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Robshaw2000uk

A big reefing adventure

627 posts in this topic

Thought I would start a new build thread as I have started to acquire bits for the upgrade.

The new tank will be a 6x2x2 glass tank on a steel frame with a 4' sump.

It will have a centre wear and I am still undecided wether it will be braceless or not that will depend on how much money I have to spend at the time of ordering the tank as it is twice the price of a standard one so will have to wait and see.

So far I have had the steel frame made and I'm really pleased with it it's been primed and I will paint it in due course.

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I plan to make some panels that will attach to the frame with magnets for easy removal these are most likely to be made of oak.

I have ordered a Jebao DC12000 return pump for the new setup as I have the DC6000 on my current system and it is the best pump I have used so happy to stick with the brand and the price is unbeatable.

I already have the light unit for this new system a evergrow IT2120 pro reef LED and have been getting to grips with it over the current tank I'm still playing with it but it has brought out some nice colours.

It is still very much in the early stages and I don't anticipate ordering the tank until Jan/Feb so I have plenty of time to make the panels and ponder over any things I may not be 100% decided on yet.

But it has finally started all be it at a snails pace.

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I got my jebao DC 12000 today.

And the position of the tank has changed (again) it's going where my TV is at the moment so will be able to set the new tank up while the current tank is still running cycle it and introduce a few tester bits before moving the lot over which will be much less stressful.

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In preparation of building the panels to fit the fame a went to the wood yard as I had worked out roughly how much wood I needed for the project and rung around a few places. And to be asked are you sitting down is never a great opening line when being hit with a quote.

So after a rethink and a chat to CliveB I went to have a look,

the off cut section is my new favourite place as they have some really nice oak there but at a different size to my workings so I had to re plan the panels.

I drew it out at 1:10 scale so I could determine hights and widths for doors and bracket sizes ect.

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I then had to get the wood but the wood yard shuts early and I was worried the wood i had seen there may be gone so CliveB very generously went and picked it up for me along with a 6'x2' 1inch MDF panel to sit on top of the frame. I didn't get the wood for the doors at this point as I still want to jig things about a little and once the frames are made I can measure up for the side panel inserts and the doors. (And I am itching to get started on them).

To take my mind off of the fact I can't start the panels yet I tuned my attention to the tank and how I wanted things as up until now I have continually changed my mind over things such as central or corner wear and blue or black background and after talking to a few people I have made a decision on at least one thing the central were and sketched out what I was hoping to achieve with my rock layout

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That's about as far as I am with this at the moment apart from having about 25kg of dead rock soaking in a tup of RO water.

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Had a little play with the wood today

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I had to stop as I didn't have any more joining brackets so will have to make some more on Monday and I need to borrow a skill saw as my jigsaw is making hard work of it. So hoping to get some more done next weekend. Once the frames are made they will be magnetised and I can measure up for the inserted panels and doors which will be oak veneered MDF.

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I plan to oil seal it and there is an edging that irons on which should offer some extra protection and as a sheet of the veneered MDF is only £20 and that will make all four doors an end panels inserts it's by far the cheapest option and cheep to replace in the event of any damage.

Not to mention vinyl wood effect is one of my pet hates I can't stand the stuff only ever use real wood as there is no satisfactory substitute that looks convincing to me.

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After a trip to B&Q this morning to get some supply's I made up the rest of the oak frames for the tank stand and I have given the MDF top a coat of pva and I'm waiting to see how it drys as to wether it will need a coat of pain after.

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Now I have the measurements to get the side panels and doors cut which I will get next Saturday.

I also have on order 50 magnets to hold the panels on to the frame. So far I am happy with the progress made and will struggle to hold back on getting the tank ordered once it's complete.

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Had the wood for the doors and sides cut and delivered yesterday so couldn't resist slotting the side panels in the frame to see how it's going to look and check my measurements and I must say it's looking very nice :)

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I'm very impressed with the oak veneer and as it was such a reasonable price I got double the panels and doors cut so I have spares incase of damage along the way.

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Found a little time to play with the stand a bit more today so I fitted some battening around the inside front opening this has been added for two reasons firstly I needed something to attach the magnetic door catches to and secondly there is a slight bow in the wood that this should correct.

