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Pilots 54gal Rimless Build

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    Posted: August 25 2015 at 6:44pm

I have finally gathered all the supplies and such to build my "Dream" tank, and I think it is coming along quite nicely. I will post pictures if I can of the build process from start to finish. Also will include a list of equipment, and soon to be equipment soon!

This is a Mr. Aqua 54 gallon low iron rimless tank custom drilled, Sitting on top of my own creation of a stand. Very simple stand, couldn't go too complex because it would have cost more, but if I get the money I will spruce up the final product! The sump came from the MWRF 2014 raffle! So excited for this year to try and get more equipment! It is an Elite Aquatics custom sump, of course I've added a few modifications myself to fit my equipment.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2015 at 7:27pm

Alright, starting off the tank dimensions are about 35x18x18, so its a nice size tank with the depth I was looking for. It has a dual overflow so it is completely silent.

I will be hanging a 120w led fixture from the ceiling over the tank which should be plenty of power. It will have a mesh covering to keep fish from jumping, and is a "floating" cover, which looks pretty cool. See future pictures.

Tank will contain 1 or 2 WP-25 powerheads for flow, One is already plenty enough. The sump has homemade filter socks, very nice at 12 cents a piece, and modified them to fit on the filter sock ring.

Skimmer is a cadlights pls 100

150 watt heater on its way to fit nicely in the heater slot.

Soon to be mag 5, 7, or jebao dc 4000 pump to power two reactors. (cant decide yet) One BRS type biopellet reactor and one BRS type carbon reactor. Also will be inline with a 15W Aqua Ultraviolet UV sterilizer returning to the filter sock before the skimmer.

Running a Jebao DCT6000, I'm sad they don't work with the apex :( would save me a space on my EB8. Also running full power, but may have to turn it down as its plenty powerful! Also barely fit, had to disassemble then reassemble in the sump compartment! Phew, that was close.

ATO will be accomplished by 3 float switches. A high and a low, and a tank overflow emergency that hopefully will never go off.

SOON I will hopefully have a DP-4 doser to dose CA, ALK, MAG, and amino or trace. Will drill holes in the sump to run the lines to the top.

Running a full APEX system. Using that to control my WP-25 right now, and may rig it to control my LEDs soon, may need another EB8 to do that though. I was able to find a cheap wireless bridge to power the internet for it.

Was able to make the system completely silent after a few modifications with some filter pads and foam, very happy about that.

Stand is made of 4x4 and 2x4 pieces, with a wrapping of red oak stained colonial maple and Gloss polyurethane. Had a ton of fun building this as I like woodworking.

Pics soon to follow!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2015 at 7:40pm

Gathering Supplies! And woodworking!

Woodworking pics



Edited by pilotx44 - August 25 2015 at 7:42pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2015 at 10:46pm
So I posted a comment but then the site went weird and it's no longer here...
Anyway nice build! The tank is almost the same measurements as my cadlights tank just 35" long instead of 30" I love the size! I used my jebao DCT 8000 as my return pump and have it turned up 7 notches I haven't had to use a powerhead as of yet which I love so you may be able to get away without one unless you need a ton of flow.
Can't wait to see more!
Jackie Stuver

"wait these aren't the happy Hawaiians oompa doompa godly heaven on your face zoas?   I dont want them then. lol!" Ksmart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2015 at 11:19am
Yah looks like it crashed. But thanks! yah im already at about max flow that the corals could handle so i think its working perfectly. The dimentions are just about perfect. i can reach in and not get my entire arm wet, but theres enough floor space for a good amount of corals. Im excited to start adding!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2015 at 8:39pm

Time for more!

It took a while to build the stand, but I finally got it together. The stand was actually built in California while the tank was here in Utah! Was a tight fit but ended up perfect! It is 4 4x4 posts that the tanks 4 corners are resting on. Then 2x4 bottom support and 2x6 top support to set the tank into the stand and to hide the bottom glass and most of the sand bed. It is sitting about 2.5 in or so into the stand. A feature that I personally like. Looks more "clean" to me.

I also made a bottom piece to sit on top the 2x4s to support the sump which is actually sitting just behind the stand so the return pipes had a straight shot down. Stained and polyurethane also. Watersealed all the wood twice too.


As you can see I also added a layer of foam to protect the tank glass from any uneven pressure points on the wood, also insulated, reduces vibration, and doesn't allow me to see through if there is no sand.

I ended putting panels on the side to mount reactors and made an entire APEX board where all my equipment would hook up. I tried to make this as far away from any water splash potential as possible. This not only helps with hanging things, but ended up adding a ton of structural rigidity as before I could bump into the tank and it would rock, now its rock solid and doesn't budge a bit!

I was able to get Colonial maple stain to do the entire wrap that you would see on the outside, I am also not quite finished also. Still need a piece of edging to hide the corner gaps between the panels. Easy weekend fix though.

And pretty soon I had something resembling a tank!

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 02 2015 at 9:28pm

Alright, moving on!

Soon I had the tank drilled for overflow, and installed the box soon after! Siliconed it in well.

