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  1. #1
    newreef8584's Avatar
    newreef8584 is offline Tangs of the world unite!

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    Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    I am considering the build of a complete DIY system. Not because I need one just because I want to try it. I want to do a DIY tank, sump , stand, skimmer, overflow, canopy and lights. Might even make some DIY rock. I have just started to get my feet wet with acrylic fabrication but I really like it.

    I already have the skimmer which is a DIY recirc skimmer running off a DIY meshmodded AC 802. Well not running yet until I get a new 802 to test it out with.

    For the tank I was thinking a 20 x 20 x 14 semi cube tank out of 3/8" ultra clear acrylic. For the sump , 14 x 10 x 10 out of 1/4" acrylic split into three sections, skimmer-return- Fuge . I would use a DIY air driven ATO with a float switch like the one I threw together for my old NanoCube. As well I am going to make my first DIY calcium reactor on my next set of days off. I will try a small unit and if it works out I will use it on this new tank. I already picked up some of the stuff for the DIY MH system. It will be constucted out of a Halogen shop light and use a 150W DE bulb and a ballast from Ballastwise.com unless I can find a cheaper one.

    I am at work so I don't have access to Sketchup but if you can invision my vision ?? I want to do a tall slender stand about 42" high and then have the sump directly below on a shelf and then the Calcium reactor and ATO resovoir beneath. May build a ballast enclosure inside as well.

    I will put a question to you. If you were to build a tank with the above or close dimensions, what type of overflow system would you use?

    I am currently thinking about an internal coast to coast overflow wall that will hold a 1.5" Stockman standpipe and 3/4 return to a Squid wavemaker with twin Hydor Flows run by a Mag 5 or similar pump. with the plumbing going out the bottom.

    OR

    Making the tank 4 side viewable and having the overflow in the centre contained in a 6" piece of PVC with teeth full circle. The run the return up the same pipe with a couple of lockline duck bill outlets. I could make the canopy extend a little lower on the tank to hide any plumbing not concealed by LR.

    Wow that is more then enough typing. Anyone still awake after that read your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.
    </IMG>

    Set up date: March 2011 Display Size: 28 Total Water In System: 30 Do you have a sump? NO
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 45 lb Fiji/Vanuatu Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 10 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 350
    250 W MH, T5HO Actinic Prizm no
    Fish and Inverts: 2xGreen Chromis 4xNessarious Snail 1xSerpent Star Corals: none
    Other Equipment: 2 x Koralia Nano Other Information: DIY Foam/Cement wall
    Mother Nature and all her gifts are not inherited from our parents but merely on loan from our children.

  2. #2
    SaltNurEye's Avatar
    SaltNurEye is offline Registered User

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    I love the idea and you will have lots of fun putting it all together. We have almost the same vision but I ended up making my cube a tad bigger (24x24x18). My tank is all DIY except for the skimmer as I already had the CSS laying around and am actually happy with it for now.
    My initial plan was a 4 sided cube as I loved the look of them…check out Aprils TOTM at RC WOW. However I found it way to hard to place in my house for one thing. The other is you really have to be crafty at hiding all cords, return lines and anything else that would be hanging off the tank.
    As for the overflow, I was going to go with a coast to coast but found it would take up way to much precious real estate in a smaller tank. Also no real advantage to a coast to coast if you have a sump in the system, as heaters, pumps ect can be hidden there. I ended up making my internal overflow as small as possible aprox 8”x5” Just enough for the stand pipe and return line and placed it dead center on the back wall.
    Great idea on going with tall slender stand …it almost looks like a pillar of sorts when the tank is together. I went exactly 42” tall with mine and almost the same width of the tank..it will give you lots of room to work under the tank and fit what you need.
    You might want to think about going a bit bigger with the sump though. If you plan on splitting it into 3 sections you will have to. Measure the foot print of your skimmer ..then the space for your return pump….and you want a nice bit of room for baffles to kill any bubbles. Also build the sump first as it give you good practice with acrylic welding...ugly or sloppy joints don’t look so bad down there and you will end up an expert when its time for the display tank….

