Dez's 50g Build (56K warning)
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Old 03-03-2015, 04:35 AM   #1
Endeszbet
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Dez's 50g Build (56K warning)


Hello everyone!

I've been in the hobby for almost 20 years now (when did that happen, I'm not that old) and I've decided to finally jump off the deep end. For me, that means upgrading to a MUCH larger tank and far more complex setup than anything I've attempted before.

50 gallons of awesome!

So here's the background.

A friend of mine had a used 50 gallon acrylic tank, didn't want it anymore, and parted with it in exchange for home cooked Thai food. Sweet!

Then the tank sat in storage for a year and a half. Boooo-ring.

This Christmas gift money was burning a hole in my pocket and the siren's call of keeping tanks, my "aquaholism" if you will, prompted me to find a nice custom built stand - real wood! - on Craigslist. Heck yeah.

The stand came with a broken 50g acrylic - hole the size of my fist in one side, cracks everywhere - and a Euro-fil 125 sump. Now I didn't have experience setting up sumps, but I did know how to clean and maintain them. How hard could it be?

Well several weeks later and reading what feels like the entire internet later, here I am.

Stuff I've got already:


50g acrylic tank, 36" wide x 20" tall x 15" deep with a 1.5" bulkhead in the top left back panel.

Tank stand

Euro-Fil 125 acrylic sump

100 lbs of CaribSea EcoComplete Planted Black (sorry mailman!)

25' Python. Why the heck didn't I get one of these before they're AWESOME.

In the mail:


Eheim fish feeder

Hydor Koralia

Eheim Jager 150w heater

Overflow Box Kit 1.5" from www.Glass-Holes.com

Blue Marineland filter pads


The To Buy List:


Fluval LED 36" Daylight / Plant Lamp

BioBalls, one gallon

Eheim Install Set 2 5/8"

Eheim tubing 5/8" 5'

Eheim Compact 1000 pump

thermometer

driftwood, rocks

Black sand (considering once I find out how deep my gravel bed gets, and if I get corydoras)

Maybe: fancy background http://www.drsfostersmith.com/produc...m?pcatid=19783 Crevice (if you have experience with this type of background, I'd like to hear about it.)

5' of 1.5" ultra flex PVC tubing

1.5" Male adapter MPT x SOC Sch 40 Black

Ball valve 1.5" slip x 1.5" slip

1.5" 45deg elbow Soc Sch 40 Black

Ball valve with hose barbs for 5/8" tubing

Media bags

Livestock List:


4-5 German Blue rams

6 corydoras (preference for the smaller varieties)

12 cherry barbs (or more! I'd love to see schooling)

1 bushynose pleco

I'd rather stay on the low end of stocking especially at first, and also I'd love to get the GBRs breeding. I used to breed Kribensis and that was a lot of fun.

Madagascar Lace (faaaaavorite)

Marimo

Anubias barteri (currently outgrowing my 10g tank)

Java moss

Java fern

Amazon swords

some more plants of what type I have no idea currently



Help wanted on:


Sump plumbing, sump setup

Plant suggestions

GETTING THE OLD BULKHEAD OFF THE TANK

Previous idiot owner GLUED the fracking thing!!!

I need to remove it in order to install the overflow box kit. At my wit's end here. Can't move forward on the project until I get that done...

Pics to follow
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Old 03-03-2015, 05:43 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Endeszbet View Post

GETTING THE OLD BULKHEAD OFF THE TANK

Previous idiot owner GLUED the fracking thing!!!

I need to remove it in order to install the overflow box kit. At my wit's end here. Can't move forward on the project until I get that done...

Pics to follow
If you are willing to replace to bulkhead, Heat gun and a 5&1 scraper will take it off quickly (don't burn yourself)

If you intend to reuse the bulkhead (likely to need a new gasket) time, razor blades and blood.


Oh the Eheim Compact 1000 pump, I have this pump on my 20 gallon all in one (sump area in the back of the tank deal) and after my diy inline diffuser (roughly 20" head) I have the thing on full blast and its just perfect flow. I worry if your intent is to use it as a return for your sump it may be undersized.
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Old 03-03-2015, 08:05 PM   #3
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Hello Sevamortner, thanks for the advice!

I'm replacing the bulkhead, don't care how chewed up the old one gets.

This what you mean by 5 in 1 scraper? http://www.homedepot.com/p/Hyde-5-in...2977/100031311

Hrmm, I'll take a look at more powerful return pumps then. I'm looking to achieve 220-330gph, and the compact 1000 is rated to deliver 265gph. The space I've got in the last portion of the sump is pretty small. 3" wide by 12" deep by 5" tall baffle. So any pump is going to need to fit in there.

