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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, here we are. I will be as detailed as I can in this construction journal, and I hope those people looking for inspiration can use my journal for some ideas.


Below is the tank, completely cleaned out and bleached. I couldnt fill the tank all the way up with water because it had two gaping holes for the overflow. Ripping out the overflow was a pain in the a**, but I finally was able to rip the sucker out after getting a knife under all the silicone (see hole picture below).



Horrible photo of the furniture, but you get the idea. I will take more detailed pictures and show you what everything will look like once the clutter is organized. The stand and canopy has a cherry stain on it, which my mother already wants painted black because it looks "pink." Oh mother...


Here are the two holes for the overflow I was talking about. I was given the bulkheads used for the tank by the owner thankfully. I will cut PVC pipe and place it through the bulkhead inside the tank for a small overflow for a pond. That way the moisture going throgh my substrate doesn't run straight into the holes, leaving the pond dry as a bone.


One nasty looking hood right? Rusty ballast, what am I going to do?! Clean it. I might ask for help later on the wiring for this thing, looks like a wire fell out of place.


When I was taking out the one salty bulb the hood came with, one of the brackets snapped right off... I hate reefs! Too much mess!


DIY in-tank circulation. I plan on having two of these with 60mm fans sanded down inside a 2 to 2 and a half inch PVC reducer. Had to paint the cap and reducer black because I bought them white. I will post detailed construction steps for this project later.

That's all for now. Still collecting recipe ingredients for my clay substrate (thanks Doug for the recipe!), going to the glass store and getting glass/ holes cut. Would I be okay with two misters inside? And the dreaded background, yikes, more of that later...

Thanks fellas,

Will
 

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Looks like your off to a good start. I dont know if I would reuse the ballast though. Its pretty corroded from the salt water, I wouldnt trust corroded electrical components, plus it looks like you will have to replace parts of the light fixture anyways.
 

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^agreed. those ballasts are terrible anyways. A hardware store with a lighting section should have multiple ballasts that could work for the light. Just double check that its the correct wattage and output. Most of the time they will have a wiring diagram on the ballast itself. hardware stores usually sell the bracket things too for cheap.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Looks like this cleaning of the reflector with all the salty buildup will be harder than I thought. Any suggestions for for a solution that will break it down?

EDIT: Found the solution to "salt creep" - Vinegar! Just need to find out how to apply it!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Sorry for the delay, but I would say it is time for an update!


Because the tank has two bulkdheads in it, I decided to place it on its side until the background work is complete. I bought some large PVC couplers and placed them in some unique spots. I then siliconed them halfway in; only a small amount is necaessary because I am only trying to hold them in place while the tank is on its side.




One Crappy Silicone job.


Test fit with the top layer of the FB. I used egg crate for this project, along with fiberglass windowscreen.


Side shot, here you can see the overflow for one of the bulkheads. The other bulkhead has a barb on the other side, which will be attached to a hose/ ball valve assembly for some emergency water escape. This will make moving it a lot easier.


sides and windowscreen installed. The cutout in the front will be for a small pond.


Now the background. I used pink insulator foam 2" thick and will layer slabs on top of eachother. No silicone will be used except only between the pieces; this will keep the glass nice and clean for teardowns.



First layer - I really like how this turned out and fit in place so easily. I will paint the side and back in black. One thing that surprised me was the unintentional grating for the hacksaw that looks pretty nice.



This is all for now I guess. Another update in the next couple days, maybe tomorrow.
 

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Looking good.

For your PVC risers, did you cut some notches on the bottom to allow water movement in and out so you don't get stagnant water in them? I know I've read multiple recommendations to do so, and wasn't sure if I could see them in yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No but it seems like a good idea; ill see what I can do, not too crazy about ripping each one out and making slices in each one though..
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Okay, the background has been cut up in raw form for now. I have a hot wire tool to cut the foam easily into really any shape I want. I found it really fun to play around with the order each layer went in, which can create some really interesting looks to the tank. Below are three variations, what do you guys like the most?





















 

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I like the second background, it has a overhang cliff look I really nice.
The tank look great so far, and the way you are going it's going to be great!:)
 

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I think that the fifth picture has the best layout. I really like how each step slowly gets smaller and smaller almost making a stepp style of background. Can't wait to see the background finished!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I realized that the overhang cliff would block out the light unfortunately, as awesome as it would be. Pictures tomorrow, I have class then work immediately after!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi,

Polygem, with a layered paint job of non-toxis acrylics. I have gotten much further in the build, pictures tonight.
 

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will you put a coating over the paint to make it fully water proof?
 

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Any updates? :)
 
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