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I also applied the iron on veneer to the edges of the doors. As I have never used this before I first tried it on a scrap bit of wood

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And I was pleasantly surprised with the level of finish that can be achieved with little effort so I proceeded to complete the doors and I'm pleased with how they look.

I then hung one of the by following doors to the front panel and fitted the catches

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It's all starting to come together and I'm really happy with the build so far :)

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Today I had to take a trip out to get some replacement hinges as I put a piano hinge on the bifolding door but it had far to much play in it for my liking causing the door to drop so a couple of heavier duty hinges fitted and the all gaps even and doors straight.

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With the doors on I filled in all the joins with wood filler and rubbed it all down ready for oiling.

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I also added some draft excluder between the the doors which should stop light bleed from the sump light and help reduce noise.

So it's almost compleat just waiting on the magnets to arrive to secure the panels to the frame and I am in the process of making some custom handles for the doors.

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The magnets I ordered arrived but they are noway near strong enough to secure the oak in place so I have mad some nylon brackets to hook under the top rail of the frame

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And I will use some child safe catches to secure the panels in place.

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that way I can still remove the panels if needed.

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The brackets are fitted and work really well

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I also did some more veneering on the battening that runs around the inside the opening of the front panel. This is not seen when the doors are shut but I wanted it to look as nice as it can. And I couldn't stand looking at the pine.

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I used some draft excluder around the gaps of the doors to stop light spill from inside the Cabernet and also to help reduce any noise.

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I finished off today by giving the panels a good rubdown and applied some Danish oil which has given the wood a rich glow and really brought out the beautiful grain of the wood.

It's fare to say I couldn't be more pleased with how this is progressing and all that's really left to compleat the cabinet side of this build is to fit the handles.

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Now that CliveB has completely shut his system down I am now in position of the sump for the new setup

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As you can see from the picture I removed the bracing bars as when I ran this sump remotely on my current system they got in the way and I was constantly scraping up my arms I don't think this will cause a structural issue as the tank will only be half filled and the baffles I added offer enough support.

Although I have flu this weekend I mustered up the energy to clean the sump

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and position it in the Cabernet to start working out how I want things.

I plan on integrating my nano tank in to the system this will be used as a refugium and fry tank for any Cardinal baby's

I will make a box for the nano to stand on and under the tank I will have my ATO container.

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I plan on ordering the tank the week after next and will start moving things in to position in preparation from then on.

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I have moved the stand into position in the living room and the Mrs wasn't impressed with the size see said its to big ( story of my life ) ;)

So for a while I thought I may have to put it where the tank is running at the moment which would have been a mission of a change over but after a few days I think she is getting used to the stand and the initial shock is subsiding at the moment she seems happy for it to stay put so I'm hoping the situation remains like this.

I have also ordered my tank and it should be here in about 5-6 weeks

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At the weekend I picked up a BM curve 7 skimmer in preparation and positioned it in the sump so I could get an idea of how much space I have to play with.

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I want to add a bio pearl reactor in the same chamber which will be run from the return pump. I also made the stand for the nano tank so it sits high enough to fit a bulk head do drain back in to the last chamber the ATO will sit under the nano in the gap.

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Got a little closer this weekend made the light hanging rail, which is made from 22mm copper piping I have filled it with a two part resin for extra strength and this should help reduce the risk of sagging under the weight of the light. I also knocked up two temp controllers and bought the paint to redecorate the lounge so by the time the tank is delivered I should be ready

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Picked up all the plumbing tonight so got the bulk heads fitted and sealed. did some more of the scape and added the sand, the rest of the rock will come from my current tank once the cycle has finished.

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Started to fill the tank yesterday tested the wear and one of the bulk heads leaked so I added some more silicon but on testing this morning that was no good so pulled it apart cleaned it all up and redid it so confident that's sorted now in the mean time I have sorted out my plugs and labeled them

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I highly recommend doing this as if not for your benefit the day your significant other rings you saying there is a problem with the tank you can say switch off the return pump and they know exactly what one it is. Also the extension plug banks are individually switched which is a real plus.

But now I have to wait for my ro unit to produce some more water.

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Having detachable panels on the stand has proven invaluable providing great access to the plumbing I'm so glad I did them like this.

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I was hoping to get the tank filled over the bank holiday but at 50gpd the 800 letters required was a tall order nearly there now though.

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