Thanks for the help!
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Old 03-04-2015, 12:43 AM   #4
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Yes that is the 5n1, you are still going to want some razor blades and acetone to remove the film and help with the start. Make sure not to pry too much on the glass, which you will no doubt do to some degree, unless your some kind of saint when it comes to patience.

Now My inline diffuser is 1 1/2" ID pvc so that is massively reducing my flow. If you did not have anything on your return you could probably get by just fine. I Like getting the most turnover I can without disturbing the fish so I almost always buy too big and restrict with a ball valve.
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Old 03-04-2015, 01:01 AM   #5
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I have an acrylic, not glass, tank, so I hope to not use acetone. I'm worried about the acetone compromising the acrylic. Glass would make this easier, honestly. I can be patient if the payoff is good! Chipping away at it slowly is what I was planning to do.

I'm looking to use the Eheim Install Set 2 for the return. It comes in two hose sizes - 5/8" and 1/2".

I started looking at the Eheim Compact+ line, and the hose sizes on those are 3/4" for the 2000 model.

I talked to the super awesome guys at www.glass-holes.com asking about removing my old bulkhead, and they said the previous person probably siliconed it in. So at least it's hopefully not ABS or PVC glue. I'm going to try using a pipe wrench on either side to try to break the silicone seal. If that doesn't work, I'm going to try using a dremel to cut it in half from the inside.

Last resort is plugging that bulkhead and drilling a new hole in my tank.

Gonna try to borrow tools from friends, or head over to home depot again.
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Old 03-04-2015, 02:09 AM   #6
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oh good lord somehow i managed to not properly read the flipping word ARCYLIC! 3 times! rofl yea no chems..

Ok yea if its siliconed try the pipe wrenches, you can add a little heat (super careful, more like a hair dryer then a heat gun) to aid in breaking the silicone. Personally, I am a contractor.. I would bust out my band saw and hack the damn bulkhead right off.
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Old 03-04-2015, 04:21 AM   #7
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Silicone does not stick to acrylic nearly as well as it sticks to glass.

You can try to get a hacksaw blade and try to carefully cut off one end of the bulkhead. Put painters tape on the acrylic around the bulkhead if you don't want to scratch the acrylic. If you get one end cut off, it probably won't be that hard to get the other end off, and its likely that the previous owner only put adhesive on the exterior side of the bulkhead.
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Old 03-10-2015, 06:15 AM   #8
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Soooo I apparently I failed at figuring out Secret Plumber Measurements and ordered the wrong size overflow kit. D'oh. Also even if I got a smaller diameter the kit still wouldn't fit since the existing hole is too far up. So I think I may actually end up plugging that hole for good, and drilling a new hole elsewhere.
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Old 03-10-2015, 10:46 AM   #9
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Plumbers measure with metric rulers, did you try that? Just kidding haha. I'm awful at measuring things too! I'm not sure what you are talking about, but I would be careful drilling things more than they have to. And patching holes isn't the prettiest. But it may work out fine with that 3D background. I've seen people use them, not sure if they were that brand though. They look decent. Not really my thing though. But they do look good and a lot of people are happy with them.
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Old 03-17-2015, 01:08 AM   #10
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I have found the Secret Plumber Measurements! Ancient document of valuable information can be found here: http://www.engineeringtoolbox.com/pv...ons-d_795.html Inner Diameter of 0.5" is NOT actually exactly 0.5". Grr.

Alrighty, so the overflow box does not fit in the pre-existing hole. I'm going to just plug that old hole up forever (because I hate it and it is EVIL) and drill a new one for the overflow box.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:16 AM   #11
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Got the bulkhead off! Turns out the freaking threads are BACKWARDS from how I expected...and it was not glued.

Unfortunately the overflow box I purchased will not fit in that location. Perhaps I could use it for inflow?
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Old 04-22-2015, 03:43 AM   #12
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GIANT UPDATE

I've been really busy with work so I haven't been posting here but here's my latest accomplishments and plans for the tank as they are now:

Finished
Drilled 2 3/8" hole for overflow
Put a new bulkhead in the old hole where the stupid old bulkhead was, and a plug
Installed overflow box


Purchased
6 gallons of bioballs
finnex fugeray planted+ light 36"
coralife power center
eheim install set 2 (spraybar)
eheim return tubing 5/8" or 16/22mm
Hydor koralia 220-330gph
100lbs of ecocomplete
eheim jager 150w
filter fabric and bags
700gph overflow kit from glass-holes
eurofil 125 sump
flexible PVC tubing, ball valve, fittings
eheim compact 1000

To return or not doing anymore
Universal Rock crevice background - it's not flexible and my tank has top bracing. Some of the reviews I read said that it was flexible enough to get in with braces but with this one that's clearly not the case. Probably going to spraypaint the inside back of the tank black or deep brown instead.