    Set up date: July 2006 Display Size: 50 Total Water In System: 85 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 90 Mixed Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 9 Ammonia: zero Nitrate: zero Nitrite: zero
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 420
    T5HO X6 Icecap/Workhorse, Icecap SLR's Octopus Recirculating Skimmer 150 no
    Fish and Inverts: Pair Clowns, Chromis, Sleeper Goby, cleaner shrimp, (2) GBTA , Huge Clean up crew. Corals: Soft, LPS, SPS
    Other Equipment: WaveMaster Pro 2 maxi mods to regular maxijets. Tunze Osmolator Topoff PhosBan Reactor 150 /ROWAphos Aquasafe RO/DI Unit
    50g Acrylic Cube. 24x24x20, w/Internal overflow
    35G Sump/Fuge Acrylic Cube
    6 T5HO, x4 on Icecap 660, x2 Workhorse 5, Icecap SLR Reflectors
    Octopus Recirculating Skimmer 150
    90Lbs mixed live rock, 2" sandbed
    Mag 9.5 Return
    WaveMaster Pro w/ 2 maxi mods and 2 reg maxijets
    PhosBan Reactor 150 /ROWAphos
    Aquasafe RO/DI Unit
    Tunze Osmolator Topoff

  3. #3
    newreef8584's Avatar
    newreef8584 is offline Tangs of the world unite!

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    The skimmer I made has a small footprint only 4 x 7, just guessing at the sump dimensions. Will see when the stand is made what it will allow for. I have made one sump now and a skimmer. I will do the sump for the new tank first then the reactor then the tank.

    The pillar look is exactly what I am looking to end up with. I want to do a tall canopy and finish it to match the stand . I am considering a coast to coast mostly to allow for the SCWD to fit in.

    I would love to see some pics of your tank and stand....

    Set up date: March 2011 Display Size: 28 Total Water In System: 30 Do you have a sump? NO
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 45 lb Fiji/Vanuatu Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 10 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 350
    250 W MH, T5HO Actinic Prizm no
    Fish and Inverts: 2xGreen Chromis 4xNessarious Snail 1xSerpent Star Corals: none
    Other Equipment: 2 x Koralia Nano Other Information: DIY Foam/Cement wall
    Mother Nature and all her gifts are not inherited from our parents but merely on loan from our children.

  4. #4
    SaltNurEye's Avatar
    SaltNurEye is offline Registered User

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    Forgive me for the poor picture quality but I ended up having to sell my "good" camera in South America (long story). I Had a hard time getting the lighting right and unfortunately you cant make out the stand to well..but hopefully it gives you an idea. As you can see I made my sump as big as possible to capitalize on water volume and work space. Other than that I kept this build pretty simple.
    Attached Images Attached Images

    Set up date: July 2006 Display Size: 50 Total Water In System: 85 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 90 Mixed Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 9 Ammonia: zero Nitrate: zero Nitrite: zero
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 420
    T5HO X6 Icecap/Workhorse, Icecap SLR's Octopus Recirculating Skimmer 150 no
    Fish and Inverts: Pair Clowns, Chromis, Sleeper Goby, cleaner shrimp, (2) GBTA , Huge Clean up crew. Corals: Soft, LPS, SPS
    Other Equipment: WaveMaster Pro 2 maxi mods to regular maxijets. Tunze Osmolator Topoff PhosBan Reactor 150 /ROWAphos Aquasafe RO/DI Unit
    50g Acrylic Cube. 24x24x20, w/Internal overflow
    35G Sump/Fuge Acrylic Cube
    6 T5HO, x4 on Icecap 660, x2 Workhorse 5, Icecap SLR Reflectors
    Octopus Recirculating Skimmer 150
    90Lbs mixed live rock, 2" sandbed
    Mag 9.5 Return
    WaveMaster Pro w/ 2 maxi mods and 2 reg maxijets
    PhosBan Reactor 150 /ROWAphos
    Aquasafe RO/DI Unit
    Tunze Osmolator Topoff

  5. #5
    Continental's Avatar
    Continental is offline Member: SG-1

    What's all that brown stuff?
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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    Jason if you need to borrow any tools, clamps, straps, etc. to make your tank I have . Let me know.

