My 4 foot journal

GNARKILL_89
GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
So this is the start of my marine tank adventure and im so excited.

I already have the tank (it was a freshwater but im converting it) and we're rebuilding the stand to suit a sump below. The sump is built and ready to be picked up. The lighting on the other hand im having a bit of trouble. I have a budget of about $700 and living in Cairns, Queensland there isnt much you can get for less than a grand <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->. Any help would be much appreciated.

So yeah thats it so far, just waiting for the stand to be rebuilt and a light then then i can fill it with water! <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->:D:D

Comments

  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    How exciting...Love a new set up adventure.... <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
    Good Luck with it.
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    The tank in question:

    DSCF1318.jpg

    Stay tuned for more updates
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Uh.. looks good but are you sure thats 4ft?
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Yep, its 4 foot long 2 foot wide and 2 foot 4 inches high. You just made me measure it again <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Heh.. i've just put a 48" x 18" W x 20" H tank into my computer room with the other two tanks.. and that one just doesn't look to be 4ft. Obviously the pic then.
  • Anonymous
    Anonymous Member Posts: 356
    I bought my tank off ebay, and it only looked like it was 2ft in the pictures, but nope, it's definatly 4ft, so they must just look heaps smaller in pictures!!!
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    haha yeah trick photography i guess <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->

    the dvd's in the cabinet next to it kinda helps with gauging how big it really is..
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    So when are you setting it up? What equipment are you gona use? Are you gona have a sump or fuge?

    Also are you sure that stand is adequate?
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Well im kinda stuck for money at the moment for the light and live rock/sand. So its temporarily on hold.

    Ive chosen to to go with a sump. Which is paid for and ready to be picked up. Just need to sort out the pluming and the holes drilled in the bottom of the tank.

    And that is the old stand that i to use for the same tank but with an aftrican cichlid setup for about 5 years. Dad and i are building a new one at the moment. It just needs to be primed and painted now.

    Cheers,
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Just a bit of an update on my progress..

    Ordering the light tomorrow. The one i chose is the Xenolight MX-1200 250w metal hailde costs around $900 <!-- sthumbdown: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_thumbdown.gif" alt="thumbdown:" title="thumbdown" /><!-- sthumbdown: --> ..

    Picking up the sump on sat. Dimensions are 3 x 1 x 1 (feet). $350 (i got for free <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->)

    Drilling saturday week along with fitting all the plumbing for the sump. (DIY/free)

    The stand is nearly completed just applying the final coat of paint and should be ready to move into the loungeroom <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) --> (DIY/free)

    Havent yet got a quote on the amount of live rock but looking to do that when i take the tank to get drilled.

    Pics will come in the next couple of weeks.

    Cheers
  • Jamess
    Jamess Member Posts: 235
    And that is the old stand that i to use for the same tank but with an aftrican cichlid setup for about 5 years.

    So that stand held over 600kg with no problems? I only ask because I have been worried about my DIY stand not being sturdy enough to support a similar sized tank, but if you're saying that one was, it makes me feel a lot better about mine.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Only for 6 years! haha
    It has some small bracing on it (dont forget to put this in!) but yeah thats been completely fine.

    Cheers,
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
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    <!-- s:biggrin: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_biggrin.gif" alt=":biggrin:" title="Happy" /><!-- s:biggrin: -->
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Ok so the tank stand is finished just waiting to get the old tank stand out of the lounge.. Gonna do that on the weekend.

    Picking up the sump tomorrow..

    I'll post pics up tomorrow.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Ok, i have the sump, protein skimmer, pumps, drill bit and the stand all ready to go. So im gonna drill it tomorrow and get the plumbing happening then i should be able to have it full hopefully by next weekend.

    I'll take pictures when it is all full and stuffzzzzz.

    Hekticz
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Be careful drilling.. most usually pay someone to do it.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    F*cking ebay sent me the wrong drill bit......!!! they sent a 32mm and not a 35mm! gay <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->

    Deadsled we have heaps of glass lying around the place from old tanks and lids etc. so i had a few goes with them with the 32mm bit and it went alright. Its just really really REALLY slow going. Its more griding than drilling.

    So yeah waiting now for a 35mm bit. *sigh*
  • anne071974
    anne071974 Member Posts: 63
    Dont forget to keep the drill bit lubricated with water throughout the drilling, you can even make a lil damn around with silicon (that you'll remove later) or something else to keep the puddle of water at the bit. <!-- s:cyclops: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_cyclops.gif" alt=":cyclops:" title="cyclops" /><!-- s:cyclops: -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Uhh.. 32mm is the correct drill bit. You drill a 32mm hole and use a 25mm Bulkhead.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Not for the 25mm bulkheads i have. This inside diamater is 25mm but the outside is 34mm.. So 35mm bit will fit perfectly. <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    I see.. mine was drilled 32mm because the Bulkheads at Bunnings here are 32mm outside, 25mm inside.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Ok, a lot of progress in the DIY department.

