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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well...I guess I am taking the plunge again :) and I figured since I am going to start all over I may as well start a build thread. I will have pictures and stuff as I accumulate items. I am not really building anything though (other than the rockscape and modifying a tank for a sump), so I have nothing for you on that.

Remember this is supposed to be a FOWLR, but I am probably going to have some softies in it too (shrooms, GSP, xenia, etc...)

Ok...Here is what I am planning:
- New 125 Gal RR Tank (72" x 18" x 21" - I think)
- 55 Gallon Sump with built in auto top off (Acrylic tank - bought for $20) Going to be tough to fit under the tank, I need to do some planning here - see the question below.
- New Octopus Extreme TS-150 Skimmer
- Fluidized Sand Filter
- Wave 2k (got a brand new one coming, but it was a return so I got it for about $100 off the retail - I figured I will give it a try and see how it works) - going to be mounted on the back of the tank.
- Mag 9.5 return pump
- 50 lbs of Lace Rock (going to get this stuff from Blue Zoo, Mark said that this stuff is really nice and it is only about $1.00 to $1.50 a lb). This is harvested dry from the land (old sea beds). I will let you know how this works out and I'll get some pics when I get it. He said because it is so dry 50 lbs is a LOT of rock. I am hoping this is going to be much better than the Marcorocks (and cheaper).
- 50 lbs of Kaleani Tonga Live rock
- going to have approximately 2" sand bed
- lighting is going to stay VHO right now...I may just adjust the placement
- hmmm...I think that is it for now...

Ok..here are a few questions...

The sump I am planning is a 55 gal acrylic tank. Dimensions are approximately 48" long x 13" wide x 20" tall. I can get it under the tank by dropping it through the stand. However if I leave the floor (which is crappy particle board that is warped and crumbling) I will only have 4" above the sump to do anything (this is not good). If I remove the particle board (shown in the old picture below) I can get another 4" and then I will have about 8" above the sump to be able to get in there. The question I have is, does anything think this particle board has any structural purpose? What I am essentially doing is setting the sump on the floor now...just under the tank. Which by the way makes me wonder about my stand (I am assuming that all of you that build your stands, WAY overbuild them, because I have seen all of you with your 2x4's and everything. This stand is basically 1" thick boards (you can see part of the stand in the pic below on the left side) on the ends and middle of the tank (doesn't look nearly as strong as some of the stuff you all have built :) ) I hope I am good. Please let me know if you think I am going to compromise the structural integrity of the stand by removing the floor.




Ok...well, that is it for now, I will take some pictures of the sump this weekend (although I really need to clean it out) and then as I recieve stuff I will keep you all posted. I hope this all goes well!!! Initial estimates have me spending about $1,500 (with no new light fixture and no livestock other than the rock).

Thanks for joining the ride!

Frank
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Ok..here are a few questions...

The sump I am planning is a 55 gal acrylic tank. Dimensions are approximately 48" long x 13" wide x 20" tall. I can get it under the tank by dropping it through the stand. However if I leave the floor (which is crappy particle board that is warped and crumbling) I will only have 4" above the sump to do anything (this is not good). If I remove the particle board (shown in the old picture below) I can get another 4" and then I will have about 8" above the sump to be able to get in there. The question I have is, does anything think this particle board has any structural purpose? What I am essentially doing is setting the sump on the floor now...just under the tank. Which by the way makes me wonder about my stand (I am assuming that all of you that build your stands, WAY overbuild them, because I have seen all of you with your 2x4's and everything. This stand is basically 1" thick boards (you can see part of the stand in the pic below on the left side) on the ends and middle of the tank (doesn't look nearly as strong as some of the stuff you all have built :) ) I hope I am good. Please let me know if you think I am going to compromise the structural integrity of the stand by removing the floor.
Yes, that particle board has a structural purpose. It keeps the bottom of the stand square. Most people think, incorrectly, that the purpose of a bottom shelf in a cabinet is storage space. It isn't, it is structural.

