Better than nothing 90gal

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by revnull, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Hi everyone. This will be my first attempt at build thread. If you end up follow along, you will find I'm a horrible writer. I’m grammatically awful. If it were not for spell check, I would have been kicked off of the internet years ago. So, if you can suffer through my run-on sentences and poor punctuation, I’ll try to make this a learning experience for both of us.

    First, a bit of history. About 7 years ago, my family and I had to move on short notice from a 3rd level condo to a single story home with a garage, finally. This meant I had to take down my 55g and relocate my livestock in a hurry. I was able to transport everything in many buckets with the help of some good friends. At the time, the priority was to get the baby’s nursery setup, the 55g “temporarily” went into the garage. When it came time to setup the tank in the house, I found a great deal on a drilled 90g with stand and canopy from a fellow reefer that was moving to the east coast. The plan was to setup the “new” 90g tank in my office and plumb the drain and return through the wall into the garage. This would allow me to use a 100g Rubbermaid stock tank and triple my total water volume. Much to my disappointment, the floor in my office began to sag slightly under the weight of the empty tank and stand. So into the garage it went to collect dust for 6 years.

    At the end of this last year I had a couple of weeks off and some time to kill. After finally coming to grips with the fact I will not have my tank inside my house without major floor reinforcement, I decided to give the 90 another shot. If my fish are doomed to live in the garage, they should have the best home available.

    So on with the show.

    Following a few tips from a Rubbermaid thread on another forum, I decided on a mostly modular setup that can be disassembled and cleaned. The foundation of which is:
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    To make sure I can move this 100g behemoth when needed, I built a rolling platform from 2x4s and plywood. This platform was sized to also allow room for mounting my Dolphin Amp Master 3000. The intension was to allow enough flow from the return pump to negate the need to in tank power heads.
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    Part of the return system allows 3 x ½” auxiliary feeds (on the right) for additional filtration, reactors, and/or a chiller in the future.
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    A ½” down spout was added to allow easy water changes. There are also 2 x 1”valves to feed the tank’s return manifolds.
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    The pickup for the return pump uses 1½” PVC with a flared 3” strainer stuffed with coarse “pond mesh” to filter out any large partials that would otherwise muck up the pump.
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    The end result, wet testing with drainage.
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    During 1st round leak testing, I supplied the tank from one of the ½” feed lines. The return manifold was not yet built.
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    After everything passed the leak check, I applied many coats of Killz and reassembled the sump.
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    I ended up reusing the built-in 1¼” bulkhead to add a ¾” drain on the now back of the sump.
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    Each half of the tank is serviced by a 1” manifold. Supplied from a 1” barb on the back and terminating into 3 x ½” loc-lines. The hope is this will provide all the necessary flow for the tank.
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    Since the tank was already drilled and installed with 2 x “cost to cost” style overflow boxes, I had a little option but to use a durso’ish drain. I figure I would also add a part of the “beananimal” failsafe system and run ¼” RO tubing to the overflow boxes to initiate siphon if needed. All in all, it’s defiantly quiet enough for the garage.
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    So after many days of cutting, filing, gluing, countless trips to the hardware store, begging, borrowing and a metric ton of understanding from my wife. I finished plumbing my tank (mostly).
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    Last edited: Mar 8, 2015
    neuro likes this.
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Nice! Excited to see what comes next!
     
  3. revnull

    revnull Guest

    A small aside. While building the rolling platform. I discovered that my garage was grossly under powered. Running my existing 55gal set along with a miter saw and shop vac, tripped the breaker more than once. This led to a day long distraction of mapping all plugs and lights in my house to the corresponding breaker. I found that the entire garage, forced air blower, 2 bathrooms and several sockets where all on the same 15A breaker.
    This would not work for me and my grand tank plans. So with many txt messages to a friend of mine who is an residential and commercial electrical inspector, I ventured off into the world of an amateur electrician.

    Luckily for me, there was an abandoned 40A 240v circuit running from the main panel to an old fuse box on the other side of the garage. I believe this was used for the original A/C in the house some time ago. I was able to replace that box with a small 2 space sub-panel.
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    After everything was said and done, I had 2 new 15A circuits. 1 dedicated for my reef and the other for power tools (or reef overflow).
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    Not too shabby.
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    Discaimer: Please seek the help of a professional if you are not comfortable with electricity, wiring, or anything else for that matter. Above all else, be smart. Electrocuting your self would be bad. I repeat, BAD... don't do it!

    BAD!
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
    neuro likes this.
  4. revnull

    revnull Guest

    One of the down sides if the Rubbermaid sump is the lack of compartmentalization. There are no baffles to keep things in check. To solve this, others have used containers inside of containers to achieve a similar result.

