125-gallon Rebuild?

nmbeg

New member
I started my 125-gallon in 2007. It went well for a while, but then suffered a power outage while I was out for the weekend in 2009. It never recovered fully from that. I should have rebuilt right away but I kinda let it hobble on.

For the past three years, I have done nothing but occasional feeds (once per month) and water top off. The last fish (a purple stripe dottyback--what a survivor!) finally died last month.

I am thinking its time to break it down and start over. Not sure I have the courage. I need moral support.

Here are some pics:

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Beautiful in-wall setup in basement.

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Close-up in the front--coralline dominates, can barely see inside.

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Two snails survive (3 inches each)

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Coralline plus green algae on rocks--not too bad actually since I don't feed, the only nutrients are from the useless long-expired RO/DI filters.

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Back room set-up: sump, top off tanks, etc.

Thanks for any support!
 

willyboy

New member
That sure is a beautiful in wall setup. Maybe look over some of the threads about minimalistic aquascaping or the incredible tanks threads and look for inspiration. You can talk about rebuilding the tank but it won't happen unless you find some real inspiration to get you going again. Woooo!
 

nmbeg

New member
Step 1 of rebuild: fix electrical system.

When I installed the tank, I had an electrician install a new electrical circuit. He placed a GFCI receptacle down near the base of the stand on one side, and another receptacle, non-GFCI, in series with it, on the other bottom corner. He and I were too stupid to know any better. So when one appliance fused, the WHOLE tank went down (happened often). And both receptacles are victims of rust.

So I installed a new receptacle, GFCI, far above the tank. The plan is to install 2 more GFCI receptacles in parallel with this one.

PS this means I officially started the rebuild!

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Oh, and I turned on my halides after like two years (they used to fuse all the time--let's see if the new receptacle solves it). Anyway, here's a well-lit shot of the tank: (the middle MH is a different color?!?)

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nmbeg

New member
I now have three GFCI receptacles in parallel installed. Next step--work on lighting.

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Sorry not the best picture, but you can see the three receptacles.
 

willyboy

New member
Looking good! Are you getting new lights or just replacing bulbs? It looks like there are hanging cables on the light fixture but you have it sitting on the tank. Next thing you should do is clean the front glass so we can see in the tank!!:lmao:

Are you going to actually completely empty the tank and clean it and start over with new rock/sand/water? If so I guess it doesn't matter if you leave the glass dirty for now. :spin3:

P.S. -- When I post with pictures I always "preview post" before submitting it to make sure they got in the post right.
 

nmbeg

New member
Looking good! Are you getting new lights or just replacing bulbs? It looks like there are hanging cables on the light fixture but you have it sitting on the tank. Next thing you should do is clean the front glass so we can see in the tank!!:lmao:

Are you going to actually completely empty the tank and clean it and start over with new rock/sand/water? If so I guess it doesn't matter if you leave the glass dirty for now. :spin3:

P.S. -- When I post with pictures I always "preview post" before submitting it to make sure they got in the post right.

I have all new bulbs sitting and waiting (MH 250x3 and T5 x 8, I forget the wavelengths), but I have LEDs haunting my dreams.

I have hanging cables that I use to prop up the lights when I am working in the tank--there are hooks in the boards above the tank that I loop the wires through to lift the lights about 8 inches up so I can get my hands in, then lower the lights for best display.

I am thinking to take the whole DT apart, that's why I haven't cleaned the front yet. Want to fix the other systems before I bother cleaning everything out.

I am using tapatalk iPad app which is kinda screwing up the pictures.

Thanks!
 

nmbeg

New member
Got a little work accomplished over the weekend. Finished all electrical work and cleaned up the wires. Replaced old power strips.

Then the real fun begun--started the break down. Saved one live rock, a star, and two snails into the sump, and took out all the live rock, sand, and water. Started to scrape all the coralline. Added some tap water for rinse. This is where we are now:
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And this is what the back looks like when I am in full swing:
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Next steps--keep scraping algae!
 

nmbeg

New member
I was able to strip all of the algae -- vinegar bath really helped. Also stripped the blue paint from the back -- going for a new look -- don't want coralline bathe back, but I can't clean it if I can't see it from the back, so no more paint. Will have to keep the back room clean and presentable though.

Also started sump breakdown. Two snails and a star, along with a couple of LR and a handful of sand, are now in a bucket.

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nmbeg

New member
Here's a huge dilemna: my plumbing has leaked for years. The bulkheads in the overflow area are loose because there is not way for me to tighten the nuts:




It's like this on both sides. There is about 1cm clearance between glass and wood, and less than that around the pipe. Can barely even fit fingers in there to tighten the nut, let alone any tool. My only solution is to cut the pipe, lift the tank off the stand, and start over. Except that it's an in-wall so there is no room to lift up, and no room to slide without taking off the bulkhead. I'm kinda screwed.
 

RedStangGA

New member
Can't help you on getting the tank out( how'd you get it in there lol!) but as far as the back Home Depot and Lowes sell a privacy tint that static clings basically. So you can take it down to clean and put it back on when done to hide the equipment room. Just a thought.

Do you have any kids with small hands that can reach up there and slowly turn the bulkhead? What about turning the bulkhead from the top? Or, remove the overflow and cut the bulkhead off from the top.
 

nmbeg

New member
I was planning on using a hard plastic, painted blue, that I could just slide behind the tank for display, and slide out when i need access from the back.

as for the bulkhead--kids might be able to reach, but wouldn't have enough torque--need a wrench. I could turn from the top, but that means cutting the pipes, which i didn't want to do, but now I think i have to--and if I am cutting pipes, that opens up a lot of possibilities.

thanks!
 

nmbeg

New member
Cool story--at one point in my life, I found that the only way to turn that nut was to use a screwdriver braced against the side of the nut, and use a hammer to tap the screwdriver, causing the nut to turn. it was actually working.

at that point, i found myself lying on my back, under a full tank, weighing probably a ton, made out of glass, with me tapping at it with a screwdriver and a hammer. When I realized what I was doing, I actually panicked and realized that in fact, I do not want to die, and got the hell out of there.

so it still leaks.
 

TD

New member
Here's a huge dilemna: my plumbing has leaked for years. The bulkheads in the overflow area are loose because there is not way for me to tighten the nuts:




It's like this on both sides. There is about 1cm clearance between glass and wood, and less than that around the pipe. Can barely even fit fingers in there to tighten the nut, let alone any tool. My only solution is to cut the pipe, lift the tank off the stand, and start over. Except that it's an in-wall so there is no room to lift up, and no room to slide without taking off the bulkhead. I'm kinda screwed.



I had the same problem and basically ending up cutting out the whole corner so I could get my hand on the bulkheads. Then just put 2x4 legs on either side of the corner for support. My tank's trim raises the bottom class about 1/2 inch above the stand. Would it be possible to carefully cut the wood so it is about 1/2 thick left and then just remove the last 1/2 inch with a pliers?
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