Measure the stand dimensions, go to HD/Lowes and get a sheet of 1/4" Luan, they will cut it to size for you. Flip the stand over, nail it to the bottom of the stand. You get the structural aspect back and you don't lose any space in the cabinet since you are raising the entire thing 3/16" off the floor (1/4" Luan is 7/32" thick). Before you attach it (using glue), you can get exterior grade paint and paint it to make it waterproof.

If the base isn't square, then you have a hard time getting it level. And if it isn't level, then the center of gravity on the corners isn't plumb and can lead to catastrophic failure of the cabinet.

That is also why they put backs on dressers and the such. It isn't for looks, it is to keep the cabinet square.

Two things you need to worry about if you put it on the bottom:

1) The floor not being flat. Not really a big issue as the deflection in luan isn't enough to cause premature tearing/failure.
2) The biggest problem is that it will wick water if it gets wet (from on the floor) and trapping it.

Personally, if I had to put a sump in before the tank went in, and had to completely break the system down in order to get it out, I would look at getting a new cabinet. Especially if I am going to sit a 1500 dollar investment on top of it.

Wow, something I could answer :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Wow...see, I figured it might have some structural purpose, but I wasn't sure...you think the Louan will keep it stable enough?

I have some 5/8" plywood (already painted) that I was actually going to replace the shelf with (before I knew I had to drop the sump in). Maybe I can just use that. I just have to re-cut it to fit down in there. It was cut to fit where the shelf was and the inside dimension of the bottom of the stand is smaller. Does it have to be attached (can't I just fit it in there?)...it isn't going anywhere...

Sound like this would work?
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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Wow...see, I figured it might have some structural purpose, but I wasn't sure...you think the Louan will keep it stable enough?
Yes, the only stress on it is while you are moving it around. Once it is in place, and has a tank full of water on top of it, it can't move anymore. With your tank only 18/21 inches deep, then that isn't wide enough to actually cause Luan to "bend" and deflect enough to make any difference sitting on the floor. The key, whether luan or plywood, is to make sure it is all square before attaching it.

I have some 5/8" plywood (already painted) that I was actually going to replace the shelf with (before I knew I had to drop the sump in). Maybe I can just use that. I just have to re-cut it to fit down in there. It was cut to fit where the shelf was and the inside dimension of the bottom of the stand is smaller. Does it have to be attached (can't I just fit it in there?)...it isn't going anywhere...

Sound like this would work?
Just make sure it isn't lying flat on the floor. Raise it up off the floor so that if it gets wet and leaks underneath the shelf, that the plywood isn't lying in water. All it would take is when you cut the shelf off to fit in there, you have some 5/8" scraps, cut a few to put under the ends of it so it will stay semi-dry.

No matter what kind of paint you use, I have yet to see anything that water won't destroy. The NAVY repaints there ships due to corrosion and if the US NAVY can't figure out how to keep water out, I doubt I can :)

This is making me want to go ahead and rebuild my stand now before I move :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Just make sure it isn't lying flat on the floor. Raise it up off the floor so that if it gets wet and leaks underneath the shelf, that the plywood isn't lying in water. All it would take is when you cut the shelf off to fit in there, you have some 5/8" scraps, cut a few to put under the ends of it so it will stay semi-dry.
:confused: I am a little confused at this...before you said to lay the louan on the floor, now you are saying to make sure it is not on the floor? I would think the plywood is more durable than the louan so why is it more important to keep this raised off the floor?
 

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Perfeshunal Hikk
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:confused: I am a little confused at this...before you said to lay the louan on the floor, now you are saying to make sure it is not on the floor? I would think the plywood is more durable than the louan so why is it more important to keep this raised off the floor?
Sometimes, what is in my brain isn't always what my fingers type. If you put the shelf flat on the floor (whether you use luan or plywood), then you have 2 problems. And those two problems are exactly why the shelf is raised up in the cabinet now:

1) If the floor isn't flat, then your stand will "wobble" without anything on it. The thicker the shelf, the more pronounced that wobble will be. They raise the shelf up so that the only thing on the floor are the edges of the stand to try to deal with that wobble effect and make it easier to level the stand

2) Water. If the shelf is flat on the floor, and you spill water on the floor and get the stand wet, the shelf will soak up whatever water gets by the outside of the stand. It will soak up that water and rot it out from the bottom up. The same thing happens if you spill water on the inside. With the inside, you can get to it to dry it up. With a tank on top of the stand, you can't get to water on the bottom side of it without breaking the entire system down and moving the stand.

