The 33 gallon long "sloth" build

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Scottsquatch

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So, I am finally starting my build thread. A very long awaited build for me. Years in the making and put on hold for almost 7 years after I finally acquired most of the equipment. This was due to health issues and I kinda covered that in my post on the "introduce yourself" forum. So first off, some of you may be wondering why I'm calling it the "sloth" tank/build. Well, that's an easy one to answer. I'm basically putting all of the knowledge I've collectively gained from my other forays into reef keeping into practice right from the get go on this build. The most important facts I learned were that "nothing good in this hobby ever happens quickly" and that "patience is key." In line with what I have learned, I am going to do everything on this build very slowly. You know... like a sloth! I'm gonna start it off simply by presenting my plans. So here it goes...

I do still want to make efficient use of my time with this build so I will be starting off my build on three different fronts. I'm calling it my "Three pronged plan of attack." Very original huh? ;) So, I ordered a new RODI unit from BRS yesterday (my other one is really old and due for replacement) and will initiate the first prong of attack by curing my rock. However, this time I'm taking a smarter approach by implementing what I've learned from past mistakes and oversights. I plan to start my aqua-scape tomorrow by mocking up the dimensions of my tank and fully assembling my scape before I start the curing/cycle process. I'll be using a band saw, table saw, or chop saw (whatever it takes) to custom fit my scape together by creating flat spots where needed to produce a very stable scape. I'll also use a hammer and chisel to custom fit my scape in an almost seamless fashion. I will assemble it with epoxy and fiberglass rods and make two solid pieces for my display. From there I will place the scape in the bottom of my brute can and also add my pre-washed sand. As soon as the RODI unit arrives I will fill the can, add a heater and some flow and let some of the crud in that dry rock start to break down. I purchased Marco rock back then and decided I'll still use it even though I like the appearance of some of the new man made reef rock better. After a week or so, I'll add some sort of bacterial booster to aid in the process. I plan to let the rock go a month or two in the brute can. However long it takes to complete the other two prongs in my attack. Also, this first stage of curing the rock will be done in the dark of my basement.

While this is happening, I will begin the second prong of attack: Assembly of my sump and the drilling of my tank. I will begin by planning the lay out of my sump, ensuring my gear will all fit together where I want it, and installing the baffles. Along with this I will order hole saws (hopefully tomorrow) so I can drill my tank. I have a low profile "ghost" style overflow to install, and I'll also need to drill two separate holes for return lines.

The third prong of attack will start with the design of my stand and canopy, purchasing all the materials, and starting actual construction. I plan to get the sump, tank, stand, and canopy completed in a two month time frame while my scape is curing. If all goes well, they will be ready to come together in early February. I still haven't decided if I want to do a closed canopy or a free floating design. If anybody has nice examples, feel free to drop pics here in my thread. hopefully I can get some inspiration and decide which way I wanna go.

Lastly, I will probably post a list of all the equipment I have cached away for this build in the next few days. I might even post some pictures of it too, because we all like to see pics right? I must say that every time I view my hoard of equipment, I get a smile of anticipation on my face. It's a sight to behold. All that shiny new gear... it's kinda nice to see. Especially because it will never look this clean and shiny again after it goes into service. Until I update this thread, happy reefing to all of you. I look forward to getting ideas and suggestions from you as my build progresses.
 
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Scottsquatch

Scottsquatch

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A small update: When I originally bought my RO unit, BRS was sold out of the model I wanted. Yesterday as I was surfing the BRS site, I realized that they sold all the other features I wanted as upgrades. so I ordered a pressure gauge, a second membrane to reduce waste water (I HATE wasting water!) and a duel TDH meter. The pressure guage may not be necessary, but the water pressure here seems to have dropped a little in recent years and I wanted to be sure my water pressure is adequate for optimum RODI performance. If it turns out that I need to get a pressure boosting pump, so be it.
 
REEFTIDE

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So, I am finally starting my build thread. A very long awaited build for me. Years in the making and put on hold for almost 7 years after I finally acquired most of the equipment. This was due to health issues and I kinda covered that in my post on the "introduce yourself" forum. So first off, some of you may be wondering why I'm calling it the "sloth" tank/build. Well, that's an easy one to answer. I'm basically putting all of the knowledge I collectively gained from my other forays into reef keeping into practice right from the get go on this build. The most important fact I learned was that "nothing good in this hobby ever happens quickly" and that "patience is key." In line with what I have learned, I am going to do everything on this build very slowly. You know... like a sloth! I'm gonna start it off simply by presenting my plans. So here it goes...

