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Discussion Starter #1
OK, here we go...

I bought a 90g reef-ready tank from Sea Dreams to replace the 55g tank sitting in my family room. I wanted something a little larger without going to a 6' tank. I will be running it with a 45g sump which should give me a nice volume of water. The sump used to run DNGSPOT's 150g setup so it should work great for this 90g. It has already been drilled for an auto top-off and I already have a float valve - therefore, it's ready to go.

For plumbing, I have an Ocean Runner 3500 which pumps ~950gph. I am sure with a single drain that I will have to adjust it, so I plan to use the pump to run a UV sterilizer as well. I have heard nothing but good things about these pumps and best of all, they run very quietly, which is another plus since this tank will be sitting within 3 feet of the TV.

I've already purchased the lighting for it from a place called Catalina Aquarium. I really would suggest checking them out. I bought a 2x250w MH setup including 2 10k bulbs for less than I could find at most other sites including piecing one together. The only draw back is that some sites offer free shipping whereas they do not.

My first chore is to build a stand. The tank footprint measures 48.5 x 18.5. More to come...

Here are a few pics of plans for the stand, including the SketchUp blueprint I drew.

 

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Discussion Starter #2
Tank is awaiting the stand to be finished. As you can see I have most of what I need to get this project up and running. I may get everything placed and plumbed before I skin the cabinet to make sure there wont be any problems.

 

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Discussion Starter #3
For the sump, I think I am going to have a place where the water can flow over a filter pad before dumping into the return chamber. You can see the pieces of glass which will be holding up the eggcrate and filter media on the left side. My only concern is keeping the calupera off the media, but if it does, the water will simply overflow the last baffle which is lower than the top of the sump.

This is a 45g (~ 48x12x19) tank. Water will be moving from right to left. The display tank will be draining down from the left side to the right side of the sump. I wanted to reduce the head pressure on the pump so I figured I would have it make the shortest run instead of the drain - does that make sense? The pump plumbing will run straight up about 2 feet is all.



 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well, I wasn't sure what skimmer I was going to get. I thought about a Coralife SS (costing about $200 with pump), but then thought I would get an Octopus Needlewheel 200 since I heard great things about them and I found them for a great price here.

But, I think I might just use a brand new Berlin skimmer I got from a LFS which I picked up for $50. They had removed the pump for another customer so they sold it dirt cheap. So, $50 for a skimmer isn't bad. :)

The sump tank is actually 12.75" and will slide between the two vertical 2x4's with about 1/8" on each side - like a glove! The drawing up there is to scale...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I wanted to make certain to have enough support for what will probably weigh somewhere close to 1000 lbs when filled. I also wanted to make it a little taller than most factory stands, so I made it 36" tall. I plan to make the canopy between 12" and 14" tall.

 

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Discussion Starter #6
Anyone heard any reports on Fulham Electronic Ballasts?

I've used a Workhorse5 to fire 2x36w PC actinics without trouble and was thinking about buying a Workhorse7 to fire 4x54w T5. I've gone to Fulham's website and if you select the lamp type (T5 Linear HO) and then select 4x54w T5, they suggest the Workhorse 7. Most online vendors price other T5 ballasts at twice what this ballast would cost me to run a similar setup.

I already have a 2x250w MH 10k setup, and was looking for something for actinic supplementation. Also, am I correct in my understanding that URI bulbs do not require a reflector because one is built into the bulb?

Any thoughts or suggestions?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Here's a picture of the progress on the stand...

I've got the majority of the work done, but I'm not finished. I still have some trim work to do on the canopy as you can see, and of course the doors aren't made yet. Overall, I can't compain; it's coming along nicely. To cut the holes for the doors, I used a router with an edging bit. Worked like a charm.

I hope to be finished with everything tomorrow so I can start to stain this weekend.

 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, between visiting with some family friends, talking a while with missile150 (Jim), and watching the race today, all I got accomplished was finishing out the canopy. As you can see, I managed to get the rest of the trim on the canopy, the ventilation holes, as well as the lid and the hinges.

I wanted to make certain that I didn't have to hold up the lid when it was lifted, so I bought spring-loaded hinges; typical to those found on children's toy boxes so that once lifted, it would remain open. :)

For ventilation, I cut three 3" holes in the back. I will leave the center hole open and install two 3" Sunon fans in the others. I plan to finish out the doors tomorrow.

 

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Discussion Starter #9
I built doors for it out of 1/4" oak paneling and panel molding and did not like them. They were too flimsy and a waste of time - and after a piece of wood flew off the table saw and caught me in the leg leaving a 4" scratch & bruise, it was a nice release to throw, kick, stomp, and tear up that first set of doors. :angry:

So, after my blood pressure leveled back out, I went back to the store, bought 1/2" 2'x4' oak and corner molding a little smaller than I used on the corners of the cabinet. The end result were doors which are much sturdier and worth attaching to a custom made cabinet.

Thoughts?



Next up, stain...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well, I have been a little reluctant to order the ballast for my T5's (Fulham Workhorse 7) because some people have questioned whether or not it was ever intended to operate the lighting configuration I was intending and consequently would not drive each lamp as needed.

Well, if I ordered everything through three seperate vendors, I would end up paying shipping charges three times over and that would elevate my costs by $50. Instead I think I am going to order two retrofit kits (2x54w T5 HO) through www.hellologhts.com.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Well, not only did I stain the cabinet, but I also managed to cover my fingers in the stuff even though I wore gloves. I will touch up the stain tomorrow and prepare to seal it Friday or Saturday.

You'll notice that the trim on the right side of the cabinet has been removed. I will need to remove the entire side to get the sump into the cabinet because it will fit with about 1/16" on each side! :D

 

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Discussion Starter #16
Yeah - i think you should. I will probably never buy another stand since you can build something of twice the quality for half the price. But I will warn you - I think you void your tank warranty of you put it atop a homemade stand! :(
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
OK - the stand is complete! Built, stained, sealed, and caulked!
I will get the sump under it tonight and plumb it tomorrow. Thoughts?



 

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Discussion Starter #18
Here is a picture of the sump in place. Paneling from the right side was made to be removed to that the sump could be installed or removed if needed. Like I said before, it fits like a glove.



 

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Discussion Starter #19
Here is a picture of everything together. I painted the back of the tank with black Krylon Fusion spraypaint.

Also, notice the height - from the floor to the top of the canopy it's right at 72.5" or basically 6'. And being only 5'10", I will finally have a tank that I can view while standing, instead of assuming the umpiring position. :)

 

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wow nice tank. i like the design of the stand. similar to mine except that mine is still not finished. a year and a half still going. cracked the tank so not worried till i get another tank.

Still wow on your tank.
 
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