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NanoCrazed's Lazy Tank(s) Journal

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
With so many systems and my tendencies to start up a tank on a whim (and on the fly), I decided that I am simply going to have a single running thread for all my tanks to whine and complain on whatever suits my fancy related to them. Way to hard to keep all my journals up to date and relevant...

Format wise, I think I will try to label the start of each of my post with the offending system in question... Let's see how this works.

I'll start with my latest project:

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ELOS 70
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Decided to swap out my BTA tank for something a bit large and more eye pleasing... and easier to view.

Some weeks back I cam across a great deal not to jump on. A relatively decent, minimally scratched ELOS 70, cabinet, and original sump (which I am still trying to figure out) plus a phosban reactor and skimmer for $300.

The hinges are rusted out and there is a row of electrical outlets mounted and wired across the top panel (nice idea but may be a hazard waiting to happen).

The only kicker is the stand has no bottom by design (more on that later).

Putting this tank together was and still is a real head scratcher... has a dry overflow with a proprietary overflow box (see grey box in pic?). The sump has compartments that are labeled... on of the partitions goes up the height of the sump and labeled "Service Area" (which in reality is less service, and more like an ATO reservoir or something).

So far, I got all the plumbing pieces for it, including a gate valve... so all ready to go as soon as I build a drip tray for the bottom... Decided better safe than sorry as this will go in my home office with hardwood floors) next to all my other tanks.

a few more things to follow, when I have a moment...

upload_2019-4-3_10-15-18.png


upload_2019-4-3_10-16-44.png
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
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ELOS 70
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I decided that I needed to put in either a bottom or a drip tray... after some hemming and hawing, I decided I was going to make a drip tray out of acrylic rather than one out of wood (sealed and painted, of course) or put in a bottom shelf in the cabinet. Part of my reason was I didn't want to waste extra time making something out of wood, and waiting for the paint to dry, literally. I want this baby up and cycling ASAP.

I found some great and relatively affordable acrylic sheet at home depot ($37 for a 24x36 sheet) so brought it home and got to work. The sheet was perfect in that it was thick and strudy, and just enough material for me to make a the tray entirely. Unfortunately, right towards snapping off the excess after scoring the last edge, it turns out I was too shallow in cutting at a few spots... I wound up cracking the excess portion, which would have been used to make the sides on teh long edge. You can imagine the choice words I was producing... ugh.

upload_2019-4-5_3-20-59.png


The next day, I was set on heading back to Home Depot for another sheet... and feeling a bit annoyed that I would have to spend another $37 just to cut 2 strips for the sides. Plus having to spend time to cut the jagged edges off the bottom and clean it up.

Luckily, I had some coffee and thought of hitting my local TAP Plastics here. Wound up saving myself a lot of pain and cost. They had some nice 0.25 inch material in their scrap/discount bin that was enough to make the 4 sides I needed. Paid them $1 per cut and an extra $1 to clean up the bottom and walked out with 4 sides and a clean bottom for $10. Pretty happy start of the day.

(Side note: They also had a 48" x 48" deep gray PVC sheet that's 3/16" thick for $40 in the discount bin. That's like 50% normal price and perfect for making baffles or future drip trays, etc. So decided to pick that up...just in case... lol)

upload_2019-4-5_3-22-21.png


Spent a bit of time this morning putting together the tray with some silicone so that I can finish the plumbing Friday after work. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

upload_2019-4-5_3-21-44.png


Since this will be a high-end-ish nem tank, I decided to got with black substrate... ordered 40lbs of Caribsea's Hawaiian Black live sand (more like gravel, tbh) for in-store pick-up. PSA: Petco is having a great deal on live sand... $16 for 20lbs.
 
Holy sheet, that's a good price for the PVC sheet, and in the discount bin... mine barely has anything in the discount bin although on Fridays & Saturdays the scrap bin is 50% off so there's that :D That said, with your cracked piece... it's acrylic... just solvent weld the cracked piece back, it's a drip tray, not a tank that needs to hold.

