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Old 01-16-2009, 06:52 AM
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Default $85 Frag tank

This is a project that I created a long, long time ago. thought it might be interesting for some of your reefers who want a frag tank, but don't want to spend the bigbucks, Looking back. I see a lot of minor mistakes that I made, but this was before I know what I know now...

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$84 Frag tank is now built
This was an experiment from the start, I was told you have to have this, you have to have that and it's going to cost you a fortune to set up a frag tank. Being one who loves a challenge I came up with the following design, total cost of all materials was $84, target goal was $75 to build just the frag tank, there was a slight modification to the original design as I built in a valve to drain the system for water changes. The actual goal was to build a zoo only frag tank for less than $200. I picked up a used 36" 96w PC with new 10k dual bulbs for $100. Add that to the $84 for materials and I have $16 left over for some salt and a beer.
The actual tank is one of those rubbermaid storage containers that you slide under your bed, even has wheels LOL frag tank with wheels!, 36x18x6.5. Volume is 16.8g. This will be hooked up to 25g fuge/sump (not included in cost) There will be a 1" LS sand bed in the bottom of the frag tank
1st photo is of the completed tank
2nd photo. A) is the surface skimmer, I'll drill 3/8 holes around the the larger tube, it's simply a 6" tall, 3" diameter PVC pipe with the bottom sealed off C) is an elbow with a tube that extends down about 4" inside the skimmer tube, the other side will be connected to flexible tubing that leads down to the fuge. B) is the up flow control valve that leads to a 16" wide spray bar at the end of the tank. D) is the valve for draining water to do a water change, simply close the B valve and Open D.
3rd photo is of the spray bar, this will take some tinkering to find the correct # and size of holes to drill, figured this type of setup would create a gentle and even flow over the entire surface area, remember zoos only. I did not glue the spray bar into place as I want to be able to rotate it up or down to control direction of the flow
4th Photo, the entire plumbing system is removable, simply lift it off. The goal was to design a simple system that anyone with a pipe cutter and some PVC glue could put together in under an hour. I will install the tank tonight, LS and everything else will be hooked up tomorrow and within a week or so I'll start with the final part of the experiment, to see how effective the lighting system and tank work at fragging zoo's, 6w of lighting per gallon, I'll post more detailed follow ups once the tank has the frags in place

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/1.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/2.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/3.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/4.jpg
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:55 AM   #2
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The frags will be sitting in 4" of water, light source will 4" above water line
1st photo is of the stand the frag tank is setting on, I also grow orchids and hijacked a shelf, the light fixture you see in the photo will be removed and the new one put in place. On the left side of the tank you see the pipe stickingout, thats the drain for the water changes, sticks out just enough for the 5gallon bucket to sit underneath it.
2nd photo is of the homemade fuge, it's a 29g tall tank, the center compartment is about 12" deep x 14", total cost on this was $20 for tank and 3.69 for a sheet of plexi at Home-Depot. Again, no drilling, simple project.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/5.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/6.jpg
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:55 AM   #3
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That's cool... Any pics of the tank in action?

-AJ
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Old 01-16-2009, 06:56 AM   #4
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Eggcrate lighting fixture panel is from Home-Depot. I made risers for the panel using 2"tall sections of PVC pipe, figured with my 1" LS bed it will give me 1" of clearence from the top of the LS to bottom of frags, if by chance the frags need to be in deeper water, i'll go to a 1/2 riser so that there is still flow under the frags. I'm going to start with 20 frags, each numbered with the type and number of polyps, photos of each and then each week I will inventory each to see if there is any growth or decline in polyps.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:03 AM   #5
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Once again, this is a project from a long time ago, even before I got into photography
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The tank finished cycling a few days ago. Only a few modifications were needed in order to make a functional tank, the main one was scrapping my entire plumbing design and going with a used canister filter LOL, still stayed within my $84 budget, even had to use nylon cord to hang the light fixture because chain wasn't in the budget...LOL

There are 35 frags, mostly zoo' (5 frags of some awesome blues)s, some starburst, yellow polyps etc. basic stuff. The photos are are really washed out,

I'm going to give it 2 more weeks and then add about 25 more frags, some shrooms, zenia, etc, I'm kinda limited due to the compact fixture. The goal is to have about 60frags and see how they multiple over several months and then sell them off and buy a real frag tank...My other half pitched a fit at all the cash I'm spending and this whole project is a bet, I say I can make it work and if I do, then I can get what ever tank and lighting I want.

I've documented each frag according to type and number of polyps and will track growth and post results every week or so.




http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/7.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/8.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/9.jpg

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/10.jpg
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:04 AM   #6
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The frag tank itself cost a total of $84. The tank ($9) is a sweater storage plastic tub (16.8gallons) from Wallmart, the kind that slides under your bed, hence the red wheels visible on the tank (frag tank on wheels) there is about 40lbs of LS on the bottom of the tank which was scavaged from other tanks, along with about 20lbs of busted up LR. Grid work is eggcrate lighting grid from Home-Depot, it's elevated 1.5" off the bottom of the tank. Filter is a used canister filter and is simply to move water around, spray bar on one end and overflow on the other end of tank. Lighting is a power compact dual actinic that cost me $100 (lighting wasn't included in the cost) This is an experiment to show that you don't have to have $$$$ to build a frag tank and I tried to build it as cheap as possible. Tomorrow i'm installing $2.00 auto topoff system made out of airline tubing and a 2 gallon water jug, I post pics on this tomorrow.
.
The blue zoo's are electric and neon blue, the frags you see are going to get broken down into 4-5 polyp frags over the next few days. I scored on those 5 blue frags for $15 and each frag has about 25-35 polyps. The pink ones are awesome and I'm going to frag them onto some fiji branch.
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:06 AM   #7
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Just made a surface skimmer out of $1.95 brand new soap dish holder for a shower. This thing is perfect, already had suction cups and holes for skimming. All I had to do was silicone (sp) the opening on the bottom and a few of the holes on the front. I'm using this with my canister filter.
The other project was a $2.00 topoff system, used a gallon bottle, drilled out a small hole at the base, inserted an airline connector then siliconed it in place, attach airline tubing, run the bottom of the tube to where I want the water level, fill the jug with water and replace cap on top (very important) this type system works just like the auto water systems for pets that use a 2 liter soda bottle turned upside down.

http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/foamback%20project/11.jpg
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Old 01-16-2009, 07:11 AM   #8
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you might say that I've somewhat upgraded my frag tank, this is my newest one and I'm seriously thinking about adding another 8 foot section, that would make it a total of 24' x 4' x 16" and about 1500g
http://i128.photobucket.com/albums/p187/maxalmon/16x4fragtank.jpg
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Old 01-16-2009, 08:40 AM   #9
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Woah! thats quite the upgrade! do you own a store?
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Old 01-16-2009, 12:12 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Godbert View Post
Woah! thats quite the upgrade! do you own a store?
On the other side of frag tank is another, shallow frag tank section that is also 16' x 3' x 10. this gives me a total of 102sq ft of surface area to house all my frags and colonys

Yeah, I own a store and I'm also the newest sponsor on 3reef. Should have the banners and misc stuff uploaded in a few days, what you won't see is me hanging out and promoting the store. I seriously like to hang out in forums and try to keep my owning a store out of the threads.
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