Upgrade build thread 25G

Mckreef

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Hello everyone, new member here. After some long consideration I have decided to upgrade my current set up to a bigger tank. For all of my life I had lusted after salt water/reef aquariums and finally pulled the trigger on my first tank in December of 2019. Thanks to covid I had more than enough time to get acquainted with the new tank and build upon my initial investment. My first set up was a 25 gallon cube I found on Craigslist with some rock, a few small corals, small CUC and 2 clowns. 18 months later I expanded to a custom built stand, drilled the tank, added a sump, skimmer (gone now), upgraded lighting and pump and loved every second of it. My next step is a tank upgrade and I am here to document that build. I hope you'll follow along and provide some feedback along the way. Very excited to share with the reefing community!

Couple of pics below of first set up to now.

Dec 2019
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Current Setup
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Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
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Mckreef

Mckreef

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For this upgrade I will be using the JBJ 45 AIO tank. The reason I chose this tank is because it fits nicely on my custom built stand. I do have a sump so my plan is to remove the false wall and compartments in the back and then drill for an overflow and returns.

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Mckreef

Mckreef

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The tank is officially here! Very nicely packaged JBJ did a nice job. Was not expecting glass lids to come with it so that is nice at least for the display portion. Now comes the process of removing the false wall and 6 glass panels in the back making up the sump.

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Mckreef

Mckreef

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Managed to get all the glass panels and false wall removed. It went a bit quicker than I had planned. In this hobby that might be the first thing that was easier and quicker than I had in my head. Now I have one nice big space. Next steps will be to drill for the new overflow and bulkheads for the return. Just have to wait for the bulkheads and hole saw to come in from BRS. Planning to leave the black backing on the sides until I’m ready to transfer and I’ll cut it. Can’t hurt to have a little extra protection.

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Got a chance to drill the tank yesterday. 2x2” holes for the external overflow and 2x1” hole for the return bulkheads. Had a small blow out on the one return. I had intended to drill about 75% of the way flip the tank and finish them from the inside to prevent chips/blowouts but I wasn’t paying attention on the last hole and went too far. No worries the bulkhead gasket covered it up nicely and leak tested it. The external overflow is a different story with the gaskets leaking. This happened in my last tank but no matter what I tried it still leaked. I think I remember a post about those things needing more gaskets and I agree. There is one inside the overflow box and one for the external box but nothing in between. Regardless I decided to cut my losses and silicone the hell out of it same as my last tank. I’ll leak check it again in a couple days then it’s plumbing and transfer time!

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Also pro tip. If you have any of these Irwin quick grip clamps they work fairly decent for tightening up a 2” bulkhead screw:

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Here it is. Silicone is curing and it’ll be ready to move in a couple days. I put the returns closer to the overflow to hopefully allow for cleaner plumbing and my MP10s so they don’t interfere with the return plumbing.
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Do you quarantine new coral before adding it to your reef tank?

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