Chayos00's 125g tank build
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:52 AM   #1
chayos00
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Chayos00's 125g tank build


Hello all! Thanks for checking out by build.

I started with an aquarium as a kid getting a 20g tank when I was a little kid and had it till about 2006. I never really did much for having good looking aquascaping in the past, but early last year my coworker showed me planted aquascaping and I was amazed and wanted to get back into having a tank. I ended up with a Tetra 3g cube that I have running on my desk at home, I have a Betta, 2 dwarf frogs, some nerite snails, and some ghost shrimp (provided they don't disappear, I think the betta eats them). I'm keeping that one heavily planted in a low tech setup, with some Java Fern, Anubis Nana, and some Ludwigia. So I finally talked my wife into getting another larger tank and that's when I went on the craigslist hunt for what I describe below.

So I've picked up a former 125g saltwater tank from a craigslist deal for about $325. It included the stand, canopy, and some crappy equipment. Turns out the stand was junk and so was the equipment. I attempted to recover the stand, but there was an accident destroying the stand while I attempted to get it prepped for refinishing.

My tank plan is to be a heavily planted community tank that is more so on the low tech side of things. Fish and plants to be determined later. I don't want to add CO2, but part of me wants to, so maybe one day after getting the tank up and running for a year or so. For the sump I'm going to keep it strictly filtration. I was initially thinking of running some biomedia, filter floss, and some ceramic rings. But yesterday I came across poret filter media and I'm now not sure exactly what I want to do. Oh well I've got time still.

I've been browsing the reef community on several forums and I'm finding some great ideas about how to design the sump and other features. For example splitting the heater into 2-3 units versus one giant heater as I've determined from an article on the BeanAnimal site that I need anywhere from 900w down to about 180w depending upon the room temps. I used 68*F for a low and 74*F for the high room temp with a tank estimated temp of 78*F. However I never run my house that low in the winter, yes I live in the desert and it usually doesn't get too cold here and if it does, you bet I'm using my homes heater!! On average I should need only 200-300w to maintain the tank, yes that is not including the lighting or the pump in the sump tank.

I also was reading an article about power strips and after reading that article I'm going to make my own power panel in the stand using standard home outlets, yes I'll seal everything for moisture. I also have an electronics background so this won't be an issue for me. I might have to end up bringing in a dedicated power line for the aquarium, as my den has my PC and is only a 15A circuit as well as who knows what else the builder wired into that circuit. Once I get all my equipment figured out I'll do the math and see how much power this thing is going to draw to determine if I need the dedicated circuit. I do however want to get the sump running with a battery backup for temporary power outages, mainly during monsoon season when we can get some nasty storms that can knock the power out.

On to the tank build:

Here's the tank being leak tested/decontaminated using 10ppm bleach being run overnight. As I wanted to ensure there was no cross over from the saltwater bacterium. This was the "filter" they were running on their tank, it's a reef octopus skimmer, but it worked for a great circulation pump for me @ 2000L/hr or ~500gph.


Stand after I removed the damaged MDF from where they let the saltwater get under the tank.


I sanded the stand down to remove the "painted" on stain that they tried to restain the stand with. As well as I wanted to beef up the structure so I built a 2x4 header to strengthen this stand.


I made the mistake of putting the front and back headers together before putting them in the stand and one got stuck while going in and was hanging in the air, I turned my back to go flip the garage light switch and the whole thing fell over and popped every single nail that was used to put it together out. So this is what remains of the stand..... Well this was before I took it camping with me and turned it into a bond fire!!



So I started from scratch on the stand build after a two month frustration hiatus. I did lots of googling stand builds and finally decided upon a design for the framing. Here is where it currently sits. The front two support beams are only just wedged in as I'm still deciding how I'm going to do my cabinet doors. The dimensions for the stand are 73"L x 24"D, as one day I plan to use this stand in the hope of coming across a 240g tank that's 24" deep.


So I couldn't decide upon what I wanted to cover the exterior with so I went hunting for some better lumber sources than Lowes or Home Depot. I found this store on the southside of town with over 100 varieties of wood to choose from. Most of it was rough cut 4/4 boards that were from 6" -12" in width, but as I'm not a skilled woodworker I had no idea how to use 98% of what they sold. The place is http://www.woodworkerssource.com/. So due to the fact that the venered wood sheets I would use were in the $100-150 range, I decided I would not go that route and instead head back to the big box stores. So after going and looking with my wife I am going to use Pine, as I can find decent pine trim pieces between Lowes & HD.

Equipment List:
I know I'm missing some stuff, but it's late and my brain is starting to shut down on me. More to come as the build goes on!

Last edited by chayos00; 02-02-2014 at 04:55 PM.. Reason: Updated Info
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:53 AM   #2
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To be used for future updates. Part 1.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:54 AM   #3
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To be used for future updates. Part 2.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:54 AM   #4
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To be used for future updates. Part 3.
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Old 01-30-2014, 04:55 AM   #5
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To be used for future updates. Part 4.
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Old 01-30-2014, 05:20 AM   #6
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Subbed. Those last four posts supposed to have pictures? Because i don't see any!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:43 AM   #7
chayos00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zetvi View Post
Subbed. Those last four posts supposed to have pictures? Because i don't see any!
No those 4 spots are left blank on purpose so that way as I get more good updates I can edit those posts going forward. That way instead of all having to go through the entire thread when there are multiple pages it will be all on the first page.
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Old 01-30-2014, 01:06 PM   #8
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To save you some grief, don't go 1.5" on all your drains. I have almost the exact same setup, 1.5" primary siphon for the GPH you'll probably end up running will not work well.

