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MileHighTides Build Off Competition Entry - 26g Bowfront

Discussion in 'Competition Entries' started by Milehightides, May 13, 2019.

  1. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Hey everyone!! Just wanted to to post a pic of the tank I'm setting up for the build off competition! 26g bowfront that I picked up for $50. Started building a stand, need to get the 10g sump I bought for $15 underneath and then finish putting on panels and a door on the stand. Going to be purchasing a 'sump kit' and will silicon that into the 10g tank to finish the sump. Currently curing some dry rock mixed with some live rock in a trashcan. Will hopefully have water running soon!


    Attached Files:

    neil82, jda123, SynDen and 2 others like this.
  2. Dr.DiSilicate

    Dr.DiSilicate Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. B.O.D. Member-at-Large

    Looking forward to seeing the progress! This build off is way more fun than I anticipated.

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC - Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado
    kchristensen8064 and SynDen like this.
  3. Cake_Boss

    Cake_Boss Orca M.A.S.C Club Member

    What are you going to use for lights?

    I find that mountain landscape drawing behind the tank extremely pleasing

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC mobile app
  4. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

  5. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Alright, heres a little update on the 26g bowfront. Since this whole project is baller on a budget, I decided to make my own sump instead of spend $$$ on a new one. So I bought a standard 10g tank and ordered a baffle kit on Ebay. Tank was 15$, baffle kit was 22$, silicon from LFS was 10$. I used some 2x4s for spacers and clamps to hold them down while I did the silicon job. I also used some painters tape to help guide my edges of silicon. Attached are some pics of the job with a 200g box of salt which is almost the amount of salt I need for the entire year. Box of salt was on sale for 40$ at LFS. Tank will take about 25-30g after displacement of rock/sand. And I plan to do a 5g h2o change every week after cycling. So I'm estimating about 45 5g changes. That's 225g of water over the year, plus the ~25g to start it. Looking at a total of 250g, so eventually I'll need another 50g bag of salt mix down the road. Today I will be working on the plumbing. After that I'll be adding a bag of live sand that I got for 20$ at the LFS and then I'll be adding live rock. I got 20lbs of live rock from a fellow reefer at 2$/lb. Then I'll work on a nice rockscape and fill with water and hook up lights, heater, and pump, and add bacteria and begin the cycle! Hoping with the use of live rock, live sand, and bacteria additive, the cycle will be very short!

    Attached Files:

    SynDen and kchristensen8064 like this.
  6. neil82

    neil82 Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    Nice update! What are you putting in the middle chamber of sump?
  7. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Sock and e eventually a skimmer in first chanber if I can find a cheap used one. Ill worry about that later down the road after cycle tho. Then next chamber will just be a foam block cut to size so it fits nice and snug. And then final chamber will be return pump, and maybe another pump for phosphate reactor down the road if ever neccessary.
    neil82 likes this.
  8. SkyShark

    SkyShark Tuna M.A.S.C Club Member

    That’s a nice looking sump kit. Better than dealing with sharp glass.

    Sent from my iPhone using MASC - Marine Aquarium Society of Colorado
  9. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Thanks! Yeah it was a very easy install too. I'm not too fond of the clear silicon tho. Wanted black but the store was out so I settled. Oh well, it did the job. Did a water test on it today and it held so I'm satisfied. Will be plumbing it tomorrow and will hopefully have it running by end of day!
  10. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Heres a quick little update! Got the tank cleaned up, the sump in place, and the plumbing done! Had some leftover vinyl hose that I used. Went to home depot and got some barbs, a coupling, some stainless steel hose clamps. Went to the LFS and got a bulkhead and a return pump nozzle. Hooked all that up and it's looking pretty good, I'm happy with it! Now I'm painting the side panels and front panel/door for the stand black and will be getting those installed tonight. Tomorrow is rock/sand/water day and I'm really getting excited to get this bad lil boy running!

    Attached Files:

    neil82 likes this.
  11. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Ps...I dont know why all these images uploaded sideways...sorry guys!
  12. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Don't worry about it, Its an odd xenforo (our forum software) thing. It doesn't like mobile landscape images in certain aspect ratios and it will automatically flip them sideways if they exceed the width limits for the images aspect. They say it is because the site is made to be responsive, and resizes for mobile devices, turning the images prevents the template from breaking in certain sizes.
  13. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Alright, another update! Got it all up and running! Got a power strip mounted under the tank and everything plugged in. Got rock/sand/water in it yesterday and fired it up!! Used a bag of love sand and a little bit of rock puddy that I got at the LFS for $35 combined and 17/lbs of live rock at $2/lb and I used about 8lbs of some old dry rock (shelf and branch rock) that I had sitting around, not too sure what to price that at....what do you guys think?? But all in all, it's running and leak-free and is now beginning the cycle. Hopefully by using live rock and live sand, I'm hoping the cycle wont be too long. We'll see how it goes. Gonna perform some tests in a week and see where things are at.

