Vincerama2's 180 gallon "Wifebane" reef project!

Discussion in 'Tank Journals' started by Vincerama2, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Hi guys, I've been out of touch for about 2 years now. Something to do with my twins needing attention and stuff.

    Last year I bought a 180g glass tank from an RC guy and it's been sitting in my garage for a year taking up 50% of all the space. I originally named it "Garagebane" but "Wifebane" is more like it!

    I will post pics soon, but here are some stats and project outline;

    Tank: 180g glass. Most likely AGA or Oceanic, since it has the horrible "MEGAFLOW" overflows. I considered replacing them with home made acrylic "normal" overflows, but in a tank this big, I think I can live with the bulk of the overflows.

    Stand: Homemade (by someone else) 4 doors, built in electical (plugs and outlets) Badly needs painting and reinforcing. For some reason the previous owner didn't use waterproof wood glue, but used construction glue instead Some of the trim has fallen off! It will be repainted

    Canopy: Homemade, needs work

    Lights: Currently, I have dual 150 MH pendant-ish thing that I bought a long time ago, it probably won't span the whole tank at the moment. My current 58's lights are dual 175 SE, and I have an extra 175 mount and brand new ballast that I can use. HOWEVER I'd like to try LEDs. THe plan then is to set up the 150s in the center and put LEDs on the side, then I'll replace the 150 with LEDs in the future. Or maybe go whole hog and do all LEDs

    Occupants: I've had it with mushrooms. Everything else is welcome, but screw mushrooms!

    Bottom: bare bottom for now.

    Sump: I have a 100g acrylic tank, 5 feet long, I bought some acrylic and I'll make a sump from this. I plan to make a section of this sump actually my freshwater reservoir, to keep everything under the cabinet (a wife mandated restriction) But the 100g sump takes up too much space so the reservoir must be part of the sump. I might make a section for the reservoir but then put a smaller tank in there to failsafe a leak of fresh into salt water.

    Other equipment:

    Skimmer will be an AquaC EV-120 for now, unless it proves inadequate, which it very well may. I actually have two EV-120s I can double up if I need more skimming and I'm cheap.

    CA Reactor: Yes, I will use one. Can't remember the brand of mine.

    Kalk drip: Sure, why not. Since I have a kalk mixer already, it's no biggy. The mixer will try and hide beside the tank, away from my wife's view.

    I will reserve a few posts near the top of this thread for pictures.

    I will post the project plan here, for accountability, since Sandy's blood pressure rises every week I don't do anything about the massive tank and stand (tank is NOT on the stand!) in the garage. Also to help myself keep on track

    Things that need to be done:

    Reinforce floor - done - 2000 lbs of water, so I poured two 24"x24"x16" concrete footers and installed two posts and a massive 8 foot long 4x8 beam directly under where the tank will sit. This took WEEKS to do and was brutally hard. Then I slacked off for a year before even writing this thread!

    Add electrical outlets
    - do it, or hire an electrician ??

    Repair and repaint stand
    - repair trim that has fallen off
    - sand down crappy parts
    - prime
    - paint
    - replace door hardware if necessary

    Repair and repaint canopy
    - get new fan screens
    - check fans, get new ones
    - sand
    - prime
    - paint
    - replace hardware if necessary

    Install lights into canopy

    Convert 100g tank into sump
    - get baffle acrylic - done!
    - draw up simple design

    - draw up plans for plumbing
    - execute!

    Move tank into place
    - bribe friends/BAR members with pizza and beer.

    OK, now I'm going to reserve a few postings for pictures.
  2. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

  3. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    In the dining room, half filled with water. Leaving space for rocks.

    I still need to attach the lights (Kessil LEDs), attach the front of the canopy, finish the plumbing, put in a sump (temporarily it will be a 20 gallon tank I have sitting around), and repaint and install the cabinet doors.... so much to do, and I've only had 5 years to do it in ...


    Finally, added some overly complicated, and possibly not well thought out plumbing! I should have used shorter pipe above the valves.

    The nutty unions let me basically rotate the pipe in any direction, up down, left right. But to be honest, I think the return line (skinnier 3/4" pipe on the left) will probably be plumbed into vinyl hose and then too my oceans motions thingy.

    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014
  4. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    So the tank stand seems a bit unlevel. When we first moved it into place, one corner was entirely off the floor. I don't know if it's the stand or the floor! So I shoved a bunch of shims under it so that all the weight is supported and the tank stand would not bend downwards or be oddly loaded.

    So them I filled the tank with 180 gallons of water and low and behold, the corner that I put shims under is too high by ... almost the exact height of the shims!

    So,t he stand is a bit warped, and by shoving shims under it, I kept it warped. But now there is 1440 lbs of water in the tank ... HOW CAN I REMOVE THE SHIMS!!???

    Well, First, remove all the water from the sump, then remove about 70 gallons from the tank.