And how thick was that acyrlic to be $37 for a 2'x3' piece? 3/32"?
 

ashburn2k

Webmaster
Staff member
======
ELOS 70
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I decided that I needed to put in either a bottom or a drip tray... after some hemming and hawing, I decided I was going to make a drip tray out of acrylic rather than one out of wood (sealed and painted, of course) or put in a bottom shelf in the cabinet. Part of my reason was I didn't want to waste extra time making something out of wood, and waiting for the paint to dry, literally. I want this baby up and cycling ASAP.

I found some great and relatively affordable acrylic sheet at home depot ($37 for a 24x36 sheet) so brought it home and got to work. The sheet was perfect in that it was thick and strudy, and just enough material for me to make a the tray entirely. Unfortunately, right towards snapping off the excess after scoring the last edge, it turns out I was too shallow in cutting at a few spots... I wound up cracking the excess portion, which would have been used to make the sides on teh long edge. You can imagine the choice words I was producing... ugh.

View attachment 11632

The next day, I was set on heading back to Home Depot for another sheet... and feeling a bit annoyed that I would have to spend another $37 just to cut 2 strips for the sides. Plus having to spend time to cut the jagged edges off the bottom and clean it up.

Luckily, I had some coffee and thought of hitting my local TAP Plastics here. Wound up saving myself a lot of pain and cost. They had some nice 0.25 inch material in their scrap/discount bin that was enough to make the 4 sides I needed. Paid them $1 per cut and an extra $1 to clean up the bottom and walked out with 4 sides and a clean bottom for $10. Pretty happy start of the day.

(Side note: They also had a 48" x 48" deep gray PVC sheet that's 3/16" thick for $40 in the discount bin. That's like 50% normal price and perfect for making baffles or future drip trays, etc. So decided to pick that up...just in case... lol)

View attachment 11634

Spent a bit of time this morning putting together the tray with some silicone so that I can finish the plumbing Friday after work. Not too shabby, if I do say so myself.

View attachment 11633

Since this will be a high-end-ish nem tank, I decided to got with black substrate... ordered 40lbs of Caribsea's Hawaiian Black live sand (more like gravel, tbh) for in-store pick-up. PSA: Petco is having a great deal on live sand... $16 for 20lbs.
I think silicon won’t hold your pvc sheets together, you need cement glue for plastic or pvc


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NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
Holy sheet, that's a good price for the PVC sheet, and in the discount bin... mine barely has anything in the discount bin although on Fridays & Saturdays the scrap bin is 50% off so there's that :D That said, with your cracked piece... it's acrylic... just solvent weld the cracked piece back, it's a drip tray, not a tank that needs to hold.

And how thick was that acyrlic to be $37 for a 2'x3' piece? 3/32"?
Sheet was tad shy of 3/16"... 0.177 in. But cheapest i could find between lowes and home depot.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/OPTIX-24-in-x-36-in-x-0-177-in-Clear-Acrylic-Green-Edge-Sheet-25529102/306516862

Unfortunately, cementing back the pieces wouldn't be an option since it would need to have been able to cut the piece in half again to make two. And it broke into 4 pieces at that.

But yeah, that large pvc sheet was too good of a deal to pass up!

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NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
I think silicon won’t hold your pvc sheets together, you need cement glue for plastic or pvc


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Seems to be OK for a drip tray. Figure it wouldn't be much diff than building a tank woth glass.

Folks at TAP thought it'd be OK for what i wanted to do...

I checked it this morning after it fully cured and even thought i could possibly make my own tank out of those sheets next time. Lol

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Silicone should be fine, since it's not going to be full of water, but if you didn't rough up the edges at all you might find if you look at it funny it'll slip away from the silicone.
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
Hah. Then i lucked out... it was more of a case of me not going through the trouble of smoothing out the edges. The sides were cut with a table saw... so plenty rough. ;)

Though in practice, would you really need adhesive is ypu apply enough silicone? Say in building a tank with acrylic panels? Not sure how much diff it would be relative to glass

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The problem was that acrylic doesn't bond to silicone the way glass does. Now you can usually get away with acrylic baffles in a glass sump ($1/gal sale) or something simply because you're basically making a silicone gasket that adherse to the glass sides and it prevents the acrylic baffle from moving much.
 

Chromis

Supporting Member
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ELOS 70
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(Side note: They also had a 48" x 48" deep gray PVC sheet that's 3/16" thick for $40 in the discount bin.


