Mike's newest disaster...

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by sfsuphysics, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    ...Gimmito style! For those of you that don't know, that means no water in a tank (hell no tank) for a while now. More of a placeholder of a post to chronicle my plunge into insanity.

    So what's the plan Stan?

    So the idea is a full on fish room which has always been the plan but due to the baby in the house now I want everything stored away behind, there will be a lock on the door too, and while him wandering down there by himself isn't an immediate concern (he's 6 months old) it could be a future issue and if everything is already done then I don't need to hurry to get things fixed.

    So tank as "in wall", one really long viewing window, and a shorter view on another side. In the fish room really want everything contained so that I hopefully don't need to leave the room for anything except maybe cleaning the front of the glass. So that means my 100g water storage container gets put in there, I figure the corner is a good spot, also will be a fully working sink, of which the actual placement may change due to where electrical outlets are (I really neglected to draw those in my picture).

    The Tank
    Don't know yet, but I did talk myself out of a 10 foot long tank, while it absolutely would fit there would be a little less than 6 inches on the far side, which means accessing anything there is not going to be possible. At 8 feet it gives me almost 2.5 feet of room which is a benefit.

    Option 1: Reuse the 96"x36"x18" tank I already have, this is the "I can't spend any money" option, while the height is a bit limiting, especially as an in-wall style tank, the real issue is that it's acrylic. I absolutely f'ing hate acrylic I don't want to worry about scratching it if I sneeze too close to the tank, I want glass period because if I neglect the cleaning a few minutes with a razor blade scraper and all is in harmony again. Plus I need to put a lot of work into the tank to get it to a viewable state, this is time I quite honestly do not have.

    Option 2,3,4,5,6,7: Glass. So MACNA gave me some inspiration for glass tanks, they simply looked the best out of tanks there, even with the cheap plastic coral inserts sitting in an empty tank. So what size? Not 10 feet that's for sure, I was thinking 8' long by 3' wide by 2' high, although looking at graph paper picture it leaves between about 24" to scooch by, which may be fine, but 30" wide is not out of the question.

    So where to get a tank... that's the 64 dollar question, well WAY more than 64 dollars it turns out. On the low priced side of things is CustomAquariums.com they do a neat powder coated marine grade aluminum frame system for the bracing on the top rather than a glass eurobrace. A few people have threads going in the Large Tank section at ReefCentral and they seem pleased with it. This puts something in the $2k range.

    Crystal Dynamics was one vendor at MACNA, and they basically look like Leemar tanks because apparently they poached the workers as Leemar was going under. Now they have listed as standard a 84" x 30" x 24" tank for a bit over $2k, 2.5 with starphire panels. However when I inquired about going to 8 feet long, they told me they had to go to 3/4" and the price went to $5600+... now I understand 3/4" cost more but that cost of the tank is not all about the glass. Needless to say this is well out of my price range.

    Miracles was another quote too, for 8x3x2, 3/4", tempered back, with notches cut in for an external overflow (that looks slick as all hell) was $4k + shipping, but because they're up in Toronto I expect shipping to be a fortune. Plus $4k is really pushing my budget... even though it's a "I want it so bad" type of tank :D I wonder if the price difference is due to location though, maybe the dollar is strong in Canada?

    I even asked for a quote from A.G.E. for kicks and giggles but haven't heard back, I fully expect them to be the most expensive, but never hurts to ask. One of these days when I get some time I'll also swing by some of the not-so-local fish stores in the area and see what they have in stock. But $2k is probably around where I'm looking, I am willing to sacrifice on size a bit but hey who knows, maybe a store is looking to get rid of a display tank or something :)

    The Equipment
    This comes later

    What am I doing now? Well I started with a garbage can full of dry rock, still with some algae clinging on. I also have a tank full of aiptasia coated rock, but I'll get to that after I process this stuff first

    First the purification!

    All algae turned white, and mostly disconnected which makes me happy. I even put in a very large piece that was coated in aiptasia from the tank and this seems to have done the trick.

