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  1. #51
    Senior Member bigwave's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lanimret View Post
    One thing I'd like to do is open up the access holes at the top some, I'm just not sure what is safe. It's 3/8 acrylic and the tanks are only 20" high, so I should be ok I think, but I need to sort that out.
    I wondered about that. You won't be able to put big hunks of live rock in there without opening the holes up.

    It seems to me you should be safe opening it up a little bit, but I am no expert. Maybe you could even get another piece after it is more open, and double re-enforce what is left?





  2. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by bigwave View Post
    I wondered about that. You won't be able to put big hunks of live rock in there without opening the holes up.

    It seems to me you should be safe opening it up a little bit, but I am no expert. Maybe you could even get another piece after it is more open, and double re-enforce what is left?
    I'm trying to find some info on this, but not having a lot of luck.

    I'm confident I can open it up about an inch around, I'm hoping I can do at least 2 inches.

    The problem is that there various holes drilled (some as small as a quarter inch, some 2 inches across) at different places. Your idea of reinforcing is probably a good option, maybe just using a piece of 1/4 inch acrylic would be enough bonded to the top, and routed out to match the opening. I just want to make sure it's necessary. I need to get this done first as the tank's are not in perfect condition and I need to do some polishing on the interior which is nearly impossible with such small openings.

    Originally I was going to try and cut out enough around on end to allow access to an overflow, but I am now considering doing an external overflow which i will build and attach to the outside. Sor of like this:

    http://reefcentral.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=247


    That is also the type of overflow plumbing I am planning to use. It is extremely high flow and totally silent. It is important that these tanks be as silent as possible.



  3. #53
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    Just a minor update, I've been finishing up a few projects I promised the wife (and one that will make this build a bit easier) so I have not done a whole lot. The tanks are a little bit beat up, so I've been sanding and polishing, which is going well, but slow.

    Things should ramp up in the coming weeks as I clear out these last two projects, I'll probably be done with them by the weekend.

    I plan to open up the access holes to about 4" around (more in the back) and am considering picking up some scrap 1/4" acrylic to cover the unwanted holes. I will then be building a 3" x 6" external overflow, still debating on what kind of skimming holes I will open in the side of the tank.

    Once that is done, more sanding and polishing (now that I can access the interior better) and then I can start on the wood work.



  4. #54
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    So I was ready to cut the top last night, got the jig built and decided to think it over for another day. I'm a little worried about adversely affecting the strength of the tank on the one edge here, with the long slot cut out. If so, I guess I could brace it.



    Opinions?



  5. #55
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    Top of one tank is fully cut. Edges sanded and polished, looks great, seems to still be pretty strong.

    Next step is building the external overflow box, attaching it, and eventually drilling the holes. I want to get some feed back on my general design here.



    I don't want to have any powerheads in this tank, so I am going for closed loop to accompany the returns.

    Issues:
    1) I bought a 1.5"x6.5" intake screen hoping that will work for my CL intake. It looks good, but I'm wondering where best to position this for maximum safety to the animals (and still be able to get to it for cleaning).
    2) I need to find a pump for the close loop that is extremely quite and preferably energy efficient. Probably around 800-1000gph. Lots to choose from, but 'quiet' is such a relative term I don't trust the manufacturers descriptions.
    3) I would really like to have more than 2 returns, but I don't think I'll be getting at enough flow for that. I am looking at about 1000gph return, so I think I'll have to live with just the two.
    4) Since I am building my overflow box on the exterior of the tank, I will need to create some kind of opening in the side wall. Drilling seems problematic (poor skimming), standard vertical slots are extremely tough to route using a plunge method. So I was considering long horizontal slots end to end (with breaks every few few inches for strength) and then placing egg crate behind it. Anyone want to play devils advocate?
    5) Considering using a SCWD on the closed loop, but I've heard they are unreliable (and potentially loud). It's important the displays be pretty much silent. Looking for a better idea, or maybe it's just not worth fussing with.

    Haven't had many responses lately, but I am working on the tanks full tilt now (all my other projects done). Will post some pictures this weekend of my progress, but hoping for some input as I'm just guessing on a lot of these ideas.



  6. #56
    Senior Member bigwave's Avatar
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    Looks pretty good so far. I keep watching to see how this turns out. I like pretty much all DIY projects like yours.

    Did you re-enforce the top, or you are just happy with a single layer of plexi-glass?

    The horizontal slots are going to be odd I think. If your water level isn't perfect they won't skim the surface either. I guess you can adjust for it, but I think I would figure out a way to do vertical.

    Just my 2 cents!!!

    Keep us updated.



  7. #57
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    Thanks Bigwave.

    I spent the day prepping tank 1. It had a fair amount of scratches so spent about 4 hours sanding it today. Not the whole thing though, just the sides I'm going to be 'modifying', still have the front and back to sand.

    Got the overflow box mostly built and ran into a minor issue with the bulkhead. I'm considering downgrading to 1" bulkheads instead of 1.5". Since I'm doing a siphon + durso + emergency drain I think 1" will be good enough, but I'm going to have to order a 1" bulkhead to do so some testing and fitting. The 1.5" is just huge, and I'm worried about the integrity of the overflow box drilling such a large hole.

    Oh and to answer your question, no I did not brace it. I think it's ok, seems about as strong as it was before, so I may roll with it. Also, if I do horizontal slots I'll make them 3/4" of an inch high at least, so it should be too much of an issue. Still debating though.



  8. #58
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    So on friday I got one of the tops cut out:





    Also built the majority of the overflow box, but then ran into the bulkhead issue so I haven't put the bottom on. Here's a pic of my test placement.



    Beyond that I spent most of the weekend sanding. Thankfully that's mostly over with.



  9. #59
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    Big update!


    Slots cut over overflow. Each on is 6.5" by 3/4" and rounded over.




    Bulkhead holes cut in the bottom of the overflow box


    The overflow box glued together


    The overflow fitted onto the tank, not yet glued. I forgot to take a shot of my routing of the top flange. I decided to put a top flange in to reinforce the overflow since I was using 1/4" acrylic.


    Overflow gluing. Those are scuba weights, not very useful here in Nevada, so I put them to work.


    Overflow completed and attached. I added some bracing underneath to give it a little extra strength. It seems rock solid.


    And the first tank 100% completed. I had to sand and polish almost the entire exterior and interior of the tank. Now onto tank #2 (I think it's in a little better shape at least.



  10. #60
    Senior Member bigwave's Avatar
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    Wow looks great. What type of router bit did you use, and is it just regular acrylic adhesive that you used? The runny kind that basically melts it together?

    Thanks, and again it looks very nice. I know how much NOT fun sanding that stuff is.



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