    Set up date: November 2006 Display Size: 300 Total Water In System: 400/120 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 300 Depth of Sandbed: 4 Salinity level: 1.024
    ALK level: 2 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 1
    Geisman 4 light Euro-Reef RC500 and H&S 220 Deltec
    Fish and Inverts: tangs Corals: none
     
    300 gal.fish/reef ,90 gal.fowlr , 45 long gal. pirahna (son's w/ a 14" Black diamond), 90 gal.fowlr (son's), 38 gal, piranha tank(daughter's), 45 gal. long ,15 gal. w/ 2 small Green Puffers, 180 gal. w/4 12" caribe piranha. (Plus 4 German Shepherds, 4 Geckos) ATTENTION: ALL VISITORS MUST BRING SCUBA GEAR.


  6. #6
    eliisawimp's Avatar
    eliisawimp is offline Registered User

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    my hats off to all who are self reliant. a much more satisfying experience to those who find rewards in going one step farther. sure there are limits to ones endevour. nothing wrong with being practical,but temper ones enthusiasm with common sense. so to all you DIYers out there i salute you! as for non-DIYers well yadda yadda yadda LOL cheers!

    Set up date: Over Ten Years Ago Display Size: 75 Total Water In System: 100 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 70 lbs Depth of Sandbed: 2 in Salinity level: 1.026
    ALK level: 9 dkh Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 380-420
    1x ab 250 de 20k diy cal hydroxide reactor
    Fish and Inverts: 2-y tangs, 2-perc clown, 2-convict blennie Corals: acro, zoos, colt, etc..
    Other Equipment: ato, ro, ph, timers, hydroxyde reactor...
    75 gl main, 30 gl sump/fuge w.cheato, 1x 250 de ab 20k, 2x no act., 2x diy airstone sk., diy ato., diy cal hydroxide reactor, 2x seio 820 ph,

  7. #7
    newreef8584's Avatar
    newreef8584 is offline Tangs of the world unite!

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    Canadiense1- Is your tank DIY? If so what thickness of Acrylic did you use?

    Set up date: March 2011 Display Size: 28 Total Water In System: 30 Do you have a sump? NO
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 45 lb Fiji/Vanuatu Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 10 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 350
    250 W MH, T5HO Actinic Prizm no
    Fish and Inverts: 2xGreen Chromis 4xNessarious Snail 1xSerpent Star Corals: none
    Other Equipment: 2 x Koralia Nano Other Information: DIY Foam/Cement wall
    Mother Nature and all her gifts are not inherited from our parents but merely on loan from our children.

  8. #8
    SaltNurEye's Avatar
    SaltNurEye is offline Registered User

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    The Tank is also DIY, made from 1/2" acrylic. If you plan to go only 14" tall you can get away with 3/8". I also added euro bracing to mine for extra strength and out of paranoia.
    The basic rule on thickness applies mostly to the hight of the tank as the upper walls hold the most pressure. For tanks up to13" tall you can use 1/4", for 13-19" tanks go with 3/8" and 19-24" you should be using 1/2". You can also save a few bucks on acrylic going with less thick bottom and the euro bracing.