    Next up is the muriatic acid bath, I did a few pieces but I don't think I had enough acid, or there was too much fine dust/sand particles in there because it neutralized itself quite quickly. I'll chronicle more of that later, it's dangerous shit to work around, so I'm usually more concerned with not having splashes on me, or inhaling the vapors more so than I am about taking pictures... not to mention if the vapors get into the phone they could corrode it from the inside out.
    Peter B and gimmito like this.
  2. roostertech

    roostertech reef noob

    Worst age is about 2-3 I think. They get into EVERYTHING. I have keypad lock on almost every door in my house. What are you doing in term of stand? And man lighting up that tank will cost a few pennies.
  3. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I have a stainless steel rim around the top of my (acrylic) tank. Works great. Basically rimless without thick walls.
    I have one small 3/4 x 3/4 cross brace. Two would be fine.
    So the CustomAquariums.com plan sounds great to me.
    Although a bit surprised they use aluminum and not stainless.

    Tempered glass anywhere would be too risky for me.

    You probably only need low-e glass on the front.

    I have an 88" tank, and wish it was a little bit shorter, so that 7 x 3 x 2 tank seems pretty ideal to me.
    The problem I have is getting good flow.

    I get your feelings on acrylic versus glass.

    With your corner situation, you may want to do one full end as an overflow. Put all the plumbing in there.
  4. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Had to think about what this meant for a second, I was thinking A.G.E. is 2-3x or 2-3k? I could do 2-3k :D Tank will be downstairs so hopefully the baby gate will hold him out, and then yeah locks if necessary.

    As for stand I originally wanted a steel one, but putting price consideration into things I think wood would be cheaper (don't have welding equipment so that would be an added cost... plus kinda certain that takes a bit of skill :D), I can be happy with a 3 foot span without any supports in the middle, most of the weight is going to be carried on the main 8' long rails (beams).

    Lighting may not be as expensive as you think, IMO heating it is my largest concern, when I had my 375 + 270g sump the electric bill was quite high in the winter (lack of solar production) compared to the month of July (no 375g tank anymore but still the 270) and my electric bill was like $6 for the month. I haven't decided what to do with lighting, however I am a firm believer than the entire tank does not need to be uniformly lit. I have some metal halides, I have some T5 setups (no bulbs other than actinic though), I have some DIY LED setups, I might do a little of each just temporary up to kind of see what I like best before committing to anything, I do have an idea in mind for what overall effect I want though.
  5. 650-IS350

    650-IS350 Supporting Member

    MIke, I've cooked my rocks in Muriatic Acid before, easy stuff. Just make sure your well protected and vented area. Have A LOT of baking soda in hand to neutralize in an emergency or when your done nuking the rocks. But that method is the best way to ensure your rocks going in to new tank are pristine.
  6. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    > ...I can be happy with a 3 foot span without any supports in the middle...
    You have a full fish room. Why would you put anything under the tank?
    Sump/Fuge can be part of the display if done nicely.

    > ...IMO heating it is my largest concern...
    Get a gas heater.
    (On my to do someday list)
  7. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Aluminum is cheaper? Marine grade aluminum doesn't rust? I dunno... it's what they do. And the wife gave me the ok, to quote her "I'm ok with you spending $2000 on a fish tank, but this better be the fish tank you want, you better not say you want something else in 6 months" :D The difference is the customaquariums one is 1/2", I can upgrade to 3/4" (or even 5/8 if that's a thing) I may do 3/4" on the back simply because overflow pipes and what not might be hanging off there, I'll decided in due time

    I'm guessing it's due to having an external overflow AND a physical notch cut out of the top part of the glass so they need the extra strength

    Although the more I look at it, the less slick I think it looks. I could have sworn their acrylic bracket actually went into the glass thickness area.

    Yeah I've had 1/2" glass on a 5' long tank and it looked plenty clear. I'm not certain though, it's like a $200 upgrade. So it's a matter of pinching pennies or is it something I will absolutely notice if I have never been exposed to it?

    When I had a 4x3x2 all my flow was along the back wall and I got pretty damn good flow from there, but that was close to a cube. A couple of those Gyre pumps (200 series) might be a nice, or I buy a few of the Vortech QD wetsides and give those a shot (have like 5 or 6 MP40s, it's just the wetsides which have gone wonky).