I do still want to make efficient use of my time with this build so I will be starting off my build on three different fronts. I'm calling it my "Three pronged plan of attack." Very original huh? ;) So, I ordered a new RODI unit from BRS yesterday (my other one is really old and due for replacement) and will initiate the first prong of attack by curing my rock. However, this time I'm taking a smarter approach by implementing what I've learned from past mistakes and oversights. I plan to start my aqua-scape tomorrow by mocking up the dimensions of my tank and fully assembling my scape before I start the curing/cycle process. I'll be using a band saw, table saw, or chop saw (whatever it takes) to custom fit my scape together by creating flat spots where needed to produce a very stable scape. I'll also use a hammer and chisel to custom fit my scape in an almost seamless fashion. I will assemble it with epoxy and fiberglass rods and make two solid pieces for my display. From there I will place the scape in the bottom of my brute can and also add my pre-washed sand. As soon as the RODI unit arrives I will fill the can, add a heater and some flow and let some of the crud in that dry rock start to break down. I purchased Marco rock back then and decided I'll still use it even though I like the appearance of some of the new man made reef rock better. After a week or so, I'll add some sort of bacterial booster to aid in the process. I plan to let the rock go a month or two in the brute can. However long it takes to complete the other two prongs in my attack. Also, this first stage of curing the rock will be done in the dark of my basement.

While this is happening, I will begin the second prong of attack: Assembly of my sump and the drilling of my tank. I will begin by planning the lay out of my sump, ensuring my gear will all fit together where I want it, and installing the baffles. Along with this I will order hole saws (hopefully tomorrow) so I can drill my tank. I have a low profile "ghost" style overflow to install, and I'll also need to drill two separate holes for return lines.

The third prong of attack will start with the design of my stand and canopy, purchasing all the materials, and starting actual construction. I plan to get the sump, tank, stand, and canopy completed in a two month time frame while my scape is curing. If all goes well, they will be ready to come together in early February. I still haven't decided if I want to do a closed canopy or a free floating design. If anybody has nice examples, feel free to drop pics here in my thread. hopefully I can get some inspiration and decide which way I wanna go.

Lastly, I will probably post a list of all the equipment I have cached away for this build in the next few days. I might even post some pictures of it too, because we all like to see pics right? I must say that every time I view my hoard of equipment, I get a smile of anticipation on my face. It's a sight to behold. All that shiny new gear... it's kinda nice to see. Especially because it will never look this clean and shiny again after it goes into operation. Until I update this thread, happy reefing to all of you. I look forward to getting ideas and suggestions from you as my build progresses.
Nice to see someone with a plan!
People with plans equal success!
 
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Scottsquatch

Scottsquatch

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Nice to see someone with a plan!
People with plans equal success!
Thanks, That's one of the lessons I learned the hard way in my previous forays into reefing. I figured I'd plan it out carefully and then execute said plan. If I'd planned more carefully in the past I would have saved myself time, work, money, and a little bit of heartache. This approach is also helping me get a vision of what I would like to achieve and to map out the direction I want to go with this. It sure beats impulsive decisions and knee jerk reactions... I can surely tell you that.
 

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So, I am finally starting my build thread. A very long awaited build for me. Years in the making and put on hold for almost 7 years after I finally acquired most of the equipment. This was due to health issues and I kinda covered that in my post on the "introduce yourself" forum. So first off, some of you may be wondering why I'm calling it the "sloth" tank/build. Well, that's an easy one to answer. I'm basically putting all of the knowledge I collectively gained from my other forays into reef keeping into practice right from the get go on this build. The most important facts I learned were that "nothing good in this hobby ever happens quickly" and that "patience is key." In line with what I have learned, I am going to do everything on this build very slowly. You know... like a sloth! I'm gonna start it off simply by presenting my plans. So here it goes...

I do still want to make efficient use of my time with this build so I will be starting off my build on three different fronts. I'm calling it my "Three pronged plan of attack." Very original huh? ;) So, I ordered a new RODI unit from BRS yesterday (my other one is really old and due for replacement) and will initiate the first prong of attack by curing my rock. However, this time I'm taking a smarter approach by implementing what I've learned from past mistakes and oversights. I plan to start my aqua-scape tomorrow by mocking up the dimensions of my tank and fully assembling my scape before I start the curing/cycle process. I'll be using a band saw, table saw, or chop saw (whatever it takes) to custom fit my scape together by creating flat spots where needed to produce a very stable scape. I'll also use a hammer and chisel to custom fit my scape in an almost seamless fashion. I will assemble it with epoxy and fiberglass rods and make two solid pieces for my display. From there I will place the scape in the bottom of my brute can and also add my pre-washed sand. As soon as the RODI unit arrives I will fill the can, add a heater and some flow and let some of the crud in that dry rock start to break down. I purchased Marco rock back then and decided I'll still use it even though I like the appearance of some of the new man made reef rock better. After a week or so, I'll add some sort of bacterial booster to aid in the process. I plan to let the rock go a month or two in the brute can. However long it takes to complete the other two prongs in my attack. Also, this first stage of curing the rock will be done in the dark of my basement.