    Then fashion a post and beam setup from 4xx4s that can fit THROUGH the stand and use a 2x4 to span the support beam of the stand. And then use bottle jacks to raise the stand's frame just enough to relieve the weight off the shims, then flick the shims out!

    Like this ....


    I had to get the jacks under the frame, so that's why I needed the beam, since I had to get into the stand to access the frame, but I needed the posts sitting on the floor (with plywood under it to prevent denting the floor).

    Incredibly, this actually worked.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  5. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    OK, so more work was done. I added the rocks, then I added the lights. then I decided that I wanted sand, so here are those pics! The lights are 2 Kessil A350s on the sides and an A350W in the center.

    With Rocks


    With Lights


    With sand and murky water


    And just a note that the canopy is open, the front is flipped up and resting on the top.

    The holes in the side are possibly for fans, I've not tested the (used) fans. And I decided I'm going to drill some holes near the mounts for the lights and run the lights' power cables through them and let them rest on the top of the canopy.

    NOTE: I the canopy is high enough that you can't see the top of it, unless you're very tall, so I don't mind that the light cords will lie on top of the canopy, and then try to hide them on those vertical wood parts of the canopy.

    The LEDs are tunable for color, they just happen to be very blue there, but they can go totally white as well.
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2014
  6. Kensington Reefer

    Kensington Reefer Supporting Member

    Welcome back
    Waiting for pics!
  7. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    Welcome back...give a shout if you need help moving the tank.
  8. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer President

    Look at the aqua illumination sol
    Blues or kessil a350w. You'd want 3 of each minimum. 2 sols on my 4x2x2 works good.
  9. patrickb

    patrickb Supporting Member

    Will you be growing aptasia in this tank as well. ;)
  10. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    I just wrote a giant post and my computer (which sometimes randomly jumps the mouse around) deleted it!

    Basically ... working on the stand. Picked up some fish and rock from someone getting out of the hobby.

    Sump ... might buy my friend's sump and pump, rather than using my acrylic tank. The 100g is too big, the current sump is OK, but I might get better space usage out of his glass 40"x15" sump. I'll have to measure tonight.

  11. Ibn

    Ibn Supporting Member

    Only took you a year to notch another post on your build. :p
  12. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    You'll notice it took a year AFTER buying the tank to even make the first post on it!

    Now you know why I call the tank "Wifebane"
  13. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    Heheheh... well you could have gone the direction Jim did, and took a year.. .. or two... or three(??) before actually getting water in the tank :D

    As to the computer mouse issue... that's one reason I hate using my laptop to post anywhere, crap like that happens... and it is a pain to disable the mouse every time I post.
  14. gimmito

    gimmito Guest

    It keeps the anticipation going. ;)
  15. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Stay tuned next year!

    So actually, I set up an acrylic 100g tank in the "basement" (finished space with maybe a 6'4" ceiling) and put the rescued fish in there. They didn't look too happy. Then when I got home after work, I put almost all of the live rock into it too, to save it. I couldn't shove maybe one bucket's worth in there, but that rock was almost dry so probably not very good.

    I shoved a Coralife Super Skimmer 65 in the tank (because it fit in the euro-braced top access holes) but had to prop it up on an acrylic computer monitor stand to adjust the height. When I got home, before I put the rocks in there, it was over flowing because the height was all wrong. When I checked this morning, it was skimming very nicely.

    I slapped a dual 150W MH on top of the tank and the fish were looking MUCH perkier today. Yesterday, they looked VERY bad, after being in a half filled tank full of dying rock/sand/coral for 3-4 weeks with no skimmer and only pumps.

    My friend hooked me up well. Along with the kessil LED's I bought from him for a reasonable price, he threw in a bunch of chemicals/kits, an old CA reactor (I might use it as a second stage) a UV thingy, like 10 pumps, a 4 way octopus thingy, two sea swirls and a bunch of plumbing bits.

    I might pick up his sump too, but I forgot to measure it.

    I will take pics of the temp tank, and also the unfinished tank/stand just for kicks and post them tonight if I get the chance. Or next year.

  16. rygh

    rygh Supporting Member

    Look up a browser add-on called "Lazarus: Form recovery"
    Very handy for that sort of problem, or if website refreshes, etc.
  17. Vincerama2

    Vincerama2 Evil Overlord

    Wifebane is actually progressing. I repaired the water damaged wood on the canopy and I've painted the stand. I've not painted the stand's doors yet as I realized it's much lighter and easier to move without the doors on, so the doors became a lower priority.

    I've primed the canopy (well most of it) in anticipation of painting it soon.

    New deadline! My parents are coming in October to visit and I said I'd have the tank done by then!

    OK, so, uh, update in a week or so ;)
  18. sfsuphysics

    sfsuphysics Supporting Member

    By October? Doable if you don't have other pressing matters like work or taking care of kids... ;)
  19. jellygeee

    jellygeee Guest

    any pics? :)
  20. DeeAnnMG

    DeeAnnMG Guest

    LOL! Love the name of your journal. Can't wait to see pics.

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