    That's not a bad idea, I really wanted surface skimming along the 8 foot length, but I could always fabricate an "L" shaped internal overflow box and have the output holes on the short side. I'm not certain of how many holes I need to have for drainage, I think they charge $25 to drill a hole, so a couple holes for 2" bulkheads might not be a horrible investment (the drill bit alone would cost close to that). I've thought about one of those Synergy low profile overflows, but the surface area is so tiny, plus I don't know if I'd trust them with proper hole spacing.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2016
  8. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Yeah I've done some practice piece, 10 minutes was not enough (IMO) and me forgetting about the rock for 45 minutes definitely left it WAY porous :D My last batch (the above picture amount) the rocks themselves neutralized the acid, so I think it wasn't that strong. And yeah I've gotten a whiff of the stuff and nearly knocked me on my ass (this was outside too)... luckily very minor throat irritation and a nagging wife telling me to get a respirator :D
  9. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Simple, the space between the back of the tank and the wall is only 4 feet, while I could put it against the other wall, it seems like just as much wasted space to not stick it under the stand. Plus I'll need room for a Brute trash can, or QT tanks, or... so yeah that space will disappear in a hurry.

    Mine too, I'm unsure if my water heater could keep up with the demand, but for now electric heaters will do
  10. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    For the rocks, why not just sun dry them in the backyard for a week or two?

    I think the hard part will be drawing the grid lines all over the floor! :p
  11. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Aiptasia ... that's why. No way I'm going to trust the power of the Sun to kill that infestation! I'm going full on chemical warfare against those bastards!... Plus there are also little tiny hydroid colonies (I think) that can grow out of control (unless you maybe have a butterfly fish, but then introduces all sorts of other issues) and they cause a fairly annoying skin irritation if I ever touch them.

    The grid lines should be fairly easy, length of wood with a nail every 6 inches, then snap a chalk line :p
  12. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    And you think you will keep them out of the new big tank permanently?
  13. xcaret

    xcaret Supporting Member

    Have you tried Keith Grandt? from Sacramento? A short drive and if he does not deliver there's always the option of a Zip Van/truck and some good elbow grease from BAR.
    Coral reefer likes this.
  14. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    That quote from crystal dynamics is a bit unbelievable. I assume the 7' one is using 1/2" glass. They do make 5/8" but it's not as common. I'm not sure if the increased thickness is needed though since the height didn't change. I'll have to run it through my safety factor calculator when I get the chance. At any rate 3/4" glass isn't vastly more expensive than 1/2" but it is heavier and therefore harder to work with. I don't think the jump from $2000 to $5600 is warranted.
  15. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    Ok so at 84" x 24" tall with 1/2" glass yields a safety factor of 3.3 which is fine if the glass has polished edges and is braced. Going up to 5/8" glass yields 5.8 and it can be rimless.

    As I expected, increasing the length another foot has no effect on the safety factor. So you could use 1/2" if you brace it, or 5/8" and be rimless (if you can find 5/8" glass). Going to 3/4" takes the safety factor all the way up to 8.3 which is way overkill imo.
  16. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Permanently? Hopefully yes, realistically... we'll see. But if I can start with no aiptasia then that will be worth it.

    I did send a request at him, but haven't heard back, so I dunno

    Yeah, I figured as much but they're the pros, and they can do what they want I'm just not going to buy into it. They did say they could do at 1/2" but it would need double eurobracing, reinforced seams, and a tempered bottom or something. Pretty much why I'm leaning towards the one company, because they're not trying to oversell me on it.
  17. Kmooresf

    Kmooresf Supporting Member

    Fun Mike!! I love the planning stage!!

    My tank is 1/2" glass, and it is strong as an OX!!!! I lay on top of it to clean, because it's the only way I can reach. LOL!