    At my local Tractor Supply (Gilroy), I found a 2 pack of fence feeders. Not being a rancher/farmer myself, I assume you hang them on a fence and fill them with food for some form of animal. I have other plans.
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    I drilled out a hole for a 1" bulkhead, added a down spout and ta-da! "Cheato reactor"! The black basket is a "pond basket" from the garden section of your local chain hardware super store.
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    I'm still looking for a better way of securing it since the additional water weight seems to make a sag and twist a bit. This also makes me think it will not support the weight of my old skimmer.
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  5. revnull

    revnull Guest

    As of last night, my water and salt levels are where I want them. I've added my sand, cured base rock, and 2 raw shrimp to kick off my cycle. Now we wait.
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    Or do we? Since I've been out of the loop for a while, how is community at large feeling about bacteria in a bottle? Bio-Spira, Dr. Tims? I'm all for letting nature take it's course, but we have SCIENCE! to help things along now. Or is it just snake oil?
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  6. tr1gger

    tr1gger Keyboard Cowboy

    I dig all the DIY! Following this for sure.
     
  7. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Love the ghetto DIY!
    Actually, looks like a pretty good overall plan.
     
  8. gimmito

    gimmito Supporting Member

    +1 for Dr. Tim's.
     
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    First build thread, first spam congrats! :D

    Something to help with your feed baskets is cut a piece of pvc to act like a pillar inside the sump. if you want to spend some money use a flange at either end to spread the weight out.
     
  10. revnull

    revnull Guest

    Great idea! Thanks Mike. Maybe I can also use the pillar to mount my Apex probes and Tunze Osmo sensors.

    BTW, I'm expecting 2 Kessil A360W-E's to arrive on Thursday. It looks like I'll be selling off my MH/T5 retro setup after all. :)
     
  11. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Nice build thread. No problem with your spelling, grammar etc. Yours is above average among fish geeks. We have all learned to be creative readers!

    Impressive plumbing. I have a couple of observations, if you don't mind. The wheels on the sump cart might get a flat side from sitting in one place with lots of weight on them. I have a cart piled with wood scraps (yep, woodworker who just can't stand throwing out cutoffs!) and it takes a lot of effort to get it moving if it's been in one spot for a while.

    Somewhat counter to the last issue, is the cart attached to the stand? Wouldn't want it to go for a ride during an earthquake!

    Have you seen the youtube channel 'Tidal Gardens'? Lots of stock tanks used as sumps/growout. Might have ideas for you.

    +1 for Dr. Tim's One and Only. I didn't use dead shrimp. Dr. Tim also makes an ammonium chloride solution to provide the necessary ammonia for bacteria food. Better looking than rotting shrimp. :)
     
  12. revnull

    revnull Guest

    I hadn't thought about that. I was thinking of completely draining the sump and cleaning everything out several times a year. Hopefully, the movement during cleaning will minimize flat spots. If it becomes problematic over time, I can swap out the wheels every few years.

    No, currently it is just butted up against the stand. I made some foam bumpers from black pipe insulator that I cut to length and filleted to make sure the spacing is even. To keep things from rolling around, all 4 casters have wheel locks.

    So, thats several endorsements for Dr. Tim's O&O. Now where do I find it in the South Bay and how much do I need for about 150gal total water volume?

    Thanks again for the feedback. Please keep the comments and suggestions coming. If it looks like I'm doing something silly, please let me know.
     
  13. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    I really like how you found the pond baskets for the sump. I might even borrow this idea. Looks like it would be super easy to clean just by removing the baskets.

    btw, how much was for the entire rubbermaid trough?
     
  14. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    Oh forgot to mention. I think you need one bottle for every 60 gallons for Dr. Tim's. So you'll need a little over two bottles. I was only able to find it online.
     
  15. revnull

    revnull Guest

    They sell the 100gal for $80 at Tractor Supply in Gilroy. They range in size from 50-300gal.
     
    neuro likes this.
  16. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    From Dr. Tim website, 8 oz bottle treats 120g. That's probably close enough. Next size up is for 240. Stuff is expensive!

    Sorry, don't know where to buy it. I won mine at a BAR meet - sweet!
     
  17. revnull

    revnull Guest

    In another thread, I asked about the viability of adding a Chia head to my rock work. There seemed to be no extreme concerns about leaching since Chias are just terracotta.

    This was just delivered.
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    To play is safe, I'm going to soak it in RODI water overnight.
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    I'm still debating on putting it under an arch or off to the side deep in the sand like an easter island head.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2014
  18. revnull

    revnull Guest

    This afternoon while digging through my box of "tank crap" I found a couple of Hydor Flo deflectors I used to have on my old tank. I was able to pop off the tips of my front mounted loc-lines and using the included Hydro adaptors, I press fit them into the openings.

    They don't look too bad IMHO, but I may move them to the back after I've decided on my rock orientation.
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  19. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member

    Doh!

    Make sure you drip acclimate Homer! :D
     
  20. gimmito

    gimmito Supporting Member

    Are you going to grow green star polyps on Homers dome?:D
     
    Cymen likes this.

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