Poker Room 70G Build - New to Reefing

coyote97

New member
After spending numerous hours reading, re-reading, and re-re-reading many of the threads on this site, I've decided that the best way to ask questions and get answers would be to provide an inside look at the trials and tribulations of a new reefer. So, I'm starting my own build thread. As I mentioned in a previous thread, I've had this aquarium for many years and had many different fresh and brackish water fish. It was time to move into saltwater. Of course, that decision wasn't made official until AFTER I finished building a new stand and canopy for the 22 year old 70 gallon tank. We've decided that the best location for the tank is in our poker room. Some of you might call it your dining room, but we don't eat in there without cards in the air!

So after all the reading, it's time to get building! This is where I stand in the build process.

1. Stand and canopy: Oak plywood and oak hardwood, stained cherry. There are two doors in the front of the stand. 20.5" WD x 18" H. There are two deep drawers in the stand. (They look and work great, but take up headroom inside the stand that I didn't know I was going to need) With the drawers closed there is only about 21.5" from floor to drawer bottom. The stand is finished other than adding hardware and making any modifications for plumbing, fans, etc. I've got a couple poor quality pics on photobucket, but I have to figure out how to reduce their size to post here.



2. The tank: It is a 70G glass (Not sure if it is tempered) and it is undrilled. 48" x 18" x 18"? After reading about Bean Animal's overflow system, I want to attempt to drill this tank so if it's tempered, a new tank is in my future!

3. Skimmer: I purchased a used Euro-Reef CS-100? from Reef Developer on this board. It has a Sedra 3500 pump.

I have some old equipment such as a heater, Magnum 770 canister filter, and fluorescent light fixture, but none of it will be used on this build.

In order to get started, I need some advice about plumbing and sumps. Like I stated above, I want to go with Bean's overflow. Because of the size of the front doors on my stand, I am going to have to build a sump / refugium in two pieces. I was able to manuever a 24 wide x12 deep x12 tall cardboard box into the cabinet. I think a slightly deeper (13") sump would fit. I'm thinking a separate refugium would probably be the best way to do it, but maybe I should put my skimmer in the separate tank? The second tank could be as big as 18 wide X 15 deep X 18 tall. I would need it to be much shorter in order to get the skimmer in if I wanted to do that while it was in the cabinet. I've been to Melev's site as well as read many build threads, but I would still like some comments from the peanut gallery. Mainly, which should be the separate part the refugium or the skimmer? Then how should they be plumbed? How should the remaining sump be sectioned off? How tall should the baffles be?

I'll stop there for my first post of the build. I'm sure I will have many more questions along the way. I know that those of you that follow builds need pictures like a a druggie needs his fix, so I will make sure to post many pictures once I get a new camera and learn the ins and outs of posting.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts and ideas.

Dennis





2232880720091907-1.jpg
 

Rjukan

Day Dreamer
Hey Dennis, the stand sounds really nice. Try irfanview for photo resizing and minimal adjustments.

Lol nice another oldy tank, mine is 15 years old and went through similar stages of fresh and "brackish" fish. Now it's been relegated to sump duty lol. Good luck drilling yours, I wasn't daring enough to give that a try.

That's cool you got a skimmer already, I'm not personally familiar with that one but I'm pretty sure I read good things about it.

Best thing to do with the sump and fuge decisions is to try and look at as many other setups as possible and choose the one that fits your area best. I want to say Whys has a nice split setup in his stand. I actually have a split setup too but it takes up way more room.

Good luck with the build, from the sounds of it you have a great experience foundation to start into the reefing hobby.
 

coyote97

New member
Pete, thanks for being first! I've checked out quite a few builds on here. It's so hard not to get sidetracked when someone posts a link and you end up with 6 windows open. LOL! I tried to reduce another pic of the stand in progress. Let's see what happens when I post this one. Maybe it won't look like a thumbnail like the first one!

223288cp1_0603091831-1.jpg
 
Last edited:

coyote97

New member
Here's a really poor picture of the canopy in progress. I only took one photo of the base cabinet and one of the canopy while I was building them. Cell phone camera isn't very good!
2232880603091832-1.jpg
 

coyote97

New member
Thanks for the words of advice syrinx. However, there's no smoking in the house. I know oxymoron. Poker and non-smoking. But we do have fun!
 

coyote97

New member
I found a 20 gallon long tank on craigslist for $15.