    A couple things........if it's going to be an in wall, why do you want the "rimless" look / feel? It might be a bit easier to reach inside, but have you ever had a rimless tank? They are a huge PITA because every movement with your arm inside splashes water all over the place. If you use a magnetic cleaner..........you will splash water all over the place. I have a 5", or 6" eurobrace. It bothered me a lot at first, because it doesn't look as cool as rimless, however I quickly realized the benefits.
    - I can go crazy with my magnet cleaner, and not worry at all about
    water splash
    - fish tend to jump near the edge and I can't tell you how often I hear them hit the eurobrace......LOL......clunk. :)
    - It was cheaper in the long run because they could stick with the 1/2" glass, and my tank is 26" tall (I would go 24 if I did it again).
    - when I clean the tank......it works fantastic as a table. I have 5 or 6 things laying on the eurobrace at all times.... glue, tongs, scrapers, cutters, etc, etc.
    Anyway, just things to think about. If it was in your living room, I would say the rimless is amazing, but if it's a tank for YOU, and you will be looking through a wall.....get the bracing.

    There are down sides of coarse.....more difficult to reach around stuff. Especially when the stags get close to the top. It can really limit the angles that you can get into the tank. Placing your rock in the tank is tough because of the smaller openings, and the looks.

    Price of the big tank is tough. 2k is an excellent price for a glass tank that size. My quotes from Miricles was about the same....shipping with crating was about 800bucks, and they won't ship to your door, just the closest port to you. The guy from sacramento was the most expensive unfortunately. I have a feeling he probably does amazing work, and his price included delivery and installation......something to consider as the tank empty was 1300 lbs. But the price was over 6k. Maybe it's a different guy, and maybe the price of glass is better now, so you never know. I am so bummed that leemar isn't around anymore. They were the most reasonable, and I think the tank is very good quality.

    Anyway, lot's of options and things to consider. Shout if you want to know more. Fun!!

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
  18. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    I would go with eurobracing + 2 cross braces, which would make each span roughly 24".
    At 24" max-span x 24" tall, you might even want to do the calculations on 3/8 glass.

    Like most custom work, if you can give a very exact drawing, possibly even with a cut list,
    it usually results in a lower bid. They know exactly what you want.
  19. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Kris: Good to know about the 1/2" size. It's not a matter of me going for a quasi-rimless look, that just happens to be the method that manufacturer uses, I'm guessing they have pre-fabbed aluminum frames, and then just slap it on the glass as needed. The one ($2k) company does not do eurobracing, Crystal Dynamics does, and they basically are the Leemar replacement (Leemar workers do their tanks) but they were unwilling to do 1/2" glass for the larger tank size, and while I'm not opposed to 3/4" glass the increase in price for it is just too much for me to handle. Glad to know you basically looked at the same people I looked, so even though I never got a response from some of them at least I know ballpark what to expect. Wife basically verbally OK'd the $2k price tag without knowing how much more I'll be spending on equipment :D

    Didn't think about the sloshing effect though, something I'll definitely have to look into, but recalling my older eurobraced tanks I can see it though especially as algae starts growing on the bracing. I'll figure something out though, like maybe lose an extra inch of height by making the overflow lower.

    Mark: I have a feeling they streamlined the process which is why they're so cheap, breaking it down into 6 inch increments, seems to be very reasonably priced without worrying too much about quality.

    My only question now is if I have one of the 3 foot sections drilled for overflow, how many holes (was thinking 3 holes for 2 inch bulkheads should be sufficient), and should I get that panel strengthened (either thicker glass or tempered). I know with my 120 a long time ago that was I think 1/2" glass, I snapped the entire back pane when I pulled up on a pipe from the overflow, then that day of physics class instantly flashed back in my head where Torque = the length of your lever arm x the force applied... and I realized why it snapped... then I got crazy with emptying the tank and saving fish/corals. Now putting an external overflow weir is definitely happening so I can have all the silent pipe configurations, but I'll hopefully be smart and remember to secure the pipes to the stand so that I can't accidentally tug on them.

    Lots of planning right now though, lots of building too, still need to build the floor where the tank will go, and not getting too much time to do it. But sometime in the future hopefully I can bribe everyone to come over for a pizza/beer/tank lifting party :D
    Coral reefer and Kmooresf like this.
  20. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Colorado member

    I'll bring my suction cups.

Share This Page