with me. :cool: Watching their reactions will be part of the fun.
 
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Oh yeah, I’m still around. This time around it’s going to be a lot different for one big reason: family. My wife has already said she wants to be involved in choosing the “pretty feesh” and corals. I also have 5 nephews all under the age of 12. I’m the cool uncle into Minecraft, LEGOs, and most anything geek. Yes, I’m a giant nerd and that’s fine with me. :cool: Watching their reactions will be part of the fun.
LEGO collecting and MOC building is my primary hobby of about 27 years (since I was ~3 years old), and I still have much more invested in that hobby than this marine hobby to date!

Your stand design/calculator is quite useful! I designed my stand for my 90-gallon tank before I found your design, but my design was almost exactly the same in structure.
 
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Yeah, I have 35+ years in LEGOs myself. The one model I’m the most proud of is my Star Wars Imperial Star Destroyer. Got that for Christmas one year. In one 10 hour build fest, I assembled the whole thing. It’s currently broken down flat and stored. I’m half tempted to put it back together and have it above my light.
 
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Ok, a quick update: The drains are mocked up but probably need adjusting as I’m gluing. Here is a pick before I began.
F16E5DE2-E742-4FE1-A7AA-B8A6B647B11A.jpeg

The siphon is going to the right of the two sump inlets, the trickle drain will go in the left one. See that upright between them? Yeah, it’s in the way so I’m going to have to add a jog into that line that wasn’t planned. The dry emergency will go straight into the middle sump chamber. All three pipes have unions up under the overflow box.
 
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Thanks for the offer of frags but I'm all the way on the other side of the country :) Kind of a long trip.

In tank news, I also got the Aquatic Life LED assembled this afternoon. Will hang that and do all the setup for it once the tank is moved back into place. Next step is putting in the return lines which will be black vinyl so MUCH easier to install.
 
AquaCave

How close to perfect, for you, is your reef aquarium?

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    Votes: 17 3.8%
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    Votes: 64 14.2%
  • It's about half way there

    Votes: 84 18.6%
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  • It's not even close

    Votes: 141 31.3%
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