pyro's 90 gal econo reef build

Discussion in 'DIY' started by Pyrofly, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. Pyrofly

    Pyrofly Guest

    Hello new guy to reefing and new to the bay area. Welcome to my build. I recently moved from Miami, FL to San Francisco (Oakland actually) due to work. Back in Florida I went diving all the time, this build is an attempt to bring a little bit of the reef life that i love so much to my new home. On Monday we got the keys to our new apartment and Tuesday the 90 gal Craigslist tank was delivered. It was literally the first thing to move into the apartment.

    Can anyone identify the manufacturer of the tank from on the pictures?

    this is how it currently sits on the crappy stand. why anyone wood trust the weight of a 90 gallon tank on particle board is beyond reason.

    The glass lids will probably get cut down and used to make the overflow box (weir) with no teeth. and the partitions on the DIY 30 gal Sump.

    Is the black glass trim on the top and bottom of this tank a reinforcement or is it just decorative?

    Euro-bracing seems strange. lengthwise there is a 1" lip that the glass lids rest on. Then on the ends about 2 inches down for some reason there is more bracing.

    Questions that i have:
    1. can the bracing on one end be removed and reinstalled further up? The reason i want to do this is that i plan on building the tank out as a peninsula. this would require me to put the overflow box on the end, but the bracing in the way.

    2. Can I drill through 2 pieces of glass simultaneously?
    the decorative (black glass) trim seems like it would be hell to remove and i wanted to use bean animals overflow.

    I could drill below the trim, but then that would make the overflow box rather large in the tank and i would like to avoid that if possible.

    Is there anyone that has any glass drilling experience bits, drill guide etc. that would like to help a nube out?

    Thanks for any input.
  2. aqua-nut

    aqua-nut Supporting Member


    Unusual construction!

    Do you know if the glass is tempered? If it is, it will shatter when drilled. Does the seller know anything about it?

    The black trim won't, IMHO provide much in the way of structural support. The euro brace is doing it and it seems undersized! Anyone else with a euro braced glass tank want to chime in?

    You could drill thru both trim and tank but would you have space for the bulkhead? A 1" BH (sch 80) requires a 1.88" hole. This should be no closer than the diameter (1.88") from the edge. How does that fit on the tank?

    If it were my tank ;) :
    And I wanted a big project, I'd take the trim and euro bracing off and either put better euro bracing (wider than the 1") or a cross brace. I don't know if I could ever sleep secure that the tank would not break! :(

    Second option is put it back on craigslist and get something already made for reef! Sorry to be a bummer here but being a nooob, you might want simple when it comes to the tank.
  3. siokoy

    siokoy Supporting Member

    Welcome the the Bay Area..
    +1 on Aqua-nuts comment above.
  4. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Welcome to the Bay Area! I also moved out here from Florida (Jacksonville/Gainesville) and I'm also a diver. I actually go diving out here all the time. Cold water diving is a lot different from Florida diving but just as pretty in a different way. You should definitely try diving the kelp forests down in Monterey/Carmel. A great weekend trip is to go down to the Channel Islands off LA and either do a live aboard dive boat trip or stay on Catalina Island in Avalon and dive the underwater park there. I've done weekend live aboard dive trips down there 3 times and they are fantastic. I also recently dove the underwater park in Avalon, Catalina Island and it was some amazing diving as well.

    That's a nice set-up you found on Craigslist. Sounds like you've got your priorities straight with that being the first thing in your apartment. :)
  5. Pyrofly

    Pyrofly Guest

    I need to do some measuring. I can't believe that these tanks are that unusual. Here is another one for sale. If the link doesnt show its because I'm new to the forum. Its in the san francisco craigslist april 9 "110 fish tank w/Arrowana - $400 (Sacramento)"

    The guy I bought mine from had no idea. I contacted the seller of the one above and he replied "no name company... All Glass" In other words he also has no idea.

    I've also been thinking about not modifying the braces or trim at all. I've been playing around and think that it may be quite possible to drill the bulkheads just under the trim
    The over flow box would be coast to coast essentially adding more bracing to one end of the tank.

    The currently installed braces would end up under water but that shouldn't hurt anything. The brace that would end up in the overflow box would serve as a support for some egg crate light diffusion grating. This would be used as strainer to catch any suicidal fish.

    What do you think?
  6. Pyrofly

    Pyrofly Guest

    Felicia, thanks for the heads up. Back in 92 i was stationed in long beach US Navy and would sail frequently to Catalina. Never went diving. I may have to invest in a quality wet suit and bring my gear along. Thanks for the heads up. What about closer to San Francisco? How is monterey bay? Ever had any unpleasant large shark encounters out there?
  7. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Just make sure you get a good quality 7 mm suit with a hood, gloves, and boots for out here. Drysuits are even better out here but take additional training and are pretty expensive. I dive in 7 mm suit out here.

    Monterey Bay is about the closest to San Francisco for good diving. The Breakwater at San Carlos Beach is a good beginner site for getting used to diving out here. Its a dive out along the rocks piled for the pier so you swim along the rocks and there is a ton of life and kelp. That's also one of the places the sea lions hang out so you're almost guaranteed to see Sea Lions. My favorite dive spot in the area is actually at Point Lobos State Reserve in Carmel which is a bit south of Monterey. They only allow in a limited number of divers each day, so you have to make a reservation on their website a month or more in advance. Its well worth it though because its a beautiful place. There are tons of dive sites all through that area (Monterey and Carmel) and I've done quite a few of them and enjoyed them all. Another option is to drive about 2 hours north of San Fran up to the Mendocino coast. There are dive sites all along that area as well.

    Here's a couple websites that list most of those dive sites with information about them:

    Also, I own this book about diving Northern CA and highly recommend it.
  8. FeliciaLynn

    FeliciaLynn Supporting Member

    Oh, and no, I have not seen any big sharks out here at all since I started diving out here and I currently have about 50 logged dives in CA. The biggest sharks I've seen are some 4-5 feet leopard sharks and they're harmless.
  9. denzil

    denzil Webmaster

    Never seen a 90 like that before but it's very square and I really like square/shallow tanks. :)

    That euro bracing does look a bit awkward but if it works, it works.

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