What's next
Cutting and gluing a whole lot of flexible PVC to go from the overflow into the sump
Plumbing the return
Testing the sump plumbing
then once all that is done - filling and adding gravel! I will be doing a fishless cycle using water & filter media from my established tanks.

Livestock List

4-5 Angelfish

6+ corydoras (preference for the smaller varieties)

guppies, platys or swordtails (I miss having livebearers. if these are too nippy for the angels I can get something else small that schools)

1 farlowella catfish

livestock from the 10 gallon I have now that may or may not go in the 50 gallon
1 bristlenose pleco
5 cherry barbs
1 german blue ram


suggestions welcome!
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Old 06-26-2015, 12:04 AM   #13
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UPDATE

Spray paint

I don't like the blue color of the back of the tank, not for the aesthetic I'm going for. Additionally, when I tried the LED light there was an amazing amount of blue glow coming out of the back of the tank - not attractive at all.

So I did some research and found out that the favorite is Krylon Fusion brand of spray paint. It's great because it bonds to plastic, and from all I've heard it is safe even for reefs.

I spray painted the back of the tank with many coats of black. In order to not make a mess and accidentally paint the rest of the tank, I plastic wrapped and masking taped everything else. And covered the bulkhead holes!

Then the fun part - taping / saranwrapping the inside of the tank except the back, and spray painting the INSIDE back black. I highly recommend using a respirator, since the inside of the tank will NOT allow for ANY ventilation except out the top and it's not enough.

I then got to the artistic bit - I used more Krylon Fusion in Espresso brown to create a rock pile and soften up the black a bit.

Plumbing

My housemate was bored (it's the summer), so he helped with the cutting and gluing of a whole lot of flexible PVC to go from the overflow into the sump. Still need to plumb the return.

Then once all that is done - filling and adding gravel! I will be doing a fishless cycle using water & filter media from my established tanks.

Livestock List - changes


4-5 Angelfish

6+ corydoras (preference for the smaller varieties)

guppies, platys or swordtails (I miss having livebearers. if these are too nippy for the angels I can get something else small that schools)


1 farlowella catfish (optional, will be a later addition if at all)

livestock from the 10 gallon I have now that may or may not will go in the 50 gallon:
1 bristlenose pleco
5 4 cherry barbs
1 german blue ram

livestock from the 12 gallon (friend accidentally ended up with WAY too many fish from an aquabid auction - bad seller):
1 paradise fish (nippy bully bastard, but very pretty. may need his own tank)
2 celestial pearl danios (will probably get along with the cherry barbs?)
1 small tetra as yet undetermined species (haven't looked it up yet)
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Old 07-17-2015, 08:53 PM   #14
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Water and gravel have been in the tank since 6/30/2015. Fishless cycle is nearly complete.

Hardscape:

I need non-reactive rocks - thinking of going collecting nearby and testing the rocks with a drop of muriatic acid from the pool store, then curing the ones I select in buckets on the porch with a lot of water changes.

Same goes for wood - manzanita is local to my area, so I may go try to find some deadwood, haven't had good luck finding any on Craigslist.

Stocking:

Purchase list:

4+ Angelfish - I want koi angels - if anyone has 'em, let me know!

12 Buenos Aires tetras OR 15 smaller tetras

livestock from the 10 gallon I have now:
1 bristlenose pleco
3 cherry barbs (RIP Drax the Albino Cherry Barb. This set of barbs is several years old and are starting to die (( )

livestock from the 12 gallon:
1 paradise fish (nippy bully bastard, but very pretty. may need his own tank)
2 celestial pearl danios (will probably get along with the cherry barbs?)
1 small tetra as yet undetermined species (haven't looked it up yet)

Plans
Currently going to tear down the 12g for sure, and will be keeping the 10g as a backup / quarantine / hospital tank until I'm sure the 50g is completely stable. It may end up becoming the permanent home for Jerkface Paradise Fish.
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Old 07-20-2015, 05:02 PM   #15
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Default Rocks!

Got a bunch of rocks on Sunday, and put them in the tank - will try to add photos tonight.

Also need to test the water again to see where I am in the cycle and hoping the rocks haven't changed the hardness or pH (I did buy them from a fish store, and I'm pretty sure I only got kinds that wouldn't affect it).
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