    I've got all the equipment now (bar the protein skimmer). I have drilled the tank and am 90% complete with the plumbing, got the weir silliconed and assorteed pump fittings done. Just trying to work out how to do the chiller.. it has really odd shaped nosels.

    Im looking at doing a complete freshwater test on the weekend <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->
    (i'll take heaps of piccies)

    Cheers,

    David
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Can't wait to see how you've done your tank. How did you do the Weir? Did you do it like mine or just straight across the back corner?

    Definately get a skimmer while your tanks cycling.. so its ready to be turned on when the cycles done. The good thing about em is that if you put meds in the tank and need to then get em out.. you turn your skimmer back on and it'll foam like crazy until the meds are out of the water. Bloody good things i reckon.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Haha yeah i can't wait either!

    And yeah i just siliconed a piece of 10mm (they didnt have any slimmer sizes <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( -->) glass against a corner. It think it looks alot better than having an overflow box..

    I ordered the skimmer last night an Octopus Vortex 800. I oversized it a fair bit just in case mum lets me do her 6 x 2 x 2 later on <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->.

    I also have a small 2 x 1 x 1 tank for a hospital tank if its needed. But i know what you mean by the skimmer going nuts, a mate showed me on his. i thoguht it was broken or something <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P -->
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    I've got the Weipro SA-2014 skimmer.. and i've have to empty the collection cup four times in the last like 3 hours.. so annoying. At least its gettin all the fin rot meds out.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Drill a hole in the bottom of the collection cup and plumb it into a bucket of some sort <!-- s;) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_wink.gif" alt=";)" title="Wink" /><!-- s;) -->

    The skimmer ive purchased has that already built in.

    And do you local fish stores sell caulpera? or how ever you spell it?
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Yeah i know.. been meaning to do it and hook it up to a 2L coke bottle but haven't gotten around to it.

    Yeah my LFS sells Caulerpa. Its priced at $25 but i get it for $5 because the stuff grows like a weed and i'm a regular. Yours SHOULD have it there.. but mine only has a tiny little box of it with like two bags worth.. all the Caulerpa me and my mate get comes from their display tanks sump. Too bad its infested with Aiptasia..
  • ekul
    ekul Member Posts: 129
    Hi

    A guy who was helping me order some interesting liverock has shown me a local harbour beach that has Caulerpa growing everywhere - apparently all the local marine tank keepers use it.

    If it is not declared a noxious species (i.e if it is legal to post), then I can send you a parcel of it if you want to cover the postage. I'll probably be heading down there next week at some stage.

    Cheers

    Ekul
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Thanks ekul, but i found a supplier up here that basically gives it away...

    Ok, more pregress, plumbing is complete bar one fitting for the chiller and theres NO LEAKS yay!
    Im going to redo the wier tonight make it a rectangular shape instead of a trianglur shape to double the wier capacity.
    Im also going to put in all the baffles into the sump as soon as i get my skimmer (this week hopefully) and yeah then it should be complete <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

    Just for a test i put my halides onto my 6 foot freshwater tank last night and turned them on and WOW! The fishes colours are really amazing. The frontosa were shimmering beautifuly. (I didnt leave it on for long for fear of sun burning them ?if thats possible?) lol
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    UPDATEZ! I can finally be bothered to update my TJ with pics.

    My progess so far:
    All pictures are taken during a freshwater test.

    The main tank:
    P1010187.jpg

    Under the hood left side (Note that the flexible pipe is the return line from the chiller which is just temporary):
    P1010185.jpg

    Under the hood right side:
    P1010186.jpg

    I put in a heap of valves everywhere so i can change flows of everything easily.


    This is my skimmer:
    P1010196.jpg

    The overflow (Note: the bioballs are there to stop it from being to loud):
    P1010189.jpg

    Overall tank and chiller shot:
    P1010192.jpg

    And my other babies <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->:
    P1010194.jpg

    Things im yet to do:
    Replace the return pump with a quiter one, this one is too loud.
    Make up the chiller return line in PVC.
    Paint the back glass a light blue (same as the wall colour).
    Secure all PVC pipes to the stand with clips.
    Buy a light for my sump.
    Secure power boards to stand. (2 x 4 sockets with individual switches)
    Give everything a clean up ie. tanks, stand
    Move into lounge room <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->:D:D