    Attached Files:

    neil82 likes this.
  14. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Heres a few more photos with sand and water in it! Also, going to do a complete recap tomorrow of all things used for build so far in detail/specs, and prices.

    Attached Files:

  15. SynDen

    SynDen Kraken Staff Member M.A.S.C Club Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C President M.A.S.C Webmaster

    Looking good.
    For the rock price, most of us I think have been charging ourselves something around $2 a pound
  16. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Tank is finally crystal clear. I'm adding a dose of microbacter7 by brightwell everyday until the bottle is gone for my cycle and also a pinch of frozen mysis twice a week. Starting to mentally plan out what kinda corals I want to add and where. I'm thinking a buncha cheap zoa frags, some cheap mushrooms, a piece of branching gsp, a photosynthetic gorgonian, maybe a rainbow nem, some other cool cheap lps like acans/lepastrea/duncan/chalice/euphyllia. Think overall it will be a nice mixed lps/softie tank. Maybe I'll try a couple sps up high down the road, but well see how budget goes and see what I'm allowed after fish. As far as fish go, im thinking a pair of clowns, a small wrasse, and a goby, maybe a royal gramma, idk. 20190530_020842.jpg
    Cake_Boss, SynDen and neil82 like this.
  17. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Alright, so this is going to be a long post. A complete breakdown of every item used and every step taken up to this date.

    Let's start at the top! So the tank itself is a used 26g bowfront that was drilled out from the top center back side of the tank and has an overflow box. Got the tank from a member of the Colorado Reefkeepers group on Facebook for $50. After acquiring the tank and now knowing the dimensions, I was able to get a stand built. I built a very simple design using 2x4s, plywood, some black paint, and a couple door hinges.

    The general steps were to cut 4 pieces of same length, at 3 different lengths. 36" for height, 24" for length, and 17" for width. I connected the 24" pieces to the 17" pieces to form the base. I repeated those same steps to form the top. And then I connected the base to the top by screwing on the 36" legs. I then added plywood to the top to give the tank a platform to sit on, and, also added a piece of plywood to the bottom for the sump to sit on. After that, I added 2 side panels, a front panel, and a door all made of plywood. Screwed in 2 hinges to connect the door to the front panel and painted the whole thing black.

    Moving on with the rest of the setup. The tank will be illuminated with a used kessil a360w connected to a gooseneck that is mounted to the back rim of the tank. The light also came with a xmas light timer that will allow simple on/off control ability at a certain preprogrammed time. Paid a total of $200 for this used setup.

    Now let's talk about filtration. I purchased a new 10g tank from Petco for $15 that I will be using as a sump tank. Now since this 10g tank is just a standard tank, and I want to use it as a sump, I needed to order a sump kit. On Ebay I found a seller that makes all kinds of different sump kits and refugium kits. They had one made out of black acrylic with the exact dimensions to fit inside of a standard 10g tank for $22. I went back to Petco and bought a tube of silicon for $10 to secure the sump kit to the sump tank. This part was fairly easy, using 2 small pieces of 2x4, 2 clamps, and some painter's tape. Process was very simple really. Measure and decide where I wanted the baffles to be in the sump. Made sure to leave enough space to for other required equipment. Then put the baffle in place and leaned it against the clamped 2x4s. Applied a piece of tape on the side that will be getting a bead of silicon to help guide me and to remove any excess silicon. Repeated those steps a couple more times and the baffles were done. I then applied silicon to the corner rim of the tank and firmly pressed the sock holder into place. Now the sump is complete!

    I purchased 2x 4" micron socks for mechanical filtration that I will be swapping out and cleaning weekly. These cost $20 for both of them.

    Moving on to plumbing. In order to connect the drain line and the return line I needed some additional parts. A 1" bulkhead, threaded 1" barb, stick of 1" pvc, 1" hose, and 2 1" steel hose clamps for the drain line. And 3/4" hose, 3/4" steel clamp, and a 3/4" specialty barb/flare piece for the return line. These additional pieces cost:
    Bulkhead, barns, coupling, and PVC - $17
    3/4" & 1" hose - $10
    Steel clamps - $6
    Specialty return jet - $12

    For the return pump, I bought a Kedsum-2500 on Amazon for $18.

    For the heater, I bought a used 150w from a fellow reading friend for $10.

    All of my electronics will be plugged in to a used power strip I had sitting around the house. Going to value that at $5.

    So that pretty much wraps up the entire under side of the tank. Eventually I may add a protein skimmer if I can find a good price on a used one and is in the budget. Now let's move back up to the top of the tank.

    For circulation, I will be using 2x used Jebao WP-10P pumps that I bought used for $20ea.