View attachment 11633

Since this will be a high-end-ish nem tank, I decided to got with black substrate... ordered 40lbs of Caribsea's Hawaiian Black live sand (more like gravel, tbh) for in-store pick-up. PSA: Petco is having a great deal on live sand... $16 for 20lbs.
Nice work on the acrylic, I also use the painters’ blue tape to line things up. I love Tap plastics. Is that regular PVC sheet - how do you plan to bond it, with regular plumber PVC solvent?

Why did you choose black sand for a nem tank? To contrast the colors?
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
Nice work on the acrylic, I also use the painters’ blue tape to line things up. I love Tap plastics. Is that regular PVC sheet - how do you plan to bond it, with regular plumber PVC solvent?

Why did you choose black sand for a nem tank? To contrast the colors?
For the PVC, I was going to use some of it to make baffles and teh rest for other boxes or trays. for the boxes \ trays, I was intending to use the 1 part plumbers solvent forget the name. Has a green label and works well for a lot of applications.

As for the black sand -- exactly. I figure I won't hva eot worry to much about needing reflection off the sand for the undersides, and the nems would pop against the black.
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
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Aqua Japan 85 & IM 20
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Well -- a lot of suckage upon my return form the biz trip. While away, the fish in both tank decided to kick sand around and cover everything. Lost a new 1" 3 color JB momma, 1 Purple Passion nem, a bunch of higher end zoas, and a neon green alve...

The JB momma, and zos were in my work tank. I had moved a damsel and a yellow coris from teh tank at home since they chilled out and stopped kicking sand around. Guess new tank, new rules. My goldbar maroons were kicking sand but not as extreme. but now with all 4, the volume of sand shifting is on full tilt. sigh...

I did manage to dig out the acans and favias, and neon blasto. these turn out ok.

After this mess, I yanked off my CC Inferno BTA and bringing it back home again. Too much action in the tank at work

As for the AJ 85, I put in a diamond goby to help with all the decomposing algae blenny poop that's been causing a build up of badness in the tank. Right before the trip, I had built a frag tray our of eggcrate and PVC pipe, and moved all the loose pieces to it, sitting well above the sand. But the nems, I left alone...since they usually can manage themselves. Occasionally, a few would walk across the sand however...like the purple passion.

By time I found it, it was in bad shape. so doing a cipro treatment and hoping for the best... but very low expectations.

While I am at it... I had a failed St Thomas rescue and fragging experiment that went south in the sump (if you recall, I turned my sump into a mushroom grow out area). it took out all the other St Thomases in the try with it.
 

NanoCrazed

Supporting Member
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ELOS 70
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Finally got around to finishing all the plumbing and set up to at least start cycling!

One of the big hold ups was that I didn't like the stock sump the way it was... The ATO reservoir (aka "Service Area") seemed like wasted space and that compartment would be underserving the ATO needs for the tank. So to give myself the option to use the area, and to change my mind later, I decided to hit it with a glass drill to fit a 1" bulkhead. This way, I have the flexibility to change the configuration to suit my needs later. For now, I am going to use the Service Area as a refugium area and running the drain into it...

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upload_2019-4-15_16-20-57.png


And to give myself more flexibility, I "over-unioned" the plumbing, making it pretty much modular.

upload_2019-4-15_16-21-48.png


With the sump and plumbing in place, I finally put the sand in and filled to cycle. I am cycling with 65% fresh water, and remainder old tank water from my DT, with the water passing through a 200 micron filter first. I don't subscribe to bacteria in the column bit for using old tank water. But believe that using old tank water in part helps with the nutrient and chemistry bit to feed the new system. I also tossed in Instant Ocean's bio starter to seed the rocks and the marine pure balls along side the live black sand.

upload_2019-4-15_16-22-37.png


For the light, I wanted it higher up so left it attached to the side glass of the DT next to the ELOS, versus mounting it directly on the ELOS, giving me 6" more height for better spread. The light is a XR30w Pro G3 with diffuser but might switch it out to the G4 pro instead, depending on the nem I put it there...

Can't wait to start stocking! The question now is which nem...
 
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