223288100_0581.jpg


Because it was so cheap, my intention was to buy it to "practice" drilling. I'm going to need to drill my DT but I wanted to get some practice in before I attempted it. Since the 20 gal was so cheap I figured I'd fill it with holes practicing. After getting it home and filling it with water, it holds water! Maybe I could use it for a sump? The silicone looks pretty bad though. Should I strip it all out and replace it with new?
223288100_0582.jpg


I then test fit it to see if it would fit inside the stand. I had to remove the door to get it in this far. I will have to remove one of the back supports in order to get it in there.
223288100_0580_sm.jpg


Lastly, I filled the sump with water and tested the Euro Reef CS-100 skimmer that I bought used off this site. Looks like everything is functioning properly! So, like I mentioned earlier, I want to go with Bean Animal's overflow system. Any comments on how to run the plumbing to this sump/skimmer. I also want a small refugium. I'm thinking overflow into skimmer area (needs 11"x12"), over baffles into return area with a separate refugium that also flows into the return area from the other side. If that's the case, how do I plumb the refugium into the sump? Should it go up and over or drilled to go through?
223288100_0584.jpg


Sorry for the small pictures, I'm still limited to 50kb pics!

So, anyone in the Phoenix area have drill bits I can borrow, or would be willing to offer their expertise in drilling tanks?

Thanks and have a great weekend!
 

Rjukan

Day Dreamer
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15495118#post15495118 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by coyote97

Because it was so cheap, my intention was to buy it to "practice" drilling. I'm going to need to drill my DT but I wanted to get some practice in before I attempted it. Since the 20 gal was so cheap I figured I'd fill it with holes practicing. After getting it home and filling it with water, it holds water! Maybe I could use it for a sump? The silicone looks pretty bad though. Should I strip it all out and replace it with new?
223288100_0582.jpg


I would say stick to your original plan and practice drilling this tank, that silicone is a really bad sign, it might have been a tank that was used to treat copper. I dont think its worth the time to strip out the silicone, in order to do it right you have to completely remove the old stuff (taking the panels completely apart). Better to just grab a new one for a couple bucks more.

Your canopy and stand look really nice man! You have to be pleased with your work on those 2 pieces. It would be a herculean effort for me to pull something like that off lol.

Might be worth it to get new bits so your ready to go asap. With the sump/fuge, I would just route the incoming water from the DT to the right side via PVC and have the skimmer over there. Put an over-under-over baffle system with 3 pieces of glass about 1/3 from the right side. Then you can decide how much you want to go to the return or fuge areas. I would say to make the return as large as you can while still having a nice size fuge. Separate them with a piece of glass and slap the return pump in the left side of the tank. More PVC to the DT if possible (I like the PVC look :)), and thats it lol.

Def interested to hear how the test drills go, keep us posted!
 

goochesfish

New member
I think you should take out the drawers and replace them with doors or some kind of vent. It'll give you the headroom in the sump for plumbing.
 

phenom5

Unregistered Member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15496851#post15496851 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Rjukan
I would say stick to your original plan and practice drilling this tank, that silicone is a really bad sign, it might have been a tank that was used to treat copper. I dont think its worth the time to strip out the silicone, in order to do it right you have to completely remove the old stuff (taking the panels completely apart). Better to just grab a new one for a couple bucks more.


I definitely agree. You can pick up a brand new 20g long for so cheap, I wouldn't bother trying to use that one.

FWIW, drilling tanks is really easy, it just sounds scary until you actually do it. Assuming of course that the glass isn't tempered.
 

coyote97

New member
Pete,
Thanks for the compliments on the stand. I am pretty happy with the way it came out. Like I said earlier, I wish that I had found this site before I started the build. I had no formal plans, other than tank dimensions. I wouldn't have put drawers in it had I realized how much room was needed under the tank for the sump/fuge/skimmer.
goochesfish,
I may actually remove the drawers and just mount the drawer fronts to the stand to open the inside. That will be a last resort if I can't use it as is. The drawers can be removed and replaced as needed, so I may see how it goes first.
phenom5,
Thanks for the words of encouragement on the drilling. I guess if the tank is tempered, it will be over quick!! Keeping my fingers crossed.