    I purchased 17lb of live rock that had been sitting in a friends sump for $2/lb. I added 8lbs of dry tonga and shelf rock that I had sitting in a bucket for the last 6yrs. I valued that at $2/lb. So 25lbs of total rock, live and dry, for $50. I then spent about an hour or 2 playing with the rocks and building a rockscape that I was happy with. I then used a little bit of leftover rock puddy I had sitting around in a couple certain places to help support the rockscape and make it more stable and solid. Gonna value that little bit of rock puddy at $5.

    I then added a 20lb bag of Caribsea live sand from the LFS that I got for $20. Once the sand was in, the tank was ready for water finally.

    I bought a blue box of fritz rpm salt mix that can make 200g of saltwater for $40 at the LFS. I added 1/2 cup of salt per gallon of RO water to get the desired specific gravity of 1.025. I then added just under 28g of water to fill the tank and the sump, and was finally able to turn on all the electrical and bring the tank to life!

    The last step in my setup process is to get the nitrogen cycle going. I bought a bottle of Microbacter7 from the LFS for $8. This is basically just bacteria in a bottle they helps kickstart the nitrogen cycle and stabilizes the bioculture inside the tank. This was added everyday until the bottle ran out. Once the bottle ran out I took a water sample to the LFS for testing.

    Results were pretty decent.

    Calcium - 410
    Magnesium - 1280
    Alkalinity - 7.7
    Salinity - 1.027
    Nitrate - 20
    Nitrite - 0
    Ammonia - 0.25
    Phosphate - 0.1

    I need to bring the salinity down just a bit, seems as I got a little too much salt in my mix. The alkalinity is a bit low, but that was expected, blue box fritz always mixes up a little low. So I plan to get some dosing additives in the future. Other than that, only a tiny bit of ammonia detected, no nitrites, and some nitrates.

    The dry rock that I added is starting to get a bit or brown algae on it. So the nitrogen cycle is clearly underway and life (algae) is growing. As for now, I'm going to just let the tank continue is cycle and use a tooth brush to control the brown algae. I plan on adding a clean up crew (snails & hermits) to the tank later this week and see how they do for a little while and take another sample in for testing. Going to hold off on any water changes for now.

    Alright, so, that was A LOT!! Gheeeeze! LoL!! Let's end this post with a current picture of the tank and a total expenses list.

    Kessil & Gooseneck & Timer - 200
    26g bowfront tank - 50
    10g sump tank - 15
    Sump kit - 22
    Silicon - 10
    Micron socks - 20
    Plumbing parts - 45
    Return pump - 18
    Heater - 10
    Power strip - 5
    Jebao pumps - 40
    Live rock - 34
    Dry rock - 16
    Rock puddy - 5
    Live sand - 20
    Box of salt - 40
    Bacteria - 8

    Total of $558 spent so far.
    Leaves me with $442 left in the budget. 20190609_060247.jpg
    jda123, SynDen, MuralReef and 2 others like this.
  18. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Alright, time for an update! Since my last post I have finally added some livestock to this tank!!

    First addition was a small clean up crew (CUC) from LFS for $14.
    1 emerald crab
    1 trochus snail
    6 asst hermits
    These guys have done a great job so far controlling the brown algae that was coming in on the dry rock I had put in the tank. I later had the water tested and ammonia is now at 0 and nitrate is at about 20. Alk is still hanging around 7.7, I have yet to get a bottle of seachem alk to raise that, but plan to eventually.

    I was at the Coral Stock KC show last Sunday and I acquired a nice rainbow anemone for $50! It was a nice looking nem for a great price, so, even though my tank has only just barely cycled, I couldnt pass up on this!
    I also came across this vendor called Happy Fish who breed clownfish and I was able to get a pair from them at the end of the show for $20. A nice black misbar and a basic ocellaris.
    And the last thing I added to the tank was this tiny little thumbnail sized plate coral that I got for $10. Thought this would be good for this particular tank so I can take pics and show the growth of a plate coral over time.
    So before additions, the budget total was at $558. After additions of:
    CUC - 14
    Plate - 10
    Anemone - 50
    Clown Pair - 20
    That brings the total up to $652. Leaves me with $348 left.
  19. Milehightides

    Milehightides Copepod Platinum Sponsor M.A.S.C Club Member

    Now I had a question about the rules when it comes to RO top off and such. I'm already getting tired of manually topping this off lol!! So I was wanting to add an eshopps float valve and have it directly hooked up to my RODI unit so it is always topped off and I dont have to worry about it anymore. Now if I do that, I obviously have to include the price of the float valve and the line from the unit to the float, but, do I have to include the cost of my already existing RODI unit?? If so, that's deffo not in the budget and I guess I'll have to continue to add top off water manually.
  20. Andrew_bram

    Andrew_bram Kraken M.A.S.C Club Member

    Could have saved 18 bucks if you would have peed in it. Brahaha . Build is looking good.

    Sent from my SM-G965U using Tapatalk

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