While this is happening, I will begin the second prong of attack: Assembly of my sump and the drilling of my tank. I will begin by planning the lay out of my sump, ensuring my gear will all fit together where I want it, and installing the baffles. Along with this I will order hole saws (hopefully tomorrow) so I can drill my tank. I have a low profile "ghost" style overflow to install, and I'll also need to drill two separate holes for return lines.

The third prong of attack will start with the design of my stand and canopy, purchasing all the materials, and starting actual construction. I plan to get the sump, tank, stand, and canopy completed in a two month time frame while my scape is curing. If all goes well, they will be ready to come together in early February. I still haven't decided if I want to do a closed canopy or a free floating design. If anybody has nice examples, feel free to drop pics here in my thread. hopefully I can get some inspiration and decide which way I wanna go.

Lastly, I will probably post a list of all the equipment I have cached away for this build in the next few days. I might even post some pictures of it too, because we all like to see pics right? I must say that every time I view my hoard of equipment, I get a smile of anticipation on my face. It's a sight to behold. All that shiny new gear... it's kinda nice to see. Especially because it will never look this clean and shiny again after it goes into operation. Until I update this thread, happy reefing to all of you. I look forward to getting ideas and suggestions from you as my build progresses.
Very cool that you're building your stand! 33 longs are not typical tanks; should make for a fun build! I think you and I are on similar timelines / share similar methodology. I'm taking the long approach because I'll be gone for two weeks for the holidays and don't think I should start till after. Either way I'm watching your build!
Its funny that it popped out at me when I went to the build page. 33 long was the tank I rebuilt after finding it on the side of the road. Separated the glass, scraped it, glued it, sealed it, and made it my cichlid sump!
 
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Scottsquatch

Scottsquatch

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I love the dimensions of those 33 longs. I'm gonna blast it with light and current and focus on acros, but I'll have to start it out with a few softies and LPS until it's mature enough for the sticks. I know I'm eventually gonna go larger... Maybe even that 220 sitting down in the basement, but I don't have room for that anywhere else in the house and I want a nice display I can enjoy when I'm in the living room or dining room. Thanks for following. I'll attempt to move at a pace that is at least interesting, but I wanna take it slow and do it right.
 
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I love the 33 long and the 40 breeder for a sump is a great idea as well. You’ll be able to run anything you want with all that space. Following along to see what you come up with.
Thanks for the follow. I am feeling really good about the whole thing this time around. This is definitely due to all the elaborate planning. I've had some success with my reefs in the past, but never even close to the successes I've had with the comunity, cichlid, and planted tanks I've kept over the years. I'm feeling very well prepared and optimistic this time around. Who knows, maybe someday my tank will even be featured in tank of the month. ;) As for the 40 gallon sump being bigger than the display tank... The solution to pollution is dilution! I really like the 33 extra long, but I felt having more volume in the system would be a wise decision.
 
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I was gonna work on my scape today, but it was gonna require a fairly large clean-up in the shop before I could get started. That was the plan, but we are now getting hammered with a snowstorm. Six inches is expected with the possibility of 8-12 and I still gotta get my snowblower running... Doh!
 
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Ok, it's time to update you guys on my progress... or lack there of. I hit a stall because I was very ill for a time. To make a long story short, I think I got e-coli! Halfway through a fast food cheeseburger, I realized it tasted odd. Upon investigation, I found one patty was essentially raw. I got pretty sick that night and have been battling a horrible stomach/gut ache ever since. I couldn't even sleep in my room the first few nights... to far from the bathroom. I'm starting to come around and I may start my scape today. If so, I'll post a few pics.
 

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Ok, it's time to update you guys on my progress... or lack there of. I hit a stall because I was very ill for a time. To make a long story short, I think I got e-coli! Halfway through a fast food cheeseburger, I realized it tasted odd. Upon investigation, I found one patty was essentially raw. I got pretty sick that night and have been battling a horrible stomach/gut ache ever since. I couldn't even sleep in my room the first few nights... to far from the bathroom. I'm starting to come around and I may start my scape today. If so, I'll post a few pics.
Sorry to hear about that, it sounds rough. I hope you’re feeling better and able to get started on the scape.
 
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Scottsquatch

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I woke up to 6 inches of snow about 40 minutes ago and found out that five to six inches by Wednesday was upgraded to 10-12 inches by tonight. As we like to say up here in Northern Minnesota... "Uffda!"

Pronounced OOF-da. The word can be applied to various situations. Similar to America's favorite four letter curse word that begins with the letter "F" but not so crude.
20211227_065853.jpg
 
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