If I had it to do over, I'd do 1" on the primary, ensure I was running at least 800-900GPH net (after losses), and use 1.5" for the secondary/emergency.

Also - just limiting the intake on the primary doesn't work. You'd need to limit the size of the drain pipe to allow the siphon to maintain some consistency.

Sub'd! Good luck!
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Old 01-30-2014, 03:31 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymittens View Post
To save you some grief, don't go 1.5" on all your drains. I have almost the exact same setup, 1.5" primary siphon for the GPH you'll probably end up running will not work well.

If I had it to do over, I'd do 1" on the primary, ensure I was running at least 800-900GPH net (after losses), and use 1.5" for the secondary/emergency.

Also - just limiting the intake on the primary doesn't work. You'd need to limit the size of the drain pipe to allow the siphon to maintain some consistency.

Sub'd! Good luck!
I was just looking at your build thread last night. Thanks for the tip on downsizing the main siphon line. I'll keep the bulkhead at the 1.5" size and then just adapt down to a 1" line.
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:20 PM   #10
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A few weeks ago I was out camping in the mountains where we happen to have Manzanita wood all around and I picked up a piece that I liked. Yes they are a bit on the large size, but nothing that some trimming down won't fix. I also found an old starter mine (only went about 200 feet in and then stopped) in the area that had some neat looking rock pieces that may get used as well. Yes I will ensure they are "cured" and cleaned as much as possible.

Manzanita Wood - This still requires some trimming to fit in the tank, but it's close. My coworker tells me I should take it to get sandblasted, but I'd have to do some hunting to find someone who does this.


Here's another piece I found laying around that I thought looked cool! Through the tall piece it's semi hollow as well as the under side if it sat on the ground has some clearance for a hiding spot for some fish that likes to hide.


I picked up a water tank heater from Amazon that should heat up some water past 150*F to try and help me to try and boil the wood. I just need to get a container large enough to fit the wood. Also would a brute trash can handle the high temp water if that's all I can find? Also with the heat I would imagine something would leach out of it too. I saw a guy on CraigsList selling a 55g food grade metal drum that was used for his rainwater collection, would something like that be best to use?
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Old 01-30-2014, 09:38 PM   #11
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Very cool. Can't wait to see what you do with it all.

As for the boiling of the driftwood. Any container will be fine as long as it's clean and holds water. Just make sure that the wood is and has been dead for a while so it doesn't leak sap or any of that sort.
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Old 01-31-2014, 10:15 AM   #12
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Pressure washer for the driftwood if you want to clean it up. Sand blasting would cost a good chunk, and would probably end up destroying the wood (if anyone even took the job).
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Old 01-31-2014, 11:42 AM   #13
chayos00
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Menace View Post
Very cool. Can't wait to see what you do with it all.

As for the boiling of the driftwood. Any container will be fine as long as it's clean and holds water. Just make sure that the wood is and has been dead for a while so it doesn't leak sap or any of that sort.
So the large brute trash can was about $45 bucks for the 44g container. I ended up contacting the guy from craigslist and he still has the 55g metal drum and he's selling it for $24 so I am going to go take a look at it today. Half the price and being metal I won't have to worry about if the plastic will have any issues heating up.

For the non Manzanita wood I can tell that's been dead a while. But not really sure on the Manzanita piece. However there it was in a large group of dead wood. I want to get them starting to soak soon to get them fully water logged and cured.




Quote:
Originally Posted by crazymittens View Post
Pressure washer for the driftwood if you want to clean it up. Sand blasting would cost a good chunk, and would probably end up destroying the wood (if anyone even took the job).
Ah never thought of pressure washing! I might go hit up a car wash and test it out on a branch that I didn't post a picture of on a piece I picked up a few months earlier that turned out to be WAY TOO large. If that works and looks good I may do that on the one I posted the picture of. Thanks for the idea!
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:53 PM   #14
chayos00
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Hey guys, I've been trying to figure out how I should water proof my DIY aquarium stand structure. I'm not talking about the exterior finish wood, but the internal structure. My initial thought was some Thompson's water sealer, but I've seen a few few builds using Killz. I do like the idea of painting the stand white on the inside to help see what I'll have inside. Thoughts? Killz and some white paint?? If Killz which variety of it?
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:00 PM   #15
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So on Wednesday I ordered a number of items, and I got my Jeabo DC-12000 that came all the way from China on Friday afternoon. Again that was placed on Wednesday night around 10pm Arizona time and got it FRIDAY!! Wow I'm impressed by Fish-Street.com!!!

From Amazon some items shipped from a town 100 miles away and it got here on Friday as well.

So far I've gotten:
Jaebo DC-12000
Ranco Temp Controller
Tom's Dip and Pour container (temporary fish holder cup)
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