    So yeah, thats about it.
    Cheers,
    David
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Looks good so far man, but as for those bikes.. two stroke all the way buddy <!-- s:P --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_razz.gif" alt=":P" title="Razz" /><!-- s:P --> Ahaha. I want my old '03 YZ125 back <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( --> Wish i never sold it, but what can ya do.
  • SilverCichlid
    SilverCichlid Member Posts: 1,250
    edited March 2009
    Wow, pretty impressive setup. The plumbing looks great! All so tidy. Can't wait for the next updates <!-- s:dance6: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/Boogiedancing.gif" alt=":dance6:" title="dance6" /><!-- s:dance6: -->
  • NicholasC
    NicholasC Member Posts: 355
    Looking great mate, nice neat setup and easy to get to... youll be patting yourself on the back once maintenance time comes <!-- s:mrgreen: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_mrgreen.gif" alt=":mrgreen:" title="Mr. Green" /><!-- s:mrgreen: --> Better than some of the other sumps i worked on, you need to crawl through salt build up and in tight spaces to get to, just to have a random pipe in the way of where you need to go <!-- s:roll: --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_rolleyes.gif" alt=":roll:" title="Rolling Eyes" /><!-- s:roll: -->

    Keep us updated mate.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Looks good so far man, but as for those bikes.. two stroke all the way buddy Ahaha. I want my old '03 YZ125 back Wish i never sold it, but what can ya do.

    Haha sif! 4 strokes WOO!
    Wow, pretty impressive setup. The plumbing looks great! All so tidy. Can't wait for the next updates

    Thanks for the kind comments. I should be updating pretty regulary from now on.
    Looking great mate, nice neat setup and easy to get to... youll be patting yourself on the back once maintenance time comes Better than some of the other sumps i worked on, you need to crawl through salt build up and in tight spaces to get to, just to have a random pipe in the way of where you need to go..

    Yeah my dad is an engineer and im getting into the business so we want everything to be perfect and ease of maintainence. So we put a LOT of thought into the plumbing and pumps etc.

    We are also looking at doing a semi-automatic water change system:
    We are going to pump the water out of the tank with a small pump. And we are going to get 2 x 200L drums and store them somewhere out the back out of the way, and pump it into the tank with the turn of a valve, instead of driving into the LFS just to get water.
    But thats a little further down the track.

    Thanks for looking.
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    G'day boys and girls,

    Just a small update. Ive painted the back of the tank now.. All looks good. Ive also hooked up all the wiring inside the stand.

    The only thing from stopping me from getting it wet is a window pane. Because we are mounting the chiller on the wall outside we need to go through a window. That should be done by the weekend. So ive got a trench to dig and some more plumbing to do to get it there.

    Cheers
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    Whoa!!!
    Awesome job ...
    Thanks for the reports on how it is coming along...
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Sheesh.. Its been a while..

    Progress: Tank is in! Wet! And with fish and corals! <!-- s:) --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" /><!-- s:) -->

    The tank did its cycle pretty quickly (about 3 weeks) and since then I have put in 3 blue chromis, 7 green chromis, a pair of common clownfish, 1 scooter blenny, 1 3 spot damselfish, 1 sea cucumber and about 7 pieces of brightly coloured corals (forgoten the names already <!-- s:( --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_sad.gif" alt=":(" title="Sad" /><!-- s:( --> haha)..

    Im looking at getting some anthias, maybe 2 more blennies/gobies soon and a main fish that im still undecided on what I want yet.. And of course about 20 more pieces of coral, including Zoos, and a couple of Acroporas.

    But yeah, everything is looking really good. I'll post up some pics soon.

    Thanks for lookin.
  • DeadSled
    DeadSled Member Posts: 303
    Sounds good so far. Just make sure you don't overcrowd it too early. I heard one fish a week when the tanks first starting out is a good rule of thumb.

    Try and find a local marine club up your way, i've found the A&T Society down here and so glad i joined, wish i'd of found out about it earlier. Great bunch of guys, and we went snorkelling a few weeks back and i ended up with a heap of really nice fish and better yet, they were free.

    I'm bummed now that i think about it, how much was wasted on fish from shops that just ended up dying.. but you live and learn i guess.
  • Mooo
    Mooo Moderator Posts: 7,653
    PHOTOS Gnarkil... Photos mate ..Ya know we love photos... <!-- s:D --><img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_biggrin.gif" alt=":D" title="Very Happy" /><!-- s:D -->
    photo mooo_avat.gif "I'm a Doug Addict" photo cow2heartkisses.gif
  • GNARKILL_89
    GNARKILL_89 Member Posts: 60
    Yeah none of my fish have died yet...

    My cycle was huge though, so the amount of fish i have added kind of balences it out... I added 40 odd kilos of (uncured) live rock over the first 2 weeks and 2 weeks after that amonia, nitrite, and nitrates have all gone down to 0ppm. I have been doing bi-weekly water changes of 200L (tank is 425L), which helps. I also have oversized protien skimmer, calc and nitrate reactors (both reactors unused at the moment). All this helps with water quality. I've also bought a Vortech MP40w to help with flow in the tank.

    The uncured rock came with 100's of crabs, starfish, worms, a clam or two, snails etc.
    My goal is to have a large number of fish (30 - 40), and heaps of corals..