DIY 65 Gallon Reef Tank Build with Pics

Discussion in 'I made this!' started by insanespain, May 9, 2011.

  1. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    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
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    Got the tank, only one coat of paint on the stand here
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    10 Gallon fitting nicely with room to spare for plumbing/electrical
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    Uber Cool Rock Forms
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    High Tech curing device ;D
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    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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  3. 1babelove

    1babelove Flamingo Tongue

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    Welcome to 3reef! Welcome to the saltwater world... you will never go back...lol
  4. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    very interesting project insanespain

    looking forward to seeing the DIY rock

    Steve
  5. JJL

    JJL Purple Tang

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    Awesome start
    Welcome to 3reef ;)
  6. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Great work on the stand! Welcome...
  7. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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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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  9. Peppie

    Peppie Bristle Worm

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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.
  10. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    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.
  11. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to 3reef

    Great start
  12. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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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:

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    Example of one of the cave rocks:

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

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  13. bioreefdude

    bioreefdude Fu Manchu Lion Fish

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    looking good cant wait to see it running
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  15. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Rock looks great, good job!
  16. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    I'm also getting ready to finish the stand. The inside of the stand will be coated in truck bed lining to protect from water, salt mist, etc.

    Here's how I made it easy to level the stand, these are "elevator bolts" from the bolt bin at any hardware store. Even in my garage with HORRIBLY un-level concrete, I was able to place the stand anywhere and get it completely level in a couple quick adjustments.

    [​IMG]
  17. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    Thanks Everyone! Hopefully it all turns out like I visioned
  18. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    Alright everyone, I know....I know, you're thinking oh great, another LED question.

    But I've been trying to decide how many to go with on the DIY fixture, and I'm going to go with a rapidled.com kit. But I just dont really know how many I NEED or how many I WANT. Or how far they can be spaced out and still cover.

    I would like to get away with this kit 24 Ultra Premium LED DIY Kit with Dimmable Drivers

    Now, I am going to base my design off of evolved's build. It will have 2 pieces of angle iron 30 inches long as the rails. In between those rails will be the heat sinks. Either 4 - 5.9" x 5.9" or 3 - 5.9" x 9". I'm leaning towards the 4 - 5.9" long sinks, so that I will have an even number of leds per sink.

    I can add 4 leds to the kit, 2 extra per driver. For a total of 28 leds, which makes for 7 leds per heat sink. If setup this way with 60 degree optics, will it be spotty?

    This tank will be Softies and Limited LPS. Tank is 36x18x24.

    Any opinions or suggestions from you guys would be much appreciated, its overwhelming trying to "guess" at this stuff when you have no experience with the leds like me. Maybe some of you DIY guys can chime in.
  19. agv180

    agv180 Astrea Snail

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    your rock is live?
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  21. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I would contact rapidled for a suggestion. They should get back to you in plenty of time to keep your build going without a slow down.
  22. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    The rock is not live rock now, but will be seeded with live rock and eventually come live rock.

    Thanks for the reply. I was hoping to get a couple opinions from some 3reefers who have experience with the rapid kits. I'm a little ways away from actually building the light, just trying to get an idea of how much to budget for it.
  23. insanespain

    insanespain Ocellaris Clown

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    Here's a couple more teaser pics. I got the painting done on the stand, and all of my rock is made and curing.

    Got my diamond holesaw and half of my bulkheads. Going to try to get glass cut for the overflow this week and get the tank drilled. Anyhow, on to the pics....

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  24. link248

    link248 Ritteri Anemone

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    looks real good. Can't wait to see it finished