Soon I was working on the plumbing and overflow. Also modifying sump to fit the auto top off switched. Ended up drilling the top out to fit a third emergency switch.

The dremel was my friend LOL

I was BARELY able to fit a DCT 6000, kind of sad they don't work with apex, but ohh well. I literally had to completely disassemble jebao to get it to juuust slip in with literally no room to spare. Then reassembled in the compartment, that was a real challenge.LOL

I then soldered all the wiring and organized it all neat and was ready to go and start filling!

It literally took just over 24 hours to fill, so not bad for around 65 gallons total.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2015 at 3:02pm

After the tank was filled I added what rock I had and started fiddling with the filtration, was able to get it dead silent by adding a few foam, pieces in places to water couldn't slosh around.

Then I started getting the apex board together and sprucing it up.

To keep the front and side panels on, I used magnets. The panels slide into the baseboard on the bottom for a clean look, and magnetically latch to the top so they don't fall out.

I still need to get net for the screen top, if anyone has spare that would be nice Smile

I put plastic bumpers on the bottom to give it a floating look, which I like, and it allows the Jebao power cord through without lifting a part.

Just a few days ago I hung the led light and it started to look more complete!

I then added a few corals and fish that I had In a 10 gallon and so far everything is doing great! Of course I dipped everything before to keep it pest free as long as possible.

I used microbacter 7 to kickstart the process as well as seed the biopellets and stuff to get nutrient export going.

I was able to T in a mag 5 pump to a brs biopellet reactor and a carbon reactor, and the UV sterilizer is inline with the biopellets feeding back in front of the skimmer. I swear the plumbing parts are the most expensive, every trip to home depot was like $25+ and I made multiple tripsConfused. All just for a few pieces of pipe and fittings.

Just yesterday my lovely jebao doser arrived at my door, very happy as it was 74.95 shipped to my door LOL Made a mount out of spare wood and brackets, then I velcroed it on so it wouldn't move and drilled a hole in the back wood for the power cord and fit it snugly above the sump. Was able to drill 4 holes in the sump where the bubble trap is so it can dose right into the pump where it will be mixed and wont go through reactors or skimmers.

And that brings us up to today! All is going well and I'm excited to start stuffing the tank with coral fish and rock!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2015 at 3:28pm
Well documented build! It is looking great. I love how the tank is set in the stand. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2015 at 6:52pm
Thanks! Yah I liked the idea of it being set in so you couldn't see the bottom glass or much of the sand bed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote dmw913 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2015 at 8:40am
Very well done!  I really like your patience to take the time to make such a solid build - don't know if I could have been that patient!  Enjoy the tank! 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 04 2015 at 8:56am
Hahaha thanks, yah the waiting was real tough haha, ive been gathering the tank stuff for over 6 months, lol. But I wanted to take my time and build a solid tank that wouldn't have any failure problems and was as efficient as possible, as past experience with my 90 gallon has showed me ways to make tank life easy.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2015 at 6:05pm

Here's a quick update from today. Everything seems to be going well. Got most things dialed in. Modified my LED to be controlled with the apex. I now have it following a modified sunrise/sunset cycle on the season table. However LEDs keep going out even after I just replaced them. Weird things.

Was able to get a Naso tang, one of my favorites. Also got a banggai cardinal, twin spot goby, and anemone crab.

I was lucky enough to have won the bleeding apple bowerbanki. Its doing fairly well in the tank. Any know how to make this thing thrive? What is the best location, like lighting and flow?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeromy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 2:16am
Looks awesome! Very nice job. Love rimless tanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 3:58pm
well it was a sad day for my female phantom clownfish :( i found her being scavenged by my crabs this afternoon, she had been swimming in one spot not doing much for the past few days. not sure what happened... was the prettiest of all my clowns too... thats two clownfish in one month. both rare designers too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hogie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 4:26pm
So sorry! That's not the one in your pic of potm, right? How many clowns do you have together?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 5:15pm
Are your clowns fighting?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 5:54pm

No that's my photon pair in California. they are doing great. I had a pair of phantom clownfish. $200 for the pair. The bigger one with the orange face was the female that died. She was always a snot and mean to the other but was doing better and they got along. I also lost a baby onyx Picasso extreme. I think that was caused by a massive aptasia. So now I put the onyx Picasso that I had left with my phantom, and they are both mild mannered so I think they will get along. So now I only have the pair left here in Utah and a pair in California.

This was the female, but she was much bigger, this was a year ago when I got her.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jeromy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 8:19pm
That sucks. Awesome looking fish.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pilotx44 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 02 2015 at 7:54pm
Thanks, Unfortunately im coming back with bad news. The other Phantom clownfish died tonight. Appears to be the same reason as the other, which is still not known. I have a thread started under general about it, Looks like protozoa or intestinal parasites or worms. That was also my star pair in the tank. The Gems in my tank as you could say. Don't know what im going to do now as I definitely don't have the money to replace them. Ill have to keep an eye on the remaining clownfish and see if I can find him a cheap friend.
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