    Set up date: July 2006 Display Size: 50 Total Water In System: 85 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 90 Mixed Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 9 Ammonia: zero Nitrate: zero Nitrite: zero
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 420
    T5HO X6 Icecap/Workhorse, Icecap SLR's Octopus Recirculating Skimmer 150 no
    Fish and Inverts: Pair Clowns, Chromis, Sleeper Goby, cleaner shrimp, (2) GBTA , Huge Clean up crew. Corals: Soft, LPS, SPS
    Other Equipment: WaveMaster Pro 2 maxi mods to regular maxijets. Tunze Osmolator Topoff PhosBan Reactor 150 /ROWAphos Aquasafe RO/DI Unit
    50g Acrylic Cube. 24x24x20, w/Internal overflow
    35G Sump/Fuge Acrylic Cube
    6 T5HO, x4 on Icecap 660, x2 Workhorse 5, Icecap SLR Reflectors
    Octopus Recirculating Skimmer 150
    90Lbs mixed live rock, 2" sandbed
    Mag 9.5 Return
    WaveMaster Pro w/ 2 maxi mods and 2 reg maxijets
    PhosBan Reactor 150 /ROWAphos
    Aquasafe RO/DI Unit
    Tunze Osmolator Topoff

  9. #9
    ZeeVee's Avatar
    ZeeVee is offline Poshol Na Hui!

    Tank is cycling. Can I buy a Moorish Idol yet?
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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    When you asked for some suggestions for the overflow, I thought of the central one immediately. I think you should maybe increase your dimensions a bit if you can so there is more space to stack rock up to hide the overflow.

    You could cover the overflow in salt water proof concrete so that it camoflauges, and you could put the returns through the bottom of the tank and hide them into rock as well.

    It would look really nifty if the tank was viewable on all four sides and all of the overflow and returns were hidden. You could angle the returns so that there was a bit of a whirl pool effect going on in the tank.

    Set up date: June 2008 Display Size: 65 Total Water In System: 110 Do you have a sump? YES
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 120 lbs Depth of Sandbed: 2-5" Salinity level: 1.026
    ALK level: 9 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 5 ppm Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 400
    6 T5HO Euro Reef 180 nope
    Fish and Inverts: 2 Pyjama Cardinals Lawnmower Blenny Black Leopard Wrasse Percula Clowns (Pair) Unicorn Tang Pistol Shrimp Brittle Starfish Red Hermit Crab Corals: Galaxia, Red Sea Pulsing Xenia, Hammer Coral, Frogspawn, Finger Leather, Toadstool Leather, Lettuce Leather, RBTA Anemones, Purple Mushrooms, Zooanthids, Candy Cane
    Other Equipment: Purely H2O 75GPD RO/DI, Koralia 4, Phosban Reactor, Eheim 1262 Other Information: A fan

  10. #10
    newreef8584's Avatar
    newreef8584 is offline Tangs of the world unite!

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    Re: Complete DIY reef system. Suggestions??

    ZeeVee, I think 4 side would be great. I would just use some some marine safe epoxy on the centre overflow and then roll it in aragonite to avoid any potential PH problems from the concrete. If the returns went through the bottom I would have to use one way check valves or something to prevent back flow in event of a power outage.

    I have been thinking a lot about the centre drain, I would be interested to see if there is a good submersable cable to purchase that I could feed up through the drain to the canopy or maybe even use a separate small pipe to another bulkhead to run through the cables through.

    Would having 3 holes so close greatly weaken the bottom of the tank?

    Set up date: March 2011 Display Size: 28 Total Water In System: 30 Do you have a sump? NO
    Do you have a refugium? YES Amount of Liverock: 45 lb Fiji/Vanuatu Depth of Sandbed: 2 Salinity level: 1.025
    ALK level: 10 Ammonia: 0 Nitrate: 0 Nitrite: 0
    What lighting are you using? What skimmer are you using? Calcium Reactor? Calcium level: 350
    250 W MH, T5HO Actinic Prizm no
    Fish and Inverts: 2xGreen Chromis 4xNessarious Snail 1xSerpent Star Corals: none
    Other Equipment: 2 x Koralia Nano Other Information: DIY Foam/Cement wall
    Mother Nature and all her gifts are not inherited from our parents but merely on loan from our children.

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