With you having to re-do the shelf, you can place a spacer on each end of the shelf to raise it up off the floor. Can even add a few strips in the middle to support the shelf. 55 gallons of water is about 470 pounds and that is a lot of weight. Heck, get you some styrofoam and cut a piece to fit in the bottom. Just make sure the wood isn't flat on the floor or it will rot out again in time.

Personally, I think the issue of not being able to get the sump itself out without breaking the entire system down is a bigger issue than water on the shelf is though.
 

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The shelf in the bottom of the stand isnt load bearing, removing it will not cause your stand to collapse.

The only real benefit of it is to make the bottom part of the stand resistant to twisting forces.

If you want some extra space in the bottom you can screw in some corner blocks close to the floor and lay a new shelf on top of that. 1/2" plywood or something like that. You wont gain as much space as just removing the floor but youll retain some durability when moving the stand around.
 

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Carpe Noctem
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I'll be honest, 8" isn't as much as you think for distance between the top of sump and the bottom of the stand. I think that is what I have in the wetroom and wish I had another 5" or so. Any way to decrease the height of your sump a few more inches?
 

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I'll be honest, 8" isn't as much as you thing for distance between the top of sump and the bottom of the stand. I think that is what I have in the wetroom and wish I had another 5" or so. And way to decrease the height of your sump a few more inches?
with a sawzall anything should be possible. :eek:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well...it is acrylic (it is all eurobraced), but I could probably take a few inches off the top. Anyone know how to cut Acrylic like this? It is not going to be full so I don't think removing the eurobrace would weaken it for what I want to do...
 

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I wont comment on how much removing the braceing would weaken it, I really have no idea. but cutting it is easy, circular saw, router, rotozip, anything will due, attach a straightedge and cut away.

Well...it is acrylic (it is all eurobraced), but I could probably take a few inches off the top. Anyone know how to cut Acrylic like this? It is not going to be full so I don't think removing the eurobrace would weaken it for what I want to do...
 

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Carpe Noctem
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Maybe CRVZ will chime in and say how much room the one he just built is?
 

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spaceman spiff
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Maybe CRVZ will chime in and say how much room the one he just built is?
You'd like that, wouldnt you?

My stand is 38" high on the inside, and my skimmer is 30" tall, +1" for the base of the sump and foam. So I have about 7" clearance for the skimmer, and it's plenty (though the how the skimmer works is important, my EuroReef only requires about an inch to be removed).

But my sump is only 18" high, so I've got tons of space between it and the bottom of the tank.
 

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spaceman spiff
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Well...it is acrylic (it is all eurobraced), but I could probably take a few inches off the top. Anyone know how to cut Acrylic like this? It is not going to be full so I don't think removing the eurobrace would weaken it for what I want to do...
You could either route it off or, if you've got a big enough table, use a table saw (that would probably be a little cleaner cut, depending on the tools you have available).

The eurobrace is probably not that critical on a sump. How thick is the material?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I am getting the Octopus Extreme TS-150 (I don't think it requires much to take the top off). I think it is only 20" tall and I would have 27-28" if I remove the shelf (actually more, because there is more room under the tank than there is on the side, where I have been measuring).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
You could either route it off or, if you've got a big enough table, use a table saw (that would probably be a little cleaner cut, depending on the tools you have available).

The eurobrace is probably not that critical on a sump. How thick is the material?
I don't have a table saw (only a circular saw). I believe the material is either 3/8" or 1/4".
 
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