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Old 05-09-2011, 07:13 PM
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Default DIY 65 Gallon Reef Tank Build with Pics

Hello Everyone, I'm new to the forum and must say that I'm glad to be here!

Just got into Saltwater about 3 months ago, and after 90% of my Google searches seemed to land me here, I decided to join the forum and start a build thread. I am VERY new to saltwater, as I've only had freshwater aquariums for years.

I just wanna start off with a big thanks to ALL of the awesome build threads on this forum, for giving me ideas and motivating me.

Proposed Build:

65 Gallon Tank

DIY Stand (With a LOW stand height, personal preference)

BeAn Animal Standpipe System with CalFlo Overflow

Returns will be piped through the overflow box (no pipes going over the tank ledge)

10 Gallon sump with Refugium (only tank that fits in under the stand until DIY acrylic sump comes later)

DIY LED Refugium light

All DIY Live Rock

DIY Auto Top Off System


Later to come:

DIY LED light for display tank

Arduino Controller for lighting and various other items

Skimmer 6 months or so after tank is setup


Now for some pics of what I've done so far:

Some pics of the stand
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0924.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0928.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0929.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0931.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0932.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0933.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0935.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_20110408_164604.jpg

Got the tank, only one coat of paint on the stand here
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0955.jpg

10 Gallon fitting nicely with room to spare for plumbing/electrical
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0959.jpg

Uber Cool Rock Forms
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0957.jpg

High Tech curing device
http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0958.jpg


I will try to get some pics of the rock I've made so far tomorrow and try to get them posted up.

Hopefully I can contribute a few ideas, or maybe even some "what not to-do's" to the forum and help everybody as much as the forum has helped me
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:20 PM   #2
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Welcome to 3reef! Welcome to the saltwater world... you will never go back...lol
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:20 PM   #3
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very interesting project insanespain

looking forward to seeing the DIY rock

Steve
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Old 05-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Awesome start
Welcome to 3reef
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:09 PM   #5
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Great work on the stand! Welcome...
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Old 05-09-2011, 08:11 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone. Steve, I will try to get some pics up tomorrow evening of the rock. I was skeptical at first, but it's super easy to make and alot of fun.

One question I had was if anyone has used vinegar in the curing process and if it actually speeds the curing up at all? I've read mixed opinions on it all over the web but never really found good info on it.
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Old 05-09-2011, 10:04 PM   #7
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You did a good job on the stand. You could park a truck on that. I'm not trying to be rude, but that is way way over built.
I made my own rock as well. I dont think the vinegar will speed the curing time. Just be sure to check the PH before you add it to your DT. I cured mine for a year. Yes that is over kill.
Once your PH is above 7.9 it would be a good idea to seed it in the gar. can with some live rock, powerhead, and a heater. Before it goes into the DT. If left in the can for about 3 week it will help reduce your cycle.
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peppie View Post
You did a good job on the stand. You could park a truck on that. I'm not trying to be rude, but that is way way over built.
I made my own rock as well. I dont think the vinegar will speed the curing time. Just be sure to check the PH before you add it to your DT. I cured mine for a year. Yes that is over kill.
Once your PH is above 7.9 it would be a good idea to seed it in the gar. can with some live rock, powerhead, and a heater. Before it goes into the DT. If left in the can for about 3 week it will help reduce your cycle.
Yeah I kinda figured out after the fact that the stand is a little overkill. But after the flimsy wrought iron stand that my free 29 gallon came with, I wasnt taking any chances. It's not really as heavy to move as it looks, the only downside is that I really killed myself for room inside the stand. I would do it alot different next time around.
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Old 05-10-2011, 07:37 AM   #9
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Old 05-10-2011, 04:47 PM   #10
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Thanks everybody for all the comments. Time for some more pics.....

Pulled out another batch of rock today and played around real fast with some formations. I've about got enough rock to fill the 65, but since its so fun I'm gonna pick up a couple more bags of oyster shells and keep on making rock, that way I will have plenty of pieces to choose from.

Pretty much all of the rock in these pics is "Roughly" a 5 to 1 Ratio of Crushed Oyster Shells and Type I/II Portland Cement. I started out using Argonite sand in the mix and ended up ditching all of that rock, it didnt give me the look I was wanting.

Here's the pieces I've got so far:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0960.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0962.jpg

Example of one of the cave rocks:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0963.jpg

And here are a couple quick formations I was playing around with:

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0968.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0965.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0966.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0971.jpg

http://i50.photobucket.com/albums/f332/rspain85/65%20Gallon%20Build/IMG_0973.jpg
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