I think I'll take your advice and just use the 20 gallon as a guinea pig. Maybe I'll take it apart to get some experience working with, cutting or drilling glass. Maybe the tank will end up being baffles for another tank!
 

coyote97

New member
Success!!

Success!!

OK, so I used the guinea pig tank to test the rotozip bit to see how it would cut glass. After having no problem cutting through the .182" thick glass, I decided to move up to the 3/8" thick glass of my 70 gallon. I started by using a Dremel with a cut-off wheel to cut away the trim to reveal the glass.

223288100_0597_sm.jpg


The rotozip bit worked really well. My Dremel had variable speed up to 30,000 RPMs. I ran it at full speed. The slot that I cut is 17" long and just over 1" tall. If I were to do this again, I would make sure I had a back-up bit. The 36 linear inches was a lot to expect one bit to handle. Overall it was pretty painless cutting the slot. Once I got over the initial fear of the tank shattering because it was tempered. But it turned out it wasn't and now I have a nice slot for an EXTERNAL overflow!! If I could give advice to anyone attempting it, GO SLOW. Take your time and it will work out fine!

223288100_0599_sm.jpg


I also had my plastic supplier cut some acrylic to build my own sump and refugium. Brought the pieces home, but forgot to buy the Weld-On when I picked them up. It was impossible to find over the weekend, so the sump couldn't be assembled this weekend as planned. That will be up next.

This week I plan to purchase manifolds, plumbing, and a return pump. I'm going to submerse the pump. Anyone have any recommendations for a return pump. Eheim 1262? Something else? Thanks for looking and I look forward to hearing your comments.

Dennis
 

ScarletReef

New member
Looking really nice! Congrats on the pain-free drilling. Something I might mention is that it seems like it would be a good idea to have the refugium drain into the return chamber of the sump and not the skimmer chamber, as the skimmer would likely suck out a lot of the copepods and such that are part of why refugiums are so nice.
 

redtop03

moved slow
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=15485666#post15485666 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by coyote97
Pete, thanks for being first! I've checked out quite a few builds on here. It's so hard not to get sidetracked when someone posts a link and you end up with 6 windows open. LOL! I tried to reduce another pic of the stand in progress. Let's see what happens when I post this one. Maybe it won't look like a thumbnail like the first one!

223288cp1_0603091831-1.jpg

if you'll upload your pics from your 'puter to photobucket,you can make them larger on here,there is an img code under the pics in photobucket,just copy the img code and post in your reply....photobucket will do the resizing,you don't need to resize your pics :D

you're gonna have a nice tank,I like the drawers in the stand,if they cause you any issues with your plumbing,or if you just want more room over your sump,you can always shorting the drawers,by taking some of the back of 'em off.........good luck on your build :D
 

Rocketboy52

New member
Looks like you are off to a good start! I'm subscribed, and I totally know what you are talking about in reading too much. Before I started building my current tank I spent 3-6 months just reading all sorts of crap on reef central, and I finially just got sick of reading decided to just go for it. I think all the "research" was good, but in the end just pulling the trigger and going for it seems to make progress much faster. I'm excited to see what you do for your sump!

Erik
 

coyote97

New member
Started work on the sump last night and I think I made a mistake. I thought I read somewhere that the best way to build it was to bond the baffles to the back wall first, then the front wall, then bond the whole thing to the bottom. So, I bonded three baffles to the back wall and now I don't know how I'm going to bond the middle baffle to the front wall or bottom. Anyone with experience have any suggestions? Do I have to lay a bead of adhesive along the edge and then put the two pieces together? Or is there a needle tip that's a foot long? :) Any advice would be appreciated. I want to continue building tonight. Thanks.
Dennis
 

coyote97

New member
Just noticed an error in my last post. Obviously the center baffle doesn't need to be bonded to the bottom as it is 1" off the bottom to allow water to flow under. So, I really just need to bond it to the back wall.
 

coyote97

New member
Close-up of acrylic bond line

Close-up of acrylic bond line

SWEET. I finally posted a full size picture! This one is a close-up of the bond line of one of the sides of the acrylic sump. Question for those acrylic gurus out there. Are those little bubbles normal? Will they cause leaks?
coyote97
 
Top